BOY(MOUTH): R.P. #72: Thrift Shop Undies (The Stainiest Are the Zanyest): CD-R

I understand the art rock and/or performance art sensibilities behind this act, but even Jackson Pollock didn’t throw whatever out there. So, if you’ve been following the thrilling adventures of the Razorcake review staff, you’ve maybe read a few reviews of the bajillion releases by Boy(Mouth). I myself described them a bit over a year ago as a “jangly, grating mess,” but this latest effort represents improvement, as there are marginally identifiable melodies! This release actually isn’t too bad, but I’m not yet ready to call it “good.” And I am open to the possibility that any faults I find on this stem from my curmudgeonly sensibilities wherein I just don’t get it. I know that Boy(Mouth) are one of those bands that if I knew them personally I would think they were frickin’ GEEN-YUS, but I don’t, so they’re not. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Rotten Princess)

BOY(MOUTH): To the Maxxxx!: CD-R

On this week’s installment of Boy(Mouth) Beat, we find the gang delivering what might well be their magnum opus—a twenty-seven minute cover of Flipper’s “Brainwash,” delivered in a highly marketable “inept Devo” style! As with other great battles of the wills between consumer and consumable (Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music immediately comes to mind, Everybody Loves Hypno-Toad also qualifies), the sheer magnitude of the piece moves it from the realm of neo-jokedom into the rarified straits of an almost physical endurance test to see who blinks first (don’t take that metaphor too literally; Hypno-Toad doesn’t blink at all). I am pleased to say I sat through all thirty-one fifty-three-second repetitions, though not without squirming. Although I’m sure many people might have suggested that Boy(Mouth) stop playing music over the years, I’m likely going to be the only one saying that they should stop playing music only because they will never top this epic caper. Rest easy, men! Your place in Rock History has been assured! BEST SONG: “Brainwash.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Untitled 3.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Forget it, you wouldn’t understand anyway. –Rev. Nørb (Rotten Princess)

BUMBO’S TINTO BRASS BAND: Self-titled: 7”

This record is completely insane. It sounds like that scene in the Roky Erickson documentary You’re Gonna Miss Me, when they go into his apartment and he’s sleeping to multiple noises. This 7” is a cacophony of multiple instruments, including horns, with two vocals traveling headfirst at one another. Take a sedative for this one. –Ryan Nichols (Bumbo, [email protected])

BURNING FLAG: Matador: CD

A third album from these U.K. hardcore veterans and the first with new vocalist Holly. The quartet crank out a plethora of heavy-hitting riffs with all the finesse of a sledgehammer being applied to a concrete wall. Holly’s intelligible vocals match the heaviness well as she expels the lyrics passionately and with an obvious sense of conviction. Whereas some albums tend to lose some of their impact as they come to an end, Matador has an extremely strong final three tracks. Both “Vendetta” and “Step Back” have a bit more pace to them, as well as being extremely well structured, whilst the closer “All the While” is a seven-minute journey of malevolence with some strong male/female vocals and the occasional melodic moment. The song ends with a variety of samples providing damning indictments of the U.K. government’s shambolic handling of the Covid pandemic; something that should never be forgiven or forgotten. A vinyl version is expected on Phobia Records later this year. –Rich Cocksedge (Self-released, [email protected], burningflagofficial.wixsite.com)

BURNING IMAGE: Final Conflict: 7”

Holy shit, seeing this was a surprise. Reissue of the 1984 debut single of one of the West Coast’s early death rock bands, who are still active and are apparently working on a new album. Two choice cuts of gloom ‘n’ doom cast from the same mold as early Christian Death with maybe a bit more aggressive propulsion and tension in the delivery. Limited to five hundred copies, so it’s recommended that you scramble to get yer hands on a copy, but it’s cool as hell to see this out and available again. –Jimmy Alvarado (Going Underground, goingundergroundrecords.com)

CAFFIENDS: Kopophobia: LP

Fast, rough-at-the-edges pop punk. The occasional horn pops up here and there. Reminds me of the fervency of Direct Hit and the sonic and vocal makeup of bands like Hi Ho Silver, Away and New Junk City, though not quite as hook-laden or atmospheric. Confident enough, sounds great, and I bet they’re a cool live band. Fun layout with a monster/band photo mashup aesthetic, charming lyrics. All the pieces are there, but for some reason it lacked that vital bit of oomph and just didn’t quite carry this listener all the way through. –Keith Rosson (Rad Girlfriend)

CALIGULAS MAMMA: Dansa På Min Grav: 7”

What is this? I will not tell you. I will try, but I will fail. Let’s start simple: garagey, Spits-y, arty, weirdo Swedish punk with a singer who was clearly jogging while tracking vocals, and that’s a compliment. I suspect that exactly seventeen percent of you will like all four songs, but that seventy-two percent of you will like two to three of the songs. I fall into the latter category. I have no idea what in Hel they’re singing about and I would bet fifty krona that that would still be the case if it was in English. Case in point: Goggle says that the first song on Side B translates to “Penis Duck Suit.” Case closed. Go listen. –Chad Williams (Push My Buttons, pushmybuttons.se)

CAREFUL: Drunk Dial #7: 7”

I was trying to remember why Drunk Dial sounded so familiar, until it hit me that they released a Ramones covers compilation pretty recently that I dug. The premise of this series is to bring musicians into the studio, get them drunk, and then force them to record a single. It’s fun, it’s weird. These people play better drunk than I do. I’m a little jealous. Careful is a punk by way of the ’90s indie/punk scene. Touches of Lemonheads, Dinosaur Jr, Hüsker Dü, but with a nougaty power pop center. I don’t recognize the cover song, but I like the original song a good deal. –Gwen Static (Drunk Dial, drunkdialrecords.com)

CARTHIEFSCHOOL: Self-titled: CD

File under things I wasn’t expecting: When I opened the CD case, I saw on the back of the booklet a drawing of a person spreading their butt cheeks. Once I got past that shock (especially when you consider the front cover of the album is a drawing of a young woman holding a baby) and dug into the music, I found it an angular, abrasive post-punk journey. It was like a really aggressive version of Q And Not U or Smart Went Crazy or insert your favorite angular math rock-influenced Dischord Records band here. Carthiefschool is a three piece out of Sapporo, Japan, and all the lyrics are in Japanese. The language difference didn’t stop me from digging what they produced on this, their debut album. It’s quite talented but certainly not relaxing. Still, it’s quite good and if you’re into this type of thing (I’m thinking it’s a very niche audience) then this will be a treat. –Kurt Morris (Transduction)

CHALLENGED, THE: Wallfighter: CD

Holy moly, The Challenged channel the spirit of the Nils hard, maybe combined with a bit of very early Jawbox. Were I not to know otherwise, I woulda sworn it was a Nils record, as The Challenged have that pre-emo mid- to late-’80s Canadian vibe. A few songs also sounded like Soul Asylum in the Made to Be Broken / Hang Time era, the latter of which is one of my all-time fave records. So, lotsa Nils + Jawbox + Soul Asylum = success! Let’s all hoist one to The Challenged! –The Lord Kveldulfr (Unscene)