KICKER: Pure Drivel: LP

I kind of avoided this band for a while. I used to stay in a building next to a punk house and I got to know the tenants. We put up with each other despite my haircut and imported clothing—and I loved bonding with them over shared favorites like His Hero Is Gone—but when they suggested I check out this “very English punk-sounding” band Kicker I didn’t really take them seriously. Somehow the “ex members of” list, including folks from great bands like Dystopia and Neurosis, turned me off even more because I figured they should be sticking to what they do well and leave the whole crappy street punk thing to suburban bar bands dreaming of becoming the next Street Dogs (because that’s a barometer for success these days) and damn if I’m not eating my words on this one because this piece of plastic—their third full length release—is chock-full of straight rippers that are a blend of the darker elements of Sub/Hum/Ans, rough melodies of Oxymoron, and the intensity of early Rudimentary Peni, but with a more rock back beat. It’s such a simple, stupid sound that is the result of several people who obviously own way too many fucking records putting all them together. Great lyrics that aren’t cheesy. This is cheeky in a good way. It rocks in a good way. It’s punk in a good way. –Ian Wise (Tankcrimes, tankcrimesrecords.com)