Stolen Wheelchairs – Out of Steps 7in (State Line Records, 2019)
Alright. This one seems like a bit of a departure for my man Mark Lind’s Massachusetts based label State Line Records, veering somewhat away from the usual fare of oi, street punk and punk n’ roll influences. Not that I have any complaints about previous releases, of course, but it’s kinda cool to see a bit more diversity whilst maintaining the standard of high-quality releases. To me, that’s a sure sign of a healthy label that is gonna keep people interested.
What we have here is a bunch of Philadelphia-based guys (some of whom may be 16 – 18 years old – I believe either Mark mentioned this to me, or I dreamed that that happened) bringing youthful vigour and a touch of juvenile delinquency to the table. Plus a couple of veterans that have played in the likes of Far From Finished and The Boils amongst others. When I was that age in like, 1994 or whatever in a shitty working-class town in Northern England, this would’ve equated to a terrible band with someone’s dad on drums covering Green Day and Nirvana songs very badly (apologies to any former members of Unhinged et al that might for some reason be reading this). Thankfully, that’s pretty far from being the case here.
This is fast and furious and to me bears the hallmarks of classic 7 Seconds and Dag Nasty filtered through a more traditional from your wider Boston area. It also seems to carry a flavour of a variety of New Jersey and Philadelphia bands of yore such as The Nerve Agents, Trial By Fire and Kid Dynamite to spice things up a bit further. Nice skit on the classic Minor Threat imagery (which has of course been aped many times, but perhaps most notably by Rancid and The Falcon) too – that kind of shit never gets old. Anyway, it’s good this. Short, fast, loud and obnoxious. Tony of Nurgle rating of 9/10
You can check a couple of tracks on this player:
Pre-order the CD or red with black splatter 7in record direct from Stolen Wheelchairs or State Line Records
The Cool Greenhouse – Landlords / 4Chan 7in (Drunken Sailor Records, 2019)
Juice at Drunken Sailor was pretty convinced that I wouldn’t be down with this one. I suppose I can see why, as it’s a leap away from my usual fodder of meat n’ spuds punk rock of various stripes. I even agreed that I wouldn’t review it if I didn’t like it.
Good news! I think it’s pretty great. To my somewhat inexperienced ear, I’d describe this in broad strokes as post-punk meets electronica. That would be painting an incomplete picture though. This is pretty stripped down fare, with loops and samples helping to power things along. It’s kind of like a lo-fi Sleaford Mods trying to tackle The Fall covers. Only the stream of consciousness vocal element is a bit er, Home Counties or something? Can’t imagine yer man there stopping by the office for a deck of fags and a bag Kestrel Super Strength, put it that way.
Even so, it’s oddly fascinating, this. There’s a quality to these tracks that oddly puts me in mind of certain of the more introspective cuts from Pavement’s debut, Slanted and Enchanted. That’s what I think immediately forced it’s way into my favour, as I’ve got a right soft-spot for that album.
You can hear it on the player below:
You can pick it up from the Drunken Sailor Records webstore
Glue Ear – Skate Pizza DDL (Horn & Hoof Records, 2019)
I proper lambasted the last Glue Ear release I was sent, so I was somewhat apprehensive about what was in store here, especially as I am now acquainted with Scott who plays in the band and runs the label. Thankfully this is nowhere near as bad as that one, so that should theoretically avoid any awkwardness.
I don’t feel like I particularly have loads to offer here. Beyond this just being, er, fine? First track Hoax is I suppose, fairly standard fare 1990s Epi-Fat influenced skate punk. The kind of thing I’ve spent more than enough time listening to lesser or greater quantities since 1991. Musically, it’s fine but not particularly exciting me. The other track, Mr Plastic veers between more of the same but with ska breaks. Again it’s fine musically, but not really provoking much of a response from me. I think in both cases, the vocal doesn’t feel quite right for the music. But vocals are always horses for courses anyway. It’s a Tony of Nurgle rating of 6/10.
You can check this out below:
This will be released March 15th on all digital platforms and is currently available to pre-order on limited edition CD from the Glue Ear bandcamp page.