A few words on some records I purchased the other day.
First up the Post-Rock Section.
Mogwai – Rave Tapes LP
You can’t go wrong here, can you. I don’t own every Mogwai record, but all of those I do own are masterpieces in their own right. No record resembles the next one. And still there is one overriding … how can you put it … handwriting that will always tell you this is a Mogwai record. Not to mention the very nice cover with the cut out. Great. As always.
Toundra – III LP
Looking from afar this is you average Post-Punk/Metal/Whatever band frying to copy bands like Red Sparowes or Pelican. Still, they really carve out their own niche and somehow manage to stand apart from the rest of the pack. Not that there’s anything new to be found here, but it’s a good record nonetheless.
toe – New Sentimentality LP
I was rather surprised to find a toe record in a record store in Germany. Well, they might have found some recognition across the world over the past few years, but nevertheless it’s rare to come across records, especially vinyl versions, of Japanese bands in Europe. A friend of mine referred toe to me, mentioning that they are really, really good (duh). Still, I have to agree. Kinda math-rock-ish with just enough electronics in it. But never losing track of the song and its structure. The band has released quite a few albums to this date, this one is from 2006.
Moving on to the Punkrock stuff.
Red City Radio – Titles LP
To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of Hot Water Music. Well, yes, the shows were always a lot of fun, some of the songs were really catchy. Oh, and, yes, the vocals were something new back in the days. But ever since every band started to sound like them I kind of lost interest. And the output of the band used to be so staggering that it was hard to keep track. But coming across Red City Radio I have to admit I was hooked again. Great melodies, rough vocals. A wonderful copy. Or should we say, homage? Whatever it is, it’s one of the better Hot Water Music clones out there.
Against me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blue LP
Well, we’ve all been waiting for this one, haven’t we? A long time coming. Worth it? Quite frankly, I don’t think so. Ever since “Searching For A Former Clarity” I feel as if I’m ever so slightly disctancing myself from the band. Something’s missing and I can’t quite grasp what it is. Sure, they still write great songs every now and then. “New Wave” was a blast, the rest of the record … not so much. The same could be said about this one. It feels a bit unfinished. As if the band took too much time finishing it. And by doing so, only made things a little worse. The first two songs are good, from there on it’s downhill for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still Against Me! and therefore still good. But it’s not the level I was used to with “Searching…”.
V/A – The Songs Of Tony Sly: A Tribute 2xLP
This one hurts. And it hurts even more when you listen to the songs on the record played by a lot of great bands. On the one hand it’s a recollection of my youth when I was trying to get my hands on every Fat Wreck, Epitaph or Burning Heart record within my reach. On the other hand it is a wonderful display of affection for a great musician who sadly passed away way too early. I never really noticed it that vividly but most (if not all) of the songs on this record have a very melancholic touch to it. Which makes listening to this compilation an even sadder task. A fitting way to say farewell one more time. RIP, Tony Sly. And thank you for the music.
Finally, the Deutsch-Punk garbage.
Pascow – Alles muss kaputt sein LP
I heard (and read) the name a hundred times before, I think, but I never grabbed a record. Not even once. And when I came into the store the other day the guy behind the counter was blasting the new Pascow record which will be released in a couple of weeks, it seems. That stuff, however, got me right from the start. Great Jensen-style (think Angeschissen/Blumen am Arsch der Hölle/Dackelblut/Oma Hans) german punkrock the way it should be played. A bit more uptempo, but very similar. Glad I got this one and I will definitely get the new one as well. Great record.
KMPFSPRT – Jugend mutiert LP
The hottest shit in town, as I might say. You can’t avoid them right now, which is wonderful, because I know some of the guys and if anyone deserves the success they’re ahving right now it’s them for sure. Still I can’t say I’ll ever become a fan of KMPFSPRT. I don’t know, something’s missing for me. Maybe it’s too clean? Too trying? I understand why people like it, I just can’t seems to get into it. They get bonus points for shooting the inly cover of their gatefold sleeve on a bridge not far from my parents’ house though.
Marathonmann – Kein Rückzug, kein Aufgeben LP
I heard the name first when KMPFSPRT were playing show with them. And they were raving about how good they were. So I gave it a try. Similar to their Cologne counterparts this Munich based outfit features rough vocals, nice melodies, German lyrics. But something’s not clicking here for me as well. Good record, but not great. Maybe a bit too clean. The roughness, the edges are missing. The lyrics are a tad bit too cliché. Or maybe it just needs a bit more time.
Schrappmesser – Schlachtrufe Stimmungshits LP
Okay, I only took this out of the box at the store because of the cover. Because, I mean, why not. Well, it’s the rip off of a rip off, but then again, isn’t that what punk is all about? And the title of the record, boy oh boy, that sure brings back memories. I still hold both the first “Schlachtrufe BRD” and the first “Kampftrinker Stimmungshits” very dear and close to my heart. Because that’s what my youth was like, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. So, the cover, the title, what else? How about the intro? Using the fanfare of “New Direction” with somebody shouting “Oi! OI!, You crazy? You can’t do that!” and the all hell breaks lose in old school hardcore style. I absolutely love this. And to top things off the band sings quite a few songs in northern German dialect, which makes things even more hilarious.
For what it’s worth, the band’s members are Donots/Waterdown guys, so there’s that as well. This one’s a must have. Love it and have to try and get the 7″ as well.