Featured Release Roundup: May 3, 2018

Noseholes: Danger Dance 12” (Harbinger Sound) Debut 12” from this German band that splits the difference between skronky no wave and grooved-out post-punk in the Gang of Four / Delta 5 vein. Noseholes’ rhythm section is really fierce, giving the funky grooves of bands like Shopping or Flasher a run for their money. However, where a lot of bands in this style are either overtly or covertly catchy, Noseholes are extremely angular, particularly in the way that the guitars and vocals (and occasional saxophone) grind against those big, fat rhythmic grooves. If you’re a fan of the aforementioned bands but are looking for something a bit more “out there” this will do the trick nicely, particularly the very no-wave-y closing track, “Aspirin Nation,” which starts as a loose, atonal saxophone jam and eventually dissolves into a big industrial crescendo. With a run-time in the 15-minute range, Danger Dance doesn’t overstay its welcome and practically begs for repeat listens, of which it’s already gotten a few from me.

坦克 (TANK): Demo EP 7” flexi (Symphony of Destruction) “Noise punk from Singapore” sounds like something I would play really loud in the store at closing time when there are a bunch of annoying, tipsy norms hanging around and I really want to go home, but here I am listening to it on my own time and quite enjoying it. Singapore has been producing a lot of great bands lately, and 坦克 features members of a number of them, including Lifelock and Lubricant. The label’s description mentions Japan’s Ferocious X as an inspiration and I can definitely see that… this is full-bore noise-drenched hardcore, like Shitlickers or Anti-Cimex stripped of their in-the-pocket rhythms and carefully arranged songs, and instead just high on a bunch of bad speed, at the end of a bad day, and with no way to vent the rage except turning up the amps as loud as possible. If you find yourself in a similar mood this might help exorcise some of your demons too. However, if you’re not in that kind of mood your time might be better spent looking at the gorgeous screen print on the back side of the flexi rather than trying to wring decent sound out of this hissing auditory assault of a flexi.

Itchy Bugger: Done One 12” (Low Company) Solo record by Josh from the Love Triangle, Diät, and Heavy Metal (among numerous other bands), and it’s quite an unexpected turn. I’ve spent a little time with Josh (I met him when I lived in London for a spell and he also tagged along on a couple of Shitty Limits US tours that I helped organize), and he’s always come off as extraverted and charismatic almost to an extreme degree, so hearing this record—which sounds strikingly introverted to me—is a real surprise. There’s a definite UKDIY sensibility here… it sounds a lot like the Homosexuals in places, but even more so than sounding like a particular band, it has the “made in a lonely bedsit” feel of early records by bands like the Television Personalities, O Level, and Cleaners from Venus. Even though Itchy Bugger’s melodic sensibility is nothing like Cleaners from Venus, that might be the most apt reference because like the Cleaners (as well as records like the Television Personalities’ The Painted Word), Itchy Bugger’s music sounds both very lush and very handmade at the same time. These songs are dense with criss-crossing melodies, with multiple guitars, synth, and vocals all pulling in different but somehow complimentary directions. Done One might take a listen or two to sink in as there’s no real “hit song” that grabs your attention right off the bat, but it’s the very definition of a slow burn. Ever since the second listen I’ve found it virtually impossible to take off my turntable. If you like any of the aforementioned bands or even if you’re a big fan of Pavement’s early material I highly recommend that you check out this beautifully intimate record.

Hargne: Reaction 12” (Seed Stock) I think I mentioned in the last newsletter that this LP is billed as a combination of Norweigan black metal, French industrial punk, and French oi!, and that I was completely enamored with that description. The description still kind of melts my mind even though I’ve probably listened to this LP ten times already and I know very well that this rather unique combination of influences works really, really well. Admittedly, the black metal and industrial punk are probably the two most prominent influences… every song is built around rhythms from a primitive drum machine a la Metal Urbain, and the actual riffs and compositions remind me a lot of Burzum’s early work with its epic, neo-classical approach to raw and primitive black metal. The oi! influence, on the other hand, only peeks out from the din intermittently at moments like the title track’s gang vocal chorus or the Trotskids cover that closes the first side (which is, honestly, the track that most fully fulfills the description’s promise). I feel like I’m casting this record as something of a goofy novelty, and while the weirdness of the declared influences might have been enough to pull me in, it wouldn’t have been enough on its own to keep me listening to this record over and over, which I have definitely been doing. Indeed, if you’ve been keeping an eye on Seed Stock records and dig the artsy, progressive black metal of bands like Golden Dawn and Wulkanaz this is highly recommended listening.

Pandemix: Rank & File 7” (Dirt Cult) Latest record from this Boston band. For whatever reason, it seems like Pandemix seem to fall slightly between scenes… their music isn’t really hardcore as such and it’s not self-consciously retro enough to get them into the peace punk costume party, but at the same time it’s far too confrontational, gritty, and uncommercial to push them to whatever level is beyond “appears on multiple MRR top 10 lists.” That being said, “Rank & File” in particular is an insanely catchy song that is every bit as earwormy as anything on Anti-Flag’s Die for the Government LP, but obviously about a billion times more legit. As with the UK Subhumans, though, that earwormy quality is balanced out by an uncommon level of musicality, occasionally reaching almost prog levels of rhythmic and melodic complexity. Honestly, I can’t think of too many other bands who are doing what Pandemix is doing, which is writing memorable, musically inventive songs with relevant and confrontational lyrics that address the issues of today rather than mindlessly copying lyrics from 30 years ago. If you want to keep listening to bands who rip off the classics I guess that’s fine, but to me Pandemix truly sound like Subhumans and Anthrax (the anarcho one, duh) updated for the world we currently live in.

All New Arrivals

Sleep: The Sciences 2x12” (Third Man)
Nandas: EP II 7" (Toxic State)
Bad Brains / Mind Power: The Lost Tracks 12” (Fan Club)
Pandemix: Rank & File 7" (Dirt Cult)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Gumboot Soup 12" (ATO)
Dean Ween: Rock 2 12" (Schnitzel)
Conflict: Live At Centro Iberico 7” (Mortarhate)
Conflict: The House That Man Built 7" (Mortarhate)
Gang Green: Skate To Hell 7” (Taang!)
Gang Green: Sold Out – Terrorize 7" (Taang!)
) Anti-Cimex: Fucked In Sweden 12” (A20)
Battle Attacker: Silly Notice 12" (FOAD)
Declino: Terra Bruciata - Discografia Completa 2x12" (FOAD)
Generic / Electro Hippies: Split 12" (Fan Club)
The Consumers: All My Friends Are Dead 12" (In the Red)
Doomsday Massacre: Stick a Fork In It 12” (Cutthroat)
Ultimo Resorte: Demo 1980 + Directo 1983 12" (Vomito Punk)
Trampoline Team / Mama: Split 7” (Giveaway)
Trampoline Team: Drug Culture 7” (Space Taker)
Trampoline Team: Kill You cassette (self-released)
Enoch Ramone and the Ebola Boys: S/T 7” (Die Slaughterhaus)
Myteri: Ruiner 12” (Halvfabrikat)
Protestera: Pengarna Eller Livet 12” (Halvfabrikat)
Exilent / Moribund Scum: Split 12” (Halvfabrikat)

Restocks

Nikudan: S/T 12" (Fan Club)
The Clay / Anti-Septic: Split 12" (Fan Club)
Minor Threat: 82 Live 12" (Fan Club)
Red C / Double O: Split 12" (Fan Club)
Gudon: 1984 12" (Fan Club)
Possessed: Seven Churches 12" (HR)
Quayde Lahüe: Day of the Oppressor 12" (HR)
Diamond Head: Lightning to the Nations 12" (HR)
Exodus: Bonded by Blood 12" (HR)
Cracked Vessel: No Path 12" (Hip Kid)
Chiller: S/T 12" (Dirt Cult)
Big Black: Lungs 12" (Touch & Go)
Big Black: Atomizer 12" (Touch & Go)
Bad Religion: Generator 12" (Epitaph)
Rancid: S/T 12" (Epitaph)
Pantera: Cowboys from Hell 12" (Rhino)
Pantera: Vulgar Display of Power 12" (Rhino)
Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy 12" (Atlantic)
MC5: Kick Out the Jams 12" (Rhino)
Radiohead: The Bends 12" (XL Recordings)
Turnstile: Time and Space 12" (Roadrunner)
Turnstile: Non-Stop Feeling 12" (Roadrunner)
Neil Young: Harvest Moon 12" (Reprise)
Prince: Purple Rain 12" (Warner Bros)
Black Sabbath: Master of Reality 12" (Rhino)
Black Sabbath: Paranoid 12" (Rhino)
The Cure: Greatest Hits Acoustic 12" (Elektra)
Hot Snakes: Suicide Invoice 12" (Sub Pop)
Hot Snakes: Automatic Midnight 12" (Sub Pop)
Notorious B.I.G.: Ready to Die 12" (Rhino)
Can: Ege Bamyasi 12" (Spoon)
Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks 12" (Rhino)
The War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream 12" (Merge)
Superchunk: What a Time to Be Alive 12" (Merge)
The Stooges: S/T 12" (Rhino)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor: F#A# 12" (Constellation)
The Fix: The Speed of Twisted Thought 12" (Touch & Go)
Zero Boys: Vicious Circle 12" (Secretly Canadian)
Zero Boys: History of 12" (Secretly Canadian)
The Stooges: Fun House 12" (Rhino)
Sleep: Holy Mountain 12" (Earache)
Fleetwood Mac: Rumours 12" (Reprise)
Mudhoney: Superfuzz Bigmuff 12" (Sub Pop)
Beach House: Depression Cherry 12" (Sub Pop)
Pixies: Doolittle 12" (4AD)
David Bowie: Hunky Dory 12" (Parlophone)
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust 12" (Parlophone)
Operation Ivy: Energy 12" (Hell Cat)
Metallica: Kill 'em All 12" (Blackened)
Metallica: Ride the Lightning 12" (Blackened)
Metallica: And Justice for All 12" (Blackened)
Parquet Courts: Human Performance 12" (Rough Trade)
Joy Division: Closer 12" (Rhino)
The Cowboys: 3rd 12" (Hozac)
DNA: You and You 7" (Superior Viaduct)
Iggy Pop: The Idiot 12" (4 Men with Beards Records)
Stiff Little Fingers: Inflammable Material 12" (4 Men with Beards Records)
Razor Boys: S/T 12" (Hozac)
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation 12" (Goofin)
The Sound: Jeopardy 12" (1972)
Urinals: Negative Capability 12" (In the Red)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Murder of the Universe 12" (ATO)
Lord Huron: Vide Noir 12" (Whispering Pines Studios)
Sarah Shook: Years 12" (Bloodshot)
The Wonder Years: Sister Cities 12" (Hopeless)
Brian Eno: Another Green World 12" (Astralwerks)
Arcade Fire: Funeral 12" (Sony Legacy)
Tyler the Creator: Scum Fuck Flower Boy 12" (Columbia)
SZA: CTRL 12" (Top Dawg Entertainment)
Beyonce: Lemonade 12" (Sony)
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City 12" (Interscope)
Kendrick Lamar: Damn 12" (Interscope)
Khalid: American Teen 12" (RCA)
Weezer: Blue Album 12" (Geffen)
Pink Floyd: Piper at the Gates of Dawn 12" (Pink Floyd)
The Clash: London Calling 12" (Columbia)
Curtis Mayfield: Curtis 12" (Curtom)
Neu: S/T 12" (Gronland)
Childish Gambino: Camp 12" (Glassnote)
Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 12" (Roc-A-Fella)
Mumford + Sons: Sigh No More 12" (Island)
Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique 12" (Capitol)
Guns N Roses: Appetite for Destruction 12" (Geffen)
Dead Kennedys: Plastic Surgery Disasters 12" (Manifesto)
Rage Against the Machine: Evil Empire 12" (Epic)
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme 12" (Impulse)
Descendents: Enjoy 12" (SST)
Misfits: Earth AD 12" (Caroline)
Misfits: Collection 12" (Caroline)
Misfits: Collection II 12" (Caroline)
Swans: The Great Annihilator 12" (Young God)
DJ Shadow: Endtroducing 12" (Mowax)
Power Trip: Nightmare Logic 12" (Southern Lord)
Black Keys: Thickfreakness 12" (Fat Possum)
Al Green: Greatest Hits 12" (Fat Possum)
Lord Huron: Lonesome Dreams 12" (I Am Sound)
Lord Huron: Strange Trails 12' (I Am Sound)
Modest Mouse: The Lonesome Crowded West 12" (Glacial Place)
Pentagram: Day of Reckoning 12" (Peaceville)
Pentagram: Relentless 12" (Peaceville)
Axegrinder: Rise of the Serpent Men 12" (Peaceville)
Run the Jewels: RTJ 2 12" (Mass Appeal)

Leave a comment