Top Sounds - G

GENERATION DEAD - The Truth Has All Been Said... {DIY} Just to prove this lot ain’t no one-trick pony after the stellar EP below, they deliver an eight-track album that’s among the best NZ has produced in a few years. Production here is much crisper, much more attention grabbing and has a cutting clarity. While the references below are still justified, I heard a distinct similarity to the classic, debut ABRASIVE WHEELS album on much of the stuff here, especially opener ‘Generation Dead’ and ‘It’s A Cover Up’. Highlight is still ‘In Fear Of Fear’ but that’s now challenged by the likes of the swaggering ‘Money Run$ Out’ and the raging ‘Running To Stand Still’ which is a superb SUBHUMANS romp rolling along on another of Matt’s frantic bass lines. This album also highlights Spud’s lead guitar work that gives the whole band a depth many others lack. Punk as it should be - DIY, totally convincing, raging-angry and thoughtful and delivered with heart and convincing aplomb. (09.06.14)

GENERATION DEAD - s/t {DIY} A new trio outta Napier, NZ and this is the band’s debut release - a 4-track CDEP. It’s a bit of a cracker too mixing the anger and fury of CONFLICT with some busy Matt Freeman-esque bass lines and a hint of HARD SKIN sing-a-long Punk. It kicks off in frantic form with ‘It’s A Cover Up’ that pivots around one of those hectic, distorted bass lines and some noxious, truculent dual lead vocals. Highlight for me was ‘In Fear Of Fear’ that also opens with that impressive bass before a swaggering guitar riff and lead come in - the lead work would not be outta place on an ONLY ONES record even! This is pretty smoking HC Punk goo with balanced and raw, if slightly flat, production, impressive aggro vocals and plenty of ideas instead of mindless bludgeon. Neat cover artwork too, that echoes the graphics of SUBHUMANS and CRASS. Sure it’s not new, but it is fucking impressive and impassioned and genuine - and that counts a great deal to the likes of me amidst Punk bands more concerned with eyeliner and branded footwear. (06.07.13)

GET DEAD - Bad News {Fat Wreck} A totally bemusing album! Visually this five-piece outta San Francisco look like AGNOSTIC FRONT-lite; lots of tattoos, tough guy poses, lots of open-mouthed grimaces etc - just as if AF came from Salt Lake City as opposed to New York City! Musically, they take TIM BARRY bittersweet acoustic ballads (but not as good), throw in a few AGAINST ME! arrangements (but not as good) and add a vague SWINGIN’ UTTERS earthy, organic Punk sound (but, guess what? Not as good). It all ends up sounding rather flat - bit like a Bruce Springsteen album. Pretty forgettable songs too. Have to say, I think these would be heaps better if they stopped trying to get some Punk coolness points and just stick to some rollicking acoustic jams, like album’s highlight ‘Bartender’ instead. As it is, file with REAL MCKENZIES and MAD CADDIES as terminally dull. (26.01.14)

GHOST ROBOT NINJA BEAR - s/t {DIY} Debut album from this appallingly named new project form ex-NAKATOMI PLAZA man Oscar Albis Rodriguez. You get eight songs (in a neat digipack) that rocked in an Indie/ Alt Rock way but didn’t always impress. When it’s good - such as opener ‘The Curtain Call’ and ‘Swamps Of Nova’ - it’s a convincing fusion of the angular MISSION OF BURMA sound coupled with the gonzoid guitar of DRIVE LIKE JEHU and the tunes of BUFFALO TOM while ‘I Can’t Decide’ takes a mellow Indie Rock tune punctuated by big, warm chords a’la TEENAGE FANCLUB. Snag is, other moments just bored - the instrumental ‘In the Helium Mines’ could’ve been some Prog Rock dirge while the gnarled vocals of ‘Pilots’ just made me laugh. The album’s best track is actually a cover of SMALL FACTORY’s ‘Last Time We Talked’ that’s enhanced by Shawna Potter’s impressive vocal. You can also get this for a free download here. If ya like it, get the disc cuz the digipack is worth the additional cost. (09.01.12)

GIGLINGER - Red EP {DIY} Fourth EP from this band outta Helsinki and it’s a little cracker. It certainly sounds like the drum machine that was used on previous releases has been replaced by a real drummer as there’s a great natural fluidity about these four songs. Highlight has to be ‘Who Wants It All’ that’s a dramatic WIPERSesque work out. Both ‘48 Balls’ and ‘You Know What You Are’ pivot around a vague DEAD KENNEDYS guitar line while closer ‘Strength Through Noise’ is a frantic, relentless one minute 44 seconds of feedback and distortion. Awesome, raw and gnarly Punk Rock; I fail to see why these guys don’t play live - this and the previous EP at least have been hugely impressive blasts. Inspired minimalist packaging also with a red sleeve housed within a black cut out single sleeve. A record that is really hard to fault - unless your idea of Punk Rock is the most recent major-label wannabe Metal Emo Wank crossover sensation. (19.01.14)

GIT SOME - Exhaustion = Feracity {Alternative Tentacles} First time I have heard these noiseniks that feature ex-members of PLANES MISTAKEN FOR STARS (a band which, incidentally, left me bored) and I am liking what I hear. This is a 7" of new material with the lead track initially pivoting around a sparse CRAMPS-esque guitar line before developing into a fusion of DRIVE LIKE JEHU guitar orgies and PART-TIME CHRISTIANS dementia. Flip the disc and you find a couple of distinctly more aggressive numbers with ‘Wipe The Brain’ being laced with a PAINT IT BLACK ferocity while ‘Accountability Starts With Me’ lifts some kinda early LA Killed By Death Punk amidst its musical carnage. Way more impressive than PMFS - whether this would work as well over a full album remains to be seen. As this like cracker stands though, file somewhere between RAPEMAN and SCRATCH ACID. (23.09.12)

GLAM - 7" {La Vida Es Un Mus} Raging 7" from this snappy, snotty band outta Barcelona. You get six tracks, the longest of which is only one minute 13 seconds - it being the opening ‘Duelo De Titanes’ - and just about the nearest thing to ‘mid-paced’ you’ll find here. I kept hearing a distinct ESKORBUTO influence - dunno if it’s the Spanish link - but it's particularly notable on that opening track. The remaining five songs took on something like a CHAOS UK sound, but with a greater focus on structure. Highlight was that opening track but the raging brevity of ‘Cara De Mierda’ (29 seconds) and ‘No He Aprendido Nada’ gave it a run for its money. Really stylish sleeve; minimal but totally eye-catching with an insert. Definitely one to check out if ya like ya Eurocore fast, uncompromising, raw and decidedly real. (28.04.12)

GOLDBLADE - The Terror Of Modern Life {Overground} After 30+ years of listening to and buying Punk records, I thought the days of hearing something truly new and original were gone. Punk today seems, all too often, compartmentalised, regurgitated and safe. I still love it, but thoughts of a band going out on a limb and breaking boundaries seem utopian. Then, GOLDBLADE delivers its sixth album. This is beyond comparison with anyone and, what’s more, it’s fucking great. Sure, I could say ‘They Kiss Like Humans, Act Like Machines’ rocks like MOTORHEAD, that ‘We’re All In It Together’ is as catchy as anything on THE BOYS first two albums, that ‘My Mind Is Like An Atom Bomb’ is total Orange County Punk Rock and that the alarming, closing title track that hits nine minutes could easily be seen as HAWKWIND getting beaten up by KILLING JOKE while ‘Serious Business’ is a stellar slice of Dub rock-steady beats. I may even say that ‘The Shaman Are Coming’ has a chorus THE CARDIACS would’ve loved. Sure, there are references, but as a complete body of work, this is unique Punk Rock. Lyrically it’s dark and vaguely morbid but with a wry sense of humour and some great Punk metaphors adapted from classic songs. Stunning in every way - the shape of Punk to come? (30.06.13)

GRIPPER / VICIOUS RUMOUR - Piss ‘n’ Boots {Sick World} 100% Kiwi split album (and yes, 12" vinyl) from two bands that resolutely fly the ‘82 Street Punk flag. GRIPPER kick off with seven tracks of frantic but tight, anthemic but sneering Punk Rock. The band’s EP with the DESTRUCTORS impressed but these tracks have a velocity that the EP lacked with Scott Fingers’ guitar being particularly impressive bringing to mind prime-time Nicky Garrett (UK SUBS) if he were to riff at a DEAD KENNEDYS pace. Highlights would be ‘Business As Usual’ and ‘Public Executions’ that could show any name US Street Punk band the way it should be done. Flip the vinyl and ya get five tracks from the now defunct VICIOUS RUMOUR. Opening with the brooding ‘Blood Stain City’ (which probably claims the album’s highlight), the band spit out a gnarled and potent brand of Punk that reminded me of ABRASIVE WHEELS mixed with a dynamic of early WALL records. ‘BBC’ heralded a COCK SPARRER vibe while ‘Baby Of My Mind’ is an excellent cover of the old FLESH D-VICE song. A great split that includes an insert from each band. If grizzled, angry and good Street Punk is ya thing, put this at the top of your list cuz had this been released on TKO or SOS (or even No Future), it would be hailed among that label’s best. (12.05.12)

GRIZZLIES, THE - Demo {DIY} Not sure why, but I pictured this to be Pop-Punk and while there is that kinda element in the band’s sound, this is much more muscular, bringing to mind a fusion of WHATEVER..., LES THUGS and HARD ONS. The band is from Switzerland and this is a five-song demo deal that offers good mix of sounds and influences. Highlight for me was ‘On The Road’ that contains a killer chorus and highlights the soaring WHATEVER... Punk vibe. ‘Drama’ takes the HARD ONS influence and runs with it while ‘M.G.’ recalls the greatness of prime-time SICKO. The remaining two tracks (opener and closer in fact) a solid Punk tracks with ideas and character. The CD came with a bounty of goodies including a zine-style lyric book, massive fold out poster, stickers and a patch. Lyrics are a bit cryptic, as is some of the art in the lyric book but both show some thought has gone into the process of creation. A good base - I look forward to hearing the next chapter of GRIZZLIdom!!  (22.11.14)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2012 including: