We got in a ton of awesome records this last week or two. Here’s a couple punk records we really liked!!!
RINA – Aqui No Eres Nadie 7″
RIÑA’s second EP shows substantial growth from their already excellent demo (pressed to wax by Cintas Pepe in 2017), perfectly balancing the raw crudity and bouncy catchiness of classic Mexican or Colombian hardcore punk acts, delivering hit after hit of infectious and original HC-punk, in a style that’s harder to come by than it should be. RIÑA’s vocalist NADIA venomously spits out the lyrics with consistent intensity and genuine urgency over chainsaw guitar riffs. On this record, RIÑA somehow manage to top their already stand-out twist on classic Latin American HC-punk, reaching the level of classics like SS-20, Crimen, Impune and Soberania Personal. An essential modern band. Recorded just off the heels of their Summer 2017 west coast tour with Anti-Sex and Blank Spell at High Command Studios. Olympia, WA.
LYSOL – Teenage Trance 7″
A band that calls themselves “Lysol” ain’t got no business sounding this fuckin’ filthy, but if this new single is of any indication, things are only gonna get far, far more filthier from here. These Seattle-based garage rockers have been playing a dangerous, potentially litigious game of footsie with this identically-named multi-billion dollar corporation for years, even going as far as to censor their name to “L.I.” (Lysol Incognito) on two select releases in order to avert suspicion, and ideally, a cease and desist order—but if there’s one thing that should be made immediately clear by their continued deliverance of demented, psych-tinged jams under the Lysol name, it’s that this band is aiming to live fast and die even faster. They do not give. A. Fuuuuck. Lysol’s “‘Teenage Trance’ b/w ‘Chemical Reaction’” is yet another two-track, grease-sodden helping of rock ‘n’ roll slop served atop a seven-inch vinyl record, effortlessly incorporating elements of the group’s preceding efforts in Seattle’s Freak Vibes, with frantic slews of garage-like grooves propelled by a hardcore ferocity. Drumbeats restrained as the songs cautiously degenerate into psychedelic, noodle-prone moments of mid-paced obscurity, Lysol regularly dislodges themselves into a violent, bombastic concoction of causticized riffs and throat-rending roars, burdened by paranoia yet driven by sheer funk. The only thing that sucks about this record is that it’s only two tracks. But then again, that just might be all the human heart can take before it fuckin’ ruptures on itself.
STIFF LOVE- Trouble 7″
Nevermind the weird phrasing: Olympia’s Stiff Love is a fuckin’ beautiful instance punk rock incestuation. Like, if there was some kind of omniscient deity responsible for eating grapes, chuckin’ down lightning bolts, and ensuring that certain groups of people got into rooms together and started up bands, they definitely would’ve had to pull some strings to get the stars to align over Washington that fateful day. Sampling members from Lysol, Lowest Priority, Beta Boys, Very Mental and The Vitamens — the first three of which are Washington-based, and all four phenomenal punk acts of their own distinct, varying flavors –, Stiff Love is the aftershock following years of rambunctious reverberations spawned by their past musical efforts. Liberating themselves from the arbitrary limitations of straight-forward punk, Stiff Love has channeled decades’ worth of vintage garage rock into a shameless, glittery stint of glam-like moxie, complete with a presentation worthy of posters plastered all over a bedroom wall. This four-piece has curated a sound that’s distinctly their own, emanating sheer confidence and gusto through heavy-handed, toe-tap-inducing rhythms, spring-loaded guitar licks reminiscent of surf-esque sensibilities, crunchy, scuzzed-out riffage imbued with a metallic potency, and a kickass lead capable of inciting a fuckin’ riot. “Trouble” could not have been a better follow-up to the group’s original debut cassette of 2017, honing their once-coarse tones to an edge fit for a smiley face-embossed switchblade. Stiff Love is the exact type of band you wish you had back when you were in middle school. Because, well, maybe then you wouldn’t have turned out to be such a mess.
DAUDYFLIN – Self Titled 7″
6 tracks of incendiary Icelandic hardcore punk custom built to destroy even the sturdiest of preconceived notions. Have no doubts, these fierce women (and FANNAR) of Reykjavík are laying down an unholy path to the icy acid bath that waits for us all. Hell has frozen over. Burn yourself all the way down with this one. Pogo to the prophecy beat. 350 copies on black vinyl housed in an ILR custom 12pt glued pocket sleeve with printed inner sleeve and download card included.
WOUND MAN – Prehistory 7″
The lyrics to the titular track beg the question: “What will evolution come up with?” Seeing people purposely devolve, becoming more stupid and cro-magnon by the year, provides the answer: Evolutionary life is a curiously destructive downward spiral ending back at the simian simplicity that started this whole planet draining mess in the first place. Prehistory is 9 songs of blistering New Bedford style power violence complete with the stop start blaze and sludgery that makes their brand so brutally enthralling. 350 copies on black, vinyl housed in an ILR custom 12pt reverse board glued pocket sleeve with insert and download card.
BAD TIMES – Streets of Iron LP
In 1998, things were going south for friends Jay Reatard, Eric Oblivian, and King Louie Bankston. In between broken relationships, shattered homes, dissolving bands, and feeling low down, a collaboration was proposed. Jay and Eric trekked down from Memphis with some songs and ideas for songs, listening to Funkadelic and bad Killed By Death-styled punk songs for the six hours to see Louie in New Orleans. One day was spent learning songs, one day recording songs. Eventually they played one show in Normal, IL, opening up for Guitar Wolf. The result of this recording was a blast of punk, garage punk, and psychedelic mayhem. Indeed, the hours listening to Funkadelic did pay off. Jay stole some lyrics and some heavy fuzz solo style from George Clinton and the gang. Eric stole a couple songs from Japanese punk legends Friction and Texaco Leather Man, and tried to mention his favorite sumo wrestler Konishiki whenever possible. Fittingly, when Jay and Eric returned to Memphis, Jay found all his belongings—clothes, guitars, amplifiers—out on his front lawn, as his mom had returned to their house and kicked him out while he was away. Bad Times, indeed!
A release on Sympathy For The Record Industry combined tracks from this session and from their one live show, and has become a cherished collector’s item going for top dollar on the secondhand market. This edition restores the original tracks from the recording session—Eric’s “Wrong Way To Love” and Jay’s “Lick On My Leather,” eliminating two live tracks. A new track order provides a punchy new way to experience the music as well, and the music has been carelessly remastered from a dub of the original cassette. Behold the final product—this is how the Bad Times was meant to be heard!
ERIK NERVOUS – Assorted Anxieties LP
You familiar with this, uh… this four-eyed yankee kid… calls himself ERIK NEUTRON, or something of the like. Legend has it that at a very young age, Erik was forcibly uprooted from his suburban home by an intense gust of wind, propelling his infantile body in a near-perfect spiral towards America’s Rust Belt. There, he found himself lodged in a strange, mystical land, to which some leather-donning yokels have taken to calling… “NWI-cago”. Using a small, hexavalent chromium-stained seashell, Erik spent his youth studying music through the sounds of the ocean, recording rock songs of his own creation onto multi-colored floppy disks. He called it… “Devo-core”. All was peaceful in the land of NWI-cago, up until a small, green goblin-man, Limpy, and his friend, the ex-host of Nickelodeon’s Double Dare, scurried away with Erik’s floppies in hand, redistributing the music on their own respective record labels for the general populace to dissect. The rest, my friend, is history. …Well, others may instead tell you that, in reality, Erik “Nervous” was nothing more than a lone music geek who recorded rip-off rock ‘n’ roll songs in the comfort of his Midwestern home, having nothing to do with any NWI’s, or ‘Cagos, or Lumpy’s, or anything of the sort: these claims are still currently under review. Regardless, following his original debut demo released in late 2015, Erik Nervous has since blossomed into a proper D.I.Y. darling — a benchmark of what an independent, single-minded musician should be able to accomplish with eclectic tastes, a healthy sense of ambition, and even the simplest of recording materials. For once upon a time, Erik Nervous was but a four-eyed kid recording music alone in his bedroom; now, Erik is a four-eyed kid recording music alone in his bedroom, except this time with a real, true-to-life lineup for live shows, and an expansive, consistently-remarkable catalog of punk, rock, and not-so-punk-rock melodies more than deserving of an anthology collection such as this. Compiling nearly two years’ worth of material — including the “Shipshewana Swimming” demo, the 2016 Winter Cassingle, the “Teen Distortion Art Junk Music” EP, the “Ice Cream” single, the “Conical Cranium Emulation” cassette, his track from the “Killed By Meth Vol. 2” compilation, and even two previously unreleased songs –, “Assorted Anxieties” is a brilliant collection of angular, tightly-wound rock ‘n’ roll, a soundtrack fitting of a jittery kid fueled by nothing but soda pop and handfuls of ritalin, a mélange of rock ‘n’ roll vibrancy whose simplicity favors the brilliance exhibited in the bounties of grooves woven throughout this record. If Erik Nervous is nothing more than a giant rip-off, then half of these other bands need to step their game the fuck up.
GEN POP – li 7″
“On not-so-distant horizons, when we’ve all heard everything, what aesthetic flavors will prevail? The era of good taste is upon us everyone. Your play-acting rendition of that Brazilian d-beat demo or British long-haired mace-wielders or Midwestern pocket-protector-perverts does not impress me, as I too have an internet connection and as a matter of fact my little sister uploaded all that to Youtube upon her 12th birthday. I swiftly gave them all a thumbs down. GEN POP, on the other hand, gets a thumbs up. This band sounds like they’ve been raised exclusively on the synth/female-oriented KBD cuts, but with the confidence of those mid-00’s Scandinavians who came over to our big trailer park knowing exactly how good they looked and sounded. It has some in vogue Australian elements, but luckily Olympia does not swelter to the point of their guitarists simply walking a clean telecaster around like a tenured poet at community college, butterfly kisses, pulling your knob switch foot. Catchy, snotty old-world flavors served up cold in the fusion restaurant that is our futureless American paradigm. Wonderful!”—Brandon Gaffney. Recorded with CAPT. TRIPPS at High Command in Olympia. Packaged in a textured glue pocket sleeve with lyric insert. Previous EP on Lumpy.
KID CHROME – I’ve Had It 7”
“I’ve had it!” Truly, these are words to define an entire generation—a generation plagued by empty promises, emptier pockets, and even emptier skulls. Sometimes, you can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the palpable, burning desire to stomp your feet, gouge your fuckin’ eyes out and scream at the top of your lungs, “I’VE HAD IT!” Thankfully, for the benefit of all humanity, Seattle’s KID CHROME has sonically centralized these sentiments onto one three-track, seven-inch, zero-fucks-given vinyl record, sparing everyone’s eyes from a socket-full of fingers—and frankly, this clever fucker deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for that alone. The person responsible for Kid Chrome’s irresistible rock ‘n’ roll luster is none other than CHAD BUCKLEW of LYSOL, whose legacy as a solo-rock maestro trails back but a few years. And yet, the progress Chad has made since releasing his first hyper-lo-fi spasm of simplistic, drum machine-backed punk is nothing short of inspiring, as it would be for anyone capable of single-handedly writing snappy, bonafide songs of this caliber. Spurred by punchy mechanical drum-beats sure to get a crowd pogo-ing, Kid Chrome has re-recorded three flaming-hot takes on songs of past and present, toting a sharp, ultra-refined rock ‘n’ roll sound whose copious hooks, squeal-sensitive guitar licks, and rampant rodeo howls hearkens back to the great seminal proto-punk acts of yesteryear, complete with a contagious sense of enthusiasm set to enliven once-deadened senses. These are the type of songs you can expect to hear in “underground punk compilations” a few decades from now—so don’t you dare fuckin’ sleep on it now. These songs are somethin’ else.
LIQUIDS – Hot Liqs Revenge LP
Generally speaking, the punk rock ethos is one slightly muddled by its own paradoxical philosophy; the idea that, as an accessible do-it-yourself three-chord act, you’re expected to exercise the genre’s “devil-may-give-no-fuck” attitude in order to create confrontational bouts of raw, intimate music that barks in the face of your oppressors—internal, external, or otherwise—and celebrate everything that makes punk so intrinsically cathartic and empowering. But of course, all of this means jack-shit when nobody can make out what the fuck you’re saying. That’s why a band like LIQUIDS—brainchild of Indiana’s MAT WILLIAMS, best known for his time playing in THE CONEHEADS, DAGGER, THE FRITZ, GUINEA KID, SCABS and PUKEOID—is one whose worth as a garage-y, glam-like solo project is elevated so far beyond its immediate deluge of vibrant, squeal-prone hooks and brilliantly infectious rock ‘n’ roll melodies. Since the band’s debut in early 2015, Liquids has always been an honest, shamelessly human introspective projected through the lens of highly electrifying rock ‘n’ roll fits, beautifully melding garage, pop, blues, and even hardcore sensibilities into a perfectly condensed lo-fi punk rock chassis. It is music so unabashedly pained and discontented, with lyricism veiled in a venomous sheet of nihilism and destructive impulses craving immediate discharge, that it only serves to magnify the songs’ uncontainable amounts of upbeat, yet bittered passion. As intense as it is intelligent, Mat’s continual usage of the Liquids handle has culminated in a discography chock-full of songs guaranteed to be underground hits once we’re all dead and gone. “Hot Liqs’ Revenge” is no different, compiling an assortment of pre-existing recordings onto one convenient wheel ‘o’ wax, exemplifying the eclectic, savant-tier songwriting coming out from one of the most rightfully-revered D.I.Y. musicians of the Midwest. Long live Liquids.
PEACH KELLI POP – Gentle Leader LP
L.A.’s DIY sunshine punk favorites Peach Kelli Pop are back with Gentle Leader, the band’s fourth full length album and first in three years. It is a departure for the band’s founder, Allie Hanlon, demonstrating growth and a new confidence as a musician and songwriter. Following close on the tails of the band’s recent EP, Which Witch, their first with renowned Canadian indie pop label Mint Records, the album captures the band at a crossroads exploring new ideas and complexity while maintaining their colorful energy. Gentle Leader’s ten tracks are inspired by a unique range of guitar-driven power pop and feedback laden post-punk from the ’80s and ’90s. Unlike the band’s past releases which were almost entirely written, recorded and produced by Hanlon, this album is a collaborative effort. Engineer / producer Roland Cosio played guitar on some of the songs. Sophie Negrini is also on guitar, and Andrew Bassett of Portland’s party-punk band Mean Jeans provided the drumming. This new collaborative spirit works well, highlighting the strengths of each performer and creating a more sophisticated record without sacrificing Hanlon’s distinct vision. Like a collection of short stories, each of the ten tracks on this album possesses its own background, narrative and unique charm.
WAND – Perfume LP
If the emblem of WAND’s Plum was the stark blue cloud—a condensation, a linking between longing molecules, data hungering for more data, a flotilla of vapor between eye and sky—then Wand’s new EP reeks of something more forceful, more seductive, more intoxicating, more insidious: this is Perfume. Here are seven electric hues, shocks of light that flagrantly provoke the dark, a posy’s clutch of purple, fuchsia, green and snowy white that curl against a stench of plague. Recorded between tours and fire seasons in Grass Valley, California, by TIM GREEN, Perfume’s potent, expansive tunes were mixed in Woodstock, New York by DANIEL JAMES GOODWIN. The band features SOFIA ARREGUIN, EVAN BURROWS, ROBBIE CODY, CORY HANSON and LEE LANDEY. There’s a kind of return here, a haunting, the déjà vu you only take in through a curious nose. Your nose invites the world inside your skull. A familiar fragrance finds you when you thought you’d let a lover go, but it won’t linger like a lover, flickering away with the breeze toward a yawning future.
BEACH SLANG – Everything Matters But No One is Listening LP
Almost since BEACH SLANG came into being, bandleader JAMES ALEX has taken to performing his group’s heartfelt anthems as more intimate solo renditions. Appropriately dubbed “Quiet Slang,” these alternate reality versions of Beach Slang’s music have now simultaneously been stripped down and fleshed out in the studio to include piano and cello. The result is a collection of songs that peel away the layers of reverb and distortion to lay bare their starkly honest and emotional cores. LP pressed on 180-gram clear vinyl and housed in gold foil jackets. All formats include a download.