You get an instant high from the runaway riffarama of ‘Mouthful Of Snakes’ and in an instant the vibrant uptempo post-punk hits you square between the eyes coming on like Hot Snakes.  The guitars sound fantastic from the off and there is no relenting as ‘Dark Thoughts’ slam dances into your speakers.

This German band is definitely influenced by those Californian Rocket from the crypt boys but they have their unique DNA in this as well.

Ten tracks that never outstay their welcome and by the sounds of it weren’t labored over in the studio either which has helped maintain the live feel and the vibrancy of the recordings. There is an air of familiarity here and songs like ‘Face Up To The Mist’ sound familiar. However, its got a tonne of energy and the way the year is heading its the closest your gonna get to pogoing on the spot in front of your stereo and with the energy level you’ll require to keep up it’ll be some workout. 

‘7070s’ is a royal banger with its hypnotic screaming guitar break its a real contender and, trust me at volume sounds fantastic.  You’ll be punching the air before you’ve finished the first chorus of “7070s”.  Bands like Zero Zeroes must be chomping at the bit to get out there and blast these out in some sweaty club and I’m sure that when the time is right the gang vocal sing-along of ‘Le Fay’ will be like the best night out in an age.

There is also a healthy dose of Ramones in songs like ‘Three Foxes’ which is never a bad thing either. The floor tom gets a good seeing to on ‘Tamam Shud’.  To be fair this is an excellent album full to bursting with decent songs and another quality Drunken Sailor Record to help you through the pandemic.  What else are you going to spend your money on?  Dive in!

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Author: Dom Daley

Debut album from Clevelands Knowso sees the punks dish up a record that’s spiky in your face full of challenging punk where they’ve been influenced by the likes of Fugazi, No means No, Devo Black Flag and other such luminaries of the US scene.

Take second track in ‘Chosen Sun’ and its complex time changes it’s not a sloppy three-chord smash it out that’s for sure. Lyrics that mean something and bass lines that poke and jar at the listener juping out from the verses and poking rather than swinging punches.

Cuts like ‘Calamine’ is a great hight end bass-thumping, jarring and slicing that slashes like Devo if they were full of fury.

They use tapes and try to fuck with the listeners head with ‘Wrong Calculator’ being a fitting example. They then get a bit funky with the jazzy ‘Peaceful & Extinct’ as they throw in some serious time changes and keep a tight ship on those changes whilst throwing in everything including the kitchen sink into the chaos. This record is like a Heston Bloomenthal creation what you see on the outside isn’t necessarily what flavour is on the inside once you take a bite. ‘Digital God’ is a good example.

Taking the ten tracks in one sitting is at time punishing and I found myself drifting mentally maybe you have to physically prepare like an athlete and this isn’t a record you can enjoy cold without warming up.  Maybe small bursts to begin with before building up to a full-on takedown of Knowso. I guess it was always there to fuck with you and they do that and the bass is an audio assault for sure constantly jabbing a punching your ears.  Ajit punks need only apply, is there a genre for Math punk yet? Its alternative I know that much.

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Author: Dom Daley

Think the Ramones ‘Wart Hog’ and the DK’s and you won’t stumble far from what Chain Whip are all about.  It’s fast it’s caustic and abrasive, oh, and its loud, noisy and fuckin’ pissed like a Bad Sam record and as punk rock should sound when you’re surrounded by fascist Right-wing governments,  and sheeple who have tunnel vision and only give two fucks about themselves and would happily climb over the people they consider their social underclass or lefties to get to their next fad or to fill their own pockets and out of that comes bands like Chain Whip.  There are no laughing matters here no amusing quips no sarcastic poking fun at the other lot but its ok to feel like this and it’s ok when a band shines a light into the dark corners of mankind and soundtrack it with a powerful racket, well, chain whip are that band and they’ve shone the light and punched a wall.  ‘Turner Street Ghost Motel’ did that to me it’s lie bloodletting to get to the other side of all the shit that’s wrong with the world you have to keep your eyes wide open.

Hailing from the Canadian city of Vancouver and comprising members of Fashionism, Corner Boys and more, Chain Whip doesn’t so much sound ‘in thrall’ to the sounds of 1980s hardcore punk as ‘completely inhabited by the spirit’ of it, in the best way possible. They snarl, they holler, and they do it all in under twenty minutes! The subjects ranging from half-baked cultural commentators to not wanting to live in a fucked-up world (say it three times: this makes sense). This is hardcore as in ‘the snottiest rock’n’roll imaginable’; no shitty metal involved no sir this is as my learned friend says “Punk As Fuck”.

‘Negative Justice’ is old school and says all it needs to in a shade over sixty seconds. Tight as fuck as they thrash and scream into the frantic ‘Black Beauty’.  ‘Code White’ doesn’t so much carry the album home tired it puts a rocket under itself and sets it ablaze.  what a fuckin’ rush that was I feel alive and whilst anger is an energy Chain Whip harness it and take it out on those poor instruments now get the fuck out of here and check this out and always remember to turn it up.

Buy ’14 Lashes’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

Those Dirtbag republic rockers have unleashed a brand new slice of Rock and Rolla for your listening pleasure  Check out ‘Pandemic Blues’.  It was all recorded remotely and mixed professionally by Ear Art Music Studios. We hope you like it as much as we do.

You can donate directly to the bands campaign to help the foodbank in Vancouver – https://my.ugm.ca/PandemicBlues

The brand new video taken from the forthcoming album from Scandi glam rockers Plastic Tears.

Finally how about this little blast of sunshine from Goldie Dawn

Debut LP from The Mark Vodka Group oh you know those guys from Nova Scotia, Canada. Well, it’s the place to be and the best band there are called The Mark Vodka Group, that’s a fact I’ve not seen disputed and they include members of the Booji Boys? Their 2019 opus ‘Tube Reducer’ was reviewed on these very pages last year. This however is a different beast altogether as ‘I Wanna Piss In The Face Of The World’ kicks things offs we strap ourselves in for a rocket ride of punk rock that raw, rapid and reckless.  It’s taking no prisoners as it rattles through the catchy fast-paced opener.

This is different from the Boojis, of course. While they bury hooks in clouds of distortion, the Mark Vodka Group go for a more accessible sound, Sure its still ‘lo-fi’ and very much DIY. They’ve had their sound described like “a bare-bones Descendants at their most irritably bratty, stealing the Oblivians’ homework and doodling stupid faces all over the most insightful parts”. I wouldn’t dispute that.  ‘Goon’ is fash and sharp and to the point, it sounds dumb and full of fun as it races to the finish line, Punk as fuck one might say.

It might be quick but its tuneful and ‘Boy (I’m Allergic To You)’ has a tip of the hat to the kings of melodic punk-pop Buzzcocks.  It’s not the only time the homage to the Buzzcocks is aired on this record either ‘Everybody’s Punk Now’, which also boasts a killer Buzzcocks homage. Truth be told, Homages seem like a good idea as ‘You’ve Got To Split’ tips the cap to the Ramones.  That’s two greats being aped so you know where these guys are coming from right? Right! Even the song titles give a hint ‘Now I Wanna Be A Bad Boy’ they’ve even got a tune for big-time Charlies and they spit out contempt on ‘Big Time Rocker’ and throw in a suitably smart solo to ram their point home even if they are playing to the converted. 

‘Touch Of Grey’ reminds me of the great Pete Perrett and his only ones with its gentler less confrontational strummings. Which only leaves ‘Mark’s Blues’ laments at the album’s close, even when the world turns to shit, there’s always booze: “The drinking hasn’t let me down yet.” I guess Mark Vodka isn’t just a random name. This is a really good record, in a time when new bands are thin on the ground especially ones who can pick up the torch and run with it so raise a glass to Mark Vodka Group. 

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Author: Dom Daley

Ditches, from outta Stockholm Sweden which is already a good start seeing as the country has always thrown up great garage punk rock n roll bands from the Nomads to Hellacopters to the Hives and many many more well, Ditches picked up the baton and seem to be running away with it.  If you were to cut em through the middle they’d have a core of Buzzcocks melodies with some bubblegum holding it together via some pretty nifty power-pop whilst heading through the backstreets after dark wearing skinny jeans and sneakers they only stop to smoke a cigarette and pogo before they get back to it.

The melodies come thick and fast with an emphasis on the fast. Opener ‘Out Of This’ sets the pace and the tone and that Shelley melody blueprint is evident on ‘Get Away’. For a debut LP, they are right on the money with leather jackets with the collar turned up these snotty oiks have to know that they can pen some top brain candy that gets in and settles for a while making you feel great inside with that power pop punk rock glow of satisfaction.

The production is bright without glossing over the rough edges, ‘Stitch Me Up’ being a great example.  Cool chorus and a real sugar rush of a tune. With eleven songs sticking to the formula its a great debut and with all the promise of another top turn hailing from Sweden in 2020 is exactly what we need another generation of punks coming through re-energising a scene and really appreciating what it takes to write great music. Its like hearing stuff like the Undertones again but from a different time totally – I bet these songs are great live n loud in some sweaty dive bar where you can really lock into the rapid beat and chiming guitars.  they seem to know exactly what they’re good at and stick to it well. not a bad track amongst the eleven on offer.  Let’s hear it for Ditches more peaks than troughs.

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Author: Dom Daley

Erik Nervous is a new one on me as are the Beta Blockers but they’ve joined forces for this self-titled album.

‘Violent Dreams’, Is first out of the traps with its angular punk rock borrowing from the USA wave of punks like Minutemen and maybe a little Devo with something that’s not a million miles away from Tubeway Army and the angular early Buzzcocks.

‘Gravure’ is more of the same it’s intense and sparse but well-produced and not at all tinny sounding but full fat or should that be full phat (as the kids would say)

But it’s not at all one-dimensional dum punk that people might expect on hearing the “hanging on by a thread” ‘Richard’ with its basic one-note guitar breaks and thumping bass line. As the Bontempi is plugged in and early Human League gets exercised on ‘Blasted Heath’.

It all goes a lot Devo meets Kraftwerk on ‘Want To Not Wanna’ the vocals get treated and the sampler goes into overdrive before the distorted guitars go off-piste on this captivation and interesting midway point.

 

It’s not a safe record by any means there are challenges for the listener as Erik leads the players through some difficult runs both high and low. Titles make me giggle like a school kid as the Joy Division inspired ‘(I’ve Got A) Desklamp For A Hand’ is up next.  what inspired the title? God only knows but it doesn’t envoke lampshades or missing limbs. You crazy kids…Treat the record as something of a voyage of discovery some bits will stand out whilst others don’t quite work  I’ll let you decide which is which but it’s well worth checking out.

‘No Chorus’ strays into Fall territory whilst ‘Make Up To Break Up’ is more straight forward punk rock. ‘Horseshit’ and ‘Stateline’ are both worthy slices of new wave punk rock and are really well delivered. Hop onboard kids – Erik and The Beta Blockers offer an alternative to punk rock and twist it out of shape using the past to progress to the future.  Another great release from Drunken Sailor Records one that shouldn’t make anyone Nervous except Erik that is.  Go check it out.

Punk Rock made by people with incredibly short attention spans make a record crazy how Jake Robertson finds the time because as well as being Alien Nosejob he is in about a bazillion other bands at the same time.

You’d think Jake Robertson would already have his hands full playing in the likes of Ausmuteants, Leather Towel, School Damage, Drug Sweat et al. But no, evidently there’s always time for one more.  Alien Nose Job’s (best not to ask what inspired that band name) music is inspired by the likes of Devo and a lot of early post-punk meets indie pop and other lo-fi offerings the range of influences is spectacular from the Ramones to Depeche Mode I kid you not.

There’s soul-pop, sci-fi slop-punk, straight-up college rock balladry and a whole lot in between. Surprisingly ‘Suddenly Everything is Twice as Loud’ is a record that flows really well. It’s rough as fuck and fits in with the Devo Lo-Fi thang. Sure, the use of cheap drum machines and guitars that sound like the strings are as old as the guy playing them but that’s all part of the charm these songs could unravel in an instant but of course, that’s the skill – they won’t.

‘Rainbow Road’ is pure pop with a soppy melody but its addictive with open chords strumming on an electric guitar and as soon as the solo comes in the song fades and it’s gone. The to follow on ‘Black Sheep’ is a Ramones blast of pure energy for the next two minutes.  Nothing soppy about that then. ‘Spin Cycle’ sounds like it was recorded in the next room on a Panasonic cassette recorder and was once an idea put together by Pete Shelly when he was recording a solo record.

Wonk Unit fans will find the western-like charm of ‘Daintree’ appealing. As if to highlight the eclectic nature of the songwriting on offer ‘Don’t Need Love’ is a shade of glam punk with a great melody and something that will burrow into your ear and take up residence then the synth pop post punk of ‘Freezing Cold’ throws another curveball. We’ve sadly reached the end of the record and there’s only time for the Depeche Mode meets Miscalculations of ‘Alian Island’ that will have a double take from any Numanoids checking in.

Give Alien Nosejob some time.  Let it sink in. Absorb its weirdness and off the wall nature and embrace it for what it is – a top album of top tunes.  I like it, I like it a lot now turn down the bass and tweek that high end a little and press loop I’m going back in.

 

Split release with Anti Fade (AUS). First 100 on Red Vinyl

 

Buy ‘Suddenly Everything Is Twice As Loud’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

Woohoo! A new record from Gino and The Goons.  Always a good day when some trashy punked-up garage Rock n fuckin’ Roll winds its way into my speakers.

It might look like its thrown together in some sweaty smelly garage on the wrong side of town, made on cheap beers and even cheaper guitars but hey who cares? I don’t and I very much doubt Gino and the Goons wive two hoots either way. With  Songs borrowed from the good and the great and thrown into some thrift store blender then poured out into the heads of Gino and the gang then poured into the speakers for our listening pleasure.  Hell, that might well be the formula right there and do you know I don’t much care.  To be honest, Gino and The Goons have a knack of writing killer punk rock songs and plenty of them and ‘Do The Get Around’ deserves to be heard far and wide. ‘Pills In My Pocket’ sounds like Mick n Keeth have been on a five-day bender dropping as many pills as possible and then end up in stiv n cheetahs basement.  It might not end well for all concerned but for us the listener we get some dirty Rock n Roll and I’ll take that every time.  The title track is pure trash with distorted vocals and squealing feedback Why would you go back and do a retake and turn the amp down?  this is punk as fuck! for gawds sake and they’re having a ball that much is evident. Take the trashy ‘Take It Off’ its a throwback to the dawn of Rock and Roll just a hook and a melody and it gets kicked around in some parking lot and rolls in the dirt Jerry Lee will be along shortly to set the whole shebang on fire. Yeehaw! lets rock kids.

‘Prissy Missy’ wraps up side one with some pure evil fretwork like these guys stumbled on some dirt road and came to a crossroad and ended up hockin’ a lurgy on old nick and making off with his latest tune.

‘Break Your Hearts’ sees Gino struttin’ and laying down some mighty fine six-string licks and duckwalkin’ through the chorus. This record reminds me of a couple of bands from about a decade ago when sleazy scuzzy rock n Roll was the order of the day and Flash Boys ruled but Gino has handclaps whilst declaring He’s your man besides I might be wrong but ‘Monkey Love’ is illegal and this one is pretty infectious.  Top tune though there can’t be any denying that.

‘SAMF’ channels the finest vintage of the Stooges when they were wild and reckless then to finish off they strap up their chaps and saddle up their horses as they ride off into the sunset with ‘Better Belief’ playing in the distance like a punk rock Zoro, Gino and The Goons are on fire on this here record and if you want to know what the fuss is about then I suggest you hop on right here and click the link and get Drunken sailor to send you a record before they’re all gone and you’ve missed the party and are left wondering what if and why didn’t I.  Quick!

 

Buy ‘Do The Get Around’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

Booji Boys. I am instantly interested in checking out this Nova Scotia-based band purely on the name alone but don’t let the link to the infamous Devo character connection fool you. Remember Devo’s “Hardcore” compilation of early demos that they released in the 90s? Well, it’s safe to say that this ”Tube Reducer“album is of much more HARDCORE origin than it is of the original Geek Rock pioneer’s own output.

First track ‘Contrition’ kicks off with that awesome Lo-fi Garage Rock vibe, reminding me of a heavy version of US garage punk rockers such as Wavves and Jay Reatard. I’m a sucker for short sonic blasts of music, especially in this raw and more realistic format.  The second track ‘Calling’ has that catchy Meat Puppets-esque Cow Punk guitar lick which crashes right into the full throttle of ”Lucky Citizen“ with its overall thrash and angular instrumentation.

‘Nothing Good’ is fast and abrasive, have you started to notice a pattern on this album so far? I think it would be unfair to compare them to any other further artists at this point as I can hear bits and pieces of EVERYTHING as each second rolls by. I’m starting to get a Pop-Punk version of Siouxsie & The Banshees from this one (last one, I swear!). I bet the band is a force to be reckoned with in the live arena. Especially for their Dead Boys pastiche ‘Tube Reducer'(argh, there I go again!). Imagine all of those cool Post-Punk and underground bands you loved in the 80s/90s, wrapped in tin foil and being chewed up inside your speaker system.

‘Life As A Fed’, ‘Cody Oi’ and ‘Berlinetta’ all rumble into the forefront inside their own audible attack position, making this Lo-fi release so far a short and sweet affair. Perfect for sound-tracking skateboard videos, surf montages and even for blasting out of your bedroom door, after you’ve argued with your parents about not taking the rubbish out. ‘Distorto’ is my favourite so far, it captures that manic abstract spikiness I love from these compact Proto-Punk monstrosities. I wonder how they manage to get their songs to sound like they’ve been pummelled in in a bar-room brawl?  ‘Herky Jerky’ is equally as chaotic and fun as it is 27 seconds long.

‘Stevie Cool’ and ‘Honeyboy’ seem to have a bit more heart and emotion to them than the previous barrage of songs, but they’ve also kept ”Nervous Idea“ and ‘Moto-Hard’ for the attention-grabbing ending track. Especially with all of the messed up brass noises coming and going in the latter track.

This is Canadian Punk Rock 101 with a kick-ass name and a kick your arse attitude. Please come to a venue near me soon, so I can witness the insanity first-hand!

Bandcamp Here 

Drunken Sailor Records Here

Mitchells Blog Here

Author: Mitchell Tennant