No Label

V/A Introductory Rites cassette

Don’t let a pretty weak opener from BOOTLICKER (confounding given that the band’s output has generally been very consistent) fool you into thinking that this isn’t a groovy as hell comp—TOTAL SHAM’s one-minute-and-ten-second ripper will reassure you of what’s in store. This is then further reiterated by the next track from EASY TARGETS. I’d never heard of the Chicago-based band, but they live up to their CHEETAH CHROME MOTHERFUCKERS-inspired name with a blasting, bouncy tune. Nice one. TUPPERWARE came next. I wasn’t in the slightest bit intrigued by their self-titled 7” from 2021, but this song was fucking great, nice Lumpy Records-esque rawness to a really danceable riff. Reminded me a lot of New York’s TEMPORARY AUTONOMY ZONE (T.A.Z.), and if you don’t know them you’re really missing out. It’s enticing to hear a band like ABI OOZE in our day and age as well. In America, there’s practically no one as indebted to the early L.A. punk scene as these guys are. Don’t fucking call this riot grrrl, ‘cos it’s not; it sounds as if the EYES or the BAGS shared members with BEAT HAPPENING. I love it. PISS KINKS sound as if a snotty late ’80s NYHC frontman like Paul Bearer or someone fronted a D-beat band. The drums on this song are madness. To conclude, this was a really fun comp and I highly recommend it to anyone. Keep dancing, punk!!!!!!!

V/A Between the Coasts cassette

Heck yeah, this tape shreds! As you might guess from the title, Between the Coasts is a compilation of bands from the Midwest area of the ol’ US of A. Just when it seems like the big-city bands get all the glory, a release like this pops up to remind us that hardcore punk is alive and thriving in less obvious places. Featuring twelve bands contributing a single track each, this comp is chock full of stone-cold rippers. Highlights include vital cuts from RABIES BB, BIG LAUGH, WEAK PULSE, and ZHOOP. There’s a smattering of more eclectic numbers to keep things fresh, but front to back, there ain’t a dull moment to be found. Do yourself a favor and check this one out.