Fast screaming punk rock. How else would they fit four releases on one album? (Contains: Are You Ready to Sacrifice?, San Jose EP, Mas Alla de la Muerte, and Hell Is Real.) It’s angry, it’s fast, it’s punk. Band members are Fred (guitar), Jason (bass), Mariam (vocals), and Rich (drums). FYI: “Permanent Ruin endorses a lifestyle free of bullshit posers.”
Compilation of The Death Rattle Demo, Countdown to Oblivion, and Brain Surgery for Beginners. Fast rocking punk with mic-swallowing cookie monster vocals. Chris Colohan (vocals), Jamie Towns (bass), Katie Whittaker (guitar), R.J. Larente (guitar), Ryan Elinsky (drums), Stephe Perry (vocals).
This Oakland band self-describes as “pioneers of trip-folk.” This CD includes sample songs from upcoming full-length debut Light In You (March 18, 2016 release date). The combination of female vocals and the occasional sound of toy instruments results in pure quirky, folky, sweetness.
This SF band of David Mitchell (guitar/vocals), Chris Griley (bass), and Mike Dubuque (drums) self-describes as “slacker indie rock meets soft grunge.” Call it what you will…it’s guitar-driven goodness and it rocks! (A1 and A2run together.)
Seattle band gives us a fairly minimalist, slow, boring replication of Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
This is smooth, slow, lyrical hip hop. A3 would fit nicely on Soul Patrol. B3 has a Wizard of Oz theme. Tr A2, A5, and B3 have a slightly Latin flavor. Some of my favorite lines are B2, “I’m gonna kill ya real slow, you call me cancer stick.” And B3 “Fish with good bait, get a good bite.”
Disk 2 is instrumental versions of the same tracks.
Psychedelic, prog rock album that is the first in a multi-part series of sci-fi/fantasy albums taking place in a fictional universe conceived by the band and inspired by mythology, folklore, fantasy, science fiction, and pagan and occult rituals. Even though it’s a concept album, each track stands well on its own, though they may be too hippy drippy for some.
Post punk band from Oakland featuring ex and current members of Deskonocidos, Neon Piss and Vaaska. It reminded me a little of the Cure, Bauhaus, and Joy Division. While I never got bored listening to this, I did get tired of the singing style. It’s hard to describe but it seems like he’s swallowing the mic and almost every phrase is sung with a downward inflection.
This San Diego band apparently decided to cover some of their favorite songs from all-night drives between gigs. Side A is “Syntoptikon” from Major Stars, side B is “Ghost Punch” from Mayyors, “Verfremdungseffekt” from Dymaxion, and “Melted Moon” from Marble Sheep; hence the album title. “Ghost Punch” rocks, the rest is sludgy, psychy, no wave. Album is beautiful marble blue green.
This band is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil and features members of Rakta and Speed Kills. They’re kinda goth, punk, post punk, and psych. Apparently the songs are all about how suffocating and oppressive everyday life is in the city of Sao Paulo. I don’t speak Portuguese but the music does a good job of conveying these feeling as well. Clear vinyl.
Dirty Water Records release of garage punk brother duo from Cleveland, Emmett (drum/vocals) and Cullen O’Connor (keys/vocal). Vintage organ gives them a vintage sound that may remind you of Iron Butterfly and The Doors.
Formed in 1992 (as Blind Justice for 3 years), this is Envy’s first release in 5 years. Atheist’s Cornea is a collection of 8 tight and blaring songs (oft-described as post-rock/post-hardcore). Some begin with deceptively soft, spoken word and, with a few exceptions, most inevitably explode into screamo vocals. All lyrics are sung in Japanese (lyrics/English translations provided in the enclosed booklet).
Released in 2012 by Asian Man Records, this is a great, driving punk record with somewhat political lyrics. All but the singer (Jesse Michaels of Operation Ivy) are also in Hard Girls (Mike Huguenor, Morgan Herrell, and Max Feshbach), but this sounds more like Stiff Little Fingers than HG. “Bandstand” has a ska feel. (Most songs are under 2 minutes.)
Fifth release from Nottingham’s quiet, folky, indie band Lorna. It’s full of pretty, melancholy songs, a la Everything but the Girl, but hasn’t grown on me in the same way. Male and female vocals on every track, some include flute, viola, violin, French horn, and clarinet. (Smothered in Hugs sounds like theme from Once).
L.A. band’s third release brings us a collection of wonderfully varied tracks. My immediate assessment was 60s psychedelic (maybe it’s the Mellotron?), yet it’s so much more. Don’t be surprised if you’re simultaneously struck by its freshness while transported to decades past. Vocals on all but A5. (Singer sometimes sounds uncannily like Marc Bolan.) B1 has un-credited female vocals and fucking rocks! Despite the darkness of the lyrics, some tracks may get you dancing.
Collection from Permis de Construire Deutschland of tightly wound, percussive, industrial rock (some more industrial than rock). Described as “a perfect representation of the 1990 underground noise scene.” Vox on all but 7/8/10/11 (mostly in English, some growly, all but 9 intelligible). Tr6 is live. Tr9 sounds like wrong speed.
FCC on Tr4 (but in a French accent).
Quartet with backgrounds in noise rock, experimental hardcore, and art-punk bands from Tampa/Gainesville, FL give us minimalist gothic psych with a healthy dose of wah wah, reverb, and twang. Released by Wharf Cat Records. Vox on all tracks, mostly intelligible, almost no screaming, just a hint of suicidal whining. Includes a cover of Lee Hazlewood’s Wait and See.
Bed Bugs/Sugar Sugar 7″ / 45 RPM
Bed Bugs is part punk, part rockabilly, all party. Sugar Sugar is a dirgy re-imagining of the Archies’ song, with similar lyrics but all the joy sucked out of it; interesting juxtaposition to side A. Released by Almost Ready Records.
Vocals on both tracks.
Oniki, Yuji review
Shonen Blue (LP 33)
First gen Japanese American living in Oakland Yuji Oniki released Shonen blue in 1988. From what I can tell it’s his first LP. It’s slightly haunting, folksy, indie rock. There are beautifully sung, clear lyrics in English on every track. One reviewer likened him to Michael Stipe of REM. Includes electric/acoustic guitars, bass, drums, viola, percussion and tabla but somehow sounds like there’s mandolin or sitar involved. Mellow but not boring. Rock but never rocks. Came brand new with lots of vinyl crackles.
No FCCs detected. Morada