CANAL IRREAL: Self-titled: 12” EP

Martín Crudo joins members of Sin Orden and Droid’s Blood in a “supergroup,” if you will. It would be totally understandable if folks expected a blur of blazing thrash-o-rama hardcore from a band with that kinda pedigree. Such expectations would be met with disappointment, but those with a bit more nuanced palate would find a delectable disc here, indeed. While every track could easily be pigeonholed as “hardcore,” and there’s definitely an intensity to their delivery, the structure of the songs themselves and the chorus/flanger/distortion pedal combo utilized on the guitar are both firmly rooted in the post-punk/death rock corner of the room, resulting in a sonic tone not unlike Criminal Code at their peak. This, friends, is a thing of beauty and I can’t stop listening to it. Limited to 550 copies, so ye might wanna jump on this before you later end up mortgaging your spleen to procure a copy. –Jimmy Alvarado (Beach Impediment)

CANAL IRREAL: Self-titled: 12” EP

Martín Sorrondeguy has a new band that sounds nothing like his old bands, Limp Wrist and Los Crudos. Instead of angry hardcore punk, there’s more of a post-punk influence with Canal Irreal. Imagine if the Wipers met Naked Raygun mashed with some mid-’80s Dischord Records material. Still, don’t think these nine tracks are sedated. There are bursts of energy that show the band has hardcore roots but their mission isn’t to knock you on your ass. There is passion and urgency here but also maturity. Not only does Sorrondeguy have decades in the scene, but Canal Irreal includes experienced members from razacore act Sin Orden. The songs are sung in both English and Spanish, which provides a nice contrast from track to track. I only wish my elementary Spanish was better. –Kurt Morris (Beach Impediment)

CANAL IRREAL: Self-titled: 12” EP

Well, fuck. Martín Sorrondeguy was already pantheon-level for me because of his work in Los Crudos and Limp Wrist, and he’s upped the considerable ante with Canal Irreal. On this record, he joins up with members of Sin Orden, adding his distinct vocal delivery to a batch of tracks incorporating minor, dissonant chords and chilly synth tones. Lyrics are in both English and Spanish, and despite the change of sonic palette are no less confrontational than previous bands (take “Glazed,” the lyrics of which read “he shot in my face/and I love it”). A tremendous album start to finish. –Michael T. Fournier (Beach Impediment)

CARNIVAL CRASH: It Is a Happy Man: CD

Carnival Crash were a NYC based post-punk band that coexisted amongst many of the greatest revered NYC post-punk bands in ’81/’82, but broke up while recording before really establishing themselves. Members from Carnival Crash would also play in Swans, Ritual Tension, Live Skull, Chavez, and others. This collection documents the short time they were around. Musically, it’s completely solid-sounding early ’80s post-punk with some no wave influence sprinkled about. It fits perfectly amongst the timeframe from which it comes, and is recommended for anyone interested in the early ’80s NYC punk/post-punk/no wave scenes and the music that came out of them. –Mark Twistworthy (Obelisk, obeliskrecords.com)

CASTAIC: Self-titled: CS

The five songs on this tape primarily consist of bass-driven post-punk, a single clean guitar slathered in reverb and an understated, moody-sounding vocalist. There are different influences from song to song, but most land in the “dreamy”-sounding pop song category. –Mark Twistworthy (castaic.bandcamp.com)

CHIMES OF BAYONETS: Indexer: 7”

When I play these three songs, I keep picturing the hull of a huge iron ship rumbling by on a nighttime ocean. Chimes Of Bayonets are three grown-ass men from upstate New York who play serious, mathy post-hardcore with a clattering groove and a lot of passion. It reminds me of ’90s post-hardcore like The Last Crime, or stuff from the Hoover family of bands (Kerosene 454, June Of 44…). You’re gonna want this if you like brainy heavy music, or were rocking the “rolled-up beanie and Dickies” look before it was all trendy. Root beer brown vinyl. –Chris Terry (chimesofbayonets.bandcamp.com)

CHOKE: It’s Hard to Talk Shit with No Fucking Teeth: CS

Choke from Oakland barrel through seventeen songs of brutally tough hardcore and powerviolence. The Apartment 213 and Madball covers are indicative of exactly where their sound lies—with crushing heaviness, manic blast beats, and in-your-face vocals coming at you from every direction. The lyrical themes include a disdain for cops, nationalist pricks, cancel culture, and even includes an excerpt from a speech by Greta Thunberg. Beware, however: the music is seriously intense and although their stance is righteous, something tells me these guys aren’t here to make friends, but you probably already guessed that from the title of the record. –Juan Espinosa (Goat Power Recreation, choke510.bandcamp.com)

CHRISTMAS BRIDE: Dark Romance of a Midnight Wanderer: CS

This is, without a doubt, the most “hi-fi” recording I have heard on a twenty-first century cassette tape. Almost gets to a Fat Wreck/Epitaph level of production, which is quite uncommon. Add in the near metal guitar parts and you’re really getting there. Really, this is more Hopeless/Fearless level and the sound is quite similar to what those labels were doing two decades ago. High quality but quirky melodicore/pop punk that fans of, say, Millencolin would almost certainly love. –Mike Frame (Snappy Little Numbers)

CLASSIC RUINS: Forget About It: CD

New record by this long-running outfit from Boston offers up tight blasts of full-tilt rock that should keep you bopping along until the last note rings out. The title track reminds me of The Del Fuegos and there’s even a Christmas song that celebrates the Scrooge! Other songwriters like Charlie Chesterman and The Beatles also get run through the band’s kaleidoscope with excellent results. Rock that works with or without a chaser. Ask for this one by name. –Sean Koepenick (Rum Bar, rumbarrecords.bandcamp.com)

CLIBBUS: Horsesatelite: LP

It’s tempting to say there’s nobody like Beefus D’Aurelio, probably because it’s true. I saw him play guitar in Beastman, meaning I saw him wear a Jelly Belly wrestling singlet and run over to someone’s table at a bar and steal a sip of their drink mid-song. Did he also spray people with water (or some other fluid) from a plastic penis on that one Beastman tour? He sang with a strange mannequin during a Panty Raid (or maybe they had changed their name to Puberty by then?) show. I think it was wearing a wig? It might’ve been animatronic. This is the Beefus effect: he plays something, does something, brings something to surreal life, and later you wonder, “Did that happen?” It did, and it’s still happening, and it’s beautiful. Clibbus, his latest project, draws from the acid-soaked, absurdist corners of the ’80s and ’90s, but they go in their own direction, pulling hardcore and prog and sub-underground rambling into new shapes. Saturated and complex, they move to the outer edges so you can get a good look. What do you see in “Paperbaghead”? How do you feel when you arrive at a song like “I’m”? These are important questions, and at some point you may even be able to answer them. –Matt Werts (Clibbus International, clibbus.com)