Ammo Web of Lies / Death Won’t Even Satisfy LP

The fine, formidable hardcore of AMMO comes in with a rabid intensity that approaches TOTALITÄR levels, but this New Jersey band manages to apply that ferocity to traditional USHC song structures with beefy breakdowns and what have you. I’m hearing JERRY’S KIDS influence, maybe it’ll conjure up some other memories for you. Turns out this is the guy from NIGHT BIRDS getting some hardcore out, and it’s nicely done, with “Answer to a Lower Power” being my favorite cut of the bunch.

Dinged Up Mucho Dolor LP

This record was released digitally in 2016, but thanks to the swell folks at Snappy Little Numbers in Denver, it’s gotten a proper release on vinyl now. The sound is not exactly homogeneous and that makes it difficult to pin down. But I’ll be goddamned if “Don’t Torture Me” isn’t the power pop banger of the summer. That track is just under four minutes and it’s a dancey romp the whole way through. Something that is worth mentioning is Joe Rankin (the person behind DINGED UP) recorded every single sound on the record themself. I’ll say that the vocals seem a little bit distant in the recording, but I think it works really well. Especially when they’re layered with woo-ooos and background vocals like in the song “Noose.” And Joe Rankin has such an interesting singing voice that helps DINGED UP stand out from the crowd. Many of the tracks are fast-paced, high-energy jams, though “Dial Tone” slows everything way down in the middle of the record and shows off their mellow side. I love all the guitar parts—many of them are sharp and piercing while carrying a nice melody, and the instruments are mixed really well. I’d recommend giving this one a spin if you’re looking for something different but in a very good way.

The Ergs! Renovations EP

With recurring themes of heartbreak, missed opportunities, and broken and lost lives, country music and punk can share some similarities. Here the ERGS! are back together to put out three tracks that you could call country-inspired, but it’s all ERGS! at heart. The opener “Tonight’s the Night” is an OLD 97’S-style romp. The title track, “Renovations” has some of Jeff Schroeck’s best lyrical work to date, while “Penny in the Jukebox” is a great boozy closer. The EP manages to stretch out some musically while still maintaining that ERGS! earnest and honest punk sound.