Album reviews: a truly fantastic selection Part One-The Owen Guns, Wicked Sisters/Foothills, TV Cult and Shatterface.

Album reviews: a truly fantastic selection Part One: The Owen Guns, Wicked Sisters/Foothills, TV Cult and Shatterface.

These are the dog bollocks, concise short reviews of shit you need to buy now. Got it, now read, buy and thank me later fuckface.

We have a blindingly awesome selection of releases here as the year draws to a close. 

Let's go and get into these bangers.

The Owen Guns- Monks in Sexyland. Yet another killer album but these funny bastards fuck me can they write some classics every release. The harmonies, the catchiness and sheer brilliance of every release floors me. The main style is melodic hardcore/punk rock, not shite NOFX type bullshit-just songs designed for the live show. This band is also topical in a sociopolitical, body-positive and piss-taking manner. The Owen Guns always take aim at the essential fuckwits like racists, homophobes/transphobes and social media. I cannot even separate the freaking awesome from the brilliant on this album. Still, Unity was a ripper particularly as the commentary on this was acidic and spot on, The Algorithm because it's a stomper, has a Young One's sample and sharp lyrics, Naughty Instead for Sean's  Australian Idol-like stellar vocals, F.C.P for it's sheer, brutal funny attack and the use of the classic "Who Ate All the Pies football chant". Every track sounds dynamic, bold and ripping, every player in this band is super experienced and hence this is flawless. Well written, a killer punk classic.

Out Now:

Wicked Sisters/Foothills split 
release. Another fave of this zine is the mighty Wicked Sisters who seriously cannot put a foot wrong, this time with a perfect split; one song each with Foothills. Wicked Sisters tread that line of heavy as fuck industrial metal with a definite hardcore/extreme metal underpinning and their track, Spite is sensational. I love the journey this band takes you on each listen, sometimes more Type O Negative, sometimes Godflesh, but always hectic and uncompromising. Spite has stellar riffs, astute use of electronics and crushing vocals. Production is wild on this, with lovely clarity and an equal caustic tone. it borderline almost goes beatdown hardcore mixed with Industrial doom/death. A very solid 5-minute anthem with so, so much in one track. Hope this is the direction of the new album. Foothills is a non-pigeonholed band from NSW also and this is a perfect match for Wicked Sisters, although the approach is a more sludgy, doomy, dirge-like metal that dips into as much as melodic post-hardcore as Eyehategod/Tool worship-tangential in a super skilled, not confused manner. I had never heard of this band, but definitely want to check them. The track Maiden of Stone is grim, grating and intense. An absolute banger of a release from two sensational bands.

Out now:

TV CULT-Colony. Wow, this incredible band from Germany we all the way back in 2019 reviewed their demo and held it with high esteem and well deserved. And the band has just got better and better, less quirky stuff and now they are the most genuine and definitive Post Punk band around. This debut album is stunning on every level, and everything is so well designed and each track fits together so superbly. Post-punk like garage punk has so many wannabes,  I mean I dug early Idles but now like similar bands they are so average, dull and mainstream. This is all about clever song structures, haunting and aggro vocals, acerbic riffs and a wild rhythm section. Tracks are the right mix of anger, melody, distortion and tangential off-beat mayhem. This album is still deeply entrenched in the peak period of the genre's origins and really hones in on an addictive tempo, harmony and palpable tension. In the whole mix especially with tracks like Empty Quarter and Running Man as well as a cool Bauhaus/Echo and the Bunnymen gothic vibe on killer tunes like Supplicant and Oubliette. And this influence is strong and proves that this band has so much skill, guile and artisan craft at what they do. Balancing out these moody tunes are flat-out punk ragers like Party's Over, White Riot, Teenage Nightmare, Crystal Cave, TV Cult and Hong Kong Song where the band channel Wire as much as Black Flag/Circle Jerks and even Magazine/Buzzcocks. But the impressive thing is they make it sound like their own sound, they own it and like every other release it demands replaying. Easily one of the year's best albums.

Out now:

Shatterface-Anodize. Excellent, one of my favourite genres-Industrial and Shatterface from Sydney are another solid and emerging industrial bands reminding us how essential these abrasive sounds are. They are a mix of gothic style as well as strong headnods to Fear Factory, Marilyn Manson, White Zombie and Ministry-all very exceptional bands. Bitter Days sets off the release in a massively psychotic manner that is a mix of Coal Chamber meets Fear Factory in a fistfight with Korn; no seriously-this has it all going on, but in a laser-focused and determined manner. Such a memorable start to a crushing EP. Eternal Nothing was the lead single and we can see why; inhuman synth that reminds me of classic Snog and raging guitarwork mixed with savage vocals and impressive programmed beats, synth and other noises I adored.  Devoid of Life is a clear indicator of a stunning mix of electro vs hard riffs and it definitely sinks into your skull with purpose.  Sand and Blood closes out this solid release with a mix of Slayer and Nu Metal at the same time which I really dug, this slow-paced banger has that creepy and sneaky way of building the tension and the ruthless vocals as well as atmospheric synth and several vile and memorable riffs. Particularly the end of the track, a truly sensational surprise with that final mindblowing aggression as the track reaches its nasty climax. Loved this release and I am waiting to see what comes next with this killer band.

Out now, hit the band up for this EP:

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