TRACK | OUZO! – State of Affairs

5/5 golden merles

Australian Garage punk that has become sentient and aware of the existential threats which are damning us to an arbitrary and relatively abrupt end. A dangerous prospect, hopefully. The track contains a litany of discontents, each censure delivered with savor. Racing through the excess offenses of the era, OUZO! continues smashing and grabbing back at the daily gauntlet of inadequate empathy.

And, of course, rightfully so. God damn the status quo, the complacency which empowers it, and the fervor with which its defenders somehow manage to live with themselves. In the fine form the critique holds up and is elevated. Tradition is presently the cancer of culture, by and large, we just hope for the benign kinds cluttering up our chest cavities.

But, also, contradictorily, ritual can reinforce behavior, and maybe with nice, catchy, scathing, fun, fiery tracks like these that tradition can be reinvented, with some small part played as a salving commiseration, consensus building catalyst, or soundtrack for direct action. I don’t know. Adam Curtis would politely laugh in my face for discussing tracks in these terms. But he provides no practical alternative and is himself caught in the indefinite arts feedback loop.

The 7″ is sold out from Weather Vane Records (AU), Polaks Records (EU) but some remain for €7 on the French Wine Records (EU) bandcamp. Or $3 AUD for the digital remains straight from the horses’ mouth.

TRACK | Krul – Moon

5/5 golden merles

Melbourne-based punk rock with Japanese vocals, Krul’s “Moon” arises like an ungodly hour, with drums like a stake through the heart. It’s made for inciting, the riot or the unvarnished reverie. In any case, a recipe for revolt and some finely constructed contents for the small hours.

Having lived under the reign of both the sun and moon, I tell you I prefer the moon: a great curator of the light, and patron saint of less is more. That is much like the instrumentation and production here, everything piled and cutting but not running the cup over.

There’s an old saying where I proport to be from, “He who burns bridges, builds mausoleums.” This is the soundtrack of that sentiment. You can name your price to own the set as we await a work at greater length.

TRACK | SOOKS – U.D.

5/5 golden merles

I’d advise you to at least consider any track that contains the line: I will find my enemies / and crush them in a warm embrace. Or at least this one, who knows what the future brings. “U.D.” is punk rock from Perth, Australia. With righteous anger the track laments the impotence of citizens within modern nation states, navigating the hoops and decoy levers of power, while true power is held through legalized corruption and representatives beholden to special interests.

But far from defeated, the chorus beseeches real organizing and the active deconstruction of unjust hierarchies. All generations seem to eventually sour and amalgamate in the hospice or the home, but hopefully we can productively stagger a few more feet further afield than is traditionally within one eras capacity.

The other good news is that in addition to the smiting and fury it’s a lot of fun and sharply constructed rampage. Seek out the whole set. Physical pulp from Richter Scale Tapes who also put out the superb Rude Television – Distractions, Demo 22 is five lbs for the Cassette while supplies last. These are both listed as free downloads, you ghoulish ingrates. Found through Amber Rambo yt curation.

TRACK | Billiam – Jenny Destroys Records

5/5 golden merles

From a split with The Vovos, Billliam’s “Jenny Destroys Records” is synth punk that tells a simple tale of destruction well, with heart and animus. The Vocal-synth harmony is unforgiving in its pursuit: heavily hounding, never yielding. In the writing there is a keen understanding of when to rhyme and when to let it slide, suiting the compiling accusations as they grow in conviction.

It’s a great relief to find this frank wrath so built to scale; the track balances absolute parity of medium and message, the scope fitting the melody and method of execution; all of it craven and compelling. Artistry and insolence are the heart of punk rock, but also here add in a bit of humor and a laser-guided melody.

The remaining tracks will be emerging on the 16th of September, preorder now at $1 AUD. The 150 pressing of the vinyl by Under Heat Records will be gone shortly, those not already smashed or scratched by Jenny the cat. rip.

TRACK | C.P.R. Doll – Drabness

5/5 golden merles

Australian lo-fi rock super-duper group C.P.R. Doll will have you carving out your own bones and honing them into guitar picks just to play along. If you lack bones or sufficient resolve it’ll at least inspire some passive admiration at the stacked, cascading and careening egg punk melodies and demoniac phrasing. They start small and build things of significance which is all you can really ask for in this regrettable world. The accumulation is a great.

It is one of the permutations of rock I enjoy, with the emphasis on mutation. The attention to detail is superb, and there is a great intention in the solving temporal and spatial logic traps that crop up in any map of the soundscape, thwarting every pitfall, escaping entanglement of dullness either through invention or evasion.

There’s a smash and grab ethos: cut it if off it starts to stale, salvage what you can, promptly grow another limb to replace the one left caught in the snare. Each track is spiraling into control: moving forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always confidently twirling towards freedom.

I am told by tippy top tier punk curator Tremendo Garaje that it is to be made available in the US of A by Under The Gun Records and already sold out of Europe in an absurdly limited 20 copies edition by Goodbye Boozy.

TRACK | CLAMM – Something New

5/5 golden merles

Melbourne’s CLAMM offer “Something New,” fangs bared, among a set of impassioned punk and garage rock tracks. The works are ruminating and requesting assistance, an allegiance at the threat of annihilation. The direct language and reiteration of themes insist that this is real seeking/beseeching, decidedly not posture or play on the scales of invest or escape.

The production cracks, daunting and declarative. An authoritative and aggrieved vocal at the core of the track holds court: in a time of mass disillusionment and a growing desperation for reinvention, what can be salvaged and what must be discarded? A reason, a sign. something new. Backing vocals collude with some horns that act as a wax seal on the exit and work to elevate the scope.

Vinyl’s are out from Meat Machine (UK, Europe and Asia) and Chapter Music (rest of world -> this means you, USA) — if you’re off planet or shedding all material possessions in anticipation of the end, digitally it’s $13 AUD worth of audio.

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 | Hierophants – Hail Stones

5/5 golden merles

From Hierophants’ debut, “Hail Stones” careens and craters, a daydream of destruction and elemental escape from the self. Lo-fi rock from Geelong, Australia, it is appreciably equal parts glittering and gloom.

I like the symmetry and measure throughout. The drums stem off in reserved but significant patterns, steadily alternating in variance, keeping things on the whole goodly deviated during the synth and vocal melodies iterative delineations. That harmony and tension dynamic adds a lot of good depth and proportion to how it all falls precisely together.

The ruminations about transformation are fun and inventive interludes to the core instrumentation. It is refreshing to see the percussive aspect used as the element that is given freer reign to pick apart the structure, an inversion of tradition while all the pieces still combine favorably.

It can be yours for $12.99 as black vinyl from Goner Records, or a buck more for the Yellow mold.

TRACK | GEE TEE – Mutant World

5/5 golden merles

More common era essential lo-fi punk rock by Kel Mason (DRAGGS), “Mutant World” has all the essential vitamins: it is blown out but remarkably to a more ideal proportion, the synths are sampled from a Godzilla mouth beam, and it contains the unmistakable reflection of your face reflected back in a pool of your own blood.

The track’s a well worked clobbering. Over 81 seconds, ascendant minor melodies combine to accent the the nebulous bulk and vividly this breach is annexed and incorporated into the spiraling form. At the chorus the vocal channels rend apart, tearing across the sound scape. It’s sensed then plotted out with a lot of care and calculation.

It’s a good week for new media. After the JWST release today, there’s a new GEE TEE 7″ out Friday on Goner Records.

TRACK | checkpoint – gravedigger

5/5 golden merles

Kicking and combustible punk from Melbourne, “gravedigger” is structurally inventive and paced in variable pulses that keep the ballistic style and texture fresh. Rewardingly unyielding and pleasantly vile.

The digi drum metronome acts as a petri dish that the crust of a culture grows rapidly out of. Ruthless and rejoicing, what lyrics crack through the veil of muck beyond the title concern epistemology, the nature of knowledge. What is known before the graves are dug, what can and can’t be passed on.

An attitude so churlish it would be to the surprise of no one if they were to have dinner with Groucho tonight. On the Bandcamp they threaten an upcoming LP that we look forward to.