Archive for the ‘2010s’ Category

Kabul Golf Club

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Le Bal Du Rat Mort EP
Uproar for Veneration, 2012

It’s taken about a year for the five tracks on this deranged EP to saturate into my thick skull, and I’m grateful to finally make some sense of it. While this Belgian band’s own points of reference make sense (Dillinger Escape Plan, Jesus Lizard, Blood Brothers) their sound twists that source material into frenzied shards of raging hardcore served up in obsessively measured chunks that takes their sound into uncharted territory. Their balance of warbling, frayed-at-the-edges guitar and electronics to forcefully calculated, angular song structures make this record a beast sounding something like The Locust playing TFUL 282 covers of Coalesce songs. It’s a spastic, tendon-ripping good time that’s a few notches above the standard issue hardcore record. A new EP is in the works, so get acquainted with KGC before they unleash the next level of hardcore.

Kabul Golf Club – “Demon Days” (3.9mb)

Visit the Kabul Golf Club website
Buy Le Bal Du Rat Mort at iTunes

Magic Shadows

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Sunburned Mind 7″
Magic Shadows, 2013

There’s no better place than Canada these days to find dense, shimmering punked out psychedelia. Like Vancouver’s Sex Church, Hamilton’s Magic Shadows deal in thick noisy layers of primitive minor chord stomp that reveals more texture and swagger with every listen. Magic Shadows’ brand of racket packs an excellent detached vibe on this debut single, blasting out Stoogian riffs through a tranced out Velvets haze. Pick up the vinyl edition of 300 soon and enjoy one of 2013′s best singles thus far…


Magic Shadows on Bandcamp
Magic Shadows on Facebook



Monday, July 30th, 2012

Beloved Dean of Magic LP
Foolproof Projects

It’s difficult to pinpoint what makes some improvisational groups click while others fall flat. How can you describe that transcendent, sweaty, intense wave that sweeps you away as a song fires on all cylinders, keeping your undivided attention, moving beyond music into pure experience. This sprawling LP from Brighton UK’s Kellar, the first of 3 releases so far this year including March’s Smokescreen EP and the upcoming August release Cell Divides, is the definition of great improv noise rock. While the concept of improv noise rock is rightfully suspect — most groups of this ilk end up being little more than an exercise in endurance — Kellar demonstrates an uncanny knack for whipping up a magical racket with enough texture and volume to bloom new growth from the seeds planted by groups like Sonic Youth and Skullflower. The tracks on Beloved Dean of Magic are loose and free, unstructured enough to remain fresh after multiple spins, yet driven and forceful enough to demand your attention. It’s a deliriously stunning debut from one of 2012′s best new bands.


Kellar on Bandcamp

Stream Kellar’s Beloved Dean of Magic

Slaves (UK)

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

2012 Demos

With their latest demo track “White Knuckle Ride” posted just over a week ago, it’s official that the Kent duo known as Slaves will be stomping their way into the upper volumes of the garage punk lexicon. As proof, check out these two snarling rave ups served up Billy Childish-on-crank-style with a raw edge that pushes them well past the mundane. The spacious fidelity conjured up by the sparseness of their drum-guitar-voice setup is perfectly packed to deliver a forceful punch that hits as hard as any quartet of amplified dimwits. Check out these two tracks and be sure to keep tabs on them through their SoundCloud page.


Slaves (UK) – “Cease Fire”
Slaves (UK) – “Wishing Well”


Slaves (UK) on SoundCloud

Crimson Scarlet

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Sanctuary 7″
Cool Summer Records, 2011

It’s been a while since a decent wave of goth-tinged punk has circulated, so this succulent swipe of darkwave punk from Santa Barbara was a welcome surprise. While cheesy, costumed goth groups are as common and dull as your local Hot Topic, it’s a rare treat to find groups or scenes that really do it well and avoid being a formulaic, melodramatic joke. The amazing stuff coming out of the Bay Area at the turn of the century comes to mind, exemplified by bands like the Phantom Limbs, The Vanishing, Sixteens, and Black Ice. They had theatrics, but it wasn’t their focus and there was an earnestness to what they did that made their music so compelling. Most of all, they never veered into the comicbook tones of horror punk, which certainly isn’t a bad thing — just not as rare or powerful. Crimson Scarlet’s music eschews the synthpunk of those scenes and pulls its inspiration from the deeper goth veins of Siouxsie & The Banshees and mixes it with punch of SoCal deathpunk like TSOL and 45 Grave, bringing a straightfaced and sincere take on this form into a contemporary setting. You can check out the two killer tracks on this 7″ on their Bandcamp page or pickup the beautifully packaged crimson scarlet-colored vinyl from Cool Summer Records.


Crimson Scarlet on Bandcamp
Buy Sanctuary at Cool Summer Records

Watch It Sparkle

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Rocket Surgery CD
Like A Shooting Star, 2011

I had the good fortune of stumbling upon this raucous Seattle quartet after they were bumped into an opening slot of a Human Eye show in Lawrence last March. Their live show kicked ass, culminating with singer Justin scooting across the floor on his back, recklessly strumming his guitar, right into the handful of lucky bystanders subjected to their snappy mod-style garage punk. If you don’t find your head bobbing or your body outright flailing to their Billy Childish/Modern Lovers-inspired trash rock, than you’re about as useless as a limp dick on prom night. Lucky for you, their sound has been pressed onto a killer 7″ and this 10-song CD, so you can experience the Sparkle any damn time you please. I find the need to Sparkle every couple of days.


Watch It Sparkle on MySpace
Watch It Sparkle on Bandcamp
Video for “Your Heart Will Throb Hard”

Police Teeth

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Awesomer Than The Devil LP
Latest Flame Records, 2011

There should be a name for the genre of bands that play this type of punchy post-hardcore punk rock whatever, and this Seattle band’s third album should be considered one of the better examples of said genre. Witty song titles, razor tight playing and a willingness to playfully fuck with the conventions of this genre’s ancestry define this undefined genre. Police Teeth go from a searing lead track “Send More Cops” (which I’m hoping is an excellent reference to Return of the Living Dead) straight into a couple Superchunk-y anthems and lots of well-placed sonic elements like the clanging Sonic Youth guitar in “Hatchet Wound City” and some unexpected organ hits in “Public Defender.” And one of my favorite tracks so far this year is “Digital Snakes” which comes along and totally rips like the finest Trans Megetti track. You can hear bits of Bluetip, Fugazi, Guzzard, These Arms Are Snakes and a slew of other excellent ’90s bands — as well as some 2000s-style screamo — within the 45 minute runtime of this disc. But those are just touchpoints. Police Teeth synthesize these influences and create a sound all their own instead of merely aping the past. If there’s ever a good term adopted for the style of music Police Teeth play, this will one day be considered a landmark LP of that style. Watch for it on limited pink vinyl coming in April.


Police Teeth – “Summertime Bruise”
Police Teeth – “Rock & Roll Is A Pyramid Scheme (Parts 1 & 2)”


Latest Flame Records
Police Teeth on Bandcamp

Subtle Turnhips

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Terd LP
Hozac, 2010

Apparently the Turnhips have been around for a while — their first ragtag LP came out in 2002 — why the fuck hadn’t I heard of them? They’ve got a solid Hozac 7″ from 2008 and now this raging LP which begs to be blasted continuously at all hours of the day. Totally worth your time if you’re a devotee of the type of cranked tunes found on early Swell Maps records, with crazed singshouts over loose, blaring riffs and sloppy-but-solid beats. Although the Turnhips are a bit meaner, kinda like what you’d hear if you starved the Swell Maps for a week and then invited them to play a set of Brainbombs covers at your Sunday afternoon picnic. Brash and obnoxious, but completely endearing to coarsened ear holes. The songs on this album have a little meat to them than their early records, as shown with the start/stop song structure of “Sonic Tooth” and “Comment” where all elements blast off and then quickly fall apart, creating elastic time signatures that are far more interesting than your typical 4/4 garage banger. And the song “Two Two” is essentially a remake of “Files” from their first LP that transforms it from a decent but forgettable tune into a punchy jam from the gut with layered, mantra-like vocal effects and weirdness. Despite the ugly-ass cover art, you’re gonna want this Terd.


Subtle Turnhips on MySpace
Hozac Records


Subtle Turnhips Internet Album

Television Spaceman

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Rocket Trash CD
Rock n Roll Monkey, 2010

Here’s an interesting variant of the bedroom synth-punk explosion that’s a vivid pastiche of genres bent into a wide variety of sonic textures and catchy hooks. While Blank Dogs‘ music evokes a chilly ’80s vibe and Gary War‘s lush psych pop has elements of ’70s AM gold harmony, TV Spaceman pulls from ’50s sci-fi trash to ’60s pop guitar harmonies to ’80s canned beats to ’90 indie jangle and beyond. Without burying the melodic songs in layers of effects, TV Spaceman has crafted a solid debut that’s full of songwriting flourishes that reveal themselves with an attentive listen. While the recording at times feels a little sparse, songs like “Love Is Chemical” roll like a charming Of Montreal gem and the title track “Rocket Trash” plays to this sparseness with a staccato new wave riff that’s so snappy that you can’t help but convulse in a micro pogo dance. Like Cold Crank and Rock ‘n’ Roll Monkey & The Robots, the latest project from Craig Campbell promises to join the annals of quality cult budget rock.


Television Spaceman on MySpace

AmRep 25

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

It goes without saying that the Amphetamine Reptile label weighs fairly heavily into this blog. The word ‘NOISE’ appears in all caps behind its logo for fuck’s sake, and since 1985, the label has been releasing burly, weird, and most of all NOISY records that have become a genre in itself — although I still don’t think the oft-mentioned “AmRep sound” is a good descriptor of music when you consider the wild diversity of bands that found a home on the legendary Twin Cities label. This weekend the label celebrates its 25-year anniversary with a huge bash in Minneapolis, resurrecting a number of its flagship bands (God Bullies, Vaz, Hammerhead, The Thrown Ups, Boss Hog) while bringing some currently active bands to the party (Today is the Day, Gay Witch Abortion, White Drugs, and the almighty Melvins) to blowout eardrums and deliver a rumbling suckerpunch to the gut of tepid rock and roll. For those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to attend the festivities, Tom Hazelmyer’s been kind enough to serve up a taste of the ultra-limited fare available with a CD compilation of the show-only record releases. I’m happy to say that the mostly dormant label is true to form with this compilation, offering up some quality tracks from AmRep legends and newcomers alike. The CD even includes Vol. 12 of the ace Dope, Guns and Fucking in the Streets compilation series, with amazing new tracks by the God Bullies, Boss Hog, Vaz, and the Thrown Ups, plus solid, rocking tracks by Gay Witch Abortion and White Drugs. It matches the quality of the legendary early volumes of the series, which says a lot since Hazelmyer was always able to coax all-killer material from bands featured in the series without a single throwaway track in twelve fucking volumes. Seriously, how many compilations can you say that about? It’s rare to find a comp without at least one stinker. And at $2 ($5 with shipping) you’re probably not gonna find a better use of your time and money.


Buy the “AmRep 25th Anniversary Non-Collector Scum” compilation
The Amphetamine Reptile Discography
AmRep 25th Anniversary Article at Noise Creep