TRACK | Why Bother? – Foot in Mouth Disease

5/5 golden merles

“Foot in Mouth Disease” exemplifies a mastery of lo-fi synth punk production. Down to the layered backing vocal, all the creak and warble on this emulates my near ideal manipulation of the medium: the pans, the guttural synths and they’re coalescing groan, that wide net of distortion of the rhythm guitar crashing over the skull of your chosen corporeal ballast. Really nice, nuanced garble.

While I lean toward Lacerated Nights on the full set, “Foot in Mouth Disease” is undeniably top shelf sludge and more or less fit for human consumption. On There Are Such Things the band is leaning a bit more into experimentation, field and samples, defying the form and framework that was employed so well the previous cycle. And they are having fun while still clearing the high bar previously set with hooks like these.

Name your price on the bandcamp, $10 tapes there or $8 directly from Sorry State Records.

TRACK | RODODENDRONS – Hunger

5/5 golden merles

Immense and unmitigated punk from the Chicago/Boston-based RODODENDRONS. Synths accompany like a halo hanging over the hellion, frantic, proving that being maladapted to madness is a asset. A warm catalog of our collective descent or rising; it’s all relative to where you are already. But a log nonetheless of some motion, somewhere, through the void, and its approximate rapidity.

Most of that motion is flames. Sometimes burning down the house, sometimes burning up and upon reentry. Its bedrock too is combustible. This 4 track demo is pushing the year-end list, it’s that strong and steady. If not on it then at least among the honorable men-shunned as we wait for a full length. It’s intricacies are irate but amenable, the combination of articulation and fervor that compliments our common ruin.

The set is a split release by RoachLeg Records (Brooklyn) and Unlawful Assembly (Milwaukee).

TRACK | The Dirts – Waste Of Time

5/5 golden merles

Sweden’s The Dirts have returned with -II- and what an approachable lament the two singles are so far. Garage punk that is swiftly dirging and adeptly demented, with a greatly calcified soundscape featuring plenty of both sediment and heft to the mix. All that barrage is preoccupied with the ephemeral, that is that which rots; i.e. us.

“Waste of Time” is hitting what it is aiming at on the proto-fringes. The lo-fidelity punches are packed and freshly sealed, formidably there are thuds and kicks galore. It’ll fortify your grave for what’s coming. The bone crushing consistency between the two tracks offered makes the prospect of the full cassette release from Helvete’s Kitchen on the 21st of October something to look forward to. Digital is 60 SEK and tapes for 80 (~$5) on the bandcamp.

TRACK | DANGÜS TARKÜS – Concrete Hearts

5/5 golden merles

“Concrete Hearts” is some timeless garage punk filth from Chicago’s DANGÜS TARKÜS. A hook in apotheosis, warranted accusations and all the guttural charm of phlegm gem. It rips cleanly after several folds of the chorus, holding adequate muck and bile in reserve.

The verses propping up that chorus stand up in their own right and a choral passage wraps the body of the thing up nicely. It’s some fine simulacra of a life, a sketch on a napkin that ends up being the best portrait to ever exist of yourself, as you live and subsequently die. Maybe there aren’t too many nutrients in it, the lab hasn’t gotten back to me. But it’s something in your belly and its half-life is measured in eons. Why wouldn’t you follow them and be immediately notified when the full length arrives? There’s no trick to it, it’s just a simple trick.

Good news, the whole new set is $1. Also look for the earlier and also superbly manifested Rock’n’Roll for the People on Dig! Records, $16+ship.

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 | Discovery – Prescription

5/5 golden merles

Discovery makes raw, proto-garage punk out of California, good for what ails ye. “Prescription” is just that, a dose of the good stuff. The balance of documented frenzy with the coherent tract quickly reveals what kind of a superbly produced mauling you’re dealing with. Guitars crush and cohere the lanes in revving fury, the passionate account of what-ifs and origin stories instruct on death, intention, and how one should or should not go about entering the void.

If you’ve heard of bad blood, this is what good blood sounds like. The levels are bleeding the dial dry with all the requisite clobber and chomp. It moves with all the purpose of a paranoiac on the run. You could ask for worse soundtracks on merits of ritualistic sacrifice. 9 out of 10 dentists agree, who are you and how did you get this number. The team has built a record and in doing so it has bottled primordial ooze.

It was seen in the great triangulation in the sky of onetwoxu.de, tegosluchamPL, and Max Setentista. The 7″ is coming from Manic Noise: please see their beautiful shop here.

TRACK | GLUER – The Double

5/5 golden merles

Swedish hardcore garage punk from Stockholm, “The Double” offers some agreeable scourge. It has a highly refined and nuanced wrath of instrumentation with motion itself as the prime mover. The screed concerns the nightly death addendum, an insufficiently examined phenomenon of working the full day in dreams only to then rise the next morning into doing it all over again. Relentless and calculated rock.

Bad enough that you sell your waking life for minimum wage, but now they get your dreams for free. At least in this humble interpretation, so far as I am able to determine. Maybe form is favored. Then what. The saturation of the vocals is skillfully melded into the accompaniment, cohesive in the assaulting, producing a unified front that can be learned from for anyone looking for a scale to calibrate a balance.

There is a vinyl edition forthcoming on Push My Buttons & Svart Ljud Rekords, stay tuned to those channels. For the time being, €5 will get you the whole digital kit and caboodle.

TRACK | S.U.G.A.R. – Heartbreaker

5/5 golden merles

Berlin-based gargoyles S.U.G.A.R. have returned with an insultingly good garage punk record, II. Selected track “Heartbreaker” is beaming through a patina of crud and graced with a few golden riffs. It meets the criteria of control achieved through a willing proximity to its loss, shakes and thuds with ease and comfort within that chaotic coil.

The production is aiming for and hitting the best live show you’ve ever seen, coherency emitting from the swell of reverberations; that sort of rare swill composed of bottled blood and lightning. It is perched on the peak of something that is crumbling, all the boys say so.

If you want an informed and competent review, look to Groschi, I’m just here to belch up my impressions and fill a bit of space. It comes in solid gold and/or black vinyl, or digital for the mark of the beast (EU style) from Alien Snatch Records.

TRACK | Why Bother? – Cut to Pieces

5/5 golden merles

Devolving, sonorous synth punk from Mason City, Iowa. There’s a lot more warmth than seems warranted to these melodic forms, fixated fondly as they are around the horror-themed act, telling of and centered on America’s real past time. The production is agreeably amending the timeless proto garage, a pleasant and productive mutation in the lineage.

There’s sufficient synth warble and echo apportioned gluing all other components together. The drums fan the hammer, everything tuned to the clang. It’s all calibrated to killer sensibilities, stylistically/tonally, and the additional morbidly themed track titles offer heaps of promise for the full release.

The files can be got for $1 preordered or white/black vinyl variations are $20. The full album set is arriving September 16th from the highly reliable plague of contents administered by Feel It Records.

TRACK | No Knuckle – HALO

5/5 golden merles

No Knuckle’s “HALO” is richly textured, guttural Oregonian rock n’ roll and proto-punk. The track is a record of loss and lament, processed with the much escalating style that warrants your attention. It is equal parts sharp, wrought and fraying over the four primary phases of amorphous hooks, all combining in elaborate invention.

The subject is an examination of the death and decline of those in your immediate periphery, of family, both lost and those left sharing in the loss. It is processing grief and making a difficult event into a beautiful record of the occurrence, an act that reconfigures its presence in your life. Our lives are made up of such moments: some recollected in fixation, while all the others obliviate, the artistry allowing for reframing.

The repetition of the chorus is earned, after digging into the details: your brothers wayward gaze, the apparent untethered presence of the recently departed. There’s a great weighting to the variations and their sequence before and after in the differing methods of narration. It is valuable to have this darkness told and healthier than the disassociation and derealization we mostly pass through these passages under the veil of. And, regardless of all that, it rocks. Digital’s $3, Vinyl is out now on LA’s Tomothy Records.