¡APARATO!: Huastech 3000: CD

¡Aparato! makes post-punk Chicanx futurism for people who want to change the world. Blending indie electronic elements with classic influences like Son Jarocho and the Ramones, they craft beautiful songs of celebration and protest with co-ed vocals, synthesizers, jaranas, and electric guitars. These seven songs are mellower than their debut, but cover a lot of musical ground, ranging from sweet ‘90s pop R&B songs written from Chicanx punk perspective like “Arullame,” to “Machine,” a poetic song about the dreams of migrants set to fast-moving experimental electro rock, to “Crooked Smile,” which boasts New Order vibes. ¡Aparato! is growing into who they want to be and staying true to their DIY roots. It’s no surprise they’ve received critical acclaim despite their lack of label support. –Candace Hansen (Self-released, aparatomusic.com)

ABRAXAS: Feral and Filth: 7”

Cinci punks ABRAXAS make heavy and dark hardcore in the vein of AFI and The Nerve Agents that any student of punk rock written in the early aughts will appreciate. Feral and Filth keeps it simple with five fast and furious horror punk tracks, but what I really love about ABRAXAS is lead vocalist Kursty’s vocal style. She’s not afraid to go for that classic low pitched goth punk tone and she fucking nails it. Limited to three hundred, the physical release itself is a piece of art, featuring beautiful silk-screened inserts with gold glitter ink on black matte cardstock, white vinyl, and black on black on black everything else without looking like a parody of the genre. –Candace Hansen (Self-released, abraxashxc.bandcamp.com)


Madrid, Spain’s Accidente have unearthed that long-lost Hopeless (when the bands were great) and Go Kart pop punk sound and given it brand new and meaningful life. Imagine a punchier Lemuria that’s been binge listening to Lifetime or even a tighter-sounding, faster Earth Girls. What a pleasant fucking surprise. This one won’t be making its way to the buy counter at Amoeba. –Juan Espinosa (Vox Populi / No Friends / Ecabrupto / Inhumano / Chaos Rural / Dirt Cult)

ACRYLICS: Self-titled: 12” EP

Freak-out punk, with flanged guitars and a bit of psychedelia tingeing the edges amidst the dissonance. They’re effective, delivering all the right kinds of annoying, and their interest in avoiding the same ol’ same ol’ is refreshing. –Jimmy Alvarado (Neck Chop, facebook.com/NeckChopRecords)

AH FUCK: Alone in a Cusp: CS

Whoa. Can you get any lower-fi than the lowest lo-fi? One man ventured to find out for himself. Ah Fuck is the preferred pseudonym for a truly singular individual (né: ???) from Los Angeles. Upon first listen, Alone in a Cusp is a pretty unremarkable EP. Its seven songs are skeletal in their instrumentation, sporadically sprinkled with a spattering of lyrics, and hooks are hard to come by. The songman could instead be called a sound sculptor; between songs, Ah Fuck specializes in shaping mountainous piles of reverb, street sounds, and sound bites. Somehow this EP reminds me of the soundtrack to the Fugazi documentary, Instrument—heavy on the experimentation and light on structure. Though the vocals are spider web-thin and the guitar melody often gets lost in the wake of its own reverb, there’s something—a certain je ne sais quoi—about Alone in a Cusp that I really, really dig. Think I’ll go back for seconds. –Simone Carter (Self-released, ahfuck.bandcamp.com)