Friday, July 3, 2020

A was for anarchy/Am I Going Insane/The Manic Ride

This month has been a fever pitch of MANIA thanks to a new prescription so I apologize to all my friends and compatriots I have pummeled with my frantic information needs and idea bombardments, my skin feels like it is coated w electrical currents and I am running relentlessly in an attempt to deal but unfortunately my reality is just a child flicking channels at 5am at the end of time right now. Anyway here are my musical manias! I have been experiencing a lot of nostalgia for my teen existence which was fun / wretched / desolate, much like the rest of my existence. I grew up in Brentford, a suburb of London that got bombed during the second world war bc of the mostly industrial landscape and when it was rebuilt the part I resided in looked like this picture
teen tape box at my mom's.
and was not populated by people that were intrigued w my various obsessions, hence the eternal "desolation" feeling. I spent my time skateboarding, mailordering zines n records and going to punk and hip hop shows and listening to tapes and records in my room imagining all the cool things that were happening in places I wasn't. I didn't use a computer until I was in college in the late 90s (actually made fun of one of my friends for having an email address like it was a nerd alert bc I was so clueless), so only communicated via tape trades etc, in real life humans few to none of whom in my area as detailed above were interested in the things that consumed me. In short it was harder to find out about things I might like and even harder to find like minded people to nerd out such things with.I am currently writing something around this for another outlet, maybe my favorite zine I have read in 100 years?! maybe the only zine in america.... demystification!




ORDER IT BC IT IS EVERYTHING YOU NEED







we continue on w what is essentially a repository of my maniac thoughts on sounds I am consumed by... or things I chanced upon. At the start of this month I started out obsessing over revolution summer, listening to my rites of spring tape that one of the dudes I worked w at rough trade recs when I was a teenager gave me. remembering the feeling of looking at the tiny photos of them in the liner notes and for some reason thinking that DC was a weird forest paradise w only perfect HC emanating. a wild and utopian world created by this sound...being the maniac psycho that I am right now I immediately WANTED MORE and started listening to all the surrounding bands that started post or during ROS (After Words/Bells Of//Rain etc) most of which don't hold a candle but I got a cool top secret for my ears only demo as a result of my mania from one o those bands and managed to trade the bl'ast discography for the RAIN 12" another perfect teenage sound from DC...
this image is from a HC flier website but it's actually from a Jigsaw zine written by the wild genius tobi vail/not a flier/put a flier in a frame/don't you know that's not my name/ rites of spring forever
After that I got consumed by the FURY 45 on THD. A perfect hardcore record! Sometimes I listened to it and wondered why HC kept going once it had reached this zenith! Wild and destructive freedom!! Sounds like it's going to explode / kill. Lyrics about vengeance and death!  For most people the first time they would have encountered this would be the random song on the second SWIZ LP, however in 1989 or whenever that record came out I was a mere child that did not know about DCHC so my encounter was via an obsession w Chris Thomson that developed also via  Rough Trade when a boy I thought was cute bought the first Circus Lupus record, such a corny reason to check out a band but I am truly glad I did. Anyway, regardless SWIZ forever, FURY forever, off the pigs and make hardcore that sounds like it's gonna kill/destroy or just don't.
(pictured: my last teenage skateboard w swiz x-girl and bikini kill allegiances outlined and also Michelle Noel's skateboard w Minor Threat/Seven Seconds/xWINDOFCHANGEx spraypainted more on that later)



This wasn't really an obsession, just a cool random discovery but...
Smoke and Mirrors by Pitchman

this early 90s DC band (incidentally made up of teenagers) would have been a TEEN OBSESSION had their tape actually come out, sort of sounding like a huggy bear/fisticuffs bluff/gravity style furtive art HC collision and featuring Chuck Bettis from Metamatics whose LP was also a teen obsession ("makes a lotta sense to kill a cop" etc etc). I looked them up bc of listening to a copy of the Rodeo Riders comp tape that Kim Thompson of cupid car club/skull kontrol etc put out in this era, which also has her band w Mike Fellows (called getwaway car) and the dreamy Star Sign Scorpio which is her and Kathi from Bikini Kill (did they make a tape?! coolest duo) and of course circus lupus covering the avengers....



After this beginning of June era (which also included a brief art monk construction/lincoln/edge-emo(the song thursday by turning point)/watermark revival) I went on a "Despite the fact I worked at Revelation in the late 90s I haven't really actually given much NYHC outside of the age of quarrel 10" and victim in pain a chance" spiral. Things that resonated w my destroyed mind: Krakdown 45!  1st rest in pieces LP! breakdown demo! Side by Side never got listened to bc I don't like YOT or GB and assumed it was more of the same, was wrong. My research confirmed the fact that the best NYHC remains the Straight Ahead 12"which thanks to the amoeba dollar bin I own a bootleg 7" copy of.
1)the age of quarrel 10" is a perfect record and I am annoyed I didn't try and buy one now everythng is three thousand dollars, got complacent listening to the MRR archive copy when I lived in the compound I guess. anyway if anyone wants to trade something so I can live my dreams and own this please email layla (dot) gibbon (at) gmail. I have been running every night to this and it is the perfect sound for my unraveling mind
2)the Our Gang sweater





3) I was trying to locate an interview I did w Dave Jones of Victim in Pain/Metal Abuse etc but maybe this is just a weird refraction of memory bc he used to call MRR a lot when I was coord?! nothing is real.
4) the child drummer from bold. one of my friends (katie) had a German pressing of the first Into Another LP that came with a press release explaining that this was a new group featuring "the child drummer from bold." between manic UNDERLORD listens we competed over which one of us was the actual child drummer. I tried to get her to send me a scan of the press release during this summerlong brain descent into the abyss but she no longer owns it! A disgrace! a true crime, I am the child drummer from bold as is documented below in this scripture from one of my teenage zines. time to listen to UNDERLORD! an anthem for bored youth seeking only riffs.
teenage fanzine CHIMPS presented as evidence by real child drummer from bold



THIS IS THE END FOR NOW more to come as a post DISSIDENT AGGRESSOR existence is unpacked and addressed. APOLOGIES FOR OVERUSE OF THE SAME THREE WORDS WHAT CAN I SAY

YOU COULD
Prison=death/free all prisoners now, irrespective of this health crisis! end carcaral justice NOW!

MOUNT RUSHMORE NO MORE BAIL FUND /LIBERATION NOW

Sunday, May 10, 2020

ROCK FOR NO REASON!


how many bands are so studied, have so many well made plans that end in a most depressing and dismal result! I will now tell these bands study the WUFFY DOGS they had it figured out!
Sit! Lay down! Play dead! Rolllover! I ordered this 45 reissue from GONER RECORDS when I was grabbing my PRIMO! LP, I saw it on the main page and was intrigued, how wuffy can a girl be? well... I can't afford an original but I shall bathe only in the wuffiest of sounds from now on out.
One of the tyrannies of our current age is the feeling of watching life through a screen, things that happened things, that might happen, things that won't happen, we are all trapped in plasma waiting for a new reality that seems so wretched... well, while trapped why not watch two and a half long VHS videos transferred to youtube of kids stuck at a fest in fucking Indiana in 1987!!!! You can watch the hated if you pay attention to the commenters or you can watch the kids that set up the fest argue about things that FEEL SO VERY REAL to anyone who has ever organized anything in the context of DIY punk or alternative business structures etc etc and so on... the first five minutes of this video set me on a spiral of despair / years thrown away and for what.... WHO WILL BRING THE MARKERS ON JUDGEMENT DAY!!!!!! rock FOR NO REASON!!!!!!!! ( 1:34:00 The Hated per commenters on youtube. also did you spend the entire 90s w people whispering about the Hated Box set or Hated acoustic but somehow also managed to live thru the 90s never actively enjoying a hated song?! or just me?! ROCK FOR NO REASON!!!!!!! maybe numero will do the hated boxset and everything will make sense!)

when I worked feverishly at MRR as content coord one of the mags I put together was an all fanzine special, we had access to an insane early 80s zine archive (not MRRs tragically!) one of the zines that brought me most joy was Breakfast Without Meat, I think we only saw two issues but one had a blurred out black flag interview and the other had a response to fan outrage at the fact the interview wasn't legible with another unreadable reprint.Anyway my vague memories of Breakfast Without Meat have remained with me to this day as "what a zine should be!" made in ye olde early 80s by Gregg Turkington. My comrade Vinnie, who helped making the zine flashback zone just sent me a message re a Meat Puppets video they posted on their youtube channel, coincidentally filmed at Target Video (me and vinnie interviewed Joe from Target for the MRR film issue) so it's all connected brothers and sisters and apparently also according to Gregg's wikipedia the Meat Puppets were long time contributors to his fanzine.. anyway this video is insane, no words can explain what you are about to experience, the meat puppets are a treasure and a pleasure and it doesn't make sense but here it is watch the whole thing, breakfast without meat! I watched meat puppets play for free in golden gate park for an alarmingly huge crowd of jam band heads but they played my fave songs off II and it was also a pleasure and a treasure. If only they played the first 7" still maybe they will?!
I frequently wake up with bobby soxx "i gotta pee pee in the disco mommy" running through my brains what does it all mean? happy mothers day be free w your pee?! I also like the 90s disco remix version for when your crowd is less rustic. We are currently listening to the insane united mutation reissue that radio raheem just did. truly mutant sounds for skulls and the barely alive. Sohrab Habibion just uploaded a bunch of sick DC live shows from when he was a teenage show setter upper/VHS filmer and there are so many sick things! (one last wish! The Hated! MOSS ICON!!!!
 



I have been also enjoying the gentle sounds of evie sands, bobby gentry, Eduardo Mateo

This ends the report! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

snoopy in space

 I didn't do a year end top ten for 2019, I liked a lot of music! But living in the face of the end of the world feels impossible and writing about anything seems even worse. I am sure it's detailed in one of my many MRR columns buried in this blog but I started writing about punk when I was 13, my zine was called drop babies, called into action by going to see huggy bear every month and how they gave zines and one sheet art screeds out at every show that were wild and surreal and intoxicating. I only have a couple copies of random issues of my old zine now (but quite sure my mom has them all in the box under her bed) and I switched over to Chimps I think when I was 18 inspired by Germ of Youth fanzine by Justin Trosper, and Tobi's Jigsaw and the feeling of not seeing my ideas of what a punk could be represented in the sea of emo / sxe and grrrl zines I sent off for every month... Also because I could print hundreds of copies for free w a print scam! When I stopped writing for MRR I wanted to work on my own project, another zine? Something like that? But instead I just lost my mind at endless minimum wage retail jobs in the most expensive city of earth. at any rate I am working on a bunch of projects right now (some of my teenage band skinned teen's recordings that never made it to record are gonna be 45s-relatedly girlsperm my band w marissa and tobi has a new LP coming out this year i tink unless the world ends, but we recorded it last year) working on a collection of old writing and a new zine, so here is a top ten of things I am currently consumed by just for kicks(there are links throughout to hear things but for some reason I can't figure out how to make them a different color so they are more apparent?!)

BETTY AND KAREN-I'm Not Satisfied / Stop And Listen
Two cool teenage girls who wrote these great melancholic pop songs in the 60s, perfect dreamy slices of NYC life, the music makes me think of old school Sesame Street and the world created by the Shangri Las, you can see a gritty city movie through their lyrics, the feeling of freedom and oppression that is the dichotomy of youth! walking through town with nowhere to go and no power or money and yet the world is yours... truly joyous music and the fact they wrote it makes it more perfect to me! you can listen here: one o the girls uploaded it and talks about writing it! I picked up this 45 on a whim for not much $ but it can be expensive.



I first heard about END RESULT maybe about ten years ago when that documentary about Chicago punk of the early ’80s came out. They were easily the most exciting band in the movie, a multi-racial falling apart teenage fuck you to regimental rules-based hardcore with shades of FLIPPER and NO TREND, but made with their own ingredients. In case you want to read someone else’s contextualization of the group, here’s Albini: “END RESULT was truly a band apart… Alan tuned his guitar like a cello… END RESULT had no drummer to keep the beat, because (in Alan’s immortal words) ‘we think our audience can count.’” I immediately took it upon myself to find some recordings, and picked up their LP, Ward, which was not quite reflective of the footage from the movie that was so intoxicating to me. Chicago people kept talking about these mythical tapes from that earlier era that were going to come out, but despite my mania and constant badgering, reader—it never happened! Until now! Here they are! The 1982 tapes I have been hunkering for since 2008! A no wave band at a hardcore show isn’t shocking in 2020, but imagining a legion of Reagan Youth gazing and trying to understand the strange wonders of this mutant sound in between one-two-fuck-you bands is a quiet pleasure! I might be misremembering this, but END RESULT considered themselves a HC band, not a no wave band. What is hardcore, or no wave? And how can we change it so it makes sense at the end of the world? END RESULT has the answers and the questions; this record is a destructive/constructive demonstration of what is possible when you have an idea and are baffled by genre exercises…(get it here) (also this written by me(writing about music is true suffering and horror) on the new MRR website check it out)

I discovered this record on a youtube k-hole, it's so good, like a sorta shop assistants but before them feeling?! like girls at our best dreamscape.... um it's not very expensive either if you gotta have it.


COMET GAIN - Fireraisers Forever LP
This LP came out last year I think and I frantically ordered the limited version from an English record shop, a band my teenage band played with a lot but I didn't truly love until Rachel started singing for them... Perfect C86 mod/punk dream sounds with Subway Sect, Evie Sands and Dan Treacy feelings, nostalgia is powerful and comet gain make their own world with it, an imagined mod universe where alain delon and billy liar form an alliance against th squares...



PRIMO-Sogni LP
this hasn't arrived on US shores yet bc of the tyrannical virus but when it does I will grab one ASAP!  I loved their last record, but this one is even better. Chair's Missing reverberations! More contained Swell Mapsisms?! Four women from Australia making really cool languid but unsettling sounds grab it when you can here's a glimpse




XV - LP
this was in everyone's year end top tens but they only made twenty copies or somethin... also when you are square enough to only find out about something in a year end top ten it usually means it's a g.o.n.e.r. but then my genius friend osa just mailed it to me when I freaked out about not getting one?! truly so generous and cool! anyway this is a really cool sound, sort of like a Morton/pressler midwestern art destruction deconstruction mutation but also sort on UN siltbreeze feel, like a drawing of music, sort of wild genius nothing dreams...




Vivienne Styg 12" 
 This was a tape then a 12" on tall texan that I think is getting repressed? I am not sure if they are from the same genius scene as Chronophage but they are of a similar sensibility sort of nervous confident shambolic punks that are sorta like a SST meat puppets skree or a ukdiy art girl dream like you know they heart roky and 99 records, it has a wild desert feeling, open space sounds a pure dream for quarantine era! oh they are from houston/ chronophage are austin, anyway all mentioned live in expansive dreams

I picked up this record KING OF CULTURE in the amoeba dollar bin a few years ago bc it looked cool, it was a wild/radical nowwave/punk/funk record from early 80s NYC that I played and filed away forgetting about.... then my friend Justin was talking about this band, the stickfigures, which is sorta the best c86ish sound but from way before, just sick bedroom jangle in a cool punk swing w the raddest girl singer, and I managed to get this 45 at WMFU record swap last year, then I found out the same crew were involved in both records?! this one I think is from before they moved to NY, then there's annother one called nonerotic male bonding w the same crew that's sorta wilder pop damage?!   Maybe I have it wrong but it seems like they moved from florida to baltimore and NYC and did a cool band in each town. stick figures is my favorite though, it's a dream!!! i love this 45. there are 5 different covers!

 

I think someone posted this on their instagram and the cover is so wild I had to investigate! It's produced by Brian Wilson from the beach boys and is a post-HONEYS group. I just got this 45 bc the LP seemed like too much filler for me?! and the cover!!! so good . The b-side is the song! so spooky and unearthly and sort of dream/death like just has that dense beach boys losing it feel, sorta weird plastic psyche outs that are heavy and the ending is so good... anyway if you are a brian wilson fan check it out ok




don't you want to move into this lithics video?!



I have also been listening to early recordings by OPAL who I always thought I hated because of that SST LP i picked up and immediately flipped bc it is the music I do not want, but the early recordings re so dreamy and good!! perfect LA sound, 60s in the 80s, a casual / beautiful pop masterpiece! I think the records are OOP and maybe bootlegs?! or expensive?! but maybe they will get reissued?? do as I do an you can check em out on youtube! jukebox of the bored
 
 HAMMERED HULLS 45
This is a dream super group! Alec MacKaye of THE FAITH!!! the subject to change 12" is one of my fave hardcore artifacts! just power and memory and yeah maybe against the VOID side of the split they can't compete but the 12" is perfect! OK and Mary Timony from Autoclave etc (Autoclave being one of the coolest DC groups of the 90s-their recordings got reissued on vinyl last year and you gotta get it! Christina Billotte dreamiest voice in town, beautiful post-punk reality scapes! looks like it's sold out at dischord but amoeba have it) Anyway I love this 45, Alec's voice is the best, I hope they make more records ? the guitar style is the kind of HC i love, reminds me of why I used to buy every dischord release as a teenager in the early 90s! that urgent feeling!

not only but also /PARSNIPDIVORCER TAPE / NOTS LP / JUDY & THE JERKS 45 / COLD BEAT LP

I am reading Sam Macpheeters new book mutations   

also kate zambreno screen tests and charles portis masters of atlantis (which I am not enjoying as much as his other books so it's taking me a long time!!!) I just got some zines from Chris formerly of Huggy bear now of Adulkt a new london HC band via my mom I really enjoyed, Chris Rowley made the best zines in the 90s and the tradition continues! check out reggae chicken the huggy bear collaboration for evidence (here is a weird archive of a page!) also have been listening to a lot of teenage music from my youth, you know frumpies capn jazz NOU fisticuffs bluff unwound and so on so many youtube vortexes secret emo summer



Monday, January 21, 2019

LAYLA TOP TEN 2018 IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

LOOKING BACK AT THE END OF THE WORLD


COMET GAIN – “If Not Tomorrow/I Was More of a Mess Then”
Perfect mod punk basement pop dream—for fans of DAN TREACY and Shena MacKay. The B-Side is my song of th year, Rachel’s snotty yet dreamy deadpan vocals carrying the world weary nostalgia of our collapsing youth/Too old to die young etc etc

PRIMO! – “Amici!” LP
Album of the year for me! Like SANDRA BELL playing WIRE songs, in short my dream band, AMICI has the dream like disquiet of YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS instilled in its essence. My words are puny and futile, just buy the record punker.

TABLE SUGAR – “Collected Acknowledgements” LP
Seeing TABLE SUGAR live in 2017 was a career highlight for this brain dead music consumer. TABLE SUGAR are the coolest, the tapes were like an endless birthday party to my brains, and to finally have a 12” in my grips feels utopian. The music is transcendent girl art punk linking up the FOAMS to DRESS UP AS NATIVES in my mind, but this group is not some referential reenactment troupe, they make a sound that is theirs and only theirs. It is as adventurous and dreamlike as the first time you heard the first LILLIPUT LP, in fact my use of the words transcendent and utopian are not a stretch! This is truly a dream, truly an adventure! I want to live in the world that this record has made.

CHILD’S POSE – “Feral” EP
Lost my mind when I first heard this, and instantly ordered the 7” direct from the UK. A band that makes me think “this is what ELASTICA should have done!” Stripped down and direct with the coolest vocal style, art punk scritch guitars a SWELL MAPS-ian rhythm but yeah let’s just go back to those vocals!!! Perfect pop! Perfect punk! This EP is why I am a punk in 2018. 

SCHOOL DAMAGE – “A to X” LP
Their last LP made my last list and there is nothing different about this year, surrounded by the same brutal turmoil, same evidence that Australian art punks are forming some of the coolest concepts in sound… Sounds like some Midwestern art punk band from 1982 in the best possible manner, can’t decide if I like this one more than the last one?! Maybe so? What a group! What a sound! Fans of c86, those Messthetics comps and bands that formed in the wake of the B52s and DEVO in towns across America circa 1981 should immediately investigate. True Layla-core.

TERRY – “I’m Terry”
I have been obsessed with all of the TERRY 45s, but a little less so with their LPs until this one… These songs have an unnerving/unsettling pop feel that makes me think of Chairs Missing. Really. It feels throwaway and casual like the best music, but also insidious and well thought out, earworms with teeth. The lyrics can seem almost like a word game as well as a secret code message to a radical liberation cell. I can’t stop listening to this, and I would advise you to do the same thing with your time and life! Unbelievably good record!

LITHICS – “Mating Surfaces” LP
In which I quote myself from the press release: “A stern danceable sound that summons cut up snapshots of Su Tissue and Mark E Smith, an imagined landscape where Captain Beefheart hits that 99 Records “Too Many Creeps” beat.”

CONSTANT MONGREL – “Living in Excellence” LP
Was so excited to listen to this, I think every other record by this band has made my MRR year end top ten and here we are again…. What a group! Lyrics tear down the cynical bleat of our current political age of extreme delirium and hatred while the sound behind somehow reminds me that swaggering VENOM P STINGER style but maybe also KIRK BRANDON AND THE PACK, just relentless fucking power! The songs are so catchy and sick, desolate and total.

PATOIS COUNCILLORS – “Proper Release” LP (ever/never)
Some sort of sick collision between COUNTRY TEASERS and VERTICAL SLIT. What more could a girl want?

DRINKS – “Hippo Lite” LP
CATE LE BON and TIM PRESLEY making strange glassy Messthetics adventure sound. Playful and cool, a strange pleasure.

RECORDS THAT CAME OUT IN DECEMBER OF 2017 THAT EXIST IN THE WEIRD LIMBO BETWEEN YEAR END TOP TENS
BB EYE – “Headcheese Heartthrob” LP
TOTAL CONTROL – “Laughing at the System” 12”

ENDLESS CONTENDERS: RAYS LP, LUDELLA BLACK LP, COLD MEAT EP, TOUGH CUSTOMER EP, SHIFTERS LP, LIME CRUSH LP, LAVENDER HEX LP, BB AND THE BLIPS LP, LITHICS 45, LAVENDER FLU LP, ALISON STATTON AND SPIKE LP, PHEW/ANA DA SILVA 2xLP, CREMELLERAS 12”, GIRL RAY 45, STIFF LOVE EP, NANDAS EP

REISSUES
VECTOR COMMAND – “System 3” LP
HAND GRENADES “Demo to London” 12” (Last minute entry for reissue of the year!)
JIM SHEPARD – “The Letter Tapes”
INDEX –Originals Vol 1” LP
FRESH MAGGOTS – CD

TAPES (tiny list! I guess I mostly bandcamped demos??)
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Monday, February 12, 2018

20 17 was a bloodbath here's my year end list culled from the pages of MRR

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Layla Gibbon top 2017 records!
What’s the cliché, writing about music is like dancing about art?! There were so many records I flipped out over during this terrible desolate brutal year, I had a list of twenty LPs to whittle down! And that was just the LPs! So many options! I am gonna make a list in the future that includes non MRR reviewable sounds from 2017 too but here are my rants and raves:

TOP RECORDS:
Late entry! Notified about this band’s existence by current Australian correspondent Grace Ambrose and mind was immediately blown apart by its true UKDIY meets mod perfection, I was psychically forced into mailordering immediately upon first listen! Four women from Melbourne who visually seem to have walked out of a teen girl mag circa 1965 making music that brings to mind to most blissful shambolic C-86’d out mod sounds of the TELEVISION PERSONALITIES, but also watching the movie Daisies. Playful subversion that sounds at once wry, charming and acerbic, a garage pop dream pie.

UKDIY directional shamble meets ice cool LA 1978 punk dreams, Candice has the voice to communicate to all other worlds what punk is and then there is that perfect guitar sound, like listening to "Ghost on the Highway" on 45… I only like drums that sound either murderous or collapsing and this is both at once. Oh the allure of PATSY, what a dream, what a group. If you only want to listen to KLEENEX and RED CROSS at this juncture of the end of the world, if you want to hear the sound of sneering delight, of true joyous insurrection this 12” is the eloquent yet snotty answer to all your problems. The way “Society Ape” switches to “Nazi’s Are So Plain” is the stuff dreams are made of. An actual perfect 12” and an easy contender for record of the year. Hardcore.

Someone I know was complaining about all the bands that are current but simulating sounds of cool female directed art punk bands circa 1981, and as my eyes rolled to the back of my head I thought of the past 17 years watching historically accurate reenactment all dude HC bands play the same idea night after night in show spaces across America… Finally! There is an avalanche of genius wild nervous damage sound for all kindsa girls that have ELECTRIC EELS and MALARIA! problems. This does sound like something from one of those Subnormal Girls comps, but that is what I want out of life. I want frantic / nervous energy, collapsing keyboards and sputtering rhythms and cool female vocals over the end of the world Ballardian creep sound. This LP is a breath of air, of ideas and charisma and cool…

NOTS put out three 45s and a live LP in 2017… All were killer of course, but something about this one really set it above the rest, it’s a truly great 45. The A-side is so sick, chopped up antagonistic dada KBD perfection, repetition of the words “Cruel Friend” making the sound even more unrecognizable delirious and frantic! Then the fucking B-Side! With its strange creepy crawly feeling, sort of Dario Argento No Wave art school girls out for blood and fear… That keyboard sound, it’s for female protagonists that can control insects with their minds, truly otherwordly! An image reverse xerox of the times we are stuck in.

I have no idea how I even found this, it didn’t get sent into MRR, but is so exactly my idea of a good time… Girls in the Garage dream snot, imagine the first BANGS 45 if they made an album with Bomp! and avoided the whole major label hair ballad move… Conjure up in your mind the sickest yet sweetest girl group sound through the thick haze of bedroom psyche.  Bubblegum for modernists.

Like listening to DIE KREUZEN backwards, simultaneous no wave buildings collapse hardcore that’s like getting pummeled by the ocean and reading the S.CU.M. Manifesto all at once, fave Bay Area ragers since PIG DNA. Girl geniuses hate cops…

I don’t really know what the deal is with this record, as far as I can tell it was a tape from 2012 that got made into a record this year and the band is from Poland… I am truly grateful a copy made it into the MRR compound, as it is wild and cool and cantankerous and hard to get out of your brain once you’ve heard the strange shapes it presents. It sort of reminds me of a Polish version of VENOM P STINGER?! But it’s way less swaggering than that and more in the direction of a less contained RONDOS or something between those two bands that I am unable to put into words or make sense of?! It’s fucking wild art Eastern European punk and it rules.

Truly great! Title track is a bashed out mix tape must have that fans of music will
clutch to their very beings… Rest of this now classic 45 follows suite with Montana dissonant reality strike on MIKE REP bands, COUNTRY TEASERS, certain eras of the EMBARRASSMENT, VU shambled guitars, direct vocalizations, this is another milestone for your collection. How much art can you take? Only this kind.

I couldn’t decide between this or PALBERTA or BENT or PIERRE ET BASTIEN or GAUCHE but this one won out! Australian music dominates the dreamscape. This sounds like a band that could have played with the MARINE GIRLS featuring people from PARSNIP and AUSMUTEANTS I think?! The keyboards are perfect YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS sound, the male/female vocals are dreamy and this was one of those things where you hear the badcamp and immediately hunt out a US distributor, truly timeless sounds for anorak wearing nostalgists of a certain type…

Coolest Bay Area group with the power to convert an entire disinterested room into wild believers. Watching them play is like riding a time machine back to an era of ESSENTIAL LOGIC, MODETTES and DELTA 5 45s, when punks got taken by the possibilities of dub and ska and funk, while retaining the taut stripped down sensibilities of the DIY ideal… Amber is just a Warhol superstar front person, if Ken Loach was the Warhol?! Cuz she’s real. Real cool. Her voice will make you wanna start fifty nine bands. The way Elyse and Amber interact as the rhythm section and band vocalists is just so fresh, off beat but united in cool and snarl. Andy Human’s guitar has a “Guns of Brixton” devastation affect that will make you wanna dance furiously, ths isn’t a Hellcat records Clash tribute act I promise, it’s like the coolest otherworldly take on things that I love with a millions ideas and references plus the tunes to back it all up. Watch out for the Alexa and Stanley Sax attack…Music for post punk girls and louche rakes that takes down the mediocre reality of the consume or be consumed culture we are doomed to die inside, lofi scratched up punk genius. 

RUNNER UPS:
BENT – EP/ PALBERTA – LP / HEAVY METAL – 2 LP/ LEBENDEN TOTEN – “Static!” 12” / GAUCHE – LP / THE COWBOY – LP / / TERRY – LP / PIERRE ET BASTIEN – LP / PROM NITE – LP / ANDY HUMAN EP / SAYLAVEES EP/ POLICE CONTROL EP / JANITOR SCUM LP / FLESH WORLD – LP / RANK/XEROX – 12” /  SACRED PAWS – LP / / MR WRONG – 12” /RAYS –LP / RAKTA EP


TOP TAPES/DEMOS:
BLANK STATEMENTS, LITHICS, AQUARIUM, TABLE SUGAR, NEON, STIFF LOVE, WARM BODIES, JUDY AND THE JERKS, DOUBLEMINT GUN

Reissues
Y-PANTS LP /NON-BAND LP/ COMET GAIN LPs/ DENDÖ MARIONETTE-LP / NEON – “Neon / Nazi Schatzi” 45/ WRETCHED LP /PIECE WAR 12” / LOOK BLUE GO PURPLE 2xLP / NURSE – LP/ TRUMMERFRAUEN LP/ MORBID OPERA LP

Sunday, August 27, 2017

musical obsessions circa March 29th 2017 reposted here in August

current top ten / in the face of the end of the world I have mostly been listening to doomed yet tranquil sounds 1) anxious color compilation LP on Mississippi (thanks cissie for letting me know about it, right up my street doomed home made falling apart psychedelic disruption)
2)dolly mixture-whistling in the dark (this is the best! like an outtake from the second The Cake LP, psyche-pastoral beauty with an underlying horror in the lyrics)
3)the cake-firefly (esp the youtube upload with mary woronov horror footage!
also brenda holloway land of a thousand boys
and toni basil breakaway
(i need someone to reissue the breakaway 45 right now!) and felt pictorial jackson review only on headphones as I don;t have any felt records (if anyone wants to send me their first 45 I need one) 4) cate le bon-aside from growing old from her new 12", so good/is it true a new drinks record is coming out?!
5) john cale paris 1919-everytime I hear this it's like listening to it for the first time and I can't figure out what it is
6)can-I want more (and more and more)
7)slumber party CDR covers up. I mailordered this from their website sometime in the early 00s and just pulled it out to listen again-it's so rad, covers of VU and the shaggs and the bangles.I can't find it anywhere online but maybe bc it's cover versions/was self released it was never MP3d. Also the Alicia BB song on some KRS comp which I found trying to figure out if she still makes music, it's so good, called best friend. You can download it from the KRS bandcamp
8)morning glory LP-amazing girl group from the 60s that only made a test press that got shelved bc of some mob intervention, it's so dreamy. the first song is not super killer but the rest is so good, not sure if it is online anywhere but you can listen to snippets on Josiah Steinbrick's instagram (he put it out) https://themorningglory.bandcamp.com/releases https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS13wZZUMlo
9) THE COURTNEYS LP! So excited to see them next month/gonna lose my mind
10) Yanti Bersaudara. I am not sure how I discovered them, but I am obsessed. someone needs to reissue the first few records!! Indonesian 60s beat girl group dreamscape https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ6yUfGgVaA also las timidas tape!!! this is the best thing in the history of tapes. I wish it was happening in front of me right now (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNE2Xc1hAUI) top guilty pleasure: the song queens by la sera 
top relentless pleasure: veronica falls/all works
top new discovery: PHEW from japan

things to look forward to: look blue go purple double LP reissue on flying nun! finally those that are not punisher collector dudes can own this music on vinyl! new sneaks LP although I have heard it is the same thing on both sides, this seems kind of annoying and also kind of amazing, like an old cassingle. THE WORLD LP! someone transmit this to my sensors asap. beatniks 45/rays LP speaking of alexacore. La Luz LP?! I listen to the song "it's alive" every day, perfect devastating sound, ice cool delivery, coolest lyrical concepts. new Angie LP! any non australian distribution? hopefully. the last one I found a super beat up copy for a buck at Amoeba misfiled under abba new NOTS!!!! i heard they recorded an experimental masterwork for future use new heavy metal record (http://staticshockmusik.com/catalog/product_info.php…) anyone heard it? Neon: new devastating bay area force made up of female pro skaters who are going to end the patriarchy and government new fleshworld taiwan housing project LP new talya cooper core there must be more new things to look forward to. I want to hear new Christina billotte sounds. I heard her band While recorded something, but who knows. also casual dots triple LP. and permanent waves. new tobi vail sounds speaking of which my group's recording is coming out at some point soon. GIRLSPERM I am planning on making a desolate bedroom end of the world recording at somepoint in 2017 I have about 150 dollars of music in my bandcamp cart yet to check out will I ever make a move and do it/sorry I work retail/broke reality/ but I gotta get the new pierre et bastien LP and marauder flexi/tape (the swiss/american waver group not the thrashers) I am on a ton of annoying PR lists none of which mention music I care about, just weird blogrocker boredom for festival goers. I listen to a ton of killer sounds at MRR at all times and will make a radio show soon of my fave records of 2017so far maybe

punk records I have been playing a lot as of recent times that came out in 2017 I think

LITHICS WENDY KRAMER TAPE

louie louie LP
NOTS 45/liveLP/45 I DONT WANNA INDOOR TOILET
(someone put this on a record-who does CD only releases in 2017?!) LEBENDEN TOTEN – “Static!” 12” Pierre et bastien LP, liquids LP, black abba, UV-TV-LP,TAIWAN HOUSING PROJECT – “Veblen Death Mask” LP,MIDNIGHT MINES-LP, MIDNITE SNAXX-LP,Police control 45, gg king 45, TERRY LP A FEW RANDOM REISSUES NEON – “Neon / Nazi Schatzi”/LOOK BLUE GO PURPLE/MORBID OPERA/NURSE LP on paco.gov/PIECE WAR – “Apathy” LP/ Y-Pants/Отдел Самоискоренения

Sunday, July 23, 2017

YEAR END TOP TEN 2016 late posting!

I realized I forgot to post this! My MRR year end top ten from last year

As always it’s hard to summarize a year of listening with only ten records, there are so many LPs, cassettes, bandcamps and 45s that have gotten me through the dogshit reality that is our current epoch, here are my most listened to releases selected to represent 2016. 1)CCTV-all cassettes
Radical art punk music, incisive lyrics to think about, sick riffs to dance to, makes you wanna do something with your tired self. Plus a truly great live band.
2)LITHICS – “Borrowed Floors” LP
The “Too Many Creeps” / SU TISSUE combo of my dreams, front person summons so many dreamy feminist art performative pasts while maintaining a total deadpan style that is to die for, the best dollar store 99 Records dreamscape of the decade.
3)HEAVY METAL – LP
The  song“Television Addict” as a guidebook and life coach.
4)TERRY – “8 Girls” EP
Not only a near perfect SWELLMAPS-ian pop song, a slicing incursion into the “radical” reality of the neoliberal “lean in” female politician reality in our click bait epoch…
5)THE WORLD EP& Flexi
I am putting these even tho the flexi sounds like garbage (the recordings are incredible-why on earth would they waste em on a flexi?!?! Disposable times we live in) I love this band, their recordings don’t quite match up to the live experience yet, but I love living in an era that I can go see a local group who evoke the MODETTES and maybe even the BODYSNATCHERS.
6) GARY WRONG GROUP “Away in Heathen Darkness” 12”
Mutant soundscapes for aggrieved lovers of nothing. I heard this once and instantly sent off for it and it hasn’t left my “new arrivals” pile since. Incendiary BOBBY SOXX vocals over disintegrating synth disgust.
7)JJ DOLL
This record sounds like it was made in between confidence and nervousness in a way that creates a killer punk feeling, both stuck and free, with a desperate vocal delivery that feels right for this fucked up reality.
8)IN SCHOOL EP / GOOD THROB EP
I am putting these on the same line because they are both life transformative groups that seem to be shifting because of band members moving to other locations… The first IN SCHOOL EP didn’t quite capture the total fuck you totality of watching them play for this psycho fan, and this does and it’s so perfect and sick. Each song is total insurrection, furious vengeance and the true transgressive sound of a feminist hardcore. GOOD THROB is simply one of the best ever, just the combination/chemical reaction of band members, the HONEY BANE meets NEGATIVE APPROACHness. All of their records have been perfect and this is no different.
9) NOTS “Cold Line/TVOD” 45
I like the shaky paranoid feeling that this 45 perpetrates, and while I entirely love both NOTS LPS I think that they are a true 45 band in that they wring every possibility out of the format and this record is total demonstration of that fact. Feels like the last tube home after the end of the world.
10) COUNTER INTUITS “Monosyllaby” LP
Ron House for prez.

Runners up: NOTS LP, TERRY LP, COUTEAU LATEX 45, PELUQUERÍA CANINA LP, ON ON ON EP, SACRED PAWS 45, NACHTHEXEN EP, PATSY 45, WALL EP, REPTOIDES EP, THEOREME LP, CC DUST, VIOLENCE CREEPS, TYVEK LP, ANXIETY LP.
Cassettes: WARM BODIES, TOUGH CUSTOMER, OBJECTS, SPIDER AND THE WEBS
Reissues: SP CAOS-EP, 3D-EP, SHAGGS-EP, ANGRY ANGLES-LP, STICKMEN WITH RAYGUNS-LPs, GI AND THE IDIOTS, TOMMY JAY – LP, V/A-SUBNORMAL GIRLS LP, JUNGLE NAUSEA , COMET GAIN, LANDLORDS

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Layla Gibbon MRR Top Ten of MRR-able records in 2015

The Powers That Be have changed the rules so we aren’t allowed to expound on the records we consumed and were consumed by in the traditional longwinded MRR manner, so if you want to read my full 2015 musical rollercoaster ride (ten LPs! Ten 45s! more than ten cassettes! Ten reissues! you must wait a bit... Also I present to you the “Records that were released in the weird purgatory that is the End of the Year and so missed full consideration for last year’s list AND this year’s list” zone right here in this intro… 2014 slipped thru the cracks: THE INTENDED “Huguenot/The Alchemist” 45, WITCHING WAVES –“Fear of Falling Down” LP… both of which were amongst my most listened to discs of 2015. Anyway here is a tiny slice of the records I was couldn’t stop flippin out to in 2015, perhaps one of the worst years in human memory?!

CCTV – Quiet EP Favorite disc of 2015! Nervous furtive fraught invocations of the indignities of modern life, anxiety and paranoia, everything sounds like it was recorded on a boombox at the wrong speed adding to the strange feeling of otherworldliness, like walking through a dead mall full of fake plants and broken ideas. It’s perfectly retro, really sounds like a recently excavated secret basement from the 1979 New Wave/punk collision, but it’s from now, and is fresh yet eternal. SU TISSUE dreamscape. SACRED PAWS – Six Songs 12” Perfect record! It’s so energizing and uplifting, total power with an untouchable dreamy/introspective feeling that leaves me reeling. This is post-punk insurrection, like what I imagined SLITS sounded like when I found out that NENEH CHERRY was in a later incarnation of the group…Freedom! Everything Rachel Aggs does is 100% and this is no exception. Her guitar style borrows from the coolest early ’80s London post-punk adventure girls and the most transcendent African Highlife and with the addition of her former GOLDEN GRRLS bandmate Eilidh there’s an added extra layer of melancholic beauty to these uplifting numbers. Listened to this an insane amount of times, truly a great LP. PATSY – Tuley Tude High/Paradise 45 I think PATSY features Nathan and Candice from MYSTIC INANE (who put out two of the best 45s this year!) and this demonstrates that you should just buy everything they do. Killer killer killer! If Dez Cadena was a girl and new dimensions in modern rehashes of previous ideas of punk was a possibility. AQUARIAN BLOOD – Savage Mind EP Total destruction! Like ANGRY ANGLES discovered FATHER YOD and PCP and combined all these things into an insane wall of destruction and woe! I think this band is expansive and features many participants but the driving force being former members of NOTS and a current member of EX-CULT should make your blood pressure rise suitably if you have any sense. LIME CRUSH – Graveyard EP Singer sounds like she should be in KLEENEX, music is somewhere between the more garagey HUGGY BEAR stuff and the PHANTOM PREGNANCIES and this 7” is a non stop killer lurching punk attack! SNEAKS – Gymnastics LP Further evidence the DC scene has experienced major / incendiary rejuvenation in the past couple years… Incredible CHANDRA / 99 Records configuration that I just can’t stop listening to. VIAL – You’re Not Safe EP Krista is an incredible and iconic front person, with a remarkable voice, like if DINAH CANCER was a tough HC girl?! I’ve seen em cover LAST RITES’ “Chunks” but they’ve also get compared to FLIPPER and the BAGS! I think of them as a hardcore band but have gotten in arguments with people about it, perhaps because women are never truly “hardcore” according to the general punk populace?! I have no idea how anyone could listen to this and not think that it’s a hardcore record though. The guitar is burly in a classic Touch n Go manner, the lyrics are smart and to the point, and interrogate gentrification and gender constructs as well as total alienation/anxiety. I love this band, and this 45 is killer. BLACK TIME – Aerial Gobs of Love LP All hail BLACK TIME, architects of the brutal and arcane…Transporting the listener to the collapsing concrete shopping centers of London, in which girls and boys as informed as much by the Medway Sound as the Situationist ideal hack out a new / old existence in the ashes of commerce. What other group could summon thoughts of HUGGY BEAR, SWELL MAPS, early Michigan garage sounds, Musique Concrète, girls in bootleg Mary Quant / Bridget Riley get ups reading Sheila Delaney’s teenage works…BLACK TIME is the way and the truth. The sound of irate bedroom masterworks—when Lemmy Caution shouts he’s got no expectations you can feel that tool Jagger’s smug sprawl of expectations slowly eating away at the earth… Janey Too-bad’s voice on the title track makes me wanna grab a Silvertone and join the WHAT FOUR (or the MOD 4). Anyway this is a piercing, shambling, devastating view into two years of bedroom recordings by London’s only garage band  MIDNITE SNAXX – Don’t Wake Me Up/ Shades 45 Never really paid attention to these punkers, I remember their ealier records being sort of more power pop/Bomp! girlsound, which is cool, but not always what I want. Then this sick 45 appeared and I realized I needed to shape the fuck up. Insane KBD/Girls in the Garage hybrid sounds for furious modernists! Kill or be killed. SHITFUCKS – Det Är Ditt Fel EP I described this to a friend as “the Swedish ABORTED with an insane possessed lady who could be in KLEENEX or RUTTO singing” and if that isn’t want you want out of life then I can’t help you.

Runners up: MYSTIC INANE – both 45s, DRINKS – LP / PIERRE & BASTIEN LP / NOTS – 45 /TERRY – EP/ ANGIE LP /LA MISMA LP / VEXX – EP / /CONEHEADS LP / VIAL – EP / VIOLENCE CREEPS flexi+EP / BLACK ABBA – 45 / LA MISMA LP / SHOPPING – LP

CASSETTES/DEMOS: BLACK ABBA, G.L.O.S.S., MOZART, THE WORLD, AQUARIAN BLOOD, SUSAN, UROCHROMES, FREAK, VERTIGO, JJ DOLL, BIG BLEACH, PENNYCRESS, GENDERDOG, NAIL CLUB, 100%, RAYS, SBSM, GAUCHE.

 REISSUES INDEX-45/BIKINI KILL-Revolution Girl Style Now-LP / PINK SECTION – LP / INFLATABLE BOY CLAMS 2xEP / STICK MEN WITH RAY GUNS – LP / PLASTIX – Ich Bin Modern! LP / TOŽIBABE – Dežuje EP / SCHUND – EP / SOBERANÍA PERSONAL – Benditos Sean Muñecos Que Pegan LP / BROKEN TALENT – Rules No One LP / BILLY SYNTH / DEPARTMENTSTORE SANTAS – LP / MERCENÁRIAS – Demo 1983 EP / THE ELECTRONIC HOLE - The Electronic Hole / COUNTRY TEASERS – Empire Strikes Back LP

THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2016: COURTNEYS LP, SPIDER AND THE WEBS LP, WITCHING WAVES LP, IN SCHOOL EP, VEXX, MOZART 45, HYSTERICS discog LP, JJ DOLL triple LP, PIECE WAR 12”, THE WORLD EP (former members of Pang and Penny Machine! Plus Andy Human, coolest new local group!) also the punks demand more Patsy, more Black Abba, more SBSM, more Nots, more ONJ and more CCTV. Along with more Low Life and Constant Mongrel, more Total Control too. As the wise sage Tomata Du Plenty once inferred: if I can’t have what I want / I don’t want anything.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

better late than never: this human's TOP TEN OF 2014 as published in MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL MARCH 2015 issue

I had a big crisis as to whether I should pick my ten most listened to records, or do the usual endless write up of ten EPs and LPs, then spent an epic amount of time freaking out about what to include / what to write about it, all totally fascinating contextual information I am sure. Punk rock is an endless vacation. Writing about music is turgid and wretched. I put a few things that woulda made my YETT last year if MRR had gotten them before 2013 ended, and in that spirit I am going to mention the GG KING LP and the WITCHING WAVES LP which are reviewed in this issue, both technically came out in December, thusly missing the mark for full 2014 consideration / total and complete jamage throughout 2014, and thus will be entered into consideration for 2015 assuming we are not post-nuclear sewage by this time next year. I am also a terrible replicant human that recycled some of my record reviews from the magazine into this list format rather than coming up with more fascinating insights into aural technologies in the face of my useless and incapacitating woes. Alright!
LONG PLAYERS:
NOTS – “We Are Nots” LP (Goner) After two perfect 45s of URINALS/KLEENEX insurrection a nation of rabid fans wondered how a full length was gonna transform our lives… Continuing onwards into the fluxus continuum with added nihilistic keyboards, it’s a new future for rule breakers and drool makers everywhere. I think when I reviewed this I said it was like watching Daisies with ELECTRIC EELS as the soundtrack. In short the recordings of my dreams. If I can’t have what I want, I don’t want anything…
GOOD THROB – “Fuck Off!” LP Was there a better record summing up this shoddy mindless existence in our blissful neo-liberal end times? Aggressive and antagonistic, idealistic / nihilistic, pinning up the microaggressions of the modern female experience to the inside of yr eyelids like no other group. Like a musical version of Laura Oldfield Ford’s incredible Savage Messiah fanzine, walking through the brutalist wreckage of post-Thatcher Britain littered with plastic bags and casual violence and somehow transforming it into a cut up punk masterpiece… I’ve said it before but any group that can somehow bring to mind NO TREND if they were on Crass Records with a front person that has the charisma and power of fucking “Girl on the Run” meets JOHN BRANNON gets to be the kings of punk.
TOTAL CONTROL – “Typical System” LP (Iron Lung / Aaarght / La Vida Es Un Mus) I found this an impossible record to write about, I agonized over my pathetic five line review for this very rag and in the spirit of that feeling I am going to replicate a couple lines from said review here: “’The Sound of Fear in the Western World,’ Vintage Violence, Berlin ENO / motorik collisions with late era BLITZ. This is a fucking classic, like reading Phillip K Dick on a commuter train in end times capitalist reality, it feels nostalgic and current at the same time. Forever prescient, ironic, but also true enough that it stays with you through these tiresome times.For many reading this Typical System is not going to be "punk" enough, whatever that means, but I can't stop listening to it. It feels both personal and subversive, romantic and dispassionate.”
FLESH WORLD – 12” (La Vida Es Un Mus) I think technically this came out in 2013, but its December release date meant we didn’t get it until 2014 so it gets included! Urgent declarations of post-punk abandon from my current favorite San Francisco liberation force. Propulsive dark excursions which have an early Factory Records appeal, and are lit up by Jess’ voice, which flits from a PYLON like yelp to a perfect C86 SHOP ASSISTANTS lullaby… This record is so incredible, atmospheric and danceable, doomed and eternal. Soundtrack to the devolution of San Francisco.
VEXX – LP (Grazer / M’Ladys) Best Oly band since WEIRD TV… Watching the singer perform is otherworldly, like some new Alice Bag / Isadora Duncan formation… Every aspect of VEXX is exactly right, like if the PATTI SMITH GROUP were on Dangerhouse, so tough and transcendent. That wild psyche/punk guitar sending shards of light direct from speakers into brains, and then there’s the fucking rhythm section! Most incredible current punk drummer!? Cannot wait for the next installation of action and light…
EAST LINK – LP (In the Red) The repetition and totality of sound employed by EASTLINK make all their records perfect for daily commutes, a 59 guitar orchestra with only one riff played eternally until the entire world mutates into a singular beat with dollar store CHROME guitar solos spurting out onto your fellow commuters when necessary for survival.
LOW LIFE – “Dogging” LP (RIP Society) Debased ruminations on decay, lust, inaction over alternately deflated / thuggish post-punk dereliction. The lyrics are almost like a cartoon, a Clockwork Orange / High Rise take on the lives behind the headlines, what the “we’re all going to the dogs” hand-wringing net-curtain twitchers think the maggot filled streets of modern life are teeming with… In musical form.
WATERY LOVE – “Decorative Feeding” LP (In the Red) Further explorations into the impossibilities of Skull Music. VENOM P STINGER and SPIKE IN VAIN if they listened to BREAKDOWN in the metaphorical blender of a literally very useless writer. Why do skulls fall in love.
RAKTA – LP (Dama Da Noite / Nada Nada Discos / 540) Another thing that technically came out in December 2013 that we didn’t review until 2014 so… in it goes! Almost everything anyone has written about RAKTA would make them seem to be something I would avoid; deathrock, tribal polyrhythms and yet… This record is so cool—it looks and sounds incredible, and watching this band destroy SF was one of the highlights of the year. In his MRR review of this record Ray Suburbia references Maya Deren, psychedelica and girl driven deathrock incantations and I wholeheartedly concur. Layers upon layers build up to create a totality of sound, where most post-punk advocates investigate the sparseness of the genre, RAKTA veers away from that, creating an airless space out of dissonance and a complete wash of sound, wild vocals over doomed and danceable auralscapes. So sick!
EX-CULT – “Midnight Passenger” LP (Goner) A stark attack, reflecting lean cruel times; a paranoid, skulking sound with a total speed-for-blood road movie feel; lyrics read like a dime store novel circa 1965, a noir-ish effect enhanced by their economical use of words, desolate landscapes and plummeting human experiences adding to the feel. The music is claustrophobic, with dense layers of guitars and rhythm creating a back to mono punk savagery. Relentless and swaggering, putting the punk back in the garage, this is a taut, high tension sound that mines from fifty different punk ideals.
RUNNERS UP: HUMAN ABFALL – “Tanztee Von Unten” LP (Sounds of Subterrania) / IVY – LP (self-released) / TERCER MUNDO – LP (Cintes Pepe) / LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS – “Collection” LP (Erste Theke Tonträger) / BUCK BILOXI AND THE FUCKS – “Culture Demanufacturer” LP (Total Punk) / NUN – LP (Aarght) / JUANITA Y LOS FEOS –LP (La Vida Es Un Mus) / SHOPPING – “Consumer Complaints” LP (Milk) FARANG – 12” / TRASH KIT – “Confidence” LP (What’s Your Rupture) / PRIESTS – LP (Don Giovanni)
EPs and 45s:
PANG – “Young Professionals” EP (Grazer) I heard a rumor this record wasn’t going to come out, as PANG broke up as all the good ones are wont to do… but the universe prevailed, the fans recoiled in horror and here it is, blowin’ apart society as we know it. Or rather my brains and internal organs were reordered. I have waxed eternal about the genius sounds created by this group enough in these pages, but it’s all true, their genius is eternal, and must be expounded upon! Picture MAGAZINE as all female group, ENO obsessed art school types crafting perfect nerve-y pop at the snap of a finger. Or maybe picture four maniac WIRE fans destroying all art and culture in one 45. This is better than GIRLS AT OUR BEST!
NOTS-Fix/Modern 45 (Goner) Further dada-punk destruction outta Memphis, NOTS will ruin you. More gassed in the garage than the first 45 but if you want total kicks, total action, a record that signifies that now is the time, or rather what now is next, then play this on repeat until it all falls into place! Fervent and furious.
SHEER MAG – “What You Want” EP (Wilsons RC) How to write about a record that is indefinably great, that sounds like good classic rock, but is also scrappy and real like a basement punk band?! It’s low down, mean and eternal, street smart, wild, desperate and assured… And what a voice! I keep thinking this is a power pop record, but not power pop in that vile Power Pearls wimpy milk shit manner, it’s tough city street stomp, “All I do is sit and cry / Living in the city and I don’t know why.” Capturing the dirty summer in the city feeling; couldn’t be anywhere but here, oh but I gotta leave right now or I’m gonna lose it. “Hard Loving” and “What You Want” are the scene stealers for me. Low fidelity end of the summer sounds for troublemakers and broken hearts everywhere. Gimme more.
MYSTIC INANE – “Deep Creep” EP This features at least one ex-NECRO HIPPIE going off in a fried hardcore SACCHARINE TRUST vs. SPIKE IN VAIN wormhole, total tripper maniac sound! Both songs on the A-Side will have you doin’ the creepy crawl round your room in an uncontrollable fashion, so classic and venomous and sick! Candice’s guitar sound brings to mind so many of the greats, eerie and nihilistic and true, formed in a cave somewhere beneath the CRUCIFUCKS and RUDIMENTARY PENI. The vocalist has a death sneer like JACK BREWER meets MARK E. SMITH and even KEITH MORRIS... The rhythm section is tireless and doomed, and fuck, this record is great! The B-side is like slowed down syrupy NEOS.
RAKTA – “Tudo Que É Sólido/Serpente” 45 (Dama da Noite / Nada Nada Discos / La Vida Es Um Mus / 540) Continuing their penchant for creative expansion, avoiding cliché and aiming for the hypnotic over the predictable path… Transcendental, almost MALARIA! like sickness!
GIORGIO MURDERER – “Primitive World” EP (Goner) Post-apocalyptic synth-infused basement punk anthems for dislocated garbage brains, this sounds like it was recorded in 1983 by a maniac-minded miscreant with only dollar store synthesizers and garage sale guitars. All of the songs are insanely catchy and malevolent, and last approximately a minute each. Perfect! What more could you want? Nihilistic Oscar the Grouch destruction sounds. There’s even a spoken word number for all you beatniks…
PIECE WAR – “Apathy” 10” (Epic Sweep) This is a frustrating one to write about because it came out in an edition of 30 lathe cut only, I mean thirty! C’mon! And guess who didn’t manage to get one. I have heard a US label is attempting a reissue so there is hope! Doomed New Zealand punk that I can’t stop listening to, reminds me of GUN OUTFIT and the WIPERS, powerful and sincere, stark and beautiful. So fucking great.
PIG DNA – “Control You Fucker” EP (Night Rider) Apart from being the Bay Area’s only living punk band, PIG DNA have taken it upon themselves to destroy the concepts of punk, noize, music, the internet, good art, bad art, insects, the patriarchy, the government and whatever else you got. Total incendiary sounds, formed in the furious underbelly of noize not music, but this grouping of humans has personality. They swiftly dispense of the problem many practicing this style of music suffer from, that of being a boring clone. The drumming is a manic cloud of fury and enchantment that the rest of the band build upon eloquently and destructively, feedback adding to the totality of experience rather than just being another weak signifier. The artwork and lyrics are further evidence that what is happening here should be studied, expounded upon and used to prevent boredom and settling for second best. The lyrics to the song “Fly” say it better than anything my puny mind could come up with “Oh / You like that shit / Don’t You? / Bad Taste / Shit liker.” I need a PIG DNA t-shirt, mouth guard, breast plate, bubble gum card set, flick knife etc etc Watching them play is the coolest, but if you are not able to do that right now, buy this record instead and shut yourself in a windowless room and play it over and over and over. Nothing is real. America’s only punk band, with the only record that came out in 2014.
PRIMETIME – “Tied Down” EP (La Vida Es Un Mus) If you feel unsure just listen to the title track over and over again and then it will all make sense. Sounds like they could have supported the SLITS but so much cooler and more hilarious than the DELTA 5 or AU PAIRS ever were.
DESTRUYE Y HUYE – “Oscura Sociedad” EP (Verdugo Discos) I was so psyched on this when I got it for review I immediately sent off for a copy of my own. Super sick rudimentary ULTIMO RESORTE style ragers from LA, the insert/lyric sheet poster looks like something that woulda come out with an LA punk band circa 1982, eternal and classic ruckus.
RUNNERS UP: PURA MANIA – both EPS (CVR)/ HYSTERICS – “Can I Live” EP (M’Ladys) / IN SCHOOL – “Praxis of Hate” EP (Kill Test) / BIG ZIT – “Electric Zit Vol. 1” EP (Not Normal) / OOZE – “Big Angry” EP (Not Normal) / LA MISMA– “Arete” EP (Toxic State) / DOWNTOWN BOYS – 45 (Sister Polygon) / LAS VENAS – EP / LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS 45 / FRAU – “Punk Is My Boyfriend” EP (Static Shock) / UNA BÈSTIA INCONTROLABLE- “Nou Món” 45 (Iron Lung)
So many reissues punk is a nostalgic parade: ELECTRIC EELS – all items!/ OWEN MAERCKS “Teenage Sex Therapist” LP / BIKINI KILL – “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah” LP / SLANT 6 – “Soda Pop*Rip Off” LP / SIN 34 – “Do You Feel Safe?” / BOBBY SOXX – 45 /MICHAEL PSYCHO – LP / C.O.M.A – LP/ AUTISTIC BEHAVIOR – LP / CODE BMUS-12″ / CURTIS SEALS / CHRISTIAN D’ORBIT-split 45 / CRIME – “Murder By Guitar” LP / THE SHIVVERS-LP / PLASTIX – “Konsumier Mich” EP / X_X – “Sticky Fingers” LP / DISHRAGS – LP / AMADOTS – LP/ SHOES THIS HIGH – LP / CRISIS 2xLP / REMAREMA – 45 / NEO PUNKZ 45x2 / HUMAN ERROR – LP
KILLER TAPES Coneheads / Penny Machine / Family Outing / Vial / Nandas / The Stops / Cool Bands comp esp CCTV trax / Hagface / Timmy Vulgar /Wet Drag / Slender