BOB: Self-titled: LP

One of the odder, artier bands to emerge from the San Francisco punk scene in the early 1980s, BOB’s full recorded output is compiled onto this essential reissue. Both of their singles are included, as is their 1983 LP, Backward. Creepy, funny, and very new wave, their signature sound features dual male/female vocals and a vibraphone. My introduction to BOB was via an old Target Video compilation with a music video for a bizarre track of theirs called “Danger City.” It’s one of those haunting, eerie, inexplicably morose clips that were prevalent in the early video era. Rerun Records delivers BOB’s discography with remastered audio and awesome, poster-sized liner notes. Punk scenes used to produce high art like BOB. This reissue is an interesting horizon-expander for sure. –Art Ettinger (Rerun)

BOMBPOPS, THE: Death in Venice Beach: CD

Catchy pop punk in the vein of The Unlovables and Bad Cop/Bad Cop. Solid playing and production that highlights the band’s chops. Everything moves along swimmingly until I hear “13 Stories Down” and I have to hit repeat. Again and again. Not to discount the rest of the record but put that one out as a single, if people still do singles these days. –Sean Koepenick (Fat Wreck,

BOMBPOPS, THE: Death in Venice Beach: LP/CD

I’ve always considered The Bombpops to be a bit on the lightweight side for my tastes but Death in Venice Beach has seen the band draw me in to its sugary melodies, harmonies, and general all-round uplifting feel. I don’t think anything has changed either from the band or in my tastes; it’s just the case of this pushing the right buttons and making me feel happy. A good, fun album. –Rich Cocksedge (Fat Wreck,

BOMBPOPS, THE: Death in Venice Beach: CD

In the early- to mid-’90s I listened to a lot of Fat Wreck Chords bands. In the decades since my tastes have changed considerably, but I still hold the label and bands in high regard. Bombpops sound like a classic Fat band. Driving drums, soaring guitars, and the melody… oh the melody. This is a good album. If I was twenty again, I would be going nuts over it, but my old ass is content to have it on in the background and bounce my knee to the beat (until the arthritis flares up). I’d go see them if they came to town. –Ty Stranglehold (Fat,

BOO HAG: Testify / The Further: 2 x CD

Two-person Southern rock, pretty well-developed and well-executed. I got the limited run double-CD, which has pretty cool artwork that invokes the dark arts. They describe themselves as “kick you in the teeth rock n roll, salt and peppered with the macabre with a twist of psychedelia.” And I mean, that’s definitely what they are doing. I am definitely side-eyeing the use of “voodoo” to describe their sound and their use of Boo Hag, which from my understanding is a figure rooted in Gullah culture that’s filtered more into mainstream Southern stories. But also, they probably know this already and are riding that edge on purpose. –Theresa W. (Self-released)


This album, the second from this Australian trio, has blown me away. It is so, so good. The eight tracks blend moody, rhythmic post-punk with an angrier, gritty punk style. Cable Ties maintains a palpable tension from start to finish. This comes through blending the brooding with the fury using strident guitars, sharp high-pitched vocals, and a rhythm section which brings to mind New Model Army, most notably on “Anger’s Not Enough.” The sequencing stands out too, making Far Enough flow with ease, never missing a beat and flowing from one track into another. I listened to this a lot online before getting my copy through in the post and it’s stuck in my CD player now for repeated plays. –Rich Cocksedge (Merge, [email protected],

CARVELLS NYC, THE: Late Night Heart: 7”

Despite their name, this band sounds definitively like they’re from Jersey: E Street Band-style horns, classic rock’n’roll guitar, and lots of backup gang vocals. I’d go as far to say as they sound a little like Save Ferris at times—minus the ska and more rock. I can see that they’re going for a girl group feeling, but it just doesn’t hit the mark. –Emily T. (Die Laughing,


Interesting mix of sounds from this band outta New Orleans. Bits of garage rock, punk, death rock, hardcore, and noise are whipped into a howling froth that is by turns skronky, sludgy, thrashy, complex, and layered. Thumbs way up. –Jimmy Alvarado (Handstand,

CHARGER: Watch Your Back: 12” EP

Matt Freeman was in many other bands besides Operation Ivy and Rancid, including a stint in MDC. One of Freeman’s current projects is Charger, and his unmistakable voice shines through on the two tracks. Musically, there’s as much of a classic rock influence as anything else. As is often the case with Pirates Press, this release experiments with a new format. This media type premiered recently on a record by The Drowns. It looks like a picture disc, but it’s really a new process that allows for UV printing onto actual vinyl. As an added novelty, the artwork includes red eyes that glow in black light. Pirates Press continues to amaze with their quest to try out as many novel pressing techniques as possible. –Art Ettinger (Pirates Press)

CIRCLE PIT: Pushed to Revenge: CD

I can hear a lot of late-’80s crossover hardcore influence on the five tracks included, both in the music and the vocals. The lyrical focus of the songs are heavily travelled, typical thrash topics like drinking beer and killing people; easy to grasp punk/metal fodder that’s not exactly breaking new ground. This is recommended for fans of aggressively running around in a circle, clockwise. Must be clockwise. –Mark Twistworthy (