Record of the Week: Berlin Tristesse compilation EP

27 05 2014

BerlinTristesse_compRight out of the gate, this compilation of Berlin punk/hardcore bands kills. BITTER CROP plays a straightforward mid-tempo punk song that was over before I could finish typing that sentence. Their song is pissed and would be a perfect fit on any punk mixtape. MÜLLTÜTE blasts through their style of completely perfect, totally fucking pissed hardcore that it catchy as fuck. I love them. NUCLEAR CULT almost approaches grind speeds, but then settles into a slow stoner-style breakdown that ends before you can light up that first toke. EARTH CRUST DISPLACEMENT has a bit of a noisy Japanese hardcore/crust vibe. PEACEBASTARD plays straight up raging hardcore with a singer going so full throttle that they’re sure to have some throat problems later in life. PIG// CONTROL rages the shit out of some blazing “no fucking control” German hardcore. CRACK UNDER PRESSURE is blast-beat mania and reminds me a little bit of SPAZZ if they didn’t have a sense of humor. This comp is a perfect snapshot of the Berlin hardcore scene right now and flies by in a matter of minutes, which is wonderful for people like me who feel like hardcore should always be short, fast and loud as fuck.
(HeartFirst Records)

May 27th, 2014 by Greg


Record of the Week: OBEDIENCIA El Ángel Exterminador EP

22 05 2014

Obediencia_ElAngel_EPThere’s an urgency in the first chord and drum hit that just sucks me in immediately, similar to the way the OBSERVERS LP did. I never spent much time with OBEDIENCIA’s first EP, but I love their song on the Sound the Alarms!! comp, and the second track on this EP is just as strong — upbeat, danceable, with brilliant vocal hooks. The vocalist is what really carries this band; she’s so soulful and confident. That shit is cranked right up front, almost too loud, but it totally works. Don’t get me wrong, the instrumentation is great too, but the singing pushes this band to the top. My critique has to be the slight distortion on the vocals, which gives the whole thing a little garage quality. Not a bad thing, I just personally prefer more organic vocals, especially when the singer is this great. Add a little reverb instead of the distortion and let that vocal track soar! Just one guy’s opinion. Otherwise this EP is perfect, and the more I listen, the more I like!
(Solo Para Punks)

May 22nd, 2014 by Matt Badenhop


Record of the Week: ACCIDENTE Amistad y Rebelión 12″

13 05 2014

Accidente_12-inch

Socio-political melodic/pop-punk from Spain. Wait, sorry, really amazing socio-political melodic/pop-punk from Spain. If it wasn’t for the fact that the lyrics are in Spanish, I wouldn’t have been surprised if you told me this band came up through the New Brunswick, NJ basement scene—or at least were from somewhere on the East Coast. Equal parts melodic hardcore and straight up pop-punk, with beautiful vocals by Blanca. All of this together sounds like something in between the earnest swagger and jangle of the MEASURE [SA] and WORRIERS and the infectious, angered energy of LA FRACTION—or maybe like the too short-lived Syracuse band NO CONNECTION. The liner notes have the lyrics in the original Spanish, along with English translations—always awesome. The lyrical content is especially great. While most anarcho punk bands are simply anti-this and anti-that, and most pop-punk bands are just, “I love my friends and partying,” ACCIDENTE splits those sentiments right down the middle. “Que motivos no son pocos amistad y rebelion (There are plenty of reasons to fight for friendship and rebellion).” If you like bands like RVIVR ’cause they’re injecting a little social thought and politics into the current pop-punk scene, you’ll love this. I just listened to this record five times in a row, and I’m only getting more and more into it.
(Blondes Must Die / Contrastzi / Distribuidora Soroii / Grita o Muere / Halo of Flies / In My Heart Empire / La Agonia De Vivir / Pifia / Tranzophobia / Veganismo es Respeto / Walking Is Still Honest)

May 13th, 2014 by Ray Suburbia


Record of the Week: EASTLINK LP

7 05 2014

EASTLINKCOVERFINISHED

Fittingly named after a suburban toll road in their native Melbourne, EASTLINK eloquently reconfigures the repetitive driving-on-the-Autobahn feel of, say, NEU! 75 until it suits the local atmosphere. Starting with a riff—insidious, relentless and intelligently thuggish, so classically Orstralian—the all guitar sound swaggers and swings like a pub emptying out after last call. On first listen VENOM P STINGER attempting the motorik beat came to mind, but this is not a “if you like this you’ll love that” type of sound, and I feel like I am beating my hands against the keyboard in an ape like fashion attempting to articulate the pleasures and pains of this disc! The tape that preceded this LP was one of my most listened to things of the past year, soundtracking my banal endless existence walking home after another night shift in retail-land, through desolate skyscrapers and emptied out streets. This record took me a bit longer to warm to, I think because it’s not quite as relentless/claustrophobic/total; there’s some space and even, uh, space rock on certain tracks. The lyrics are fragmented and political, questioning in a thoughtful perceptive style that seems so much more authentic than another prepackaged slice of anarcho pie. The fact that seemingly every person in a decent/exciting band in Australia is in fifty other equally decent/exciting bands is quite humbling. EASTLINK features people from TOTAL CONTROL, UV RACE, LAKES and probably thirty other bands, and they are fucking great. Another genius group sounding the death knell of the neoliberal dream.
(In the Red)

May 7th, 2014 by Layla


Record of the Week: SUICIDAS No Nos Mata la Muerte EP

17 04 2014

Suicidas_EPShit, this is great! SUICIDAS comes from Spain and plays straightforward punk with tons of melody and female/male vocals that could be described as “soaring.” Well thought out, tight, perfect and anthemic… They sound as if they’re taking some cues from THE BRAT and some certain Scandinavian contemporaries, but they’re really making their own mark here and forging their own path. I wouldn’t expect anything less from members of RUIDOSA, BELGRADO and DESTINO FINAL. Yes, you want this.
(No Nostalgia Records)

April 17th, 2014 by Greg