Probe Plus

The High Five Cold Steel Gang / Are You Happy? 7″

A new English group with a folk-rock sound closer to that of LA’s contemporary ’60s revival bands than the genuine ’60s article. Still, both sides are rather tasteful. “Cold Steel Gang” is an engaging little ditty with a nice folk-rock guitar; the B-side isn’t as good, but has a decent hook. Worth a listen.

The Mel-o-Tones Melonheaded 12″

Most of the material here is psych-wanking in a BEEFHEART meets BIRTHDAY PARTY vein; post-punk inanity. But one of the two versions of “Happy Hour” that appear on the disc really cuts loose, with a great CRAMPS-like rock-out. The rest leaves me cold.

Walking Seeds Know Too Much 12″

Another UK band returning to earlier punk, or rather what we now think of as post-punk, roots. Minimal melodies and rhythms, noisy and full of screeches and snarls. Reminds me of when the FALL, PERE UBU, CABARET VOLTAIRE, and THROBBING GRISTLE were “punk” bands. And just as good.