FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 
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THE WASTERS - SELF-TITLED

The Wasters pogo in to my listening parameters all the way from Scouse land and vomit forth a youthful mix of retro-fied garaged sonica that is played with the paradoxical controlled recklessness liable to serve the band well in areas best described as 'grubby'.  Many clean cut and processed punk rock wankers may not fully get the gist here, they will be outweighed by the ones in the groove, soaked through with long term head-clattering and ones besotted with all things bordering on the beautifully shabby.

The first track has a 'couldn't give a flying fuck' essence with an almost ad-hoc perpetual reactive methodology that makes the song a really salty kickback and throwaway piece of trash.  This is all positive stuff, there is a place for this lovely 'crash, bang, wallop...and fuck off' noise, it is an acoustic area where many deviants find salvation and as a bonus it helps them relieve much tension rather than wank off their privates to utter oblivion.  The opening pronouncement promises big time here, the song reels around, has a purpose to blow ones one mind, to let those 'Three Fat Stripes' do the ultimate business.  Yeah - sometimes tis the only fuckin' way baby!  'Another Pointless War' adopts a regular and organised riffery, bounces along with great gusto before pseudo-skanking above a serpentine bass line that adds a perky pizzazz to generate a certain joy de vivre that all other components can thrive upon.   The six-strung tool friskily fuzz bounces, the skins are skipped over and slapped, the gob remains slightly snotted, always annoyed and sweetly contrasting - I am rather taken by this political rant that has great tuned flavours.

'Anti-Freeze' sums up the position of the crew's mental state and their insistence to get wrecked.  The main spine of the set-up is ascending grooves pepped up with splash and crash drums and the expected 'get fucked' gobbage.   The running time is terse, it compliments the action and makes sure we don't fall into the realms of pissed off ennui.  The song comes and goes and does what it has to - any further questions can be answered on-line via 'kissmyarse.com' - get over it!  'We Will Never Die' tin bins with bass focus, slaps down the lids with tympanic forthrightness, screws out a twist with six-strung malevolence.  The promise is upheld by a quick gear shift and a direction found.  The vocal overflow adds a certain recklessness, the move from verse to chorus is mightily effective. The question raised is to all those energy vampires that feed on those that struggle, the schadenfreude soaked shits who leak sexual juices when they know a struggle is going on beneath their feet - what a bunch of utter cunts they are.  The effort here has bite, defiance and throws in a few extra textures just for the sheer Hell of it!

I kick on, 'Drink, Drink, Drink' is a mid-paced tickle with an easy vibe to get swallowed up by.  The message is simple, the arrangement without snagging intricacies, the ease with which the band deliver neatly done - I have little to criticise here.  The flow is steady, the mix ideal for the crew  and the slightly snotty edge appreciated.  I move on with a quick ping in the step, 'Happy' is a great tune that poses a real craw-sticking question and leaves one pondering the masses of 'sad sacks' who are looking in the wrong places for that elusive 'feel-good' emotion.  There are many bastards who take and build their piles, they remain frustrated, there are many who have little and seem contented - are you getting the message!  The arrangement of this melodic poppet is to keep all areas moving as one, highly fluent whilst making sure the accents are fairly relaxed.   I ruddy well love this one, I love the spiralling ascension to the finish - it is fuckin' marvellous.  'Nosebleed' is a more serious sounding effort with deliberate statements stamped down onto the recording substrate via genuine juiced up determination and great off-kilter relish.  The band are enjoying a certain self-inflicted pain, wallowing in a situation gone 'wank' and all the while jacking off and splashing forth a right good riff-up.   The mix is spot on, when volume is injected the slaggy serenade works a treat, it gets beneath the trembling epidermis and has one all a-quiver - I like this feeling.

The closure is here, another bass-beginning and then a holler from the madhouse where rooms are rubberised, electro-shock treatment is the order of the day and all those 'desperately seeking a pal' are confined in a room where they can wank like buggery to get the idiot needs out of their system.  The disgust, the sub-fear, the superb bass work and the tireless pushing passion all culminate and contribute to a very effective full stop - yes!

I have listened in, done my honest bit, now have the band booked and hopefully can help them get a bit more note and keep them on their toes.   What they do here has all the fundamentals of early defiant punkism and is delivered with a good modern day spirit.  I am looking forward to the 'live' viewing, I expect it to be deliciously 'off the cuff' and a times promisingly shambolic - there is no other way.

   

THE BORDELLOS - UNDERGROUND TAPES 22

The Bordellos continue to avoid the flow, they continue to be productive, they continue to do things their own way - and for that we should be truly thankful.  They offer an array of bedroom-based expulsions, you know the ones, those creations thrown off the cuff when the thought arises and slapped down and recorded before the inspiration flutters away into the great all-consuming ether.   On many occasions they produce something magical, of course now and again they produce something off kilter and not to my tastes but throughout they produce what they want to and ask my humble opinion - I am appreciative of that.

So to the 4 tracks on offer, the first is the electro quirk known as 'Elastic Band Man (Dan Bordello Mix), a cold, almost Kraut-Rockian episode of embryonic roboticised madness that inches along like a sonic slug wary of the awaiting critical lettuce.  The abstraction of the verbology, the stylophpone punctuations, the general 'away with the fairies' expressionism has subdued angles, strait-jacketed vulgarities and an almost insightful autisticness that slowly undulates over many emotive sensations.  The only word to use at this juncture is one I have already called upon in the past and will do so again in the future, that word is 'odd' - and there ain't nowt wrong with that!  'Tattoo For The Heart (Echo Mix)' disturbs the stinking substrate and kicks up an initial plume of toxic vibrology that sets the mucky dog senses reeling.  The cloud becomes thick and cloying, from within oral offerings struggle for the snippet of the spotlight, all the while the musical industry continues unabated and keeps on clogging the listener's aural airwaves and leaving one in a state of indecision.  There is a good song going on here, the pulverising plumes are too overwhelming and what we get is a dirty move lost in a miasma of muck many may not have the wherewithal or patience to battle through.  I like certain elements, some I would alter, the entire shebang though piques my curiosity – I am not in the least bit surprised by this situation.

Shush, shush sneaking comes with 'Snatch' floating in beneath the doorway of your attention and reaching in with cooled tendrils of remote acoustica that always seems to be coming at you from just behind the shoulder.  A rear-ground offering done with the lilt The Bordellos are mildly renowned for (well, in my head at least).  The crew are, in many ways, at their best here, emanating a quite pure 'off the couch' DIY touch that gives hope to every plucker and fucker looking to have a go.  There is a nervousness, an anxiety found throughout the score, the strings and tubs are barely touched, this faux lack of sanguinity is not to be believed - the band know what they are doing and do it well.

We close with a pseudo - 'Warhead' bass suggestion, a painful anguish from mote swirling depths, a gnawing nightmare that sees the hazards of mixing 'Smack, Crack and Iggy Pop' come tumbling down onto ones unsuspecting bonse.  The echo-vibes at times hurt, the players are undergoing a therapy, they seem to be banishing demons, within the unpalatable offal a stench of something worthwhile apprehends my doubting sensors - The Bordellos do this time and time again.  I don't like this one and yet for some reason I disagree with myself - isn't DIY music just the best.

There is a crisis going on, a troubled period that will never end and therefore will always force our minstrels at the helm to go on 'creating'.  At times I am elated, now and again deflated, quite frequently things are debated and the shaft of reason is masturbated but, one thing is for sure, I am eternally intrigued and an unashamed fan of what transpires here.  I think it is healthy to be a fan and not claim to like all, I also think honesty leads to respect and vice versa – put that in your jacksie and digest it.  

   

BEHIND THE NUT - HOLIDAY IN DYSTOPIA

And I quote 'We are an acoustic duo who play our own songs and with the odd cover thrown in done in our own way. Our aim is to raise awareness of mental health with music' - now isn't that punk rock encapsulated.  Of course I received, I was requested and here I deliver a piece of forthright wordage - we are all trying to keep things flowing...the right way!

'Diamonds Aren't Forever' is a cool cucumber of sound, begins with an ominous clang of a doom-laden bell followed by a heartbeat seemingly under pressure.   The musical wafting that eases inward is contemplative, below mid-pace, considerate of the soundspace in which things are created.   The tonal construction reminds me of several bands I have recently reviewed, each one with light suggestive pop tones and deliberately considered tempo that creates an end product that is utterly lucid and persuasively effective.  This initial song deals with cerebral difficulties that are borne from loss, a loss that perpetually provokes, insistently aggravates - the band relay the emotion well.  'Marching Feet' hesitantly works under ones skin, stealthily operates with the rear tympanic repeat flutter indicative of a nervous composite drenched in thoughtfulness and quietly racked by palpitating problems.  For me, here we have an example of the dangers of thinking too much, the output seems borne from a mind expecting doom, a cranial area awaiting an unknown horror - the threat appears all too real.  The outcome for me is of a song best played when the mood is bright and best avoided when certain clouds gather and one is on the precipice of a mentally cloying chasm.  Heavy work it may be, but the band have grasped their target methinks.

Next and 'If Only You Knew' is a perfect drift of complimenting tones that seem to get the best out of the band and give the vocalist the most ideal foundations on which to operate and...shine.   The orchestration is uncomplicated, slowly swaying and without intricacy but is pleasantly delivered and so brings about a reclining stance that is prone to reflection.  The sound is not completely polished, maybe that gives things an extra touch of reality and believability - either way, I like it!  I am not keen on the chasing track, one known as 'Disasterpiece'!  For me it is a moribund inclusion that just lacks the spark of life found elsewhere within the weft of the 6 track acoustic embroidery.  The tale, regarding  certain treatments is a dry and dragging account, perhaps reminiscent of the feeling one has when certain promised therapies have gone awry.  I get the gist of the creation, I can see the target aimed for, I feel as though the discordant arrow chucked just needs a bit of extra pizzazz and something to electrify the inner turmoil sought.   The band have their style though, I am merely an honest assessor striving to push the buggers a little harder (nudge, nudge).

'The Black Mountains' progresses at its own thoughtful pace, spices things up with a mellow guitar peppering whilst making sure all stays within the strict strait-jacket of sound adopted.  The crew are playing well within themselves, keeping their expressions bleak and highly sobered, again it is important to reiterate, this is distinctly 'mood' music and will leave some feeling frosted if not in the right frame of mind.  Each touch, each tonal position, each vocal utterance is utterly deliberate - does this impede the essence or help add depth?  I am in a flux of indecision but realise this one explore matters a little more deeply and am appreciative of that.  'The Silence' hesitantly tiptoes in with a nervous disposition, ploughs along over a lengthy distance with a flat-line persistence that relies on shaded tones that are resistant to anything garish and makes sure all is safe and steady and somewhat soporific.   At this point my patience has been stretched, my interest is waning, I think that even though the CD is only 6 tracks long some severe upbeat inclusions are needed to indicate the unpredictability of mental ill health and to help accentuate the overall delivery - just personal thoughts.

At the end of this intriguing gambit I find myself with mixed feelings and in some parts am convinced but am equally of the belief that things need to change for the next release.  I like the aim, I like the careful thoughtfulness but I demand an input of energy next time around, I am watching this space!

   
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REBELLION 2017 INTRODUCING STAGE - COMPILATION

Rebellion hey - a fixation for many that distracts from level zero and a festival that is built more on socialising than getting sonically sated.  I went to the first one and another in 2002 - the first was fine as a one off, the second a faux pas on my part.  Years have gone by, the same old shit gets regurgitated and then an 'introducing' stage was thrown into the mix - as a business all bases must be covered I suppose.  Many bands I had dealt with saw a dangled carrot, some who claimed they weren't fussed about the festival or said they would refuse to play made embarrassments of themselves, some shit their pants in public and were equally shameful.   I have been asked to review this CD by a fine fellow I know, I have a screwed up nose but have gotta be fair.  Sometimes not liking something is no reason to be a git - although I do 'Git-ism' very well.  I won't fuck about here, I'll keep each review of each song to two lines - it keeps things rolling forward - fuck all festivals, up the underdogs!

'Atterkop' shimmer shake, begin with fine nervous energy before getting their heads down and fuzz-fucking like good focused troopers they should ruddy well be.  The initial drill is nicely supplemented and may it be said, invaded, by a skankoid moment that soups up the slop spilled - there is certainly much vigour poured into the opening strains with the follow-up rape and pillage being borne from skacore realms with added vitality supplied by big riffery and much musical nouse.  I have worked with a few bands of this ilk over the years - this is what it is certainly all about.  The follow up to this quality riddled sound is 'Punk Til I Die' by Japanese jerkers A Page Of Punk.  This is a double quick whammy thank you mammy celebrating the zest of the punk rock vibe and ramming it home in a sure-fire style.  Loud, raucous and over and done with in the spasm of a wombat's wotsit.  I like this one as it doesn't fuck around and hollers well - oh aye.

Bono come next - no, not the shaded rockstar with his heavy ego, but a UK punk band writhing and rolling with nothing more than utter fractured 'Despair'.  This is a brief tear-up that leaves the listener with an extra arsehole due to the overall cacophonic calamity and persistently thrusting urgency.  The splodge left on this particularly CD is nothing new under the great shining musical moon but the song does work.  The best moment thus far though comes via the authoritarian command of Chaos 8 who deliver forth the heavy duty warning known as '4 Minutes'.   This heaving moment of relentless hammering sends a vibration down the spine, shakes up the shack and leaves one salivating at the jowls due to the highly impressive saturation point reached.   The song is a cauldron, sat atop volcanic thermals keeping the inner brewing core boiling - prepare to be scalded.  The Delinquents come next, offer up the fresh and clean 'Never Gonna Fit In', a song that, in truth, attempts to fit in, and does so with a hygienic style many will be duly taken by.  The pulses are of more modernised districts, float along with smooth and well-groomed accents and will appeal to those who like a certain era of US punkery and a bit of skaterism - it isn't a bad effort if the truth be told.

Demon Smiles next with the very forthright and impressive 'Keys'.  The strong feminine streak resists the cretinous behaviour and all-consuming macho filth that really should be dead and buried.  The lilt is bold and rises amid a cacophony with much musical wisdom radiated from pluckers not settling into any groove.  The song has essences of many things I have heard before, but then again, what doesn't these days!  The key for this one is that the gob has been given enough air to breathe, has enough encouragement for the clatterers - not bad and the chilled out moment is a touch worthy of more pursuit.  Dedo Podre deliver 'Adeus Homens De Deus' and storm through matters in galloping double-quick time leaving a great steaming cloud of disturb debris behind.   The intro is grandiose and promises big things, the band back up the promise with a fuming explosion of blitzkrieg-ing noise that really does shatter the soundscape.  There are angles thrown in, cute flicks that alter the attack but all the while the unstoppable menace and intent is upheld - a very bold inclusion that leaves a good dent in the framwork.  The follow-up is a beauty too, albeit for different reasons.   The Droogettes rock and roll and with 'No Apologies'.  A quite snagging serenade built on the basic elements of groovy noise and bitched up with salivated goodness.  It is an easy song to get into, has a rebellious spirit and will no doubt please many pinging pirates - go for it.

The Eddies pose a question, offer a paradox by appearing on a CD that has contributed to a dilution and seen many heads take a route all too easy whilst spouting off about how punk rock is not the same.  The song 'Lost Years' is a well-crafted piece of work and shows a good talent and some insight into what makes a splendid ditty.  Punk rock is not the same, in fact it is a watered down force with little chomp that sees many get a duff deal.  I hope the band here live up to their expulsion, question, kick-back and piss in the flowing rivers of idiocy.  This is a solid song though despite my cantankerous niggles.  Fat Randall prepare, suddenly explode to the fore, kick along with a new-school noise that has all the trimmings of a sub-generic pool that sometimes leaves me a little cold.  'Paranoia' is a decent mover, especially when the accelerator is pressed via a sub-chorus that heightens the prospects of the song.   The verse cuts are not completely satisfying and therefore as a result my opinion is split - but I have no doubts as to the quality of the band that is for sure!  'Katie Hopkins In Human Form' by Flies On You is a machine-like piece of automated oddness that has an icy aspect borne almost from digitised digits that remain aloof.  The quirkiness adds character, the celebration of the opposing is done via a regular guitar repetition and an increasing computerised aspect that adds even more intrigue.  The last chant and rant full stops matters, I like this one, I don't like the bigoted bint under the spotlight.   

The follow-on chunk of noise needs contrast and good clout, The Gaak provide just that with the accomplished formula of 'Giving Me Away'.   This song has a caustic intro that cleanses the listening lugs, progresses on chipper glistens, forces the issue through the first well scrunched verse and flies into the sub-chorus brilliance with educated effortlessness.  The song pulls sinews tight, releases and avoids any strain whilst making matters utterly embracing and completely professional - as a DIY dog I should say 'no', as a music lover I say 'yes'.  'Back To Reality' by Informal Society is a screwed up, short-slamming old-school noise that begins within an Amanita-induced fly in the head before breaking down and becoming a scrambled sub-hardcore tear-up of rough and ready DIY proportions.   The band hammer along at full-steam, spit with spite and get outta there before any serious damage is done - that bass is groovy man.

According to the CD track-listing we should be now on Track 14 with Kickback Generation spewing forth 'Riptide Refugee' which, surprise, surprise we are.  This heavily laden walloping pounds in with bold artillery and 'Magazine' touches whilst maintaining a healthy billow in the sails and cutting a dash through the crowded waters.  The drums have authority, the guitars are in no mood to fuck about, the vocal style is lucid and convincing - a politically strong inclusion for sure.   Klammer jump into action next with 'Power Of N', a stylish sounding throwback that plays its cards cool, keeps the verse sections utterly minimalist and ascends into the neatly composed chorus with rewarding well-oiled practice.  The band stand out due to their casual methodology and switch from the latent muscularity to that which is obviously commanding - I like it!

Rattling on, The Last Gang ask you to 'Sing For Your Supper', slowly tickle their way inwards, smoothly deliver a confident song that has all the hallmarks of a sub-generic punk/metal hybrid with extra trimmings to enhance the experience.  The mix is leak-proof, the lilt emboldened, the musical application aiming to uphold a power - I think they tick all 3 boxes.  'Blood Money' is a more theatrical piece and given extra polish and 'oomph' throughout with the impressive vocal work rising above the sonic substrate and contributing to an incessantly flowing chunk of dominating noise that exposes a band with tendencies toward several sub-pits.  The Mis-Made offer darkened blades on which to cut your attentive wrists, I can think of worse ways to commit sonic suicide and am more than happy to give this one a huge vote of confidence.

Nobel Schrott shit out 'Berlin', a rusty arsed eruption from the well shaken rectum of the band and one that drops without fuss into the awaiting, well splattered basin of your attention.  For me the song would be better over a shorter period, the corrosive effect would be more impressive and the general DIY delivery would get more note.  There is something simplistically raw here, I don't mind this at all but would just like to see a little touch of extra fizz.  Pizzatramp don't need any additional pizzazz as what they do is quick, to the point and wonderfully blazing.  I have recently reviewed a track of theirs on another compilation, it wasn't their best.  Here we have a fuckin' stunner though as 'CCTV' cuts a wound into the flesh of the CD and leaves one bleeding hotspot for we passers-by to pause at and indulge.   The bubbling contents we get loaded on tastes good, the violence of the noise feeds one's most primitive soul - hot damn.

A fistful of four next as I attempt something akin to liquidity when tackling this hefty collection.  The Relitics ask us to 'Do Something' with a breezing nag snag that insists you move your recalcitrant arse from the absorbing comfort of the couch and be fuckin' animated.   The all-consuming gusts that billow against the framework are greatly received and for some reason, I really rate this somewhat simplistic song.  By contrast we get the 'fuck it all' accents of Rotten Foxes who blow it out of the fiery arses and lay claim that 'Smokes Let's Go'.  A frenzied and rash rip-up of rhythm that comes from greedy guzzling desires for all things toxic.  The band absolutely belt along and do so with much incandescent intensity that exposes heavy duty riff makers and souls in need of some therapeutic release.   The pent-up emotion is bang on the mark and leaves us with a nice aural bruising.  The Scumbrians come next, kick out a rust-bucket sing-a-long that is frayed around the edges, as dirty as fuck and liable to tickle the senses of those rather pickled.  The hometown feel of 'These Streets' has a sub-quaint edge and seems borne from the rank and file of those under-rehearsed - I like that but the song does get on my tits a bit after one or two plays - tis just the way it is!  'Turn Me On' is the last of the fucked four and is a throwback pop song that has a pre-punk feel straight from the backstreet pub where many honest and trying crews cut their teeth and made sure they stuck to their earthy principals (a rare commodity indeed).  I have a lot of time for this song, it adopts a tried and tested formula, doesn't try to be anything angular or outrageously original but sticks to some reliable rhythmic guns and fires with sure-fire confidence - nice indeed!

Into the final stretch, The Siknotes are 'Drunk And Disorderly', begin with a fart and a belch like many songs I have heard and then rattle along the riffing railway lines like a whizzed up steam-engine driven by musically erudite nobrots determined to stick to the route despite shake-shacking the entire carriages of sound and giving all the eavesdropping travellers a good old thrill.  The band may have a tongue-in-cheek leaning but they know their sonic stuff.  Next and sexed up bitchy rock played with accents strutted and screamed.  'Prostitution' by Tiger Sex is typical hormone-riddled posturing swinging without apology into the sweating lustful pit of all things metallic.  The roaring and riffing comes from an area I barely tread, it just ain't my thing but now and again I don't mind the odd

ifter.  The heavy pulsing, hefty humping methodology and obvious she-proud suggestions are perfectly delivered, I know a few aging limp-dicks who may just need this. 'Limits' by Traits is a darn tidy song, of modernised moods and as clean as the younger fuckers want it.  The clarity does not hinder the power and the sharp delivery and overall new-school vibrations do work mighty well.   Despite my yearning for things filthy, fucked and played with steaming awkwardness I delve here and there and listen to a great array of noise - in this instance I am glad I do.  Uberyou rise to the task of making sure the CD, at such a late stage, loses none of its impetus and affect and billows out the acoustically dense and dynamic upsurge of 'So Long'.   A song that blooms mighty bright and leaves no spacious respite and no vulgar flaw.   The song begins with sanguinity high, grows in stature with every passing movement and finishes with a quite consistent and gratifying release - the steady hands that sail the good discordant vessel are keeping things flowing the right way methinks.

And to the final 2 with UK's Lowest punching with flamboyance via the accomplished well-condensed vibrations of 'City Sound'.  The brisk application, the fresh and flourishing guitar work and the all action drums make the start a good one before a quick cool down is taken and we cut a dash through the well-worked meat of the music that has a sound liable to cross borders.  The strength of the racket continues until the last and then we go into the final blast with Wreck-Age pseudo-skank wanking, scuzz-buzzing and creating one weirdo warped wonder that has a quite identifiable lilt and a very nice underscore of bass work keeping all areas fluent and activated.  The sound of 'Two-Minutes' is a decent way to finish, there are angles to be explored, dirty noisy needles that inject a certain tuned toxin to be partaken of - I sign off happy.

So, all done, a glimpse into a thriving scene and only one message for all - keep it varied, always look below the obvious, and avoid the brain drain.

   

SNIDE REMARKS - LIFE IS HELL

There is no bullshit with Snide Remarks, they are what they are and play their brand of music in good old punk tradition.  They come from Teeside, twat out some good tuneage and have shared a stage with all the usual bands.  They have served a good apprenticeship, I am wondering if this is the time to step things up and move things on to the next level (wherever that is).  I am, for some unknown reason, expectant of a good earthy do here, I may be granted such offerings or I may get served up some real docile and pointless crap - either way, by the end of this review you will know the score.

'Simon Says; is as honest as the day is long, rolls with a good earthy effect and has a suggestion of some old snotty punkism that somehow, still turns me on.  The pace is middling, the angle slightly slanted, the arrangement solid enough.  The mix gets the best out of the band and displays each component well.  This isn't a testicle-twatting start, it isn't a genuine 'in the face' classic but for me, it is a firm foundation played in a way that captures an old-school vibe as well as many facets the scene was, and still is, built on.  'Don't Come Back' is the better song of the opening brace and shows sees the band come together and produce an easily digestible ditty that I have played many times and...enjoyed.  The vocal style is distinctive, the musical escort determined to keep things tidy, melodic and not overly fussy.  The opening bars subtly suggest something Pistolonian without the overlays, the initial verse is well within itself and the chorus cut is put forth with a liquid lilt that shows the band producing the goods with well-versed ease.  It is more than obvious that we are dealing with buggers here who have been in it for the long term and there will be no change anytime soon.

'Millionaires' is perhaps the best song on the CD, a real sharp-eyed piece that exposes a contradiction many of us are guilty of and why the world is perhaps topsy-fuckin'-turvy.  The reasons for this being a favoured track are manifold, I like sarcasm, sharp acidic wit and when it gets across a very pertinent point via a fuckin' fine tune then all the better.  The chorus is a certain cracker that the pogoing populace should lap up and agree with.  If it creates deeper thought then the song will be a 100% success - it certainly gets my vote and as usual, gets me re-examining my input, output and the overall idiot tilted balance.  'Social Animal' is a mean driven song, keeps the opening verse within the cage of care and struts along with stated vocals before poking the tuneful todge through the restraining bars and giving it a rather swift, uplifting waggle.  The musical member proffered doesn't penetrate any new orifices or rupture any eavesdropping rings but gives a fair sonic sensation while sporting a decent sense of rhythm and throwing in a few raw rock and roll touches to keep the necessary neurones alert.

'Punk Rock Mafia' is a song I find a trifle bland with no sincere snagging zeniths and no blatantly obvious hooks to get duly ensnared by.   The song is mid-paced, has a sniping sharpness that somehow gets lost and if only this effort would have bared more teeth and made its point with a certain vulgarity I think all would have been more favourable within my words.  Having shown my ill-favour with the general gist of the song I can't fault the application and the production levels - one must be fair tha' knows.  'Village Of The Damned' is a far more complete song with shifts and sensations executed with great aplomb and showing a band that are capable of more than what they offered during the previous expulsion.  An anthemic mockery opens, a groovy glammed guitar follows, a strutting verse is executed and a sweetly undulated chorus is nicely entered.   The smooth segues continue as a great sing-a-long inclusion comes calling upon a great hook and some raucous backing vocals and suddenly...we are done.  I think this one is another pinnacle in the package - onwards.

'Dead Pop Stars' is a cold matter of fact lesson that chugs along and gets things done with very little concern.   The approach is to keep it honest, simplistic and against the abysmal shit we are fed via the radio, a radio that is best left switched off or tuned to Radio 4 for me.  In truth, over the years, the music industry has proven itself to be one big ball of corrupting filth and what is deem a hit or a shit counts for sweet fuck all.  Pull the plug, get off yer arse and go find some gutter tunes - I remain 60/40 here!  'I Don't Care' is right up the bands street, a snotty shit out and full of old style fruity 'fuck it' attitude straight from the early days to the present time via Boys who are far from Dead!  It is a cover as you may well have guessed, done with very little variation on the theme but definitely one for the nostalgia nuts - I am happy to leave this assessment there.

'Mine Tonight' takes us into the run in, it is a slow starting song that gradually spirals upward with a sub-crescendo appeal akin to a firework lighting up the sky of silence and producing a myriad of tuned explosions.  The lyrical content is verbal spillage from a wannabe charmer who uses his limited persuasive techniques in the hope of winning the affections of a lady.  It is an almost comical jaunt, filled with undying love-tinted self-belief and done by a bloke who can't believe his luck - I think it is the overall innocence that wins my favour - the ruddy cracked sods.  'God Has Got Your Number' is a cute tickle, a serious little thought provoker that gets one pondering the possibilities of being watched all the time and having ones every move assessed.  We are all sussed, you better watch out you wayward rapscallions.  The song here is given strength via the loutish back hollers, the well-brandished strings and the slapped and sorted skins - it makes for a ditty that I can't help singing along to.

'Punks Unite' is a very honest holler, thoroughly well-meant and a tidy reminder to all in these very fractured times.  The tub thump that initially calls is straight from the terrace, full of boisterous and demanding spirit and of a very, very pertinent slant.   In this age of division we need to hitch up our trousers, focus our rage and put the wind up the ruling authorities rather than killing time partying and keeping things 'mild'.  A straight forward clobber clout, there is sometimes every need for such an outburst.  'Life Is Hell' chases, stays within the parameters of the bands style and rips up the substrate with a sub-unruly fiasco that is tidied up, given good riffage and splattered forth with unending gusto.  'Oi's are thrown in to add beef, the twists and turns and general energy do the business and the frontman gobs off with the usual recognisable fervid tones.  Not a bad un' this but outshone by the finalising full stop known as 'Apologies'.  Here the band come into their own and find an emotive texturisation on which they glide to ideal success.   The tale is touching, simply but perfectly put.  The jealously culminates in a tragedy, the 'sorry' is way too late, the pang in the heart is all too tangible.   The pill taken is bittersweet, from something so wonderful something quite horrific is had, the band create a situation that really touches a nerve - tis  a grand way to end a fair and up-front CD.

Snide Remarks have done well here with a tidily packaged product that has many gratifying moments to consider further.  The band roll their rhythmic dice, have a distinct sound and once again, have further depths to call upon that will thus put this effort into the shadows.  A couple of songs really do give hint of great strides about to be taken, I hope they take pride in this piece of work and don't rest on their laurels - as per, Fungalpunk is pushing with passion!

   

SPUNK VOLCANO & THE ERUPTIONS - DOUBLE BASTARD

You should all know who Spunk Volcano and the Eruptions are, you should all have been blessed by some banging tunes and you should all be sexually salivating from your oriental eye in anticipation of this 2 CD release that really does move the band along and show that they are not reclining on their rears.  I am delving in deep here, peeling away the layers and scuttling along with great interest.  Any nipples of noise will be tweaked and appraised, any untoward pimples of error will be squeezed with textual critique and any orifices left wanting will be bummed by the usual honesty - sometimes I don't even know what the fuck I am on about but it is all well-meant.

'Teenage Teenagers' sees the band roll in on consummate, recognisable tones and take the middle-lane of rhythm whilst cruising along on instantaneous thermals of gratifying vibes.  A time of life when hormones surge, internal confusions wage war, endless boners ping up here and there and pimpled explosions damage the already waning self-confidence.  The disagreement borne with the world at large is captured by our plucking and fucking comrades who take a gently, gently approach, use many observations of the 'pointless' rebellion and look back via a rose-tinted view rather than one of shit-stained reality.  In this instance the viewpoint works and works mighty well.  'Marvellous Manifesto' turns to fields of tunery with heave-ho muscularity before innocently baring all and winning ones applause for nothing more than the stunning naiveté that is, in all bare-bollocked truth, the best situation to be in.  The left, the right are one shower of shite and never the day will come when all come together and see fuckin' sense.  The song here plays it straight, offers no solution but then perhaps gives the greatest answer of all whilst kicking up a tune that has no complication, no shady dealings and no fraudulence - unlike the political crap-heap.

'Fixtures And Fittings' is a sad song, a ditty that deals with a matrimonial fracture that leads to a full on collapse, an occurrence that really is a tragedy.   The delivery is gently emotive whilst being fatally acceptant.  The petals of promise have withered, as they fall to the floor the eye cast seems to be almost unmoved, the band take this moment, embrace the cold heart, play out a tune that kisses the lips of acknowledgement - I think the crew get matters spot on the mark.  'Plasticine' is a slow and steady plod singing the joys of a material that is ideal for making worms, turds or anything of a similar shape.  This multi-coloured product was brought with great ideas, the smell and the texture destined for architectural success and yet, more often than not, the end result was a dirty ball of filth adorned with dropped crumbs and carpet hairs after a few rolls over the un-swept floor - ah well, there was always the next time!  The construct here is simple but gets its point across - I think I am going down the Play-Doh route.

'Shit Excuse' is a scenario we have all heard, the great big 'put off' by so-called friends who in truth, want to cut threads but just don't have scissors of sincerity sharp enough.   The song is a slow statement of fact, an acceptance of a situation set - sometimes the time to move on must be recognised and fools, flappers and thieves of time need need leaving behind.  I like this slow stroll, examining the age old problem and I also like the ensuing 'Super Dooper'.   A song that struts, clenches, repeats and once more moves with mid-paced intent.  The creative juices flow to form something very simple and in some ways quite senseless but even fuckers like me need the odd moment to escape the cloying cables of the woven political webbery of life and listen to something without too much intricacy. The 'SV' sign is emblazoned across the blood-shitted sky, the wannabe fighters of governmental crime are here, watch your back folks.

'Edging On The Side Of Caution' is tuneful gallivanting picking up a lick and double dosing the attentive client with one repeat beat thrashing.   The application is pure, highly melodic and very charming but, after a while this one can get on your tits.  The inner instrumental gumption provides transient spite but we are soon tossed into the same old, same old - yes, my nipples of noise are very aggravated.  'TCP' on the other hand is an all-consuming classic. 'whoa hoa's'. takes a childhood accident and recalls the awful looming presence of the 'burn all' liquid that supposedly cleanses rather than cripples.  I remember the times when many an open wound was set ablaze and a pimple on my todge was turned scarlet after a dip in the 'Totally Cruel Potion'.   The band soars mighty high here, with a tuneful tale that reaches rarely attained zeniths and blows the stratosphere apart.  The chorus is really something else, the whole shebang a sincere underground classic - fuckin' marvellous.

3 quick dicks are delivered in the dumping ground of discordance.  'Independent Fire' heavily chugs, channels energy and fuse-boxes into a fiery war weapon of slamming irritation.  The initial wind-up is a ball blistering swirl of overly heated aggression poured by hands clenched tight into concentrated balls of untold fury liable to burst your preconceived ideas apart.  'Red Rings' is a better song albeit in a more sedate, stated and steady style.  It is the work of a ground down, frustrated individual whose inner cogs grind away with great difficulty as the blacked cur nips at the heels, pisses up the leg and fucks the shank of any possible hope.  The strain, the omnipresent anxiety, the inescapable fact that time has passed and the situation you are in is the one you are stuck with - wake up fuckers, you have had the chances, use this as an alarm bell and go and create some more.  'Spare Room' takes a tiff, creates a wonderful number that considers and craftily tries to escape the doghouse before being given sound advice via a freshly blown and well-intended chorus burst that the band do so well.   Ultimately the crew are in cruise control and combining straight urban lyrics with a concrete tune and then mixing to a fuckin' A-class tee.  This song caps another gratifying hat-trick and it is good to know the band are on it, growing in stature and now, as I initially thought, outstripping a band with areas boxed all unclean.

'Road Rage' is a pinnacle, a zenith of roaring mania that snatches an emotion borne from senseless goons destined to drop dead, get a pasting or end up in a life-taking wreck - and good fuckin' riddance to em'.  The roads get clogged, people get in a rush, chances are taken and tempers rise - the whole shebang is turned into a musical release here and I fuckin' adore it.  From this blatant and rather Caveman-like explosion the band turn things upside down and flow inward with a track that is vying for the best of the lot (I say vying as the whole CD is laden with quality).  'Old Wives Tales' is a textured dream that dwells on falsehoods and folk faux fuckery where the head gets sent one way whilst common sense calls the other.   The underscore of sound is tribal, kept on a minimal heat and gently simmered by vocals coffee-roasted, barely toasted.  There seems to be a magical incantation going on here, no doubt summoning demons to work against the misdirected grain - I wish the band luck, the witches are weaving many words of senselessness, they will have their hands full to negate those age long guidelines.

Fuck me, Side One done - I need to grab my bearings - oooh agggh - that feels better!

'Death Or Glory' is an easy delivery, rides upon a plateau of comforting tones whilst relating the word.   The vocals are shiny bright, the musical rhythm rockin' with triumph, the call for action perhaps will be wasted on many dead heads but note is taken of the spirit, the sound and the sensation it brings - quite lovely.  Next and a song for the slagwankers, the sickening horde who name drop, seek out B-class stars, get their photos taken and somehow propel themselves up the musical charts for those equally keen on feeding the tosser's egos and their own pathetic needs.  'Sucking Up' has a Cochrane-ised riff, slaps the facts in the faces of many folks who will be listening in and not realising it is about them.  Since musical time began the liggers and leeches and the vicarious parasites have always been prevalent, the ones who need a picture with their hero to prove their value, the ones who are always on the look-out to get some assurance on their credibility -it is laughable.   The song comes and goes, easy does it  - point fuckin' made, are you listening - of course not!  'Dirty Pictures' is a beauty but regards behaviour quite ugly.  The wife referred to as a 'bit of a sort' perhaps would be better described as 'a bit of a slag', as the slack fannied strumpet goes about her disloyal business much to the cost of her vaginal elasticity no doubt (not forgetting the sphincter muscle damage too).  The song is wonderfully barbed, has a 'loutish lad' feel but shouldn't be confined in the tray of 'throwaway' as the substance and the sonica have pertinent weight and pick on a situation and a shit-hag I am sure we have all encountered - take the hint, avoid the bint, enjoy this sonic stint!

'Here Come The Zombies' is another dig, this time at the useless shits who have swallowed the whole crushing bullshit, not had enough nouse to escape the nightmare and wallow with sub-pride in their piles if infinitesimal crud.   The song structure is straight forward, chant, rant, invade with a verse or two, take a slow time out, force one's way to the finish line.  This isn't a favourite with me, it is a bit too obvious for its own good methinks and lacks any longevity.  'Personality Black Hole' is a steaming bastard that slam-wanks in before eventually spurting forth a frustrated face-splash of hard-fought, screwed up metal-invaded hammerjacking that confronts the one-dimensional cut-outs and tells them to go and get fucked - a wonderful moment and one I could use over and over again as a message to many folk I know who lack any real depth.  As a counterpunch to this harsh explosion we get the crooning and soothing '99%'.  A song of gentle encouragement, a ditty that is perhaps a trifle too creamy and too whipped but one that makes sure you never forget that this band have many angles, many musical arrangements to offer, many sensations to tempt you with (ooh me arse).  The slow and steady trickle informs us not to overthink, not get stressed out and to fuck off that need for perfection - just give it yer best folks rather than the nothing so many offer (fuckin' cunts).

'Inbred' is a pip, ram-raids the lugholes, rifles around the inner sanctums of decency and slaps down a tale regarding those bony-buttocked, unwashed, boss-eyed fuckwits for whom, there is no hope.  Their ideals in life are wanting, aspirations reach as far as the next fix or can of cheap lager, as far as they are concerned ethics is a place near thurrey (please apply own lisp) and loyalty is a type of card you get from McDonalds for good service.  The raw, matter-of-fact, street kicking lyrics and the rupturing tune do it for me, in this sonic life there is no need to fuck about and tiptoe around the tulips of politeness - go for it.

Into the rear end we go (ooh) - I pump out the text with extra ardour (double 'ooh').  'Daft As Brushes' is a  liquid lilt that flows as easy as melted butter down the plughole of your reception.  It looks back with a filmy eye at a life altering moment that causes irreversible change and takes away so much abandoned innocent.  It is a nostalgic snip, perhaps more personal than we may deem but, I am sure, we can all relate to the point being made and how, when situations go awry, we have a pang for the good times and the ones we took for granted - a sweet and sour piece and certainly a necessary one.  'Sick Of Saying The Same Things' pounds and bounds, keeps the good ship SS Spunk floating along without fuss and creates a trailing spume of regular riffery whilst the hollering Captain on deck gets wound up and delivers a raucous verbal rage against repetition and routine.  The need to reiterate has obviously raised the hackles and there has been an overspill of ill-temper in the recording room, we are the lucky recipients of that surfeit of sizzling spite.

'Scared Of Needles' is straightforward noise, fuelled with a chugging twinge that adds depth and is laden with a fear many will titter at.  Being afraid of pricks is nothing to be ashamed of, having them enter your carcass is an uncomfortable experience and when they shoot their contents into your system it can be a quite harrowing experience (can you see what I am doing here - it may be my nerves playing up).  That horror-inducing request of 'just relax and you won't feel a thing' is one we have all heard, be it in the dentist, doctors or whilst on all fours in Big Brian's Bed-Sit - here we get reminded of situation X - I can almost hear the sphincter muscles squeeze tight - what a set of bastards hey!

'Blinded' chops away, keeps things clean and tidy, rolls along without any fuss or over-intricacy and comes across as one of the 'safest bets' in the pack.  The routine is simple, the inflection utterly recognisable and on a bad day, on a shit CD, this would be a great moment - alas it fades somewhat due to its positioning and the fact that it has to compete with some absolute gems.  I can't fault it but just needed to state this case so as to keeps things sobered and realistic - gushing for gushings sake or for the chance of some underhand gain just isn't on you know!  The closure is a beauty, it says so much about the scene and beyond, about how dressing up counts for nothing and how doing things because it is part of the big 'tick box' procedure is blatantly just fuckin' daft.  The song roars in, roars out, in between it roars some more and, if there is any justice, it should make a few folk feel mighty uncomfortable.

There, at last - a 25 track treat methinks and one done by players in the know, on the ball and still walloping away with great desire.  I am 53 years of age, have listened to music all my life and have reviewed over 1500 CD's at the time of writing.  In truth I should be slagging everything I hear as 'unoriginal', 'ooh same old, same old', and 'heard it all before' but, I still get turned on by the basic elements of noise and hey, when it is thrown my way in such grand style as this, who am I to fuckin' complain.  For me, this CD is a culmination of a quality band - there is more to come - I'll do my honest bit as per.

   

THE AWKWARDS - THE AWKWARDS

The Awkwards are a lovely set of gents, play some simplistic punkery but do so with such reliable honesty that one can't help be taken.  They played my last Blackpool Bastards Invasion, they were fuckin' excellent and of course, a few months later I got the first release to tackle with my textual twattery.  I listened first time whilst on the punchbag, it kept me hammering away in fine style, I listened a few more times whilst doing the dishes, gardening and pootling, I did consider a spin whilst throwing one off the wrist but thought I might damage my John Thomas.  Eventually (and zipped up) I was ready to tap out a review - and yes it will be as it comes and with good intent.
I Think ‘Down In The Garden' is a fucking beautiful purple-tipped rocket rifled up the idling posterior and gets the CD off to a titivating start that deals with a situation in life and deals with it in no uncertain terms.   The song clobbers right in, a repeat 3 punch combo, a convincing holler and then the repeat question and follow-on threat banged home with cracking power and great assuredness,  There is a rising anger, the fantastic inner instrumental releases much tension and is a moment to lose one's head to.  The whole flow is heavy on the artillery, it is a relentless beating and hammers out on one fine full stop -job done.  Quick bassism carries us kicking and screaming into the skewering signature 'The Awkwards'.  A deliciously driving piece of music glorifying the joys of being obstinately obstructive.  The situation under the spotlight is a wonderful thing and can lead to so many answers to many nagging questions.  The band obviously relish the 'fly in the ointment' positioning, they play this one out with undeniable fervour and whether its holding up a bus queue, taking one's time in the only public bog in town or having a wank in a set of revolving doors I am sure the players are heavily aroused whilst indulging in the chosen hindrance - and why not?  A good early blow-out this - I like awkwardness.

'Scratch' scuzzes and quacks like a shit-laden Mallard on the wrong end of a bumming.  The song builds up a head of steam, is one restless fucker that tickles the senses and ploughs forth with a simplistic drive that is quite necessary in my noise-laden life.  No political ponsing, no sense if the truth be known, just a relieving oddity that has much clout and gets on with the job without trying to be clever - one can almost envision those crab-infested punks scratching down below - ooh err!  'Why You Looking At Me' pushes the accelerators, forces the band to up the ante and this they do with ahem...nobs on.  Again, no intrinsic raiment’s of rhythm are had, no fascinating roamings are offered, no exhibitionist idiocies showcased.  What the band do here is take a theme, get the head down and ramrod the raving rhythm home with real zeal and much fizzing urgency - for me it is where the band have found greatest success thus far although that opening number is still not licked.

'Baking' is one for the Brits who each and every year expose their pasty carcasses to the rays of the solar demon and allow themselves to take on the complexion of a recently rogered Lobster.  The riff is sawing, the pulse persistent, the outcome simple enough.  Oh I do like to be besides the seaside and soak up those UV rays - watch my nipples blacken baby.  'Some Mothers' is a better dig, twists and turns via the strings before a hepped up chanting follows before another dose of repetition is heaped upon our clattered heads.  The effort has elements that may force out a 'jigging' reaction, a jigging that may induce ridiculous erections destined to be bobbed this way and that.  My mind is awash with a group of deviant’s pogoing to this with todgers trembling in horrific unity - I think the side-effects of my pills are getting out of hand.  Prior to visiting the doctors though I produce my pecker and have one last jump around - yeah, it feels good!

Mystery, dark ominous clouds gather, a scenario of uncertainty is had - we are about to get a visitation!  'Close Encounters' develops, delays, develops some more.  The  routine set is strictly bulked on repetition, the band are under no illusions and offer no delusions, I consider this focused driving rising from firm atmospheric foundations and liable to melt the brain if one over-indulges.  Listen carefully, you can almost hear the players tiptoeing on the cusp.  'Solution' flops itself onto the listening substrate with a sludge-addled bass line that vibrates the inner guts that hurts like fuck.  A DK accent surges through, a fine cutting riff and drum slapping that grabs a groove and goes for it.  A topsy turvy trashcan of a world is upturned and examined, there seems no answers to the emanating stench and the wriggling maggots that feed and breed.  The scenario is whipped up, the band hammer along with muscular grace and kick up a dirt that is quite pleasing to be splattered by.  There is nothing to spit out here, The Awkwards are travelling a fine by-way - I am happy to tag along like a shit-stained urchin hooked on noise.

'Opposites' intensely shimmers, throbs with electric thermality, poses the never ending questions, takes delight in a swift chorus lick and then continues with the same searing accents.   The songs the band are chucking forth lack intricacy, lack profound depth and refuse to become overtly political but by heck they get to the point, rattle on and are produced to such a complimenting standard that the band duly shine.   'Day Care', 'I Got A Plan' and 'Location' break no moulds, do not bend any rhythmic rules but just fuckin' belt along with individual strains that maintains the CD's strong impetus, punk as idiot fuck thrusting and general fiery arsed desire to keep things sizzling.  The first of the trio blue lights in, stutter pulses, states and rinses out the whole shebang with a free-flowing chorus.  The second shit out takes no prisoners, ties itself up and somehow escapes with conkers unbruised and the whamming leaving a good aftershock.   The last of the triple twatting is a real old vibrating slap in the mug of bold banging that has a certain street-zoned feel and an almost naturalistic expulsion of sonic need - I think the band are rather absorbed here and making some sturdy noise.

The last 2, 'Waste Of Space' is a song built on a muscular rock and roll riff.  A sub-Cochranised kerfuffle reinforced by a head-mushing bass drive that gives foundations that won't be easily washed away by things more processed and gentle.   The crew pick up their weapons of war, choose their target and batter away with an almost perverse incessancy.   There is almost something sexual arising from the genital destroying tremulations - a few may be rather turned on.  'Zombies' closes matters with another wraparound escapade that goes through the rotten flesh of routine, splatters its visceral vulgarity over your attentive walls and leaves with one final garish ascension for your palette to consider.  A par for the course closure, I would have preferred and big walloping humdinger or perhaps a rising instrumental with a highly volatile punctuation mark on the end - I am never, ever satisfied.

Talking of being dissatisfied, look, the truth is The Awkwards are good, they have opened their gambit here with sound slamming security but it is more than obvious the crew have a whole lot more up the sleeves.  I am impressed so far though but man, I would be a turnip of an assessor not to want more.  I leave you safe in the knowledge though that we have another fine CD to bop to and an outfit on the precipice of something extra special.  You see, in awkwardness, as ever, I trust!

   

COVERED IN PUNK - SHORTER, FASTER

I hate cover bands, I hate festival fever, I hate Manchester - the band under the spotlight may be in a bit of shit here!   Fortunately I am capable of stepping back, shaking off my leanings and taking tunery for what it is whilst understanding where it is aimed at and how well it is played.   Add to this my usual honesty and the fact that that positive critique is the key, with poetical licence allowed if gushings need balancing, and I hope to get some semblance of fairness.  The band offer up 3 tracks, I tread inward, take a deep breath and grab onto my punked and passionate conkers of cacophony.

A Genesis cover first!  Yes, you heard right, a zipped up version of a song created by the band led by a cardboard-dreary dullard who has left a blight on music with many unappealing disasters.  'Land Of Confusion', in my humble but crucial opinion, was a shit song not destined for my attentive avenue but many disagree which is ultimately fine.   The crew here take the spinal structure of the song, strip away some of the flimsy and commercialised edges and swallow the whole shebang and puke back up with added power and pep.  What they do is rape and pillage a product and for me at least, make it more listenable.  Overall I can complain and I cannot – I think that kind of sums up my situation – the crew though can certainly handle their equipment – oooh heck!
Talking Heads are a darn good band, they make music from varied niches and add in magical dust that creates angular life.  The cover of 'Psycho Killer' walks dangerous ground, pulses in with great sanguinity, takes the bull by the horns and although falling way short of the remarkable original, does what it does in more punkier terms and executes a decent listening experience.  The song within the hands of the molesters is taken, manhandled and moulded into a far more obvious 'conveyer belted' punk arrangement that the spiky tops in the street will adore.  As a lover of things coming in from awkward angles of course I am still utterly convinced by the original but this is a fair do and will bring many a pogo-assisted smile.

We shut down with a re-processed Adele number, namely 'Someone Like You'.  I hate the pop charts, I hate the fuckin' foolish money grabbing ego sating filthy pit it is and I hate most of the dross that gets airplay because it is safe and offends no-one.   The song under the spotlight is a trifling titivation to me but is a well worked number and is taken from an artiste that even my punked soul must admit, has talent aplenty.   The crew shake the skeletal framework of the number, do little with it if the truth be told but just add a few riffs, speed enhancements and harmonised incidents to shake up the general vigour of the chosen snippet.  The execution is precise and somewhat Americanised is some faux way, with the players coping with the alterations of pace quite marvellously.  I am however not keen, I prefer original material rather than fodder bastardised and thrown out for the idle headed.  I gotta be fair and honest though - if you like a band doing unexpected covers then this lot do the business, if you have a strong preference for original material then these will be worth the odd listen now and again but won't be changing your thinking anytime soon.  How’s that me dears!

   
1

WOLF BITES BOY - THE STORY SO FAR...

As soon as Wolf Bites Boy were ready to gig they played a Fungal fiasco, it was their first or second showing in the 'live' pit, it was a revelation and convinced me of a band of street-wise sonic nouse that were destined to make a good mark in the OI sub-scene as well as in pastures punked.   The crew are well-versed, decent chaps for sure and seem to have a knack for producing good hard-hitting, heartfelt cacophonies from the cobblestones.  The produce is obviously laden with skinhead lilts, contains much formulated fodder but is delivered with such variation and 'oomph' as to be utterly loved by those booted up and braced for some good impacting noise. 

The opening 10 hole lacer arrives up the awaiting jacksie with much force and under the pride-saturated name of 'Oi Running Through Our Veins'.  The song begins with glass-light promise, roars in, rattles through the first fist-flinging chorus with an unstoppable verisimilitude to other vocal violences that aroused many a shaved barnet.  The execution of this initial pyretic punch leaves a good welt and with the underlying riffery and stick molestation provides a firm foundation for the barbecued vocals to sizzle -  I think I can safely say this is a minor beauty.  'Bang To Rights' is a well woven skank moment that brings together many choice and cultured touches from a further sub-pool that has served many music fans well.   The sweetly fluent bass work and lightly flicked skins and cymbals allow the guitar to upstroke its way with cool positive grooviness.  The whiskey scorched vocals provided an ideal intensity to the overall tickle with the construction utterly well-versed and borne from heads who have spent many a long year soaked in the sonic arena - spot on chaps.

'I Stand Alone' struts in on cocky tones, puts in a quick flurry and away we go.  The travelling shout out to a one-man defiance regards a situation of entrapment delivered with the outcast in mind.  The song brings good vigour, keeps the sharp flow coursing with relished raving, the step back from the accelerator is a nice touch that leads into the instrumental insert prior to the last push for the finishing line - a necessary thrust this one.  'To The Hilt' is a cruising fucker with old school lyrics abrasively scorched over a languid underscore of sound that provides a most gratifying contrast factor.  The players barely break sweat whilst donating the cool drift with the oral offerer, as per, bursting a bollock and making sure those tonsil tendons are left blistered.  The song has a certain street-wise sass, has a controlled direction and yet is utterly natural - I am in the zone here and loving it.

'Rubble And Decay' is a cry for help, a last blast holler to grab something positive from a dissolving situation.  The verse is delivered with a very subtle rise that crescendos with a chorus destined to get all those disillusioned bastards invigorated.  The problem is that the heap is so dumbed down they need a real rocket up the arse beyond music but, in the meantime, this will have to suffice.  For me it is a smooth gem that keeps me on my toes and kicking back.  The band are focused and spitting creative juices with applaudable consequences - if you like your Oi with a touch of class this is what you are getting here.  'She's Not There Anymore' is a considered spoken touch of personal emotion, it gives the CD a new angle, a poignant moment, an insight into a band are who are not just about the boom, bang and bollocks approach - they have something more and I find this a crucial inclusion.  The fact that this heart-touching arrangement avoids pointless poetical adornments and precisely encapsulates a sad situation is testament to the thought behind the piece - well done chaps. The chaser is perfectly positioned and follows the set theme of 'loss'.  Here the initial upset is overcome, the entwining threads of unsettling horror are cast aside and the inner spirit is renewed with tragedy turned into triumph, an agony transformed into a homage.  The song has all the elements to pull the ticker strings of many in a similar situation and for me it is time to wipe away the tears and 'Raise A Glass' is smiling appreciation - solid work as per.
'This Is England' takes bare facts, ploughs through the shittery, tosses all the confounded problems that stink to high Heaven into the air and comes up with a response straight off the anthemic shelf.  This song is a beauty, even those hard of heart, with a nose for things suggestive of 'corn', or plain old awkward cunts like my stinking self will fail to find fault with this momentous mover that really does tick all the obvious boxes...and some.  I needn't add much more, the song is a sing-a-long delight, the changing face of the shit-hole is nailed - have it!

'Gotta Getaway' shouts from the rooftops, takes up a clattering awkwardness before sputtering along and finally finding true oil in the motions and kicking up a plume of needy emotion to escape a situation all too problematical.   The guitars skid, skewer and skank, the oral opening is heated, the drum work marshals all melody and keeps the crew on track - just.  A song on the cusp of a disaster but thankfully scraping by!  'Family Isn't Always Blood' is one for the cacophonic community, an end of night treat to bring  a soppy tear to a sozzled eye and to get the embracing staggerers singing along and then waking up next day forgetting all the throwaway meaning.  I am a great believer in community, see too much that is based on what folk can get out of things, I hope this semi-corned offering gets a few buggers thinking and being more sincere.  The song sets out its stall, does what it needs to - I am 50/50 on this one - I think it is something to do with being a cantankerous and sceptical twat!

'One Of Us' is a neatly executed number with a simple orchestration and chanting style that doesn't take too much effort to get in line with.   The crew keep things rough around edges, start with suggestive anthemic tones before marching in militarised style and then hitting home with a routine tickle that once more will have the working outsiders singing in unison.  This song is outstripped by the superbly Rancid-esque tickle known as 'Big Man In A Small Town' - a song that shows the bands true pedigree and the ability to turn up the quality, slip into complimentary genres and yet stay within parameters that work mighty well together.  From that slick skank opening, the snagging rawness and the wonderful chorus that highlights those real minor men of no consequence that are found here there and everywhere – you know the fuckers, with chests out, invisible carpets under the arms and strut in the step had.  I like the whole movement here, the scurfy DIY nastiness that is glossed up by darn good application and a real unaffected streetpunk reality - sometimes we gotta tip our titfers for tune done by the likes of me, you and not them - lovely.

'Next Generation' deals with the modern day weaklings, the griping shits with no spine and shows them what real living is like.  The sweet twinged intro soon dissolves into a scuzzy, raw-boned routine with the underfuzz and back hollers overlain with the roaring abrasiveness that gives the band a certain recognisable edge.  All the while, the band dish the dirty facts, keep the acoustic wound open and apply their own brand of spiky salt to keep one intrigued.  'Rise Again' pronounces on bold tones, briefly rattles the ribs and then digs in some feisty heels and promises that the punk resurgence will come and all will be well.   Tis ruddy wishful thinking but one can hope and maybe, if a few more get their arses in gear, we can get somewhere effective.  The punk revolution is given credit, it did make a change, it still carries on today but the diluted format needs a kick up the rear and a change of gear for a scene has become too uniformed and blunted.  The fact remains though the arena is a great way to focus some stray minds and keep people out of trouble - that is a good thing for sure and let us be honest, the music brings untold pleasure and helps ease the troubled soul.  I like this one but 'Wear Your Heart With Pride' speaks greater volumes, is an ethos I thoroughly believe in and when combined with the chasing 'Fighting On' - is a duo to be certainly reckoned with and used as ammunition to keep you kicking and screaming with self-belief and utter passion.  The first song demands you take heed of your inner soul, do not doubt yourself and stand very, very proud.  The chaser uses the old anarcho slogan of 'Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down' and rams it home with sanguine and sincere affect.  Both of these latter end efforts need playing loud, need concentrating on and should be used to perhaps rekindle fires neglected.  I am always well stoked, come on folks - get fuckin' blazing'.

We piss off into the end silence with 'Streets That I Call Home', a tense affair, blistering with life and not ashamed to be born and bred in the true avenues and alleyways of the working class world.   Sung with chest expanded, with eyes wide and without a regret this one is another moment built upon strutting confidence, hot arsed defiance and that 'this is me' attitude - I have no complaints.   There is a swagger, a nonchalance, an easy rhythm all thrown into the melting pot and I take a cup of the resultant broth and swallow with a rising smile on my mush - come and share the vibes.

So, Wolf Bites Boy are on it, doing it well and have a good CD on their hands here with many memorable tunes.   I do think there is more to come, I reckon just a little bit of extra polish here and there, a heavier whack in the end mix and some more concentrated work on the skank cum reggae routine and I reckon we will be in for an even bigger treat next time around.  Here, there is much fuel to be used and many tunes that will serve them well - for a good bunch like this, it makes me very happy to fly their flag and suggest you listen in.

   
 

TEAR THEM DOWN - NO SLEEP TIL' AROD

There is a bounty of bands out there, I consider myself well-versed in much music but trying to keep abreast of the comings and goings, the new, the old, the relevant and the irrelevant is utterly impossible so, I just carry on regardless.  The band here hail from Sweden, they set out in 2010 and had a passion to play high-voltage music with a kick-back against the great political mess and their reactive beliefs.  I am in a rush as per but have taken my time here - all it does is add to the backlog - I think I am starting to hate music.

First up 'What A Waste', erupts from initial muck with an emboldened upsurge of straight-ahead hardcore-esque driving that somehow metamorphs into a catchy poppoid chorus thus, quite cleverly, combining two opposing sub-generic slants into one impacting mix.  The content is a vicious anal finger fuck up the rears of those who have been born and bred into a position of comfort built on the suffering of others - you know the one's - the fat-headed fucks contributing to the eternal downward spiral.   The song does not fuck about (I like that), holds much anger (I like that too) and is played with a real tight-assed affect (ooh three out of three).  It sets a foundation on which the band must build - here we go then.  'The Nihilist Tone' is a realistically looking beauty based on a belief system that doesn't believe.  The application is with accelerator pushed, tonsils pulled taut and animation levels lofted.   The band set a searing pace, ride the bull of rhythm with ardour, hold onto the bouncing balls for all their might and come out the other end intact.   There is no time to deliberate here, there are many similar expulsion in this sodden scene, all the band have to do is nail it - and they do just that.

Twilight skank adorned with wire warpings and carefully stated vocals advance into a well- whipped up chorus turmoil before going back to the sonic square marked as 'one'.  'A Thousand More..' is a well-crafted moment, skanked and star-lighted before cruising along with precise pulsations and then falling without flaw into a billowed chorus that exemplifies the artistry of the band under the magnifier.   A repeat route has slightly more pep, the result is still as impressive and as we fly to the final whack out I find myself void of complaint - ooh the rotten bastards.  'Redeem' is not my favourite expulsion and reminds me of an era where too much of this stuff was being brandished about.  The song has that clatter batter straight ahead annoyance that I can take or leave but is given salvation by another sub-chorus burst of well-whipped effect and much hamonised beauty.  As a result I fall into the crack of indecision but even so can't find it within myself to put in a critical steel-capped boot.  The band roar to glory in their own way and although this Fungalised git isn't fully charmed I must admit the band know how to play it tight.

We close with 'No Sleep Til Arod', a worked up thresher that creates a good surface spume whilst scurfily working away with great industry and hollering intent.   The throat is blistered during this highly animated escapade, the verse and chorus cuts are almost indistinguishable as the whole delivery powers  on with continuous levelled bursts of desire and complete unity - I know many who may just well have a sexual tingle to this kind of stuff.

There ya go, despite being snowed under I am making headway (albeit sideways) and am finding, as per, many good things to scribble about.  Tear Them Down are tidy, tight and totally effective.   The band are of a sub-generic ilk that is always popular and for the old, the new and Mr Magoo, there is plenty of promise here to discover and promote.

   
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