Big Mess Chartbusters cassette

I love when a band just tosses out a strong four tracks of well-written, earnestly performed and unfussy rock‘n’roll. That’s exactly what this is, and it never fails to amaze me how refreshing that is. No pretenses, just a lot of fun with enough teeth to really bite down. I don’t think everyone realizes how much harder it is to write songs with juicy hooks in under two minutes. Most bands seem to have a problem with editing, not so with these Danes. It’s lean as you like, and a hell of a good time.

Coach Coach LP

Great little LP from Denmark. COACH rocks a classic punk sound with a horn section that shreds. The horns lend a slightly angular bent to the sound. Most tracks on here are a hell of a lot of fun. Between the fuzzed-out guitars and horn section, there’s a real energetic big band feel across the record. The band doesn’t make a big splash at any point on the record. It’s a slow burner, but one that pays off if you stick it out.

Fancy Pick Up EP

Straight fire from Texas. Guitars tweaked just so, and the toughest kind of hate flowing through the microphone, FANCY gets straight to business and kicks out four on the floor hardcore in the fukkn teeth on their debut slab—it’s just timeless hardcore punk. The moment when “Bubble” slows down is absolute magic, and then that snarl ushers in the EP’s only down moment, and if you aren’t moshing then you’re maybe dead. This one is in league with the big dogs. SPAZM 151 and POISON IDEA-caliber hardcore offered with the highest recommendation. Killer.

Fright Eye Black Holes LP

FRIGHT EYE is a hard-rocking rock’n’roll band from Denmark. Their music veers into punk territory at times and garage-y territory at others. The music is high-energy, pedal to the metal. The vocals are bratty while also being laissez faire. One of those bands you’d be kicking back a few beers with. Plus they do a nice version of one of my all-time favorite songs, “Learn to Hate in the 80s.”

Guldsjakal Guldsjakal LP

This feels like a record where the weird/shitty production makes a mediocre band so much better. I could be wrong and Copenhagen’s GULDSJAKAL could be the most unhinged live band since GG AND THE SCUMFUCS, but judging by their band photo, album cover, and songwriting, I’m not really convinced. The songs are plodding riff rock with not much variation between tunes, but the strange reverb-filled production putting the mega rawwww noisy guitar up front and center really helps them out, taking this up to something akin to early LEATHER NUN mixed with GLUECIFER. The vocals echo in that growling, screaming mass stuck in a cave way, giving this almost a primitive black metal sound, maybe like the first BURZUM record. Is this a good review? Is this a bad review? Fuck, I don’t know, but this is worthy of a listen.

Hyrevognene Kone EP

Punk Rock from Denmark!! It sounds very rough and angry, like the real abrasive shite you hope for when exploring the world-wide music. Maybe they did listen to the KBD even. They also have very dumb videos on the YouTube. Limited to 190 copies—sorry, you’re too late.

Melting Walkmen Daylight Savings LP

Copenhagen’s MELTING WALKMEN shift gears between energetic post-punk and somber lads staring at their shoes, but they mostly keep it upbeat. The dueling guitars work through varying degrees of dissonance that truly complement one another. The shouted vocals feel similar in each song, adding little dynamics, if any. In “Petrified” it sounds as if the singer is hearing the song for the first time and doesn’t quite know what to do, but not in a cool, fun way. Anyhow, it’s decent. The vocals bum me out, but the instrumentation is excellent.

War of Destruction Angst LP

This is a legitimate shock. WAR OF DESTRUCTION, of course, were one of the earliest and best Danish hardcore bands, solidifying their place in the pantheon of European hardcore with the release of their self-titled EP in 1983. This EP is all new material, recorded in 2017, and get this: it fucking rips! Seriously, this is so much better than almost any similar new recording from an ’80s hardcore band with original members that it’s mind blowing! One song passes the 2:30 mark, everything is fucking fast, pissed, and super energetic, the vocals are vicious, the riffs are just as good as they were back in the day, the drumming is better than it ever was and some of these songs are as good or better than their ’80s stuff! Fellow punx, I implore you: ignore the shit graphic design and skepticism that naturally follows when you see an old school band’s new material. This is legitimately one of the best new records of the year.