FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

THE CONSPIRACY - APPLE ZAPPLE

Metal Postcards are an admirable label, they release a fine blend of outside the box tones that many musical moochers are latching on to and gaining great gratification from.  Here we have a release by a band I know absolutely nothing about, and I mean nothing.  I fuckin' love this state of affairs and can go into the musical mix unblemished and unbiased, as pure as the virginal snow as one may say.  The first spin had me mightily impressed but, one rotation is never to be trusted and so the ditties were listened to over and over and I came away with the following opinions:-

'Scabcard' is a wonderful piece of musical talent with a political acuteness nicely spicing up the liquid smoothness and making for something rather ruddy special.  From the first tinned tumble through the languid expertise that is finally touched with twilight twinkles and a very honest and easy vocal style I am absorbed.  The meander in to the uplifted verse is done with such aplomb and ear-snagging skill I for one am utterly smitten.  One of the best songs I have heard for a long time and a song to really throw off many shackles and get one pondering and moving forward in a far better cerebral place.  A love radiates, a bonding between the mental and the tongue-in-cheek - I find this whole escapade a purist DIY delight.

'The Muff' begins with verbal statements of abstraction and angularity whilst a fidget techno backdrop bubbles away.  The tumble talk falls in ongoing avalanches of remembrances from yore with a vison-fest flicking by on a cranial conveyor belt of restless lunacy.  I am not utterly in-sync with this kind of experimental ad-hoc shizzle and take as a mere curio - nothing more, nothing less.  Observations and opinions collide like cerebral asteroids in a skull of a shaken state.  I try and decipher and then just 'fuck it' and enjoy the general gist.  I think I need some acid ma'an.

'Apple Zapple' came from an everyday apple seen on a table - from there a confusion of wordplay came and with a musical thrust injected a pseudo-song was created.  I find this one a quirky character filled with autistic wonder from a spectrum where we all reside.  I like to incessance and the nervous agitation that comes in a fluster-bluster of cascading words borne form a time, a place of nothing special.  For me, this is a sunshine jack up for an early morn playing when a long sunny day beckons.  Consume vitamins through every pore so that goodness invades the core and then... repeat.  Sometimes we all need to just switch off from the profound and just look after ourselves.

'Sound Of One' crisply comes and glistens with golden spirit before falling into a 60's chorus borne from fields.  A self-study, an open reveal, the tune is a joy and done with a certain tenderness of touch and a gratifying pleasure at one's own company.  To feel secure in one's own skin, to create without distraction is a blessing and here we pay homage to such a stance.  As a fan of many genres of obscurity I find many appealing angles here and a good layer of sunny delight positivity coming my way.  This is a tucked away beauty that envelopes the embryonic doubts, feeds on any rising critique and spits it out with due care.  I am lightly tickled by this rhapsodical donation - note is made to play when laden with personal mistrust.

'Magnolia' is a mid-paced consideration of time passing and the eternal loop.  Those beetles of black and red that come to hibernate and then are somehow reborn when the sun shines are inspiring gems that contribute their bit to this nicely double-edged ditty.  From a bed of thoughtfulness to a swift upright position of needy action we get a song that showcases yet more angles and facets of his highly capable unit.  Crepuscular drift dreams through to daybreak directions, from the reclined to the invigorated we get a movement to contemplate over many listens.  The old school surges touch a nerve, the rhythmic ringcraft makes an impression, the increase in intensity works mighty well, I need to see these guys 'live' - that's for sure.

And there, my keen and eager readers (no matter how few you be), is my take on a CD that has had my jowls dripping, my brow furrowed, my mouth turned up with a smile of appreciation.  The Conspiracy are yet another set of vibration creators that have me piqued and pondering, these are the joys of scratching around at level 'reality' - I fuckin' love it.

   

THE BORDELLOS - ROCK AND ROLL IS DEAD

Yeah, I am back in the groove with the promiscuous and productive bandits of acoustic garage.  As per, the output is squeezed out through a constipated bowel system that has been given a good flush of laxative liquids and forced out another dollop of tonal turdage that I am more than happy to run my assessing hooter over.  The bum-based bouquet is redolent of all that is well-digested and bare-basic - after all shit is just shit but if the nutrient content is high therein goodness may be found. 

'Rock And Roll Is Dead' emerges from silent substrates and ruffles the airwaves with a moribund starkness that some may find a trifle off-putting.  The claim that an institution has expired will be perhaps too much for some, for me it is no bad thing and a chance to start all over again.  Fashion faux pas, tonal tossery, self-serving bullshit can all be swept away and we can renew the focus and get something half-believable on the tracks.  The serving here is perhaps a little too simplistic for its own good and come the end I can't help feeling I have been short-changed with the noise-nutrient value - I am a greedy bastard at times though. 

'Fish Race' trundles, has a despondency that is obvious from the off.  The string twangs are akin to neurological twinges, the rusted wire abrasions almost septic and the vocal on the precipice of collapsing inward and entering a void of pure ambiguity.  I remain involved and in cerebral turmoil, I am unsure as to what the fuck is going on and what the band are on about but the scurfed and slightly crustose epidermis of the song makes me scratch away and stick with it.  There is no denying that The Bordellos will not be watered down and directed into the foul lands of 'The Norm' - this gives me great pleasure although of the song itself I am 50/50. 

I like 'Fox Hunt Heart', the tenderness, aim and poetical curvature of the crooning is neat and well-packaged in a tidy, unassuming song.  Blips and naturalisations enter the DIY mixing bowl but the intent is focused and played out with the usual Bordellos accents.  With these nude tricklings we are invited into a space of up-close and personal interference and for that we should at least have some gratitude.  I close my eyes here, wallow and let the music unwind itself over my attentive receptors - no gripes. 

The Dreamboat of Cha Cha' closes another 4 tracker, and emerges from the crumple crap-stained couch of cacophonic creativity.  I am stumped here, I don't know what to make of matters - we have a fuzz-fungle, a buzzing fart of scatter-splatter shittery that harks back to a sub-world of underground interference.  The Bordellos get me like this sometimes, in a headlock of indecision and uncertainty.  The fact is the recipe is in strict adherence to what has been and what will be from this lot - I am sure this isn't the first time I will be stumped.  In truth though it isn't a fave of mine, that is all I can say. 

Another small fistful of Bordellian buggery has penetrated my awaiting orifices and this time I have been left unsatisfied, unaroused and yet strangely gagging for more.  I really shouldn't venture into these strange recesses of sexual sonica - I guess I just can't help myself. 

   

SALEM TRIALS - SOMETHING PRETTY DRASTIC

A band from the North of England with a penchant for getting things 'out there' and not giving a damn for influences and restrictions.  Here, from beneath the corrupt and confidence tricking upper surface of commercialised crappery we find another bottom-feeding band doing things their way - lovely.  Here is my take on the latest discordant debris that has been duly disturbed.

Cool tones and yesteryear noise nudity come to the fore with a lo-fi spilling done with control, ease and a somewhat casual coolness.  'Table Turning' knows its own style and understands the niche where it is destined and all the while 'doesn't give a fuck'.  Expectations come, expectations go, the soul of the song bares a front, a front that helps one get by in this turgid treacle of life.  The situations experienced are no doubt contributing factors to this 'un-scene' sound and as the unorthodox approach does its own thing therein a charm is found.  Something chilled and effective emanates, all is needed on the part of the eavesdropper is a little patience.  The more I rotate the more my critical fangs are blunted - I am happy to be de-toothed.

'Slum' arises from monochrome wastelands and lazily scrawls its way across the brick walls of your mind, there leaving a vandalised mess of weaving wordage.  The content sees a promising haven now turned to shit and the output of the song is in synch with this feeling of loss and disillusionment.  I am not as taken with this offering, something a little too defeatist and moribund holds dominion over the delivery and the murky despondency that works within the slow, sub-molten movement makes one almost feel nauseous.  There is something nefarious operating within the folds of the slightly ruffled music here - I am not a fan.

'Posture' has Joy Division-esque hauntings and cold-sober gothika invading all areas with a superb minimalism dominating a very sinister soundscape of sable unease that permeates the whole escapade.  Observant, stripped bare and still tuneful with a post-apocalyptic bitterness obvious.  A posing wannabe bully comes to the fore, is duly mocked and put in his place, there really is no room in this world for such idiocy.  The unmoved stance of the observer is portrayed via some thermally rising tonality that really does creep beneath the epidermal layers and bring about a delightful shudder-sensation - I think Salem Trials are in their niche of comfort.

'Satanic Mill' is a song I perceive to be dealing with an enslavement to a location with a distinct inability to escape, regrets are promised via a repeat reminder that coolly falls from laid back strums and easy-beat skin skips.  The flow is unflustered, it radiates a feeling of a band comfortable in their produce and the way they go about the creative process.  The embracing almost insouciant aspect adds ambiguity and all the while, whilst one tries to unravel the contents, the liquid emotion and the Talking Heads style radiations assist on the listener becoming submissive.  I find myself falling for this one, the more I play it the more I am groomed into a vulnerable place - I have no complaints whatsoever.

A pleasing 4 tracker this with many meritorious aspects and some unflustered tones to appreciate.  The subtle Chiaroscuro facets appeal to the sense of curiosity and I leave the slowing silver circle and wonder what will come next.  Another 4-track head tester would be greatly appreciated - the comfort zone is no place to dwell. 

   

FRITCH - UNWIRE, REWIRE, REWIRE

What do I know about Fritch? The answer - sweet FA.  What would I like to know about Fritch? Well, whatever the music tells me.  Is this CD review going to be done in the usual Fungalised way despite going in blind?  You fuckin' know it!

'We Lose Our Control' is brittle, somewhat self-doubting and laden with a trepidation built on a seemingly sonic fear.  Each touch of the keys is hesitant and unsure, each worry-weary utterance is on the precipice of a breakdown and one initially wonders what the long-tern prognosis is. I divulge extra time and drift away to the overly tender wallowings and come out unconvinced, a trifle frustrated and wondering what is the thinking behind such a nebulous bout of seemingly frangible creativity.  A pure night-time listening piece that is just lacking a latter point uplift to save the day.  I have dabbled, I have committed thoughts to the digital screen, I feel as though I have come up short - just like the song under the spotlight in fact.  The follow-up episode is a lovely drift dream of warped disturbia with the hallowed tones, deep rooted mystery of the tonal construct and the sky-floating loftiness of the vocal accents all combining to make something 'not of this realm'.  'So Long Sunday' is sour and sweet relaxation in a cathedral of resonations that crawl forth on submissive tones before Antony-esque utterances gently wallow on the substrate of tonal blankets lain. I find the approach of the second helping both comforting and yet cold, embracing and yet slightly eerie - it is these paradoxes that give birth to fascination.  Several rotations ascertain an increasing ambiguity and a certain nebulous mist that I am more than happy to get lost in - something mellow and warm pervades, something almost pure welcomes - that will do for me.

'Do What I See' approaches on a ghostly railway track, a track that is unstable, untrustworthy and... unpredictable.  The train of tonality reaches its destination and the dual vocals that come find themselves amid a careless shoot-out that takes place in and around an acoustic funhouse of utter madness.  The station is void of further life, contemplations come and an underlying tension vies for centre stage with a sinister threat.  I snuggle down in my own eavesdropping carriage and await further movement and hopefully a derailment into pastures more electrified - alas I remain static and somewhat unsure of the next destination - I am, to say the least, a little frustrated here.

'Do As Starlings Do' is straight from the asylum of distorted devilry with a tortured soul fighting for life amid a chaos of colliding experimental tools.  A melodic misfunction, a musical error, a work of awkward serenading for minds gone twang - I find myself amid a spastic murmuration of deep-rooted misdirection with an impending crash imminent.  At the midway point something akin to an organised tune starts to invade matters with rustles and wails forming themselves into something more unified - a unity akin to the fluttering flock we may need to take note of.  I find myself drawn to references such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, I think this is no bad thing come the end of what has been a testing listen.  'Severance' is warped agonising amid a poisoned love that pervades the entire soul of the sub-serenade.  The toxic chalice is upturned, the rivers of sonic shittery pour forth - we, as mere victims, are invited to partake. As an enthusiastic fool I glug, toss the flavours around the palette and spit forth an opinion that is positive/negative and somewhere in between.  A re-wiring of the circuitry seems continuous, a pseudo-tribal sucks hard and a fractured vocal fear runs amok - this ain't as bad as many judges will have you believe.

The last two, 'Another Monday' hesitantly traverses the black and white pavement with tones falling like stuttered tears alongside soporific sub-harmonies that appear like frosted apparitions of twilight uncertainty.  Gothic essences make for a moment in time where water-colour tones are faded and dusted. What was is filed in the past, what shall be is, as ever, uncertain.  The tenderness and thoughtfulness behind the preparation make for a thoroughly reclined bout of sleep inducing sonica - I don't know if this is the target aimed for but it certainly works.  A definite mood piece.  We close with 'Do You See What I See (Project P Remix)' - an exotic stroll through slightly jangled juiced jungles where each and every turning threatens to bring great change and every droplet of steaming moisture threatens to further awaken the senses.  I pause for thought, bathe in the moribund mutterings and find salvation in their misery - therein a paradox is found.  A shapeshift comes in a gradual but obvious manner, a certain feeling of impending asphyxiation pervades before the final silence thwarts any further hope - I awaken from a reverie... disappointed.

A strange CD with atmospherics, melancholy and strained rhythms all vying for centre stage and making for a heavy listening experience and one that needs a certain time, mood and situation to appreciate.  I remain a philistine here, unconverted and in the main unmoved but... there are some moments that do impress and I really couldn't ask for anything more.

   

RODENTS - MAD FER IT

Stood on a touchline watching some non-league football in the winter chill. The half-time break comes and some friends ask about my latest DIY dabblings in the nebulous and overlooked DIY pit. I wax lyrical about the vibes untapped and the divisive shittery of many components. I am overheard, a CD is passed my way - the Rodents have now started to nibble at my noise-laden neurons. I watch the rest of the game, piss off home perished and play the silver disc - what I hear is sweet snotty joy that really gets me bopping.

The band under the Fungalised spotlight hail from Manc Land (usually referred to as Wank Land by me) and are slowly bubbling away on the underscuzz of sound whilst, in this instance, kicking up a fuss with great invigorating rhythms and some sincere pummeling direction. 'Mad Fer It' has all the adornments of a band well-versed in the struggle, frustrated by the commercialised overspill and sick to the back broken teeth of the acceptance of diluted crap. From the opening bone-jarring bass gripes and happy-slap skin attentions we move to a wired up gob off of sub-cultured goodness that exudes youthful zest, motivating disgruntlement and a real street wallop of natural earthiness I find most rewarding. Something akin to whacked up 'pub rock' grabs my attentive conkers here and I am forced to accept this as ruddy solid racket-making. I play over and over again, it is as good as I initially deemed - lovely.

The Rodents may be dwelling in the sewer and feeding on scraps but this is no bad place and great respect can be earned this way. This captivating ear-worm that has come my way reinforces my belief that in the great steaming piles of shot out there many noisy nutrients can be found - my advice you scabby, encrusted no-hopers - feed on and do not be sidetracked into realms more processed and plastic. The most rewarding things come to those who just stick it out!

   

CLOSET DISCO QUEEN - STADIUM ROCK FOR PUNK BUMS

A two-piece that started life as a joke and who have now gone on to issue several releases and pootle off on numerous tours.  I know sour fuck all other than what is before me and I am quite happy to enter the acoustic orifice all virgin-like - ooh sexy.  After several spins and ponderings I am ready to expose my inner thoughts and hopefully come up with something that may resemble a review (if not, so what).  So the DIY digits press keys, pixelated symbols appear on the visual display unit and this is how they turn out.

'Michel-Jacques Sonne' is a heavily garbed exhibition of hybridised metallisation and cock-rock struttery with intensity levels turned up to level 'fuck'.  The power blend of all areas, the saturated soundscape and the talent involved all make for an instrumental exposure that gives very little room for questioning critique.  The compaction of the sonic soil is hard, the attention to acoustic detail blatant and the fact that this general rock out has all the ingredients to traverse many sub-niches and sound circles will surely put it in good stead.  For me it is a creation to open and close a gig with, spliced in two and made ideal for the intro and outro moments.

'Pascal a la Plage' clutterfucks in, rolls the tympanics before jazz-wanking the strings with a certain abandonment.  The system of noise created is semi-haywire, semi-rigid with staggers and surges the initial modus operandi.  I prefer the moments injected with pace when the reins are released and the crew push with furrowed brows.  The gobless grandiosity works mighty well but a few statements here and there to give the tune more of a message and a raison d'etre wouldn't go amiss methinks.  These are personal thoughts the band may disagree with, one thing I can say which I think they will concur with is that this song has 'oomph'.

'Lalalalala Reverb' reluctantly manifests itself before adopting an uncertain aspect that promises to blossom into something rather intriguing.  The flowering process is hindered, what we get is an unopened bud that duly rots under its own uncertainty - I remain without anything else to say - this is a prime example of a failure to fulfil potential - it is a real tragedy because there is so much promise here – agggghhhh.

'Le Soucieux Toucan' is mere experimentalisation, showcasing talent in an unabashed manner and with a certain 'jam'med bent.  I listen in, strive to swim in the lagoon of liquid music but fail to find any true buoyancy and so sink with a feeling of dejection.  This end result is annoying has the band have an obvious wealth of talent and musical know-how and really do knock out some effective vibrations.  When the guitars twist and grunge matters up I feel there is much to be built on and surely from this one episode alone several banging songs can be generated - songs with real life and much effective gusto.  As I play over again I realise my initial thoughts are a trifle harsh and there is more to this one than which meets the lug - I still demand the band move on and get some lyrical content thrown in to the next offering though.

An infuriating 4 track CD that offers, takes away and leaves one asking for more.  I try to circumvent my frustrations but just can't find any true direction to be more positive.  For me this is a chance wasted to create more from what is and to tap the acoustic aptitude and blow some disbelieving socks off - next time for sure (I hope). 

   

LOCAL TROUTS - GIFFORD CIRCUS ORGY

Local Trouts are a band who do things with a wonderfully fresh and fun style that appeals to my nature in these times of head-numb nonsense and bullshit bickering.  In the midst of a musical world built on utter fraudulence and hypocrisy we all need a breath of fresh fruity air with certain smattering of tomfoolery to keep us afloat, here I feel, we get such an uplift.  Hailing from Stroud this quartet of cranks spill forth 2 songs for our delectation - I jump in with digits keen to tap the appropriate keys.

'Gifford Circus Orgy' sounds like it is utterly ludicrous, but could indeed be fun - I strip bare just in case.   Fun-fair jollity comes and folds, a resurge of power vibes ensue and I am already thinking of making comparisons to bands such as Colin's Godson and The Plimptons, utterly refreshing poppology with a pure escapist ease very much needed in these times of angst, hate and idiocy.  A certain festive frolicsome wonder pervades the bouncing vibrations with a multi-coloured happiness happening.  The slightly scrubbed vocals, the unclean bass and the opposing upper sheen of feelgood noise is a tonic to partake of with great frequency - especially in these months of grey clouds and crackpot pressures.  Fuck everything, play this one loud and reel with an overspill of effervescing gusto - sometimes we all need to just switch off and disappear in the land of the nonsensical.

'EBay Dispute' is a real ranting explosion that still retains good tuneage, uplifting tones and, what I suspect, is the bands key sound.  I like the contrast between this and the flip-side offering and appreciate the fact that being a virginal listener I am left wondering what potential the band possesses and where in fact they will end up plying their trade. A fine dollop of pace is applied here without effecting the lucidity of the lilt.  The frustration at on-line dealings is neatly played out and the fact that this is a quick waterfall of splashing sound duly leaves one teased and unsatisfied which, in this instance, ain't no bad thing.

And with the Trout I have meddled and been left with a brace of wrigglers that still need certain attention to fully appreciate the gist of.   I am keen to hear more spillages from this band, I hope to get another fix soon and have a certain cranial conundrum unravelled.  I do hope I have given a taster of what is going on here and what is perhaps to come - these reviews just don't seem to get any easier.

   

SMASHING RED - SELF-TITLED EP

What we have before us is many hybridised occurrences via pub-rock spillings with a mid 70's feel coming forth through an assortment of niche'd nuances one has difficulty in exactly placing.  There is something clear and reviving here with all areas lucid, tuneful and seemingly relaxed in their role.  This is a debut EP from a Plymouth-based band and with an insight into different cacophonic cultures the future could be as rosy as a well slapped arse - here's hoping - ouch.

'Smashed To Pieces' is one of those tunes that you play once and are immediately in line with.  The formula is simple - play - enjoy, replay - sing along with, play again - feel the ease of the players and the embracing accents of the song - and repeat!  I find this a fascinating introduction to a new band and am really taken by the vibes emanated and the lucidity of all components.   Some akin to an 'Old Grey Whistle Test' outpouring hits me in the face with a quite magnetic individualistic sound had.  The arrangement sounds almost 'live' in its tonal quality and as a result the creation feels more alive and honest.  There is a chemical reaction going on here, a coming together of elements that is both natural and without any unwonted interference.  The more I play the more I appreciate this cracking song.

'Summer In Siam' is a convincing follow-up construct, a semi-exotic piece with a steady reality that is pertinent to the day's we find ourselves stuck in.  The angle observes, makes a statement, takes a matter in the news and suggests a certain opinion.  Subtle and un-intrusive but making a point - will you sell all just to get what you want?  Will you fall in line and hope for release? The choice is yours!  The slow, steady invasion grows in stature, the apposite content gets one re-assessing the nagging situation, a situation that has seen much nastiness and many arses sold down the river - ah fuck it - I'll place this quite delightful little tune and leave the masses to it - result!

'Garlic' is a real low-brow 60's drop-out number, blossomed and bloomed with retro fragrances that come on folky, free-seeking waftings.  This I take as liberated escapism with a desire to take one by the hand and lead one into gently swaying pastures of life-affirming goodness.  An environmentally appreciative approach is a blessing in a world of concrete and clashing cacophony, it is a place to adore.  The strings come in swathes and swishes, the vocals are tepid and true with a distinct clarity that duly weaves a charming poetical pathway.  On bare feet we tiptoe through verdant wonderlands, this is fine throwback, throw-away lug matter - ooh for a summer day and a serenade like this.

The final offering and 'Little One' arrives, is proud to be up with the grown-ups and slowly rotates amid a fun-filled scenario awash with head-filled innocence and an uncomplicated carefree outlook that is a million miles away from the world of adulthood and its numerous worries and woes.  A step back to times more pure and less flustered with an outlook unblemished and liberating.  This closing number is the simplest concoction of the lot - a state, splash, serenade and there you have it.  The distinct tender way in which the sonic matter is dealt should be appreciated as well as the laid-back approach that works wonders.

Smashing Red do what they do in an unassuming manner and with a quality that is both tidy and articulate.  Heaven knows what influential matter they call upon, I could come up with a list but it would be vast and varied and perhaps detract from what is going on here.  Once more my tonal nose is twitching, once more I am keen to hear what this band come up with next - such are the hazards of being overly keen and a lover of music. 

   

BLITZKRIEG - WAR MACHINE

Into a headwind of resisting time the band under the spotlight here crack on and grind out another heavy-duty album filled with vehement and foaming vitriol.  We have a dozen tracks dealing with many frustrations and worldly problems that never seem to go away.  As long as there are people there will be problems and something to roar about - it seems making music is a form of therapy, let us see if this 12 track burst eases this sizzling soul.

'Blasphemer' spits poison all over the heads of the religiously convinced and gets labelled as a result.  There are many sodden with the disease of religion - I mean look at the punks for fuck sake (snigger, spit, snigger).  This opening gambit is a metalised hybrid with a strong, sinewy approach that hurts.  The pain though is highly pleasurable as the band penetrate deep and fuck out a response that is nothing short of 'positive'. Controlled aggression, sweat-blood wire wanks, skin slap spite and oral ravings fired by long term disgust - if an opening song needs gumption, good old-fashioned bollocks and a style to get shit moving then this laxative lilt hits the mark - nasty man, nasty!  'Old School Rocker' throbs in with great pride and slaps home the way it was, is and should always be.  It rolls over the skins with enthused relish before a mean-assed bass rumble joins the fray and electric shock lights blow a fuse and a bombardment of verbology spills this way.  Mean and gritty this no-nonsense approach has no sympathy for the modern-day whingers and heavily diluted.  The strength of the song is built on a hard-wanked focus with that dirty bass and riff-happy guitar copulating in cacophonic glory.  The bite is powerful here, the growing infection that comes from the ravaging seems to be untreatable - I duly spin over and over and hail this a virulent beauty.  Now all you have to do is wake up and get some backbone.

'Den Of Liars' refuses to remove the sonic teeth from the arse of the listener with yet more powerful chomping had, as per, with salivating and rabid hunger the key ingredients.  The violence within the vibrations is controlled, the essence of hammer-chug brutality hits the mark and what we have here is evidence of a band still foaming led by a bastard unsettled, restless and with a need to banish some demons.  The lick of the verses is impenetrable, the slip into the chorus hard and the chorus itself emboldened and splattered at your feet with zeal.  An inner core of spit-soaked venom ups the vitriolic spewing – dirty dog stuff for sure.

Segueing in with equal tenacity and passion is the direct ditty known as 'Believe In Yourself'.  Here we have an insight into inner turmoil and an ongoing battle against the bottle and the misery it brings.  From the gutter a determination is ignited, from nothing great strides are taken above an incandescent reawakening of the soul.  This is a bare-bollocked gritty grind, not for those with a timid ticker.  The thrust is focused, all units know what they have to do and get it done.  The inner slam, sear and switch is powerhouse magnificence, the unity appeals and the showcase riffery deals a fine blow.  In summing up, a song you have to have patience with and one that really hits home when understood.

A bucketful of 3, 'Outlaw' is straight at it with a big pronouncement of a rebellious nature that will not be tamed.  The spunky verbals, the groove in the guitars and the crash, bang, wallop style that basically says 'fuck you' is a beauty and one to be played loud if the soul is sagging and the general fight gets a bit of a strain.  Those opening bursts set the stage, power fuck us into life, and duly bring us as one into the volcanic acidic overspill that is a pure invigorator.  I ramp up the volume, rip a door off its hinges and have a good session on the punchbag - needs fuckin' must.  Next and the determination to be in a state to be 'Taking Back Control' falls in line with many themes set and tears another orifice into the acoustic flesh.  A rampant and raving episode of 100mph mania, a demon-damning dish-out not to be taken with a pinch of salt - a pinch of sulphur may be more apt.  The message is clear - stay clear, get out of the way and let me do what I do - judges, juries and dictators can all go and rot - this fucker is at the wheel and the ride is rockin, reckless and raw - have it.  The last of the latest 3 and 'Invasion' ascends from desolate discordant dross with deep rooted patience.  Alas what I expect and what I get are two different things and this midway instrumental is a chance missed methinks - something bolder and more riff-raped could have been had - hey ho.

'War Machine' is perhaps the most metallic and rocked out number with a cleaner cut than what has transpired and a more obvious route taken.  This in no way waters down the substance as there is plenty of strength and 'oomph' in the mix, with enough bleeding and tender moments to keep the listener intrigued.  From the early warning system through the procedure of the verse we travel before being hit in the mush with a chorus that is sonic salvation and gives the construct a whole new breath of life.  This chorus burst is a live, thriving and all action eruption - it gives the song the spark of life it needed. The most stated and slowly burning piece is the anti-military 'fuck war' scrawl of 'Too Young To Die' - a real melting pot of snarled venom that spits on the idiocy of madness made by rulers detached.  It is rewarding to see this feisty band take their foot off the gas and move with deliberate purpose and a power-controlled persuasion.  The intensity is still there, the approach as honest as ever and the outcome a quite absorbing piece.  The incessancy and unstoppable push needs precision and constant attention - thankfully the band deliver and this is a strong component of an ascending CD.  There is muscle flexed here, take heed and enjoy the stranglehold.

The last 3 and we begin with the chug-clang conspiracy of 'White Lines' - a sky gazing episode of deep-rooted paranoia as the trails left by the passing planes are pondered and all manner of questions and queries are had.  Are they dropping showers of shit on our noggins, is a mass pollution taking place, are we all losing our minds on Planet Insane?  All I can do is my best, crack on and strive to improve what I see.  The tune here is strong, sneering and fucked off with another worry, the opening hollers are soon banished by a verse awash with venom.  The snarl factor wins, the throb factor has weight, the utter disgust at events going AWOL continues a current theme in a scene of desperation - this ain't a bad do folks.  'Hammer' slaps down with repeated hunger, caving in the skull of resistance and making sure one is still paying attention even at this late juncture.  A distinctly Motorhead-esque number with all areas zipping, natural and sizzling with great attention to detail had.  I have never been a Motorhead fan, I like the odd track but find the band a little drab for me - personal tastes hey?  This though is a solid surge that doesn't fuck about, steams from the muzzle and after sinking its teeth into your arse it rips and tears with gratifying brutality.  At this late stage a good wake up call is always handy - have it ya bastards.

We depart into the final silence via the apposite 'New World Order' and after a strong alarm bell of belligerence the twangs and twats come with a thudding impression made that will hopefully get a few thinking just a little bit harder.  A fuckin' storming song ensues, one that will bring great applause, some annoyance and some bitter resentment - now that's what I call a winner.  The outpouring has great windblown freedom, is a severe gob-off that needs doing and for me rounds off a solid CD in quite exemplary style.  I utterly love this one, the delivery and gumption, breezy blow-out style and the utter life-enhancing spirit.  If you are leaning one way or the other you surely can't knock this effort - what a beauty.

So, Blitzkrieg have followed up their last album with a muscular effort with many moments showing that some old dogs are best left off the leash and run wild.  Let us face it, in these times of dilution, mental pollution and general disillusion, we need a few sets on noisy curs sank howling with ill intent.  My advice here is simple - get the CD, ramp up the volume and get your pinging boots on - and oh, make sure you keep folks enthused, thinking and yes... defying.

   

SPECIAL DUTIES - 7 DAYS A WEEK

Who would have thought that in 2021 this old DIY bastard would be scratching out a review for the band known as Special Duties?  It really does confound the senses, but the band have produced, a request has come my way and of course, I shall do my bit.  The band have several solid songs that most old stagers will easily bring to mind and also the crew are not noted for fuckin' about and like to keep things simple, effective and without unnecessary frills.  There are 14 tracks to get through here, I am expecting a quite easy time of it, read on me old chinas and see what opinions I have of some old school vibrations.  Order, order - ah fuck, there is no order!

'Billy Jones' scuzzes in and picks up on a reliable and easily grabbed thread that sees the band post their first regulated chorus/verse out-spill with no thought of twat-twanging and flamboyantly posing.  This is bog standard street sonica with a real-deal bloke-in-the-street sound that was indeed the bread and butter of a scene now ripped all ways. In my tonal travels I listen to a bit of this, that and certainly t'other, but I can put my hand on heart and say that this is decent wholesome fodder that I can easily take to and enjoy.  The guy under the spotlight may have dubious initials but he sounds as though he was a fair sort, a bit like this song in fact.  The follow-up to this opening gambit is 'Bring It All Back', an honest look over the shoulder with good wire work and tin can clattering for company.  The verses are no sooner delivered than stuck in the bonce with an inner rant ideal for keeping the defiant spirit chipper and from keeping you from joining the washed-up wankers who are now only fit for burning.  A good lick, to the point gobbage, a running time that knows its restrictions and a decent mix - you get what you get with this lot and nothing has changed here.  Many new schoolers may smirk, many are better fuckin' off and having a jerk - I think some deliberately miss the point.

2 down and not a bad do at all, albeit in the mode expected.

'Do It Today' begins with caveman drums, a fine bass wobble and a twist and turn of the guitar.  There is no rush apparent, when the uprush comes it is worth the wait.  Stated and hard delivered vocals decrying the abomination of those that do without thought for others.  A call for a change of tack is had, the move from that what is, to that what shall hopefully be, ascends with authority and towards the end of the holler out a certain unifying chant is had.  The methodology and the message works, the growing muscularity of the street-punk sound is impressive and this, although built on basic sonic scaffolding, is a more than sturdy effort. Any song with 'Fight Back' as its title needs to have bollocks, and this fucker does just that and can be used has an inspiration to renew the spirits whilst pounding away on the punchbag (my chosen therapy).  Clouting and hammering and going for matters with gritted teeth this is a fine wallop with a touch of Motorhead-ish riffage thrown in.  The gob is gravelled and radiates a refusal to buckle at the knees and give in to the demons of addiction. Concrete stuff. 'Johnny' is one long joyous tribute to a noise-loving family that scrapes by to get their fix whilst doing no harm and striving to keep things simple.  The rhythm of the song is stable, snagging and done with great balance without going overboard.  All components are steady and lucid and the band maintain a tight fix on matters whilst producing something that is easy to listen to and without anything new to offer.  A solidifying moment that delivers - what more can you want?

The next hat-trick of sounds and 'Lie To Me' clatters in, rams up a repeat point and ask 'why' over and over again.  Perhaps the most simplistic construction of the lot and leaving me with very little to stay.  It is what it is, one for the pit to ping about to whilst in a state of inebriation.  I find no harm in these short and simple outbursts, they are mere demon-banishing, angst-relieving uproars that may help save a soul - enjoy or fuck off.  'Mary Whitehouse' is perhaps the most 'punk' thing on the CD and really poses a question many so-called liberated and free-thinking spiky tops will be niggled by (ooh I love it).  The charge and thrust is wholesome, the clobber-tastic welly effective and the poser placed before us highlighting how a lack of censorship has perhaps contributed to a downfall in society and its values - I mean, people have proven over many years they really can't handle freedom - the silly bastards.  I am sure this song will annoy and trouble, I hope so, a bit of thinking never did anyone any harm.  I like the steam radiated and the whole rib-rattling frustration - it is right up my shit-laden street.  'Out Of Control' cuts to the quick with a sub-radio lick that develops into a flow that soon leads to a raving disgust at a world gone haywire.  The smug sit tight, the detached stay self-absorbed and all the while the downward spiral continues, the wretched and reckless cause mayhem and the criminals and insane run amok.  The stark reality slapped home is true to life with things only set to get worse.  A moral free society laden with deadheads and those cerebrally trapped - this uncomplicated song states the case and fucks off, like it or lump it.

Hands in the air and a countenance of sincere honesty adopted - I don't like 'Punks and Bootboys' due to the fact the lyrics are somewhat corned and deal with an area where things have become too diluted and washed-out to make them believable.  The so-called rebellious fall into line when the whip is cracked, the fashion they follow is merely that 'a fashion', and the in-scene fighting and prejudice nob-rottery make me utterly and decidedly sick.  The song is well played, will find good favour with many beer swilling gits who look no further than the upper sheen of things, alas it is wasted on me and I move on with nuts clenched and ethos intact.  'Radio' is straight ahead noise with a look over the shoulder at times when tape decks were required to record one's airwave hits and compile a list of new bands to be checked out.  After a lengthy tuning in and an adjust of the volume button the noise pours, the lyrics spill and we are carried back to a poster laden bedroom where a pimply arsed youth clicked and paused whilst preferred songs where pilfered from the airwaves in the hope of making a pure DIY compilation.  Rough and ready were the results, we had no complaints.  This is a fitting outburst to rekindle the thoughts of times simpler, less flustered and more fuckin' encouraging.  I play over and disappear into yesteryear then come back to where I belong now – I still try and keep it mighty real.

Onto 'Rebel' - a mighty fine tune, although my rebellious streak says 'fuck punk' and 'fuck those in line with the rules of another scene' - how's that (wink, wink).  This is a good thumping tune that encourages those who wanna make a racket to get up and have a go.  Too many apply over-intricate embellishments, showcase unnecessary musical manoeuvres whilst lacking any fucking shrewdness and believable spirit.  Get up, do, do not be afraid to be shabby, just be sincere and do what you do with the best of intention.  I play this loud, forget about the many fakers and players, and just... enjoy. '7 Days A Week' is the best song of the CD in my Fungalised opinion, a real thoughtful and cultured piece of tuneage that starts with subtle subdued tones, develops with care and then blossoms into a fine listening experience awash with consideration, care and a certain underlying clobber factor.  The ones in the doorways and living life under testing skies are put under the spotlight and the question hinted at 'could we do more'.  Special Duties move matters up a notch here and add good value to a CD that grows in stature with each rotation.

The last two (still out of order) are the orthodox drive of 'Stand Up' and the rough and ready assault of 'Time Bomb'.  Both songs are what they are, the first is a bit too laboured and readable with an uncomplicated accent that is easily forgotten.  The latter song gets by with its robust street-hoofing and quick stated verbals.  It ain't rocket science, it ain't a lot of posing and posturing, it is cobblestone kick-back delivered in an earthy and somewhat primitive fashion that is heavily reliant on gumption - sometimes we need little else.

So, the SD Squad have decided to jump up and have their say with a CD that is decent enough but could be in danger of disappearing into the great musical mush if the band don't push it for all their worth.  The fact that these old troopers crack on may display an inherent stupidity or a defiant stubbornness - all I can do is eavesdrop, assess and hopefully encourage the buggers to try harder, carry on and fuck em' all - you know it is the only way left.

   
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