GASP

FIX: More Is More: LP

Trashy garage punk with an aggro edge from Germany. Fashionable Idiots would have been all over this ten years ago. Not feeling the strange intros, interludes, and outros but oddly enough I am in favor of their use of the cowbell. I miss the Retainers and Homostupids, but bands such as Fix are doing a […]

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FLEXURHEAD II, THE: 2 Song Demo: Digital

This is the result of a brief encounter between Daryl Gussin (God Equals Genocide, Spokenest, plus more) and Félix Reyes (Lifes Halt!, Big Crux, plus more). These acoustic tracks are extremely relaxing and have the added bonus of being eminently catchy. Beyond those traits, there’s a definite inherent sense of warmth and heart that comes […]

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FPB: Rockfest Live 1986: LP

FPB stands for Fourth Price Band, a play on words that involves bottom-shelf liquor and being an underground rock group in 1980s Czechoslovakia. At the time, the government banned a lot of rebellious music, forcing bands like FPB to perform under aliases to avoid persecution. Rockfest86 marks a change: it was a government-sponsored music festival […]

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FREEZING HANDS: It Was a Good Run: LP

If you look at the front cover of this album, it’s a bunch of arty-looking Dreamsicles or something, the kind of thing you’d see painted on a downtown mural to remind us all that life is beautiful and we should be nice to each other. If you look at the back cover photo, it’s just […]

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GAOLED: Bestial Hardcore Demo: CS

Like a caged animal never having known love, affection, or the sound of melody Gaoled from Perth break loose from captivity and are dead set on punishing their prey with six songs of unbridled hardcore. No mosh parts. No hooks. Just pure hate and violence-inducing sounds for souls that don’t need saving. –Juan Espinosa (Iron […]

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GOOD GRIEF: Shake Your Faith: LP

Good Grief make declarative, sincere melodic pop punk that’s most effective when they go off-script to some degree, either with a more jangly indie pop approach to guitars, or with Beach Boys-esque backing vocals, or with a kind of noise wreckage (“Hatches”). A tad conventional overall, but strong. –Matt Werts (HHBTM, hhbtm.com / Everything Sucks, […]

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GRIMPLE: Up Your Ass: LP

This repress of the classic Up Your Ass LP presents all that was well in punk in 1993. I graduated high school that year. Grimple made a lifelong impression. Originally from New Mexico, Grimple moved to the East Bay, adapting to the amazingly diverse scene of that era. Fusing classic hardcore with the melodic forms […]

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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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