Pedigree Connected? 12″

Coming through with a sound akin to EX-CULT on Valium, PEDIGREE has unleashed a monster of an EP upon the unsuspecting public. Beyond its loud and fuzzy post-punk exterior, this is complex music with a real cinematic quality to it. Each song is almost like its own little movie, conjuring up jittery images of frantic electricity webbing bleak dystopian landscapes. These tunes expand and contort in surprising and impressive ways as they unfold, like the awesome little bit of “Miserlou”-esque guitar play on “Blank Page” and the continuous escalation into madness witnessed on closer “The Nomad.” It’s strong stuff. Put this on and see where it takes you.

Vision 3D Hypnose LP

Well, I’m a big dumb idiot. I sat on this record for nearly a month before giving it a spin because I was dreading reviewing it. I’d never heard of the band, their name seemed annoyingly generic, and I could easily imagine this cover being slapped on a record I hated. Plus it’s a whole damn LP! That means that I’m going to have to endure eleven songs and 30-plus minutes of music that probably sucks over the course of multiple listens. Except, it doesn’t suck. Not even a little bit. Turns out VISION 3D, a trio out of Toulouse, France, has cobbled together one of the best guitar rock records I’ve heard in a long time, by combining nearly everything I’ve loved about garage punk over the past twenty years. Throughout the record you’ll get snatches of the COUNTRY TEASERS’ detuned cowpoke post-punk, THEE OH SEES’ trebly reverbed-to-hell garage-psych freakouts, the early BLACK LIPS’ “I’ve Got a Knife” attitude, and, for good measure, MAN OR ASTRO-MANS?’s outer space raygun surf. Then that’s all topped with some great multi-tracked vocals that would fit in somewhere among a KLEENEX-ish yelp, the too-cool-for-school contemporary post-punk vocals of the WORLD, and the avant-garage-pop chanson of STEREOLAB or the LIMIÑANAS. Just an absolutely fantastic record put out by a band with an actually fitting name that, in retrospect, has a perfect cover. I wish I’d had an additional month with it.

Warm Exit Sonny Cynar EP

Four tracks of synth-fueled punk rock pop that harkens the weirdness of early B-52’S with the angular-ness of GANG OF FOUR. It also has that current knowledge and feeling that “everything might fall apart at any moment” that one gets from NO AGE. Hoping they put out a full-length at some point. During my own travels and playing shows, I have often visited Rockerill in Charleroi, Belgium on European tours. Rockerill is that kind of place, not infrequent in Europe, where a huge industrial factory is tuned into a true DIY art/music/cultural center hosting art events and punk shows, and also, as it turns out, a recording studio and record label where this album was made.