Record Reviews

PEACOCKS, THE: Flamingo: CD

A Swiss rockabilly band? Now I’ve heard everything. Actually, The Peacocks have been around for over twenty-five years and put out a couple albums on Asian Man. So, evidently I’m real far behind the curve on this one. But I’m happy to report that The Peacocks are actually pretty damn good. I can imagine them being an energetic and fun live act. I’m sure they get this often, but the band I hear the most similarity to is Reverend Horton Heat. If you’re into rockabilly, you’ve probably heard of this trio, but if not, definitely give them a spin. –Kurt Morris (Concrete Jungle)

PERKELE: Best from the Past: CD

Twenty bouncy street punk anthems from this long-running, left-wing Swedish band. This is more fun than tough, with plenty of singalong choruses. I can’t find much English-language info about this album, but think it might be some sort of retrospective. New or old, I rate it pogo-approved. –Chris Terry (Spirit Of The Streets)

PERSONALITY CRISIS: Self-titled: 2 x CD

When you ask someone to name legendary Canadian punk rock bands, you will almost invariably receive answers of DOA, Teenage Head, Nomeansno, SNFU, et cetera. Those answers are surely not wrong by any stretch, but if you come across anyone even slightly in the know, the name Personality Crisis will come up. PC were Winnipeg’s champions of punk rock. Incredibly heavy and original, they straddled that sweet spot in the early ‘80s where rock’n’roll, punk rock, and hardcore all came together. They were destined for greatness, but instead tumbled into obscurity, with their one near-perfect album, 1983’s Creatures for Awhile disappearing for many years (bootlegs and one reissue notwithstanding) until now. Sounds Escaping has dug deep and struck gold! The first disc has the album in its entirety and two compilation tracks. This would be amazing enough, but then there is disc number two: fifteen tracks worth of studio demos from 1981-’82, much of which has never seen the light of day before. Everything is remastered and sounds better than ever. If you know the band, you’ve probably already have this or have ordered it. If you haven’t, you should check it out. I can honestly say I have never heard a band that sounds like Personality Crisis. –Ty Stranglehold (Sounds Escaping, soundsescaping.com)

PHONE JERKS: Can’t Stand the Maritimes: 7”

Here’s an old fashioned one-sider with three songs on one side. These would pop up occasionally, but it was a trademark of Rip Off Records’ singles in the ‘90s. I always wondered how much money was saved leaving one side of a single blank. Either way, I appreciated the brevity. If you’re into Rip Off-style singles, this is a must-have. Three blasters of overdriven guitar moving at Teengenerate speed. All the songs are great. Density prevails. One to look out for if you’re into punk’n’roll. –Billups Allen (Goodbye Boozy, goodbyeboozy.blogspot.com)

PISS TEST: LP II: LP

I can’t remember the first time I heard Portland Oregon’s Piss Test, but I have been a fan for a few years now. I snapped up everything they had available on vinyl the first time I saw them play, and it is a great day when a new one comes out. Here we have their second LP and they continue to crank out the kind of punk rock that fuels my life. Agitated, frantic, and off kilter, the songs run the risk of spinning out of control if it wasn’t for the dialled-in rhythm section becoming the anchor to pull them back in just in the nick of time. Songs touch on issues such as gentrification, sexism at shows, asshole cops, and strip bar employees among other things. Even if I didn’t already love the band, they would have landed me with the opening line from “Basement”: “I still hate Fleetwood Mac.” I do indeed. –Ty Stranglehold (Dirt Cult)

PISSE: Kohlrübenwinter: 7”

German weirdo lo-fi synth-punk. The first three songs cruise along nicely to the tune of the Coneheads worshipping Kraut rock and the Screamers instead of Devo. The fourth and final song is not as easily digestible, as it sounds like a bubble gum ballad with a misplaced theremin and strange Tiny Tim-esque high pitched vocals. Three out of four ain’t bad at all, so I’m curious to see where, if anywhere, they go from here. A word of advice: your band’s name should probably be in a bigger font than the title of your EP if you really want people to give your band a listen. –Juan Espinosa (Harbinger Sound, harbingersound.com / In A Car, inacar.bigcartel.com)

PLURAL BEING: Demo: CS

Sometimes you stare into the bathroom mirror and contemplate the endless void that stares back at you. Sometimes you continue to scrutinize that void, pondering how humans continue to fill an unending hole with death, hate, and war with Sisyphean verve. Sometimes you know enough people in your small town that you go into the basement and translate that contemplation into sound and capture it on cassette. To be fair, this cassette has hit me on all the right levels after two weeks filled with international terrorist and American missile attacks. Plural Being makes ugly music for ugly times and we need that. Professional blue cassette with hard stock fold-out cover and lyrics. Members of Panzram and Merkit. –Matt Seward (IFB, ifbrecords.com)

PLURAL BEING: Demo: CS

Wow! Distorted and heavy stuff here, in the vein of Clickitat Ikatowi-era Gravity stuff, backed by hoarse, screamed vocals that are critical, literate, and (get this) completely intelligible. Each song operates under its own internal logic: complex and challenging but never show-offy or needlessly mathy. Structures aren’t readily apparent but are immediately rewarding regardless—and pay dividends upon repeated listens, once the structures and changes sink in. This is the kind of demo your car’s cassette deck wears out because you don’t want to listen to anything else. Certainly the best of the batch for this issue, and an early contender for demo of the year, no shit. –Michael T. Fournier (IFB, ifbrecords.com)

PLURAL BEING: Self-titled: CS

Some dirty, thick hardcore for fans of existential despair. A pretty easy sell, honestly, and Plural Being does the discordant-to-slightly-melodic thing well enough, though the screaming gets to be monotonous. When they veer off course into blast beats (“Grey Man”) and atonal guitar (“No Life Hack”), there’s the glimpse of something fresh. Standard angry malaise, but with potential. –Matt Werts (IFB, ifbrecords.com)

POOR FORM: Achin’: CS

Poor Form are four Vancouver pop punx with scratchy soul. There’s lots of lost love and confusion in here but upbeat, riffy breakdowns keep things sounding posi, despite the album being dedicated to people who died. All seven songs are on each side of the cassette. –Cheyenne Neckmonster (Rumbletowne)