The Grabass Charlestons

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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MACHINE GO BOOM: When We’re Ghosts: CS

A collection of unreleased songs from Cleveland’s Machine Go Boom, When We’re Ghosts is a great introduction to this band. And I say that as someone who hadn’t heard of them before and now is very interested! It has a very early 2000s feel but with the Midwest sensibilities of Good Luck. A highlight is […]

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MADISON BLOODBATH: Gettin’ Loose with…: LP

Originally released only on CD in 2008, Heartpuncher’s going the reissue route with some eyeball-singeing neon green vinyl in 2022. While nostalgia always threatens to tinge reissues such as this, I can say that this band was solid for sure. Odes to youth, debauchery, friendship, regret, all of it housed in titles like “Wolfman Has […]

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MARTY BRASS: Painted Glass: CS

Most of this has a mid-era Replacements feel to it, but somewhat more jangly. When the tunes slow down and get that “introspective” feel to them, they have a distinct Darklands-era Jesus And Mary Chain vibe, but that might be simply the vocal delivery on such songs. I liked this, but it’s one of those […]

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