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Label feature: Tapetalks


Ukraine is a country that feels so close and so far in the same time. My first and only visit there so far happened last August. I spent a few days in the beautiful and calm capital city of Kiyv. While back then I was digging in what it was a part of the city and country’s experimental electronic music scene this article is actually dedicated to a topic closer to DIY Conspiracy – punk. At least to the outside observer, the country is blooming with (hardcore) punk bands (Reminded, Clearsight, Tank-2000, Bluesbreaker), shows and nice festivals like Маяк or Cobra Fest.

Cool Jerks – Patriots (2017)

For this feature we go to Odessa where Tapetalks is based. This comparative young label is focused on releasing limited cassette tapes. Curious enough the current Tapetalks roster is not formed of local bands (the city actually has an abundance of those with Homesick, Supression and Flame to name a few). Similar to Bulgaria’s Ugly and Proud Records, which operate almost exclusively on an international level, the focus of Tapetalks are bands from abroad. In their catalog you find bands from Australia, England, Germany and Russia. The releases look and sound fantastic, some are accompanied by extensive booklets and all feature great artwork. No compromises are made with the paper or the print quality. The runs are far from being super limited, but are just enough to make you go for the tapes as soon as they’re out.

EX-DOG – Angry & Hungry (2016)

Let’s take a quick look at their catalog before we send you on a shopping spree in the Tapetalks Bandcamp page.

Bikini Cops – Three (2018)

Coming out of Perth, Australia, Bikini Cops sound exactly as their name suggests – 1980s influenced punk, hating the world, hating the system, not afraid to draw their eyes from the ugly world to what hides in ourselves and try to find there the key for a better future. The release will take 10 minutes of your life, but then another 10 and another 10. Only if Perth wasn’t so damn far from here. That band is surely a blast live.

Cold Leather – Past Remedy (2017)

Released late last year we’re sure most zines were too busy writing end-of-the-year lists instead of going for something fresh, in this case, as fresh as 1980s US punk can get. Past Remedy is a groovy and dancable punk three-tracker with old school sound, reverby shouty but melodic vocals and naughty bass lines.

Cool Jerks – Patriots (2017) & Demo (2016)

Tapetalks have only six releases (a new one is coming as I write this) but England’s Cool Jerks can be already called regulars in the label as their 2016 demo was actually the first cassette that got published. Patriots follow what that demo had already started. Mid paced tracks taking turns with faster ones, lyrics and tracks about our shared daily struggles but performed and recorded so loyally to the past of punk music that you can’t stay neutral to it no matter how many bands of that era or contemporary worshippers have you heard.

Cool Jerks and their two releases are definitely future Tapetalks classics!

KÜKEN – KÜKEN (2016)

Germany’s KÜKEN and their self-titled album on Tapetalks is without a doubt my favorite of the current catalog of the label. From the awesome artwork to the introvert and personal raw punk breathing the air of the late 1970s there’s no track in this album that’s not a banger. While other releases sometimes might feel a bit short KÜKEN is as long as it should be, as emotionally charged as it should be but just enough nihilist. Excuse me, now I gotta polish my boots.

EX-DOG – Angry & Hungry (2016)

EX-DOG are the winners with the dopest artwork on Tapetalks. They’re hailing from Moscow, Russia and are melodic as hell. Emotional punk rock at its finest, definitely among the top releases at Tapetalks. Can’t believe it’s not sold out yet!



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The Royal They – Foreign Being


Band: The Royal They
Album: Foreign Being
Label: King Pizza Records
Release date: Out Now
Sounds like: Be Your Own Pet cutting you open with their guitar strings. 

The stark contrast between the explosive snarl of album opener C.N.T. and the closing pop-punk blast of Weekender is one of the many, many great things about Foreign Being, the second album by New York trio, The Royal They. In fact, this album twists and turns itself inside out, reshaping constantly, but it is anchored by one common goal – to hit you hard and make you take notice. At first, it felt solely driven by anger – sure, there’s rage in this – boy, is their rage. The guitars howl and fizzle with acidic intent; but there’s also a hell of a lot of heart in this and that heart is pumping raw, bloody emotion from every ventricle.

Take C.N.T. for example (what’s missing? Just “U”) a rabid, powerful, brackish snap of furious noise; a rallying cry for those who have ever felt alone or lost in light of certain events in the entertainment industry. It points fingers and calls out all those with their “perverted breach” and talks of their “sick deceit” and is capped off with the huge “I know you’ll try to fuck the world/But you will not fuck me” scream from vocalist/guitarist Michelle Hutt. Powerful, emotional, burning rage spat with such passion and such vitriol and one of the best album openers I’ve heard in a long while.

Addiction and loss pepper the buzz-saw raw rock of Sludgefucker (excellent song title alert) as talk of twitching eyes, misunderstood anger and referencing moments of pure bliss (but being unsure why) are punched into your ears, whilst the dual guitars scrape and contort through a muddy slide of clawing turmoil. It’s also excellent and a brilliantly constructed rapid-fire piece of fiery riot-punk. This is met with the sledgehammer drums and booming riffs of Pandemic, which belch and hack a hoarse rasp of detuned, Torche-lite noise, held together with shuddering and bruising intent. Absolute credit to the guitars on this track, which chime with trepidation and stalwart misery and expand The Royal They’s discordant and blemish-erupting sound even wider.

The pedal isn’t always slammed firmly to the floor though – there are moments of reflection, especially on the cool-sounding indie-jam of Veritas, which builds into a crunching hard rock number, with an ever-so Smashing Pumpkins-vibe to proceedings and showcases the delicate beauty of Michelle’s vocals as opposed to her earlier snarls of cutting rage. Needler follows a similar path, as though you’re being stalked by the taunt guitar lines, the “I want you to know…” vocal croons and the churning, discordant riffs which lurch, belch and batter the airwaves, only to suddenly revert back to that eerie, menacing tone. Don’t be fooled by the sing-song voice Michelle has on the scything Say Less – while it might all sound all rainbows and smiles in the delivery, the noisy, ramshackle Be Your Own Pet-riffs and teeth-rattling percussion are devilishly corrupting.

It’s when we reach the end of the album everything starts to crackle with three chords and permanent joy. I cannot get out of my head how much Weekender sounds like a 90’s TV show theme. There’s something so “sunshine happy good times!” about the melody on this. “Yeah, I’m where I wanna be right now/Yeah, there’s nothing else to figure out” states Michelle, her lyrics bouncing brilliantly on this pogo-tastic pop-rock banger of an album closer, which absolutely shreds with infectious and confident zest and ultimate enthusiasm – superb.

More people need to hear this band. The frothing rage and high-five fun times in The Royal They is utterly captivating right from the word go. Foreign Being is a jagged, snarling, heckling, vitriolic blast of cathartic, boiling and positive punk. Join their racket now, you need this in your life and your ears.

Grab a slice of Foreign Being by The Royal They from King Pizza Records here or download directly from their bandcamp. Treat yourself.

 

Top tracks: Sludgefucker, Needler, Gullethead, Weekender

Links

The Royal They
King Pizza Records

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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Follow Me:
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The Royal They – Foreign Being


theroyalthey-foreign-beingBand: The Royal They
Album: Foreign Being
Label: King Pizza Records
Release date: Out Now
Sounds like: Be Your Own Pet cutting you open with their guitar strings. 

The stark contrast between the explosive snarl of album opener C.N.T. and the closing pop-punk blast of Weekender is one of the many, many great things about Foreign Being, the second album by New York trio, The Royal They. In fact, this album twists and turns itself inside out, reshaping constantly, but it is anchored by one common goal – to hit you hard and make you take notice. At first, it felt solely driven by anger – sure, there’s rage in this – boy, is their rage. The guitars howl and fizzle with acidic intent; but there’s also a hell of a lot of heart in this and that heart is pumping raw, bloody emotion from every ventricle.

Take C.N.T. for example (what’s missing? Just “U”) a rabid, powerful, brackish snap of furious noise; a rallying cry for those who have ever felt alone or lost in light of certain events in the entertainment industry. It points fingers and calls out all those with their “perverted breach” and talks of their “sick deceit” and is capped off with the huge “I know you’ll try to fuck the world/But you will not fuck me” scream from vocalist/guitarist Michelle Hutt. Powerful, emotional, burning rage spat with such passion and such vitriol and one of the best album openers I’ve heard in a long while.

Addiction and loss pepper the buzz-saw raw rock of Sludgefucker (excellent song title alert) as talk of twitching eyes, misunderstood anger and referencing moments of pure bliss (but being unsure why) are punched into your ears, whilst the dual guitars scrape and contort through a muddy slide of clawing turmoil. It’s also excellent and a brilliantly constructed rapid-fire piece of fiery riot-punk. This is met with the sledgehammer drums and booming riffs of Pandemic, which belch and hack a hoarse rasp of detuned, Torche-lite noise, held together with shuddering and bruising intent. Absolute credit to the guitars on this track, which chime with trepidation and stalwart misery and expand The Royal They’s discordant and blemish-erupting sound even wider.

The pedal isn’t always slammed firmly to the floor though – there are moments of reflection, especially on the cool-sounding indie-jam of Veritas, which builds into a crunching hard rock number, with an ever-so Smashing Pumpkins-vibe to proceedings and showcases the delicate beauty of Michelle’s vocals as opposed to her earlier snarls of cutting rage. Needler follows a similar path, as though you’re being stalked by the taunt guitar lines, the “I want you to know…” vocal croons and the churning, discordant riffs which lurch, belch and batter the airwaves, only to suddenly revert back to that eerie, menacing tone. Don’t be fooled by the sing-song voice Michelle has on the scything Say Less – while it might all sound all rainbows and smiles in the delivery, the noisy, ramshackle Be Your Own Pet-riffs and teeth-rattling percussion are devilishly corrupting.

It’s when we reach the end of the album everything starts to crackle with three chords and permanent joy. I cannot get out of my head how much Weekender sounds like a 90’s TV show theme. There’s something so “sunshine happy good times!” about the melody on this. “Yeah, I’m where I wanna be right now/Yeah, there’s nothing else to figure out” states Michelle, her lyrics bouncing brilliantly on this pogo-tastic pop-rock banger of an album closer, which absolutely shreds with infectious and confident zest and ultimate enthusiasm – superb.

More people need to hear this band. The frothing rage and high-five fun times in The Royal They is utterly captivating right from the word go. Foreign Being is a jagged, snarling, heckling, vitriolic blast of cathartic, boiling and positive punk. Join their racket now, you need this in your life and your ears.

Grab a slice of Foreign Being by The Royal They from King Pizza Records here or download directly from their bandcamp. Treat yourself.

 

Top tracks: Sludgefucker, Needler, Gullethead, Weekender

Links

The Royal They
King Pizza Records

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

More PostsWebsite

Follow Me:
TwitterYouTube

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