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Featured Release Roundup: May 9, 2019

Gonzo: Do It Better Again 12” (Anti-Fade) Second album from this Australian band, though it’s the first time I’ve heard them. With a pronounced Neu-type Krautrock groove, Gonzo reminds me of Light Up Gold-era Parquet Courts, Uranium Club, and Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s less pop-oriented songs. I love this sound—it’s propulsive, energetic, meditative, and melodic all at the same time—but you have to be a great band to pull it off. First off you need an outstanding drummer, but everyone in the band needs to be a metronomically tight but very restrained player. Gonzo, despite their name, have all of these. They also have a great vocalist and one of the best-sounding recordings I’ve heard, all of which contribute to Do It Better Again being a perfect record for a warm spring day like the one we’re having here in North Carolina right now.

Corner Boys: Waiting for 2020 12” (Drunken Sailor) After two 7”s here’s the debut album from this Vancouver punk band. Waiting for 2020 has UK 1978 written all over it. Like the Lurkers, the Users, or the Cortinas, Corner Boys attack their music with rambunctious energy and an obvious love for simple and catchy pop songs. While the vocalist is monotone and the rhymes can be leaden, the lack of professional polish only increases the record’s charm. And when they hit upon a striking melody (like the lead guitar riff in the Undertones-esque “Norman”) you root for them like they’re an underdog team. That’s not to say that Corner Boys are sloppy and amateurish, rather that there’s a human touch to their music I very much appreciate. If you loved ’77 throwback from the early 00s (particularly the Briefs) but eventually found that sound too polished, this is well worth a listen.

Negative Space: Cruelty 12” (Drunken Sailor) Second 12” from this excellent UK hardcore / post-punk band. Their brand of heavy, anarcho-fueled post-punk (or is it the other way around?) might not be what we expect from Drunken Sailor (a label like Iron Lung or La Vida Es Un Mus would seem more appropriate), but hopefully copies of this record find their way into appreciative hands. If you like Bad Breeding, Institute, and/ or Ex-Cult your hands may qualify as such, because Cruelty sounds kind of like those three bands thrown into a blender. Like Institute and Ex-Cult they’re fond of riding a groove for a long time without getting monotonous, and as with Bad Breeding they layer distorted, echo-drenched whooshing noises over their jams. It’s sort of like if Flux of Pink Indians jumped on stage at a Gang of Four gig and everyone locked into a dense and psychedelic super-jam. My only complaint about Cruelty is that it’s so short, but it’s always a good policy to leave the audience wanting more.

Ausmuteants: Present the World in Handcuffs 12” (Anti-Fade) For a while there you couldn’t walk into your local record store without tripping over a new Ausmuteants release, but the band has been quiet for the past couple of years. The World in Handcuffs breaks the silence, and I think it’ll please existing fans while also giving them something a little different. Ausmuteants is very much the same band playing the same jittery, confrontational synth-punk that gained them worldwide popularity, but this album feels a little more mature. The tempos are less manic, the songs more varied, and the big, melodic synth lines that used to be Ausmuteants’ calling card sit further back in the mix. Most interestingly, this is a concept record from a cop's perspective. The ten tracks on the album present a three-dimensional portrait, but it’s clear that the author is not a fan. Another noteworthy fact about this record is that the same music appears on both sides, albeit in a different running order and one side has skits and the other doesn’t. When I read this, I thought said skits would be long and/or annoying, but they aren’t. I prefer the side without the skits, but only because the running order seems to have a more natural ebb and flow to it. Even if you feel like you already have enough Ausmuteants records in your collection, I’d encourage you to check this out if you’re a fan, as it shows the band progressing without losing what you liked about them.

Brandy: Clown Pain 7” (Total Punk) While this is Brandy’s second 7”, this is the first time I’ve heard them and I know virtually nothing about them. Their meat and potatoes garage-punk is a good fit for Total Punk’s roster, though. While these two songs aren’t brimming with surprises, they’re built around cool riffs and vocal melodies, the playing is loose and full of swagger, and the recording has noise rock levels of density. This is the kind of record that seems to go in one ear and out the other, but then when you’re humming one of the tracks three days later you realize it’s awesome and it secures a place in your regular rotation.

Knowso: Like a Buzz 7” (Total Punk) In case you don’t know, there are three bands—Knowso, Perverts Again, and Cruelster—that share members and have a similar sound, which is one of the weird, most distinctive, and most fascinating sounds in contemporary punk. They use stiff rhythms comparable to early Devo and they share that band’s dark sense of humor, but they sound nothing like the Coneheads or other contemporary bands who rep their Devo influence. You just have to hear them to understand, and either you’ll dismiss this whole crew as total idiots or you’ll hail them as the geniuses they are and greet each new release with Christmas morning levels of excitement. I’m in the latter camp. This music is so unique, but aside from saying it’s great I can never seem to find the words to describe how cool it is. So give this a listen. If you like it, there’s more where this came from. And hopefully this crew will continue to bend our minds for a long time.

All New Arrivals

Generacion Suicida: Reflejos 12" (Going Underground)
No Negative: The Last Offices 12" (Drunken Sailor)
Corner Boys: Waiting For 2020 12" (Drunken Sailor)
Negative Space: Cruelty 12" (Drunken Sailor)
Knowso: Like a Buzz 7" (Total Punk)
Brandy: Clown Pain 7" (Total Punk)
Ausmuteants: Present the World in Handcuffs 12" (Anti-Fade)
Gonzo: Do It Better Again 12" (Anti-Fade)
Primitive Teeth: S/T cassette (self-released)
Eskorbuto: Anti-Todo 12" (B-Core)
Augustus Pablo: Moods of 12" (Radiation Roots)
GBH: Give Me Fire 12" (Radiation)
Undertones: S/T 12” (Euro Import)
X-Ray Spex: Germfree Adolescents 12” (Art-I-Ficial Product)
Death: Reign of Terror 12" (Euro Import)
GBH: Demos 1985 12" (Dlay)
Giuda: Let’s Do It Again 12" (Damaged Goods)
Pink Floyd: Broadcast from Rome 1968 12" (Supernaut)
Kina: Realta Irreale 12" (Spittle)
Kina: Nessuno Schema 12" (Spittle)
Blitz: No Future for April 12" (Radiation)
Destructors: Exorcise the Demons 12" (Radiation)
Judge Dread: Bedtime Stories 12" (Radiation Roots)
Paralasis Permanente: Los Singles 12” (Euro Import)
Joy Division: This Is the Room 12" (Lively Youth)
Tommy McCook: S/T 12" (Radiation Roots)
Angelic Upstarts: Independent Punk Singles 12" (Radiation)
Blitz: Time Bomb: Early Singles 12" (Radiation)
4-Skins: Low Life 12" (Radiation)
Judge Dread: Dreadmania: It’s All in the Mind 12" (Radiation Roots)
Mighty Diamonds: Backstage 12" (Radiation Roots)
Ranking Dillinger: None Stop Disco Style 12" (Radiation)
Vampire Weekend: Father of the Bride 12" (Columbia)
New York Dolls: Red Patent Leather 12" (Culture Factory)
Thrice: Artist in the Ambulance 12" (SRC Vinyl)
Cage the Elephant: Social Clues 12" (RCA)
Richard Vain: Night Jammer 12" (Big Neck)
Sweet Jap: Be My Venus 12" (Big Neck)
Kacey Musgraves: Golden Hour 12" (MCA)
Protomartyr: No Passion All Technique 12” (Domino)
Fury: Failed Entertainment 12” (Run For Cover)


Bad Religion: Into the Unknown 12" (Euro Import)
Black Flag: Demos 1982 12" (Suicidal)
Abandoned: Killed by Faith 12" (Radiation)
Anti: Defy the System 12" (Radiation)
Anti: God Can’t Bounce 12" (Radiation)
Anti: I Don’t Want to Die in Your War 12" (Radiation)
GG Allin: E.M.F. 12" (Toilet Rock)
J.F.A.: Valley of the Yakes 12" (No Futuro)
Joy Division: Atrocity Exhibition: Live Paris 1979 12" (Lively Youth)
Lip Cream: Kill Ugly Pop 12" (Euro Import)
4 Skins: The Good the Bad and the 4 Skins 12" (Radiation)
Bad Brains: Old Waldorf San Francisco Broadcast 12" (Radio X)
Chaos UK: Short Sharp Shock 12" (Radiation)
Cramps: Hot Pearl Broadcast: Live in Zurich 12" (Mind Control)
G.I.S.M.: Human Condition 12" (Euro Import)
Gasmask / Coward: Split 12" (Euro Import)
Gauze: Equalizing Distort 12" (Euro Import)
Husker Du: Spin Radio Concert 1985 12" (Radio Silence)
Jo Squillo Eletrix: Girl Senza Paura 12" (Spittle)
Negazione: Lo Spirito Continua 12" (Contempo)
Operation Ivy: Bring Me Back Up: Live Gilman Street 12" (Radio X)
Pure Hell: Noise Addiction 12" (Radiation)
Simpletones: California 12" (Radiation)
Slayer: El Infierno Te Espera: Live 12" (Lively Youth)
The Business: Suburban Rebels 12" (Radiation)
Unnatural Axe: They Saved Hitler’s Brain 7" (Radiation)
Von Gam: 1 Gen Punk 12" (Ken Rock)
Declino: Terra Bruciata 12" (FOAD)
Disfear: Brutal Sight of War 12" (La Familia)
Eskorbuto: Aqui No Queda Ni Dios 12" (Guns of Brixton)
Fuerza Bruta: Verdugo (euro press) 12" (Rebellion)
Brand New: I Am a Nightmare 12" (Pmtraitors)
Lana Del Rey: Born to Die 12" (Polydor)
Cranberries: In the End 12" (BMG)
Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats: Wasteland 12" (Rise Above)
Blood Orange: Negro Swan 12" (Domino)
J Cole: KOD 12" (Roc Nation)
Tyler, the Creator: Scum Fuck Flower Boy 12" (Columbia)
Nine Inch Nails: The Fragile 12" (Nothing)
Khalid: American Teen 12" (RCA)
Blink 182: Enema of the State 12" (SRC)
Jimmy Eat World: Bleed American 12" (Geffen)
Dangerdoom: The Mouse & The Mask 12" (Lex)
Tame Impala: Currents 12" (Interscope)
Lord Huron: Strange Trails 12" (I Am Sound)
Lord Huron: Lonesome Dreams 12" (I Am Sound)
Thelonious Monk: Monk’s Dream 12" (WaxTime)
Rage Against the Machine: S/T 12" (Epic)
Rage Against the Machine: The Battle of Los Angeles 12" (Epic)
The Fugees: The Score 12" (Columbia)
Ol Dirty Bastard: Return to the 36 Chambers 12" (Elektra)
Iggy & the Stooges: Raw Power 12" (Columbia)
The Lumineers: S/T 12" (Dualtone)
Chet Baker: Sings 12" (Wax Love)
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables 12" (Manifesto)
John Mayer: Continuum 12" (Columbia)
Jimi Hendrix Experience: Axis: Bold As Love 12" (Columbia)
John Mayer: Room for Squares 12" (Columbia)
AFI: Black Sails in the Sunset 12" (Nitro)
Eminem: Slim Shady 12" (Aftermath)
Tool: Undertow 12" (Volcano)
Wu-Tang Clan: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) 12" (RCA)
Descendents: I Don’t Want to Grow Up 12" (SST)
Black Flag: Everything Went Black 2x12" (SST)
Anderson Paak: Malibu 12" (OBE)
The Promise Ring: The Horse Lattitudes 12" (Jade Tree)
NOFX: Heavy Petting Zoo 12" (Epitaph)
The Black Keys: El Camino 12" (Fat Possum)
Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2x12" (Nonesuch)
Notorious B.I.G.: Ready to Die 2x12" (Rhino)
Led Zeppelin: II 12" (Atlantic)
The Cure: Disintegration 2x12" (Rhino)
Green Day: 39 Smooth 12" + 2x7" (Reprise)
David Bowie: Lodger 12" (Parlophone)
David Bowie: Heroes 12" (Parlophone)
David Bowie: Diamond Dogs 12" (Parlophone)
David Bowie: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust 12" (Parlophone)
Sigur Rós: Ágætis Byrjun 2x12" (XL Recordings)
Radiohead: The Bends 12" (XL Recordings)
2Pac: All Eyez on Me 4x12" (Death Row)
Hawkwind: Space Ritual 2x12" (Parlophone)
Metallica: Ride the Lightning 12" (Blackened)
Motorhead: Overkill 12" (Sanctuary)
Motorhead: Iron Fist 12" (Sanctuary)
Parquet Courts: Human Performance 12" (Rough Trade)

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