Fred Schrunk

Betty Machete and the Angry Cougars Stay in Your Lane EP

It’s not just a clever name, this band is pissed off. Remember how in the ’90s, there were all these bands infatuated with the DWARVES and playing punk songs as fast as humanly possible? This band fits right in with all that crazy-off-the-rails madness. Half shitty CIRCLE JERKS, half shitty JUDAS PRIEST. All songs about anger, revenge, and destruction. This shit is crazy. But if you need a good soundtrack to blow off some steam and drive like a maniac, this is your ticket.

Bad Wig / Sin Bad Split LP

Two Milwaukee pop punk bands team up to give us a super fun pogo-inducing album! SIN BAD deliver a more power pop sound that might be equitable to GATEWAY DISTRICT or WORRIERS. BAD WIG is still very much pop punk, but has heavy garage elements. A mix of OBLIVIANS, REIGNING SOUND, and DINOSAUR JR can be heard in their songs. They also toy with some emo elements, so their sound chills out every once in a while. Start with the SIN BAD side for the sugar high and end with BAD WIG for the slow headbang. Great record! Milwaukee has always and will always rule. Don’t listen to the haters!

Ein Zwei Die! / Shaking Heads Split EP

Split record by two Swedish punk bands. This is EIN ZWEI DIE’s (as far as I can tell) only release to date, but it was recorded in 2011, so they’re not exactly a “new” band. Probably a cool story as to why these two songs are finally gracing our ears some eight years later. No insert, no internet, only mystery. They’re cool: like if GORILLA ANGREB was trying to do FILTH covers. SHAKING HEADS are actually a new band, and five dollars says at least one of the members has a DEAD MOON tattoo. They’re dark, simplistic, anthemic, and gritty. True punk. I feel like I’ve listened to this record a hundred different times in a hundred different punk basements, but it still puts a smile on my face.

Bricheros Making Our Way to the USA LP

Three things are critical to enjoying this album: you must love (like love) I Don’t Want to Grow Up, you must at least strongly enjoy How to Make Enemies and Irritate People, and you must be open minded to accepting new melodic pop punk bands into your life. These three Peruvians living in the US create pogo pop that’s just and fun as it is standard, and the path of this record is well-worn by many RAMONES-obsessed kids before them. But you can’t deny this is a fun record. The songs are great, and if your heart still flutters at the mention of ’90s Lookout!, you’ll be dancing to this!

Arctic Flowers Straight to the Hunter LP

In an era when most DIY bands can barely exist longer than a single album and tour, it’s actually quite special to see a band like ARCTIC FLOWERS put out their third full-length album. More specifically, a self-released third full-length! After nearly a decade of existence, these Northwestern punks are still killing it! This album brings us more of the dark and catchy WIPERS-influenced punk rawk we’ve come to expect. As with the more recent recordings, some will almost find it jarring that the vocals are actually sung (as opposed to screamed, barked, or grunted) into the mic. Alex is an awesome singer and doesn’t try to hide it, which sometimes doesn’t blend well with raging punk. But with ARCTIC FLOWERS, it works perfectly. This album destroys! My one criticism is that the insert seems like a rushed afterthought. But when that’s the worst part of your record, you’re doing something right. Do yourself a favor and find this record.