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
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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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