Reviews

Drunk Dial

Ditches Lost in Time EP

Another excellent release from Drunk Dial. Bands get together and record an original and a cover song in a day with whatever ingestant or inhalant needed. The result is often impromptu, energetic, and inspired. It’s as if label boss Jordan Stamm is orchestrating his own version of the Peel Sessions. This one has Stockholm’s DITCHES playing their angsty power punk pop burner “Lost in Time” as the title track, with the B-side being a more inspired cover of “Abra Cadaver” from their fellow Swedes the HIVES. DITCHES has their own version of the Denton, TX sound, honed by bands such as MARKED MEN and RADIOACTIVITY. Jeff Burke of said bands has recorded DITCHES in the past, and does the mixing here.

Escare Infinity Crime cassette

Advanced lifeform creates neanderthal and/or ethereal punk sounds. BEEFHEART meets ERASE ERRATA, and there’s this comforting lilt to the (main) vocals that I can’t shake. When they get caught in a jam (the end of “Brain Island” into the start of “Infinity Crime,” for example) this outfit is like a fukkn drug. If this is the New Sound Ov Punk then I am completely on board. Short, sharp bursts of creativity—and when they drop a hook (“Long Letters”) it’s one that doesn’t let go.

Hakan Tempuras Never Come / Mr. DNA 7″

This is right up my alley. Two songs, including a DEVO cover, each clocking in at under two minutes? Yes! If it’s good, I can put it on again. If I don’t like, I got away with not too much commitment. Up-tempo and catchy, super head-bouncy melodic, straightforward coming right at you, this is the complete package. These guys are all about business. Each song starts, they whip you into a frenzy, and before you can finish, the song is over, leaving you wanting for me. Nice work. They’re from Italy, if you pay attention to stuff like that.

The Dumpies Flamed Out EP

These guys fall in the “they’re really nice people” category of music. Pretty unoriginal pop punk and garage from what looks like record collector types. I guess this series of records requires bands to record while fucked up. Whose brilliant idea was that?! If you’re not the GERMS, why would I care? Three uninspired originals and a cover. Why? It looks like they’re able to schlep this act all over the world and somebody’s watching so don’t listen to me. Zzzzzz.

V/A Stay Home CD-R

A compilation of RAMONES covers from a variety of bands that I’m completely unaware of (which I’m sure says more about me than said bands). One of the beauties of the RAMONES is that it’s really difficult to make such a great collection of tunes sound bad. While those folks doing more or less faithful renditions still sounds great, those doing something a little different (female backing vocals, a bit of slide guitar and a country twang, electronic drums and keyboards), or radical reinterpretations (CHRISTIAN BLUNDA’s “I Remember You” stands out) just further enhances the majesty of the originals. Indeed, the only disappointing (somewhat) tracks on this effort, all recorded under lockdown, are those couple of folks who did even less lo-fi iterations than the originals. Personal faves of mine are DRAKULAS “Carbona Not Glue” and HAYBABY’s “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment,” but anyone that loves the RAMONES (which is everyone, right!?) will dig this, indeed.