Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [JUNE 2019]

chunder insightChunder – Insight
Man, I keep saying this, but Russia is killin’ it right now. It seems like every other Doesn’t English I do is a Russian band, and then you got these Russian bands writing songs in English too and STILL killin’ it! I was thinking about this recently: You would assume writing lyrics in a language that is not your native tongue would be harder, but I think it might actually give you an edge. I notice a lot of bands writing in English as a second language have really strong lyrics. It just seems stripped down and less contrived. That’s how it sounds to me anyway. Regardless of what language it’s in, Chunder is gonna slap your ass off with various arrangements of various strains of the punk and also the rock. Keep an eye on Russia you guys. That’s a big-ass country with a lot of pissed off people. The perfect conditions for our favourite kind of music.   Listen on Bandcamp

wrip big waveWrip – Big Wave  [Buy it on Amazon!]
I’m not gonna lie, when I saw the album cover I was expecting surf rock or ska punk. Needless to say I was pleasantly relieved when it was neither. I can see all the ska-heads just rage-skanking on the spot right now. Calm down Rudies! It’s not that ska punk sucks, it’s just that I made myself sick of it in the 90’s. You know, like when you eat too many chicken nuggets and then it’s like: wow chicken nuggets are gross. I guess what I’m trying to say is: ska punk and chicken nuggets have more in common than we originally thought, and to be fair, we originally thought they had quite a bit in common already. Now you surf rockers can calm your board shorts too alright. Nothing wrong with a little surf rock. I just prefer it in very small doses. It seems like this whole write up has just been damage-control for my opening statement. I think we all have a pretty good idea of what this album sounds like though. I said it wasn’t ska punk or surf rock. You know I wouldn’t do that to you. It’s safe to go listen to this.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

pencildive when i go outsidePencildive – When I Go Outside  [Buy it on Amazon!]
Soft.. AND THEN LOUD! and then soft.. AND THEN LOUD! But wait.. it gets soft again, AND THEN LOUD AGAIN! It sounds like I’m poking fun at this, and maybe I am a bit, but then again, I love it so much. Seriously, I can’t get enough. I love the name too: Pencildive, like when you jump into a pool feet first, OR, when you write sick-ass poetry and make it into dope af songs. I don’t know why, and I doubt it was intentional, but track two reminds me of The Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black in it’s vocal delivery. FUN FACT: Adam Pfahler (of Jawbreaker)’s sister was the singer for The Voluptuous Horror. Yes it’s true, but her name was not Karen. I love strange and random musical facts like that, don’t you? I thought you might. See this is why we’re friends. Wanna play after school? What do you mean you have soccer practice? Fine, feck yew!   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

fm naaramFM – Naaram
Goddamn you guys for releasing such a dope record right at the end of June. You know I had my whole Top 5 written? Then you come along with this amazing release and force me to drop someone from the list. I had a pretty good write-up for that band too, let me tell you. It might have been the best thing I’ve ever written. I don’t like to brag, but some people compared it to Tolstoy, I’m just sayin’. No one will ever read it now, though, because the almighty FM has taken it’s place and now you get to read this utter tripe instead! I hope you’re happy FM! By the way, FM is a cool name for a band but it’s also a radio modulation, so that makes it impossible to google you. Luckily I was able to track your facebook page down through the LaFlor Records page, and confirmed that you are indeed from Peru. The best Peruvian band I’ve heard in a minute too. Larga vida la nueva ola!   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

the pedestrians self help shock therapyThe Pedestrians – Self Help Shock Therapy [Buy it on Amazon!]
This has some 90’s melodic hardcore vibe going on, with some antics thrown in. There’s some 80’s influence here too. Kind of a throwback band which is awesome, and refreshing. How can a re-hashed sound be refreshing though? Well you wash it off, you shine it up with some spit, refrigerate it for ninety minutes, put your own attitude behind it and there you go. It’s vile, it’s unapologetic, and it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. The punk rock spirit is strong in these lads. They’ve obviously done their homework. And by homework I mean drugs! Just kidding I mean homework as in listening to rad bands, but maybe drugs too.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

ENDNOTES: This month’s Top 5 is coming to you a bit early cuz I’m going to be busy with other things this weekend. I hope I don’t miss anything really good that comes out today or tomorrow, but anyway.. Back to my point about the chicken nuggets: Unlike nuggets, some things you can eat tons of and never get sick of, like Takis Purple for example. Jawbreaker is my Takis. Ska punk will never be Takis. I would like very much for Takis to sponsor my blog. Alright well, thank you for reading the best new music resource on the cyberwebs. Your interest is very much appreciated. Be sure to check the ol’ SCRAP HEAP for many more rad bands and sick albums that I came across this month, and previous months. As always, I would like to encourage people to write letters to me so I can post them on the blog. As long as they’re not totally stupid. This is a very serious blog ok. Yeah bye.

Doesn’t English (#025) – Please Tokyo Please This is Tokyo & СТОПКРАН

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There are lots of fun things to do in Russia: painting a wall grey for example, or you could paint a fence grey, maybe fuck around and paint a car grey. Also you can go check out some awesome Russian bands like these two poppy wavy indie gazey mofos right here. The first band is called СТОПКРАН and I had a hard time figuring out what that means in English. Google translates it to ‘Stopkran’ and I think ‘Stopkran’ translates to ‘Emergency Brake’ which makes for a pretty cool band name. The other band has an English name and boy is it rad: Please Tokyo Please This is Tokyo. I don’t know what it is about that name, but I love it. I also love all these super chill jams. All jokes aside, I am consistently surprised by how awesome and diverse the music scene in Russia is. Before I started this blog I really did picture Russia as being a vacant place painted grey, but now I know it is not that. Well, it might be that (probably not?), but there are also a lot of dope bands.

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [MAY 2019]

hummin bird gutter glitterHummin’ Bird – Gutter Glitter
It’s hard to find a word suitable enough to express how awesome this is. Oh wait, ‘awesome’. That works. What else? Umm rad, dope, sick, dopesick?, choice, gnarly, etc etc, you get the gist, the essence, the point, and so on, and so forth, and suchlike, etc, etc, continued, yada yada, blah blah blah, shalom. I think we’re off to a good start here. Anyway, this is what I like to call the perfect blend of punk and indie rock. Indie punk if you will, which I long ago decided is my favourite genre. You may have noticed. Or maybe you’re not even paying attention to me. If that’s true then how are you reading this? I’ll give you a moment to collect your brain from the floor. Hi, welcome back. Go listen to this album.   Listen on Bandcamp

no collusion sticking setsNo Collusion – Sticking Sets
I’m telling you my streetpunk days are behind me, but goddamn, my appreciation for this little EP is undeniable. I come across A LOT of albums in the streetpunk genre and I have to say, I don’t usually get past the first song, but here is an obvious exception. Why you ask? Well first of all, I didn’t say I was open to questioning just yet, but whatever. It’s because this is rad as fuck. I mean just listen to it. It’s not your run of the mill streetpunk. There’s a lot more going on here, and I hope I’m not offending anyone by saying this, but it reminds me a little of some first-wave American shit, and with clever pissed off lyrics too. Yeah sure pissed off lyrics are easy to come by, but a lot of them tend to lack intelligence, don’t they? Now I sound pretentious, don’t I? How do you like all the questions? Huh? Sorry, I can’t stand dumb lyrics unless they’re intentionally dumb. Oh man, I’m gonna be bumpin’ this stuff all summer for real. These songs are catchy as all fuck.   Listen on Bandcamp

vacation zen quality seed crystalVacation – Zen Quality Seed Crystal [Buy it on Amazon!]
Turn up the awesome and turn down the fidelity. I mean pretty much just turn it off completely. It’s no-fi and it reminds me, at times, of Elvis Depressedly and at other times, Daniel Johnston in it’s plunky simplicity. Excuse me, may I borrow your trash can while I puke at how music-journalistic that just sounded? Plunky simplicity? Barf cough coughbarf spits. Woof! Sorry about that. I should note: this album marks the second addition to my recently started cassette collection. The first being the Karate Kids/Dad Thighs Split (which I highly recommend also). So far, this collection is goddamn flawless if I might say so myself, and lo-fi post-punk might be my favourite 2-hyphen genre. Wow I just used a hyphen with the word hyphen. I just keep out-doing myself. Holy shit another hyphen! Deaddd. You should really empty that trash can as soon as possible.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

ice cream u dias rotosIce Cream Ü – Días Rotos [Buy it on Amazon!]
I really wanted to add this to my cassette collection too, but I just couldn’t justify spending twenty five Canadian dollars to pay for it and have it shipped to me from Mexico. I’m trying to be less stupid with my money. That twenty five bucks could buy me like 15 beers. Man, this is good though. Perfect soft-and-then-loud, shouty melodic emo, all in Spanish. This was a shoo-in for the Doesn’t English section, but I soon realized it has got to be in the top 5. How can it not be? It’s perfect. I don’t get what’s going on with the band name though.. Ice Cream Ü? In Spanish ‘U’ means ‘or’, but that doesn’t make sense either.. Unless it’s like ‘Ice Cream Or … ?’ You know, giving people the option right. Some of us are sensitive to lactose. Sensible a La Lactosa! Now that’s a band name.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

second narrows bandSecond Narrows – Self-titled
Second Narrows, if you’re not woke to Vancouver geography (shame on you if you’re not), is the second point on Burrard Inlet where it’s narrow. A good spot for a bridge, I suppose, which is why there’s a bridge crossing there to North Vancouver. Some people call it the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge. I call it the Second Narrows bridge because it just sounds a little bit less stupid. No offense to the ironworkers. What’s the deal with that anyway? Did a lot of ironworkers die when they were making that bridge? I’ll tell you one thing. If you go underneath that bridge (watch out for needles) you will see graffiti on the underside of it, like all the way out there, which means someone had the ballz enough to climb out there and tag it. I mean that’s some serious commitment to you brand right there. That always blew my mind. It’s been a long time since I’ve been down there but I’m assuming it’s still there because if someone put an equal amount of effort, and risk, into going out there to remove it, I would have to say that person is a vampire, and I don’t believe in vampires. In conclusion: this is a good album.   Listen on Bandcamp

ENDNOTES: It’s way too nice of a day to be inside doing this. I have to go sweep my deck too. It’s got a winters worth of pine needles and pine cones on it. Speaking of flammable materials, I hope the entire west coast of North America doesn’t burn to a crisp this summer. The sky was already smokey here in Vancouver last week. Oh well, if we’re all going to burn or choke to death, lets do it while listening to some rad tunes. This month does not disappoint (see evidence above). Also, if you’re hungry for even more, go munch on my SCRAP HEAP. Wow that sounded sexual and I think I just came up with a new name for my junk yard. Damn, this spiraled out of control quickly. Please continue to support weird bands and tell all your friends this is your favourite new music resource on the cyberspace. Thanks ya’llz! & As Woody Guthrie would say, Take it easy but take it.