Disinterest - “Repair” 7″ (2015)

Disinterest piqued my interested with this description of their July 2015 7″ Repair that appears on their Bandcamp page (HERE):

[The songs] capture our intention of immersing elements of hardcore punk in noise without the desire to adhere too strongly to the thematic and compositional conventions of either style.

Right from the start of the opening song “Visions” it seemed like this was going to be way on the noise end of the spectrum.  That is until about the 40 second mark when the noise vanished and a killer hardcore riff blasted out of it, with the rest of the song blowing the doors off.  The remaining seven songs fall more or less into the hardcore genre, though with some elements of thrash (“Reasons”) and sludge (“Repair”) mixed in to good effect.

 

Disinterest are from Philadelphia, and this is another of the great records that Philly’s Sit & Spin Records sent to me a while back.  The scene there is super deep - some amazing punk and darkwave is coming out of the Birthplace of Independence.  The 7″ of Repair is limited to 300 copies in either black or red, so if you want one, I’d suggest you get on it pretty quick - they’re only six bucks on Disinterest’s Bandcamp page.

The Advent - “New Beginnings” (1997)

adventnewbeginningsI’ve run across albums by The Advent many times before, but until recently had always passed them by.  I don’t seem to see as much techno in the stores out here in Seattle (maybe I’m just not looking in the right places), and often the prices on used vinyl are too high for me to justify paying for something I haven’t heard before.  But the other day I found a clean 1997s New Beginnings double album in the “New Arrivals” section of one of my regular haunts, and the price was right, so I finally took the plunge into The Advent.

And I’m glad I did, because New Beginnings is some pretty awesome house/techno.  The album opens with “Armageden,” and it had me thinking this was actually more toward the industrial side of the spectrum with the way it used staticy, raspy samples that gave it a bit of a metallic edge.  But from there it grooved into a much more straight-forward house album with steady beats and consistent, simple flourishes that make it easy to trance out to, at least for the rest of the first record.  Side C opens with “House Seed” which kicks up the tempo considerably and adds in vocal samples, something that was absent from three of the four songs on the A/B disc, and does so with greet success.  The C/D material is a bit heavier sounding in general, and a bit “busier” as well with more stuff surrounding the underlying beats.  It would be tough to say that one record is better than the other, though, as it more comes down to exactly what kind of mood you’re in.

Holly gives The Advent two thumbs up, and I think this will be a go-to for nights when we’re in the mood to get our techno on.

Dronez - “215” 7″ (2014)

dronez215This was another one of the items I recently got in the mail from Philadelphia’s Sit & Spin Records, and believe it or not it’s the first flex-disc I’ve added to my collection.  I had few of these when I was a kid, since they’d occasionally appear as inserts in magazines, but this is the first time I’ve actually bought one.  And unlike the flexis of my childhood, 215 was offered as a stand-alone limited edition (of 250 - hand numbered on the bottom right of the hand-cut jacket) release.

The three-song disc came out in late 2014 and is pretty much in-your-face hardcore, running a bit over four minutes start-to-finish.  Normally that’s not really my thing, but Dronez has a bit of thrash to their sound as well, and the metal vibe and short songs keep me head-banging throughout.  You can check out the entire album for free HERE, and it’s definitely worth the listen.

Haldol - “Haldol” (2015)

Haldol is another of the items that my friends over at Philadelphia’s Sit & Spin Records sent me the other day.  The self-titled five-song EP came out back in May, and Haldol can probably be considered local to the Philly scene, having originated in Nashville but relocated up north of the Mason-Dixon Line a while back.

I don’t know what’s in the water up there in Philly, but that city is home to a lot of killer punk, metal, and post-punk bands right now.  Maybe all the cheesesteaks and Yuenglings are clogging their arteries and making people all aggro and dark, or maybe it’s the remnants of the Curse of Billy Penn.  I’m not sure.  But whatever it is, there needs to be more of it, because here’s a lot of high-quality music coming out of there.

Haldol has a heavy dose of post-punk.  It’s dark and gloomy, the music carrying a weight of it’s own, tuned down and thick.  The vocals are less Ian Curtis-like insistent and more punk rock incessant, a modern take on post-punk.  It reminds me a little (and just a little) of two lesser-known bands I’ve come across in the last year or so, MALLEVS and Imaginary Friends, both of which I think are fantastic.  It’s the vocals that set it apart, giving you the sensation of listening to a hardcore singer fronting a darkwave band, and the effect is like a jolt of adrenaline that allows you to ride on top of the wave of the musical heaviness without drowning in it.

I’m not going to pick a favorite on Haldol.  I like it top-to-bottom.  I’ve already spun it a couple of times today, and I know there are going to be more listens in my future.  You can listen to the entire album for free on Haldol’s Bandcamp site HERE, and I encourage you to do so, because they’re killer.

Ruby Buff - “Insufficient Funds” Cassette (2015)

The other day I felt like playing a little musical roulette.  I wanted to hear some new stuff, and was both too lazy and too unmotivated to comb the internet for it myself, so I shot a quick email over to my friends at Sit & Spin Records in Philly and offered to PayPal them some money if they’d send me a box of whatever was cool and interesting and local that they had hanging around the store.  I’d done this before with good results, picking up the Philly’s Dopest Shit comp tape and discovering a band that I’m way into right now, No Stayer, and the folks at Sit & Spin didn’t disappoint this time either, sending me a 12″, three 7″, a CD, and a couple of tapes, none of it anything I’d ever even remotely heard of before.

rubybuffinsufficientfunds

The first thing I sat down to listen to was the recently released (July 2015) six-song tape by Philly’s own Ruby Buff entitled Insufficient Funds.  I was expecting something hardcore or thrash… and instead I got some pretty cool power pop.  There’s some punk here, a little rockabilly, some Devo-meets-REM, and a whole lot of high energy, high speed pop.  Ruby Buff do a good job in keeping it fresh stylistically, mixing up speed and sound to avoid falling into the punk-pop trap that so many bands crash into head first.  They do some cool stuff with harmonies, and for a three-piece fill up a ton of the available space with music.  The recording is crisp and clean, and that balance helps ensure that every sounds finds your ears.  My favorite track is “Landmine,” with it’s rat-a-tat-tat vocal delivery and funky guitar sounds that take it into the sort of post-punk territory that I like so much.  “Totally Down” falls into this same general style as well, though with vocals that are just plain fast and not as staccato, more sung than delivered.  Meanwhile, “Bike” mixes it up a bit with its super-cool jangle-pop feel that is like a cross between the Beatles and Presidents of the United States of America and has all the makings of a chart-topper.

These guys are absolutely, positively worth a listen, so go check out their Bandcamp page HERE where you can listen to all the songs on Insufficient Funds for free.