TRACK | BRAK – Smashed Tape

5/5 golden merles

More lo-fi noise punk from Berlin which seems to clearly be making an era of it, “Smashed Tape” is another corroborating witness to that moment. With feedback as the fuse, frenzied and full of an apportioned insolence, it is the refreshing kind of well-tempered visceral filth that comes arranged in sequences and accompanied by drums.

The track offers a guilty plea as a celebration, the confessed breaking as deliverance. It is a modern post-punk, no-wave, noise rock assemblage, and has the texture of few ounces of name-brand bottled miasma. It falls under the category of those few precious things that as we become inured we also become enamored. We’ll be looking forward to hearing the rest of the EP when it surfaces. There’s a bonus track on the 7 euro tape, out from adagio830 August 13th.

TRACK | Wombo – Below The House

5/5 golden merles

Wombo’s Fairy Rust is one of my most anticipated records for awhile and the “Below the House” single is the well chosen/ideal entry. The staccato conversational admissions form the crux of the thing with the bass riff bubbling beneath, absorbing all the terrestrial elements; a nonabrasive and brightly melted solo closes the sequence, outsized, life-like.

From the start you feel a cache is built up with reserves of the flitting but determined melodic phrases, the simple accumulating into gentle grandiosity through the appropriate sequential consequences. Lots of unknowable but familiar components, plainly cryptic, recognizably indecipherable and the like.

Wombo are on tour and the vinyl’s out on Brooklyn’s Fire Talk Records, black or red for a buck more. It’s good sound to hear.

TRACK | GLAAS – Concrete Coffin

5/5 golden merles

Berlin punk rockers GLAAS have released their album Qualm, and this is the formidable lead single “Concrete Coffin.” Kinetic and harshly configured hardcore elements emerge derived in collaboration with members from Clock Of Time, Exit Group, Cage Kicker, Idiota Civlizzatto, Lacquer, among others.

It’s has that fraying and bashing you’d want if you could tolerate a little chaos to reshuffle the deck. The vocal implores from inside the metered mire, considered and class. There are a few brutalist synths fountains populating the general state of ruin. It is this kind of realized honing of dread that we recognize our collective discontent, see it embodied.

That’s a good and worthwhile endeavor. The vinyl is out from London’s Static Shock Records, clear or black, however you paint your windows. Fun, bleak rock.

TRACK | FLASH – Nazkauta Nitxiok

5/5 golden merles

From the Spanish Gipuzkoan coast, FLASH fabricate rabid and relentless noise/punk rock. Careening into a controlled burn of synths and axes, it will get your blood moving forward. It has an enduring wrath and commits to the conundrum, frantically yowling in Basque a mantra of renunciation.

The style is warped and gently deteriorated but maintains its melody, so it rests at the only available precipice to us. Which is to say it is found on the periphery of both major pits (pure indulgence/abstraction or commercial solicitation).

Regardless, the balance is truck. The zeitgeist is favorable to it. The sound squirms from the hand of capital, repelling like a magnet from its grasp, while still affording a refined articulation and immediately resonating. The ground will shift and it will fall toward one side or the other, and down we will go with it.

But for now it’s fun and good. I am looking forward to hearing the remainder of the tracks. The vinyl for the album is black & blue and releases September 2nd from La Vida Es Un Mus Discos.

TRACK | DADGAD – Control

5/5 golden merles

“Control” is pulsing and moderately remorseless post-egg-punk from Rome. There’s great calibration to the balanced assemblage of digi drums, weighted to within an inch of collapse, and that guitar/synth melody cloaking the percussive tremor.

There’s lots of good and uncanny foreboding to it despite the relaxed pacing and inflection. The vocals are crisp, burnt up nice, presiding from postern, behind the delicate horde amassed up front. The EP carries on like this, considered and detailed throughout, and it’s all a great relief, frankly.

There is a run of 47 tapes out from Detroit’s stellar Painters Tapes for $5 USD. You can still get it at the time of posting.

TRACK | 208 – Red Cat

5/5 golden merles

“Red Cat” has aggregated all the wasted clipping segments hacked off of more thoroughly manicured garage rock and built a monster of a track/album from them. The momentum built from it pouring from the speakers is a slipstream that makes your escape a little easier. It emulates well a live set at the last concert you ever properly hear.

Self-confessed audiophiles may hear an emaciated range but this is far from it. There is a rich pallet of combustion and deterioration, tonally frayed and saturated. The ideal is in keeping the contours of the collapse in tact, while deriving the implicit energy of its destruction. You can’t properly find the edge without going at least a bit over and it is refreshing to see people working in this territory while maintaining a bridge back to some familiar landmarks.

TRACK | Bleeding Rainbow – Underground

5/5 golden merles

From Pennsylvania-based noise makers Bleeding Rainbow‘s 2010 Prism Eyes EP, “Underground” is bright and radiant rock. Some unique genre contamination in the shoegaze and punk elements and structure, it’s a kind of modular pop chimera. With the aural vocal phrasing stacked in two lanes, the miscellany of influences are always serving foremost melody.

Frenetic, everything pushes constantly forward. There is a proactive panic that elides stagnation, rapidly circumnavigates the drudgery of taking a breath, or pause, or a moments silence. Every vowel is elongated to enwrap the line and seemingly also to cushion the final blow: who can direct us where to go / my mind’s made up / the answer’s ‘no.’

The internet promises that the Hozac discs still exist in the world, and some of which are gold.

TRACK | R.M.F.C. – Feeder

5/5 golden merles

Garage rock from New South Wales Australia, a bit eternal but it feels fresh as a daisy despite all the elements being composed of cardboard cutouts and wax idols. I don’t know the alchemy of it, maybe melt them down in sweat and blood and they become renewed. It works, somehow, divination or some slight mangling or subversion of the cultural conditioning.

Regardless, it’s strong, inventively building and smashing through the effigies. Follow the uroboros either way around and you eventually get back to the guts. The vocals burrow into your skull and bed down there for the night. There are guitar tones that clip in the cathode manner, gently collapsing and fiercely shedding the echoes of its skin in reverberation. It’s good, fun garage rock that elides the rot all around us. The tapes are sold, but it can be digitally got for $3 AUD.

TRACK | The Babies – Wild 2

5/5 golden merles

The Babies were a NY lo-fi rock super group of sorts (Kevin Morby/Woods, Cassie Ramone/Vivian Girls) and the two albums they released did not disappoint (2011 s/t and Our House on the Hill 2012). Solidly forged garage/pop rock focused on love, death, more death, and adventuring. There’s a real joyfulness to the morbidity married to it melody.

This morguementum carries on convincingly throughout on both the wild & mild sides. There’s seemingly a mutual respect in the making between members, every track features a couple compelling hooks, overflowing with enduring licks and brokered compartmentalization. Wild 2 is my favorite for the moment but it could be any featured on the first disc.

This should’ve been borderline infinitely earlier in the series (post a day for the first year [day 284], then whenever), it’s one of my favorite records without qualification. At least part of the delay was that I was hoping it might show back up on bandcamp. But no such luck so linking to some random yt video is the best we can do. It can still be acquired in the physical world, and should be.

TRACK | All Saints Day – It’ll Come Around

5/5 golden merles

“It’ll Come Around” is soaring but densely knotted dream pop, shimmering and shoegazing with an acoustic rumbling as the engine beneath. The lead vocals are provided by Vivian Girls/La Sera’s Katy Goodman, who has always been juxtaposing DIY aesthetic and the acutely anthemic. It’s well calibrated and the great resonance is in the balance of its dissonance.

The intention is direct effectiveness not the comforting simulacra of it. The snare drum snaps drifting centrally above the nested snarl. The synths claw a path forward. As one who feels like writing is at least partially the evasion of your own boredom of repetition, I am somewhat resentful of the resilience to remain within that loop and alter only slightly, coming up for breath in the bridge or verse variance amidst so much crushing chorus — and yet still have it work forcefully.

There are black and red versions of the single (along with similarly great “Only Time Will Tell”).