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Unsane
Wreck

I'll not beat around the bush here. I've got '90s rock in my veins. It's where I'm from. Phil was trying to argue that there wasn't time to review the new Unsane album, but I couldn't be having that, see. I saw Unsane live last year and they're still every bit as pummelling as they ever ...view item »

Nails
Abandon All Life

This record clocks out after a breathless seventeen minutes, not a single one of them spent idling about. A perfect balance is here struck between the sort of shrieking, close-to-the-brink manic energy of the aforementioned likes of Narcosis (‘Tyrant’, ‘No Surrender’), and an immense capacity for variety in the songcraft....view item »

Afflicted Man
I'm Off Me 'ead

Certainly way more than what it appears at first glance. Its sleeve would give the impression of a half baked would-be punk, its initial sound suggests the same but delve a little deeper and there is much more to it. This was the early ‘80s project of one Steve Hall, a kind of proto-punk protaganist who released a slew of albums in the lat...view item »

Disappears
Era

Disappears are back with, what is it now, album number four? They don’t have Steve Shelley among their ranks any more nowadays but they’re still peddling that same brand of psychedelic indie rock with lots of repetition and touches of goth and no-wave and krautrock. It’s a very cool combination ...view item »

Black Rat Speedway Machine
No Gears, No Brakes, No Brains EP

Total DIY noise punk with just a hint of 50’s greaser thrown in for good measure, Black Rat Speedway Machine give us this 8, YES 8 track seven inch (although none of the tracks here are longer than 2 minutes long). The sound of this EP is that of absolutely no high production values whatsoever, this is downright dirty and loud, jus...view item »

Shocked Minds
Shocked Minds

Two new LPs in on HoZac this week - a new one from Heavy Times and this debut from Humans/Testors dude Josh Martin’s new outfit Shocked Minds. Our Parcelforce guy just came into the office and immediately asked who we were listening to, saying he liked it and it sounded like it could’ve been made in the &l...view item »

The New Fabian Society
Cyclothymia

Glasgow’s New Fabian Society release this single on Electric Company Records, 'Cyclothymia' is a brutal slice of dark gothic post punk with the dirtiest of guitar distortion noise, the vocals hint at a Damned/Fields Of The Nephilim style evil growl, Side B ‘Homily’ couldn’t sound any more li...view item »

Bits Of Shit
Cut Sleeves

Ooh, this is right up my street. Nice bit of noisy garagey punk bullshit here from Australia’s Bits of Shit, who make a right old punky racket like The DHDFD’s, Tyvek and Pissed Jeans out on a boozy vision ...view item »

These Monsters
Heroic Dose

Heroic Dose is the 2nd album from Leeds' These Monsters and the follow up to 2010's Call Me Dragon.  Now a three piece following their saxophonist’s move to China their sound has evolved from freaked out riff-driven space prog force to a more grimy agressive speed fueled punk; the 6 minute, principally instrumental slabs of...view item »

Wax Idols
Discipline & Desire

Hmmm... Discipline. We all need it, baby. Oh yes, thats better. The first paragraph of the press release states how this Oakland, California four piece are more suited to the damp British climate. I was thinking just the same thing. The never ending torrents of rain, your long raincoat traipsing through puddles, running to Walter Wilsons through...view item »

Muuy Biien
This Is What Your Mind Imagines

I thought Happy Happy Birthday To Me pretty much exclusively dealt in upbeat and sometimes twee indie pop business, so imagine my surprise when I bung this Muuy Biien LP on the stereo to discover that actually this lot specialise in &lsq...view item »

Iggy & The Stooges
Ready To Die

The first album back from the reanimated Stooges a few years ago, ‘The Weirdness’, didn’t really push my buttons at the time, since lots had happened in the years which have passed since ‘Raw Power’ (Incidentally, the press release makes a big deal about trumpeting that it’s the...view item »

Wire
Change Becomes Us

Post-punk legends Wire release their thirteenth studio album ‘Change Becomes Us’ and a lot has happened in music since their 1977 debut ‘Pink Flag’, yet Wire have tried their best to change with the times but still retain a signature sound. Most of these songs are sketches of ideas based...view item »

Black Bug
Reflecting The Light

Here’s a 45rpm LP from French-stationed Swedes Black Bug on the ever-reliable HoZac, ripping through 11 tracks of coldwave-influenced post-punk darkness drenched in chilly Carpenter synths and grungy distortion. Opener &ls...view item »

Jello Biafra & The Guanatanamo School Of Medicine
White People And The Damage Done

Not only is the great Jello still making music, he's aged as gracefully as cheddar (for lack of a better metaphor). Opening with the snappy, sharp-witted track "The Brown Lipstick Parade" all they way through the grand finale, "Shock-U-Py" this album is full of energy and a kind of carefully crafted sarcasm and mockery that could on...view item »

!!! (chk chk chk)
THR!!!ER

Sacramento funk punkers !!! (usually pronounced chk chk chk) offer up their fifth long player ‘Thr!!!er’, although previous efforts like ‘Louden Up Now’ and ‘Myth Takes’ seem to have a real energy about them, this feels a lot like the whole disco/post-punk thing has been ...view item »

Bauhaus
Mask

I hate the term Goth. It just lumps everyone who wears black into the same brooding category. By that definition Avril Levine is Goth. Bauhaus is much more than the sum of its parts. With sparse atmospheric guitars, haunting vocals and syncopated rhythms Bauhaus has one foot in the graveyard and the other in the land of Ziggy Stardust. With a pa...view item »

Buck Gooter
Witch Molecules

This one is interesting. I didn’t know anything about these guys before today except that they play noise rock, so I was expecting some kind of formulaic pig-fucker screech-out but actually what this duo are doing is weirder and more interesting than that, taking minimal rhythms and str...view item »

Roseanne Barrr
Repulsion

Not to be confused with prime-time-sitcom-legend-cum-political-oddball Roseanne Barr, Roseanne Barrr are a boy-girl bass-and-drums duo of DIY queer punkers from London who I’m mostly aware of through their affiliation with Leeds anarcho-banshees Etai Keshiki. Their sound is a throbbing,...view item »

Memoires d'Automne
Cliche

This one here is the first vinyl issue of a 1996 self-produced tape by French coldwavers Memoires D’Automne, and as you would expect it’s full of metronomic beats, watery guitars, brittle bass and heartfelt vocals, with more than a hint of gothy post-punk retro, re...view item »

Paranoid Visions
Rock And Roll And Revolution

Weird punky 7” here, opens with samples and then there’s some comedy oi vocals which I think are coming courtesy of Steve Ignorant of all people and then it goes into a fist-pumping ‘90s pop punk bit that’s almost like Propagandhi or ...view item »

Merchandise
Children Of Desire

This is one of the most interesting bands I've heard recently and have been listening to them regularly for the past 2 years. The singer's voice is amazing and has a unique longing quality to it. The songs are really well crafted too, they do tend to sprawl a bit but always come back together and have some interesting hooks. I tend to go for ban...view item »

Guerilla Toss
Jeffrey Johnson

Fantastic. Totally bizarre. Perhaps the future of music. The art is wonderful too. I see these guys live once when I was in New York City. Their live performance is mind blowing....view item »

Little Ease
The Converted

Got another Leeds special here. Actually I’m not familiar with this band so they might not be from Leeds (or I might be at the wrong shows) but it’s recorded by ultra-’Worm MJ (and weirdly enough the singer actually has quite a s...view item »

Wooderson
Let The Man Speak

I’ve got a real soft spot in my hard mechanical heart for Sheffield scamps Wooderson, who here have dropped their debut long-player after knocking about on the live scene around Yorkshire and beyond for seemingly an age. They peddle a blend...view item »

Facel Vega
The Body

I’ve been looking forward to getting this one in the office. Facel Vega are a Leeds-based DIY garagemo combo who belt through their songs with an unironic vigour, and this 15-song opus also comes complete with a really cool sleeve and...view item »

Gallows
Gallows

How does Punk influenced Hardcore mixed with Southern Metal sound to you folks? Because to me, it sounds like divinity. How a band from England can so easily exemplify and pay homage to a sound that was created thousands of miles away from, and many years past them, is beyond amazing to me. True punk, hardcore, and metal enthusiasts will marvel ...view item »

The You And What Army Faction
Silk

I thought with a name like this that these guys would be some kind of punky kids, but actually this is a Greek duo making creaking, droning, dirgey lo-fi with creepy whispery vocals. On the first side ‘Silk’ has monotonous trebly clangs held together by a spidery bassline while...view item »

Puffy Areolas
1982: Dishonorable Discharge

I really like these Puffy Areolas. They’ve got a raw obnoxious loucheness to them which I immediately warmed to so I’m very happy to see a new full-length collection turn up at Norman HQ. So happy that I’m reviewing it even though nobody has put it on the review pile. Ta...view item »

Redd Kross
Researching The Blues

Whilst not the best Redd Kross album, that accolade would go to "Third Eye"' possibly, this is certainly a very good hard-edged power pop offering from the McDonald brothers. The album opens with the scorching title track. "One Of The Good Ones", "Choose To Play" and "Winter Blues" are the other highlights of a c...view item »

Mission Of Burma
Unsound

These guys will be forever underground, where they belong, and I'm right there with them. Loud, noisy, sometimes mathematical and sometimes avant, always aggressive and surprisingly sensitive. And the instruments? Do you like idiosyncratic drumming, angular guitar riffs, strange tape manipulations, an overall sonic attack that creates a highly o...view item »

Talibam! & Sam Kulik
Discover AtlantASS

I'm coming straight into this record from the meticulously crafted insanity of the new Darth Vegas CD and to be honest it sounds pretty retarded. Seriously some of the silliest, dumbest, most nonsensical experimental music you'll h...view item »

DZ Deathrays
Bloodstreams

DZ Deathrays are a critically acclaimed Australian rock duo based in Brisbane. Their first record is essentially a thrash punk party, full of screaming, shouting,and dirty riffs. The lyrics occasionally verge on nonsense, particularly tracks like "Cops Capacity", but you'll usually be headbanging too much to care. Tracks 1 & 2 ("Teenage Kick...view item »

Divorce / Jailhouse Fuck
Split

We're all pretty fond of Divorce and their unhinged bombastic Arab on Radar-ish scuzzy noise-punk stylings so I've bunged their side of this split ...view item »

Sister Chain & Brother John
The Androgyne Show

I'm not quite sure I'm ready for Parlour Punk. I mean wtf dude? Streampunk is hard enough to deal with but a Victorian punk themed duo?!? Nah. Well, Berlin based Sister Chain & Brother John are on to record number two now so someone must be listening and, if I'm honest, this is pret...view item »

patten
Glaqjo Xaacsso

patten's glitchy electronic work is blunt and forthcoming, melding together the sensibilities of acts on early days Warp and contemporary Anticon with music that is better codified as avant-garde, drawing on musique concrete and dream pop. Glaqjo Xaacsso traverses many different styles to...view item »

Girls Names
Dead To Me

So here's a supernaturally buzzing ghost-pop band from Belfast, olde Northern Ireland! I'm quite simply obsessed with this album & keep listening to the bastard thing slavishly, seemingly caught up in a delirious trance of heady nostalgia. But these cats is also minty fresh with the finest killer hooks & a casual effortlessness that is q...view item »

Goatspeed
Zen And The Art Of War

In Leeds we know how to make proper RAWK! Goatspeed are a fine example of the city unrelenting lust for balls out rockin' riffs. On this self-released 7” they hit us with four meaty slabs of blistering northern rock action and further bless us with an additional download code with b...view item »

Dillinger Escape Plan
Dillinger Escape Plan

I don't know if "Dillinger Escape Plan" is the best place to start, but if you haven't had the pleasure of listening to Dillinger Escape Plan before, whenever you get the chance to: Do it! You will find one of the most talented bands around playing some of the hardest, heaviest, and technically chaotic music ever. Fans of non-commercial hardcore...view item »

Ceremony
Zoo

Ceremony are the future of punk rock. It's that simple. Few bands capture the spirit of classic punk but deliver a modern interpretation, more often than not they cite Black Flag as an influence and believe DIY recording should sound like a cassette recorder placed in a room and tha...view item »

Bad Weather California
Sunkissed

I originally saw this band opening for the Lumineers some years ago (I can't recall) and thought their name was Bad Weather California and they were from California but then they went on to explain and clarified. They were fantastic, a good bit of variety to their music. I would say the place where they missed though is that a lot of their riffs...view item »

Various
Busted At Oz

Oh man, I've not heard Naked Raygun in aaaaages. I remember reading once that they were the band which prompted Steve Albini to form Big Black (he even nabbed Santiago Durango and Jeff Pezzati from them) so we all owe them everything, basically. Personally I find that it's quite hard to see the influence on some of their later records (as good a...view item »

Strange Men In Sheds With Spanners
Strange Men In Sheds With Spanners

The scene: early 1980. The place: Manchester, a rain drenched metropolis, full of  drinkers/druggies, seedy alleyways and dingy pubs and whey faced gothic types. Into this urban nightmare comes George Best (sorry wrong meeting)...Into this maelstrom came Pete Shelley, a man with a vi...view item »

Wives
Roy Tapes

It must be great to have a wife. Some one who is loving and knowledgeable and is a demon between the sheets (!!??!!). I don't have a wife so I don't feel too guilty about listing my top three favourite Wife Jokes* (in no particular order...)...She ran after the garbage ...view item »

Office Of Future Plans
Office Of Future Plans

This is probably exciting news to some - J. Robbins (Government Issue, Burning Airlines, Jawbox, producer extraordinaire) has a new group with an album out on his first home - Dischord records. Formed after a supposed one-off performance supporting Chicago punkers The Bomb, the group has ...view item »

Crowns
Kissing Gate

Strange one this. It sounds like The Pogues hanging out and making music with some pop punk act. Which either way you look at it is a damn fine idea or the worst idea since my uncle decided to cut his fingernails with a scythe. It's pretty upbeat and direct and you can imagine somebody so...view item »

Pterodactyl
Spills Out

These Brooklynites have fused drum-driven noise records (opener `School Glue') with 60's melodies, almost Wilco like. Even though there is a song called `Zombies' on the album the legendary sixties band influenced the mellifluous `The Hole Night'. Stellar work with multivocals add more layers of sound, especially over the distorted bass line in ...view item »

Sweet Williams
Bliss

Funny that Charlottefield were one of the first bands ever to be played in our new office. Post-hardcore/emo types with a brittle yet simultaneously raging character, they probably never sold that many records but gave us many an hour's pleasure with their edgy dynamism and thorough pas...view item »

Nation Of Ulysses
Plays Pretty For Baby

An entertaining band that owes its sound to a single song from Mission of Burma - "New Nails." This band is not an evolution of anything from the MacKaye circle of music -- it doesn't sound anything like Fugazi, Minor Threat, Rites of Spring, or Bad Brains. It's not a hardcore album, and it's not immediately obvious why it appears on the Dischor...view item »

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