Alarm Practice Room Tape 2019 cassette

ALARM is from Grenoble, France and has been a band since at least 2013, when their debut 7” came out. As can be surmised by the name of the demo, this cassette release was recorded in the band’s practice room in 2019. It was apparently recorded live in one take, which is particularly wild since the sound quality and production value are not that bad at all. Hell, this sounds a lot better than a majority of the cassettes which get into my hands. Eight songs of driving, mid-tempo punk rock with super catchy vocals, sometimes yelled, other times sung, and tastefully placed stripped-down guitar leads. Oh, and one of the songs is a RUDIMENTARY PENI cover, which can’t ever be a negative thing. Very cool tape. Songs are catchy and memorable. Seems like a band that would really shine live, so here’s hoping they make their way stateside sometime.

Alarm / Barren? / Douche Froide / Litovsk split 12″

Super gritty four-banger split from some newish, downbeat French punks. ALARM has dueling guitars and a great drum and bass bridge; BARREN? sings a bleak poem entitled “Illusion” (“You can wave goodbye to your hopes and dreams”); DOUCHE FROIDE is bass-forward with angelic vocals; LITOVSK is big, glassy guitar riffs and a jangling bass. I like that all of these songs are in the four-to-five minute range, as it gives you more to chew over. Though not all on these labels, each band’s got a previous record or two worth checking out.