New Releases

Dark Thoughts – Must Be Nice

a0972089550_10If you’ve listened to any of their previous work, the sound on the new album will be as familiar as your trusty leather jacket. But in a world where everything seems to change faster than you can blink, it’s actually comforting that the band continues to build on their signature style of unrelenting, catchy, melody-infused songs, that barely need more than a minute to punch you straight into the ears.

Manikins – Bad Times

a1904938167_10If you we’re expecting another Crocodiles you may be disappointed, and I would be lying if I said I loved this album from the first listen, but no band should sound the same ten years later. After the third listen I really started to appreciate this album for what it is. The band sounds a bit more grown up, but not in a bad way. The energy of the band’s earlier releases is still there, it’s just a little bit more well put together.

VR12112The Jackets – Queen of the Pill

Queen of the Pill boasts the raw snarl of the fuzzed out garage-punk found in Way Out and combines it with Shadow of Sound’s refined freakbeat influenced garage-psych style. However, what sets Queen of the Pill apart from the previous records is The Stooges-esque proto-punk attitude twisting with elements of King Khan & The BBQ Show’s style.

Institute – Readjusting the Locks

a0601493912_10The album opens with ‘MPS,’ a catchy track that goes straight into discussing neoliberalism and society. It sets a good tone for some of the changes in this album. Lyrically, Readjusting the Locks is less personal and more political commentary. The name of the album itself comes from the notion that politicians promise change, but only “readjusting the locks” in practice.

 

a0867725021_10Game – No One Wins 

Three years after their debut release, Who Will Play?, Game releases their full-length LP, No One Wins. In the build up to the release, the band put out a four-track promo cassette featuring four tracks from the album. The band has experienced a great deal of growth in terms of their sound between Who Will Play? and No One Wins. Their influences blend together much more seamlessly this time around, creating a more polished cross-generational sound.

12IN_GATEFOLD_JKT_1PKTGiuda – EVA

I can’t say there haven’t been quite a few bands touching down on spacy vibes over the last few years, but Giuda does rock n’ roll space exploration in typical Giuda fashion. While EVA is very much a Giuda album, it still feels different from past releases. This seems like a very exploratory album for the band in more ways than one.

a0435325775_10Haram – Where Were You on 9/11?

All four tracks on the EP, as well as the release title are listed in both Arabic and English. While you obviously can’t understand Haram’s lyrics unless you speak Arabic, that doesn’t entirely matter. Nader’s singing style combined with the instrumentals creates a lot of emphasis and depth for the listener. Nader has a strong presence, even on recording.

a0268927250_10The Scaners – Scaners II

Intergalactic French space punks, The Scaners, second full-length LP, Scaners II, has the same catchy lo-fi space-age garage punk sound as the band’s first release. The songs are somewhat cleaner and it seems like they’ve put more thought into how their heavy use of synth can add different feelings to their songs.

a0706173068_10Los Pepes – Positive Negative

London’s Los Pepes are back again with their fourth full-length album. Positive Negative is a straight to the point high-energy rock n’ roll album. It’s a lot less poppy than past releases and carries forward a lot more of the intensity you get from the band when they play live. A lot of bands lose steam as time goes on, but Los Pepes are quite the opposite.

a1060520714_10Diät – Positive Disintegration

Positive Disintegration is described on the band’s bandcamp page as a follow-up album years in the making, or a potential companion piece to Positive EnergyPositive Disintegration didn’t disappoint at all, and you can actually see tremendous growth between this and their 2015 release.

 

a0290718138_10Charlies & the Lesbians – Paper Trail of Happiness

With glimpses of glooming guitar riffs that invite comparisons to the age-old Black Sabbath, to the more playful guitar riffs akin to contemporaries like Pig Frenzy, this double EP is a sonic timeline of rock n’ roll.

a2202302746_10Bad Mojos – I Hope You OD

So these party dudes from Switzerland have made a perfect LP that sounds like a mix of GG, The Spits and The Kids. I Hope you OD is packed with ten tracks and seems like it’s barely 11-minutes long. Fast paced, yet efficient, this is one of the best straight-forward punk records I’ve heard in a very, very long time. Riffs, riffs and more riffs. The tonality has a semi-fuzz element reminiscent of punk records of the era the band is replicating – circa 79-81.

51596753_319784315343922_1892113241996263424_nPig Frenzy – Hogtied 

Hogtied remains parallel to the band’s past crude and raw soundscapes, while also illuminating the band’s refinement in both production and songwriting. ‘Consent Creeps’ and ‘F.W.B‘ assure Pig Frenzy fans that they can still bank on hearing the signature snappy drum tempo that spawned off the S/T album.

Trash Culture – Just A Ride LP

db 135 lp coverTrash Culture is nihilistic and savage in their sound, showing obvious influences from bands such as The Stooges, Dead Kennedy’s and Adolescents. But they’re not just limited to great energy; their lyrics are clever and their music changes slightly to suit their lyrics and the feeling of each song.

Editor’s Top Ten Releases for 2018

top10It was great seeing Another Side of the Number Ones, as well as their drummer’s other talents with Music City, plus new music from some people back home in Baltimore (Glue Traps) and our friends here in the UK (The Speedways), and as always a boatload of great releases from our friends at Static Shock Records.