Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [AUGUST 2018]

crown poochedCrown – Pooched
Man these are some fuzzy little numbers. Very dog-centric songwriting here, and dogs are also fuzzy so my fuzz meter is really chirping right now. I wont attribute the awesomeness of this album to something in the water in Victoria because I’ve had the water in Victoria and there is nothing in it. It’s just water. There is something in the air though. Seagulls! A lot of marijuana smoke too probably. This is actually my favourite release this month and I have surprisingly little to say about it. Umm, lets see.. Well have you seen the album art? It has dogs on it and I think one of them is eating an ice cream cone. There might also be a gaint octopus creature eating an ice cream cone. I can’t be too sure. All four songs clock in at less than 7 minutes, so realistically, you could probably finish this thing off while your sweet and sour meatballs are cooking. I literally just Googled “what takes 7 minutes to cook”.    Listen on Bandcamp

kaleb burnKaleb – Burn
I went to highschool with a Kaleb. He wasn’t the brightest knife in the shed that Kaleb. I think he was a year older than me and I graduated before him. That was the year the 90’s ended, and so we said goodbye to a decade of crucial bands and said hello to Smashmouth. Smashmouth is one word right? Hey whoever came up with the name of that band, we all owe you a high five dude. Actually, in all honesty, the early 2000’s were full of incredible bands that I was too busy listening to Tupac to notice at the time. The 90’s were quite likely the better decade though, and this band Kaleb seems to be aware of that. I can easily imagine a weird artsy early 90’s music video set to this music. Lots of long hair in the video too. Lots!    Listen on Bandcamp

roseate wiltawayRoseate – Wiltaway
I had to Google the definition of Roseate just to get the phonetic spelling, so I could pronounce this band. I consider myself a bit of a wordsmith, but I’ve never heard of that word and, in truth, I do not like it. It’s stupid and I hate it, and I wouldn’t be caught dead using it in a sentence. Be that as it may, this band is a disturbance of wonderment that can not be measured. I think they could very well be the true path to peace on earth. It may be roseate of me to say so, but I’m sure there is something supernatural about these sounds. They cast a warm roseate light upon me as I sit here listening. In all conscience, you would have to be a horrible leprechaun of a person to not love this. I just wish they hadn’t given themselves such a stupid sucky name that feels awful in my mouth.    Listen on Bandcamp

tracy soto self titledTracy Soto – Self Titled
I would say this band was following in the footsteps of Inland Empire forefathers like Falling Sickness and The Voodoo Glow Skulls, but they’re not. They’re from Riverside CA and they’re not a ska punk band. Propgandhi was wrong in 1993 when they said “ska sucks” but, ex post facto, they were 100% correct. In other words, ska punk was cool in the 90’s. It is not cool anymore. It has not aged well. You have to grow out of it eventually like you would Weird Al or, well, Propagandhi. Actually that’s a bad example cuz I think I would respect the hell of someone if they were still a hardcore Weird Al fan in their mid 30’s. Anyway, yeah, no ska punk here whatsoever. We’ve got a mixed bucket of punk rock n roll with some indie punk sloshed around in there with some ice and someone’s foot cuz it hot in Southern California godammit! Ska punk bands, please stop. Do something like Tracy Soto is doing instead. It’s ok. It’s ok. Shhhhh shhhh. Let it go. Just let it go. It’s time. Shhh. Put that trumpet down. Uh uh. No. Shhhh. It’s ok.    Listen on Bandcamp

4brothers self titled4Brothers – Self Titled
Wow this is a treat for your ears folks. So many fun things are going to come through your headphones when you click play on this. It’s undeniably pleasing to listen to. Yes, it’s poppier than, uhhh what’s poppy? Popcorn? Wow. Yes and probably too poppy in fact, but holy hell I can’t get enough. I don’t feel guilty about it either. I’m not ashamed! Now it’s time for me to make an unfair association, based on gender and geography. 4Brothers is kind of like a 90’s band called Cigaretteman because they were both catchy pop punk bands with male/female vocals from Japan. The similarities don’t go any further than that. They sound nothing alike. Hey why is this band called 4Brothers though when one of the members is clearly a girl? Great, now I’m assuming genders. Maybe it’s a dude with a really angelic voice. I don’t know ok. Andre 3000 was great in that Four Brothers movie wasn’t he? Why isn’t he in more movies? Remember when DMX was making movies? Hahahahahaha oh wow. Those were bad. Ok I’m done here.    Listen on Bandcamp

ENDNOTES:
Hey thanks for reading. I hope you found something you liked. I’m trying to make this your favourite new music resource. This is where you’re going to find the weird bands you’ve never heard of. The ones hiding deep inside the internet that your algorithms can’t locate. Please tell your friends and stay tuned! You never know what I might dig up next. Also, be sure to check out the Scrap Heap for loads of great bands that didn’t make the top five. Ok bye! [These endnotes are a complete copypasta of last months endnotes because I just ran out of time this month and I have to get this thing posted!]

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [JULY 2018]

vacant company decolonizeVacant Company – Decolonize
Ok every hardcore band currently in existence, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you. The bad news is called Vacant Company. Unfortunately for you they have raised the bar just a tad. You’re all going to have to regroup and come up with something better now. Hey, that’s just the way it goes. Sometimes you get schooled. Let this be a lesson to you. Your best bet is to study this album, listen to it day in and day out; While you make breakfast, while you drive in your car, and while you sleep at night. Then try to (and good fucking luck with this) come up with something of your own that is on the same level. It’s not your fault this band is just trailblazing your asses, but that’s the reality you now have to live with. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t give up. You can do this. I believe in you some of you a small a very small few of you.   Listen on Bandcamp

dim it feels like homeDim – It Feels Like Home
The lessons just keep on coming don’t they? Here you go fledgling screamo bands, this is your homework. Listen to it a lot. Commit it to memory. Take careful notes and practice practice practice. Maybe someday you yourself will put out something this goddamn brilliant. I’m not going to sugar coat this for you. You probably do suck a lot, but maybe, just maybe you have what it takes. And by ‘what it takes’ I mean Dim. Dim the band, not the mental misalignment or lack of lighting. Is this emo at it’s screamiest? No, it is not. Is it Screamo at it’s emoiest? I don’t think so. This is what you call warm porridge. What a stupid word porridge is. Porridge. Say it, porridge. It’s starting to sound like a Descendents song. Wait, Is that a Descendents song?    Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

bad shapes rough edges epBad Shapes – Rough Edges
Incredible lyrics go a long way towards making me love a band. I’ll even forgive some pretty awful musicianship in lieu of some quality wordsmithery. This album is not an example of that. This is one of those scattered-chance situations where you have both worlds colliding like two sides of a zipper, thus closing the jacket of perfection.. What in holy hell am I typing right now? Sorry about that. I thought I had something. You get the idea though right? This is a really good little EP. Actually it’s not that little; these are some pretty hefty songs. One of them has what appears (can things appear sonically?) to be voice clips of alien encounter anecdotes. I mean damn. I bet aliens can appear sonically. If you live in Philadelphia you would be remiss to not see this band play live. I’m jealous that you even have the opportunity to do so. I can sense how mind-blasting this would be in person. Listen, you’re just a fool if you don’t go to their next show pal. Unless it’s on a weeknight. If it’s on a weeknight you should probably just stay home and get to bed at a decent time. I’m ok with that.   Listen on Bandcamp

special moves julySpecial Moves – July
I don’t know about you, but I like my lo-fi vocals super fuzzy and extra squealy. No, seriously I do. It’s Frederic Chopin to my ears. I heard an interview with Vinnie Stigma on Turned Out A Punk once and he was talking about how punk rock made him a lover of awful vocals, and how he often judges a band by how crappy the singer is. The worse the voice the better. I tend to operate under that same logic. Don’t get me wrong, I love the voices of people like Lauryn Hill and Percy Sledge, but I’ll take Ron Reyes or Milo Aukerman all day over some pretty singer. Adele can go to uh-hell! Anyway, so if the singer for Special Moves is reading this right now, he’s either nodding his head in agreement, or he’s just had an awakening from years of denial. Sorry pal, your voice is trash, and by trash I mean solid gold! Everyone should support Reflective Tapes by the way. They’re putting out so many rad cassettes. Get this and put it in your ghetto blaster.   Listen on Bandcamp

way no bueno self titledWay No Bueno – Self Titled
If punk rock is an aquarium (and I’m almost certain it is), then these lads are the catfish. I’m not trying to imply that Way No Bueno are a bottom feeding band by the way. I just mean their music sounds a lot like how catfish probably tastes. I’ve never actually had the privilege of eating a catfish (I live in salmon country) but I’m assuming it’s as sweet and tender as these tunes are. A little bit greasy too, but hey, grease has important vitamins in it. I’m pretty sure it’s high in vitamin L. There’s no need to fact-check me on this. Haha relax, I know what I’m talking about. Isn’t it weird how British people say ‘vitamin’? There’s that one Big Audio Dynamite song where Mickey Jones keeps saying “Gimme another hit of vitimin C” over and over. Like he says it about 400 times in that song and by the end of it you’re almost convinced that maybe you should start pronouncing it that way. Almost, but then you remember Mick Jones was kicked out of the Clash for a reason; He was a mole for the Queen. Again, no fact-checking please.   Listen on Bandcamp

ENDNOTES:
Hey thanks for reading. I hope you found something you liked. I’m trying to make this your favourite new music resource. This is where you’re going to find the weird bands you’ve never heard of. The ones hiding deep inside the internet that your algorithms can’t locate. Please tell your friends and stay tuned! You never know what I might dig up next. Also, be sure to check out the Scrap Heap for loads of great bands that didn’t make the top five. Ok bye!
-Steve Doesnt

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [JUNE 2018]

snail mail lushSnail Mail – Lush
Let us cast our thoughts backwards in time. All the way back to the year of two thousand and sixteen. Ryan Lochte was prank calling 9-1-1 in Brazil, Finding Dory was touching the hearts of a nation, and the Earth, collectively, was forfeiting all of it’s marbles. Also it was a very strong year for new music. If it weren’t for Rot Forever by Sioux Falls, Habit by Snail Mail would have been the best release of that year. Those two releases still hold steady as my top 2 of the past 5 years. Stands to reason that I had high expectations for Lush. Expectations were not met. I knew going in that they wouldn’t be. Habit was just too perfect. Doesn’t change the fact that this is an incredible album though, and I will re-evaluate my position on this after listening to it a few hundred more times. Believe me, I’ll be listening to it a lot this summer, and if you have any sense whatsoever you’ll be doing the same. If you lack sense, I’m afraid I can’t help you. I’m operating on a very limited stockpile.   Listen on Spotify

new speedway total babeNew Speedway – Total Babe
Forget about the old speedway, it’s all about the New Speedway now. Get your funny cars gassed up and burn some rubber. By the way, this is the least motor-sports sounding album of all time. I don’t know what a motor-sports album should sound like, per se, but I know it shouldn’t sound like this. I’m not here to figure out why this band call themselves New Speedway though. That’s none of my business. I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation. What I need you to understand is that this here album is a fuzzy stroke of genius. It will capture you, it will put a bag over your head, it will throw you in the back of a van and it will inflict Stockholm syndrome upon you. Prepare yourself.   Listen on Bandcamp

ugly couple spill your gutsUgly Couple – Spill Your Guts
Oh man this is scratchy watchy Tallahatchie, and by Tallahatchie I mean Tampa. That would have made so much more sense if these fellers were from Mississippi and not Florida. If you can’t figure out what the hell I’m talking about, well la-tee-freakin’-dah! You with your fancy normal brain! There is a lesson to be learned here. Mental illness is a serious problem, and I’m not talking about myself. I’m talking about Billy Joe Mcallister dammit! This write-up has been a riddle. If you can figure out what I’m even talking about you will unlock the secret. POSTSCRIPT: The secret is that this album is dope af!   Listen on Bandcamp

nevasca collecting dustNevasca – Collecting Dust
As if there wasn’t reason enough already to visit the quaint little country of Russia, now we have Nevasca, and let me tell you; This band alone, is making me want to pack my bags. Something tells me they’re not coming to Vancouver anytime soon, so intercontinental air travel seems like the only answer. In all honesty though, there’s only one band I would put that much effort into seeing. They’re called Jawbreaker and I already saw them sooo, yeah, I’m better than you. Anyway, I do feel like this band would be pretty mind-blasting live. It’s one of those things that should happen by accident though. Like “Oh I was in Russia and this guy Sergei gave me some weird Vodka and I ended up in a dank back alley where I stumbled through a purple door into this underground bar and I saw this mind-blasting band called Nevasca”. You know, something like that. I highly recommend you all accidentally do that.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

the 1-2 manys spell atticThe 1-2 Manys – Spell Attic
I always say the coolest time to go back to would be the early 60’s. It’s such a white person thing to say, and my girlfriend Zainab would always be like “ugh yeah, I’m sure it would be great for you!” Her trepidation, of course, based on all the openly racist people back then, just being openly racist and oppressive. Not like today where.. Oh wait. Anyway, umm look the good news is, you can still listen to the music of the 60’s and be transported back to a highschool sock hop sans ignorant rednecks. And if the Righteous Brothers aren’t ruckus enough for you (you’re wrong btw, the Righteous Brothers are ruckus as fuck! but I digress) you can listen to a good old bubblegum punk band like the 1-2 Manys (great band name). Lucky for you they just put out an EP. Go do the twist to it.   Listen on Bandcamp

ENDNOTES: I know this months top 5 is coming to you a few days early. This is because I’m heading out on a road trip tomorrow and wont be back for 10 days. Hopefully there aren’t any mind-blasting albums coming out this Friday. I hope everything that comes out in the next 3 days is absolutely awful. All of it. Let it suck so much. A pox on all of your new releases this Friday. A hex upon you! Let your music be the worst music of all time. Die Die Dieee! Wow too far. Anyways. I’ll be back later. Don’t forget to check the Scrap Heap for all the other cool stuff that came out this month.

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [MAY 2018]

the cardboard swords once more there is nothing left to figure out grand rapids emoThe Cardboard Swords – Once More There Is Nothing Left To Figure Out
Well folks, it looks like we have a new frontrunner for 2018. I can’t even remember who the previous frontrunner was to tell you the truth, but whoever they are they can hit the bricks because this is one goddamn hell of a record right here. I don’t even mind the “woahhooh ohh ohh” parts, and those are just about as played out as Seinfeld reruns. Actually that’s a bad example. I could never get tired of Seinfeld reruns. Apparently I never get tired of “whaooh ohh ohh”s either. That’s not true. I do get very tired of them. It’s starting to actually make me nauseous. This band kind of makes it feel like I’m hearing it for the first time though. It doesn’t seem recycled at all. Probably because everything else about this album is so not your run of the mill midwest emo. There’s like slam poetry on here dude! Sure all the usual emo elements are there but they’re not being delivered in the same old box this time. It’s kind of like this was wrapped meticulously with care, with a pretty bow, and then literally kicked by someone’s foot at your front porch from the sliding door of a van careening through your neighborhood. “THANK YOU! THANK YOU SO MUCH!” you gush, standing in your doorway as the van drives over your neighbors dog Brandon. I don’t know why you would be confused at this point, but incase you are, I will simplify: This album good!   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

just mustard wednesday irish lo-fiJust Mustard – Wednesday
If they’re doing another Jurassic World movie they might consider hiring this band to do the sound effects for the dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaur screams; That’s what comes to mind when I listen to this. Also a feral child with a garbage can lid and an inexplicable capacity for percussion. Is this sounding bad, because it’s not at all. It’s the opposite of bad. It’s heavenly, but also darker and slimier than Satans bathroom (aka heaven). I’m pretty sure this is all making perfect sense to you by now. I can’t think of any way I could have said this more clearly. Actually I take back the part about the feral kid with the garbage can lid. It’s more like you are inside a small shack made of sheet metal or plastic siding and the talented feral child is drumming on the outside of it. There, now it’s clear. Seriously though, I love what they’ve done with the drums on this thing. The rest of it aint half bad either.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

breakfast in silence its hard to be open minded when you wanna die utah indie emoBreakfast In Silence – It’s Hard To Be Open Minded When You Wanna Die
“Here’s to the bands that never went anywhere but on tour”
I mean wow. What an awesome thing to say. Gets a punker right in the feels ya know. That line kind of sums up what I’m trying to do with this blog too. I suppose I’d be tempted to chuck these folks in there with bands like Camp Cope or Forth Wanderers. Both of those bands are great and I don’t mean to take anything away from them but uhh, these guys might be better dude. Yeah I said it. Every lyric on this album carries weight but somehow doesn’t weigh you down. That is an incredible talent in itself, not to mention, the stunning vocal prowess laid out on these songs. Did I really just use the words “stunning vocal prowess”? Ugh someone punch my face please. Here’s hoping Breakfast In Silence is going somewhere besides just on tour. You guys are going on tour though right?   Listen on Bandcamp

moonkisser self titled portland post hardcoreMoonkisser – Self Titled
Another album challenging genres in a way that gets me all randy, but also pisses me off, cuz how am I supposed to accurately describe it? Oh wait, I never do that on this blog anyways. I’ll give it a shot. Umm this has a big sound. I mean it sounds like it was recorded in a huge studio with all the fixin’s and mixin’s. I’m actively shaking my head at myself right now. Anyway, yeah, it sounds big and it’s palm-heavy which adds to the largeness. It’s definitely the most metallic thing I’ve ever not hated hearing. At first listen you’re thinking “Is this like Arena Punk or something” but as you listen, the complexities start adding up. By the time you’re half way into it, your like “What in the shit is this?” and that’s the question I’ve been trying to answer for like a week now. It sounds familiar but it’s not, it’s a cloak. Late 80’s post-punk-gaze-core? Forget it. I’m done trying. Figure it out for yourself.   Listen on Bandcamp

blurg poser florida pop punkBLURG! – Poser
Make no mistake about it, these guys are blurg. If you don’t believe me, listen to the first track, they state it very blatantly. If you don’t think this is blurg, then you’re obviously not paying attention. It’s very reminiscent of the Lookout/Mutant Pop bands of the 90’s we all love so much. Even making up words like ‘blurg’ is a forgotten artform. It’s no surprise the original blurgburger, Joe Queer, had a hand in this. Especially with their demo being titled Maximum Dumbassery. The subject matter almost feels dated, like this was recorded 20 years ago. This is high praise I’m dishing out right now by the way. There used to be hundreds of bands like this. They all sounded exactly the same and it was amazing. Bring back the blurg army, that’s what I say. These guys are doing good work. Thank you for your service Blurg.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

 Hey don’t forget to check out the Scrap Heap section for all the great releases I found this month (there’s a lot of them), or if you don’t feel like digging through that mess, keep an eye on my twitter. I’ve decided I’m going to start tweeting all the best stuff that doesn’t make my top 5.

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [APRIL 2018]

houseparty keep it simple german punk rock 2018Houseparty – Keep It Simple
Holy ravioli this is good! You may remember this band from the Weird But Wonderful Song Titles Department. They’ve made a few contributions. Check out the song titles and you’ll see what I mean, but don’t forget to check out the music too cuz this is awfully nice. It’s Indie-punk on a surf board from Germany. Is there even surfing in Germany, you ask? Hey, they have an ocean don’t they? The Great German Ocean I believe it’s called. As I’ve said before, I would ask that you please not fact-check anything you read on this blog. I’m highly intelligent ok. You can trust that all of this is accurate. Going back to the song-title conversation; Is it not true that “I’ve Got 99 Problems And Calling A Woman Bitch Is One” might be definitely the best song title of all time, and will be for forevermore? I don’t see how it could be topped. Gosh this album is choice af guys.   Listen on Bandcamp

chill parents call ACAB DC punk 2018Chill Parents – Hail ACAB
Oh man, you know I’m a sucker for haunted sound clips being mixed into songs. There’s plenty of that going on here. Also plenty of straight up punk rock with cut-throat vocals. I have to confess I used a thesaurus just now to get ‘cut-throat’. I was originally going to say “killer vocals” but it made my tummy hurt. It came down to either ‘cut-throat’ or ‘assassin’. To be honest, I’m not sure if either choice was the right choice.. The whole “straight up punk rock with cut-throat vocals” part of that sentence is starting to make me sick actually. This is not going well. My sincerest apologies to Chill Parents for giving you such a dumb review. This one really got away from me fast. I have one like this every month. This month it was you. I’m sorry. Great album though. Amazing actually.   Listen on Bandcamp

nein or gas mus china emoNein or Gas Mus – Self Titled
In a word, these lyrics are mystifying, but as seemingly nonsensical as they might be, I think there are some real messages to be deciphered here if you listen hard enough. The 2nd track for example (confusingly titled ‘1st’) is quite likely a protest song about guns. You can make what you want of it but I’m finding it highly contagious. Track 3 seems to me like a comment on the media and technology, and have you ever heard a lyric more profound than “this world is sucks sensitive”? Show me one and then I’ll believe you. It may seem a bit comical at first, but in my opinion, the weirdness of their lyrics only adds to what is already a totally bonkers band. You’ve got this sketchy emo math thing going on. It starts and stops on a dime. Male/female dual vocals, songs structured in a way I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard before. This is the musical equivalent of a squeaky mouthful of silly putty. I think this EP might actually be able to unhinge whatever scrap of sanity you’re holding on to. Proceed with caution.   Listen on Bandcamp

erik withak silhouettes indie weird 2018Erik Withak – Silhouettes
The description on Bandcamp compares this guy to Conor Oberst which is a dangerous thing to do. Right away the listener is thinking “this better be goddamn incredible”. Well, I gotta say, it kind of is incredible. I mean if he can write about 20 more albums like this, we MIGHT be able to validate that comparison (probably not). Really though, this is the kind of songwriting that can only happen naturally and only if you’re rather gifted. Erik Withak has the gift. Or so it would seem. I’m pretty sure he does (maybe). I’ve already added one of these songs to my best-of-the-year list. I won’t say which one, but I will tell you this: It’s called Life On Lease. Man that’s an assassin of a song.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

hinny half dairy air michigan indie punk 2018Hinny – Half Dairy Air
Michigan punk rock reminiscent of some mid 80’s indie rock. All instruments played and recorded by one guy named Josh, which I think officially makes him the most talented Josh of all time, and yes, I’m aware of Joshua Jackson from Dawson’s Creek. It’s close but this Josh is better. Definitely better than that bum Josh Homme. Probably better than Josh Ritter too. Not quite as appetizing as roghan josh, but possibly a better hockey player than Josh Gorges. Hey, if you’ve ever wondered (and I know I have) what a cabbage patch doll would look like as an interpretive dance marionette, you should check out Hinny’s music video for Gotta Give Up. I was a little concerned for Josh after watching it, but then I realized, who am I to be projecting psychosis? Have you read my blog? Clearly I should talk to someone.   Listen on Bandcamp

ENDNOTES:
Be sure to check out the Scrap Heap section for links to all the releases that were in the conversation for Top 5. There’s loads of good stuff in there!

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DONT Suck [MARCH 2018]

see more glass tomorrow hamburg post hardcore germany 2018See More Glass – Tomorrow
Strangely enough, I had an album by the name of Seymour Glass in my Top 5 back in July of last year. It was by a band called Local Programming. That album has been removed from bandcamp without a trace (good thing I downloaded it when I had the chance). As far as I know, the two bands have nothing in common, other than a shared affinity for the Seymour Glass character from the J.D. Salinger short stories, which I can’t even speak to because I’ve never read them. These guys didn’t even spell it right. I guess we can chalk that up to them being German. At least I think they’re German. I definitely detect an accent, which for some reason, reminds me of a hella-rad Japanese band called Segwei. Am I the only one who thinks Japanese accents and Eastern European accents sound a lot alike when filtered through punk rock? Crap, I just noticed this is the second pressing of the album. It was originally released in 2016. Whatever, I’m pretending it just came out. I already wrote this whole thing.   Listen on Bandcamp

possum come down leeds emo 2018Possum – Come Down
These guys are from Leeds, and I wonder if that’s in the midwest of the UK cuz their band is definitely in the midwest of emo. Isn’t it weird how England is doing midwest emo better than the actual midwest these days? What else are you going to steal from the midwest? That’s correct, there is nothing else in the midwest to steal, unless you’re planning on getting into the corn game. Look, maybe we should stop coming up with regional-specific genres, because it just gets confusing when a band from New Jersey starts playing New York Hardcore. Like wow, get your own hardcore on that side of the river guys, and England should stick to Piccadilly Emo. That would be a shame though cuz then we wouldn’t have Possum, and this EP might be some of the best midwest emo I’ve heard in a while. Step your game up Indiana!   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

fingerpaint hanger the sounds of parents fighting delaware indie rock newark bands 2018Fingerpaint/Hanger – The Sounds Of Parents Fighting (Split)
Oh, you’ve been sleepin’ on Delaware huh? Well wake up loser! I’m sorry, I don’t think you’re a loser. You really should clean your room though. No, you can’t have a Pepsi. Who drinks Pepsi anyway? Get your life on track. No YOU’RE the one that’s crazy! Anyway this might be the first time I’ve had a split on my Top 5. Clearly both of these bands are bringing their A-game. Why else would I be making such a big deal about Delaware? The way I see it, if a split comes out of Delaware and both bands are this dope, how can every other band in Delaware not be equally as awesome? I’m no arithmatician, but I’m pretty sure that is 100% logical on my part. I suppose you’re wondering what it sounds like at this point. Well you can go ahead and listen to it. What do I look like, some kind of music-discriber? I’m sorry I’ve been so hard on you today.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

weedhawks cold beer weedhawks and mountaineers virginia country punk 2018Weedhawks – Cold Beer Weedhawks & Mountaineers
Oh man, I hope you don’t have allergies cuz this stuff is dusty. Dustier than a chinchilla bath. Dustier than your dashboard after driving all day on a dirt road with your windows down. Dustier than that kid from Stranger Things. Honkier than a Canada Goose and Tonkier than a.. umm.. What is a Tonk anyway? I don’t really know, but I’m pretty sure this album has plenty of it(them?). It’s twisted up, a bit gnarled, old-timey, liquor soaked, soggy-woggy, twangy-wangy, oogie-boogie, fiddly-widdly.. I’ll stop. Sorry I always have a hard time describing this kind of music. Are you getting the gist here? It’s countrty-folk-punk I guess. I don’t want to say cowpunk because I hate that word(hybrid) and I don’t even know what it is, to be honest. I feel like I would be insulted if I had a band and someone called it cowpunk. If you found this post because you googled “soggy-woggy” I have a feeling this is exactly what you were looking for.   Listen on Bandcamp

kraus path new york post rock 2018Kraus – Path
There’s nothing worse than when a really great band is playing on a Sunday night. Wtf am I supposed to do with that? Not go to it, that’s what. I’m a grown up now; I gotta get up early on Monday. It’s a shame too, because this band sounds like they would be completely stupefying live. Like just a wall of flossy noise slowly closing in on you à la Deathstar trash compactor, you’re just standing there like a fool, mouth agape, and just at the last minute when you think you’re about to be squished like an insect, the walls actually consume you and you’re now living within the walls. The walls being the music btw, incase you lost my metaphor. I swear I’m not on drugs right now. I just drank some A&W Rootbeer and ate half a bag of Takis. Hey, you guys are into Takis right? I can’t stop with these Takis, for real. Seriously, I’m not on drugs.   Listen on Bandcamp

ENDNOTES:
There were a ton of great releases in March. It was tough to narrow it down, so make sure you check out the Scrap Heap section for links to all the albums and EP’s that were in the conversation for Top 5.

 

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DONT Suck [FEBRUARY 2018]

bucolic old castle southampton lofi dream pop 2018Bucolic – Old Castle
Enjoy these warm soothing melodies while you can because the rest of this months list is pretty harsh. I’ll try to ease you into it though. Whatever you do, don’t listen to this and then skip to the last album. Whoa! Actually, on second thought, you should do that. It’ll be like the sonic equivalent of jumping out of the hot tub and into the snow. Am I saying this album by Bucolic is a hot tub? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. The jets aren’t on though, ok. It’s not that bubbly in here. It’s kind of a sad hot tub. It’s good though. You like it. Don’t fall asleep or you’ll miss out on all of these beautiful songs, and also you could drown and/or slowly cook yourself.  Listen on Bandcamp

camp cope how to socialize and make friends melbourne indie punk australia 2018Camp Cope – How To Socialize & Make Friends
Not to be confused with the Screeching Weasel album How To Make Enemies And Irritate People. Two very different albums. Don’t get them mixed up or you’ll have a very different outcome. 35 years and I still need spellcheck to tell me how to spell ‘different’ twice in a row (make that 3 times). Moving on.. It’s just one of those words for me you know. Ok seriously, moving on. Camp Cope is a force. Lets just be clear on that. This album isn’t for the mild-mannered. It’s blunt, like an object one could be concussed by. You’re gonna wanna get hit over the head with this one though. I think everyone should get hit over the head with this. If you don’t like getting hit over the head with things, hey, what can I tell ya pal. This has been a music reviewListen on Bandcamp

ventrikills little rock indie rock arkansas 2018Ventrikills – S/T
Someone, at some point along the way, decided that indie as a genre could mean just about anything. To that person, whoever you are, I say, way to go jerk. For those of you who remember what the original indie sounded like, this should go down quite smoothly for you. You know, cuz it’s made with prickly guitars and scratchy stuff, mmm! There are no 808’s or Casiotones in the conversation here. Look, I’m gonna level with you. This write-up isn’t really turning out the way I hoped, and there’s no way I’m starting over. Lets just switch gears. Ventrikills is a cool name for a band huh? Sometimes bands with really cool names put out really crappy albums. That isn’t the case here. These guys can’t even make a crappy song. Before listening, warm you ears up by dropping all of your cutlery into the kitchen sink from a height.  Listen on Bandcamp

turnstile time and space baltimore NYHC maryland 2018Turnstile – Time & Space
These guys have been on my to-see-live list for a while now. Here’s hoping that works out for me someday, but in the meantime, I’ll just do some mental slam-dancing to their new LP. I mean, couldn’t we all use a little more Time & Space? Last month I asked if this was going to be a good year for Hardcore. I think I’ve got my answer now. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to become a Hardcore blog, but when credit is due, credit is due. This thing is due due and it smells delicious. There’s a lot of hype surrounding this album and I think it’s warranted. They continue to break the mold but without losing that core sound, that NYHC sound.. It’s undeniable, just lurking on every track like the ghost of Harley Flanagan. Oh wait, he’s not dead.  Listen on Spotify

balsamic cigarette put a fork in it clemson punk south carolina hardcore 2018Balsamic Cigarette – Put A Fork In It
I have bad news for you all -Just because the world is going extra-hard down the shitter right now, doesn’t mean there’s going to be a punk revival. Sorry, it’s not going to be late 70’s London all over again, or even early 80’s DC. The days of big movements in music are long gone, never to return unless someone shuts off the internet. There is something happening right now though, and it does hark back a little to the glory days. The angry punk coming out now has a heightened sense of aggression and urgency- ei) Balsamic Cigarette. All you have to do is listen to this while you think about the current state of affairs and you’ll see what I mean. Certainly the ballsiest thing I’ve heard this year. It’s like when the Beastie Boys were a hardcore band -equally as goofy but much angrier, and a little bit rappier. Yes, rappier! If you’re not feeling this right away, at least listen to track 4, Country Song. It’s the most ratfuck thing I’ve heard in 2018. Big up to all the punks doin’ their thing in the dirty south.  Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DONT Suck [JANUARY 2018]

postrich bear every love story is a ghost story salem oregon basement lofi folk rare music 2018Postrich Bear – Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story
I never get tired of sad songs. This is my favourite album of 2018 so far. I don’t even know if you can call it an album though. It’s more than that. This deserves so much praise, I’m not sure I can do it justice. What stands out the most is how much care went into this thing. It’s so rich with realness. It’s the most organic thing when the right people come together at the right time in their lives and they get lost on this musical voyage together. It’s beautiful. There’s a song on here where the guy says “I wish I could cry”. Jeezis Christ I wish I could STOP crying over here from this goddamn album. I’m an emotional wreck guys. Ok fine, I’m not crying. I’m at work right now. That would be unprofessional, but if I listen to this in my car alone, or at home with my headphones on, look out! Funny how I talk about being professional and then I write music reviews like this.   Listen on Bandcamp

kat suicide friends el paso indie punk 2018Kat Suicide – Friends
Full disclosure, there is no Suicide Girl named Kat Suicide and she is not in this band. I know, it’s disappointing, but don’t worry, it’s still a spectacular band, and who’s to say they don’t look good naked? This is probably starting to sound pretty weird. Especially if you’re not familiar with Suicide Girls. Hey, what do you want from me? Gees. Here’s the thing about Kat Suicide (the band). They’re kind of doing that thing where you make music that’s original. They’re an innovative band. This feels good, it’s a bit familiar like a baby blanket, but let’s say this baby blanket is made of living guinea pigs. You see what I’m saying? There’s something different and a bit wiggly going on here. Someone should take this blog away from me.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

the afterburners receiving transmission virginia indie punk 2018The Afterburners – Receiving Transmission
You’re probably aware by now that this blog is where you’ll find the best bad music on the internet. This album is, in all fairness, pretty fucking bad, but it’s also really really good. If that doesn’t make sense to you then you’re in the wrong place pal. Hit the bricks. It seems like the band is secondary to the overall message here. The overall message being that everything is an alien conspiracy. Yes that seems to be the theme they’ve settled on. The music is simply a carrier for the message and there’s nothing more punk rock than that. I could listen to this for hours on end, I swear to you.   Listen on Bandcamp

closer all this will be new york post hardcore 2018 NYCloser – All This Will Be
Wow is this going to be a good year for Hardcore? I don’t know but this is a good sign. For all intents and purposes, last year should have been a good year for Hardcore. Maybe they were just getting warmed up. Anyway this record gouges. Dark, heavy, mean, moody. It’s a swamp creature reciting poetry. Get out of it’s way or be dragged into the murk. Or maybe that’s what you want. No, on second thought just run! RUNN! NOOO! Murder! blood! gore! stab stab stab! eww yuck. Not your run of the mill hardcore.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

cigybrats broken hearted summer punx indonesia pop punk 2018Cigybrats – Broken Hearted Summer Punx
Easily the catchiest punk band in Indonesia. More specifically, from Central Java, where apparently there are no girls, just dudes. I’m basing this off their Instagram page. Nothing but dudes. Lots of dudes and not a single girl. Not sure what’s going on with that. I digress. The first song is not English and the rest are. Does that mean you’ll be able to understand the lyrics? Absolutely not. It doesn’t matter, you’re still going to sing along. I wasn’t kidding about the catchiness. These songs are fun.. You’ve been warned. If you’re in Indonesia and you’re reading this, and you’re a girl, please start a punk band.   Listen on Bandcamp

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DONT Suck [NOVEMBER 2017]

standard rat fuck california math punk uncommon music 2017 punk nerdsStandard Rat Fuck – Self Titled
We can’t go any further until we talk about the name, Standard Rat Fuck (or SRF for short). It’s not some elaborately intricate rat fuck we’re talking about here ok, it’s just your everyday standard rat fuck. Alright, moving on. Ratfuck is officially a genre now, because there’s really no other genre we can put this in. Years from now when everyone and their cat is in a Ratfuck band, people will look back on the early days of Ratfuck music, and they`ll talk about this album and they’ll say “That was it. That was the EP that set the standard for what Ratfuck would be”. Really, I can see that happening. If it wasn’t 2017, that is exactly how this would play out. It’s that groundbreaking. Right now track 5, Freedom Fries, is in my top 3 songs of the year, and it’s not just because of the line “Big fat gold cock sanctified in the Vegas skyline”. Though I can’t say that wasn’t a factor.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

amigos subterraneos santiago lo-fi indie rock uncommon music 2017 punk nerdsAmigos Subterraneos – Self Titled
Adjust your ears to lo-fi and prepare to be bum-rushed with fantastikness. I always find that it takes a minute or two for your ears to get there, but once they do, this smooths right out and there are so many goodies to be discovered. The lyrics are all in Spanish, so I went and translated some of them. They’re vague for sure, or maybe it just doesn’t translate well, but powerful none the less. It’s not about the lyrics here anyways. Don’t get me wrong, bad lyrics can ruin any band, but with this I’m drawn more to the melodic qualities of the vocals since I don’t understand the words and that’s working out just fine for me. I could listen to this all day.   Listen on Bandcamp

shepards boston math punk uncommon music 2017 punk nerdsShepards – Self Titled
You ever have one of those days where, you know, you’re listening to a lot of ratfuck and you just need a break from it for a while? Something to chill you out a bit? This here EP is gonna be perfect for that. It’s like some laid back indie/post-punk stuff that isn’t too aggressive. It just sort of hangs out and keeps you company. Minds it’s own business, but occasionally goes on mind blowing guitar tangents. You know what I’m sayin’? It’s nice. You like it. It’s good. It’s really good.   Listen on Bandcamp

red tank x phoenix indie punk uncommon music 2017 punk nerdsRed Tank – X
A lot of EP’s this month. This one grows on you as if you were a sloth and the music was jungle fungus. Just all matted up in your fur etc. At the beginning you’re like “meh, idk” but each track seems to get consecutively more awesome, and then when you go back to the beginning you’re like “wow wtf? All of these songs are awesome”. I mean the cover art lacks creativity, sure. Someone just took a picture of their feet, but what I’ve learned is, some bands are just too busy making killer tunes to give a shit about album art. If you give so many shits about your music there sometimes are no more shits left to give about anything else. These guys are plum out of shits. Also top-notch bandcamp description.   Listen on Bandcamp

going under never not down california post pop punk island empire uncommon music 2017 punk nerdsGoing Under – Never Not Down
It might sound kind of predictable at first, but there’s a lot more to this than just your standard ratfuck. I mean pop punk. Don’t be put off by the threatening language at the beginning either. I think they just got carried away. They have a song on here called $hark Attack which, incase you were wondering, is far better than the Bouncing Souls song by the same name, and not just because theirs is spelled with a dollar sign instead of an ‘S’. Though I can’t say that wa$n’t a factor.   Listen on Bandcamp

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DONT Suck [OCTOBER 2017]

new album daymoon strange ranger sioux falls portland indie band montanaStrange Ranger – Daymoon
This album made the top 5 before I even heard it. I guess I’m a bit biased. They put out what was, in my opinion, the best album of 2016, Rot Forever. They were called Sioux Falls back then. To me, that was the perfect record. It quickly became one of my all time favos, so predictably, this one doesn’t quite live up to the hype I created within myself. Still, it’s rad as Hell, and Hell is pretty rad,, or so I’m told. I don’t necessarily want to go to Hell per se, unless maybe I had like a fire-suit or something.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

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Mood Swings Pinky Band Birmingham Punk Shoegaze IndiePinky – Mood Swings
The album art is misleading. I expected it to be pop punk or one of those ‘gnar’ bands. Instead it’s shoegazy melodic hardcore in the vein of Title Fight, which I am highly in favor of. Especially when it’s done right. These guys are doing it right and killin’ it. Like multiple-stab-wounds killin’ it. I can’t stress enough how perfectly this was executed. Here’s hoping they have a lot more songs under their belt or in their back pocket or up their sleeve or in whatever other part of their clothing. Maybe in their backpack if they have one. I don’t care, just hand it over.   Listen on Bandcamp

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Step Into The Earthquake Album Simon Joyner Folk Singer Songwriter Omaha NebraskaSimon Joyner – Step Into The Earthquake
I don’t think anything can be said that isn’t already implied when you say the man’s name. I mean, he is a freakin’ delight to listen to. This guy makes better Bob Dylan albums than Bob Dylan does. Well, better than he has in a very long time anyway. Big, dusty old songs that make today’s mainstream radio-folk seem utterly and completely irrelevant. If Bob Dylan listened to this album he would mumble an entirely incoherent sentence. If Bob Dylan read this review he would start shouting out verbal crazy like that guy on the train people don’t want to sit next to. In conclusion: Bob Dylan was amazing. Simon Joyner still is.   Listen on Spotify

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Atlas emo revival band toronto ontario punk uncommon musicAtlas – S/T
Straight out of The Big Diaper, Toronto Ontario. That’s what the locals call it right? As a Canadian who doesn’t live there, I’m actually obliged by law to shit-talk Toronto. I think they really do call it that though. I’m pretty much positive. The weather here in Vancouver is beautiful by the way. Look, I don’t want any trouble. This is an awesome record. They should be in the conversation along with all those other big emo-revival (a term even stupider than ‘emo’ itself) bands, like MoBo and Sorority Noise and the such. An argument could be made that these guys are better than both of those bands. Now I’m not the one starting that argument. I’m just saying it’s absolutely true and if you don’t think so you’re just wrong.   Listen on Bandcamp

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Sarı Çizgiyi Geçmeyiniz album poster-iti turkish punk rock turkey 2017Poster-iti – Sarı Çizgiyi Geçmeyiniz
Joe Strummer was born in Turkey you know.. That’s up against the point though. I don’t understand the words on this album, but I still find myself singing along to it. It’s super catchy 80’s style punk. A little first-wavy, a little hardcore. It’s actually a re-issue, but I’m including it anyway because it’s totally awesome and it does have some unreleased material on it. The original album was released in 2005 to much acclaim in Turkey. Actually, I made that up. I have no idea how well it did in Turkey, but in my imagination this was an instant classic and the punks went fuckin’ bananas for it.   Listen on Bandcamp