VLMA- Slime

The a-side of VLMA's Broken Teeth EP showed that the Baltimore-birthed trio like to mold scuzzy guitar riffs, merciless drumming, and throaty yet melodic vocals into dirty punk anthems. The b-side of the EP showed a similar ethos, but revealed a more comfortable VLMA who expanded their riffs and instrumental breakdowns while flexing even stronger melodies than before (listen to "Feel Myself" below). If those two doses of their DIY rock didn't make you a believer, give their latest song "Slime" a spin.

"Slime" snakes around surf and modern-day-garage rock sounds while still highlighting VLMA's signature sound of fuzz-blown guitars and reverberated earworm melodies that sticks to your memory like spank bank material.

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Ted Nguyent- My Body Is A Temple of Doom Video + Don't Vote Vinyl Pre-Order

I immediately had a Brett Rambo reaction to Philly trio Ted Nguyent releasing their latest album, Don't Vote, on vinyl. It's one of the top records released so far this year and deserves your ears if you haven't already given them up. Set to release in June, Don't Vote will be released by Ranch Records and will be available to pre-order this coming Friday (April 18th) via their web store.

The press release contains good nuggets worth copy/pasting, so read up after you soak up a blurb from our early-adoptive review in January. 
...full of jittery, guitar-driven punk that never lets up on the gas pedal. For a band that's only a few years and two releases in, Nguyent sound incredibly seasoned, fueled by an impressive drummer and lead guitarist that dart, weave, and morph like pinballs around thudding bass lines and screechy yet infectious wails.
Press Release: The Philadelphia-based group wrote and recorded the album in the city. Drummer Travis Arterburn, who also recorded and mixed the album, says the city and its vibrant punk community helped them make a more cohesive and exciting record.

“Philly is bursting with great DIY bands right now, but it’s still a weird place that doesn’t get a ton of respect. I think maybe that just makes bands want to go harder.” Ted Nguyent’s ode to the Philadelphia Parking Commission, “The PPA Took My Baby Away,” is also perfect encapsulation of their approach to punk: jagged pop riffs balanced by solid grooves, with a healthy derision for taking anything too seriously.

Recent shows with Baltimore’s Roomrunner, Toronto heavies Greys, and singer/songwriter Kevin Devine – as well as Philly’s own underdog shredders Glocca Morra and KIDS – have boosted Ted to must-see status. Arterburn says, “Kian and Mike and I try to reach a Minutemen-esque level when we play, except more like if D. Boon was on Ritalin and cough syrup at the same time, and Mike Watt only wore busted old flip-flops, and George Hurley never ever cut his hair.”

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Geronimo!- 1000 Realities

1000 Realities is the second look into Geronimo!'s forthcoming album, Cheap Trick (May 13th, Exploding in Sound Records). 

It isn't as brash and in-your-face as Mr. President, but a heavy supply of flawless, morphing guitar tones remain while the band serves up a fresh take on 90s fuzz punk. If the infectious “I’m just a palm tree swayin’ in a hurricane” hook doesn't get you, just wait until the song takes a sharp left into swirling squalls and shouts of “It’s hard to see the future” before Kelly Johnson manipulates his guitar into spurting out dizzying electronic-like signals.

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Margy Pepper- Deep Water Dark Water

I've been listening to a lot of Margy Pepper this week.

The Olympia-based trio are three releases in since their inception in 2011, but their latest album Deep Water Dark Water is the most focused. It's a dark pop album full of moody atmospheres created by grinding guitar fuzz, stripped-down drumming, and hardhearted vocals that sound apathetic and buoyant at the same time.

They remind me of a drearier Butter the Children on this album: punchy female-led post-punk played under a black cloud, reflecting their habitat and influences.

Free Album Download
Grab their first two albums for free as well

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Dirty River- Dark Summer + Ticket

Some call it lo-fi slacker rock, some call it stoner blues, I recently came up with "indi(fferent) rock." All of these ridiculous sub-genres work when trying to describe NY trio Dirty River's dusty sound that consists of Forrest Hackenbrock's drugged, deadpan delivery and his band's stark rhythms. 

The next two streams/free downloads they have for you are "Dark Summer," with it's dirty, coiling groove that snakes around doped vocals high off regrets in a relationship gone sour and, "Ticket," an attempt at self-realization and moving towards a more positive outlook with the same rocky relationship. These two songs go together-- "Dark Summer" is the break-up dirge while "Ticket" is the post-breakup to make-up ode.

Dirty River's debut s/t album is set to release April 15th on cassette via Fleeting Youth Records. 

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Crazy and the Brains- All I Really Want

Crazy and the Brains is the brainchild of Chris Urban and Jeff Rubin – two punks whose previous bandmates bailed on them, leaving them with a guitar and a stolen xylophone. While the band is still charming crowds with their touted party-punk shows and serving up sounds from their debut album, Let Me Go, released last year on Baldy Longhair Records, they wanted to give fans something new to hold them over until the next release.

"All I Want" is a cover of a Barry Bliss original, but the Brains do it justice by injecting a new, more full-bodied life into it with a focused display of steady drums, driving keys, infectious vocals, and constant bursts of gleaming sounds from the xylophone.

Free Download

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Chain and The Gang- Devitalize

Former Nation of Ulysses and Make-Up frontman Ian Svenonious' snotty garage rock venture, Chain and The Gang, is set to release their fourth album, Minimum Rock n Roll, on April 15th. 

Devitalize is a two-minute burner that that takes aim at the city's gentrification. "I wanna devitalize the city/I wanna devitalize the air/I wanna devitalize just about everywhere," he sings with snarl. The city maybe rapidly changing, but Svenonious hasn't changed at all.

Pre-order the LP here

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