Top Sounds - A

ABOLITIONIST - The Instant {DIY} PODCAST PLAYED Album number four from Portland's most underrated band. You get 12 tracks, kicking off with the title track and it’s apparent that Dustin and crew have amped the sound. After a deceiving slow, chugging opening, the song rips into something akin to PROPAGANDHI. The JAWBREAKER comparison is still valid (see ‘A Little Animal Liberation Never Hurt Anyone’), although now in a much lesser way than ABOLITIONIST’s previous work. From there, it continues as a fusion of those two, and something that has become very much the band’s own sound. Highlights include the embittered ‘Backlash’, the sedate riffage and potent message of ‘Totally Bonkers’ and closer ‘Lonesome Death’ while ‘Failed Projections’ with its urgent riff and ominous verses takes the best track. While these are short and concise songs (only one song breaks 2 minutes 30 seconds), they are far from simplistic; you get different moods, well thought out arrangements and plenty to suggest that this is the band’s best and most individualistic work so far. Already a big player here at the House Of Scanner and I’d put money on it being one of the Top Ten albums of 2018.  (18.07.18)

ABOLITIONIST - The Pinnacle EP {DIY} First release in a couple of years from this excellent, underrated band outta Portland, OR and you get four tracks kicking off with the title track, that is surging, chunky and direct. ‘That’s No Forest, Stupid’ follows and raises some interesting points about cash-crop farming, and could be the standout track on the EP. Of the remaining two tracks, closer ‘Not Alone’ most mirrors the JAWBREAKER sound of old while ‘Surrounded By Everyone’ pivots around a dual bass/ guitar lead line that’s akin to early BUZZCOCKS but played with more power and greater dynamics. All the tracks, bar the lead song, clock in at under two minutes, and while there isn’t any fucking about, the songs remain structured and involved. I’m guessing this acts as a warm up for the imminent fourth album, ‘The Instant’ and, if these tracks are anything to judge it by, it’s gonna be worth the 2+ year wait since the previous ‘Vicious Rumour’ album. Watch this space... (25.02.18)

AMERICAN SPACE MONKEY - Crash Landing {DIY} Six track mini-album from this beguilingly named Canadian band. I instantly warmed to them when I saw that the song titles were all single-worded and combined made up, ‘Fuck You All ! We Quit’. ‘Fuck’ kicks off with a subtle intro before blowing up into something akin to SCREAMING TREES going balls-out Rock before a filthy, distorto bass worthy of DISCHARGE opens ‘You’ which morphs into something along the lines of a nasty SOUNDGARDEN. Those more-rock orientated Grunge bands continue to be the main pointer for the album but this is way more than a Seattle milking. Parts of it are as ominous as MINISTRY and as noisy as CONVERGE while others creepy-crawl with BLACK FLAG ‘My War’ era intensity. Standout ‘We’ lurches on a bruising riff and towering vocal. The band’s outta Vancouver, Canada and is probably a bit too Metal/ Grunge inspired for my more spiky preferences, but it was an enjoyable listen and I imagine that they probably kick up a sulphuric and damage-inducing experience live.  (18.05.18)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2018 including:

ACTION PACT, ADOLESCENTS, ADVERSARY, ALTERNATIVE TV, AMEBIX, ANGELIC UPSTARTS, ANTI-FLAG, ANTI-PASTI, ANTIQUE SCREAM, ANTI-SYSTEM, AP AND THE SILENT BRIGADE, ARCTIC FLOWERS, ARNOCORPS and AWAKEN I AM