Matt Reynolds

Frontier Club Speaking in Cursive 7″

FRONTIER CLUB is an odd name for a band from Southern California, as it brings to mind that old timey SoCal record label that put out Group Sex and the Blue Album? Would you ever name your band “Slash Team” or “Dangerous House”? Anyway, this isn’t FRONTIER CLUB’s first record, so I’m sure somebody’s already picked up on that. As it stands, this slab is much more post-punk than CIRCLE JERKS, or even TSOL. Plenty o’ sharp guitars, plaintive vocals (just enough emoting to keep it interesting), and lockstep drums and bass. Good shit. The guitar on these three tracks is particularly tough and muscular, but still a little dark, a little gothic, and a little mysterious—kind of like a jock who works out two hours a day but also wears a beret and a black trenchcoat or, alternatively, Xena Warrior Princess. Similar to the WYNONA RIDERS, but with different singing and much more contemporary than that band ever was. Less dreary than it could be, more fun than it should be. Like it.

Dead Already Gilded Age of Piss EP

Australian US hardcore band, if you know what I mean (you
probably do). Ostensibly pulling from the ’80s, but the herky-jerk tempo changes and hyper-political lyrics make it sound like its really pulling from that part of the ’90s that was pulling from the ’80s. This record I am presently reviewing is not super well-executed, but it does have a wide-eyed exuberance that I cherish and that is increasingly refreshing in this dark, dark age.

Bad Bad Another Insect Bite EP

BAD BAD’s LP from a little while ago was nice low wattage psych, but that’s all been pulled away here. Behind the curtain is a smoldering shithole of dumpster electronics and weirdo punk. Sometimes like DEVO when they first discovered synths, other times turning darker, like CHROME but nerds, the songs here are sharp and catchy and careful. It sounds wrecked, but it’s never haphazard. There’s a certain precision in not sounding precise, and BAD BAD has absolutely, truly perfected that sound on this EP. BAD BAD, please make twenty more records that sound just like this one. I will never get enough.

Neo Neos Kill Someone You Hate LP

Really obnoxious, generally speedy, one-man band type garbage can pop from the impressively—perhaps destructively—prolific NEO NEOS. Generally speaking, some songs are so purely conceived, they would sound great in any setting, with any kind of production value. These are not those songs. The joy (or anger) of this record comes from the fact it sounds like shit: a cacophony of useless punk made useful by sheer volume and repetition. It’s a feat of will and hubris that’s commendable. A good record.