Featured Record Reviews from Razorcake Issue 94: Adolescents, Alice Bag, Descendents, G.L.O.S.S., Martha, Rough Kids, Sass Dragons, Toys That Kill

MARTHA: Blisters in the Pit of My Heart: LP

Martha’s debut LP, Courting Strong, left an undeniable impact on me. It’s filled with painfully, jaw-droppingly relatable odes to being lonely without resentment, and understanding and accepting one’s personal sadness. The lyrics burnt off the haze of denial I had found myself in, and I learned the answers to questions I hadn’t been capable of asking. It’s a powerful record. And one that seemed very hard to top, which is why I wasn’t sure if I was ready for another Martha LP in my life. Luckily, the summer of 2016 brings us Blisters in the Pit of My Heart, and it’s as potent and emotionally relevant as anyone could hope for. It’s jam packed with their high-energy, supercharged take on British indie pop. Quirky existentialism (which is thee best form of existentialism) is propped up by these grand, immaculately structured pop songs that set the scene for tales of loss, loving, and coming to terms with the unfortunate realities we all face. Radical politics are casually tucked in to love songs; love songs about revolutionary leaders are open in plain sight. Blisters… is a solid fucking record. An important record. An inclusive record. A record that can be enjoyed on many levels. The final track feels so touching; it’s as if they wrote it with each and every one of us in mind. Martha is as relentless as any great hardcore band, yet trades blastbeats and mosh breakdowns in for multi-vocal melodies and laconic moments of personal reflection. They’re our reminder that it’s alright to be moody and self-indulgent, but for the love of gob, we need to care about things other than ourselves in this world. You will be coming of age till the day you die; never stop growing, never stop listening. Read the lyrics. –Daryl (Dirtnap)

ADOLESCENTS: Manifest Density: CD

I’ve been an Adolescents fan nearly as long as they’ve existed—seen many of their assorted incarnations and side bands, own a number of their albums, and have watched the ebb and flow of their career as they, and I, have aged. This latest release is a continuation of their most recent trajectory—songs are largely mid-tempo and lean more towards the “punk” than the prototypical “hardcore” in their DNA, though the opener, “Escape from Planet Fuck,” is about as thrashy as they ever got in their early days. Fans that can get past preconceptions founded on an album more than three decades old and aren’t put off by the “rock” swing in their undertow will still find most of the elements that defined their debut album and the band’s legendary sound: churning guitar often peppered with dual-octave noodling, astute lyrics, rock-solid tunes, great backing vocals and Tony’s inimitable howl. These Adolescents have matured into a formidable unit that delivers sinewy punk that is much smarter and nuanced than may be in evidence at first blush. Kick ass they are, fan I remain. –Jimmy Alvarado (Concrete Jungle, outofvogue.de)

 

ALICE BAG: Self-titled: LP

Unbeknownst to the average punter, Ms. Bag has had a long career in music, and it ain’t all been pandering to the prototypical “punk” sound—give a listen to the varied sounds of the Bags, Cambridge Apostles, Cholita, Goddess 13, Las Tres, Stay At Home Bomb, Punkoustica, Castration Squad, She Riffs, and anything else she’s had her hand in and you get what I mean. The resulting album in question is decidedly “punk” in all the ways that matter—attitude, approach, ethos, content—right down to the selection of musicians wrangled to pull it off. There are also tunes that rock raw and raging like those whose knowledge of her oeuvre is limited to the six Bags tracks that made it out by 1981 will be craving. What makes this album the nine hundred pound gorilla it is, though, is the virtually seamless cohesion of the wildly diverse sounds and styles from which she’s drawing inspiration—the eleven songs here bounce from straight-up rockers, to echoes of ‘60s girl group hits (“He’s So Sorry” serves both as cautionary tale of domestic abuse and a sly dig at woman killer Phil Spector by referencing the sound that made him famous), to quieter ballads, to pop, to slinky-rhythm rock, to full-bore punk, and they’re delivered by Alice and her crackin’ crew of cohorts in a way that makes it all feel like—duh, of course they go all together as well as they do. Anthemic, personal, pissed, joyous, introspective, vociferous; this is all that and so much more. –Jimmy Alvarado (Don Giovanni)

BLATZ: Mike Montano: LP

When I saw this record in the Razorcake review bin, I lit up. Blatz was an influential band for me in high school. Their abrasive, fuck-all attitude spoke to me. I especially remember often listening to the Blatz/Filth split. This live record was originally intended as a benefit for Mike Montano of Filth, but, sadly, he passed away before its release and now it benefits 924 Gilman Street. I was hesitant to listen because, at the time of this performance on December 27, 2013, it had been twenty-one years since Blatz’s breakup. That’s a lot of time to get rusty. Boy, I was wrong. Blatz delivers all of the energy and rage present in their recordings from over two decades ago. Mike Montano is a testament to the good shit (and great noise) that can happen when folks get together to support one another. –Sean Arenas (Zafio, zafiorecords.blogspot.com)

 

CHEATER SLICKS: On Your Knees: LP

Reissue of the 1989 debut album from a Boston contribution to independent, unpopular, late-’80s garage rock. With the marriage of a certain infamous punk’s brother Merle on bass, a wild, school-of-Biafra lead vocalist and raw, high-as-fuck, reckless rock’n’roll, what you have here is one maniacal record. Both behind and ahead of its time at once, the Cheater Slicks are a band in purgatory. Legendary to some, new to others, and forgotten by most. In any case, it’s a net positive to have such a record back in print and available to the new breed of garage rock bands. If we’re lucky, it will spur one of them to future greatness and shame the rest into quitting music altogether. –Chad Williams (Almost Ready, almostreadyrecords.com, [email protected])

 

DESCENDENTS: Hypercaffium Spazzinate: LP

I have now been privy to three comeback albums from pop punk originators Descendents and for three times in the last twenty years they have proven that not only can they maintain the quality of their now-legendary ‘80s output, but somehow manage to get better with age. I find that as we get older, we start to worry about different things in life. Descendents know this, and as they continue to write about the things in their life it still feels like they’re speaking directly to me. When we were younger, Milo and I were commiserating about girls through the speakers on my stereo. Now we are commiserating about high blood pressure… And it works perfectly. In the end, the Descendents have always been there for me. They were there for my friends and me to spazz out to. They were there for me to make mix tapes for my early girlfriends. They were there for Elise and I to walk down the aisle to. And, as they continue to release great music as they close in on forty years as a band, I know they will be there for more milestone moments in my life. That is comforting. –Ty Stranglehold (Epitaph)

 

DESCENDENTS: Hypercaffium Spazzinate: LP

Chances are that if you’re a regular reader of this zine, you don’t need me to tell you who the Descendents are. Even if you’re a casual fan, you can agree that their legacy is well deserved. The thought I can’t shake while listening to these songs is that this album very well may have never materialized: both bassist Karl Alvarez and drummer Bill Stevenson faced serious health issues between the release of this album and their previous LP, Cool to Be You. Fortunately for us, not even death can stop the fortuitous foursome. I hate reading reviews with phrases such as “returning to form” because that would imply that a band like the Descendents has ever lost their way and that simply isn’t true. If you’re looking for another Milo Goes to College or Everything Sucks, you’re setting yourself up for unrealistic expectations. The truth is that Descendents never abandoned their roots or went the route of wrongful experimentation with genres and sounds they never really belonged in just to see if they could sell records. They pursued their outside interests (Milo in biochemistry), played in other bands (Bill in Only Crime, three quarters of the band in All) and recorded other punk bands at their own studio the Blasting Room during their down time, all the while honing their edge. To think that they could ever write a bad song is just plain silly. From start to finish, we are beholding yet another future classic album in a discography that is already damn near perfect. I can understand if you don’t really feel this album or think it’s just not that good, but if you honestly think that this album outright sucks then I think there’s a good chance that you suck even harder. –Juan Espinosa (Epitaph)

 

EXTINCT EXIST: Cursed Earth: 12”

One punk’s opinion: In the realm of heavy, d-beat hardcore, the pinnacle was reached with three consecutive records: Tragedy’s Vengeance (2002), From Ashes Rise’s Nightmares (2003), and Tragedy’s Nerve Damage (2006). Aside from the obviously and epically influential Discharge, everything in this very specific subgenre released previous, concurrent, and subsequent to these masterpieces has paled in comparison, as good as some of them have been. The songwriting, performance, and production on these three albums achieved a perfection that is still untouchable. But every once in a while, you hear a record that gives you pause, reminds you of that black-holiest of trinities. Cursed Earth is one of those records. That’s not to say that it gives any of the three competition. What it does say is that this is a quality record: thoughtfully composed songs that take you somewhere; thrashing and heavy, yet restrained and acutely intentional in their musical and lyrical journey. As might be expected based on the title, Cursed Earth focuses on environmental destruction, its impact on animal and human life, and the apathy displayed by most of the world toward our imminent doom. “Meanwhile, oblivious to all, the Parisian diner finishes off his steak and politely motions for the bill.” A beautifully produced booklet accompanies the record, with a selection of prose such as this, accompanying each song’s lyrics. Highly recommended listening for those with any reverence toward the above records. –Chad Williams (Ruin Nation, ruination.org, [email protected] / Aborted Society, abortedsociety.com)

 

FATTY CAKES AND THE PUFF PASTRIES: Feminist Gold 2K: CS

Remember when there was a lesson to be learned in afterschool specials in the ‘90s, there would often be an out-of-town person or crew that would appear to either fix the problem or help the kid through the tough time? Well imagine that Virgie Tovar and Gravy Train were commissioned to put together a cartoon musical superhero force of femme beauty and rage from the future to fuck up whatever asshole tried to tell us we were less than perfect: Fatty Cakes And The Puff Pastries are all of that and more. Serious grrrl gang vibes through punky, poppy, xylophone-driven, anthems about being bad asses, gay sex in the park, golddigging, and hating working in the mall. Everything about this cassette is flawless, from the cover art to those cool bass lines, syncopated hihat grooves, and vocal harmonies. Keep Fresno pissed off, Fatty Cakes. Y’all are doing the lord’s work. –Candace Hansen (Self-released, fattycakes.bandcamp.com)

 

G.L.O.S.S: Trans Day of Revenge: 7”

Not everyone wants to listen to the message of Olympia’s G.L.O.S.S. It doesn’t paint a beautiful world and it surely doesn’t call for a peaceful way of walking in it. But then you remember that this was released the day after one of the biggest mass shootings in U.S. history, at a queer nightclub, and days before another unarmed person of color was killed by a police officer. So, yeah, lyrics like “Black lives don’t matter in the eyes of the law” and “Black trans women / Draped in white sheets / Beaten to death / Harassed by police… /Trans day of revenge / Not as weak as we seem,” are undeniably timely and telling. You can’t put the message outside of the music here and that’s what makes it what it is. I’ll go ahead and state the obvious: the music is really, really, good. If you miss old school, East Coast hardcore, this is for you. But don’t expect pure repetition. G.L.O.S.S is not here to reinvent any wheels, they’re moving beyond the notion entirely. –Nicole X (Self-released, girlslivingoutsidesocietysshit.bandcamp.com)

GIZ MEDIUM: Are We There Yet?: CS

Surprised that folk punk is still being made; however, given that folk punk is still around, I’m not surprised that it’s being made poorly. Cards on the table, I find folk punk generally unbearable. Typically, folk punk sounds like shitty camp songs with lyrical content that reads like diary excerpts from an uptight and uncreative college-aged hippie. Giz Medium did nothing to change my generalized perception of the genre. While there are a couple songs that have a full band sound, this cassette is mostly just crooning with a guitar, trying too hard to be heartfelt. For fans of Ghost Mice (if there are any). –Vincent (busstoppress.bandcamp.com)

 

LOA HEX: Orphan Cuts: CS

This female-fronted hard rock band sounds like they’ve played every edgy rock club in every police procedural show ever. –Vincent (WFBRecords.com)

 

LOVESORES: Rock and Roll Animal: 10”

Scott Drake brings his Deluxe Rock Humping to bear on a quartet of tunes that sound like they could have been Sleaze Sisters numbers from the Times Square movie, or maybe in a scene on a TV show where some freaky-looking punk band rips up a nightclub. The Queen Haters? Pain? I can’t quite put my finger up it, but I know it wears a dog collar. “The moon is full of shit tonight” is clearly pretty much the best line anyone wrote, ever. No truth to the rumor the next record is going to be called Sally Can’t Dance. When do I throw the toilet paper? BEST SONG: “This Wicked World.” BEST SONG TITLE: “The Erotic Adventures of Coca-Cola Jones.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Runoff grooves say “THE NUGGETS OF TOMORROW UNEARTHED TODAY,” and it’s on both sides so you know it must be true. ­–Rev. Nørb (Hound Gawd)

 

M.O.T.O. / PERTTI KURIKAN NIMIPÄIVÄT: Split: LP

M.O.T.O.: Obviously masterful rock’n’roll. Paul C. has had his attack honed in for going on four decades now, and the four tracks on the M.O.T.O. side of this record show that his edge hasn’t dulled. Long gone seem the lo-fi four-track recordings, but the content of the songs is still present. Straightforward punk rock’n’roll with lyrics about rocking, rolling, dying, and how you need a knee to the groin. Indeed! PKN: If you had played this for me without telling me anything about it, I woulda thought that it was some lost relic from the ‘80s, probably from Brazil (Olho Seco was coming to mind). As it turns out, PKN is a current Finnish band, compromised of four adult men living with developmental disabilities. As it also turns out, I don’t know my ass from my elbow when it comes to Finnish punk (or, apparently, Brazilian punk). My ignorance aside, the three tracks contained herein are pretty good, straightforward punk stompers. The vocals are aggressive enough to be hardcore, and the music, too, is crude and aggressive; however, the tempo keeps them firmly on the punk side of the line. The lyrics are in Finnish, so I have no idea what they are singing about, but I’d like to imagine that they sing about throwing pickled fish at political figures. Not too shabby. –Vincent (Blast Of Silence)

 

MOMENT: Thick and Unwieldy from All Our Layers: A Complete Discography: 2 x LP

I fucking love this. Double album capturing this Boston band’s discography—a perfect snapshot of a time and place. Never even heard of those folks before, but goddamn if they don’t encapsulate the late ‘90s/early ‘00s so perfectly. A wonderful mishmash of emo and punk that was so prevalent at the time, but also so damn hard to pull off convincingly. Brings to mind elements of their contemporaries: Hot Water Music, Lifetime, Grade. Letterpress insert, lyrics, photos included. Remastered and sounds gorgeous. I only wish there was more info here—where the songs came from, a release history, anecdotes from band members, etcetera. It’s so clearly a labor of love, just wish they’d used it to celebrate a bit more. This is your time to shine, guys! I wanna read some liner notes! Regardless of the skimpiness of info presented, this thing is going to spin round and round in this house. Beautiful, beautiful work; I hope everyone involved high fives the crap out of each other. –Keith Rosson (Tor Johnson)

 

MURDER FOR GIRLS: All the Wishes: CD

I’m psyched to hear so many bands coming out now that are drawing inspiration from all the rad female indie rock and grunge bands of the ‘90s. I still don’t think a lot of those bands got all the props they deserved. In Murder For Girls, you can hear traces of everyone from the Breeders to Hole, but they’re fleeting and mixed into a powerful, melodic concoction that is purely its own thing. What bums me out is that this is very smart, lyric-driven music that doesn’t include a lyric sheet. I’m a word guy. I can’t help it. I want to pore over a lyric sheet and really absorb what’s being said. Without it, I fall prey to these riffs and get caught up in how rocking it all is. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to listen to this over and over. –MP Johnson (Self-released, murderforgirls.bandcamp.com)

 

PATRICK JENNINGS: Careful Now: CS

Patrick Jennings is a Bloomington-based musician best known for playing in Hot New Mexicans and Purple 7. Here, he’s offering up eight songs of ramshackle, lo-fi acoustic pop. The arrangements are simple, with perfect additions, like the mariachi horns at the end of the first song. Patrick’s songwriting quiets down well, highlighting his strong pop sensibility and cranking up the wistfulness until it’s just right. When I saw Purple 7 a couple summers ago, I told a friend, “This band makes me wish I had a car, so I could listen to them while I wash it.” Well, this cassette makes me wish I lived in a college town, so I could walk around the empty campus on summer nights with this on my headphones. –Chris Terry (Let’s Pretend)

 

PINKWASH: Collective Sigh: LP

Steeped in melody and doused in ferocity, Pinkwash is a certifiable force of nature. With seemingly alchemical abilities, the group’s two members transform their guitar and drums into a tidal wave of sound reminiscent of noise rock progenitors Lightning Bolt. Collective Sigh will pull you into a hypnotic trance with its impenetrable hooks and deep grooves, and won’t let you come up for air until the last note ebbs into oblivion. One of the best releases of 2016 so far, Collective Sigh deserves your undivided attention. Just be sure to turn your stereo up—all the fucking way. –Simone Carter (Don Giovanni, [email protected], dongiovannirecords.com)

 

PRETTY BOY THORSON & THE LIL’ HAPPINESS / LUTHERAN HEAT: Split: 7”

Lil’ Happiness: Truth be told, I’ve been having trouble distinguishing Jesse Thorson’s projects sonically from one another. I don’t truly understand the difference between what would make a song a Lil’ Happiness tune versus what would make it a Slow Death song. Best I can tell, is that the Lil’ Happiness are more willing to sit back in the rocking chair and open up a bottle of beer on a warm rural night. There’s a country twang and a hard rock strut present that’s not always willing to show its face. The songs on this side are pretty fantastic, with “Wait” being a particular standout. Lutheran Heat: Stompy, shouty garage rock in the swamp gospel tradition. The name seems appropriate, since I can’t seem to separate the music that’s presented from the idea of a congregation in the southern heat, sweating and praising Jesus. The tracks even have a call and response between the pastor and the flock. Their second song is much more reminiscent of ‘50s rock ballads like “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” Overall, recommended. –Bryan Static (Rad Girlfriend, radgirlfriendrecords.com)

 

ROUGH KIDS: Self-titled: LP

As I read through the liner notes, I literally gasped. The notes state that all songs are written by Rough Kids except “Breaking Out” by Oscar Drill & The Bits, a fictional band from the overlooked sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Shock Treatment. “Breaking Out” is not only the best song in the cult flick but a song I’ve wanted to cover for years. You’ll find it after the B side locked groove, which admittedly took some assistance for me to find. Even without the excellent cover, Rough Kids won me over with their lightening fast, riff-addicted punk in the vein of Testors and The Shitty Limits, with the right amount of spit and snarl. The songs stick to your frontal lobe until you find yourself chanting, “Animaa City! Animaa City! Animaa City!” –Sean Arenas (Sorry State, [email protected], sorrystaterecords.com)

SASS DRAGONS: True Adventure: LP

Plenty of Cong-jangle and bounce glued together with earlier (i.e. “less slick”) Mean Jeans surf-beat while still bringing shards of Chi-town HC. The first Sass LPs touched me in a Queers-meets-Effigies/Raygun place. This is a “maturing” Dragons, a little slicker, but still ready to regale the listener with tales of last night’s party. Instead of a slash and burn PBR bender though, the record contains tunes using a saxophone, a flute, and even a couple of slow jams. So it’s a listening equivalent of a fancy mix drink. With a pineapple and a little plastic sword. And an umbrella. But the umbrella is on fire. I’ll take two of those. Recommended. –Matt Seward (Let’s Pretend, letspretendrecords.com / No Breaks, nobreaksrecords.com)

 

SHATTERED FAITH: Volume III: LP

From a genesis involving a rehearsal cassette dating from their earliest days comes this, the band’s second full-length (not counting Volume II—which is listed on the Discogs.com website as an EP and I’m not in the mood to argue—or the assorted collections of previously released material). The content is comprised of modern re-recordings of tracks originally existing solely on demos and comps or have not otherwise previously seen the light of day, and lemme cut to the chase: this mutha’s a doozy. The recording production is, dare I say, the best the band’s ever sounded in-studio; their potent mix of muscly beach punk and Orange County thug-pop flat-out rages, and songs that were marginally interesting in previous incarnations shine here as some of the best tracks. Having considered myself a fan for a lot longer than many reading this have likely existed without being attached to an umbilical cord, I’d easily put this up in the number two spot on a “crucial” list, right after the six legendary tracks Posh Boy released in various incarnations way back when. Yes, kids, it’s that goddamned good. –Jimmy Alvarado (Hostage, hostagerecords.com)

 

TOYS THAT KILL: Sentimental Ward: LP

There are always so many mixed emotions when you are writing a review of one of your favorite bands. Excitement and anxiety come to the forefront. Toys That Kill are easily in my top ten current bands to listen to. They have songs for most of my moods. The last full length album Fambly 42 was great (see my review in the database on Razorcake.org), but I feel that record had more of an Underground Railroad To Candyland vibe to it than a TTK album. I had attributed this to it being their first record in their own Clown Sound studio, producing it themselves rather than working with their long-time producer Mike Vasquez. Well, I am here to tell you that Sentimental Ward is a TTK album through and through. It comes across with the off kilter urgency of We Control the Sun, but fresh for 2016. It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I listen to it. I can’t stop listening to it. Todd, Sean, Jimmy, and Chachi work the magic when they get together. I don’t know what their secret is and, to be honest, I don’t want to know. I just want to revel in what may very well become my favorite Toys That Kill album. –Ty Stranglehold (Recess)

 

TRANSGRESSIONS, THE: Fucked Up: 7”

Madison, Wisconsin’s The Transgressions are everything that is pop punk: restless, bored, snotty, snarky, nihilistic, depressed, self-deprecating, a little immature, kinda hungry, contemplating ordering a pizza, super drunk, super high, probably need to shower, but don’t really feel like it right now, really into the Ramones, but not, like, too much, and super in “like” with girls, but girls may have cooties, the jury’s still out. Fucked Up is about many of these things. It’s also about having holes in your socks, and how minor inconveniences often echo the larger emotional tragedies in our lives—but also how, for real, having holes in your socks is super fucking annoying. From “I Don’t Wanna Be,” the catchy fuck-my-life-just-let-me-die-here-in-this-gutter-as-long-as-there-are-also-opiates-in-the-gutter anthem that kicks off the record, to “You’re the One” and “Grim Fairytale”—which both tell stories of love gone, well, not wrong, but y’know, whatever—the short and bitter offerings on Fucked Up are penned and played with equal parts grime, rage, and despair. And it really fucking works. –Kelley O’Death (It’s Alive, [email protected], itsaliverecords.com)

 

TROPHY WIFE: All the Sides: CS

If Trophy Wife was complicated in a more reducible way, you could call it post-hardcore or post-rock. However, such a term won’t hold them. Instead of flaunting art school ideas, they’re complicated in a cerebral, nearly spiritual way. Not unlike Lungfish—who were often accused of writing the same song over and over—but, to me, the plodding to driving riffing became metaphorical to life itself. Waxing and waning as Daniel Higgs’s reached into his psyche for meaning, there was a similar yet constant reminder in the music that life would move forward and change. All the Sides moves me in that way—hypnotic and thoughtful, with understated power and resilience. –Craven Rock (Dead Tank)

VARIOUS ARTISTS: Pinball Summer Soundtrack: LP

Was there ever a more appropriate record to find in my review pile? I instantly marveled at the fact I was holding vinyl that said “PINBALL” in bold font at the top of the sleeve. How could it be that there was a movie with the silver ball in the name that I wasn’t aware of? Pinball Summer is a Canadian Animal House, or Porky’s-style movie, which was renamed to Pick-Up Summer when released in the U.S. I find it strange to omit pinball from the title when introducing it to the country that manufactures the most machines in the world, but what do I know about marketing? Seemingly, this soundtrack was written by two men, Jay Boivin and Germain Gauthier who had played in garage and surf bands prior to this. It evokes feelings of sunshine, swimming pools, make-out parties, the beach, and being young. The first three songs even have “Summer” in the title. While this record is barely—if even—punk adjacent, it definitely emulates music that I enjoy outside of punk. There’s a heavy Beach Boys and Bee Gees sound with small bits of late ‘70s Queen, ELO, and T-Rex, plus some synth, and even a little saxophone. Based on the trailer which is full of topless gals and an incidental side of pinball, I doubt that I’ll check out the movie. Though I may have just found my new “go-to” record to listen to while I play pinball. Also, if I lived somewhere that could facilitate summer pool parties, this soundtrack would be in heavy rotation. –Kayla Greet (Jay And Germain, no address listed)

 

WEEKEND DADS: September Downs: LP

Weekend Dads are as catchy as head lice in a kindergarten classroom. The songs crawl into your scalp. They’re too fast to catch. They have you scratching and tapping at a blasting rate. And then they’re just there. You can’t get rid of them. They’re stuck in your head but you like it. It’s kind of like that. This is pop punk for someone like me who doesn’t usually enjoy the genre. Great songwriting and every member of the band is pulling their weight and then some. Good one, Dads. –Jon Mule (It’s Alive, itsaliverecords.com)

 

WHITE LUNG: Paradise: LP

White Lung’s latest release is super sharp. It’s more polished than their previous releases, which some may see as taking away from their raw energy, but from the first listen I was hooked (and that rarely happens anymore, although god knows I listen for it on every album). There’s something clean and poppy about it, while retaining aggressive, driving drumming and intricate guitar work. Songs like “Hungry” are instant classics: rumbling bass, Joy Division-sounding guitar, and catchy lyrics. Most of the songs in these twenty-eight minutes are similar in their infectiousness. I really can’t get enough of these ten songs. Hell, there’s a good possibility this isn’t just my album of the summer, but the album of the year. If you’re looking for catchy, aggressive, danceable punk, this is it. –Kurt Morris (Domino)

 

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