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Issue 167 Recording Reviews
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Issue 152-153_ Records that Escaped Reviewing

For over 27 years we here at The Trouble With Normal have been interested in hearing some of the music that you have been making and recording. Feel free to send your vinyl, CDs or tapes ("for sale" only or at least take the effort to make a cover for them. This goes for CD-Rs also.) to our cramped but we call it home P.O. Box so we can possibly review it. If your release is only available as a download send us a link and we'll check it out as well (as with CD-Rs and tapes please make a cover for it). It may take us a while to get to them (we do have obligations in our lives not related to this zine) but we will review them in time and guarantee an honest review Until the next issue, here are some recordings that just might interest you. Boone

ANTI-FLAG - 20/20 Vision

I'd seen a couple of videos related to this in the weeks leading to its release so I took the plunge and streamed this album when I was able to do so. Anti-Flag's new album starts with a sample of the Mad Fuhrer of Mar-A-Lago before tearing into some straight up melodic punk where thick rich power chord guitars and often rampaging beats go for a sonic kick in the noggin. The songs are calls to action on the current state of the U.S. tackling topics such as the rise of hate fueled authoritarian thought to white conservative christian nationalism to class tensions and the like. Musically, while the core of what A-F has been about remains the arrangements take a slightly poppier turn with the occasional acoustic instrument, some horns, and a moment of two of electronic beats on occasion. Overall, Anti-Flag creates an album that bridges the gulf between the more poppier side of what passes as "alternative" these days and their trademark style of punk rock and pulls it off better than most expected. (BOONE)
(Spinefarm/Universal)

DOG PARTY - Sings the Beatles download single

Just as 2019 entered the holiday double header that wraps a year up this single came in under the radar. This time around Dog Party offers up a couple of early Beatles covers in their full jangly glory, "I Feel Fine" kicks this off in a slightly rougher and slower take on the original that takes the basics of the song and highlights a hidden melancholy beneath the joyful lyrics. "All I've Got to Do" is a relatively faithful version of the mid tempo ode to a relationship. Both songs veer towards the jangle more than the duo's type of melodic punk but has a bit of their spin on these songs. It's a bit of fun and a nice listen to kick off a year that seems to be taking existing chaos and taking things up about ten notches. Check it out - it's definitely worth a listen. (BOONE)
(dogparty.bandcamp.com)

M80 - Apathy cassette EP

I had been looking around on the internet to fill time one night when I came across this and decided to stream it. M80 dishes out short fast blasts of hardcore punk with a vintage feel and hints of melody at points. These are next to no frills songs tackling crooked cops, apathy, toxins around us and more - all with breezily fast tempos and power chords blazing full on throughout. Musically, the band's vintage HC influences are work on their sleeves but they carry it off well and are unapologetic about it. While this tape may alienate readers who cut their teeth on more modern forms of hardcore those with a hankering for bands drawing from the spirit of the early 80s bands will enjoy this. (BOONE)
(m80sucks.bandcamp.com)

THE ONLY ONES - Live in Chicago 1979 LP

Part of the dawn of a new year is a chance not just to explore what just happened but to come across things that may have been buried beneath all the holiday hoopla - which is how I found out about this album. This record captures The Only Ones playing a show in Chicago in 1979. Their blend of pub rock turned punk finds them delivering some detached yet personal driven by tight hooks and a fair share of guitar leads and solos. A bit more bittersweet than a lot of punk and new wave of that era, the songs walk a thin line between pure energy and hinted at melancholy. Sonically the record has a live feel but comes off in a lot of ways like the band's records. Part of the Sunday Morning Nightmare series, this album is a piping hot slab of how punk's poppier elements can be heard without going modern pop. Seek out a way to hear this and decide for yourself. (BOONE)
(alonasdreamrecords.com)

THE WORLD/INFERNO FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY - All Borders Are Porous To Cats LP

I heard that this was coming out and since past works had piqued my curiosity I knew I had to give it a listen so when I had a chance to hear it I took the plunge. The new album from The World/Inferno Friendship Society is a sonic journey that takes punk rock on a surreal yet catchy aural bus ride where elements of jazz, blues, klezmer and swing (among others} get woven into the sound. What arises from this sonic melee are songs that are melodic yet unexpected where a left turn can happen on a dime and where lyrics that seem to reference children's book characters and other seemingly obtuse things can suddenly throw a sociopolitical curveball. This is a breezy audio journey where the one thing to expect is the unexpected and one shouldn't want it any other way. The World/Inferno Friendship Society once again creates something that creeps up on you and shows that the punk ethos can be more expansive than many people want to think. Note to self: check my budget and plan to get a physical copy of this when I get the chance to do so. (BOONE)
(Alternative Tentacles Records. P.O. Box 419092. San Francisco, CA 94141-9092. alternativetentacles.com)

THE YEASTIES -Yum Yum Rock cassette EP

A friend of mine offered a tip to check this out so I decided to take her up on it. The Yeasties' debut EP is a last of short fast rough as sandpaper around the edges punk rock with simple song hooks and snide vocals. With songs tackling (I'm assuming personal) demons, people who don't understand, and the current state of our society among other things these five songs are part catharsis and part commentary of things around them that, to some degree, go beyond their hometown of St. Louis. The Yeasties' raw slabs of punk rock are energetic, fun, and a small glimpse of joy in a world gone mad. This is totally worth checking out for fans of underground rock in its purest format. Hope to get a chance to see this band play live somewhere down the road. (BOONE)
(theyeasties.bandcamp.com)

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