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

laverne yarrowLaverne – Yarrow
I’ve been waiting all year to find a new band that truly knocks my socks off, and they’ve been in my own city the whole time! Post-punk has always been a hit-or-miss genre for me. I’ve never been 100% on board. There are so many directions a post-punk band can go and I’m not necessarily down with all of them. In this case, Laverne has chosen the direction that leads directly to my heart. If someone gave me a kitten right now, I would name it Laverne. There aren’t Laverne’s anymore. When was the last time you even met one? Never? Yeah me too. Future parents, please start naming your kids Laverne again. Blanche too if you don’t mind. Even if you have a kid already, it’s not too late to change it’s name. If it’s young enough it will never know the difference. Truly though, this is the album I’ve been waiting months for. I’ll go right ahead and say so, prematurely, that it’s probably my #1 for 2018. I still have much contemplating to do on the matter but, right now, this feels like the one.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

the ellis temper photographs from ohrdrufThe Ellis Temper – Photographs From Ohrdruf
Lyrics matter guys, and though you’ll never find anything on this blog that is weak lyrically, there still comes along an artist, from time to time, who really stands out. This time it’s a bedroom project out of New England called The Ellis Temper and if you get into these songs you’ll see what I mean. The title track Photographs From Ohrdruf, is for me (and should be for most people born in the past 40 years) so woefully relatable. It’s already a shoo-in for my Best Songs Of 2018 list, which will be coming up later this month. If you’re Canadian and you were around in the 90’s, you’re probably wondering who this guys voice reminds you of.. It’s Hayden. Remember him? Yeah, vague similarities, but a totally different bag here. At least you can go on with your life now without that bothering you.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

j.knife ugly sidesJ.Knife – Ugly Sides
At first I was going to take a whole move-aside-julien-baker-there’s-a-new-kid-on-the-scene approach to this, but I decided against that. Instead I’m going with a move-aside-phoebe-bridgers approach. Haha kidding. Seriously though, this kid could go toe to toe with either of them. By the way, when I say “kid” I mean a poetically proficient 50 year old woman in the body of a fifteen year old girl. A fifteen year old girl in South Korea, by the way, where perhaps k-pop is soon to be j.knifed into irrelevance. I know I’m using all of the young-prodigy tropes to describe this album. I don’t know how to talk about this without talking about her age. It’s fucking impressive ok. And these songs are just rough cuts and drafts? What the hell are they feeding kids these days? When I was fifteen I could barely do up my own shoes, and that was with velcro!   Listen on Bandcamp

missing earth gold flor saltMissing Earth – Gold Flour Salt
Imagine you’re riding a horse through outer space. A spacehorse if you will. Such an adventure would require a soundtrack right? Also snacks, but most importantly a soundtrack. That soundtrack is called Gold Flour Salt by Missing Earth. I’m for real. Turn this up, open a bag of Takis purple, close your eyes, and imagine yourself on a goddamn spacehorse. No, I haven’t smoked anything. Look, if you don’t get what I’m trying to say here, then one of us is definitely unstable. This album is spacehorse music. I suggest you saddle up. In conclusion: spacehorse.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

captain cutiepieCaptain Cutiepie – Self Titled
If there’s such a thing as garbage punk, this is the landfill right here. Swarming with land rodents and air vermin. This is so trashy, and that’s no dig at the character of these gentlemen. I’m talking about the way it sounds. I’m sure they’re fine folks, but it actually sounds like they built their own instruments out of scavenged junkyard scraps. I would expect to see stray cats and dogs following these guys from gig to gig. Gigs, by the way, that take place in the back alleys and impound lots of Sacramento. If you live there and you plan on attending one of these shows, bring pesticide and tuck your pant legs into your shoes. Also prepare yourself to be walloped about the head by the metaphorical fly swatter that is this music. Let none of what I’ve just said be construed as anything but the utmost admiration. This truly rocks you guys.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

ENDNOTES: Thank you, whoever you are, for reading. I hope your search for new bands just got a little easier. I’m totally done with writing right now, so let me get to some announcements: As is tradition at thedoesntsuck there will be no Top 5 for December. I’ll be focusing my energy on the year-end top ten and the ‘best songs of 2018’ list, both of which will be posted at the end of the month. Of course I’ll still be keeping an ear on the new releases this month. Anything truly incredible will be mentioned on my twitter feed and considered for the year-end top 10. Don’t forget to dig through the scrap heap for tons more weird bands you’ve never heard of. Follow me on twitter to stay up to speed, and please write me a letter! (by letter I mean email). Take it easy -SD

Doesn’t English (#018) – Hostil

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Shout out to Ysabel, the quiet Peruvian lady I work with and whom I torment with aggressive punk rock on a daily basis. Oddly enough, even after I mentioned to her that this band is from her homeland, she still didn’t find it very appealing. Did you guys know there are Japanese people in Peru? Ysabel is Japanese and Peruvian and she speaks both languages. She’s been teaching me Spanish, but you don’t need to know any Spanish at all to enjoy this here album. You don’t need to understand lyrics in order to appreciate the delivery. Sometimes it’s probably better if you don’t understand them. *Ever hear a really incredible English-speaking band and slowly realize the lyrics are contrived as all hell and you can’t bare to listen to it even though it rocks? Well you won’t have that problem if you can’t understand the lyrics will you? I know there’s just way too much music out there to keep up with nowadays, but you HAVE TO make your ears available to non-English bands. There are just too many good ones to pass up. Hostil, for example. I wish Ysabel would take me to Lima and go to one of their shows with me. She’s the perfect size for crowd surfing.

*If you’ve never had this problem, you suck at listening to music. 

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

apsurd DerealizacijaApsurd – Derealizacija
I’m so stoked on this band, this is the second time in a month they’ve been featured on The Doesn’t Suck. Chances are you’ve been sleepin’ pretty heavily on Serbia. I’ll admit, I have been too, so let this be an alarm clock to us all. Serbia has more than just vampires and paprika goddammit. Serbia has vampires? I thought that was Romania.. No! It’s Serbia too ok. Educate yourself for Jesus Christs sake. This is possibly my favourite hardcore album of 2018, so far, and there is some stiff competition out there. I read on their bandcamp page that this is influenced by the former Yugoslavia hardcore scene.. Cool! No wonder it sounds so vital. To me it seems stripped right down. Just straight up hardcore. No bells and/or whistles, maybe a couple interesting guitar solos. Nice and fast and relentless. If you’re a hardcore purist, maybe this is exactly what you’re craving. Maybe you’re also craving tacos. I know I am.   Listen on Bandcamp

strange ranger how it all went byStrange Ranger – How It All Went By
Well it’s no secret, I’m basically perma-boned on Strange Ranger and have been since they had a cooler name and made better music. It’s ok though, because even the watered down version of Sioux Falls is better than almost any current band out there. And let’s be clear, when I say “current” I’m not including those on-again off-again bands that are still touring 25 years after they peaked. Wow! Why am I being so mean? I’m sorry. I just got myself into a bad mood somehow. Look, I like this EP a lot. It’s a little more Rot Forever and a little less Daymoon. Loved Daymoon, but I hope they stay on this trajectory cuz let’s face it, Rot Forever was one of the best albums of the decade. And if you don’t agree with that then you need to brush up your music listening skills pal! Wow! This rage inside of me.. Where is this coming from? Get off my back! Get me a Pepsi! YOU’RE THE ONE THAT’S CRAZY! *runs into the streets and starts howling at the moon* Oh wait that’s a street light. *goes back inside and continues watching Jeopardy*   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

the mustard tigers thanks for the toastThe Mustard Tigers – Thanks For The Toast
Erf! It’s so promising to hear young bands out now doing punk that captures the spirit so perfectly of the stuff I grew up listening to in the 90’s. I guess these Mustard Tigers guys actually broke up last year, so not as promising as I thought maybe, but comforting nonetheless. What’s equally awesome is the way they recorded this album; Live in the studio in 4 hours, just like every great punk album should be. Snotty as hell too. The whole album reeks of an unkept teenage bedroom. You know that Febreeze commercial (shout out to Febreeze), where the mom is like “You need to clean this room” and the kid’s like “CLEAN IT?” … (uh yeah,fuckin’ clean it kid. What don’t you understand?) Then at the end some girls come over and they’re all “Damn boi! This room smells clean as hell! Time for you to lose your virginity!” It’s a pretty scientific commercial. What were we talking about?   Listen on Bandcamp

neds total disasterNeds – Total Disaster
Neds is the name of the band, which means (as any logical person would assume) that all the members of this band are named Ned, which (as any educated person knows) is short for Alfned. Wow, hey, what are you doing? You don’t need to google this. I already did the research pal. Moving on.. These Alfneds, are really dishing out some solid sing-along-able indie punk; Right off the medieval streets of Rennes France. All the songs are in English but with noticeable accents that make it sound twice as rad. Look, for all I know, ‘Neds’ means something totally different in France. Maybe it’s not even a name. Is that really any of my business though? Maybe it is. I don’t know. What’s with all the questions?   Listen on Bandcamp

Basement benders schrapnel songsBasement Benders – Shrapnel Songs
Straight outta Chattanooga Tennessee (Home of.. umm.. choo choo trains?) The Basement Benders are back, so get ready to rock! Seriously, if you’re not ready to rock, this album is going to be a very strenuous experience for you. How does one prepare oneself for a’rockin’ though? Good question friend. It’s a three step process: Step 1. Stretch your back and groin. Step 2. Apply deodorant liberally. Step 3. Do a little practice rocking before the real thing. Now you’re ready to flat-out rock. Proceed with complete abandon. Supposedly this band has members of This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb, which explains the awesomeness. Also I’m hoping if they’re reading this, maybe they can offer some insight into a post I did a while ago (see previous link) about a Pipe Bomb show in Asheville NC. That would be great. Or not, that’s cool too. Whatever. I don’t even care. Fine then! YOU’RE THE ONE THAT’S CRAZY!   Listen on Bandcamp

ENDNOTES: Welp, October is over which means I’m another year older and still living under the same ethos as always: Don’t resist change, don’t lose touch, don’t get left behind. That goes for the music I listen to, and also everything else in life. I was reading The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells last night and in one passage he used the N-word, just totally nonchalantly like it was the most normal thing ever. It got me thinking: Thank god the world has changed since 1897, and people don’t just openly talk like that anymore (well at least most of us know that it’s wrong now). What I’m trying to get at is, things have to change. Words and schools of thought are going to be taken away from us, and we can’t be defensive about it. We can’t be protective of it. We have to let it go. Someday, in the not too distant future, we’re going to look back at a lot of the things we said and did in the 90’s and 2000’s and we’re going to see it the same way I saw the N-word in The Invisible Man: We didn’t realize how ignorant we were at the time, but it’s a good thing we changed our ways.

As always, I hope you enjoy the albums I’m finding. I hope this is the new music resource of your dreams, and I hope you continue to seek out weird music and find new bands. Do not forget to check the Scrap Heap for all the other killer releases I found along the way. This month I’m leaving you with a music video for one of my favourite songs of 2018, including lyrics. Amazing lyrics! And the IDLES Joy As An Act Of Resistance LP has one of my all-time favourite album covers. Hope you enjoy!

My blood brother is an immigrant – A beautiful immigrant
My blood brother’s Freddie Mercury – A Nigerian mother of three
He’s made of bones, he’s made of blood He’s made of flesh,
he’s made of love, He’s made of you, he’s made of me, Unity
Fear leads to panic, panic leads to pain – Pain leads to anger, anger leads to hate
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, ah, ah, ah, ah, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, ah, ah, ah, ah, Danny Nedelko!
My best friend is an alien (I know him, and he is) – My best friend is a citizen
He’s strong, he’s earnest, he’s innocent
My blood brother is Malala – A Polish butcher, he’s Mo Farah
He’s made of bones, he’s made of blood, He’s made of flesh,
he’s made of love, he’s made of you, he’s made of me, Unity
Fear leads to panic, panic leads to pain – Pain leads to anger, anger leads to hate
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, ah, ah, ah, ah, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, ah, ah, ah, ah, Danny Nedelko!

COMPOST (#016) – Take This To Heart Records

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I thought this was going to be a Christmas album, based on the artwork, but it’s not, unless Christmas to you is a bunch of sobbing emo songs. Take This To Heart Records is like a box of chocolates and here is their variety pack. Whether you like your emo dark and bitter or, umm sweet and bitter(?), there’s a chocolate in here for you somewhere. Just take a small bite out of each one until you find something you like. I know some of these are overly sweet and a little warm, probably kind of soft. You can leave those ones for the kids. This is really turning out to be a Christmas miracle. Happy Halloween everybody!

Doesn’t English (#017) Apsurd + Riviera + Rata Negra + Teksti-tv 666

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You know I started going through new releases this month and by October 4th I already had three non-english releases in high interest for the monthly Top 5. I thunk it over and decided I would have to dump them all here for the DE this month, cuz at this rate I’ll never narrow down a Top 5. It’s just going to be one of those months, I can tell. Let’s be clear now, every one of these releases is easily Top 5 material for October. Except for maybe Teksti-tv 666 because that was released in September.

If you’re a hardcore head you need to focus your attention on Derealizacija by Apsurd. I’m going bananas about this thing. Serbian hardcore could easily become my new obsession if it all sounds like this. Come to think of it, this is probably staying in the Top 5.

If ruckus Italian emo is more your thing then zero in on Contrasto by Riviera. This is pretty adventurous stuff. Hard to describe actually. Umm it’s like riding a unicorn naked. You know what that’s like right? Yeah, it’s like that, and guess what.. The unicorn is also naked.

Also from Spain is Rata Negra which means Black Rat. I didn’t even use google to translate that. This is why you guys need to trust every word I say. I clearly know what I’m talking about. Listen to this if you like scratched-raw melodic punk en Espanol.

If you’re looking for something a little more, uh, Scandinavian, then you’re gonna wanna have a listen to Teksti-tv 666 from Finland. Man this thing slaps. Big sound, lots of attitude and that’s about as far as I can go in describing this. Figure it out for yourself.

COMPOST (#015) – Burdigala Records

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Straight outa Bordeaux France (home of wine and probably other things too), this is the Bordal Fest compilation. Bordal Fest being some kind of concert series celebrating the partnership between Burdigala Records and something called Picole. I don’t know what any of this means for either party, but I do know it means a pretty sick comp full of squeaky-clean pop punk for our enjoyment. Any one of these bands could be very much at home on Fat Wreck Chords, and no, I don’t mean that as an insult. I see how it could be perceived as one though. All I’m saying is this stuff really appeals to the 15 year old skater-punk in me, and it should appeal to the one in you too. If you don’t have a 15 year old skater-punk in you.. You know what, I’m gonna stop myself right there. Have a nice day folks.

From the DEMONSTRATION DEPARTMENT – Sicayda

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Another demo that’s more of an EP than most of the EP’s I come across. In the spirit of punk rock, I personally think it’s acceptable to put out your first ever recording session, no matter how awful, as an EP with an awesome title. That’s just me. Not everyone feels that way. I get it, but to call something this good a demo, to me just feels so…professional. And if you’ve read my blog, you know professionalism is not something I strive towards, or even condone really. Having said that, this here demo is easily the most dopest thing I’ve heard out of my homeland in months. Oof! These songs sound like when you dump a garbage can full of hockey pucks into a bigger garbage can full of guitars. You know when you do that? And then you figure skate to it? Exactly.