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!]
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.]
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.
In the run up to the release of this cassette, Bleeders had been steadily building a following on the live circuit on their home turf of Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas. That sort of makes sense since they have a sound that would surely work much better live; on record, their no-frills, no-wave, distorted, zero budget approach is hellishly ugly. So much so, that it makes label mates The Meltaways seem like a manufactured, multi-million dollar, radio groomed pop rock trio by direct comparison. The recording of ‘Gash’ is so raw and unrelentingly grotesque, it borders on being unlistenable. Looking at it another way, it’s so hard going, that’s an achievement in itself.
Part of Brooklyn’s extensive DIY punk and garage rock scene, The Meltaways are angry. Their self-titled release appeared on Mirror Universe Tapes in the summer of 2016 and thrust the influence of riot-grrrl music from the 90s sharply into the complacent face of the present. Via a recording that sounded like an explosive basement fury channelled into a collective of musical positivity, the trio presented combustible levels of attitude within their socio-political bursts of noise.