Outta Style: Vol 1 - May 2017
Ok so as you’ve seen we’re changing things up a little around SSR, especially on the internet end of things. We’re all super excited about it and hope you all are also. This one’s a little long because we’ve gotten a ton of cool stuff in and because I’ve been super behind, but as far as right now goes the plan is that I’ll be posting a more condensed version of the newsletter every other Monday under the name Outta Style. While there’s always a possibility of it not making it up every Monday (for example this is being posted on a Tuesday) I’m going to try my best to make it happen. So with that said the next post will be on June 12th. But yeah there’s tons of stuff to talk about and I know I didn’t even get to half of what I wanted to write about.
Skull Cult: Vol. 1 Cassette - This is six minutes of manic intensity. Lots of lo-fi KBD feels with a midwest flavor. Super treble soaked guitar, cheap casio sounding keys and probably the tightest drums and super locked in, solid as they come bass. The vocals have a very Liquids feel to them, I think it's all of the effects/fuzziness of them. This features member(s?) of the great Buttzz who's great Summer Luvin tape I loved. While Buttzz were very Ramones-esque pop weirdness Skull Cult are more like a hyper-active Nubs. But yeah get in on the ground level before the hype whisks this one away because this tape is HOT! Also go down to your local recruiting station and get yourself enlisted in the cult, I know I'm going to.
Skull Cult: Vol. 2 Cassette - The second helping of Skull Cult's brand of keyboard infused punk insanity. This one somehow seems crunchier yet poppier than the last tape. Maybe it's the addition of a second keyboard allowing for more complex melodies? The keys definitely have more of an Ausmuteants vibe on this one and feel a lot more up front while the vocals get pushed a little bit more to the back. Skull Cult definitely feel free to skip around between the super tight high-energy punk and poppier tunes more akin to related band Buttzz (what that relation is I'm still clueless on). If you liked their first tape then what is there to lose on getting this one? I mean it costs less than your fancy coffee and will probably get you more ready to face the day and in the end make you a better person. Also after some intense research I have found some documentation that makes me assume that Skull Cult is possibly one person and also has live drums.
Nurse: Discography 12” – Let’s be honest, I’m not raking in the money at SSR. I make an honest living doing this but you know am not about to drop $300 on two 7”s no matter how great they are. And let me tell you the two records that make up this discography are pretty great. The first flexi is super raw and once you get past the endless cheat beat you can tell it’s something special. This has a weird feel of American hardcore in the riffs, kind of Negative Approach like in their simplicity. While a majority of it is pretty straight forward and fast the last song sounds like Part 1 or something, it has that slow stomping funeral dirge feel to it. The second Ep definitely is a little clearer in the recording and features a more prominent bass sound to carry the songs. The songs definitely are slower and not the straight 1-2 beat. Everything just feels a million times more competent and clearer. It definitely has more of a Stalin vibe in it’s kind of more mid paced rock riffs with the flanged (I suck at picking out guitar effects) out guitar? Also there’s some sick guitar fuzzed out guitar solos on this one. This big change obviously comes from Tatsu from Gastunk taking over guitar duties. Definitely a cool piece of history, especially if you’re interested in Japanese Hardcore/Punk and don’t have a wad of cash laying around to get the originals. Here’s some cool live footage of Nurse (not the best quality but still cool)
ISS: (Endless Pussyfooting) Cassette – Another bout of acerbic genius from ISS. If you aren’t clear on what ISS is well, there are two guys, one from Whatever Brains and the other from Brain Flannel, pretty much they sample drums and other random things (such as some X-ray Spex sax) from punk songs and then use it as the foundation for writing their own originals. Super catchy and original, I really can think of little to compare this to. If you checked out their great Studs tape you’ll recognize some of the songs on here like the amazing penISS envy which is a song comprised totally of Crass song titles. I can only imagine how hard putting these vocals was. With lots of weird little skits and samples this plays like a bizarre mixtape, all the songs have a similar core feeling to them but are all vastly different. Even the instrumentation on them is pretty all over the place. A really brilliant release all the way through and highly recommended.
Komplications: Human 12” - Whoa this is like everything I want right now. Super fuzzy synths with bouncy drums and very uk anarcho feeling vocals (I know it’s mostly just the accent but the delivery reminds me of The Subhumans) that also kind of remind me of ISS. This feels super light hearted and fun, no gloom to be found here. Everything just feels perfect on this as far as mix goes. This is a joy to listen to on headphones due to some cool panning stuff with the two synths. Punks with synths is a trend I can always get behind.
Kurraka: Otra Dimension Cassette – Every time I talk with someone about Kurraka it’s really hard not to just yell it like at the beginning of their LP. I was actually working at a record fair the other week and saw a person across the room wearing a Kurraka shirt and had to fight everything in me to not just be a nerd and yell it at them. This tape is definitely a little darker and more spacey feeling than their LP, a lot more brooding than raging. Don’t get me wrong though, this thing still rages. It definitely has a lot of ties into the darker side of anarcho-punk, the dark thick fuzzy guitar and bass definitely hit those Rudimentary Peni feelings. The drums pound away while the vocals go screaming off into the void with tons of delay. This one is definitely to listen to in a dark room with some candles lit. This one is definitely going to be played a ton around the shop.
Ataxxia: S/T 7” – Definitely drenched in Scandinavian Hardcore worship, this has some members of other bands but who cares because this rules without having to be legitimized with a previous work history. This is definitely a banger, even the slow stompy parts have so much energy and power. I really love the bass sound on this, it really comes through on the song Anxiety.
Nag – Files 7” – More Nag! Hot off their Total Punk single, this one’s a little darker feeling than False Anxiety, the whole thing seems to focus more on the sonic aesthetics of the group rather than the vocals and chorus like their previous work. The vocals are still there and still super catchy but feel more spread out. But yeah definitely still Nag meaning there’s no reason to not get this. This one still leads to more questions though, like what is the art on the cover? Is it supposed to be a snake (a very similar one is on the Total Punk single). Also is it pronounced Nag or more like Nog? I’m sure we’ll never find out.
Dream Probe: Demo Cassette – On their bandcamp this is described as “Cool Ass Tape” and I definitely agree. New band from Illinois, this is wild and blown out, everything feels in the red on the recording. This reminds me of circle pits at a house show on a beer soaked floor. Definitely super cool and has been getting listens when I’m home alone so I can rage out while drinking my coffee.
Mutual Jerk – S/T 7” – A better recording helps flesh out what was happening on their demo. With very talking vocals that remind me somewhat of Uranium Club or something but with their tongue sticking out at you while flipping you off rather than planted deeply in their cheek. This definitely has a post-punk feel but without the edges sanded down. There’s still lots of splinters and jagged edges to it. This definitely feels more rooted in hardcore than something like Total Control (which the guitar at points reminds me of a little). Listen to while loathing society and other people.
Punk Ekman: S/T 7” – I’m assuming this is at least Joni Ekman from the great Achtungs. Considering that he was one of the main writers of Achtungs stuff this sounds pretty much up that alley but a little more jittery feeling.
Various: Domestic Sampler UNYU 12” – This flat out rules. Lots of weird minimal synth/post-punk from Barcelona. Definitely hits on some of the more avant-garde side of things at points but it’s definitely a cool mix of stuff. The El Grito Acusador song is probably my favorite though.
Erik Nervous – Ice Cream 7” – I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. Erik actually yells on this one but really the guitar stuff on this is a dream and makes the song. But yeah possibly two of the best songs in a very impressive discography. Erik Nervous gets totally punk on this one.