Gaffer Dead End Beat LP

Perth punks GAFFER dropped their debut demo back in mid-2020 then seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. Considering the times, I just assumed it was another COVID casualty. Bummer! I was really into what they were putting out—a blend of ’77 punk and early ’80s UK hardcore with just a smidge of post-punk at the edges, fronted by a plainspoken but charismatic vocalist. Fortunately, they’ve re-emerged just as unexpectedly as they disappeared and are finally back to deliver on the promise of that debut. They’ve resurrected a good chunk of the tracks from that demo here, added a few more to flesh this out to a twelve-song LP, and polished everything up just enough. The record has a nice trebly, mid-fi production that manages to make everything sound crisp rather than thin and really helps drill these tunes straight into your dumb head. It’s a solid LP. Give it a listen if you like cool stuff or if you’ve ever wondered what PREDATOR would sound like if they traded their love of the ADOLESCENTS for GBH and swapped out their nihilism for a little bit of class consciousness.

Gaffer Gaffer cassette

New-in-relative-terms punk from Perth, Australia, GAFFER played their debut show in May 2019, and snuck this seven-song demo out in March of this year. You can still grab a hard copy at the time of writing, which is nice, but suggests it’s flown under the radar a tad, which kinda sucks. There’s COLD MEAT personnel in the four-strong lineup—I think Kyle Gleadell if the wound-raw guitar tone is anything to go by—and vocals are handled by a British invader, Chris Shoulder, ex-herbert-y post-punx STRUCTURE. Accordingly, GAFFER have that air of heads-down CRISIS-type chunter to their sound, but also a bit of KBD rock-pig flourish and early-wave second-string UK fodder, the latter accentuated by consistently gloomy lyrics about life’s grinding drudgery. They’re not shy of breaking the three-minute mark (“Animal,” “Skin of Your Teeth”), yet this tape fair flies by.