Reviews

Wasted Wax

Anti Social Club Anti Social Club cassette

Spastic punk rock from Calgary. ANTI SOCIAL CLUB seems to refuse to pick which lane they want to be in. I hear elements of early American hardcore punk, Epitaph Records-style punk, metal-infused guitar licks, and there’s even some overly funky slap bass on one of the tracks. Vocals ranging from screamed hardcore call-and-repeat style to catchy “whoa-oh-oh”s. The LP of this looks to have been released in 2010, and this is the cassette version of the same record released by the same label, if this is up your alley and you missed a chance to get it on wax.

Forbidden Dimension Sin Gallery LP

We’re just getting started and my head is bouncing around. That’s always a good sign. It’s mid-tempo and catchy and a little surfy. It’s a lot surfy. Twenty cuts. Jesus. With song titles like “Haunted,” “Graveyard Line,” and “Shrunken Heads,” I’m expecting this to move from surf to something dark. And it does. It gets a little rockabilly, a little hot-roddy, a little garage, even a little swampy at times. Back to my comment about there being twenty cuts: with that many tracks on a record, there are bound to be hits and misses, and that is definitely the case here. An awful lot of the songs start with some sort of a sampled soundbite.

Mandible Klaw Mankind Grind LP

These guys hail from way up in Calgary, Canada and to be honest, with the winters they get up there I’d expect something more genuinely aggressive-sounding to come outta the place, but MANDIBLE KLAW don’t deliver us that. Instead, we get thirteen tracks of ultra-clean crossover thrash in the usual party tradition, complete with a nod to the Home Improvement theme song. It reminds me of a million other bands from a period not so long ago in the mid-2000s; its speed never quite reaches a level to be impressive, and the pissed-off vocals just sound inauthentic. Call me cynical all you want, but this sounds like a record that I’ve already heard a thousand times before—and after a year with more than enough to be fucking livid with, I’m after something actually pissed-off.

Me the Guts Spilt Guts Over Rough Cuts LP

Before I begin, it should be noted that this band hails from Canada. Now, forget that I mentioned that. Cool? Let’s begin. My first thought was “man, this sounds a lot like PROPAGANDHI.” While I still feel that way, I should clarify that statement: musically, this sounds a lot like an album they would have written between Less Talk, More Rock and Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes. For the most part. There is an acoustic song that doesn’t really fall under that umbrella, but it does fit with the album. There are shades of other Fat Wreck bands here too, before we get too carried away with just the one former. A solid listen that should appeal to any fan of that style. Side note: I couldn’t really tell if this was part of the song or an intentional joke, but at the end of the last song they seem to start going into a KORN song and then don’t…thankfully.

DFC / Nunchaku Masters Nunchaku Masters vs. DFC split cassette

Yes!! In a (punk) world of bands trying so hard to be…something…it’s refreshing to hear a band (or in this case, two bands!) who are not just content to be themselves—they are fucking determined. NUNCHAKU MASTERS and DFC both hail from the Brazilian capital city of BrasÁ­lia, and they share a love for pure old school thrash metal. We’re talking puffy high-tops and patched-up battle vests and long hair and politics just as in-your-face as the riffs. Anti-Nazi, pro-skateboarding, anti-asshole, pro-party, fist-banging, speed-picking thrash metal!!! NUNCHAKU MASTERS land more on the party thrash end of the spectrum, while long-running veterans DFC are decidedly darker, with a blistering Brazilian HC vocal attack backed by a brutally tight guitar attack more along the lines of countrymen DAMN YOUTH. Both bands absolutely shred these tracks recorded in the mid-’10s—and this release was a fucking blast to listen to!

Quit It! Let It Burn EP

Four tracks of socio-political anthemic punk with some well-placed street and Irish elements. A pandemic-midst project from the Calgary-based RIVER JACKS that hopefully will keep going. Sounds as if Jack Dalrymple of ONE MAN ARMY fronted AMERICAN STEEL. Those were both pretty good bands.

Spastic Panthers Complete Pantherography LP

I can’t say I’d really heard anything by these Calgary thrashers since their Rock and Roll Beasts EP. Now I and maybe you can catch up on their complete six-or-so year career all in one sitting. Looking at their discography, I was struck by how cool most of their releases look with great artwork and bitchin’ splatter-colored vinyl, and this collection is no slouch, either. Musically, they reek of long-ago skate rock masters like JFA, SNFU, DAYGLO ABORTIONS, or even a little CIRCLE JERKS thrown in there. They don’t take themselves too seriously, thankfully, and this shows on songs like “(Party Like a) Ninja Turtle” or their cover tune choices, of which the BODY COUNT one is the funniest. Sadly the PANTHERS rock no more, but you can flick the light switch on and off as you slam to this platter and long for what might have been. Good times.

The Moröns Today’s Special LP

Slick, rock’n’roll-tinged punk with some “whoa-oh”s and “oi, oi”s peppered in sparingly. If you removed the vocalist, I would swear that this was a DWARVES album that Blag had yet to put vocals on. I imagine that dudes who dress like Guy Fieri would fucking love this. For real. I’m not even talking shit.

The Pagans of Northumberland The Pagans of Northumberland LP

Apparently there is someone who was (or may currently be) in CHIXDIGGIT in this band, which I find…interesting. Anyhow, the PAGANS lean heavy on a DROPKICK MURPHYS/RANCID influence. In fact, so much so that it kinda sounds like what I imagine a collaboration between the two would sound like if you let Matt and some of the MURPHYS handle vocals and sing songs about football. I usually tend to leave this type of stuff where it lies, but there’s something about this that is genuine and doesn’t come off as hokey, rehashed bullshit like so many of these types of bands do.

Total Wolf Total Wolf LP

Do you enjoy fun? How about thrash? Yeah? Then chances are you would totally dig TOTAL WOLF. Listening to this, the one thing that keeps popping in and out of my brain is “What if MUNICIPAL WASTE wrote Apocalypse Dudes or GUTTERMOUTH played thrash?” Total fucking party record. It makes me wanna slam some shitty beers and circle pit around a bonfire and I don’t even drink anymore.

Total Wolf Nobody Loves You LP

Canadian hardcore along the ways of SICK OF IT ALL and AGNOSTIC FRONT. Not as iconic as those bands, but these guys do crank out the negative vibe in short blasts. I can see this band going over well on one of those multi-band hardcore shows.

Western Death Sick Century CD

The meaty chugs of mid-’80s NYHC clashes with melodic gruff vocals and wailing leads, while the heart of Sick Century is high energy catchy ’core along the lines of SNFU or BOUNCING SOULS. Worth noting that these kids hail from Medicine Hat, Alberta—a town the cops quite literally tried ran us out of on tour in ’96, but that was a different century. This century is a sick one. See what I did there?