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Featured Release Roundup: September 20, 2018

Rubble: S/T 12” (Distort Reality) Much anticipated debut 12” from this Portland punk band. Their previous single on Distort Reality was one of my favorites of 2017 and I was eager to see if they could keep the magic going on a big slab of vinyl. Well, I think they have! That last single hinted that Rubble are more than your typical UK82 homage, and the 12” confirms it. The style here ranges from amped-up pogo punk a la Sad Boys to bruising, Partisans-esque UK82 to anthemic oi! to dark, atmospheric anarcho punk. Rubble excel at all of these styles (particularly the fast UK82 stuff… “Blue Lives” and “U.N.I.C.O.R.” are up there with Savageheads for top-notch Partisans worship), but it’s the weirder and/or more melodic parts I love the most. If you liked “Gaslighting” from the previous 7”, then “Eat the Rich” will be a highlight. “Missing Stair” (my favorite track) shows that the guitarist can throw out leads just as catchy as any of the vocal melodies, and the haunting, anarcho-style spoken-word breakdown is a great way to end the side. Like I said, the more mid-paced and melodic tracks are my favorite, but Rubble’s strong sense of song craft and arrangement are on point throughout. Rubble have a new bass player on this record, and his nimble playing is one of the record’s highlights. I also want to mention the lyrics, which are very strong. They’re blunt, avoiding metaphor and tackling contemporary topics like abusers in the scene, “blue lives matter,” and wealth inequality. That might sound like a list of trending Twitter topics, but Rubble’s lyrics neither toe the punk party line nor parrot information from other media. The lyrics strike me as one person’s honest, impassioned response to what’s happening in the world right now. Indeed, Rubble is a punk band for right now, and while they’re steeped in the past they don’t seem interested in rehashing it. 

No streaming link, sorry!

Zymotic: 8 Tracks cassette (Desolate) Demo cassette from this new band out of Montreal. This is raw, with a biting, Disclose-esque guitar sound that dominates the mix. However, Zymotic’s playing and songwriting remind me more of Framtid’s hard driving sound, with meaty, metallic riffs and a drummer who plays deep in the pocket. The production style of crasher crust can serve as a crutch for weak bands to hide behind, but that’s not the case here. Even with a crummy drum sound you can hear how burly this band is. I’m sure this tape will still turn plenty of heads, but I’m curious to hear what they sound like with a bigger, clearer sound.

Geisterfahrer: Sehr Entgegenkommend 12" (Bandscheiben) Archival release from this German band. They recorded these tracks as a demo in 1979, and (according to Discogs), made 3-5 copies for radio stations and record labels. Geisterfahrer are a long-running band with several full-length records and releases well into the 00s, but this is the first I’m hearing them so I can’t comment on how this release fits into their larger discography. What I can tell you is that, broadly speaking, the style of this recording is minimal, experimental punk that reminds me of Métal Urbain. While Geisterfahrer had four members, they did not have a full-time live drummer, and on most tracks they generate electronic rhythms with primitive synths and drum machines (some very cheesy and dated-sounding, a la the Fall’s "The Man Whose Head Expanded"). They fill out the lineup with a few layers of synthesizers and vocals, augmented with undistorted guitar, some live drums, and on the memorable Velvet Underground homage "Öl Auf Der Strasse," an additional vocalist with a Nico-esque baritone. The vibe is very art school, which will turn off some people, but if you like minimal, experimental groups from the late 70s you’ll enjoy this, particularly since there’s quite a lot of music here. Also note that this record plays backward, from the center out. Don’t be an idiot like me and spend 10 minutes trying to figure out what’s wrong with your turntable. 

Hyäne: Demontage Und Zerfall 12" (Static Age Musik) After an earlier 7”, here’s the debut 12” from Germany’s Hyäne. Stylistically, I’d put Hyäne in that fuzzy place between goth and punk: are they a goth-y punk band, or are they a punk-y goth band? It’s hard to say, but if you split the difference between Warsaw / early Joy Division and Crisis, you’re in the ballpark. To my ears, the band’s biggest strength is their guitarist, who packs this record with a wealth of memorable lead riffs, like on my favorite track, the Crisis-esque “Regress/Exzess.” The vocals sit back far in the mix, so the most exciting parts of the record are when Hyäne deviates from their normal approach, like on the intro to “Aquarium,” which substitutes a synth for the normal bass track and hints at something a little fresher and more exciting than the typical punk band setup. Like I said, those catchy lead guitar riffs are the main attraction, and if you’re a fan of Colin from Davidians / Voight-Kampf’s playing (which sounds similar) you’ll enjoy this a lot.

Mülltüte: S/T (2nd) 12” (self-released) Second 12” from this cryptic German band who has, since the early 2010s, self-released several records with similar covers, each of which features a background texture, an insect, and the band’s name hand-stamped in a different color. We’ve loved them all here at Sorry State, and this one is no different. In fact, it might be the best of the bunch, as it finds the band bringing in a few guest musicians and expanding their sound. Basically, Mülltüte work in two modes here. About half of the record is raging, stripped-down hardcore. They’ve always reminded me of Denmark’s Amdi Petersen’s Armé, and that remains the case here, so if you like that brand of meat and potatoes those tracks will hit their mark for you. The performances are tight and the production is clear and warm without sounding self-consciously retro. However, there’s another side of Mülltüte where they trade blistering fast hardcore for that sped-up garage-punk beat you know from the Carbonas and other Atlanta punk bands. While the cymbals are still pinging at record speed, this beat opens the sound up and allows room for more experimentation, which Mülltüte takes full advantage of here. Like Lost Sounds or Predator, there’s an ominous quality to these tracks, with a paranoid buzz enveloping the punk band at the core. Throw in a few wacky no wave-type rhythms here and there for some extra spice and you have a very distinctive sound. The record is short and jam-packed with ideas, so it’ll take a few listens for your ears to make sense of it, but I’m finding the process of untangling that knot to be very enjoyable.

Chiller: S/T 7” (self-released) Debut 7” from this band out of Pittsburgh, who I am assuming are unrelated to the Canadian band Chiller that recently released an LP on Dirt Cult Records. In case you couldn’t tell from the stark artwork, this is a straight up hardcore record with 6 bruising tracks, a loose and rough playing style, and warm, organic production that sounds like they could have done it on a vintage 4-track. The 3 songs on the a-side appear in order of tempo, starting with the slowest and getting faster over the course of the side. The lead track’s bouncy rhythm might remind you of S.H.I.T., but once the singer pipes up I can’t stop thinking of Fucked Up, as the vocalist reminds me of Damian and the catchy, mid-paced hardcore with slight oi! edge isn’t too far away from Fucked Up’s early singles. The second track turns up the Poison Idea knob while the third track is so fast that it reminds me of Heresy. The b-side continues in a similar vein, starting with a catchy, mid-paced track and gradually ratcheting the tempo to hyper-speed. The music is good, but what cements the experience is the self-released, homemade vibe, which gives the impression that Chiller is just expressing themselves rather than trying to engineer something to the scene’s tastes.

All New Arrivals

Rubble: S/T 12" (Distort Reality)
Mülltüte: 2nd 12" (self-released)
Lavender Hex: S/T 12" (self-released)
Chiller: S/T 7" (self-released)
No Statik: What Did You Give Away 7" (25 Diamonds)
Hyäne: Demontage Und Zerfall 12" (Static Age Musik)
Body Pressure: US Decay 12" (self-released)
Archgoat: The Luciferian Crown 12" (DMP)
Mogwai: Happy Songs for Happy People 12" (Pias)
Mogwai: Rock Action 12" (Pias)
Mogwai: The Hawk Is Howling 12" (Pias)
Uncle Acid: Blood Lust 12" (Rise Above)
Uncle Acid: Mind Control 12" (Rise Above)
Girlschool: Demolition 12" (Dissonance)
Thrice: Palms 12" (Epitaph)
Sleaford Mods: S/T 12" (Rough Trade)
Various: Basement Beehive: The Girl Group Underground 12" (Numero Group)
Capital Punishment: Roadkill 12" (Captured Tracks)
Billy Bao: Communication 12" (Insulin Addicted)
Amps for Christ / Failings: Split 12" (Insulin Addicted)
Godstopper: What Matters 12" (Insulin Addicted)
Probot: S/T 12" (Southern Lord)
Siouxsie & the Banshees: The Scream 12" (Polydor)
Korn: Follow the Leader 12" (Immortal)
John Bender: Pop Surgery 12" (Superior Viaduct)
Beowulf: S/T 12" (Mono)
Infernal Coil: Within a World Forgotten 12" (Profound Lore)
Robert Pollard: Waved Out 12" (Guided by Voices, Inc.)


Mülltüte: 1st 12" (self-released)
Mülltüte: 1st 7" (self-released)
Mülltüte: 2nd 7" (self-released)
Mülltüte: 3rd 7" (self-released)
Bl'ast: Blood! 12" (Southern Lord)
Brotherhood: 'Til Death 12" (Southern Lord)
Offenders: Endless Struggle / We Must Rebel 12" (Southern Lord)
Paranoid: Satyagraha 12" (Southern Lord)
Uniform Choice: Screaming for Change 12" (Southern Lord)
YDI: A Place in the Sun / Black Dust 12" (Southern Lord)
Nails: Unsilent Death 12" (Southern Lord)
Mattin: Songbook #6 12" (Insulin Addicted)
King Diamond: Abigail 12" (Roadrunner)
Son House: Father of Folk Blues 12" (Analogue Productions)
Skeletonwitch: Devouring Radiant Light 12" (Prosthetic)
Panic! at the Disco: All My Friends We're Glorious 12" (Fueled By Ramen)
Bjork: Utopia 12" (One Little Indian)
SZA: CTRL 12" (Top Dawg Entertainment)
Curtis Mayfield: Curtis 12" (Curtom)
Parquet Courts: Light Up Gold 12" (What's Your Rupture?)
Neu!: Neu! 12" (Gronland)
Chet Baker: Sings 12" (Wax Love)
Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies to Paralyze 12" (Interscope)
Magic Sam: West Side Soul 12" (Delmark)
Tyler the Creator: Goblin 12" (XL Recordings)
Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 12" (Roc-A-Fella)
Mumford + Sons: SIgh No More 12" (Island)
Baroness: Blue 12" (Relapse)
Nirvana: In Utero 12" (Back to Black)
Tool: Lateralus 12" (Volcano)
Tool: Opiate 12" (BMG)
A Tribe Called Quest: The Low End Theory 12" (Jive)
Suicidal Tendencies: S/T 12" (Frontier)
Descendents: Enjoy 12" (SST)
Black Flag: Loose Nut 12" (SST)
Black Flag: My War 12" (SST)
Bad Brains: I Against I 12" (SST)
Husker Du: Zen Arcade 12" (SST)
Funkadelic: S/T 12" (Westbound)
Glenn Branca: The Ascension 12" (Superior Viaduct)
John Coltrane / Alice Coltrane: Cosmic Music 12" (Superior Viaduct)
Devo: Hardcore Devo Vol 2 12" (Superior Viaduct)
Alain Goraguer: La Planete Sauvage OST 12" (Superior Viaduct)
The Fall: Dragnet 12" (Superior Viaduct)
Crown Court: Mad in England 7" (Goner)
Crucifix: Nineteen Eighty Four 7" (Kustomized)
Jawbreaker: 24 Hour Revenge Therapy 12" (Blackball)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana 12" (Flightless)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: I'm in Your Mind Fuzz 12" (Castleface)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Polygondwanaland 12" (Blood Music)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Paper Mache Dream 12" (ATO)
NOFX: The Decline 12" (Fat Wreck Chords)
Solid Space: Space Museum 12" (Dark Entries)
Wire: Pink Flag 12" (Pink Flag)
Wire: Chairs Missing 12" (Pink Flag)
Wire: 154 12" (Pink Flag)

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