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Featured Release Roundup: April 18, 2019

Maze: S/T 12” (Lumpy) Debut 12” from this Japanese band. While most Lumpy releases have me breaking out adjectives like “raging,” “raw,” and “weird,” Maze pushes me to reach for words like “haunting,” “evocative,” and “twee.” Is Lumpy growing up? Well, not really… Maze is still primitive and punk-y, but in an early Rough Trade Records kind of way. While the whole record is upbeat and snappy, there’s a woozy, dreamy quality that seems very English (even though the band is Japanese). Whether it’s the early Mekons-esque pop tune “Eight Channels,” the punkier “You Can’t Win,” or the early Joy Division / Warsaw-esque closer “The Cobwebs,” Maze always sounds like they’re not in a hurry to get anywhere. It’s a vibe I don’t hear much from contemporary punk-influenced music, but it’s just as just as interesting and addictive as the bands I mentioned above.

Attack SS: Welcome to Deathdust Island 12” (Distort Reality) Discography-to-date from this Japanese noise-punk band. Calling Attack SS a noise-punk or crasher crust band seems like a disservice because, particularly on the 2012 and 2013 releases collected on the a-side of this LP, they are a shit-hot band that has as much power and flexibility as any legendary Japanese hardcore band. They’ve always ripped, but the a-side tracks (which come from the No Nukes EP and the split with Attack SS, which they must have recorded at the same session) have a clear and powerful sound that highlights the great playing. The drums are big and clear and the bass is thick and burly, the two instruments leaping and lunging in unison a la later-era Gauze, while the guitar is a Kyushu-style wash of white noise. The singer also has an interesting style; I like how on the track “Warning” he yells “AAAAAH!,” a bunch of times, not like a typical punk or hardcore band, but like he’s just been surprised by a big cockroach running across the floor. I know there are a million d-beat bands out there and everyone’s attention span is different, but this is worthy stuff.

No streaming link for this one, sorry!

Protruders: Poison Future 12” (Feel It) Debut vinyl from this Montreal band on the always-reliable Feel It Records. The Protruders’ music, to me at least, sounds like the members have spent a lot of time with the music of the 1970s, whether you’re talking about the primitive art-punk of Electric Eels and Pere Ubu, the psychedelic explorations of Amon Düül II or Hawkwind, or the driving proto-punk of Rocket from the Tomb or the Saints. (Note I’ve stolen most of these references from the label’s description, which is spot-on). I love that they can write a song like “Fruit Hang,” which could have been the a-side to a great 70s punk single on a label like Raw or Chiswick, but they’re so much more than just a pop band. The dense, intertwining chords of the title track are about as Pere Ubu-esque as I’ve heard a band from the 2010s get, and the lazy groove and dense chords on “No Stone” are great too. I don’t love the heavy distortion on the vocals (even if it makes them sound even more like the Electric Eels than they would have otherwise), but that’s a minor quibble. If you're modern punker with a soft spot for the more out-there sounds of the 70s check this out.

Cutie: S / T 7” (Perfect Music Recording Corporation) Debut 7” from this punk band out of New York. With 11 tracks you might think this will be ripping hardcore, but that’s only part of the story. In fact, I’m surprised the band looks so young on the back cover because it sounds like some beamed this record straight from the 90s. While the songs are uniformly short, confrontational, and aggressive, stylistically Cutie blends 90s noise rock with 90s garage like the New Bomb Turks. They’re also catchy, which means they resemble Bleach-era Nirvana at points. This 7” has a lot of music, but the songs come at you machine gun-style like the a-side of Pink Flag, which is a winning recipe in my book.

Crisis Man: The Myth of Moderation 7” (Digital Regress) Second release (and the first on vinyl) from this California punk band. With a fast and punky sound, Crisis Man remind me of bands like Formaldehyde Junkies and Career Suicide that toe the line between amped-up garage-punk and 80s-style hardcore. When they lean a little more toward the garage end of things they can sound like the Dwarves at their most furious, while the more USHC tracks have an Amde Petersen’s Arme energy. I know this description is just a flurry of band comparisons, but what I mean to say is that this is hardcore punk and you’ll like it.

All New Arrivals

Protruders: Poison Future 12" (Feel It)
Cutie: S/T 7" (Perfect Music Recording Corporation)
Various: Japanese Post-Punk, Goth & New Wave 1980-1991 cassette (Import)
Eye Jammy: Playas in Pain cassette (Earth Girl)
DeeDee And The Fuzz Coffins: Three Golden Hits cassette (Earth Girl)
Marbled Eye: Beat Session Vol. 8 cassette (Shout)
S.H.I.T.: Beat Session Vol. 7 cassette (Shout)
Sniz Banquette: Number One cassette (self-released)
Bad Brains: Black Dots 12" (Wax Audio)
Crisis Man: The Myth of Moderation 7" (Digital Regress)
Various: Jobcentre Rejects: Ultra-rare NWOBHM 1978-1982 12" (On The Dole)
Various: Angkor Pop! 12" (Lion)
MSBR: Ultimate Ambiance 12" (Urashima)
Klangwart: Bogota 12" (Staubgold)
Dome: Dome 1 12" (Editions Mego)
Inter Arma: Sky Burial 12" (Relapse)
Big Business: The Beast You Are 12” (Joyful Noise)
Doom: Born Like This 12" (Lex)
XXXtentacion: Skins 12" (Bad Vibes Forever)
Nirvana: Live at the Paramount 12" (Geffen)
Big Eyes: Streets of the Lost 12" (Greenway)


Marbled Eye: Leisure 12" (Digital Regress)
Various: Polish Dark Wave 1982-1989 cassette (Import)
Various: Soviet Punk 1985-1992 cassette (Import)
Baroness: Red 2x12" (Relapse)
Baroness: Blue 2x12" (Relapse)
Inter Arma: Paradise Gallows 12" (Relapse)
Pentagram: First Daze Here 12" (Relapse)
Pentagram: First Daze Here Too 12" (Relapse)
Integrity: Howling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume 12" (Relapse)
Death: The Sound of Perseverence 12" (Relapse)
Devil Master: Manifestations 12" (Relapse)
Devil Master: Satan Spits on Children of Light 12" (Relapse)
Suffocation: Souls to Deny 12" (Relapse)
The Cowboys: The Bottom of a Rotten Flower 12" (Feel It)
Cement Shoes: A Peace Product of the USA 7" (Feel It)
Institute: Beat Session Vol. 6 cassette (Shout)
Fried Egg: Beat Session Vol 4 cassette (Shout)
A Tribe Called Quest: Low End Theory 12" (Jive)
Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders 12" (Jive)
Bob Marley: Legend 12" (Island)
Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody OST 12" (Hollywood)
AFI: All Hallows 10" (Nitro)
AFI: The Art Of Drowning 12" (Nitro)
Anderson Paak: Malibu 12" (OBE)
Tame Impala: Currents 12" (Interscope)
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker 12" (Modular)
Lana Del Rey: Born to Die 12" (Polydor)
Mumford & Sons: Delta 12" (Glassnote)
The Strokes: Is This It? 12" (RCA)
Black Keys: Rubber Factory 12" (Fat Possum)
Black Keys: Chulahoma 12" (Fat Possum)
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables 12" (Manifesto)
Taking By Sunday: Twenty 12" (Craft)
Anti-Flag: Die for the Government 12" (New Red Archives)
Bob Mould: Sunshine Rock 12" (Merge)
Geto Boys: We Can’t Be Stopped 12" (Rap A Lot)
Lee Fields & the Expressions: It Rains Love 12" (Big Crown)
Portishead: Dummy 12" (Go! Beat)
Superchunk: No Pocky for Kitty 12" (Merge)
Misfits: Die Die My Darling 12" (Caroline)
Annihilation Time: II 12" (Tee Pee)
Guns N Roses: Appetite for Destruction 12" (Geffen)
Outkast: Stankonia 12" (LaFace)
Kanye West: College Dropout 2x12" (Roc A Fella)
New Order: Power, Corruption and Lies 12" (Factory)
Lord Huron: Lonesome Dreams 12" (I Am Sound)
Lord Huron: Strange Trails 12" (I Am Sound)
The Lumineers: Cleopatra 12" (Dualtone)
Death Grips: No Love Deep Web 12" (self-released)
Tool: Opiate 12" (Opiate)
Uncle Acid: Mind Control 12" (Rise Above)
Curtis Mayfield: Curtis 12" (Curtom)
Funkadelic: S/T 12" (Westbound)
Chet Baker: Sings 12" (Wax Love)
King Diamond: Abigail 12" (Roadrunner)
Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty 12" (Capitol)
Power Trip: Manifest Decimation 12" (Southern Lord)
Pink Floyd: Meddle 12" (Pink Floyd)
Slayer: South of Heaven 12" (American)
Dangerdoom: The Mouse & The Mask 12" (Lex)
N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton 12" (Priority)
Alice in Chains: MTV Unplugged 2x12" (Music On Vinyl)
The Gaslight Anthem: The ‘59 Sound 12" (Side One Dummy)

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