Monthly Archives: December 2016

Yeehaw! A Punk Roundup Featuring The Lowest Form, Exotica, Good Throb, and Urochromes

Ok, so there’ve been a few punk/hardcore/whatever releases over the past few months that I’ve been trying to get around to and haven’t – so now I am.  I intended to write up something individual and special to say about each of these but, fuck it, I’m gonna just put ‘em all into one, shortcut “combo” review.  Since I said “fuck it”, that makes it kinda punk, no?  No?  Oh well, here goes…

The Lowest Form, Personal Space (La Vida Es Un Mus; Iron Lung)

Personal Space is the latest from UK hardcore punk band, The Lowest Form, and it slays.  It’s part old school hc (I keep hearing alot of Wattie in the vocals, and Black Flag in the crumbling guitar sound (provided by Michael Kasparis, also part of Anxiety’s brilliant debut)) mixed with just good ol’ noise, all to great effect.  Highlights are many, and include the repeated face punch of opener, “Interplanetary Bad Boy”, which slowly drowns in its own, rich stew of hiss and feedback, and the utter chaos of “Evol”.  This record is cathartic in the ways of many a great, viscerally angry records.  In years such as this one (have there really been any?), sometimes it’s more than worth it to swallow the bile in your throat, let it burn, then scream it out.

Fitting for a band that sound like they spend a lot of time ‘off the grid’, the band don’t seem to have much internet presence.  Be sure to go and grab a copy of Personal Space (digital or “Bad Boy” vinyl) via the band, La Vida Es Un Mus or Iron Lung (in the US).

Highlights include: “Interplanetary Bad Boy”, “Gak Attack”, “Personal Space”.

Exotica, Musique Exotique #01 Demo (La Vida Es Un Mus)

Exotica wield bludgeoning, 80s (to these, admittedly, old and tinnitus-riddled ears) reanimating hardcore (I hear some of the old NYHC bands like (pre-crossover) Agnostic Front or Kraut, as well as the churning guitars of Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing-era Discharge on tracks like “Depresion”. Lead singer Lauren Gerig’s bilingual sing/scream/shriek is a revelation.  The members of Exotica are based in New York, but hail from Mexico, Argentina – play this loud enough to be heard through your own wall.

Like The Lowest Form, no real interwebs presence to allow fawning – grab a copy of Musique Exotique #01 (digital or cassette) from the band or La Vida Es Un Mus.  They also have a show coming up 12/29 in Guadalajara, MX – deets.

Highlights include: “Pesadilla”, “Passive Victim”.

Good Throb, Good Throb (La Vida Es Un Mus)

From earlier this year, the latest release from London quartet, Good Throb – and, regrettably, the last for a while, as members are now apparently geographically displaced.  Good Throb (the record) adds layers of noise and feedback to the rhythmic, punk-funk hc of 2014’s also great (and succinctly titled) Fuck Off, with tracks like highlight “SCUM” and “The Queen Sucks Nazi Cock” recalling Crass, early Butthole Surfers and Flipper.  Tasty.

Good Throb is available from the band and La Vida Es Un Mus (no, we’re not a label blog – honest!).

Highlights include: “SCUM”, “Welcome Break”.

Urochromes, “My Dickies” (Wharf Cat Records)

“I’ve got a queer theory…” so beginneth “My Dickies” is the new one from western MA, USofA band, Urochromes.  This 1 minute and change track bounces around like a kid hopped up on pixie sticks in a rubber room.  Light speed hardcore.  Cracked garage fuzz.  Avant-noise skreech.  Squirrel!  Do yourself the favor of being tugged along in its wake.  Here endeth the review.

Taken from forthcoming Night Bully EP, due January 27 from Wharf Cat Records (pre-order a copy and/or digital download here) – one more reason to be anxious for this year to end(eth).

The Bellamys’ Debut EP is Jangly, Lo-Fi Goodness

The Bellamys, S/T EP (Odd Box Records)

With their self-titled EP, Cardiff trio The Bellamys (though one member now resides in Vancouver), have crafted an indie pop winner.  Opener, “Motorway”, sets the tone nicely – chiming guitars cling and clang over an urgent drum beat and synthesizer that sounds a bit like the droning of a hurdy gurdy, as boy-girl harmonies and counter-melodies delve into the delights of well, driving.  Apex, “Best Friend”’s punk jangle underpins a wistful diary entry describing a would-be companion (“but you don’t notice me/you look right through/me/you think you are so cool/that’s cause you are”).  Closing ballad, “For You to See” conjures Super 8 quick-cut images and is quietly affecting without going full twee.  An absence of artifice makes this a charming, hand-hold of a listen; like having a conversation with an old friend over a beer – hopes, dreams; weighty stuff made to feel less onerous.

That press release accompanying the digital recommends the EP for fans of The Pastels, C86, Tellulah Gosh (I’d add The Vaselines and Thee Headcoats) and, erm, Slayer.  Sly, and (very) thinly veiled Haunting the Chapel references notwithstanding, this is a damn fine, lo-fi indie pop record.  Get on it.

Odd Box Records (which, with a roster boasting such artists as City Yelps, The Manhattan Love Suicides, T.O.Y.S., and Nervous Twitch, has quickly become one of my favorite labels over the past few years of doing this) will release the EP on December 2.  Here’s hoping The Bellamys continue doing their thang, in spite of the geographic separation.  Check more on the band on fbook and delve into their earlier catalogue (the demo from February is also great – paricularly, “it’ll be ok”) on Bandcamp.

Mr. Twin Sister Unleash the Post-Punk Dub of “Poor Relations”, Donate Proceeds to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Mr. Twin Sister, “Poor Relations”

New York quintet Mr. Twin Sister returns with “Poor Relations”.  Eschewing the smoothed out, continental r&b and squelchy indie electronica of 2014’s self-titled album (which, btw, is fantastic) “Poor Relations” fires up a downtown, post-punk dub party.  The band’s rhythmic sensibility, so strong through all of the prior releases I’ve heard, is more aggressive – more ESG than Sweetback.  The lyrics, also, are more forceful, seeming to rail against the dangers of the acceptance of an abusive relationship.  In the band’s own words: “[T]his song meant something else when we first wrote it years ago; recent events have made us hear it differently.  We believe in compassion, empathy, and tolerance, and hope that you will join us in speaking out against the erosion of their importance in our world”.

In that spirit, Mr. Twin Sister will donate all proceeds from the download of “Poor Relations” to – do it at their Bandcamp page (linger, and browse through their catalogue).  You know what to do…and, while you’re at it, keep up with all things Mr. Twin Sister on fbook and the twit.