Reviews

Reviews

Our latest album reviews, grouped by highest-scoring, lowest-scoring, most read and most recent.

Top-rated albums this month
87%

American Steel

State of Grace

American Steel - State of Grace album cover

American Steel always felt a bit under the radar, despite releasing albums on Lookout and Fat Wreck. While they’ve been on well-known labels, they don’t get the same accolades as some of their peers. It feels fitting, in that way, that the band just released a new 7” seemingly out ...

86%

Neighborhood Brats

Claw Marks

Neighborhood Brats - Claw Marks album cover

I’ve always liked Neighborhood Brats, but I don’t remember the band having so much variation in sound. Over 11 songs, this record maintains their melodic and forward-moving punk but with ominous foreboding organ, and even banging piano at times. While this growth stands out, it also doesn’t change who the ...

Worst-rated albums this month
55%

Terror

Total Retaliation

Terror - Total Retaliation album cover

I first saw Terror live in a garage with about 30 other people on New Year's Eve in 2002. I remember the day because I was blown away by the band's passion, intensity and musicianship, flowing seamlessly from fast verses to chorus breakdowns, peppered with perfectly-timed two-steps and singalongs. I ...

73%

Dark/Light

Dark Slash Light

Dark/Light - Dark Slash Light album cover

Portland’s Dark/Light pronounces their name phonetically, including the punctuation. They’re doubling down on that element by naming this 7”, released this past June, Dark Slash Light. SPB had the pleasure of hosting their earlier LP, Kill Some Time.As for this 4-song, 9-minute release, it keeps going in that tradition of gritty and ...

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Recent reviews

Our most recent reviews, organised by date.

87%

American Steel

State of Grace

American Steel - State of Grace album cover

American Steel always felt a bit under the radar, despite releasing albums on Lookout and Fat Wreck. While they’ve been on well-known labels, they don’t get the same accolades as some of their peers. It feels fitting, in that way, that the band just released a new 7” seemingly out ...

85%

Beaten To Death

Agronomicon

Beaten To Death - Agronomicon album cover

Does fun belong in music? Or more specifically: does fun belong in grindcore? And I don’t mean the porn or gore variant (I admit, some of those guys make me smile occasionally), just your regular meat and taters grindcore. The crazy heavy metallers of Beaten To Death seem to think ...

85%

Rome

Le Ceneri Di Heliodoro

Rome - Le Ceneri Di Heliodoro album cover

Rome’s musical output has been incredibly prolific over the last decade and a half of the project’s existence. Releasing albums at the rate of practically one every year, Rome has much to say and the band is Jerome Reuter’s way of expressing many emotions and opinions on revolution, love and ...

73%

Dark/Light

Dark Slash Light

Dark/Light - Dark Slash Light album cover

Portland’s Dark/Light pronounces their name phonetically, including the punctuation. They’re doubling down on that element by naming this 7”, released this past June, Dark Slash Light. SPB had the pleasure of hosting their earlier LP, Kill Some Time.As for this 4-song, 9-minute release, it keeps going in that tradition of gritty and ...

55%

Terror

Total Retaliation

Terror - Total Retaliation album cover

I first saw Terror live in a garage with about 30 other people on New Year's Eve in 2002. I remember the day because I was blown away by the band's passion, intensity and musicianship, flowing seamlessly from fast verses to chorus breakdowns, peppered with perfectly-timed two-steps and singalongs. I ...

80%

Madball

For The Cause

Madball - For The Cause album cover

30 years is a long fucking time. Those of us fortunate enough to break into our 30s know the wisdom and fragility that comes with clicking into that next decade of life. Things hurt more, from hangovers to inexplicable body aches. That said, we are also wiser, having learned from ...

84%

Hot Snakes

Jericho Sirens

Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens album cover

Hot Snakes first formed in 1999 and ran until 2005. They re-formed in 2011 for some tours and finally bring the rock in the new album Jericho Sirens, released in early 2018. For those unfamiliar with the group, members also play in Rocket From the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, Obits, The Night Marchers, and more. ...

80%

The Beginnings

I Am Dirt

The Beginnings -  I Am Dirt album cover

The last couple of years the Macedonian punk scene was a revelation to me. Fonija, Bernays Propaganda and Noviot Pochetok became personal favourites while other bands like Xaxaxa have had their regular time on my turntable as well. What these bands have in common is a sense of melody that is rather melancholic, the courage ...

80%

Katie Ellen

Still Life

Katie Ellen  - Still Life album cover
200 Words Or Less

What started as a two-piece project after the disbandment of Chumped, Katie Ellen are making a name for themselves in their own right. Since seeing the band live this year on tour with Lemuria, I’ve been obsessed with their latest release Still Life. From the record’s hauntingly beautiful lo-fi appeal to the openness ...

86%

Neighborhood Brats

Claw Marks

Neighborhood Brats - Claw Marks album cover

I’ve always liked Neighborhood Brats, but I don’t remember the band having so much variation in sound. Over 11 songs, this record maintains their melodic and forward-moving punk but with ominous foreboding organ, and even banging piano at times. While this growth stands out, it also doesn’t change who the ...

80%

The Sidekicks

Happiness Hours

The Sidekicks - Happiness Hours album cover

The Sidekicks are a band that I still pay attention to past my “punk only years”—you know, the years of my youth when only punk music and anything within that sub-genre mattered to me. I know, how naive. But it was also naive of me to brush off The Sidekicks ...

75%

Mozes and the Firstborn

Dadcore

Mozes and the Firstborn - Dadcore album cover

Part parody and part homage to guitar music, Dutch four-piece Mozes and the Firstborn have set a new tone with their American-tinged third album Dadcore. The album's name comes from guitar music apparently becoming the preserve of dads, and no longer being popular with teenagers. How true that is is a ...

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From the archive...

Twenty Four Hours to Live

We're All Loudmouths

6.9 / 10 Twenty Four Hours to Live - We're All Loudmouths album cover

Surprise Attack Records and I have never had a good relationship. There isn't any sort of beef between us or anything, it's just I always get stoked for their releases ...

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