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Featured Release Roundup: May 17, 2018

Cammo: demo cassette (self-released) Demo cassette from this new band from Raleigh featuring members of a whole lot of other bands. They describe their sound as “scumgaze,” which makes perfect sense as soon as you hear it. So, here’s the background; if you’ve followed the musical projects of Sean Livingstone, you’re in for a real treat. I jumped on board this train when Sean was in New York’s Pollution, which was followed by Shoxx and then Bandages once he moved back to North Carolina, though he was in bands before that that you might be familiar with as well. Of the members’ lengthy resumes, Sean’s feels the most relevant as the way that Cammo smash together Celtic Frost and 90s noise rock with a dash of shoegaze harmony and texture is very much akin to some of the things that were happening in his aforementioned bands. However, the other members also bring their own thing to the table. Drummer Evan is/was in Whatever Brains, Das Drip, and numerous others, and he’s one of the most powerful and rock-solid drummers I’ve ever encountered, and one of the few people who I can imagine hanging with the monstrous stack of amplifiers behind him when Cammo plays. Then there’s Justin from Double Negative and Davidians on second guitar (Cammo doesn’t have a bass player, though I promise you won’t miss it… they’re still impossibly heavy), and if you’re familiar with the music that Justin has made you’ll also hear plenty of telltale marks of his hand in these songs. So, there’s the story so far. There’s a pretty good chance that if you’re a follower of what Sorry State does you’ll be interested in this band, so go ahead and give them a try.

Child’s Pose: S/T 7” (Nervous Energy) Debut EP from this new London group, and fans of that city’s incredible DIY punk scene of the past decade or so will be salivating at the mention of a lineup featuring members of “Sauna Youth, Nekra, Sarcasm, Woolf and a hundred other top set London groups.” Sauna Youth fans in particular should get stoked, as these four songs from Child’s Pose remind me a lot of Sauna Youth’s poppier moments like “Oh Joel” and “Transmitters,” which is high praise indeed as those are some of my favorite punk tracks of the past several years. Even though they don’t share any members, this EP also reminds me a lot of Good Throb’s LP… while Good Throb’s other material could be pretty abrasive and even no wave-y, the LP found them embracing their poppier side, and while Child’s Pose’s songs here are probably a little more musically complex, they have a similarly ecstatic, sing-along quality to them. Also, like Frau and Snob and a number of other recent punk bands from the London area, there seems to be something subtly intellectual and sophisticated in Child’s Pose music, but they manage to bring across those qualities while still very much keeping the focus on the visceral thrill of singing along to a catchy, energetic, and minimalistic punk tune. I’ve probably done Child’s Pose something of a disservice by writing more about their scene than the actual band or record under consideration, because they’re clearly far more than just a product of their environment… I just find that particular environment so fascinating and so rewarding to follow that I guess I just let this description get away from me. Long story short, though, it’s a brilliant record and you should buy it!

Debbie Downers: Eat My Skorts cassette (Helta Skelta) Debut cassette from this killer new band out of Perth, Australia. The label’s description mentions Kleenex / Liliput and the Petticoats as frames of reference, and while I definitely hear elements of that, to my ears Debbie Downers are a lot more traditionally punk rock than those references would indicate, reminding me as much of their fellow Perthians (Perthers? Perthagineans? Perthenesians?) Helta Skelta and other amped-up, minimalist punk/garage bands in the early Wire tradition (see the Urinals, Shitty Limits, and other bands referenced in my description of the new Gen Pop record). In other words, these songs are completely infectious (without ever tipping over the line into cheesy) but also downright explosive on the energy meter. This is the type of band that is so good that you could imagine them getting huge, but also so legit that you’d still keep liking them even after they’re playing the bigger venues in town that you don’t really go to anymore. Really top-notch stuff.

Skrawl: demo cassette (self-released) Demo cassette from this new blackened punk band out of Rhode Island. While I’m not super familiar with this style (honestly I don’t even really know if Skrawl would describe themselves as “blackened punk” or if there are even enough bands doing this kind of thing to call it a genre or style), I was a big fan of Raspberry Bulbs and Skrawl have a similar thing going on, and are just as exciting to my ears. The core of the sound is straightforward and punishing metal-punk in the vein of Hellhammer, but Skrawl also have a bit of the more harmonically complex Norweigan black metal style in their sound, particularly on the standout first track, “Soul Scrawl,” as well as some mid-paced parts that seem just as rooted in the traditional hardcore breakdown as they do in Tom Warrior’s riffing style. The recording is warm and organic-sounding without being too lo-fi, and all of the tracks feel really interesting and well-fleshed out. I could see this demo getting attention from Youth Attack Records fanatics as well as people into punk-influenced black metal like Wulkanaz… if that sounds appealing to you I highly recommend checking this one out.

The Just Measurers: Flagellation 12” (Emotional Response) Reissue of this 1983 LP, which is the lone release from this Homosexuals-affiliated band from the UKDIY scene. Of course UKDIY is less a genre or style of music and more of a catch-all term that refers to a whole lot of different kinds of music being made at a particular historical moment when the establishment of an independent distribution network helped to prompt an explosion of self-produced, independently-released music. This scene—insofar as it was a scene—was highly eclectic, with bands differing from each other rather drastically, and many bands even made radical changes in style from song to song, which is certainly the case with the Just Measurers. I can hear a whole heap of influences slammed together willy-nilly on this record, many of them peculiarly British… I hear some melodies that sound like they’re rooted in old Celtic folk melodies, a lot of the mid-century music hall sounds that so clearly fascinated Ray Davies from the Kinks (or maybe the Kinks themselves are the direct influence?), the more avant-garde, electronic and musique concrete type of sounds that you’d hear on the BBC as sound effects and themes (like the Dr. Who theme, for instance), as well as influences from the more familiar worlds of punk and (particularly) post-punk. If you’re looking for a record where the drummer just does the d-beat the whole time then move along, but if you have a taste for the highly eclectic, defiantly British music of this era—particularly bands like the Homosexuals, the Astronauts, and the like—this LP is well worth hearing.

Sodom: Requiem 12” (Fan Club) Unofficial pressing of this cult Japanese punk band that I was familiar with through lo-fi Soulseek downloads and YouTube rips. Regardless of the lineage, the Sodom cassette is a must-hear if you’re a fan of 80s Japanese punk. Much like Gauze’s first LP, Fuck Heads, it sounds to me like the Sodom tape sits right on the bubble between the earlier ADK Records-type Japanese punk sound and the more metallic, Discharge-influenced sound that I associate with the mid- to later 80s, though in most respects it’s further toward the former sound than the latter (kind of inverting the proportion of those two influences that you hear on Fuck Heads). Like a lot of the recent fan club pressings of classic Japanese punk that have been floating around, the audio here appears to have been sourced from an official CD reissue (which I honestly didn’t even know existed until now!), and is consequently top-notch… it’s like night and day from the nth-generation cassette rips of this that I’d heard in the past. Basically, if you’re a fan of bands like the Execute, G-Zet, the Sexual, Anti-Septic, et al you’re going to want to pick this up, or if you’re the patient type wait on the official reissue from FOAD that is apparently in the works.

All New Arrivals

Beach House: 7 12" (Sub Pop)
Tom Waits: Nighthawks at the Diner 12" (Anti-)
Tom Waits: The Heart of Saturday Night 12" (Anti-)
Debbie Downers: Eat My Skorts cassette (Helta Skelta)
Red Mass: Rat Race 7" (It’s Trash)
Denim Casket: Demo cassette (self-released)
Skrawl: Demo cassette (self-released)
Impalers: Beat Session Vol. 5 cassette (Shout Recordings)
Skourge: Spiritual Despair 7" (Mind Rot)
Slaughter Rule: Demo 2018 cassette (self-released)
Supercrush: I Can't Lie b/w Walking Backwards 12" (Alternatives Label)
Dare: OC Straight Edge 7" flexi (Reaper)
Krimewatch: S/T 12" (Lockin’ Out)
Don't Sleep: Bring the Light 7" (Reaper)
Discrepancy: Thoughts Are Things 7" (Youngblood)
Soul Power: The Low End Fury 7" (React!)
Lace: Human Condition 12" (Funeral Party)
Spazz: Sweatin' to the Oldies 12" (Tankcrimes)
Child's Pose: S/T 7" (Nervous Energy)
Various: The Harder They Come OST 12" (Island)
Benderheads: Illusion Dweller cassette (Vinyl Conflict)
Slant: Demo cassette (Vinyl Conflict)
The Just Measurers: Flagellation 12" (Emotional Response)
Robert Storey: Come Up And Hear My Etchings 1986-2016 12" (Emotional Response)
Karen Meat: You're An Ugly Person 12" (Emotional Response)
Guess Work: Blues Lawyer 12" (Emotional Response)
Arctic Monkeys: Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino 12" (Domino)
Cammo: Demo cassette (self-released)


Bathory: S/T 12" (Black Mark)
Bathory: Blood Fire Death 12" (Black Mark)
Bathory: Under the Sign of the Black Mark 12" (Black Mark)
Modest Mouse: Building Nothing Out of Something 12" (Glacial Place)
Modest Mouse: Sad Sappy Sucker 12" (Glacial Place)
Uncle Acid: Vol 1 12" (Rise Above)
Yob: Catharsis 12" (Relapse)
Polish dark wave 82-89 cassette (euro import)
Soviet punk 85-92 cassette (euro import)
Finnish punk rock 78-80 cassette (euro import)
Touche Amore: Is Survived By 12" (Death Wish)
Deafheaven: Sunbather 12" (Death Wish)
Converge: Jane Doe 12" (Death Wish)
Vile Gash: Nightmare in a Damaged Brain 12" (Youth Attack)
Cadaver Dog: Dying Breed 12" (Youth Attack)
Ramones: Rocket to Russia 12" (Rhino)
MC5: High Time 12" (Rhino)
Turnstile: Time & Space 12" (Roadrunner)
Big Black: Bulldozer 12" (Touch & Go)
Green Day: Insomniac 12" (Reprise)
Green Day: Nimrod 12" (Reprise)
Iron Maiden: S/T 12" (BMG)
Replacements: Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash 12" (Rhino)
Jay Reatard: Matador Singles '08 12" (Matador)
Voivod: Rrrrrooooar 12" (Noise)
Voivod: Killing Technology 12" (Noise)
Metallica: Master of Puppets 12" (Blackened)
Hot Snakes: Jericho Sirens 12" (Sub Pop)
Metallica: Kill 'em All 12" (Blackened)
Dead Weather: Sea of Cowards 12" (Third Man)
Dead Weather: Dodge and Burn 12" (Third Man)
Jack White: Blunderbuss 12" (Third Man)
Jack White: Lazaretto 12" (Third Man)
Jay-Z: Magna Carta... Holy Grail 12" (Third Man)
Laughing Hyenas: You Can't Pray a Lie 12" (Third Man)
Laughing Hyenas: Merry-go-Round 12" (Third Man)
The White Stripes: The Complete John Peel Sessions 12" (Third Man)
The White Stripes: White Blood Cells 12" (Third Man)
The White Stripes: De Stijl 12" (Third Man)
The White Stripes: Get Behind Me Satan 12" (Third Man)
Sleep: The Sciences 12" (Third Man)
The Wonder Years: Sister Cities 12" (Hopeless)
Gorillaz: Demon Days 12" (Parlophone)
SZA: CTRL 12" (Top Dawg Entertainment)
Kendrick Lamar: Damn. 12" (Interscope)
Sylvan Esso: What Now 12" (Loma Vista)
Pink Floyd: Atom Heart Mother 12" (Parlophone)
Nirvana: S/T 12" (Universal Music)
Nirvana: Nevermind 12" (DGC)
Slayer: Seasons in the Abyss 12" (American Recordings)
Thelonious Monk: Monk's Dream 12" (WaxTime)
Lana Del Rey: Born to Die 12" (Polydor)
Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies to Paralyze 12" (Interscope)
King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King 12" (Inner Knot)
Mumford + Sons: Sigh No More 12" (Island)
Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty 12" (Capitol)
Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique 12" (Capitol)
Misfits: Collection II 12" (Caroline)
Misfits: Legacy of Brutality 12" (Caroline)
Descendents: All 12" (SST)
Husker Du: Metal Circus 12" (SST)
Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime 12" (SST)
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain 12" (Westbound)
Snoop Doggy Dogg: Doggystyle 12" (Death Row)
Baroness: Red Album 12" (Relapse)
The Black Keys: Thickfreakness 12" (Fat Possum)
Brand New: Deja Entendu 12" (Triple Crown)
Brand New: Your Favorite Weapon 12" (Triple Crown)
Cause for Alarm: S/T 7" (Victory)
Lord Huron: Lonesome Dreams 12" (I Am Sound)
Lord Huron: Strange Trails 12" (I Am Sound))
Parquet Courts: Light Up Gold 12" (What's Your Rupture?)
Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animal 12" (What's Your Rupture?)
Parquet Courts: Tally All the Things You Broke 12" (What's Your Rupture?)
Run the Jewels: S/T 12" (Mass Appeal)
Sleep: Dopesmoker 12" (Southern Lord)
Various: Typical Girls Volume 3 12" (Emotional Response)
Various: Typical Girls Volume 4 12" (Emotional Response)


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