Tag Archives: punk

A New Playlist for Your Ears!

Here’s a sampling of some artists we’ve been enjoying of late (yes, some tracks are older – blame soundcloud). Enjoy!

Check Out “Brick Walls”, the Latest from Beta Boys, As Well As “Laugh/Cry” from Their Forthcoming LP

Beta Boys, “Brick Walls/Littered Streets” 7”; “Laugh/Cry” (Total Punk; Feel It!)

Beta Boys are a four-piece punk rock brigade whose current shop is set up in Olympia, WA. Since releasing a cassette demo in 2014, the band has been busy, releasing several singles and EPs on a variety of labels, each showcasing a fantastic blur of early 80s hardcore and death rock. 

Their latest 7” single, released in February on Total Punk, just may be their most explosive yet. “Brick Walls” rides in on a Suicidal wave, dashes you on the rocks and continues to churn. There’s more than a hint of the Poison Idea-levels of the musical nihilism you’ve come to expect from the band, the track winding itself ever tighter but without indulging in a full throttle release – it’s more endless circle pit than full-on slam riot. Fear not, though, as catharsis soon come in the form of b-side, “Littered Streets”, with its straight ahead hardcore chug, washed out guitar and peel the paint vocals, yips and yowls that remind me of Blaine from The Accused.  

It’s more fully-focused than anything else I’ve heard from Beta Boys, but doesn’t sacrifice their rawness. Anyway, sometimes you just need a punk record whose cover appears to feature Snoopy giving the double bird, right? You know you do. Go pick up a copy via the Beta Boys’ bandcamp.  

I’ve had notes going on this for so long (all 4:48 of it…I guess I’m easily distracted), the band in the meantime released a new track, “Laugh/Cry” – billed as the “shortest” on their forthcoming LP, Late Night Acts – and it’s another ripper. Look for that one in August, courtesy of Richmond-based Feel It! Records.

Pull Up a Chair and Listen to Some Tunes We Think the Young People Will Enjoy

Check out our latest playlist, featuring songs and artists we’ve been enjoying lately (at least, the ones we could find on Soundcloud). Enjoy!

Check Out “Three”, New from Bikini Cops

Bikini Cops, Three (Drunken Sailor; Televised Suicide)


Bikini Cops are a quartet hailing from Perth. The band have been putting out music since 2015 or so and Third, their third (the title should’ve tipped you off), is the strongest yet. Building on the momentum of the band’s first two releases, these tracks feel more focused and fully-formed, but without losing any of the raw energy.  Musically, the album teeters frantically between barely hinged blasts of MC5-esque rock and fantastically blunt, ‘old school’ (™) hardcore. The band is both tight and constantly on the verge of collapse, in the grand tradition of bands like First Four Years-era Black Flag. Singer Chris Balch’s cracking yelp carries the feeling of desperate antipathy of that band’s Keith Morris or Ian MacKaye in his Minor Threat years.

The one-two crotch kick of opener, “(Not) My World”, and “Stupid System” is, alone, worth the price of admission – but don’t go just yet, or you’ll miss out on personal fave “Total Control” and epic (over two minutes!) closer, “Lost in a Dimension”. Three makes its point quickly and succinctly, six tracks careening by in under 10 minutes (by my math), providing little time for assessment or breath, but eff me if it didn’t get more exciting with each repeat. Do circle pits go counterclockwise in AUS?

Three is out now, courtesy of Drunken Sailor in the UK and Televised Suicide in Australia. You can also pick up a copy on the Bikini Cops’ bandcamp page, while following the band on fbook.

London’s Snob demand your attention on their self-titled, debut LP.

Snob, S-T LP (La Vida Es Un Mus)

Snob are a London quartet.  A bit difficult to find much info on them, as they’ve chosen the deep underground route (no fbook, &etc.), but it seems Snob features members of other bands we heart, like Good Throb.  To date, the band have put out two long-form 7” (i.e., not just a-side/b-side singles), as well as a track for an issue of the Another Subculture cassette magazine – all available via their bandcamp page – and recently released an excellent self-titled debut long-player.

Snob (the LP) is a fine dose of old school (UK ’82, anarcho) hardcore; that familiar wall of noise as potent a message-bearer as ever.  Here, the ferocity of the playing is further enhanced by the vocal tone, which veers from sneering disaffection (“Lycra Daddy”), to (barely) restrained contempt (“Punisher”), to outright desperation (“Stuck”).  The lyrical sardonicism – the etymology of which may trace as “curling one’s lips back at evil” (at least according to wikipedia, and I’m going  with it, since it seems apt) – is no more potent than on album highlight, “Sex Contract”, where the lead singer’s almost earnest tone while delivering lines like “my guy’s so smart/he suggested I give/consent via an app/so I don’t change my mind/and make accusations…/he’s so sensitive/I’m so respectful” makes them cut deeper, as much tear- as rage-inducing.  It’s this kind of album that draws me back to this kind of music – not because it makes me feel younger (I wish), but because the issues covered are ever-present, many in arguably more insidious forms, and this kind of inspired raging is still needed.

The Snob LP is available now, on the ever fab La Vida Es Un Mus – buy it here.  Snob also appear to have a show coming up in London on March 31 – deets here.

Highlights include:  “Sex Contract”; “Jeremy Kyle”; “Punisher”; “Stuck”.

Fayetteville’s Ten High Announce Debut Full-Length, “Self-Entitled”

Ten High, Self-Entitled (Rare Plant Records)

Ten High are a new (to me) four piece based out of Fayetteville, AR.  To date, the group has released three EPs, played shows will tgh faves like Aquarian Blood, and have name checked as inspiration several others, including the Blind Shake and Ex-Cult.  Recently, drummer/vocalist Devan Theos was kind enough to pass along a link to their debut full-length, Self-Entitled (get it?), and I’m glad she did.

Self-Entitled finds Ten High tearing through an eleven-song set chock full o’ straight up r’nr, hints of psychobilly, 60s beat, hardcore, garage, psych – basically anything that sounds great played loud – all chewed up and spit out on a platter.  Primary vocalist Cat Owens’ shredded pipes recall Reverend Beat Man’s gruff screed, pairing like a fine ripple with the jagged-edged guitar and short/sharp drum and bass combination of Theos and Aaron Smith (as a former – terrible – bassist, I love the thick, rubbery bass sound).  Theos takes the mic sounding like a young Kate Pierson on the stomping “Skin Crawlers”, which comes off like a psychobilly take on Walk Among Us-era Misfits.

As with the best of so-called ‘noise’ rock, these tracks come based on infectious melodies residing dead center in the maelstrom.  “Royal Blood” employs a bit of blues boogie, while “Fakers” had my brain checking to Three Dog Night, for fuck’s sake.  Brilliant, even though I blame them for having “Mama Told Me Not to Come” for a full day…bygones.

Self-Entitled is available digitally and on cassette on April 5, courtesy of Rare Plant Records.  Ten High will be on Greenway Records’ upcoming showcase at SXSW, for all you lucky mallards heading to Austin.  There’s also a few dates before that, as well as a west coast US tour planned for the summer – check out the Ten High fbook for the dates.

Highlights include: “User’s Choice”; “Skin Crawlers”; “Fakers”; “The Trouble”.

Mr. Airplane Man Announce New Album, “Jacaranda Blue”. Listen to lead track “I’m in Love”.

 

Mr. Airplane Man, beloved crafters of garage-blues finery, returned to the scene after a multi-year hiatus in 2014, clearing out the vaults to release two fantastic album’s worth of unreleased material (Lost Tapes and Bits and Pieces), a live EP (Geneva Session), and playing shows all over the US and Europe.  The promise of new material has hovered for a bit and, happily, the duo recently announced brand new long-player, Jacaranda Blue, due for digital release March 16.  This announcement was preceded by a single – “I’m in Love” – which also serves as the lead track/taster for the album.

“I’m in love” shows Mr. Airplane Man returning no less smoldering than when they left.  A trippy take on blues, sashaying along a slow-burn, ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ kinda groove, the track has a way of expanding and retracting in your head.  It’s a long-distance phone call to a love through a whiskey-induced fugue state, a rapturous profile in the glowing embers of a cigarette drag.  Margaret Garrett’s vocals – punctuated here and there with otherworldly coos and moans – emanate from somewhere down the other end of the line, faintly tethered by the gossamer light drumming of Tara McManus.  It’s a dizzying, seductive cut.

In addition to the digital release, which you can pre-order here, look for Jacaranda Blue on vinyl, courtesy of the mighty Sympathy for the Record Industry in the US, and on french label Beast in Europe.  Mr. Airplane Man – a live force not to be missed – have a few upcoming dates as well, which you can find on their website. You can also wander the woods with them on fbook.

“LA Women”, from New Orleans’ Patsy, is a Fantastic Debut

Patsy, LA Women (La Vida Es Un Mus)


Patsy are a New Orleans-based quartet.  After a series of excellent singles over the past couple of years, the band recently released their debut ‘mini’-LP, LA Women.

Where prior singles tended to stay firmly in the hardcore lane, LA Women finds Patsy blending an inspired mix of surf, garage, 80s hardcore, skewed 80s new wave, and garage.  Their straight ahead hardcore jams – including a re-recorded version of “Nazis are so Plain” from their 2015 demo – bear a slippery quality that reminds of DKs, particularly in the woozy guitar work (see, in particular, album highlight “Society Ape”, which sounds melodically like a DKs/Damned mashup).  Elsewhere, tracks like the excellent “Heathen” and opener “Count it Down” bristle with a-go-go worthy garage energy.

LA Women is out now, courtesy of the ever-excellent La Vida Es Un Mus (seriously, check the roster).  Patsy have a few tour dates forthcoming, which can be found below and on their bandcamp.  Here’s hoping for more soon (including a date closer to thegrindinghalt HQ – *cough*).

10/11 Rochester
10/12 Montreal @ L’Escogriffe
10/13 Toronto @ Sneaky Dee’s
10/15 Detroit @ Help!
10/16 Chicago @ TCC Gallery
10/17 St Louis @ B Line
10/18 Memphis @ Murphy’s

Check Out “Soul Mender”, the New EP from Zerodent.

Zerodent, Soul Mender (Almost Ready)

“Soul Mender” cover. Photo credit: Igor Coko.


Zerodent is a four-piece band out of Perth, Australia.  Formed way back in 2015, their excellent self-titled debut came out last year on German label, Alien Snatch! and, lo and forsooth, a new three-track EP, Soul Mender, is upon us…and it is good.

There’s a righteousness inherent in a lot of the best punk, and it’s on full show here.  Mixing classic ℅ ’77 sounds of bands like The Saints and Buzzcocks (the opening riff of the title track reminds of “Harmony In My Head”) with garage, SoCal h/c gnarl and a bit of maximum r&b, the EP is an absolute rush from start to finish.  Vocalist Lee Jenkins spits, snarls and wails, driving the service to completion with the rollicking “This Time” (personal fave, though it’s hard to choose).  Pass the fucking plate.  The only gripe is it’s too short.

Soul Member is out now, via Almost Ready.  You can catch up with all things Zerodent on their fbook, and peruse their catalogue on bandcamp.  Don’t see any tour dates up yet, but hopefully that will change soon.

Obnox Return with a Niggative Approach

Obnox, Niggative Approach (5/30/2017, 12XU)


Obnox is the musical alter ego of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Lamont ‘Bim’ Thomas (pictured).  Having released five long-players under this moniker in the last 3 years, the word ‘prolific’ seems apt.  I must admit that new release, Niggative Approach, is the first one I’ve fully sat down with – and now I’m both damn glad I did and in a hurry to dig deeper into the earlier material.

The title might be a wink and a bow to Detroit hardcore godheads Negative Approach (whose singer, John Brannon, makes an appearance on the album’s intro and outro), but the album is far too diverse, dense and interesting to damn with the faint praise of a hyphenated ‘punk’ or other descriptor.  Frankly, there’s so much going on in this record, it can be giddily overwhelming.  Jazz, psych, garage, soul, blues, punk, funk, r&b, hip hop, Beastie Boys, Funkadelic, Rudy Ray Moore, Kid Congo, D’Angelo, Shabazz Palaces, Sun Ra, War, Curtis Mayfield, MF Doom, sky high riffs, heavy funk bass, kick drum grooves, eye of newt and a partridge in a motherfuckin’ pear tree – all this and more await across the album’s 14 tracks (excluding intro-/outro).

I found it best to just strap in, give in, and let it all wash over me, repeated listens bearing ever sweeter fruit.  The spy theme raga of “You”.  The hot, humid synth feel of “Hardcore Matinee”.  The wide lapel groove of “”Beauty Like the Night”.  The diamond amidst the rough of the beautiful “Carmen, I Love You”.  Exhale.

Niggative Approach is out now, on 12XU.  Monitor M. Thomas’ (social media) movements on fbook and the twitt.  No tour dates as yet, but here’s hoping.

Highlights include: “Audio Rot”; “Afro Muffin”; “Carmen, I Love You”; “You”; “Niggative Approach”; “Beauty Like the Night”.