EPs

Aborted: Bathos: Century Media

The Belgian masters of brutality are back with a—very small—dose of their unique brand of musical mayhem. Released July 7, Bathos is their first release with new bassist Stefano Franceschini of Hideous Divinity. These two gore-splattered numbers offer up a little more melody and groove than the group’s excellent 2016 full-length, Retrogore. There’s a certain grandiosity on display, especially on “Fallacious Crescendo.” When the band explode after the song’s impressive guitar solo, Aborted are at their very best: mixing stunning passages with pathogen-level hooks that cleave into your cranium with bombastic speed and fury. Few bands have mastered that balance of melody and brutality like Aborted, and fans are sure to want to bathe in Bathos’ wonderful goregrind. –Nicholas Senior

Ann Beretta: Self-titled 7”: Say-10 Records

After a 14-year recording hiatus, Richmond punk band Ann Beretta, have released a two-song 7”. “Kill the Lights” and “Forever Family” are good reminders of just how great this band were and apparently still are. The self-titled record serves as a teaser for a promised forthcoming album, complete with rerecorded earlier jams as well as new material. –John B. Moore

Cell: 7” Demo: Drunken Sailor Records

From the U.K., Drunken Sailor Records brings us Montreal’s Cell. This five-track 7” demo writhes in discomfort with Cell’s caustic, lo-fi hardcore. Noisy and ornery, the spiked assault has a gnarly delivery. Spastic yet focused, Cell’s version of punk rebellion screams and erupts off the turntable. Echoed, filtered vocals yell with abandon of concern. Twisted shards of recognizable notes are mere projectiles from the speakers, just a weapon for Cell’s agenda. Get ready. Out June 9; 300 units on black vinyl. –Hutch

Cheech: Old Friends: WTF Records

Boston’s tried and true warriors of underground sound, Cheech, have returned with a new 7” recording. Cheech have a long history of mixing heavy hardcore punk with brutal thrash and savage breakdowns. Smart and sardonic lyrics address social injustices, beer, and horror films. Old Friends—as alluded to by the bulldog on the cover—is an homage to their Albany, New York, brethren in Bulldog Courage, whose vocalist Shane Williams passed away. “Old Friends Die Hard” is a cover of that band’s song. The other three tracks blaze through a vicious sound that continues from their prior LP, Beast from the East. “War of 84” stomps quickly through its two minutes, while “Outta Time” lingers, playing with some atmospheric tension balanced with taut, crunchy riffs and a wild solo. “Jumped the Shark” is a potent short jaunt through NYHC bass-driven rage. Released in April on clear vinyl and CD digipack with four bonus tracks. –Hutch

Crippled Earn: SWINE: Self-released

Crippled Earn fuse metallic ferocity and hardcore passion. Dropped back in February, SWINE is four tracks—all one, two, or three minutes long. Brevity is Crippled Earn’s gift, as they cram in substance-wrought lyrics of suffering from society’s confinement and life’s futility. Crippled Earn sing of the relentless torture of work and daily life. Melodic guitar lines traipse through mostly chugging riffs. A punkier feel roils under the surface, inviting audience participation. SWINE promises greater things as the band focus and move forward. –Hutch

False: Hunger: Gilead Media

Spewing snarling vocals, False paint two sinister portraits of concise black metal. Keeping the genre’s usual indulgence to a minimum, each track is under five minutes. This is notable after the band’s 2011 and 2015 LPs, which created 10- to 16-minute journeys with each track. False’ sound on Hunger harnesses grandiose themes by championing haunting tones and a choral feel. The dark essence hits with penetrating riffs and galloping drums, which weigh heavy both in feel and sound. The production is dense while still feeling open. Belligerent, chaotic spurts in “Anhedonia” build on themselves: escalating and growing fraught. This limited edition black and red vinyl 7” was released July 28. –Hutch

Miracle Drug: How Much Is Enough: WAR Records

Miracle Drug boast ‘90s hardcore royalty, including members of Mouthpiece, Supertouch, C.R., and By The Grace Of God. But Miracle Drug focus on the now. They eschew praise for former acts and reclaim adoration by creating current, angry, urgent hardcore with a nod to D.C. groups like Swiz and Dag Nasty. Chaotic swirls of feedback manifest a disturbing yet invigorating melee with thick riffs and passionate screams. Miracle Drug depend on no formula. The band switch time signatures: hammering away at times and caught in sludge at others. Whether it’s the dark tones of the disorienting “Jury’s Out” or the sweeping stomp of “Grudge,” Miracle Drug master their immediate rage. The band are playing gigs throughout the Eastern U.S. for the summer, including This Is Hardcore festival. Vinyl available July 21: 200 on translucent blue and 250 on clear with black smoke. Would hang with Threadbare, Tension, 108, Speak 714, BL’AST!, Burn, World Be Free, or Vision. –Hutch

Mush: Protect Your Brand: Skeletal Lightning

Mush—featuring members of La Dispute, Pet Symmetry, and more—paired the June 28 release of their debut EP, Protect Your Brand, with a limited-edition card game designed by bassist Adam Vass in collaboration with his indie gaming company, World Champ Game Co. Protect Your Brand was recorded after a year of tinkering around with the band’s sound, adding members and even changing instruments,” vocalist Erik Hunter Czaja says. “Being our first release, we wanted to make it special, so Adam had the idea of making a game component to go along with our demo. It’s a satire on the music biz and also on ourselves.” –John B. Moore

Richie Ramone: I Fix This: Outro Records

Richie Ramone has a laurel-resting pedigree: drumming for the Ramones from 1983 to 1987, on Too Tough to Die, Animal Boy, and Halfway to Sanity. However, after two LPs and few EPs, Ramone still blasts through two punk chargers on his new Outro Records 7” EP, I Fix This, released June 22. “I Fix This” and “Pretty Poison”—on which Ramone drums and sings—are scoured with a dirty U.K. ‘77 feel. His vocals, among gang vocals for the chorus, lay back in the mix, making the energy and attitude of the music, coated with nihilistic lyrics, the focus and not him. Punk. Rock. The strong SoCal garage feel is tough and rough. –Hutch

The Saint James Society: Covered In Blood: Blank City Records

Austin band The Saint James Society reached out for an alternate way of presenting their limited-edition EP, Covered in Blood, by creating it through a process better known as X-ray pressing. “It was something we have wanted to do for a long time,” guitarist Marc Sallis says. During the 1950s, the Soviet Union banned western records from entering the country. Therefore, the Soviets created bootleg copies by pressing the music onto abandoned medical X-rays. The psychedelic indie—or as they like to call it, “Desert Glam”—band includes Sallis, vocalist and bassist Brandon Burkart, vocalist and keys player Galaxia Giselle, drummer Glenn Fryatt, and bassist and guitarist Noah Harmon. Blank City Records released their EP on July 14.

The band compare their work of art to the popular application, Snapchat, because after a few listens, the quality of the sound on X-ray records deteriorates due their production on a dubplate cutter. “They only get so many plays,” Sallis says, “but at least once you’ve listened to the songs, you still have this beautiful, beautiful piece of art, this X-ray of someone that’s a part of medical history.”

The EP is composed of covers such as Siouxsie And The Banshees’ “Arabian Nights” featuring Anna Bulbrook from The Airborne Toxic Event and “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything,” originally by Bauhaus. “Anytime you learn someone else’s tune, you get insight into how they write, and it changes the way you write, for better or for worse,” Burkart explains. “The operative thing really [is] homage, and it felt like a good way to connect us to the history we’d like to be associated with.” –Natalya Daoud

Slaughter Beach, Dog: Motorcycle.jpg: Lame-O Records

The creative brainchild of Jake Ewald of Modern Baseball fame, Slaughter Beach, Dog is a writing project turned musical journey. His new EP, Motorcycle.jpg, continues the stories of the characters living in the titular town of Slaughter Beach, with Ewald’s experimental side breathing through relaxing indie songs. Slaughter Beach, Dog is an intellectual project with plenty of reasons to dive into the multiple layers present on every track. This four-song collection was released through Lame-O Records on July 14. –Sean Gonzalez

Slow Death: Hate Filled World: Corpse Flower Records

Slow Death are a band ready to amaze with their aural arsenal, then reiterate their intensity with a visual component. Featuring Randy Larsen—ex-vocalist and bassist of Cable and Empty Flowers—drummer Matt Spearin of Disappearer, guitarist Jeremy Medeiros, and bassist Jesse Sherman, Slow Death create grimy, low-tuned destruction. Their misanthropic metallic punk sludge is fast and pungent, drenched in organ blood. Slow Death drape their A-side with eight tracks, scarred with titles like “Blade Runs Red,” “Three on a Meathook,” and “I’d Rather Be the Hammer.” The 12” A-side is backed by a screen-printed B-side, illustrated by Mark Rudolph—who has worked with the likes of Carcass, Coalesce, Battlecross, and many others. The image is of a severed arm clutching a blood-strewn axe. The stellar cover catches eyes in 3D, accompanied by 3D glasses. Released on June 1, the vinyl is available in clear with red splatter, 100; translucent red, 100; and clear, 100. –Hutch

REISSUES

Alex Chilton: A Man Called Destruction: Omnivore Recordings

Even before going solo, Alex Chilton had carved out a career-defining reputation as the singer for Box Tops and Big Star. Originally out in 1995, his record, A Man Called Destruction, has held up brilliantly over the past couple of decades. This expanded reissue includes the dozen original tracks along with seven bonus songs—a classic mix of originals and covers. The record is an impressive mix of garage rock, jazz, and R&B. The album will be released as a two-LP vinyl set for the first time on Aug. 25. –John B. Moore

Amebix: Monolith: Dissonance Productions

In 1987, Amebix combined metal and punk with brilliant execution on this crusty, down-tuned vehicle, rising to the next echelon with their sixth release and second full-length, Monolith. The band furthered the penury disdain of Discharge, Doom, and Motörhead, but the original lineup split after Monolith. Inspired as much by Exploited as Celtic Frost, as much by Voivod as G.B.H., Amebix ventured into a realm that felt nuclear—specifically, the wake of a nuclear attack. Lemmy-esque vocals spit heed and loathsome aspirations. Metal tropes used as visuals and punk basslines merge to conjure a necessary album for any fan of the underground genres. Reissued on June 30, tracks like “Nobody’s Driving,” “Chain Reaction,” and “The Power Remains” secure Amebix’ station in metal, punk, and hardcore’s canons. –Hutch

RARITIES

Beach House: B-Sides and Rarities: Sub Pop Records

The idea for a B-sides record came when we realized just how many non-album songs had been made over the years, and how hard it was to find and hear many of them,”Beach House songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alex Scally says. “This compilation contains every song we have ever made that does not exist on one of our records. There are 14 songs in total.” The album was released on June 30 and is available on cassette, LP, CD, and for digital download. –John B. Moore

Planning For Burial: Matawan – Collected Works 2010–2014: The Flenser

Thom Wasluck of Planning For Burial is presenting four years of “lost children” to the world with Matawan – Collected Works 2010–2014. These songs and demos are from the gap between Planning For Burials’ first two full-lengths: 2010’s Leaving and 2014’s Desideratum. Wasluck’s efficiency in creating dark, atmospheric music is given a new light with this collection, released July 14 via The Flenser. This is one not to be missed by fans, as there are extremely valuable rarities within the depths of Matawan. –Sean Gonzalez

LIVE

Violent Femmes: 2 Mics & The Truth: Unplugged & Unhinged in America: PIAS Recordings

When the Violent Femmes were touring in 2016 behind their comeback record, We Can Do Anything, they played a slew of acoustic radio sessions, captured here on this fantastic set. It includes rearranged classics, songs played live for the first time, spontaneous requests, and random improvisations. Though played mainly on acoustic instruments, the songs boast The Horns of Dilemma, Violent Femmes’ ever-evolving cabal of multi-instrumentalist backing musicians. The record is available on CD, digital download, and a double-LP vinyl set on July 21. –John B. Moore

SOUNDTRACKS

“Evil Dead 2”: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Waxwork Records

In honor of the 30th anniversary of this 1987 camp horror classic, Waxwork Records is putting out a deluxe vinyl reissue of the Sam Raimi-helmed feature’s soundtrack. Comprised of music by the trilogy’s composer, Joseph Loduca, the LP package features entirely remastered audio—reworked for vinyl directly from the original master tapes—all new art, and 180-gram colored vinyl. Fanatics can pick between “Ash” blue and red swirl and “Oldsmobile Delta 88” yellow. This release is essential for any fan of horror, cult cinema, or soundtracks on vinyl—and really, who isn’t? –John B. Moore

Twin Peaks: Music from the Limited Event Series and Twin Peaks: Limited Event Series Original Soundtrack: Rhino

David Lynch fans rejoiced when they heard he was bringing back “Twin Peaks” for a limited run this summer. Music fans rejoiced when they realized that meant more music from the legendary show. Rhino is putting out two soundtracks made up of music from this new series, including songs by Chromatics and Grammy-winning composer Angelo Badalamenti—a Lynch favorite. Both releases will be issued on CD, as well as on double-LPs, on Sept. 8. –John B. Moore

COMPS

Various Artists: Just for Us Hardcore Kids: Tripsquad Records

Ah, the hardcore compilation. Once a way for a scene or label to unveil the giants of the pond and give exposure to lesser known and newer bands. Rat Music for Rat People, the Blood Stains series, Big City Records’ comps, Flex Your Head, This Is Boston Not L.A. Some legendary names there. As the early ‘80s splintered, comps had less prominence. The late ‘80s saw Revelation Records’ The Way It Is and, later, Victory Style, Mindset Overhaul, Creepy Crawl Live, TKO’s Scene Report series, and so many more thrived again in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.

With the digital age, comps have become a nostalgic endeavor. And I’ll take it. Flatspot Records blessed us with three volumes of The Extermination recently. Now, Tripsquad Records presents some new bands from an eclectic community on Just for Us Hardcore Kids. Older fans will salivate to hear Eddie Sutton of Leeway with his new band, Truth & Rights; Rob Kabula of Agnostic Front, Cause For Alarm, and Loved And Hated has a new band, Dead Blow Hammer; and Russell Iglay of Underdog’s new band, Huge. Full Scale Riot have been making noise for a few years, gaining momentum with their raucous blend of metallic punk, crust, and hip hop. New Jersey’s Silence Equals Death bombed the scene with their Eulogy Recordings debut and now throw an extra track here.

The total 16 tracks also include offerings from Crime Scene, Strong, On Point, ska-punk from New Jersey’s Choke Artist, Strike Against All, Decimate The Living from the South Bronx spitting thrash metal, Crossface, the punky NYHC of The Carbomb Parade, Sardonica, Pave The Way, and New Jersey trio Despairadisio conveying snarling, short punk songs. Out July 21. –Hutch

AUDIO/VISUAL

Misery Signals: “Yesterday Was Everything” Documentary

“Yesterday Was Everything” is a sneaky bastard. What starts as an ode to the 10-year anniversary tour for Misery Signal’s legendary debut, Of Malice and the Magnum Heart, slowly morphs into a reflection of friendship, of broken men using art and time to heal, and a love letter to the underground music scene. The film explores the fatal tragedy that brought the band together and follows their journey along the anniversary tour. Director Matthew Mixon does a fantastic job portraying the intensity that underlies the overarching story, and viewers get to watch long-separated band members come together and begin the process of reconciliation. It’s an intimate portrait of a band, telling the story of what brought them together over a decade ago and still serves as a uniting force all these years later. Highly recommended, even for those with only a passing familiarity with Misery Signals. –Nicholas Senior

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