Susans Susans cassette

SUSANS are a three-piece bass/drums/ukulele combo out of London, Ontario. It appears they’ve been active for a few years now, and this is their first full-length. This is art-punk with an aggressive, occasionally demented edge. Vocal duties (largely delivered in a declarative shout) are split between bassist K. Cuz and ukulele player Gabe Nestor. Nestor’s ukulele adds a spindly, classically DIY quality to the whole affair—it doesn’t really rock, but it suits the paranoid songwriting. Tracks like “Nine,” “Impress Your Neighbors,” and “Too Much Info” are anxious and wiry, while “Hands” and “Toro” find the band sounding messier, less restrained. “Hands,” an ode to handwashing written at the outset of the pandemic, incorporates both melodica and sampled speech. They end it all with the buzzing, feedback-laden noise-punker, “It’s Okay (To Be Weird.)” I happen to agree.

Klazo / Susans Weekend in The Rust Belt cassette

This is a split live cassette from two garage-punk bands from London, ON. It has live tracks recorded in Detroit, Cleveland, and Rochester while the bands were on a weekend tour together. Oddly enough I was personally in attendance at the Rochester gig. Small punk world. This is a fun idea, the tapes look great, and it sounds pretty cool considering it was recorded on a Tascam at three different venues, but I think I would rather just listen to studio recordings by each band, personally. If you are currently unfamiliar with the bands, KLAZO is a nasty two-piece fucked-up garage-punk duo with an LP out on It’s Trash Records. SUSANS would also fit within the garage-punk world, but are a little more straightforward thank KLAZO. I don’t know that they have any studio releases to date, but after revisiting this live set of theirs I am certain that I would like to hear one.