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:
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.
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
BLANK STATEMENTS, LITHICS, AQUARIUM, TABLE SUGAR, NEON, STIFF LOVE, WARM BODIES, JUDY AND THE JERKS, DOUBLEMINT GUN
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