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Dear everybody: Tell your dumb dog to shut up for a second and listen to this insane mixtape Exmilitary by Death Grips, who somehow manage to be roots rap and roots hardcore at the same time.
I squeezed my favorite track from Exmilitary, “Spread Eagle Cross the Block,” by sheer force of will into my playlist on pop punk (scroll down just a little bit). That sample, in case you forgot it from every soundtrack ever, is from Link Wray’s 1958 masterpiece “Rumble.” Like Jimmy Page pointed out in It Might Get Loud (I think the working title was The Edge Looks on Whilst Jack White and Jimmy Page Dick Around), “Rumble” is pure, freebased attitude from beginning to end—perfect for the debut of the loud and seeping-with-attitude Death Grips.
And did I mention it’s free? Oh, well, it’s free. Just click that downward-pointing arrow on the soundcloud player.
J(ames) Michael Osborne
"Recursive Girl" by F**ked Up:
It’s only fitting to kick this mixtape off with a band whose name we can’t print.
F**ked Up has been keeping up the purist’s pop-punk for years now, and their new David Comes to Life is their best effort to date, adding a whole lot of new spices to their thrashing stew.
"New Direction" by Black Lips:
Black Lips’ latest, Arabia Mountain, is indeed a “new direction” for the Atlanta punks—a direction that’s undeniably hit-or-miss.
"New Direction" is, however, one of those hits.
"Fever Dreaming" by No Age:
Everything In Between, No Age’s third LP, finds the noise-rockers amp-ing up and expanding out, and the result is their most accessible and head-banging album yet.
Try and listen to “Fever Dreaming” without convulsing to the screaming guitars—I dare you.
"Spread Eagle Cross the Block" by Death Grips:
Mixing hip-hop, hardcore and punk, Death Grips’ debut (free!) mixtape, Exmilitary, has single-handedly changed the definition of what pop-punk can mean, and with chaotic samples of the always-killer 1958 song “Rumble” and “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!),” the mind-blowing “Spread Eagle Cross the Block” loudly announces their name as new heavy-hitters.
"White Rune" by iceage:
Danish punks iceage have been building a hype hurricane around their name as of late, and their debut album, New Brigade, makes it know they’re here to stay.
"White Rune," the record’s lead single, is all attitude from beginning to end.
"Idiot" by Wavves:
Wavves’ King of the Beach may wind up being known as a real milestone for garage-punk music.
Consider the inclusion of my favorite track off it, “Idiot,” as pre-hype for the band’s upcoming EP, planned for release this summer, which frontman Nathan Williams called on his Twitter “the best songs I’ve ever recorded. Easily.”
"Holing Out" by Yuck:
If you’ve heard Yuck namedropped before, you’ve probably also heard how strictly ’90s they are.
Yuck’s self-titled debut, then, wafts between Pavement-sounding ballads and Nirvana-sounding punk, but “Holing Out” is all pop-punk to its roots.
"Kudos" by Surf City:
Surf City is a psychedelic hardcore band out of New Zealand (!), and “Kudos” is the awesome, poppy, hazy title track from their awesome, poppy, hazy sophomore album.
To look them up is to love them.
J(ames) Michael Osborne