FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

HOAX - THE ENEMY WITHOUT

North-west nob-rottery here with a cynical and vicious hardcore assault that is in no mood for fannying about.  4 bastards have a problem, they can only relieve the tension by clattering away and so clatter they do.  Sometimes they clatter weaponry that is pink, purple-tipped and destined to get blistered, now and again they pick up some musical instruments and do the same - such is the case here.  The  whole shebang of 6 tracks is over in less than 10 minutes, that is the way hardcore should be played.  I don my speedo's of sound, push in my over-squeezed globes and escaping pecker and prepare to blitz out a summary of the shizzle - twang, oops there goes me willy again!

'Fake News' opens, is a 5 second mush and states 3 lines you should already be clued up about.  There is an art-form in getting one's point across without fuck-arsing around - here is such an example, it is pseudo-music pissing on construction and just cracking forth its message in one brief 3 way slap - thwack.  'What's Round His Neck' is an irritated tear up that sees a slow wind-up of musical emotion culminate in the release valve being blown off and the vocal administrator given his chance to shuffle papers of rage and file his message of fury into your 'kicked to fuck' cerebral cabinets.  The disgruntlement that comes is straight from the belly and anyone who knows this oral operator will realise the roarings that come are purely heartfelt.  This is a solid outburst and played with a dirty DIY edge that exposes an open-wound acoustica that I personally get off on - cor blimey guv'nor, me genitals.

'The Kids Aren't Alt-Right' is a wonderfully entitled piece, sharp and insightful and throbbing with demanding statements amid a flurry of riff and roll rocking that is unapologetic and like any decent custard pie, slammed into your face with great intent and much flavour.  The call for self-education and a resistance to the barrage of brain-washing bullshit is dealt out via an incessancy of rigid and provoking riffs.  This is perhaps the most straight-backed song of the lot and is built on concrete slabs that are positioned with stated care - perhaps this is the reason it is my least favoured but I have no gripes with the message.  'Built On Lies' is a beauty and questions matters many may not like to investigate further - are your Gods and commanding cohorts really dictating matters - the answer may turn your guts.  This song is a short flashing sabre of dangerous devilry and is swung by wild eyed minstrels hepped up on the fizz of the fuzz and the raping of the tympanics.  The orgy that we get offered a glimpse of is brutal, hurtful and highly stimulating.  The false promises exposed are by a band firing on all cylinders to make this a fuckin' arse sizzling treat.  The quick follow-up punch comes under the title of 'Fit For Work', a fiery uppercut to the jaw of the controllers who deem people in desperation ready and able for the task of labour whilst many, whom duck and weave, go unmithered and are left to glide on by.  The fury and frustration are combined into the muscle behind the punch and when the delivery winds up and let's fly we all get knocked backwards by the honest and heartfelt effort.  Pertinent, punked and saying what needs to be said - the hardcore edge may be of a sub-scene slant but the ethos should embrace all.  Another one I like - good fuckin' work chaps.

We end with a demoniac delivery, a belt-out of proportions best described as 'possessed'.  The song, 'NGNM (No Gods, No Masters)' is a roaring entity of reverberating hatred that screams with deep resonance and lets you have the message right up your shitter.  No nonsense, no nob-rotting - just pile-driving nakedness up and at ya - lovely.

Hoax are here, the first impression matters and here is a foundation laid to consider.  I have just booked Hoax for a gig, another fiasco built on honesty, DIY ethics and without apology - I think they may fit in very well indeed.

   

BAMBOO VIPERS - HAUNTED HOUSE EP

Punk rock goosebumps rise when placed in near proximity to this somewhat twisted, tortured but highly capable band.  From the inner areas of South Central England this testing crew knock out a mix of mayhem with much forethought and a great consideration to not rest on their laurels.  Here we have a 3 track tickle of hair-raising proportions, the question is - will it raise the follicles on the noggin or the rear end - or perhaps both.  So unto the ghostly goings on we go - shudder, shudder, shit in the pants!

'Haunted House' opens its discordant doors, lets the toxic draught swirl around your knocking knees and sends a chill up your trouser leg to parts, sometimes neglected, sometimes overly inspected.  The atmosphere is set, we await the phantoms of pandemonium to appear and bid us welcome - prior to that we get a musical upheaval to send the mind...slanted.  The creeping malevolence rises, a shock around every corner is there for the uninitiated and indeed the unwary.  The rise in all terror accents is choice, the passion poured is infecting and the mix of components indicative of a crew who know their aims.  This is a good slap of tomfoolery with a believable edge and done with such conviction so as to avoid becoming one of those 'throwaway' constructions so often encountered in many murky pits. 

2nd up, verbals of the insane kind - 'Payback' kicks in and is built on days and days, weeks and weeks, months and months nay...fuckin' years and years of frustration all spilling out in one mountain of agitated angularity and kicking this way and that like a spasticated octopus on angel dust.  The cruelty of life, the insecurities it creates and the fuckin' mithering head-pecking stress it creates all contribute to a voyage that shows a band wound up but wanking with fervour.  The drums are belted to fuck, the wires bent to kingdom come and the throat called upon to dispel inner demons and create oral fire.  This is a theatre showcase of anarchic arrangements designed to discombobulate and disarm.  There is much to take in but with time many tendrils will sneak forth and strangle out a response - wait for it, wait for it!

'Malcontent' opens on minimalized tones, ups the ante with usual out-of-kilter effect and spirasl this way and that like a 60's twist-o-rama drama filled with head fucking madness.  The effort folds in on itself, the pills of creation have been taken in hefty handfuls and what we get is an awkward upchuck liable to wither willies or appeal to the crazed.  In parts I find myself wondering, in others I find myself putting my head beneath the sheets to escape the turmoil.  The fear examined is a fear passed on, but the fear metamorphs and doesn't sit well.  Imagine being locked in a hexagonal room that tumbles eternally and changes colour with every rotation whilst demons from the past shaft your sensibilities - I don't like that and I don't like this song - boo for Fungal!  To add - the song seems ideal for a video though - think about it!

Chaos still reigns supreme in the Viper Vaults and here we have a taste of their unique venom they like to poison you with.  Two songs work, the last falls short, other views will oppose, some may concur - the fact is, they have less relevance if they aren’t put down as a review - come on ya lazy fuckers, let us keep these noise makers moving and get some scribbling done.  Now go and investigate!

   

CANSHAKER PI - NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY VIOLENCE

I have never heard of this lot, my mind can't keep up with the music on show in this big wide world - I am going acoustically insane and yet, have no complaints.  The crew under the spotlight are a 4 piece, spring from Holland and put together a hotchpotch of experimental music that vibrates the inner valves and attentive neurones.  I spin the silver circle and consider, a process like this is best repeated, so I repeat 'several times over' and then put fingertip to the plastic lettered squares so often tapped in this techno age.  My ear drums keep pace, eventually a review is created.

'Pressure From Above' repeat spirals on tonality that in some ways is of yore (think early 90's) and yet sometimes is of the modern day (ahem, think now) and so I have much to mull over.  The opening has a techno hint of raw electronica, the move forth tickles the epidermal layers of things less 'niche' whilst all the while fragmentations of other sonic worlds are glimpsed.  The song has a freshness amidst a sobered edge and at times frisks up into a cacophony of higher order.  Overall though we have a certain disjointedness that make this an effort difficult to grasp and I am left wondering if this is a good or bad thing, which in itself is a meritorious point - odd hey!  'Tonsil' clank wanks, staggers like a cripple under stress before finding a stride pattern that is far from steady but which gets from A to B via a few misplaced letters in between.  There is a lovely angularity going on here which stops me from cruising through an assessment.  The cunts at the helm are creating cracks in the cranium and I re-listen over and over again to try and summon up some semblance of accuracy.  From the lucid and hygienic to the crumbling and ambiguous I find a charm in the arrangement that nudges me out of anything resembling a comfort zone.  Fuses blow, rethinks take place, the bass becomes a salvation – now that was close.

'Sooner/Later' is a mish-mash of madness that chants in, scurfs up the substrate, mirror echoes the mutterings before wallowing in a self-made fuck up of nonsensical sub-frustration.  A wank is needed, time to take a break whilst the players get this out of their system,  'Smurf' is an intriguing mix of that which is delicate, that which is slightly rough around the edges and that which is lyrically odd.  There are many gratifying touches within the weave, Nirvana-esque hints and power surges emboldened by things less forthright.  There is a touch of something dada-istic always around the periphery of this mix and, despite the tongue flicking around the cheek I am still raising my thumbs and giving this a positive vote - I must be slipping!

'If Kelly Doesn't, Then Who Will' struggles to find its feet with a slow 'can't be arsed' feeling to the initial strums and almost reticent tympanic dabblings.  From the idling petal blossoms a song of limpid hues and watercolour suggestion gains solidity and eventually (emphasis on that word) gallops along with indie-esque tones that never truly reach a promised potential.  Many may be happy with this finished product, I am not - it is marred by the distracting opening section and lacks true weight - a shame.  'But Why' attains a higher standard with its nervous energy, out of kilter arrangement and general fuck-clutter awkwardness.  It is a quick piece too - my punk spirit says 'yeah'.  'No Sack, No Way' begins with the most accomplished tonality thus far, has a politeness and cleanliness that I would normally find puke-inducing but here find quite titivating.  The sparseness of certain parts, the gossamer lightness of others and the tangents tossed in all make for a song with the important 'layered' factor which keeps one guessing, wondering and guessing some more.  It is an embracing song, put together with experimental adhesiveness in a most careful way - choice.

'Put A Record Out' is a very confused effort that travels along a hotbed of varied states and comes out at the end of matters - dishevelled and perhaps misunderstood.  The opening independent tones are taken, the shuffle into pastures new is not subtle enough and a mild jarring follows.  Further scrapings are had with discombobulating discordance the order of the day.  The band are using continuing catalysts of sound and reacting all the while - it is just a matter of judging whether or not this is a bad thing?  'Legless' is a more sedate and directed number, nudging closer like the strangler in the cinema eyeing up a potential 'after-dark' victim.  The application is minimal, the simplest of shimmers are used and the whole shebang feels as though it will fall apart at any given moment.  A soundtrack, a mere passing moment barely touched by the vocal palette - strange!

'The Indie Academy' is an enlightened number and one that brings reminiscences of many similar ditties.  There is a friendly and approachable vibration coming to the fore and a complete lack of anything offensive.  The opening tones are subdued, the machine gets oiled and the melodic output is more than a little pleasing.  The inner components are well-rinsed through, there is a classiness here and a thoroughly completed job on show - nifty.  'Half Book' has that early 80's misery that soaked through many mood-laden offerings, usually from dour faced 'erberts clad in baggy attire and with a flop mop top.  This doesn't detract from an alternative-ised sound that travels with mid-paced motions like an ocean of reeking fat.  There is a strain here that many will wallow in, at this stage I am almost indifferent.  It is OK (in my opinion) but doesn't leap from the stereo with any authority.  We finish with 'Beautiful World', a shit-crawling song awash with troubled anguish that spreads mucky paws over the upper epidermal layers of the construct and makes for an unwashed experience.  Nervously nudging in, gaining in confidence and ending matters with something akin to a flourish.  There is a heart gaping here, that always helps matters and as the song unfolds I am sure I can sense within myself a feeling of appreciation.  It is a decent closure and perhaps the emotion wins the day.

After throwing myself into the fray I have come out the other end split down the middle and finding this a hit and miss CD dependant on mood and situation.  There are some genuine highpoints and many moments that just don't catch the attention - this, as per, is all down to personal taste.  Objectively though I must say there will be a niche awaiting the noise and within that niche much appreciation of the application will be applauded - just as it should be.

   

RASH DECISION - KAROSHI

Like a duck on a nest of eggs I have sat on this nest of noise waiting for thoughts to hatch about a band who have changed their staff many times, have had an acoustic hiatus hernia and toured here, there and everywhere within this septic isle and abroad.  They are now still foaming over with their brand of thrashy noise liable to tear one a new mucky ring and  I know what I am getting into here and yet refuse to skip in, skip out and palm matters off in double quick time.  Care needs to be taken and that is what these Cornish cacophoneers will get.  In fact, after this intro, I am taking another break and contemplating the spillage.  Eventually though I spill the following thoughts...

Side A...

'900 Minutes' is a marvellous boom banging belt out of pacey urgency that defies initial logic and blows one's underpants of attention clean off.  I didn't expect such a virile and violent start, what about the foreplay chaps - oh ye brutal bastards.  As I run for my shredded duds and attempt to cover my exposed privates I notice a noise based swelling around my still trembling nob - I think this may suggest I am rather taken by this first explosion.  'The Martockian' counts down and paradoxically rises, with each pulsation danger gets closer.  The trigger point is reached, the holler avalanche comes, the ill-temper, wildness and unified gob eruptions are all escorted and mauled by some big string and skin smacks.  Despite the intense application the whole playing unit maintain a crisp and clear moment to appreciate.  The fact is, Rash Decision are on their game here and nudging each other along onto plateaus that become loftier and loftier.  These short explosions do it for me and when played with such exactness I would be foolish to gripe.  'Snakes' will not be charmed or play the charmer, it is a rough writhing asp of raucous brutality that uses much venom and many constricting muscles to keep the explorer of sound on the back foot and eventually on their knees.  It is  not a lengthy serpent of sound but a short stocky reptile of uneven rhythm that takes one or two squeezes to force out a full on appreciation.  I am in the groove with this one, the opening riffery causes a tension, a tension that causes a bloodied perspiration, a perspiration that reeks of spirited acknowledgement of a band banging out a belter - oomph!

Question - isn't 'Buzzsaw Tomahawk' a wonderful title for a song.  It brings images of musical violence, idiot mentality and a need to smash ones carcass against a wall of ignorance over and over again.  The band thrown weaponry all over the fuckin' place in this beautifully messed up shitkick of defying power chordage.  Try and keep up, tis all over in a flash and in that small space of time, things get hammered and one gets...busted.  'The Seagull Has Landed' is a pecking fucker and just like the avian delight is a fuckin' flying beauty.  The song blasts in, shows its inner fire and then takes to the wing and flies with a glorious zoned in power before swooping down and snatching away any chips of resistance you feebly hold onto.  The spite of sound comes like a swish of malevolent wings and warns of peril to come, a peril you will never escape.  The soaring moments do it for me though, encapsulate everything mighty about this shithawk of noise - one of the best this, play loud, expose your privates if you dare!  'Glass Canons' is in a rush, is commanded by the 4 cabled contraption of reverberating irritation and moves with a certain 'react and act' naturalness. There seems to be an 'off the cuff' jazzoid expression fighting its way to the fore and whilst this is a good thing for meddlers in experimentation and  dabblers in deviating discordance I am finding things not quite sitting on my shoulder of appreciation.  Like a parrot in peril, with arthritic claws lacking control, my view slips and I am not keen on this latest lump of noise - ooh bugger.

'Learning Things About The World (Part 5)' hammers in, hammers out and leaves us bleeding from the rear - and with 'chip eating cunt' ringing in our ears - ooh the naughty young men.

Onto side B...

'Fuck The Tide' begins, blows in across a windswept playground where drenched devils of darkness can apply their trade and make apposite acoustics.  The tribal ill-temper that is roared forth ejaculates from the downpour and spunks out from each and every orifice a resistant sweat of blazing incandescence.  The end result is a laboured lightning flash amongst gathering clouds - is this enough to win a nod of favour?  You decide ya lazy cunts!  'Knocked Loose' dashes, splatter twats and rattles home a blindingly effective head shatter of self-propelling musical aggression.  Uncooked, bleeding and sick to the back teeth with apathy, this fuck-throb of electric energy moves through several sequences, each one loaded up and always liable to blow your brains out.  From the basics we get accoutrements to enhance with the band blindingly effective throughout.  Another angled shard flashed across your wrists, another painful infliction of utter cruelty - oh you bastards are turning me on.  'A Mouths A Mouth' is harsh, hazardous and clobberin'.  The attack is against the moron, the ones who say and suck.  This isn't as good as the previous cut, it has a lack of deep veined fluidity but is still mixed to perfection and has a good wallop factor.  Not a Fungal fave though, I get fussy at times, perhaps here is such an instance - I must remain fair – onwards.

Into the final 4 and troubled tangents are tossed from mentally ill niches of the mind via a song that says it all 'Sick And Tired'.  The inner thinking pattern is splat fucked and shat upon and the sound that comes is barbed with a turmoil destined to bubble over and become something uncontrollable and viciously violent.  Thankfully we end on a threat and nothing more, I don't think I was ready for the beating then again...!  'Salary Man' is a beauty, it uses a blatantly well-raped formula, condenses it into a sub-minute over-gush and riffs it up like a salivating musical psychopath laden with whizz.  Fast, furious, fuckin' fizzing, this small attack on the decency of one's aural orifices is a minor pip I suggest you don't overlook.  I replay, and replay, and replay - man, that old lady at the end of the street is gonna cop it tonight!

In a penultimate position we have 'Medium Raw', a ticking time-bomb that explodes in expected frenzied style with all fuckers aflame and sending out a blizzard of skin-searing deadliness.  From heads immersed in hardcore an 'Enya'fied' mockery takes us into the silence before the finale - it is a good sing-a-long moment that will have piss-pots enthralled.  'Strife' is the aforementioned 'finale' and gets on with matters in uncomplicated blatancy.  Four shouts of the song title nail a verse, repeat and then chop all elements up and stagger out into the darkness before one last flurry is had.  The paced parts are best for me, when the band crank it up they fuckin' do it mighty well - oooh errr!

Look Rash Decision are good, they have put in the work and are nailing matters at the moment.  There is nothing new here but, as is the case when balls are blazing and belief is high, there doesn't need to be.  As far as hardcore shit goes this stinks as well as anything out there at the moment and I suggested that you dabble and knock yourself out with the sonic stench - phew!

   

PHANTASTIC FERNITURE - SELF-TITLED

Phantastic Ferniture come from Sydney, New South Wales and offer up an odd CD that lies on the outer fringes of my ever-flexible listening arena.  I take in all sorts, some I find shite, some I find alright, some I find shines ever bright but...I have a go...such is my punk spirit.  I have travelled through this collection of songs, rolled around in the music like a cow in a flower-filled meadow and have been blessed with many scents and tonal colours.  I take all in, inhale, exhale and eventually cough up an assessment, it goes as thus:-

'Uncomfortable Teenager' is a very fresh feeling piece that has a deep-rooted emotion running through a sub-tremulous tune that floats like an autumnal leaf down a crystal clear river of gently driving decisiveness.  The initial throat inclusions are wary, seemingly sweetly nervous and so win favour that is without affect and any patronising bullshit.  The rear lick is simple, the upper layers smooth and although, at the latter end of the song, I feel matters tail off and swirl in a pool without aim, I am quite keen on what I am hearing.  I move on, wondering!  'Bad Timing' feels its way in with tentative bassism before matters develop and a swinging swish of blossom patterned serenading comes our way.  The fragrance emitted is spacious, passionate and full of layered depths that slowly manifest themselves as the song ascends to its full potential.  The development of the discordance comes with little fuss, the inclusion of shadowy she-vocals adds atmosphere and when the moors of melody get blown over with greater force the song takes on a new lofty standard - interesting indeed.

'Fuckin And Rollin' is a little too self-indulgent although when I play further I find this judgement a little harsh and slap myself on my wrist.  The stroll of sonica is through summer lanes of carefree attitude that falls onto a mattress of copulating involvement and just 'goes for it'.  The perspired effect radiated is languid, chilled and idle-inducing - it is far from a noxious effect but one you have to be in the mood for - I am sure the more hygienic and toned out parts of society will indulge with favour.  'Gap Year' swirls upward in a gathered zephyr of tepid texturisation that animatedly combines to become the best song of the CD thus far.  The slow curve upwards of all sonic applications is neatly done with the rippling of the rhythm executed with care and clean cut accuracy.  The vocalist is given space and time in which to shine, the players are in no rush and I think make for a pleasant creation of easily digested matter.  I like this one, can you tell?

'Take It Off', strolls in, tests the sonic substrate and then moves with a certain feline grace and subtle muscularity.  The skins are flicked over, a lapping movement is adopted with a mere glimpse of things sub-garaged offered to those who have dabbled in such dubious recesses.  The limp and languid approach is borne from thermalised mechanoid forests of deep summer where time is best taken so as to avoid a situation of over-heating.  The metallic leaves are rustled, the wired root system seeking, the lazy accents invasive - make of this what you will.  'Parks' begins with a warm embrace, slightly increases the hold and ripples the rhythm of the cuddle with slow, well-practised persuasion.  The movement is completed with lucid vocals and unflustered musical kisses that flow over the carcass with unassuming ease.  Tonally, this is a song of subdued appearance given life through the ease of the strokes and the aural swish of the patternisation, technically, this is a construction of simple arrangement given enhancement by hands that care for the end art form - I nod with satisfaction! 'I Need It' is at the opposite end of the listening scale for me and although slow and sultry it burns too long, expands a theme and leaves one dozing off at the latter end.  This is poison to my soul and, after the previous number with all its similar traits I can't wait to bail - sorry folks.

Next, and 'Dark Corner Dance Floor' has a smart lilt and swing in the inner core of the delivery that immediately gets one in the moody groove.  The fluent aspects are maintained even when the throat work joins in the composition and all the while we get a feeling of something not too fussy, stress free and floating on a cloud close to that number '9'.  If all songs on this album were best likened to a chocolate bar then this would be the 'Aero', - well aerated, inoffensive and easily consumed without any outrageous flavours - that will do for me - chomp, chomp.  We shut down with 'Mummy Y Papa', a song that starts with a pseudo-80's stick tickle and one that develops into an early session of cultured insight exuding a quality and subtle generosity from hands very much in control.  I will go so far as to state that this opening segment of sound is perhaps the best found on the CD and has a very profound and impressive effect.  From here emotion spills in greater waves, the rise in the sonic spume is far from overpowering which is a good thing, anything more than what laps at the listening feet would be just vulgar and perhaps cause an overspill in the judgement - not a bad way to finish me thinks.

Another one bites the dust, another one that keeps me thoughtful and another offering that exposes the depth of musical flavours out there.  This is not my first choice of listening material and never will be for that matter but there are many elements to delight in and many nuances that keep one thinking which in itself is no bad thing.  In parts the band drift on for too long and in some ways flat-line, in others they capture a certain gossamer exquisiteness that exposes a distinct quality - you may well agree or disagree but to do so, you will have to listen in, he says with a gentle elbow aimed at the ribs. 

   

THE DARTS - SUBSONIC DREAM

2 songs from The Darts, an outfit who play a garaged-psych rock and who hail from Los Angeles and Phoenix in the bad old U, S of A.  The band have been a couple of years on the block, are on something akin to a roll and are being tickled along on the reliable Dirty Water Records label.  They have undertaken several tours, are carving out a niche, they offer up another two songs here and in I go with the tail flicking.

Side the first, 'Subsonic Dream', crunch strums in whilst the shadowy vixen escort hypnotises with profound mystery.  The deliberateness of the opening bars is chased with a freer burst of developing verdancy that sees all components blossom and get keyed up to greater echelons of success.  A suggestion of sanguine snottiness is had, a display of honest gumption dictates the day and a nice retro-garaged sensation is spruced up and given a good dose of modern day realism.  Overall we have a concoction of swirling colour, all tonally opposing but when moving as one gives an appearance that is aesthetic and, exciting.  I swirl and twirl, I recommend this to all to back-street jivers and down and out dogs of discordance - get with it baby!

Flip and spin, next please.

'Bullet' is a hybridised mix of that which is bitchily metalised and that which is rock and rolled to synthed up zeniths of a blatantly sexual style.  The writhing music masturbates itself on the substrate of slinky confidence and gets itself worked higher and higher into the realms of fiery gratification.  Beads of perspiration taste of liquid silk, the tease and please copulation emanates a foxiness of muscular certainty and the lick lip lusciousness all adds a dangerous element not to be taken too lightly.  Amidst the going's-on we get a full on saturation, I shall leave that to your imagination.

2 songs, of a style and pleasing to the lug.  I like these quick dips into varied puddles of buzz.  Here, the quick splashing pays dividends although I have been moistened on a brace of previous occasions - ooh I am the lucky listener. NB - this CD is released on Alternative Tentacles and Dirty Water labels - I think that says a lot!

   

THE COUNTRY DARK - COOKIE TRAIL

Fuckery from Finland with a bleak and insidious blade of sound cutting through absorbing flesh with vindictive psychobilly spite and leaving one unsettled, unclean and...unsure.  All 3 sensations are far from negative, with the latter an ambiguous side-effect of listening to closely to the work of...musical madmen.  The nuances and tonal qualities are all of a certain strain here with an abandonment of the experimental.  A tiptoeing and a reliable routine of rhythm is had, in-keeping with sub-cultural standards and deviant-based rules - ooh heck!  So the asylum is left in ruins, the lunatics are free to make mischief and along the way they concoct the odd tune to tickle!

'Death Of Kay Kent' is an ominous title and proceeds through the undergrowth like a contemptible little rat clued in to the smell of underhand behaviour.  A clanking breakdown of a musical mind and a pattern emerges.  A disturbance finds rhythm, a voice weighted with mystery and horror manifests itself, the freakshow begins and what we get for our penny payment is a peep into a world where things are cursed, cruel and disabled.  This opening gambit is a substrate layer, nothing more, nothing less - I wanted more and feel a trifle deflated at the offering, I move on, still hopeful of a real frightfest.  'Bella In The Witch Elm' is a hot dog delivery up the jacksie of safety and gets one chewing the maize and aurally gawking like a bumpkin possessed.  The dungarees release flies of interest as the inner carcass twitches to a beat that is quite invigorating.  A motif flicks away throughout, there is a distinct relish in the output and even the most insensitive sensors find an excuse to flash.  I slug some moonshine and dim the lights, bring on more goosebumps baby!

'Every Skull Has A Story' gallops over well-used wasteland, kicks up a small swirl of discordant dust and deviates away with an untrustable stride in the sonics.  The song is within the cacophonic keep-net thus dipped so far, but here the sinister edge comes more to the fore and one feels a certain underhand grooming is going on.  Beneath the table of honesty the band shiftily work away and donate a tune that is laden with mystery and impish intent - not bad at all.  'Just Because You Killed Jesse James' shows that the band are maintaining mentally injured thematics with this oddment crossing boundaries of time, turkey-assing the terrors but also keeping a tongue firmly in the cheek.  I am not overly keen on this one, tis a toothless goon of comedic idiocy and although I can see many swivel-eyed lunks reeling around the barnyard, whilst scratching pimpled arses and chewing on the old maize, I fail to get plucked into some kind of arousal - it happens, or not as in this case.

'Slippery Slimy Slut' and 'Beauty Queen Sodomized' are a couple of cheap, vulgar tonal tits with nasty nipples of noisy intent on leaking sour milk for only the most perverse listener to feed upon.  The first is a sneaky snake up the trouser leg of the vulnerable with the aim to penetrate any vacant orifice and slink out its shifty stuff.  The waltz riff is exotic, the vocalisation corrupt and disrobing, there are some folk out there waiting to fall victim, of that I am sure.  The second assault has a dead man walking feel, a zombified monologue begins from a soul too far gone to have any hope of salvation.  The bumming that comes is truly ours as we are shafted by a Tex Ritter mocking that deals dirt rather than cards - ooh mother.  Both songs will appeal to the warped, I hope I avoid that category!

The next brace of unsettling upchucks comes with the highly disturbed 'Today, I Killed My Best Friend'.  This is a song soaked in retro Noir-esque tremulations and monochromed 60's TV shimmerings borne of viewings such as The Mysteries of Edgar Wallace (albeit with added deviancy).  There is a great atmospheric vein coursing with wicked blood running the full length of this pseudo-confessional track that gives more insight into heads with many clashing marbles - strange man, strange.  'Black Diamond Train' is a contrasting song and trundles along a track of quirky affect that oozes fun and upbeat escapism.  There is a 'run-out-of-town' essence that indicates the carriages awaiting are  only for those with a dodgy criminal record of a dubious listening slant.  This is a simple song that travels round and round and leaves one entertained - no bad thing hey?

We fuck off into the wastelands of sound free annoyance with the tendril-twining tune known as 'Magic Empire'.  This one is a conglomerate of hocus pocus nonsense, tribalised tickling and that old-school twanging as mentioned before.  An odd twist of lunatic lemon to add to the cacophonic cocktail already mixed, a song that ventures down the homestretch and weaves off track in a kind of experimental way.  This was always going to happen, if you have lasted this far you may still get entertained here.

A curiosity for sure, a CD that walks a fine line and sometimes staggers into that which is appreciated and now and again falls into that which is spat upon.  It is a mix for the wayward, do you fall into this criminal category?

   

ARCHIE AND THE BUNKERS - SONGS FROM THE LODGE

More dabblings from the Hi-Fi Organ duo who spit their noise out from Cleveland, Ohio.  This is my 4th review of the booming brothers and it would be idiotic of me to plough through an intro just for the hell of it.  All I can say there is some hot talk out there and on several occasions the band have proven themselves to have the capabilities to meet the thermal wordery - can this continue?

'Bill's Bad Day' is a confused frenzy of youthful spunkery, all thrown forth with a jerked, heavily worked friskiness that knocks seven bells out of the eavesdropping framework and has one reaching for any nearby support.  This open attack is spasmodic, untrustworthy and of its own style but, despite all the bluster and banging about, it still has its roots stuck in a rock and roll substrate and coughs up a certain rebellious streak I know only too well.  Is it smooth enough and melodic enough to open this CD - I am unsure but it does have gumption, you decide ya bastards!  'You're My Pacemaker' begins with a superb groove, a haunted house angularity that attracts the lovers of the bizarre, the admirers of the odd.  The opening verse pours out a panging heart, it reveals a ticker trapped, trapped by the unforgiving tendrils of love.  The emotion spills over and the band up the ante and via a swifter chorus make a disclosure that reveals all.  A very catchy bout of funfair mystery that exposes the truth and tonally treats along the way.

'She's A Rockin' Machine' is overloaded with nerved up energy and rising ball juice but, has a certain stiff-spined approach that forces me to hold back on the embracing positivity.  The initial trepidation adds to the wariness but the bounce along follow-on is lively enough to get the toe-tapping and the noggin nodding.  As each play reaches deeper into my dustbin of notice I stir, ruffle the feathers and spit out a feeling of a song that ain't as bad as first thought...then again!  'The Cutting Edge' slaps in with orthodox style, key-scratches in, hits a superb swing move and incites those tootsies into serious action.  The vocal arrangement is the most regulated and routine yet and the back hollers a mere predictable touch that...work.  I find this the most 'sane' offering so far, one that has an inner backbone and lacks the roaming experimentation found elsewhere.  This adds a different appeal, it gives a suggestion of a song more palatable for the masses, is this a deliberate plan and will arses be sold to the horned one?  Forgive my reservations, one has to be honest though but having exposed my worries I still admit the song works mighty well.

'Riot City' wastes no time and kicks up a fuss with high dash.  The battery power is functioning well as the duo propel themselves along on strong vivacity where the arrangement is lit from all angles and multi-dazzles the eavesdroppers sensors with a great storm of solar rain.  There may be an insight here into where success may be found in the greatest abundance - put the two-piece up against a wall, give em' a short playing time and tell the fuckers to go for it.  An interesting poser methinks.  'Fire Walk With Me' is down on its knees, almost pleading with the listener to sit up and take note as the opening bars struggle for any positive impetus.  Eventually a spurt of spirit comes, it is a relief and nicely executed and leads us further into the song where desperation remains, a gothic arrangement is glimpsed and the tonal talent of the band moves like melted polyurethane and emanates a distinct thermality of recognisable scent.  This is a grower folks, stick with it.  'The Roaring 20's' has upbeat tympanics welcoming the punter into the punchy party.  The keys are somewhat counteractive and numb the sensation but we soon get razzle-dazzled with good pep and the general gumption exhibited is youthful and laden with sanguine belief.  The band are in the groove of success here and seem to be laying eggs of consistent cacophony with ease - they are pluck-fucking and doing so with perspired zest.  This song nearly breaks all oval expulsions during a frenzied crack up, it kinda shows the energy bursting through the veins of the strutters.

Into the home stretch, I duly gallop.

'Laura' is a wounded animal, pining from the injured heart and pouring forth an adoration awash with anguish.  The arrow of Cupid has hit home, pierced the ticker and sent the rhythm of life askew - one can feel the mistimed beat beneath that which is more obvious and delivered on the dot.  This is a subtle change in some ways and works well, I advance, slightly touched.  'Lost In Today' oscillates with a quick pumping action before nervously moving through the motions with a troubled cacophonic countenance.  Something disharmonious is delivered but at the same time a coordinated regulation is achieved - odd I know, but it is the feeling I get nonetheless.  I am not griping, it keeps me entertained and that will do for me.  Next to the last, 'Midnight Attraction' pogoes in on a single stick before waltzing around on the usual wank and weird ebony and ivories.  The song unfolds, falters, jerks and carries on with a troublesome limp in the gait.  There is a lack of adhesion to the flow, I feel that this one is a veritable slippery eel to grasp but towards the latter lilts gain some kind of hold and recognise something that may appeal.  We fuck off and flip the finger with '122 Hours Of Fear'.  A sharp gothic piercing of cathedral cruelty opens as visions of white-eyed masturbating monks come to the fore and suggestions of unholy disorder kiss the ring of the inner devil. As we stand poised and await deviancy we are given a gush of distressed music spunked through vessels of eternal frustration and semi-smothered rage.  There is an awkwardness, a spiked belligerence, a refusal to follow the norm - these 3 facets alone keep me still involved and interested - perhaps being an ornery cunt helps.

The lads do well again here, they are sticking to their style and sweating out some aural oddments for you to be entertained by.  Sometimes they miss the mark, sometimes they nail it, more often than not they do themselves justice, there ain't a lot more one can expect or indeed, ask for.

   

HUMMER - BUDWEISER AND BUTTER

I saw Hummer a fair while back, I am sure it was on a Horn and Hoof gig but then again QC Sherry is a cruel mistress and leaves one quite absent minded don't ya know.  The 3-piece hail from Warrington, they state that they play catchy, melodic punk and they seem to be building a bit of an impetus.  The label they are on is trustworthy and will do their bit, all they need now is a good review - alas I can't guarantee nothing until my lugs are loaded and the vibrations have been well tossed around the inner gunk.  I do my duties, I ponder and press a key...and then...

First track, the substrate of silence breaks and 'Daisies' erupt.  The song is indeed verdant and has a certain toughness, not unlike the said plant.   A flourish, a strong surge and a clatter all make the opening bars highly intriguing and awash with energetic vigour and make us take immediate note of a bold intent to make an impression.  Tones are mordernised without being marred by over-technical tossery.  The machine-like coggery turns with honest radiations of riffing goodness and the general production levels get the best out of a band keen to cut to the quick and open with 'fuck'you' flamboyance.  The bass provides a healthy foundation for the slappers and strummers to thrive, this ain't a bad start folks.  'Budweiser And Bitter' courses along like a bold and lucid river with the initial waters tepid but gradually warming up via a good current of bubbling energy and compacted crashing.  Here we drift far more into territory 'new school', as termed in a paradoxical retro fashion thus indicating whereabouts in the history of sub-scene noise this expulsion would best fit.  There are many flavours out there to partake of, this is one of those that always tastes well prepared and sometimes overly cooked.  I get both essences but the flow is interfered with a little too much by some unnecessary meddling.  The blend again is spot on, the arrangement just slightly off kilter with my Fungalised favour – it happens.

'Turpentine' is high activity from the off, a caffeine soaked burst of adrenalin that at all times remains nicely controlled rather than let free with the potential to overtip the scales of sonic goodness.  The band hold the reins with care, just manage to keep the tones travelling with direction and create a mix of exactitude ones lugs easily digest.  I like my fare more rough around the edges and with unpredictable scuzziness but am genned-up enough to recognise a tidy effort when I hear one.  'Workahol' deals with the usual work and play conundrum many battle with and try, with all their might, to find balance with.  Having had my retirement early (15 years in fact) I am now a worker but reckon I am judging things right.  Many aren't, it causes frustration, it spills over and sometimes...causes one to write a song.  This song is wound up, kicking against the routine and galloping with a good gusto - I feel that the band want more time to play - ooh the greedy buggers.  This is the freshest song of the collection, the aerated feel and sprinting application grab my attention, I run alongside and hit the finishing tape with a smile on my rubicund face - gotta be fair don't ya know!

'This Won't End Well For You' has threat in the title but lets it go via the song which I find too similar to many tracks I have heard over the years, a trifle directionless and of a blend that, although articulate and clean, is just to mellow to raise any hackles of positivity.  I listen a few times over, perhaps things here have dipped too deeply into the professional piss-pan of sound, I am just not with the vibe but hey man, if I was in line with every vibe I would be stretched further than the many dicks of a rubber octopus - ooh tentacle-astic.  No, not for me this one but those who like a well-scrubbed cut with weaving ways will disagree.  'Stone Cold Wasted' shimmer shines in, gives a brief hint of something 'Elvis-fied' - shudder, shit, shudder!  The grasp of the sonic straw comes, is firm and shakes out a tune that has good life, an accuracy to be applauded and a running time that is a bonus and keeps things trim and tidy - I have no complaints although I do have a pimple on my cock causing a little consternation. 

The last two and 'Invested' is fresh melodica, seasoned with summery herbs and spiced up with condiments of care.  The dish is tossed in a regulated manner, the thermals that create the upper flavoured steam are mellow with the odd flame rise adding a subtle singe factor.  All the while relish is kept in check and no ingredients spill frtom the final plate of production.  We diners are given good fare, we may need to add a little extra thoughtful sauce and vinegar of volume but all in all, our bellies won't be rumbling after the indulgence.  'Unreasonable' closes matters, is a verbally sharp piece, vocally alert and musically moving with all the usual elements thrown together to give those in the zone one last zestful zip and farewell foam over.  The leaves of tonality are kicked high, a decent vivacity is created and the end coming together of all facets is decent enough - you have had your standards previously set, there is no change here, perhaps you feel there is no reason for anything new to occur - I shall leave thee on that ambiguous note.

A CD that has fluency, feistiness and good production values and one that falls into a certain niche that many, who wander far and wide, will recognise.  I have done my bit, suggested and hinted and left you to go one step further - can you be arsed?

   

C. S. O. D - THE FIFTH ELEMENT

What one must understand about CSOD is that they are not a punk band, have members who are not right in the head and have more talent and spirit coming out of their arse than Jimmy Saville’s nob in a cemetery.  They have a dark side, they spurt their sonic seeds with red-eyed mania and whilst throbbing with fervour they hypnotise mere mortals like myself and have us claiming that we are fans.  A shameful confession to make I know but there ya go - CSOD have power, have talent, have an album that needs my attention - imagine my shock before putting digit to keyboard when the band proclaimed they were splitting up - ooh the cunts!  So in a situation of horror and disappointment I plunge in and do my best (as per).

'For Your Blood' tympanically tumbles on a slow regular rhythm laden with poised threat and eventually escorted by oriental guitar dreams kissed with solar gold and caressed by soothing thermals.  No sooner are we settled than a riffery ripples the inner framework and we are called to critical action.  The band pound, punish and pulverise with their own heavyweight formula of metalised mania, a mania that transcends the apathetic and in-scene confinements and crosses necessary borders for those interested enough.  The strings, skins and verbal leader all belt out with booming belief, this comes across in the final product, a product that I am very much convinced by.  From here we get a clatter batter, a string flourish and then a pronounced and mid-paced advancement led by the ever throaty frontman.  'Reborn' is the follow up song, a more jumbled and patchwork affair that takes many sonic segmenst, places them side by side and somehow tries to merge into one end mush.  Personally I feel this doesn't happen and one or two things are disjointed and sticking out of line further than a king-sized dong in a parade of 'Mini-Membered Men'.  The band exude class, play with precision, just some bits need a bit of extra glue and slotting more firmly into place - one has to be honest at all times tha' knows.

'Manipulated' is a beefier and more flowing effort, albeit riding along on the bruised back of many a beaten bastard who dare defy the CSOD advancement.  All inner guts are twisted inside and out in a visceral mayhem of steaming ill temper.  The song wallops along, the chorus cuts are all built on a repeat ramrod of shafting sincerity, the verse violence held in check and given a contrasting smoothness to the more corrugated moments.  The legs of the listener are kicked to clotted hell, we stagger, we fall, it all becomes too much and the band are left to batter us unto discordant death - they do this shit so fuckin' well.  'Named And Shamed' savages your listening lumps with a dense, dictating kicking given via the steel-capped sonica the band so readily provide.  The song is soon free-wheeling and wind-milling against your framework with aggression, heavy duty attacks and vicious intolerance.  This is a fuckin' good do folks, the roll the crew are on is coice, right up until this last release it is dynamic and powerful - I am absorbed, I play over and over - my knackers are black and blue – I have a smile on my face!  'Devil's Breath' is a mauling, a nasty mauling at that!  The intensity is grinding with the stick work perspired and battering, the bass deliciously nob-throbbed and the guitars, as ever, incandescent and inspiring.  Together the musical mayhem raises goosebumps and hackles in unison and fills one with an urgency to get up, fist fuck a demon and kick to fuck every doubting soul.  The oral operator is ideal for the attack, the band are something to be reckoned with and vary the output with ease.  This is violence, this is victory - go fuck yourself if you disbelieve!

Into the final three flings of the bloodied rag.  'Sea Of Rage' is damaging, rolls in on ominous skins before unfolding with texture.  As I am drawn deeper into the labial folds of this cunt of cacophony I get the taste of something very erudite and advanced, perhaps indicating one of the best tracks the band has produced to date - and that is saying something.  There is a growth pattern that sends out seeking tendrils that choke away any discernible doubt and leaves one utterly convinced.  Haymakers, gut pummels and downright tantrumised outbursts follow with a free-flowing magnificence apparent throughout the mayhem.  The satanic force will thermally scar the ones of already blackened heart and anyone of a virginal stance will be turned to a crippled crisp in no uncertain terms.  The final lick of the flames is wonderful - yes, this is a classic!  'Bring The Fight' follows up, seems to be following a typical route when a holler from Hades rouses our soul and has us 'gagging for it'.  A very vindictive piece of noise this, metalised up without apology, ground into your face with a weighted belief and rifed and raped with an assassins skill.  What we have on our hands is a molten heap of volcanic fury that bubbles and blisters with aggressive vigour that really does get the head banging and the fists clenched.  Resist with pride people, don't let the fuckers grind you down, play this one loud and prepare - I think that about sums matters up.  We finish with 'Dead Awake', a blustering bastard of banging noise that has depth, power and insight all slammed into one engine of hard-working, fuck functioning dinnage.  It is in keeping with the methodology of the band, a punishment issued from artistes hands well-crafted in the chosen musical voodoo - we are mere victims of acoustic evil - it feels good.

So, with a twang in the ticker, I bid CSOD farewell and have to resign myself to the fact that another good underdog band has fallen by the wayside.  The full stop that ends matters is done in grand style and each and every contributor will no doubt be dabbling in some way or another very soon, there is always light at the end of every tunnel.  So, why not get this package of power and enjoy the vibes of a band that certainly proved themselves to me, and I hope too many more as well.  Did you get your fill, did you help them along or did you miss out – oh man, the latter would be a pure tragedy indeed.

 
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