Tag Archives: Punk

Punk Group Urochromes Wrote Their New LP While Participating In a Sleep Study

Urochromes
Photos by Harold Zijp

“When the lights cut, my adrenaline went through the roof,” says Jackie Jackieboy, of transcontinental punk duo Urochromes. “I was terrified. There was no way to prepare for that kind of darkness.”

Preparation for Urochromes’ debut LP Trope House was intense, to say the least. Much of the album resulted from a 26-day sleep study both members participated in—the experience Jackieboy is referring to. For legal reasons, they can’t disclose the name of the participating Massachusetts hospital, but they could say that the study “was investigating impacts of sleep deprivation, and received funding from NASA.” It’s a bizarre backstory, especially when it’s the backbone for a record as concise and amusing as Trope House.

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Riot Grrrl Crate-Digging: Eight Hidden Gems

Emily's-Sassy-Lime-1244-1

Emily’s Sassy Lime

“Riot grrrl” was always tricky as a description of feminist punk music—evoking a scene that was immediately too complex to be contained to a name. But as a marker of a place in time, riot grrrl does capture that germinal early ‘90s moment when a cluster of raw, DIY, girl-dominated punk bands created possibility, showing that feminist cultural resistance could take the form of a cassette, a show, a gallery, or a fanzine. In Olympia, D.C., and the U.K., insurrectionary bands like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy, Huggy Bear, and Skinned Teen were actively creating a counterculture for young people otherwise marginalized in the underground. The 1991 riot grrrl manifesto stated an acute interest in “creating non-hierarchical ways of being.” Or as Bratmobile once put it: “We wanna take over the scene for girls!”

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The Best Punk on Bandcamp: May 2019

Best-Punk-May-1244Bandcamp 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 May’s edition of the best punk releases on Bandcamp, Kerry Cardoza features the experimental hardcore of Urochromes, the classic punk EP from Chicago’s Primitive Teeth, the abrasive cacophony of the U.K.’s Scrap Brain, and much more.

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Ekumen Channel Sci-Fi Philosophy Into Cathartic Hardcore Punk

Ekumen

Ekumen’s self-titled debut opens with a guitar line that descends so quickly it could induce vertigo, as vocalist AL (the members of Ekumen have asked to be listed by initials) howls, “We said we’d never give up, we said we’d never give in”—a twist on a cliche hardcore punk refrain. The way the line is phrased—“we said we’d do this”—creates the expectation of failure, but AL subverts that assumption: “The strange thing about it,” she says in the next line, “I don’t know that we did.”

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The Power of Community: Team Dresch Return

Team Dresch

“Is there another word you can look up in the thesaurus? What’s another one for ‘powerful?’” Kaia Wilson asks, an hour or so into my interview with her and Melissa York, of queercore icons Team Dresch. Wilson and York use “powerful” at least 11 times throughout the interview, so often it turns into a running gag—but no other word quite suffices.

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Album of the Day: Nots, “3”

Nots’ third full-length opens with a steady bass riff and tight drumming, high-pitched guitar notes meandering in and out of the repetitive, dizzying track. Then Natalie Hoffmann enters with straightforward vocal delivery, painting a picture of despondency. The song’s subject feels lost, eyes looking down, staying “low on the sidewalk.” It brought to mind the obsessive psychosis of the protagonist of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” where a shut-in woman circles her bedroom so many times she creates a “long smooch around the wall” where her shoulder fits right in. Continue reading

The Best Punk on Bandcamp: April 2019

best-punk-april-1244Bandcamp 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 April’s edition of the best punk releases on Bandcamp, Kerry Cardoza features the vinyl debut of Judy and the Jerks, the experimental punk of Mecca Normal, the perfectly disjointed post-punk of M.A.Z.E., and much more.

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On “Itekoma Hits,” Otoboke Beaver Give “Girl Power” An Infernal New Context

Octoboke Beaver

Photo by Itsumi Okayasu

Three years after their first proper international release, Okoshiyasu!! Otoboke Beaver, a collection of previously-released tracks released by Damnably in March 2016, Otoboke Beaver are one of the most hyped punk bands in the scene. The Kyoto-based quartet—so-named for a “love hotel” in their hometown they’ve never visited, and don’t intend to—are bonafide road warriors at this point: stints at SXSW, Fuji Rock, and Coachella, as well as multiple tours overseas. They’ve even attained some minor commercial success in the U.K. with 2017’s Love Is Short 7-inch, which enjoyed a four-week stay on the singles charts.  Continue reading