Small World sets the tone of the entire album from the first note, it is slow, deep, sensual, distorted and slightly trippy. It is the perfect marriage of garage and indie rock to take you right back to the 90s. Each track has its own unique and perfectly balanced combination of melody and distortion that instantly intrigue you and will have you moving. The guitars in Weird Dream have a great edge to them, Sad Planet is slow in a distant and kinda spacey too cool for school, bored with everything kind of way. Mikey’s Rules starts off with cool distortion and the vocals bleeding in with the music. The lack of barrier between the two elements creates a cool sound. Explorer is the catchiest track, the one you will get stuck in your head (and my favorite). The last track, 10, has lilting cadence that lulls you until it launches into the aggressive dirty guitar section. This song contains some great strained, raw vocal sections and ends the whole album with a great feedback section (okay, maybe this one is my favorite). I love the balance that Happy Diving has found between soothing and aggressive, between pretty and gritty, between disinterested and passionate.
I have wrote about Entropy before, and this review is more of the same. All Work, No Plagiarism is loud, fast, aggressive, full of piss and vinegar. They have this old school sound from back when hardcore was just a type of punk, not its own separate genre.
Typesetter’s Wild’s End starts out with a great sense of urgency and fury. We immediately are in this record. There is a slightly messy slightly frantic undercurrent to this album. It works to get you riled up and the album never lets you come down. I can only imagine what a pit would be like. Within the album, and even within individual tracks, hey are creating the tension and the relapse – brilliant.
If you are familiar with Beach Slang, I am not going to tell you anything that you don’t already know. With Cheap Thrills on a Dead End Street they add to their already fantastically haunting sound. Every time I listen to this EP, it takes me by surprise. It is like I never quite remember how fucking great it is. Instead it hits me in the gut, I close my eyes, and let it wash over me.
Okay, so something I am sure that you guys don’t know about me is that I have a soft spot for 50s/60s brit pop. Love it. I’m not a connoisseur of any capacity, but when it comes on, I always think, “Why don’t I ever go deeper into this style”. I think it always circles back to the beginning of New York punk, or really pre-punk, early New York Dolls, MC5, Velvet Underground all share that psychedelic brit pop undertone to their burgeoning experiments that eventually became punk rock. This is the place in punk rock where the Radio Hearts have found their sound.
Violent Soho is an Australian band who is carrying on the tradition of grunge/indie/alternative in their home country to sold out tours. We here in the states seem to just be hearing about them thanks to Side One Dummy. Their latest release, Hungry Ghost, is a furry filled record that will accost American fans.
Sunken Monkey is a straight forward pop punk band and Party Scars is an album full of super catchy and fun tracks with a heavy guitar and drum combination. They are not afraid to sing out or get a hook stuck in your head most times in under 3 minutes. That’s What She Said may have the catchiest use of “fuck you” that I have ever heard, Too Old For This Shit was made to sing along to, and After All shows a more serious side of the band (though never too serious). I am usually not a fan of the random acoustic track on an album, but Til Death Do Us Party is actually pretty damn good, it has a great gruff raw quality to it (and it is just as unsentimental as the title would lead you to believe).
As I was trying to boil down the virtues of this record, I went back and forth, trying to put my finger on exactly what drew me to it. It ends up it is something underneath all the music and all the lyrics, what makes this album appealing, is that you can tell that they are just having a damned good time. The album is personal, but in a not too serious, I don’t fucking care what you think sort of way. Excited to see where these guys will grow.
So I don’t usually review two song 7”s just because how much can you write about two tracks? But man, these two tracks were just so damned good I didn’t care. Go buy this 7”.
The Dirty Nil have recorded two solid punk rock tracks that are played loud and fast and aggressively. But they are so fucking fun. I don’t know if it is the unique vocals or the tempo but this 7” instantly gets me moving. Cinnamon is distorted and catchy and scratchy and is filled with feedback. Guided By Vices is also fast and scratchy, but has a cool classic crooning voice, as if he may start crooning or screaming at any moment. And he does.
More. I want more.
Okay, I seriously have been listening to this album nonstop in my car, it hasn’t even occurred to me to put in another album, I just let this one start over…again and again. Gnarwolves’ self-titled album is one of my favorite albums that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. It is loud, fast, aggressive punk rock, with a melody and a soul.