Bothers II LP

Second full-length from Portland’s BOTHERS. Very interesting record, as it tends to meld certain punk styles that typically contrast. While a majority of the record has an early HOT WATER MUSIC/LEATHERFACE vibe, you can also hear a little bit of LAUGHING HYENAS-era John Brannon in the vocals. Songs swap between brutal, straightforward power chords to soaring harmonies. Catchy as all hell at parts. The bass is the unsung hero of this album, putting in work throughout. I wish it was a little louder in the mix so it could act as a stronger driver. For fans of No Idea Records and other melodic hardcore from the ’90s.

Bothers Bothers LP

I know this record is billed as a garage-y, WIPERS-doing-hardcore release, but to me there’s something Oi! about it. I think it’s the rock’n’roll style chord progressions with heavy distortion (there’s even a little MOTÖRHEAD-style lick in “Brain Matter”). I would say it’s like ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE with John Reis (DRIVE LIKE JEHU, ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT, a bunch of other stuff) on guitar. The lyrics read like a bad acid trip: introspective in a dark, twisted kind of way. Some standout lines include “Infant feeding from the arms of the gutter,” “My brain’s ain’t straight / I can hear it bleed,” and “Disappeared in a fistful of wet brain matter and glue.” I’m also a sucker for a good, catchy chorus, and “No Trust” has one of the best I’ve heard all year.