Tapes reviews of tapes I buy or get sent.

Send cassettes for review to: Flat 16 Raddon Tower, Dalston Square, London E8 3GN.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Shudder Pulps - 6 Track EP

I am down with Shudder Pulps. Today has had a good 5-6 repeats of this tape which is rare when i have a stack of tapes to write up reviews for. When i first caught SP live, i thought it was a good mix of the Messthetics attitude with a jagged post punk delivery, and very English which is a positive when so many look across the ocean for sound as well as influence.

This 6 track tape lives up to their live performance with all of the instruments having have space to breathe. Drums and cowbells start the layering off, then the bass creeps in and  the guitars follow in suit, all adding something different which all seems to complement and come together at different times. It has the sonic space that the Minutemen occupied so well, just a little more jangly. Apparently there will be a new EP in early 2012. In the meantime pick up one of the tapes from www.shudderpulps.tumblr.com.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Yakuzzi Tapes

Yakuzzi Tapes from Germany recently sent me a large box full of tapes of Hardcore / Grind / Garage Punk that has had my finger pointing on public transport, and picking up change in the office. To start with, all these tapes look super-amazing, with the types of card or paper used, the graphic design and the hand cut inserts that are in a few of the tapes (with lyrics or download codes), all lovingly put together. The tapes are all super clear and well mastered too, no need to pump up the stereo super loud for these guys, probably the opposite for some of the releases.
 Go check out the following releases from their shop which is rammed full with loads of great hardcore records. Some of these are also in the Suplex store which will be cheaper for UK orders.

Quattro Stagioni - Discography

Holy shit, 58 tracks of power-violence style grindcore from Germany. I remember these guys from their records on the legendary 625 Records and their split with Iron Lung, but hadn't actually got round to getting any of them yet, which is handy as i now have their full 10 year career on one little cassette.
The pace rarely lets up on this discography save for the odd breakdown, with all the tracks coming in at around 30-90 seconds long, and continually punishing and brutal drumming throughout. I think it is closer to the Slap a Ham power violence scene than other grind bands like Pig Destroyer who have a more metal slant to them. This is still really punk, just shorter, faster, louder.

Quattro Stagioni - 45 RPM by spasticfantasticrecords

Irritones - (We Are) Negative Dots

One of the lighter and more trad punk tapes on Yakuzzi, this '77 punk loving band could easily fit in with fans of The Briefs and The Cute Lepers, although it doesn't have as much of a power punk feel to it. The one song that really gets me going is 'Japanese Cars', with its car loving drop outs viewpoint. It is all super catchy stuff but leans closer to the USA than the UK, definitely more of The Ramones than The Clash on this pink tape.

Irritones - Negative Dots by spasticfantasticrecords

The Ropes - Demo Tape

The Repos are back, but with a new name and the vocals are even harsher than before! Some of these demo tracks have made their way onto their already sold out 7" on Youth Attack, which will probably tell if you dig this or not. Not as arty as a lot of the Hardcore that Youth Attack puts out, and the vocals are insane, still stand out a mile.

The Ropes - Forward Defeat by spasticfantasticrecords

Uzbecks - Snaps Tape

Isreali garage punk that nods towards some Angry Samoans style early 80's melodic hardcore. It is crazy catchy and a shame it is only 4 songs, and probably the first punk band from Isreal that I have heard, which is a shame if they have more tucked away like this.

Uzbeks - Black Magic by spasticfantasticrecords

Take It Back / Mother Speed - Split Cassette

Take It Back are Indonesian, and love to thrash it up! This is real skate style hardcore a la What Happens Next and Bones Brigade. Fast, Melodic and strangely all sung in English, with Skating being the theme of the day for these dudes. Mother Speed on the flip side are representing the American thrash heritage, with some awesome breakdowns, ripping solo's and some gnarly gang vocals, not unlike the early Municipal Waste records, clocking in at less than 5mins for these 5 tracks!

Mother Speed - BBQ Island by spasticfantasticrecords

Civil Victim - The Wasted Years (2007-2009)

Some great tough 80's style Hardcore, totally ripping and mid paced in most places. The German Negative Approach or Necros. The 29 tracks on here cover their whole 2007-2009 period which takes in a handful of 7"s and Comp appearances. The last track, apparently by their roadie, is the only track that sounds totally different band and sticks out a bit, must be a good roadie?

Civil Victim - Coptown by spasticfantasticrecords

Septic Dieter - Demo Tape

According to the Yakuzzi blog, Septic Dieter are 80's influenced Krautpunk. To me this is some fast hardcore with a punk edge, especially on the breakdowns. The vocals are super croaky and raspy with all the lyrics in their native German tongue which sounds great in this type of band.

Septic Dieter - Pressure Makes Pressfleisch by spasticfantasticrecords

Cyborg - Demo Tape

Brutal power violence hardcore for fans of Spazz, Infest and Crossed Out. These 10 songs fly by and are totally unrelenting, and 15 years ago would have been on Slap a Ham records. Love this tape!

Cyborg - Pointless Rant by spasticfantasticrecords

Steve Austin - Discography Tape

This hand spray painted discography for Germany's Steve Austin is 40 songs in 38 mins of ridiculously brutal grind / power violence that is closer to the metal of Pig Destroyer than some of more punk side of grind that the other tapes i have received from Yakuzzi contain. Massive riffs which change up the speeds and go from all out blasting to slow beatdowns within 30 secs. There are some tracks that sound like a layering of multiple songs randomly that descends into noise grind chaos. Not for the fainthearted.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Sentridoh + Shrimper

When I was a teenager, there was a veritable treasure trove of a Record shop in Reading called Green River Records, which became our central meeting point/group hangout and encyclopedia for Indie rock and punk that we had been exposed to. I was opened up to Shellac when the first 7" came out and was given discounts on classic Killdozer LP's. I bought Weezer's 'Sweater Song' single on cassette and first discovered a lot of the music i still cling to from those formative years.

One 7" that was a game changer was the Sentridoh 'losercore' 7" which was when i had just discovered Sebadoh, and it was recorded by Bob Weston of Shellac and released on Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth's label, so it was like the missing piece of a puzzle, and for only 50p!

My love for that 7" has always led me to holding a soft spot for Lou Barlow's ultra lo-fi acoustic tape recordings. Man can write a song regardless. So onto record shop story number two. I pick up a copy of the Lou Barlow's Acoustic Sentidoh - Winning Losers 10" from the increasingly amazing Kristina Records in Dalston and get offered the rare original Lou Barlow tapes pictured below plus a Shrimper Tape compilation with Sentridoh and early Mountain Goats, Franklin Bruno, Bugskull etc. Hitting gold for a second time.

I'm not going to write about these, tapes. You can't buy them anymore unless you get the CD or Vinyl re-issues (which you should) and those of you that need these recordings will already know it or not. Massive thank you to the guys in Kristina for being my new favourite place to spend money i don't have!

Sentridoh - Most of the Worst, Some of the Best of

16 songs including a covers of Bryan Adams and Sonic Youth.

Lou B's Acoustic Sentridoh - Wasted Pieces '87-'93

23 pieces in 38 minutes.
Pawnshop Reverb - (A Shrimper Compilation)

Featuring - Sentridoh, Al larson, Nothing Painted Blue, Carne A, Primordial, Undermind, Shoeface, Mountain Goats, Oar, WCKR SPGT, Lil Johnny 4, Refridgerator, Franklin Bruno, Paste, Goosewind, Buzzsaw, Bugskull, Halo, Satnam Puppets, The Jim Bishop Guitar Army, Showboat.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Sealings + Boneyards = Italian Beach Babes

Italian Beach Babes has been kicking out some pretty quality releases for almost 2 years now, with Dirty Beaches, Mazes, Male Bonding, Fair Ohs, Graffiti Island, Fear of Men all making appearences across tapes, 7"s and 12"s. These are the two latest tapes with some Old Forest tape action on the way very soon (go pre-order it).


I remember when the first Sealings tape (1st of 5 tape releases) came out a while back, it sounded like they had some pop songs being smeared by black metal leanings and distorted sound scapes. This new 4 track EP still retains that feeling, with screwed guitar lines and cutting drum machines beats. The vocals also sound pretty bleak, no hope anthems. Everyone seems to mark out their summer tunes, i'm marking this as my winter cassette, ripe for slipping in the walkman when leaving for work before the sun has risen and coming home after it has come down.

  1. King Shot
  2. Swag Chandelier
  3. Cruel World
  4. Black Hole


Having some cartoon bong-smoking trolls on the cover of your tape is always a good thing. Throwing together some garage punk and mid 90's Indie punk is also a pretty good idea, thanks Boneyards!The first side is studio recorded, with a pretty clean sound and then side B side, which is self recorded kicks in, totally in the red and pushed to the limit. I don't know if its the reverb overkill or the strung out guitar lines that sound like buzzsaws but the second side sounds way better to me. The vocals have that Coachwhips tinny-scuzz to them and the drums are way heavier. Not too far from the Lovvers 'Think' record. I vote Side B.

Side A
  1. Endless Summer
  2. Dead Arm
  3. Ride
  4. Huanted Vomit
Side B
  1. Snare Sneezer
  2. Way Out
  3. NowNowNow
  4. Human Nature
  Endless Summer by BONEYARDS

Snare Sneezer by BONEYARDS

Tense Men + Domestic Blitz = Cazenove Tapes

LAC from Sauna Youth has started his own tape label. It was a no brainer that a SY member would have some choice picks to start their label with. Go buy the first two fruits of his punk loom HERE


Tense Men = Ollie Fisher of Cold Pumas + Rich Phoenix of Sauna Youth.
The four jams on this tape are tightly woven and dense workouts of noise punk with occasional deep vocal swells that hint at their musical day jobs. Switching it up from upbeat locked grooves at the start of the tape, with zoned-out repetition and sweet guitar riffs before ending on blissed out kraut waves as the tape runs to its conclusion. The loop pedal seems to be the grounding force in TM, the 2nd guitarist or bass player who doesn't drop a note when drunk and keeps the song constantly driving forwards regardless of where the other two are in the wig outs, meaning they don't relegated to the being one of those two pieces who are good but would be better as a three piece. This little pink tape kills it start to finish, buy it.

  1. A Gruesome Discovery
  2. Tubular Swells
  3. Killing Birds
  4. Dawn Tourists


Who are Domestic Blitz? They are not the late 79-81 punk band or the Australian DIY televison show? Who cares though when you have an album of skronked out punk like this. Sometime they have some garage punk inclinations, then they come over all Killdozer or maybe a drunken Modern Lovers, and then slow down and do a George Harrison cover (the best Beatle, good choice). This tape is confusing in all the right places, and has followed me to work a lot recently and always seems to be top of the tape listening pile. Waste your money on this.

1. Property Development
2. A New Man
3. Strange Feeling
4. Ancient Scroll
5. The Heartstrongs
6. Thinker
7. Ben
8. Don't Eat That Please
9. Sincerely Complicated
10. Stay In Touch

Domestic Blitz - 5 by Sound Savers

Friday, 19 August 2011

Good Throb - Demo 2011

Coming in the same package as The Love Triangle tape reviewed below and featuring a common member is as close to comparisons as you will get from the two tapes. Instead Good Throb deliver 9 tracks of noisey and atonal punk that drags and scrapes like the early Flipper albums.

The drums are super primal without being fast, the guitars are stabby in the right places, the bass is clangy and wire-y and the vocals grope at the song for dear life. It sounds aggressive but not macho, so maybe it is because 3/4 of this band are female that this demo shows a different side to aggressive and angry punk. The whole thing is pretty catchy too, unlike a lot of no-wave noise punk, and 'Toner Loner' has remained in my head all week, with it's office life critiques and screams of 'Paper Jams / Beyond Repair!'

Buy this tape HERE and check Good Throb out HERE

Side A

Animal Fuck
Culture Vulture
Detritus In The Kitchen
Drink 2
Sexual Pension

Side B

Shit Wife Day
Sick Party
Toner Loner

The Love Triangle - Tape # 4

I totally love this band and love this tape! Their 7" on Dire Records last year was incredible, and the fact that 2/3 of this band are also in The Sceptres and The Shitty Limits only makes it better. These 4 new songs are not as blink-and -they're-over as previous recordings and make me hungry for an album of The Love Triangles paisley garbage punk.

This tape is only £2, it has 4 catchy as hell songs that mix garage rock and 80's punk perfectly, no reason not too really. Look out for their new 7" dropping soon, again on Dire.


Empty Head
Take Me To Bed
Simple Language
When We're Alone

The Hipshakes - Sounds We Found (Scotch Tapes)

The second album from Derby garage punk kids that was only released on tape by the lovely Scotch Tapes a year or two ago. It has been in my review pile for a while, and i had forgotten that they really speed through their tracks, no psych breakdowns here. I love the group chant vocals over chaotic and fast three chord jams, which sounds like a hardcore band who picked up a Pebbles Box set instead of the obligatory Black Flag / Dead Kennedys LP's.

I don't know if this came out on vinyl, some Internet snooping suggests not, which is a shame, as these speedy garage punk tracks would fit in with both fans of Black Lips and Circle Jerks. Time someone made a tape of all their out of print 7"s maybe?

Side A

Lets Get Acquainted
I'm Alright
Wasted Time
Real Woman
I Try
Days of Destiny

Side B

Not Like I've Had before
Five Years Time
I hate Hipshakes
Stuck In This Life
Now We Know
Bruces Party Song
Rovin Down The River

Strike a Match - Demo (Self Released)

This little red and yellow tape arrived in the post this week from Norway, stuffed with gig flyers and a really cool hand written letter that made me wish this was how all packages were still sent, rather than a one line email and a link to a soundcloud account that drops into my inbox pretty regularly. Send stuff to my postbox please, not imy inbox.

From the Peanuts style ink drawing on the front, i didn't think i would be getting the Norwegian Revolution Summer style Hardcore that fills the two sides of this cassette. It kicks off sharply with the self referencial and titular track of pure anthemic Strike Anywhere esque melodic hardcore with its Anti-Capitalist lyrical content that is begging me to point my finger in the air!

Then the mood changes and the hints of Rites of Spring and One Last Wish creep in with a slightly screamy drawl which stays on the right side of not being screamo. I would put his scream closer to that of the JR Ewing vocalist when he was pushing it rather than some generic screamo band.

I dont know if there is something they put in the water in Norway, but there seemsa to be a stylistic sound that flowed from JR Ewing to The Team Spirit to Kaospilot to I.O.U and now to Strike a Match. It's the non macho approach to hardcore music and the angular lines that cut through, with a nice dose of killer rock n roll riffs which is probably why it sits in the Dischord camp.

I dont know if they still have any copies of this tape left from its 50 copy run from 2009 but you can download this demo from http://www.strikeamatch.no/ , and finger point at the guy opposite you on the bus on the way to work!


Strike a Match
1000 Eyes
Dead Time In The Living Room
You Don't Have to Fuck
Sleepers Awake
Let's Be Human Beings


Monday, 2 May 2011

Cum Stain - S/T (Burger Records)

Another great cassette in a long line of Burger Records releases. I think a third of all the tapes I have bought in the past 2 years have come from those guys, putting to tape some of my favourite records from bands like Ty Segall, No Bunny, Traditional Fools, King Tuff, Shannon & The Clams and also a whole load of bands I have never heard of before, which are generally pretty damn good due to the Burger dudes impeccable taste in music!

Cum Stain sit firmly in the second category for me, a band I have never heard or heard of before. The artwork definitely plays on first impressions, along with it being cased in a nice yellow (pee coloured?) case, with the fez and belt wearing penis hinting that these guys are not using this tape to attract the attention of one of the big boys.
The music throws up some snotty garage punk, heavy on the snot, with some good old Ramones-esque punk. Tracks like 'Slip It off/Slip It In' throws in some slight surf vibes with a nice line in caveman stomp, not too unlike some of Ty's early bands like Traditional Fools and Party Fowl. 'I Want It Now' speeds through amazing back from the grave riffs if played by The Germs and is my pick for stand out track.

Over before it gets started, this album understands that youthful exuberance and fun time garage punk doesn't need to drag ,or hang around. Get in and get out before people need to refill their drinks.


  1. Bachelors Life
  2. Broke My Dick
  3. No Hearts
  4. Big Mean Maniac
  5. Just A Kid
  6. Vicdumb
  7. Slip It Off / Slip It In
  8. Shoker
  9. I Want It Now
  10. Suckher 4 U
  11. Jack Shack
  12. Cum Stain

Monday, 18 April 2011

Coleen Green - Milo Goes To College (Suffering Jukebox)

Posted simultaneously on Ghost Panda Digital

Ok, good news or bad news first? Bad news right? This amazing tape is now long gone, totally sold out and is unlikely to made again, sorry! The good news is that Coleen Green is now recording for Hardly Art Records, the Sub Pop offshoot label that has dropped some killer records in the past few years, with new CG records on their way.

This orange slice of tape starts with a downbeat cover of The Descendents 'Good Good Things'. Although not from their namesake debut album, this is a great cover, with slowed down drum machines and fuzzed out palm muted down strokes replacing the full band original. Carrying on the punk tributes comes 'I Wanna Be Degraded', on obvious take on The Ramones 'I Wanna Be Sedated' which adds a certain sacharine quality that continues throughout the rest of the tape.

I remember when the market was flooded with the vast amounts of punk bands covering classic pop songs in the mid 90's, and in particular Me First & The Gimme Gimme's making a side career from it, but now it seems that the table has turned with dreamy indie versions of punk classics like these getting their dues. Although not all of the 8 tracks on this tape alude to a classic punk song or reference, i feel like i have heard these songs before and they become memorable instantly. Tracks like 'I Will Follow Him' have become stuck in the part of brain that usually reserves space for tunes that i hum and then take an hour to remember who it is. Thanks Coleen.

Congrats if you can find a copy of this tape and thanks to Jack from Suffering Jukebox/Mazes for finding a copy for me.

Side A

Good Good Things
I Wanna be Degraded
I Will Follow Him

Side B

Always On My Mind
Nice Boy (I Want A)
Worship You
The Day I Fell In Love With You

Colleen Green - Worship You by berman1125

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Sauna Youth - Planet Sounds (Self Released)

Serious no brainer here. My favourite UK band delivers a tape which is comprised of a 5 song radio session on Side A and 2 new covers on Side B given the SY treatment by members Pines and Boon respectively.

I think this radio session was recorded on their very first jaunt away and in the relative infancy of the band for a radio blog in Southampton, with 5 now classic tunes chosen including my favourite choice, 'Mild Horses'. Your also get cuts that have appeared on the new 'Lists' 7", the original Demo Cassette and 'Eurozone' that hasn't popped up anywhere else as far as i know? Its a good clear recording and is totally enjoyable, unlike a lot of live recordings that get thrown on tape for the sake of it.

The real reason for getting this tape though, is the two tracks on Side B. First up is SY guitarist, Pines, re-working of 'Teenage Summer' by Thee Headaches. The song is a motorik space rock journey of a song that recalls parts of Moon Duo's 'Escape' EP with minimal drum machine sounds, repetitive bass lines that could have come from a Stooges demo and some psych riffing on top. All of this is topped with a mantra of 'My teeage, my teenage, my teenage summer' over and over. That's a bong hit of a song for sure.

The second track is from Boon, SY vocalist, who remakes a track by The Magic Lanterns ( i think a mid 60's pop rock band) called Dreamlands. It definately has the hooks & chorus' that are typical of Sauna Youth records with a nice little major keyboard line that just screams summertime (in your face). In fact it makes me feel the same as when i listen to Eddy Current Suppresion Ring, wishing i could watch them on a sunny beach with a drink in hand!

Get this tape, even of you have most of the tracks already, you will go ape over the B side. Can i give Side of the year instead of Tape of the year?

Side A

Delta Caps
Pictures of Cats
Deal Castle
Mild Horses

Side B

Teenage Summer

Teenage Summer from lindsay on Vimeo.

The Lowest Form - Some Horrible Bug (Low Tapes)

Man, this tape is good! Really noisey, feedback drenched hardcore that leans slightly to the crust side without ripping too much of a D-Beat charge. References to Sex/Vid, Void and Seige have been thrown around in the small amount of online attention they have, but 'Some Horrible Bug' seems tighter than those bands, stamping ahead with dense riffs and amazing breakdowns that prevent the tape from flying past in a blur. In fact, unlike a lot of hardcore records out there, each track really stands out on its own and don't just mesh into each other.

As the tape progresses, the noise  starts to creep in, and on one song in particular, a real black metal feel desends, but much more akin to the murkier USBM of Leviathan or Xasthur than their european counterparts. There is some really interesting guitar playing on this demo, maybe its the noise influence or a love of dark psychedelia, but whilst one guitar seems to hold it all down, the other grates out some amazing sonic scrapings. It made sense when you realise The Lowest Form is made up of people from noise duo Birds of Delay, psych dudes in Please and the man who runs Londons best hardcore label La Vida Es Un Mus. Fingers crossed for a vinyl release.

The Lowest Form - "Wrong Decision" by LOWRECORDINGS

The Lowest Form - "7.4.3" by LOWRECORDINGS