Infernal Cakewalk - Mesa Cosa (Off The Hip)

infernal-cakewalkAlthough the singer in the more famous band's favourite tipple doesn't extend much further than a glass of fine wine these days, there's something irresistible about the line describing Melbourne six-piece Mesa Cosa as "the Stooges walking into a tequila bar". Revelling in a critic's assessment that you're very good at losing your shit, sonically speaking, is one thing but on "Infernal Cakewalk" Mesa Cosa do a good job of proving the tag right.

Apa State Mental - Apa State Mental (The Mighty Kong)

apastatementalGothenburg isn't snowed-in for 11 months of the year but I have it on good authority that it gets pretty grey and grim for long chunks of time. It's a nice place but it's no Costa Rica, meteorologically speaking. Plus, beer is expensive. So what can a poor boy do but play in a (punk) rock and roll band? Apa State Mental obviously subscribe to that view - and play their music with enough energy to melt a medium-sized glacier.

The Reunited Heavy Metal States of Apa State Mental - Apa State Mental (The Almighty Kong)

apastatemental2The genius of this Malmo, Sweden, band is in their artfully sly dumbness. They might want you to think they have the collective I.Q. of a Miss Universe entrant dealing with 'open other end' on both extremities of a bottle, but their brief and weirdly bent tunes (average duration: under two minutes) hide knowing smiles that only strong anti-depressants and regular cognitive therapy from highly-trained medical professionals can bring.

Apa Valley - Apa State Mental (The Almighty Kong)

apa-valleyLet's be blunt: The problem with being simplistic and sticking to a formula is that you can disappear up your own arse after a while. Sweden's Apa State Mental know this only too well and deftly manage to sidestep that problem by never sitting still and, er, probing new areas.

Comedown - Telstar Sound Drone (Bad Afro)

telstar-comedownMembers of sublime Danish '60s throwbacks Baby Woodrose make up two-thirds of Telstar Sound Drone, but that's where the resemblance ends. Recorded in a WWII bomb shelter, it mimics the sound of a psychedelic lava flow with each of its seven tracks seamlessly flowing into the next.