A.K.O.B. Another Kind of Blues EP

AKOB walks a thin line between nasty, powerful thrash (“Officer Friendly Blues”) and metal punk (“Explosion Blues”), so my feelings toward this EP are ambiguous. There’s a fresh, flexible guitar sound to please everyone, plus some interesting lyrics. Still, these guys would be great if they stopped listening to those BROKEN BONES records.

Death Sentence Not a Pretty Sight 12″

This is the Canadian band not the Aussie one, and their debut contains what I’ll call the “Western Canadian” punk sound with the DOA rock ’n’ roll influence. When I heard ‘em live last year, they were straight ahead thrash, but their debut contains eight songs that rip along with a combination of melodic thrash, DOA, and even a sort of DEAD BOYS influence at times. Like fellow Canadians the ASEXUALS, lots of good hooks and choruses, and good lyrics, too.

Forbidden Beat Driving You Insane EP

If there is such a thing as a “Vancouver vocal sound” (D.O.A., DEATH SENTENCE) then this band has it. With former members of BILL OF RIGHTS and HOUSE OF COMMONS, you’ll find four largely mid-tempo punk songs, lots of guitar, and plenty of drive. It rocks.

NoMeansNo You Kill Me 12″

Fusing punk, metal, rock, and other forms, this second release by NOMEANSNO is delivered with lots of power and punch. Their experimentation hangs together pretty well too, sort of like what BLACK FLAG could do with a bit more imagination.