Top Sounds - J

JELLO BIAFRA AND THE GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE - Tea Party Revenge Porn {Alternative Tentacles} BOSH! The third album by BIAFRA’s best post-DK project hits in a major way and he pulls no punches for those in the firing line - Trump, selfie-takers, anti-abortionists and social media rumour-mongers to name but a few. Have to say, the sound of this is a little denser, more MINISTRY ’Filth Pig’-esque than the prior records; it’s no less stunning but just loaded on the bass tones. Of the highlights it’s opener ‘Satan’s Combover’ with its tense tone that highlights that MINISTRY vibe, the DK fury of ‘A Boring Day Is What I Need’, the butt-shaking groove of ‘The Last Big Gulp’ and the freewheeling ‘No More Selfies’ while best track is probably, by a very small margin, the closing, title track that pivots around a PiL-esque bassline and a virtually symphonic chorus. Fact is, of the ten tracks, there’s not a single duffer. As always, fantastic graphics add a new dimension to the lyrical content. A fine addition to the BIAFRA catalogue and one that easily holds its own with the GUANTANAMO back cataloque. Very likely the best of 2021. (10.07.22)
JIFFY MARX - She’s My Witch {Snappy Little Numbers} PODCAST PLAYED This is the debut (I think) release from the alter-ego of Jeff outta AUTOGRAMM. You get just two tracks with the lead track starting with a fantastic sounding bubbling bass line before a TOM PETTY-esque vocal kicks in for a two-minute track of of laid-back Rock ‘n’ Roll vibes played with Power Pop verve. Great harmony vocals, guitar shards placed appropriately and that bass constantly bubbling. Flip the vinyl and you get ‘Warning Sign’ that’s slightly more up-tempo and has that PAUL WESTERBERG swing about it if fused with something like GRANDADDY at their most concise. Production is crisp but not over polished, keeping sounds just on the right side of Lo-Fi. I like this a lot actually - it’s certainly got summertime vibes throughout. Limited to 250 random colours with another 50 in a limited picture sleeve. (15.06.21)
JOLLY FUCKERS - At Home With... {DIY} First off, that band name is fantastic - one that almost guarantees a positive review. What we have here is a trio (66% US East Coast, 34% UK [a Brightonian, so automatically gets the additional 1%]) cranking six songs that have a vaguely vintage feel while doing something resolutely new and fresh sounding - think the early Touch and Go bands, bit of CRUCIFUCKS, bit of FEEDERS, bit of ZOUNDS and a bit of MEAT PUPPETS and you’re kinda there. Each track holds the attention but it’s ‘Palace Intrigues’ and ‘Ribbons’ that really standout. The former is more of a straight-forward Punk track, but with some great almost DEAD KENNEDYS-esque guitar lines while the latter could easily be on a ZOUNDS album. So glad the music lived up to the band name!!  Well worth checking out for something that is a little different, defiantly Punk and with a barbed sense of humour. (30.01.21)
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Top Sounds - K

KNIFE CLUB - Club Classics {TNS} I guess KNIFE CLUB could never be accused of banging out the same old sound. Following the mystique of their formation came the fresh, angry, exciting sound of the debut album ‘We Are Knife Club’. Then an acoustic Lockdown EP followed (see below). And now there’s this - 17 tracks of remixed, reimagined and virtually rewritten tracks from both releases but given the electronic club treatment. To be honest, this stuff is way out of my scope - I guess you’re looking at sounds like PRODIGY, ORBITAL, THRILL KILL KULT and APHEX TWIN with the odd dub-heavy beat thrown in. The vocals are still barbed, blasts of guitar appear randomly amidst the electronica and the remixes are done by a multitude of people including James Domestic and Mark Magill amongst others. Interesting, but not something my ears could take all in one sitting.  Artwork is apparently inspired by the Gatecrasher nightclub sleeves. (10.10.22) 

KNIFE CLUB - Lockdown Acoustic EP {TNS} Following rapidly from the band’s fantastic debut album comes this five-track 7” featuring three new songs and two acoustic reworkings of tracks from the album. It’s always a mark of how good songs are if they cut it acoustically as well as in electric form, and those two from the album do that easily - ‘The Tibby Tan Tiger’ in particular stands as probably the band’s best song in my eyes and this version is just as impressive as that on the album - more so even - it could even hold its own at a folk club! Of the new tracks, it’s “Bozo Is An Underused Insult’ that instantly captures the ear with its, quite justified, vocal attack on Boris Johnson (the repeated refrain of “You’re still a cunt in a pandemic” should tell you how pointed it is), although it’s opener ‘Stay Safe, Don’t Die’ that actually captures the mood of the EP best. I’ve a lot of time for this band and they’ve proved here that they ain’t just a shouty Punk band (not that the album presented it either) and with the aid of a violin on the best tracks, could point to a direction the band could explore more. Whatever... Roll on whatever’s next! (04.03.21)
Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2021 including: