Naomi Punk

August’s Garage-Punk Greats

Zac Camanga

By Zac Camanga

on 08.29.14 in Features

Zac Camanga, who runs the great blog Styrofoam Drone, picked 10 albums or singles that might have escaped broader notice this month.

Naomi Punk, Television Man (Captured Tracks):
Television Man is Naomi Punk‘s second LP and first for New York label Captured Tracks. The trio continues to tear through loud, destructive grunge-punk, offsetting them with a series of eerie funeral dirges. As many of their forbearers from the Pacific Northwest, the band specializes in a ragged sound, but they inject it with their own personality, throwing in a few alarming twists and turns along the way. Catch them touring for Television Man in the U.S. and Canada through September and October.

Apache Dropout, Heavy Window LP (Magnetic South Recordings):
Bloomington, Indiana, trio Apache Dropout return with their fourth album, Heavy Window. It’s a collection of acidic boogie burners, loaded with crusty guitars and topped with blown-out vocals, making for a foot-stomping riot. These songs are stripped-down and dirty, driven by simple rhythms and psych-flavored guitars. The first 500 copies of the vinyl come with glow-in-the-dark covers!

Spider Bags, Frozen Letter LP (Merge Records):
Fronted by Dan McGee, this trio of rugged rockers has forged their own path through the alt-country/garage-folk territory. With Frozen Letter they’ve fully flexed their psychedelic muscles, as evidenced by crushing numbers “Chem Trails,” “We Got Problems” and album-closer “Eyes of Death.” Since 2007 they’ve been moving closer and closer to a fiery garage-based sound. On Frozen Letter, they’ve arrived.

Golden Pelicans, s/t 12” LP (Total Punk Records):
A string of killer 7-inch singles since 2011 has built anticipation for a proper album from these trashy Florida punks. Released on 12-inch vinyl in hand-stamped paper sleeves by Total Punk Records, their first full-length album contains eight stomping tracks, for nearly 16 minutes of the rawest and meanest punk rock around.

Wand, Ganglion Reef LP (God? Records):
Before Ganglion Reef, the only way you could hear Wand’s music was either on a lone split 7-inch or live at a show. At last, they’ve released an album, courtesy of the Ty Segall-run Drag City sub-label God? Records. Despite their growing catalog, information about the band is still scarce. That only adds a sense of mystery to their twisted take on rock, which combines fuzz, punk and psych into a clean-but-hazy sound. Ganglion Reef is a monumental debut full of lush textures and landscapes. The band will be touring with Segall this fall.

Old Smile, Steep Blue Hill CS (self-released):
Old Smile is the recording alias of Tom Herman of Haddonfield, New Jersey. Steep Blue Hill is his self-released full-length, and it comes on a clear blue, limited edition, pro-dubbed cassette tape. All of the material on the album was written, recorded, mixed and played by Herman, and his vocals were recorded on microphones connected to a laptop. It all took place in a duplex apartment, where walls are so thin the neighbors could hear every note being played. Each tape comes with a different hand-drawn cover, making each cassette as unique as his bluesy, folk-flavored recordings themselves. Get in on this one early — especially if you’ve been partial to White Fence, Graves or the Everywheres.

The Young, Chrome Cactus LP (Matador Records):
The Young return with Chrome Cactus, an album of 10 arena-sized guitar blowouts. Hans Zimmerman slithers and hisses his way through each track, backed by noisy guitars that pack a backbreaking crunch. They’ve created their own mixture of metal and psychedelic rock, and continue to progress with each record. They’re touring the U.S. and Canada through August and September — you’d be a fool to miss out.

Negative Scanner, Ambitious People 7-inch (Trouble in Mind):
Based in Chicago, Negative Scanner have just released their new 7-inch on Trouble in Mind. The A-side, “Ambitious People” premiered right here on Wondering Sound, and it’s an ecstatic combination of pop and post-punk. Noisy guitars go for the throat, and they’re backed by a pounding rhythm and shouted vocals. They wrap up the track in just under two minutes. Negative Scanner forms from the ashes of disbanded punk band, Tyler Jon Tyler.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Float Along, Fill Your Lungs / Oddments 2xLP (Flightless):
Flightless Records in Glasgow just released a new double LP from Melbourne-based King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. It combines two of their full-lengths into one spectacular vinyl compilation, both of which were previously unavailable. Catch them and their twangy psychedelic folk on tour with White Fence in the U.S. this October.

Sick Thoughts, Coming Over 7-inch (Going Underground Records):
Drew Owen fronts the Baltimore-based Sick Thoughts, and right now he is on a tear. Coming Over is already his fifth 7-inch in 2014, and he’s also released a 12-inch LP on Dead Beat Records plus a full-length cassette on Mina’s World. “Coming Over” is the first of three tracks, and it’s a blistering punk anthem with squealing solos and skuzzy vocals. At this rate Owen could have a slew of other records coming down the pipeline; it probably won’t be long until they surface.