New Punk: Red Red Krovvy + GROTTO + Heads. + Pairs

New year, new you, new punk rock saturation

Red Red Krovvy – New Year

There’s nothing quite as tough as the sound of new Red Red Krovvy. Listening to these guys is like being punched by Charles Bronson or Patti Smith – it’s got a touch of the old school, but it hasn’t lost any of the industrial strength.

GROTTO – Scumbags + Trash Rash

GROTTO, formerly Fermunted, are like Circle-Jerks and The Casualties being thrown in a blender. Their music is equivalent to peeling the skin off your skull with a blunt wedge. It’s brutal as fuck. Get around it.

Heads. – A Mural Is Worth A Thousand Words

In much the same way that Narrow Lands and Yes, I’m Leaving have throttled our being with insulting good punk music slowed down to a sluggish and gut-empytingly good bludgeon, Heads. are here to belittle our senses. They’ve come forth with this track “A Mural Is Worth A Thousand Words”, which is the equivalent of having one’s head crushed by Godzilla’s foot.

Pairs – Grandparent

Pairs may be defunct, but they’ve obviously got a whole shitload of unreleased music that would be blasphemous to not check out. Queue up ‘Grandparent’, an EP/Album of material that has to be some of their most blisteringly addictive ever, released through the always excellent Metal Postcard Records. Just when “Blue Dress” made us all think they’d hit a peak, “Gig of the Week”, “Loose Strings” and a buttload others show that Rhys and F can still speedily blitzen all expectations. Pairs might be down, but they’ll never be out.

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Video: Pissed Jeans – Boring Girls

Think back to a time before Total Punk and Ausmuteants existed, before you could get decent fucked up punk music delivered to you as easily as ordering a heart-attack inducing Domino’s Pizza. That time was 2005, when Myspace was still relevant, and Alexisonfire where inexplicably a ‘punk band’. It was also when Pissed Jeans, a band with a name to rival our own Slug Guts, released their debut record ‘Shallow’, a fiery brew of sneering, bloody music that could only be played on loud speakers.

Sub Pop is going to re-release ‘Shallow’ (they’re also doing a Sleater-Kinney boxset, hey), and they’ve made a cool lil’ video to go along with the searing “Boring Girls”. It’s a searing bludgeoning deathknell, accompanied by the most brutal microphone batterings since ‘Damaged’. But with “Boring Girls”, there’s an added menace in the chorus and depraved lyrics.

The video is fucking amazing as well. Fucking amazing. There are multiple switches from suit to PJ’s for our unlikely, creepy protagonist. There’s a whole bunch of supernatural shit that goes down and scares the shit out of the same guy who was dumb enough to have a date around the same place that he stores a photograph of said date. SILLY BRO! A bunch of horrific shit goes down that makes American Horror Story’s gimp suit guy seem like a badly rendered Runescape goblin.

Album Review: Oily Boys-Majesty EP



It’s been a fair while coming, but you’d still have to be braindead to not be stoked for the debut EP from Sydney hardcore heroes Oily Boys. Though only 10 minutes in total, this ‘Majesty EP’ is the equivalent of mowing off your own head with a chainsaw. It is more brutally beautiful than anything that has been created in the past 20 years. All 5 songs on here are ruthless, more vicious and bloodthirsty than a vampire-tainted Minor Threat.

Oily Boys don’t care about survivors…they will raze everything within earshot to the ground. Shit, if it came down to a fight between Satan and Oily Boys, Satan would run for the hills, bitching about how he feels like Mumford & Suns. And that’s just after listening to ‘Rabbit’s Foot’! In one sitting, the ‘Majesty EP’ will have a disembowelling effect-your anus will involuntarily shit with amazement until you reach a point that you need to refuel, or die. And if you choose to refuel and continue listening, the shitfest will begin its wrath again.

Overall, if you created a human centipede from Napalm Death, Narrow Lands and The Wipers, and injected the resulting fecal matter with a love of George Romero gore and unhinged, violent hardcore, you’d get the brain-splatteringly amazing ‘Majesty EP’. Fuck me, Oily Boys are the best. Let’s just hope they don’t go the way of Gutter Gods and disintegrate under the release of a mind-crushing album.

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’.

 

Album Review: Lakes + Flesh World

 

This is going to be a pretty short album review, because I’m heading to uni in about 20 minutes. But that’s okay, because this review is going towards two 7″ punk records (on No Patience as well!), which are shorter and more furious than a midget zombie on a leash.

The first 7″ is from a Melbourne band called Lakes. They’re less furious, and more looming and haunting. You’re more likely to get disembowelled in a creative fashion than bludgeoned to death. Lakes focus less on the brute force aspect of murdering the mind, and utilise spiky S&M guitars and disjointed dark synths to create a soundscape that would make Alex DeLarge begin to salivate.

‘Carved in Remains’ and ‘Face in the Ash’ are the only two tracks on here, but they recall a swamp rock that’s been remixed with the darkest nightmares imaginable. It’s both fucking spooky and crazy good at the same time.

Onto Flesh World. With a name like that, there’s no way you can’t be a pulverising, gnashing band that puts a Rottweiler on PCP and steroids to shame. Flesh World are like the ninjas of hardcore music, creating a whirlwind of indecipherable grunts and ferocious guitar that was made to destroy weaker minds.

The songs on the Planned Obsolescence EP vary between songs under a minute, which are basically Minor Threat songs covered in six inches of grime and gore, and songs slightly over two minutes, which are the more interesting ones. ‘Scab My Fists’ and ‘Fuck Time’ are maelstroms of sound, hurling and regurgitating piles of aggressive noise onto you with the power of a wizard drunk with power and surrounded by boulders. It’s hardcore music at it’s finest.

Mixtape: Art As Catharsis-Distortion and Dissonance (free download)

I haven’t really gotten into my private passion of really, really, really heavy shit that much on this website. Mainly because I stick to the old school shit that everyone knows-Sabbath, Metallica, Slayer. All the obvious ones. Most metal nowadays is glossy shit that cops a couple rotations on Triple J’s Short. Fast. Loud before getting replaced with something that sounds exactly the same (cough, Northlane, Dream On, Dreamer, Amity Affliction, cough) So yeah, I usually just stick to whatever Cancer Bats, Pulled Apart By Horses and Cerebral Ballzy are doing.

That’s all changed with the release of this Art As Catharsis mixtape. AAC are a Sydney-based record group that have been pushing out some of the best hardcore and metal bands for ages now. And they’ve got the compilation to prove it. Totally Unicorn, Fat Guy Wears a Mystic Wolf T-Shirt, FVCK Mountain, Tanned Christ…if they’re interesting, solid and pummelling, chances are they’re featured on the Art As Catharsis mixtape.

Punk Album Reviews: HANNAHBAND + Bare Grillz + Schotel van de Dag + Mock Duck + X Is Y

Anyone who’s visited this site knows that punk rock holds a very dear, very special place in my heart. I’m pretty sure I listen to Black Flag at least once a day. It’s a really great way to wind down, honestly! Anyway, although the following bands aren’t going to be the next Black Flag, at least they’re all better than Green Day, post-Dookie era.

 

HANNAHBAND-Honey, I’m A Bad Singer

Honestly, I feel really bad that I haven’t put this review up earlier. This album is one of the best punk rock items to be bred into the consciousness of Sydney existence since I found out that Jonathan Boulet had a pretty great decent hardcore band (they’re called Snakeface, if you gave a shit). Anyway, this is the more brutal, slimy project that was formed in the remnants of the amazing Sweet Teeth. Although there’s nothing as intensely memorable as ‘I LIKE GIRLS, GIRLS WITH DADDY ISSUES’ on the debut HANNAHBAND record, the album does provide a more serious, focused project that works on an infinitely more measured and constantly enjoyable level than Sweet Teeth releases. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Sweet Teeth, but its easier to tell that Nathan and Marnie are putting a lot more concentration and effort into this release, and it pays off in spades.

Whether or not that’s an actual phrase or not, ‘Honey, I’m A Bad Singer’ never loses its self-deprecating edge or snarling tone for even a second. With the explosive songs and growling hurt, it rings like Australian/Chinese punks Pairs if they were recorded by Steve Albini. The hoarse screams recall a time when emo wasn’t a frowned upon genre, and if Dischord was in its glory days, there is no doubt in my mind that HANNAHBAND would be at the top of the roster. Its too hard to pick a single standout song, but gun to my head, the slow-burning ‘Seven Day Quarrel Cycle’, which grinds like the best Fucked Up song never written, would be the frontrunner. ‘Long Distance Running’, which barrels forward like a strung-out Squirrel Bait crawling out of a toilet bowl and beginning a hunt of vengeance on the wankers that killed punk rock, is also an absolute shiner on an album of shiners. Overall, a fucking brilliant work of art, from start to fucking finish. I fucking ADORE this album.

 

Bare Grillz-Friends

Thank the Dethklok gods that Bare Grillz are back in action. I always thought that they had broken up, until I was pleasantly surprised by their furious display of screaming punk fury at Sound Summit. Now, after that hell of a performance, Bare Grillz rejected the status quo again by going and releasing this stellar record entitled ‘Friends’. More nihilistic than a Nietzsche convention, and more engaging than a personal performance from Nation of Ulysses. Why does Bare Grillz sound so good? Well, they sound like no one else, I actually find it hard to give a comparison. I’d liked to say that they’re a little Fugazi, but there’s not enough strong-willed anger and determination to change society. Same goes with a comparison to At the Drive-In. Instead, Bare Grillz are so purely Newcastle, with a sound that is so completely their own, and it could only have risen from being in such an isolated, close-knit environment. Whatever makes Bare Grillz tick, it allows them to spin between a million different ideas and musical styles, one minute floating on a tropical cloud, the next bashing our brains into oblivion, and a second later there’s only far away, lost vocals, math rock drums and a trembling bass. The amount of things Bare Grillz can balance on their plate, especially considering their status as a mild punk three-piece, they’re more like a Hydra of assorted punk tunes than any sort of traditional band. And that is a very, very good thing. Thank fuck Bare Grillz are back.

FUN FACT: Bare Grillz once did a split EP with Sweet Teeth, the aforementioned band that disbanded and led to the creation of HANNAHBAND. Shooting star, the more you know.

 

Schotel van de Dag-Vinger in de Pap

The press release for the Dutch band Schotel van de Dag was described as being Fugazi on crack, however listening to them, I was pleasantly surprised, or more aptly, fucking stoked, to hear an amalgamation of a bunch of my favourite hard punk anarchist punk bands. If Refused got together with the guys from Anti-Flag, and they were then locked in a room that played Pantera non-stop, then you’d have Schotel van de Dag. This band puts the brutal back in punk music, and they aren’t doing it half-heartedly. They throw themselves into every song like its a life or death situation, creating a maelstrom of sound that needs to be listened to. The thick, glistening slobs of bass that linger over the purely mental drums-its just a testament to oblivion via punk music.

Although the whole album is hard to find fault with, at least in my humble opinion, the opener of ‘Seventy Songs’ (possibly an allusion to Fugazi’s mind-shattering debut?) is the standout on the album. This is a song that should make Red Fang and Kvelertak quake in their boots, because there’s obviously another hard-working, hard-hitting punk/stoner/metal hybrid band that are all to ready to light the dynamite that will explode your expectations all over your living room. Reckless and endangered, Schotel van de Dag are the rare kind of band that makes you want to do something with your life, or at the very least, trade your testicles for tickets to their next show.

 

Mock Duck-Inner Infinities EP

And, now we’re over to Tokyo, Japan. I’ve said it before, the only really great bands I know from Japan are Guitar Wolf, The 5678’s and Boris, although I adore all these bands thoroughly. However, Mock Duck easily joins those ranks. If you’re any sort of fan of Kyuss, then you’d do fucking well to get on the free download offered of the ‘Inner Infitinies’ EP. This thing manages to be punk through the sheer fury of itself, but there’s also that slimy fuzz that coats it and brings it into stoner territory as well.

All six tracks (especially the weirdly-titled but intensely orgasmic ‘For A Few Minutes The World Smelled Like Pears’) on here kick tremendous amounts of ass. I mean that sincerely, in the way that Dozer kicks so much ass. The sludge is sped up like a 33 record was stuck onto 78. It blisters the mind and moults everything in its path. Basically, what I’m trying to say here, is that Mock Duck will blow your mind into a million fucking chunks in the space eighteen minutes. If you like your punk dripping wet in blazing gore and riff with solos, Mock Duck is brilliance incarnate.

 

X Is Y-Summer and Winter Warfare (Re-Issue)

And this one is from Shanghai. Fuck this article has been all over the fucking globe. Although not strictly punk, X Is Y adopt a math-rock attitude on their music, and they do a pretty badass job of it. If I’ve learnt anything from people older and wiser than me, its that punk rock doesn’t have to be brutal to be amazing. I actually had to lose the shit about don’t plagiarise from people and any semblance of social normalcy to make way for that brain nugget.

Anyway, X Is Y is like Tool, if all the bullshit got stripped away. You know, all that shit that Maynard James Keenan always blathers on about, like hookers with penises and prison sex. Without all that in the way, and the heaviness shaved back a bit, what you get is a complex and interesting view into music. I feel like I’m sitting in a classroom, and being taught how to read sheet music, only instead of being bored the fuck to death, the class is being taught by Steve Albini.

In summary, ‘Summer and Winter Warfare’ doesn’t have any spectacular moments, but that’s okay, because neither does any This Town Needs Guns or Polvo albums. Instead, you’ve simply got to let X Is Y spin its music all over your mind, like some sort of Shellac-meets-Underground Lovers spider creating a web. Overall, it’s hard to be disappointed in an album that is shifting so much, but always maintaining a direction of awesomeness.

New: Oily Boys-Rabbit’s Foot (free download)

I wanted to include this in the previous post about new shit, but there was no way I could include it subtly, and there was no way I was going to put a track this good all the way down in the bottom, especially after a bliss-out on the Woods track. No, Oily Boys deserve so much better than that, so they get their own very special post, and maybe an extra 10 words or so. Someone give me a fucking Nobel Peace Prize or something!

Anyway, if you haven’t heard of Oily Boys, they’re one of the saints of all things heavy and detrimental in Sydney. Its songs like ‘Rabbit’s Foot’ that sends WASP mothers running for the hills, begging for 7 inches to be labelled with warnings about thematic nature. Well, good fucking luck untangling the babble of awesome that ferociously bubbles on this track. As the drums pound mercilessly, and the guitar overlaps itself like a racehorse that’s going at the speed of light, but can’t quite figure out how, ‘Rabbit’s Foot’ just gets faster and more furious (but never resembling a Vin Diesel vehicle in the slightest) until its an overblown punk spew. Words don’t really describe how fucking brilliant this track is.

Album Review: Narrow Lands-Popuar Music That Will Live Forever

a2557447284_2 Okay, so type Popular Music into your little Google Search bar, and it’ll probably come up with Rihanna and Drake and all that other shit. Type Popular Music Of All Time, you’ll get something like Elvis and Madonna and The Rolling Stones. Now, type Popular Music That Will Live Forever into the search bar, and you’ll stumble upon a little known sludge band from Sydney called Narrow Lands. Their debut 8-track LP is more brutal than being fucked with scissors, and their sound is like Cancer Bats x EyeHateGod, or Refused getting tied down in a torture chamber by The Jesus Lizard.

Although those are some pretty damned dark descriptions, Narrow Lands are fucking fun to listen to. Going through ‘Popular Music That Will Live Forever’, you’re jaw will drop multiple times until its a useless item of skin and teeth crawling along the floor. The album is unbelievably brutal, scathing in every sound and scorching in every riff.

 

For those that have been skipping daintily along to the likes of Maroon 5, probably not a good idea to listen to this album. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t listen to sludge, because that is way fucking better than whatever audible sewage is being pumped throughout your ear vessels. But start with Kyuss or something. However, for those initiated in the ways of the mud-lined oozing hardcore, Narrow Lands couldn’t be more perfect.

Opener ‘Triple J Drive Time Hit’ sets the tone perfectly, blood-curdling bass and guitar screaming intermittently over a simple snare, until the growling turns into a gargantuan ape-squeal, more soul-crushing in nature than being rejected by (shock, horror!) a woman. However, things only get better on the following track ‘Whores Rule’, a belter that doesn’t stop pulverising your mind. Both a nod of respect to local heroes Whores and a savage takedown on corporate fuckery.

Oh no, the beat-down doesn’t stop there, lyrically or musically. ‘Blue Blood’ turns things up to 11, a fucking mental sweating song that vomits noise everywhere like that douchebag that invited himself to your 18th birthday party. This song caresses harrowing viciousness like I cradle a bundle of newly heated nachos, and the bloodshot guitar really shows itself off int this track to a truly magnificent extent. And you couldn’t forget the eight-minute closer ‘Invitation’, which, funnily enough, welcomes you into a swarming cloud of Swans-like content that will swallow you up, and burn all your other favourite artists to the ground.

Maybe its because I listened to this album right as I started going through a massive sludge/hardcore phase again (thanks to Batpiss and METZ last night for that), but Narrow Lands especially stick out in my mind as something that every self-respecting hardcore punk fan should own. Their music is dirty and vile, and just the way we shitheads like it. But ‘Popular Music…’ also manages to be diverse, switching between full-fledged brutality and self-assured noise meanderings. When you can listen to all of that without even the concept of being bored crossing your mind, you know you’ve found one hell of a band.

You can score the record at the Tenzenmen Bandcamp here, for $20 or $5. Isn’t the guise of choice wonderful?

Album Review: Libyan Hit Squad + Round Eye-Full Circle

ImageFor those that think Slayer is for bitches, there is Florida’s Libyan Hit Squad. Yes, that is they’re real name. If you’re a fan of punk, there’s a good chance you’ll go out and buy the record solely based on that name. Alternatively, if you’re Tipper Gore, you’ll probably try and ban these guys from everywher for upholding the values of Satanism through messages that will reveal themselves on the record when played backwards. For anyone in between (I’m assuming the vast majority of people) you’re probably wondering why the fuck you should care about some random punk band from Florida(is that where old people and one of those Law and Order spin offs come from????). HERE’S THREE REASONS WHY:

1. These guys are fucking mental. Absolutely fucking mental. They will shred your face off with their blistering music. It’s real punk rock goddamit! ‘Rubber Shoes’ is contains the same amount of personal shock power as an atom bomb go off in your anus, ‘Faulty Bridge’ is the punk rock equivalent of attaching a firework to the works of Black Flag and watching them explode in anarchistic glory.

2. Speaking of Black Flag, Greg ‘I founded hardcore’ Ginn, the sole member to remain in Black Flag throughout its entire 1980’s existence, is a massive fucking fan of these guys. In fact, he’s such a fan, that he plays guitar in the title track, which is coincidentally a blitzing track that is 90% guaranteed to make you throw up in passion. So yeah, Libyan Hit Squad have got the respect of one of the most iconic figures in punk music…what the fuck have you done lately?

3. Finally, their half ‘Full Circle’ is a really, really great album. Libyan Hit Squad never lets up. From start to finish, the punishing sound quality of the band is right there, in your face. However, unlike a lot of hardcore punk out there, it’s not aggressive in a way that alienates the audience. Your not going to get fucking PTSD after listening to the record. It’s not going to make you shit yourself in shock, but it will make you shit yourself with awesomeness. Libyan Hit Squad’s side of ‘Full Circle’ is just a really cool, kinda classic punk record, and that’s more that can be said for the majority of shit out there (pop-punk, I’m looking at you…have you heard of a band called The Summer Set? It’s like listening to a castrated One Direction).

On the other side of ‘Full Circle’ is a band called Round Eye. This band also features Chachy, the bassist from Libyan Hit Squad, on guitar/vocals, so it was bound to be a badass set as well. That it is, although to a lesser degree than the A-Side. Replacing the hardcore punk with sax-ladden rock, Round Eye remain largely instrumental in their music, offering few lyrics. However, don’t think of Round Eye as some sort of shitty ska band, as the unhinged element is most definitely there. A listen to the opener ‘Round Eye’, which features deranged guitar, whirlwind drumming, and haunted sax coming out to play, will assure the listener of the slaughterhouse sound that Round Eye is capable of. ‘Got Her Runnin’ is another example of something Round Eye have concocted to blow up your misconceptions of horns in rock.

It would be fair to say that ‘Full Circle’ offers incredibly good favours to two spectrums of the punk audience. For the ska lovers, there’s Round Eye, and for the one’s who prefer the harder stuff (me) there’s the amazeballs Libyan Hit Squad. I can’t really speak for Round Eye, which sounds good but isn’t the preferential side of the record, but Libyan Hit Squad are one of the finest tastes of blood-sweat-and-shit-stained punk for a while, and a single listen to this band should be enough to make you want to book a one-way trip to Shanghai.

If you’re interested in buying this record, you can grab it from Genjing Records, right here. If you’re keen on checking out some more Beijing and Shanghai punk, check out the rest of their catalogue, like the wonderfully amazing Dear Eloise. Another great band from China, who have never released anything shit, is Pairs (so much fucking love for Pairs). So check that shit out, and come back when you’ve adopted a full appreciation for Eastern punk.