Record of the Week: P.I.G.Z. Bloody Belgium EP

October 14th, 2014 by

PIGZ_EP“Belgium is a mess. And that’s not half bad!” spits Yves Lafere before an anthemic guitar creeps in, finally breaking out into what can and should only be considered a Punk with a capital “P” classic! From the catchy riffing to the biting, emphasized vocals and jittery drums that seem to want to race ahead, “Bloody Belgium” is to P.I.G.Z. what “Blitzkrieg Bop” was to the RAMONES: an emblematic magnum opus epitomizing their sound and aesthetic. “Is this Democracy, or is this blindness?” he chastises and squeals, everything sounding charismatically shambolic but utterly electrified. On the flip, “Stooges” slams in with an attitude-filled riff, not unlike the way “God Save the Queen” does, and has a distinctly heavy tone akin to that of the STOOGES or MC5, with steel-hard chords and Lafere snarling, “Too many problems in my life, too many problems ’cause I wanna be me!” Closer “Shall I” is the snottiest of the lot, a short, severe, hand-clapping reaction to societal expectations and identity frustration—timeless teenage rampage! JW’s Records originally pressed these three crown jewels of Belgian punk to a 12″ after the band won first place in 1978’s First Belgian Punk Contest, and they were rereleased once again by German Payola Records that same year. Both are apparently rare as fuck, so Ugly Pop has done us all a massive favor and made these three perfectly p-u-n-k masterpieces available yet again; remastered and packaged beautifully, with pictures, reprints of newspaper clippings and an intro text framing this seminal, absolutely essential record.
(Ugly Pop)

Record of the Week: GRAND COLLAPSE Far From the Callous Crowd LP

September 30th, 2014 by


From the stock of legendary Bristol anarchopunk, a style that is emulated over and over, comes this new LP from GRAND COLLAPSE which is the most uncontrived, unexpected bright D-beat thrash that the punk rock timeline has to offer. There are even blackened melodies underneath proficient PROPAGHANDI-style riffage, creating an excellent genre mash-up for what is basically an anarcho-punk album. The strangulated vocals are spat out like a rabid Templeton at the veritable smorgasbord. The vocal pitch reminds me of Bay Area contemporaries ELEGY, actually. The production is perfect. The musicianship of GRAND COLLAPSE is so skilled that they cannot be pegged down to any one clichéd style. The heavy D-beat under flailed-out endless chords, into bellowing NYHC beatdown styles, will make you want to retrace those steps like a book you just skimmed over and felt like you missed a lot of what was going on. Then you will relax and enjoy something new. This album really has everything. Melody, angst and attitude, and does not let up for a moment. Heart, soul, guts and brains. I predict every band is going to want GRAND COLLAPSE on their tour. Far From the Callous Crowd is destined to be a classic. I’m very proud to have done the interview layout for GRAND COLLAPSE and now to be able to review the proficiency and vehemence behind their convictions. This is how you pole-vault the sound system.
(1859 / Anarchotic / A World We Never Made / Pumpkin / Riot Ska)

— Jason Ryan

Record of the Week: FRAU Punk Is My Boyfriend EP

September 23rd, 2014 by


FRAU write songs like the inside of your brain — fragmented, wild spurts of genius and disgust, an embodiment of the freedom that punk could be but rarely ever is. Frantic and charged, like the first NURSE flexi meets “Girl on the Run” but with a TEENAGE JESUS AND THE JERKS “fuck you” swagger. In short, yes, this band is the first, last, and best — the only punk band. They’re totally falling apart, but so fucking together at the same time, you could dance to this or collapse to it. It’s got this earth shattering quality, the feeling of a million ideas, but also a sneering nihilism… London really does have the coolest bands right now. I think every member of FRAU is in at least three other bands I love, and yet they still make this essential.
(Static Shock Records)

Record of the Week: OVENS Feel Like Shit EP

September 16th, 2014 by


I’m guessing that this (almost) ten-year-old recording is just now seeing the light of day because Tony Molina’s solo shit has recently been blowing up. Whatever the reasoning, I’m glad to hear it because this shit rules. OVENS is a San Francisco band that Molina and friends have played in for years that, like Molina’s solo work, incorporates the best elements of the FASTBACKS (one of the best bands in the world) and THIN LIZZY while smashing them down into bite-size bits. The results are some phenomenally catchy, shred-tastic jams. The instrumental outro on the A-side sounds like a direct rip-off of the BEATLES song “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” which is fine by me since that song is sick as fuck. If you like guitar-heavy, super-pop FASTBACKS-worship, you’ll wanna snatch this up if you see it. First pressing is gone, second is rumored to be on the way.

Record of the Week: PROTESTANT In Thy Name LP

September 9th, 2014 by


Hoooly shit! I’ve always loved me some PROTESTANT, but this new record is something else entirely, departing from their well-honed dark hardcore attack to embrace the hateful, raw filth of black metal. Cory’s unmistakable vocals (and the occasional massive breakdown) provide a link to the band’s previous discography, and the throat-ripping fury of metalpunk is definitely there, but they’ve rebuilt their sound from the ground up with some deliciously lo-fi production. The whole thing is overflowing with jaw-dropping riffs, played with the passion and precision of a band a decade into their existence. Easily one of the top black metal/crust crossovers I’ve heard—and believe me, I’ve heard far too many in the last several years. I would have to say that this is also PROTESTANT’s best, most consistent full-length to date. Trends come and go, but In Thy Name is the real deal. An instant classic.
(Halo of Flies)

—Will Blomquist