EXEK – Good Thing They Ripped Up The Carpet (Lulu’s Sonic Disc Club)

EXEK are a quite probably the wildest post punk band in all of Australia. They mix unique instrumentation with elements of genres from across the musical spectrum. You can find moments of dub and krautrock that weave themselves into various cuts across the record. It’s a jumble of atonal sounds and off kilter rhythms that are endlessly groovy. An interesting part of this particular record is that the A side is newly written material while the B side is a compilation of tracks written and recorded as early as 2015. That being said neither side feels out of place or completely different from the other. They suit each other well while still being noticeably different. This is certainly the most unabashedly forward thinking record I have heard in recent times. EXEK seem to have stumbled into a totally unique sound that places them far apart from their contemporaries.

Good Thing They Ripped Up The Carpet is out on Lulu’s Sonic Disc Club.

Red Fang – Arrows (Relapse Records)

What phrase could accurately describe what this record is? Absolute destruction, imploding distortion, totally fucked noise, maybe? All of those fit the description of Red Fang’s brand of aggressive stoner rock. Arrows is only the fifth record in the band’s sixteen year long career, but it is a release well worth the wait. Although this is the type of record you might expect from Red Fang they do move into some new directions. The opening track “Take It Back” is a spacy psychedelic metal piece that employs dissonant noise, a soft bass, and vocalist Aaron Beam’s growly voice. “Rabbits In Hives” is an almost hardcore punk track that has an early grunge feel to it. Red Fang have always been a hit or miss kind of group, but they hit big on this one.

Arrows is out on Relapse Records.

Adult Oriented Pop – 06:15 AM (Lazy Octopus Records)

The Swedish duo have returned with their first LP since their debut released in 2019. True to the title 06:15 AM feels like a late night drive or hallucinogenic sleep deprivation. It’s a bubbly psychedelic sound that strays the line between melancholic and uplifting at times. Sometimes tracks are fun and groovy, something to dance to. Across the board everything is instantly catchy. Seriously there are enough earworms here to annoy the hell of you for weeks to come. The cut “Some Might Say” stands out as an almost Krautrock esque track mixing a repetitive groove with a catchy melody. Other favorites for me were “Yesterday Morning” and “Nothing To Fear”.  

06:15 AM is out on Lazy Octopus Records.

slugabed – we have the window open at night (Activia Benz)

This is probably the most spacy, out there, what the fuck experiment in ambient, electronic, and any other genres that this record happens to recreate. There are moments of unrestrained noise, passages of electronic weirdness that rival Aphex Twin for experimentalism, beautiful soundscapes, and so much more. What is so unique about this record is that is never repeats itself. Track after track presents new, interesting musical ideas, whether it’s through the instrumentation, style, or sound. One song could be sweet like an electronic Mac Demarco cut while another could be raw and groovy mixing dub with distorted analog synths. You never know what you’re in for with slugabed and he proves that ten fold with this latest release.

we have the window open at night is out on Activia Benz.

We Are The Union – Ordinary Life (Bad Time Records)

At the forefront of the ska comeback, We Are The Union combine pop punk elements with ska and dub grooves, and damn do they do it well. Their second release after a five year hiatus Ordinary Life feels like the record where the band finds their stride. While they wear the influence of bands like No Doubt heavily on their sleeves the tracks they put together on this record are consistently solid, fun, and energetic. The opener “Pasadena” is a bouncy rock anthem that demands to be sung along with. “Morbid Obsession” is the most straightforward ska song, which proves to be a hell of a lot of fun. This is an instantly replay able record and one that should definitely be on your radar!

Ordinary Life is out on Bad Time Records.

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