Ötzi Storm LP

After countless tours and several EPs, Oakland’s femmes fatales ÖTZI bring a little less joy to the world with Storm, their new full-length. They make a genre that sometimes tends toward repetition into something new and exciting: a fresh take on melancholic dark post-punk with dual vocals, chorused guitars, steady beats, bass lines that would make a young Robert Smith blush, and even saxophones and violins make an appearance. This album will give them a well-deserved spot in the modern post-punk scene. A band to keep an eye on.

Spectres Nostalgia LP

The unironically-titled new LP from SPECTRES exists in a world where the ’80s rule, with sonic nods to the CURE or MY BLOODY VALENTINE (sans distorted guitar), and it’s executed so flawlessly that it’s almost a problem. This backward-looking record, complete with authentically retro cover art, suffers from overly lush production. It’s just a bit too shimmering, too sparkling to the point you get an impression early on that nothing unexpected is going to happen (and then nothing does). I’m not saying that old-school-sounding synthwave isn’t up for grabs, I just prefer more urgency. Like when a band like HEKÀTĒ does it, the genre sounds vital to what they’re trying to express (and their songs are in Greek, no less). SPECTRES sound more like they’re building atmosphere while not particularly adding something novel to it, and it’s an all-too-familiar atmosphere. If this record were a piece of furniture, it would be an immaculate glass coffee table. There’s no doubt they can play, but I like to see a bit more grit and dirt with my post-punk. I guess we’re nostalgic for different things.

Tunic Exhaling LP

Discography collection, or close enough to it for the sake of argument, from this Winnipeg trio. TUNIC plays—has played—various iterations of noise rock over the six years covered by Exhaling, which begins with the band’s three newest songs: “Fade Out” has me thinking of a Deathwish Records version of SWIZ, for better or worse. The scrabbly, jerky guitar style of their earlier releases, such as the Disappointment 7”, are agreeable enough, but TUNIC seems to have really hit their stride on 2019 album Complexion, with its big UNSANE-like walls of noise. There’s a whole new LP due this autumn and I’d be satisfied with a bit more of that and not too much concern about “progression,” whatever that is.