Track Of The Day: Berries – ‘Wall Of Noise’

Following last year’s raucous extended play, Live Sessions from Big Smith Studios, Berries have further embraced their influences – pulling from the indie pop melodies of Wolf Alice, the scuzzy distortion of The Breeders, and the raw punk rock power of Sleater-Kinney – releasing the anthemic ‘Wall of Noise‘; a frenetic track that thematically explores the unwanted static that so many of us find interfering with our own thoughts.

These feelings of insecurity and isolation are tackled by the London-based trio – Holly Carter on guitar/lead vocals, Lauren Cooper on bass/backing vocals, and Lucie Hartmann on drums/backing vocals – with lyrical angst and meticulous, yet raw instrumentation; an honest introspection into mental health with propulsive basslines, angular guitar riffs, infectious drum grooves, and a vocal twang. “The wall of noise / Threatens to leak all the things we don’t see / Distorted voice / Blink and it’s gone but for now it lives on.”

In the music video, the band are confronted with repetition – an endless amount of stairs – representing common obstacles that Holly, Lauren, and Lucie approach differently each time, by either “running straight at them, cautiously, following others, courageously or alone”.

Berries promise that their forthcoming debut LP will explore mental health extensively, based on personal experience. If the record is anything like ‘Wall of Noise’, we can expect a confident combination of riff-driven melodies, layered noise-rock and a “fuck you” punk rock attitude.


Recorded and mixed at Big Smith Studio, the debut album from Berries is set to be released this Summer through Xtra Mile Recordings.

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne

ALBUM: The Linda Lindas – ‘Growing Up’

Performing at the Los Angeles Public Library last year, Mila de la Garza, drummer for LA-based Asian/Latinx punks The Linda Lindas, explained that their most aggressive song on the setlist, ‘Racist, Sexist Boy’, was written after a negative classroom experience. “A boy in my class came up to me and said that his dad told him to stay away from Chinese people. After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me.” Changing the polarity in a 1-2-3-4 count, The Linda Lindas slam all racist, sexist jerkfaces hard with crushing riot grrrl rhythm and positive affirmation. “We rebuild what you destroy!”

It was a defining moment for the band that caught the attention of the legendary Epitaph Records. Known for working with punk heavyweights like Bad Religion (featuring guitarist and Epitaph co-founder Brett Gurewitz), Refused and The Offspring, Epitaph seemed like a no brainer to release The Linda Lindas’ debut LP, Growing Up; a collection of effortlessly cool and catchy feel-good punk.

Taking their name from the Japanese film Linda Linda Linda – a coming-of-age comedy featuring a group of teenagers who quickly form a band to cover songs by The Blue Hearts – Mila (current age 11), alongside guitarists Lucia de la Garza (14), Bela Salazar (17), and bassist Eloise Wong (13) formed the punk quartet after joining Kristin Kontrol for a one-off performance at Girlschool (later Gxrlschool) in 2018. As The Linda Lindas, they opened for riot grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill just a year later at the Hollywood Palladium – later covering their song ‘Rebel Girl’ in Amy Poehler’s 2021 feminist flick MOXiE! for Netflix – before self-releasing their self-titled EP in 2020. So far, so DIY, so punk!

Growing Up – produced, engineered and mixed by Mila and Lucia’s father, Carlos de la Garza (ex- Suburban Rhythm, Reel Big Fish drummer) – is not a cliché album title. “We’ll sing to people and show / What it means to be young and growing up,” sings Lucia on the title track, a celebration of friendship and the determination to “make every moment last.” For the ferocious ‘Oh!’, the band tap into the pop sensibilities of The Go-Go’s with an infectious bassline, dynamic rhythm, snarling lead vocals from Bela, and self-reflective lyrics written by Eloise: “Why do I say something / Say anything at all (Oh!) / It seems that when I try / I always take the fall (Oh!) / But when I don’t speak up / There’s nothing but regret (Oh!) / I can’t stop thinking of / What could’ve happened next!”

Wise beyond her age insight from Mila features on the bubblegum flavoured ‘Talking To Myself’ (“We’re all talking to ourselves / About things we cannot help…”) whilst Eloise spits lyrical angst on riot grrrl rager ‘Fine’. (“It’s not fine!”) ‘Nino’ follows as a spiritual successor to ‘Monica’, a track from the band’s self-titled extended play, written about Bela’s cat! Similar to the unconventional lyrics of Shonen Knife, Bela sings “I have a cat / His name’s Nino / He’s a savage cat / Killer of mice and rats” over savage pop-punk riffs before Eloise returns with the heartbreakingly heavy, Jawbreaker-esque ‘Why’. “I just drown out everything / Cause I cannot feel this way.”

Taking inspiration from Latin culture and bossa nova beats, Spanish-language ‘Cuántas Veces’ is for the misfits; a deeply personal song from Bela. “Cuántas veces tengo que decir / Ya estoy harta de sentirme asi.” Whilst ‘Remember’ – an outpouring of frustration – leaves Lucia optimistic that “maybe tomorrow will be bigger, brighter, bolder.” Sharing vocal duties for the deceptively whimsical ‘Magic’, the de la Garza sisters trade verses over shimmering guitar hooks before the band closes their electrifying debut with a cathartic studio recording of their aforementioned anti-hate anthem, ‘Racist, Sexist Boy’.

All killer, no filler, each member of The Linda Lindas has brought their own unique style of songwriting to Growing Up, through self-reflection and social awareness. They are a band growing up both musically and personally – developing their identity and DIY ethos together, one punk song at a time – yet already confidently stage-diving into punk rock history.

Follow The Linda Lindas on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Zac Farro

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne

ALBUM: Scrunchies – ‘Feral Coast’

Through mutual admiration of each other’s bands, a group of Minnesotan punk rockers began jamming together in Minneapolis, forming Scrunchies just over four years ago. As a local supergroup – with Laura Larson playing for Kitten Forever and Baby Guts before that, Danielle Cusack playing for Bruise Violet and previously Tony Peachka, and their stint in Buzzcocks cover band, Buzzcunts – Scrunchies released their debut LP Stunner in 2018; a DIY stunner that captured the spirit of 90’s riot grrrl. Joined by Condominium’s Matt Castore (as bassist and engineer – having previously recorded Scrunchies debut), the trio’s sophomore effort Feral Coast, is arguably more punk-as-fuck; ripping out riffs with cathartic rage!

Opening with ‘The Houseplant’, Castore’s bass groove can barely contain the punk rock energy Scrunchies are about to release, leading to Larson and Cusack’s propulsive rhythm and screaming lyrical angst. ‘Torrini Decorating’ follows with an equally obliterating punk sound, and Scrunchies are only just getting started! ‘No Home Planet’, another whiplash-inducing ripper, tears apart the fabric of the universe with crushing riffs from Larson (“It’s not the end of the world…”) before Cusack’s punishing percussion on ‘Sway’ has this reviewer gathering his friends together for an impromptu moshpit.

Maintaining their intensity, the infectious bassline of ‘New What’ is followed by the fuzz-drenched hooks of ‘Wildlife’; the trio crescendoing into a cataclysm of feedback near the halfway mark. ‘Black Egg’ will offer listeners no respite before the thrashing ‘Absolute Maximum’ shreds sludge with lo-fi, early Seattle grunge-esque riffs, surrealistic stream of consciousness lyrics, and authentic riot grrrl brattiness. “Don’t take offence I’m trying, but I’m barely alive / You wanna stick your hand in, well it’s mine, mine, mine!”

Inspired by the noise rock of Shellac and Sonic Youth, ‘Parallel’ disturbs with jarring harmonies – and a Kim Gordon-esque deadpan vocal delivery in the bridge – layered over scuzzy post-hardcore guitar hooks. And quickly catch your breath during ‘Ditch’ because you will find yourself shouting along with the loud/soft dynamic of ‘Feral Coast’! Encouraging women and queers to embrace the same DIY ethos that empowers Scrunchies, Feral Coast is a raw, spontaneous record that is comfortable with perfect imperfection; delivering chaotically crafted punk ragers that inspire.

Follow Scrunchies on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne

ALBUM: Bodega – ‘Broken Equipment’

Sardonic New York art-punk collective BODEGA have an insatiable appetite for philosophy, and with their latest LP Broken Equipment, they have interrogated their own identities – and the external technological influences that shape the band – with self-aware pretentious wit, techno-scepticism and scathing social commentary. The result is a wordy concept album of sorts set in NYC; a collection of cynical anti-establishment post-punk.

Following the dissolution of their previous band Bodega Bay and BODEGA’s formation in 2016, Ben Hozie and Nikki Belfiglio’s satirical musings – like those pondered on their 2018 debut Endless Scroll and 2019 extended play Shiny New Model – never shy away from self-critique. Opening their sophomore album with a dance-punk ode to identity, Hozie tries desperately to understand himself and the constant challenges NYC flings his way on ‘Thrown’. “My molecules change yet I remain / I weave and unweave my image.”

Atop an infectious twangy bassline courtesy of philosophy professor (and ‘de facto’ leader of BODEGA’s philosophy book club) Adam See, and Tai Lee’s percussive strikes, Hozie sneers at NYC’s culture of never-ending productivity in ‘Doer’, spitting out a Daft Punk-esque mantra that the city is maybe making him “bitter, harder, fatter, stressed out!” BODEGA’s sarcastic humour shines throughout their anthemic Beastie Boys/Run-DMC-style throwback (“Innovation waits for no man / Unless I lose my dongle!”), providing us with a New York slice of relatable satire.

Belfiglio takes on lead vocals for ‘Territorial Call of the Female’, dissecting female competition “because you know when the man is around / that’s when I’m putting you down.” Alternating between snarky and sweet with ease, Belfiglio’s expressionist vocalisation is complimented by Daniel Ryan’s angular new wave lead guitar lines and tone (referred to as the “insectoid” sound). This melodic sensibility continues on ‘NYC (disambiguation)’ with BODEGA taking a softer direction that is often at odds with their lyrical anger and disappointment; an honest look at NYC’s history.

Released in multiple languages prior to the LP’s release, ‘Statuette on the Console’ is another Belfiglio-sung highlight that ponders “anyone who puts their reality on your back and forces you to carry it around,” followed by the hip hop bounce of ‘C.I.R.P.’; Belfiglio and Hozie tag-teaming lyrics and wrestling media elitism whilst See, Lee, and Ryan provide ringside support with pulsating bass grooves, driving beats, and propulsive riffs.

The Cult-like love song ‘Pillar on the Bridge of You’ and The Velvet Underground inspired ‘All Past Lovers’ continue Hozie and Belfiglio’s journey of self-discovery in NYC, tackling relationships new and old, whilst ‘How Can I Help Ya?’, ‘No Blade of Grass’, and ‘Seneca The Stoic’ allow BODEGA to show off their rock and roll chops; Ryan shredding his way through the band’s ceaseless punk energy. But it is Broken Equipment’s closer, ‘After Jane’, that will leave a lasting impression.

Picking up the acoustic guitar, Hozie reflects honestly on his relationship with his mother for the album’s heartfelt final track; an emotionally raw realisation that after her death, her grace and pain now reside within him – “I’m channeling your hurt when I sing my songs” – It’s a sombre ending to an otherwise biting social satire, told through the ethos of punk rock.

BODEGA is a philosophical project and Broken Equipment is their latest thesis; an analysis of the changes occurring around us at an accelerated pace that directly inform our life experiences. Perhaps we’re the broken equipment.

Follow Bodega on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne