As always there were things I listened to relentlessly that didn’t make this list because of company policy (ie no records that were released by an indie but distributed by a major label conglomerate or you know, music that falls outside of the Maximum Rocknroll realm for musical reasons etc) and as always it is really hard to sum up a year of sound using words and…
From the insane cover art to the sounds on the vinyl this is insidious genius; scrape your eyes out blood thirsty raw punk that hasn’t left my listening pile since I got it. Fucking sick sounds and the definition of punk, Violetta’s voice marking the end of time in musical format. If you dug the song she sang on the last RATAS DEL VATICANOS LP grab this ASAP!
Goofy charming CLEAN tribute record by three women who write the most ridiculous ("You're a big big dog on a small small blanket" BEST!) yet heartfelt lyrics over music that makes me feel the same way I do after listening to LOOK BLUE GO PURPLE’s “Cactus Cat.” Sound of the summer, and of skating with your friends, aimless and fearless.
Their demo tape was one of the best of the decade for me, I was nervous about the LP, because you know, recording studios and vinyl can’t help but make things more professional and tidy… But the LP rules, sick HC by an all female group that brings to mind the song “Explode” by VOID, a rare and noble feat. They rule and this record demonstrates that fact.
Oakland’s only band. Protection against being the only women on the last train home. Will make you want to start a band with the meanest and coolest girls in town. Like LYDIA LUNCH formed a hardcore band, but is this HC? It is the most. You know that SLITS song “So Tough?” This is the answer to that question.
Yet another soundtrack to the end of the world: creative destruction, brutalist realism and a response to our endtimes capitalist degradation in musical form; doesn’t feel like a lecture, feels like an invitation to the apocalypse.
Songs about making fanzines and mixtapes, but also about spitting on the pope, the disdainful vocals espousing ideas we can all get behind. UKDIY style like the best post DESPERATE BICYCLES sounds, stuck in a stormy English seaside town making dreary yet dreamy sounds reflecting our dreams both crushed and hopeful… This was a tape but now it’s an LP. Get it or regret it!
Somewhere between the dirge/Xpressway that seems to have infected all Australian music of interest as of recent times and the UKDIY spiel of the first LP. A good place to be stuck.
Sparse reflections on a certain reality, sort of somewhere between YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS and the RAINCOATS with some added early EMBARRASMENT maybe? It’s got the sound of radical feminist punk of the ’70s, smart art school girls making nervous deconstructed punk music for other nervous girls ready to deconstruct society / punk etc.
Droning monotone yowl that sounds ideal on good headphones when it feels like there’s no solution; like a slow motion ROYAL TRUX playing early CHROME, downers and doubt.
POTTY MOUTH combine the melancholic BRATMOBILE songs with the force of early DINOSAUR JR, Homestead Records rather than K Records ya know? CRAZY BAND sound like suburban car park boredom, basement bands, underage cheap beer, in short skate for fun or not at all. Somewhere between JFA and XRAY SPEX. I couldn’t pick between these two acts.
GUN OUTFIT / HOAX / FLOOR ABOVE / AUSMUTEANTS / SHOPPING / RUBY PINS / SCRAPER / HARD SKIN / LAS OTRAS / LIFE STINKS / BAD NOIDS / WIRE
All the ingredients for my ideal 45; KLEENEX girls with a super slight garage lean… Really tough without being a pose, really cool without being a put on. A tough balance to catch, but the band I am most excited to hear more 45s from on this list… Vicious / rambunctious: NOTS has the formula down. Cyclotron-core.
My most listened to record. Another close to perfect 45 for 2013. I am not a huge proponent of the post-punk tinged darkwave / deathrock revival that the punk hordes are creating and consuming, but this record somewhat exists in that context, but it’s miles away from the trite revivalists. Watching PLEASURE LEFTISTS play was transformational. Sound of industrial landscapes in ruin, with more post-Thatcher’s Britain dissolute aftermath of punk than deathrock, like NEW ORDER’s first 45 not CHRISTIAN DEATH. Haley is an amazing front person, sort of IAN CURTIS frantic style in terms of visuals and vocals… Her voice is so cool, like the woman from PYLON meets the aforementioned JOY DIVISION vocalist, hints of chanson too, so insane and rad. I could imagine this band playing with MALARIA! or at the Hacienda. Cleveland.
The EASTLINK 45s that came out last year were from a 2012 tape… Great trebled out synth / guitar thug punk, like a JG Ballard book in 45 form. Metal machine music. Sense of humor / sense of style and further evidence that Australians are making the best sounds; can’t fucking wait for the LP on In the Red this year.
Like MEKONS meets CRISIS. The guitar line is like a bullet, wired and insurgent, the vocalist intones of public transit crowds complaining about a Trans person’s suicide fucking up their commute; the inconvenience and brutality of every day life / griping humanity in a perfect under three minute punk number. Made by ex-members of bands you might have records by, and more demonstration that London is the place right now for punkers…
Intellectual lunks, reminiscent of ancient times Cleveland / Detroit, but from current day San Francisco. San Francisco’s only? The sound of too much drugs / fast food / nihilistic literature / TV; clumps along like a Quaalude and makes for the ideal 45.
Watching this band play was revelatory / incendiary. Liberation and fuck you all in one. Like JOHN BRANNON was a woman and NO TREND was a hardcore band from London. So sick.
This singer of this band has a similar languid vocal tone to Justine from ELASTICA, and the music makes me think of all the bands that formed after hearing ROXY MUSIC, mixed with UV RACE / TOTAL CONTROL and some sorta Messthetics radness. I got so obsessed with this I made someone send me their unreleased tracks (they broke up! Such a bummer), and now I hear those songs are coming out on a 45 and they are playing one more show. Seriously, so cool. Like my birthday everyday.
Savage PUSSY GALORE deconstruction from Australia, girl is out for blood and it’s as brutal as the first BABES IN TOYLAND record but with no grunge, just fuck you punk in a more gassed in the garage rumble with TEENAGE JESUS or something. Sick as hell.
The best FLATMATES / SHOP ASSISTANTS / BUBBLEGUM YELL update from a band that’s usually operating under very different color schemes. The singer’s voice is so cool, makes me wish this band always sounded like this…
Perfect punk/pop for mod rockers, somewhere between the GOBETWEENS and SUBWAY SECT… Brighton alleyways and Crystal Palace leylines.
Also: KANTUTA / VIDEO / MANATEES / SECTOR ZERO / CAGED ANIMAL / MANE / BRILLIANT COLORS FLEXI / CHEMICAL PEEL / VARIX / REPLICA / LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS
FRAU / LAS TIMIDAS / FAMILY OUTING / TOTAL TRASH / FAILED MUTATION / IN SCHOOL / SHIRTLESS THUGS / PRIESTS / HAG FACE / KIERNAN PARADISE / LA LUZ
KAOS - Betonska Djeca LP
DIVISION FOUR-1983 Demo Cassette-12″
PETER GUTTERIDGE 2xLP
EGO SUMMIT-The Room Isn’t Big Enough-LP
FOTTUTISSIMA PELLICCERIA ELSA-LP
SATAN PANONSKI-Hard Blood Shock-LP
THE KICK-LP & 45
VENOM P STINGER-all
CORPORATE ROCKERS NOT IN THE MAGAZINE VERSION: BODY//HEAD / HIS ELECTRO BLUE VOICE/ VERONICA FALLS / ICEAGE / LA LUZ / BLEACHED / GOLDEN GRRRLS