Record Reviews

647(F): Destroy All Monsters: 7”

I remember these cats from waaaay the fuck back, their old EP being a hoot, and homie Sean Antillon is rockin’ the geetar, so I figured it’d be cool to catch up with what they’re doing these days. One tune here—one side English, the other Japanese—which is an ode to the kaiju heroes of every cool kid’s childhood. The tempo here is much slower than their tunes of yore, but the song is a strong one and they milk it for everything it’s worth. Good stuff. Here’s hoping there’s more soon to follow. –Jimmy Alvarado (Sownsbox)

ALPHA HOPPER: Last Chance Power Drive: LP

I once saw Alpha Hopper live in the living room of an apartment towards the end of summer. I remember a bunch of dudes playing weird psych and Irene from Hot Tip in the middle of the room jumping up and down and spinning and yelling for probably twenty minutes straight. Last Chance Power Drive is so intense I thought about turning it off but then I didn’t, and then I thought, “This is like if Priests weren’t a surf band and became an out-of-control, heavy spaz thing.” Or like, I don’t know, Lydia Lunch telling Queens Of The Stone Age what to do. The title’s Springsteen reference is misleading, though, in a way, Alpha Hopper are in the tradition of American song commentary/reportage. It’s just they’re also aliens, possibly. ¬–Matt Werts (One Percent Press, onepercentpress.com / Radical Empathy)

ANCIENT FILTH: Earth Brains: 7” EP flexi

Boston’s Ancient Filth serves up three apocalyptic hardcore tracks with a political bent on this EP. The clear flexi single comes with a zine insert that looks killer and includes both lyrics and an Ursula K. Le Guin quote. It’s a furious five minutes of punk noise totally appropriate for Trump’s burgeoning hellscape. –Lyle (Self-released, ancientfilth.com)

ANTIFACES: Solo Quedan Fantasmas: 7” EP

Punk in español outta Miami. They keep things squarely in the middle—not too fast or slow, not too raw or melodic—but the songs are well written and catchy enough to keep the listener engaged throughout. –Jimmy (IFB)

AR-KAICS, THE: “Just My Life” b/w “It’s Her Eyes”: 7”

I don’t fully understand this, but the soul label Daptone—home to more retro-sounding and integrity-driven modern soul acts—is doing a series where regular-ass bands get to record in good studios. Or something like that. You might be weary, but hearing The Ar-Kaics in a professional setting is a lot of fun. I’m a fan of their rusty wrench, ‘60s-inspired punk offerings, and they cranked out a couple of solid tunes with a producer or satan or whatever happened. Mystery Lights also has a Daptone single coming up. –Billups Allen (Daptone)

ATTIC TED: Paradise Dust Mischief: LP

Dunno what the fuck they put in the water in Texas, but I can’t think of a place that’s added more to the odder fringes of punk’s twisted heart. This is keeping well within that tradition—eschewing almost entirely any of the usual stereotypical “punk” trappings—instead reveling in klezmer, lysergic country, circus music, and a bevy of other kitschy influences that are bent and fucked up in all the right ways. A nice ride that steps off the beaten path and finds many fun ponds in which to dip its toes. –Jimmy Alvarado (Pecan Crazy)

B.D.: Demo 2016: CS

Fuzzed-out hardcore madness. B.D. (short for Bad Daddies) bring the goods. I could picture them sharing a bill with Portland’s Macho Boys and Denver’s The Nervous. If this is the demo, I can’t wait to hear the fully realized recordings. My ears are open! –Ty Stranglehold (B.D., Self-released)

BAD MONGOS: Shoot the Bullet: LP/CD

No nonsense punk’n’roll bolstered by a swagger found within those who have dedicated their lives to the relentless provision of raucous music. The opening track “Rocking Shoes” has a Ramones-like intro and provides a steady introduction to the album before Bad Mongos explodes with a bucketful of vim and vigor on the title track. That verve is at the core of the remaining eleven tracks and it results in Shoot the Bullet being an exciting and invigorating listening experience. –Rich Cocksedge (Bcore Disc, mailorder@bcoredisc.com, bcoredisc.com)

BAD SLEEP: Self-titled: CS

Completely dope pop punk out of Olympia. Everyone’s idea of dope pop punk is different, but my idea is right and “Subtracting” and “Don’t Care” and the rest of the songs on this tape are hits. This is a gold record tape. Sugary lo-fi songs and clean, clear lyrics on pink paper and slightly off-key vocals and, basically, this is the real deal. –Matt Werts (Mate Date, matedatetapes.bigcartel.com / Reflective, reflectivetapes.bandcamp.com)

BARRY KNOEDL: “Baby Don’t Give Up” b/w “I Just Want to Make You Happy”: 7” single

This is a reissue of Barry Knoedl’s 1977 power pop single. It was originally the second release from Jim Antonucci’s Death Records label, best known for releasing Jimi LaLumia & the Psychotic Frogs’ “Death to Disco (Disco Sucks)” and Cracked Actor’s “Nazi School.” Knoedl’s songs, however, are pure sugary power pop performed by two self-described hardcore Beatles fans, Knoedl and his collaborator Jim Kern. It certainly shows! I’m glad that it’s uncool to like the Beatles, but there’s a reason this single is considered a classic of the genre. It’s a little precious, and I like it. –Lyle (Frodis, frodisrecords.com)