For the record

Smash the State EP
Amphetamine Reptile

It's hard to tell if the Melvins are serious here or just taking the piss out of early '80s hardcore schlock. Accompanied by Tom Hazelmeyer (of Halo of Flies), this blitzkrieg of brutal punk-politik is the same shit Violent Ramp was doing five years ago. Available only at the Melvins' live shows and limited to 600 copies, this is already fetching more than $60 on eBay.

Whitman/Alas Alak Alaska!
split single
Folktale Records

Sparse vocal and acoustic guitar paired with random ambient noise squiggles fill the Whitman side. It's innocuous and quaint. AAA's is similar but loses the squiggles, adding some intricacy with a touch of Joanna Newsom-like vocal hiccups. A perfect single for the autumnal months.

"Poon Thang Thump Parts 1 and 2"
Numero Group

As a recent discovery from Chicago's Bandit Records, these songs weren't available for inclusion on Numero's comprehensive The Bandit Label compilation from 2004. This heavy funk instrumental is breakbeat central, with cascading strings and massive percussive hooks. And, with only two known original copies in existence, it's a certifiable lost classic.

DNT Records

Unstructured combo of horn loops and frequently recalibrating drums that clearly goes nowhere. The complete lack of vocals doesn't help, either. But maybe that's the point?

Jeanie and the Tits
"Slut Fame"
Florida's Dying

Empowered in all the right places, this trio takes the stale stance on simple, Ramones-styled three-chord banality and burns it like a brassiere. A couplet as refreshing as "You ain't got much, just a warm, wet hole/No brain, no heart, no soul" is heard too seldom these days. Bra-vo!

Tractor Sex Fatality
Braces EP
Kill Sounds/Unscene Sounds

File these slugs with Pissed Jeans as modern bon vivants reliving the heavy harshness once laid down by scum like Drunks with Guns. This Seattle quartet's single is easily the apex of TSF's releases, with the bass hypnotism and guitar damage of "Braces" alone worth the price of purchase.

In Your Pocket
Malt Duck Music

Minimal synth that fails to bore. So much shit in this genre is overly premeditated or precocious while Mattress is like acid burning through your prefrontal cortex with canned Casio beats reverberating in a death knell dirge. This is what Scrummage University should sound like.

Unnatural Helpers
Earwax EP
Dirty Knobby Industries

From the same hive as NorWest savants the Intelligence and A-Frames, this five-song slab abounds with brief, beefed-up examples of bent art punk like Wire or Swell Maps. "Out of Touch" is a poignant, nihilistic take on the absurdities of modern celebrity culture.

Noot D'Noot
"Jiggle City"
Solutionist Records

Will the members of the Midnight Funk Association please rise. This slab from Atlanta's Noot D'Noot deserves a triple-whammy "whoa!" Hold on tight; don't let go. Get ready to dance on your back, honk your horn, turn on your porch light, and enjoy the Technicolor. May the funk be with you, always.

Tuff Bananas
Dusty Medical Records

Milwaukee power-pop on unripened-banana-green-colored vinyl. While fairly formulaic and trite, there's something intangible here that makes this infectious. Maybe it's the tasty artwork?

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