Rust on the Blade

Devious Ones She’s Waiting for Me / The Straggle Is Real 7″

I’ve enjoyed music from these cats before and they continue to deliver the goods. If you like super catchy power pop, this is 100% for you. On the first listen through each song, I just can’t stop bouncing my head. It’s mid-tempo and a little jangly, just like I like it. But it’s really all about the hooks. Go out of your way to find this record.

Norcos y Horchata Forever Disheveled LP

A perfect combination garage punk, gruff Oi!, and power pop, NORCOS Y HORCHATA sound bizarrely like a band that would come from Detroit (they do)—I don’t really know why I say that and I have no justification for it, but I’m gonna stick by it. What if the EPOXIES ditched the keyboard and wrote a stripped-down BAR STOOL PREACHERS record? Well, I guess I would think they were from Detroit. These songs are gonna get stuck in your head whether you like them or not. I warned you. 

Norcos y Horchata Aloha Motherfuckers EP

On paper, this Detroit trio has the goods. Blunt-force, three-chord punk with melodic vocals at the forefront. Unfortunately, the vocals are a bit too forefront, giving them a stilted feeling in the mix and also placing undue emphasis on them. They’re not bad, but the lyrics and melodies are a bit rote for this style and leave the whole affair sounding a bit dated. The band is more than capable, sounding like they can leave a barroom or two in splinters on the right night, but I just find myself kept at an arm’s length from really engaging with the material. It treads similar ground to greats like DILLINGER FOUR and DARK THOUGHTS, but doesn’t quite connect the punch. With some tweaks to production and songs that have a bit more meat on them, this group could really bring it.