NOT A PART OF IT: Defiant Indifference: 7”

Snarly ’90s-style punk from Eugene, Ore. that recalls an affordable Bay Area with mischievous punx running through the empty streets and alleyways of your psyche. Spiky hair-era Swingin’ Utters and Subincision feel like the immediate touchstones, with maybe some Cometbus projects to offer the philosophical foundations for why they do what it is they do. –Daryl (Next 7 Exits,

500 MILES TO MEMPHIS: Blessed to Be Damned: CD

This record is basically the equivalent of standard artist flash at a tattoo shop, which isn’t an insult. I think this is probably the definition of Americana punk: country- and bluegrass-tinged with nostalgic references to things like Walt Whitman (“O Captain, My Captain!”) and vaguely rockabilly vibes. This feels pretty familiar but I’m sure folks have fun singing along to this at live shows, probably especially if they are outside. Also, they have a fancy website which might not matter, but is notable. –Theresa W. (Spazz)

ABC GUM: Self-titled: CS

This music is so aggressively jangly that it’s almost confrontational. “Hey Emma, you don’t like jangly punk? Well check this out! How about these jangles? You hear that? We’re jangling louder now, just for you, Emma! Jangle jangle jangly jang! We can jangle fast and we can jangle slow! Are you jangling with us now, Emma? Are you? ARE YOU!” *Emma flees in jangly terror* –Emma Alice Johnson (Let’s Pretend)

ABOLITIONIST: Ugly Feeling: 12” EP

Apparently, this is the final release from these guys who were on a hot streak with cranking out records the past few years. This outing feels a little subdued in comparison to the previous outings. The guitar crunch is still there, the drumming is top notch, and the vocals have a bit more bite than before, but there’s a feeling of restraint permeating this record, or maybe it’s melancholy brought on by the knowledge that this may very well be the end. Anyway, the songs are pretty good, and mostly on the mid-tempo side of the scale. “Failed Mutation” is a solid way to kick it all off; “Willie B. Bacon” cleverly places the subject matter in the title; “Shelter” has a good, hammering pace; “Walls” wraps it all up nicely; and “Ugly Feelings,” the most driving of all twelve is my favorite here. It has an energy that puts you right in the moment. –Matt Average (1859,,


I’ve heard of Acid Mothers Temple, of course, but never actually listened to them before this 7” arrived at my door. Cool stuff: much more trippy and Krautrock-y/less heavy than I had imagined. Orphan Goggles are out of their minds, playing unhinged heavy psychedelia that wouldn’t sound out of place at a lysergic Gibby Haynes BBQ. Solid, fun, and weird stuff all around. –Michael T. Fournier (


Before the nasty hatemongering band Aggravated Assault, there was this unrelated Aggravated Assault, a NYHC outfit with Doug Beans from Murphy’s Law on drums. This release is primarily of lost demos from way back in the day, including a Don Fury Studio session from 1985. There are also tracks from 1986 and from the present day. This raw demo captures pure NYHC when that form was in its infancy. The tracks pack quite a punch, showcasing a group whose present-day return is a much-welcomed surprise. –Art Ettinger (Self-released,

AMMO: Demo: CS

Rabid, classic style hardcore from New Jersey not unlike Double Negative, Antidote, Gauze, and early Madball. Packs a fucking punch for just seven songs in just over ten minutes. That breakdown towards the end of “Known Unknown” is a busted lip waiting to happen. Backed hard. –Juan Espinosa (Headcount,

ASSEMBLE: Hold Your Ground: CD

Philadelphia-based Assemble really have themselves nailed when they describe themselves as a band that “plays fast, catchy, and sometimes heavy melodic punk” that is “reminiscent of a slightly earlier time” by which they mean the mid-’90s. On the second part I would disagree, only because I feel like this particular brand of somewhere-between-mid-and-fast-tempo with gang vocals and fast rolls has been a pretty central staple since then. It’s semi-posi and predictable, which I guess we all need once in a while. –Theresa W. (Residual Waste)


I love a good split! Two-for-one deal, ya know. B’Schißn are from Halle, Germany, and it’s just really smart and complex punk. It sounds like Lögnhalsmottagningen but not tripping over their feet to spit out all the words. Flip to Ponys Auf Pump from Berlin: they offer throbbing, simplistic, and catchy synth dance punk. And I love it. –Camylle Reynolds (Phantom,

BAD YEAR: My Escape: Single-sided LP

As I attempted to cobble together a rough description of this band’s sound (the best I could do was “verses which sound like they’re coming from the general direction of the Mr. T Experience with choruses that sound like the punk on the radio fifteen years ago”), I realized that all my cultural reference points for pop punk were like fifteen or twenty years old and I have gone from being someone who could once speak with a fair degree of authority on the matter to someone who really has no idea what’s going on and probably shouldn’t even be talking. Then I decided that the genre was pretty much caught in a big fuckin’ stasis field anyway, so I was probably still an authority and could complete my review. Anyway, I like the packaging and I think the music is reasonably decent, but the record lacks anything resembling a standout tune—there’s really nothing on here to draw me back for repeated listenings. For a while, I thought the album-closing “Bad Year” might be that song, until I realized it was a Sicko cover—ironic, because I felt the same way as I feel about this album about Sicko’s You Can Feel the Love in This Room, except for its album-closing song, “Closer to Fine,” which I thought was just outstanding—until Jim from the New Bomb Turks told me that “Closer to Fine” was an Indigo Girls cover, so there ya go. Maybe I’m the one in the stasis field? BEST SONG: “Bad Day,” which, for all I know, is an Indigo Girls cover. BEST SONG TITLE: “Here, Hold My Cake.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: According to the run-off grooves, “BAD YEAR MEANS FRIENDSHIP.” –Rev. Nørb (Snappy Little Numbers)