Fire Hazard

Death Cow Pioneer cassette

Seven tracks of indie/alt-rock from Lincoln, Nebraska. DEATH COW is very catchy and the songs are full of pretty, harmonized vocals, ripping guitar leads, and repetitive mid-tempo distorted riffs. I’ve seen them referred to as a garage band and a “weirdo punk” band but I don’t hear any of that at all. It feels like poppy ’90s alt-rock revival stuff to me.

Brain Peel / Double Suede Banana Split cassette

This cassette features two songs by BRAIN PEEL, two songs by DOUBLE SUEDE, and one song by BRAIN AND DOUBLE which is, as you may have assumed, a combination of both bands, who hail from Philadelphia, PA. DOUBLE SUEDE have something of a modern pop-psych/OH SEES kind of feel to them which comes off really catchy and driving and fun. BRAIN PEEL is more of a mid-tempo garage punk kind of band. The collaborative track is a fun little meandering instrumental number. Cool concept, fun mix of styles between the two bands. My only gripe is that it ends too quickly.

Horrible Girl and the Hot Mess Do You Know Who Your Friends Are? CD

When I got this album to review from this Greenville, South Carolina band, I had just finished reading A Punk House in the Deep South, which is a collection of interviews from the former residents of the 309 punk house in Pensacola, Florida, compiled by Aaron Cometbus and Scott Satterwhite. The book told tales of the independently creative, politically-minded, artistically mischievous, and musically-focused denizens of the legendary Southern punk house. Maybe it was (roughly) similar Southern geography, part timing, but more so part similar attitude, but I held the book and album with akin spirit. Highly energetic, brutally honest, and the right amount of rough production make the punk anti-pop songs authentically relatable, with a singer that reminds me of a younger Nico de Gaillo. It’s filled with enough tales of broken relationships, bad jobs, bad drugs, a day-to-day on the fringe, and relational escapades to fill a book.

Mechanical Canine Good Photography CD

From Philadelphia, this band has a ’90s college rock feel. A mix of VIOLENT FEMMES, ARCHERS OF LOAF, and CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH. For the most part on the noisy side but there is jangly pop at times as well. There’s some decent stuff on this, and although it’s not a punk rock rager, I can see the guitar indie rock crowd liking this.