THE MOONSHINERS – EP

16265162_705722059610694_9173415247525155349_nArmed with a love of Rocket From The Crypt and (the) Misfits, Peterborough punk ‘n’ rollers The Moonshiners are set to slap you in the jaw with a potent, riff-heavy sound on their untitled 2017 EP . Their self-financed release serves up half an album’s worth of raw and dirty noise and couples the best riffs with a few top-notch hooks, which results in an unmissable listen for fans of the style.

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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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DOGSTRUM – Murtsgod EP

dogstrum epDogstrum? Dog? Strum? It’s true – all the great band names are spoken for. You’d have to wonder how many other supposedly worse names this Seattle band discounted before deciding that Dogstrum would be their best. Luckily, though, for this particular power trio, their music shows more than a glimmer of greatness. Labelled ‘grump-punk’ (whatever that might mean) by a local paper, their sound is hard and dirty, energetic and sometimes raw in spirit, though fidelity-wise, these six tracks are well recorded with plenty of punch in all the right places.

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COACH N COMMANDO – FBP!K!K!

cnc2016Coach N Commando are a two-piece act that are almost the dictionary definition of the word niche. These self-styled country punks create a raw sound that sounds like the deformed mutation of Lux Interior, Reverend Horton Heat and a toothless bluegrass hobo. Their 2016 release – their first for Brooklyn’s King Pizza label – is both intricate and ferocious; ugly and smart. Long standing fans will recognise a few tracks reworked from previous records, but rest assured that the re-recordings are an improvement at every turn. The eight songs that make up ‘FBP!K!K!’ play like disastrous musical travelogues retold via a telegram from a previous generation. With bad motels, dirt roads and broken relationships at the core, it’s like everything and nothing you’d expect from such an unholy alliance of sounds.

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NIGHTMEN – Fifteen Minutes Of Pain

nightmen lpIf you imagine the sounds of proto-punk from 1975 transferred via Sweden, you’ll know almost instinctively how this release from Nightmen sounds. This Scandinavian quartet dish up some really honest and authentic music on this audio love letter to the days of New York Dolls and the Ramones’ debut; the twelve tracks crammed into under half an hour showcases the sounds of leather and sweat, with a little camp trash thrown in for good measure. In short, ‘Fifteen Minutes of Pain’ might be heavy on the recycling, but the energy combined with a knack for hooks and riffs makes it an essential listen.

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