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 | Smirk – Minuscule Amounts

5/5 golden merles

Some of the finest lo-fi punk you can gather in your basket, recently brought back to my attention by the Tr0tsky’s mixcloud show, “Pretend You Like It.” Criminally, I didn’t write on it yet, only mentioning one from the prior pile. Smirk’s 2021 EP has cornered the market on collapsible hooks, retracting into the deep fried tones, only to be strategically released upon closer inspection. It bites back.

An analgesic itself, the staggered overlap of the chorus and the tones & textures on these guitars make most other production look like a pile of puke. I shudder for those who can’t hear the nuance in the noise, this one is calibrated. Some field/sample elaborations round out this alternate dimension in which everything can be found in its right place.

Supporting music video is gorgeous and crafted with a commensurate amount of care to parallel the track itself. Digital for the cost of naming your own price. Or the vinyl is on a second pressing through Portland’s Total Punk Records.

TRACK | That Hideous Sound – Funny Insides

5/5 golden merles

That Hideous Sound has built a bedroom lo-fi rock track from discarded sunshine, utilizing twisted blood as a propellant. Its alternating sync of garage tone is held aloft and amended with a density of layered backing vocals, their varied trajectories glowingly cascading downward. The whole miscellany is shining and the right kind of sordid.

The fundamentals are nailed and the tonal textures irradiated, slickly building momentum throughout. With that rising, explicating over the expanses as it does, I’d wager most will rejoice to share in it. The final minute of three involves transitioning into some controlled experimentation, concluding in a sundry of cloaked loops at the latter stages. It’s all very good and pleasant, if you ask me.

A digital copy of the track can be downloaded to your personal solid state or hard disc drive for $1 USD. Or, for the wise investor, the album of 10 tracks is aggregated at $7, a savings of 30%. It is to be released October 7th, should the world continue to exist at such a time.

TRACK | Goon – Angelnumber 1210

5/5 golden merles

Los Angeles’ Goon has delivered to us more hypnotically drifting, catastrophe cooing psych rock. The band is in a unique place, confidently contorting melodies and multifaceted textures around otherworldly tales. There’s much care and craft to its interlocking layers and marbled phasing.

From the first moments of the field recordings discordant rumble, then the turning into a steady spine of percussion, it carries itself forward into being with great assurance. The piece feels sculptural and fills the audible void by pushing in many directions. There’s plenty of subtle sequences and attention to detail, each caringly extracted from the aether and melded into the elaborated structure.

The language is casually cryptic or explicitly ambiguous: environmental, a gathering, on earth, belated or in dream. The point is the feeling and the sense of collaborating within a stunning phenomenon and in a world of possibility.

The vinyl is delayed a few months from shipping due to manufacturing shortages but there are digital, tapes, and assorted articles of clothing if you would like to affiliate your physical body with their audible output, all coordinated at the bandcamp.

TRACK | THEE KHAI AEHM – Tribok Travelling

5/5 golden merles

“Tribok Travelling” is full of cold conviction warmed over with fuzz and camp fire. If you’d like a little more structural abstraction and bit more consistency of theme from your sludgy garage punk, with equal parts murky and mighty, this is a hell of a good shout.

The full album arrives August 13th and it is undoubtedly a fine soundtrack for a dungeon crawler or D&D session. But it should not be limited through exile strictly to these domains as it is also a rich metaphor for the exhaustive oppressions and daunting quests of your own life. Good news.

Tapes are up for €5, I don’t know about the shipping from Karlsruhe, or who you are or where you live, so click the button to find out for yourself.

TRACK | Wren Kitz – Hexed

5/5 golden merles

A deliberate and ravaging album of many intricacies and plenty of codas, Early Worm by Wren Kitz is a real fine set of musical numbers. Promptly following the raw and expansive “Georgie,” the gentlest entry point comes through “Hexed,” a song about crying moons and the digging of bones.

The track is considered and palpable psych-folk and rock. It describes a kind of anti-heroes journey or an escape from ones self in the service of traversing an emotional landscape. The problems are bound to proximity, figuratively or literally — I don’t know. But born of an immediacy that can be at least differed and approached later from another angle or as another person, weathering the hex or inverting the curse.

It is a glinting and extensive track and album, with much fine detailing and world building. It should be a little or a lot more celebrated. And further evidence of the good drawing to it the good, there’s cover artwork by Dylan Jones, who’s also done some for Woolen Men.

TRACK | Druggy Pizza – Radium Canyon

5/5 golden merles

More glint and relentless corrosion from our friends at Druggy Pizza, “Radium Canyon” spells doom for us all but in a good way. Garage and psych rock veiled in withering and decadent tones, I wager the rendering of which will please fans of good things and anger or confound most of those who aren’t.

The melody of the guitar lead roams freely around the bass’ substratum, prowling the chasmal expanse. The reverb is slathered across the channels and stings. A Fender quad is purring, graciously and expertly propelling the audible tones produced by the bending of metal at certain wavelengths.

The heat comes off it in radiant streaks, it bends the light around it. It’s a good approximation of a fruitful fever. It deserves to be wound into wax, if it wants. But for this digital 2020 set you can name your price.

TRACK | Cut Worms – Like Going Down Sideways

5/5 golden merles

One of the strongest 2-song 7″ I’ve come across, a pair of my favorites from the buildup to Alien Sunset. “Like Going Down Sideways” is delicate and dreamy alt country. It is also an expert projection of layering a demo into a fully fledged lo-fi phenomenon.

There’s a lot of wonder to the piercing polarization of the complimentary layered vocal lanes, creeping in solemnly from the treetops of hell before the chorus raises. The track also features texturally many deliberate flourishes, like a couple of the briefest xylophone or glockenspiel cameos known to man; arriving to puncture amidst the plucking and contribute just a bit more of the percussive, glinting and gleaming.

The persistent room noise in this version is lovely. This one came out perfected and doesn’t need refining. You can still buy the split from Randy Records for all of $6.50 plus shipping.