Bandcamp has long been a home for DIY punk and hardcore from around the world, touching all of the myriad subgenre styles and helping to translate the simple effectiveness of cut-and-paste to the digital age. For November’s edition of the best punk releases on Bandcamp, Kerry Cardoza features the no wave antics of Austin’s Wet Dip, the heavy hardcore of Pittsburgh’s Little Angels, the garage-y post-punk of Australia’s R.M.F.C., and much more!
Smell of Money
Austin trio Wet Dip crept onto the scene in 2019 with a raw four-song demo that sizzled with energy. Those four songs now join a handful of others—including two fully reimagined covers—on this full-length debut, out from Feel It Records and recorded at the home studio of labelmates Sweeping Promises. Vocalist Sylvia Rodriguez veers between English and Spanish and a panoply of styles, from manic spoken word to singsong to absolutely demonic on closer “Kill Floor.” Her sister Erica, on drums, deftly accents the tracks, building in intensity on the stellar “Train Wreck.” The band’s no wave, anti-linearity recalls another punk act featuring a pair of sisters: L.A.’s Crazy Band.
Three years after his infectious three-song EP, White Boy Music, the talented multihyphenate artist Brontez Purnell returns with a proper full-length, backed by a four-piece band and occasional violinist. The jaunty, brief “Bachelors Theme” sets the scene for the following songs: it’s poppy rock ‘n’ roll infused with a punk sensibility. The Amps cover “Bragging Party,” with its Auto-Tuned melodies, distorted guitar, and drum machines, departs from most of the other tracks; it’s dreamy and strange. But it’s the spare “No Cigarettes,” which drifts into a gnarly, noisy version of Julie Ruin’s “Stay Monkey,” that’s nothing short of epic. Come for the garage-y bops, stay for the cover of “Kiss Me.”
This mysterious Kansas City, Missouri band incorporates a surprising mix of genres into their sound, from the dark post-punk of The Fall to the buzzy synths of egg punk to the high-wire guitar and dueling vocals of Collate. The opening track begins with an ominous drum solo before adding a tense riff, beeping synth, and droning vocals. “L.D.E.” is another standout, with a dirge-y riff set against high synth sounds and a cacophony of people talking over one another. The demo only gets weirder from there, adding jangly guitar, group vocals, and loads of energy, as on the fiery closer “Kitty Cats.”
Noisy, crunchy, loaded with distortion—Pittsburgh’s Little Angels play fast, loud, and intense hardcore, with the vocals perennially at maximum velocity. Vocalist Maggie ends the first track with a full-on howl. “My Fault” breaks up the sonic assault with some speedy guitar harmonics, before breaking into an imposing breakdown. Closer “You Can’t Always Get What You Want But I Can” takes the Rolling Stones’s wimpy hit and turns it into a diabolical tirade, sampling some religious dialogue and church bells, backed by fiddly distorted guitar.
Now and Forever
NewRedArchives has been repressing the output of this pioneering San Francisco thrash band for a handful of years. Now and Forever was Social Unrest’s last studio album before disbanding in 1988 (they later regrouped), and the sound here is eons away from the hardcore of the band’s debut Making Room for Youth. The tracks are more post-hardcore, with emotive vocals from Jason Honea and slower, polished instrumentation; the record wouldn’t have sounded out of place in Dischord’s roster from the time. Now in its first repressing since its original release, Now and Forever is sure to garner a new wave of fans.
The prolific Australian wunderkind Buz Clatworthy has made quite a name for himself under the moniker R.M.F.C., releasing a clutch of music since 2018. Club Hits is R.M.F.C.’s first proper full-length, and it was undeniably worth the wait. (As usual, Clatworthy has written, performed, recorded, and mixed the tunes on his own.) The record is a cohesive take on angular ’70s post-punk, where the robotically delivered vocals take a backseat to the instrumentation, mainly the guitar. R.M.F.C.’s riffs are propulsive and catchy, from the straightforward “Sterile Century” to the more complex “Access” to the psych-leaning “The Web.” The music stretches out slightly on the aptly titled closer “Rock Tune,” striking a winning balance between jammy grooves, steady beats, and sparse vocals.
Better Than Going Under
This icy British-Swiss duo’s first new music since 2020 is crisp, dark cold wave. The title track is led by the deep vocals of William Maybelline, which are set against tinkling synths, steady bass, and haunting, layered backing vocals. Larissa Iceglass takes over vocal duties on “Kyiv,” a somber reflection on the ongoing war in Ukraine. Here, high-toned synths are paired with a steady drumbeat and a spare guitar riff. It’s a delicate song for a heart-wrenching situation as the war progresses toward its two-year mark.