Australia and New Zealand have become a hotbed for a lot of today’s best punk acts, with Amyl and the Sniffers, Dennis Cometti, the Chats and Stiff Richards. The Cavemen are cut from the same mold. Their 2019 record Night after Night comes highly recommended. On their latest single Euthanise Me, they blister through 4 classic punk tracks in less than 8 minutes. High intensity, plenty of melody.
The Last released their debut L.A. Explosion in 1979 on the legendary Bomp! Records. I only discovered the record when my all-time favorite bands, Descendents, cited them as their primary inspiration. I fell in love instantly. L.A. Explosion sounds like a beachy mashup of Nerves and the Clash. Despite their pop sensibilities, great harmonies, and sheer variety in songwriting, the Last never made it out of their L.A. scene. To add insult to injury, their DIY attempt to record their sophomore album ended in a warped sound, and zero label offers. Fast forward 40 years (!), modern technology fixed the original tapes and the record is out at last. It’s a bittersweet release that I can’t wait to have in my collection. Fingers crossed that they will do a deluxe remastered reissue of L.A. Explosion next.
New band alert! Brooklyn based Heavy Lag say they play dirt pop, which is an apt description of their fuzzy and punky take on powerpop. The A-side has the second best use of an intro sample of the year (#1 here). It is short, and so catchy I played it thrice before moving to the B-side. That offers another killer track, reminiscent of Marked Men. Curious to hear what these guys will cook up next.
Add to Wantlist: Bandcamp
SBDC stands for Stupid Bitches & Dumb Cunts, which suggests these riot grrrls don’t take themselves to seriously. Fortunately, their new record on Kingfisher Bluez is no gimmick. It is a strong collection of very catchy pop punk songs. More punk than Holly & the Italians, and more rawk than fellow Canadians Pale Lips. SBDC takes a well-trodden path, but their execution, especially in the vocal department, puts them ahead of the pack.
Slumberland Records is celebrating 30 years of quality twee, shoegaze, jangle, indiepop and poppunk releases with a singles series. I’ve had its latest installment, by Bay Area (SF) postpunkers Neutrals, on constant repeat. It has the immediate appeal of those classic late ’70’s punk singles that are now way overpriced on Discogs. The full single is available for streaming on Spotify, but it is the A-side that is the true gem here.