Reviews

What's For Breakfast?

An Invitation You Can’t Love Me cassette

A two-song cassingle. AN INVITATION appears to be a one-man-band from Richmond, VA who was in that band SATAN’S SATYRS. This is some truly sleazy, nasty, heavy-metal infused rock’n’roll. Vocally it kinda sounds like VENOM to me, while musically it ranges from sludgy and plodding to riff-heavy and driving. Pretty cool, but I think I need to go take a shower now.

Kids Born Wrong Giallo cassette

Raunchy garage punk giving a nod to slasher flicks on this five-songer released last year. I can’t place the warbly tenor in the vocals, but there’s a rockabilly reference that I couldn’t shake (or identify) throughout my listen. A different tweak on the recording and some serious songwriting chops would start to shine, but I appreciate that KIDS BORN WRONG seem content (or determined) to stick to a horror punk delivery.

Musclegoose 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Musclegoose Mountain cassette

High-energy golf-themed basement shit punk that is way too high-fidelity. This shit is supposed to be recorded with a toilet mic, and these Arkansas butt rockers spent the money on a studio for some reason. It’s weird, but it means that the legitimate chops on tracks like “Bad Boyz II: Men” shine through and the listener starts to think that MUSCLEGOOSE might actually be a real band (hint: they are). DWARVES chops with SPITS humor, and head and shoulders better than the throw away joke punk garbage persona that they present.

NightFreak Blade of the Knife EP

This nice looking record has the visual aesthetics of an old PENETRATORS EP I have, or some of the many trashy rock’n’punk discs from the past. Flip it on and while those elements are there, you also get a heaping dose of NWOBHM or classic East Coast or Midwest hard rock like early RIOT. Sorta like a JAY REATARD vehicle hitting dead on with SAXON. Odd but works. “Shitting Bricks” is an absolute rager.

Pledge Drive Second Impressions cassette

Theatrical and fun post-punk energy with sassy lyrics laced into a gloriously complex wall of sound. With a six-piece band including guitar, bass, synth, and a sax there’s a reason it sounds like lot is going on. The creativity and groove of the tracks truly warrants an X-RAY SPEX reference. For anyone who had the luck of running into Worcester, Massachusetts’s SECRET LOVER, there is a lot in common with their sound, too. The band’s proclamation of being “famous for friendliness” is also pretty irresistible in my book.

Salty Dry-Rub cassette

How do you describe hipster punk delivered by actual nerds? Not ironic nerds, but people who are nerds because they have no other choice in life. Dry-Rub is synth heavy, there’s the VERUCA SALT vibe that dominates (it’s really a WIRE / BUZZCOCKS vibe, but that’s a different decade and a different story), and there’s the overwhelming feeling that you’re own perception of cool is getting completely skewed by listening to SALTY. Decidedly un-hip hipster garage/psych music that should be for the masses.

Speed Babes Tape:Pink cassette

Third dose this month of garage-esque punk from What’s For Breakfast? Records. Karoline says “it kinda sounds like that wave of commercial almost-punk that was popular fifteen years ago. Like, not the HIVES, and not quite FRANZ FERDINAND, and maybe REIGNING SOUND sometimes.” And you see, that’s why I ask Karoline’s opinion: because she fukkn nails it. Quirky jams from Chicago’s prolific SPEED BABES, every track is catchy (well, almost; see below) and the above non-descriptors should give you a pretty good idea of what they are slinging. A few breath-y slow/quiet tracks for good measure (the burners are way better though, “Start a War” is a clunker supreme).

Shitstorm / Sunwyrm split cassette

Two St. Louis bands join forces on this here cassette; four songs from SHITSTORM and three from SUNWYRM. With the exception of SHITSTORM’s opening track (a clipped, concise 110-second buzz-pop gem: riff, hook, chorus, brief solo, repeat the chorus, we’re out!), both groups share a devotion to the psych-punk gods of fuzz and wah wah—driving riffage, freakout sounds, and propulsive rhythms, with the Cyclotron™ cranked to 11 and plugged into Jupiter. Great stuff and short enough to leave you wanting more.

The Shitdels Shape-Shi[f]t Faces LP

If I had heard the SHITDELS sight unseen, I would have assumed it was the latest John Dwyer record. It’s got all the stylings: jangly guitars, childlike keyboards, reverb-laden vocals and female backing vocals. The songs are noisy, with a catchy dance-y quality. The vocals are high-pitched, and they holler and whoop along the way. The music is peppy and poppy, yet distorted and dissonant. Fun stuff.