FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

PUNK 4 THE HOMELESS - COMPILATION VOL 2

The Punk 4 The Homeless team are an incessant force and do what I believe in most - push punk rock and other DIY sounds from the arse end up and do it with an undoubted and tireless passion whilst raising conkers for those in need.  They mix and match the sounds, they refuse to cater for the populist culture and they come up with many exciting discoveries along the way.  The people involved are decent, the ethos sound, all I need do now is listen in to this second collection of cacophonic corruptions and share my thoughts.

Track one and Terminal Rage shit spirited blood from a howling arse that rings true and takes no prisoners whatsoever!  'Class Crime' is what it is, a gutter-gobbed attack on those who burn bridges, take the piss and make sure dividing lines are etched deep into the soil and there to make one and all 'know their place'.  My advice, and the advice of the band, is to fuck em'.  This is a wonderfully screwed up episode of vomited irritation with blood pressure levels through the roof, the weapons of war firing hard and the essence of an all-out attack obbvious.   The opening machine assault sets the scene, the conflagration that follows is white hot and all consuming - fuckin' marvellous!  Sods Law have the unenviable position of chasing the masterclass of ire and do so in their own style with the plea of 'See The Reality'.  A ditty here that insists upon a copulation between the old and the new and is encouraged by a healthy punk strain shitted through a scurfed sonic mesh that splatterfucks in a controlled and measured way.  The march skips forth, there is a dirty edge to the honesty and without apology this one comes, goes and leaves one...pleased.   DSA next and what quality punk pirates they are.   Here they blister membranes from the off with an electric thermality that sparks, flashes and shocks the listener into a fuckin' bang on response.  The heads are down, the slipstream generated looped around with glee and the end accident offered is a lunatic-fringe blood glory to ruddy well bathe in.   Fast, to the point, screwed and with a perilous danger!  'Head on Collision' blows air through the exhaust, clears many tubes, turns the head sideways and makes one take note - cracking stuff.

From here we make sure the variation is kept up with 'Jesus Hooligan' offering a caveman assault of gratifying proportions and The Underdog kicking in with a blues laden horror glimpse of clowns on the prowl.  The first song, namely 'Ain't Got Time For This' is a ransack and rummage of the minds cesspool where disgruntlements build up and eventually poison the soul.  The release of vitriol is ruddy splendid and appeals to my cantankerous soul no end.  It is a rant, tub-thump assisted and full of spleen-venting mania - enjoy the spitback folks.  The second song is a cooled creeper that I am well familiar with.   The shadings are subtle, the narration sweetly done, the insane suggestion shaking the chassis of stability.  I am fond of this creator, this is a necessary inclusion, the airwaves are bending many ways - embrace the full package and watch out for the ones with the painted faces.

The Rioters stagger in like-uncertain cripples on acid and have me worried.  Eventually the song that is 'Cocktails' finds its style and comes forth on tones that remind me of a blend of something sub-anarchistic, something irritated and something very direct.   The flow is found, there is very little deviation from the path of dogmatic resistance and as a result they cough up a globule of barbed affect that is tempered by care in the conviction.  Again, a fitting place for this niggler is nicely found and the simmering thermality is certainly not lost on me.   Healer Of Bastards' hammer in next and do what they do in no uncertain terms.  'Forgotten' is typical razor-edged fodder, squeezed forth through a sphincter of tightened affect and destined to drill into your conscience without much resistance.  The busy, hustle and bustle style is what the band do and if, at any stage throughout this CD, you were thinking of nodding of, you will certainly be roused by this one.   All action, balls bared and with an ethos!

Next and that delightful impish 2-piece known as The Webb.  A veritable blessing to any gig this double act are wired up and plugged in and ply their gothic-tinted trade with 'Born Fed', an automated echo chamber of ghostly intent that coldly states a situation that sees horror incarnate invade the religious routine the masses are beaten with.   The rod of correction is rhythmically brandished, it pulsates exposed areas and sends the ultimate message to all and sundry 'think for yourselves'.  Lovely!  The politically prickled pirate that is Joe Solo enters the eclectic playground next and rolls his marbles of rhythm with significant pertinent accuracy, hoping all the while to derail a few formulated ideals and get people reconsidering.  This guy is a 100% doofer, he is off his arse and motivating - I love that.   This tickle reinforces fading spirits, calls for a renewal of strength and is dealt with by some very passionate and approachable oral tones.  'Now's The Time To Rise' is a very pertinent piece that calls for animation rather than apathy.  The harmonica adds extra emotion, the composite is duly complete.  Paul Carbuncle follows and equals the essence with his own special brand of one man wanking.  'Rivers Of Blood' is sweetly executed and played with clarity and sharp insight whilst all the while getting a message across that is crucial and against the media swill that swings thinking too far to the side of hate.   The tonal touches are dark, the string attacks frustrated, the verbal delivery clear in all ways.  The man at the helm is another thinking plucker coming up and facing facts in a very listenable and tangible way - good on these two instrumentalists for adding extra reality to the dish of sonic spice.

Into the home stretch, Freedom Faction are a band I have done a bit with in the past, a band who have gone through many guises (some good, some not so good) and a band who now re-enter my cerebral airspace with a molesting mammoth that tramples on all resistance and heaves over the aural membranes and sets them all a quiver.  This is a sinewy episode of forceful muscularity, perspiring with every bend of the wire, seething with every slap of the skin, with every roar from the throat this one is designed to hit home.  The bass riff is strong, it lights a touch paper, the rest jump forth into the conflagration - excellent!  White Skull Death Snakes Of Death come, riff it up like rabid vultures looking to pounce and feed upon your innocence.  The hybridised metal/punk/mayhem is spat with wild passion and opposing force.   The mania is washed away by a stagger, the head is confounded, there are no rules followed and this curveball is received well by yours truly.   The band dabble on the edge of religious insanity, they stay on the right side of decency (just), what they bring to the cock-eyed table of malcontented melody is very obscure and very testing, they do what they do with vigour and unpredictability - the final showdown is just how they roll - nice!   Radioactive Rats bite through the cables of your conscience and electrify your nerve endings with a direct amplification of rustbucket punkery, slammed home with an authoritative application that is driven into your awaiting carcass like a double-domed dick from the depths of Satan's underpants.   Hot-pronged, throbbing and with snapping jaws this venomous screwed up mess is there for those who like things hard and with spite - don't say I didn't warn ya.  The whole collection closes with South Holland Indecency Team and 'Boys From The Dwarf'.   This last throwdown splashes in with a CID Subsy intro before cutting to core of matters and slamming and slapping onward with unstoppable aggression that is well-timed and all compressed down into one explosive fist fuck.  It reaches right up into your undercarriage and rips out one mighty fistful of resisting shit, you may be left battered, bruised and bloodied but you will be fuckin' well grateful.

So the second volume comes, does its stuff and gathers together a fine mix of music that is there to embrace and encourage.  Some compilations are too long, this one isn't. Some compilations fail to offer variety, not so here! Some compilations miss the point, I think matters have been bang on the mark.  Some compilation CD's are a joy to review and some answers are fuckin' obvious!  I hear Volume 3 is being worked upon - cripes!

   

HUNG LIKE HANRATTY - WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET

Hung Like Hanratty have fulfilled their early promise and are now bringing a smile to many a spiky tops heads whilst playing their own brand of music that has more substance than duly given credit for.   The team may be mentally disturbed, may have a need to put a finger in the punk rock plug socket and are always destined to touch the odd nerve or two but they deal with issues we can all relate to, never beat around the bush and drive forth their songs with a glint in the eye, a tongue in the cheek and much punked spirit.  The scene is divided many ways, along the way it has lost much of its backbone but sometimes it is good to have the odd dabble away from the bollocks and indulge in some idiocy.   I pick and choose, Hung Like Hanratty are always worthy of my time simply because they make me smile and have proven to be darn nice chaps always willing to support - that says more than the music to me which, in the big scheme of things, is a mere aside.

The first ditty to tickle the titty comes under the name of 'Clampit Town', an effort that scoots in, takes the bull by the horns and shafts out a song of easy 'pick up and play' intention whilst sticking the boot in the guts of those square-headed, boss-eyed throwbacks who disgrace the council estates streets and duly breed like pox infected rabbits.  The intro is snazzy and happening, the verses are stated but sweetly embellished by the lunatic 'ooh ooh's' and the chorus is simple, snatching and produced with good bollocks exposed.   This is HLH all over, now with extra trimmings that shows a band on the upward curve - nice.  'Lawyers For You' continues the quality with a light crisp string stroke and some advisory words that soon get all heated and dragged into a musical melee that is brisk, blatant and wonderfully vulgar.   The accidents at work wankers who swoop down on the unfortunate and use their pain to fill their pockets are given a hoof in the conkers here with an episode of nut job nonsense that has a quite pertinent point.   Again the blend is magical, the contribution from all players exposed and without flaw and the basic verbals are what make this fodder to throw down and forget about certain idiocy that mars the scene.  The foreskin may be caught in the zipper, the shit may be filling your underwear but as long as you can ping and pogo to this you are doing alright - think on.

'Disabled Parking' is once more politically on the ball and spotlights the snivelling shits who not only take up space but waste it as well with their fuckin' annoying existence.  The song goes straight for the jugular, the 'la, la' inclusion cools the ill temper and adds a lilt to latch onto.   The message is rammed up the listener’s shitter with brutal force (ooh nice) and as we contemplate and crap out our considerations we find ourselves squatting on a throne were disagreement is not an option.   The unaffected turds of straight talk curl down the u-bend of realisation with fluidity and as the chain is pulled the musical accompaniment to the flush is well received.  I stand up, wipe the chuff and reckon the job is a good un'.  My pants however are whipped up with haste as the next song brings visions of dabbled duffle-bags and rogered rings with 'Harvey Weinstein' coming forth on a high blend of classy production and the usual blatant sniping.   The rapist under the spotlight gets a nice exposure via a relaxed rhythm and a quality composite of delightful idiocy.   The shit-stained digit doesn't forget the groomed, those who are now where they want to be and decide to turn the tables on the perverted prodder.  The industry is rank on all fronts, this fine song will help ease your disgust.  'Stop Playing With Yourself' is a pinnacle, a song that razors inward, is rudely interrupted by a self-induced orgasm that each and every time sends a titter forth (I think knowing the emanation is emitted by a man unhinged tickles me most).  The musical application is non-stop, the message blunt, the bell and the balls squeezed like fuck and forced to squirt a sonic excellence that is straight into the cerebral shitter and out the other end (cor).  The pulsations, the anger, the direct fuzzery all combine to blow one's bollocks off and take some relief from the more political side of punk.   Quite ruddy brilliant if you ask me and just what the Doctor of Deviant Distraction ordered.  The final flourish of fast-track verbals and support serenades is sublime and shows a band advanced.

'Shut My Gate' is another fine example of taking a simple irk and using it to produce effective, therapeutic noise.  The Damned-esque repeat rattle start takes no prisoners and rather than have a stab in the back it is the thing on the hinge that matters most here.   There is no fuckin' about, the slip between sensations is done with precision, the musicians are allowed expression and a certain liberation and, as a result, we are getting the best music possible from a bunch of glorious goons.  'Neighbourhood Watch' casts underhand aspersions, spies the spy and exposes them for the public peeping toms that they are.   The Percy Sugdens of the modern day are on the prowl, watching, listening and...reporting.   This song rolls back and forth and has a lick that is incessant, simple and destined to get the job done without fuss.  'Evil Clown' takes a theme well whipped, tumbles in on slapstick somersault strings, nails the first verse and then drops into a well-executed bout of cornball catchiness the pisspots and pogoers will fuckin' adore.  The US President takes a whipping in this twist of tomfoolery and although the song lacks depth and profound political awareness it talks to the man in the street and carries on in the HLH way.  Again all is clear, the main backbone of composition is without intricacy, the song does what it needs to.

A creeper next, a groovy cool cat with untrustable threat, 'Outer Body Experience' is a song that relays the switch off accents of trying to do a bit of quiet shopping before being rudely interrupted by a pesky salesman who is desperate to make his deal and secure that oh so important commission.  The pressure is felt, the predator stalking the prey is there for all to witness, the final explosion is more than understandable.   This is not my favourite song, it lacks a zest and the usual tickling punch but it adds an angle so all isn't lost.  'Keep Your Cat Off My Garden' is another matter though.  This is a cracker, an anti-moggy raving that goes from the settled to the simmering to the full on enraged.  All the while the band provide a cohesion between emotions, adorn with fine tuneful tomfoolery and once more throw in the obvious snag that will have the crowds transfixed.  I am not a cat lover, these feline crapping machines and bird murderers get on my tits and there is a satisfaction at the end of the tale to titivate those who prefer things wild rather than so-called domesticated - I must get myself a Land Rover!

Cripes, 4 to go, this has been a pleasure, akin to the night I spent with Bella Emberg and that free-butter supply - ooh heck!  'Taxi Driver' is a big unadulterated V-sign followed by a pertinent question mark that asks why oh why is the law of the road so skewed.   The commercial devils who flout common sense and courtesy and sit within their tin cans are, in truth, arrogant arseholes and vulgar money making morons that, as per, cause the few decent ones to get tarred with the same shit-laden brush.  The song exposes, expresses and illuminates, it is a liquid lilt that smoothly does its thing and leaves us gratified.  Another thorn in the arse well plucked methinks, Dr Hanratty always have the cure.   'Ten Bob Millionaire' is a vicious fucker with a loud and proud riff that moves on with orthodox punkiness and is zested up with a first verse pepped and poked with great joy de vivre and a breeze-blown affect I am quite happy to get wafted by.  What a free-flying song this is, one to smile with whilst assassinating the dubious characters of those in a situation of seeming power.  They are all tat and tossery with no substance, it is a flimsy cover that hides real truth and a lack of any internal strength - to all who defy, let us play this and thank fuck we are still holding on to who we are.  'Mr Boring' is the penultimate song and is, I have to say, one of my favourites.  The key here is a scenario we all know and how the portrait of the piece is played out with language unaffected and as real as you could wish for.  A touch of poignancy invades for the insipid character under the spotlight as well as a few regrets at having missed the chance to kick such a fucker up the arse and well and truly wake them up.  We all have known, or indeed know, a 'Mr Boring', one of those draining straining automatons who lack a common touch and leave one utterly void of hope.   They come, they spout their tiresome swill, and then they move on to the next victim.  They may have great parsnips, they may have a few troubles with the old prostrate but man sometimes enough is enough.   With sadness and a smile I indulge in this beauty over and over - what a penultimate piece to savour.

We close with the statement intended 'What You See Is What You Get' nails it and slams the lid on a quite fine CD.   I need not over-indulge here, I need not spunk more textual praise for the sake of gratifying my gushing gonads - this is a solid closure that shows there will be no change in approach and ethos, although the upswing in musical nouse is obvious.  The following fart kind of emphasises all that has gone too, albeit in an idiotic and pointless way which again is exact and obvious.  The band have found a crest here, ridden it well and helped us climb aloft to enjoy the surge - long may it continue, long may Hung Like Hanratty annoy, titivate, piss on the PC nonsense and keep people smiling.  Sometimes, even this awkward and cantankerous bastard needs something to amuse himself - remember masturbation and shoplifting do have their limitations folks!

   

BLEED - BOMBS AWAY EP

I have a lot of time for the Bleed mob.   They are fine upstanding lads, crack on with what they do and do it on their own terms and without apology.  The sound is hard-hitting and designed for short sharp bursts rather than longer escapades.   This is an EP, it is what the band should be doing more of - come, tear a new arse, piss off.   I plug in and play, these are my thoughts on the latest spillage.

'Bombs Away' indeed, and the first tracks gets on the Bleeding bike of forthright fuckery and switches through the gears before free-wheeling along a very smooth road of an incessant slanting that the band breeze down whilst spouting their highly efficient vitriol.   Here the guitars move with greased unity and are accentuated by some manipulations done with exactitude and an instinctive generosity.   The band, when flowing like this, are in a mode not to be messed with and keep their crusts down and are like pigs in utter sonic shit.  This is a very capable and effective bout of bollock-stamping noise and I move on to track two happy to be back in the 'Bleed'ing mire.  'Nobody's Fool's is testament to the bands stubborn streak, their refusal not to get side-tracked by much in-scene bullshit and to keep playing what they like whenever they get the chance.   Despite being overlooked in many quarters let me tell you the band always give 100%, are easy guys to work with and come, go and always deliver the goods.  This second snippet is spruced up with a good underscore of bass and sticks that combine to provide an essential heartbeat to a noise that borders on many sub-genres but, all the while, maintains its own identity.  Pick up a CD and play and one knows that the speakers Bleed.  This is another direct, no bullshit piece driven on spirit and stubborn bastard attitude that, in truth, you just gotta admire.  Full to the brim, unapologetic and without flaw - wham.

This three track tickle closes with the anti-political swing of 'Duped'.   This heavy booted stomper has a slightly more considered and positioned lick and comes forth with a message to all those swayed by the sublime and sickening propaganda machine that has them by the short and curlies without them even knowing it.   Yes, fuck left, fuck right, fuck the middle ground, fuck them all - walk tall, walk with an attitude of trying one's best and avoid sticking with the 'in' crowd.   The band slap this one forth and you can hear the belief in the words unlike many puppets who preach and yet off stage live lives of idleness and self-contented security.   For me this completes a sound 3 way walloping, that is all I can ask and the production, play and passion are all spot on the mark.

In the past, bleed have diluted their effect by releasing CD's that overdo the forceful feeling and so leave one exhausted.  Here they do it perfectly, a short and active snippet designed to cause pain but leave you gagging for one more kick.  It is the way forward for this lot and a few split CD's with bands of a gentler persuasion would be an even better way to progress methinks.   I still think they should delve into other genres more often than not but hey, I ain't complaining about this one - kaboom, there go ya genitals!

   

HEALER OF BASTARDS - JUSTICE

Feet-dragging fuckery is not what I like but that is the case when it comes to my review of this CD.  I have left it, lingered and been distracted and am, if the truth be known, way behind schedule - I best fuckin' crack on.  The band come from Brumland, they play hardcore music, the players are well-versed in what they do - get the picture, onwards I go.

'No One Can Breathe' is aware of the abuse and the neglect we have pissed forth and therefore brought our planet to its knees with toxicity levels high and many natural glories all struggling against the filth.  The song blows in with pace, verbally nails matters and I suppose, has the sickened satisfaction that the outcome will never change - human nature will always dictate.  This tragedy brings about an irritated response, the band pour forth with a foaming accent and make sure that your attention is initially grabbed (along with your nuts ya bastards).  Not a bad opener, onwards into the flesh of the fuckery we go!  'They're Watching Out For You' is a mean mover, loaded with pace, like a cheesewire cutting to the core and ramming home a message that regards the red-coated cunts who kill for sport and tally-ho with tosspot ignorance.  The sonic sabs at the helm here deal with matters with a harsh driving sound that at first doesn't hit the hot spot (ooh Michael Barrymore I am sorry) but just fuzzes out and leaves no lasting memory.  Several re-spins, a follow of the lyrics and pick up on the nazziness and guitar twinges and Bob is your fuckin' Uncle.  The essence, the urgency, the controlled aggression - lovely!

'Who's To Blame' fucks about, clatters batters before picking up the baton and hammering forth on hot roasted acoustics that regard the responsibility of the environmental destruction going on here, there and every fuckin' where.  The disgruntlement with corruption comes across in a galloping song that oozes energy and at times, untamed flurries that take a little adapting to.  The bass is an effective element and trembles with vigour and sets a tempo that all components can bounce off.  The ferocity is consistent, the melodic charms for a certain niche market - the end roar seals the deal.  'Forgotten' warms itself on coals of questioning concern before the band roll in with fervour.  The drums plaster themselves over the walls of the orchestration, the strings skid and shuffle with urgency and the occasional alteration of drive all shows a band with much to get off their chest with seemingly a limited time within which to do it.  The band, at times, overdo matters and add too many spices to one mix, as is the case here.  Individually matters work, as an end construct things are too patchwork to convince - I move on.

A snatch of 4, 'Excuse To Kill' drives as per and offers little in the way of alternative arrangements although there is a greater recklessness within the weaving and it repeatedly rams home its point with brutal honesty and a full on belief.  The awkwardness of this one creates the appeal, I think it has something to do with me being a cunt!  'What Is This Place (Not On Your Own)' is perhaps the best song released by this band so far and has many textures to uncover and get ones grip upon.  There are gear shifts, a sing-a-long hook to grab the most indifferent and a vital zest within the workings of the effort to have me utterly convinced - I really hope I am not on my own!  'Wage Slaves' bites hard on the bone of contention that exposes the need to be tied down for the curse of the coin.  Luckily I escaped that trap for 17 years and now do my bit in fair style and at a place that does something positive.  Many are against the grindstone with no escape, this is for them, the ones who are down and fucked off.  The escapade has the usual qualities and the incessant roaring the band are very much reliant on - the screamoid moments thrill, the guitars sound too similar to what has been, a different tonality and greater rust would have been a nice touch here.  'No Borders, No Boundaries' is a touchy subject and is what it says on the tin.  I am a great believer in freedom but also realise the human race is laden with piss-takers and users and abusers, give em' enough rope and the fuckers will hang themselves and anyone else nearby.  It is a quandary, one that the HOB lads seem to have decided upon and do so with great force.  They holler, rattle home the point and still leave me unconvinced.  Unconvinced by the subject matter, not the noise that is! 

'Half Price Humanity' is a good number, alive with animated musicianship and bursting at the seams with kickback disgruntlement that spills over into the players output.   The bass is thriving, a real life-giving component to a product of high rhythm and fluent hardcore music making.   The strings almost ad lib and the drums are as natural and as off the cuff as you could wish for.   Austerity is questioned, the band are in their element and this moment, if anything, captures all the finer points of a good value crew.  Yes, I am into this one and appreciate the talent exhibited.  'Stupid Homophobe' is troubled at the universal ignorance, twisted by an intolerance based on insecurity.  The roaring crash that hits home is spasmed, wanked with ardour and highly vicious.   The resistance to those with prejudice is nailed and the electro-fuckery and hectic mayhem brandished by players immersed is pertinent, at times overwhelming, but totally justified.  'Pit Bullshit' deals with the dogs of ill-fated destiny because the human race has bred these freaks and many now use them as a status symbol.   For me the solution is easy - breed out the breeds and stop making dogs something they are not - a fuckin' ornamentation, a fighting penis extension or a proof of your machismo nonsense.  Too many are distorted and designed and that, in itself, shows another joked aspect to the human selfishness.   The song deals with the point, delivers in double quick time but doesn't bite as hard as it could do.  Several plays reveal the opening gambit to be of the greatest strength and the foaming passion still relevant.

2 left, a change in tack is needed, we get 'They Are Drones' and 'Bastard Species', the first of these takes its time and builds upward to the screamfest.  The resultant tumult is fodder for the initiated and will please them no end but will win no new converts.  'Bastard Species' is a great closure and sums up the bands stance and mental state to a tee.   Both tracks sear, but it is the closing burst that wins greatest favour with the chorus showing where the band thrive and how they can combine liquid moves with loud mouth ravings.  Both tracks get their points across though, slam in the final nails and leave us...well, that would be telling…and so I will!

My overall opinion of this CD is mixed.  The band do what they do mighty well in the 'live' pit but here they fall into a trap of repetition and over-indulgence of the same methodology.   As a result the songs that startle are diluted somewhat and focus is lost at times and certain songs get less credit.  The band have a vast wealth of talent and things to say - I think all they need do now is vary the violence and punch from assorted angles.  This still has a few good moments to ponder though but, as the headmaster always said to this punk pig - 'one can do better'.

   

STOJ SNAK - 1000 DAISIES EP

A screamer song-writer and one that I haven't reviewed for a goodly while now.  The essence inside is punked, the output of the same raw-boned and DIY elements.  In the past I have been wonderfully enraptured by some of the tonal delights proffered.   Here we have a 3 way EP designed to save a local venue, namely the 1000Fryd in Aalborg, Denmark.  It is a nice touch, I hope it works, but in this day and age of indifference and overwhelming control you just never know - the art however is in the resistance.  Here is my humble effort - you know the script!

'1000 Daisies' is a self-congratulating piece for a scene where many can come, escape the outsider sensation and feel as though they belong.  Be it at the bar, in the pit, on the stage - a unity is celebrated in an idealised way that overlooks the cracks and divisions so readily encountered by this scurfy and scratching cunt.  The application and essence holds great promise and the rose-tinted aspect is really something we shouldn't just aim for within a scene, but for the world in general - smash your fishbowls!   The music is, as expected, accurate, flourished and skipped up with a great passion - this is something that matters to me as the thought behind the structure is what brings greatest conviction.  I could be bold at this stage and state that this is one of the best acoustic artistes on the block, a player who has proven is quality over and over again to these tattered and battered lugs, the quality continues here.

The opening number is immediately outdone by the wonderfully swaying but ultimately solid dig at the dead heads inside and outside the nooks and crannies many think are so fuckin' liberated and free-thinking (bah).  'Election Night' is a double-ended dagger that on the one hand caresses and leaves a gentle reminder and yet on the other scores deep and creates a scar to wear like the mark of Cain.  No matter how deep the blade runs, to cut out stupidity and blinkered belief is a difficult thing indeed, the song here will hopefully encourage a rethink.   From the off the vocal has a despair, a realism, a fact-based delivery that comes from the strong ticking strawberry.   The honest, almost plea-like donation is spot on and with moments to ponder, take stock and refuel - all you need to do is take time yourself.

The closure of the 3 track treat is tattooed with the name of 'Bitter Place', a number that deals with a world closing in and with not enough passion breaking out.  We become lonelier and lonelier whilst becoming more and more well-known; it is all one non-magical and unconvincing con.   The great design is to distract, ultimately depress and supress - they do it so well.   This is a tired old dog of a song that faces matters head on and despite the vocal conviction that always hits a soft spot and the well-timed and flowing musical material I find it is a ditty not to my favour.   The lazy accent of the lilt just doesn't work for me and I find myself veering off the melodic pathway as things unwind a little too slowly - I am sure many will disagree, lie or dare not tread on a toe - I am merely being fair and honest.

For me a 2 out of 3 strike rate is fine and dandy and this artiste has proven himself over and over again with this Fungalised eavesdropper.   Talent abounds, creative juices flow from a considering tap, I just hope it keeps turned on and flushed with the need to splash parts unsoiled and parts dried out with apathy and dead-eyed expectation.  As per - fuckin' onwards!

   

ESTRONS - YOU SAY I'M TOO MUCH, I SAY YOU'RE NOT ENOUGH

From rubbled and rocked promise arise the exciting prospect known as the Estrons, a unit who combine the cleaner cut elements of music making and carefully blend into realms which are considered slightly abrasive and somewhat submerged.  The results are of a strain of garaged grinding that sees a multitude of aural opportunities arise and this alternative based sound attempt to climb above a pack that can be quite cloying and soul-destroying.   So let us see what these Cardiff-based cacophoneers come up with, and what highs and lows we come across whilst on another assessing venture.

We open with 'Lilac', a fused and functioning manifestation of steaming sonic hunger that comes from factories of hard-laboured sweat and multi-dimensional music production.   To compartmentalize the music under the spotlight is no easy thing with futuristic emanations fighting for airspace with the more obvious popularised tones.  The composition is fidgety, always looking to break free from the shackles of organisation.  Despite this the band pack power, promise and peril into one simmering mix and have me enveloped within the soundscape proffered.  'Killing Your Love' opens on stripped down sensations, a suffocated radio gob and a lo-fi tin can alley guitar stutter inwards.  The song ascends, goes back to these primitive basics and so what we get is a battlefield of colliding tones one needs to take time with.   A cursory cruise over the rotating vibes leaves a strong impression, a closer look causes consternation and wonderment.  These are not easily digestible tracks and certainly not throw away fucks, time is needed methinks to reveal further layers - veritable onion music don't ya know!

'Make A Man' sidles in amid illuminated shadows before kicking down your defences with a swift skin and string attack.  A switch down, the vocals dominate and lead one into a surge of promise that sexes up and thrusts with resolute and irrepressible need.  The switch from the foreplay to the full on fuck is sweetly executed and the tease becomes the tyrant and duly reaches multiple mid-screw zeniths.  The song continues apace, slopes come and force a role that many may twitch at.   If the message fails to raise a salute, the musical construction will certainly earn a positive response - a ruddy good track if you ask me!   Tempo falls, the attack is lightened, 'Strangers' relies more on gentle persuasion rather than a nut busting violation.  This one perhaps contains more commercialised corn and popped adornments than what has been witnessed thus far and so, being a lover of things pimpled and unhygienic, I find myself in a situation of least favour towards an effort that is very well composed.  Crisp and fresh strokes are escorted by a regular stick beat and the expected cleansed and inoffensive oral tones.  The blending of the varied sunlight shimmers is without flaw, the job in the production room has been executed with lofted skill and even though this is not full of Fungal flavour, I admit to the end result being spot on.

A triple jump at the throat of the next batch of songs done in double quick time and with pep in the overview.  'Body' is a reaction of animal desire and sees things rise, shudder and ultimately break free from a much teased verse section.  The sensations that soar to echelons of climactic delight never fail to impress and the end orgiastic release is bang on the mark.  From this deeply fucked episode we move onto a ditty entitled 'Jade'.  This song is a judderer, a juice leaking jerk off in jackboots.  It strides over the carcass with a dominatrix intent and digs its heels in with vicious spite.  The power in the chords compliments the robust throat warbles and the heavy slaps of the skin keep things orderly and on the straight and narrow.  This is a hefty change in format - it is generously taken!  'Cameras' scuttles in, approaches matters with huge crests of foamed grandeur that cascade against the listening substrate with considerable force.   The grandiosity of the offering culminates in climactic verse moments that brings new zeniths to a CD packed with generous quality application - I move on...convinced!

'Jesus...' is a gentle, warm caress, a song that flows in from mountain springs and has a stop/start feel I find a little difficult to grasp. A moment that doesn't fully float the wank ship SS Fungal but hey, walking the plank of honesty has to be done and here I state my detachment with good intent.  The intro perhaps promises too much, deceives and doesn't deliver or maybe the groove is too familiar and well worn.   The mix is spot on, the style consistent but I remain a little unmoved - it happens, shit happens, lies don't!   'Aliens' drops in, watery caresses fall, stutter care is taken, eventually we find a drift dominated by some strong and lucid verbals that hold attention and lead us into a kicking chorus of splash and crash affect that throws the emotions into disarray.  Moments follow that are calm, we soon rise, a schizophrenic concoction is complete and we seem to be dealing with a persona troubled, a potential bunny-boiler is on the warpath - full marks to the pluckers and slappers for staying in control.   We close with the 'Drop', an urgent song looking to get to the final silence with a subtle push in the back.   The style taken is as per, tried and tested with the controlled to the 'off the leash' combo working well and the production values of the very high standard that has impressed us thus far.   The running time is a little too long for this old cunt, but hey tis a small niggle and totally personal and shouldn't detract from a song with vivacity, pizzazz and a good acoustic health level.

I sign out and hope I have maintained a clarity within the honesty and nudged you into a position where your curiosity is aroused.  Estrons have some good shit going on here, it may not be the most pure punk shit you will hear but it has some chomp, a shifting animation and a bit of spirit thrown in too - go on, you know you want to!

   

THE CONTROL FREAKS - DOUBLE DOSE OF HATE

From San Fran come a 4-piece destined to keep things grooved, moved and melodically mesmerising.   Essences of The Rezillos, pop punk pirates and whacky rebellious fruitloops who have made their mark all come to the fore here with a brace of two easy listening spunk-o-matic treasures liable to have you jerking and jittering this way, that way and upside down (kinky bastards).   There is a freshness and teenage joyousness to the popsicles of sound proffered forth for us to taste.  After several licks and twirls I have the following written report.

'I Hate Your Face' rumbles the bass, slaps with regulation and opens the way with a first verse she-snotted and spat at us with a paradoxical combo that is careful and on the cusp of careless.  All areas are well-spaced, the vocals are slightly accented and utterly lucid and fall in line with the lively tuneage whilst adding their own touch of joy de vivre.  The emanations are quirky in the most basic sense, deal with a love and loathe situation that seems to be getting on the lead lasses tits - this shit happens, I am sure many can relate to the frustration.  The job, I think, is a good un'.

'Hatelist' is an easy number to get involved with with the ever-ready formula of sing and holler ideal for the gagging crowds whom this band will meet on their travels.  One line, all shout out and repeat - add a touch of she-opposition, some groovy cat twisting of the guitar strings and away  ago.   The production room has been used to keep things clean cut and all functioning aspects in line and with a DIY aspect that gives a certain earthiness.  The sugar sweet affect is real, there is nothing here to deem as offensive - is that a good thing or a bad thing, who the hell knows!

2 tracks, 2 decent ditties, I will be most interested to see how the band cope with a full on release and what variation in the template oftonality they can upchuck on our awaiting laps.  In the interim...this will have to do.

   

REBECCA RADICAL - WEE ELECTRIC EP

I like doofers!   I like people who think!  I like people who question!  I know Rebecca via on-line chat and have her booked in for a gig next year.  She has made me a couple of T-shirts, is putting a bit back into the scene and beyond and is now chancing her arm at a bit of cacophonic creation - here is a Fungalised take on a very embryonic offering!  No favours, many flavours and always honest and hopefully encouraging!

'Punk Ideology' is a dirty dog refusing to piss up the lamp-post of dishonesty and weave an ambiguous dance that leaves the listener wondering.  No, here were are squirted with a direct question to those who claim one thing and as a result miss the direct point of a stance not opted for but one that is in the blood.  Fuck fashion, fuck music, fuck attitude - these elements matter but can't be used as stand-alone arguments for being internally spiked and spirited.  The lady at the helm recognises this, travels along her own personal highway of acoustica with a youthful clarity, unassuming liquidity and yarn-relating interest.  Not a bad start and right up my DIY street.  Could this in time become a signature tune?  I think so, one to end a show and get the fuckers singing along.

'He Only Listens To Metal' sticks a finger up the arse of the mono-music morons who stay in one groove, shit on any form of eclecticism and try to suggest they are more hardcore than the next man.  In punk especially, the ones dabbling in many areas are better informed musically and have a grounding that gives rise to a greater appreciation - one dimensional we should never be.   This quick snippet makes its point clearly and gets things across on what is a soothing vibe without unnecessary barbs.  It would go down well amid a compilation of heavier artillery - worth a thought dear wannabe creators.

'War Is Shit' taps in, rusts it up and kicks up a dust-cloud of worthy dirt.  Amid the filth our lead lady disses the dirt on the state of combat that leads to nowhere and speaks highly of winkery wankery that causes no trouble and can bring great relief to those with a problem.  This one is a straight talking, unfrilled flow that perhaps lacks the odd frill or two and fails to leave a chosen flat-line.  It is a neat piece nonetheless but one that, with a little extra tweaking in a few years, could blossom in to a giant - we shall see.   As for now, It is what it is and the message has more weight than many may consider.

We fuck off with 'Life'.  A slow drift of observation and thoughtful consideration.  Questions are asked of oneself, outside pressures perhaps dictate the posers put forth and onwards we go.   The sway is easy, the pick up natural and from the downside the upside is found.   A sweetness cultivated and a carefree lilt adopted.   The end comes all too quickly but the glimpse given is fine and dandy - not bad and another that, with time, twiddling and a touching up here and there will develop into something else.

4 songs from a fresh and fruity plucker and lovely to see and hear the early stages of an artiste when things are untainted, natural and underprocessed.  These three elements create a beauty many forget and in this day and age of the processed, competitive and those looking for personal profit we mustn't forget that which matters - the real and raw.  Of course these songs, like stated, have potential to change their guise and become something else and perhaps be better off for it but, and a fuckin' big punk 'but' at that, we should never forget these grimed snippets of earthy wonder.   I am pleased to be in the know here - get up to speed ya buggers and do not miss out!

   

THE YOUTH WITHIN - NEW GENERATION

From Ledbury, Hertfordshire come The Youth Within, an aptly titled group for a scene who has many past their sell by date but many who still have a flame inside and won't be put to rest anytime soon.   The music is primarily old school without any pretence and comes at you in earthy and honest terms.  There are other influences in the mix, sounds from yore and of the present day - it keeps me on my toes, I have no complaints about that!

The first track offered up is the bare arsed and freshly pimpled burst of 'Up The Punks'.  It slips in on the blind side with twilight glimpses that soon turn into a full on well controlled old school punk rock attack that contains a certain freshness nicely abraded by finely smoked vocals and an eternal rustification.  This initial style setter is put down in no uncertain terms, signifying the ethos and acoustic arena where the band are coughing up their guts from.  Proud to be spiked, happy to call upon obvious influential vibrations and banging along without concern for over-technicality and baubles of bullshit.  A very honest start!  'Jury Day' bass bumbles, ascends with semi-palpitated urgency before scuzzing along on a pebble-dashed substrate of 'fuck you' noise.  Again earthy, unassuming and straight at you with a throwback style not to be underestimated.  The band are bringing nothing new to the tilted tonal table, I ask you, do they really have to and is anyone original anyway?  This has a snag to be caught by, watch yer step fuckers!

'Culture Shock' sets its stall, races with a raw assed minimalistic mode that is picked up on by my antique sensors.   The new school brigade may miss the point here and not grasp the wholesomeness of some bread and butter, out of the gutter punkery many of us were brought up on.  It is what it is, defiant, encouraging and with many pimples on its exposed ass.  Don't expect to get your mind sent AWOL by anything out of the ordinary but also don't expect to be let down if ye be a good to honest punk rock bastard - simple.  'Let's See' calls for unity, skips along through regular manoeuvres with the initial cymbalised serpent whisper followed by abrasive strings, a balancing drum beat and the usual semi-seared gob work.   Riffings come and are kept in check, the approach never wavers from that what it sets out to be - a regular no frills punk episode trying to kindle some animation - nowt wrong with that!

On into the thick of matters we go, 'Best Shot' is an average song that, for a mid-pack punch fails to make its own impact.   After playing several times there are moments that magnetise but I am not as keen on this one as some of the previous material.   I think a 'live' viewing would make a better impression as would a bit more time under the spotlight.  I re-spin, note the consistent buzzsaw energy and furrowing labour put in but I fail to get thoroughly excited and move on before my foot dips in the shit (a common occurrence I'll have ye know).  'Scum Of The Earth' perpetuates passion from the off with a neat bass drive and a sub-early US sounding effort that one would trip across when dabbling in foreign fields primarily untapped.  The chorus is unassuming and generates little impact but when combined with the chorus the song comes to life and this second section has a very infecting streak that will undoubtedly come alive when the band are up close and personal (well seeing I have them booked I fuckin' hope so).  I expect to be jigging along to this one, it has the essence to elevate itself from a raucous pack - we shall see when they plug in and play.  For now I make do with this recorded version.

The closure is called 'Working Man's Rights', a song that, judging by the title, should be very short indeed (he says with a bitter irony).  The song exhibited has elements of rust-bucket low-brow application as well as the usual delivery that is submerged beneath a shit cloud of enlightening accents.  Grimed, well timed and gritty, the potential is not fully tapped and for a last blast finale I think a short belt out would have been better.  The song keeps the consistency, goes forth and keeps us wondering...wondering what the band will be like in the 'live' pit, what their next release will be like and if they will be throwing a few curveballs into the mix to keep them stretched.

This is Ok, there is better to come I can guarantee it – watch this space, they are coming to a Fungal fucked gig very soon.

   

SUNSHINE FRISBEE LASERBEAM - BLACKOUT COWBOY

Prolific and proficient artistry coming thick and fast is the name of the game for the SFL unit and here we have an 8 track offering from these fecund Brummie based buggers.  The style of sound is poppish, indified and sub-experimental without being sickeningly outlandish.   The band provide layer upon layer of sweet saturation and high calorific cacophony that may just mean that many listeners get fat around the ears giving this CD repeated and much needed listens.

'Running From My Ghost' is an average start and has too many suggestions of things similar.  Having started on a critical point matters are duly tempered with my thoughts towards a well execution song loaded up with crisp string application, various alternations taken in the direction and some more than capable orchestration and vocal work.   As one spins more regularly the snag of the song gradually takes hold and one is drawn into the wuthering swirl where lilted leaves are dispersed and a fresh and happening sensation courses over the flesh.  This is a well vacuum zone of sound with the band creating a well-swept through ambience not to take lightly.  'All The Way Over The Edge' wank winds and whinges before finding a natural thread and clanking and clattering through a mazy pathway that is at first numbed and dumbed but then soon levels out and kicks away at the inner confines of cacophonic restraint.  The band control matters well, peregrinate at times from the actual backbone of the song but all the while maintain a well propped wind-up of whirring machinations that are no bad thing to get ensnared by.  The band have a certain supremacy over their chosen instruments here and blend many factions of the musical circus into one ambiguous showcase - I travel deeper...wondering!

'Meatloaf To The Camera' quickly skin tumbles, string glimmers and time ticks before gliding on a cloud of versed ease that segues into a chorus of punctuated authority.   All the while the band keep on top of their game and make sure the weight of the punch delivered is full to the max and yet crisply thrown so as to avoid unexpected self-injury.   There are moments that stroll amid the more fluent aspects, in some ways this leads to a slight drifting on the part of this listener at least.  I can understand this and the lead to the burst of repetitive desire is nicely done and keeps the flames licking away at the rear.  The following number and the strangely entitled 'Adult Memory Oww', comes on similar tones, takes less time getting the job in hand completed and has an uplift that is light, perpetually animated and briskly elevated further by some gushing vocals and a rush of readily struck cables and skins.  The short running time, rewarding mix and general pizzazz force my hand here and a vote of ruddy confidence is given.

'Blackout Cowboy' feedbacks, hits a winning fuzz hook, runs into a very honest and wide open piece of verse/chorus breeziness with all players pushing through to make for a complete and condensed sound.  Eventually we enter a clatter batter of contrasting proportions and then a nice cool down where the gob and the guitar combine as the lazy drum beat keeps all in line.  It is a nice moment, throws a lucid aspect to a rather opaque upchuck, it gives the song a certain completion.  Next and 'Mr JR Hartley' lets the fly flow then rapidly rushes and gushes along with an incessant impetus that sees all components flourish in unison.   The mix could be a trifle overwhelming if the mood is one of delicacy, on the other hand if one is feeling roughened around the edges and in need of something solid this may lack the punch.   In the middle of both extremes some semblance of success can be found but this is far from a convincing track for me and falls into no man's land with the direction sought done in a fashion with little distinctiveness and flamboyance.  Just a personal view - it may be wrong, it may be right, it is what I feel.

'MK Ultra' points and pokes and tickles ribs of oddness with a sound that is jarred, scarred and multi-dimensional.  A far more testing piece this with curiosity levels raised and suggestions perhaps of something sub-Talking Heads or something from an experimental niche where musicians dabble and success and failure come out in equal abundance.  Scurfiness is added, chopping strokes, nervously energised wafflings and reverse escalator imbalances all create a cacophony with much appeal.  This oddment has longevity - watch your own space!  We close with 'Mind Control', a chant begins, it drowns out resistance, we accept and await a bomb blast - what we get is a light caress of the senses led by flowing string movements and a languid tympanic beat.  A theatrical message is delivered via soothed rock opera masquerading.  A funny inclusion this and a strange way to finalise matters.  There are many strains though that are in keeping with the SFL methodology but the song kind of drifts out of sync and leaves one perpetually clutching at drafted sonic straws.   I suspect this may be a grower and if the album is played on repeat, the hint at the opening number nicely leads into the next loop.

Overall an interesting piece of work with more layers to expose and more intricacies to unravel.  I think the band have a good thing going here and although some moments pass by my personal radar of favour many feel-good upsurges and fizzing energisers are noted and enjoyed.  Take a peek folks, tis nice to vary vibrations.

   
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