Discos Peroquébien

Ansiedad Cerebral Terapia Cognitivo-Conductual cassette

When it comes to no-frills punk, it’s always best to go the lo-fi way, allowing your chops (or lack thereof) to become an integral part of the message you’re delivering. Malaga’s ANSIEDAD CEREBRAL shares this piece of wisdom and offers nine songs full of sloppy and splendorous p-u-n-k. These guys have already made some racket with other bands (RATAS DE SUMATRA, LIMASSA, and MASS VOLUMEN), so they know how to write a hook or two. They’re actually so good at it, “Punkis de Gimnasio” or “Vive Rápido y Aterriza en el Geriátrico” could be hits in the next Matado Por La Muerte comp of Spanish-speaking punk. Their lyrics are usually extremely ironic, as they say, “designed to offend and undermine morale.” Quite a commendable enterprise in my book. The one that I replay all the time is “Rosalía,” with that raw and almost atonal guitar riff, a sardonic little hymn in honor of the Spanish pop singer. Short, sweet, sweaty, and to the point, get it on cassette for more lo-fi pleasure.

Ataac Peligro de Muerte cassette

D-beat attack (pun intended) from Benidorm and Alicante, Spain. This was originally released in 2016, and this reissue on cassette is from September of last year. People from bands like PUNKO UK, TOKKŌTAI, and PEQUEÑA ORUGA MECÁNICA take part in this album, with eleven songs worth of visceral ruminations of the 21st century global violent psyche. The prison system, the absurdity of life, and the murderous desire of the capitalist system get all their due with the proper street punk rawness and D-beatness it deserves. Crispy guitars, shouty vocals, throbbing bass, pummeling drums, the works. Highly recommended.

Bzdet Nie Ma Nic cassette

It’s been fun for the last year-plus to clock the evolution of BZDET’s consistently excellent output. The mysterious artist(s?) has been cranking out a slew of tapes and digital EPs, portions of which get collected here. BZDET smears bass lines, synth-blurt, and pitch-shifted vocals together like a punk BLANK DOGS. BZDET would be right at home on a Ralph Records sampler, and would probably even steal the show. There’s a RENALDO AND THE LOAF kind of lurch to the more playful cuts and an undeniable CHROME frizz to the menacing ones. “Bad News” has a nasty edge to it until sliding into the demented “Wszyscy Wymrzemy.” Half the time the song just comes barging into the room, all sharp elbows and curled lips. And yet, they can do barren tundra post-punk as well as anyone currently scowling in the shadows. But really it sounds like all my fave-rave early ’80s German tapeheads who made punk with anything they could dig out of the garbage or find in the pantry. This isn’t even the best stuff! There’s already new material out from this busy musical formation. Have you caught the buzz yet?

Carvento Felana Carvento Felana cassette

A wormhole opens up in the fabric of time and out hops a battle-ready punk of some dystopian origin, like something out of The Road Warrior, clothing disintegrated and patched back together, with those new wave Geordi LaForge glasses wrapped around their eyes. “I have music from the future for you to review! It’s on cassette and limited to 50 copies! I came back in time to give you the last copy and it’s most urgent that you hear this and tell the people of your time!!” they said, frantically handing over the cassette. “In what future punks are still making limited edition cassettes?” I asked. “2022!” they replied, before jumping back in the quickly-closing wormhole, leaving nothing but cosmic debris in its wake. He must’ve meant to go further back; I shrug as I put on Side A and proceed with my duty to humanity. All booming mechanical drum machine patterns, circuit-eroded samplers and loopers gone amok, CARVENTO FELANA’s self-titled tape is glitching electronic body music served up in short punky doses, spewing out layers of static over synth patch bleeping and blorping. A solid EP for more open-minded fans of early industrial music, experimental electronics, synth punk, etc.

Ex-White The Complete Collection cassette

Intense garage rock rollercoaster that contains the whole discography of this chaotic yet groove-filled project. Intensity-driven screaming vocals plus strident, garage-y guitars are their formula, with very good intros to the songs. It can get repetitive, but I mean, it’s their whole works put together, and it’s an energy diffuser and a great ride altogether. Recommended for garage punks, prepare for the insane amount of 38 tracks.

Knickers Collection cassette

Well, this is a treat! I first heard KNICKERS shortly after the release of their excellent 2019 tape Bored. Collection compiles the eleven songs from Bored, plus a whole slew of new material as a complete discography. Strap in for an hour of top-notch, art-damaged punk. Graduates of the Mark E. Smith school of post-punk, KNICKERS pack in enough surprises into their tunes that an hour of music doesn’t drag or become repetitive—except for when they want it to be. There are some definite krautrock undertones, along with nods to GANG OF FOUR and SUBURBAN LAWNS. Despite all the references to bands of yesteryear, KNICKERS have a thoroughly contemporary sound. Crisp guitar tones, synth for atmosphere and texture, fantastic vocals…these cats really struck gold. Quirky punk with loads of character! I assume the release of a discography indicates they’re no longer an active band, and that’s unfortunate, but leaving behind a solid collection like this is nothing to balk at.

Lamprea Explosiva Gravacións 2014–2018 cassette

Long runtimes are for overrated studio films these days. Everything seems to go on way too long. Life’s too short? Not if you’ve been paying attention. Thank the gods of shambolic rock‘n’roll, then, for collections like this. LAMPREA EXPLOSIVA keeps the songs chaotic (but firmly on the rails) and brief, injecting you with sugary fuzz in seconds flat again and again. These cuts are fun with teeth, the sort of joyed-out bedroom punk that wears a smile as an act of rebellion with plenty of melody and amp-damage in equal measure. And, most importantly of all, you won’t be bored for a second or skipping to the end.

LASSIE The Golden Age Of… cassette

Collecting their killer tapes from the last couple years, LASSIE pulls me back from the brink…of the well. The one I was thinking of drowning myself in cuz there’s no mo’ fun punk bands that also aren’t just plain embarrassing and (forgive me) cringe. MEAN JEANS? Are you fucking kidding me? LASSIE kinda sounds like if LOST SOUNDS were more into the B-52’S than GARY NUMAN. Super-snotty and non-cloyingly goofy, LASSIE is a rare beast indeed. There’s not a bummer track here, but “Phonecalls on My Deathbed” is a hit if I ever heard one; where’s Dick Clark or Rick Dees or CDs….yeah. Hey, this is why I don’t write silly but endearing spazz-wave songs. LASSIE does, they’re really good at it. “Tiger in My Tank” sounds like the fucking RONDELLES! I bet they turn a boring bar into a total fucking blast. “QT Enhancer” is a pogo party in a can. If you like C.C.T.V. or LUMPY or DEVO, I don’t see why you wouldn’t like this. I feel like if this band was from California, they’d be big, or at least “opening for the SPITS” big. So, not that big. But they should be. They’re great.

Le Jonathan Reilly 7″, Demos & Other Rarities cassette

I guess we’re getting to a point where forgotten garage punk releases from the mid ’00s are ready to be rediscovered. Better start collecting those Douchemaster, Tic Tac Totally, and Boom Boom 7”s now while they’re just a couple bucks—it’s only a matter of time before some comp appearance really drives up the price! Valencia-based label Discos Peroquébien is doing their part to get the trend started by issuing this odds-and-sods collection from hometown heroes LE JONATHAN REILLY. It’s an eighteen-track cassette pulling songs from their two split 7”s (with TYRADES and CHRISTMAS ISLAND), as well as some compilation tracks and demos. They also put out a full-length album and a split LP with BLACK SUNDAY, but neither of those releases are represented here. The brand of garage punk these folks peddled was part CHEATER SLICKS’ detuned lurch and part COACHWHIPS’ aggro one-two stomp, but they managed to skirt straightforward turkeydom by letting just enough FALL and URINALS influence shine through. They’re also not afraid to stretch out a bit and let their guitars carry a melody—“A Question in the Answer” almost sounds like it could have been pulled off Daydream Nation. I don’t know that any of these tracks quite approach “lost gem” status, but I bet most folks (particularly in the US) were unaware of this act, and there are certainly enough cool tunes on this collection to make it worth your time.

MIT The Male Idiot Theory cassette

Limited-run tape edition of this Belgian band’s album, combining roboto drum programming and guitars full of angle and jangle. The songs are tight and hooky, the vocals distorted and shouty, and the mechanical rhythms, maniacal tempos, and often odd structures clothesline you in a way that no human drummer could. I would say that with 13 songs in 32 minutes, I got a bit of ear fatigue halfway through—there’s a few unnecessary instrumentals, but mostly I think it’s the unrelenting boom-boom-tat of the drum machine so loud in the mix and starting off every song. The best tunes on here, like “Rainy Sunday,” “Not Reliable,” and “Cancel Today” are catchy and crammed with ideas, and a more tightly edited EP would highlight those best.

OK Satán Expanded Horizon cassette

Debut release from this Danish band that actually came out in early 2021. I reviewed the follow-up to this release a few months ago, but here is where it started with these folks. Trebly, frenetic weird punk over rudimentary Volca beats for fans of LUMPY or labelmates BIG CHUNGUS. Most of the songs fall under very dumb, very straight-forward punk, which is not a diss. There is a time for everything, like songs “Looks Like Shit” (“I don’t want to see your face / Looks like shit”), “Can I Fix It,” “Going Downstairs,” and “I Wanna Be Danish.” Most of the lyrics for these songs are the titles shouted over and over in a snotty, nasally tone. If you want a direct hit to your lizard brain pleasure center, you can certainly do worse than these short jams. What impressed me though about this tape was when the band experimented and slowed down a little on songs like “It Is Today Not Yesterday,” with a repeated, hollered refrain of “believe it.” “It Is Too Much” shimmers with some post-punk guitar icicles dripping over the vocalist screaming “I don’t get it / Shit’s too much.” It’s effective and sounds like a better, more thoughtful band than the shorter tracks would suggest. “Mona” has a mutant country riff and ballad-style vocals like ICEAGE locked in a tiny bathroom. Cool band worth checking out, and one that I hope leans into their more serious, vulnerable side.

Preening Discography 2016–2020 cassette

A discography-sweeping release, this tape combines almost forty tracks of saxophone-crunching no wave goodness. It’s angular, lo-fi, everything you want out of this genre. Fans of MARS, DNA, and JAMES CHANCE will absolutely adore what this tape has to offer. The only complaint I have is there are just too many songs to keep track of here, but if you’re happy to skip through to the cream of the crop then you have nothing to fear.

Print Head Happy Happy & Hardcore Pop cassette

Part Messthetics-informed outsider post-punk, part no-fi DIY hometaper pop, as performed entirely by one Canadian named Brandon Saucier. Happy Happy & Hardcore Pop collects the material from two earlier self-released cassettes and clocks in at a sprawling 26 tracks, of which only three are over two minutes long (and just barely at that)—an all-new PRINT HEAD tape actually popped up like a week or two after this one came out, and Saucier definitely seems like someone forever working at a Jad Fair/Mark E. Smith-like clip when it comes to songwriting (possible FALL reference in the project name is telling?). Opener “Repeat” rides a killer kinetic rhythm with a loping bass line and faux-motorik beat, then adds some heavy existential anxiety from detached vocals intoning lines like “What will you be thinking / While you die?” over barbed guitar clang and clattering percussion. And the hits keep coming: the blown-out, blink-and-you-missed-it “All is Over” recalls Siltbreeze-era TIMES NEW VIKING with some off-kilter hooks and junky keyboard, there’s a nod to the FIRE ENGINES on the dirty basement disco-punk instrumental “Instrumental,” “Went Out Last Night” pulls off some NWI-by-way-of-Hardcore Devo tricks…and that’s barely scratching the surface; veritable kitchen-sink weirdo punk to the max here.

Quergeburt Quergeburt cassette

Spanish label Discos Peroquébien released the unmissable reissue of the debut (originally from 2019) of these German geniuses, a beautiful cassette with twelve tracks of an ultra lo-fi punk that looks back to the most riff-oriented Japanese noise freakouts and the terrorist school of the Providence, Rhode Island noise rock scene. Think of the BRAINBOMBS in a hardcore style and you’ll get close, but not quite to the molten core of the beautiful and fun sound of these guys. Music to end parties to.

Robits Here Come the Robits cassette

Ten tracks of garage-y pop punk out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ROBITS’ delivery is catchy, light-hearted, and fun. Any of these tracks would have felt at home on Lookout! Records’ classic Can of Pork comp. “Hello Old Friends” reminds me of DESCENDENTS’ “Ride the Wild.” It’s refreshing, sing-along, summertime goodness. Exceptions are the final three tracks: “Aquamarine Eyes” has a harder punk edge, and “Robit Bop” has a sound like a kinder, gentler MEATMEN à la “Meatmen Stomp.” “Lampreys” closes out the tape with something to slam dance to.

Uzumaki Uzumaki cassette

This is the musical testament of UZUMAKI, a Galician punk duo that made noise between 2013 and 2016, and you can now listen to all their recordings on a limited-run cassette. Razor-sharp guitars, melodic bass lines à la Kim Deal, a hyper-accelerated drum machine, and a voice that rips and is reminiscent in a very pleasant way, of yes, Kurt Cobain. Think of FUTURE OF THE LEFT, but more unhinged. Think of those bands that deliver everything on stage with absolute conviction in what they do and that you find in an unexpected way, bands that slap you in your face with their forcefulness and awaken in you absolute devotion by the end of the show. This cassette is your little secret, your own private beach of visceral catharsis, a code that only you manage to decipher. The world sucks, but then you come across gems like this and the birds start singing again and all that.