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.

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

guestbed ashtray parablesGuestbed – Ashtray Parables
Ashtray Parables, not to be confused with (but surely inspired by) the Ashtray Monuments of the Jawbreaker persuasion, is the chillest album I’ve heard this year. If every guest-bed was this relaxing I wouldn’t have had so many nightmares about Beetlejuice when I was a kid. Why would I be scared by Beetlejuice you ask? The same reason I was scared by Harry & The Hendersons! Need I say more!!? In truth, this band doesn’t sound anything like Jawbreaker. That’s usually something I would say to express my dislike for something: as in “WTF?!! This soup doesn’t sound like Jawbreaker!” *spits soup on the floor* But in this case, it’s alright, because the tunes here are way cool. Look, I don’t know where you got the idea this blog was going to make sense. Whoever told you that should be locked away somewhere.   Listen on Bandcamp

criminal grossness criminal nicenessCriminal Grossness – Criminal Niceness
This is easily the best thing out of Winnipeg since Burton Cummings’s mustache. Here is a photo for reference. Yeah, exactly. You see what I’m saying now. This is high praise. But with all due respect to Burton’s stash, these guys don’t have time to break it to you gently. This whole EP clocks in at under 10 minutes. I think all these songs are sort of inspired by “I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You” by the Ramones. They even use that line at the beginning, and the rest of the songs seem to follow the same “Boys rule, girls drool/My girlfriends got me totally bummed out” sort of rhetoric. Which, in today’s climate of feminism, is a risky thing to endorse, but I don’t think these guys mean anything by it. There’s no political statement being made here. It’s just an homage to an oddly specific type of Ramones song. The album art is exquisitely refined by the way. Truly majestic.   Listen on Bandcamp

horror my friend home lifeHorror My Friend – Home Life
I like my Australian indie punk the same way I like my Australian shrubs. Prickly! This album is the musical parallel of riding your bike into a blackberry bush. Did you know that in Australia the blackberry bushes are the preferred habitat of the venomous blackberry bat? It’s true, trust me. You don’t even have to look this up. I’ve done all the research. You come to my blog, you find new bands and you get the cold facts about nature. That’s what they say about The Doesn’t Suck. That’s what they always say.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

имя твоей бывшей НАРИСОВАН ТУТ ЖЕ СТЕРТЫЙимя твоей бывшей – НАРИСОВАН, ТУТ ЖЕ СТЕРТЫЙ
Another excellent band emerges from the Russian fog, like a man in a tracksuit, or a trench coat, or an elderly woman with a head scarf, or a pack of stray dogs.. An elderly woman wearing a tracksuit who has somehow tamed and leashed a pack of stray dogs wearing head scarves! Yes! If that doesn’t put this in perspective for you then I don’t know what the hell your problem is. Wait! A pack of stray elderly ladies wearing trench coats.. You know what, forget it. They’ve dubbed themselves north-east emo, which I think is to say they are not another midwest emo band. Which is a shame because we have so few of those nowadays, but not such a shame afterall, because what these guys are doing is equally, if not even more, rad. It’s so cool when bands from far off places reinvent the wheel so to speak. It’s like emo is potatoes and these guys are making vodka. Oof! It’s a relief to finally have the word “potatoes” on my blog.   Listen on Bandcamp

rockade epRockcade – Self Titled EP
If you grew up in a time when video game graphics were terrible and their theme music was terrific, you are automatically obliged to love this EP. You have no choice in the matter. Nostalgia is a powerful drug and you are defenseless dear friend. Why would you want to fight this anyway? It feels so good. You put this on and you’re transported back to some shaggy-carpeted basement with an old couch and a cat you’re allergic to. Look, if you want to piggyback on my memories you’re going to have to be allergic to cats. That’s just how it was. Dogs too, and almost every one of your friends had one or the other, or both. You had a fairly traumatic childhood. Come to think of it, this music is starting to make it difficult for you to breath. Ugh but it’s so dope.   Listen on Bandcamp

ENDNOTES:
Well, it’s October, AKA Death-Month. If you are one of those people who claim to love the fall, I hope there’s a very special place in hell for you. What is it exactly that you like about it though? The constant rain? The rotting leaves? The smell of salmon spawning? The perpetual grayness of everything, including your very soul? You must be one ray of fucking sunshine to find happiness in such things. I bet you’re a morning person too. I hate you. Hey, by the way, my birthday is in a couple weeks! Please don’t send me any b-day wishes, but please do continue to read my blog. Continue to seek out and discover new bands. Support said bands. Continue being music nerds and continue visiting The Doesn’t Suck: the worlds number one new music resource for weirdos. Have a miserable Halloween. Oh! And don’t forget to check the Scrap Heap for heaps of other great releases from September.

Doesn’t English (#016) – побег

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I have no idea what this band is even called. In their bandcamp URL they’re called Pobeg but on the bandcamp page itself they’re called побег. If that doesn’t confuse you enough, the name on the album art appears to be Jiosez. Typical Russian confusion tactics am I right? Pobeg, I think, is the english alphabet spelling of побег, which means “the escape”. Don’t quote me on any of this please. I’m very confused (in general but also about this band). At least there’s no confusion about how freakin’ rad this release is. If I were to transcribe this into colours, the lyrics would be grey or brown and the music itself would be purple with sharp bursts of pink and red. What, you don’t hear colours? I hear the rainbow y’all. This is so good. Track 2, oof! I love it so much.

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

crown poochedCrown – Pooched
Man these are some fuzzy little numbers. Very dog-centric songwriting here, and dogs are also fuzzy so my fuzz meter is really chirping right now. I wont attribute the awesomeness of this album to something in the water in Victoria because I’ve had the water in Victoria and there is nothing in it. It’s just water. There is something in the air though. Seagulls! A lot of marijuana smoke too probably. This is actually my favourite release this month and I have surprisingly little to say about it. Umm, lets see.. Well have you seen the album art? It has dogs on it and I think one of them is eating an ice cream cone. There might also be a gaint octopus creature eating an ice cream cone. I can’t be too sure. All four songs clock in at less than 7 minutes, so realistically, you could probably finish this thing off while your sweet and sour meatballs are cooking. I literally just Googled “what takes 7 minutes to cook”.    Listen on Bandcamp

album goneKaleb – Burn
I went to highschool with a Kaleb. He wasn’t the brightest knife in the shed that Kaleb. I think he was a year older than me and I graduated before him. That was the year the 90’s ended, and so we said goodbye to a decade of crucial bands and said hello to Smashmouth. Smashmouth is one word right? Hey whoever came up with the name of that band, we all owe you a high five dude. Actually, in all honesty, the early 2000’s were full of incredible bands that I was too busy listening to Tupac to notice at the time. The 90’s were quite likely the better decade though, and this band Kaleb seems to be aware of that. I can easily imagine a weird artsy early 90’s music video set to this music. Lots of long hair in the video too. Lots!    SORRY! This album is no longer available. I guess they took it down cuz they were ashamed or something. Idiots.

roseate wiltawayRoseate – Wiltaway
I had to Google the definition of Roseate just to get the phonetic spelling, so I could pronounce this band. I consider myself a bit of a wordsmith, but I’ve never heard of that word and, in truth, I do not like it. It’s stupid and I hate it, and I wouldn’t be caught dead using it in a sentence. Be that as it may, this band is a disturbance of wonderment that can not be measured. I think they could very well be the true path to peace on earth. It may be roseate of me to say so, but I’m sure there is something supernatural about these sounds. They cast a warm roseate light upon me as I sit here listening. In all conscience, you would have to be a horrible leprechaun of a person to not love this. I just wish they hadn’t given themselves such a stupid sucky name that feels awful in my mouth.    Listen on Bandcamp

tracy soto self titledTracy Soto – Self Titled
I would say this band was following in the footsteps of Inland Empire forefathers like Falling Sickness and The Voodoo Glow Skulls, but they’re not. They’re from Riverside CA and they’re not a ska punk band. Propgandhi was wrong in 1993 when they said “ska sucks” but, ex post facto, they were 100% correct. In other words, ska punk was cool in the 90’s. It is not cool anymore. It has not aged well. You have to grow out of it eventually like you would Weird Al or, well, Propagandhi. Actually that’s a bad example cuz I think I would respect the hell of someone if they were still a hardcore Weird Al fan in their mid 30’s. Anyway, yeah, no ska punk here whatsoever. We’ve got a mixed bucket of punk rock n roll with some indie punk sloshed around in there with some ice and someone’s foot cuz it hot in Southern California godammit! Ska punk bands, please stop. Do something like Tracy Soto is doing instead. It’s ok. It’s ok. Shhhhh shhhh. Let it go. Just let it go. It’s time. Shhh. Put that trumpet down. Uh uh. No. Shhhh. It’s ok.    Listen on Bandcamp

4brothers self titled4Brothers – Self Titled
Wow this is a treat for your ears folks. So many fun things are going to come through your headphones when you click play on this. It’s undeniably pleasing to listen to. Yes, it’s poppier than, uhhh what’s poppy? Popcorn? Wow. Yes and probably too poppy in fact, but holy hell I can’t get enough. I don’t feel guilty about it either. I’m not ashamed! Now it’s time for me to make an unfair association, based on gender and geography. 4Brothers is kind of like a 90’s band called Cigaretteman because they were both catchy pop punk bands with male/female vocals from Japan. The similarities don’t go any further than that. They sound nothing alike. Hey why is this band called 4Brothers though when one of the members is clearly a girl? Great, now I’m assuming genders. Maybe it’s a dude with a really angelic voice. I don’t know ok. Andre 3000 was great in that Four Brothers movie wasn’t he? Why isn’t he in more movies? Remember when DMX was making movies? Hahahahahaha oh wow. Those were bad. Ok I’m done here.    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! [These endnotes are a complete copypasta of last months endnotes because I just ran out of time this month and I have to get this thing posted!]