Razored Raw

Ghidrah Invincible Deluxe LP reissue

Blessing GHIDRAH’s ’96 CD with a vinyl release, this record commemorates the 25th anniversary of the veteran New Zealand band’s debut. With a sharp new remastering courtesy of Dead Air Studios, this slab showcases 21 blasts of rowdy hardcore that are punctuated by random TV, movie, and video game sound bites. That structure was typical for powerviolence albums in the 1990s, and while the music here touches on that style with a few healthy blastbeats, there are other flavors at play that are hard to ignore. This is more of a primal and expressive sort of chaos in the vein of SUN CHILDREN SUN, complete with a good bit of brass cacophony. It’s a heavy, heavy racket that goes into a range of moods. There’s also a baked-in sense of strangeness that makes me think of the BUTTHOLE SURFERS, and the song “Can’t Undo” with its yearning indie melody and spoken-word overlays reminded me of the closing “Tugena” on the DEAD MILKMEN’s Big Lizard LP. An unlikely stew, but it’s a raw and original document that deserves the celebration.

Putrid Future / Szk​ł​o split EP

Split EPs have always symbolized the idea of collaboration and togetherness (known as the “network of friends” by geriatric punks) inherent to the true punk spirit, without mentioning the opportunity to discover two bands for the price of one. I did not know PUTRID FUTURE and SZKŁO (it means “glass” in Polish) before being offered to review this delightful split, and I have to say that the experience was very pleasant, although I probably should have not played the thing in the morning. I dislike my neighbours, but still. Let’s start with PUTRID FUTURE from Wellington, New Zealand (or Aotearoa, as the band also refer to the country in its Maori name). This three-piece unleashes unabated gruff käng hardcore with a crasher noise influence, especially in some of the drumming and the textured distortion. If PUTRID FUTURE was a topic, it would be what GIFTGASATTACK and PARANOID would talk about at a POLLEN or PHYSIQUE gig (after covering the primordial topic of distortion pedals, obviously). Two solid songs, promising as I think they could do with a bit more power, but a clear progression from their earlier tapes. On the other side, the bollocking continues, increases even, as SZKŁO, from Melbourne (or Naarm, the Aboriginal name) delivers three fast and absolutely furious songs of insanity-driven distorted hardcore thrash. Mean, angry punk music with one song about the weaponization of animals by the police, which is a pretty original topic. If DESTROY! and ’87 NAPALM DEATH hung out with the Osaka crusties in the ’90s and they all caught rabies, the ensuing chaos would sound close to this. This EP was released on Razored Raw, based in Wellington and dedicated to make the world a deafer place, and Feral Dog Records. Looking forward to more loud things from these two bands.