Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [JUNE 2020]

might die self titled

Might Die – Self Titled
(pop-punk) (emo)
🇺🇸San Antonio, Texas

cutters self titled


Cutters – Self Titled
(hardcore) (punk)
🇦🇺Melbourne, AUS

old moon past lives


Old Moon – Past Lives
(post-punk) (shoegaze)
🇺🇸Lyme, New Hampshire

peixe frito cosmos sessions


Peixe Frito – Cosmos Sessions
(noise-rock) (punk)
🇧🇷RN, Brazil

dumb chunks please


Dumb Chunks – Please
(psych-punk) (indie-rock)
🇺🇸De Kalb, Illinois

t-birds self titled


T Birds – Self Titled
(ramonescore) (pop-punk)
🇺🇸The South?

sid eargle lions den


Sid Eargle – Lion’s Den
(punk rock) (garage-punk)
🇺🇸South Carolina

dorian music to save your life


Dorian – Music To Save Your Life
(indie-punk) (emo)
🇺🇸New Mexico/Colarado

credit six songs live in brookland


Credit – Live In Brookland
(indie-punk) (post-punk)
🇺🇸Baltimore, Maryland

five day morning sky hold me tight


Five Day Morning – Sky Hold Me Tight
(noise-pop) (shoegaze)
🇨🇦Edmonton, Alberta

Some big-ass releases dropped this month. Everyone was expecting Coriky, no one was expecting the new Hum though! Dang, both albums are pretty rad, Phoebe Bridgers too, but unfortunately none are eligible for the DS top ten. This is because I decided a while back (without informing anyone) that I won’t be including major releases on these lists. How do I define “major” you ask? Well that’s my business isn’t it? Do you see me getting all in your business? Coriky actually would otherwise have qualified if it weren’t for all the anticipation leading up to that album, and Mr. MacKaye’s involvement. Those two factors make it a major release in my opinion, but trust me, there is no rhyme or reason to this. It’s entirely based on my ever-changing disposition.

Coriky is such a stupid band name too isn’t it? I don’t care why they’re called that. Maybe there’s a cool story behind it. I don’t care. It feels like shit in my mouth. I hate saying it and I hate reading it.

I shouldn’t be writing this on a Monday. Mondays just make me hate everything.


Ok it’s Tuesday now, and I’m in a much better mood. This Tuesday feels like a Friday because tomorrow is a holiday here in Canada. I’m not looking forward to Thursday/Monday though! Two Mondays in one week! Are you kidding me? That’s right July 1st is our nations birthday, otherwise known as Canada Day, which may sound stupid, but at least we didn’t name it after the actual date on the calendar. Lookin’ at you America. It’s not a competition though. Infact, if you’ll allow me to get political for just one moment: Nationalism is disgusting and no one should be celebrating colonization and divisive ideas like, you know, countries.

Moving on!


Checking in again. It’s Friday now. It’s been a weird week ok. I’m behind on everything.

Digression!

We’ve got another killer top ten lined up for you. The month started up a bit slow but once she got goin’ boy she really got goin’, you know what I’m sayin’? Hm?! Just listen and you’ll find out. I can’t get over how many killer bands keep coming out of the woodwork, even in times of crisis. Some of these albums are the kind of albums that really re-ignite my passion for whatever it is I’m doing here.

If you like this stuff you should definitely dig into the SCRAP HEAP too. I’m sure you’ll find even more sicc joints in there. Also if you have opinions of your own, don’t hesitate to hit me up and I’ll share your thoughts on the site. Unless your thoughts are shitty. No shitty thoughts ok. If you’re new here, take a look around. There’s lots to discover. I have stickers too! So buy one. Shipping is free!

Yeah bye,

ARTIFACTS UPDATE: Unearthing Rare Releases From the Past

Ravi – We Also Are What We Have Ruined
(2004) (emo)
Rouen, France 🇫🇷

Los OD.ZZILAS – Puis vinrent les Barbares
(1991) (melodic hardcore)
Paris, France 🇫🇷

NRA – New Recovery
(1999) (pop-punk)
Amsterdam, NLD 🇳🇱

Mensen – Oslo City
(2003) (powerpop)
Oslo, Norway 🇳🇴

Black Market Crash – Broken Ballads
(2004) (pop-punk)
Genève, Switzerland 🇨🇭

Mistletoe – This Is Evidence
(2003) (indie-punk)
Albuquerque, New Mexico 🇺🇸

Grissle – A La Carte
(1998) (skate-punk)
Phoenix, Arizona 🇺🇸

The Crash – Groovin’ Hard
(1994) (pop-punk)
Wilmington, Delaware 🇺🇸

Revolutionary Hydra – Left Handed Scissors..
(late 90’s) (indie-rock)
Seattle – Washington 🇺🇸

Burning Heads – Wise Guy
(1998) (skate-punk)
Orléans, France 🇫🇷

Megaweapon – Crap Rock
(1995) (pop-punk)
Buffalo, New York 🇺🇸

The Havenots – Self Titled
(2004) (snot-punk)
Kingston, Ontario 🇨🇦

Gluons – Self Titled
(early 80’s) (new-wave)
Freetown, Massachusetts 🇺🇸

(((id))) – Re Evolution
(2006) (pop-punk)
San Antonio, Texas 🇺🇸

Finger Print – Self Titled
(1993) (melodic-hardcore)
Toulouse, France 🇫🇷

Blitzkreig – Ohne Zukunft
(1980’s) (punk)
Hannover, Germany 🇩🇪

Blood ’77 – Romantic Hotel
(2006) (gutter-punk)
Formia, Italy 🇮🇹

Kill-a-watts – Kill Kill Kill Kill
(2000) (garage-punk)
Milwaukee – Wisconsin 🇺🇸

THL – 12 Ways To Suckseed
(1998) (pop-punk)
Hamme, Belgium 🇧🇪

Newsville Evans – A Nice Place To Live
(1999) (pop-punk)
West Point, Georgia 🇺🇸

Hong! – Vollendouge
(2001) (indie-rock)
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 🇺🇸

Politikill – East Side Glory
(1998) (street-punk)
Alton, Illinois 🇺🇸

Hickey Million – Self Titled
(1996) (indie-punk)
Austin, Texas 🇺🇸

Eskupitajo – Demo
(1986) (hardcore)
Laudio, Spain 🇪🇸

El Sécondhand – Blood And Aphorisims
(1998) (emo/pop-punk)
New Brunswick, New Jersey 🇺🇸

Braver Noise – Sand Sureal
(1986) (post-punk)
Baltimore, Maryland 🇺🇸

Pig Alley – Massacre In Em
(1997) (punk)
Oxnard, California 🇺🇸

Dodgeball – Hooray For Everything
(1997) (pop-punk)
San Diego, California 🇺🇸

Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [MAY 2020]

sham marriage self titled

Sham Marriage – Self Titled
(post-hardcore) (shoegaze)
🇬🇧Perth, UK

gatsu inner struggle


Gatsu – Inner Struggle
(hardcore) (punk)
🇨🇱Santiago, Chile

shadow creeps odd future catalog


Shadow Creeps – Odd Future Catalog
(punk rock) (garage-punk)
🇺🇸Albuquerque, NM

sans lorenzo guilt


Sans Lorenzo – Guilt
(emo) (post-punk)
🇺🇸Lombard, IL

hound die to live


Hound – Die To Live
(punk rock) (pop-punk)
🇨🇦Vallican, BC

karoshi life is a killer


Karōshi – Life Is A Killer
(indie-punk) (punk)
🇺🇸Seattle, WA

tumbas dolor


Tumbas – Dolor
(post-punk) (dark-punk)
🇨🇴Bogotá, Colombia

rotura self titled


Rotura – Self Titled
(punk rock) (anarcho)
🇪🇸Barcelona – Spain

without 3 years memory


Without – Three Years Memory
(pop-punk) (emo)
🇯🇵Yokohama, Japan

block parent frank dux split


Block Parent/Frank Dux – Split
(pop-punk) (skate-punk)
🇨🇦Cambridge, ON

It’s only June you guys. At this pace we’re on course for, well, maybe a total global implosion by decade’s end? When it comes to music though, it’s a different trend. Rather than imploding, things are exploding as far as rad bands and what have you. You like how I did that implode/explode thing? It’s almost like I’m wasting my talents on this stupid website. Clearly I should be writing epic feats of literature along the lines of War And Peace or Infinite Jest. Could I really turn my back on all four of the people who read this website? Ha, no I don’t think so. Anyone can write a 1000 page novel, but who’s going to spend all this time listening to shitty music and then (in an act of what can only be described as philanthropy) inform the readers as to which albums they should be listening to in my very skewed and under-qualified opinion? I don’t see Tolstoy pulling any shit like that? Fuckin’bum.

This month has been another challenge for me having to narrow down a top ten. I say this all the time but please do yourself a huge favor and check out the SCRAP HEAP for all the bands that piqued my interest this month. If you liked any of the bands in this top ten, I guarantee you will find more of what you like in the old heap there. *spits*

Anyway, be cool everyone. Stay safe. Stay strong. Never trust a cop. Never BE a cop and always fight the good fight. Yeah bye. Oh wait! I forgot! I have stickers now. BUY ONE if you want.

Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [APRIL 2020]

fossil arm in bad decline

Fossil Arm – In Bad Decline
(post-hardcore) (post-punk)
🇺🇸Austin, Texas

mutant love revolution redacted part one


Mutant Love – Revolution Redacted Pt.1
(indie-punk) (pop-punk)
🇺🇸College Station, Texas

gvlls ep 2020


Gvlls – EP 2020
(post-punk) (garage-wave)
🇩🇪Münster, Germany

permanent residue self titled


Permanent Residue – Self Titled
(garage-punk) (punk rock)
🇺🇸Chicago, Illinois

cheap horse excellent adventure


Cheap Horse – Excellent Adventure
(garage-wave) (noise-pop)
🇺🇸Santa Cruz, California

peach self titled


Peach – Self Titled
(post-hardcore) (shoegaze)
🇺🇸De Kalb, Illinois

deaf lingo double not cantine sbuccia split


Deaf Lingo/Double Not – Split
(skate-punk) (punk rock)
🇮🇹Milan, Italy

vaguess guest list to heaven


Vaguess – Guest List To Heaven
(indie-punk) (garage-punk)
🇺🇸Costa Mesa, California

sandbox mccline sooner or later


Sandbox McCline – Sooner Or Later
(indie-rock) (indie-punk)
🇺🇸Mansfield, Ohio

bit of teenage wasteland


Bit Of – Teenage Wasteland
(pop-punk) (ramonescore)
🇪🇸Madrid, Spain

Hello loyal reader (singular). Yep it’s just you and me pal. You’re the only one who reads this, which reminds me: umm what is wrong with you?

Anyways, you’ve probably noticed that the layout for the top ten has changed, yet again. Well how do you like it? Not bad huh? Especially considering I haven’t a single clue how to do the internet. I’m pretty sure it’s going to stay like this from now on. Unless by next moth I can’t remember how I did it, and that’s actually a real concern for me. This is really complicated shit guys. I mean guy.

Moving on!

April has been, for me personally, maybe the most impressive month of new music I’ve seen since I started this blog exactly 3 years ago. (Yes that’s right, it’s the 3 year anniversary. Thanks for remembering!) I had nearly 30 albums this month that I wanted to put in the top ten. It was really difficult to narrow it down to this group and I’m not sure if I made the right decisions so, please please please have a look through the SCRAP HEAP. There is a shit-heap of incredible releases in there that deserve to be heard. I’ll also do my best to get them posted on my twitter account @SteveDoesnt.

The way things are going, I’m thinking May will be another monster month, but now that I said that, it probably wont be so fuck May! Seriously though, there is a lot of music being made right now. Maybe more than ever before, given the fact that this is the first time the world has been quarantined with the ability to record music at home. These are truly unparalleled times. Someday we’ll look back on this and be like “man that was so covid”. It’s my belief that in the future the word “covid” will become and adjective.

Yeah bye.

TRAJECTORIES: Reflecting On The Moments When Music Changed Our Lives

TRAJ

Times were different in 1999. It was when AOL and Netscape had begun providing internet to the common folk in full swing. Even so, most of us still weren’t just endlessly pirating entire libraries from people off Soulseek or Napster, especially since those tasks took all day with a 256 kbps modem. And imagine if one of your family members picked up the phone. No, indie record stores were very much still the center of the universe for music and nothing brought me more pleasure than spending hours inside of one instead of being in a Psychology 101 class at the nearby community college I was attending.

Around this time period, I was 20 years old and thanks to the endless stream-of-consciousness band shout-outs from random kids on AOL Punk Chat, I had been introduced to countless punk bands. I was on a steady diet of ’77-88 Street Punk and Oi! at the time, after having graduated from gateway bands like the Sex Pistols and Descendents. Any time I entered Noise Noise Noise (Costa Mesa, CA RIP) I immediately went to the punk section and scoured for any new albums that someone had recommended. Sometimes, I bought things solely for the album and/or the band name. Most of the time I was happy with this gamble. If you think about it, punk bands were good at advertising if they were shit or not via cover art. Take, for instance, Minor Threat’s “Out of Step.” There is no denying that in that sleeve contained a piece of vinyl that shouted songs at you about being a misfit child that belonged nowhere.

But I remember feeling like I never quite fit in. I never understood quite how angry these middle-class white kids were in Orange County and I felt like there was so much hypocrisy. I also hated that you had to fit a certain mold, hold a certain identity to be respected. I despised that so much. Plus, I was tired of how punks and skinheads treated their ladies. 1999 was not a woke time period, dear readers. It was filled with toxic masculinity and misogyny (internal and external). Not that I understood what all of that was as of yet, but it definitely felt off and uncomfortable. It was around this time that I started to wander into other chat rooms. Fuck, this is insanely lame as I type it out, but like, this was how I navigated the world back then. Leave me alone!

Here in Indie Chat and Emo Chat were the original soft boys, with their 60s shaggy hair, Vulcan hair cut, or shotgun blast. They were so artsy, so sensitive, so pretentious, and full of disdain. I wanted to make out with one so badly and I knew that if I wanted that to happen, I’d have to start watching Godard films and listen to stuff other than Suicidal Supermarket Trolleys or some shit. I probably had to start dressing differently, too. Baby steps, though.

It was then I decided to break into unknown territory at Noise Noise Noise. I wandered into the indie section and started to paw at unfamiliar cover art that were vastly different in mood, composition, and themes than what I was used to. I was overwhelmed, to say the least, and I wasn’t the kind of kid that would ask the record store clerks for recommendations. So I just diligently kept flipping through with my heart beating faster for fear of being judged since I was wearing TUK creepers, a three-row pyramid belt, and a cheetah print spaghetti string tank top. But I was determined to make a purchase. I landed on this gauzy, mostly peach, cover of what were ghostly figures of humans I assumed were the band members. My Bloody Valentine. The name was sort of familiar. I think some really hot dude on Make Out Club had cited that this was his favorite band. So why the fuck not. I clutched it in my hands and paid for the damned thing and took it home.

I removed the cellophane wrapper, slid out the vinyl and placed it on my shitty Sony record player, slid down onto the floor with the cover in my hands, and waited for sound to emit from my speakers. What I heard, I was not prepared for. It was discordant and repetitive. The bass line was aggressive and maybe too bare. It made me nauseous. And when Kevin Shield’s voice came on, it sounded like whining and I was disgusted. I tore it off the record player, placed it back in its sleeve and literally tossed it across my room. I hated My Bloody Valentine. The hatred was so visceral that I can still feel ghost nausea whenever I recall this memory.

My Bloody Valentine’s “Isn’t Anything” is currently my most favorite album of all time. Do you want to know something weird? I can’t even remember when I decided to give it another chance. I’m not sure how much time had elapsed and how many other bands that were not punk I had listened to before I came back to it. All I know is that I did eventually listen to it again. I could not get enough of it. I want “Cupid Come” played at my funeral. I don’t care of it’s sexual. Everyone can stand some fucking sexiness while celebrating my worthless life here on earth. I also don’t want to spend time extolling the virtues of this album versus Loveless or whatever other shoegaze band there was. That wasn’t the point of this story.

I am talking about how differently I experienced music back then and how I know that kids today will never know what any of that was like. It doesn’t make me better or superior. It’s just a completely precious and strange time capsule of an era, especially if you think about how soon DSL became a thing in 2000 and everyone was pirating shit left and right off of P2P sharing clients. It was much harder to fall in love with a lot of music. You really had to have crushes on weird people and spend a lot of time and effort to explore entering a different subculture or realm. You couldn’t just go to fucking Urban Outfitters and buy a Joy Division tee shirt and be mercilessly mocked by your cool cousin for not knowing who they are. That means something to me. Some weird sort of circumstantial pride.

Anyway, get off my lawn!

 

Thanks Nat!

If you’re reading this and thinking “hey I have a story about how music changed my life!”  please, write it down and send it my way. I don’t care if it was 1978 or 2018. All stories are welcome as long as they’re about punk or punk-adjacent music. Catch me on Twitter @SteveDoesnt or email me at doesntsuck604@gmail.com

-SD

Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [MARCH 2020]

conditioner low point

Conditioner – Low Point
(indie-punk) (pop-punk)
St. Johns, Newfoundland 🇨🇦

in a dream


СИЯНИЕ – Во сне / In A Dream
(shoegaze) (dreampop)
St. Petersberg, Russia 🇷🇺

the yaupon holly self titled


The Yaupon Holly – Self Titled
(post-hardcore) (screamo)
Gainesville, Florida 🇺🇸

new pagans glacial erratic


New Pagans – Glacial Erratic
(indie-rock) (dream-pop)
Belfast, UK 🇬🇧

inny the strigil


Inny – The Strigil
(indie-punk) (grunge)
Portland, Oregon 🇺🇸

thick 5 years behind


THICK – 5 Years Behind
(garage-punk) (indie-rock)
Brooklyn, NY🇺🇸

document a camera wanders all night


Document – A Camera Wanders All Night
(post-punk) (darkwave)
Manchester, UK 🇬🇧

birches II


Birches – II
(indie-punk) (pop-punk)
Chicago, Illinois 🇺🇸

las ratapunks fracaso ano de la rata


Las Ratapunks – Fracaso Año De La Rata
(punk) (punk-rock)
Cajamarca, Peru 🇵🇪

Dirty Limbs - 2


Dirty Limbs – Demolition 2
(garage-punk) (powerpop)
Fresno, California 🇺🇸

It’s the Monthly Top Ten Lockdown Edition! My how things can change over the course of one month. I will say this though: the number of new releases each week has nearly doubled! I mean cuz what else are you gonna do right, other than record an album in your closet? There’s been a lot of that in the past few weeks. Most of it, in a word, bad! Some of it, in another word, ungood. Keep up the ungood work people. It’s taking me twice as long to sift through your nonsense, but in the end, here we are with another amazing 10 releases to yank your socks off.

Hmm let’s see, what else do I have to report? Uhh well my houseplants are getting a little more water these days. My TV is working fine. The view outside my window is still there. Umm my hair is growing, my books are getting read. That’s about it I guess. How bout you? Oh, the same? Cool! We suck! This whole place sucks! Oh well.

I guess since you’ve got so much time on your hands you can finally get caught up on all the rad bands on The Doesn’t Suck. If you really start digging you could get stuck in here for a month at least. You’ll look up from your computer and you wont recognize your wife. (If you understand that reference you are reading the right blog).

Another way to pass the time is to join The Doesn’t Suck Facebook Group, where myself and a bunch of like-minded weirdos are always talking about music and what’s in our fridges and stuff. We’re bored ok! There are a lot of fun conversations happening via my twitter account too so follow me there if you please @SteveDoesnt

One more thing: If you have a cool story to tell about that moment when a band or an album changed your life, please send it to me at doesntsuck604@gmail.com and I’ll post it in the TRAJECTORIES section. Btw please read the TRAJECTORIES I’ve already posted so you have an idea of what I’m talking about, and I’m sorry, but if you send me an email about how some shitty-ass classic rock band, like Led Zepplin or something, changed your life, I’m going to have to reply with a very polite rejection email.

Alright well stay safe friends. Wash your hands. Bye.

TRAJECTORIES: Reflecting On The Moments When Music Changed Our Lives

CH

I suppose there are a couple moments where I could make the claim and point definitively where I believe that music changed my life. Was it for the better? I’d like to think so, sure.

It was around ‘91 or ‘92 in Southern California. I was a mouthy little suburbanite living on the outskirts of Long Beach. I was well into punk rock music by this time so I guess that story we’ll save for later. However, most of what I and my small group of friends had learned of punk was being taught to us by the older kids. The older brothers, sisters, and cousins were the ones imparting this loud and angry ethos of musicality upon us, the troublesome little shits of the neighborhood.

They taught us about Minor Threat, the DC scene, and what straight edge meant to some people. We learned from them the importance of Bad Religion’s logo, and how punk wasn’t stupid or naïve. It was to be taken seriously. They even taught us about TSOL and what “Code Blue” meant – not that the lyrics didn’t spell that one out for us!

Those older kids gave us a lot to go on which, honestly, without punk rock music to back it all up and facilitate these ideas and concepts that lurked behind all of the attitude and the leather and the distortion – shit, who knows where I’d be today? It was actually really great to have some guidance to help us circumvent all that music and madness. I mean, aside from irony, what was Mötley Crüe really going to teach me about drugs with the song, “Kickstart My Heart” playing on an album clumsily named, “Dr. Feelgood?” All while knowing full well that they were blasted out of their minds most of the time. It was all suddenly so dumb. It was a dumb image and an even dumber message. Punk rock music taught us that everything on the radio was bullshit. And our older pals taught us how to use punk to hone our newfound bullshit meters.

It was at one of their many house parties that I saw for the first time, Bad Religion’s video, Along the Way. It was playing on the television in the living room. A copy of a copy on VHS, so the tracking was dipping and waving in and out. It was a good bootleg for the most part.

I was already listening to Bad Religion by this time – only slightly less than religiously (har har). I’d first borrowed a blank cassette copy off a guy at school who had recorded the No Control album onto it. The music was so consistent, and driving, and good. The lyrics of the first song, “A Change of Ideas,” were written so that their cadence flowed so well alongside those perfect, chainsaw guitars. And the drums! Fast and gunning for the end of the song so much that you couldn’t wait for the next tune to start while hoping the current song would never end. It was, and remains, a great fucking album.

Back to the party.

The house had a bit of dinginess to it that you’d come to expect from a local neighborhood house in the ‘90s. The leftover style and look of the ‘80s, complete with faux wood paneling on the entertainment center AND the television; the tan carpet that might’ve been white so many years ago; the cigarette burns on the arms of a worn smooth, mud brown corduroy recliner; and the stale scent of old beer lingering with the aroma of several freshly cracked new ones.

I remember walking in, seeing the video had just started. The credits came up and their logo flickered. I heard familiar sounds of tuning and random drum hits. I saw and heard Greg Graffin. I grabbed the nearest chair from the dining room table, pulled it right up to the screen, and sat directly in front of the set. It was just like that old Maxell tape ad: the ‘Blown Away Guy’ with the shades in the chair bombarded by the incoming wall of sound. Nobody was watching but me anyway.

images_maninchair

It was the first time I’d been able to actually witness the band perform. (This was still before my first ever show of theirs at the Palladium in Hollywood just before Generator came out. Yeah, yeah – another story.) And, since I was trying to learn drums for my own shitty little punk band that I was in, I was locked onto good ol’ Pete Finestone. That dude was an animal. I still believe that he was the one that truly defined the driving power that Bad Religion came to have. Don’t get me wrong. How Can Hell Be Any Worse is clearly one of the best, and Finestone is present for half that album. But Suffer? No Control? Against the fuckin’ Grain?!

Yeah, no contest.

Finestone was ripped too. He was fucking those drums up on every song! There’s even a part where he’s pulling something broken off his rack tom and then just clicking in the next song like there was nothing in the way but the audience. And those people were getting rocked! Although, the funniest part for me was when they interviewed him and he just down plays his role in the band as if he wasn’t actually the bedrock of force that the rest of the guys were standing on.

One of the high school mentors came up to watch with me. He took a sip of his beer and blew smoke from his cigarette at the screen.

“You gotta keep practicing so you can get as good as him.” He pointed.

“Yeah.”

“You still have a long way to go though, dude.”

“Yeah. I can’t practice at my house. Parents hate my shit.”

“Well, I mean, he’s buff, dude. You gotta long way to go. You’re just a little skinny guy.” He chuckled as he took another drink.

“Oh. Yeah.” I laughed it off. I was still glued to the set.

A few months later I took the bus over to Zed Records in Long Beach and bought my own copy of Along the Way. I watched it until it wore out. I memorized it. Honestly, I still have it memorized.

Since I couldn’t practice at my own house, I sat on a stool in front of a mirror in my room, put the video on, and pretended to play what Finestone was playing. It was really the only way I could practice – mimicking the physical as best I could in order to get that muscle memory working.

I think the slip cover on that VHS was in tatters by the end of it all. But I swear to this day that whenever I’m writing or playing the drums, one of the things I think of is Pete Finestone behind his set at those Bad Religion shows. I think of what sort of rolls or fills he would do and try to incorporate that sound and that feel into my own parts.

They should bring Finestone back for a reunion, man. That dude’s drumming changed my life.

Thanks for reading.

 

Thank you Cary, for the trip down memory lane! You can hit Cary up on twitter @CaptFakeHead 

If you’re reading this and thinking “hey I have a story about how music changed my life!”  please, write it down and send it my way. I don’t care if it was 1978 or 2018. All stories are welcome as long as they’re about punk or punk-adjacent music. Catch me on Twitter @SteveDoesnt or email me at doesntsuck604@gmail.com

-SD

Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [FEBRUARY 2020]

street sity surf where i live now

Street Sity Surf – Where I Live Now
(post-punk) (garage-punk)
Portland, Maine 🇺🇸

мало


Мало – меня никогда здесь не было
(melodic-hardcore) (emo)
Moscow, Russia 🇷🇺

deaf chonky harsh


Deaf Chonky – Harsh
(post-punk) (garage-punk)
Tel Aviv Yafo, Israel 🇮🇱

поймаюнакажу


поймаю/накажу – до дна
(post-hardcore) (emocore)
Moscow, Russia 🇷🇺

pound puppies ep


Pound Puppies – Self Titled
(new wave) (synth-wave)
San Francisco, California 🇺🇸

decay non cambiera


Decacy – Non Cambierà
(screamo) (hardcore)
Vicenza, Italy 🇮🇱

the mega yeah


The Mega Yeah – Tape Swap Radio
(indie-punk) (pop-punk)
Nazareth, Pennsylvania 🇺🇸

high wasted genes muscle beach


High Wasted Genes – Muscle Beach
(punk rock) (pop-punk)
London, UK 🇬🇧

fibber self titled


Fibber – Selt Titled
(punk) (hardcore)
Santa Fe – New Mexico 🇺🇸

the pseudo feds powdertail


The Pseudo Feds – Powdertail
(punk) (indie-punk)
Green Bay, Wisconsin 🇺🇸

Holy hell this has been a month. I discovered so many great albums in February, I was wondering if I would have to make this a top twenty. It was no easy task whittling it down to this powerhouse ten right here. Yeah I said powerhouse, as in: an installation where electrical power is generated for distribution. I’m not saying this top ten is going to charge your phone or anything, but what I am saying is that it probably is putting off radiation. If you’re using a lap top, do not place it directly on your lap.

Don’t forget to check out the SCRAP HEAP to see a shyte-load more great releases from February! I like to say “shyte” now. I’ve been watching this Irish show on Netflix called Hardy Bucks. Every time I watch it I’m reminded of how pittifully boring our way of speaking is here on the west coast on North America. There’s absolutely nothing interesting about it. Utter shyte I tell you.

What else is going on this month? Well since you asked, I did start a Facebook Group. There’s already been a lot of fun conversations happening and there’s bound to be many more. We’ve got a lot of awesome members who don’t suck at listening to music. I will pretty much add anyone who sends a request at this point so g’head and join up. If you’re not on Facebook, good for you. Seriously, Facebook is shyte. I wish The DS could be it’s own self-contained online community. Don’t you? Well.. here’s hoping.

I also started a new feature called TRAJECTORIES: Reflecting On The Moments When Music Changed Our Lives. I took the liberty of writing the first entry, but we have other entries from other weirdos lined up. I love hearing stories about how people got into punk, or underground music, so that’s pretty much what it’s about. I want to hear from anyone and everyone who has an interesting story on that subject. Please write to me at doesntsuck604@gmail.com . Yeah bye.

TRAJECTORIES: Reflecting On The Moments When Music Changed Our Lives

sd

When I was a kid the world barely expanded beyond the cul-de-sac at the end of my street in Northside PoCo. I knew about 4 phone numbers. To me, a long distance was the walk to my school, which then seemed like miles but, in adulthood, it probably clocks in at about twelve minutes. The world to a child seems enormous, but a child’s world is rather small; mine was anyway.

I was pissed off.. My mom died when I was eleven. After that I started to act out. I felt like I had to grow up but I wasn’t ready. I would get in trouble at school for being destructive. I wanted to be cool and fit in, but I never really understood how. I would try to tag along with the bad kids but I didn’t have the same clothes as them, and I wasn’t allowed to stay out late like they were. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I spent those years searching for my place in the pack and never finding anywhere I felt at all comfortable. Everything changed one night when I was 13 years old. That was when I found punk rock.

In 1995 my sister, who was two years older than me, started hanging out with these skater-chicks from school. There were three of them, and of course I developed a substantial crush on all of them immediately. They wore Airwalk sneakers, they had their hair dyed different colours and they all packed around skateboards. I knew if I wanted to impress them I needed to have a skateboard too. Somehow I inherited one, I think from one of my sister’s friends, but it was huge! It must have been meant for extra tall adult men with giant feet or something, but it was all I had and I made it work.

All summer long I tried to figure out how to ollie on a strip of pavement in our backyard, and when the skater-chicks were over I would make sure I was nonchalantly watching X-Games or something cool like that. Despite my efforts, summer had ended and I think they still just saw me as the dorky little brother of their friend. I needed a new angle and I decided this “punk rock” stuff they were always talking about was going to be my gateway to immortal coolness in the eyes of every 15 year old girl at my school.

Like most bedrooms of older sisters with pesky younger brothers, hers was stringently off limits, but I needed to infiltrate it to have access to her CD collection. Me, I was still on cassette. My sister was the only one in the house with a CD player, but I knew I could dub her CD’s on to tape if I could just buy enough time. I’d had success at this in the past with Pear Jam and Cypress Hill, so I knew it was possible, but I also knew that if I was caught, I would have to face her vicious fingernails and my tape would be promptly destroyed before my eyes.

It was around Christmas that year when I decided to make my move. My sister was preoccupied, probably watching Sailor Moon or Degrassi on the TV downstairs. There was a window of opportunity so I took it. I snuck into her room and went straight for the CD’s, but I had no idea what I was looking for. How do I know which ones are punk!? I started by looking at the album covers, but that wasn’t getting me anywhere; None of the bands had “punk” in their name either, and there was no sticker on the front that said “this is punk rock”. Defeated, I started looking at the song titles on the backs and finally, on the back of one gnarly looking CD with a kid chewing his own arm on the cover, I saw it, a song called “Punkhouse”. I knew this one had to be what I was looking for, and it had 31 songs on it too. More bang for my buck! The album was Kill The Musicians by Screeching Weasel.

I popped my blank cassette into the front of the machine and the CD into the top. I made sure the volume was all the way down. Then I hit record on the tape, waited a few seconds (you always wait a few seconds because the beginning of any tape is unrecordable), then I hit play on the CD and got the hell out of there! It was nerve wracking, having to wait for it to finish, worrying the entire time that my sister might go into her room. Of course I would have to sneak in at the half-way point too, flip the tape over and queue the CD up where it left off. I managed to do all of this and get out alive with my tape in tact.

I waited until nightfall, after she had gone to bed, because if she saw me with my walkman she might investigate what I was listening to. I remember it like it was yesterday: Everyone was asleep and, because we had relatives visiting, I was demoted to sleeping on the couch downstairs. I huddled up in the blankets, put my ear buds in and hit play . . . *GUITAR*/ ”SHE TOOK ME INTO HER LOVELY HOME/CALLED NICARAGUA ON THE PHONE/SHE WENT TO SEE INDIANA JONES!” . . . Then the snare came in like a machine gun, and in that moment; In that very instant, the importance of trying to impress the skater-chicks was completely removed from my brain, and what happened immediately after that, I can only describe as absolute clarity. In a split second, and for the first time in my life, I knew, without a doubt, exactly who I was and where I belonged. I didn’t realize I was searching for something, but I knew I had found it. I listened to that tape, front to back, at least twice that night, and every day walking to and from school for probably six months straight. It was fast, it was rude, political, grubby, snarly, it was pure excitement! I’ve never been the same since.

This is a story I’ve heard told many times; something along these lines anyway. Everyone describes their introduction to punk with the same words and phrases: “clarity” “hope” “a place to go” “where I belonged” “my tribe” “what I had been searching for” “home”. I love all of those descriptors, and for me, I would add one more, “a world beyond the cul-de-sac”.

Not long after that fateful December night, my sister moved on from punk. I even inherited her CD’s, and cherished them until they were obsolete. I still have them though.

Over the years my taste in music has broadened significantly. I’m not ashamed to admit that I even went through an intense gangster rap phase, but punk rock was always a constant, always bubbling away inside me. Everything I’ve ever done was in the spirit of punk. It was always my identity, It always will be, it was never a phase, and that asshole Ben Weasel will always be my savior.

Hey! If you have a story of your own you’d like to share, send me an email: doesntsuck604@gmail.com

Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [JANUARY 2020]

shopvac self titled

Shopvac – Self Titled
(indie-punk) (noise-pop)
Toronto, Ontario 🇨🇦

wig swell


Wig – Swell
(post-hardcore) (post-punk)
Chicago, Illinois 🇺🇸

frat mouse rat pack


Frat Mouse – Rat Pack
(indie-punk) (emo)
Los Angeles, California 🇺🇸

con art self titled


Con Art – Self Titled
(punk) (post-punk)
Perth, Australia 🇦🇺

foreigner self titled


Foreigner – Self Titled
(hardcore) (punk)
Livinallongo Del Col Di Lana, Italy 🇮🇹

sekunderna paradiset


Sekunderna – Paradiset
(punk) (pop-punk)
Umeå, Sweden 🇸🇪

focus group theories


Focus Group – Theories
(punk) (post-punk)
Melbourne, Australia 🇦🇺

bugarach la montagne du riff


Bugarach – La Montagne Du Riff
(punk rock) (garage punk)
Paris, France 🇫🇷

modern love ensomhet vet


Modern Love – Ensomhet Vet
(indie-punk) (post-punk)
Oslo, Norway 🇳🇴

slave punk police


Slave – Punk Police
(hardcore) (punk)
Pahang, Malaysia 🇲🇾

As you can see, the top five looks a bit different this month. For starters, it’s not a top five anymore. Also there’s less rambling by me, which I’m sure comes as a major disappointment for many of you, given my unique ability to write with such grace and polish. Like literary Beehtoven as that one very important person once described it. The good news is, I’ve got more music for you and if you happen to have the same taste as me, you’re going to like all of it.

I’m trying to re-imagine the site more as an expansive resource for new punk/punk-adjacent music and less of a soap box for my asinine rantings. Or maybe not. I don’t know actually. I like to write but I get sick of my own writing, so I’m just going to shut up for now and possibly continue with the brain spew some other time.

There’s a ton of good stuff in the top ten this month but don’t forget to check out the SCRAP HEAP too. Maybe you’ll find something you think should have been in the top ten, and you’ll write me an email, about it and I’ll post it on the blog and maybe threaten to beat you up a little bit. Yeah bye.