METZ – Acetate

Driving, asymmetric shoegaze rawk, calling on the Melvins in a good mood and Swervedriver in a pissy one. A little repetitive, but listenable and rhythmically cool. Pancakes!

Second Player Score – Gloria

Earnest Bad Religion fans deliver a rocking, well-rounded performance, but I’d like to hear them forge and run with their own sound. Pretty good production, although for the first and perhaps only time ever I’ll say the drums are a bit heavy.

9mm Parabellum Bullet – Seimei No Waltz (生命のワルツ)

Only a Japanese band could turn such metallic and punkish raw materials into something this cute and poppy. Fast and furious, monstrously proficient, charmingly naïf.

CreepHyp (クリープハイプ) – Hyakuhachi Yen no Koi (百八円の恋)

Japanese art-punk-rock. Haunting, wailing and frenetic. Semi-operatic and borderline batshit crazy. I can dig it.

Rise Against – Tragedy + Time

Warm and chunky guitars and drums drive this one along. Suggestions of emo/neo-punkishness before crashing happily into a pop-rock chorus. It makes perfect sense that they started on Fat Wreck Chords and then moved to Geffen. Chicago’s answer to Melbourne’s Bodyjar. Would listen again.

Steve Bastado & the Albert Hoffman Experience – Never Over Till It’s Over

Classic Brit punk/hard rock delivered with passion, grunt, humour, know-how and an utter lack of give-a-shit for anything that’s happened in music for the last 30 years. Good, filthy fun.

Harry Big Button – Coffee, Cigarettes and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Fat, stomping, rockabilly beats overlaid with indifferent Cockney delivery, like a lazy Liverpudlian Rollins, until the throaty chorus uplifts it to something more like The Commitments with snarl. Incredibly, the singer is Korean. Suggest switching from coffee to whiskey to complete the ascension.