SINCERE ENGINEER

FAST EDDY: Take a Look: LP

Second record from this band from Denver. The title track is an anti-bullying song. I think most of us can align with that sentiment. “Frankie Died” has shades of Thin Lizzy in the guitar stylings. There’s a song called “Kill City” which is apparently not the Iggy Pop/James Williamson song. My favorite song on this […]

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FINALE: Extra Extra: 7”

This single from Valencia, Spain’s Finale is a keeper if you’re into speedy punk that sounds like it might spin off the rails once in a while. This slab contains four slammers for the punk’n’roll crowd. “Extra Extra” kicks off with a mechanical mover with high, snotty vocals at the helm. It’s anarchic, and the […]

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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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