Top Sounds - N

NATTERERS - Head In Threatening Attitude {Boss Tuneage} PODCAST PLAYED Long awaited debut long player from this four-piece outta North England. It features the first recordings with the new rhythm section which last played together in VOORHEES. The album is a little bit less frantic than the single below, although this has been enhanced by more depth and sonic power. Plenty of highlights here, including ‘Appetite For Distraction’ that brings in a ROUGH KIDS vibe adding tension instead of velocity, ‘Boring Minds’ that keeps the DEAD KENNEDYS reference relevant (although much less noticeable throughout this album), ‘Not Long Left Now’ that’s disjointed, fractured and experimental Hardcore a’la NOMEANSNO while ‘Weeds In Our Lawn’ rolls on a jumpy, irritant riff and soaring vocal making it the album’s highlight. While this isn’t as instant as the band’s previous releases - with different timing signatures, less rage and more variation - successive listens make it a more rewarding set of tracks. As with all the band’s releases, this has great artwork with an image to accompany each track. Still riotous but now with a potent density. Recommended. (15.01.19)

NATTERERS - Toxic Care {Boss Tuneage/ Serial Bowl} If the demo/flexi showed promise, this frantic six-track 7" just fucking rages!! Three tracks per side with with the first side including ‘Exist Or Live’ that really emphasises the DEAD KENNEDYS comparisons (check those backing vocals) while ‘Surf Off!’ features some very EB Ray guitar work. ‘Matter Over Mind’ slows things down a tad to close and is the highlight thus far. Flip the beastie over and any doubts of will they be able to follow the first side are dispelled as ‘Numb’ careers outta the speakers in a caustic blur with a vocal delivery as barbed and rapid-fire as any 80s Hardcore band could muster. ‘War Whoop’ could be the standout of the EP, bringing a distinct NAKED AGGRESSION feel while ‘We Are Their Cattle’ closes in fine style. Totally blazing stuff which has seen the band take all the good points from that initial demo, amp and crank them, and deliver something that has a lot of pointers (as in DEAD KENNEDYS yet equally SOFAHEAD and NIGHTBIRDS) but is unique, raging and fucking angry. Includes a neat lyric insert and fantastic artwork a’la Nick Blinko. Yeah - I’m off to play this again!! (19.06.18)

NEIGHBORHOOD BRATS - Claw Marks {Dirt Cult} PODCAST PLAYED Oh fuck yes! From the cracking, scintillating opener of ‘Dear Angelo’, you know that the 11 tracks contained here are gonna make for a thrill packed listen. Imagine if TILT had played AVENGERS-esque Punk with the power of IMPERIAL LEATHER and a hint of vintage Poshboy, yet make it sound current and urgent and you have an idea of the frantic yet catchy-as-crabs Punk Rock here. There’s not a duffer here but some of the most thrilling moments include ‘Late Stage Capitalism’ which had me thinking of X at their most absolute rocking prime, the hyper ‘Night Shift’ that features some stellar piano that’s played by Jerry Lee Lewis by the sound of it, ‘Searcher’ that’s a little more textured and highlights the expert use of those reverb-heavy guitars that seem popular at the moment while ‘Down 3rd’ is just a rollicking slice of Rock ‘n’ Roll that’s done so effectively it hurts. The band’s a quartet outta Oakland, California and this is their second album. On the strength of this, I need everything they’ve released. (16.02.19)

NEW ROCKET UNION - s/t {Ruzicka} Hot rockin’ slab of Garage Punk from this duo outta Minneapolis that evokes a fusion of ‘Raw Power’ era STOOGES, SCREECHING WEASEL and HEARTBREAKERS (Thunders, not Petty). The duo are augmented with some select moments of Sax/ Trumpet, while the absence of a bassist is far from noticeable - especially on ‘Dynamite’ where the toms have a distinct bass tone about them. Highlights are plenty be it the high energy opener ‘Off My Feet’, ‘Don’t Lie To Me’ that steals a few chords from ‘Chinese Rocks’, the slower lurching record collectors’ new favourite track ‘78_33_45’ that’s got a riff bombastic enough to break down a wall and the frantic ‘Get Down’, while pick of them all is the tom-heavy beats and riff barbarism of ‘Be My Girl’. The vocals have a great gum-chewing sneer about them (think Thunders with added Eddie Spaghetti) and the drummer is inventive enough to compensate for the lack of a bass. Sure, this is stuff that has been done before by a myriad of bands but it still captivates when done this well. Minneapolis rarely lets us down and this joins the town’s pantheon of quality. (16.03.18)

NEW YORK DOLLS - Personality Crisis {Cherry Red} PODCAST PLAYED A whopping five-CD boxset of the legend that was NYD featuring live and studio recordings dating from 1972-75. Regular readers will know I’m a major JOHNNY THUNDERS fan so this is on par with Guinness flowing from the taps in the House Of Scanner. The first two discs, which total 36 tracks, are the studio recordings and include the infamous Planet Studios recordings from 1973 that many say are the band’s best ever studio recordings. Listening to the 18 tracks recorded there, it would be hard to disagree. The remaining three discs are all live and total 56 tracks. They are culled from performances in Paris and Detroit 1973, Long Island, Vancouver and Dallas 1974 and New York 1975. Audio quality is not the highest, but if you were expecting that you’re looking at the wrong band!! There are a number of tracks here that have never been released in any other form; if you are interested enough to know what they are, then you’ll be buying this anyway. A 28-page booklet is included laden with photos, recording details and a biography from David Wells. Each CD is wrapped in its own, graphically smart cardboard sleeve, the box wraps around it all and, if The Mystery Girls, Frankenstein, Pills and a baby from Vietnam all resonate with you, then this is essential - especially given Cherry Red’s usual low retail price. It’s given me a bounty of treasures and, just like the best of gifts, it’s one that keeps on giving with unheard treasures on each listen. Have to say though, if you are not already a fan, this is not the best place to start you affair with these Mystery Boys. (18.12.18)
NIGHTBIRDS - Roll Credits {Fat Wreck} PODCAST PLAYED Latest release from these House Of Scanner favourites. You get eight tracks book-ended by a couple of instrumentals with the six songs between making for the most varied material from the band so far. Both ‘Onward To Obscurity’ and ‘White Noise Machine’ have a POISON IDEA intensity (with Jerry A’s bilious vocal guesting on the former), ‘Radium Girls’ could have been a prime-time Posh Boy or Dangerhouse single, ‘The Day I Beat My Brain’ has melodic structures that come on like the BUZZCOCKS, ‘My Dad Is The BTK’ is typical NIGHTBIRDS sneering Punk Rock with dark lyrics while ‘I Need A Torch’ is a cover of Minneapolis’ SUICIDE COMMANDOS track (and rules - great track, great version). As always with NIGHTBIRDS, it’s all killer stuff and packing is excellent, getting a single cover drawn for each track and slapping them all on the sleeve, making it look like a classic Punk singles collection (of which you can actually purchase the lot as a 7” boxset deal). Not got this yet? Make it your very next purchase, mofo. (22.01.19)
NIGHTMEN - C’est La Vie {Rockstar} PODCAST PLAYED Neat little 4-track EP of JOHNNY THUNDERS style Rock ‘n’ Roll. Opener, ‘Ahahahah (Oh No)’ in particular evokes ‘Diary Of A Lover’ era. Of the remaining tracks, ‘City Of Fun’ has a Dirtnap/ EXPLODING HEARTS vibe, ‘Last Time’ could easily fit onto PAUL WESTERBERG’s solo debut while closer ‘Dreaming My Days Away’ reverts back to a fragile THUNDERS-esque croon. First time I’ve come across this quartet outta Sweden and apparently the band has released a couple of albums prior to this - and I like it a lot!! They take influences from all those mentioned but play ‘em with enough of their own identity to be much, much more than simple rip-off merchants. To quote Gerry and the Pacemakers, “I like it, I like it,” - I like it fucking lots!! (15.02.18)

NOFX - RIBBED Live In A Dive {Fat Wreck} A reprise of the excellent Live In A Dive series sees NOFX playing the entire 1991 ‘Ribbed’ album from start to finish (and fact fans, it was also the first NOFX album to grace the House Of Scanner collection). Fat Mike points out at the start that it’s a hard album to play live and they’re gonna fuck up a lot - but in fact - there’s not that many errors. Opener ‘Green Corn’ is spot on and the following, classic ‘The Moron Brothers’ hits the spot a treat. There’s an interesting confession before ‘Food, Sex and Ewe’ that it was inspired by the OPERATION IVY album, ‘Just The Flu’ could be the best on the disc, Kody from TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET/ LILLINGTONS sings ‘I Don’t Want You Around’ and, just like any NOFX gig, there’s fuck loads of swearing, jokes and between song banter. The gig was recorded back in 2012 in LA and could’ve been made a whole lot more interesting had they included the 7”s of the time (Ok... There wasn’t many - but ‘Liza And Louise’ and ‘Longest Line’ EP were close). As with others in the series, you get a bonus in the fold out poster and.. Well... If you want this, you know it already. (16.12.18)

NUMBER ONES, The - Another Side Of The Number Ones {Sorry State} PODCAST PLAYED Four track 7" from this band outta Dublin and, although new to me, they have previously released a full album three years ago. Quite a different release for Sorry State as this falls more in the Power-Pop realms of STEVE ADAMYK, early WHO, Irish Punk progenitors PROTEX and a de-countrified LONG RYDERS. All tracks are crackers, be it ‘Long Way To Go’ with its jerky, stop-start riff, opener ‘Lie To Me’ that kicks off with a drum hit before the band is off and running with more of a direct melodic Punk song (and very similar to the sound Dirtnap Records is reknowned for) while the flip kicks off with ‘You’re So Happy I Could Cry’ could be one of the best, most rocking songs a solo JAY REATARD ever (should have) recorded followed by closer ‘Breaking Loose’ that’s laden with ringing Rickenbacker guitars, a solid bass and could vie with ‘Lie To Me’ as the EP standout. While this is decidedly more melodic than the sound Sorry State is well known for, it retains a garage vibe and an energy that renders it perfectly at home. This has been a huge player here at the House Of Scanner and, if this is a taster of THE NUMBER ONES, I sincerely hope another album is imminent. (21.04.18)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2018 including: