Reviews

Discos MMM

Benny and the Roids Predictions EP

I am soooo stoked I get to review this. My favorite tape of 2015, and maybe one of my favorites of all time, gets committed to vinyl so it doesn’t get all warbly and warped in your crappy boombox. Originally released on the unequaled Silenzio Statico label, this is now given the deluxe treatment by the supreme folk at Discos MMM. I was lucky enough to see this band tear it up in the backyard of the Poor Kid’s Mansion in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles back then, and the singer cried and crooned the whole time, wearing a twelve-pack box over his head. Touching and memorable for sure. This release, to me, cries out classic late ’70s/ early ’80s LA punk: the EYES, PLUGZ, ALLEY CATS, and BAGS are all represented in spirit. There’s also a big helping of ’79 UK working class shout and melody thrown in, like SHAM or CHELSEA, even though I kinda hate CHELSEA. I guess super street and super LA is what I’m trying to say here, and if “Passive Aggressive” doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you’re too fucking hard, man, and should chill. Buy this now! And someone please send me a decent burrito. I’m dying.

La URSS Nuevo Testamento LP

Upbeat, high-energy, dark punk that is clean and polished yet still creepy and full of angst. Alongside the requisite reverb and chorus effects, there are some anthemic sing-along choruses and refreshingly unexpected elements like a beautiful synth interlude and the occasional noodly, melodic bass riff. This record draws from a lot of different influences—MASSHYSTERI to the BUZZCOCKS to WIRE—and is likely to appeal to fans of any of them. Amid super slick production quality, sophisticated songwriting, and precise instrumental performances, the vocals still sound kind of unprofessional in the best way possible—like this is definitely still a punk band. It’s all the good things that a band should learn how to do by the time they’re putting out a third full-length record, without losing authenticity, getting stuck, or getting too pro. Can’t stop listening to some of these tracks!