Reviews

Urticaria

Desborde Ya No Kiero Ser Parte De Este Mundo demo cassette

Buenos Aires band DESBORDE’s first release (although they put two of this tape’s seven songs on Bandcamp in March of this year, if you deem that to count) is being released by a ton of labels in different parts of the world, and I can only assume they all had much the same “woah!” reaction as I did on first hearing. It’s synth punk, but pretty far removed from the post-CONEHEADS/NWI scene egginess that seems to be the default style for that sound at present: it wouldn’t surprise me if none of DESBORDE’s five members owned any DEVO albums. Instead, it’s super catchy, mid-paced street punk-adjacent stuff with sing-along choruses (if you know Spanish) and groovy keyboard fizz—the juxtaposition is kinda similar to NACHTHEXEN, although DESBORDE is on closer terms with punk orthodoxy, sound-wise. Gotta imagine this band would be amazing to see live where most people in the room knew the songs back to front.

Precipice Precipice demo cassette

Mixed bag four-song demo from this Nantes, France crew. It definitely has its ups, with tracks like opener “One Customary Behavior in One Particular Situation,” delivering noisy, stompy hardcore with tinny guitars, bouncing bass, and gruff vocals. “Circus” follows this template well and adds dissonant guitar leads that produce some extra grime, like the ones MYSTIC INANE did so well. “In the Depth of Well” lost me a bit because the vocals are buried deep under the bass and guitar. It sounds like it was all recorded live in the same room, which is unfortunate, because the song sounds cool otherwise. Closing track “4” is a low-effort noise jam of someone lazily strumming open guitar strings and some backward vocals. At a little over a minute, it’s not a big deal, but when it comprises a quarter of your demo’s runtime, it becomes a statement. Of what, I’m not sure. The first few songs are enough for me to keep PRECIPICE in mind, though.

Zipper Dreamer’s Gate cassette

ZIPPER includes a couple of members from recent Australian deathrock/goth candelabra-carriers NYLEX and RULE OF THIRDS, and some of the stark SIOUXSIE-isms of those projects have definitely been carried over here, but Dreamer’s Gate pairs its strict rhythms and needlepoint guitars with a more dreamy ’80s pop shimmer; a new wave mirage in soft-focus pastels refracted in the distance of a monochromatic post-punk desert. Vocalist Haruka gives ZIPPER much of that spark, alternating between Japanese and English in animated shrieks and shouts (like the ones playfully pushing against the moody, straight-out-of-the-BUNNYMEN bass line of “High War”) or gossamer sighs (the early/mid-’80s 4AD-referencing context of “Flower”), often in the same song (“Ice”). Keen debut, especially in a typically staid subgenre that has little interest in coloring outside of the lines.