Chain Cult – Shallow Grave
When this album first starts, I’m thinking “ooo hell yeah this is gonna be some choice new wave shit” but it almost immediately gets more punky and aggressive. They still sound like they should be from the 80’s though. Like some dark mid-tempo rockin’ post punk, hold the angles, add singalongableness. They’re from Athens Greece and I’ve never been, but I imagine this would be a great soundtrack for a walk through some of the seedier sections. Maybe fuck around and get yourself mugged or something. You know, see the sights. Just lay there bludgeoned and violated, barely conscious with this blaring in your headphones. It’s a dream getaway. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Flagpolers/Bar Tape – Split
This gets a little bit complicated actually. It’s a split and for some reason neither band has the other bands songs on their page, so you have to visit both pages to hear both sides. I guess just follow the links here to the Flagpolers page and then use the search bar to look up Bar Tape. It’s worth the effort. Both sides of this split are rather unsucky. If you’re not reading this and you just come here to click the links and skip past my brilliant literature.. well then you’re probably missing out on half of a great album. Unless you’re smart enough to figure it out yourself, wait, why am I still talking to you when you’re not even reading this? I was recently enlightened to the term “orgcore” which you’ll have to look up because it’s origins are too stupid to discuss on this, such a serious blog. That being said, now I keep wanting to use it to describe bands like this. I hope I don’t make a habit of it. Listen on Bandcamp
Mármol – Sokatira
What a great little EP for the holidays. I’m pretty sure none of these songs are about Christmas though. Then again, maybe they are. How the hell would I know? What, you want me to sit here and translate every lyric? Don’t be ridiculous. You know what, you can leave. Oh wait, you’re the only one reading this? Stop! Come back! I’m sorry! Please keep reading. You won’t be disappointed. Ok maybe there’s a 50/50 chance of disappointment. That’s not bad actually. Hey, I’ll tell you what though: This album has no chance at all of disappointing you. This is just four solid-as-can-be punk songs for any occasion. You could even listen to this while riding a horse on the beach. You can even listen to this if you’re the horse being ridden. This might even speak more deeply to the horse since it’s obviously going through some things. Well well well, look who’s not disappointed. Listen on Bandcamp
Upset – Self Titled
I don’t know if it’s intentional but there are a lot of Jawbreaker nods on here. I mean it might just be in my head because, lets face it, my head is 90% Jawbreaker lyrics (trust me, you don’t want to know what the other 10% is), but I’m pretty sure track 4 “Lucky Strikes Out” is a tribute to “Chesterfield King” and beautifully done by the way. I think maybe this is “Chesterfield King” from the girls perspective? Can I just spend the rest of this write-up talking about how perfect of a song “Chesterfield King” is? Name a better punk rock love song. You can email them to me and I will reply “WRONG!”. Woof, what a magical song. Anyway, this here album is fully-loaded with catchy-ass ditties with clever-ass lyrics. Basically anything you can add “-ass” to, this album’s got it. By the way, I can’t find a complete stream of this on bandcamp but all songs are available on Spotify. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
The Gubs – Self Titled
If you like your leather jacket without spikes this is right up your alley, and in all likelihood you are hanging out in an alley, or you should be anyway. It’s your standard contemporary ramones-core album but a few notches above most. It’s nice to see so many bands (I’m looking at you Europe) still recycling this plot, and I’m not being at all sarcastic. Wait, now it sounds even more sarcastic. I’m not being sarcastic! Even the bad ramones-core bands are still kind of good. I do have a soft spot for this genre though, since it is the genre that introduced me to punk in the mid 90’s. Those were the salad days for this stuff, and if we’re honest with each other, none of today’s bands can hold a candle to Screeching Weasel or The Queers, but The Gubs can probably hold a match or a bic lighter. I don’t think those guys want anybody waving candles around at their shows anyway. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
ENDNOTES: Oh man, it’s hard not to be depressed this time of year in Vancouver. Can’t we just have a normal winter instead of being stuffed in a damp grey sack for 6 months? Anyone from back east who complains about snow should try getting drizzled on in the cold in a greyscale landscape for half the year and see what that does to your mental stability. I swear to god everything here is black and white. There’s no colour. Not even black and white, it’s just black and grey. I would kill for a splash of white around here. Oh well, don’t worry about me. If I was going to jump off a bridge I would do it in the summer when the water’s a bit warmer. By the way, I’m not going to jump off a bridge guys.
December, of course, is a busy month for The Doesn’t Suck. I have to start working on the year-end top 10 and figure out what the best songs of the year were. There will be no top 5 at the end of December, just a top 10 for the entire year, but albums released this month will be in consideration, so please stay tuned for all of that excitement. I might even try to figure out what my top 10 albums of the decade are, but we’ll be discussing that on twitter in great length I’m sure. Speaking of twitter, you should follow me there and join in on the fun punk-related discussions. Also please tell all your friends this is your favourite new music resource. Write me a letter and do not forget to look through the SCRAP HEAP for a ton of other great releases from November. It’s a little light this time cuz I was on vacation for half the month but still lots to discover. Bye.