Godless America

Baby Adam Baby Adam cassette

BABY ADAM is not an actual baby, or a solo act going by an infantile alias, but a trio from Florida with a noisy indie sound and very warped pop sensibilities. These songs sound almost like they could be primitive, lo-fi covers of ’90s groups like SEBADOH. It’s captured in the carefree and creative recording styles of that band’s earliest work, but it hits levels of unpolished, organic expression that are more in tune with the more melodic efforts of PUSSY GALORE. There’s also a youthful sort of earnestness present here, the kind that I associate with emo-type bands of the early 2000s. In the end, I mentally file this somewhere near (but not close to) Butte, Montana college rockers MORDECAI. Is it art, or ineptitude? Both? If you enjoy it, does it matter?

D. Sablu “Live” For Tour cassette

Classic punk from the ’77 UK and ’74 Ohio schools, but naturally, it sounds exactly like neither because the real punks keep making the shit sound new and important (because it is important, of course). I can’t even imagine how hard it is to restrain yourself enough to make music like this. Every fukkn song feels like it wants to just let it fly, and I want to listen to HELLNATION when it’s over just so I can hear something fast. But that’s the point, and these New Orleans freaks nail it. Even when they go fast on “So Sorry,” the freakout is so controlled and I love it. Mutant garage punk at the absolute top of their game…and to be fair, they pretty much let it all fly on “Parody,” that one is a full release. Full swagger, full strut, full stomp, total punk.

Teen Mortgage / Tongues of Fire / Venus Twins split cassette

VENUS TWINS are a sharp and heavy bass/drums duo with a gloriously dated sound—I wish I encountered more bands that approached punk with this kind of attack, like they’re just trying to bludgeon their own songs. TEEN MORTGAGE is a dark and driving guitar/drums two-piece with a dangerous edge—“Shangri-La” is a would-be summer night anthem. Oddly, the most subdued outfit of the three has as many members as the other two combined, but TONGUES OF FIRE are their own brand of restrained, repetitive power. All three bands sound like they could have escaped from the 1990s (a compliment), all three were new to me, and all three command (demand) attention. Two tracks from each, and my ears are peeled for more.