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Featured Release Roundup: May 31, 2018

Featured Release Roundup: May 31, 2018

by Daniel Lupton

May 31, 2018


Sediment Club: Stucco Thieves 12” (Wharf Cat) Latest LP from this long-running band from New York. I’ve seen them described on occasion as playing in a no wave style, though I’m not 100% sure I’d use that term. I’ve been listening to a lot of no wave-influenced music over the past few months (which you may have noticed if you read these descriptions regularly) and for some reason I’m inclined at the moment to think about what no wave is. I always thought before that no wave was music made by people who didn’t assume that traditional musical skill or talent were prerequisites for making interesting music, but a lot of the stuff I’ve been digging on lately—Sediment Club included—is quite complex and skillfully performed… I mean, try playing some of the stuff on the latest No Babies LP… that group can outplay any prog band you put them up against. Sediment Club aren’t nearly so flashy as players, but their music is still quite complex. More than that, though, it feels totally free, encompassing a very broad range of styles, tones, tempos, and textures over the course of this rather brief 45RPM 12”. Sure, some of it sounds like 80s Sonic Youth and there are some mutant funk vibes here and there (like the track “Hydraulic Saint”), but I get the distinct impression that those sounds aren’t there because Sediment Club want to sound like a vintage no wave band, but rather because those sounds were the best way to get across the ideas that they were trying to articulate. And maybe at the end of the day that’s the power of no wave. It isn’t that the musicians who play this kind of music dismiss skill or talent, but rather that they dismiss the rules and conventions that keep music in neat little boxes. Regardless of how you classify it, though, Stucco Thieves is a rich and varied LP that takes you to a whole bunch of different places, all of them very worthwhile.

Liquids: Hot Liqs Revenge 12” (Neck Chop) Latest LP from this midwest punk powerhouse. I’ve been fully on board with Liquids since they first started putting their recordings out into the world and I’m always excited to hear new material from them. If you haven’t heard the band, they sound to me like a mix of the Coneheads’ quirky punk with the youthful energy of the early Lookout! Records catalog, but filtered through the aesthetic of piss-raw DIY hardcore and garage. At the same time, though, I feel like that description does the band a disservice because they really do have their own distinctive sound… while I could see you liking Liquids if you’re into anything from Teengenerate and the Reatards to early Screeching Weasel to the catchier end of the No Way Records sound (stuff like Acid Reflux or Social Circkle), there isn’t anyone out there (at least that I’m aware of) that sounds precisely like them, which is truly the mark of a great band. In addition to their distinctiveness and their facility with a pop hook, another thing that I love about Liquids is that there’s always a giant helping of fuck you attitude included in everything they do. They’re very Replacements-esque in that there’s almost an element of self-sabotage at work in choices like recording some of their best songs with abysmal fidelity or making their bulging discography almost deliberately confusing, with tracks appearing on multiple releases, sometimes in the same version and sometimes not, different versions of the same release sounding radically different (I’m not sure if this is the case anymore, but for a long time the digital versions of Hot Liqs that were available online were vastly inferior to the vinyl version on Drunken Sailor), and a handful of records that had ridiculously limited / hard to get pressings. Also like the Replacements, while these choices seem to push away the casual listener, they’re basically bait to the super-fans… Liquids is going to be hard to digest for the casual bandcamp surfer, but those of us who tracked down the 7” only released in Brazil or one of the 111 gold vinyl copies of More than a Friend that were only available from Drunken Sailor (and yes, I am a member of both of those clubs) feel like we’re in an exclusive club, which makes us like the band even more. I doubt any of this is deliberate on the band’s part, but it’s worth noting as Liquids’ manner of presenting themselves is often as interesting as their music. Anyway, as for Hot Liqs Revenge, those of us who are on board the Liquids train will obviously find a lot to love here (even if we’ve heard a bunch of these songs before), but I’m not sure this is the best place to start with Liquids if you haven’t heard them before… a lot of the production here is super, super raw (though it varies a lot from song to song) and with a full 20 tracks that all bop along at a rather similar tempo it’s a lot to digest. So, if you’re just getting into Liquids I’d recommend starting with Hot Liqs, but if you’re one of us who just can’t get enough then you already know this is essential.

Citric Dummies: The Kids Are Alt-Right 12” (Erste Theke Tonträger) Latest 12” from this unique punk band from Minneapolis and it is a full-on scorcher. When Citric Dummies released their first demo tape the main thing that stuck out about them was the strangely haunting, baritone vocals, but they’ve moved away from that vocal sound on subsequent releases. Usually I think it’s a shame when a band drops a trademark part of their sound, but these songs are so damn great that I’m not worried about it in the slightest, particularly since so many of the other aspects of sound have gotten even better. Musically, Citric Dummies remind me a lot of Rip Off Records bands like the Rip Offs or the Zodiac Killers, i.e. bands who combined the catchiness of ’77 punk with the energy, speed, and precision of hardcore… they also remind me quite a bit of Golden Shower of Hits-era Circle Jerks in places as well (not least in their lyrical fixation on scatalogical imagery). In other words, they’re the kind of band that could probably get a respectable pit going at either Goner Fest or Damaged City. The style here is pretty straightforward, so the real question is, “does it rip or not?,” and I am here to tell you that it fucking rips. Highly recommended if you like punk.

Pineapple RnR: S/T 7” (Lumpy) Debut 7” from this band out of St. Louis. I hadn’t heard of them before, but doing my research I find that they did have an earlier demo tape. Anyway, the two sides of this 7”, while not sounding totally different from one another, take slightly different tacks. The two tracks on the a-side use a saxophone-bass-drums-vocals arrangement (though I hear a bit of guitar in there as well, I believe) and remind me of the skewed, left-of-center pop of Essential Logic or a less up-tempo X-Ray Spex. Pineapple RnR are hardly a tribute band, though… they don’t sound like they’re trying to be like those bands, but rather those are just the closest reference points that I can think of for some rather unique music. The instruments are all locked together in the manner that you would expect from a hardcore band, but the way that the sax melodies soar above everything gives it a unique feel, particularly when the dramatic, bellowing vocals pull in a slightly different direction. As for the songs on the b-side, the guitar replaces the sax as the dominant instrument, but the songs are no less delightfully skewed with this more conventional punk band setup. If you’re a fan of the early Rough Trade Records catalog and you still follow contemporary DIY punk (particularly if bands like Shopping, the World, and Downtown Boys are among your favorites), then Pineapple RNR should absolutely be on your radar. This is undoubtedly one of the more exciting things I’ve heard in 2018 so far and I can’t wait to see what this band does next.

Skeleton: S/T 7” (Super Secret) After a couple of earlier flexis, here’s the debut hard vinyl from Austin, Texas’s Skeleton. It’s funny, maybe I’m out of the loop but I haven’t heard a lot of talk about this band even though they seem to tour heavily… they’ve been through Raleigh twice in the past year even though they live 2,000 miles away. It’s all the more baffling given that their brand of hardcore is raw, direct, and delightfully free of posing and pretense. With most hardcore bands nowadays I can tell more or less what they’re going for and where they’re coming from, but Skeleton sound totally unique, like they’re making things up from scratch as they go along rather than piecing together ideas from their influences. Consequently, this is about as authentic-sounding as you’re going to hear an early 80s-style hardcore band sound in the year 2018… it could seriously be dropped right into the early catalog of labels like Touch & Go, Dischord, or Version Sound, even if it would have been one of the darker and weirder records on those labels. It definitely has some of the Nihilism of bands like Blight, Crucial T, the Nihilistics, or even No Trend. I could also see fans of the more straightforward releases on the Youth Attack label being into this, though it’s perhaps even more straightforward and less art-y than Cult Ritual or the Repos. At any rate, if you like your hardcore mean, dark, and authentically 80s sounding I would highly recommend checking this one out.

Primer Regimen: Ultimo Testamento cassette (Discos MMM) Latest from this punk/oi! band out of Bogota, Colombia. To me, Primer Regimen sound like what would happen if you stripped the rock and roll influences out of Ruleta Rusa or the ripping solos out of Vaaska and replaced those distinctive trademarks with the much more on-the-nose oi! sound of Rixe. The songs are fast, but not too fast, and built around anthemic, UK82-style choruses, but they’re a little too sprightly and the melodies and riffs are just a hair too complex for the music to be described as oi!, at least without some significant qualifiers. It’s stripped-down, unpretentious, and low on flash, so if you like to pump your fist along to Punk with a capital P this one will do the trick.

Lysol: Teenage Trance 7” (Neck Chop) Latest 7” from this band out of the Pacific Northwest and it’s another scorcher to add to their discography. Lysol have sounded slightly different on each of their releases (at least the ones that I’ve heard), and Teenage Trance is no different. Whereas their last single on Total Punk was a blistering slice of hardcore, this time around they slow things down just a hair, particularly on the b-side, which locks into a swampy, Stooges-esque groove that I’m sure will remind more people than just me of Hank Wood & the Hammerheads. While their last single on Total Punk was so short that I felt like I couldn’t get a handle on it, Teenage Trance keeps us from pinning Lysol down because of its stylistic diversity… are they the blistering hardcore band that plays the verses of “Teenage Trance,” the catchy punk band that plays that song’s choruses, or the in-the-pocket rock group on the b-side? They’re great at all three modes, and just like their last one this single leaves me salivating for a future LP that brings together all of these compelling aspects of the band’s sound into a coherent, unified vision.


All New Arrivals

Trauma Harness: Organ Donor b/w You are the Hero 7" (Lumpy)
Pineapple RnR: S/T 7" (Lumpy)
Slumb Party: S/T 7" (Erste Theke Tonträger)
Devil Master: Inhabit the Corpse 7" (Erste Theke Tonträger)
Devil Master: S/T 7" (Erste Theke Tonträger)
Citric Dummies: The Kids Are Alt-Right 12" (Erste Theke Tonträger)
Pedro the Lion: It's Hard to Find a Friend 12" (Epitaph)
Destroyer: City of Daughters 12" (Merge)
Destroyer: Thief 12" (Merge)
The Casket Lottery: Choose Bronze 12" (Run For Cover)
The Casket Lottery: Moving Mountains 12" (Run For Cover)
The Casket Lottery: Survival Is for Cowards 12" (Run For Cover)
Amorphis: Queen of Time 12" (Nuclear Blast)
Jackals: Pick Your Master cassette (self-released)
Deadlock: S/T 7" (Painkiller)
The Flex: Flexual Healing Vol 7 cassette (Painkiller)
PMS 84: Easy Way Out 12" (Black Water)
Limp Wrist: Facades 12" (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Heresy: Face Up to It! Expanded 30th Anniversary Edition 12" (Boss Tuneage)
Novae Militiae: Gash'khalah 12" (Sentient Ruin Laboratories)
Casual Hex: Zig Zag Lady Illusion 12" (Water Wing)
The Queers: Too Dumb to Quit 7" (Pine Hill)
Ghostfash Killah / Apollo Brown: The Brown Tape 12" (Mellow Music Group)
Demoniac: The Birth of Diabolic Blood 12" (Soulseller)
Heilung: Lifa 12" (Season of Mist)
Bjork: Arisen My Senses 12" (One Little Indian)
The Sediment Club: Stucco Thieves 12" (Wharf Cat)
Unbroken: And b/w Fall on Proverb 7" (Three One G)
Ptarmigan: S/T 12" (Lion Productions)
Spacemen 3: Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To 12" (Superior Viaduct)
Burn the Priest: Legion XX 12" (Epic)
The Body: I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer 12" (Thrill Jockey)
Wooden Shjips: V. 12" (Thrill Jockey)
Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children 12" (Warp)
Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit 12" (Mom + Pop)
DAF: Die Kleinen Und Die Bosen 12" (Gronland)
DAF: Alles Ist Gut 12" (Gronland)
Lithics: Mating Surfaces 12" (Kill Rock Stars)

Restocks

ISS: Endless Pussyfooting 12" (Erste Theke Tonträger)
Ubik: S/T 7" (Aarght Records)
Various: O Começo Do Fim Do Mundo 2x12" (Warthog Speak)
Rashomon: Demo 7" (Society Bleeds)
Abused: Loud & Clear 12" (Radio Raheem)
Agnostic Front: No One Rules 12" (Radio Raheem)
Haram: When You Have Won, You Have Lost 12" (Toxic State)
L.O.T.I.O.N.: Digital Control and Man's Obsolescence 12" (Toxic State)
Exit Order: Seeds of Hysteria 12" (Side Two)
Exit Order: S/T 7" (Side Two)
Life's Blood: Hardcore AD 1988 12" (Prank)
Kleenex / Liliput: Facades 12" (Mississippi)
Drive Like Jehu: S/T 12" (Headhunter)
Cock Sparrer: Shock Troops 12" (Pirate’s Press)
LSD: 1983 to 1986 12" (Schizophrenic)
Padkarosda: Tetova Lelkek 12" (Static Age Musik)
Zounds: The Curse of Zounds 12" (Overground)
Dayglo Abortions: Feed Us a Fetus 12" (Unrest)
The Accused: The Return of Martha Splatterhead 12" (Unrest)
The Accused: Martha Splatterhead 12" (Unrest)
7 Seconds: The Crew 12" (BYO)
Satanic Warmaster: Nova Ordo Ater 12" (Werewolf)
Brainbombs: Obey 12" (Armageddon Shop)
Wretched: Libero E Selvaggio 7" box set (Agipunk)
EU's Arse: Lo Stato Ha Bisogno 7" (Black Water)
EU's Arse / Impact: Split 7" (Black Water)
Glenn Branca: The Ascension 12" (Superior Viaduct)
Crash Course in Science: Signals from Pier Thirteen 12" (Dark Entries)
Dillinger Four: This Shit Is Genius 12" (No Idea)
DOA: Hardcore '81 12" (Sudden Death)
Melvins: Ozma 12" (Boner)
Razor Boys: S/T 12" (Hozac)
The Sound: From the Lion's Mouth 12" (1972)
Urinals: Negative Capability 12" (In The Red)
Simply Saucer: Cyborgs Revisited 12" (In The Red)
Peach Kelli Pop: Gentle Leader 12" (Mint)
Various: The Harder They Come OST 12" (Island)
Dr. Octagon: Moosebumps 12" (Bulk Recordings Inc.)
Black Panther OST 12" (Interscope)
The Wonder Years: Sister Cities 12" (Hopeless)
Tyler the Creator: Scum Fuck Flower Boy 12" (Columbia)
SZA: CTRL 12" (Top Dawg Entertainment)
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly 12" (Top Dawg Entertainment)
Sylvan Esso: What Now 12" (Loma Vista)
Beach Boys: Pet Sounds (mono) 12" (Capitol)
Wu-Tang Clan: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) 12" (RCA)
Velvet Underground: White Light, White Heat 12" (Verve)
GZA: Liquid Swords 12" (Universal)
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew 12" (Columbia Legacy)
King Diamond: Abigail 12" (Roadrunner)
Death Grips: The Money Store 12" (Epic)
Childish Gambino: Camp 12" (Glassnote)
Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 12" (Roc-A-Fella Records)
Kanye West: College Dropout 12" (Roc-A-Fella Records)
Alice in Chains: MTV Unplugged 12" (Columbia)
Bob Marley: Legend 12" (Island)
Husker Du: New Day Rising 12" (SST)
Sleep: The Sciences 12" (Third Man)
The Monks: Hamburg Recordings 1967 12" (Third Man)
The White Stripes: Get Behind Me Satan 12" (Third Man)
The White Stripes: Elephant 12" (Third Man)
The White Stripes: Get Behind Me Satan 12" (Third Man)
Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy 12" (Atlantic)
Earthless: Black Heaven 12" (Nuclear Blast)
Prince: Purple Rain 12" (Warner Bros)
Turnstile: Time & Space 12" (Roadrunner)
Turnstile: Non-Stop Feeling 12" (Roadrunner)
Big Black: Atomizer 12" (Touch & Go)
Green Day: Insomniac 12" (Reprise)
Green Day: Dookie 12" (Reprise)
Motorhead: No Sleep Til Hammersmith 12" (Sanctuary)
Pavement: Wowee Zowee 12" (Matador)
Sleater-Kinney: Dig Me Out 12" (Sub Pop)
Sigur Ros: Agaetis Byrjun 12" (XL Recordings)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists... 12" (Constellation)
The Pixies: Doolittle 12" (4AD)
Los Saicos: Wild Teen Punk from Peru 1965 cassette (Discos MMM)
La Urss: Maravillas del Mundo 12" (Discos MMM)
Durs Coeurs: Dur Dur Dur 12" (Discos MMM)
Riki: Hot City cassette (Commodity Tapes)
Sial: Demo cassette(Commodity Tapes)
Electric Wizard: Come My Fanatics 12" (Rise Above)
Electric Wizard: Dopethrone 12" (Rise Above)
Electric Wizard: S/T 12" (Rise Above)
Electric Wizard: Let Us Prey 12" (Rise Above)
Geto Boys: We Can't Be Stopped 12" (Rap A Lot)
Lord Huron: Lonesome Dreams 12" (I Am Sound)
Modest Mouse: The Lonesome Crowded West 12" (Glacial Place)
Motley Crue: Girls, Girls Girls 12" (Motley)
Motley Crue: Too Fast for Love 12" (Motley)
Pretty Things: SF Sorrow 12" (Madfish)
Various: Horrendous New Wave 12" (Lumpy)
Lumpy & the Dumpers: Those Pickled Fuckers 12" (Lumpy)
Nosferatu: S/T 7" (Lumpy)
Unix: S/T 7" (Lumpy)
Various: Why Are We Here? 7" (RSD 2018)
Madvillain: Madvillainy 12" (Stones Throw)
Elliott Smith: Either/Or 12" (Kill Rock Stars)

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