ISS

Reviews

ISS Spikes cassette

A lo-fi punk release dripping with the sneer and attitude to rival CRASS. Yes please! North Carolina’s ISS is back again with a short cassette that is really restoring my faith in humanity at the moment. It’s lines like “You need a face mask on / It not only helps stop the spread of communicable viruses and diseases / But it also helps stop the spread of your ugly fucking mug to the rest of us” that really fill my heart with joy. The post-punk-esque vocal delivery and contorted drum machines give me flashes of SUICIDE, while the angular guitars remind me of UNWOUND. This is a must-listen in my opinion.

ISS Too Punk for Heavy Metal EP

It’s too silly and too brilliant at the same time. You know the story. The label guy ignored the band when they were unknown, then he wants to do a record with them. Instead of holding a grudge or talking shit about him behind his back or telling him to fuck off, ISS writes the story in song and lets him release it. They also print the lyrics on the front of the record cover in case the listener can’t make out any of the details. The best revenge is that “Too Punk for Heavy Metal” is such a catchy song, I can’t stop playing it. The epitome of what punk should be—fun, obnoxious, rockin’ and witty. “Are you really sure you deserve ISS? I’m not.” And good on the label for releasing it. Cool to see both sides have a sense of humor. The other two songs are extra-short, but still as super catchy and fun. Are they both also about Richie from Total Punk Records? Could be. I love this record (and all of ISS’s stuff).

ISS Alles 3rd Gut LP

Sharp North Carolina damage that sounds like it’s coming from an entirely different dimension. Doses of CHROME, early Goner, ERASE ERRATA, FLIPPER, EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN—ISS are all over the damn map, with slow nihilistic dirges, fast and snappy garage power jammers, and a tendency for dark pop in the face of super fukkd up sax solos. In a world of by-the-books, flavor-of-the-month bands (and genres) taking the DIY world by storm, it’s refreshing to hear a record that is just going where the sound takes it—also, this record is extremely fucking punk. And punk is still cool. Choice banger: “Outta My Gourd,” if only because it stands out as a neanderthal slammer in a field of weirdness.