Iron Chic – Shitty Rambo
First release on Dead Broke Rekerds from a melodic punk band featuring Latterman alumni Phil Douglas and Brian Crozier. Shitty Rambo is definitely an improvement on their debut release, but follows its lead by having a great first track followed by some lesser-but-still-good songs. There’s great use of gang vocals on occassion, but the band are still lyrically awkward, and the EP rarely goes beyond ‘good’. Well worth checking out, though hardly essential- and firmly behind Shorebirds in terms of post-Latterman projects. You can blag their Demo EP from If You Make It. Word.
Grynch – Chemistry
Meet Grynch, a promising (if egotistical) Seattle hip-hop artist- an odd choice for this blog, but still well worth a look. His new EP, Chemistry, was touted by Berkeley Place, and it’s a good call; Grynch has some great beats and his flow is smooth (yeah, I know, I feel awkward saying stuff like that as well). Aside from the odd and hilarious ode to his Volvo- and some good guest vocals- one of the best things about this EP its being free to download. A suprisingly polished product, Chemistry is a solid release, even to a non-expert like myself- and Grynch is a name to look out for.
Transit – Stay Home
Credit to CYSTSFTS for this one. This EP ticks all the right boxes- gang vocals, competent lyrics, good influences. The band have earned comparisons to Polar Bear Club, but the similarity is mostly in terms of technically unconventional song structures. This is firmly a pop-punk record, and a good one at that- even if it has enough hardcore and emo tinges to ensure that the band’s audience could increase massively. Stay Home is consistent throughout, although “Nameless” is particularly excellent. This record is on regular rotation at chez Mike- check out a couple of tracks here.
Lawrence Arms – Buttsweat and Tears
Offering serious competition to the Menzingers for the title of “EP of the year”, the Larry Arms are back with five tracks of searingly melodic punk rock awesomeness. There’s some of the band’s best material on here- “Spit Shining Shit” and “The Slowest Drink…” being my two particular favourites. Vocals are swapped in a much clearer way than their (definitive) last album, Oh Calcutta!, and the result is a suprising amout of variety for a short EP. As usual, the lyrics are out-fucking-standing. Download the track “Demons” here, and read what Brendan himself has to say about it here.