We have some awesome new releases that came in over the last week or two. Here’s just a few that we love:
TYPICAL GIRLS – VOL 3 & 4 LP
Emotional Response continue their quest to highlight the finest in current female fronted punk, post-punk, hardcore and indie. Following on from the two previous vibrant volumes of Typical Girls, Emotional Response was quickly presented with a wealth of staggeringly high quality material. Rather than sit on tracks, or exclude material that the world needed to hear, it was feverishly decided to release two new breath-taking volumes simultaneously (Volumes 3 & 4). Essential listening. Features tracks from C.H.E.W., SICK BAGS, ALICE BAG, DAUDYFLIN, SWANN DANGER, WARM BODIES, NATTERERS, RATA NEGRA, JUDY AND THE JERKS, MACHO BOYS, CROOKED BANGS, SCAREDY SNAKE, and more.
Vol 4 Features tracks from NEON, NO LOVE, FRENCH VANILLA, JANITOR SCUM AND THE SCUMS, COUTEAU LATEX, CHROMA, THE PRIMITIVES, REPLICA, CRUEL SUMMER, C-3’s, and more.
SIMPLY SAUCER – Cyborgs Revisited LP
Simply Saucer’s Cyborgs Revisited is an explosive time capsule from one of the great Canadian cult rock ‘n’ roll groups. Formed in Hamilton, Ontario, these sci-fried proto-punks created a sound fusing Hawkwind, The Kinks, Pink Fairies, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, and the omnipresent Velvet Underground. Originally recorded from 1974-1975, the album became a critically revered classic when it was finally unearthed in 1989 by Mole Records. Now, In The Red is proud to release the definitive, remastered double album edition featuring new liner notes by band biographer Jesse Locke, unseen images, and the complete live recordings available as a second album for the first time ever. As a means to escape his oppressive experiences while living in a practice space surrounded by biker gangs, singer and fretboard-shredding guitarist Edgar Breau wrote a set of songs filled with dystopian visions of the future, conjuring metalloid thugs, Eva Braun’s cyanide love affair, and “dancing the mutation.” With nimble-fingered bassist Kevin Christoff, clatterwauling drummer Neil DeMerchant, and electronic cosmonaut John “Ping Romany” LaPlante (Breau’s foster brother and answer to Pere Ubu’s Allen Ravenstine), his lyrics were launched into a sonic supernova. Their first recording session took place in the basement of brothers Bob and future superstar producer Daniel Lanois and was initially intended as a demo. Naturally, interest was non-existent for the sneering six-song set. It’s shocking how anyone could have overlooked “Bullet Proof Nothing,” an undeniably catchy VU-swiping anthem for the used, abused, and confused. Shelving these sessions, the band ascended into the future with 15-year-old drummer Tony Cutaia. This set off a series of gigs before the band touched down on the roof of a local shopping center! Following their 2006 reformation, Simply Saucer continue to tour and perform to ecstatic fans while being celebrated with a belated wave of releases, reissues, and documentation, including a rarities compilation, Jesse Locke’s book Heavy Metalloid Music: The Story of Simply Saucer (Eternal Cavalier Press), and an upcoming 7-inch. At long lost and at the top of this towering stack, In The Red’s expanded reissue of Cyborgs Revisited gives the Canadian cult classic the deluxe treatment it so greatly deserves.
ONCE AND FUTURE BAND – Brain LP
2017’s self-titled debut album by Once And Future Band landed like the birth of a starchild—fully formed, otherworldly, yet comfortingly familiar in its contours: Pink Floyd, ELO, Queen, Steely Dan, and Beach Boys rearranged into an unapologetically poignant pop moment, underpinned by four guys that could play their way out of a Faustian bargain. While waiting for whatever warlock’s potion they are brewing up next, they’ve pulled the maxi-EP Brain from the vaults for a moment in the sun. All of the expected mastery is at play here; enough chops to make a vegetarian’s mouth sweat, songs that tug at the heart while they play tricks on the mind, and with the steady hand of a of studio wizard sprinkling stardust around the edges just so.
ROYAL BRAT – Eyesore LP
ROYAL BRAT are a queer punk band from Minneapolis, sharing catchy meditations on empowerment, survival through trauma, accountability, and other important topics for artistic communities. Despite sharing only a demo cassette prior to their debut LP Eyesore, though they’ve toured the US extensively, the Minneapolis four-piece have carved out a home for themselves in punk’s diverse community of emerging voices. The band’s insightful, prescient lyrics, combined with crunchy riffs and melodic guitar work, makes a good case for being one of 2018’s most incisive and important bands. Royal Brat sound urgent. Vocalist ALEX UHRICH delivers poignant musings on queer and femme empowerment, the trials of gender dysmorphia and inequality, and the pains of breaking up. He has expressed that the band has been an outlet for the lived pain of assault. The songs on Eyesore provide a platform to speak on life as a survivor, and prevailing in the face of sexual assault. Bandmates SHANNON BOYER, CLARA SALYER and CONOR BURKE provide the guidance and structure for these pivotal narratives with songwriting that recalls Bratmobile, and The Breeders, as well as contemporaries Big Eyes, and Kitten Forever.
LAST GANG – Keep the Counting LP
THE LAST GANG hit the ground running with their Fat Wreck Chords debut 7″ “Sing For Your Supper” in December 2017. From the second that needle dropped, fans felt the infectious energy this LA threesome has become known for. The Last Gang’s follow-up full-length is unstoppable! Keep Them Counting gives fans a full serving of what was teased by their Fat Wreck debut 7”. The opening track “Sing for your Supper” rips right out of the gate with an infectious chorus that is an ear worm for the ages. That is only the beginning of what this debut album has to offer. The diversity of Keep Them Counting is what makes it an instant classic. The band gets the crowd into a frenzy with the hard-hitting “Blood Drunk” and “Nobody’s Prostitute,” then slow it down for heartfelt punky ballads “Karla” and “Secret Sounds,” while never losing sight of the ethos that make them what they are: straight forward punk rock, airtight songwriting, bouncing melodies, and blood curdling vocal lines that will make Joan Jett and Brody Dalle proud.
ANMLS – Self Titled LP
From an infected rat infested Chilean gutter, Slovenly Recordings, in conjunction with Algo Records, presents the debut LP from Santiago’s ANMLS—a crude combat booted kick to the temple in the grand tradition of confrontational units like Eskorbuto and Black Flag. These muchachos must have worn out copies of the entire Black Flag discography, because some tracks sound very much inspired by their early EPs, while other tracks have a darker & heavier Rollins-era sound. This self-titled LP is a 100% Spanish language gang-vox shot of ripping speed-garage-punk soundtrack music for a punk house toilet brawl that’ll rearrange your face for simply existing. Tough sounds for tougher times, born of a pack of rabid jackals disgusted with socio-political realities. ANMLS are ready to ruck!
AUSMUTEANTS / PUFF – Split 7″
PUFF, a very dirty and ugly Screamers but with guitar, a nasty Devo touch and a pinch of No Wave elements, sounding as authentic as can be this side of the 1970s. Oh, and there is even some German angst, which is no wonder, Puff is based in Berlin. Again in the late ’70s this time with the AUSMUTEANTS… Los Angeles sounds, Screamers (again), Nervous Gender and a fistful of New Bomb Turks, a bastard son called Lost Sounds or Reatards combining the best from before mentioned bands—with that extra Aussie weirdness!
BELL WITCH – Demo 2011 LP
Bell Witch’s Mirror Reaper is one of the best metal albums of 2017. A single monolithic track, it pays tribute to the band’s former drummer Adrian Guerra, who tragically passed away in 2016. The band initially made their presence known in the US doom scene with a well-received demo in 2011. At thirty-seven minutes, this recording is a massive statement of purpose which far-eclipsed the “demo” status implied by its name. It was recorded by Brandon Fitzsimons (Wormwood), the same engineer behind the band’s first effort, Longing. Demo 2011 showcases Bell Witch’s heavy-yet-minimalist sound now lauded as timeless, relevant and undeniably sorrowful. The Flenser is proud to unleash this new pressing of a classic moment in contemporary US doom with artwork by the band’s own Adrian Guerra (RIP). “Bell Witch turns funeral doom and its moribund focus into a beautiful hymn.” —Pitchfork “Bell Witch have an uncanny ability to make their metal feel ancient, spiritual, even liturgical.” —Tiny Mix Tapes
CONTROL TEST – Verdadero Criminal 7″
Upon first listen you can’t help but think to yourself “The Screamers en Español? Por favor y gracias!” which is not far from the truth. They have the same instrumentation, style and fire. The very definition of synth punk. You may recognize some of these players from bands like LYSOL, NUDES and KID CHROME, then again you may not. And that’s okay, you’re just bad at paying attention. If you’re a fan of the “KBD is short for keyboard” mentality then this is 100% for you. 400 copies of high quality black vinyl housed in unique hand stained heavyweight glue pocket sleeves. Recorded by CAPT. TRIPPS. Mastered by APRIL GOLDEN. Photo by GARRETT FISBECK. Layout by CHE HISE-GATTONE.
COWBOYS – Live at Tony’s Garage 7″
While touring the West coast in May 2017, Bloomington rock’n’roll heroes THE COWBOYS stopped for a one-off recording session at a friend’s garage in sunny Whittier, California. The result: an impressively tight and vibrant batch of tracks, brimming with crunchy, direct-to-tape production. Instead of letting this powerful session dwindle on the original cassette that it was recorded on, we’ve opted to press Live at Tony’s Garage to a proper destination format, 7″ vinyl at 45 RPM. The session kicks off with possibly the best recorded version of a Cowboys staple, “Mint Condition,” plus two more raw originals that were recently featured on their debut LP for Hozac. The session also features a roaring cover of the 1964 garage rock classic, “The Witch,” as originally performed by The Sonics. This perfect four track EP sits nicely between The Cowboys’ incredible string of studio recordings and the raw energy of their live performances. Live at Tony’s Garage has been remastered for vinyl by JOSH BONATI and includes a Cowboys sticker plus digital download code with an exclusive bonus track. 500 copies on black vinyl, housed in a foldover sleeve printed on textured Stipple stock.
COWBOYS – Volume 4 LP
At long last, a proper American pressing of the incredible Volume 4 cassette from Bloomington, Indiana’s hometown heroes, THE COWBOYS. By now, you might be familiar with the stripped down, yet intelligent and powerful rock’n’roll force of The Cowboys—perhaps from their recent full length on Hozac or from their earlier cassette output which was collected onto an LP by Lumpy Records. Volume 4 captures The Cowboys at a near-perfect intersection of their earlier, lo-fi moments of Gizmos-esque Midwestern punk snarl and the more tuneful, soul-spun moments of recent output. This definitive edition of Volume 4 reproduces the ten-song tracklisting of the original 2016 cassette edition released by fellow Bloomingtonian Kora Puckett (of Bugg, Laffing Gas, and Chud) on his Turd Wurld imprint. This definitive edition of Volume 4 has been cut at 45 RPM by Josh Bonati and includes a new insert with artwork from The Cowboys’ own Zack Worcel plus a digital download code. 500 copies on black vinyl including a 2″ square hype sticker. From the opening hook of “When She Came Back” (available on vinyl for the first time here, as well as the lead cut on side B, “Porridge”), The Cowboys showcase a songwriting knack and musical ability that is rarely achieved, nor captured so well in a studio setting. Keith Harman’s next-level vocal delivery leads the charge across the entire album, ranging from the strong, anthemic chants of “I Feel Therefore I Am” to the deep, melancholic closing moments of “Actors”. And what’s more? The musicianship across this entire album is every bit as impeccable—beginning with the forceful and driving rhythm section and continuing to the absolutely unbridled guitar playing and tone, the sum of which shapes the texture of the entire recording. A score of Bloomington-based guest musicians, including Durand Jones (leader of modern soul sensations, The Indications) and John Terrill (formerly of the early 80’s new wave group, The Dancing Cigarettes) only adds to the already searing mix. Altogether, The Cowboys have captured something truly unrivaled and exceptional on Volume 4—an album that speaks from a homespun, Midwestern vantage point and fires on all musical cylinders. The end result: ten absolutely classic sonic reductions of epic proportion.
GUIDED BY VOICES – Ogre’s Trumpet LP
Limited edition (1000 copies of each format) double album from a magical night in Asbury Park, New Jersey in August 2017. The incendiary new GBV line-up of Robert Pollard, Doug Gillard, Kevin March, Mark Shue and Bobby Bare Jr. plays songs from the 2017 albums How Do You Spell Heaven and August By Cake, along with a healthy dose of GBV classics and a cover of The Monkees to boot. Excellent sound recording and the band’s performance smokes all the GBV bootlegs.
PERVERTS AGAIN – Friday Night Light LP
Lace up your boots and get in line because PERVERTS AGAin are back with brand new marching orders. They brought punk’s most loveable mascot back for an 8-song study on judgemental video store clerks, sex offenders, high school football, and Billy Joel amongst other subjects. Perverts Again continue in the fine tradition of strange mutated Cleveland punk. Trudging, repetitive, sarcastic, and funny without being overly goofy. Dumb in the smartest imaginable way. Self-described as Eminem fronting CRUELSTER (one of their many other bands) and if that’s the case they are the best thing to happen to rap-rock since the Judgement Night Soundtrack and 100% TOTAL PUNK!
RETIREMENT – Self Titled 7″
What started as an experiment in home recording has blossomed into a full fledged tough garage hardcore ripper of a band. And yes they literally play in a garage. Harsh uninviting midwestern hardcore style spits of fury much in the vein of moderns like BIB or Q with a slight open-chords-garage-rock undercurrent to it. Calling back to Functional Blackouts or Tyrades, but seasoned with a little Throbbing Gristle / Industrial Records art class. No Pose. No pretense. A pure music group playing pure music. 300 copies on black vinyl housed in a heavy duty glue pocket sleeve with hand glued postcards on the front. A touching display.
SHARK TOYS – Labyrinths LP
“Whether you know it or not, Shark Toys are one of the best bands in LA…and they have been for quite some time. I think the Urinals would agree and now they can finally call them labelmates. Their first single came out back in 2009, but Labyrinths is a far more developed record than that or any of their subsequent releases. Gone are most of Danny Clodfelter’s former band members, but not because of some Mark E. Smith-type drama. The turnover is more likely due to nearly a decade passing and life happening. That said, this current line-up is by far the strongest. “Drummer Emanuel Farias and bass-man Bill Gray (formerly of The Mae Shi, Man’s Assassination Man, and a million other Smell bands) are one of the tightest rhythm sections in 21st century post-punk. They allow Clodfelter to do what he does best: thrash and wail all over his Fender six string. His angular guitar attack is well informed (by thousands of obscure punk and post-punk records) and executed (albeit after no more or less than three beers) and Gray and Farias hold it down so effectively, one might make the incorrect assumption that they’re playing sober. “This album at times reminds one of Weirdo Rippers-era No Age on Tyvek uppers. There’s an occasional sax skronk, piano plink-plunk, and the spare synth squiggle here and there, but more often than not it’s a batch of four-on-the-floor pogo-friendly numbers that will have even the most jaded message board lurkers rethinking what the Los Angeles underground has to offer. Shark Toys are proof-positive that the local scene is a hell of a lot deeper than the LA River.” —Lance Barresi / Permanent Records
NO AGE – Snares Like a Haircut LP
BACK IN STOCK!!! Received an 8.0 rating from Pitchfork. With the world around us bruised and bloodied with teeth already dug into the concrete curb, we find ourselves with the shadow of a large boot looming overhead. What better time for NO AGE? Remember, they are the ones who first brought you the hospital-bed-feel-good-anthem, “Get Hurt” (2007). They know how to ecstatically rage and power on thru pain, because what else are you gonna do? The future belongs to the cockroaches, and this record is made for the disparate band of misfits who 2017 couldn’t kill. Snares Like a Haircut sounds like the good shit, and smells like the buzzy burning off of an aura, the marine layer suddenly vanished, leaving a thin layer of smog over the songs, simmering sock gazing tunes, revved and displacing enormous amounts of sound soil. This is pure driving music, for the bus racer and the car driver, with too many signs, bells and little lites flashing, ticking away. This is a record for the Foothill and the Valley, with a chemical sunset flowering at the end of every day. It’s a feeling made by driving music for driving music. Recorded in a few days and mixed forever, Snares Like a Haircut finds No Age in full on mode, because there was nothing else to do but go full on. In the songs inside the songs, the thumpy/thwappy drums, the desperately voiced paens to determination, the churning and the stinging-but-shiny fuck-it built into the structure, a promise from the 1980s echoes once again across today, for the undetermined in-between generation reality seekers.