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Issue 184 Recording Reviews _ End of 2022
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For 30 years we here at The Trouble With Normal have been interested in hearing 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-R's 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 other obligations in our lives) 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

CIGAR - The Visitor LP
I was online taking a break from putting this issue together when I came across this album and decided to stream it. On their latest album Cigar throws down a batch of streamlined modern leaning HC punk with fast but not steamrolling rhythms and a crunchy guitar sound that aims to break through the speakers and refuses to let up throughout. These songs are sonic character studies that seem to deal with the end of a relationship and the fallout from that. The hooks are tight and on point with clear vocals (both lead and backgrounds) to get the point across. The Visitor may annoy some of the harder core than thou type readers but those interested in modern punk should check Cigar's latest album out and make up their own minds. (BOONE)
(Fat Wreck Chords).

THE HOOTEN HALLERS - Back in Business Again LP
I have to admit that one of the better things to emerge from the fadeout of the pandemic was the return of The Hooten Hallers from hibernation so when I learned of this album I had to give it a spin. This time around The Hooten Hallers instantly throws down a bluesy batch of soulful party jams and moody torch songs pushed along by baritone sax lines (in lieu of bass), crunchy yet melodic guitar hooks and drums that drive things to the limit. Leaning more towards the medium tempo side than the earlier rush the barricades feel, the songs may seem a bit more laid back but the hooks shine like diamonds (and likely could cut like them as well). This is one of those albums that's fun from beginning to end and managed to put a smile on my face as it went on, Back in Business Again finds the Hooten Hallers busting out of post pandemic life and making up for lost time with a sense of fun. It's great to see this band back. (BOONE)
(thehootenhallers.com)

LUNG - Let It Be Gone LP
Learning this would be coming out caught my attention so I bought a copy when I saw them open for Mac Sabbath in early October. On their new album Lung moves forward with their brand of artsy driven alt hard rock. Pushing their cello, effects, and drums framework further Kate and Daisy unleash some power infused personal songs that keep the tension building until they explode into full throttle rock energy. They then add more subtle sonic layers and dynamics that keep things varied but don't falter from the overall aural stew that emerges here. It's a sonic journey that can be both aggressive and tender as it moves forward. On Let It Be Gone Lung again proves that hard riving rock doesn't necessarily need to be guitar driven to go for the jugular. If you haven't heard this band yet this is a good starting point to listen. (BOONE)
(Romanus Records)

MR. AND THE MRS.- Gasoline Ice Cream LP
I'd been meaning to check this out for a while but never seemed to have the time until finally getting this issue revised when I came across it and listened. Once again this duo tears through some minimal fuzzy garage punk blending oversaturated guitar, primal drumming and a ton of attitude. Along the way they take the listener on trips down rabbit holes, sing about going out for gas and ice cream, their dislike for cops (detailing issues such as racial profiling, the dangers LGBTQ people face and the like along with it), and more - all with a rough edge and a sonic simplicity that tears through the speaker and won't let up. Admittedly Mr. And the Mrs. won't be everyone's fifth of whiskey but their garage rock meets punk hybrid is true enough to the DIY spirit to keep you listening. Have to admit I needed to hear this right now. Need to get around to getting a physical copy. (BOONE) (mrandthemrs.bandcamp.com)

PROTON/TOTAL SHAM - split cassette EP
Found out about this while checking things out online and decided to see what's going on back in TTWN's original home base. Columbia's own PROTON tears through some loud fast HC punk with a 80s feel blending slights hints of both metal and anarcho punk as they tackle topics such as nuclear war, religion, and unrest. TOTAL SHAM from Kansas City throws down some vintage HC punk that go after society and take a more misanthropic approach lyrically. Both bands draw from hardcore punk's heritage and, while not completely building something new, deliver it in a sound that packs a punch to the solar plexus. Raw almost to the point of feral both Proton and Total Sham show that something angry and confrontational (musically, lyrically, and sonically) is bubbling underneath the surface of the sickening blood red so-called "Show Me State." I admit I know some of the members of Proton but even if I didn't I'd likely review this the same way I have. HC fans definitely need to check out this EP. The cassette is sold out but you can still get the download. (BOONE)
(Cassette was available from: Dirtbag Distro [sold out]. Download available from: protonpunk.bandcamp.com)

All content this page 2022, Boone Stigall/The Trouble With Normal