2019 Personal Recap: Broke my fecking wrist, got married, got at least 3 haircuts. That’s it. Oh yeah, and I listened to a lot of truly horrible music. I mean lots and lots of really bad stuff guys. Some of it so bad I couldn’t even laugh at it. The following ten albums are just a few examples of what wonders I managed to skim from the surface of the cesspool that is new releases in the age of the internet. Not to imply that 2019 was a shitty year for new music, because it most definitely was not. I mean it was no 2018 or 2017, or even a 2016. Ok the truth: 2019 was a tough one for me. Some months I really had to dig to find a solid top five, whereas in previous years, I was struggling to narrow it down to just five every month. It just didn’t feel like that strong of a year, but in the end I still wound up with ten releases guaranteed to lift and/or crush your spirits. Whichever you’re in to. Me, I like both, so without further adieu:
No Collusion – Sticking Sets
Anyone with half a marble left in the punk scene oughta be talking about this EP from these fellas in Northern Ireland. It’s such a thrill to hear a new generation of punks grabbing the old spirit, so elegantly, by it’s throat. Trimming it right down to the grass roots. No fat, except for the fat-ass basslines. Aw fock you better not slag these tunes. This isn’t exactly the most reachable content for everyone. It’s very mocho shit, but you sing about what you know. These guys know about sticking up for their boys and having each others backs, and that’s something I can relate to. If you can’t relate to it, I get it, but I think you can still appreciate how fun and snarly these songs are. Like seriously, lots of fun. So far, I can’t get enough. Listen on Bandcamp
Brat Curse – Self Titled
Sure everyone loves bass. Bass is easy to fall in love with. What with all it’s squish and bounce. It’s plumpness, it’s roundness. When I got my first car in the year of our lord ,2001, the most important thing in the world to me was making that piece of shit thump! All my friends had wicked-awesome amps and subwoofers, but I was too broke for that shit. I never did get the bottom end I craved. Oh how I yearned! Yeah bass is easy, but treble.. treble is an acquired taste, and you better acquire it quickly if you’re ever going to understand the awesomeness of this album. Hey! Let me tell you what! Real punks like treble, so you better get on board with this. Give it a song or two. Your ears will adjust. Then you’ll get your butt blown off. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Tenpera – Business
I still remember what I said about this when it came out a couple months ago. Something about how few words there are on it. I haven’t bothered to count them all, but I’m figuring about 35 words maybe, for the whole EP. That’s all these guys need to blast your nips off. Four songs is the perfect amount of this particular brand of repetitive, borderline brainwashing, throb-punk. It’s right in that goldilocks zone for the right amount of a good thing. This is best experienced at unreasonably high volumes. If you play this in your car on full blast you will feel indestructible! You’re not though, seriously slow down. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Dark Thoughts – Must Be Nice
There’s always some asshole band that puts out a stone-cold sweet heart like this at the very end of the year. It never fails. I have my top 10 all sorted out and then whammy! some greaseball snot punkers come along and ruin everything. This year the album I had to bump because of Dark Thoughts was “Fin” by Sneeze (honorable mention to them). Yo this is some catchy-ass ramones-core right here though. Way above all the runners up in this genre, and perfectly vocalized too. Man this guys voice is cool. It’s like the leather jacket of voices. Of all the songs I’ve heard this year, none have embedded themselves as deeply in my brain as the title track from this album. “It’s so easy, to be lonely, it’s so haa a a a ard to be loved”, that was me every 30 seconds for the past 3 weeks, and it will be you too if you have a shred of culture. Listen on Bandcamp
Raze – On High In Green Tomorrows
Hey Raze, if you’re reading this, I’m still waiting for the tape I ordered like a month ago. Fuckin’ Toronto hardcore kids. I’m trying to get my tape-total up to three! It’s a newly-started collection by the way, but still, it’s a huge honor for you to be included. I don’t just spend five, hard earned, dollars on a virtually obsolete duplication-format without putting some serious thought into it! You have the best hardcore release of the year dammit! Don’t fuck with me! Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Vacation – Zen Quality Seed Crystal
Here is the other tape I purchased this year, and we’ve already been over what high praise that is. If you like shittily recorded lo-fi noise-pop with brilliant lyrics, then you and I have a lot in common, and we’re both gonna love this album. Well, I already do. You will soon. If you’re not in love with it immediately, stick with it, put in the work. This will grow on you like you’re a sloth and the songs are moss. You are a mossy sloth and yes you can use that as the name of your next band. Three times, that’s how many times you can say the word ‘moss’ before it loses all meaning. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Сияние – Желания
It’s no secret, Russia dominated The Doesn’t Suck this year. You know what is a secret though? EVERYTHING ELSE TO DO WITH RUSSIA. Do you guys know what vk.com is? I think it’s like the Russian facebook or something. Maybe actual facebook is not allowed in Russia? That’s the impression I’m getting. Anyway, I think at least half my blog-views in 2019 came from vk.com links. In other words, I’m huge in Russia, and I’m scared. Ok fine, I’m not huge, but I’m still scared, and I’m pretty sure if I went to Russia I would have a floor to sleep on in some districts. That’s what they have right, districts? Like instead of neighborhoods? What a mysterious place. Oh yeah, this EP which I cannot pronounce by this band I cannot pronounce is indecipherably dope. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Total Downer – Keep On Riding That Dirt Bike
They call themselves Total Downer and they ain’t kidding. This is emo to the extremo. What else can I say that’s gonna top that? I shouldn’t have lead with my best material. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Red Room – Call CAA Now
Speaking of the worst province in Canada (oh wait, no one was talking about it), here’s another hardcore band from Ontario. Wow, I’m in a bad mood now. Sorry Ontario, you know how it is. Is it hardcore though? Besides the vocal delivery, it’s “hard” to say (stares at you, deadpan, until it starts to feel uncomfortable). Is this what they mean when they say slowcore? I would almost call this underwater-core. Or like bottom-of-the-swamp-core. Obviously what I’m trying to say is, these guys are rad. Too bad they’re not a band anymore. This is presumably their first and last release. I wouldn’t even call it an official release, but it’s got a title, and it’s more than two songs so, by my standards, it qualifies. It’s a win for everyone. Listen on Bandcamp
The Hitmakers – Presence
When I first featured this release back in April, I spent the whole write-up talking about how much they sound like Jawbreaker, and let’s be real, this write-up isn’t going to be any different. This is like my back-up Jawbreaker band. There are people out there who don’t like it when bands emulate each other to this degree. Those people need to relax. If you’re a Jawbreaker dork like me, you’ve always wanted more (nay! NEEDED more) Jawbreaker. You’ve resorted to listening to crappy primitive live recordings, just to hear unreleased songs you haven’t heard before being hashed-out sloppily on stage, and you loved it! Well what if I told you there are a whole heap more Jawbreaker songs out there but they’re written and recorded by an entirely different band? Oh spare me your “there will only ever be one Jawbreaker” nonsense. There are two Jawbreakers! This is proof! Listen on Bandcamp
ENDNOTES: As you may already be aware, I’ve decided to make some minor changes to The Doesn’t Suck for 2020. I know my stunning writing skills are what you’re all really here for, but I’ve grown tired of my own ‘voice’ if you will. I often struggle with this in life: if I do something too much it becomes trite and I feel like it’s cheap and predictable. Go figure, I find myself too predictable. What am I even talking about? Look, here’s the deal: I want to focus more on exposing bands, and less on blithering into the ether. Instead of a monthly top five I’m going to try to do a monthly top ten, but the idea of doing ten write-ups a month kind of makes me wanna barf, so I’m going to do zero instead. I’m still going to do some kind of recap or random stream of consciousness thing maybe, I don’t know, something, but there will be less writing.
Also I’m going to stop doing the Doesn’t English features, because I always have non-english bands in the top five anyway. I might change my mind about that but we’ll see. I’m still sussing things out. Just don’t be surprised if there are some changes around here. The blog is not going anywhere though. I still love discovering new music. It almost feels like something I need to do at this point. Like some insane musical FOMO. I really want to keep supporting these bands and I want you to support them too. Thanks to all of you who read this blog and support these bands. I think it’s really cool of you to do so. Please continue to support weird people in doing whatever they like to do.
Thanks for another great year of music and fun conversations on twitter. Stay tuned for all the rad jams I’m sure to unearth in the new year. Yeah bye.
I’ve come across a lot of great tunes this year, but none that really jumped out above the rest. No ‘Danny Nedelko‘s in 2019, but a slew of dope jams none the less, all equally awesome in their own right. Most of the following songs are probably not making it on to many peoples lists, or even in to their ears in the first place. With the exception of a few you may be familiar with, these are the relatively hidden gems of 2019. We’ve got something here for everyone. Unless you’re here looking for the best stadium pop songs of the year. If that’s the case, you should hit the ‘back’ button a few times cuz I think you took a wrong turn somewhere (maybe in childhood?).
For those of you who are in the right place.. I mean if you are a weirdo who doesn’t suck at listening to music, please take your time and check out these songs and their precursory bands. Show them your support! How do you do that? I don’t know, listen to them and tell your friends about them? That’s always a good start. Tell your friends about me too! Also, be sure to come back in a couple days for the Top Ten Albums Of 2019. Which I should be working on right now so I’m gonna go. Yeah bye.
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.
Tenpera – Business
You don’t need to have a lot of words in your songs to make an impact. Not on my simple-minded self anyway. What this lacks in diction, it makes up for in unconstrained attitude fool. Wow, sorry, it’s just got me in that kind of mood you know. This album is a mood in itself and I’m not just saying that to sound cool. Ok fine, I am. [the rest of this write up has been redacted because it was too stupid] Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Lacing – Without
You know how you’re glad something’s back, even though it never really went away? That’s how I feel about shoegaze and seriously, don’t DM me on this, but it’s better than ever. I admittedly missed out on the first wave though. I was too busy with important things like collecting hockey cards and wearing Ghostbusters sweat pants. Which wave of shoegaze are we on now anyway? I want to say third wave? But then what was the second wave? I wouldn’t know cuz I was too busy learning how to kickflip and wearing Ghostbusters sweat pants (which were a little tight by then let me tell you). Obviously I don’t know wtf I’m talking about with respect to this particular genre. I’m working on that, but I do know what I like: my Ghostbusters sweat pants, and also this band Lacing. Their new album will lull you into a warm foggy hypnosis only to shock you awake by dumping a bucket of ice cold static on your head. Terrifying yet refreshing. Just like Ghostbusters sweat pants. Listen on Bandcamp
Dog’s Tale – Boiling Point
This is the one I keep coming back to. You can always tell when someone has a natural knack for something. For me, as you can see, it’s exquisite literature of the highest caliber, bordering on the likes of Tolstoy, or dare I say Nabokov. For the young lass in Dog’s Tale, the knack is for songwriting. Are we ok to use the word ‘lass’ nowadays? What if I’m not Irish? I’m assuming it’s ok in Ireland or Scotland. They’re allowed to say ‘cunt’ too. Or is that Australia? Probably both. Imagine living somewhere you can just throw around the word ‘cunt’ without offending anyone. The world is not all bad afterall. Anyway this feels like the early stages of an incredible band. I can hear them sussing things out a bit still, but the guts and the talent are palpable. Here’s hoping there’s more to come. Keep them on your radar. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Raze – On High In Green Tomorrows
This is some sicc Toronto hardcore, but as a citizen of Western Canada I am bound by law, and cannot move forward with this write up until I make clear to all readers that Toronto does indeed suck and so does their hockey team. Having said that, I am now required by the province of British Columbia to denounce all association with our neighboring province of Alberta. Though we have a shared hatred of all things Toronto, us as British Columbians are not cowboys, or oilers and the Flames suck. Ok, now we can move on. Yeeee hawww! Giddyup! This album jumps! Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Jumpstarted Plowhards – Round One
At first I was all “Meh I don’t know if I’m super feelin’ this whole album”. Then I had a complex inner-battle about whether I should put it in the top 5 anyway, just because it has the guy from The Underground Railroad To Candyland (a band I really like). In the end I decided I would just force myself to like the whole album, and a funny thing happened. When I listened to it the second time, suddenly it was way more awesome than the first time, and if I remember correctly, I had the same experience with Underground Railroad. It’s hard to remember anything correctly though, if I’m being honest. Ever since the procedure. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
ENDNOTES: So October was cool. I turned 37 but I thought I was turning 36. That’s like thinking it’s Friday when it’s only Thursday but a lot worse. I’m going on vacation from November 6th to 22nd which means there won’t be a DOESN’T ENGLISH for November and there won’t be any activity on twitter. To the three people who are mildly disappointed by this news, I apologize but not really. Thank you friends, for reading this month. I hope you find something you like. I mean, if you don’t like at least one of these releases then I have to say, you’re not very good at listening to music and you might need more practise. Please keep supporting underground bands and telling all your friends this is your favourite new music resource. Oh and don’t forget to follow me on twitter and check out the SCRAP HEAP for a ton more great releases from October. Yeah bye.
Cassels – The Perfect Ending
Be warned, there is some HEAVY subject matter here. If you really want to take a minute to reflect deeply on some of the more fucked up aspects of society, in a very gut-punchy kind of way, well this is your band. Wash it down with a stiff drink cuz it can be hard to digest, but holy frick is it good. I wouldn’t want to have it every day, but when you’re in the mood for something potent and severe, this is gonna hit the spot. It’s like the thinking mans alt punk with all the angles, all the maths and all the attitude. It’s quite unlike anything you’ve heard before. The talent level out of these two lads is nothing short of astonishing. I’m trying to think of something funny to say and I can’t. This album got me in a really serious mood. I’m feeling dumb as fuck too cuz I’m pretty sure these kids are half my age and twice as intelligent. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Red Room – Call CAA Now
For those of you who aren’t Canadian, CAA is the Canadian version of AAA, which stands for Against All Authority. CAA stands for Commence All Authority. They were not the most popular punk band. The whole thing was a little unfortunate actually, but we all learned a valuable lesson. Why does a sick-ass band like Red Room want you to call CAA though? That’s the part I don’t understand. How do you even call a band that doesn’t exist anymore? Last I heard, the members of CAA were all in hiding. Anyway, I guess Red Room is no longer a band either. This is supposed to be their final release? That sucks cuz this is some grouchy-ass hardcore done to perfection. Listen on Bandcamp
Killcult – Self Titled
I first read this as KillCUT which would have been a marginally more rad name, but Killcult gets the job done. Either way you’re going to get killed. This is murderous music. Homicidal if you will. It hearkens back to a deadlier time in punk. The violent sensibilities of early hardcore blended lovingly with the attitude of first wave snarl. You know what, I am really coming into my own as a writer, don’t you think? Anyway, look at this gnarly album art. It’s a goddamn spider on a skull. That’s a nasty looking spider too. A throwback to a time when skulls and spiders were edgy, and tattoos were cool. Oh you don’t think tattoos were cool in the 80’s? Well I have three words for you: Aaron Neville’s face. Listen on Bandcamp
Sneeze – Fin
Let me tell you, there are some real ear-worms on this album. Especially track one. I’ve had the hook stuck in my head for weeks now: “DYYINNNG CHILLLLDRENN”. Needless to say, I’ve been getting some funny looks from my co-workers. I work at an orphanage by the way, so the orphans were getting a bit weirded out too, at first, but now I’ve got them all singing along Oliver-Twist-food-glorious-food style. It’s really quite something. Yo, this band is called Sneeze, lol. You’ve got to respect the name choice. I’m so curious about how they settled on that though. Were they sitting around like “What are we gonna call this band?” and then one guy sneezed and they were like “YES! THAT’S IT!” Look, the name is actually pretty good, but that’s beside the point: the music here is of the unsucky nature. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Humelly – Дежевый
Привет товарищи. Я пьян на русской водке и слушаю Humelly. Я больше не представляю страну Канады, премьер-министр которой – шут. Я больше не фанат Сидни Кросби. Теперь я команда Ovi. Этот блог будет переходить на весь русский диалог в ближайшем будущем. Извините, что сообщаю вам эту новость, но группы в России слишком сильны. Музыка такая холодная и такая серая. Это не может быть побеждено. Я осуждаю любую принадлежность к западному миру, я переезжаю в Якутск и создаю группу под названием «Путин Шмутин». Это будет популярная поп-группа. Вы можете думать, что вы хотите. Это больше не влияет на меня. Сейчас я должен идти. Зима приближается. Listen on Bandcamp
ENDNOTES: Oh isn’t it nice, the weather is changing! Yeah, from really good to really shitty. Oh all of the leaves are turning beautiful colours! Yeah, because they’re dying and soon going to fall off and blanket the neighborhood in a soggy layer of decaying biomass. Yay now we can wear our fall outfits! Ok I’ll give you that. At least it’s leather jacket season. I heard a song recently called “Leather Jacket Season” but I can’t, for the life of me, remember who it was by. It’s probably in the SCRAP HEAP somewhere, so be sure to poke around in there a bit. Wear gloves though, and poke from a distance with a stick. Thank you for reading another Top 5, and I’ll thank you in advance for continuing to support underground music. Please tell all your friends this is your favourite new music resource and the best place to find weird bands. Follow me on Twitter (@SteveDoesnt) so you can join in all the fun music conversations I have with my followers. Also, please don’t pretend you’re happy it’s fall. Can we all just be honest this year? Fall sucks! Bye.
Brat Curse – Self-titled [Buy it on Amazon!]
Track One: Sweat Pants Lawyer. Boom! I’m sold. How can this not be awesome? Then you hit play and whabamoh! You’re getting rocked and also rolled like never before. Ok well that’s not true. I shouldn’t have said never before. I mean it’s good but it’s not like never before. Or maybe it is. Feck I don’t know. Maybe you’re a very young child and this is your first time getting rocked and rolled. Look, it’s none of my business anyway. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Ceilings – Time Slips [Buy it on Amazon!]
This just in: Winnipeg sucks. Just kidding, I’ve never been. I hear it sucks though, which is probably why a lot of great bands come from there. Well, at least one great band has come from there. Two now. And one Burton Cummings, who, lets face it, has the most beautiful voice this side of heaven. I’m not even being sarcastic this time. The man has the voice of a saint and the mustache of a god. You know what, fuck this band, I’m gonna go listen to some Burton. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Ultrasurf – Ideas Vacías
Holy hell, watch your step, the rhythm is relentless over here. You can’t stand still to this unless you’re dead, and if you’re dead, what business do you have standing on your feet anyway? Lay the fuck down you creepy corpse, so we can roll you into a corner and deal with you later. Man, this is some energetic surfy post punk en espanol. It reminds me a bit of a Swedish band called Terrible Feelings only more agitated. Is Spain more agitated than Sweden? It probably is. I mean I would assume so. What the hell does Sweden have to be agitated about? Peace and serenity? Feck off. Hey, what the hell am I even talking about guys? Listen on Bandcamp
The Sunlight Machine – Careers Day [Buy it on Amazon!]
Somehow this young lad is channeling the vocal chops of Frankie Stubbs and absolutely doing it justice. You hear the resemblance right? I think he might be possessed by Frankie’s ghost, which is strange because Frankie’s still alive. Ok I’ve got it: This is Frankie Stubbs’s son. Haha this guy’s gonna read this like “who the feck is Frankie Stubbs?”. You should be ashamed of yourself for not knowing who Frankie Stubbs is. At the moment this post is not yet the top google search result for “Frankie Stubbs” but now it is. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Lindenwood – Die With Me [Buy it on Amazon!]
No time to get your ass rocked off? I know how it is. Life is demanding and we’re all just doing our best to meet those never ending deadlines. The good news is, you can now get your ass rocked off in four easy songs. That’s right, if you have fifteen minutes, you have time for a whooping thanks to Lindenwood, the Filipino band named after a tree that does not grow in the Philippines. I’m 100% assuming that by the way. I’m not a goddamn arborist, but I’m pretty sure that is a tree and it doesn’t grow in the Philippines. If you know that to be false, please keep it to yourself. Why can’t you just let me have this? Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
ENDNOTES: If this months write-ups are making even less sense than usual (is that even possibe?) it’s because I’m sick and maybe a bit high on Buckleys. I’m not feeling this at all right now so let’s just skip to the part where I tell you to check out the SCRAP HEAP for a whole lot more new releases from this month, and keep fighting the good fight, keep listening to weird music, and supporting weird bands and tell your friends this is your favourite new music resource and so on and what have you. Bye.
From: Sai, (somewhere in Canada)
steve? this is the new york times®. we’re begging you to join our team.
kidding, it’s just me. i’m sure that email will come soon.
huge fan of your site/twitter, man. look forward to reading your newsletters and seeing those inferior opinions in your replies whenever i’m online. as a fellow canadian, you’re someone i’m proud of. bandcamp should offer you a partnership deal or something before i send them a strongly worded email.
anyway, i’m just sending this because i’ve always wanted to get in touch with you and let you know you’re appreciated. music being a unifier or something like that. huge congratulations on the news of your marriage, dude! you’re making me feel hella young. i’m seriously very thrilled for you, and i hope all goes well and that it lasts long.
i figure i should try to plug something here, lest this be boring fanmail where i’m just being nice. so: if you haven’t listened to the god derek ted‘s album “better spirit” yet, GET ON THAT SHIT!!! my man just signed to pure noise records, furthering the folk agenda and bringing prosperity back to valencia street. “slow down” by him (not on the album) is unbelievable. there may not be a more platinum “record label” than $R&$ – don’t @ me. if you want some more gold from that, floral prince (aka field medic) has a secret mixtape that’s up there with his album from earlier this year. freak folk forever baby
I’m trying this new thing where I’m a total asshole to everyone so I can get ahead in life. You’re my first victim, so feck yew!
Yeee! Just kidding man! Thanks so much for this lovely and well written letter. Seriously, I thought I was NY Times material but have you read your own writing? You don’t even use capital letters. That takes ballz. Trust me, I’m a highly professional and expert writer myself, so I know what I’m talking about.
I would caution you about reaching out to bandcamp on my behalf. I think they hate me. I’ve been mildly irritating them with emails and comments for a while now, and if I were them, I’d be getting pretty sick of it.
Hey, thanks so much for all the positive feedback and for the congratulations on my wedding. You know marriage is pretty weird if you think about it: Humans have all these ridiculous rituals and most of them are idiotic, but I figure you need a partner in life and you might aswell celebrate that with the people you love. I could do without all the attention though, so I’m glad it’s over.
Thanks for the recommendations too. Field Medic I’ve heard of, but this Derek Ted guy is new to me. Since folk went pop a few years back it’s been hard to find folk that doesn’t suck, but I’m digging both of these. Hopefully there’s more of this stuff on the horizon and less HO HEY. What a stupid fecking song. Jeezis Christ.
Keep on fighting the good fight,
Sadly, this album was just barely nudged out of the top 5 for July. The Russians win again, but Indonesia is putting up a fight. Just listen to this thing. It’s infectious. Seriously you should take some antibiotics after listening. Maybe rub yourself down with hydrogen peroxide. Make sure you get it in all the holes and cracks. If my translations are correct (and they often aren’t) there is a lyric on here that says “Cobain is a god, to hell with god” wow! I’m not exactly sure the context on that, but either way, in the spirit of punk rock, I have to respect the boldness of such a statement. The album art is very Double-Nickels-On-The-Dime-like but the similarities to the Minutemen more or less end there, incase you were wondering. Oh you weren’t wondering? Ok well calm down.
Sans Lorenzo – Lombard
(Midwest Emo) X (Northwest Indie Rock) ÷ (Post Punk) minus (Lorenzo) = A fecking dope-ass band. I can only imagine what they must sound like WITH Lorenzo! You know what this sounds like? Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question. It sounds like raw potential. Not that they haven’t already achieved absolute awesomeness, but because if/when these guys put out another album, it’s going to completely blow my damn face off. There is a sad urgency to this that can only be fostered by the corn mazes of the midwest. Couple that with a totally new take on post-punk-emo and, I’m telling you, you’ve got something very special. I am totally stoked on this band right now and I don’t just throw around the word stoked indiscriminately you guys. Please Midwest Jesus! Send us more! Listen on Bandcamp
Feed The Pet – Alitas [Buy it on Amazon!]
STOKED! This reminds me of something and I can’t remember what it was but goddamn I must have loved it. How could I not remember something that would have been so rad? I listen to entirely too much music. That’s my problem, but I can’t stop. I’m in too deep. Speaking of deep, these songs are like the fucking Atlantic ocean in that regard. You know what, with writing like this I’m surprised the New York Times isn’t knocking at my door. It’s just a matter of time I figure. Or should I say times? Get it times? If this was a real life conversation I’d just be staring at you with a vacant look in my eyes right now. Anyway, obviously this band jumps. Get outa here and go listen to it ya little rascal. Actually wait. Don’t go yet. Read the rest of this first ya little rascal. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Someday Best – Deep Rest [Buy it on Amazon!]
Remember that Braid song that said “slow as Rapid City”? That’s what always comes to mind when I think about Rapid City. What a great lyric too. This band doesn’t necessarily reflect the ironic slowness of their home town though. They’re slow at times but overall rather jumpy, and I imagine they’re literally pounding life into the kids of Rapid City, one frazzled indie punk jam at a time. Another thing I always think of when I hear about that city is how the Bouncing Souls had their alternator die somewhere between there and Mankato Minnesota, or so the story goes in that one song, whatever it’s called. Also, Rapid City is a cool-name for a city. It just sounds badass right? RIGHT? Thought so. There’s a song on here called Girls Of Summer. Don’t worry, it’s not what you think. Or is it? No, it’s not. Right? Wrong. Maybe. No. Listen on Bandcamp
Result Of Choice – Place Of My Dreams [Buy it on Amazon!]
I hope you don’t need to sit down for a while cuz you’re about to get your butt slapped off dood. If you turn this up loud enough a circle pit will form no matter where you are, so use caution. For example, I would not start blasting this at your local lawn bowling club unless you wanna find out what it’s like to get an elbow to the chin from a senior citizen. When it comes to hardcore, I’m not really about that crossover metalic shit. I like the classic sound, so this is really hitting the spot for me. It’s not the hardest of core but it slaps all the same. Protect your posterior. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
Сияние – Желания [Buy it on Amazon!]
Surprise surprise, it’s another Russian band. How do you say ‘The Doesn’t Suck’ in Russian? I’m thinking of making a few changes around here. I need to be drinking more vodka too. You know, for research. I think this is the second band from Yakutsk I’ve featured on the blog which comes as no shock because I know there is a fierce underground punk scene happening there, and it is in fact considered the coldest major city on earth. It all makes perfect sense. Cold + angry kids = angrier kids = punk rock. It’s simple arithmetics. This is some foggy shoegaze punk too and I love that trend, especially when it’s executed in this way exactly. Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify
ENDNOTES: My apologies to all the bands featured in this months top 5. Usually my writing is absolutely immaculate, Shakespearean even, but I kind of half-assed it this month. I’ve got a lot on my mind ok. I’m getting married like next weekend and it’s freaking me the feck out. I’m having a lot of weird wedding dreams. I’m finding it hard to focus on much of anything, but I still feel inspired enough by these albums to throw this top 5 together, so I hope everyone finds something they like. Umm there is a cellist named Gordon Withers putting out an all cello all Jawbreaker covers album on August 6th, so work that into your life somehow. I’m hoping I can work it in to my wedding ceremony. Yo! Check out the SCRAP HEAP for a crap-load more great releases from this month. Keep listening to weird bands and supporting them however possible. Keep telling your friends this is your favourite new music resource, and most importantly: keep on fighting the good fight. Oh! & follow me on twitter to have lots of fun conversations with me an a bunch of other music nerds. @SteveDoesnt