Junior Battles

SCRUNCHIES: Feral Coast: LP

Scrunchies’ sophomore album is a brash and dissonant experience, and I love it. “The Houseplant” kicks off proceedings with an insistent bass riff and harsh vocals before igniting into a rampant joyride. Without sounding pejorative, Scrunchies sounds loose and reckless at times, the exact traits that made me fall for this almost immediately. Despite the […]

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SEWER CATS, THE: Cute Aggression: LP/CD

The Sewer Cats knock it out of the park with this record. The duo has a warm, fuzzy garage punk sound. It’s perfect for the delivery of some barnstorming tracks as well as the handful which take a step back from the in-your-face approach. I’m always fascinated by drummers who can play and sing at […]

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SHAKERS: Not The Shakers: LP

At times here, Shakers remind me of the Paddy-side of the Dillinger Four brain, with smart, lower-case-P politically astute lyrics delivered with a more brutalist than baroque sensibility to their mid-tempo, pop-leaning punk. Direct, no-frills tuneage with solid foundations. –Jimmy Alvarado (Shakers)

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SHARK ATTACK: Unheard Southern Punk: 7” EP

Ever wonder what the world would be like if Discharge, Eyehategod, and the Cows were left in a room full of equipment to figure things out? For my money, these three tracks, recorded in 1990 and 1991 from an Arkansas punk band, offer a glimpse. The opener, “The Awful Truth,” fits squarely in the noise […]

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SICK DOGS: Savage Situation: LP

Orlando, Florida’s Sick Dogs describe themselves as “street rock’n’roll.” This only scratches the surface of the infectious energy they bring to their sound. Every track is full of catchy hooks and anthemic singalongs; just what I want in my punk rock. With an album of so many absolute bangers it was hard to narrow down […]

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SLICKEE BOYS, THE: Here to Stay: 7”

This is a great reissue, not only of a seminal piece of Washington D.C. punk history, but also an opportunity to hear a criminally forgotten band. The Slickee Boys were a staple of the early D.C. punk scene. In later years, the band would do annual reunions in December that were as close to attending […]

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SLINKEES, THE: Who Cares?: 7” EP

Word on the street is these high school Cap’n Crunch fans from D.C. split up after playing one show, but they left behind five songs of crude rock and inside jokes to leave us wondering. Is it true the lyrics to “Go to Alaska” were written by a descendent of President James Garfield? Is the […]

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SNUFF: Crepuscolo Dorato Della Bruschetta Borsetta Calzetta Cacchetta Trombetta Lambretta Giallo Ossido, Ooooooh Cosi Magnifico!: LP/CD

Yes, that is really the title of the album and apparently it’s something to do with Duncan Redmonds reminiscing about once owning a Lambretta. Moving on, this is Snuff at the top of its game in that this is all killer and no filler. I’ve always first focused on the guitar sound with Snuff and […]

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SPLIT DISTRICT: Invitation to Exile: LP

Here’s a rare non sequitur: punk rock outta Sheboygan, Wis. Oddly enough, there’s a lot to live up to in Sheboygan, what with the large-looming shadows of The Leg Hounds and The Jetty Boys, two fantastic bands from the ’00s and ’10s, respectively. Split District veer away from the punk rock’n’roll/power pop of their local […]

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STAR PARTY: Meadow Flower: LP

Pretty good indie punk pop that reminds me of La Sera, Sea Pony, and somewhat early My Bloody Valentine (if only for the layer of feedback that hangs over the songs), along with what was happening in the early ’90s. Ian from Combat Knife, and Vexx is the songwriter behind this duo, so it’s interesting […]

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STICK FARM: Reharvest: LP

Victoria BC crossover hardcore band Stick Farm gets the Supreme Echo treatment this time around. This band existed just prior to my arriving in this fair city nearly three decades ago, so while I knew the name, I wasn’t familiar with the tunes. While I use the term “crossover” here, Stick Farm is not a […]

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STRANGE COLOURS: Future’s Almost Over: LP

The sound here has “psychedelic garage rock” embossed into its DNA, but it’s recorded and delivered in such a manner that’s neither doused in nostalgia-dust nor shackled by the “budget rock” dead end. Songs are good and meaty, yet still catchy as hell, and should appeal to both the garage rock purist and the less […]

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