Bob Mould – Patch in the Sky
Done goofed and missed this back in March. The third in an alleged trilogy based solely around the fact that he has an adept touring band with members of Superchunk, the only real constant being that they constantly switch between fast pop-punk and slower college alt-crawls. Either way, the hooks are up and the volume’s almost always punching your face. As far as I’m concerned, as long as Mould doesn’t touch an acoustic guitar (which hasn’t happened often for almost thirty years), he’s a top five songwriter easy.
Scare Tactic – 2016 EP
Released for free download on Bandcamp and on a handful of cassettes, Scare Tactic plays really fast and barks through six minutes of heaven. Honestly, I’ve listened to so many things like this, I could probably fall asleep even if the lead singer jumped out of my headphones and started screaming in my face. Although if he jumped out of my headphones, he’d probably get stuck in my ear canal.
Rough Surf – Please Clap
Rather than saying emo, Rough Surf’s Bandcamp defines them as “sad punk”, a way more endearing term. If Rough Surf’s definition of sad punk wasn’t crappy Akaline Trio derivations, then they’d be onto something. The first six tracks suck, including a mindless three minute instrumental and five craptastic emo blasts. Out of nowhere, “Daisy” strikes with a straightforward irreverence like no other. “Mourning Radio” is pretty great too, but it’s sandwiched between a bunch of acoustic guitars, a pitfall that Bob Mould avoided. I feel bad saying that Rough Surf should be more like Bob Mould, especially because there’s probably a large group of people that would simply adore this music. I think I’m going to have Ay-hole Andy give a second opinion on this one.
Assemblage 23 – Endure
It’s always 2004 when Assemblage 23 is around. Actually, back then, I would have said futurepop wished it was 1984, but 2016 does some weird shit to your brain. There’s not a whole lot new going on with the sound and ultra homogeneity rears its ugly head, but Depeche Mode with electro beats is never a bad thing. Ever.