Reviews

Deluxe Bias

Big Jar of Mayo Cassingle cassette

This is actually quite good, but the name and packaging are way dumb, so I never would have heard it if not assigned for review. Everything’s a bit warped here, and I’m hearing something like if the FREEZE were art-punks with a splash of modern snot along the lines of LIQUIDS. Two solid songs in a little over two minutes. Mayo is fucking gross, though.

CB 550 demo cassette

Fucking great. Classic American-style hardcore with Rollins-esque exhausted vocals hollered over blown-out, fast punk riffs, and non-stop drum attacks. Four songs recorded as one track in under five minutes. First track “Mee Bee” has start/stop, fast beat slam breaks that rule. “Ignite” starts with a creepy-crawl beat and then slows it waaay down to a nasty caveman stomp. I can only imagine how hard the elbows must fly at this part. True broken-nose, pit-crush music. “Wife” has a simple bass riff, driven by tom rolls. It all turns into a furious D-beat rager and doesn’t let up until it’s over. “Pee” finishes out the tape with another fast rager. If this tape came out in 1980, we would all know about it—it’s that good. Check out that cover too—perfect. This is exactly my jam and it comes highly recommended. I’m gonna go listen to it again.

 

Credit Bureau Credit Bureau cassette

Four tracks of lo-fi, drum machine punk in about four minutes from this Los Angeles band. They sound like NWI-inspired nerdcore pointed in the direction of the DEVO lodestar, especially apparent on “The Man You Want,” which lifts the vocal melody and paraphrases the hook of that band’s “Girl U Want.” “I Don’t Want It” glitches the drum patterns and vocals in a few spots to add a little extra chaos to what is already a shambolic fun time. “Double Wide” sounds like ERIK NERVOUS singing over a nice, fat distorted bass line. Cool tape if you like this kind of stuff. Also, let’s talk about Deluxe Bias—a tape label out of Wyoming? How rad is that?

Exxxon More Gas cassette

Upon first listen, I thought I’d heard loads of groups like this before. Seemingly recorded through a turd filter, I thought this was “just” bass-and-drums minimalist punk with indecipherable yelping vocals. I keep coming back to it though, and the writing is wiry, clever, and it hits like a crunch to the skull. It’s funky, too! Like, you could and should dance to these less-than-lo-fi punk cries to burn down the corps that are killing us all. Don’t be like me, a jaded snob: let EXXXON into your heart and listen immediately and often. It will beat your ass and bleed your drums.

Glycerol Standing Over You cassette

This two-song cassette from Wichita brings us a two-minute and twenty-one second burst of claustrophobic hardcore pounding. The first track bites the genre it feeds with complaints about how so much hardcore sounds the same, and on the second one, I’m not sure what they’re talking about, but they sound pretty pissed there, too.

Grout Grout cassette

Four songs and a DEVO cover from this Australian band that sounds like a mix of FRIED EGG and GAG. The songs are mostly mid-tempo, noisy hardcore with gruff shouted vocals and the occasional stompy breakdown. Nothing revolutionary here, but very solid nonetheless. “Caged Pigs” has a 1-2 beat that could get a circle pit going in no time. And who can say no to a heavy, shouted DEVO cover? Not me. Check it out if you’re angry and want to throw your elbows around.

Motor Corp Motor Corp demo cassette

I have to admit that everytime I start listening to a really lo-fi recording, I always get excited. I really love when punk bands sound like that, because I feel like when something punk sounds really clean, it just feels weird. Three really short hardcore punk songs—the longest song is one minute and five seconds, as punk should be.

QWOM Q demo cassette

Super raw demo from this Indiana hardcore band. This sounds like a lo-fi boombox recording of a band playing in a closet. Everything is blown-out and extremely loud, with the drums and vocals slightly overshadowing everything else in the mix. I actually checked my headphones to make sure they were plugged in all the way. This reminds me of those shows where a band is just ripping so fast and loud that your clothes shake and the walls drip with humidity because of the concentrated energy. These four songs offer about two minutes of frenzied, early BLACK FLAG-inspired hardcore, and sometimes that’s all you need. I would go and see them for sure.

Tupperware Finicky EP

These Olympia punks (on a Wyoming-based label) have a knack for putting out releases where the artwork depicts the sound perfectly. The maze-dwelling, mace-wielding cretin from their previous cassette has been revealed as but one of many “X”-eyed demons, who have now progressed to menacing the world at large. The fact that they chose to illustrate their kitchen-convenience-invoking moniker sword and sorcery style also cracks me up.  Musically, much like the last one, this messy and manic hardcore tape is over before you know what hit you.