Record Reviews

AUTORAMAS: Jet to the Jungle: 7”

This Brazilian band has been going strong for twenty years, and this record makes it clear why. Autoramas know how to party. Their brand of tropical garage manages to draw from sounds of the past while still sounding totally urgent and dance-worthy. This record displays two very distinct sounds. The title track is a scorching rocker with male vocals. The flipside song, “Demais,” comes in sweet and builds to a rousing, catchy chorus that begs for repeat listens. –MP Johnson (Mandinga)

BAD VISION: Turn Out Your Sockets: LP

They’ve got the riffs, they’ve got the chops, got all the right formulas, but never gave me a single thing to hold on to. –Candace Hansen (Adagio 830)

BADASS MOTHER FUZZERS: Heartbreaker: CD

From Toulouse, France, BAMF are as advertised: fuzzy garage rock with attitude. The songwriting and recordings leave much to be desired. While there are some songs that show promise (“Glad to See You Go!”) there are too many others that show their influence (Motörhead but, sorry, not at all anything like Motörhead) without satisfying this customer. –Jon Mule (Pit Shark, pitshark.com)

BARCELONA: Un Ultimo Ultrasonido Nacio y Murio en Barcelona: LP

Are these songs? Barcelona, already one of the modern greats of unhinged punk, has somehow managed to obliterate and refine their operation all at once. They’ve made hardcore for noise freaks and noise for hardcore freaks, the truest (and most incoherent and most relatable) representation of reality in 2017 that I’ve heard so far. Absolutely essential. –Matt Werts (La Vida Es Un Mus, lavidaesunmus.com)

BASK: C-30: CS

Side A’s a collection of a half dozen lo-fi pop tunes that are reminiscent of Tom Grrrl or Michael Jackson Touchdown Pass. Home recordings, earnestness, catchy pop songs buried behind high-pitched, warbly vocals and boom-bap drumkits. Flipside’s a slow, meandering, pretty instrumental track. Nice. –Keith Rosson (Poison Moon)

BEAR TRADE: Self-titled: LP

Pop punk band that unabashedly wears their influences on their leather(face) sleeve. Knee-jerk reaction was to pooh-pooh ‘em for bein’ so on-the-nose, but as it rolled through I found myself realizing, derivative or not, they are in possession of some goddamned good songs, which they wield with deadly precision. Jimmy’s black stone heart melted by “Sexy Beast’s” smooth-as-buttah backing vocals, and two thumbs are currently being hoisted high. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dead Broke)

BÊNNÍ: I&II: LP

Much like Joe Meek’s I Hear a New World, how one imagines this record might sound in one’s head prior to playing it (“Primitive sci-fi warlock soundscapes!”) is generally way more interesting than how it actually sounds once it’s home and on the turntable. What you actually get is something that sounds more like what you’d encounter if you were browsing through royalty-free music websites trying to find suitable free theme music for a no-budget Y2K remake of Tranzor Z or something. Why this would need to be on vinyl is beyond me. BEST SONG: “Chimera.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Moons of Almuric,” one hundred percent for life. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Run-off grooves read “You’ll have a visitor soon…” and “…lock your doors.” ¬–Rev. Nørb (Goner, goner-records.com)

BLACK ANEMONE: In It for Life: CD

This is a Swedish folk punk record from a band that aligns itself with “chaos and mischief.” The first track features a literal ditty about getting drunk, which earns the moniker “punk” with the vocalist’s scratchy yelling-singing. There is banjo; there is violin; there is even a recording of a sea shanty (“Drunken Sailor”). Black Anemone is competent at what it does: a highly Irish-inflected and well-produced rock-adjacent old timey sound. This is not music I would choose to listen to, but for the folk punks out there, it might be. –Lyle (Self-released, blackanemone.bandcamp.com)

BLAHA: Fresh Horse: 7” EP

A mix of arty punk and garage sensibilities here for the first two salvos—dark, repetitive, raw. The closer, “The Day We Were Born,” however, flips the script with a slinky bit of pop that manages to recall both the Zeros and mid-period Jesus And Mary Chain. –Jimmy Alvarado (Slovenly, slovenly.com)

BLENDOURS, THE: No Respect: 12”

The strongest trait is their Rezillos-style male/female collaboration on vocals. It’s joyful, tightly packaged pop punk, with a fitting title to the record. Musically, it falls into the trappings of many ‘90s pop punk bands, as the songs run together with the same relentless tempo and format. They’re one of those cigarette break-worthy bands where I wouldn’t miss much between the first and last song, but I’d stay and watch if they were my friends and enjoy myself. It bores me when a band has little to say with song titles like “Leave the Girl,” “The Sweetest Girl in Town,” and “Not my Problem.” And I get it. You can say similar things about the Queers or Screeching Weasel, and so on. But from my cynical perspective, I don’t find enough substance. I want more aggression à la the Marked Men, or at least interludes from the formula they’ve meticulously followed, sticking to the recipe, and baked to the exact temperature. –Sal Go (Eccentric Pop)