Big Black Bulldozer 12″

Even though one member of this band erroneously believes that his personal taste represents some sort of universal standard of quality, it can’t be denied that the new BIG BLACK EP is vastly better than their debut, which was itself very good. Here (except for “Jump the Climb”), they drape the same rhythmic, quasi-metallic tone over a much heavier musical skeleton with real drums and a loud guitar, and the effects are quite stunning.

Effigies Fly on a Wire LP

This band is walking the tightrope of trying to delve more and more into rock and post-punk while maintaining the punk power of their earlier years. Overall, they manage to pull it off here, with the one or two less exciting tunes made up for by a tasteful cover of early JOY DIVISION’s “No Love Lost.”

Get Smart! World Without End / Back into the Future 7″

More great raspy garage rock from this criminally underrated Chicago trio. Two live tracks recorded at CBGB’s in NY; file under Midwestern garage like the EMBARRASSMENT and early PERE UBU.

Kill Ugly Pop Gator Breath Riot 12″

For the most part, three of the songs here fall into a CRAMPS/BIRTHDAY PARTY beat—sparse and rhythmic, but on “The Ballad of Vincent Croft,” they really take off, sounding very much like NAKED RAYGUN. All in all, it’s pretty rockin’ stuff.

The Dead Milkmen Big Lizard in My Backyard LP

I believe this is what Jeff calls “funnypunk.” These 20 satire-laced songs are real crack-ups, and backed up by tight playing that incorporates funk, country, and lots of other styles Into their punk approach. Let’s go to the shore!