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Featured Release Roundup: November 15, 2018

Civic: Those Who No 7” (Famous Class) New 4-song EP from this Australian band whom you may remember from their New Vietnam LP a few months ago. While a lot of Australian bands are moving toward a more accessible sound, these four tracks are heavy and hard-hitting, albeit with a slightly jangly and melodic lead guitar sound. I’m reminded of 70s UK punk bands like the Boys, the Rich Kids, or the Only Ones, bands who were a little more pop-rock than punk but were heavy and fast enough to be lumped in with the punk movement. That’s not to call Civic interlopers, but rather to say their songwriting is more refined and ambitious than your typical punk band. Three originals, a pretty straight cover of “Needle in the Camel’s Eye” by Brian Eno, and a healthy stack of lead guitar lines you’ll be humming for weeks to come.

Exotica: Musique Exotique #03 7” (La Vida Es Un Mus) Latest 5-song EP from this New York punk band, and for my money it’s, by leaps and bounds, the best thing they’ve done so far. First, the recording is just perfect, raw and trebly, but very percussive and with a lot of dynamic impact. The songwriting is also ambitious, with numerous interesting twists and turns packed into these five concise tracks. There’s the wall of sound noise-punk style of “The Ties that Bind,” the harsh noise / experimental elements on “Desciendo,” and the melodic lead guitar on the closer, “Mundo Sin Fin.” Each track is a little different from the last, as the band is confident enough to expand on their formula without experimenting just for the sake of it. Musique Exotique #03 showcases a band at the top of their game, and the rush of listening to a record like this is exhilarating.

Subdued: 4 Track EP 7” (La Vida Es Un Mus) After an excellent demo (which we still have in stock), here’s the vinyl debut from London’s Subdued. Subdued’s sound and image blend cult metal with classic anarcho punk, which results in something that reminds me of early Amebix (particularly the Winter EP), but richer in texture and atmosphere. After the first track, which is a spoken-word piece you’ll either love or hate depending on your predilection for anarcho poetry, comes the EP’s highlight, “Sedation.” With the slowest tempo on the record (an early Killing Joke-esque chug), the guitarist has ample nooks and crannies to fill with metallic and melodic flourishes. I could listen to this track all day as, despite its raw sound, it’s packed with interesting details, like a musical version of a Nick Blinko drawing. The two tracks on the b-side are faster and more hardcore/metal, and while they’re more straightforward, they’re still a cut above your typical rehash hardcore. I hope Subdued stay at it since their sound would work great on a full-length, but in the meantime there’s plenty to digest in these four tracks.

Patti: Bad Back 7” (Erste Theke Tonträger) Debut EP from this band out of Oakland, though I'd forgive you for thinking they’re from Minneapolis as they sound strikingly similar to Uranium Club. Rhythmically, Patti have more of a Minutemen / Suburban Lawns-type white funk swing to them, but the deadpan vocals and Krautrock-ish way of riding simple, repetitive riffs will do any Uranium Club fan right. The bass lines, guitar lines, and vocal patterns are uniformly interesting, but one place Patti excel is in writing cool bridge parts. Most of the songs on Bad Back have a middle section about 3/4 of the way through where the song goes to some strange, unexpected place. The transitions are fluid, so you find yourself thinking, “wait, is this the same song?” until they drop back into one of the familiar parts from earlier in the song. Having that sense of movement and development to the song takes what would have been an interesting collection of riffs and makes them into something more than that, a set of musical stories that unfold in front of you. This is top-notch egg punk, so even if you only mess with the hits like Uranium Club and Coneheads this is worth checking out.

Hate Preachers: 5 Track Demo cassette (Sucks Blood) Another 5-song demo from an LA-based band featuring members of Blazing Eye, but this time the culprits are Hate Preachers. This demo has the same perfect recording quality as Cruelty Bomb (it’s nearly as perfect as an old Inner Ear recording), but Hate Preachers have a UK82-influenced style rather than Cruelty Bomb’s straight d-beat. The vocals still have that raspy, Japanese-type sound a la Blazing Eye, so these straightforward, mid-paced riffs might remind you of G-Zet or mid-era Execute just as much as the Exploited or the Partisans. Like Cruelty Bomb, I can’t think of much else to say… whatever magical fairy dust they’re sprinkling on these recordings, I wish I could get some of it for my own bands.

Ultra: Alta Montaña 12” (La Vida Es Un Mus) After two earlier 7”s we get the debut 12” from Barcelona’s Ultra, and it’s a big step up from those earlier EPs. Like a lot of bands from Barcelona, Ultra have a progressive sound with lots of twists, turns, and intricacies in the songwriting. That’s not to say they don’t rage; like  Osservati Dall'Inganno-era Indigesti (or that record’s obvious inspiration, the Bad Brains), the intricacies increase the power rather than provide a break from it. If you like lightning-fast, stop on a dime hardcore you’ll love the tight playing and clear and powerful recording, but my favorite parts are when the band spreads out. The guitar solos are a treat, with the title track’s wild, whammy bar-heavy lead reminding me of a weird, progressive thrash band like Nocturnus. I also love the Sunn-esque droning intro to “Estado Vital,” and the two electronic pieces on the record are also a pleasant breather. If you’re into the noisy and progressive hardcore that’s been coming out of Barcelona for the past decade, it’s hard to imagine you wouldn’t love Alta Montaña.

Phone Jerks: S/T 12” (Alien Snatch) Debut 12” from this Canadian band playing raw, hyperactive garage-punk in the tradition of bands like the Rip Offs and Teengenerate. While that’s the core of their sound—and they execute it well—there’s a lot more than just a genre exercise happening on this LP. All the songs are fast, raw, and in the same style, but changes in tempo, switching off vocalists, and dropping the occasional ripping guitar lead keeps things fresh from track to track. The lead-off, “Bitchiker,” is my favorite, its high-pitched, comically snotty vocals reminding me of the Nubs or the band Speed from the first Destroy All Art compilation. Aside from maybe Midnite Snaxxx (who are much poppier), there aren’t a ton of North American bands doing this 90s style of garage-punk, so if you’re a fan of the style you know what to do.

Priors: S/T 12” (La Vida Es Un Mus) Debut from this Melbourne, Australia band featuring members of a bunch of other bands. With a wild and noisy sound, Priors are a great fit for La Vida Es Un Mus, and if you’re a fan of Pig DNA, Sial, or Hologram you’ll see where Priors is coming from. On their faster tracks they sound like futuristic noise-punk, like Confuse but faster, clearer, heavier, and more grating, i.e. capable of drowning out your 2018 reality. The real treat, though, is when Priors back off the tempo and let the catchiness shine through. Like a lot of noisier bands, the bass player does the heavy lifting, and tracks like “Liquidation” might even leave you with a tune stuck in your head. And then there’s “Nanoaggression,” for my money the record’s best track. With a mid-paced melodic riff, “Nanoaggression” is oi! music through the noise-punk filter, like Lebenden Toten deciding to rip through a Red Alert cover. I can’t think of anything else that sounds like it. If you follow La Vida Es Un Mus and similar labels like Iron Lung, you’ve probably already checked this out, but if not you there’s another item for your to-do list.

All New Arrivals

Exotica: Musique Exotique #03 7" (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Priors: S/T 12" (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Ultra: Alta Montaña 12" (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Subdued: 4 Track EP 7" (La Vida Es Un Mus)
The Execute: Greatest Punk Hits 12" (Doa Records Singapore)
The Execute: S.L.A.S.H. 12" (Doa Records Singapore)
Phone Jerks: S/T 12" (Alien Snatch)
Cheap Appeal: S/T 7" (Neon Taste)
Nutrition: S/T cassette (Neon Taste)
Mercenárias: Baú 83-87 12" (Nada Nada Discos)
Cankro: S/T 7" (Nada Nada Discos)
Bootlicker: Who Do You Serve? 7" (Warthog Speak)
Jackson Politick: Psycho-Mania b/w Well Adjusted Australians 7" (Market Square)
Malleus: Night Raids 12" (Atomic Force)
Civic: Those Who No 7" (Famous Class)
Patti: Bad Back 7" (Erste Theke Tonträger)
Bib: A Band in Hardcore 12" (Erste Theke Tonträger)
Wallbreaker: Democracy Dies 12" (Refuse)
J Mascis: Elastic Days 12" (Sub Pop)
Iron Reagan: Dark Days Ahead 12" (Pop Wig)
Car Seat Headrest: Twin Fantasy 12" (Matador)
boygenius: S/T 12" (Matador)
Cult Leader: A Patient Man 12" (Deathwish)
Stereolab: Peng! 12" (Too Pure)
Stereolab: The Group Played Space Age Bachelor Pad Music 12" (Too Pure)
The Men: Hated 2008-2011 12" (Sacred Bones)
Baby Grande: 1975-1977 12" (Hozac)
Cheap Nasties: S/T 12" (Hozac)
Bad Sports: Constant Stimulation 12" (Dirtnap)
Cherubs: Short of Popular 12" (Sonic Surgery)
Takehisa Kosugi: Catch-Wave 12" (Superior Viaduct)
The Fall: Rough Trade Singles 12" (Superior Viaduct)
Noose Rot: The Creeping Unknown 12" (Sentient)
Sleepwalker: Ichi-go Ichi-e 12" (Sentient)
Jon Spencer: Spencer Sings the Hits! 12" (In The Red)
Ulthar: Cosmovore 12" (20 Buck Spin)
Vector Command: System 3 12" (Hozac)
Witch: Salem's Rise 12" (Gotta Groove Records)
Bikini Kill: The Singles 12" (Bikini Kill Records)
Soundgarden: Beyond This Mortal Coil 12" (Parachute)
Dillinger Escape Plan: Miss Machine 12" (Relapse)
Dillinger Escape Plan: Calculating Infinity 12" (Relapse)
Behemoth: Pandemonic 12" (Back On Black)
Behemoth: Grom 12" (Back On Black)
Behemoth: And the Forests Dream Eternally 12" (Back On Black)
Behemoth: Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic) 12" (Back On Black)


Constant Mongrel: Living in Excellence 12" (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Crisis: Kollectiv 12" (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Rata Negra: Oido Absoluto 12" (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Rixe: Collection 12" (La Vida Es Un Mus)
S.H.I.T.: Complete S.H.I.T. 12" (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Sial: Binasa 7" (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Rata Negra: Justicia Cosmica 12" (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Omega Tribe: No Love Lost 12" (Sealed)
Wire: Pink Flag 12" (12XU)
Crucifix: S/T 12" (Kustomized)
Crucifix: Nineteen Eighty Four 7" (Kustomized)
Descendents: Cool to Be You 12" (Fat Wreck Chords)
Poison Idea: Feel the Darkness 12" (TKO)
Radioactivity: S/T 12" (Dirtnap)
Radioactivity: Silent Kill 12" (Dirtnap)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana 12" (Flightless)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: I'm In Your Mind Fuzz 12" (Castleface)
Beowulf: S/T 12" (Mono)
Carbonas: Your Moral Superiors 12" (Goner)
Chain Whip: S/T 7" (Dirt Cult)
X-Ray Spex: Germfree Adolescents 12" (Real Gone Music)
The War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream 12" (Secretly Canadian)
The Fall: I am Kurious, Oranj 12" (Beggar’s Banquet)
The Fall: This Nation's Saving Grace 12" (Beggar’s Banquet)
The Fall: Hex Enduction Hour 12" (Superior Viaduct)
Sunny Day Real Estate: How It Feels to Be Something On 12" (Sub Pop)
Sleater-Kinney: All Hands on the Bad One 12" (Sub Pop)
Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks 12" (Rhino)
Prince: Purple Rain 12" (Warner Bros)
Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain 12" (Matador)
Pavement: Slanted & Enchanted 12" (Matador)
Motorhead: Bomber 12" (Sanctuary)
The Jesus and Mary Chain: Psychocandy 12" (Rhino)
Gorillaz: Demon Days 12" (Parlophone)
Dinosaur Jr: Dinosaur 12" (Jagjaguwar)
Beach House: Depression Cherry 12" (Sub Pop)
Urinals: Negative Capability 12" (In The Red)
Bathory: Blood Fire Death 12" (Black Mark)
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme 12" (Impulse)
Lord Huron: Strange Trails 12" (I Am Sound)
Tyler the Creator: Goblin 12" (XL Recordings)
Arcade Fire: Arcade Fire EP 12" (Legacy)
Brand New: Your Favorite Weapon 12" (Triple Crown)
Brian Eno: Another Green World 12" (Astralwerks)
Darkthrone: A Blaze in the Northern Sky 12" (Peaceville)
Craft: Total Soul Rape 12" (Season of Mist)
Childish Gambino: Awaken My Love 12" (Glassnote)
Misfits: Earth AD 12" (Caroline)
Misfits: Legacy of Brutality 12" (Caroline)
Misfits: Collection 12" (Caroline)
Misfits: Collection II 12" (Caroline)
Misfits: Static Age 12" (Caroline)
Dr. Octagon: Moosebumps 12" (Bulk)
Nirvana: Unplugged in New York 12" (DGC)
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit: Nashville Sound 12" (Southeastern)
The Strokes: Is This It? 12" (RCA)
Weezer: Blue Album 12" (Geffen)
Various: The Harder They Come OST 12" (Island)

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