Top 3 Songs That Did Not Suck in 2017

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2017 has brought (widely-disputed) proof yet again, that SOME songs don’t actually suck. According to Spotify I listened to more than 30,000 minutes of music this year. I do the vast majority of my listening on Bandcamp though, so lets say (wild guess) my total is something like 100K minutes (69 days). That’s not accurate though because 80% of the songs I go through get skipped within the first 60 seconds. I try to give them all at least a 60 second benefit-of-the-doubt window, but I have to admit, many don’t even make it that far. You know it’s the bad times that make the good times seem so good. For me there’s no better feeling than when you find one of those diamonds in the piles of spew. Here are the 3 most beautiful spew-diamonds I suffered to find this year.

Daddy Issues – Dog Years 
Holy crapola this is a bully of a song. I’ve had this thing in heavy rotation since it came out back in May. It’s been a good year for fuzzed-up dreampop bands, but I think Daddy Issues is leading the pack. ‘Dog Years’ is my case in point. This song will take you back to 1993 and then be like “HEY! Wake up motherfucker!” Yeah don’t let the pleasant voices fool you. This song will tear your face off. It will stalk you like a cheetah you big dumb wildabeest you. It will hunt you down and then come out of a dark corner like a screaming banshee with fangs! It’s a direct threat. Do not fuck with this band. Unless you’re fucking with them in a good way like “yeah I fucks with Daddy Issues”. That sounded weird.

Standard Rat Fuck – Freedom Fries 
You know what you’re in for just by the title, and it does not disappoint. Few times throughout history has America flexed as hard as it did in 2017. Not in almost a century has it flexed so hard on such repulsive ideals and downright poisonous rhetoric. This song is about how that roid-monkey of a nation will pound you into whatever form it sees fit, even when you think you’re resisting, it’s slowly getting you. Slowly melting you down into a gloopy puddle of ratfuck. At least if you listen to this song and scream along to the chorus line, you’ll feel a little bit better about it all. Everybody now.. BIG – FAT – GOLD – COCK! – SANCTIFIED – IN – THE – VEGAS – SKYLIEEENE!

Phoebe Bridgers – Smoke Signals 
So here’s a weird story. Hold onto your hats for this one! Oh boy! Somehow the Phoebe Bridgers album Stranger In The Alps slipped under my radar when it came out in September. I don’t know how this happened. I’m usually on top of things. I’m sorry ok. I make mistakes. I’m not a fucking robot! Here’s the weird part. I actually saw Phoebe IN SEPTEMBER, open for Conor Oberst in Bellingham WA. How did she still manage to slip under my radar then? Oh good question! I had no idea who she was at the time. Her name wasn’t listed on the bill and oddly enough, her first song, which I’m pretty sure was ‘Smoke Signals’, caused my friend to have a severe vertigo attack! That’s how powerful this song is guys. Ok maybe my friend is prone to vertigo attacks and he already had one earlier that day, but I’m pretty sure this song set off the second attack. It nearly set one off in me for fucks sake! I mean it’s one of those songs that’s just overwhelming. Unfortunately I didn’t get to hear the whole thing, and I missed the rest of her set because I had to get my friend out of there and find him a cab so he could go back to the hotel. Never did catch her name and forgot to look it up later. Fast-forward to a few weeks ago when I saw the album listed on some bandcamp best-albums-of-the-summer thing. Imagine my surprise when I give it a play and the first song is ‘Smoke Signals’ and suddenly I’m having flashbacks to my friends crippled escape from The Wild Buffalo in Bellingham. I called up said friend and had him listen to it and he had ANOTHER vertigo attack! Ok I made up that last part. Everything else is true though, and this song is a cold force.

[This is where there would be some kind of summary if I cared to write one]

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Doesn’t English (#008) – Demasiada Presión

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Desmasiada Presion (Too Much Pressure) have been at it for a while now, kickin’ up dust and rock ‘n’ roll pop punk from the streets of Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, it is the same Comodoro Rivadavia where the Museum of Petroleum is located. I don’t know, I can’t really find much information on these guys. They appear to be car enthusiasts, but as far as I can tell, none of their songs are about cars. Oh well. If you’re in Patagonia, check them out. They seem fun. I have to go because the way I’m writing right now makes me wanna barf.

Bye.

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DONT Suck [NOVEMBER 2017]

standard rat fuck california math punk uncommon music 2017 punk nerdsStandard Rat Fuck – Self Titled
We can’t go any further until we talk about the name, Standard Rat Fuck (or SRF for short). It’s not some elaborately intricate rat fuck we’re talking about here ok, it’s just your everyday standard rat fuck. Alright, moving on. Ratfuck is officially a genre now, because there’s really no other genre we can put this in. Years from now when everyone and their cat is in a Ratfuck band, people will look back on the early days of Ratfuck music, and they`ll talk about this album and they’ll say “That was it. That was the EP that set the standard for what Ratfuck would be”. Really, I can see that happening. If it wasn’t 2017, that is exactly how this would play out. It’s that groundbreaking. Right now track 5, Freedom Fries, is in my top 3 songs of the year, and it’s not just because of the line “Big fat gold cock sanctified in the Vegas skyline”. Though I can’t say that wasn’t a factor.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

amigos subterraneos santiago lo-fi indie rock uncommon music 2017 punk nerdsAmigos Subterraneos – Self Titled
Adjust your ears to lo-fi and prepare to be bum-rushed with fantastikness. I always find that it takes a minute or two for your ears to get there, but once they do, this smooths right out and there are so many goodies to be discovered. The lyrics are all in Spanish, so I went and translated some of them. They’re vague for sure, or maybe it just doesn’t translate well, but powerful none the less. It’s not about the lyrics here anyways. Don’t get me wrong, bad lyrics can ruin any band, but with this I’m drawn more to the melodic qualities of the vocals since I don’t understand the words and that’s working out just fine for me. I could listen to this all day.   Listen on Bandcamp

shepards boston math punk uncommon music 2017 punk nerdsShepards – Self Titled
You ever have one of those days where, you know, you’re listening to a lot of ratfuck and you just need a break from it for a while? Something to chill you out a bit? This here EP is gonna be perfect for that. It’s like some laid back indie/post-punk stuff that isn’t too aggressive. It just sort of hangs out and keeps you company. Minds it’s own business, but occasionally goes on mind blowing guitar tangents. You know what I’m sayin’? It’s nice. You like it. It’s good. It’s really good.   Listen on Bandcamp

red tank x phoenix indie punk uncommon music 2017 punk nerdsRed Tank – X
A lot of EP’s this month. This one grows on you as if you were a sloth and the music was jungle fungus. Just all matted up in your fur etc. At the beginning you’re like “meh, idk” but each track seems to get consecutively more awesome, and then when you go back to the beginning you’re like “wow wtf? All of these songs are awesome”. I mean the cover art lacks creativity, sure. Someone just took a picture of their feet, but what I’ve learned is, some bands are just too busy making killer tunes to give a shit about album art. If you give so many shits about your music there sometimes are no more shits left to give about anything else. These guys are plum out of shits. Also top-notch bandcamp description.   Listen on Bandcamp

going under never not down california post pop punk island empire uncommon music 2017 punk nerdsGoing Under – Never Not Down
It might sound kind of predictable at first, but there’s a lot more to this than just your standard ratfuck. I mean pop punk. Don’t be put off by the threatening language at the beginning either. I think they just got carried away. They have a song on here called $hark Attack which, incase you were wondering, is far better than the Bouncing Souls song by the same name, and not just because theirs is spelled with a dollar sign instead of an ‘S’. Though I can’t say that wa$n’t a factor.   Listen on Bandcamp

COMPOST (#007) – Empire Of One

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Back in the 90’s, before everyone and their dog had a skateboard, punk rock and skateboarding were pretty much synonymous with each other. Most skaters were punks and most punks attempted to be skaters. That’s how it was where I grew up anyway. Out in Flint Michigan (home of poisonous water) the skaters were punks too. It’s all chronicled here on this stupendous comp of live recordings in the late 90’s from a Flint skate shop called Empire Of One. The Get Up Kids, Hot Water Music, even Jimmy Eat World all got their start there. Ok they didn’t get their start there but they played there and it was amazing (probably).

From the WBWSTD (Weird But Wonderful Song Title Department) – Here are some recent discoveries:

“I’m Fine I’m Just Having An Allergic Reaction To The Universe”

“The Streets Will Be Paved With Golden Retrievers”

“Me And Dead Owls Don’t Give A Hoot”

“Tim Allens Tool Time Tea Time”

“Anthony Bourdain Ate My Dog”

“You Ate Me Out And Now You’re Not Interested”

“My Very Own Sad White People Dreadlocks”

“If Those Aren’t Tears Of Happiness Please Stop Crying”

“Baby Driver The Movie The Song *Potential Spoilers*”

“My Name Is Ian And I’m From Minor Threat”

Doesn’t English (#007) – Juan Cirerol

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Hailing from Mexicali Mexico (Home of, umm, hot weather, and right across the border from Calexico USA. Isn’t that cute? You know, in my province, there’s a lake that spans the border between Canada and the US called Lake Koocanusa. It’s a mash up of Kootney/Canada/USA. I’m full of fun geographical facts like this) Juan Cirerol has been hammering out the tunes for a while now. Over 200 of them apparently. I’m willing to bet they’re all as enjoyable as this collection. He’s like all of your favourite old-timey country/folk singers, but en Español and maybe with a bit more attitude. I’m sure Mexico has it’s own storied history of country/folk stuff, but I’m not going to pretend I know anything about that, so yeah.. Just imagine Woody Guthrie or Bob Dylan in Spanish. I’ve been listening to this all week at work within earshot of my lovely Peruvian co-worker, so I really hope the lyrics are SFW, cuz I honestly have no idea. Oh god, what if this is Anti-Peruvian music?

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DONT Suck [OCTOBER 2017]

new album daymoon strange ranger sioux falls portland indie band montanaStrange Ranger – Daymoon
This album made the top 5 before I even heard it. I guess I’m a bit biased. They put out what was, in my opinion, the best album of 2016, Rot Forever. They were called Sioux Falls back then. To me, that was the perfect record. It quickly became one of my all time favos, so predictably, this one doesn’t quite live up to the hype I created within myself. Still, it’s rad as Hell, and Hell is pretty rad,, or so I’m told. I don’t necessarily want to go to Hell per se, unless maybe I had like a fire-suit or something.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

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Mood Swings Pinky Band Birmingham Punk Shoegaze IndiePinky – Mood Swings
The album art is misleading. I expected it to be pop punk or one of those ‘gnar’ bands. Instead it’s shoegazy melodic hardcore in the vein of Title Fight, which I am highly in favor of. Especially when it’s done right. These guys are doing it right and killin’ it. Like multiple-stab-wounds killin’ it. I can’t stress enough how perfectly this was executed. Here’s hoping they have a lot more songs under their belt or in their back pocket or up their sleeve or in whatever other part of their clothing. Maybe in their backpack if they have one. I don’t care, just hand it over.   Listen on Bandcamp

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Step Into The Earthquake Album Simon Joyner Folk Singer Songwriter Omaha NebraskaSimon Joyner – Step Into The Earthquake
I don’t think anything can be said that isn’t already implied when you say the man’s name. I mean, he is a freakin’ delight to listen to. This guy makes better Bob Dylan albums than Bob Dylan does. Well, better than he has in a very long time anyway. Big, dusty old songs that make today’s mainstream radio-folk seem utterly and completely irrelevant. If Bob Dylan listened to this album he would mumble an entirely incoherent sentence. If Bob Dylan read this review he would start shouting out verbal crazy like that guy on the train people don’t want to sit next to. In conclusion: Bob Dylan was amazing. Simon Joyner still is.   Listen on Spotify

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Atlas emo revival band toronto ontario punk uncommon musicAtlas – S/T
Straight out of The Big Diaper, Toronto Ontario. That’s what the locals call it right? As a Canadian who doesn’t live there, I’m actually obliged by law to shit-talk Toronto. I think they really do call it that though. I’m pretty much positive. The weather here in Vancouver is beautiful by the way. Look, I don’t want any trouble. This is an awesome record. They should be in the conversation along with all those other big emo-revival (a term even stupider than ‘emo’ itself) bands, like MoBo and Sorority Noise and the such. An argument could be made that these guys are better than both of those bands. Now I’m not the one starting that argument. I’m just saying it’s absolutely true and if you don’t think so you’re just wrong.   Listen on Bandcamp

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Sarı Çizgiyi Geçmeyiniz album poster-iti turkish punk rock turkey 2017Poster-iti – Sarı Çizgiyi Geçmeyiniz
Joe Strummer was born in Turkey you know.. That’s up against the point though. I don’t understand the words on this album, but I still find myself singing along to it. It’s super catchy 80’s style punk. A little first-wavy, a little hardcore. It’s actually a re-issue, but I’m including it anyway because it’s totally awesome and it does have some unreleased material on it. The original album was released in 2005 to much acclaim in Turkey. Actually, I made that up. I have no idea how well it did in Turkey, but in my imagination this was an instant classic and the punks went fuckin’ bananas for it.   Listen on Bandcamp

COMPOST (#006)

🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

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I wouldn’t listen to this alone if I were you. These songs are truly HORRIFYING!!!” said me.

Then you were like “…….”

And I was all “…….”