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

buffet all americanBuffet – All-American [Buy it on Amazon!]
I think these guys are from a town called Anacortes in Washington State, which is kind of cool because you can take a ferry there from Victoria BC. I don’t know if I’ve ever taken it myself (I’ve taken a lot of ferries) but I’ve definitely heard the name Anacortes over the loudspeaker a few thousand times when waiting in ferry line-ups, and for that reason alone, I feel a kindred connection with the town. All these coastal Northwest ferry towns are more or less the same anyway. I know exactly what the deal is in Anacortes, whether I’ve been there or not, and that’s why it comes as no surprise that this here album fecking destroys. I don’t know if they called themselves Buffet because they’re serving up a rad mix of genres that have been sitting around under a heat lamp for a while, but I like to think of it that way. I mean what other reason could there be? These snarky motherfuckers.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

total downer keep on riding that dirt bikeTotal Downer – Keep On Riding That Dirt Bike
I don’t like to include recordings on these lists if all of the songs aren’t available to stream for free, because I want everyone to be able to hear the whole thing. What if someone can’t afford 4 bucks (USD!) for 4 songs? What if that someone is just a kid and doesn’t have a credit card? I mean I’m not a goddamn hippiepunk or anything; I’m just saying most bands put up all the tracks on bandcamp and that’s pretty cool. In spite of all hard feelings, I must say, I’ve made an exception to my rule for the first time. That, in itself, is proof of how rad this band is. Further proof is in the pudding, so to speak, and if this was pudding, it would be banana. Don’t you ever underestimate banana pudding. It tastes kind of like that fluoride stuff the dentist puts in your mouth. In other words, delicious! So yeah, here’s my four fecking dollars you assholes. Go buy yourself a bag of picks. Just for the record, I will gladly pay more money for more music in the future so please continue with the being a band and what have you. UPDATE: Just heard from these guys and the entire album will be available for free streaming on bandcamp in a few weeks when it’s officially released. I guess that makes this a May album then. Feck!   Listen on Bandcamp

slatwallSlatwall – Self-titled
I swear this isn’t a Northwest themed top 5 this month, but shit, game recognize game, as they say. It’s weird to call it the Northwest when you’re on the Canadian side of the border. There was a Vancouver rap group in the 90’s that was always repping the Northwest, which doesn’t make sense because in Canada, this is the Southwest. It should have been “dreaded fist of the southwest” you idiots. That’s always bothered me and this seemed like the most appropriate time to bring it up. Ok we can talk about this album now. Oh my god, can you imagine if I actually talked about the music in these write-ups? LMAO! Eww that would be weird. I will say this though, there’s a song on here called “Illmatic” which ties in nicely with the whole 90’s rap thing right? Damn, this music journalism just comes so naturally to me. By the way, this is not a rap album, but it is lit? Listen on Bandcamp

browned butter thothpasteBrowned Butter – Toothpaste [Buy it on Amazon!]
How dreamy do you like your grunge gaze? Better question: How grungy do you like your dreamgaze? Even better question: How gazy do you like your dream grunge? The answer to all of these questions is “very”, and since you like it like that, I’ve got good news for you in the form of Browned Butter. No, it’s not time to make cookies. Get the hell outa here. It’s time to slump your shoulders and stare at your feet. How many shoes do you gaze when you grunge dream? How many shoes do you have? Two. There’s your answer. Always keep your eyes on your own shoes. Can you imagine if people went to shoegaze shows and started staring at other people’s shoes? Pffwhaaa! Anarchy! I think I have made my point here.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

the hitmakers presenceThe Hitmakers – Presence
When these guys read this they’ll be expecting the inevitable Jawbreaker comparison. I know they will, and I’m sorry, but as a highly professional and serious music journalist, it would be goddamn impossible not to bring it up. I mean if Blake’s vocal chords ever get fried again, this guy could take over and no one would know the difference. Everything I’m saying right now is a supreme compliment incidentally. I don’t talk about it a lot (yes I do), but I am 1000% subscribed to the idea that Jawbreaker is the most perfect band of all time, so if I can get more Jawbreaker in the form of an entirely different band, I am there. The more Jawbreaker the better. Especially when they’re this fecking good at it. I mean the lyrics are even Schwarzenbach-like. I’d like to apologize to The Hitmakers for making this mainly a Jawbreaker praise-fest. I saw no other way of going about it. Please continue being my backup Jawbreaker band. I love you.   Listen on Bandcamp

ENDNOTES: This has been a hell of a month for new releases. It took longer than usual to settle on the top 5, but I think I’ve made the right decisions here. You can be the judge of that though. Please do peruse my SCRAP HEAP to hear all the other incredible releases that piqued my interest this April. Please support your favourite bands and blogs and mom & pop’s pizza joints. Tell all your friends this is your favourite resource for new music and the best place to find bands you’ve never heard of. Please write me a letter if you should feel so inclined (I’ll post it!), and tell me what’s up in your part of the world. My part of the world, at the moment is getting greener, and warmer, and the alleys are getting smellier. I love this time of year. Anyway, bye.

Doesn’t English (#023) – Lapsuus

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Lapsuus! (which means ‘Childhood’) is a wicked awesome garagey punk band from Finland. Yes Finland, where you’ll supposedly find the worlds largest archipelago, and it’s home to the cute-as-all-fuck saimaa ringed seal. I dare you to show me a better seal than that. Seriously, the thing looks sensational, but lets get back to the archipelago status. An archipelago just means a group of islands, but the real reason I bring it up is because it sounds cool and it’s fun to say. To summarize: Childhood + islands + seals = rad garage punk. Thank you and archipelago to everyone.

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

off hope fisherpriceOff Hope – Fisherprice [Buy it on Amazon!]
I get a lot of bands asking me to review their albums on The Doesn’t Suck, and let’s face it, what I’m doing here isn’t reviewing albums. Usually bands ask me to review something that came out months (even years) ago, and it’s like yo, I’m doing a monthly top 5 here Buster! Also, if I’m being real, a lot of the bands that contact me aren’t up my alley, or even in the general neighborhood of my alley. Which is fine because honestly, I don’t need any more traffic in my alley. My alley is fecking congested dood! Anyways, like I said, these aren’t album reviews. This is a list of my top 5 releases each month as determined by me, and the write ups are, well, complete nonsense. You should know this by now. In conclusion: This band contacted me early in March and I was all “yeah sure, let me know when it comes out”. It finally dropped on March 30th and I’m thinkin’ all “Damn! That’s cutting it close!”. Funny thing though: it immediately bested anything else I heard all month.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

cosmopaark sunflowerCosmopaark – Sunflower [Buy it on Amazon!]
Let me put this to you in the most direct and straightforward way I know how: This here album? This be like when a band be layin’ out a beautiful platter of assorted fruits. A “fruit platter” if you will, and then they proceed to smash their own fruit platter into a delicious edible pulp.. with guitars! I mean I could go into more detail but I think that about sums it up doesn’t it? I don’t know how I could be any more clear. It’s a blender. A musical blender. Not a juicer! No no no. Don’t be ridiculous. It’s a blender. A big one. This isn’t to say they’re blending all kinds of odd genres together though. No, most of this fruit is from the same general fruit family. It just get’s feckin’ crushed though doesn’t it? Listen to it, you’ll see what I mean. And if you don’t, you’re the one that’s crazy.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

john zealous emma watsonJohn Zealous – Emma Watson [Buy it on Amazon!]
This sounds like if Australia had a revolution summer. Maybe it’s just the Rites Of Spring ish vocal stylings. Somehow I doubt that was intentional. Does it really matter though? The vocals on this are trashed all the way out. I mean they stink, and me, I’m ready to breath it all in. Mmmm shitty vocals. That’s my weak spot. They have to be the right kind of shitty vocals though. Don’t waste my time with any old shitty vocals. Only the finest, most cultured shitty vocals for me. All of you aspiring shit vocalists out there should take notes. This is how you sing shittily. I sincerely hope this guy isn’t taking this as anything other than the highest praise. I love this album. Sharp as a knife lyrics too. Between the sharp lyrics and the shitty vocals, this is an infection waiting to happen. I know I’m infected.   Listen on Bandcamp

postrich bear buzzkillPostrich Bear – Buzzkill [Buy it on Amazon!]
You may remember this project from about a year ago. They appeared on my top 5 way back in January 2018, and no one knows this, but they were on my short-list for the year-end top 10, and were just barely nudged out. I think when I wrote about it last January I said it was my favourite album of the year so far. I mean that’s easy to say in January right, because about a zillion sick-ass bands proceeded to put out music in the months that followed. I loved that Postrich Bear album though, and I actually love this one even more. The amount of care and dedication going into the songs is still the same, but this release has a little more meat on the bones so to speak. Or if you’re not into meat we could say it has a little more corn on the cob. Hmm.. Yeah.. It wont get stuck in your teeth though. Just your head and maybe your heart. Will this make the top 10 this year? I don’t know! Why would you even ask me that!?   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

home is where our mouths to smileHome Is Where – Our Mouths To Smile
I’ve been saying it forever: there needs to be more harmonicas in emo bands. Only when I say it, I call it a tin sandwich. “More of that ol’ tin sandwich in emo!” is what I say. If you hung out with me, you’d hear me say that all the time. Sometimes I call it a tin sandwich, sometimes I call it a hobo harp, or a mouth organ. That one sounds weird though, cuz it’s like, isn’t the mouth already an organ? I mean technically it’s the beginning of your face hole right? Speaking of mouths though, the title of this album is taken from a line in one song that asks the question “why do we use our mouths to smile?”, and that’s a great question? Why do we? Also, why do we slap our hands together when something amuses us? These are the mysteries of humanity, but you know what? These tunes got me smiling from the face hole and slappin’ my hands all over the place. Yee haw! More Mississippi saxophone!   Listen on Bandcamp

ENDNOTES: You may have noticed, my quality of writing has improved drastically since my last entry. It’s like night and day right? This is like real music journalism now. That’s because I got my cast off. You should see me typing right now. I’ve got like 4 fingers (sometimes 5!) going at the same time. I feel like I could type for miles right now! (did you catch that reference?). Cool points if you did. Anyway friends, I hope you’re enjoying the onset of spring if you’re in the northern hemisphere, and if you’re in the southern hemisphere, it’s your turn to suffer! If you’re near the equator, feck yew! Please, remember, there is a shit-pile more wicked-awesome releases that came out this month in the ol’ SCRAP HEAP. That’s right, this is the best new music resource for weirdos on the cyberspace. Keep hunting for new bands. Keep fighting the good fight. Until we meet again.

From the DOESN’t SERIOUS COMEDY DEPARTMENT – Final Warning’s Adam Sandler Tribute Album

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What happens when you mix misty bedroom indie with sound clips from Adam Sandler movies? You get a project called Final Warning, which seems like a name better suited for a mid 80’s NYHC band. In fact I would not be the least bit surprised if you told me it was. Maybe not from New York, but there absolutely has to have been a hardcore band somewhere at some point called Final Warning. If there wasn’t then I don’t even know who I am anymore. I don’t even know what planet I’m on. What’s the point of anything!? This just in: There most definitely was a hardcore band called Final Warning in the 80’s out of Portland OR. I knew it. In your face. Anyway, so yeah, this whole album is a tribute to Adam Sandler (aka the Sandman). There’s even a sick cover of the emo classic Somebody Kill Me Please from The Wedding Singer. I really appreciate this actually. Yeah in recent years the comedy of the Sand has been a bit bland, but when you were a prepubescent boy in 1996, there was nothing on earth more suited to your needs than The Goat and Do It For Your Mama. That man was a child and that child was a genius.

Doesn’t English (#022) – Honda SS

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When it comes to motorcycles, the Honda SS was maybe about as basic as it gets and this band is basically kicking your ass. You know as far as opening lines go that is basically the best I can do, and honestly, as bad as it was, it still sounds a little too professional for me. Anyway, whatever man. This album slaps the ham for real. Melodic streetcore right outa the flaky spanakopita lined gutters of Greece. I wasn’t able to find out which city or town exactly but then again my research is also flaky. That’s a weird word eh, flaky? Da hell is that? Look, here’s what you do. Cuddle up on the couch with a bowl and tzatziki and put on track 3, Ζήτω Η Ελλάς (Long Live Greece). It might be a sarcastic “long live Greece” though, so don’t go playing it for your Greek friends thinking it’s all national pride and what have you. That might be a mistake, depending on who these friends are. Where did you meet them anyway? Can I be friends with them too? And by friends I mean a one-sided arrangement where they make food for me, I eat said food, and they get nothing in return.

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

baby katie scrapsBaby Katie – Scraps
Welp, I’ve got my first favourite song of 2019. I’m telling you, track two is the first (and best) of many strokes of genius on this album. It’s the perfect sad love song, and you know what I always say: If you’re going to write a love song, better make it sad. I hate to draw comparisons here, but I’m gonna go ahead and say someone named Daniel comes to mind, as well as someone named Simon, and I’m not talking about Simon Daniels. Yo! I just googled “Simon Daniels”, because I’m actually not even aware of anyone by that name, and THIS is what I found lol, Damn Daniels! Anyway if you’re done having your mind blown by that, we can get back to Baby Katie. Some people were just born to write songs ya know. It sounds effortless. This isn’t even an official album. It’s just scraps. Scraps! I was talking about Daniel Johnston and Simon Joyner by the way.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

cheap horse delusions never dieCheap Horse – Delusions Never Die
Hey, not everyone can afford an expensive horse right? So what do you do? You either get a cheap horse or you get a burro, and if you wanna be a major player in the cowboy scene you can’t roll up on a burro. You just can’t. Can you? Maybe you can. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have the straight goods when it comes to fuzzed up indie punk out of Santa Cruz. This band for example, that coincidentally is called Cheap Horse. Wow that really ties in well with what I was saying before. Sometimes these things just write themselves.   Listen on Bandcamp

the plastic beach promThe Plastic Beach – Prom [Buy it on Amazon!]
Ever been to a plastic beach? It’s fucking disgusting you guys. Clean up the goddamn oceans. On a completely unrelated note, here is a band out of Detroit that’s gonna take you to the sock hop and then punch you in the gut. I’m not saying they are a violent band, I’m just saying they probably have switchblades. This feels like a 90’s throwback band, and there’s nothing wrong with that (obviously), but there’s something fresh going on here too. It’s like a 90’s Lookout!parfait with some fresh blueberries on top. This is all making perfect sense in my mind. Except for the word parfait. That word doesn’t make any fecking sense. You know that movie Empire Records? Yeah, if there’s ever a remake I know who should be all over that soundtrack. In conclusion: clean up the oceans, seriously.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

a vida toda Um Quase epA Vida Toda Um Quase – Self Titled EP
I translated some of these lyrics into english and I found the line “rebuilding the mosaic of life with shards”.. I mean damn. Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? Some of us moreso than others evidently. This feels like protest music with actual urgency. Let’s face it, first-world punk rarely has that edge. I mean it was cute when the Dead Kennedy’s talked about genocide in Cambodia, but I would much rather hear music from pissed off kids IN Cambodia than some chump in San Francisco, you know what I’m sayin’? and after hearing the 10,000th American band highlight injustice around the world from the comfort of their 5 star squat, you really start craving some angst from the source. That’s why it’s so exciting to find bands like this. Especially when it’s fast and energetic melodic hardcore. What more could you ask for? How ‘bout a sick name like A Vida Toda Um Quase (The Whole Life Almost)? That’s how you name a freakin’ band son! PLEASE do not sleep on non-english music.   Listen on Bandcamp

dr terror house of hitsDr. Terror – House Of Hits
We don’t judge bands by their names on this blog (that’s what my twitter account is for) so believe it or not, Dr. Terror’s House Of Hits is not an album of spooky sound effects (like a door creaking and a witch cackling) to play on a boom box by your front step on Halloween. No seriously, it’s not. I know I know, but it’s not. Get this.. It’s actually perfectly grungy shoegaze with screechy scratchies and lyrics that aren’t about monsters and goblins. Correction: there is actually one song about monsters. Ok, on second thought, this is a Halloween album. Definitely file this under Halloween Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

ENDNOTES: I know this is late again. I’m still typing with one hand. I’ve been off work for a month now with this broken wrist and I gotta say, I’m starting to go a bit crazy. I know what you’re thinking: This guy seems perfectly sane to me, but I’m telling you, I’m losing marbles over here. Oh well, at least I’ve got extra time to search for new music. I listened to a lot this month. Be sure to check out the SCRAP HEAP to see all the other weird and wonderful music I dug up, follow me on twitter for even more, and please tell all your friends this is your favourite new music resource. Even if it’s not, just lie to them. Come on.

COMPOST (#018) – Two Piece Fest

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No offense to all the one-man bands out there but everyone knows you need at least two people to officially qualify as a band. Here is a compilation to celebrate all of those bands that have the absolute minimum number of members. I’m talking about duos, 2-piece bands, twosomes.. Every band on this album is Simon and Garfunkeling the shit out of their respective genre, and there are a wide range of genres happening here let me tell you. All coming together this weekend (Feb 23rd) for the 12th annual Two Piece Fest. Yes, that’s right, this has been happening for 12 years. Who knew!? Wouldn’t it be hilarious if exactly two people showed up to this thing? Hahahahahaha oh my god. Seriously though, if you happen to live in Philly, and you’ve got nothing better to do, you should check this thing out. Large groups are not encouraged but will probably be allowed entry. Best to split up into pairs just in case. Also, if you’re going to wear a bathing suit, make sure it’s a bikini.

Doesn’t English (#021) – La Nelson Olveira

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Straight outta Sauce (not to be confused with salsa) it’s La Nelson Olveira, which (if you’ll allow me to translate for you) is Spanish for The Nelson Olveira. That’s a Uruguayan soccer player and he’s not very well-liked I guess? Anyway, the important thing is, these guys are from a town called Sauce (just outside Montivideo) and I love sauce. Condiments in general are an obsession of mine. Some would say I have a condiment problem. Hot sauce is my sauce of choice but I’ll take anything I can get. In my opinion, a meal is not fully prepared until you dump something out of a bottle on to it. By the way this is a great little EP of punky tonk rock ’n’ roll with cool vocals. It’s catchy as all hell, and it’s for a good cause, or so they claim. Something about this being a fundraiser to get their friend out of New Zealand jail for killing a Koala. I don’t know if that’s meant to be taken seriously but who cares? There’s a Spanish cover of “Creep” on here with a lead in of someone takin’ a wazz. Pretty damn cool if you ask me.

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

dad thighs karate kids splitKarate Kids/Dad Thighs – Split
I was thinking to myself a few weeks ago “I don’t collect enough useless things”, and so I decided to start a small cassette collection. I mean, I guess I’m re-starting the collection because in the early 90’s I had a pretty decent accumulation of Toad The Wet Sprocket and Smashing Pumpkins tapes. I definitely had some Rod Stewart in there too, and heaps of mixtapes I copied from my sister (who always had better taste in music). Sadly, the whereabouts of those tapes is currently filed under “lost forever”, hence my re-starting the collection. The first tape I’m adding to it is this nifty little split right here. Holy ass this thing lifts! Partly French, partly English, entirely radical, and again, not to boast, but they’re from where I’m from. That’s exciting because, let’s be honest, Vancouver is rapidly gentrifying itself into one big yoga/wine/coffee/kayaking studio and it makes me sick! *spits* Creative minds still thrive though, and here’s the evidence.   Listen on Bandcamp

unknown river driver remainsUnknown River Driver – Remains [Buy it on Amazon!]
First of all, dope album art. I’m a sucker for eerie old photographs. I couldn’t figure out why it seemed so familiar to me, and then I realized, ah yes, that is a portrait of my very soul. This is also available as a sick looking split with Rations Noise courtesy of our friends at 86’d Records, but I like this better as a stand alone EP. That’s how I’m ranking it anyway, but you should definitely buy the split on vinyl or cassette if you’re in the market for that kind of thing. What’s that? You don’t own a tape deck or a record player? What are you, from the feckin’ future or something? Just stream it then spaceperson.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

oort patrol humonsOort Patrol – Humons
I googled “oort” and all I can find is something about a space-cloud. I don’t know if this band is intentionally named after a space-cloud or not. I would assume so, based on the apparent infatuation with aliens and UFO’s. That’s a part of their own personal struggle though. It’s none of my business, and quite frankly, I don’t want it to be my business. This way now! To the album review! Follow me! It’s right over here! Through this hollow log! Hey, umm do you guys think I’m ok? Ok cool. Yay we’re here! This is a teeny little EP of sorts, but it packs a punch. If my math is correct it clocks in at exactly 531 seconds in the overall. That’s about nine minutes of shittily recorded emotive pop punk that makes you want to cry-dance the night away. Man this thing just has that sound. You can’t fake this stuff. If you have 531 seconds to spare right now, I’ll give you one guess how you should spend it.. Wait, what are you doing with that lotion? Oh! I should go.   Listen on Bandcamp

please believe in potentialPlease Believe – …In Potential
Hey look at that: The name of the band and the album title fit together to form a sentence. I love it when that happens. It’s a pretty reasonable request too, isn’t it? Just believe in potential. Gosh, it’s not that hard. They said please! The whole concept is so hopeful ya know? I should warn you though, the optimism ends there. Once you get past the album title you immediately start running into song titles like “Dead Arms Dangling At The Wheel” lol oofz! No, actually when you get into these songs it starts to feel uplifting again, in a nuclear revolution summer kind of way. Or maybe it’s a revolution winter in this case. To answer your question, no, I don’t have any idea what I’m talking about.   Listen on Bandcamp

allauAllau – Self Titled
From what I gather this is some kind of side-project that didn’t pan out. Shame because this thing rips. It’s all in Spanish but they’ve been thoughtful enough to include English translations for every song in the lyrics tabs. That’s the first time I’ve seen anyone do that on bandcamp. If you’re trying to learn Spanish, like I am, it’s great to be able to read the English while you’re listening. It’s kind of like punk rock Duolingo. Scratch that. It is EXACTLY like punk rock Duolingo in every way imaginable. I just had a great idea for an app guys, but it doesn’t have anything to do with this post. Umm, just forget everything you read here ok. The album is spikey and spazzy and guaranteed to not solve any of your problems, unless your problem happens to be that your neighbors don’t hate you enough. If that’s the case, this can help.   Listen on Bandcamp ((correction: I just found out these lyrics are in Catalan not Spanish))

ENDNOTES: Well, I did it ya’ll, broke me fecking wrist I did. I was atop a rolling staircase that tipped over, my life flashed before my eyes (which was very depressing by the way), and I used my hand to break my fall. My dominant hand that is, which is why it took me 400 years to type this fecking thing. Please take pity on me and tell all your friends this is the best resource for new music in cyberspace. The best place to find new bands. I thank you kindly. Please bare with me and my gibbled arm. Don’t forget to check the Scrap Heap for tons more weird albums that came out this month by weird bands. Gonna go take a shower with a bag over my arm now. Bye.

Doesn’t English (#020) – Bombas De Amor

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If you like The New York Dolls but you’re pissed off that none of their songs are in Spanish, I’ve got good news for you: There is a band in Buenos Aires called Bombas De Amor (Love Bombs) and they’re seriously doing justice to that sweet sweet proto-punk’n’roll sound you’ve been longing for. This is good for the soul, and also promotes hair growth. Where the hair is going to grow is a total crapshoot though. Seriously all of the hair growth happens in and around your crapshoot. It’s worth it still. Hmmm, contemplating whether I should re-write this without the whole crapshoot thing. Nah, I think we’re good. Rock on!