Water Wing

Come Holy Spirit Undiscovered Land LP

If I recall correctly, my review of COME HOLY SPIRIT’s 2018 LP, Asters and Disasters, leaned heavily on references to the EX/DOG FACED HERMANS axis, no doubt helped along by the guest appearance of longtime EX singer G.W. SOK. Undiscovered Land retains the loose, rhythmic, experimental feel, but (with a couple of exceptions) feels heavier, more muscular, and (understandably) angrier. There’s an dramatic intensity in the interplay between the three musicians, the way the music builds and drops, threading the needle from one part to the next; the lyrics are poetic and directly confronting current events at the same time. This is punk with few of the trappings, independent of fashion. It’s not something you can put on and then go and wash the dishes or something — it demands (and is worthy of) your full attention.

Mr. Wrong Create a Place LP

I loved the 12″, but this is fantastic! What a record. A wild journey into art punk girl sound that’s exuberant, intoxicating, refreshing, and delightful! Sounds like it coulda come out in 1981 but also the sound of now! The joy of screaming fuck you at the gruesome specter of our current age. The way the three vocalists intertwine their vocals is so cool, sort of reminds me of the women from the B52’S where it’s almost unhinged but also pop?! It makes me think of listening to HONEY BANE and also the first GANG OF FOUR 45 all at once, just rambunctious radical transmissions!!! The lyrics are smart and insurrectionary, it’s such a pleasure to listen to. Just endless kicks and dance offs, but what they’re saying is off the pigs, bringing forth an anti-male-gaze reality you would only dream of!

The Rats In a Desperate Red LP reissue

The decades-long DIY rock n’ roll love story of Fred and Toody Cole is by now well worn. I’d be surprised if most readers of Maximum Rocknroll don’t have at least a cursory knowledge of DEAD MOON, Fred and Toody’s most widely-known and long-running band. But before DEAD MOON and PIERCED ARROWS, Fred and Toody were part of Portland punk’s first wave in the form of a band called the RATS. (For those not in the know, Fred’s roots go way back into the ’60s, but that’s a story for another day and another reissue.)  In a Desperate Red is the third (and to my mind best) RATS LP, bringing together the rawness and desperation of early punk with the wistful lo-fi tunefulness of Fred and Toody at their best. The Coles had a knack for bringing real human emotion into simple and urgent rock ’n’ roll songs, and In a Desperate Red features that tendency at its finest. Incredible songs about feeling antisocial (“Leave Me Alone”) sit side-by-side with songs about finding solace with a long-time love (“It’s Still You”) and songs about the drudgery of working life (“Working Class”). This long-awaited reissue spares no expense; the gorgeous 40-page booklet is a real treat for long-time fans, and the vinyl sounds fantastic. Completely mandatory.