BEETROOT

IAN O’NEIL FEATURING DEER TICK / NOVA ONE: Split: 7”

The third record in Tor Johnson Records’ 20th anniversary subscription series features Ian O’Neil of Deer Tick doing a solo song supported by his band on side A, and a new track from Nova One on side B. O’Neil’s “Life Insurance” is the kind of roots rock I’d expect from him and his collaborators in […]

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IMPARCIAL: Subversion: CD

Interesting collection of acoustic bits and pieces, written and recorded during the pandemic. A significant portion of the lyrics are in Spanish but not all of them. The word “folk” gets tossed around a lot, but I would say this is more “acoustic music” than actual folk. Good voice and some real feel in the […]

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INDONESIAN JUNK: Live?!*@ Like a Cyanide (Milwaukee 2021): CD

These guys are a three piece out of Milwaukee who share a member of Chinese Telephones, though this is a far cry from those pop punk stalwarts. First off, this whole album is a collection of live recordings from WMSE Milwaukee and it sounds killer. Indonesian Junk taps into that mid-’70s punk sound, analogous to […]

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ISOTOPE SOAP: In Need of Systematic Entropy: LP

If you’re going to name your band after a Geza X song then you better bring it; and Isotope Soap certainly bring it. They exist in real time but in the realm of past bands like Throbbing Gristle, Factrix, early Devo, DAF, early Cabaret Voltaire, and the like. Futuristic, yet primitive. Synths mixed with analog, […]

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JAMES DOMESTIC: Carrion Repeating: LP

If it wasn’t for a single released earlier this year, I would have been totally surprised by this album. James Domestic is in a number of bands and is mostly renowned for creating a rip-roaring racket. Carrion Repeating finds Domestic hitting a number of different musical bases including post-punk, soul, funk, and punk to bring […]

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JENNY: “Trajinero” b/w “Kids of Today”: 7”

Justin Maurer (Clorox Girls, Suspect Parts, Maniac, and ASL interpreter boy wonder), Jacobo Fernandez, and Gabriel Lopez recorded “Tranjinero,” a straightforward power pop tune with a swinging melody. Laden with farfisa over a surf beat, sung in Spanish, “Tranjiero” was recorded in Mexico City, which perhaps adds to the mood of colorful optimism to its […]

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JENNY: “Trajinero” b/w “Kids of Today”: 7”

Jenny is a project of Justin Maurer from the bands Clorox Girls, Maniac, and L.A. Drugz, conceived during a visit to Mexico. The result is this catchy single—with the A side sung in Spanish and the B side in English, containing two sugary sweet power pop-ish songs that do not disappoint. Anyone familiar with Justin’s […]

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JOHN PAUL GEORGE RINGO RICHARD: Das Ist Die Zukunft…: LP

You know when you show up to an art-school-kid warehouse gig two hours after start time and the first band is still dicking around duct-taping their keyboards together, then they disappear to put on costumes, and by the time they emerge you’re drunk and restless, thinking, “This had better be fucking good.”? Well, John Paul […]

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KARKAISU: Self-titled: 7” EP

Helsinki hardcore punk outfit from Finland bring swift and fierce Wendy O. Williams-style fronting vocals (but in Finnish), heavy metal guitar chugging and neck-break beats, with slow churn mosh breakdowns. Hardcore formula done right. Think Kaaos, maybe even Terveet Kädet, but way more metal. An excellent soundtrack while staring into the abyss of existential nothingness—or, […]

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KITTY JUNK: Converse Theory: CD

Sludgy, grungy rock. Not generally my cup o’ poison, but the songs are well crafted and performed and consistently engaging. –Jimmy Alvarado (Kitty Junk, kittyjunk.com)

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LAMMPING: Stars We Lost: 12” EP

It’s interesting to get the opportunity to review stuff that isn’t necessarily one of my go-to genres. Lammping are from Toronto and have been holding it down in the psych/stoner rock world for a bit now. Right off the hop I was taken by the cover painting. Four “Beach Boys-esque”-looking guys atop a VW van […]

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LOLLY GAGGERS / MIDDLE-AGED QUEERS: Split: EP

Oakland alt-queercore, now on my radar, Lolly Gaggers kick out dancey synth goth that’s undeniably catchy with “Death Threat.” There’s an overlay of overtly restrained yet meticulous post-punk guitar that puts a super slick veneer on top. Flip to “Size Queen,” Middle-Aged Queers is more in the vein of queercore skate punk—which is all about […]

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