Featured Releases: April 6, 2023

Disintegration: Time Moves for Me 12” (Feel It Records) Feel It Records brings us the debut four-song EP from this new group from Ohio featuring members of Pleasure Leftists, Profligate, and Cloud Nothings, among many others I’m sure. If you’re a Pleasure Leftists fan, you’ll recognize Haley Himiko’s distinctive vocals, but rather than Pleasure Leftist’s more “rock” approach to post-punk, Disintegration relies more on synths and mechanical rhythms (though I hear guitars and acoustic drums in the mix, too). Stylistically, these four songs are in that New Order-ish space where dance and pop music meet, with insistent, propulsive rhythms, but with the proverbial hat hung on big vocal and instrumental hooks rather than the beat itself. And boy can Haley Himiko deliver a vocal hook, as she displays on “Time Moves for Me,” the most memorable of these four songs. While I can imagine Disintegration on a bill with bands like Soft Moon, Riki, Fatamorgana, or even Boy Harsher, the gritty production on Time Moves for Me makes it feel like one of those secret records that only you know about, and love all the more for it.

Genogeist: Technophobia 7” (Black Water Records) It’s been a few years since we heard from Portland’s Genogeist, and while I liked their last record, my ears are much more open to their crusty metallic punk sound than they were just a few years ago. Genogeist makes the most of that opportunity too, because this record slays. Once again, Genogeist pulls from across the punk/metal spectrum for their sound, weaving together rampaging d-beat hardcore, intricate thrash riffing, and gnarly mid-paced parts that sound like they were ripped straight from the Bolt Thrower catalog. Genogeist has a way with a riff, but my favorite thing about Technophobia is the energy level… these four songs leap out of your speakers, grab you by the throat, and shake you. There’s a surprising amount of variation across these four long-ish tracks, the centerpiece of which is “Desolate Realm,” where they’re joined by Natanya from Terminal Conquest for a dual-vocal approach that ups the energy level even further. A real scorcher.

Legal Weapon: Death of Innocence 12” (Radiation Records) For years, Legal Weapon’s 1982 album Death of Innocence was a record I could put on and blow people’s minds. No one seemed to know about it, but it’s so good that, if I had it playing in the background, inevitably someone would pipe up and say, “what are we listening to? This RULES!” Legal Weapon was from LA and if the release date of 1982 didn’t already pique your interest, perhaps telling you that Steve Soto and Frank Agnew were from the Adolescents were the bassist and guitarist will? If you’re a fan of early 80s SoCal punk (and who isn’t?), smash that buy button right now, because this shit will blow your mind. It’s in the same stylistic wheelhouse as records like the Adolescents’ self-titled album, Social Distortion’s Mommy’s Little Monster, TSOL’s first EP, and Bad Religion’s first album, i.e. energetic punk with big hooks and a hazy, sun-bleached vibe. Those hooks hit all the harder thanks to Kat Arthur’s sultry, charismatic vocals and the subtle death rock overtones that pervade Death of Innocence, both of which help Legal Weapon carve out their own lane among the legions of brilliant young bands SoCal was producing in the early 80s. It’s a front-to-back banger, not a dud among its 10 tracks, and if you don’t like it, there’s probably something wrong with you. I couldn’t be more excited that this hard-to-find record is back in print and that we can help get it into more people’s hands.

Hotza: Demo 7” (Discos Enfermos) Discos Enfermos brings us a vinyl-ization of the four-song demo from this oi! band from Bilbao, Spain. With lyrics in Basque, Hotza’s sound is dead simple, but built for maximum impact, and any of the four tracks would have found a perfect home on one of No Future Records’ A Country Fit for Heroes compilations. The first few times I listened, I thought it was pretty bogus that they ripped off the 4 Skins’ “Evil” on the last song, but then I read it’s an “adaptation” of the 4 Skins’ original, and I like the way Hotza makes the song their own. The straightforward, dirty production is a perfect fit for Hotza’s style. If you’re in the market for a contemporary band that draws influence from that classic early UK oi! sound, I don’t think you can do much better than Hotza.

Gee Tee: Goodnight Neanderthal 12” (Goner Records) We’ve been carrying records and tapes from Australia’s Gee Tee for years, but it seems like their profile has grown lately. While I initially lumped them in with the post-Coneheads “egg punk” bands, Gee Tee has continued to hone their craft, transforming into straight up songsmiths that still have an ear for a fucked tone. Goodnight Neanderthal is a hooky beast whose songs come at you from a range of different directions, from the Coneheads-esque standout “(I Hate) Drivin in the City” to the more straightforward, Marked Men-esque punk of “40k.” Other songs lean toward straight pop, with “Grease Rot Chemical” and “Rock Phone” featuring jangly guitars and sunny synth melodies that remind me of the way Jay Reatard brought in the Kiwi pop influence in the latter part of his run on Matador. While much of Goodnight Neanderthal seems pitched at a modern garage-punk crowd (so it’s perfect that it arrives courtesy of Goner Records), there’s a penchant for simple, sweet melodies that folks into the 90s Lookout! Records sound will be a sucker for… even better if you like modern exponents of that sound like Liquids. However you want to nitpick its style, though, Goodnight Neanderthal will have you tapping your toe immediately and singing along on the second listen.

Inyección: Vicio 7” (Discos Enfermos) Inyección’s 2022 full-length, Porqueria, was a standout from that year, and now they’re back with another face-pounder. If you haven’t checked out Inyección, their primitive rhythm section and noise-drenched guitars place them within a tradition that begins with early 80s Bristol, UK bands like Chaos UK and Disorder, springs over to Kyushu, Japan’s Gai and Confuse, then takes root all over the world. However, that sound is dosed with a liberal helping of South American attitude that is all their own. Perhaps it’s because their album is so fresh in my mind after playing it to death last fall, but the don’t-give-a-fuck-ness of Vicio reminds me of Ignorantes, though Vicio’s eight-minute running length won’t test your patience like some of Ignorantes’ records and live sets can. The rhythmic backbone is manic yet steady, to where I feel like my heartbeat imitates the relentless pogo, but I hardly notice because I’m captivated by the way Inyección’s two charismatic vocalists ping-pong off one another. File this one under “Punk as Fuck.”

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