Die Rad

Melt Citizen Dullard II cassette

Up-tempo guitar riffs with a crushing drum and bass back-end that complements the witty, snarly vocals for this El Paso band’s latest. Too fast and hook-filled to be stoner rock and too punk/grunge heavy to be shoegaze. The older kids will think of post-Land Speed Record HÜSKER DÜ and the young ones will compare it to DRUG CHURCH. Both great compliments.

Melt Citizen Life’s a Joke, Then You Croak cassette

From out of El Paso, Texas. I am enjoying that the band sounds like a bunch of disparate instruments that don’t quite go together, but manages to make it work. I picture a few friends getting together to play music with whatever instrument they had closest at the time. The guitars blast fuzzily and noisily, but then a tinkling organ pops in for a while. The drummer is getting out every frustration possible. Everybody is playing at full speed. The vocals don’t quite go with the music either. They are stylistically closer to those of a ’70s prog rock band. They float on top of the cacophony, but are just weird enough not to be as annoying as that would seem. To quote the song “Exhumed 2 Soon,” “It’s a sense of joy and impending doom.” Yee-ha!

Melt Citizen Dullard cassette

Surfy, poppy, lots of reverb. Lots. Better than most bands of this persuasion, but for some reason, listening to this feels like listening to demos for the next GREEN DAY record or something Billie Joe-related. Did I mention the reverb?

Polluted Womb I & II cassette

This release is a compilation of the first two releases by POLLUTED WOMB from El Paso, Texas. The music is raw and downtuned crust punk with some odd touches of grind. And in the grand tradition of dour ’90s-era crust, it is absolutely jam-packed with samples. Of the two releases on this cassette tape, I prefer II slightly more but, if you’re into this type of thing, both releases are worth your time.

Teenagexorcist Teenagexorcist demo cassette

Four-song demo cassette of blown-out, lo-fi, noise-infused, powerviolence-influenced hardcore. Slow and sludgy repetitive riffs followed by fast and spazzy blast parts with feedback before and after each track. The weird pedals/noisemakers peppered in are the coolest and most memorable parts.