New Mexican Disaster Squad: I’m real close to liking them, but it always slides back to them being just okay. This time out, they’ve scaled back the Strike Anywhere-isms and headed in a more early Explosion direction with super-clear vocals, swelling guitars, and popping drums. I still just don’t hear that extra spark that ignites their own fire, where their songs improve on repeated listens. Western Addiction: Feisty, upbeat, and forceful, they remind me of two bands simultaneously. Seven Seconds because no matter what the song’s about, it sounds positive as all hell. Dick Army because, well, they sound an incredible amount like the (unfortunately) obscure and (again, unfortunately) broken up New York band—from the warmly screamed vocals (think burlap, honey, and duct tape) to everything being so tightly wound with no gaps while remaining dirty, sweaty, and blood pumping.

 –todd (No Idea)