Underground Punk Top 8 of 2015

  1. Gashrat – “I Decided”

    Gashrat is a four-piece instrumental band who make a kind of deconstructed jazz punk. Subtle riffs pile on top of each other and go through the motions of climax and breakdown. I saw them open for Kim Gordon’s noise band (Body/Head) and they destroyed, so there. Montreal’s best kept secret.
    Video | Stream Album
  2. Nots – “Virgin Mary”

    Nots’ latest single steps things up: guitar improv on the intro, instrumental breakdown on the outro, esoteric themes in the lyrics…Precisely the kind of complexity expected from a  socially and politically conscious band (without the spelled-out kiddie politics of Downtown Boys and G.L.O.S.S.) Their political, art-punk statement is not lost on the true listener.
    Video | Gonerfest 2015 | Nots on TimeWarpWeekends
  3. Sex Tide – “I Want To Die” & “Siren”

    Aurelie Celine,  singer of Sex Tide, whose woeful howl can induce trance states, is also the main drummer, and along with two guitars, creates this extremely dense hardcore punk noise that is deeply psych.
    Video | Stream Album
  4. Golden Pelicans – “Oldest Ride, Longest Line”

    Even though this was released on Total Punk Records out of Florida, it is anything but. Don’t get me wrong, punk is punk, but true punk will always sound different than what it should. These differences is what keeps the genre alive. Erik G, lead singer here, spits his outlaw poetry over the thumping grooves and sinewy guitars. His tales are about the denizens of Colonialtown, the Orlando neighborhood where the band resides. Jail breaks, city fairs, street fights, a candid glimpse into an unpopular corner of the American South as rarely heard.
    Video | Stream Album | Review
  5. Black Panties – “Everyone”

    An underground pop-punk rager that is also a love song. It’s these kind of contradictions that break the mold and pave the way for further irreverent innovations. Black Panties is a post-MTV debauched prodigy of punk rock. Other hits include “Drive My Car In The Mississippi”.
  6. Mystic Inane – “Eggs Onna Plate”

    Everyday you wake up, step out of bed, and eat eggs onna plate. Masterful Zen poem, or Mystic Inane hardcore punk lyrics? A political hardcore band if I ever saw one (without the spelled-out kiddie politics of Downtown Boys and G.L.O.S.S.) because all their statement is given through their sound: jazz-like riffs and progressions over marching band drums, and it’s all over too soon. Hardcore forms modulated to have groove. New New Orleans sound.

    Video | Stream

  7. Robert Watson Craig III aka Buck Biloxi aka Georgio Murderer aka Black Abba

    In 10 years, when capitalism will have been replaced by whatever Russia and China have devised, and all of us will be forced to work longer hours than ever, there will be no such thing as an “underground economy”, and one man will be laughing, or grieving, all the way to the bank. That man’s name is Robert Watson Craig III and he is the character behind the one-two thump of Buck Biloxi, the synth-punk of Giorgio Murderer, and the lo-fi pop of Black Abba. Many will scoff, but this kind of minimalist variations of sci-fi punk he and others (Nots, Useless Eaters) concoct, will be the mainstream music of the future.
    Video | Stream Buck Biloxi | Stream Black Abba
  8. Frau – “EBD”

    After releasing an infallible demo, nonetheless pressed to vinyl, with one of a kind sonics (did you ever hear sound so loud it compresses into a throbbing rumble? as on “Nada”), and completing a North American tour (including Mexico), Frau self-released four new songs for their latest single. Foregoing their previous recording techniques, and opting for a supreme lo-fi sound (almost no low-end), “EBD” re-introduces the powerhouse quartet as no-nonsense hardcore punk rockers devoid of gimmicks and focused on giving you that raw, hostile, and exulted sound.
    Video | Stream | Lyrics


Nots – “Inherently Low” (2015)

A new Nots song slipping under the radar. This was recorded at BBC 6 Radio in the UK, for Marc Riley. I heard the song at Gonerfest 12, and was surprised at how it deviated from the intensity of other new songs like “Virgin Mary” or “Shelf Life”.

green_fuz_45_reissueThe rage is gone but replaced with a kind of disgust. “Inherently Low” is a powerpop & post-punk hit combined. Lest we forget, an early lineup of Nots covered The Nerves (not sure which song, but “Hanging On The Telephone” is a sure bet) and “Green Fuz” by Green Fuz, both low-key 70’s pop-folk hits. And if we go even further, Natalie and Charlotte were both members of Bake Sale, their pre-Nots jangly indie pop group who released one 7″ on Grand Palace records that was printed on special ‘glow in the dark’ vinyl (way cool!).

Natalie and Charlotte were part of Bake Sale before forming Nots

“Inherently Low” seems to be about a friendship gone awry. The trademark Nots chorus which repeats those two words incessantly like a mantra seem to express a judgement of character. Why did you have to go do that? That’s inherently low. That’s the core of low, which is pretty low on the low scale.

New direction for Nots as they ease into their growing acclaim (European tour is complete) and keep on crafting sonic confections.

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