Punk Rock Album Reviews: OKAY COCAINE + Champion Lover + Sewerside

I wish I could give each of these albums a review of their own, because they seriously deserve the minimum 500 word treatment. Unfortunately, uni is testing me with assignments, and when I say that, I mean that they’re bending me over a table and fucking me raw. No lube, no nothing. Kinda like these records that you should definitely get amongst:

Okay Cocaine-Free Coke EP

Besides having a fucking killer name that makes all the 80’s fiends perk their heads up from their rolled up Benjamin and pile of 90% baking soda, Okay Cocaine are actually pretty cool. They’ve got a rock n roll sound that is like The Lime Spiders of The Stems being rolled up and smoked by a Newtown leather jeacket bought fresh from Cream on King.

The songs on the ‘Free Coke EP’ are played loose, shrill and reckless, with the kind of stocky swagger that Ned Kelly could respect. Every lyric is shouted at the top of one’s lungs, and every musical note rings with potent glee. It’s like whiskey was soaked into every crevice of the EP, and then the band watched with baited breath as the frontman stood over the top with a lit match, ready to watch it all go up in flames at any moment. Like their contemporary compatriots Doc Holliday Takes the Shotgun, Okay Cocaine revel in the threat of exploding at any moment, and their best instances are when they’re on the verge of exploding (see: ‘Sunglasses’)

 

Champion Lover-Champion Lover

If Children Collide, or Eagulls, reverted back to their original EP, and then got massacred in noise, they’d sound a lot like this stellar fucking album from Toronto’s Champion Lover. This album is slathered in genius, a triumph really. It pummels with the kind of excitement that used to fuel McLusky. One song in, the pants-shittingly-good ‘Read My Mind’, and you’re hooked into the cult of Champion Lover. The rest of the album is an unflinching work of harrowing, blue-collar, cigarette-pumping punk that’ll tie you down and not let you leave until you’re another disciple.

 

Sewerside-Don’t Want You to Lose

Sewerside epitomise punk. Not necessarily in the ‘1,2,3,4! Fuck Abbott…’ sense of the word (although anyone in their right mind would be of that opinion). No, Sewerside are punk rock because it’s just a couple chords from a broken guitar, being played with the kind of exuberance and charm that would make anyone wet at the knees. Not weak, mind you, but sopping bloody wet.

Ty Segall and Jay Reatard are the obvious reference points here. Sewerside just want to do some lo-fi cruisin’ and pluck the shit out of their guitars. It’s not that hard, as obviously showcased, but when you’re having this much fun with it, and coming up with a couple killer fuzz buckets along the way, then what’s the damage? Besides this noise coming back to haunt you, and becoming the soundtrack to a couple loose nights out, there’s no harm in enjoying the fuck outta ‘Don’t Want You to Lose’.

 

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