FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

PAUL CARBUNCLE - MONK FISH MIX-UP AT THE FARMER'S MARKET

Some folks are keen, some are just enthusiastic, and some are utterly cracked.   Combine the 3 and you can end up with a one man lunatic making a 20 track album and then asking poor old me to review it.  Paul Carbuncle has always been deemed a fine fellow, a good musician and a caring gent, by posting this hefty release my way I am now adding the description of 'rotten git' to his assessing files.  As one would expect, when offered the chance to review I said 'yes', I am adding 'daft twat' to my own personal descriptive CV.

'The Fisherman's Son To The Ice Is Gone' is a ditty with moribund overtones and somewhat oceanic wilderness weavings.  The first tentative string plucks are soon forgotten as a 'Leone-esque' lilt is soon captured.  A man doing his bit, earning an honest crust and yet, is it as honest as it seems.  I think not and as visions arise of man clubbing seals the song abruptly ends.  I am left pleased but unsatisfied, is this a deliberate ploy on the part of the twanger.

'Our Lousy Hops' is born from a Children of the Corn nightmare where the harvest is not satisfactory and there seems to be a grudge building.  Mr Carbuncle abandons the wire weapon here and goes it alone, the job he does is ruddy exemplary and indicates a man who has grown in confidence and stature.  For me this an 'in the field' sing-a-long where toiling brethren can ease the labour with minds distracted by a fine tuneful tale - I want to see this one 'live' - Mr Carbuncle you are due a return visit to a Fungal stage.

Third up and 'Blues Run The Game' is a lovely tickle that sees a runner perpetually chased, a man who can't escape the nagging dreary dog feeling.  The underscore of fluttering strings works well alongside our frontman's somewhat sobered vocal style.   The collision of these somewhat inoffensive methods is easy on the lug and the short running time makes something appealing for this punkily impatient pig.  'Gypsy Davy' is a cheeky imp that narrates, hop-frogs and has a glint in the keen-polished orb.  A lady has done a bunk, a tinker is set to do some tinkering, ooh watch that todge young man.   The squire denied wants what's his, the story unfolds, heads seem to be made up and the lass in love is back to earth in a very hearty tune.  There is a good bounce here, I am prone to having a jig.

'Deport First And Hear Appeals Later' is a sweet song filled laden with clashing sourness with the pertinent theme of immigration put under the harsh spotlight and shown up for the cruel unthinking system that it is.  The fuckers shuffling paper and making life-damning decisions are detached and clueless, swimming in a social sewer laden with real shits.  The stark stated words of the erudite thinker hit home and get one reevaluating one's own outlook.  It is always a good thing to do and this for me is the most ideal nudge possible.  The best offering so far? I think so!

A clutch of 3, 'My Darling One Or Hard Rain' is morose effort, it stays in the shadows, searches with endeavor and always seems unfulfilled.  The flicker of the wires and the softly sung placements are poetical, borne from the wilderness and every bit as heartwarming as that which has gone before.  The rustic and insightful observational route taken is done by a solo serenader who has certainly vested his time in his art and come out smelling of well-twanged roses (whatever they are).  There is something cultured transpiring here, I cannot fault it.  'The Final Curtain Call' is an escalating number with an inner anguish, a regret and a growing self of musical belief.  The song has a certain suggestion of something sub-synthed, the slight change in attacking accent is a pleasure and I find this one just gets more convincing with each rotation.  'The Old Cries Of Nottingham' is a street crying inclusion done with just stark-naked gobbery and a blend of statements of yore and encouraging unified encouragements.   It is straight from a cobble-stoned pathway and certainly has its place on this historically soaked CD.  Tis marvelous what one can do with just good will and a deep knowledge of the subject.

The next brace comes, 'Loco Fireman' is a sincere fave of mine with the pistons building up speed, the fires well stoked and the tracks keenly rattled.  The man in charge of the flame usually stands in the shadow of the driver but here is given a full shout out and praised for keeping the wheels turning and being the one to work away and get no credit (a common theme in life).  The showpiece at the front has the easier job and takes all the plaudits, I always knew Casey Jones was a wanker.  I like this stand-up moment for the real shovelers and doofers, tis where my heart is at and the bonus is - this is a great song.  'Fearful Song' follows, an emotional contribution that keeps it bare, from the ticker and very honest.  This is one for the fireside, a verbal spillage ideal for a small gathering in a cosy mood with a reflective leaning and in need of a gentle sing-a-long.  It is a sweetly delivered song but drags on a little too long for me and is a trifle too wallowing - hey ho, I can't like everything.

'Rise Up' leads the next trio and has good gumption, bounds along with political activity whilst calling for a backing for the Catalan folk who are stomped down and kept under shackles.   The song is a protest, a chant, a catchy number ideal for those switched on to oppression and fed up with the powers that be - a decent do this and one to pick up, play, ponder and throw away - this is a good thing.  'Walked In The Middle' is a tickling weave that points a finger at those taking the easy route.  Tis no place to roam as there are many shifty characters there thinking about self rather than others, protecting what is best for them rather than what is best for the whole.  This thoroughfare is also very crowded with more jumping in line each and every day - take my advice, enjoy this pick-me-up song, take the vibes and intent properly and avoid joining the masses with their heads screwed on backwards.  A fine tune this and followed by the possible zenith known as 'Witch Hunt'.  This latter song of the latest three-piece has subtle undulations, a gentle warning, a controlled emotive accent that perfectly suits the drift of the construction.  The strings are touched with sensitive hands, the vocal chords are called upon with sincere forethought and the output, as a matter of course, is perfectly balanced.  There are many things to question in this life, many things to be troubled by, sometimes it isn’t all about kicking and screaming.

'Shellshock' is a touching snippet that deals with a cerebral condition borne from the horrors of war.  There may be no physical scars, there may be no broken bones but there are injuries that run far more deeply and cause a pain that is almost indescribable.  The sufferers are left to deal with their affliction as the world turns onwards and people forget, act like arseholes and don't give a fuck - how frightening and disappointing this must be.  Mr Carbuncle tackles the subject matter with yet more insightful care and skill, this is a testament to a man who knows his stuff.

'Duty Of Care' is a creeping pseudo-jazzy hinting blighter that gets irritated, worked up, annoyed and yet stays in control.  The slave drivers get you called up, pass off false praise and yet don't give a fuck.  The systematic shebang is built on fraudulent empathy, the rise up to the finale of this song comes too late and I feel more pure anger should have been used and brandished throughout - this is not my fave but I like the sentiment.  'My Father Had An Acre Of Land' is almost shanty-esque with a rhythmic sing-a-long neatly delivered.  The tale of a man with some soil to tend to is trickled out through trembled tonsils and all done with a very archaic feel.  There is a complete 'back-to-earth' feel running deep here, a muck-stained effort paying homage to toil, reality and the simple things in life that matter - it goes without saying that with these ingredients I am a fan.

4 to go, here is the bunch as this Fungal git sees them.

'Pete Morton's Attitude' seems to pose a cerebral problem for the fiddling man here and after a cranky wanky jerk quirk start we see a viewpoint unfold that some, I am sure will find disagreeable.  I am a mere spiked git and am clueless as to who the fuck Pete Morton is but after research find out he is a British-born folk singer - thrilling I must say!  Here we have a jangle that exposes a real deep-rooted niggle especially via the chorus - it seems I need to do some investigating.  'Think About Things' has a good rhythm, semi-bounces along and has a certain clarity that has been a hallmark of this CD.  Even though I am a trifled 'folked out' by this stage I am nodding along to this one and liking the pluckery and cultured moves from tones deep, tones light and somewhere in between.

'The Poor Man Pays For All' starts with a Euro-texturisation that somehow reminds me of sub-Hippy theme tunes for 70's kids TV.  The drift alters, what we get is a tale for the hearts of the ragged trousered philanthropists and his comrades who are thinking and trying.  The bassy quiverings escort the serious delivery with the chorus an oddment to keep one unsure and interested.  There is a lot being said here and more going on than imagined.  The after effect leaves an echo within the cranium, I think this is a meritorious aspect and has me raising the thumbs.

The finale, a cute tickle known as 'Three Drunken Huntsmen' - a ditty done with a Lear-esque nonsensical slant that really works and shows a creative mind happy to go off the wall.  Tis gratifying the hunting trio can find fuck-all to butcher, tis equally pleasing that the song stays chipper and ends the CD on a somewhat positive note filled with a certain ludicrousness.

By heck man I have done it.  It has taken time and I refused to be rushed.  I hope I have grasped the essences emanated from a one-man creator of lofty standards.  I am hoping that the pandemic pisses off and I can get booking gigs again very soon, Mr Carbuncle get yerself ready!

 

THE HECK - HATE IT HERE/I LIKE IT HERE

A double A-side single to review, what The Heck!  The band play it rough, play it melodic, play it with passion and with several recognisable influences in the mix, an obvious 60's feel and 3 pluckers adept at their art then what is not to like?  Well, there is only one way to find out!

A filthy grumble begins 'I Hate It Here' with a brief pause taken before the soul is bared and the true inner feelings are released (in no uncertain terms).  The chopping dirtiness of the guitars, the clobbering hectic approach of the slap-happy drums and the wild Neanderthal screaming of the wound-up frontman all make for a mix that will cause indigestion for some but great contentment for others.  This is caveman cacophoneering, clouted out with an aim to get the job done in double quick time and leave an impacting impression - I think the band do just that and have me very much invigorated.

A flick of the playing switch, a realignment of the senses and onto the next track.

'I Like It Here' is a 30 second expression of gleeful joy that sees players in a noisy situation and just loving it.  The sound is jarring but in a pleasant and appealing way, the emotive uplift is adequate and things are kept as simple and basic as possible.  It is a decent do and a let-down in one compact offering - my gripe being, it should have been a full 2-minute pop-song.

The Heck come, fuck off and do so in the thrutching of a well-vibrated anus.  I like what I hear and am left wanting more - let us see what comes next, I really can't add much more. 

 

 

CHAIN OF DISSENT/VITRIOLIC RESPONSE - SPLIT ALBUM

A double header CD with 2 bands throwing forth a barrage of toxicity via heavy hardcore hammering and relentless passion.  As per, these slabs of hurtful music are not for everyone and some folks prefer things more melodic and gentle - if that is the case you may want to stop reading now.  If, on the other trembling hand, you like things power laden, unforgiving and aurally damaging it may be just worthwhile investing some time in the following textual spillage.  2 bands come, mix it up and leave me...well that would be telling.

Chain of Dissent come from the West Midlands and claim to play a blend of hardcore/punk and metal - tis seemingly as simple as that but...the band are so much more than a few labels.  'Hidden Agenda' is their first attempt at activating my sensors and getting me to press keys in a most positive manner.    This opening blast steams in, takes a short pause, gathers up its privates and then fucks like a rabid dog with testosterone problems.  The tumbling attack is played with a tight-fisted sonic inflexibility and so makes for a compressed tear-up that is absolutely watertight.  The vocals are bloodied and raw, they are made for the task and with an all-action musical escort I find myself convinced of from the off.   'Truth Untold' wastes no time in doubling up the decimation with another hard, unapologetic delivery designed to disable.   A fast traveling express train hollering with frightening effect and racing the rhythms with talent beyond doubt.  The 100mph approach is spot on, not one note is dropped, not one duff moment encountered.   The disgust with suffering is convincing, the complete abandonment of restraint burns like an out of control solar flare and as I get closer to the output I feel my senses melt and my resistance give way.  This is the best of the opening brace - for sure!

Twisting spite, the torture garden blossoms and brings forth the toxic inflorescence known as 'Domestic Terror'.  This is a heavy headed showing of grim tones and 'as-it-is' reality'.  The pollen emanated is cloying and sickly, destined to send one reeling with a certain reluctance to re-approach.  In the grounds of this collection though, alternative essences are needed. This may not be my favourite but it is laden with its own character and certainly exudes a presence.  'Society Death Camp' belts along, entangles, binds and billows with a 'fuck you' insistence that shows barbs, tears resistance and eventually impresses.  For me the grind-out period of the song is best, a real trudge-sludge through cranial compost heaps that really do radiate a stink.  A very 'in-scene' song for the connoisseur of this brutal noise.  These demons of din are casting huge spells here and dragging many listeners kicking and screaming to acoustic Hell - I think some folk deserve nothing less.

'Mythomania' takes no shit, slaps in, slams along and produces the best song so far.  A sprinting hurtle is beautifully delivered with all systems go and all systems attacked.  The counter reaction comes with a more stated, heavily riffed shout and squeeze that pounds, asphyxiates and leaves one for dead.  An astounding assault of pulverization with the band exhibiting a profound understanding of their noise-making and vomiting forth with great abandon - a stunner.  I crack on, 'Sanitise' grumbles in, a holler enthuses, what we get is a constipated collisions and griping earthquakes that sees a kick-back against a mass dilution and a cleansing procedure that many seem happy to accept.  The world turns, the decline always seems to be downward.  This is a nasty song and one that needs some time to stomach, it breaks up the mad mayhem and general steaming accelerations - it has its place.

'Parasitic Demise' is more like it, wheels turning in a blur, throat shredding, drum membranes clattered to fuck and strings bent with flashing impetuosity and natural application.  There is little to add than what has not been said about similar thrashings.  Here though the running time is swift and so the impact is more acute and yet fleeting, this is no bad thing, it has one reaching for the ever reliable 'replay' button.  

'Run For Your Life', 'Life's Disgrace' and 'On The Fence' continue the theme and bring the bans’s contributions to a close with the first of the three a real screwed up and snarling monster that punctures, molests and heavily thumps in startling spurts.  The course taken is fast and true, watertight is the word to use.  The middle number feedbacks, tympanically tiptoes on big grungy feet that flatten all in their way.  The movement ups the ante, there is nothing new to report, I am not finding this a bad thing - the band still enthrall.   The last of the trio and the final fling from the band on this CD is slightly longer than need be and not the crew’s best cut but, it still slams home and does so without remorse or any notable leakages.  I am not keen on this final fling but am glad I have stayed the course- Chain of Dissent are a fuckin' good band.


Vitriolic Response take to the stage next and rotate in with the car-crushing strength of 'Blind Faith'.  This opening number pronounces its intention on big bold slabs of teasing tonality with a twisted texture counterbalanced by deliberate slabs and then seen off with the first real squeeze of the musical muscles.  The head goes down, the band pummel away whilst leaving a blur of dark after-shadows in their wake.  In the midst of the hammering a twilight moment of respite is given, in almost mocking jest.  The song sets the stage, there is a great notable rage, I turn the sonic page!

'Demons' exercises the sonic sinews, exorcises the melodic phantoms and makes no apology for the way it attacks, pervades and wallows in a sable pit of absorbing music many have failed to escape from.  The hardcorian nutcases sentence to a life of heavy noise making and damaging their own and others sense of hearing are here exposed as perverts of their art whilst being utterly at one with the output.  This is a quick shit-fling that may leave you distressed, disorientated or desirous of more - it is a decent chunk of dinnage.


The third track from the VR vandals and 'Dividing Line' is a clattering, battering grind out that has good impetus and encouraging back-hollers.  The flame under the simmering stew of sound is kept regular and radiates a thermality that will duly scorch if one gets too close.  The structure of the song is solid, the energy strong and the midway switch-out is well orchestrated and considered.  The crew are combining many elements here with both subtlety and naturalness - I like it!

Down the final stretch with 3 tracks left.  'Make It Stop' soars, stops, repeats and opens up the musical Heavens with a sonic fracture that gives vent to a foul black rain.  The rhythmic needles fall in sludgy style with invasive wind whips needed so as to keep the song from becoming too grunged and grinding.  A 50/50 number this one for me but still played with good strength and attention to detail.  A number methinks for the real hardcore lunatics although I do like the rapid blade-running terror.  'No Way Out' is a kicking and screaming runt, enclosed in a womb of membranous stubbornness borne from copulating cacophoneers that are a truly lost cause.  The hefty grit of the song, the uncompromising meat cleaver cutting and the dark twisted metallic essences all catch the lug and throw one completely off balance.  There is a great emphatic strain going on here that sees blooded vessels implode and eyeballs pop – nasty.

We fuck off with the tumbled 'This Fucking City'.  The sequence of rolling thunder that opens matters sets the stage for a grueling fest of last-minute battering with the roar desperate and needful.  The slamming discord of the first verse is intense and colliding, a veritable blitzkrieg done in hammer and tong style with focus at level 100%.  The ease off is noted, the final workdown to the pleading confession is neatly done before one last clobbering is cultivated - solid man, solid.

And there you have it - two bands complementing and in combat with their weaponry and doing what they love in fuckin' grand style.  I am not an hardcore nut but I listen to my share and enjoy it - this is a strong 'alive and kicking' CD with some longevity - just don't overdo it or, if you do, have a spare pair of duds ready.

   

THE INKLINGS - BRICOLAGE

Some people are destined always to be busy and creative and the guys involved with The Inklings strike me as just such souls.  This is the third offering I have been asked to tackle over a fairly short period of time.  Here I have 12 tracks to cast my aural orifices by with some cute extra touches thrown in by the three-piece, ideal for those listening carefully enough and guilty of being long-term wallowers in the DIY pit.  As per, I scratch and sniff with concentrated patience, here is another bout of textual dissection.

'Minefield' sidles in, stops and then slowly steps forth on a determined string strum.   The opening verse is minimal, as per, pseudo-whispered and thus contrasting nicely with the more authoritative chorus that has certain cathedral essences and a more flowing accent.  The song is a good foundation on which to build and reflects the elusive flavour of the band that slips through the fingers when one considers making generic comparisons.  The music at times is perhaps a little overly exact, the delivery maybe a touch too rigid but the overall composite is decent enough - I am expecting more though as I delve deeper.

'Too Vain To Die' waltzes in on keyed jaunts before sedated words come and a slight uplift via a smoothly delivered chorus.  A self-obsessed goon is highlighted, the tale indicates one of an increasing army of egocentric folk incapable of looking beyond their own immediate zone and their flimsy looks.  Within the mix of this song develops a panging tragedy that leaves me somewhat lacking empathy - tis a strange feeling and maybe reflects the fact that I am not keen on this one.

'City Of Grey' has more emotive content and more rippling sensations with the drift utterly fluent and blended with a distinct care.  The band ponder, probe and place questions before the lugs.  Again all is done with a politeness and a tidy strength that slowly squeezes forth a response rather than kicks one out.  We are taken on a flowing glide over a city tired, tonally drained and going through the regulated loops - we are left feeling somewhat deflated.  The song for me examines for too long and with such dreary content one comes out the back end relieved - a shame as the musical input deserves a more positive full stop.  'It's A Long Road' is enthused from the off, gees up and scuttles on a confident motif.  The arrangement is perhaps too similar to much of what the band does but intrigue comes and options appear in plentiful supply when the keyed invasion arises and gives the song new life, new energy, new hope.  Despite initial reservations I am slowly won round and warm to this latest contribution.  Something pseudo-jazzy is hinted at, something almost ad-hoc and improvised and thus the offering gets its own badge of individuality and offers a new flavour - there is never anything wrong with that.

The next trio are the bands best hat-trick to date with 'Dirty Town' atmospheric and grooving.  The bass line is clean and neatly animated, the verse sharply cut and kept simple with a rising key echo harking back to things borne in the early 80's.  A pseudo chorus comes, Strangler-ised key flutterings enhance all, takes one back and yet keeps one in the future whilst all the while a consistent ambience is maintained.  A very neat track blending many facets - I am all agog.  From here we go to the needful beauty of 'Good Day', a song that shows a soul that has been through the grinder and now just wants a 24 respite.  The desire, the underlay of pleading and the caressing comfort all stoke the fires of interest and have me peeling away the layers and examining the inner machinations.  Nothing overly complex is had, just attention to detail blatant and a suggestion of going with what feels right - and why not?  'Flags Are Flying' creeps on the toe tips, parts the theatrical curtains and performs a play that is both cold and warm, near and far, bold and shy - it is a mix to mull over and think about via several listens.  I see desolation, I witness a firm standing and I see great change coming due to desperation and an unstoppable tide.  An interval comes on circus keys, I find myself involved but having no answers when the final wind out comes, this entirely my fault and not that of the song.

'Crazy Lady' is a disjointed arthritic staggerer that I just can't seem to fully embrace.  It feels like a mistimed multi-muddled piece that doesn't recognise what it wants to be and so pounds away with a somewhat irregular abandon that leaves me out of sync.  I indulge time, watch the clock move and then operate a repeat basis that I hope will help me get in tune with the cobble-nobble noise - no such ruddy luck.  'Break Down' does more for me with a pronounced synthoid certainty that has a real regularised rhythm and a somewhat old-school feel that was borne from CD's with intriguing flipsides.  This is a smart song, it has its own quirkiness that is non-too obvious – it is a nice angle to throw in.

'Two Storms Collide' has a 'Jam'my opening essence before becoming more orchestrated and open-aired.  The inner sinews of the composite are flexed in various fashion with the tonal shadings coming in heavy greys and emboldening blacks with an underlying threat seemingly had.  The bass line weaves and makes its presence felt, the vocal chords are put under a greater pressure and as a result, things take on a new style of success.  This is an interesting number that embraces, hugs and then slowly throttles - albeit in the bands usual composed manner.

The last two, 'Finest Face' is like an old school anthem that sticks in the noggin long after the song has been designated to file 'listened'.  The let down, the nastiness, the call to rise up and defy an underhand trick are all pertinent in the modern age.  Despite the content the band stay cool, in check and avoid getting overly emotional.  This to some may be a mistake, to others it may not be - I think this needs further consideration.  We end matters with the capable 'The Sun And The Sea'.  This latter end song is a trifle 'dirge-esque', lacks any real punch on which to punctuate the CD, and for me at least, is a bit to laboured to fill me with any zeal and is outweighed by far better numbers on the disc (in my personal opinion).  Tis a shame that we should end on a note not to my liking but this should not detract from a CD well done.

Again I have tackled an Inklings effort and again I am, in the main, pleased with the output.  I think certain formulas now though have reached their sell-by date and the band need to explore new avenues and new tempos.  There is great capability here and that is the reason why, as a reviewer, I gotta squeeze - once again, it is a challenge set.

   

QUIET MARAUDER - TINY MEN PARTS

On the Bubblewrap Collective label we are presented with a band known as Quiet Marauder, a curious set-up who have some dubious influences that set my nerves all a-jangle.  The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Syd Barrett, Half Man Half Biscuit, Jeffrey Lewis and The Fugs - by heck, I reckon there is going to be some tonal tomfoolery going on here - I hope so. As a long term DIY punk bastard I am always grateful to dip my toes in various tonal abysses - one day I may get my digits bitten, so far I am still striding along and still doing my bit - here, is more of the same!

Tonal assessing trunks adorned I jump into the whimsical pool of sound, splash around, dive deep and surface with the songs in various order (sometimes things happen this way).  'Eggs' is the first offering I come across and end up baffled, befuddled and brightened.  A lunatic homage to the ova, a serenade that claims that the shelled packet of chemicals came first and everything else is mere happenstance.  Corned clichés are used and verbal madness overflows whilst all the while the jizz-jazz music is perfectly blended and delivered with ear-snagging goodness.  Not bad!

I plunge once more, cough, splutter and grab - by heck it seems 'I Want A Moustache, Dammit'.  This second chosen waltz is a crack-pot beauty.  From the first listen the sing-a-long intent captures and never let’s go.  The chorus is deliciously simple, rinsed through, re-soaked in soapy bubble goodness and has a squeaky innocence to die for.  The stated cum sung verses are great partners in lunatic lilting crime and the desire to bear facial hair is utterly uncomplicated fodder for those needing something frivolous.  I am hoping this Christmas I pull a cracker and a plastic 'tash' is mine - ooh me hooter!

'The Business Deal' is the listed opening track (alas not so here).  It tumbles and pseudo-twinges in, has a lovely opening quirkiness having me reaching out for comparisons to some throw-back new wave US jerk off.  The he and she take turns to prepare and produce, all gelled up and slick dicked no less (even the lady it seems, nasty).  The clarity, ambiguity and the general unorthodox story-telling style is blended into a melodic mincer and comes out awash with a jollity, uncertainty and may it be said, good entertainment value. I feel my grip on reality and sense slipping - yippee.

A familiar rumble comes and then some great oral encouragement, I feel something good 'cumming' on.  'Lucky Tonight' plays the odds, weighs up the situation and feels dipped in fortune.  The roulette wheel of life is turning, the ball-bearing of fate has been tossed, the blur of opportunities comes and we pay heed with great focus.  The promise is plastered all over the walls of persuasion, the emotion of 'feel-good' is nailed, I feel all excited at the outcome.  I spin over, the brass in the ass penetrates deep, the nerve jangle of the guitars is wonderful, the mystery mistings enshrouding the utterances is spot on - I like it, I refuse to cash in my chips and play all over again.

As 'random mode' continues to dictate I unexpectedly fall into the warped realms of 'The Internal Monologue Date' - oh what a mistake this is.  A horrible dreamy hippy-wank bout of minstrelisation with the heads very much in the pink fluffy clouds.   The opening lullaby 'ba-dums' are taken over by a sinister country-esque pseudo Bible-belt grooming - one can almost smell the cheese in the grin.  A sexual angle invades, a let-down comes in many forms - I also dash for the door - I am sorry, I don't like this one at all, I feel all molested - ooh err!

Next and 'It Wasn't Me, It Was The Moon', is a cool simmer floating on crepuscular shadings with the slant on something cool, slightly off kilter and tangibly unorthodox.  The whole escapade is not fully captured in one quick listen and needs considered time and numerous revolutions.  There is the usual quirkiness, the high quality of musical application and some real smooth swings that pick one up and get one right into the groove.  I play over and over and am still convinced I am missing something, an ingredient that remains elusive - is this a bad thing?

'Roda And The Bunker' swans along on the crest of a bubblebath wave with the suds and foam reeking of sugarplum strawberries and all things sweet and chilling.  The cranky angles come, borne from asylums where inmates are far from dangerous but unsettling all the same.  The tickle doth trickle along with a certain oddness, I would expect nowt else at this stage.  There is an underlying lullaby feel, is this charming or grooming I hear you ask - either way, I feel myself becoming a willing victim.

2 left 'The Animals Are Spying On Me' is nonsensical noodle-ism and opens with an idiot drawl before a lovely comic-book cum cartoonish melody comes with yet more off-kilter verbology thrown in.  A paranoia invades, accentuates the breakdown being had and then we sign off in the same 'dribbling' manner - an odd one this, I feel unbalanced and may need to resort to hallucinogenics to fully grasp the gist - it wouldn't be the first time.  The closure comes via 'I Want A Moustache, Dammit II (Dance Remix), a mimic of the earlier song with extra fruitiness and still paying homage to that ultimate corned wanker Burt Reynolds.  Despite the mention of the ego-riddled actor this is a solid note on which to end a CD that has kept me on my tootsies.  It has a fun factor, a hypnotic ripple swirl and a multi-coloured flavour that appeals - now pass me another cracker.

So where do I stand as regards this band - well, on one leg, with my trousers pulled down and one testicle swinging lower than the other - it seems about right.   There are moments here to niggle, adore and sway along to, one thing it does is make a change and offer something different and all in all I have enjoyed the session - now to hitch up my kecks and ruddy well crack on. 

   

STOJ SNAK - LIFE, DEATH AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

Over a few years I have been tickled by the artist under the spotlight here (not sexually of course) and have aurally witnessed some very soul-borne serenades from a man very much trying to add a splash of colour to a multi-hued sonic scene.  Political, cute, at times wonderfully uplifting, I don't mind if this album is not to my taste, what has already gone has convinced me of a talent, whether I am praising here or not shouldn't detract from how I view this plucker - as per though, with each release, one can only offer honesty and a thoughtful view - here's the latest effort.

'Reasons To Smile' takes the brave approach and for the greater length remains unplugged, untouched and purely vocal.  It is a moment of 'ass-on-line'.  Raw, emotive, acceptant of a shite-situation and brutally transparent, this is indicative of what the man at the helm does, it is a quite powerful opening statement.  I play several times over, I am considerate, and I am convinced and intrigued!

'Trees' is a deep-rooted song shaking its leaves with great deliberateness.  Running through the central arterial systems the phloem and xylem gush with a string passion built on love and inner pride that will try and not be defied.   The double-edged sword here is sharpened whereas on the other hand the brandished weapon of the fuckers who like to cut down respectable monoliths are to be blunted.  Trees are personified, persons are placed in a resisting arboretum, the song has significant spirit and a message to take heed of - I think this is a wonderful follow-up track and the final leaf-drop flourish is joyous.

'The Not So Great Depression' is a harder, edgier song with a certain abrasiveness to the output.  The slow entrance asks a question with great heartfelt emotion before a gallop comes with more insistence and a darn sight more impressing urgency.  The whole shebang of life is put under the focal point of the lens, it is where we find many unanswered questions and end up in a turmoil of self-destructing despondency.  The multitudinous montage of posers poured down on our awaiting bonses are valid and highly provoking and we all need to reconnect with naturalness and turn off from the deep-rooted commands that come via things planned, processed and, if the truth be known, pathetic.   A great tune to inspire - thank you.

A tapestry of textures opens as the soft weave of 'Bliss Point' gives one time to contemplate before merrily threading along and creating a scene of thoughtful time-out.  The verse that initially comes is vocally dictated as the underscore of sound gently runs down its set, comforting furrow.  The poetical tricklings that come are refreshing drops of mountain dew that we, the scampering and scared dwellers should be happy to partake of.  This is a hard song to initially get to grips with but if time is embraced and patience being acknowledged as the true virtue then goodness will be found.  For me personally the track is a mood piece and not one for everyday play - this doesn't lessen its value by the way.

A brass attack, a scurry and more open-hearted transparency.  'Wants/Needs' is a well ventilated piece of musical verbology that offers a perspective on things deemed necessary and important which, in the great enlightenment, are not.   The tune itself gallops with this eureka outlook and uses the epiphany as a great source of invigoration and motivation.  When Stoj Snak takes on this crisp and cavorting modus operandi I feel as though the benefits and success levels are enhanced no end - this is a typical example of a noise making machine doing what it does best - tis ambrosia for this ever hungry acoustic chomper.

'Sensible Utility' flutters, rises, rapidly assesses a situation and comes up with a couple of nagging questions.  Can we do more and why the fuck don't we?  The singer breeds his own frustration that metamorphs into a pertinent fury whilst all the while the action of the snippet remains ant-like and industrious.  At the end of matters I have to replay to fully digest the gist and to find out if the poser has been fully solved - I am still unsure in many ways.  'This Condition' picks up the package of positivity from the off, rips off the layers with great eagerness and reveals many textual observations set to sonic effervescence with a smattering of encouragement thrown in.  A sing-a-long sequence comes, done in the most basic and appealing of terms and one can see the embracing aspect of this cutlet doing the business in the flesh and making many a person feel a darn sight more buoyant.  The output and design may be obvious but this doesn't make for a bad donation - tis another beauty if the truth must be told.

Coursing through the veins of the CD I go, an assessing corpuscle feeling sanguine and healthy.  I expect and duly get.  'Drinking From The Well' places more emphasis on the oral donations and leaves a spaciousness for the larynx-based lilts to expose themselves and be further examined.  The verses fall in the bracket between 'sung' and 'sub-spoken' with the chorus cuts gently escalating and creating a counterpunching balance.  There is a steadiness and a springiness both contributing to an easy listen with much to digest - I masticate and swallow, there is no sign of indigestion.

'Songs About Belief's is a serious study of life and its goings on.  Who believes, who doesn't, mistakes are to be made and a clash of thoughts assured - the never ending turmoil of life is put on a slide, sonically examined and dealt with over a lengthy period of time (5 minutes 53 seconds to be exact).  I liken this one to the lapping wavelets of an incoming tide - nothing momentous is seen but all the while a slow change is had by progressing advances done little by little.  It has its place on this CD and although my least favourite song of the lot I am sure some will love it.  I am a mere reviewer with my own tastes, I can't like everything, so far though my palette has been entertained - I leave this one for others to nibble on.

'Smoke' skin shuffles, has a camp-fire feel where embers glow and lights up faces of sincerity and conjoined spirit.  This is a minimalised effort with a lo-fi motif caterpillar creeping along and coming to an abrupt halt when least expected.   I suppose this is the counterpunch of the previous track, a way in which to address balance and create two twins of tonal trouble.  My vote is on the short-arse segment - I hope my judgement is sound.

A twinge, a hectic scuttle and into the 'Fire' we are thrown with arses singed by the rampaging trundle of spirited excitement.  The player travels with temperamental hunger and devours the silence before him whilst overlaying with an all-action piece keeping the senses heightened and involved.  Choices in life come, each one can create a situation that may be blazing or indeed dampened down.  Fight fire with water, you may win the day, fight fire with fire and you may get frazzled.  The advice here is to take the wise option, to try and win the day with sense! I can't help feeling the sonic shizzle inspires a whole heap of spirit to burn bright - that will do for me.

We close with 'Life And Death And Everything In Between', a tender touch of considered music drifting along on a cloud of slow progress with emotion still high but not teeming down upon the listener's head.  A long and involving tale that unwinds and reveals without splashing with any great intent.  I follow the journey, am distracted and drift off, I just need that extra snag to keep me on track.  I re-join the misted melody, see the droplets fall and  become more intense as the verbal waters join the bigger oceanic panorama - I expect a good blow out, I get another strip down with thoughtful posers placed before me and one last flourish had - interesting indeed but I sign off still deflated.

And that is, as they say 'that'.   Overall a very complete CD with a few dips overridden by many highs.  The artist is accomplished, has his flavour and does things oh so ruddy well.  I don't think this is the best material I have reviewed so far and next time I would like something really alternative - in truth though, the heart and soul has been poured in here, even I can't fault that!

   

BRIAN BORDELLO/OCCULT CHARACTER - HEART TO HEART

A split CD - Brian Bordello sings 3 songs, Occult Character sings the other 3 - and I am stuck in the middle trying to unravel what transpires.  Mr Bordello hails from England, the other plucker from Dallas, Texas - I have always said split singles are a great way to share the word, spread the harmony and bring unity - my thumbs turn upward before the first track is played.

Talking of the first track and 'Please Remember Me' comes via the 'Yank'ing man from the US of A with a leaning towards love, heartbreak and an eternal tie.  The strums are simple, borne perhaps from a thinking cupboard or any other DIY recess, thus making for a very unprocessed and natural sound.  The overall arrangement is simple and almost off the frayed cuff but it is of a distinct pseudo-country-fied style and registers on the side of 'listenable'.  There is a panging within the weave, a certain pellucid insight into dreams lost and a certain inner loneliness had - the more one listens the more is revealed.

Track 2 and the turn of Mr Bordello who trickles along with the subtle serenity of 'Shine On'.  Lowbrow, lo-fi and as a gentle as you like, this is what this player does and the more one listens the more one gets into the drift!  The tonal mattress is thick and comfortable, I recline and laze, get into the drift and snuggle on down with the enshrouding shadings.  There is something profoundly hopeful about this song, I am reviewing on a dark and dreary morning and you know what, it nudges me into a better place - thank you dear minstrel.

Back to the dweller across the pond with the OC dealer indulging in a 'Strange Flirtation' that unsettles, serenades and suspiciously grooms.  Again westernised weavings unravel themselves and a hope of a dick-dipping session is justifiably quelled and a dragonfly dance is indulged in - which I find far more decent and erotic.  The underscore of tease to please is captured with prick-tingling frustration, one can almost feel the minstrel’s member bulge in agony (I did thankfully say 'almost') and I think the aim of the song is nailed (unlike the target of lust).

We face a 'Purple Wall' next with the rhythmic bricks placed by good old BB and his reliable 6 strung tool.  A favourite little snippet this, I like the musical minnows involved that duly nibble my attentive tootsies and create a feeling of well-to-do.  Nothing outrageous occurs, no great flamboyances are cast forth and no rapturous upheavals make one buckle at the knees - in fact there doesn't have to be any on this sensationalistic sound.  What we are blessed with is a slow hugging pressure that creates for a relaxed listen although I am still troubled by not understanding what that darn purple wall actually is.

'Talkin' Bachman's Warbler Blues' is an homage to a critically endangered bird that may now be gone forever. Anything deemed as 'extinct' breaks my heart and as I gaze at the web waves and see what a delightful gem this lemon and green triller was I take deeper note of the song and realise the environmental (emphasis on 'mental') disaster and overall ignorance of beautiful things still continues.  The song touches a raw nerve with its honest simplicity and to add - there are not many songs that are about birds that are now no more.

We close with Mr Bordellos 'Pig Fucker', a slow, brooding song that collides delicacy with downright vulgarity.  The title may shock but there are folk out there who poke the pork, bugger the bacon and indeed, hump the ham - people like Mr David Cameron and Bo Jo for two - the corrupt cunts.  This is a heavy-eye lidded piece and deals with the focal point of deviancy in a pleasing manner without using the typical route and any snarl and snap.  The soft underlay of fuzzery gives a smoky retro comfort, it also gives one room to contemplate and contemplate I do - the result - no complaints!

As always, split CD's are the way, as said, it helps spread the word, build unity and keeps folk sharing.  This is a 6 track tickler that has had me absorbed.  I wouldn't play it every day and certainly won't be seen pogoing to any of the tracks but...it has its place in my listening world because, as you should fuckin’ well know, variety is the spice of the Fungal life.  Thank you and double thanks to Metal Postcard Records! 

   

SOUTHEND PUNK - VOLUME 1

A retro CD bringing many fine sounds into the 21st Century.  This is a collection of old punk bands hailing from the fair realm of Southend where, like other places across the country, many plucked, fucked and had a go.  The CD arrived and was nicely packaged and obviously presented with great care, this is obviously a work of love and I am more than happy to give my honest opinion on the 14 track collection.

Perhaps the most famous band of the lot is The Machines and they open here with the irritable delight known as 'You Better Hear'.  From the off the band give warning, scuzz along and strive for attention with a bass laden sound that travels with good cruddy energy and that fantastic old style 45rpm effect.  The guitar skids and scratches, the bass bumbles with tireless rhythm, the drums maintain the pace and the front gob is obviously relishing the task at hand - this is primitive noise making in all its glory - spot on.  The Steve Hooker Band offer a bit more class and more nouse in the production department.  Here we see 'How Did You Know' develop into a more pub-rock tune than its predecessor during which it brings quality composure, an exposure of players who knew their stuff and of the typical honest and unaffected output so many of us thrived upon…and still do.  For me the inescapable impressing aspects of this and the opening number are the transparency, the DIY need and the just darn lo-fi accents that thrived on being under-produced and highly warted - fuckin' great stuff.

The Vicars stride to the fore, create a pseudo-Banshee-esque soundscape with 'Radio Roy' awash with careful touches and many seemingly opposing inclusions.  The drums are almost tribal, the guitar glistening and clear, the bass persistent and the she-siren at the fore donating a perfect pitch of voice to complement the backdrop of sound.  The whole composite is a pleasing piece and really gets my neurones vibrating.  For me the hat-trick is diverse and yet of the same ilk, that ilk being DIY sodden - marvellous isn't it?

The fourth track already, The Deciballs offer 'Solitary' and bring another decent cutlet with a bass bubble and scurfy string overlay whilst drums are pelted with naturalness and the gob seemingly reacts in line.  An unorthodox tune witrh many touches of yore and of course some good old blemished nuances.  Despite having numerous moments were that could be labelled shortfalls I find these exposed warts something to be proud of and only enhance the overall listening journey - this will do for me.  The Psychopaths dole out some 'Drugs' next with an abrasive crumble cruise done with an almost heavy-lidded approach and a somewhat couldn't-care-less singing style that just has enough snottedness to make it intriguing.  The minimalist production room mix highlights yet more strict budget punkiness which works a treat and maintains the appeal of this surprisingly decent CD.  The smoke-bombed film that seems to cover and indeed permeate this pseudo-soporific delivery is counterpunched by an electrically excited string touch - I have no gripes.

'Too Close For Comfort' is a poppoid treat and has distinct accents that rise above another heavily bass infested tune.   From the quaking bog of rumbling undergrowth comes a youthful and freshly pimpled gob that tries mighty hard to blossom and spread enticing pollen to catch the roving aural radars of the rhythmically obsessed.  A mere hint of the fragrance has me rummaging deeper and the coruscated juke-box gem has me in severe need to do some pollinating - I am gently buzzing.

Greater strides are taken into the CD with the cool death tones of 'The Fighting Continues' subduing my advancement and putting me on the back foot.  I am wondering where we are being led to here and am glad to discover that it is to a reggae-fied, cavern-esque drift with emphasis placed on atmosphere, subtle shadings and almost twilight tonality where the mind is left to dwell and the preceding day’s events can be more easily summed up.  The Bullies go for subtlety, add a different facet to the CD and I think, come out with their credentials intact.  The Icons hop up next and go for the more vulgar punk approach with limitations used and a single motif hammered away at over a short period of time and resoundingly drilled home into the submitting cranium of the listener.   No adornments here, no attempt at anything special – ‘5.15’ is a strict and direct spiked affair doing some honest chest-relieving - and why not.  The positioning of this track is choice and follows the previous drift mighty well - a smooth ale followed by a harsh chaser - ooh me noggin.

The back 6 are penetrated.  The Sinyx come, 'Animal' is their chosen song and delivered with a sub-hollow trait that gives a certain garage'd aspect whilst all the while the retro punk vibe is clung onto.  The 4 wired weapon is once again a driving force with reactionary sticks and strings playing it tight.  The verbal content is nagging and somewhat delivered with a direct belief with the final wind-down showing the band have something serious to say here.  Not a bad song at all and leading into the skid and screwed up chase of 'Blind People' by The Krondstast Uprising'.  This is a heavily minced tune done with a certain colliding clockwork effect that is pushed along through a quagmire of pushing and pressing application that in part has a militarised roll, a regimentation beneath the upper scuzzbowl.  The essence is slightly rabid, has a good urgency and to be fair this is bread and butter punk many of us got wonderfully fat-headed upon – belch!

Shadow-images appear, hide, peep and fall back into the recesses.  A rhythm is eventually found, a new-romantic bout of tepid travelling that sees a dancefloor filled with bouffant bods and made-up posers as the pseudo-synth smoothness unfolds and perhaps has us wandering down strange acoustic byways.  Allegiance To No One are more than welcome to appear here with this perhaps out of sync oddment.  The post punk goodness of 'Aftermath' is a perfect condiment to throw in a very appealing mix.  The Burning Idols pop up next, perhaps play out the most magnetising, memorable and perhaps obvious track of the lot with the fine qualities of 'Give Me A Chance' holding great street-cred vibrations, a keen sense of timing, good musicianship and a reeking aroma of 'a minor classic overlooked'.  I am sure I have heard this before and yet can't be sure, but all the same there is a bell ringing of something good and carelessly neglected which I think gives this collection a little more clout.  All compilations should be journeys of discovery, no matter how old the tuneage.  Here I have uncovered another pip.  I like the blend of all components and the perspired energy levels - I can imagine this lot in a small gaff sweating blood - oh aye!

The final brace, The Prey produce some 'Sleepless Nights' with another post-punk drift that relies on smooth vocals, a preparatory sequence and a carefully blended mid-paced follow-on.  The gist is with emphasis on clarity and for a song that is decades old I think the band got the very best out of their recording environment.  May I suggest there are some hidden gothic depths here, many new wave elements and some good-to-honest endeavour - either way, it is in utter keeping with the compilation and keeps me interested right up until the last.   The closure comes with The Armless Teddies and 'Serenade'.  The song begins with slightly rippled twinkles soon persuaded forth with light skin tickles and 4-wired charms.  The intro extends, a ripple comes, I expect a holler out, what I get instead is a carousel of increasing rotational rhythm that surprises, swings with glorious ease and builds itself up into a fine instrumental showdown that finalises the CD in a somewhat satisfying manner.  It is a good punctuation mark on a collective statement that really works.

Youthful hunger, sonic chancing and just having a go are all recaptured in this quite dazzling example of good vibrations that have been but should never be forgotten.   The only thing I can say in summing up is that I am gagging for Volume 2 – I think that indicates how I feel about this great collection – tis in the blood don’t ya know! 

   

GIRLS ARE LOUD - PUNK 4 THE HOMELESS COMPILATION VOL 1

Punk 4 The Homeless raise money for Street Kids, they do it in many ways, this time via a CD that showcases the dabblings of the warbling lasses.  I have a long stretch of sound before me, the attempt is to capture the essences in double quick time and hopefully give you a reason to buy this CD (or not).  The fact is, the money raised goes to a worthy cause and if all the music encountered is utter shite, it matters not one jot which kinda makes this review as pointless as all the rest - cripes.

We begin with 'War(t)hog' a dish served up by those awkward outsiders Anarchistwood.  The escalating strings come, there is a lightly off-tune loveliness and a sincere 'Slit'-oid oddness with Crass-ite leanings thrown in.  Coming from a multitude of angularised accents the song is fruity, honestly slapped down and done with natural reactive feeling - the added abruptness of the ending suits no end - nifty.  Sally Pepper spices up the tonal quality with the classy cut of 'Real World' - a very confident electro-strum enhanced by some wholesome vocal work that deals with an inner toughness and long-lasting defiance.  The liquidity of the composition, the general weighted tonal blend and the completeness of the whole work is what gives it the winning factor and for me, the opening punch of tunes sets the stall out for what is to come - varied and unpredictable.

Third up and Alice Lynn pitches in with the slow and sedate hallowed trip of '1000 Times' - a sombre piece played out with subdued shading that takes some adjusting to.  The style of the serenade is easily overlooked if one doesn't take care which is perhaps suggestive of a song that lacks the extra lick destined to immediately ensnare.  The swing is languid, the drift heavy of eye and for me I find things just passing me by without making me sit up and take real note.  'Damp Patch' is more like it, with a certain coarseness overridden by the blatant honesty of a situation where a woman is used, left to dwell and abandoned in a state of deflation.  A user and abuser has come, humped meat and released his macho seeds before going off on his blinkered way.  A very sad song and beautifully played out by the obviously talented Pixie Styx.  The lesson, keep yer legs shut and believe in yourself before some fucker takes advantage.  Wipe away those tears and crack on lady!

Activistas arrive next, 'This Land' is a political gem sung with heart-swollen passion.  I have reviewed it before on the bands CD and also given it a Song of the Month nod on my website - need I add more.   The players excel themselves here with a very convincing reggae drift of street-thinking alertness - fuck all flags, divisions and borders, and fuck all the piss-takers who ruin things for all.

Dandelion Florence deserves big mention for a quite wonderful name, the offering donated is equally wonderful with 'Scarborough Fair' elements blended with something Wuthering and Heightened.   The atmospheric, bared heart approach is blown through with a misted nebulousness, borne from a spaciousness, a wilderness where wire grasses susurrate, keyed marshes murmur and ghostly waifs baffle the senses - a work of delicate haunting for sure, awash with a gnawing trepidation - spooky!

Strong waves crash upon the shores of your senses with the passionate overspill of Erin Incoherent professionally pouring genuine goodness via a tune known as 'Empty Room'.  The ballet-esque gracefulness of the swirling opening chorus pirouettes into a gratifying chorus that floats by like an autumnal leaf destined to land who knows where.  The general naturalness of the liquid, swaying leaf-drop is enchanting, I feel as though something magical is unfolding with a pang of sadness tattooed throughout the whole composition - nice.  'Solar Grandmother' by Laura Grevel is intense poetical weaving that sees an identity sought, numerous questions asked, no real answers found.  Warnings arise, a soul-searching experience weaves an ambiguous path filled with concern, wariness and yet all the while - feminine strength.  A bold inclusion.

A throwback to pseudo-folk, early 70's drifting next with the articulate 'Fighting For' by Kerry Jackson, a commune piece that contemplates and remains unsure.  Many fights, many head-on confrontations but there seems to be still no answers.  A stance is made for recognition, a love song unfolds with an obsession perhaps hinted at.  Maybe a need is unfulfilled, the fact remains though another squabble has led to a pointless situation and we are left touched by the thought - a lovely snippet of fragility.  Headstone Horrors bound in with the more punked and obvious thrashing of 'Gone And Lost It' - a song from a band with good gumption and great liveliness.  The song scuttles in, the front banshee snarls, the situation dealt with is of an idiot loss with the masses left with fuck all to celebrate.  The offering moves with thrashing need, feels complete and is a welcome intercut.

Further into the mire I go, I am struck next by the cultured beauty offered forth by that quality riddled being known as Carol Hodge.  'I Still Love Me' pronounces with power, takes a stage and indulges in a reincarnation that drips with self-belief, sanguinity and high-flown positivity.  The message is a pick-me-up, done with great stated clarity and refreshing belief - it is a stand out moment.  The soul sounding Idealistics come next and despite the band name giving a false impression what we get is a pseudo-new wave cum poppoid drift awash with stunning swathes of generous tones and much colour.  'Scandalous' is a strong push, a wealthy sway of artistry that hits true zeniths via a chorus of flushed wonder - momentous.

The next batch of three are led by Jess Silk who considers the 'Stranger On The Tube' and the hate-filled heart and quite desperate prejudice ways.  The spittle in the serenade is inflamed, the bewilderment of an encounter with a barrier creating hater throws one on the back foot, the message being spread more than frowned upon.  The observation of a spirit lost arouses passion and the ultimate question of 'why' - I think the job here is a good un' - poetical weaving with political anger - tis necessary.  Talking of poetry - Kezzabelle Ambler offers up some great wordplay via 'Retro Afro Muff', a sniping look at the world of glabrous bippies, enslaved victims and how idiot fashion can even affect one's private parts.   The whip cracks, the dicks demand, thout shall present thy twat as thus - and the daft fuckers do just that!  The profit rises, the pride sinks, the lyrical weaver here constructs a thoughtful haven, not a fuckin' shaven one you silly gits.  Very sharp this, I am appreciative even though I only have a todger!  The Cars That Ate Paris visit 'Kuala Lumpur' and deliver a superb encrusted diamond drift that is straight off the DIY shelf, onto the counter and into one's attentive pocket.  The crumpled tin-foil approach, the steady under-thrust and the persistent bass all make this a switch-off moment.  When things strip down further success is had, I just wish the lyrical content was a bit more clear and the band would have called things a day at around the 3 minute 20 seconds mark.

Next and a 'Wade In The Water' - a reclined number that grooves on down with sassy tones that swing with bluesy convictions and a somewhat gospelised slant.  The stripped down strings, the slightly smoked but highly fresh vocal overlay and the general solitary voice calling outwards all make for an appealing blend that really cools the senses and gets one mentally peregrinating - bon voyage Llinos Belcher! 

Las Ratapunks takes us down the start of the back stretch.  The song given is called 'Las Ninas', a frisky shit-kicker that winds itself up and then let’s fly with a perpetual motion trampling.  Splattered and battered we stay within range of the melee and come away with a feeling of a good clattering had.   The vice-like tightness of the band's ability is pushed to the max, they squeeze on through and come out leaving a solid shit-stain on the spinning circle.  The Hope Orphanage Choir swan along next with a youthful disjointed jungle-jangle called 'My God Is A Good God'.  A child-like innocence manifests itself via an anarchic jamboree of colliding twitterings with the end result an experimentation both fresh, fluttery and head cracking – by gum lad you have to be in the mood for this one.

Peesh pay homage to their 'Punk Mum' albeit with great frustration and, may I add, a smattering of annoyance.  The strong strings are escorted by a wannabe rebel who is being eternally outdone by a mum who seems to have done it all before.   The answer to all that comes is to be just yourself - there is no competition, there are no rules.   The message will speak to many and is a delightful jaunt with the tongue in the cheek - tis a nice to see the punk fashion highlighted for the predictable beast it is.  Besides this though, this is a pleasure pip not to be taken too seriously.  Of far more weight and impact is the counterpunching power 'Rat Race' delivered by the Radioactive Rats, a band who are nailing what they do and showcasing here why they are a force to be reckoned with.   The energy, the emboldened emotion and the kicking and spitting aggression all builds into a fine tumult destined to hurt – and by heck what joyous hurt it brings!

2 left, Sheer Class prowl, prod and pervade with a cloying electro nausea that upsets and causes one to reassess.  The big men bullies are nailed via 'Muckismo', a heavy-duty song that faces a disease in society that brings great misery, great suffering.  The pulsations nag, the thunder booms add heavy exclamations and darken the overall aspect of the damning account.  Macho-men cower you fuckin' idiots, this is dealt with mean intent and I appreciate it.  We close this lengthy account via 'X-Factored' by TBFDCAP' another harsh tale with winners and losers in the mix and stark reality the main weaponry used.  Used and abused, highs and lows and all spilling with bitter spittle.    The style of the mouth is to state each and every line with purpose, to ram home its point and to nail the hate and bitterness into your attentive lugs.  It finalises the CD on a vitriolic tone - needs fuckin' must!

A fine example of what the lasses can do.  Textures aplenty, emotions in abundance and some nut-cracking angst and ill-temper.  This is a good celebration of female plucking and fucking and needs must.  I am happy with the avalanche of she-sound as well as the intent of the CD and the political thermality generated but...will there be another follow-up Volume - I can't see why not? 

   

LAST CLIMB - FAUNA CORRUPTUS

I am once again 5 Feet Under; I am once more thrown forward into a musical mayhem where irritated nob-rots feel the need to ejaculate some quite filthy sewerage.  I know little regarding this Swedish-based band and so have a real excuse not to waffle on here and try and set the stage.  I am going in gung-ho, I am thrashing this out with the aim to be mightily swift and ruddy accurate with, as per, much honesty in the flinging elbow - fuck it if I fail.

We get quickly gnawed with 'Rat King', a shit-feeding scurrier with an appetite for the souls of those who want to be devoured by sound.  After the sub-whispered warning a tumult of demonic raving comes with the gathered rhythmic rodents frenzied and showing an early appetite second to none.  The feed and puke, the resultant overspill if reeking, toxic and not to everyone's taste.  Alas in the sewers of sonic waste there are nooks and crannies that see many deviants dwell - with this opening morsel they will be tempted out to partake - and why not?  'Red Tape' takes a breath, slams home the contents and leaves one reeling.  From a scream out a hammergun sequence pummels and has great weight leaving me slightly dazed.  I listen to this in an early morning scenario and feel my head take a shock.  The job is a good un' - I like the energy infused and the need for these rabid bastards to get their own brand of sonic passion spilt.  Like blood from a deep, ragged flesh ruin this one pours, appals and somehow infects - I am taken.

'Neanderthal' is indeed caveman clobbering and if you don't fuckin' like it get to fuckery.  Primitive and raw, clubbing without apology and utterly brutal - it doesn't matter what the fuck the band are blaring about, the fact is the intent is 100% power-mongering and essences of many bands I have tripped across come leaping to the fore of the fermented bonse (Mafafi being one such example).  From the opening tub-thumps to the last abhorrence this one hurts - oh aye!

Into grim depths I plunge my eavesdropping sensors and am accosted by a fistful of horror, 4-folded into one fiendish package or terrorising ill-temper.  'Dead Rattling Jaws' is the best yet, an accomplished shit-splatter of noxious frustration initially expelled by a swift rap and then a rumbling, tumbling reanimated corpse of flesh-flinging malevolence.   A lovely hurtful piece for sure and backed up by the granite-stature of 'Future Failures/Past Regrets' a poisonous bout of admittance and acceptance with drums tribal, strings scorched and the oral invasions raw and bloody.  The stated gob work soon fractures and gets carried along on a foaming rapid of cruelty.  There is a stark honesty running throughout this inescapable tidal breach, that opening oral stampede is all consuming and really does get one inspired.   The band have the blend of components down to a tee - I am absorbed.  'Dragge' is a regulated number with an inner beat that is difficult to escape.  The turgid and somewhat black-hearted bass work sees the rest of the sound operate on a foundation of sturdy treacle with the result being another complete and compressed explosion of tonality.  The initial mutterings are cursed, borne from a mind melted by this raping ransacking crew - the listener has my deepest pity but hey, you take your chances and you see what comes.  The final fling in this quatro-crippling is slagged down with the name of 'Throw It To The Wolves'.  Filled with aggression and movement the initial verse is not to my liking but salvaged by a quick chorus that double's-up the impacting punches in nifty quick time.  The effect is all too brief, I nail this as my least favoured song of the lot thus far.

Slutch-steps are taken, from the clogging gloop is borne an abomination known as 'Centiped Grin'.  A stutter spasm shit that jerks to the fore with crippled movements before detonating an inner bomb and making for another upheaval.  The destructive force that comes is unstoppable, the frenzied assault utterly debilitating - at this point I need to take a break, these are impressive bursts but must be taken in bite size bursts.

Re-charged, ready to fall victim to the violence and 'Broom Or Rake' hits me full in the mush and leaves me...damaged.  After the initial sub-radio-ed wafflings comes a JCB of oblivion that digs deep into the substrate of your mind and uncovers unwanted terrors.  The drawn out bombardment is less effective than the shorter shockers and I find myself a little lost here - perhaps my punk patience is getting thinner by the year and I am more prone to things delivered in this style – what an ear-fucking!  'Burn' tub thumps, seizures and gets things done quickly.   As a result, I am titivated and admiring of the huge epileptic maelstrom kicked up, a maelstrom may I add that is like all that has gone and all that will come - it is a snippet of energised wonder but I do feel the CD should end...NOW!

Onwards I travel despite my earlier reservation with a the last 6 taken has one huge dollop and dealt with as a group.  The lows of this loud lump are the fact that we get more of the same with a chance to throw in a curveball missed.  'Reptiles Of The Mind' marches in and is a cold, scaly sludge shifting that progresses into a shit kick of devilish intention.  'Snake Eyes' is fervid foaming with the main approach being to blitz and batter the listener into submission.  When the song opens out with an instrumental liberation the ante is definitely upped.  'Rotten Mind' stinks to buggery, farts out a paralysing dung spray of indecency and really impresses all senses.  I flick through this one several more times than its near relatives - yeah, I am smelling the cacophonic corruption and enjoying it.

'Man Is War' is an exacting title, scrag-arses in on a scurfy substrate that is torn asunder and leaves one choking on the dead skin, the flaked flesh, the general loss of life.  A stutter collapse comes, almost indicating a disgust in the situation.   Plodding on to the final is as brutal as per, albeit in a ruined kind of way - strange.   'Buffeljavel' fights through white noise, thumps hard and then scrambles like a ferret with its arse on fire.  The beast's teeth are bared, duly dig in and bite mighty hard with a shake of the noise-making head helping the epidermis of the listener to tear apart.  I like this terse uprising - it comes, causes pain and fucks off - ouch.  The final full stop follows, a trouncing tantrum rising from the grave and indulging in a nightmarish rave where rotten limbs fly and wild eyed zombie’s seizure.  'Living Dead' throws in its all, has a superb inner segment of noise that makes me want to desecrate decency - this is a last fling punctuating the whole CD with one shit-staining exclamation mark - boom.

A heavy duty CD and one to be taken only when the mood is right.  The band do what they do and do it with great focus and intent - my advice - listen with volume at the max and bring a spare pair of undies.

   
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