We got in a ton of great new records this last week. Here’s a few that we really love!
TY SEGALL – Fudge Sandwich LP
(*Available in Limited Yellow vinyl)
Take a tour through Ty Segall’s musical psyche with his new solo album, Fudge Sandwich, a collection of Segall’s take on eleven songs that were originally done by other people. These aren’t just cover versions. Cover versions happen at weddings and high school band battles. The songs here are what happens when someone loves a song so much, they need to get inside it and let it propagate and transform into what it would have been if they had actually written it. Equal parts reverence and reimagination, this album shows Segall inhabiting the world of a song’s intent, filtering it through the muse that drove this year’s exceptional Freedom’s Goblin. Cluttered, passionate and inspired, the songs are barely recognizable, irresistible and by album’s end, present a cohesive collection that stands proudly alongside the best of Segall’s considerable output.
SUPER UNISON – Stella LP
Oakland, CA, trio Super Unison features Meghan O’Neil (formerly of Punch) on bass and vocals, Kevin DeFranco on guitar, and Justin
Renninger (formerly of Snowing) on drums. Their new album, “Stella,” was recorded by Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Jawbreaker), produced by Don Devore (Ink & Dagger), and mastered by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker). Though they tackle dark and personal subject matter, they ultimately find a light that cuts through the dark, and a way to get through the loss and loneliness we all face. (Death Wish Records #205)
EXIT GROUP – Self Titled LP
From the dank warehouse recesses that brought us Useless Eaters and Dry Erase, Castle Face introduces Exit Group—sharply futuristic post-punk with a pissed-off lean, antisocial lyrics spit over an abnormally locked-in guitar / bass / drums triangle, wound up tighter than a Swiss watch. Post-everything sample tweakery and chrome-dipped guitar tonality lend a darkly robotic sheen, abraded riffs pop up everywhere but where you think they should be, clanging and clanking inhumanly around elaborate Rube Goldberg patterns, tessellating under flickering municipal neon. Adverse Habitat is bone-dry furious, turning on a dime just to slap the drink out of your hand.
SICK THOUGHTS – Self Titled LP
If you don’t know Sick Thoughts, you don’t know punk. The band is the mighty Drew Owen. Baltimore born and bred, he then up and moved to the swamps of New Orleans while still a teenager. The general consensus was he’d be another casualty of The Big Easy decadence, and would soon be seen hitting up tourists for money on Bourbon Street with a dog on a rope. But somehow he got hooked up with the best (worst?) folks in the city and kept making great music. That, and the fact that forty-ounce bottles just bounce off his head, have kept him alive. Rock and roll romance and the promise of socialized health care sent him to the (imaginary?) home of Killed By Death punk, Helsinki, Finland. Which makes perfect sense—this album is like the perfect KBD record, full of buzzsaw guitars, machine gun drums and hooks that hit like a tire iron. Owen’s brand of aural early-20s angst, with doses of Zero Boys, Reatards, and early Crüe, mixed with the stench of the streets, has never sounded better. This album clearly puts Sick Thoughts on top of the punk heap. It’s Owen’s world—get in it!
SORE POINTS – Self Titled LP
“The fastest band on six legs.” This an accurate description of Vancouver’s Sore Points, whose rhythm section was phoenixed from the ashes of Nervous Talk after they decided that the drummer for local post punk act, Spectres, would look good playing guitar. They didn’t care in the slightest that he had barely started playing six strings, because mastering Ramones-esque guitar playing quickly was simple with people of like-minded prowess. It helped that he fit the bill— all members stand over six feet tall. Fashion over function works for most bands but there was something special right from the start with this three-piece. This is punk rock based in it’s classic formation, with a modern edge to it like The Carbonas. Relentless, Rocket To Russia-buzzsaw at an amphetamine pace with shouted, frantic vocals pushed over top of a hurricane distortion. Just enough bent-note leads to compliment the overall package without taking away any of the impact. The band has opted for cleaner production on this new full length, which succeeds in showing just how tight they’ve become without stripping the grit from their nails or the blood from their pickguards. Twelve songs in twenty minutes is not some exceptional feat for modern punk. But when the songs ring with the same hooks and aggression that made Dangerhouse the best label in America, well then—it’s worth paying attention.
RATA NEGRA – Justicia Cosmica LP
Less than a year and a half after their debut RATA NEGRA from Madrid release their sophomore album. Made up of members from JUANITA Y LOS FEOS and LA URSS this trio have a strong work ethic and deal in super catchy and upbeat punk. On Justicia Cosmica, RATA NEGRA have upped the pop element in the songs and the production is stronger and chunky, without losing any of the raw elements. Again the whole sound is immersed in the darker and morbid side of post punk but mixed with the uptempo nature and tunes and of La’s X and Gorilla Angreb. Like on their debut, it’s love at first listen. Justicia Cosmica was recorded and produced by the legendary Paco Loco and as in previous releases the sleeve was designed by the band’s guitarist Fa Feo who also took care of the lyric insert. (La Vida Es Un Mus #179)
SIAL – Binasa 7”
Following up on their fantastic 7-track 12” from last year, Singapore’s SIAL is back with Binasa, a new 6-track 7″ with a Malay title that translates to ‘Perish’. Binasa sees the band pushing their cacophony of urgent and raw hardcore punk to the red. It takes cues from the likes of COMES, CONFUSE or LEBENDEN TOTEN but makes sure their ferocious sound and message doesn’t get lost in the noise. Their new release is a feast of ripping buzzsaw guitar, ferocious drumming and a vocalist spitting hate towards a racist, classist society that doesn’t protect the interests of the marginalised. Recording this time around was done in their own collective studio space, Project 416 with Mastering done by Will Killingsworth and cover artwork by their drummer Izzad. (La Vida Es Un Mus #183)
ULTRA – Alta Montana LP
Barcelona’s ULTRA finally found time to record their LP in between forced exiles, mountain retreats and relentless touring. Leaving behind a whole lotto touring and two EPs filled to the rim with short burst of hardcore punk energy, they managed to stay still long enough to compose and record their debut LP. This time around you can see they have had space, maybe even mental space, to put together an extremely well balanced and produced record. The wild riffing is still there so is the seamless rhythm section backing one of the most energetic voices in current hardcore punk. Perhaps the most noticeable changes are the delay vocals and the electronic segments and intros joining the 11 tracks together. Don’t worry, ULTRA is still an anti-authoritarian riff powerhouse but this time they are proving that you can keep one foot firmly pressed in the political hardcore scene while breaking free of music expectations. Released to coincide with ULTRA’s first Japanese/Seoul tour, Alta Montaña comes housed in a 350 gsm board sleeve, designed by the band using location pictures by bass player David G. and singer Ian. Laid out by grumpy extraordinary Daniel Frutos who doubled as studio engineer during the recording at La Cova Studio in Barcelona. Finally, it was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. (La Vida Es Un Mus #182)
CONSTANT MONGREL – Living In Excellence LP
Formed in 2009 Constant Mongrel begun as a two piece (Tom Ridgewell and Hugh Young) creating immediate and at times improvised songs in an old dishevelled laundry in inner city Melbourne. Inspired by the more flamboyant side of protopunk such as Electric Eels and Chrome, over the next few years the band added members Amy Hill (bass) and Andrew Murray (guitar) building upon their intense sound and developing a unique humour. Consisting of members from Terry, Woollen Kits, Nun and Taco Leg, Constant Mongrel has several previous releases on RIP Society Records and Siltbreeze Records.After three years since their last release Constant Mongrel have developed a diverse collection of songs gradually over time. Recorded in the summer of 2017 in a studio, produced by Tom Hardisty and Mastered by Mikey Young, ‘Living In Excellence’ brings a more formed sound and aesthetic with striking riffs and catchy rolling bass over an often unhinged, vibrant rhythm section. Added for this on particular tracks is a fried, effected saxophone with warm synths and analogue sounds added to enhance the LP’s thoughtful textures. The new record has a sharper British Post Punk expression reminiscent of the usual suspects in Wire, Blitz, The Mob, Siekiera and The Fall, while also exploring elements found outside of the genre from Les Rallizes Dénudés to Youth Crew Hardcore to Country music and beyond, there’s greater depth and sensibility found amongst the angst. (La Vida Es Un Mus #180)
SUBDUED – 4 Track E.P. 7”
Shaking you in and out of misery, Subdued is back. The hardened second release by London’s Subdued throttles gasps of brickwall torture in and amongst the poison flora of spoken word which will legitimately make a mother cry. It nods to the impassable corners of Celtic Frost and the broken necks of enthusiastic Amebix fans, all with a listless stare into the white void of repetitive oblivion. The record comes in a wraparound sleeve with collaborative art between drummer Nicky Rat and singer Jack Sabbath. (La Vida Es Un Mus #177)
RAT CAGE – Blood On Your Boots 7”
The Ratman is back with yet another dose of first-calibre hardcore. Taking cues from the golden age of International hardcore punk circa 83 and with eyes fixed on the late TOTALITÄR, this madman manages to write and record four new anthems, which follow the trail of destruction left by his first EP last year. Do not expect many changes, there is the same fixation with HEADCLEANERS, DISARM and Swedish Käng. The same political content than their previous output, a fresh and sharp look at contemporary world affairs somehow missed in current punk. Blood on Your Boots was written and performed by Bryan Suddaby, and recorded and mixed by J. Fidler. Like previous releases it comes housed in a pocket sleeve designed by Mylo “Mangel” Oxlo and includes a lyric insert. (La Vida Es Un Mus #176)
BRAINOIL – Singularity To Extinction LP/CD
Singularity To Extinction, the new full-length from Oakland sludge bringers BRAINOIL — featuring within its ranks current and past members of Deathgrave, Graves At Sea, Stormcrow, Destroy, and Grimple, among others. Their first output since 2011’s punishing Death Of This Dry Season full-length, the long-anticipated Singularity To Extinction was captured at Earhammer Studios by bassist/vocalist Greg Wilkinson, mastered at Audisiege by Brad Boatright (Tragedy, Necrot), and offers up seven ravenous hymns of gnarly audio antagonism all swathed in the apocalyptic cover art of John Santos (Torche, Neurosis). Infusing their signature sludge with unorthodox time signatures, Singularity To Extinction stands as BRAINOIL’s fastest, crustiest, and most monolithic offering to date. Formed 20 years ago, BRAINOIL exemplifies what sludge and doom meant during its original creation —misanthropic, hateful, unrelenting and, without fail, totally and completely brutal. Fans of Eyehategod, Dystopia, Bolt Thrower take heed. LP house in a mirror board foil wrapped jacket, on colored vinyl and includes download card. Jewel case CD with booklet. (Tank Crimes Records #113)
BOOTLICKER – Who Do You Serve? 7”
Second 7” of catchy DIS-ish hardcore jabs from the grime-tasing British Columbians of BOOTLICKER. The UK82-meets-DISCHARGE-meets-TOT
TERRORIST – American Today 7”
Seemingly governed by the fact of Totalitar and Brainbombs sharing a principal songwriter, Terrorist’s debut EP “American Today” infuses driving hooks with militaristic UK82 vocals and blazing wah-heavy guitar. Stark, fierce drumming propels the twin guitars between bluesy swagger and tough, pentatonic hardcore. As the riffs builds momentum through repetition, the guitar leads and frantic, shouted vocals push each song into the red. Urgent, psychedelic anarcho-punk: imagine Icons of Filth on acid. Featuring members of L.O.T.I.O.N., La Misma, Nandas, Infernoh, and Twisted Thing. (Toxic State Records #33)
FEEDERZ – WWHD: What Would Hitler Do? 7″
FEEDERZ exist to point out options. Options for the listener outside of typical conformist viewpoints. Things like: Take what you want, do you what you will, and rock the fuck out. WWHD: What Would Hitler Do? is the next great FEEDERZ record and it was recorded in Phoenix in January 2017. The two song 7″ EP features brand new material from Frank Discussion, DH Peligro, and Clear Bob. Stay tuned for a full-length FEEDERZ record later this year. (Slope Records #28)