Kevin Warwick, Reader Assistant Music Editor
The Early Ones compilation from Rip Off Records: Few labels cranked out 90s garage-punk scuzz better than Greg Lowery’s San Fran-based Rip Off Records. Old-school lo-fi in both sound and aesthetic—early releases were recognizable by their basic paper sleeve and crude black-and-white photo—the label was home to an impressive cast of sneering, playful punk bands. This 1999 comp features a host of killer out-of-print singles from the Statics, the Rip Offs, the Makers, Teengenerate, the Spoiled Brats, and the Cryin’ Out Louds.
Refused’s The Shape of Punk to Come: I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately and listening to a lot of Nation of Ulysses, which in turn led to me digging up this incomparable posthardcore masterpiece. Released in 1998, the album still rips with jams like “Liberation Frequency,” “The Refused Party Program,” and the signature “New Noise,” complete with Dennis Lyxzen’s always appropriate Ric Flair “Woooo!” These Swedes just need to make nice and reunite already. I’d most definitely pay up.
Opening theme to The Wire: I recently finished the entire HBO series for the first time, and Tom Waits’s “Way Down in the Hole” has been tattooed on my brain ever since. Each of the five seasons features a different recording of the song, with Steve Earle, the Blind Boys of Alabama, members of the Baltimore Boys Choir, and Waits himself (off his 1987 album Franks Wild Years) each chiming in.
Why is Permanent Records’ Lance Barresi so excited about bands from south of the equator?
Lance Barresi, Permanent Records
Australia: The down-under underground is killing it right now. Kitchen’s Floor, UV Race, Circle Pit, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Boomgates, Slug Guts, Total Control, Blank Realm, Naked on the Vague, Fabulous Diamonds, Super Wild Horses, Straight Arrows, Taco Leg, My Disco, Zond—the list goes on. Quite possibly the best continental listening per capita currently. Read all about it in Negative Guest List.
Chile: The current psych scene in Chile is hot, hot, hot. La Hell Gang, the Psychedelic Schafferson Jetplane, Follakzoid, the Holydrug Couple, and La Banda’s are all drinking the Kool-Aid. Somebody must’ve dosed the Chilean water. It’s likely that Sonic Boom and J. Spaceman are responsible.
King Blood’s Eyewash Silver: An incredible, dumbed-down, shit-fi, riff-drenched, instrumental psych record that will rip the skulls off fans of Wooden Shjips, Purling Hiss, Les Rallizes Denudes, and Snake Apartment. The self-released edition of 100 copies disappeared in a flash, but fear not friends, Permanent’s reissuing it in the very near future.
What city does Moniker Records’ Robert Cole Manis think is one of the best rock towns in the country?
Robert Cole Manis, Moniker Records
Del Shannon’s The Further Adventures Of Charles Westover: This album has been blowing my mind lately. The man behind the number one smash “Runaway” hit a major chord in 1968 with this cult masterpiece. It’s a stunning array of psychedelic pop precision, dense orchestration, swaying horns, groovy sitar, and organ tokes, all topped off with Del’s trademark vocal style and stellar song craft.
The San Francisco scene: This free-spirited city has unleashed some of the best rock ‘n’ roll over the last few years. Totally on fire! The Fresh & Onlys, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Wooden Shjips, Sonny & the Sunsets, Grass Widow, the Mantles, Jealousy, etc. I’m running outta room here. It’s a whole generation with a new explanation!
Dusted magazine: This voluntary review site is updated daily and contains informative, critical, and intelligent essays on new music. I appreciate the subjective nature and colorful language that comes across in the reviews. I don’t wanna to be told what to like, just wanna to be told what it sounds like, dig? Also posts cool features such as “Still Single” (tons of 45 reviews), interviews, and weekly lists from contemporary bands.