Daniel Byllepest

Cuero Todo Hierro 12″

Somehow CUERO’s crusade to the vinyl format has completely escaped my grasp, even though their 2019 demo, Black Metal Skinheads, was my go-to release last summer. Maybe the meaty title was the reason why it didn’t exactly catch people’s attention, even though all the elements of this generation of punk snobs was very present. Pumping, mid-tempo Oi! in simplistic, anthemic lyrics in Spanish, an in-character self-irony you rarely see matched and UK82 riffs played in a slightly more sinister key, similar to a lot of recent bands such as PMS 84 and SAVAGEHEADS, but a bit slower. The black metal thing seems to be more of an attitude thing than an actual musical presence, which doesn’t really bother me. Todo Hierro just sounds like an extension of that extremely tasty three-track tape. I wish there were more songs, because all six leave me longing for more. It never overstays its visit. All the tracks from the demo are also here. Released on the excellent label Mendeku Diskak, responsible for, among others, the CINDERBLOCK LP. You get what you sign up for.  I really hope we get to hear more from CUERO in the future.

Arse Safe Word EP

Primitive Species from 2017 was a refreshing fusion of obnoxious techno-like intensity and primitive hardcore punk energy. ARSE’s identity sounds like a drunken, stumbling warning of something very ugly and violent coming your way. You can also dance to it if that’s your thing. Safe Word doesn’t bend radically from the face-melting formula previously introduced, but they do tend to flirt with more traditional “rock tropes,” and it works surprisingly well. At times when riffing out like SUICIDE or FLIPPER, the neanderthal singing reminds you of why you’re still here. During its eleven minutes on the turntable, Safe Word actually creates an album-like quality. I suppose ARSE is kind of what PISSED JEANS wish they were: great songwriting and musical abilities performed for dumb people.