Smash the State EP
It's hard to tell if the Melvins are serious here or just taking the piss out of early '80s hardcore schlock. Accompanied by Tom Hazelmeyer (of Halo of Flies), this blitzkrieg of brutal punk-politik is the same shit Violent Ramp was doing five years ago. Available only at the Melvins' live shows and limited to 600 copies, this is already fetching more than $60 on eBay.
Whitman/Alas Alak Alaska!
Sparse vocal and acoustic guitar paired with random ambient noise squiggles fill the Whitman side. It's innocuous and quaint. AAA's is similar but loses the squiggles, adding some intricacy with a touch of Joanna Newsom-like vocal hiccups. A perfect single for the autumnal months.
"Poon Thang Thump Parts 1 and 2"
As a recent discovery from Chicago's Bandit Records, these songs weren't available for inclusion on Numero's comprehensive The Bandit Label compilation from 2004. This heavy funk instrumental is breakbeat central, with cascading strings and massive percussive hooks. And, with only two known original copies in existence, it's a certifiable lost classic.
Unstructured combo of horn loops and frequently recalibrating drums that clearly goes nowhere. The complete lack of vocals doesn't help, either. But maybe that's the point?
Jeanie and the Tits
Empowered in all the right places, this trio takes the stale stance on simple, Ramones-styled three-chord banality and burns it like a brassiere. A couplet as refreshing as "You ain't got much, just a warm, wet hole/No brain, no heart, no soul" is heard too seldom these days. Bra-vo!
Tractor Sex Fatality
Kill Sounds/Unscene Sounds
File these slugs with Pissed Jeans as modern bon vivants reliving the heavy harshness once laid down by scum like Drunks with Guns. This Seattle quartet's single is easily the apex of TSF's releases, with the bass hypnotism and guitar damage of "Braces" alone worth the price of purchase.
In Your Pocket
Malt Duck Music
Minimal synth that fails to bore. So much shit in this genre is overly premeditated or precocious while Mattress is like acid burning through your prefrontal cortex with canned Casio beats reverberating in a death knell dirge. This is what Scrummage University should sound like.
Dirty Knobby Industries
From the same hive as NorWest savants the Intelligence and A-Frames, this five-song slab abounds with brief, beefed-up examples of bent art punk like Wire or Swell Maps. "Out of Touch" is a poignant, nihilistic take on the absurdities of modern celebrity culture.
Will the members of the Midnight Funk Association please rise. This slab from Atlanta's Noot D'Noot deserves a triple-whammy "whoa!" Hold on tight; don't let go. Get ready to dance on your back, honk your horn, turn on your porch light, and enjoy the Technicolor. May the funk be with you, always.
Dusty Medical Records
Milwaukee power-pop on unripened-banana-green-colored vinyl. While fairly formulaic and trite, there's something intangible here that makes this infectious. Maybe it's the tasty artwork?