Cliterati Ugly Truths//Beautiful Lies LP

I feel like after a few releases, Portland’s CLITERATI has finally made the record that they were so close to delivering with Nuked At Birth and the VIOLATION WOUND split. Searing hardcore punk tinged with ’00s coliseum D-beat and fist-banging metal, all delivered with fire and with a positive fury that does more than talk about how fukkd everything in the world is. There’s beauty in the anger, and Ami’s vocals on tracks like “Trans is Beautiful,” “Unfuck the System,” and “Latinx Taken” are perfect examples of turning anger and frustration into power. Sonically, Ugly Truths/Beautiful Lies is a straight ripper. Period. But the full package (including Sugi’s cover art) is what really puts CLITERATI over the top. Full endorsement.

Kicker Pure Drivel LP

Driven by totally lethal, near-perfect buzzsaw guitar leads, KICKER’s third LP narrows in a little sonically closer to some of its UK82 anarcho-punk inspiration—CRASS, SUBHUMANS, and just a pinch at times of RUDIMENTARY PENI weirdness—by thinning the recording in the right places, and drawing back to an apropos, basic sturdy drum sound while still giving their inventive bass lines space to meander. Pete the Roadie’s (now even more) gnarled vocals spew and swagger over the top, flopping comedic and ironic missives that retain a distinctly personal feel. While some are sarcastic disbelief about common punk topics like nuclear annihilation, the inanity of mass media, or killers in the news, most are red-card day-to-day things like not being able to sleep, wankers on the bus, and escaping the city. The charm of these ten sarcastic songs is that while they offer no solutions, they do provide relatable camaraderie in shaking your head, raising your fist, and singing along in mirth and outrage as you spill your beer. “Goodnight and Fuck Off,” the quasi-soul hallraker that ends the record, might tip the hand that a member of SCHLONG has joined the band (!). Packaged in a nice gatefold sleeve with colored vinyl, there are fewer catchy hits here than their previous outings, but the ten tracks trade off for far more settled consistency in one of their strongest footings.

Los Huaycos Savage Monstrosities LP

I fucking love the Spanish language in punk. I don’t know what it is, but it sounds so primal and raw. Every year, I swear that I’m going to bone up on my languages in order to understand much of my record collection. Oakland’s LOS HUAYCOS has been tearing it up for some time now, with their mix of classic Spanish thrash and gnarly skate rock. They remind me of DESGRACIA JUBANIL or LOBOTOMIA combined with something off the Skate Rock Volume 3: Wild Riders of Boards comp. Shreds from start to finish. Pick it up.

Spazz Dwarf Jester Rising CD reissue

Debut full-length from West Bay legends, Dwarf Jester Rising clocks in under 25 minutes and their irreverent stamp on ’90s hardcore is undeniable. Sample-laden guttural blasts, discordant dirges, this is what the kids call powerviolence, and it didn’t start here, but this is when people outside of California started paying attention. Dwarf Jester Rising is important, to be sure, but it’s also really fucking good. Favorite track: “Burning Tongue.”

Spazz La Revancha CD reissue

If you’re a fan of powerviolence, SPAZZ should be one of the first five bands that come to your mind. This album originally came out in 1997, and it stands the test of time. SPAZZ has the humor, the riffs to back it up, and they play it in their patented no-slow-all-go style that is a runaway bullet train driving off of a cliff into space. Fuck you. SPAZZ forever.