The Drowns – The Sound 7in (Pirates Press Records)
If you somehow slept on it, The Drowns released their debut full length, ‘View From the Bottom’ last year, and it made my top of 2018 list. It’s that fucking great mate. GREAT I tell you. To recap, The Drowns are from Seattle / LA and feature members of The Briggs, The Shell Corporation, Madcap and Time Again.
I’m massively reassured and grateful to find that one of my favourite bands of recent years have managed to pull it out the bag once again. This time delivering two prime cuts of anthemic street punk. This is best summed up as fists in the air, joyously drunken shout-alongs, and you can pretend to dislike this if you want, but you’ll be a fucking liar. If you strip away the shit fake Irish bits from early Dropkick Murphys (y’know, when they actually had some spirit and actual SONGS?) and take a hefty kicking from forgotten greats like Born To Lose, Pinkerton Thugs and Blue Bloods, then you’ll know what you are getting. All that is sugar-coated with the pop punk sensibilities of Bouncing Souls at their best (see How I Spent My Summer Vacation and Crucial Moments). Tony of Nurgle rating 10/10
You can grab this up on either beer or coke bottle green coloured 7in from Pirates Press Records, or direct from the band at a show (I believe they are playing the UK really soon).
The Re-Volts – Leeches (Pirates Press Records)
OK, then. This is a sporadic project from Spike Slawson of Swingin’ Utters and Me First & The Gimme Gimmes fame. I don’t mind Me First at all. It’s just the people they attract that piss me off. Thankfully we aren’t here to talk about those Reel Big Fish loving shit-houses and circus club rejects.
Anyway, this is pretty great. It seems to walk a strange line between power-pop, post punk and fucking Merseybeat. Madness of the highest calibre, though. We’ve got three immediately catchy numbers here that do nothing so much as remind me of a love-in between The Briefs, Groovie Ghoulies and Elvis Costello. Oddly, I’m almost certain I heard some sleigh bells in there somewhere. I’m also a big fan of the blood-spattered woodcut style artwork. Inspired. Tony of Nurgle rating 9.5/10
Available on beer with red splatter coloured 7in from Pirates Press Records now
Dad Brains – Dadditude (Pirates Press Records)
These lot are from Oxnard, California, home of such luminaries as Pulley. “Hardcore Punk made by Dads, about Dads, for everyone!” cries the mini-blurb on bandcamp. I’m immediately wary of daft gimmicks and joke bands. And as gimmicks go, this is pretty daft. Not as daft as Jud Jud, though, so there is that.
The music is pretty decent, actually, mopping the floor and picking up change through youth crew, melodic hardcore and trad 80s hardcore tropes like there’s no tomorrow. Also there’s a reinterpretation of Bad Brain’s Attitude (Dadditude). As a dad of an unruly two year old myself, who often finds himself ground down into fine powder by the stresses of parenthood, it’s kind of cool to see some fellow dads making light of the ups and downs (the horror… the horror).
This is good fun, but I’m total joyless bastard, so I can’t really see myself giving this a spin that often to be honest. People who have had their spirits utterly crushed by night waking and shitty nappies will probably get a real kick out of this though. Tony of Nurgle rating: 7/10
This is available from Pirates Press Records on three colourways: black; blood red; tri-colour pie-sliced black / blood red / piss yellow.
Pi$$er – Wretched Life 7in (TNS Records / Kibou Records)
Super-group alert (massive list): The Domestics / Dis-Tank / Bring The Drones / Anti-Cimex / Wolfhour / The Partisans / Hobopope & The Goldfish Cathedral / Doom / Dissidents / Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man / The Shitty Limits / The Filaments / Beat The Red Light / Personnel.
Some decent enough names in that there list. Anyways, this is the brain child of James Domestic of The Domestics. The deal here is basically crusty hardcore, taking influence from D-Beat amongst other things. On paper, this sounds great. In practice, it’s pretty decent until somebody (Eddy from The Shitty Limits, I believe) starts tooting on a fucking saxophone. An instrument for which I have little to know tolerance, and for the employment of which more than one band has received the sharp edge of reviewer’s sabre. No doubt this will be the cue for loads of people to tell me (incorrectly) that “it’s dead creative” or whatever. Get to fuck.
Really, is there a need for a saxophone? What’s that? Was that a ‘no’? Of course it’s a fucking ‘no’, mate. Fuck sake. And once I’ve heard it (it was barely buried, mind) I can’t un-hear it. George Michael? Shit. Dog Eat Dog? Shit. Slumb Party? Shit. Capdown? Shit. Whatever fucking ballsack wrote Baker Street? Fucking shit, mate. There’s a pattern emerging here that even the lowliest simpleton could recognise.
This saxophone sadly reduced this from a worthy 8.5/10 to a Tony of Nurgle rating of 2/10.
Of course there’s a chance that there are those of you that don’t mind the odd bit of sexual healing (see what I did there?). Have a listen:
Milhouse Van Halen – 1 (Horn & Hoof Records)
OK – this is the solo project of the drummer from Greater Manchester band, Tio Rico. He describes himself as a punk drummer sick of being stuck behind the kit. This EP, entitled ‘1’ is the first of a series of 12 EPs to be released over the course of the coming year.
‘Milhouse’ describes his influences as ‘Paul Baribeau, Green Day, and the never-ending threat of death’. This statement had the misfortune of reminding me of the existence of Paul Baribeau, an individual whom I once had the misfortune of seeing play live. He wasn’t very good, and yet h clearly thought he was the absolute tits. For anecdotal purposes, he was also dressed like a cross between the protagonist from the Where’s Wally? series of visual puzzle books for children, a Dutch maid and a full kit wanker. Yep. I tell thee. Stripey bobblehat. Stripey football socks pulled up to the knee. Shants. And a pair of fucking sabots (wooden clogs mate, the very items from which the activity sabotage takes its name – i.e. lobbing a sabot into the machinery to foul it up).
Anyway, thankfully this guy doesn’t sound like Baribeau. It’s just some fairly innocuous indie folk pop that I oddly found quite charming. Sort of reminded me a bit of that new Tommy and June LP that Fat Wreck just released (and which I haven’t reviewed yet). Tony of Nurgle rating 7/10
This is available for free download from the Horn & Hoof bandcamp page