SPEED BABES / ARSENE OBSCENE – split cassette

Chicago’s Speed Babes have released several DIY records since 2015 – two full lengths and a staggering five EPs, to be precise – very much taking the Robert Pollard inspired route of capturing the moment. Sometimes the energy of a performance can be more important than perfection.

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THE WIRMS – Dig These Four Songs With The Wirms EP

Self confessed “manic punk” duo The Wirms hail from the Ozark region of the US. To the outsider, that might not seem like the very epicentre of punk, but back in the 90s, the Ozarks spawned it’s own underground scene. [The DIY nature of punk always allows for scenes to spring up anywhere. Aberdeen, WA is in the middle of nowhere…and just look what happened there!]

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INDONESIAN JUNK – Stars In The Night

Indonesian Junk’s self-titled 2016 debut celebrated everything that was trashy about late 70s power pop and slightly glammy punk-pop. Huge cues from the CBGBs scene informed the bulk of the music, which was potentially enjoyable in a fairly chaotic way…provided, that is, the band kept to the upbeat. The slower numbers didn’t always fare so well and on top of that, frontman Daniel James’s drawling vocals were the very pinnacle of acquired taste. In short, then, despite glimmers of something, it was an album that could – and should – have been so much better. [A full review can be read here.]
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ELLEN AND THE DEGENERATES – Herb Alert EP

When picking up something from US DIY label What’s For Breakfast? Records, there’s more than a fair chance you’ll encounter something in the garage rock mould, some riot grrl anger, or even something punky. All good staple sounds for listeners who like their sounds authentically rough and ready, but the 2017 EP from Ellen and The Degenerates goes a step further and combines all of the aforementioned with some great hooks and a decent recording. All things considered, it’s easily one of the best things the label has released.

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