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|Unknown Post-Punk #6|
It's been little under a year since the last Unknown Post-Punk, and I've been hard at work finding some real goodies (and a couple of stinkers) for you all. Unlike Unknown Post-Punk #5, which had a few leftover entries from Papa Universe, this one is 100% me. All 101 entries. My fingers hurt and my tinnitus has only gotten worse, so let's get on with it.
Je Reviens Geneviève
Starting this list off right with a record from post-punk golden year 2006 (see Unknown Post-Punk #5). I was worried after the lackluster interlude intro, but Je Reviens Geneviève more than made up for it with all the remaining tracks. Dance-punk blended with indie rock and noise rock. Band's entire discography is on Bandcamp for your listening pleasure, what a time to be alive.
We Are Weapons, The Golden Age of…, Crossfire, The Agency, New Berlin
I think I said on the previous list that putting EPs on a list like this makes me a bit upset. But after trying to find the Poems' demo cassette somewhere online, I caved and just decided to put this up here. Early 80s art punk is always a pleasure.
Achieving Unity, Shoot to Kill, Untitled
|3||Bodenpersonal / Tumorbeus / Siedlerheim|
In the massive Excel file Universe bequeathed to me, I came across a release by the band Siedlerheim. I originally planned on checking that one, but decided to see what else they did first. Turns out, the only other major release they did was a 3-way split with two other bands. Cool. All three are from the German new wave scene, so minimal synth/wave is the genre of the day. Despite Siedlerheim being the group that introduced me to this release, Bodenpersonal was actually my favorite of the 3 bands here. Interesting, but I wouldn't go out of your way for it (like I did).
Auskopplung aus der Bodenpersonalkassette (O-Ton), Auskopplung aus der Kassette (Starr)
Female gothic rock duo from Germany. This group plays slower, pretty standard gothic rock/darkwave, which can be hit-or-miss for me. And yeah, this does drag in parts. Luckily though, La Scaltra do it well enough on a few tracks for this to be worth a listen. Don't expect anything too atmospheric though.
Neverland, Lucian, Visions of Glass
Frisch Und Fruchtig
What's that? Another German act? Well of course, little man! Again with the Germans; can't keep them away from these lists apparently. Whatever. Phosphor is a new wave act (more properly, a neue deutsche welle act) with a passing fascination for synths, minimal wave, and saxophone. It was 1980, after all. All of this should be a recipe for success, but Frisch Und Fruchtig ends up just being a bit too reserved to really take advantage of all those interesting ideas.
Word of warning: this one's more "unknown" than "post-punk," if you catch my drift. Cairo Pythian's coldwave synth(pop) just barely registers on my post-punk detector, but I'll count it for the sake of variety. Can’t only have 1980s German acts populating the list, now can we? While I do think Toytowne will appeal to some, it did absolutely nothing for me. I like the production and the vocals, but the songs just aren't interesting enough to lift this up above mediocre.
While they often sound more concerned with sounding cool than impressing with their playing, I really found Lot Lizard to be infectious. Very little in terms of fast punk energy, but a whole lot of classic post-punk brooding put through an indie/garage punk filter. It's a pretty new release in comparison to some on this list, but there are no ratings for it on either RYM or Sputnik. I'd consider that "unknown" enough to be here.
Judas, City, Shallow, Ice, Skies, Wired, Hold
|8||Some Rare Footage|
Some Rare Music morelike, amiright? But seriously, I could only find two of this group's many albums online, so I'm a bit depressed. Mostly because Stony Love is so good and I'm sure their early stuff would've been just as good (if not better). A combination of hazy post-punk with noise pop, Some Rare Footage is an intriguing act at the very least. I'm picky when it comes to noise pop/post-punk hybrids and the like, but I really liked this one. Hope those other albums turn up soon.
Old Friend, Pink Sunshine
Indoor Life [Celluloid]
God, these guys have 3 self-titled releases under their belt. Better yet, their name is pretty hard to search up. Perfect recipe for obscurity, I'd say. This messy minimal wave really hit the spot for me. Loses points for being a bit too one-note at times, but damn do they play that one note well. A good time all around.
Gilmore of the Fillmore
Ma'atz is an Israeli group that incorporates Middle Eastern soundscapes into a more traditional post-punk sound. It's a pretty uncommon combo, but it works incredibly well. The Hebrew vocals and the percussion especially stand out. This is a late 80s release, so it may sound a bit dated with the synths and all, but I can't help but love it.
II שבת אחים, I שבת אחים ,אילמז ,ציפור חלודה
We're getting into ambiguous territory here, as Bogshed really aren't all that "unknown" nowadays. But damn it, I wanted to talk about them, so on the list they go! This UK group only lasted for a few years, but they put out a ton of great music. Their debut EP is one of my favorite releases of the 80s, and their first LP ain't no slouch either. This one's their last full-length as a group and it's goofy post-punk fun. Still think I prefer their EPs though; something about their sound just doesn't work as well in an LP format, I don't know.
Oppertunatist Knocks, C'mon Everybody
Mooooooooom, pragVec tricked me! What I mean is, I originally thought this was some sort of various artists release, but it's pretty much just one band under 4 different aliases. You tricksters, you! I was close to skipping this one originally, but I'm real glad I decided to do a bit more research and listen to it: this is pretty great. Zolo + post-punk menagerie with girl vox? Surefire way into my heart.
Laugh, Third Person, Welcom Home, Cigar-ettes
Graveyards and Grocery Carts
I originally tried to find this group's earlier cassettes to put on this list (Triumphant Songs Of Utter Defeat), but that proved to be impossible. So I'll settle for this one. This is wild art punk with violins, an instrument I never really thought would work in this sort of context. But boy, I'm glad to be proven wrong. The violin/bass/drums combo alone makes this worth a listen.
Too many to list
I first heard this album a few years ago, and I was honestly surprised at how little discussion they got online. Hell, they were on the C86 comp back in the day; you'd think that'd at least give them some cred. Well apparently not, so here they are. The C86 sound itself isn't exactly post-punk (more like indie/jangle), but there's enough post-punk here to justify it being on the list. Like I said, these guys deserve(d) more buzz.
The Power of Woman, Restless, Third Wheel, Thin-Skinned, Big Future, Afterglow
Some zolo is annoying, some zolo is good fun. This album is both. While I enjoyed it for it's strangeness, I don't think I'd recommend Lumboba's Tube to anyone looking for a textbook post-punk experience. This is an hour of unscripted wackiness, minimal synth, and vocal effects. By the end, even a goofball like myself was properly annoyed by it. But there's some good parts here and there that bolster it.
Wake of the Zom Zoms, The Cockatoo Cries "ZOM!"
This is the tale of two bands: Here Today and Vigil. Here Today was an art-y, goth rock band and Vigil was a new wave act. The twist? They're the same band. After being signed to major label Chrysalis, Here Today became Vigil and completely changed their sound. They put out one single and an album, then were dropped by the label and never made music again. Head my warning children: just cause you get signed to a big label, that doesn't mean you'll be remembered. Even though I liked this well enough, it's deservedly unknown; a cautionary tale to all bands past, present, and future.
I Am Waiting, Whistle in the Yard
|17||We Are Hex|
Here's a hard one to really describe. It's definitely an indie rock + post-punk thing, but there are so many different sounds going on. And honestly, it just kind of feels like too much. Unless you're really leaning into the experimental, I don't really see how something like this could work. There's like... noise pop and gothic rock and punk blues and just all sorts of random crap shoved in here. But buried beneath all that, there's definitely a good album to be found. Just not a really great one.
I N D P L S
Over the Hills and Far Away
Uh oh, a 2020 release. How can I call something "unknown" when it just came out a year ago? I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that an anarcho-punk album in this day and age isn't gonna be very well known. Call it intuition. Anyway, this has subtle post-punk undertones; enough to warrant being here. Classic UK punk flavor in the vocals and guitars. And those drums! Check it for yourself, it's only 24 minutes long.
Sanctuary Is Nowhere, The Joke, Call to Suffer, War Cry
Demos, June 1979
Did you know that I've never heard a full Sisters of Mercy album? Crazy, right? Anyway, here's a demo by Gary Marx's forgotten punky post-punk band.
Be a Man, Hold Back the Tears
One of the fools from Terry Malts has another band? Color me shocked! I call them that cause that's where I first found out about them, but the members of the group have been a part of so many other bands. It's probably not very fair to just call them "one of the fools from Terry Malts" anymore, is it? Anyway, this is an indie pop/post-punk revival thing, very similar to the other Terry Malts-adjacent projects. Ah shit, there I go again. Not really reinvenitng the wheel here, but it's good comfort food if you like that classic proto-twee stuff.
I Can Do That, 24 Pictures, Food Court, Hate the Summer of Love
|21||Joy of Life|
Hear The Children
I may need to check back, but I don't think I had any neofolk/post-punk hybrids on my last entry to the series. Well, here it is now. It's definitely more post-punk-leaning, but I think that's for the best. This is a dark, desolate kind of album; one of those you pair with a stroll on a cold night. But I don't get many cold nights where I live, so I'll have to make due with raising the A/C and standing on the porch. Really dug it.
Here's a dance-punk/indie rock band from France that I wasn't sure I would like. Their sound is heavily steeped in the more modern, electronic side of post-punk, but this has enough 2000s indie swagger to earn some extra points from me. You definitely have to be in a particular mood for something like this. Sort of like the post-punk version of cock rock. Good for a listen.
Strip for Me, Fired Up, Work It Out
When I was growing up, female-led post-hardcore with a post-punk twist was my favorite. Unfortunately for me, there were only 2 bands I knew that sounded like that. And while I have since strayed away from that sound, it's always nostalgic hearing similar stuff every now and then. Enter Radio Vago. This album (produced by the dude from Mars Volta oddly enough) is exactly what I'd be listening to back in 2002. But it's nearly 2 decades later and I'm just not that into stuff like this anymore. Too clean, I guess. Still, there's enough here to give this a light recommendation for all the youngins out there.
Italian post-punk with that classic, echo-y sound. Lots of more popular acts right now are trying so hard to replicate it, but Education pulls it off with ease on this little mini-album. Delicious deathrock/punk touches as well, just take me now.
Head on a Stick, Rebel, Walls, Summer Camp
|25||The Woken Trees|
I know goth rock isn't exactly a hot commodity these days, but you have to give credit to the groups keeping the scene alive. Coming out of Denmark, the Woken Trees definitely have some chops. On at least half of these tracks. The other half is just mediocre. There's two types of tracks on this release: post-punk goth and alternative goth rock. Might just be my tastes, but the alternative stuff just doesn't do much for me. Ends up evening out at an "okay" for me.
|26||Lonesome Hot Dudes / EsRAP|
Lonesome Hot Dudes / EsRAP
This is probably the strangest release on this list. So this is a split featuring the post-punk band Lonesome Hot Dudes. But the other band on this split is a hip-hop duo. Not like a punk-rap group or anything. Just... a rap group. I know doing splits is something that a lot of bands do in their early years, but... why? The Lonesome Hot Dudes songs are pretty good, but the EsRAP tracks give me heartburn something fierce. It kind of feels wrong to put this on here, but Lonesome Hot Dudes don't have a full-length out (as far as I can tell). So this will have to do.
Thank god for Bandcamp! Techtones' debut album finally got re-released in August of 2020 after 30 years. These Kiwis play energetic new wave/power pop/jangle pop. Might be a bit too poppy at times and there are admittedly a few duds, but it's so damn catchy, you'll forgive it.
Try It Again, Reply, Same Old Game
|28||Tools You Can Trust|
'Again Again Again'
Kiss my objectivity goodbye! Tools You Can Trust are an industrial/no wave band that only released one short LP before breaking up. And honestly, this isn't their best work. So why is it here? Because even at their worst, this band is incredibly good. Noisy, yet subdued bizzaro post-punk with trashcan drums and breathy vocals. 'Again Again Again' ends up sounding more like a demo release than an actual album, but that's exactly how I like my punk.
Flush Out the Motive, Brace Yourself for Higher Standards, Untitled (Live)
Another new release? Well, yes and no. This was released in 2020, but this is actually an archival release by an old 80s all-female no wave band. I'm all about percussion-heavy dance-punk and this is no exception. It's a classic cross between experimental post-punk and new wave. It's pretty short for an album, but I'm glad this finally got a release after 30 years.
Temple of the Sun, The Devil Lives in My Husband's Body
|30||Garden of Pleasures|
We return to Germany yet again with a goth rock act that is fairly difficult to find info online for. Garden of Pleasures only had 1 release during their time together (I think), but they did put out a lot of songs on VA compilations. So you know what that means! An anthology collecting a good portion of their songs. There isn't really much to say about Garden of Pleasures honestly. They're a solid late-80s post-punk band that didn't get their fair shake at the time. Perfect fodder for a list like this.
Age of Lies, Another Dream, This World, Pushed
|31||Masine Like Koma|
Sex (Politics, Police and Religion)
One of this Greek band's members (Aris Stathis) actually refers to this group as 'art pop,' so maybe placing it on this list is a bit misguided. But I'm putting it on here anyway. To my ears, it's more like an indie/art rock fusion with some post-punk influence. I know, leave it to me to tell the guy who made the album that he's wrong and bad and dumb. While this is only an EP, it's a pretty interesting little release.
|32||The Tourists (UK)|
Let's be honest: a lot of this list is up to my personal definition of what's unknown and what's post-punk. Which is warped compared to a lot of other people's, I'll admit. But the band Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were in before Eurythmics having a single rating across 5 releases here on Sputnik? That's funny enough to me that I have to put it on the list. This is pretty much exactly what you think it sounds like: over-produced power pop/new wave. Shocker, I know. Not all that bad, and I much prefer it to any of their Eurythmics crap, but I totally get why this one was swallowed by the sands of time.
Blind Among the Flowers, Deadly Kiss
While there are a lot of unknown bands on this list, this one was one of the more surprising ones. This post-punk/indie hybrid takes elements from neo-psych, minimal wave, and more to craft a very "sleazy" sounding album. What kind of descriptor is "sleazy?" It's what they themselves used in their Bandcamp tags, and it fits perfectly to me. It's slow and moody, while still having a bit of drive. The only thing really going against this one is the production is a bit too overcrowded for my tastes. Other than that, it's a solid one-off.
Magic Without Tears
I'm gonna be up-front here: there's a good chance that I got a poor rip of this album. But it's not like Argentinian post-punk grows on trees or something; I had to check this little oddity out. And my rip was 100x better than the shit one that's on YouTube, so there's that. But honestly, even if it sounds a bit scummy, I really dug this album. It's like someone playing goth rock in a bat-infested cave. I'm sure the lo-fi nature of this album wasn't intentional, but it definitely gives some personality to what is, honestly, pretty average goth rock for the most part. Check it if you like caves, I guess.
Desgarra la carne clériga, Quiero estar con Dios, Cargar con los cuerpos, Canto llano,
Feel dumb for spending the entirety of 2018 complaining that there weren't that many good releases when albums like this were being put out. 30-minute-long garage/dance-punk frenzy with some fantastic tunes. Would've made my 2018 a whole lot brighter if I had heard it then.
I wasn't sure this counted as "unknown" at first, but not having a bandpage on Sputnik, despite having connections to a fairly well-known act like Grant Lee Buffalo, equals unknown to me. This is a moody, alternative rock/post-punk mashup kind-of album, which are usually pretty hit-or-miss with me. But this was actually pretty good. It's got more of an experimental flair than I was expecting as well, with some country and psych influence shining through at times. But don't get it confused, this is still accessible enough to recommend to your (particularly open-minded) grandma.
Two Suns, Work the Rat, Water Lilies, Train Mystery
I'm noticing that a lot of the time, members of these unknown bands ended up going on to joining better known acts. For example, the California art/post-punk band Human Hands has ties to the Dream Syndicate, Wall of Voodoo, and some bands I really like that nobody cares about (Airway, Le Forte Four). This was fun, but very middle-of-the-road to me. Never thought I'd use a phrase like that to describe an art punk band, but I've been listening to a lot of post-punk because of this list and I think it's starting to rot my brain.
Hex, Stupid World, Rapture of the Deep, I Got Mad, New Look, Phantoms in the Darkroom
Can you think of a more generic band name than Flower? Anyway, this is a post-punk/hardcore band from New York, which is a combo that is pretty underrated and underappreciated. Just really solid throughout. They'll definitely remind you of a few other New York bands from the time, if you catch my drift. They actually put out a reunion album in 2020, so it's nice to see they're still active. Even if their newer stuff isn't as good.
Ohio, Angel, Million Feet Tall
In an effort to keep this list fresh, I decided to pair post-punk with a random tag on Discogs and see what came up. And what I got was Tremolo, a noise pop/post-punk band from Illinois. It's another goddamn EP-only band, but this was too good to keep off the list.
Inside, I Can't See You, Better Than This
I've never really been a fan of electronic/post-punk hybrids, mostly because they end up sounding super corny. Detached Objectives don't do anything to change that. Their overreliance on synths, pointless ambient passages, and meh vocals just ended up leaving me a bit underwhelmed. There's a place for this in the world though.
|41||Chemicals Made From Dirt|
I really don't enjoy putting so many compilations on this list, but I can't help it. A lot of these unknown post-punk acts just didn't put out full albums. Anyway, this is a compilation of the New York new wave/zolo band Chemicals Made From Dirt. Probably wouldn't have set the world on fire, but I've heard worse acts from the time make it big. It's a fun time. I just wish they went a bit harder with the zolo and softer with the new wave.
Panic-No Fusion, Air Raid Drill, Medicated Elvis
|42||Kill Sister Kill|
Why Do You Wanna Kill My Sister?
Pretty straightforward question for an album title. Why do you wanna kill Kill Sister Kill's sister? Not very cool of you, I must say. This is a goth rock group from California that started in the 1990s, broke up, and reunited in the 2010s. Pretty common career trajectory for groups like this. And after checking this 3-track EP, I kind of get why they didn't gain an audience. This is pretty middle-of-the-road as far as goth goes. And considering searching this band up would probably put you on a couple of lists, I'm not sure it's worth the jail time.
Just to prove that I don't just give out 4.0s and 4.5s to every new post-punk album/EP that comes my way, here's a 2020 release that was just okay to me. Don't know how to explain what I didn’t like about it, but it definitely has something to do with the production. Still decent though.
Estate Sale, Physical Limitations
|44||The Wasp Factory|
Pretty Quickly... Ugly Slowly
More noise rock than post-punk, the Wasp Factory was an enthralling listen. Jumping between monotone spoken word and shredding guitars, this ends up having a faint no wave flavor to me. It's on Spotify (for some reason) if you want to find out what I'm talking about.
Nations Are Insane
So... both this band and the previous band are noise rock/post-punk bands with names that vaguely sound like... I'm sure I'm just imagining things. Anyway, Teenage Panzerkorps are a lot more post-punk than the Wasp Factory right off the bat. This one goes more in a garage punk direction and I'm all for it. Unfortunately, it's got a bunch of minute-long filler tracks. Good enough for a listen though.
Trans Moral Imagery
|46||The Major Thinkers|
The Major Thinkers
1981! The peak of mainstream new wave! The glitz, the glamour, the thousands of forgotten bands forever lost to time! The Major Thinkers are pretty much exactly what you'd expect a new wave album in 1981 to sound like. Sat snuggly between the punkier early new wave sound and the new synthpop sound, the Major Thinkers definitely sound of their time. You can actually hear the acts they're trying to sound like here; pretty embarrassing stuff. Honestly, despite a few decent tracks, this is better left back in 1981.
Tears and Synthesisers, Avenue B, Land of de Valera
I love adding bands that are related to much more popular bands on this list. It really does go to show you that find success, it may not follow you to your past and future. This is an example of the former, with Perennial Divide being formed before Meat Beat Manifesto. Even after a rerelease of this album a few years ago, it's still relatively unknown. Which is a real shame, because this is great post-punk with some funk/industrial trimmings.
Blow, Word of the Lord, Burning Dogs
Math rock is a pretty popular genre online, so I suppose I should really try and sell this one. Beach Arabs aren't really a typical post-punk act, but more a fusion act. Their sound has elements of indie rock and math rock at almost an equal amount to the post-punk parts. It's honestly pretty seamless. I'm, however, not the biggest math rock guy in the world, so I just though this was pretty good. This has the potential to be someone's favorite band though, I'm sure of it.
Big Bang Mountain, Under the Whale
To Sir With Hate
Fifth Column's To Sir With Hate somehow manages to feel both of and ahead of it's time. With elements of dub and art punk, it's not as if this album is out of place for 1986. It's probably because of how similar the vocals are to later bands. With elements of indie rock, dub, and art punk, bands and modern interpretations of the same sound from bands of today. To Sir With Hate might be a bit lacking in hooks, but it is a proper great record.
Kangaroo Court, Hit the Roof!, To Sir With Hate, Right Hook, Ghost of a Buffalo
Dance Or Die Or Make Up Your Own Mind
I think my unhealthy obsession with Bandcamp has really gone too far with this entry. I mean, just look at that cover. Is this a joke? Did I just make this album up to fill up space on this list? (Un)fortunately, no. This album is actually a really great little no wave album. If you're into screeching, chaotic, noisy post-punk, then look no further. I'm just as surprised as you, trust me.
So Much Drunk in the Trunk You Need a Trailer, No Jury Worthy, We Only Want Negative Feedback, I Make Quilts Out of Quills
|51||Bez Ladu a Skladu|
Bez Ladu a Skladu
Recommended to me by GhandhiLion (I think), Slovakian post-punk band Bez Ladu a Skladu was definitely one I should've checked sooner. Saxophone-laden post-punk is a favorite of mine, so this was bound to please me. While it's not anything all too new for 1990 and is a bit too same-y for my tastes, this self-titled debut is damn solid.
Sociologický prieskum, Prisiel k nám film z USA, Xmetov
There's "lo-fi." And then there's lo-fi. This Belgian act keeps it simple in more ways than one on their first (and only) full-length album. And even then, it's actually a compilation of live recordings. Not the most accessible entry on this list, for sure. But the messier sound and the fun vocals really elevate in my eyes.
Eruit, Neo 1 (Rise and Fall), Neo 6 (Instrumental), En toen was er niets meer, Neo 7
Centro Di Gravitá
The style of minimal synth/industrial that Spanish duo Dame Area play is not the kind of post-punk I often listen to. It's a very sleek, modernized take on the genres, I'll give it that much. But I found the stock samples and repetitive beats a bit grating. Stuff like this deserves to have an audience though, so if deadpan female vox over midtempo electronic drums is your thing, check it.
Centro Di Gravitá, Sfingi, Dicevi a Me
Simple post-punk/indie rock combos are the bread and butter of this list. And luckily for me, there's been a glut of them for maybe the last... 30 years? And yet, I decide to give a spot to an album that came out last year (2020). Shame on me. Nothing overly mind-blowing here, just some pretty good tunes.
Another proud entry in the "unknown bands related to well-known bands" canon. This time, we have the UK post-punk band Empire, which formed from the ashes of Generation X. Yes, the Billy Idol band. Had no idea what to expect from this when I hit play, and honestly, after checking it, I'm still not sure what to think. It's like a... mod revival/power pop album? Like a really amateurish version of The Jam or something. It's not bad, but I'd rather just listen to the name brand rather than the generic store brand.
GhandhiLion recommends me a lot of random bands/albums in my shoutbox, a bunch of them being post-punk, and this Los Angeles band was one of them. This is a strange one, not because of the experimental rock stuff that's on it, but because of the alternative rock tracks. I don't know if I'm just genre-deaf or something, but I swear I hear bits and pieces of more standard alt rock on here. Those tracks end up dragging it down a bit, which is a real shame, because there's a lot to like on this album. Definitely give this one a shot.
Portrait of a Pooter
Faster Moving Forward
Every year that passes, I come closer to the realization that the 2000s were the greatest decade for underground music ever. You've got the popularization of the internet, Myspace, p2p sharing, sketchy torrents, affordable CD-R recording, better home recording equipment. It's like a perfect storm. And while Portland's Red Herring only covers a few of these 2000s staples, one thing is certain: they absolutely rule. A blend of art-y post-punk and folk punk with some incredibly warm, scrappy production. Bit same-y, but oh so good.
Too many to list
|58||The Fire Show|
The Fire Show
When I found The Fire Show on Discogs, I was pretty excited. Judging by the tags, they're some sort of indie art rock/post-punk act. Sadly, this was a nightmare to get through. Simultaneously being both messy and clean at the same time, this self-titled debut was just a complete bore. A part of me doesn't even want to consider this post-punk, as it's so far removed from it, it may as well be in a different galaxy. Still, it's always nice to know that I'm not blindly giving good scores to every album on this list just because it's (apparently) post-punk.
Please Kill the Barium Swallows
|59||Lost Loved Ones|
Boy, do I love putting major label failures on these lists. I should do it more often, honestly. Yes, this UK band was signed to Epic records and is yet another major label band to grace the halls of the unknown post-punk series. But unfortunately, I can't rail on this too much, because I actually liked it a lot. Poppy post-punk with just enough edge to make it palatable. Yeah, I'm disappointed in me too, but I can't lie for internet cred. This is good stuff.
Echoes of the Past, The Dark
Cockatoo play a more standard kind of gothic rock than I'm used to, but I was willing to give them a shot. Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed. I don't know if something went wrong with the production or something, but the vocals are really tinny and have this odd echo effect on it. Autotune? I dunno. I didn't notice it at first, but once I noticed it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Otherwise, it's a fairly generic, inoffensive goth album. Not really much to say.
Drum Song, Pokerfaced, Kashikikawa, Hit & Run
For the sake of variety, I thought it would be good to include an industrial album on the list. Because there's a lot of industrial music that incorporates darkwave into their sound. Plus, I desperately needed to get out of my comfort zone. So in that spirit, here's IV Horsemen. Very synth-heavy darkwave/EBM with some incoherent yelping put on top. Honestly, this wasn't all that bad. It did start to grate on me after a while, but thankfully this project only deals in EPs. Worth checking out if you like bleep-bloops.
While I'm probably not going to do a dedicated "world-tour-style" run like I did for Unknown Post-Punk #5, it's always nice to see an album that strays from the usual 5 countries. Being a Spanish band, I can't speak to this self-titled mini-album's lyrical content. If I'm just going off the melodies and instrumentation, I really liked this one. It's firmly in new wave territory, but manages to keep above water with some great performances. I even liked the slower tracks, which is usually a tough sell for me. Definitely give it a try if you like sort of romantic(?) new wave.
Azizia, Cena fría
Ecuadorian deathrock that evokes the 80s better than a lot of newer acts do. Gotta love that goth punk rock sound, so classic. The only thing that's keeping this from a higher rating is the uneven production. Some songs are wonderfully scuzzy, while others are mixed oddly quiet. Still, this short album has enough great moments to earn a solid recommendation from me.
Putting an archival album/compilation/live album things on an list celebrating "unknown post-punk" might be cheating, but how could I resist? Having an old 90s Croatian band's work readily accessible online is a treat. Especially if they end up being pretty good like Psi's. It's not something that will blow you away, but it's defintiely well-done for a later-era post-punk album.
Tužne vrbe, Odlazak ratnika
While Metro Decay may not be "unknown" in the purest sense, this Greek band is most definitely post-punk. In fact, Υπέρβαση is pretty much the quintessential mid-80s post-punk album. From the vocals; to the clean, new wave-y melodies; and even the little flourishes sprinkled about that were common amongst European acts. So while this band is successful by this list's standards, I would be remiss to not give it a spot on the list.
Μαύρος κύκνος, Παιχνίδια στην επιφάνεια, Το πάγωμα του πάθους
Flying Nun had its run-ins with success in the late-80s and beyond, but in its infancy, the independent New Zealand label mainly released local post-punk acts. While this live album was only released in 1985, it was recorded 4 years earlier. A prime blend of post-punk and new wave, with some great vox and and guitar. While Playthings only lasted for a few years, this posthumous release is a clear indication that they were no slouches.
Sit Down / Stand Up, Personality Squares, Love of Crime
In Between Gears
No rules against double-dipping, right? Originally, I was just going to have Playthings on this list, but I couldn't led this oddity pass me by. Expendables features the vocalist/bassist from Playthings on lead duties. And it's pretty much the exact opposite of Playthings soundwise. While Playthings were a slightly art-y post-punk act, is a mellow indie rock/new wave release. If you would've asked me 15 years ago, I probably would've liked this a lot more. But to me now, it's just okay. Shame, cause this definitely an interesting one that should be better known.
Say Cheese, A Different Matter, Key
Noise rock/post-punk/hardcore combos are a favorite of mine, so I was excited to see those Bandcamp tags. And yeah, I liked this. No surprise there. Not as much as their EPs, but I didn't want to put another EP on this list unless I absolutely have to. If you're gonna check this band out, be sure to check those early releases first. But even if you dive head-first with this one, I doubt you'll be too disappointed.
Black Leather Jackets, Tea Gown
Alright, now we're talkin'! Cali post-punk band Geisha Girls are definitely obscure these days, but they probably fit in the best year for music ever: 2006. Yes, 2006 has blessed us once again with another amazing post-punk/indie rock band. We truly are not worthy. Album is so danceable, it's almost pop punk. It's not, but you know what I mean. Required listening for any post-punk-head reading this.
Retaining Water, Disappearing Act, Skinny Wrists
Listening Comprehension 1980-1982
Really wish Sputnik would allow for non-English characters in band names. Anyway, Hörförståelse is a short-lived Swedish act that only released one single before they dissolved in 1982. But Light in the Attic (one of the best modern labels around) once again saved the day by putting out a great archival compilation of the band's work. Mixes synthetic organ/keyboard with very rhythmic beats for a new wave/art punk sound that manages to not sound dated. Helps that there are a lot of bands now that are doing this style of post-punk. Couple that with a wonderfully aggressive vocalist, and you've got a winner. This is post-punk comfort food for someone like me.
Too many to list
|71||Sinking Ships (UK)|
The Cinema Clock ...and Other Stories
Sinking Ships was a short-lived post-punk band from the UK that was underappreciated in their time (shocker) and called Joy Division knock-offs despite having not heard Joy Division until after they started written all their songs. I'd be lying if I said I didn't hear some similarities, especially in the vocals, but I think there's more to them than that. Honestly, I really dug this one. While I don't think this is their entire recorded output, this compilation is definitely worth a listen.
The Runner, Last Words
|72||Walk Onto Sun|
In the Inside
It's probably not very fair to the genre of coldwave that I'm the one running this list, but hey, life isn't fair. This Los Angeles-based project takes mid-tempo post-industrial dance music and blends it with overdone coldwave pastiche for a pretty boring release. But really now, should you be getting your coldwave recs from someone who hates coldwave? No, you shouldn't. Try it for yourself; maybe you'll like it more than I did.
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A Call And Response
There's nothing quite like some good ol' 2000s post-punk revival, is there? Well, there probably is. But I still like it well enough for the most part. The Longcut is an example of one of those acts that did decently in the 00s, then unceremoniously dropped off after 2010. And I don't mean in quality or anything: they only released two things the entire decade: a remix EP in 2010 and an album in 2018. A lot of the indie bands of the era shared a similar fate, but did The Longcut deserve it? Judging solely by the quality of their first album, probably not. This is a pretty decent debut, full of hooks and great vocals. Haven't heard the rest of their output as of this writing, but give this one a shot if you think this would be your thing.
Im Herzen von Nielsen 2
I had a hell of a time trying to find Vorgruppe's full discography online, so imagine my excitement when I found out they were actually pretty damn good. This "Neue Deutsche Welle" (German new wave) band mixes energetic pop with minimal wave instrumentals and post-punk sax. Worth the effort to track down for a freak like me, but probably not "essential" material.
Du & Du, Nielsen 2
There are a lot of artists on Bandcamp that do throwback post-punk, which I will proudly admit to enjoying. I'm a total sucker, I know. Here's some post-punk that sounds like it was recorded in someone's bedroom. But like a really cramped, dark bedroom with no heating. The messy goth tones here, for the most part, are spot-on. Good for a listen.
|76||Rats on Rafts|
The Moon Is Big
Another GhandhiLion rec (the band, not this specific album). You'd expect art-y post-punk like this to come out of the 2000s, but nope: 2011. This is one of those albums that has some good stuff throughout, but doesn't have any absolute classics. A lot of new acts have the same problem for me; good enough to listen to, but very unmemorable for the most part. Still, I'd say check it if you like sax and goofy delivery.
The Moon Is Big, God Is Dead, Sailor, Jazz
If you've ever needed proof that production can make or break an album, look no further than Housewives' debut album. I don't know if something went wrong in the mastering stage of production, but everything on Work sounds muffled and flat. Except for, oddly enough, the drums. Which is insane to me, since this is a noise/experimental rock album. Forgive me for presuming, but wouldn't you'd want your no wave-y noise rock to pierce people's eardrums instead of just tickling them a bit? The album's not bad or anything (it's mostly good actually), but I can't help but feel it could've been so much better. Real shame.
|78||Life in Cage|
Life in Cage
I try not to put to many bands/albums that I've already listened to before on these lists, but man, I love this album a lot. I'm surprised I didn't include it in the last Unknown Post-Punk list honestly. Life in Cage is a lo-fi darkwave/post-punk band out of Greece that I found about 2 years ago and I fell in love with it a bit. It's messy and amateurish in all the right ways, if that makes any sense. Check it.
The Wreck, Συνηθισμένοι Άνθρωποι, Meaning of Life, Life in Cage
Another compilation? Nope, just a cheeky album title. Here we have some pretty lo-fi minimal wave from the mystical and far-off land of Belgium. Lots of good "minimal" post-punk comes out of Europe, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this was quality. Parts of this get too hung up on the "minimal" side of things, but all the "wave" stuff is tops. Is it a groundbreaker? No. Should you check it if you like lo-fi "minimal" post-punk? Definitely. Have I used enough quotation marks in this blurb? I think so.
You'd think that an indie rock/post-punk band from the 2000s would be a sure-fire knockout for someone like me, but I found this album to be pretty middling. Honestly, the thing it reminds me of the most are the modern post-punk/shoegaze acts that get heaps of praise these days. I guess that makes them ahead of their time? I dunno, I thought this was just okay.
All Apart and No Fall
All Your Sorrows Will Disappear
I'd like to think that I'm pretty tolerant of amateur musicians. Hell, a lot of my favorite artists sound like they don't know how to play their instruments. But even I can't defend something like this. By golly they're trying, but I really didn't like this Lovely Heroin mini-album. Muddy, repetitive coldwave/darkwave isn't really my ballpark to begin with, so combining that with some of the worst vocals I've heard in a while. I can't even begin to imagine who this is aimed towards, but I know one thing: it's not me.
[content not available]
The first time I listened to Opposite Sex, I wasn’t all that impressed with them. That was well over 4 years ago, and they have a new album out this year, so I thought I'd give them another chance. I'll admit that they're better than I gave them credit for, but still a bit underwhelming. I just wanted to like them a lot more than I did is all. An art punk/indie pop album with tons of noise? It should've been AOTY. But, it's just pretty good. I think this may be the most negative I've ever been giving an album a 3.5/5.
|83||It Lies Within (GRC)|
Surrounded by Evil, Low on Gas
I would just like to thank the internet for giving me access to this great album that I never would have found organically. I mean, a Greek post-punk album only released on CDr and cassette? I'd have better luck looking for Easter eggs in my living room. Proper "recorded on a 4-track" goth-y goodness. Check it before it mysteriously vanishes from the WWW.
Creatures Against Genes; Starwards, Concentration Camp; Τερας; Surrounded by Evil, Low on Gas
Masai Sleep Walking
The lesser-known alias of an already lesser-known act? This rabbit hole is deep, I'll tell ya' what. Yes, George Harrasment is directly related to the post-punk band The Homosexuals, a band I really love. This one's definitely a bit more unfocused than I would've liked, but it's still a pretty enjoyable mashup post-punk album. Really eclectic influences ranging from dub to pop rock.
I'm always surprised to find newer post-punk acts with barely any presence on either Sputnik or RYM. Especially one as good as the indie-rockin' post-punkers Laverne. Really laidback garage rock influence as well, if you're into that. Vocalist has a "familiar" lazy delivery you may have heard before (check the similar bands), but they've got a style to them that makes this worth a listen. Will be interested to check the rest of their work and whatever they do next.
Kelly, Decateur. Talk Show
|86||C Cat Trance|
Khamu (She Sleep Walks)
A lot of post-punk bands (and bands in general) get stuck with the "experimental" label if they do anything that's even slightly offbeat. The first time I listened to C Cat Trance, I was under a similar impression. However, I think there's more of a case for them. Their goth sound is peppered with tribal and Asian instruments/vocals, but they still manage to sound like a fairly standard mid-80s post-punk/new wave act. Totally palatable, while still maintaining some intrigue. Honestly, this could serve as a decent introduction into "more challenging" post-punk for a layman to the genre. That sounds dumb, but you know what I mean.
Puritaines, (Screaming) To Be With You, Rattling Ghosts, Simple Helen
Ron Pistos Real World
Oh, how I hate it when half a band's discography is effectively lost to me. Unless some rando decides to upload their cassette-only albums online someday instead of hoarding them, we'll just have to make do with what we have. That being 1983's Ron Pistos Real World and their 1986 self-titled LP. So are we missing out? Judging by this album, definitely. This is Aussie sax-punk at its best. It's a goddamn good time.
Day of Heat, Death Dance, 27 Steps, Car Accident
Several Young Men Ignite Hardboard Stump
Doing this list series has spoiled me something fierce. I've heard so much great post-punk continuing this for the last 2 years, a perfectly good album like this doesn't even make me flinch. Years ago, I would've been lucky to find something as decent as this. I mean, some wacky zolo/art punk/new wave like this is quality. But a few tracks early on kind of sour it for me a bit. A low 4.0's still a 4.0, I guess. Curse this dumb rating system I use.
The Sugar Ranch
Agony and Ecstasy
An archival compilation of a Seattle art rock band who never got the chance to release anything during their time together. Green Monkey Records, thankfully, got a hold of what they did record. And man, I live for stuff like this. Influenced by Ornette Coleman and Beefheart, The Colorplates dance between art rock hooks and art punk jitters. Maybe it's a little too "standard rock" at times for this list, but I don't care. It's worth it, trust me on this.
Too many to list
Deathrock has been a source of some great entries on these lists so far, but I always struggle on whether they count as post-punk or not. That is, except for Pawns. They are, without a shadow of a doubt, post-punk. They've definitely got the punk-forward goth sound in there, but hold it back just enough to make room for more atmosphere. The vocalist is doing his best 80s goth impression, alternating between monotone talk-singing and yelling, and the guitar is distorted to match. Definitely give this a go if you like your goths a bit strong.
Shooting Above The Garbage
I'm willing to bet that Shooting Above The Garbage isn't what most people think of when they think of 80s new wave. Underneath it's melodic shell, Carsickness has a pretty bitter, sparse bite to them. And honestly, they're all the better for it. The only way I could describe it is that it sounds like an album by a band that aimed for radio play in the past, got rejected by every record label, and just started playing whatever they wanted instead. But using the same studio techniques they were using before. Probably not accurate to actual events, but that's definitely what it sounds like. If that sounds like your thing, definitely give it a go. Also, I really love the album cover for this. Not really sure why.
What to Do, The Radio, Not What We're Looking for, The Knife, Suicide
Cold Tears of an Angel
Just want to point out that there are two different versions of this album: the original 2016 version and the remastered version from 2018. I'm listing the 2016 one here, because that's the one I checked. I know demo quality isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I love that unpolished darkwave/goth sound. Vocals are mixed way too quiet, the drums are loud, and there's too much reverb. So yeah, definitely my kind of thing.
Rowan, Wakefulness, Nowhere Boy
Thanks guys. That name combo isn't confusing at all. Really appreciate it. Anyway, this is an experimental rock band from Germany with post-punk leanings. They tag themselves as no wave, but... I don't think I'd agree with that. For one, this is way too sparse and clean to be no wave. It's a very slow, deliberate album. Most of the album is setup for what should be a noise-splosion, but the "big finale" usually just ends on an anticlimactic note. Wanted to like it more than I did, but it's still pretty good for what it is.
A Warm Romanticism In Coldwave Room
Malaysian post-punk/shoegaze group Soft may have a rather cuddly name, but their music is anything but. With production like a solid brick wall and crunchy guitars, they're a lot closer to noise rock than I was expecting. But they still manage to reign it in enough to be shoegaze. It may be short (and a bit of a stretch for this list), but A Warm Romanticism In Coldwave Room is an absolute delight.
Girl Ghost, First Kiss and Dead Off
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Is that a Japanese girl doing cutesy vocals? I know some of you freaks are really gonna enjoy that fact way too much, but stay with me here. Focus. きどりっこ (Kidorikko) is an art pop/new wave band that seems to put more emphasis on the vocals than any other part of their music. And while that might be enough for some, it makes the album blend together in a very uninteresting way. Just sounds like someone doing karaoke over midi keyboards. Not my thing.
Gotta love it when a band on a relatively-big label gets forgotten to time. I.R.S. may have had the benefit of being an indie label with major label distribution, but a lot of their artists weren't the most successful. Take Humans, for example. They had the mainstream new wave sound down pat, and yet, they ended up cratering after only a few years together. Shame, because this is some decent stuff. Well, as decent as poppy new wave/power pop can be. Midtempo new wave tracks are, as always, a bore. Put yer backs into it, boys. Please.
Get You Tonight
How the hell haven't I given Spray Paint a spot on this list already? This Austin, Texas band has been putting out great albums consistently for the past decade, but still remain underground and unknown. Whether their obscurity is intentional or if you all just have bad taste, I don't know. What I do know is that this album is essential noise punk and you should listen to it.
The Stranded West
On their Bandcamp, Swampland compare themselves to acts like The Gun Club, Bauhaus, Nick Cave, and Dead Moon. Suffice it to say, they're setting themselves up for disappointment with all those comparisons. While The Stranded West isn't bad, it's definitely a far cry from any of those bands. The production is flat, the performances are mediocre, and the vocalist sounds more bored than anything. And the sudden jumps to alt-country just feels jarring. Meh.
|99||The Desperate Bicycles|
Look, I know this album isn't exactly "unknown," but listen, man: were at entry 99 in a 101-entry-long list, so I'm gonna have to ask you to be cool about this, alright? Okay. I had never heard of this band before, but apparently, they're considered to be quite influential to early post-punk. But who cares about influence; the real question is, are they any good? Absolutely. This is some great post-punk/art punk. What a jam.
Acting, Sarcasm, Blasting Radio
This was another tough inclusion, mainly because there's so much going on with Wrecked Angles, that I struggle to "only" call it post-punk. It's more post-hardcore/math rock influenced by indie post-punk. But that influence is definitely present enough for a spot here. Pretty standard noisy math rock stuff otherwise, with some useless filler interludes to pad out the short runtime. Take those out and you've got an album worth checking.
Stridor, Let's Get Forgotten, Badical
HUGZ AND KISSEZ
I ended Unknown Post-Punk #5 with a fun around-the-world segment, which frankly, was a lot more work than I thought it would be. So for the final entry on this list, I decided to take it easy. Bandcamp, "post-punk" tag, new arrivals. My old standby. And this is what I landed on, a fantastic Polish new wave/dance-punk EP and the first release of a new record label (Plusz Tapes). Luck of the draw, baby.
GIMMIE SOME (LOVE), CRUISIN'
|101 is the only number for meeeeee.|
𝐄𝐒𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐈𝐀𝐋! = 4.5 or higher
Dedicated to Papa Universe
|Woooah nice, I'll get to reading these and then pick and choose which to jam|
|first second comment|
|damn it steak|
|appreciate your work on this you wonderful human sandwichbubble papa would be proud|
|There's always next time, man. And thanks.|
@SteakByrnes Hope you like what you pick!
|i’ll be here|
|couldn't've come at a better time. i need some new post-punk in my life.|
which one twangs the best and sounds like the band is wearing suits?
|I dunno about wearing suits, but The Servants jangle pretty good.|
|oh my god, sandwich this is amazing, you are amazing|
i will check some of this asap
rip papa you legend
|@Phero ahhhhhhhhhhh, stop it.|
@evilford only if they want to
|The Servants are great damn. checking rn|
feature deserved. great work, Mrs. Boyle
|Thank you, o' great list-featuring god. My cup runethenin over.|
Hope you dig the album, someone.
|i am verily muchily digging it|
|Hey! 17 IS great! Even though I might agree with your general sentiment and criticisms. It’s the only one I know here so I had to show off my amazing knowledge of the band |
|Also obligatory “sick list bro”|
|It's close to a 3.5 for me, but it just feels overstuffed to me I dunno.|
Their EP is a lot better, but I didn't want to put too many EPs on the list if I didn't have to.
“sick list bro”
|Seen Subdued before, they were indeed sick|
|You can thank Hal1ax for the Rats on Rafts discovery|
|@WeepingBanana They were not subdued at all, I take it?|
@GhandhiLion Just take the credit, he won't know 😏
Indirect thanks to hal1ax then
|this list fucking rules|
|awesome awesome list man. gonna dig thru this for sure|
|not to get too emotional haha but cheers for this dude, it really is a fucking superb list and carries on that papa legacy in the best way possible|
might have to go from 1 to 100 and get that post punk piechart up
|Holy fucking shit|
|Incredible list as always. I wish I had the time/motivation to go through these essentials.|
|i'm thinking about making a post punk binge list and i already know it'll have several volumes to it|
|can i join you on that binge, Bedex?|
|The neverending binge liiiiiist, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhahahahha|
And thanks all.
|wow i have a lot to listen to dont i|
|and i thought i knew the ins and outs of post-punk, i guess not!|
i maintain i do know a loooot about 80s electronic post punk in particular but much less of it outside of that sphere
|@someone absolutely my friend|
but also i need to make the actual list and work isn't let me aaaaa
That makes us polar opposites then, cause I'm not the biggest fan of electronic post-punk usually.
Maybe try 40 and 72. Not 80s, but you might like them more than I did.
@Bedex post-punk is more important than work
|post punk best genre agreed|
|:[ i tri|
|anything in particular i should check out first?|
|Any of the 𝐄𝐒𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐈𝐀𝐋! albums are must-listens.|
But maybe try 71? Joy Division-type stuff.
|thanks dood, got music for days now|
|sand have you heard the names|
|I know you're talking about the band The Names, but at first, that comment read really ominously.|
But yeah, I've heard them. They're good. I really need to check the rest of their stuff.
|whoa, there's a new "the names" release?|
|Damn, I've got like 30 years of catch-up to do with them then.|
A post-punkers work is never done it seems
|Oh pragVEC are great, I keep forgetting to rate them. |
|pragVec's so good I'm risking getting my ratings wiped for 5.0'ing their entire discog.|
It's only 3 albums, but still.
No one tell on me.
|"when you deal with js you gotta stay on POINT"|
Don't know what "js" are, but I'll keep that in mind if I see any. Thank you.
|"it's a pun bro|
i'll explain it for u:
js = junkies
on point = accurate/precise
point (second-meaning) = 0.1g"
Ah, alright got it. I'm learning.
Well, if they're paying good money, I think they deserve to have the correct weight, don't you? I know I wouldn't like if I paid for .1g of something and got .05.
The customer's always right!
|"bro if they got a scale more precise than mine it's curtains for my clientele|
end of the day, i gotta make a profit too
otherwise i'm just risking my life as a freelance middle-man"
Sounds like a conundrum to be sure.
But I guess if you're providing an essential service to them that few others are willing to fill, then you can afford to forgo customer satisfaction.
I'm sure supply is also very difficult to come by as well. Have you discussed this problem with your supplier?
|this list absolutely makes my brain hurt. are you actually a sentient cyber encyclopedia? select every picture with a traffic light or gtfo|
|i choose 53 because "Ecuadorian deathrock" is a term I would have never imagined and the album art looks pretty metal|
|I'll slay any captcha you throw at me, h̶u̶m̶a̶n̶ ̶s̶c̶u̶m̶ fellow human.|
63 is good, definitely check and rate.
|so what here is riffy post-punk|
|68 sounds like a good fit, here's a link:|
|Beautiful list you’ve got here; lots of stuff that sound interesting to check. Making notes......|
Papa would be proud.
|sand can you rec me one hehe|
|The Servants were on point.|
Gimme something gritty and nasty, SandBro.
|@Pheromone 20 might do something for you:|
@someone Try 45.
It's hard to find, so here's a download link:
|Top 5 entires:|
pragVEC - No-Cowboys (art punk/zolo)
Red Herring - Faster Moving Forward (folk punk)
Naked Voices - Demos, June 1979 (punk rock)
Fungus Brains - Ron Pistos Real World (noise rock)
HUGAYZ - HUGZ AND KISSEZ (dance-punk)
|that and Nations Are Insane are now on my radar|
|amazing list will peep a bunch of these|
|Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.|
I'll stop bumping this after today, but hope you all find at least one thing on here to check.
|Don't know why I didn't comment on this. Will check |