TRACK | Ambulanz – Wire

5/5 golden merles

Another gem in the Leipzig scene, Ambulanz makes an opposable and articulated sort of garage punk. It feels specialized, amalgamated with magma and deviating, mutating, evolving in inhospitable terrain. There’s real nuance to the vocalizations and utterances, both the phrasing and the way they stack; it’s literally and figuratively marching to the contemplatively staggered, intricate beat of its own drum.

A good mix of drone and pulse, bones and meat, the track is brought into being with intuitive and intelligent design. And it is convincingly conjured. It takes great empathy to orchestrate tactically such a wrath, placing the pieces in the proper sequence to collapse for the sake of conveying a message in the pile that remains. Even the outro pulls you into that excavation, the room, the rain, the noise; whatever it is, breathing.

I initially missed it when Groschi posted about it in June and won’t crib the sounds-like list but if you like this go there and see, you’ll have (metaphorical) fuel for a month. Tapes are out as of September on the bandcamp for €6 EUR.

TRACK | Pigeon – Permanent Quest

5/5 golden merles

Berlin post-punk from Pigeon, “Permanent Quest” offers a cascading lead riff and the ominous, conspiratorial raving that just so happens to ring exclusively true. The subject is our collective dystopian inhabitancy, with talk of a perpetual tasking and the surveillance required by our benefactors to monitor compliance. Thundering and scraping at the lid, I like this grim approximation and its framing of the morgue as monument.

The performance is to be found somewhere between the land of post and present punk; the distinction doesn’t matter, but the frothing is slightly tempered after having had some time to reflect before conveyance. Still, the production affords us drums like a punctured lung, a sampling from the initial pop. And everything maintains that heat amidst dry powder. I’m very much looking forward to the full length.

Name your own price” in ones and zeroes Or vinyl for €6 from the formidable Mangel Records.

TRACK | Cluttered Grotto – Asbestos Sandwich

5/5 golden merles

California bedroom punk with more melodic sense than a hijacked ice cream truck and a voice that sounds like cleaning off your lucky blood diamond with a stainless steel scouring pad. All of this is very good and meant to sound appealing to you, as it does to me. It is the relatively happy bastard child of subversion and invention, driving drum loops draped in human pelts.

Canonical-grade commiseration, it’s seated somewhere among the premier set of atomized and alienated subjects of oligarchy, each in isolation making lo-fi melody-rich synth punk. The craft is immediately recognizable. It’s a competitor, in the top tier. I’ve somehow managed to avoid it like an inverse minefield to date.

The turns are abrupt and appropriate, it mends and mangles in good order. If you are synced up with the wavelength fluctuations of the incessant vibration in dichotomy between deathly serious and inconsequential, it comes as a great relief. It feels a little like driving down a cliffside highway when you unexpectedly smash through a thin wall’s painted vista only to find on the other side not impending death but the true, identical vista itself and above it a prop plane trailing a banner containing the message, “haha, sorry.” It’s that kind of fun.

The EP was found on DJ Simon’s fine Infernal Racket. Really excited to dive into the self-titled from May.

TRACK | Palánta – Éhség

5/5 golden merles

Hardcore synth punk from Budapest, “Éhség” is the 3rd track on Palánta’s super demo. Melodies allocate across the runtime like a fine cognitive dissonance, only in stepping back through the frames and on repetition are we able to admire the whole from outside. While it is not a servant to structural form, it maintains a steady groove inside the atomic levels with undeniable tones and talons. All passion and experiment, what is provided is plenty compelling.

When the vocal hands off the melody 90 seconds in, the relay refines further. Through the strong performance is transmitted a tale of merger through devouring, the escalating and the colliding. There is a metamorphosis recounted, achieved through ritualized abuse or hunger and dehumanization, the conscripted contortions of nature dubbed natural. Sneering and smirking at history, we continue to repeat every mistake, possibly by design.

The set is coming soon in a physical form through SZÉGYEN KAZETTÁK. For now, name your price on the digital wares. Found through the reliable stewards of rock at Tremendo Garaje.

TRACK | MIINT – Farmacopea

5/5 golden merles

Mérida, Mexico-based psych punk, with a great acuity of influence, blending many genre elements of surf, garage, shoegaze and some field-recording experimentation toward the latter stages of the album. Opening salvo “Farmacopea” stretches to what would seem a breaking point. But before you know it it’s wrapped back around, the ouroboros insatiable, the spine of bass holding steady.

In light of all that, the production is equal parts bone crunching and soaring. Change is constant and the track is always moving forward, chimeric, feinting and lacerating. These whims come naturally and compound in the cloth of the thing, all of the delirious addendums arriving to seize and gratify. Much is made from the synthesis, its hybrid and contorted form a myriad of chaoses I find to be compelling.

Proceeding to the bandcamp, the digital ghost of the record can be captured for $26 MXN ($1.29 USD).

TRACK | Zero Percent APR – Heavy Fucking Metal

5/5 golden merles

Immense and worthy, Zero Percent APR refines lo-fi psych punk roundabouts Austin, TX. “Heavy Fucking Metal” applies the rightful insolence due the stupid world but with a craft and consideration for their contemporaries who must endure its excesses alongside them (this means you). Yarns spun and death belittled in the thorough classification, there’s masterly world building before the stylistic dismantling.

I’m enlightened now, can’t you tell / when I die I wanna burn in hell. To explain why it works is a bit nasty and brutish, the rigors and ardor self-evident, sorta ineffable. But I have no shame, so: with its great consistency of the segments and variations on the heavy metal definitions, it has a feeling of the range, method and effect of great rock like Destroy All Monsters, “You’re gonna die.” It is one hell of a preview for the album to come, 23 tracks of this gleeful venom releasing on November 4th.

Preorder black vinyl from the label that knows your innermost thoughts and doesn’t care, Spared Flesh, for $20, digital is $8.

TRACK | Flop Machine – U.R.A.4.

5/5 golden merles

Machine Beat Rock And Roll is a fleshed out record from the collected set of singles by Flop Machine (Norway), out now on the grotesquely strong roster of reels at Dial Club (Japan). “U.R.A.4.” is synth fueled eggpunk, some craven melodies purged of pretense. Warm plateaus of waveform riding the digidrum rails, a motet raging and decrying, “work your fingers to the bone / paying off your student loan.”

Its production has a great grip, nascent pliers on the nerve. The compressors range has a full punch packaged, breaking the thumb for good measure. The soft tear at vocal peak, looping back and disseminating like fog into the anthemic instrumental accompaniment, is a thing to be admired. It’s a bouquet of firecrackers and wet cement, everything wrapped up in a nice little package.

The tape is ¥800 JPY (that’s $5.62 USD, plus $5.27 shipping for United States), or single use tracks for NOK 7 (0.67 cents). Everything apparently done in the name of love and at a loss.

TRACK | Padkarosda – Bujk​á​l Benned Valami

5/5 golden merles

Hardcore post-punk from Budapest, Hungary, “Bujk​á​l Benned Valami” (something is hiding inside of you) has a kind of clinical precision, extracting the still beating heart for display. The melodic vocals, tones and textures are nailed on to the eternal side of things, pulsing and phasing with great craft between the well refined passages and instrumental chambers. The rate of rising is consummate with the range of depths fallen, the whole album holds together in this sense of wondrous breadth.

The fury and panic of the feeling is offset by the gorgeous construction. There is the instantly recognizable and heartily apportioned alienation that holds constant. While the lyrics are missing from this set on the bandcamp, they are present on the earlier records, and you can directly feel that steady/familiar estrangement enveloping, it’s omnipresence and the comprehensive and many-angled approaches to addressing it. It feels like a thorough account of groping at the dungeons walls in the dark.

The record was found today through the great TegosluchamPL. Black vinyl limited to 300 worldwide, look to World Gone Mad Records for the shipping over the seas. Or digital album for $8.

TRACK | Klint – Selected Welcome

5/5 golden merles

German synth/egg punk, “Selected Welcome” is tinged and tainted with a lot of good grit and a prodigal pounce. The chorus is a simple phrase that contains the seeds of an adventure, the trek at time of reception, sometime before the hubbub gets hashed out. It has tones that seep in and the pulse of something fretful and not long for this world; it provides a good example of how to proceed if you are looking to leave a mark.

For at least several minutes the lord is baptized in his own blood and there is much singing in the ensuing confusion. I thought for one second I’d written about Klint before but it was Kieff, and through my idiotic error I was greatly rewarded. The whole set clanks and saunters in its own fluids for right around one half of one hour. It’s a soundtrack in two parts, both of them uncannily accurate approximations of being strangled by a stethoscope.

It will be €4 for the digital set split into two halves. Or it’s about $6 for the tape cut up into digestible chunks from Japan’s superb Dial Club.

TRACK | Leoni Leoni – If there is Magic it is made in your Womb

5/5 golden merles

Starry and skeletal with a rich contemplative warp, “If there is Magic it is made in your Womb” is a strain of diy lo-fi ambient synth-pop. Neither orthogonal nor evil, the price of the piercing is being held together around the hole after. There are concerns expressed and they are catchy, lots to empathize with in speculative and instructive the utterances.

There is a command not to misunderstand. Winter crumbles away, summer is a stain left from dust; the only constant is change. The percussive instrumentation is in a sort of sequence within the sickly gunk of time, by which we are affixed to this or any given era. The rhythm is the minimal rate by which we must claw through it to get anywhere at a respectable pace, or before it’s too late.

Anyway, it’s skirting the edges of eternity. Anyway, seen from above it resembles a gulch filled with jello and paved over, gauged and assuaged. There is vinyl available from Les Disques Bongo Joe in Geneva, black for €18 & white for €20.