Top Sounds - D

DANGER!MAN - The Blame Game {Boss Tuneage} This is the new project that features Roger (guitar) and Tom (bass); ex-members of Norway’s LIFE... BUT HOW TO LIVE IT among others. It features 12 tracks of solid, no frills, sneering Punk Rock enhanced by a grizzled HC under-current, with the first three tracks hitting with a ferocity that recalled CAREER SUICIDE. Roger’s guitar playing lifts many of the tracks above ‘simple’ Punk Rock, incorporating a Dischordian DAG NASTY-esque depth most notable on ‘Shot In The Dark’ and disc highlight ‘One Last Bomb’. There’s a few first album SNUFFisms thrown in also lending a few tracks a neat yobbo vibe - check out ‘Every Little Seed’ in particular. Lyrically this is vocal in its opposition to issues such as war and religion while the visuals present some neat black and white ink drawings from vocalist St. Faen that show a vague Raymond Pettibon influence. Solid stuff that screams Punk Rock and thankfully holds no elements of growled Metal in its sound. (29.12.10)

DANGEROUS ACES - Deny All Responsibility {DIY} Ragged, thrashy, booze-riddled Street Punk that, for all its good intention, generally fails to impress. Imagine something coming on like ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE meets PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES with a hint of CHAOS UK thrown in and discovering the end result is simply... unexciting. The worst part, which is not really the fault of the songs, is the incoherent mix of distorted bass and thin, scratchy guitars. While I am sure ‘Endless Bullshit’ and ‘Lock In’ are blazing live, here they come over as DESTRUCTORS-lite instead of DISCHARGE. Best track for me is ‘Can’t Take It Anymore’. You also get a cover of a 4-SKINS song (gawd...) thrown in with the nine originals that total less than 20 minutes. Not exactly bad, but nowhere near potent enough to make me wanna consider trading in my BLITZ 7"s. (13.09.10)

DAVID JOHANSEN GROUP - Live {Lemon} Recorded in July 1978 at NYC’s Bottom Line, this is the ex-NEW YORK DOLLS vocalist ripping it up with partner-in-glam-slam Syl Sylvain. It’s a well-paced, strong set; much more effective than I imagined it could be. It kicks off with a sparkling ‘Cool Metro’ that thankfully doesn’t pander to Johansen’s infamous past. From there, 17 tracks of glam-bam sleazy rock ‘n’ roll follow. Highlights include ‘Donna’ and ‘Frenchette’ both of which slow things down and reek of the good times of a blissful, decadent summer while ‘Lonely Tenement’ is both poignant and rocking. There’s a smattering of great covers too, including The Four Tops’ ‘Reach Out’ and a glorious romp through Bonnie Tyler’s ‘It’s A Heartache’. Have to say, while Johansen sounds better than ever, the DOLLS material without the JOHNNY THUNDERS swagger falls a little flat; at least until he appears on the finale - a stellar ‘Babylon’ - and it’s clear the master is back in town. It’s rounded off with a neat sleeve featuring liner notes from DOLLS/THUNDERS biographer Nina Antonia. An undeniable party disc that’s best accompanied by a line of sulphate and a bottle of Merlot. Enjoy it... (19.01.09)

DEADRINGERS - I Want Out {Gimme Danger} So many bands wanna be SCREECHING WEASEL; so many bands end up a whimpering rodent. Not so this snotty quartet. This 4-track 7" is simply smoking, defiant Punk Rock that takes the Holy Grail as laid down by Ben Weasel but infuse that with the killer Garage vibe of early NEW BOMB TURKS while throwing in a vintage ‘77 DICKIES/ SAINTS vibe. Each track is a corker but the light-speed Garage assault of close ‘Outta My Way’ and lead track, ‘I Want Out’, stand out. Vocalist Danny Dee thankfully does not mimic Ben Weasel but he does have a killer arrogance about his voice while six-string slinger Daniel Kelley lays down some licks and fills that could put to shame any hot-shot dip-shit ‘axe hero’ - but he plays them sparingly, fast and with a distinctly Punk venom. And the rhythm section? Relentless! Hit Myspace or write to 1541 Oak Street, Apt #3, San Francisco, CA 94117. (27.01.09)

DEAD TO ME - Little Brother {Fat Wreck} I’m digging this big time. This is the latest 5-tracker from the band that features former ONE MAN ARMY mainman Jack Dalrymple along with WESTERN ADDICTION’s Chicken. It’s upbeat Punk Rock, full of catchy tunes and those silky-smooth vocals of Jack’s obviously draw comparisons with ONE MAN ARMY. But I also get a BUZZCOCKS feel from this (especially on ‘What’s Wrong’) along with a hint of AGAINST ME! Highlight has to be the dub-reggae tinged, politically-charged title track and the anthemic opener ‘Don’t Wanna’. It’s a disc that doesn’t pummel the listener with a Punk Rock fury, but draws them in with great melodies, intelligent lyrics (co-sung by Jack and Chicken to great effect) and enough energy to power San Fran’s electrical usage for a few months at least. I’ve just played this three times in a row as I do this review and I’m still buzzing on its energy - big time! Great pull-out insert too!! (14.03.09)

DEEP SLEEP - Turn Me Off {Grave Mistake} After a trio of inflammable singles, this Baltimore-based quartet drops its debut 10-track album that careers past in an ear damaging, attention-span blitzing 13 minutes. The sound, as you may guess, lays firmly in the melodic HC bracket, fusing STRIKE ANYWHERE dynamics with the flat-out snot of CAREER SUICIDE while dumping some serious ALL-o-gistics from guitarist Nick Vance and bassist Mike Hearns and a bit of Kevin Seconds-esque vocals courtesy of Tony Pence in the process. Highlights? ‘Be With You’ rages with the furious bile of early ARTICLES OF FAITH while closer ‘Another Me’ proves there is more to the band’s songs than sheer HC brevity. The ALL influence is not surprising either, as this was mastered by Stephen Egerton. An impressive ram-raid of a debut and certainly recommended if you like your HC not too rough around the edges. (08.05.11)

DES ARK - Don’t Rock The Boat, Sink The Fucker {Lovitt} Excellent title for an album; shame the sounds are such introvert, melancholic slices of moroseness. There’s eight tracks here; four quieter acoustic numbers and the remainder with a band. Vocalist Aimee Argote has a discernibly 60s hippy style vocal that is more often than not whispered, accentuated by heavy breaths with lyrics focused on sex, friendship and sex between those friendships. Even when the band kicks in, all too often its muddled, complex and reeking of the abomination that is Math Rock. It’s produced in crystal clear, shimmering sound but, with the exception of ‘FTW Y’all!!!’ that sees Aimee’s vocal finally injecting some boldness, there’s just too many Monterrey moments meets Radiohead pomposity. (13.06.11)

DESTROY ALL MONSTERS - 74 76 {Compound Annex} Fuck me... This was hard work! This 3-CD set was originally released on SONIC YOUTH’s Thurston Moore’s label Ecstatic Peace and consists of 76 tracks recorded during the period in the title on Kmart tapes by a bunch of hippies who had clearly indulged in too much acid and wanted to be VELVET UNDERGROUND. As it is, they came out sounding like a bunch of hippies who had clearly indulged in much too much acid. Historians may know DESTROY ALL MONSTERS via its connection with STOOGES guitarist Ron Asheton and MC5 bassist Michael Davis. This, unfortunately, predates them both. Of all the songs, only ‘T. H. Queen’ was of interest. Terminally dull - I’d rather listen to a BBC sound effects album than this again. (09.11.09)

DESTRUCTORS, THE - 11.11.11 In Memoriam {Rowdy Farrago} Ya gotta admire these fellas for their work ethic. They crank out a continuous stream of albums, EPs and comps, all with decent production, packaging adorned with quality graphics and do it all on their own label, DIY-style. This slab is obviously focused around Remembrance Day and, incredibly, is only available on 11.11.11 by pre-orders, otherwise it’s download only. Not sure how that works - what if there is a pile left?? They really not gonna sell them at the next gig?? Musically, you can read any of the other DESTRUCTORS reviews below and apply the same words to this, although opener ‘We Need You’ is spikier than much of the band’s other material while ‘Blood And Guts’ and ‘Death Machine’ bring in a brooding, dramatic KILLING JOKE vibe. Covers this time around include G.B.H’s ‘Generals’ and a spirited run through ‘War Hero’ by TOXIC REASONS. Definitely one of the band’s better releases and one that, again, has me asking the band for a bit of ‘quality over quantity’. (07.11.11)

DESTRUCTORS, THE - Politika {Rowdy Farrago} After the big turd that was the release below, it’s good to see THE DESTRUCTORS back at its cutting best. This 12-tracker’s them is, of course, the recent British Election. The difference between this and ‘999’ is more than obvious: this is punchier, lyrically more thought provoking and structures that flow as opposed to the cliché-ridden ‘999’. One of the band’s best so far, ‘To Vote Or Not To Vote’, opens the album and includes some great backing vocals, is an obvious highlight along with ‘Watch What You Vote For’ which makes an interesting post-election listen. Elsewhere there’s the hectic ‘Downfall’, the rocking ‘Looks Like Rain’ and a neat (if predictable) blast through ALICE COOPER’s ‘Elected’. The graphics are good too, with the cover taking Orwell’s Animal Farm to its ultimate conclusion while the inner graphics feature the flames of Guy Fawkes - HAD he been successful. Start your DESTRUCTORS experience here! (13.09.10)

DESTRUCTORS, THE - 999 (The Nein Nein Nein EP) {Rowdy Farrago} Not sure the subtitled brackets are really necessary fellas! Once again, this lot give us another themed release and, unfortunately, it’s one that sounds stunningly contrived. You shouldn’t need to be told the concept here is the police (force that is - not the band!) and you get 12 tracks, five of which are covers, that tackle the subject. It’s typical DESTRUCTORS (now minus the 666 suffix) fair - punchy, mid-paced rocking Punk - but it just seems forced and tame. Of the originals, by far the best are ‘Truncheon Tattoo’ and the reworking of the vintage ‘Police State’. Unfortunately, too much is laughable like ‘Run Pig Run’ with this wonderful little couplet: "Unless you get a whole lot thinner, you will never catch this sinner." Hahaha - not exactly CONFLICT or MDC huh? Of the covers, there’s a ham-fisted stab at DEAD KENNEDYS’ ‘Police Truck’ and decent takes on D.O.A, GIRLSCHOOL, 999 and THE FILAMENTS. The covers actually accentuate how average the band’s own stuff is here. Criminal...  (13.09.10)

DESTRUCTORS 666 - Pow! That’s Killmusik 666. Volume One {Rowdy Farrago} This is 22-tracks of DESTRUCTORS destruction, mainly lifted from the band’s previously released EPs. There is some newer stuff on here also to make it something those who have all the EPs will want as well, including a neat new take on ‘Bullshit’, a burn through old DESTRUCTORS classic ‘Corpse Gas’ and a decent take on THE GERMS ‘Lexicon Devil’. Beyond making the EPs accessible to those who missed out, this really is not the place for the curious to check out the veritable library of releases by this British band. (13.09.10)

DESTRUCTORS 666 - Quisnam Vigilo Vigilo {Rowdy Farrago} This must stand as one of the most direct slices of Punk so far from this bunch of Peterborough rockers, as the overt Rock sound of previous releases has been replaced by a distinct UK82 feel. Lyrically, this borders the realms of Anarcho Punk as each track addresses state control and observation. Highlights include opener, ‘CCTV’ (that includes a spoken-word part evoking CONFLICT), the stunningly catchy ‘Spy In The Sky’ and closer ‘Rule Nanny Britannia’. There is also a cover of THE VINDICTIVES ‘Control Me’ that fits well while ‘Thinner Blue Line’ oddly brought to mind PETER AND TEST TUBE BABIES! Unfortunately, the thrashy ‘Rules And Regulations’ sounded a bit insipid while the cover of X-RAY SPEX ‘Identity’ came on a bit ham-fisted. It’s probably decent live, but fails to ignite in the studio. Way more satisfying than another split EP. (13.09.10)

DESTRUCTORS 666 - Malleus Maleficarum {Rowdy Farrago} Latest album from what must be one of the most prolific bands of the last couple of years. This is a ‘concept’ kinda album with all the tracks having a central theme of witch hunts. It’s more of the band’s trademark UK82 Punk given a heavy dose of rock and it’s a sound the band is getting close to making its own. Highlights include ‘Witch Hunt’ and ‘Hex Sex Vex’ while the take on THE SWEET’s ‘Hellraiser’ comes over slightly flat. The album ends with an inspired run through ‘The Witch Is Dead’ from the musical, ‘The Wizard Of Oz’. Lyrics are reprinted in the booklet along with details of the album’s title and a brief history of witch hunts. DIY tuneage that rocks and informs - keep it coming! (21.01.09)

DEVILS BRIGADE - s/t {Hellcat} Long-awaited debut album from this project, lead by Matt Freeman (Duh!! RANCID bassist!). Besides Matt, the band includes his RANCID cohort Tim Armstrong and, much more interestingly, drummer DJ Bonebrake of Los Angeles legends, X. There’s a vague theme to half of the songs as they were penned by Armstrong and Freeman for a planned musical about the building of the Golden Gate Bridge... Not so much West Side Story, more East Bay Blues maybe! Anyway, musically it’s more Rock ‘n’ Roll than RANCID with a Rockabilly Roots vibe, no doubt aided by Freeman’s use of the upright bass. Highlights include the spit ‘n’ sawdust Spaghetti Western groove of ‘Gentleman Of The Road’ that is filled out with some excellent vibes from Bonebrake; the careering ‘Darlene’ and the closing, Rockin-n-Rollin ‘Half Way To Hell’. Gotta say, I’m unsure about Freeman’s vocal performance - he often sounds like the bellowing brother of Vic Bondi, but with some kinda Tom Waits chest infection. An interesting listen, but often it comes on like RANCID-lite (opener ‘I’m Movin’ Through’ in particular). An EP could’ve been killer, as it is Matt, don’t give up the day job! (13.01.11)

DEVILS ELBOW - Sand On Chrome {Hit Your Head} From the big opening chords and swaggering GUN CLUB-esque bass of ‘Brainstorm’, it’s instantly apparent we’re in different territory from that of vocalist Alec’s previous band, TEMPO 38. The 12 tracks here revel in a bluesy-roots groove that is part PAUL WESTERBERG rocking, part TIM BARRY raw country and a big part the guitar-based glory of GRANT LEE BUFFALO and THIN WHITE ROPE. I’ve played this a lot of late and each time it becomes more addictive - just as BARRY or THIN WHITE ROPE do. ‘These Days’ cruises along with both a sneer and a smile while the deft acoustic guitar of ‘Infectious’ crawls like a drunk between bars with a whisky-ravaged vocal to match. Disc highlight has to be the understated countrified roll of ‘When You’re On Top’ that includes the ethereal vocal talents of Sarah Wiig and an inspired trumpet-lead melody. Besides really good songs, the big plus here is Alec Withers’ vocal that is rich and raspy and, much like TIM BARRY, sounds deceptively easy to replicate - until you actually try! Excellent stuff that’s way more satisfying than the bagpipe baloney of REAL McKENZIES or another bunch of insecure Metalcore dullards. If one band in NZ could inspire me to dust off the guitar, then it could be DEVILS ELBOW. Spectacular stuff!! (14.11.10)

DEZERTER - Prawo Do Bycia Idiota {Mystic Production} Hellfire.. This is the first album in four years, and number 14 (I think) in total from Poland’s premier Punk export. It’s the first I’ve heard since 1995’s ‘Deuter’ and, on the strength of this, it seems I’ve been missing out. As always, this is sung in the band’s native Polish, but English translations are provided presenting intelligent, political (almost Anarcho) lyrics ranging in subject from religion, capitalism, nationality and self-expression. Musically, it’s a powerhouse taking ‘Wrong’ era NOMEANSNO aggression and abrasion, mixing in a MISSION OF BURMA inventiveness, a hint of FUGAZI and propelling it all along on a massive, distorted bass sound. Highlights? ‘Co Za Czasy’ (‘What A Time’) features an excellent chorus, closer ‘Zaden Bog’ (‘No God’), the poptones of ‘Swinie’ (‘Pigs’) and the excellent ‘Made In China’ which is among a few songs I’ve heard of late that warns of the rise of China as the next global superpower. Packaging is excellent - a fold-out digipack, lyrics and high contrasting graphics. THEN you get a high quality DVD of the album’s making!! Only negative? No subtitles. In three words: Awesome, Inventive, Powerful. (11.05.11)

DILLINGER FOUR - C I V I L W A R {Fat Wreck} Cheers Fat Wreck... This is arguably the most highly-anticipated album since the release of DESCENDENTS’ ‘Everything Sucks’ back in 1996 and review copies are sent out in a black wallet with track listing. Thanks for that... Can you not save such marketing for something truly shit like NO USE FOR A NAME or STRUNG OUT? Needless to say DILLINGER FOUR’s first album in six years is all it should be. It may be a little less aggressive than the previous three albums but long-term fans are not gonna be disappointed. Highlights? Pah - not gonna bother. The band’s lyrics play a huge part of what it is about - and I ain’t got them. Cheers again Fat... Like fellow Minneapolis brothers, THE REPLACEMENTS, if you don’t get what the band is about on a visceral level, you don’t get it at all. Anyway - cracking stuff from the D4 guys; the legend continues and you better not even dare doubt it. Classic #4. (19.01.09)

DINGEES - Rebel Soul Sound System {International City Home Recordings} It’s kinda hard to believe this is a DIY release. Packaging is a multi-coloured digipack banquet with full colour fold-out lyric sheet/ poster and production is awesome - especially considering there’s about 15 in the group including brass, samples and a backing vocal group. Musically, though, it’s not my thang - there’s a real mix of genres here with dub Reggae mixing it with Arrested Development-esque Hip Hop, a hint of second album SPECIALS with a liberal splash of Kiwi’s Fat Freddy’s Drop, and some well-placed Punkish vibes (‘Capital Imperial’ and ‘Blackout!’) that, in particular, suggest a latter day BLAGGERS vibe. Lyrically, the band has a few points to make. Not too sure where the band is based - that is one failing of the artwork - there are no contact details at all. The art suggests Long Beach, CA is the place they call home but the disc was actually posted from Hawaii. I am sure this entourage would clean up on the festival scene - and that includes the major festivals - but they don’t quite cut it on the House Of Scanner scene. You can download here. (12.09.11)

DIRECT HIT! - Domesplitter {Kind Of Like Records} The debut full length from this Milwaukee trio could be viewed as one of two things: 1) A novel and inspirational idea or 2) A distinct lack of substance. Y’see, the ten tracks on this album are all re-recorded and re-written songs that appear on the band’s previous singles. I assume the band has mutated the songs into bigger compositions the longer they’ve lived with them. Having not heard the singles, I really don’t know but what I do know is that the music present here is strident, blazing Punk Rock that takes the energised Pop-Punk of J CHURCH but corrupts that with the snotty belligerence of SCREECHING WEASEL and then played by guys brought up on OFF WITH THEIR HEADS and DILLINGER FOUR. Highlights include the flat-out blitz of ‘Failed Invasion’, the en masse vocals of ‘In Orbit’ that has a THIS BIKE IS A PIPE BOMB vibe and the killer chorus of opener ‘Snickers Or Reeses (Pick Up The Pieces)’. Lyrically it’s all a bit of a let down with apolitical comic book imagery - even though those lyrics are written with verve. Production is bold and for a debut - even of re-recorded songs - this is, simply, a fucking ripper. Get pumped!! (05.09.11)

DIRTY TACTICS - The Divine Middle {Kiss Of Death} I really enjoyed this band’s last album, ‘It Is What It Is’ and this EP picks up right where that left off. You get five tracks, one of which is exclusive to this CD version and all of which ring with an early AGAINST ME!-esque passion. Oddly, and something I never heard on the album, is a nod towards HUSKER DU - particularly the Grant Hart material. The drumming in particular has the same urgency of Hart’s and you can hear that on ‘Manifest’ and ‘Your Song’ in particular. The CD only track is notable as its a quirky, disjointed slice of Punk that drew a few parallels with THE WEIRDOS. Can’t tell ya a thing about packaging as this arrived minus a sleeve - there wasn’t even a track listing! A shame too as that really has tarnished what could have been a better review. (07.10.11)

DISRUPTERS, THE - Generation Retard {Overground} After 25 years, Norwich, UK’s THE DISRUPTERS deliver a brand new album of UK82 sounding political diatribes. It’s a punchy sounding slab of mid-paced Punk shout-a-longs that, lyrically, emphasises the band’s Anarcho roots. Subjects attacked include religion (especially in one of the highlights, ‘Holy War’), consumerism, terrorism and child abuse. As punchy as it is, and as smoking as the garage rock guitar riffs of Steve Hardy are, it all sounded a bit forced. Steve Hansell’s vocal is pretty one-dimensional (even though his lyrics are totally spot on for the most part) and while the best tracks on the album - ‘Holy War’ and ‘Pissing In The Wind’ - impress, much of the remainder failed (‘Never Gave A Fuck’ in particular) to crawl beyond the point of mediocre. Two of the most intriguing cuts are a couple of poems by Prem Nick - something he did on previous DISRUPTERS releases if I recall. If you dig the reformed DESTRUCTORS, a band that plies a similar sound of brazen Punk Rock with serious rock riffage, check this out. (17.02.11)

D.O.A. - Kings Of Punk, Hockey And Beer {Sudden Death} This is quite a bizarre ‘new release’ from Canada’s bastion of Punk Rock. You get 12 songs based around the subject matters of the album’s title. Snag is, this acts as a compilation with only four songs having been previously unreleased (with two of those recorded during old sessions). There is no indication that 66% of this is already available until you read the inner sleeve. Highlights have to mainly include the previously released stuff too: ‘Donnybrook’ is a great opener, ‘Overtime’ was a highlight of the ‘Loggerheads’ album and remains so here while both ‘If I Were A Redneck’ and ‘Beer Liberation Army’ from ‘Win The Battle’ are joyous romps that work better here than on the original. Of the new songs, closer ‘Taking Care Of Business’ and the rollicking ‘Beat ‘Em Bust ‘Em’ stand out. Maybe I’d get the theme better if I came from an Ice Hockey nation but, although this is a fun album by most standards, it’s a bit of a let down when compared with the stockpile of reactionary Punk Rock brilliance that is D.O.A’s back catalogue. In fact, those four new songs could have made an essential 7". (04.12.09)

DOPAMINES - Expect The Worst {Paper And Plastick} Oh baby, this is a catchy slab of rocking raucous Pop-Punk! Yep, Pop-Punk and what’s more it’s fucking great, rocking out with a sneer and a swagger and a vitality that the genre hasn’t been graced with for a decade or more. Remember when GREEN DAY was good (‘Kerplunk’ era)? Well, this captures that and adds a bit of the first FACE TO FACE album’s energy, a whiff of DESCENDENTS and a big splodge of DILLINGER FOUR creating 13 songs that had me smiling and the House Of Scanner cat grooving as he walked through the room! Highlights ‘Public Domain’ and ‘Dick Simmons’ both embody that youthful GREEN DAY drive, opener ‘You’d Make A Good Horsecop’ announces the band’s arrival in formidable style while ‘My Future’s So Bright’ contains a chorus more addictive than Crystal Meth. Production is bold and boisterous, delivery is fired from low-slung and amped guitars accompanied by bittersweet, rancorous vocals. Rocking? Oh yes! Catchy? Oh yes!! Worth buying? Fuck yes!! (21.03.11)

DOUBLECROSS, THE - Things Will Never Change {Boss Tuneage} This is a solo project of Jon Greenwood who is in THIS HIDDEN SWITCH, has done some work with BEDFORD FALLS, and includes a myriad of guest musicians. It’s OK I guess - well constructed, well played but just sooo boring! My mind was constantly wandering off as one LEMONHEADS-esque tune blended into the next. ‘There’s No Doubt’ was probably the highlight for me, evoking ‘Fall’ era MOVING TARGETS while ‘The Small Escape’ picks up the pace a little. Another stand out is ‘Sober Again’ that is rather haunting and melancholic. Unfortunately, much of the remainder sounded OK but was a case of in-one-ear-and-out-of-the-other. If you like Greenwood’s work, you’ll revel in this. Me?? I’m off to play ‘Burning In Water’. (17.11.10)

DOWN THEORY - Invisible Empire {Spectra} Fuck me... Is this kinda chart-friendly alt-rock really being ‘marketed’ as Punk these days? Sheesh! Looking like a bunch of NYHC ‘bros’ (sleeve tattoos, goatees, mean stares, knitting patterns sticking outta the back pocket of their jeans... hehe... that last one is a joke), these dudes make a slick Rock sound that’s lifted outta Guitar Player mag and is soooo neutered it makes FOO FIGHTERS sound like a Garage band and MILLENCOLIN appear to have been recorded on a Walkman in a toilet in southern Greenland. I’d hoped the cover of THE CURE’s ‘Fascination Street’ would be interesting - I guess it is if you think radio-friendly metal with tough guy vocals and chugging guitars defines interesting. I don’t. Bottom line is this is Heavy Rock minus the long hair and spandex. File next to Pearl Jam, My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte and all the other phonies who ride Punk Rock for some ‘coolness points’ while aiming for that support slot on the next U2 stadium tour. (08.06.11) 

DRY HEAVES - s/t {Not Shy Of The DIY} I had to confirm a few times while I listened to this that this five-piece is outta the UK, as this super snotty and supremely effective five-track EP rips and snorts with prime USHC abandon. The songs are short, sulphate-laced blasts on a par with CIRCLE JERKS if delivered with the sneering, incisive precision of CAREER SUICIDE and the ferocious bluster of CRUCIFIX. From the opening roar of ‘What’s Happening’, the whole EP doesn’t let up. The guitars are raw, aurally abrasive and equally suited to thrashing or adding some texture while the vocals are bilious, noxious rages a’la Keith Morris or virtually spoken, taut, claustrophobic and intimidating. Excellent stuff - if OFF! seems a tad contrived for your resolutely HC DIY ears - look no further! (21.08.11)

DUN2DEF/ DESTRUCTORS - Wohlgefuhl {Rowdy Farrago} Nine tracks a piece on this ridiculously titled split album. D2D kick off - and impress. Easily the best stuff I’ve heard by the band (I got sent an early demo years ago when Scanner was in print form), these tracks cruise on a ‘77 rocking trip but are accentuated by grizzled hints of ABRASIVE WHEELS and ‘Time Was Right’ era PARTISANS. Stand outs include ‘Foolish Affliction’, ‘Queen And Country’ that has a rousing chorus and ‘Empire Of Wealth’ that employs a dual male-female to great effect. The (over) familiar DESTRUCTORS power blast signals their first track (and somewhat louder than the D2D stuff), ‘The Glass Teat’. More of the same from this preposterously prolific posse follow with their highlight being ‘Yes We Can (But We Don’t)’ that comes on like the unholy offspring of CHUMBAWAMBA and G.B.H.! Each band does a cover (D2D - SQUAD 21, DESTRUCTORS - ANTI-FLAG), plus a track by the other. As always with Rowdy Farrago, this comes with a massive lyric booklet and excellent graphics. (19.09.11)

DUN2DEF/ DESTRUCTORS 666 - Deus Ex Machina {Rowdy Farrago} Yet another split EP from the DESTRUCTORS camp. DUN2DEF kick things off with two originals and a cover of the UK SUBS ‘Riot’. It’s well-produced, well-played mid-tempo UK Punk not unlike a mix of GUITAR GANGSTERS and early NEWTOWN NEUROTICS. The band is a good match for the DESTRUCTORS, which plays two originals and a cover also - this time ‘Diplomatic Immunity’ by GBH. As expected, this is more of the band’s usual Garage Rock played with an injection of Punk Rock and these tracks could well be the fastest stuff the band has recorded so far. It’s OK I guess, but I’d like to hear something from the DESTRUCTORS that has a little more substance than a steady stream of split EPs. (27.04.09)

DWARVES, THE - Are Born Again {MVD} No matter your viewpoint, it’s undeniable that THE DWARVES is a really clever band. I’m not talking clever in terms of a Ph.D in political conjecture, but clever in the continual reinventing of a band and the fact that each reinvention always results in a really strong album. After another split-up that followed the ‘Must Die’ album, the band is back with what could be its best album yet. It’s a bit like a selected highs: killer 60s power pop melodies (‘Working Class Hole’), dirty hyper speed thrash (‘We Only Came To Get High’), huge arrangements (‘Candy Now!’) and crazed Rock ‘n’ Roll scuzziness (‘Do The Hewhocannotbenamed’). Of course, lyrics focus on DWARVES mainstays - fucking, drugs, violence and yet more fucking (the timid should not pay much attention to the sentiment of ‘Stop Me’ and ‘Your Girl’s Mom’). A lot of the lyrics name check the band’s own past - be it songs, album titles or members. Yep, a very clever album that, basically, is more of the same. Besides a stellar album, you get a DVD (with so much on it that it warrants a review) featuring promo videos, live recordings, interviews and alluring amounts of sex, violence and brazen Rock 'n' Fucking Roll. The footage dates back to the band’s psychedelic era and progresses through to total Rock ‘n’ Roll destruction. An awesome package loaded with blood, guts, pussy, obscenity and Rock 'n' Roll - you really want any more? (20.08.11)

DWARVES, THE - Must Die Redux {MVD} Originally released on Sympathy For The Record Industry back in 2004, this timely reissue is one of the few DWARVES records I missed out on. It follows the vaguely electronic direction set by the Epitaph-released ‘Come Clean’, with ‘Demented’ and ‘Massacre’ featuring phat beats and rapping (and OFFSPRING’s Dexter Holland on the latter), ‘FEFU’ blasting like a NINE INCH NAILS/ MINISTRY hybrid and ‘Christ On A Mic’ that mixes choral vocals with industrialised Hip-Hop beats. Never fear though, there’s plenty of the DWARVES Rock ‘n’ Roll debauchery present - ‘Relentless’, ‘Another Classic’ and the excellent ‘Downey Junior’ blast, while ‘Salt Lake City’ could’ve fitted neatly on THE RAMONES’ ‘End Of The Century’. Lyrically, this is classic DWARVES fair: un-pc with self-mythologising tales of fighting, fucking and getting loaded. Besides the original album there’s a couple of extras in ‘Kids Today’ (from ‘Rock Against Bush’) and ‘Kaotica’ (the b-side to the ‘Salt Lake City’ single). Trivia fans may be interested to know Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age was sentenced to 36-months probation after assaulting DWARVES vocalist Blag Dahlia due to the lyrics of ‘Massacre’, that stated: "This one goes out to Queens of the Trust Fund, you slept on my floor, and now I'm sleeping through your motherfucking records." Gotta be essential, just for that. (22.10.10)    

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