VARIOUS ARTISTS: Welcome to the Golden State: 11-song 7”EP

A nice, if rough, snapshot of current DIY hardcore in California. There’s an adolescent feel—almost a Pee Chee sketch and doodle quality to most of the songs—that’s both charming in its predictability and rough enough to believe that the bands believe in what they’re playing. This wheel’s been long-invented, but ‘81-style hardcore is like a ‘72 Nova. That shit can take a beating and it still, somehow, work and get to where it wants to go. Standouts are the tracks of Ecoli in the middle (one where they temporarily take the first person narrative of AIDS, then take issue with cell phones and skin disease), Broken Needle, Crawlspace, and Valoids.

 –todd (Cowabunga, www.cowabungarecords.com)