Each month you’ll all be subjected to my top picks; basically some recently released bloody bangers. And yes, I realise the blog name is a little naf, but it perfectly embodies my love for The Mob and that my last name is Tribe… yes, it really is.
I recently returned from my band, MASSES, North American tour. The cultural imperialism of the good ol’ US of A is far reaching, even in the punk scene. I embarked on the tour not expecting to stumble upon too many new and undiscovered gems. This was an incredibly silly view to have. In the end, I discovered a plethora of great new music, and was even lucky enough to play with a few of them. A lot of the stuff that really blew my mind was in fact not from the USA or even Canada, but Latin America.
PAWNS/CEMETERY SPLIT CASSETTE
Reclusive U.S. goth heavy weights Cemetery teamed up with NYC new-comers Pawns for this amazing release. Whoever said the dark punk revival is over should hush up, because this split showcases two contemporaries bringing energetic and fresh new tracks to the table. Cemetery's tracks are surprisingly far less polished recording-wise than what I had become accustomed to with their last LP, Wind And Shadows. To be honest, the prominent drums and distorted warping vocals with a lo-fi recording style makes the whole thing sound a lot more punk (which I love), for what is essentially straight-up deathrock.
Pawns are a new band to watch. We were lucky enough to tour the East coast and Mid West of the US with them and, just like these two tracks, their live show is amazing. The tracks are crazy catchy, encompassing everything you love about classic goth with an infectious guitar riff and rhythmic drums. The singer Gage’s vocals are the perfect mixture of skulking and urgent. On an end note, I would really like to know what the hell “Herxing” is…
Favourite Track: Pawns 'Breaking Wheels'
ZOTZ – S/T 7”
Discos Enfermos/Mass Media Records
Holy shit, why, WHHHYYY did this band have to break up? A friend from Singapore showed me this band earlier this year and the tracks really blew my mind. Technically this seven-inch came out in 2015, but it’s recent enough and ripping enough to be included in my list. These guys hail from Mexico City and have played in a few other bands I like (Crimen), but Zotz perfectly embodies the more punk side of goth. This EP encompasses what I love so much about a lot of contemporary revival dark punk bands, that intense chaotic fury. But, at the same time, extreme melancholy. Please come back Zotz, you left us too soon!
Favorite track: Una Victima Mas
TOL – S/T 7”
No Patience Records
It’s no secret TOL have been my favourite current Australian band for awhile now. This seven-inch pulls off a style not heard often (or ever?) in Australia; a blend of a classic anarcho a la Amebix mixed with a slightly more depressive post-punk vibe. The distorted guitars and military drums get you hooked. This is some serious Australian dystopian goodness.
Favorite track: Survive
DEAD HERO – SEGUIMOS EN PIE CASSETTE
Oscuridad En Mi Vida
MASSES ended up touring one step behind Dead Hero in the US, until we ended up on a rooftop together drinking and watching the sunrise in New York City. They had played their show the night before, so unfortunately I missed seeing them live, which I most sorely regret. With the exception of France’s Rixe, I honestly haven’t heard much new 'Oi!' in the last two years that has really wowed me.
Despite my predisposition to a lot more goth these days, I can never stop loving quality anti-fascist Oi! Dead Hero hail from Columbia, and this EP contains some kick arse fem-fronted Latino rippers, complete with a nod to skinhead reggae on the last track La Ley. The EP contains all the shit you love about Oi!; chanty, stirring vocals and angry catchy riffs. Dead Hero don’t stray too far from the classic formula, but with so many shit and/or sketchy Oi! bands around, it’s nice to find a gem in the junk heap.
Favourite track: Seguimos En Pie
RAKTA – III
Nada Nada Discos/Iron Lung Records
Jesus Christ, this band is powerful is a capital P! I was lucky enough to play with Rakta from Brazil twice, both times it was approximately 40 billion degrees in each venue. But duel vocalists Paula and Carla put the whole room in a trance to withstand the inferno, except for the unlucky few in the crowd who actually fainted from the heat. This album builds, draws you in and completely soaks and encapsulates you within its sound waves. Perfectly layered and repetitive simple bass lines with piercing Portuguese chants, sultry melodies and a shitload of synth. One of the best releases of 2016 for sure. Rakta Australian tour please!!
Favourite Track: Intencao