INDONESIAN JUNK – Spiderbites

It took Milwaukee garage punk trio three releases to strike gold. Their debut album was ragged beyond belief and very much an acquired taste; its follow up, 2017’s ‘Stars In The Night’ took their hybrid of garage rock, punk and sleaze up a notch, and although it included a couple of far superior songs, it would still be a stretch to call it an essential listen. With 2018’s ‘Darkness Calling’, they finally released a disc that showed their true potential as heirs to the Johnny Thunders and New York Dolls legacies. Its blend of trashy riffs, big choruses and party attitude deserved to be appreciated by fans of a proto-punk sound everywhere.

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THE LIVERMORES – The Livermores

The Livermores’ 2019 self-titled disc follows a couple of EP releases (including a fun split with Proton Packs), is advertised as a full album but still only clocks in at a length that some bands would still consider an EP. In an especially lean twenty four minutes, though, this band smashes their way through a full thirteen tracks of speed-driven punk, creating a listen that’s both enjoyable and incredibly energetic.

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GODSTICKS – Inescapable

The sound of the third Godsticks album came as a bit of a surprise. At some point between the release of their second album ‘The Envisage Conundrum’ and the writing of 2015’s ‘Emergence’, things took a heavier turn. It wasn’t necessarily for the better. What had once been a fairly inventive prog band with a few harder moments was now a full on prog metal band. The lion’s share of ‘Emergence’ was rather…dull. Still, some fans seemed to take to the more aggressive sound and it undoubtedly attracted a few new ears. For better or worse, at least this was a prog band actually progressing.

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VOFA – Vofa

When it comes to extreme metal, the Scandinavians have a long and rich history. Quite often, their extremes are rooted in the black metal sphere, but sometimes a more gothic approach will rear its head with interesting results. In the hands of Iceland’s Vofa, the latter definitely applies since their debut album comprises of three very lengthy, title-less pieces that explore the heaviest end of the funeral doom subgenre. In many ways, it sounds almost exactly how its sleeve art looks.

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