Good day midweek militia, and welcome to the latest debacle of Wednesdays With Andrew, the Interwebz’ best/OKest/worst source for punk and punk(ish) playlists. This week we are really throwing gas on the fire with some hard hitting songs from bands like Consumed, Dwarves, The Murder City Devils, Spider, Big Black and more. So put some buds in your ears, turn it to 11, and go LISTEN NOW
Annnnnd here’s the web player link for all you goons.
We’re kicking off the weekly festivities with an aggressively pop-fueled track from Sydney-based punk band The Hard-Ons. These energetic Aussies have been annoying crowds since 1981, writing and performing their own brand of glazey, messy and fast pop punk…albeit with a distinctive crust around the edges. Girl in the Sweater was originally released as a single in 1986, and touches on one of the band’s favorite lyrical themes: girls in sweaters.
Heavy Metal Winner is a thrashy and explosive tune from Nottingham outfit Consumed. The song was featured in Tony Hawk 2, and is also the first track off my favorite EP by these sheriffs, 1998’s Breakfast At Pappa’s. A perfect blend of palm-muted chord progressions, metal-inspired guitar runs and catchy cockney melodies, all anchored by a solid rhythm section, Heavy Metal Winner is fun for the whole family.
Up next we have Rum to Whiskey, a sonic libation courtesy of The Murder City Devils. Hailing from the rainy and caffeinated environs of Seattle, WA, these post-punk rockers have centered their trademark sound around electric organs and vocalist Spencer Moody’s searingly harsh melodies, all the while creating a dark yet alluring timbre to their music. Rum to Whiskey proves to be a fun little ditty, and was part of their 3rd studio album, In Name and Blood, which was released in 2000 through the Sub Pop label.
Spider is the west coast punk band you may not know, but definitely should fucking know. Formed by four friends who grew up in Long Beach during the peak of 80s SoCal hardcore and punk, these guys haven’t forgotten their musical roots. Unruly and unrelenting, Spider plays a style of raw, speedy and in-your-face rock that will make any fan of the Black Flag/Fear/Circle Jerks era quiver. Can’t Control is a chaotic composition; punctuated by stop-and-go rhythms and lead man Hector Martinez’s piercing vocals, I came away from the song a tad unnerved. They’re releasing a self-titled ‘best of’ EP, which you can pre-order here. Get on it!
Since I have incredibly low standards I figured I’d throw on a couple tracks by Dwarves, a seminal shock punk band slash everybody’s favorite arseholes. These pIMPs have been playing resolutely abrasive punk rock since forming in Chicago in the early part of the 1980s, a time when coke and ronald reagan were both…cool. Both inclusions in our list, Everybodies Girl and I Will Deny, are from their 1997 album The Dwarves Are Young and Good Looking. Although the Dwarves have gone through many line-up changes during their long and storied career, singer Blag Dahlia and guitarist HeWhoCannotBeNamed have remained consistent fixtures in the band.
Feels Good, written by long-time Hawaiian dub rockers Pepper, is a vacation from some of the more agro vibes we’ve been getting thus far in today’s playlist. The band toured, played lots of shows and generally putzed around for several years before releasing their debut album, Give’n It, in 2000, on which this track appears. Consistency is neat…since their formation in 1997, and to this the day, the band has retained the same three members in its line-up. These days the fellas in Pepper are busy not only creating and sharing their own music, but spreading the love for a variety of bands through their label LAW Records.
Our penultimate selection today comes in the form of Bad Penny, written by the disturbing Chicago noise rock act Big Black and off their second (and final) album Songs About Fucking. The band was formed by singer and guitarist Steve Albini (yes the same Steve Albini who produced Nirvana’s In Utero) and a couple members of Naked Raygun. During their short-lived career, Big Black focused their music around uncomfortable and taboo subject matter. Their sound was characterized through the use of a drum machine (instead of a kit) and tinny guitar tones, which led to them being a major influence on, and precursor to, the industrial rock scene.
Have you guys seen Baby Driver? You gotsta watch Baby Driver. That movie, written and directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim, etc), is what a musical should be. The sound track is phenomenal, and is interlaced with the action and plot development of the film. Anyways, Focus’ Hocus Pocus (try saying that five times fast) is the backdrop to one of the chase scenes in the film, and is a goofy ass song…so I am closing today out with this bit of music honey.
Alright my pretties, that is all for today. Thanks as always for tuning in, and keep sending over suggestions, new songs I don’t know, fantasy football tips, etc.