Vanilla Poppers – I Like Your Band 7in (Drunken Sailor Records / Feel It)
Oosh! This is some dynamite right here, right now! Vanilla Poppers are from Cleveland, Ohio, but their singer, Christina Pap hails from Melbourne, Australia. These cats are here to give you a right good slap in the grid, mate.
This is faster than nine motherfuckers, and manages to be both as chirpy as hell and harder than three bastards at the same time. If you think along the lines of Huggy Bear or Bratmobile bashing out garage punk with the urgency of Minor Threat, then you won’t be too far off the mark, to be honest.
I think that this record is definitely challenging Chain Whip for the much lauded yet utterly worthless accolade of Tony of Nurgle’s 7in / EP of the year. Don’t sleep on this, or I imagine you’ll come off both looking and feeling a right clown. Four tracks in six and a half minutes. Righteous, yo. Favourite track: I’m An Adult Baby.
Tony of Nurgle rating: 10/10.
This is available on digital download from the Drunken Sailor Records bandcamp page https://drunkensailorrecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-like-your-band-7-ep or 7in record (on a choice of transparent blue or black) from the Drunken Sailor webstore http://www.drunkensailorrecords.co.uk/products/627050-vanilla-poppers-i-like-your-band-7-ep-drunken-sailor-records-drunkensailor-099
Debt Neglector – The Kids Are Pissed EP (Smartpunk)
Debt Neglector are from sunny swampy Florida, where have alligators and all that Gentle Ben crap. Well, anyway, Orlando, with all that mega fancy theme park crap. One of these folks was in New Mexican Disaster Squad if you remember them? Pretty sure I put them on in Manchester in 2007/8 with A Wilhelm Scream. Although Marios may have done them with Paint It Black and Municipal Waste. It’s all lost in the mists of time and lack of sleep. It was definitely at the Music Box, though and they played a Minor Threat cover. Sick.
So what can you expect here then? Well, I’d describe this as being more your straight up political skate punk. More in the vein of early Strike Anywhere meets early Propagandhi by way of the Descendents and NOFX (when they used to be pretty reliable) and your typical old school EpiFat goodness. So don’t expect the twiddlier bits you used to get with New Mexican Disaster Squad. Which in my opinion is all to the good. As much as I occasionally have time for a bit of twiddling, when it comes to the crunch, I’m almost always in favour of a more streamlined and dynamic approach. Our dude in St Pete reviewed these guys live the other week. https://apathyandexhaustion.com/iron-reagan-reality-asylum-and-more-fubar-emerald-bar-st-petersburg-fl/
This stuff has all the good stuff in spades. Clear, crisp vocals, tight and interesting drumming, and an absolute fuck-ton of shred. You get 6 cuts. No bullshit. These lads have managed to make a nostalgia soaked sound come across as fresh and invigorating. Hit play on the player below and check it, yo.
Tony of Nurgle rating 9/10.
This is available to pre-order on digital download from the Debt Neglector bandcamp page for a minor investment of $4 (£3.10 in English, mate).
Urochromes – The Beat Sessions 7in (Drunken Sailor Records)
Urochromes are a duo from New York, with additional synthetic drum programming backing them up. These guys seem to be channelling the dark spirit of the non-straight forward, noisy side of the 80s US hardcore punk movement. You can check out their previous EP, Night Bully on their bandcamp page.
Don’t be expecting a straightforward ride from these guys, you’ll be disappointed when you don’t get it. However, this certainly shouldn’t be dismissed either, as it’s pretty exciting. Normally I’d be pre-disposed to dismissing this as “stuff I’m not meant to understand”. However, there’s a certain elegance to the obtuse approach being taken here. These guys are out to ruffle feathers and rile people up. If you dig on the aforementioned non-straightforward, off-kilter noisy and experimental side of 80s hardcore such as Big Black, Flipper and Butthole Surfers then you’ll get a great deal from this.
It’s belligerent and quirkily puzzling whilst retaining an undeniable groove that makes it very listenable indeed. The five cuts presented here all fit below the two minute mark with plenty of time to spare. The fat has been well and truly trimmed and there’s no room for spiralling off into pointless self-indulgence. Motherfucker, I’m down. Top cut here: I Don’t Wanna Be Like Me or I’m Gonna Confront Ya.
Tony of Nurgle rating 9/10.
Available on black 7in vinyl from Drunken Sailor Records
The Parasites / The Raging Nathans – split 7in (Rad Girlfriend Records)
A-woah-oh-ho-ho-ho yes! If any of you out there are looking for an excuse not to hurl yourself into a woodchipper today, then I have the answer for you here, in the form of this fantastic split on Rad Girlfriend, featuring a classic pop punk act, The Parasites, alongside the Raging Nathans, who are winning hearts and minds at the current time.
The Parasites are admittedly new to me. They originated in New Jersey, before relocating to Berkeley, CA around the time of the Lookout! Records boom heralded by the success of Green Day. This is in fact their first split 7in release in nigh on 20 years, when they did one with Boris the Sprinkler. Josh at Rad Girlfriend (who also plays in the Raging Nathans) holds these guys as one of the most underrated and influential bands from the mid/late 1990s wave of pop punk. Hearing these two tracks here (You Belong to Me and Armed With a Broken Heart), it’s clear why he would say that. The Parasites evoke that whole Beach Boys influenced take on emulating the Ramones through sappy love songs that made The Queers one of the most enduringly appealing bands in the genre. It’s absolutely golden, this.
On the flipside we have Dayton, Ohio’s finest export, The Raging Nathans, whose music I love dearly. In fact their latest full length is a shoe-in for my end of year album list. Read about that one here. One of my favourite things about the Raging Nathans is that they seem to bring something new to the table with each release that keeps their sound fresh, without making huge changes to their core sound. For example on their last split (with Pizzatramp, which you can read about here), they brought something of an RKL inspired flavour to shake things up a bit. This time out, they seem to be bringing an overt slab of vintage Screeching Weasel to the table (without Ben Weasel egregiously starting fisticuffs with a female audience member to no real purpose and succeeding only in taking a righteous fucking kicking from said heroine). But anyway, these two cuts (Spoiled Brat and Signals) are snotty, catchy, endearing and angsty in all the correct proportions to appease my current needs.
Tony of Nurgle rating: 9.5/10
Get this on yellow or black 7in vinyl from the Rad Girlfriend webstore
The Domestics / Pizzatramp – Discipline 5in (TNS Records)
Now then. A split between two of the UK hardcore punk scene’s finest offerings is due to drop on us on 2nd November. On a limited pressing 5in record. Small, mate.
East Anglian curmudgeons The Domestics open up proceedings with the A-side, ripping through the three tracks Fuckin’ Die, A Quiet Life, and Shopping in under a minute total. I guess on a record so small, you are VERY limited in terms of the amount of time available. If I’d not been made aware in advance that there are in fact 3 songs here it would be easy to mistake these for just the one, as there are no discernible intros or outros.
Welsh crossover masters Pizzatramp have clearly made up for the short timeframe available by slapping you with some heftily unwieldy yet mildly amusing song titles: I Went On A Double Funded Kickstarter Holiday To The United States Of America And All I Brought Back Was This Shitty Fucking Album, I’d Do Normal Things And Have Normal Hobbies Like Normal People But It’s All Just So Fucking Boring, and I’ve Got Nearly As Many Holes In My Brain As I’ve Got In My Favourite Socks. Verily. Again, this is another no holds barred blast through in under a minute, and exactly as with the A-side, it’s easy to mistake this trilogy as one cut only.
Clearly a 5in record is gonna be something of a novelty item. As it stands, TNS tell me that they count as a shaped vinyl record, as they have to be cut down from a standard 7in. This does have the effect of making the record comparatively expensive to manufacture, and thus justifies the £6 price tag. Each side clocks in at a mere 56 seconds each, so the administrative effort involved here means you don’t exactly get a chance to sit down before you need to flip the record over. I suppose these things typically come with a download code for bandcamp though, so that answers that issue. Thankfully the music is decent enough, though. One thing I would perhaps question is the justification of the £5 price tag for the digital download option which gets you a short 1 minute and 52 seconds of music.
Tony of Nurgle rating 8/10.
You can pre-order this digitally from the TNS bandcamp page https://tnsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/discipline-split-5 or on 5in vinyl from the TNS webstore https://www.tnsrecords.co.uk/shop/tns-releases/pizzatramp-the-domestics-discipline-split-5-vinyl-pre-order/