by: Tommy DeSilva
NOFX - First Ditch Effort - [Fat Wreck Chords]
NOFX is a Punk Rock band from Los Angeles, CA that now resides in San Francisco, CA. Their new album First Ditch Effort, which marks the band’s 13th full length release to be put out during their ongoing 33 year career as band (hard to believe, right?), is a really upbeat and energetic record that shows that NOFX still can and should be considered as one of the top Punk Rock acts on the scene today. Characterized by upbeat drumming, catchy guitar hooks, and angst filled vocals, the sounds heard on this album can be compared to those heard from many other well-known Punk Rock bands (especially current Fat Wreck Chords bands) such as: Lagwagon, No Use For A Name, Good Riddance, and Strung Out. Tracks to definitely check out on this record include: “Six Years On Dope,” “Sid And Nancy,” “Oxy Moronic,” “I Don’t Like Me Anymore,” “I’m A Transvest-lite,” and “I’m So Sorry Tony.”
Purling Hiss - High Bias - [Drag City]
Purling Hiss is an Alternative/Indie Punk/Garage Rock band from Philadelphia, PA. Their highly anticipated new album entitled High Bias, which is going to be released this Friday (10/14) courtesy of Drag City, is a really upbeat and catchy record that can be appreciated by any fan of Punk Rock, Alternative, Indie, or just Rock & Roll in general. Characterized by loud and distorted guitars, upbeat drumming, groovy basslines, and poppy vocal melodies, the sounds heard on this album can be compared to those heard from many other well-known Alternative/Indie Punk bands on the scene today such as: Wavves, FIDLAR, Nai Harvest, The Audacity, PWR BTTM, and Bully. Tracks to definitely check out on this record include: “Fever,” “3000 AD,” “Notion Sickness,” and “Pulsations.”
Merchandise - A Corpse Wired For Sound - [4AD]
Merchandise is an Alternative/Dream Pop band from Tampa, FL. Their new album A Corpse Wired For Sound, which was just released courtesy of 4AD (a British independent record label), is a really awesome and unique record that can be characterized by its soft and soothing vocal melodies, phased out guitars, thick/groovy baselines, and an eclectic use of unusual sounding instruments/sounds (i.e. synthesizers, sound clips, etc). With that being said, the sounds heard on this album can be compared to those heard from many other well-known Alternative bands on the scene today whose sounds have evolved as of late such as: Title Fight, Ceremony, Balance And Composure, and Turnover. Influences of The Smiths and Joy Division can be heard all over this record as well. Tracks to definitely check out on this album include: “Flower Of Sex,” “End Of The Week,” and “Lonesome Sound.”
Suicidal Tendencies - World Gone Mad - [Suicidal Records]
Suicidal Tendencies are a Hardcore Punk/Crossover Thrash band from Venice, CA. Their new album World Gone Mad, which marks the band’s 13th full length release to be put out during their ongoing 36 year career as band (as well as their first release to feature Dave Lombardo [ex-Slayer] on drums), is a really awesome and hard-hitting record that shows that Suicidal Tendencies still can and should be considered as one of the top old-school Hardcore Punk/Crossover acts on the scene today. Characterized by upbeat drumming, catchy guitar hooks, heavy breakdowns, and angst filled vocals, the sounds heard on this album can be compared to those heard from many other well-known Hardcore Punk/Crossover bands of the past and present such as: D.R.I., Anthrax, Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, and Municipal Waste. Tracks to definitely check out on this record include: “Clap Like Ozzy,” “The New Degeneration,” “World Gone Mad!,” and “The Struggle Is Real.”
Ex-Cult - Negative Growth - [In The Red Recordings]
Ex-Cult is a punk band from Memphis Tennessee. Their latest release Negative Growth is a great record that pays homage to the punk bands of the last 40 years while still bringing the new flavor of fuzzy low-fi to the table. Fuzzy simple power chords, repeated calling vocals, and a heavy low end all make for the perfect driving soundtrack. Listening to this record makes me want to see them live I feel like this band could really get a crowd moving. There is definitely a low fi hardcore punk element to this band so fans of puncher lo fi bands in the realm of Ty Segall, Goggs, No Parents, Audacity, Meatbodies and Death Hymn Number 9 would enjoy this album the songs to check out are "Attention Ritual," "Government Birdcage," and "Panic in Pig Park." and Excellent album for fans of noisy low fi fuzzy punk.
Sonic Youth - Confusion Is Sex [Reissue] - [Goofin' Records]
This reissue of Confusion is Sex by everyone’s favorite No Wave band Sonic Youth holds true to the original and is an excellent record that should be in any music lovers collection. Sonic Youth is one of those bands that inspired a whole host of other bands and could definitely be categorized as musicians music. This record has some experimental and noise elements along with some indie/alternative sounds. If you haven't heard of Sonic Youth or if you have heard of them but never listened to them check them out give this record a listen its definitely a little out there but everyone can find something they enjoy in this record. Fans of bands such as Dinosaur Jr. The Pixies, Television, Fugazi, and The Velvet Underground can find common elements and maybe even a fresh new twist. My favorite tracks are "Protect me You," "Shaking Hell." and "Confusion is Next." Their cover of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" by the Stooges is also a must check out. You're gunna like this album give it a listen.
Exterminators - Product Of America - [Slope Records]
Exterminators are an OG 1977 punk band from Phoenix AZ. Product of America is their resurrection album. The album features punk legends including Original Exterminators member Don Bolles who was in the band before his stint with the Germs, Dan Clark of Feederz, Doug Clark of Mighty Sphincter, and Cris Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets. The sound is traditional hard hitting punk just age it 40years. The band still has it but there is a noticeable slowing caused by age fans punk will like this record people who like the big names like the Germs, X, Dead Kennedy's or any other back patch you've seen in the pit. Songs from the album to check out include "Static Planet," "Destruction Unit," and "Sometimes I Don't Know." Official release is not until November 8th I believe. Great album check it out.
The Hecks - The Hecks - [Trouble In Mind]
The Hecks are a rock band from Chicago that have some ambient noise and indie qualities. Their self titled release is a pleasant combination of indie vocals with some slight reverb coupled with excellent musicianship including impressive guitar licks. Influenced by more punky bands like the Stooges the Hecks are rooted in harder garage rock while still having an indie relevance that appeals to a broader audience. Fans of bands from Broncho, Sonic Youth, Together Pangea, Fidlar, Surf Curse and Real Estate. Songs to check out include "Landscape Photography," "Trust and Order," and "Spooked Light." Cool album that you will enjoy.
Kellar - Sacred Cyclica Pilgrimage - [Fool Proof Projects]
Kellar is an improvisational noise rock duo, based in Brighton, UK. Their latest release Sacred Cyclica Pilgrimage is a hypnotic mix of drum beats and haunting drones. This album has a range of tempos from upbeat mixes that make you want to tap your foot to slow drowning swaying music. The fact that this album is all instrumental further point out the eclectic audience that this is trying to attract. I think fans of Fuzz would like this album it sounds similar to a lot of Ty Segall's instrumental work. This album would be great as a soundtrack to something. Put this album on at a party where you want background sound that is cool but something you don't mind talking over. Also using this album for a sound bed or as background music for a PA show would be a good call. Overall great album for what it is interesting improvised noisy sounds. Songs to check out include "Scorched Schemes," "Pseudoneuroma," and "Impossible Tribal." Cool album check it out.