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

chain clut shallow graveChain 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 splitFlagpolers/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

marmol sokatiraMármol – 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 titledUpset – 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 titledThe 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.

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

hummin bird gutter glitterHummin’ Bird – Gutter Glitter
It’s hard to find a word suitable enough to express how awesome this is. Oh wait, ‘awesome’. That works. What else? Umm rad, dope, sick, dopesick?, choice, gnarly, etc etc, you get the gist, the essence, the point, and so on, and so forth, and suchlike, etc, etc, continued, yada yada, blah blah blah, shalom. I think we’re off to a good start here. Anyway, this is what I like to call the perfect blend of punk and indie rock. Indie punk if you will, which I long ago decided is my favourite genre. You may have noticed. Or maybe you’re not even paying attention to me. If that’s true then how are you reading this? I’ll give you a moment to collect your brain from the floor. Hi, welcome back. Go listen to this album.   Listen on Bandcamp

no collusion sticking setsNo Collusion – Sticking Sets
I’m telling you my streetpunk days are behind me, but goddamn, my appreciation for this little EP is undeniable. I come across A LOT of albums in the streetpunk genre and I have to say, I don’t usually get past the first song, but here is an obvious exception. Why you ask? Well first of all, I didn’t say I was open to questioning just yet, but whatever. It’s because this is rad as fuck. I mean just listen to it. It’s not your run of the mill streetpunk. There’s a lot more going on here, and I hope I’m not offending anyone by saying this, but it reminds me a little of some first-wave American shit, and with clever pissed off lyrics too. Yeah sure pissed off lyrics are easy to come by, but a lot of them tend to lack intelligence, don’t they? Now I sound pretentious, don’t I? How do you like all the questions? Huh? Sorry, I can’t stand dumb lyrics unless they’re intentionally dumb. Oh man, I’m gonna be bumpin’ this stuff all summer for real. These songs are catchy as all fuck.   Listen on Bandcamp

vacation zen quality seed crystalVacation – Zen Quality Seed Crystal [Buy it on Amazon!]
Turn up the awesome and turn down the fidelity. I mean pretty much just turn it off completely. It’s no-fi and it reminds me, at times, of Elvis Depressedly and at other times, Daniel Johnston in it’s plunky simplicity. Excuse me, may I borrow your trash can while I puke at how music-journalistic that just sounded? Plunky simplicity? Barf cough coughbarf spits. Woof! Sorry about that. I should note: this album marks the second addition to my recently started cassette collection. The first being the Karate Kids/Dad Thighs Split (which I highly recommend also). So far, this collection is goddamn flawless if I might say so myself, and lo-fi post-punk might be my favourite 2-hyphen genre. Wow I just used a hyphen with the word hyphen. I just keep out-doing myself. Holy shit another hyphen! Deaddd. You should really empty that trash can as soon as possible.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

ice cream u dias rotosIce Cream Ü – Días Rotos [Buy it on Amazon!]
I really wanted to add this to my cassette collection too, but I just couldn’t justify spending twenty five Canadian dollars to pay for it and have it shipped to me from Mexico. I’m trying to be less stupid with my money. That twenty five bucks could buy me like 15 beers. Man, this is good though. Perfect soft-and-then-loud, shouty melodic emo, all in Spanish. This was a shoo-in for the Doesn’t English section, but I soon realized it has got to be in the top 5. How can it not be? It’s perfect. I don’t get what’s going on with the band name though.. Ice Cream Ü? In Spanish ‘U’ means ‘or’, but that doesn’t make sense either.. Unless it’s like ‘Ice Cream Or … ?’ You know, giving people the option right. Some of us are sensitive to lactose. Sensible a La Lactosa! Now that’s a band name.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

second narrows bandSecond Narrows – Self-titled
Second Narrows, if you’re not woke to Vancouver geography (shame on you if you’re not), is the second point on Burrard Inlet where it’s narrow. A good spot for a bridge, I suppose, which is why there’s a bridge crossing there to North Vancouver. Some people call it the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge. I call it the Second Narrows bridge because it just sounds a little bit less stupid. No offense to the ironworkers. What’s the deal with that anyway? Did a lot of ironworkers die when they were making that bridge? I’ll tell you one thing. If you go underneath that bridge (watch out for needles) you will see graffiti on the underside of it, like all the way out there, which means someone had the ballz enough to climb out there and tag it. I mean that’s some serious commitment to your brand right there. That always blew my mind. It’s been a long time since I’ve been down there but I’m assuming it’s still there because if someone put an equal amount of effort, and risk, into going out there to remove it, I would have to say that person is a vampire, and I don’t believe in vampires. In conclusion: this is a good album.   Listen on Bandcamp

ENDNOTES: It’s way too nice of a day to be inside doing this. I have to go sweep my deck too. It’s got a winters worth of pine needles and pine cones on it. Speaking of flammable materials, I hope the entire west coast of North America doesn’t burn to a crisp this summer. The sky was already smokey here in Vancouver last week. Oh well, if we’re all going to burn or choke to death, lets do it while listening to some rad tunes. This month does not disappoint (see evidence above). Also, if you’re hungry for even more, go munch on my SCRAP HEAP. Wow that sounded sexual and I think I just came up with a new name for my junk yard. Damn, this spiraled out of control quickly. Please continue to support weird bands and tell all your friends this is your favourite new music resource on the cyberspace. Thanks ya’llz! & As Woody Guthrie would say, Take it easy but take it.