This sounds so inherently British, but unlike anything else I’ve ever heard. It feels like the natural progression of both Conflict (driving aggression) and Thatcher On Acid (dynamic and innovative). Yet on top of the melding of those two seemingly incongruent sounds it fits perfectly in the fucked up worlds of Total Control, Dream Decay, Diät, or Johns (Buffalo, NY), with some added rusted chrome Albini flavor. Shout out to Iron Lung for bringing this noise stateside. –Daryl (Iron Lung)


In your face, blaring, four-on-the-floor garage punk. A mix of the Spits, the Briefs, and really any other poppy, fast, and sloppy pop punk band you want to put in. Probably the easiest band to compare them to is The Heartburns, but how many people talk about The Heartburns anymore? There really is very little I think I could add to recommend this record more highly. It’s got it all. Catchy pop hooks, blown-out vocals, concise bursts of thought. Highly, highly recommended. –Gwen Static (Voodoo Rhythm,


I could see a time where I gave this a better review. It kind of reminds me of the stuff I used to listen to when I was a teenager, and I probably would have put a song or two on a mixtape at a time. There’s some decent stuff here, but something’s missing. Honestly, I wonder if it was just that I think this would be a more fun album if it was recorded sloppier. It just sort of sounds like an also-ran It’s Alive release from ten years ago that bought studio time at the wrong place. –Gwen Static (Violated, / Franken Sense, no address listed)

BELUSHI SPEED BALL: Prepare for Trouble: CD

The band calls themselves “Nintendocore” and admits they write songs that only twelve people may get the lyrical references. I’m probably not in that demographic, but I did know who the first song was about. They remind me a bit of a more metal version of John Walsh (the Ohio band not the TV dude.) –Sean Koepenick (Gubbey,

BIG NIGHT IN: Super Dualism: LP

This Chicago band offers up ten songs of solid Midwestern punk/power pop with lots of guitar bravado taking center stage. There’s no questioning that this is meant to be a big guitar rock record, with something like AC/DC seemingly coming through as an influence in the guitar work. There are some good songs here beneath it all if you’re willing to take the time to find them. I feel that, for better or worse, the riffs and production of this record highlight the big “rawk” factor, diverting from the occasional moments of power pop greatness passing by unnoticed. –Mark Twistworthy (Bronzo,

BILLY LIAR: Some Legacy: CD

Billy is well known for his stirring versions of acoustic punk in his native Scotland, but here a full band provides the backup. Oh yeah, there is a ringer in the band—Joe McMahon (of Smoke Or Fire) plays and produces too. These songs are about change and whether it helps or hurts, or maybe it’s up to you to decide in the end. “Independent People” wouldn’t be out of place on a Billy Bragg record. “Noose” has some lyrics that will make you smile when you’re sipping on your drink of choice. Thought-provoking and worth grabbing a copy for yourself. –Sean Koepenick (Red Scare,


Black Widows are my kind of surf band. They inject their songs full of punk snarl, demanding attention, refusing to let their tunes fade into background noise like so many other surf bands seem content to do. “Mummy Mama Boogie” is not only an absolute jam, lyrically it puts a perfect feminist twist on the mummy legend. The 99ers play pop punk. “Girl Eyes” is about the difficulty that men sometimes seem to have finding things in their own homes, instead relying on the eyes of the women in their lives. “Girl eyes find and Boy’s eyes are surprised.” Such a great concept for a song, boosted further by catchy, bouncy music. –Emma Alice Johnson (Man Della / Jerkoff / Ratgirl)

BLOWFUSE: Daily Ritual: CD

These dudes don’t classify themselves as just a punk band, so you will get some wide-ranging sounds within this one. “Angry John” is their tribute to the former Down By Law bassist. Okay, I made that up but wouldn’t that be awesome if it was true? “Outta My Head” gave me flashbacks to Alien Ant Farm, unfortunately. But the punk blueprint is ingrained in their style with a Fat Mike vocal sound on a few of the songs. They look like they have a boatload of energy, so someone should get them on the Warped Tour where I’m sure they would clean up. –Sean Koepenick (Infected,


This is another strong release from Greg Hughes and friends. The first song is just him and a guitar with a short burst of a keyboard, bass, and drums at the crescendo. It’s about making a decision about where to direct your energy. Do you really want to exhaust yourself making money for someone else, just to get a small cut left for what you need? Bobby’s Oar says no fucking way and asks “Why not give all the time you have to the things you love?” It’s less than a minute, but “Tired Eyes” sets the tone for the heartfelt messages of love and struggle that Greg spits straight from his soul. At first the keys really took me out of it, but once I focused on the words, I realized we were in punk church. He has this way of getting across anger motivated by aspirational hope. There’s so many sweet snapshots of how life can be adventurous before it becomes fleeting. While there are only four tracks here, they hurt in that they remind me of a time that’s lost to my youth, but I am also reeled back in by moments of unknown possibilities we haven’t met yet. Musically it’s a little folky, a dash of honky tonk, and lots of bubbling rock’n’roll with a punk edge. Let it spin a few times and settle in. –Kayla Greet (Self-released)

BONEFIRE: Fade and Decay: LP

Crusty metal stuff featuring folks from Misery, Troublemaker, and Social Schism. There’s a skeleton on the cover that kind of looks like it’s getting electrocuted, lots of downtuned bass solos, and “There’s a killer loose, oh can’t you see / The reaper’s coming for you and me” serves as standard lyrical content within. Not my bag at all, but I also recognize that a ton of effort went into this—these folks are solid musicians, it’s recorded well, and the label went all out with stickers and a crazy gigantic newsprint poster/lyric sheet. –Keith Rosson (FTWNU2)