Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 TOP TEN: PUNK LPs

BLOODY GEARS- LANDSCAPES OF DISEASE LP (Deranged)
It's quite hip today to play dark Wipers inspired punkrock. Among all those bands Bloody Gears are definetely a stand out: Especially because of their vocalists, who really sounds like Greg Sage's double. Obviously their music also shows a strong Wipers influence, but it's more than just a poor rip-off and they've developed their style from their demo further to a more varied and complex sound. In fact this is some of the best dark punrkock I've heart since years. (Listen to it here)  

CRIMINAL CODE - COLD THOUGHT LP (Inimical)
Crimal Code's debut 7" was one of my biggest surprises in 2011 and this follow up 12" is also totaly amazing. They combine dark punkrock influenced by The Wipers with Hüsker Dü's strange, distorted guitar sound and a wave influence just like the Replacement's, but in the end, it's their own unique style of dark postpunk. They've released two more 7"s in 2012 on Deranged and Inimical, which are also highly recommended. (Listen to it here)

GUINEA WORMS - SMILES LP (Columbus Discount)
After a two year release hiatus Guinea Worms are back with a full new album. "Smiles"  is their darkest and most difficult realease so far. It's full of ugly and punsihing  5 minute tracks, made with heavy 70s rock riffs, discords, manic repeats and hypnotizing rhythms. Their early straight garage punk approach has been replaced by influences from Fipper or the b-side of Black Flags "My War" LP (without the hardcore), while still remaining their very typical sound and very own kind of weirdness. The reslut is amazing!! (Listen to it here)


HANK WOOD & THE HAMMERHEADS - GO HOME LP (Toxic State)
Great follow up release to their amazing  debut 7". This is not the typical kind of music, you might expect from a Toxic State Release. So if you're looking for some wild hardcorepunk, you might be disappointed, since New York's Hank Wood And The Hammerheads first full lenght is yet another smashing effort of blasting 70s inspired punkrock. The songs are packed with a primtive, straigh forward punk approach, a touch of high speed rock'n'roll (including an organ) like The Stooges or MC5 and gruffy, super angry vocals. The recording is again raw and old fashioned, which is the perfect addition to Hank Wood & The Hammerheads classic punkrock sound. (Listen to it here

MIND SPIDERS - MELTDOWN LP (Dirtnap)
I've never been too much into the Marked Men, but the Mind Spiders rule and this is their best release so far. "Meltdown" features pretty simple punkrock made with a few long played guitar chords, 60s organ and synth (only on the b-side) melodies, straight drum beats and distinctive, monotone vocals. The whole record is super catchy and keeps in mind after the first few spins. The songwriting and the arrengmens are just perfect. There's nothing missing. The opening track "Your are dead" is probably the most memorable song. "Fall in line" might be Mind Spiders homage to Texas' 60s psychedelic sound, while the final track "Meltdown" ends up in some bizarre synthie noise. (Listen to it here)   
 
NÜ SENSAE - SUNDOWNING LP (Hollywood Squeeze)
Nü Sensae were origanaly a twopiece consisting of bass and drums only. Now they've added a guitarist, which of course had an influence on their sound. Compared to their prior releases the songs have a longer playtime and you can hear more variations. Nü Sensae allways had an grunge influence, but with a guitar "Sundowning" even more sounds like an LP released on Subpop in the early 90s. Early Nirvana or L7 come to mind, but Nü Sensae have remained a punk attitude and an own unique sound with their typical shouted female vocals. (Listen to it here

PUFFY AREOLAS - 1982: DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE LP (HoZac)
This is already Puffy Areolas second full lenght. Once again this Ohio threepiece cranks out their devastating mix of proto-punk. psychedelic and free punk power. The result is a mess of noisy guitars effects and solos, synchronizing vocals and pure energy. It sounds like they are playing with a free jazz aproach illustrated in chaotic and noisy song structures. But Puffy Areolas remain their straightforwardness to keep their music from beeing some kind of arty crap. (Listen to it here)
   
 
SYNTHETIC ID - APERTURES 12" (Erste Theke Tonträger)
This is a great new band from San Fransisco. Their demo 7" was already pretty good,  this 12" is even better. Many reviews compare them with The Wipers and current bands, that want to sound like The Wipers (Red Dons, The Oberservers etc.), even if Synthetic ID play a different kind of music: it's dissonant  with hints of british postpunk like The Fall or even Gang Of Four, but still straight enough to maintain a classic 70s US punkrock influence. The result is their very own and fresh style of postpunk. (Listen to it here
 
TYVEK - ON TRIPLE BEAMS LP (In The Red)
To be honest, Tyvek's last full lenght "Nothing Fits" couldn't grab my attention. However "On Triple Beams" follows up the sound of their early releases. It's straighter and more focused and catchy song structures, still capturing their hometown'st high energy rock tradition plus an arty garagepunk approach. On top of that we have their typical spoken trademark vocals and a serious smash hit called "Say Yeah".  (Listen to it here)

WEIRD TV - S/T 12" (Perennial)
After a brialliant demo tape and a 7", this is Weird TV's debut 12" and it features some of today's best punkrock. The songs are pretty simple and guitar-driven, but they are filled with catchy melodies and energy. They have a great West Coast heft to it's riffs and arrangements. X or The Avengers come to mind. On the other hand it reminds of The Gits and Kill Rock Stars bands from the early 90s. What's really outstanding are the female vocals, sung in Spanish language. They sound more like some kind of 90s Riot Grrrl stufff. (Listen to it here)