Reviews

Shove

Autarch Excession//Excision cassette

While the 2020s are still running on ignorant punk stomps, in the mountains of North Carolina there are four people who are determined to keep pushing the epic crust envelope further and further. Stunning, downtuned, apocalyptic D-beat lurches, replete with over-the-top guitar leads and dual vocals that seem all obligatory not because “they’re supposed to do that” but because it all needs to be there. You can feel it. For a band to sound so simultaneously confident and desperate is beyond refreshing, even while the tonnage from these two songs crushes you from the inside. AUTARCH has been in the game for a while, and they sound more important than ever.

Pussy Galore Feel Good About Your Body EP

Combining garage, noise, punk, and spoken word, this crude trio will not appeal to most in their simplicity, but their commitment to the original punk aesthetic should. “HC Rebellion” has some important criticisms to hear, which you can also do live (see tour ad this issue).

Pussy Galore Groovy Hate Fuck 12″

In this day of slick releases, this may seem pale. But this band is pure garage aesthetic in both sound and words. This is dirty rock’n’roll and as dirty as it gets, too. You may be offended by “Just Wanna Die,” “Pussy Teen Power,” “Cunt Tease,” or “You Look Like a Jew,” but I say that these guys get four stars for bravery.

Pussy Galore Exile on Main Street cassette

A cassette-only release in a limited edition of 500, doing an entire and complete cover of the STONES’ heroin masterpiece. However, tongue is firmly in cheek as half the songs are done straight and half are completely trashed. Yes, a classic.

Wretched of the Earth Collapse // Rebirth LP

Contrasting this optimistic album title, I naively venture to the recording: epic, despairing neo-crust from Portland. To that point, I’m feeling the renaissance of FROM ASHES RISE and TRAGEDY here. The true personality is emulated between various vocals. I’m picking up like three vocalists, but this is perhaps being expressed by two. But even more remarkably, in several languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, African? Indigenous or Polynesian? I’m sorry, I’m not sure the origins of some of these songs and lyrics, but the variety of dialects here is inspiring. Certain spaces of this remind me of REACT and SCUMBRIGADE with, again, that multiple vocal energy. Within the barrage of hardcore crust pummeling, WRETCHED OF THE EARTH have riveted down some ominous melancholy passages as well. After all, this album gets better as it escalates and plateaus and fades out. I bet this band would rule live, if we ever get there again.