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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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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MISSILES OF OCTOBER – Better Days

Belgium’s Missiles of October have been cranking out their own brand of post-hardcore/noise rock since 2012. Approximately five years on from that time, the self-proclaimed “three old guys” are still very much an underground act, gleefully making listeners’ ears bleed whilst recycling various familiar influences. Their 2017 release ‘Better Days’ really drives home their love of retro hardcore, Jesus Lizard-esque angular art rock and more, in a package that some will find hard to swallow and yet others will lap up with twisted merriment.

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BLEEDERS – Gash EP

bleeders-gash-cassetteIn 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.

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