Big Black – Bulldozer [EP]

Bulldozer is Steve Albini’s second release through Big Black, and it’s miles ahead of Lungs. For starters, there’s an actual amp for the guitar instead of an old TEAC augmented by a Casiotone, which made Lungs sound like a cheap-ass record on Fisher-Price. He’s a got a real drummer on the beats too via Pat…

Big Black – Lungs [EP]

Lungs is 19-year old Steve Albini playing every instrument except for a drum machine and “sax bleats”1 as Big Black. What would become a household name in noise rock started off pretty rough on this extended-play, with fleshless songs and angular guitar strums against incredibly simple (and nigh-identical) percussion loops. Albini’s voice is extremely reverbed,…

Weekend Nachos – Still

Apart from having one of the best band names this side of “Piss Vortex,” Weekend Nachos are one of the leading purveyors of the modern powerviolence/crust punk scene. Well, at least they were. They broke up earlier this year and released the teaser for their final album as I was writing this article.1 Still is…

Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

While the California punk culture is known for its skate punks and as the birthplace of American hardcore, there’s an oft-forgotten art punk scene that played rhythm guitar to the leading one in New York City – the most famous (and visible) of which are San Francisco’s Dead Kennedys. Acts such as The Units and The Screamers utilized gender-bending imagery…

Against Me! – Against Me! As the Eternal Cowboy

Against Me! As the Eternal Cowboy is where Against Me! went electric, pissing off punks everywhere who were enamored with the Gainesville quartet’s folk instrumentation and unrefinedness on debut Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose.1 Whereas the latter album featured hand-claps, muddy production, and romantic odes to anarchism, As the Eternal Cowboy is cleaned up,…

Nux Vomica – Nux Vomica

A severe problem with modern boundary-pushing extreme metal and punk is that so many bands aim to push at boundaries at the expense of actual songwriting, which often leads to releases that are interesting1 – whatever the hell that word actually means – but not listenable. An album can entertain new concepts all it once,…

Flogging Molly – Drunken Lullabies

Back when I was a wee lad,1 my middle school friends and I got really into Irish music. Or so we thought: the deepest we got was a few compilations my mom bought after horseback riding in Ireland and a well-loved Celtic Woman release.2 You could say that I liked the game, but didn’t watch…

Joy Division – An Ideal for Living [EP]

Had Martin Hannet not discovered the band when he did, Joy Division could’ve been just another straightforward punk rock outfit with slightly erudite lyrics, which would forever alter the timeline of sad British pop music and drastically change the requisite material for crying indie kids everywhere. There are four tracks on the An Ideal for…

Get Rad – I Can Always Live

Get Rad is a hardcore punk band out of Milwaukee, home of Liberace and The Violent Femmes. Notable extreme music label Gilead Media released I Can Always Live on vinyl (now out-of-print) and compact disc; the album is also available as a free digital download through both the band’s and the label’s Bandcamp page. At…

Iron Reagan – Demo 2012

The Ronald Reagan bit is obvious, but I’m curious if that’s an Iron Maiden reference in that there band name. The Demo 2012 is a four-track digital release of blisteringly fast hardcore punk/crossover thrash. It’s political as hell with for-real intelligible lyrics and a yell that even gets a bit sing-songy at points. Most band…

PyPy – Pagan Day

Pagan Day is frustrating. On one hand, it’s a tight post-punk release by the Québécois quartet PyPy.1 On the other hand, it abuses the worst of indie rock clichés. The opening title track is a positively badass beginning with some French spoken word-ish that reminds one of the Pixies in its brashness. There’s some wah-wah…

Ex-Breathers – ExBx

Tallahassee hardcore punk trio Ex-Breathers wrote ExBx with the idea of fitting as many ideas as they could within a single 7″ record. The result is twelve songs of blistering hardcore punk in eleven minutes. Stereogum,1 Exploding In Sound,2 and Invisible Oranges3 featured the album; which was a big deal for a band whom, as…