Sorry, no interview this month – it just didn’t come together. Perhaps that’s because I’ve spent much of my free time combing the listings over at Discogs.com, particularly as the value of the Euro continues to drop and the complete Hessle Audio and Pan discographies grow closer within my reach. Please instead enjoy this third installment of cheap Discogs finds, all records that are currently available for purchase at $5 or less on the site. In my opinion, these records are far superior to most new ones coming out today at exponentially higher retail prices. Future-bonzers, I may dream, if musical and aesthetic quality have anything to do with it. Dig in!

Coleman Coleman 7″ (Heliotrope, 1994)
’90s emo-core gets a lot of flack these days, with images of young men in baggy pants and bead necklaces, their bellies full with Taco Bell (the only vegan fast food option at the time) as they weep on stage. So many of these bands are ripe for mockery, but there were also some bands whose intensity, violence and emotion have rarely been matched before or after, like Coleman. Their singer would bash her own face in with the microphone (proto-Hoax?), the band would crumple to the floor and the ugliness of their music somehow matched the visual experience – here is a band that wasn’t talking about the suffering of earthworms so much as exuding actual pain. This 7″ is a fantastic, hand-assembled example of how nasty emo-core could be, some sort of amateurish Antioch Arrow / Harry Pussy hybrid with Metal Zone distortion. Great audio samples between tracks too, as was commonplace for their time and scene, which really tie the whole thing together.

Boy Toy Touch My Body 12″ (Kaos Dance, 1989)
Seems like every week there’s a new high-priced reissue of some synth/wave/dance obscurity (now considered seminal by the label reissuing it, of course), and while many of those are nice, you’d need a second job to keep up. Thank God you can buy this Boy Toy 12″ for $2.62 and obtain its menacing Belgian nu-beat sound without any fuss, in that case! This track (the 12″, 7″ and “maxi CD” versions feature both vocal and instrumental versions) has enough sleaze to satisfy a Lords Of Acid acolyte and a relentless squelching loop that would make Helena Hauff blush. Plus, the singer’s name is listed as “Jade 4U”, which predates spam-bot email names by at least a few years. All yours for the cost of coffee and a donut!

Deathrage / The Burnt Split 6″ (Headache, 1993)
The Headache label has released dozens of classic street-punk records through its tenure, but none are quite as twisted, stupid and genius as this one. Deathrage (who I don’t believe have released any other music before or after) are like the logical heirs to Cyanamid’s throne, offering a chilling first-person account of, as the song says, murdering the Brady Bunch. It’s the best song Drunks With Guns never wrote, and would be my first choice were there ever to be a proper “Obscure ’90s Noise Punk” compilation. You can just tell someone is shoving a screwdriver into a crusty old Fender as each family member is murdered, and while each death is creative, the bowling-ball-related one is particularly great (I won’t spoil it for you). The Burnt, on the other hand, quickly shoot through a punked-up cover of The Flintstones‘ theme song. All this on a red vinyl 6″ (yes, 6″) record. Perfection.

Schlammpeitziger Augenwischwaldmoppgeflöte LP (A-Musik, 1999)
I initially stumbled upon this record at a second-hand record shop, liked the looks of those giant song titles (and the fact that it was super cheap), and took it home with me, hopes not particularly high. Well, I still have no real idea what the story behind Schlammpeitziger is, except that one of the Mouse On Mars guys helped mix it, and that it’s basically the perfect mixture of fuzzy electronica, DIY synth experimentation and rigid Kraftwerkian electro-motorik. It’s the sort of sound that could only really come from the late ’90s – you can tell Schlammpeitziger were listening to plenty of Aphex Twin and Oval, but filtered that through the Kompakt empire and the looming shadow of Michael Rother. It’s a fantastic album for dinner preparation, magazine reading or just staring out the window on a long car ride, and if you enjoy it, nine other Schlammpeitziger albums can be obtained for just as cheaply.

Active Minds Capitalism Is A Disease, And Money An Addictive Drug… 7″ (Loony Tunes, 1991)
I’m just gonna come out and say it – this might be the most fucked-up “punk” 7″ I’ve ever heard. Active Minds are a fairly boring political crust-punk band, their name littered across so many compilations and patch-covered jackets, but this 7″… words can barely describe. It really comes down to the first track, “Take A Straight Look At A Crooked World”, which is equal parts Legend Of Zelda castle-music and drum-machine d-beat (which sounds like synthetic guitar and a popcorn popper). There’s a video for the track on the accompanying Discogs page, so just go listen. I’ve spent hours air-guitaring and dancing to this song with friends, and my life is significantly richer for having heard it. Oh, and it’s nearly six minutes long, and there are still two other tracks on the a-side, and six other tracks on the b-side! Ironically, the cover art has a big “Pay No More than ¬£1.20” scrawled on it, and as multiple copies are for sale at a dollar (both online and in used record shops the world over), it might be the least-necessary price restriction ever to appear on a punk record.