An overload of punk, rock, jazz and Noel Gallagher Live!

GOO, In Goo We Trust

Goo should be trusted to go forth raucously along punk rock’s well-trodden path. What the band adds to the noise firstly is twisting the dialectic towards rock and roll and secondly, lyrics that have more to do with falling in love rather than get-the-fu*k-out-of-my-face tantrum. Okay, opening track, “Itchy Bitch” finds Goo go totally ape-shit hardcore so the object of desire can taste a serving of his negativity. Second track, “Never About Me,” decelerates though to old-school punk to pitch “forever is gone without you” then on to good time rock and roll rather than destroy-all-monsters punk rock in “Thing of the Past,” “Worthwhile” and “Little You.” With Goo, punk-fueled love songs manage to tug at the heart without going emo on you!

CONCRETE RATS, Lotus Flower

Hot trumpets which at times tussle with lounge-y piano runs and steady drum beats form the bread and butter of this all-instrumental jazzy package. “In Deep State Boogie,” the combo even summons a kind of kundiman ambience while in “Tungsten Part I,” the hiphop backbeat pushes the lounge feel towards melodic soft-rock. “Holy Ghost” provides ample room for the trumpet to roam circling from scorching to warm to tender and back again without losing its emotive appeal. Given the current state of Pinoy jazz, the Concrete Rats could be chipping away at the border of progressive new music.

YARD ACT, The Overload

The titular track on UK foursome Yard Act’s debut opens with crunching metal that de-escalates to a pop tune midway to conclusion. Lead vocalist James wraps up the proceedings with broad observations on the restlessness of the young and gifted in present-day England. Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” is a ghostly presence in “Tall Poppies,’” a tale of an average life in post-pandemic times even as a bit of Franz Ferdinand sends “The Incident” on an interesting spin about the digital age that’s upon us now. It’s the effortlessly catchy tunes that make the songs go down easily despite the verbose discourses on the end of man (“Pour Another”), big trouble in the digital frontier (“The Incident”) and war and peace in “Land of the Blind.” Think of Yard Act as a more ambitious Seaford Mods and you’re halfway ready to enjoy Yard Act’s surfeit of peculiar delights.

JUST MUSTARD, Heart Under

Calling a band Just Mustard seems offhand but the freshman Irish band who goes by that name sure knows their way around in producing experimental music that matters. Their main deal is overpowering sounds that name-checks shoegaze, industrial and Goth to evoke feelings of “being underwater and under something very heavy” as Just Mustard vocalist Katie Ball told a music journalist. It’s Miss Ball’s ethereal voice that’s the central focus throughout as her bandmates musically conjure sadness at dawn (“Early”), madness on a rainy morning (“Sore”), unexplained sense of loss and menace (“Mirrors”) and futile attempts to fit in (“I Am You”).  Overall, the music can be precious, pretentious even, but there’s no denying it’s dizzyingly absorbing track after track.

BINKER & MOSES, Feeding the Machine

Binker Golding and Moses Boyd are a saxophone and drums duo who’s one of the various drivers today of London’s lively jazz scene. Artful, invigorating perseverance is at the core of their continuing exploration of the edges of free jazz. But don’t get the quasi-intellectual underpinnings of the term to taunt you. It’s simply guitar-less, bass-less poking into the outer reaches of progressive rock, what with the sax leading the charge supported by drums that sometimes explode into a Keith Moon kind of rage. Most tracks actually start quietly arguably to draw in all comers to Binker & Moses’s soft-strident-loudest-soft cycle of commanding artistry before the dam-bursting cacophony erupts. Best of the best: “Asynchronous Intervals,”  “Feed Infinite” and “Because Because.”

NOEL GALLAGHER, The Dreams We Have As Children (2022)

A reissue of Noel Gallagher’s first live concert after leaving Oasis, this compiles his performances at the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Charity Trust in 2009. Thirteen years hence and several shows later with his post-Oasis band, High Flying Birds, the selected tracks can’t help but confirm that Noel Gallagher is a premier talent, an excellent singer-songwriter with or without sparring partner Liam G. But don’t go sniveling that he’s the millionth sixth Beatles wannabe because the remakes of Oasis classics on this collection can stand on their own terms minus the nostalgia. Even the rendition of Beatles immortals bear the marks of well, Oasis-like thereby Gallagher bros-like brashness.