Record Reviews

BRICHEROS: Making Our Way to the USA: LP

Hot and ready Ramones-core that leans into the band’s Peruvian roots. Will it blow your mind? No. Will it deliver some competent Lookout! Records style pop punk that, at its best, sounds like a lost Lillingtons record? Absolutely. Bricheros know what they’re good at and deliver with confidence in a genre that seems smaller every day. It’s familiar, it’s comfortable, it’s “for fans of the genre,” and I say that as the biggest fan of the genre possible. –Gwen Static (Self-released,

BROWER: Buzzsaws: LP

Buzzsaws is the first full-length album by Brower, a group whose glam and power pop sensibilities fuse a sound both retro and inventive. Involuntary foot movement is inevitable. The album begins with “Real Girl,” a catchy number with a slow guitar upswing and drowsily rising chorus spinning playfully into the atmosphere of Big Star. A few songs later, “69th Rd.” picks up the pace with some glam-studded boogie. “Hacksaw” starts a simple, mid-tempo bass riff combined with whisper-talk vocals. The song keeps the pace of a T. Rex bopper eventually devolving into a lake of droning keyboard and watery guitar. “You May Know Me as the Kind of Guy Who…” is another late night, power popper to swing to. The album continues back and forth between bring-on-the-night glam and final-approach-for-a-late-night-landing power pop. It appeals to fans of both without pandering. Tasteful tambourine is interjected throughout. It’s a stand out for you and your uncool niece. –Billups Allen (Dig)

BWAK DWAGON: Underground and Passed Around: LP

Moody rock with howly, moody vocals. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bwak Dwagon,

CAPTAIN ASSHOLE: What an Awful Life: LP

German pop punk that sounds more American in almost every way than it does German. That’s not a pejorative statement, just a fact. I like this a lot, as it has boundless energy and a bounce that is infectious—one of those records that gets your head nodding even though you don’t know you’re doing it. The U.S.A. connection is strengthened by members of Cold Wrecks and Arliss Nancy chipping in with the odd vocal here and there. I’d imagine this is the kind of band which would go down extremely well at The Fest with its punchy delivery and cheery attitude. Captain Asshole certainly does it for me. –Rich Cocksedge (Self-released,,


A new name to me and this quintet manages to offer up a few surprises across the twenty tracks on Demons. The album is predominantly spiky, angry tirades set against a backdrop of buzzing guitar and a battery of drums. However, the surprises come in the form of some slower, more danceable numbers that change the pace of the album without losing any of its momentum. One of the other things I noticed was in “Fuck Up,” where the backing vocal underpins a lot of the song, sounds remarkably like “Amoeba” by Adolescents. I imagine that this bunch would be good fun live, especially after having a few pints to loosen up my aged dancing legs. –Rich Cocksedge (TNS,,

CATCH AS CATCH CAN: Regular Vanilla: LP

Germans mixing indie punk with a little bit o’ soul, including the odd horn section here and there. Not bad, not life changing. –Jimmy Alvarado (Alien Snatch)

CAVEMEN, THE: Lowlife: 7” EP

Blown-out garage rock outta New Zealand that stomps and swaggers with the best of ’em. Three tunes of bluesy slime and attitude that’ll leave you hoping for a tetanus shot. –Jimmy Alvarado (Slovenly,


I don’t know how seriously to take anything on this record, but I think it’s wonderful. Chachi On Acid, longtime Canadian punkers, do a live rendition of “Everyone’s a Urinal” on The Butch Haller Show. Then Butch Haller, a ninety-seven-year-old country/rockabilly veteran, also does a version of “Everyone’s a Urinal,” making it something you could maybe square dance to. Is there really a Butch Haller? Who can say? This a beautiful, unnecessary record. –Matt Werts (Agoraphobic Record Syndicate,

CHATHAM FORTS, THE: “Not Fade Away” b/w “I Wanna Be Your Man”: 7”

This single is part of a Damaged Goods cover series where bands cover one of their favorite singles. The Chatham Forts have chosen “Not Fade Away/I Wanna Be Your Man” by The Rolling Stones. This single is exactly what you’re expecting. “Not Fade Away” and “I Wanna Be Your Man” are given the scrappy Billy Childish treatment with his blasé, snotty vocals and dry distortion. I never get enough. You’ll love it too unless you hate The Stones and/or Childish. And you should probably know that by now. –Billups Allen (Damaged Goods)

CHRONIC SUBMISSION: Empty Heads, Poison Darts: LP

Vinyl release of this Toronto hardcore band’s 1984 demo, originally on cassette. Tunes are a veritable point-by-point example of the era’s, and the genre’s, best traits—powerful, thrashy without being silly about it, punchy, and firing on all cylinders. Thirty-five years later and it still gets the blood pulsing quite effectively. Highly recommended. –Jimmy Alvarado (Schizophrenic,