ESCAPE-ISM (w/Ian Svenonious) and FNU Clone at the Make-Out Room, SF -- early show 6-9:30pm!
Feb
23
6:00 PM18:00

ESCAPE-ISM (w/Ian Svenonious) and FNU Clone at the Make-Out Room, SF -- early show 6-9:30pm!

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Talent Moat and Depth Charge present: ESCAPE-ISM and FNU Clone live at the Make-Out Room, SF. Saturday, Feb. 23rd. EARLY SHOW 6:00-9:30pm.

ESCAPE-ISM (w/Ian Svenonius of Chain & the Gang, The Make-Up, Nation of Ulysses)

"Introduction to Escape-ism" shouldnt only be reviewed in the music press but in the world affairs column of a conspiracy-minded newspaper, on a hot-rod review TV show, or possibly at an important conference by a renowned astrophysicist. Its that important!

Why? Because its the first solo record by Ian Svenoniusof groups The Make-Up, Chain & the Gang, The Nation of Ulysses, XYZ, Weird War, etc. and author of underground bestsellers such as The Psychic Soviet, Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock n Roll Group, and Censorship Now!!and as such, its profound, prophetic, perverse, and poetic Its introverted glitter, violence against the state, obsessive desire; it stomps on convention, shreds constitutions, clobbers pre-conceived notions of what a record can be.

Yes, thats right: a single-person performance by I.F. Svenoniusrecognized by Performer Magazine as the greatest performer on the planetIntroduction to Escape-ism is a bite into a one-banana bunch.

A drum box, a guitar, a cassette player, and a single slobbering, sinful voice singing outfor a way out. Live, its a new paradigm of performance: raw, gestural, idiotic, sublime, revolutionary, poetic, faux naïf, unknowing, a drainage pipe that leads to who knows where.

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FNU CLONE

Screwed dystopian space punk. All alien soundtracks and DMT nightmares. Ripping riffs, hard driving bass lines, modulated vocals, and layers upon layers of synth texture and sinister sounds. A masterpiece of twisted psychedelic hate made to rot your mind and kill your speakers!! - Total Punk

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Qui (LA), Frisco (ex-Acid King, Hank IV, Lost Goat), Terry Gross (members Trans Am, Film School, Pins of Light) at the Ivy Room
Mar
1
8:00 PM20:00

Qui (LA), Frisco (ex-Acid King, Hank IV, Lost Goat), Terry Gross (members Trans Am, Film School, Pins of Light) at the Ivy Room

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QUI (LA) Since their first performance in LA in early 2001 and the release of their first full-length CD, Baby Kisses, Qui (pronounced, “Qui,”) maintained a prodigious pace of both local performances and national tours. Their idiosyncratic blend of punk, noise, and rock punctuated with avant-garde weirdness, coupled with their advanced musical prowess earned them a reputation for intense shows.

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FRISCO "Card-carrying members of San Francisco’s Coalition for Aging Rockers, Frisco is the latest band project founded in 2017 by a local crew of punk and metal veterans. The group teams singer Bob McDonald and guitarist Andy Oglesby of sadly defunct SF post-punk outfit Hank IV with ex-Acid King/Altamont drummer Joey Osbourne and former Lost Goat guitarist Eric Peterson. Playing knotty, aggressive noise-punk topped with McDonald’s manic delivery that sometimes echoes the vocal abstractions of Johnny Lydon during early era PiL, the group recorded its forthcoming Valley King debut 'Love Songs for Phantom Limbs' at San Francisco's El Studio this past summer." - Dave Pehling, CBS San Francisco

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TERRY GROSS San Francisco's new all-star band, Terry Gross, makes it's debut on Valley King Records! Terry Gross features guitarist Phil Manley (Trans Am, Life Coach), bassist Donny Newenhouse (Film School, Hot Fog, Buffalo Tooth) and drummer Phil Becker (Pins of Light, Triclops!, Anywhere)

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Lithics (Portland, Kill Rock Stars), The World, Neon at the Ivy Room -- adv. tix now on sale
Mar
2
8:00 PM20:00

Lithics (Portland, Kill Rock Stars), The World, Neon at the Ivy Room -- adv. tix now on sale

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LITHICS is a four person minimalist punk band from Portland, Oregon formed in late 2014. Over the last year and a half they have refined a sound focusing on interlocked bass and drum rhythms paired with shrill guitar counterpoint and stark female vocals. While counting Wire, The Fall, Devo, Pylon, The Shadow Ring, and Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band as reference points, the band’s concerns are contemporary and urgent. An injection of uptight, nervous energy into the reverb drenched complacency of today’s musical underground.

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THE WORLD are five people from Oakland, California who write rambunctious dance music with a post punk tool kit and an insightful yet short attention span. Their songs typically clock in around two minutes long and are a wild head-rush of Amber Sermeno's funk-minded bass lines and shuddering dubbed-out guitar courtesy of Andy Jordan. Amber also sings alongside Elyse Schrock, who anchors their propulsive songs with some supremely robust drumming. The steady beat is bolstered by Stanley Martinez's flurrying saxophone melodies and Alexa Pantalone's expansive bongo rhythms. Alexa also plays sax on half of the songs too, contributing further to the complex interplay of instruments that make The World's music so immediate, compelling and groove conscious.

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Everything you could possibly want in punk music. If not, interrogate the integrity of your desires. NEON is a four-piece medium translating the universal howling female shitstorm alive and kicking within us all. Do you seek adventure? Justification for further recorded sound from a guitar? For those bored to tears by predictable rock'n'roll formula and pseudo-punk box-ticking, predictable posturing, NEON is a psychedelic diamond in the barren toxic rough. Yes, Virginia, there really are freaks still residing in a California. 100% proof adult women must escalate the full takeover of all aspects of punk everything. Neon will make you radiant and happy, probably more desirable.”




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Amyl & the Sniffers (AUS), Nopes, Manback at Thee Parkside! Co-presented by KXSF and Burger Boogaloo! SOLD OUT, THANKS!
Mar
22
9:00 PM21:00

Amyl & the Sniffers (AUS), Nopes, Manback at Thee Parkside! Co-presented by KXSF and Burger Boogaloo! SOLD OUT, THANKS!

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SOLD OUT

Amyl and the Sniffers are a grimy pub rock band from Melbourne, Australia. Amy Taylor (vocals), Bryce Wilson (drums) and Declan Martens (guitar) are former housemates who formed the band, wrote a handful of tunes and released their debut EP, Giddy Up, all in a span of twelve hours. Completing their line up with Gus Romer on bass, Amyl and the Sniffers took their cues from a diverse mix of genres including pub rock, Aussie punk and country. They set out to have as much fun as possible and scared up a whole lot of fans along the way.

Amyl and the Sniffers’ second EP, Big Attractions, was released in February 2017, kicking off a stellar year. Growing buzz made them a hot tip on the Australian festival circuit including mind-blowing sets at Bigsound, Meredith Music Festival, Cherry Rock and Boogie, capping things off with a sold-out NYE show.

2018 started with a bang, with the band invited to support Foo Fighters on a leg of their Australian tour. Australian publication The Music named Amyl and the Sniffers a ‘Band to Watch in 2018’ and put them on the cover. Both PBS FM and Triple R FM made the record ‘Album of the Week’ and the band sold out multiple Australian headline shows.

Meanwhile, the Amyl buzz began to travel abroad. Limited edition vinyl copies of Giddy Up/Big Attractions flew off the shelves, pushing Amyl and the Sniffers into the Top 40 on the UK Vinyl Charts. The band made their international debut at The Great Escape festival in May, followed by sold out headline shows in London, before flying out to the Los Angeles to join King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard on a 20-date tour of the United States.

Amyl and the Sniffers debut album is due out in early 2019.

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The debut full-length by Bay Area punk foursome Nopes, features 12 squirmy songs, each a sputtering projectile following its own discrete, haphazard trajectory. As for mood, that dopey, deadbeat-chic album cover is telling: On Never Heard of It, day jobs are a scourge and jokes abound (even if it’s just naming a song “Duran Duran Duran”). But more than other garage-adjacent punk records, the players are distinct enough to animate a dozen tracks: the rhythm section swerves and strikes like boxers, in unison, until violently entangled. Fighting imagery aside, it’s the impish and kinetic guitar that has the lead voice on this album, with its zippy melodic runs and pitch-bent discord. - Sam Lefebvre, Bandcamp

Manback

Members of Lecherous Gaze, Ruleta Rusa



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Damo Suzuki (of CAN 1970-1973) at the Ivy Room
Apr
18
8:00 PM20:00

Damo Suzuki (of CAN 1970-1973) at the Ivy Room


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DAMO SUZUKI (of CAN 1970-1973) at the Ivy Room

April 18th, 8:00pm, $30 adv.

Adv. tickets now on sale!

This is Damo Suzuki’s first US tour in over 10 years. For fans of krautrock and psychedelia, this is not to be missed! Best known for his work with the pioneering German group Can,
Damo Suzuki is a vocalist and improvisational musician whose creative wanderlust has taken him around the world, performing with a dizzying variety of collaborators.

Suzuki had little experience as a musical performer before joining Can in 1970, but his bold, theatrical style and abstract lyrical sensibility put its stamp on three of the group's most memorable albums (1971's Tago Mago, 1972's Ege Bamyasi, and 1973's Future Days) before he left the group in 1973.

After a decade away from music, Suzuki returned in 1983, shunning the recording studio in favor of improvised live performances, a number of which have been recorded and released, among them 2000's Seattle, 2002's P.R.O.M.I.S.E., and 2007's The Fire of Heaven at the End of the Universe.

Working with established groups as well as "sound carriers" he often has never met before walking on-stage, Suzuki's music in the 21st century has found him relentlessly exploring the boundaries of spontaneous creativity.

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Bill Orcutt, Surplus 1980, Preening at the Ivy Room
Feb
21
8:00 PM20:00

Bill Orcutt, Surplus 1980, Preening at the Ivy Room

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BILL ORCUTT As one of experimental music's most influential guitarists, Bill Orcutt weaves looping melodic lines and angular attack into a dense, fissured landscape of American primitivism, outsider jazz, and a stripped-down re-envisioning of the possibilities of the guitar. Whether he’s playing his decrepit Kay acoustic or gutted electric Telecaster (both stripped of two of their strings, as has been Orcutt’s custom since 1985), Orcutt’s jagged sound is utterly unique and instantly recognizable, compared with equal frequency to avant-garde composers and rural bluesmen. The New York Times has called him a "powerful musician... a go-for-broke guitar improviser," and described his sound as "articulated sprays of arpeggiated chords and dissonance.”


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SURPLUS 1980 is a San Francisco Bay Area-based post-punk band founded in 2009 by former Sleepytime Gorilla Museum multi-instrumentalist Moe! Staiano. As alluded to in its name, Surplus 1980's music takes cues from the angular bands of the 1980s such as Dog Faced Hermans and Diagram Brothers and fuses it with the heavy, fierce attack pioneered by The Ex and The Fall to create their own blend of modern no-wave angst. Combined with Staiano’s playful lyrics, Surplus 1980's music is a thick slab of out-jazz, with more than a dash of punk ferocity.

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PREENING are a sax/bass/drums guitar-less no-wave style with demented street poet vocals.

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Owl, Hot Lunch, Psychic Hit at the Ivy Room
Feb
16
8:00 PM20:00

Owl, Hot Lunch, Psychic Hit at the Ivy Room

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OWL Oakland hard rock/metal big riff heavyweights plummeting into stoner caves and scaling staggering Zeppelinesque heights.

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HOT LUNCH is a punk ‘n’ roll band from the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area that specializes in getting loud, getting weird and getting rad. The quartet’s unique blend of brown-acid skate-rock and wah-fuzz proto-metal was born in the bowels of skatanic rituals, biker beer busts and wizard staff meetings. With a head-bludgeoning sound that refuses to take sides (and showers), Hot Lunch are on a hell-bent mission to create the best party soundtrack in the history of all music. Their self-titled debut album was recorded by Tim Green at Louder Studios and is available on all formats by Who Can You Trust? Records (EU), Tee Pee Records and Burger Records (US).

“A blast of 60’s acid rock seemingly unearthed after decades of rock ‘n’ roll mediocrity necessitated its rebirth” – Thrasher Magazine

“A glorious tangle of sixties style psych, eighties punk rock, hairy fuzzy proto-metal and seriously shredding guitar mastery” – Aquarius Records

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PSYCHIC HIT Rock and roll for your dark soul. Featuring members from Queen Crescent, Hedersleben, Owl, and Nik Turner’s Hawkwind)


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Valentine's Day with Sick Thoughts (New Orleans), Midnite Snaxxx, Talkies, DJ Carolyn (KALX/KXSF) at Ivy Room
Feb
14
8:30 PM20:30

Valentine's Day with Sick Thoughts (New Orleans), Midnite Snaxxx, Talkies, DJ Carolyn (KALX/KXSF) at Ivy Room

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Valentine's Day with Sick Thoughts (New Orleans), Midnite Snaxxx, and Talkies at the Ivy Room. 8:30pm, $8/10. Adv. tix now on sale

SICK THOUGHTS If you don’t know Sick Thoughts, you don’t know punk. The band is the mighty Drew Owen. Baltimore born and bred, he then up and moved to the swamps of New Orleans while still a teenager. The general consensus was he’d be another casualty of The Big Easy decadence, and would soon be seen hitting up tourists for money on Bourbon Street with a dog on a rope. But somehow he got hooked up with the best (worst?) folks in the city and kept making great music. That, and the fact that forty-ounce bottles just bounce off his head, have kept him alive. Rock and roll romance and the promise of socialized health care sent him to the (imaginary?) home of Killed By Death punk, Helsinki, Finland. Which makes perfect sense—this album is like the perfect KBD record, full of buzzsaw guitars, machine gun drums and hooks that hit like a tire iron. Owen’s brand of aural early-20s angst, with doses of Zero Boys, Reatards, and early Crüe, mixed with the stench of the streets, has never sounded better. This album clearly puts Sick Thoughts on top of the punk heap. It’s Owen’s world—get in it!

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MIDNITE SNAXXX “Since their 2017 record, Chew On This, Oakland’s Midnite Snaxxx have been spitting singles in fits and starts, but the short forms remain their forte. No disrespect to the full length lovers, but the band’s whiplash spirt is best captured between two sides of short attention span snotty punk built for sunshine hijinx. The A-side, “Let Me Do What I Want,” is a denim-vested world beater that’s not content to take no for an answer and isn’t afraid to lob the first volley in food fight fisticuffs. The song might as well stand as a credo for the California combo – loud, fast and brash – it’s a femme punk fuck you to the ruling class, or at the very least, a middle finger to the store manager on the way out of the sliding doors.“ - Raven Sings the Blues

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TALKIES

Bay Area four-piece that will take you back to the glamorous days of slick guitar-driven power pop. Frontman Ray Seraphin (whom you may know from Glitz, Legs, and other local bands) describes Talkies as a band "combining the dark, haunting tones of EMPIRE and pop accessibility of the SHOES." - The Bay Bridged

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Kate Berlant at the Rickshaw Stop (SF) with special guest Emily Catalano -- SOLD OUT, THANKS! No tix available at the door.
Feb
13
8:00 PM20:00

Kate Berlant at the Rickshaw Stop (SF) with special guest Emily Catalano -- SOLD OUT, THANKS! No tix available at the door.

Talent Moat presents KATE BERLANT at the Rickshaw Stop, SF. Wednesday, Feb. 13th, 8:00pm. 18+. SOLD OUT, THANKS!

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Kate Berlant is an LA based writer/performer who has performed at festivals across the globe including a sold out run at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, New York Comedy Festival, Festival Supreme, Treasure Island, Sasquatch, and Moontower. Her performances have been commissioned by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and she has been described by The New York Times as a "magnetic improvisational comic" at the forefront of experimental comedy. Kate most recently appeared in Boots Riley’s breakout Sundance film 'Sorry to Bother You' and can be seen in the films Dean, written and directed by Demetri Martin, Duck Butter, written by Alia Shawkat & Miguel Arteta, who also directed the film, and James Franco’s The Disaster Artist. Kate recently wrapped production on MIB, the Men In Black sequel with Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth (alongside John Early).

Kate has appeared in such television series as Search Party (TBS), Ghosted (Fox), Transparent (Amazon), and High Maintenance (HBO). She also wrote, executive produced, and starred in her own episode of Netflix Presents: The Characters for which she won raves.

In 2017 Kate was nominated for a Gotham Award for the Andy Deyoung-directed Vimeo series 555 which she co-wrote and co-starred in with John Early. Kate and John Early have also made multiple appearances together on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.

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Emily Catalano is a San Francisco-based comedian. She won first place at the 2017 Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Competition and was a featured comedian at Outside Lands in 2018. Her comedy addresses a wide variety of life's most enjoyable topics like breakups, failed relationships, and ex-lovers. She is becoming known for her smart joke writing and her veritable dead pan delivery. You can catch her perform regularly in San Francisco at Punch Line and Cobbs.

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Kate Berlant at the Starline Social Club (OAK) with special guest Chris Thayer -- SOLD OUT, THANKS!!!
Feb
12
8:00 PM20:00

Kate Berlant at the Starline Social Club (OAK) with special guest Chris Thayer -- SOLD OUT, THANKS!!!

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Talent Moat presents KATE BERLANT with special guest Chris Thayer at the Starline Social Club. Tuesday, Feb. 12th, 8:00pm. 18+. Seated show. The show is sold out, no tickets will be sold at the door. There are still tix available for the 2/13 show at Rickshaw Stop, SF.

Kate Berlant is an LA based writer/performer who has performed at festivals across the globe including a sold out run at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, New York Comedy Festival, Festival Supreme, Treasure Island, Sasquatch, and Moontower. Her performances have been commissioned by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and she has been described by The New York Times as a "magnetic improvisational comic" at the forefront of experimental comedy. Kate most recently appeared in Boots Riley’s breakout Sundance film 'Sorry to Bother You' and can be seen in the films Dean, written and directed by Demetri Martin, Duck Butter, written by Alia Shawkat & Miguel Arteta, who also directed the film, and James Franco’s The Disaster Artist. Kate recently wrapped production on MIB, the Men In Black sequel with Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth (alongside John Early).

Kate has appeared in such television series as Search Party (TBS), Ghosted (Fox), Transparent (Amazon), and High Maintenance (HBO). She also wrote, executive produced, and starred in her own episode of Netflix Presents: The Characters for which she won raves.

In 2017 Kate was nominated for a Gotham Award for the Andy Deyoung-directed Vimeo series 555 which she co-wrote and co-starred in with John Early. Kate and John Early have also made multiple appearances together on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.

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Chris Thayer is a stand-up comic and writer. He has appeared on Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, VICELAND’s Flophouse, and TBS’ The Pete Holmes Show. He’s written for for Comedy Central’s CC: Studios, Funny or Die, TBS, and JASH. He has been a recurring guest on Pete Holmes’ You Made it Weird podcast, as well as having been featured on dozens of other podcasts (including 2 Dope Queens, The CrabFeast, & Put Your Hands Together).

He performs regularly–both in the US and abroad–and has appeared in numerous comedy festivals, such as SF Sketchfest and Bridgetown Comedy Festival. In addition to having embarked on thousands of miles of self-booked tours, he’s gone on the road extensively with Pete Holmes, as well as having worked with Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress, Tig Notaro, Thee Oh Sees, Kyle Kinane, Michael Ian Black, Demetri Martin, Rory Scovel, Nick Thune, Greg Fitzsimmons, and many others.

“Distinctly warped and funny.” – The Onion AV Club

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Feral Ohms, Birth Defects (LA), Very Paranoia (members of Hot Lunch, Annihilation Time) at the Ivy Room
Feb
9
8:30 PM20:30

Feral Ohms, Birth Defects (LA), Very Paranoia (members of Hot Lunch, Annihilation Time) at the Ivy Room

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FERAL OHMS is a power trio from Oakland, CA. Focused on scuzz, primitive, outcast and punk rock and roll. It's loud.


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THE BIRTH DEFECTS features former Bleached drummer Jon Safley and Petey Dammit of Thee Oh Sees backing local songwriter and bartender Jason Finazzo. Their debut album, First 8 Mistakes, was released in July via Nathan Williams of Wavves’ label Ghost Ramp and was produced by Ty Segall himself.

The Birth Defects’ latest single, “Bad Shit” lives up to what one might expect from the roster: greasy garage rock with hard hitting riffs. For two minutes, the band devolves into a distortion fueled ecstasy with machine gun drums. Finazzo snarls like a hardcore titan. It’s the sound of pure impulse with each member throwing aside inhibition with their respective instruments.” - Consequence of Sound

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VERY PARANOIA is a San Francisco unit operated by four veterans of the Psychic Wars. This band embodies what is, and will always be, crude, raw mechanical violence. Its deafening sound has been shaped by the cult-artists and underground characters found in the multiple sub-genres that have caused hearing loss throughout the history of rock ‘n’ roll.

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Lars Finberg, Peacers, Sarah Bethe Nelson, SPVD (Chicago) at The Knockout, SF -- SF Beer Week special event
Feb
9
5:00 PM17:00

Lars Finberg, Peacers, Sarah Bethe Nelson, SPVD (Chicago) at The Knockout, SF -- SF Beer Week special event

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Join us at The Knockout SF for a late afternoon/early evening of outer echelon pop with Lars Finberg (LA, In the Red), Peacers, Sarah Bethe Nelson, and SPVD (Chicago). EARLY SHOW! 5:00pm doors. 21+. SF Beer Week Party sponsored by Oskar Blues Brewery.

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LARS FINBERG (LA, In the Red)
Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Korn, Lars Finberg. Bands and musicians from Bakersfield, California have a tendency of doing things their own way. Though he left Bakersfield a while ago, Mr. Lars Aldric Finberg has built a solid reputation as a unique artist and his work in legendary bands A-Frames, The Intelligence and Thee Oh Sees, have helped make him a West Coast elder statesman when it comes to idiosyncratic rock n roll.

Produced and recorded by Ty Segall, his new album Moonlight Over Bakersfield, out December 1 on In the Red, combines post-punk jitters, experimental pop, and deep rhythms.

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PEACERS
Tunes rock forth from a jukebox with a crack in the glass, with channels leaking / kaleidoscopic aspects of low-fi life, all bubblegum…

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SARAH BETHE NELSON

Hazy pop meets shimmering slowcore.

SPVD

“A solo project by Chicago guitarist-vocalist Joshua S. Condon of garage misfits Glyders. The eerie, skeletal EP sounds like Condon boiled everything out of a bunch of gnarly psychedelic jams except heavily processed, subterranean-sounding vocals, hazy synths, refracted guitar residue, and simple, hypnotic drum-machine rhythms.” - Chicago Reader

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Lars Finberg (LA, In the Red), Violent Change, Blues Lawyer at the Ivy Room
Feb
8
9:00 PM21:00

Lars Finberg (LA, In the Red), Violent Change, Blues Lawyer at the Ivy Room

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LARS FINBERG (LA, In the Red)
Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Korn, Lars Finberg. Bands and musicians from Bakersfield, California have a tendency of doing things their own way. Though he left Bakersfield a while ago, Mr. Lars Aldric Finberg has built a solid reputation as a unique artist and his work in legendary bands A-Frames, The Intelligence and Thee Oh Sees, have helped make him a West Coast elder statesman when it comes to idiosyncratic rock n roll. Produced and recorded by Ty Segall, his new album Moonlight Over Bakersfield, out December 1 on In the Red, combines post-punk jitters, experimental pop, and deep rhythms.

VIOLENT CHANGE

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Buzzsaw pop channeling a Swell Maps meets Guided by Voices vibe. A churning wash of guitars and driving rhythms topped off by guitarist/vocalist Matt Bleyle’s distinctive laconic deadpan vocals.


BLUES LAWYER
"Rob I. Miller (Mall Walk), Elyse Schrock (The World), Alejandra Alcala (Preening), and Nic Russo (aka Dick Stusso) hail from Oakland but are neck-deep in UK minimalist punk (think Pink Flag-era Wire), post-punk (a la early Television Personalities), and a guy-gal bruised feelings-frustrated romance feel (the Vaselines citation is right on the money).” - The Vinyl District

ADV. TIX NOW ON SALE






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Deaf Wish (Australia, Sub Pop), Rays, Nopes at The Knockout, SF
Sep
21
9:00 PM21:00

Deaf Wish (Australia, Sub Pop), Rays, Nopes at The Knockout, SF

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DEAF WISH (Melbourne, Australia)
Hazardous riffing, chemically-stained vocals and fiery rhythms, a tangled pile of firecrackers and a red stick of TNT lodged in a hornets nest. Their new album, Lithium Zion, is a veritable buffet of garage-punk energy, post-punk pathos, sardonic wit and the fearlessness that comes with Aussie rock, a natural consequence for anyone living on a continent teeming with grapefruit-sized spiders and man-eating mosquito swarms. Chugging along as though krautrock was trying to speed past the late 70s but got caught in the sticky grasp of punk. Such is the way of Deaf Wish, a group destined to write songs that are simultaneously stupid and sublime, vulnerable and ferocious, and play them with the unbridled intensity they demand. Anyone serving a life sentence to rock will surely concur.

RAYS
On Rays' debut album the band spins eleven tunes of wiry, urgent post-punk, one foot planted firmly in the nihilistic apathy of 70 & 80s punk (Wire, Electric Eels, Pere Ubu, Eno, Television The Fall), Australian punk past & present (UV Race, Terry, Victims, Babeez), and the addictive strum of 80s & 90s New Zealand/Flying Nun pop; all of whom have found their own way to meld the ferocity & thuggery of punk with a singular melodic voice. Throughout it all, RAYS debut never feels angry, Recorded by Bay-area stalwart Kelley Stoltz & mastered by Australian tone-genius Mikey Young (Total Control/Eddy Current Suppression Ring) RAYS is a joyous album packed with weird new-wave swirls and sugar-sticky hooks.

NOPES
Never Heard of It, the debut full-length by Bay Area punk foursome Nopes, features 12 squirmy songs, each a sputtering projectile following its own discrete, haphazard trajectory. As for mood, that dopey, deadbeat-chic album cover is telling: On Never Heard of It, day jobs are a scourge and jokes abound (even if its just naming a song Duran Duran Duran). But more than other garage-adjacent punk records, the players are distinct enough to animate a dozen tracks: the rhythm section swerves and strikes like boxers, in unison, until violently entangled. Fighting imagery aside, its the impish and kinetic guitar that has the lead voice on this album, with its zippy melodic runs and pitch-bent discord. - Sam Lefebvre, Bandcamp

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