Chron Turbine Yoga Injury: Discomfort in Seven Movements cassette

Eight jams from stoner and noise rock influences on this release. The tape starts strong with a tightly-wound instrumental song that sounds like a HELMET demo. Two vocalists, one of whom sounds like a mix of David Yow from the JESUS LIZARD and Aaron Beam from RED FANG, and one of whom sounds like bad Jon Spencer karaoke, sing separately on the rest. When the band gets into a propulsive groove, it’s good in the crunchy ’90s rock way. “Dying Elephant” has a catchy, repetitive refrain that got my foot tapping and head bobbing. I was then able to place the sound historically: this sounds like the bands that got swept up in the major label, post-Nevermind feeding frenzy of the early ’90s. Clean vocals, a little distorted chugging but not too heavy, and pop sensibility? Yeah, this sounds as familiar as any other second-tier band on a Geffen label sampler back in the day. A few of these tracks could fit in on modern rock radio, no disrespect intended. Full disrespect, however, to the songs “Hipster Taxidermy Fetish” and “Wet Look.” The vocals are a comical Jon Spencer impression with all the blues affectations that can only be handled by Mr. Spencer himself. I cringed through those two tracks and wondered what kind of band friendship or financial obligation got that guy the job. Other than those two tracks, decent if unremarkable release of what I guess is still called alternative rock.

Dark Thoughts Do You Dream / It’s Too Late 7″

Fuck yeah DARK THOUGHTS. Maybe this isn’t the best thing to admit, but when a band has a fucking stupid name like DIARRHEA PLANET (great band tho), I tend to avoid checking them out. But on the flip side, when they have a really cool name like DARK THOUGHTS, I wanna check them out right away. So these dudes have been making me tap my Converse and wiggle in my tight black jeans since shortly after their first LP. This new single has the best song they’ve possibly ever written as the A-side. “Do You Dream” is a minute and 18 seconds of pop-punk bliss. It’s oh so easy to write off a band when you see the word RAMONES-core associated with them and it totally feels fucking lazy to even put that in a description if I’m honest. Though I’ll be goddamned if these guys didn’t exclusively listen to the Fast Four and MEAN JEANS before writing their own songs. It’s a perfect mix and I recommend buying all their records like yesterday.

Dropdead Arms Race / Give It Up 7″ flexi

This flexi features the legendary DROPDEAD covering a song each from BGK and POISON IDEA. It is a benefit for United We Dream, a youth-led community group fighting for justice for immigrants in the US. DROPDEAD is probably the most furious and raging band to ever shred. There may be faster and heavier, but something about DROPDEAD just brings the intensity to another level. Almost 30 years as a band and they can still bring it. If you’ve never heard them before, get this one and any of their other releases because they all rip, and if you already know, might as well support the cause!

Peace Talks Progress LP

The first LP by Pittsburgh’s PEACE TALKS consists of nine tracks of politically-driven, raging hardcore punk. Not a pretentious or try-hard approach of fitting into some mold, other than the expression of anger coming from living in modern society. Everything from fast two-beat drumming to blastbeats, yet still sounding like controlled chaos. Maybe the closest vibe to this record might be NYC’s NAUSEA while still having a sound of their own. Full-frontal ferocious attack of turbulent sonic bombardment.

Uniform Operator Kinds of Light cassette

Desperate music for long, late drives to nowhere. All kinds of driving, mid-paced melodic ’90s references are floating into my head as I listen to this Buffalo band—DRIVE LIKE JEHU, In on the Kill Taker, simplified Mascis leads, even a sprinkling of the JESUS LIZARD—but where this band transcends mediocrity or nostalgia is in the abundance of hooks, impeccable songwriting where every instrument makes its mark, and shapeshifting, anguished vocals. The test of any good mid-paced band is where they can keep (or improve on) everything that makes them good when slowing things down, and they succeed on “Split Self.” Though for all my praise, the sexual lyrics to “The Red & the Black” are kinda gross.