Review by Paul Broome
New Alaska/Chestnut Road – Split 7”
Value for money this one, featuring 5 tracks squeezed into its 7 inches of red vinyl. The New Alaska tracks will be familiar to anyone who was wise enough to pick up their Finer Lines of Tomorrow CD EP, as all three are culled from that release – but presented on vinyl here for the first time. ‘Caustic’ is bass heavy, with almost chanted verse vocals driving the song through to conclusion. ‘White Walls’ features a super strong chorus which compels fists to fly into the air, while the drums (across all three tracks) force feet to stamp. ‘Black Bones’ is a lovely beast, the movement in the riffs and the way the vocals are stretched taut over them like ligaments is New Alaska in a nutshell. A tight, taut, glorious riff machine.
French trio Chestnut Road are a far looser proposition (not that that’s a bad thing, just a different side of the coin – appropriately enough). Their two tracks ‘Trust’ and ‘Shell’ are evocative of the British skate-punk bands of the early 90s – especially Mega City Four – catchy, noisy, great stuff.
7.5 out of 10
Comanechi/Female Smell – Split 7”
This is a beautiful thing just to look at. Yellow vinyl with a vivid laser cut pink sleeve. DLPR should be a applauded for a triumph of design – and the content more than matches up to the looks.
Comanechi’s ‘Hate’ snarls and snaps at the listener, warped vocals emerging and submerging from punk rock riffs and cymbal crashes like a ravenous shark in a raging ocean. Three minutes of experimentation, punchy riffs, and compelling vocals from Akiko – who fully exhibits the expansive range of her techniques. Original stuff from an original band.
But the highlight of the 7” for me is Female Smell’s ‘Payday Loans’ – an exalted anthem for the year if ever there was one. It truly revels in the shitty greed-bled crap-strewn consumer-busted landscape of the 21st century. Anyone who doubts the validity of punk rock in 2013 should listen to this, and then roll over. Essential.
8 out of 10