Record Reviews

7 YEARS BAD LUCK: Great, Big, Nothing: CD

7 Years Bad Luck is a pop punk outfit from Innsbruck, Austria. I was intrigued going into this record, with my little exposure to the music of Austria. The first song, “No Control,” touches on some traditional pop punk themes sung in vocals ranging from soft harmonies to fairly aggressive spouting by the lead vocalist. The following tracks build nicely upon this foundation, where “Another” features slightly more aggressive instrumentation, where tracks like “Some Day” are more downcast and melodic. The vocals do occasionally become obnoxious on songs like “Takes One to Know One” or “Another Year,” which sound angsty to a fault, but, generally, listening to these guys is fairly painless. The lead guitar on this release is generally pretty subdued, but does play a surprisingly rocking and exhilarating solo on “Olympia.” Although a pretty meat-and-potatoes pop punk record, this release is a fairly fun and listenable follow-up to their previous LPs, and may be enjoyable to fans of the genre looking for more. –Anna Farr (Monster Zero, / No Reason,

ADULT MAGIC: Self-titled: 7”

Hailing from Long Island, N.Y., and boasting members of Iron Chic, Sister Kisser, and Broadcaster, Adult Magic delivers four songs of hook-driven punk with passionate lyrics belted through clenched teeth. This is the type of EP to get your blood boiling and your fists pumping. Although their other projects are obvious points of reference, Adult Magic borrows heavily from Superchunk and Archers Of Loaf. Although the songs explore frustration and anxiety, Adult Magic’s lyrics possess an air of—dare I say—maturity: “But when another new disaster is bringing you down / You know, I’ll be around.” As if the band name wasn’t enough of a tip off, this power trio has written a soundtrack for the pains of growing up and all the bullshit that comes with adulthood. –Sean Arenas (Dead Broke, / Drunken Sailor,

ANGRY COUGARS: Bullshit Authority: 7” EP

Who among us has never secretly wished for a version of Zeke minus the metal business? None. None of us have never secretly wished for a version of Zeke minus the metal business, except, I suppose, for those who have publicly wished for a version of Zeke minus the metal business, and those who have secretly wished for a version of Zeke composed entirely of the metal business and nothing else, and these are people with whom we shouldn’t tarry. In any event the Angry Cougars rage through six songs at 45 RPM, which is seven-and-a-half RPM per song, which is a good deal. This record makes me feel like that thing of meat they have spinning around on a spit at gyro restaurants, like, all hot and spinny and imperiled. I don’t really know what happens to that meat, but I know it’s nothing good. BEST SONG: “What I Want.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Venom.” Hey, at least they don’t have a song called “Zeke.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This is a very violent use of the Hobo font. ¬–Rev. Nørb (H-Bomb)


The Asound: Sludgy Sabbath worship married to early grunge to keep things from getting too doomy or too poppy. Intercourse: dissonant hardcore with some jazz in its DNA to provide some odd rhythms. –Jimmy Alvarado (Tsuguri)


Argentina’s Atropello! came to my attention through a chance meeting with the head honcho of Richter Scale Records at the recent Static Shock weekend event in London. His label has released IV, on which the band rips through twenty-four tracks at breakneck speed. Everything on here just hits me in the right way, with the vocals being barked out with a sense of urgency, a guitar that bites at my ears, and a pneumatic rhythm section. –Rich Cocksedge (Richter Scale,,

ATTIC SALT: Self-titled: CD

“Attic Salt is one of those bands that comes out of nowhere and blows you away,” so says the accompanying press release and, as usual, my eyes involuntarily rolled at this often used, hyperbolic, claim. This caused me to approach the album with caution, but it was apparent within a couple of songs that, for once, such a statement was spot on. The vocals of Alyssa Currie and Andy Harmon are a joy to listen to, the former reminding me of a combination of Lauren Denitzio and Sheena Ozzella—The Worriers and Lemuria respectively—whilst the melodic approach of the songs is flawless. The icing on the cake is provided by those parts of songs that are always anticipated on each listen, be it a particular chord progression or a one-off drum fill. There are numerous such instances throughout this album and I am definitely blown away by the whole package. –Rich Cocksedge (Dodgeball,,

AUTOGRAMM: Jessica Don’t Like Rock ‘n’ Roll: 7”

I don’t have a lot of info about Autogramm other than they seem to be Vancouver’s latest new wave rockers. I know that CC Voltage is involved (who was last heard playing bass in Berlin’s excellent Dysnea Boys before moving back to Vancouver) and that in style and substance they bring to mind The Cars. A lot of people may not like that comparison—hell the band may not even like it—but I do mean it as a high compliment. The band is tight; there are light synth elements in there. The chorus is on repeat in my brain and I don’t have a problem with that. I want more. The B-side is a cover of Bryan Adams’ “Run to You.” It’s not done tongue in cheek, but rather stripped of its ‘80s glaze to reveal a ripper of a pop song. Who knew? Autogramm did. I look forward to hearing more. –Ty Stranglehold (Party Product,


I feel like I may be too old and out of touch to review this. Autonomics are from Portland, Ore. and play fuzzy guitar pop/rock. With its huge production, touches of synth and overall slickness, it sounds like something that I would hear on the local “modern alternative” radio station. Now here’s the rub. I absolutely love it! These songs are so catchy and sound so good it is impossible for me to not get into it. There are pull quotes on their website comparing them to Weezer or Fidlar… I honestly can’t speak to that, but I can say that I could see Autonomics becoming a big thing, and if it happened there would still be a tiny sliver of hope for “the kids today.” I guess I am old enough to look past labels and genres and just like what I like. Grandpa approves! –Ty Stranglehold (Rola,

BAD MOVES: Self-titled: 7” EP

If only more bands sounded like Bad Moves. This foursome is a reminder of the quality punk-leaning indie pop from the early nineties that I miss. As much as the term indie is thrown around these days, ninety-nine percent of the bands that claim to play in the subgenre aren’t worthy and are mostly total garbage. DC’s Bad Moves are the opposite of that, “Drain Me” being the best example of it on this debut EP. The rest of the tunes are lovely, jangly punk pop numbers. The internet tells me this 7” is on Nervous Nelly, and the band themselves may be affiliated with Don Giovanni, but the record itself has no info. –Steve Adamyk (Nervous Nelly,


Olympia’s Bad Sleep is a band I am just now hearing about, but wish I had known about sooner. No Fun is the three piece’s second release, and contains five songs of punk/power pop goodness. The fuzzy guitars and strong drums give me a bit of a Jabber meets Upset with a Lipstick Homicide and Bleached vibe, which I love. I’ll probably keep this limited-to-one-hundred release tape on repeat all winter, and hope it doesn’t do that thing where the tape player eats the ribbon because of listening to it so much. Fingers crossed for a full length Bad Sleep album in the future, because I definitely want more. –Cynthia Pinedo (