Featured Release Roundup: January 31, 2019

Ryan Dino: Chapter One: The Final Chapter 12” (Scavenger of Death) Ryan Dino is a project from Ryan Bell, whom you may know from Atlanta bands like Bukkake Boys, Hyena, and GG King, as well as having recorded quite a few of the Atlanta punk releases that have received national attention over the past decade or more. I’m a big proponent of the Atlanta punk scene… while some people think of it as a garage-punk kind of town, my favorite bands from there are quirky and unique. It seems like, in Atlanta, it’s popular to slam together diverse influences, resulting in unique projects like GG King, Uniform, and Näg. Add in the pop sensibility that seems ingrained into Atlanta punk bands at a deep level and you have a heap of unique and memorable bands. This Ryan Dino LP feels like a product of that scene, mixing post-punk, black metal, hard rock, and hardcore while keeping the whole thing super catchy. Several tracks like the stunning opener “Ordnance Map,” “Basking in Shadow,” and “Stranger” remind me of Total Control at their best, but then there are tracks like “Black Cliffs,” which sounds like it could have been a Bukkake Boys or Hyena song, the black metal-influenced “I Don’t Believe,” and the NWOBHM parody (?) “Breakin’ the Danelaw.” The aggressive eclecticism and the subtle undercurrent of humor seem designed to bait self-serious punk and hardcore types, but I like both aspects of the record a lot. It seems very southern… our punk scenes here are smaller and less segregated by style and genre, and a lot of us carry a chip on our shoulder because our projects don’t get the same attention as what happens in the bigger metropolitan centers. What I’m getting at is that this record may be too Atlanta for some people, but if you’ve been following the bands coming out of that city (particularly the ones on Scavenger of Death), you’ll recognize this as, perhaps, the ultimate Atlanta record. 

Baus: Songs to Snake To 12” (Digital Regress) Baus is a band from Oakland who has several releases under their belt, but I believe this is the first time I’ve heard them. I see the tags “post-punk” and “no wave” associated with them in multiple places, which makes sense. Tracks like “Proud,” “Pop Song,” and “Be Cool” are bass-led songs a la Gang of Four or Delta 5, but thankfully keep their distance from the overt funkiness that makes a lot of music in this style sound corny. The more experimental and no wave elements are even more interesting. Those creep into the song-oriented material (like the noisy and chaotic guitars on “Cannonball”), but my favorite moments on the record are the more minimal, less song-oriented tracks like “Skin,” “Interlude,” and “Classics.” These tracks wander curiously from sound to sound in a way that reminds me of This Heat or even Faust. With a short running time and a lot of variation from track to track this is a quick and fun listen.

R. Clown: The Big Break 7” (Digital Regress) Debut vinyl from this synth-punk project. R. Clown sound of a piece with several recent punk bands that use drum machines… I’m thinking of S.B.F. and Race Car, though each of these projects has their own unique quirks. While R. Clown’s tough vocals might make you think of S.B.F., they separate themselves from the pack with particularly creative use of the drum machine (not just replicating standard punk beats, but using sounds and patterns a human couldn’t or wouldn’t play) and piles of memorable synth and guitar riffs. Part of the fun of this style of music is the way it bends genres, and R. Clown do it more aggressively than most. The vocals are an obvious nod to hardcore, the drum machine virtuosity reminds me of a Big Black, “Lovin’ in My Oven” has bright, new wave-y synths, and “Rodeo Stomp” even has an early 80s hip-hop vibe. If you follow labels like Neck Chop and Digital Regress, you’ll want to check this out.

Private Vices: Total Control 7” (Splattered!) Private Vices were a late 70s UK punk band composed of French expatriates. While they never released a record during their original run as a band, these two tracks were released on 1987’s Les 30 Plus Grands Succès Du Punk compilation of vintage French punk, alongside contemporaries like Metal Urbain, the Dogs, Guilty Razors, and Gasoline. Even that compilation is a collectible record nowadays, so Splattered! Records has taken the two tracks and released them as the single that should have been. The a-side, “Total Control,” is a complete ripper. Coming from the Boys / Slaughter & the Dogs school of pop-inflected pub punk, it’s notable for featuring both a top-notch vocal and guitar hook, achieving a level of quality I’d expect from a top-tier 70s UK punk band. Had they released song as a single back then I'm sure it would have been a huge seller or it would be an expensive collectible today. The b-side is in the same style, but it doesn’t have quite the same magic. The artwork also leaves me scratching my head… it looks overtly misogynistic but maybe I’m missing something. Still, “Total Control” is as great an undiscovered 70s punk tune as you’re likely to hear in this day and age.

Vaaska: Inocentes Condenados 7” (Beach Impediment) Texas’s Vaaska are back with a new 4-song EP, their first release since 2016’s Futuro Primitivo 7” on Beach Impediment. By my count this is the 7th Vaaska vinyl release, and at this point they have a bulky discography that may intimidate newcomers, but I assure you it’s all good. As with long-running bands like Motorhead or the Fall, it’s fun to listen to how the band’s sound evolves from release to release. If I had to sum up Inocentes Condenados in a few words, I’d say it’s the most Discharge-inspired Vaaska release. Vaaska are a d-beat band, so Discharge has always been an influence, but Inocentes finds them dabbling with more overt appropriation, particularly on “Atrapados,” which incorporates the riff from Discharge’s “Fight Back.” Other tracks graft Discharge’s distinctive chord progressions onto Vaaska’s well-established template, reaching a climax with the closing track, “No a la Guerra.” Notable for being one of the few Vaaska tracks without a blazing guitar solo (though there is a big swell of feedback where you expect one to come in), “No a la Guerra” is one of the rawest, noisiest, and most primal tracks that Vaaska has ever laid down. Every single Vaaska record is good. If you’ve been buying them all, then there’s no reason to stop with Inocentes Condenados, but if you’re new to the band, it’s also a fine place to start tackling their discography.

Dry Insides: S/T 7” (Knife Vision) I don’t know much about Dry Insides (though we carried a previous 7” from them back in 2014), but you could make a good guess about what they sound like based on this EP’s visual aesthetic. It’s clean, well-executed (I love the black printing inside the 7” pocket sleeve), and despite being stark and straightforward seems to reference everything from Celtic Frost to Youth Attack Records-type hardcore to cult 80s Japanese punk. The a-side, “Nothing Lives in This World,” centers on a big riff I could imagine coming from Bathory just as easily as Blazing Eye, with echo-drenched vocals and wandering, atmospheric lead guitar weaving in and out of the din. Things slow down to a Celtic Frost-esque, trudging through wet sand pace at the end, staying at a similar tempo for the entire b-side. If you like all the things I mentioned above, it’s a safe bet you’ll like Dry Insides. I’m not sure which of these things influenced them, but whatever frame of reference they’re working from they’ve put together an interesting, unique, and impeccably presented single here.

Muro: Ataque Hardcore Punk 12” (Beach Impediment) Debut LP from this hardcore punk band from Bogota, Colombia. This LP came out as a hard-to-get Norwegian pressing in 2017, but Beach Impediment have done a 500-copy run so we North Americans can get our hands on it more easily. It’s rare to see a hardcore punk record get any kind of repress these days, so you can imagine Ataque Hardcore Punk must be special. And it is! Muro brings together a bunch of different threads of hardcore punk in a way that sounds natural, fresh, and exciting. I hear elements of UK82 (particularly faster stuff like Ultra Violent), d-beat, and primal pogo-hardcore like Blazing Eye and S.H.I.T., all with a dash of Una Bestia Incontrolable’s progressive experimentation. However, despite reminding me of all of these things, Ataque Hardcore Punk also sounds like a classic hardcore punk record. Muro combines these elements organically, like they’re just a shit-hot hardcore punk band doing what feels natural rather than a bunch of record nerds or punk historians showing off their influences. The recording is raw, the songs are brimming with memorable moments, and the record’s packaging is also spot-on. The jacket is not only screen printed, but hand-assembled on paper that reminds me of old European or South American LPs. There are not one but two huge posters, and everything is packed with illustrations that are super punk yet avoid cliches. I often feel like I have to choose between purist and progressive strands of hardcore, but Muro lets me have my cake and eat it too.

Reptoides: El Marcianismo cassette (World Gone Mad) World Gone Mad brings us another release from Mexico’s Reptoides. Like the others, this one has a green color scheme and is weird as hell, but this time it’s limited to only 50 copies so you’d better jump fast if you’re a fan. Reptoides’ previous EP on WGM was quirky, but they dive off the deep end with El Marcianismo. It’s still hardcore punk, but they push the sound in weird and unexpected directions. The guitar and bass often sound out of tune with one another, the effects pedals have every knob turned to 10, and the record’s mix is odd, dominated by a blaring crash cymbal. The vocalist sounds like they’re taking inspiration from the weirdest elements of Sakevi’s vocals in G.I.S.M. There’s still a loose and wild hardcore punk record at the core of El Marcianismo, but it’s coated in a thick layer of weird and unsettling sounds.

All New Arrivals

Discharge: Noise Not Music 12" box set (FOAD)
Vaaska: Inocentes, Condenados 7" (Beach Impediment)
Muro: Ataque Hardcore Punk 12" (Beach Impediment)
Reptoides: El Marcianismo cassette (World Gone Mad)
Private Vices: Total Control 7" (Splattered!)
Dry Insides: S/T 7" (Knife Vision)
Mock Execution: Reality Atack 7" (Lengua Armada)
BAUS: Songs to Snake To 12" (Digital Regress)
R. Clown: The Big Break 7" (Digital Regress)
Landowner: Blatant 12" (Born Yesterday)
Drool: Drool II 12" (Born Yesterday)
Altarage: The Approaching Roar 12" (Season Of Mist)
Aluk Todolo: Archives, Vol 1 12" (Season Of Mist)
Ayyur: The Lunatic Creature 12" (Season Of Mist)
Behemoth: And the Forests Dream Eternally 12" (Season Of Mist)
Suffocation: Souls to Deny 12" (Relapse)
Suffocation: Despise the Sun 12" (Relapse)
Obscura: Cosmogenesis 12" (Relapse)
Obscura: Retribution 12" (Relapse)
Obscura: Omnivium 12" (Relapse)
Cell Rot: Violent Spirals 12" (Vitriol)
Candy: Candy Says 7" (Triple-B)
American Nightmare: S/T 12" (Rise)
Lifesick: Swept in Black 12' (Isolation)
Vile: Vile Says Fuck Off! 7" (Radio Raheem)
Reign of Terror: Don't Blame Me 7" (Radio Raheem)
Ramones: Road to Ruin 12" (Rhino)
Aretha Franklin: Aretha's Gold 12" (Rhino)
Television: Adventure 12" (Rhino)
Blind Guardian: Imaginations from the Other Side 12" (Nuclear Blast)
Blind Guardian: Nightfall in Middle Earth 12" (Nuclear Blast)
Blind Guardian: A Night at the Opera 12" (Nuclear Blast)
Soulfly: Ritual 12" (Nuclear Blast)
Green River: Dry as a Bone 12" (Sub Pop)
Green River: Rehab Doll 12" (Sub Pop)
Buzzcocks: Another Music in a Different Kitchen 12" (Domino)
Buzzcocks: Love Bites 12" (Domino)
Big Star: Live on WLIR 12" (Omnivore)
Holger Czukay: Movies 12" (Gronland)
Afterglow: S/T 12" (Sundazed)
Fifty Foot Hose: Cauldron 12" (Modern Harmonic)
Fifty Foot Hose: Bad Trips 12" (Modern Harmonic)
Fidlar: Almost Free 12" (Mom + Pop)
Open Mike Eagle: What Happens When I Try to Relax 12" (Auto Reverse)


Marbled Eye: Leisure 12" (Digital Regress)
No Trend: You Deserve Your Life 12" (Digital Regress)
Converge: The Dusk in Us 12" (Death Wish)
Deafheaven: Sunbather 12" (Death Wish)
Various: Charred Remains 12" (Radio Raheem)
Hellbent: 1983-1984 Demos 12" (Radio Raheem)
Acid Attack: Suburbia's Dream 12" (Radio Raheem)
La Urss: Nuevo Testamento 12" (Discos MMM)
Deseos Primitivos: Existir 7" (Discos MMM)
Blood Pressure: Surrounded 12" (Beach Impediment)
EEL: Night Parade of 100 Demons 12" (Beach Impediment)
Black Earth: A Cryptic Howl of Morbid Truth 12" (Bestiarie)
Bobby Beausoleil: Lucifer Rising 12" (Season Of Mist)
Clavicla: Sermons 12" (Season Of Mist)
Deathspell Omega: Fas - Ite, Maledicti in Ignem 12" (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)
Deth Crux: Mutant Flesh 12" (Sentient)
Skaphe: VII 12" (Fallen Empire)
Wormlust: The Feral Wisdom 12" (Fallen Empire)
Baroness: Blue 12" (Relapse)
Baroness: Yellow and Green 12" (Relapse)
Devil Master: Manifestations 12" (Relapse)
High on Fire: Blessed Black Wings 12" (Relapse)
Windhand: Eternal Return 12" (Relapse)
Death Cab for Cutie: Transatlanticism 12" (Barsuk)
Death Cab for Cutie: The Photo Album 12" (Barsuk)
Elliott Smith: New Moon 12" (Kill Rock Stars)
Elliott Smith: From a Basement on a Hill 12" (Kill Rock Stars)
Elliott Smith: Either/Or 12" (Kill Rock Stars)
Tony Molina: Dissed and Dismissed 12" (Slumberland)
Tony Molina: Kill the Lights 12" (Slumberland)
Madvillain: Madvillainy 12" (Stones Throw)
J Dilla: Donuts 12" (Stones Throw)
Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really Feel 12" (Mom + Pop)
Bauhaus: The Bela Session 12" (Leaving Records)

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