It seems a lot of the best releases of this year have been crammed into the last couple months of 2016. For what was a generally crappy year for the world, at least we got a few cracker records and demos out of it.
Cruz De Navajas - Demo (Mexico)
This super icey and urgent demo gets my number one spot this month from Mexico goth two-piece, Cruz De Navajas. From the band pics, I think maybe this duo shares a member with two of my favourite Mexican punk bands Crimen and Zotz. If it is the same guy, he has had his hand in a lot of amazing releases in the last few years.
This demo features layered darkwave synths and wailing guitar riffs behind powerful Spanish fem vocals; a strong demo and I look forward to more releases from these two.
Fav track: Las Personas Son Bestias
No Class – Boot Boys (Australia)
Having been one of my favourite Australian live acts for a while now, I was eagerly awaiting this 7-inch as a follow up to their toe-tappin demo that came out last year on No Depression tapes.
Emblazoned on the back cover is “PUB ROCKS NOT DEAD”. Admittedly I am not the greatest pub rock aficionado, but this 7-inch combines Oi!, pub rock and some classic blues into something not seen in the Australian punk scene for quite some time. Super catchy with some truly classic working class kiwi lyrics from singer Dave Brown, this is infectiously good.
Fav track: Right to Work
Yarbles - Demo (Australia)
No Patience Records
Before I get into this I need to pay homage to the fucking weird awesomeness that is the generous use of the Wah pedal on what is essentially a noisey/pogo demo. FINALLY someone is taking this style of punk and doing something different with it. This demo is distorted, chanty and ripe for a pogo. Extra points for the not so subtle G.B.H. references.
Fav track: Yarbtro // Yarbles
Generacion Suicida – Sombras (USA)
Going Underground Records
Some may criticise Generacion Suicide for working within the melodic punk formula of bands like Masshysteri or Radioactivity, but fuck it’s a formula that works. Taking a poppy sound and applying it to the lived experiences of being a Latinx punk in LA makes for great music, and this new GS LP is no exception. I am the drummer Kiwi’s number one fan, her 16ths are insane and I like that she is also more vocally present on this album than previous releases.
Fav track: Criminal
Kreigshog - Self-Titled (Japan)
La Vida Es Un Mus Discos
A band that needs no introduction, I was anxious to see whether they could deliver after being away for so long. Short answer: yes, they delivered. Not straying too far from their original sound, this is a fantastic comeback record from the Japanese D-beat/hardcore masters.
Favourite track: General