Record Reviews

ANEURYSM: Awareness: LP

Ripping fast, noisy hardcore here with a spazzed-out, shrieking singer who’s trying to work through a lot of pain. The whole album is a non-stop onslaught of mental anguish with dark lyrics that will ruin your day if you’re having a good one, but just might be what you need for a bad one. At times it references some of the least accessible Nirvana songs, but it’s far from grunge. It’s ugly hardcore for ugly people, and if you’ve been in an ugly mood like I have, then I highly recommend locking yourself away and playing Awareness. –Craven Rock (Tor Johnson)

ANGRY COUGARS: Stay in Your Lane: 7”

The newest single from this now long-running Columbus band shows that the aggressive vibe and overall Dwarves feel is still in place more than half a decade later. It’s interesting to someone who is a power pop fan to see Pat Dull in such a project after so many years of releasing very tuneful three-minute pop song type stuff. The vocals are strong and the recording is solid. Fans of the more aggressive side of garage punk would probably really love this band. Matt Reber of New Bomb Turks also appears to now be a member, so that may be of interest. –Mike Frame (H-Bomb)

ANGRY COUGARS: Stay in Your Lane: 7”

Loud, fast, and pissed—just the way hardcore should be. A little 1980s in the riffage, a little Lemmy meets Naked Aggression in the vocals. Do y’all remember On The Rag Records? This band would have totally fit on that roster! Great ’90s-style punk hot rod art on the cover. Wish this would have come with a lyric insert though. –Candace Hansen (angrycougars.bandcamp.com)

ANTIBODIES: Antibodies LP 2018: CS

Fast hardcore riffs, underwater rapid-fire vocals, and distorted, driving bass, Antibodies keeps things short, succinct, and fucking satisfying. Similar to Booji Boys, but def on the hardcore side of life. Two thumbs up. –Camylle Reynolds (antibodieschtn.bandcamp.com)

ANTICITIZEN: Invasive Species//Endangered World: 7”

Okay, this is the coolest-looking 7” I’ve ever held in my little freak hands. It literally looks like glass. Apparently, this was cut in real time using a 1940s Presto 75A recording lathe, meaning it’s hand carved from polycarbonate and not done on a factory press. When I played it, first it sounded like shit but I guess it is typical of records like this and you have to fully put it on the groove. I only learned this after listening to the record a few times in bewilderment—thinking I suddenly forgot how to use a record player—and a little info sheet fell out of the package. Upon the first few listens there was literally so much static creating distance that it made me feel like I was listening on the other side of a brick wall, 40 in hand because I didn’t want to cough up the three dollars to get into the crust gig. It’s hard to get it to play consistently and clearly on my shitty punk record player but from what I can hear it rules, like a thrashier Minor Threat raised on crust. The nerd in me loves this special release. The practical reviewer is having a hard time with it. Either way, it’s conceptual and punk and nerdy and I’m into it. –Candace Hansen (anticitizenpunk.bandcamp.com)

ANTICITIZEN: Stand Up and Fight: 7” EP

Simple, straightforward hardcore with an anarcho punk bent. Lyrics address some tried-and-true subjects—religion, oppression, political bullshit, and class warfare. Kinda nondescript based on this, but that could easily be just what sounds like a four-track production. “I’m sick of all the injustice / I’m sick of all this prejudice / I’m sick of these pigs out on the street / Always there to profile me….” I’m sure a few of us can relate. –Jimmy Alvarado (Self-released)

ARE THEY YES THEY ARE: Self-titled: LP

I would have never guessed this record would sound as cool as it does. Their monogram and cover had me thinking I was about to head into hardcore town. Wrong. The music is quirky and fun like Killer Pussy and the B-52’s, with vocals that remind me of Ian Svenonius. I imagine these guys are a blast to see live. Go dance this mess around. –Ryan Nichols (Self-released, no address listed)

ARTERIES: Self-titled: LP

Potent mix of post-punk and arty noise rock from some folks outta Portland. The guitars and synth are well balanced throughout and the rhythm section keeps the largely mid-tempo beats in the sweet spot between dancey and almost tribal. Throughout, the band keeps their sound stripped to its essential parts, refraining from dropping in a ton of superfluous bullshit—simple, minimal, and packing punch. Nice work. –Jimmy Alvarado (Nadine, nadinerecords.com)

BEACH SLANG: MPLS: 7”

New single that sports a cover that has Hüsker Dü and The Replacements in stars on the front. But it is a bait and switch on the back since the song choices are solo selections from these bands’ front men. I do like Westerberg and Mould solo material so it is not a major hang-up to enjoying this one. But one more thing that rubbed me the wrong way. There are bands and there are solo artists. If you declare that you are a band then you shouldn’t list all the members except the front man as “additional.” Maybe try the James Alex Experience next time around. –Sean Koepenick (Bridge Nine, b9store.com)

BLACK CAMARO: Protocol of Dreams: LP

Black Camaro is more modern pop/rock’n’roll than punk, however that doesn’t necessarily mean punks wouldn’t like it. Protocol of Dreams is heavily infused with Beatles pop, Oasis, electro that is incredibly palatable, and what I would believe modern indie rockers listen to today. With weaving vocals, slick production, and thoughtful songs, this was an easy listen. –Camylle Reynolds (Running In Place)