FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

FELICIA AND THE GAMMON LUMPZ - TWISTED FRUIT EP

Well here I am again, given a 3-track CD to review by a band I know fuck all about and am happy it is that way.  It keeps me neutral, fresh and without any sway be it kinky or corrupt - but please keep the bribing cheques coming, a man needs to wipe his arse now and again don't ya know.   So, what I have here are 3 tracks, a trio of ill-tempered tunes mixed with a patchwork cuteness so as to make a final blanket of sound one can get comforted by or suffocated by.  I jump in, tear up the fabric and see what noisy needlework has been accomplished.

The initial  invasion is slapped down under the banner of 'Pathetic Twisted Fruit'.  Yet again, the mechanics run to their own time, misfire with deliberate gratification and keep away from the usual 'boom-tit' groove of orthodoxical restraint.  The sinews of the sound ripple, undulate and then judder - there is a spasmodica apparent, a somewhat ad-hoc pseudo spunk-jazzism that somehow creates a wormhole to the soul.  I am intrigued, I know not why, the out-of-sync slavering is paradoxically regulated but regulated to an arrangement not fully understood (by me at least) - this is a good thing.  The crew are screwing with the senses, they are filled with an ill-favour for many situations, what comes is a toxic puke-out of retching rhythm that makes for an end splash down worthy of closer inspection.

Lesson one - observe, make contact, prepare to upchuck.

The second rip-up exposes the temperamental disarray known as 'Gammon Love' - a severe jabbing jaunt of sub-sexual teasing that spitefully rams home a discordant digit up the rear end of the right wing fuck-wits who bear sexism like a medal, hold opinions dear with great overwhelming obdurateness and contribute to a scenario both warped and prejudice.  The accents used to fire this damaging din-digit homeward are angular, vicious and suspiciously alluring.  A point has been achieved where tolerance is worn thin, a reactive response is borne with writhing abandon with a need to fuck the fucked and after making the 'pigs squeal' send them on their way to ahem - 'Fucks-ville'.  The song has a prowling hate, a seething perspiration and a very magnetic drift that entwines around the spine of the attentive eavesdropper and brings about, albeit very slowly, a crippling submission.

Lesson two  - tune in, think, oppose and do things in your own style.

The closure of this Micro EP (a term stolen from the lead oral donator) comes via the rather sexualised 'She Who Thrusts'.  This cat-walking whore of needful operational posing struts, shakes the booty and licks the lips with a twinkle in the penetrating eye.  Seduction, threat and blood-letting promise appear as one untrustable acoustic shadow, a shadow that lurks, offers and somehow...takes away.  The tension rises, the strings are scatter-screwed, the drums slapped with mean authority and suddenly we are left...abandoned and perspiring.  Was the climax an anti-climax, need we repeat the process to fully get the gist, or are we guilty of indulging because we just can't help it?

Lesson three - admit your perversion, do not be afraid to be nonplussed, go get head-fucked.

Time has been invested, I have opened a pornographic sample of irregular tuneage that does the business and offers my clattered head something off kilter to consider - it is a blessing to a situation bombarded with many things...predictable.  This kind of sound will not to be to everyone's taste, I think the delivery here is enhanced by the fact it comes in a 3 song package as it gives one the opportunity to focus and zone in - and of course, taste the goodness within.  I think the band would be best advised to offer another 3 track treat next time around too - I am taken and my loins are girded - and perhaps...highly anticipatory – watch this space!

   

PROUD CITY FATHERS - VENEER

Having a political point, thinking on one's feet and then creating music with a veritable snarl is a very important aspect of music, well for me at least!  Proud City Fathers tick-box all the criteria mentioned and present it with a solid, impacting aggression that is both controlled and very fuckin' irritated.  The band have played 2 gigs for me so far, on both occasions they did the business despite the second one being very poorly attended.  I like the attitude and the output, I am expecting much here, perhaps I am placing myself in a position to be let down, only the following review will provide the answers.

'General Ludd' foams over with steaming passion, a passion held aloft with bone-jarring wire work, heftily slapped skins and a throat delivery doused in fiery fury.   The need to break the silence, smash the framework of control and to question is exposed with a thoroughly convincing attack not designed for those of a nervous disposition or those with a fondness for the safety net.  From the off the song has a 'believability', has a surging anger that races from the speakers into the listening flesh and sets off a spark of hope and energy.  To open with such a potency sets a standard to be maintained, I am ready to partake.  'Veneer' is granite, pure unapologetic granite.  It comes, batters and crushes and rips away the upper membrane of all areas and exposes the profound shittery beneath.  Do not be fooled, read the sub-text and then ping and pogo to this one with a paradoxical mix of revitalised hope and despondency.  From the quick string flick to the paced-riddled trampling to the final sonic punctuation, this one is highly irritated and bursting with a need to shake-up the shit and expose the false-fuck-flimsiness.  Too many are shown to have no substance, this short explosion is all fuckin' substance.

'Cunt' is a spiralling 'shroom of furious emotion rising from a substrate of incendiary feeling that sees all areas come together to make one real hurtful bomb-blast that sends discordant debris flying this way and that and shredding resistant epidermal layers to absolute fuckin' tatters.   The production levels provide an exacting scenario so the violent fury hits the mark and leaves many a bruise - I love this one - fuckin' have it!  'Organised Crime' is a smooth moving bulldozer with a clear, bloodshot eye on the mission set and the mission to be achieved.  The thieving fuckers who create severe misery and add to an already lopsided system are put under the spotlight.   The fuckers amass, the rest stay as a lower class - the situation is shit.  Bankers are wankers, the bastards steal -, victims pile high.  The song here rattles and races with a pulse on fire, a pulse kept beating with passion for the sound and a spirit needing to spit back - fantastic.

Onto and into the 'Sewers' - a great shout out for peripheral kick-back artists who refuse to be told what to do.  On the outside of the circle, in the mire with the characters, foaming with a failing flamboyance whilst not swallowing shit - tis the only place to be and where true soul-saving success can be found.  This gravelly, shit-stained groover appeals again, due to the content, the defiance and the hard-hitting vibrations emitted.  That bass grumble is alive, the sticks roll and ravage with reactionary reality, the guitar chops down the final limbs of resistance and the gob is truly all imposing - smart work lads, smart work.   '1.34' is a stunning moment, a real fist in the flatulent far-away thinking face of the nostalgic soaked nut who needs to get with it and take a sincere dump on those rose-coloured glasses.   Zipping along with a chorus to scar, embrace and join in with this is a short fist-fuck and is a mighty powerful heave-ho with many barbed components - I love it.

'J ‘Accuse' spirals with machine-like affect, snarls with foaming rage against injustice, war and downright idiot murder.   The cables of cacophony are pulled taut, the tension forced is dangerous, the tonality threatens to snap at any given moment, when it does we are granted a reactive chorus cut that is raw, hungry and basic but, mightily effective.   The offering repeat rises, bubbles with desire and delivers with comfortable aplomb.   The mix is spot on and gets the best from another tetchy snippet.  A pacey start welcomes us to 'SRA' a song that refuses to procrastinate and self-indulge but instead rattles along with a blue-light urgency and a blatant thirst for getting the job done in double quick time.   Fizzing, incessant and restless the tempo and timing kept creates a whirlpool of life with the general swirl sucking in one's attention and all round good favour.   This is one that may get overlooked when generally praising the album - it shouldn't, it is a choice inclusion.

Simmering, potentially upsetting, utterly menacing.  'Crucify' is a disgusted deluge of anti-religious raving built on a disillusion with those absorbed with no reason why.  All areas are covered, no bigoted stone left unturned, the hate is directed all ways and avoids any PC prejudice - I respect that.   The slow and threatening stance is collided with quick thrust of head-wanking emotion, the contrast works and works mighty well.  Prepare, pace the pondering floor....pounce - and let the holier than thou fuckin' have it!  'Summer Of Hate' is a theme tune for all those troubled, discontented and forever kicking back and asking questions.   The wonderful open honesty of the state of the cerebral play is refreshing amid a world of plastic smiles and well-rehearsed happiness and the 100mph mad rush attacks that expose a jumble-ised belfry bursting with reactive thoughts and frustrations is an ideal moment for those equally distressed – think and fuckin explode.  Again the song gets things done in sharp time, refuses to suck the shithole of self-indulgence and leaves one reaching for the replay button.

2 left, there is no let-up in ill-temper and quality.

'Allegiance' skewers, rises from smouldering ashes and comes across as a Zombie of Reaction, pissing on all flags, walking a line against the grain, stating its case in simple fashion and showing a forceful spirit that will not be denied.   The orchestration is mechanoid is some respects, the bass line is machine-like and functions with great appealing tones.   The whole concoction is well blown through and takes us to the last port of call without any snags whatsoever.  'Skin' is a work of art, a touching beauty of gothic caresses tattooed with deep-rooted episodes of thoughtful hurt.   The passion, the alarming ambiguity, the final bow-down to a situation all dominant is inspiring.  Escape is sought, tension is high, the need to flee seems critical.  A smothering and all-invasive creation is eventually cast aside as the tonality is allowed breathe a little more freely.   The outcome is a finale to a fuckin' marvellous emotively sodden expulsion.  We are left with a perfect punctuation mark to what is, a very impressive CD.

PCF have nailed this one, proven what a fine band they are and I hope many more people now sit up and listen.   Here we have a minor classic, a burst of angst, a collection of songs to be blistered by, to take heed of, to promote further - this is my little nudge!

   

DAS GHOUL - THE VIDEO NASTY EP

A horror-fied band from Oxford, parading their rock and roll fiendishness before the Fungal assessor for the first time and hopefully not the last.  I begin with a 4-track EP, a mere small serving of teasing proportions to give me an inkling of what the band are up to and whether or not it is worth my time (and yours) pursuing further productions.  I tiptoe in and play with the ears on high alert - the noisy nutrients feed my soul and anything not sitting right will be shat out, hopefully with decent and considered critique - we shall see.

'Behind The Cobweb Veil' is gothic majesty slowly drawing in the listener's sensitivity via a keyed orchestration of charmed simplicity and emotion.  The scenario is beautifully set, the ebonies and ivories duly pull at the attentive sensors and I for one am gently bewitched.  The final depression of the keys is firm and preparatory - but the question remains, 'what is to come'.

The answer to the aforementioned teaser is had via the very polished and highly enjoyable rock and roll 'Video Nasty'.  This articulate and well-versed piece flows with accomplished tonality borne from obvious hands who know their curdling indulgences inside and out.  Despite the coruscated and clattering opening and dark edge to the thematics the song is utterly uplifting and played with an obvious relish and rhythm-soused accent.   The vocals are crucially given room to stay lucid and flow in perfect concurrence with the under-flowing noise.  For me, the blend of matters smooth and yet 'DIY rough' is perfectly captured.  This is a mightily impressive burst and has good zest, appealing source material and as said, a feel-good factor not to be doubted.

'Formaldehyde' is a smooth mover with that 'terror-slant' nicely incorporated.   As a fan of books and films from the horror genre I am in my element here and the fact the band are making such good vibrations only ensnares me even further.  This beauty deals with a love beyond death, an adoration preserved for all time and reflective of a mind gone more than a little askew.  The band nail what they want to do, within 1 minute 16 seconds the job is done and we are left with visions of a pimpled pervert gleefully self-abusing as he gazes at his liquid dipped doll of desire.  These mental aberrations and the overall acoustic goodness work a treat - thanks dudes, I may be having one or two sleepless nights.

'Porcelain' is a superb finale to this quality EP with matters found to be dealing with a woman unhinged and of fragile temperament.   The overall lilt expresses itself with slight sable shadings whilst the rhythm pulses and flows with qualified expression.  From the opening skewer twists to the somewhat casually warning of the first verse to the sonically stamped but still melodically effective chorus, this one is an undoubted winmner.  All components come together to create yet another marvellous moment of terror-tinted tuneage, the cathedral keys add an extra layer of intrigue and I am more than happy to play this EP over and over again.

I love these small excursions into the workings of a band and EP's are just perfect ways of being tempted and left wanting more.  The crew do just that here with a well-produced blend of character-filled tunes that really do create mental pictures - I like that, it brings one closer to what is going on and of course, causes some quite disturbing slumber - ooh where's me sleepers.

   
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MAMMOTH TANK - WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!

I am a Mammoth Tank fan, no matter what guise they take or if the output is right or shite - I like the band and that is that.  So far has proven to be so good with what I have heard or seen being of a level to tickle the taste-buds and leave me utterly pleased and provoked.  The band have been around for a few years now, they write about everyday matters and being from Bradford they will undoubtedly have enough subject matter to call upon for many a year to come.  We have 4 tracks to dabble with here, my thoughts are as thus:-

A bass grumble, a pronouncement and some pure DIY gobbing off comes via the venomous spittle upchuck known as 'Vain, Vapid, Vicious'.  This is an open-wound ready to infect the cruddites and backstreet shites who are always looking to kick back against the drivel of utter pointless, pretentious fuckwits.  The aim to be a 'celeb' is all invasive, from levels low to those deemed as 'highbrow' (laughable isn't it) and the disgust the band show is pertinent to the theme and really drives home the gist of the vehemence.  The 4 wired weaving is sanguine, the slap-tastic skinwork is well attended to and given good airspace with the coruscated guitars sub-skanking and shuffling in good cobble-stoned style.  The vocals are clear throughout and have a good unaffected reality - straight from the bloke in the street just having a good go I deem this one.  I like this the effort despite having initial doubts, it is a real Velcro-moment and my cerebral pubes of attention cannot be worked free - I am not moaning though!

'Vulture Stare' lacks the cuteness of the previous track and is a scuzzy straightforward onslaught of real throwback quality that appeals to a side of my sonic nature never forgotten and never neglected.  The construction is without intricacies, the hook is equally basic and the tempo is unrelenting.  I listen several times over, fail to pick up any internal flaws but also fail to pick up any genuine zeniths.  This is a bog standard offering with the saving grace being the unhygienic production - I consider it 'OK' with a feeling that the impending report will see the scrawled opinion of 'could do better' vandalising the said document.

'Cider And Gravy' sticks to basics but is musically more effective and has a greater grabbing accent.  The opening mechanics are pseudo-skanked and chugging before the acceleration pedal is floored and the band gush forth whilst singing the praises of two opposing liquid therapies, one cool and fruity, the other warm and somewhat meaty.  A life of getting hammered, staggering and bathing one's palette in a Bisto-esque bombardment is surely an acquired taste but hey, there be nowt wrong with a good blow out.  Don't look for profundity here, don't seek out an epiphany that will change your life!  No, just simply play loud, have a beer, pogo and look forward to a night with the diluted granules!  Oh, and remember to have some very absorbent arse paper ready for the following morning!

The closure comes with a sharpened blade that is dragged across the comfort zones of the aged thinkers and asks them, nay tells them, to wake up and accept the 21st century thinking.  'Old Man, New World’ batters in with great purpose before switching to a neat skip and bass weave.  A sparse opening verse comes, is chased down by more hard-driven noise before we repeat the process.  The contrasting elements operate well here, it is an area the band would do well to work upon and strive to enhance things further.  This is an obvious 'live' treat - one to thoroughly lap up whilst the glass is overflowing and the head is getting clattered - I have no complaints.

And in, and out and without a doubt, I like this 4 track offering that shows that there are good things happening at level 'DIY', indicates a band doing their bit with room to improve and shows that the basics have much to offer and are what makes many of us tick.   The band are far from the finished product, there are great foundations lain here and on the next release I expect greater depth and more angles - in the meantime - I remain a fan!

   

DIRTBOX DISCO - TV SEX SHOW

The DBD crew trundle on, they are now a member down, the lead lad has gone and so we are left with a scarred band striving to keep matters moving.  The loss was a major one, full marks to the crew for carrying on but it is now a long way from that initial debut album that earned a 10 out of 10 from this critical fruit.  Since then, they have never attained those heady heights but have done mighty well for themselves.   I merely go in here and judge on not what has been but what is before me - it is no fuckin' easy thing to do.

Track one, 'Unstoppable' seems an appropriately entitled number and weighs in with a good 4.15 minute blow-out that calls for a two-way support system that will help keep things ticking along nicely.  The opening chant is soon washed aside with a good lick of the guitars before the opening verbals come, verbals that may have a certain barb to snag a few souls upon and tear open the souls of a few doubting dudes.  The song is sweetly constructed, I think it asks for the impossible in a world of takers and so falls into the category of 'dreaming'.  It is an easy listen, goes on for a little too long and perhaps loses that renowned sing-a-long hook the band are famed for - is this a bad or a good thing?  My initial verdict is of an above average start just void of that extra kick although there is a bit of poison to keep ye entertained.  'Insomniac' crumples, surges and finds a runnel of racing rhythm that stays on a frustrated pill-popping level with the hope of getting forty winks instead of spending the night indulging in naughty wanks.   The good underflow of rock and roll desire breathes life into the song and makes sure the impetus is high.   Again I am seeking something special and eruptive and again I feel something is just lacking.   I am zoning in and finding this a well-produced and efficient number but, Fungal demands and Fungal demands big baby!

'Barebones' is my favourite track of the CD methinks.   A free and easy swing along with fine musicianship, clear direction and with no fault.  The verses have good magnetising appeal, a simplicity not to be underestimated and they slip into the uncomplicated chorus without fuss.  There is very little to add here - it is as basic and attractive as it seems and now and again that is all this head-wanked bastard needs.  'I Want Out' slips in with careful tones, continues with melancholic moves borne from a somewhat defeated and downhearted carcass.  Sober and struggling to find air the song forces itself on and gives insight into a band emotionally expressing themselves and slowly metamorphing into something of a different beast.  Contemplation runs deep, the emanations remain profoundly sobered and the general gist is of a construct not designed to make one feel chipper (which in itself is an oddity for a band with a history of pick-me-up pop songs).  The fact is though that the output may not be my most favoured offering but it works - so suck on that Fungal!

'Dickhead And The Hype' could be aimed at many folk found in the musical pool where ego, idiocy and 'puffing' go hand in clammy hand.  This song has good spunk in the substrate and flows with swift and accurate tenacity.  The soundscape is colourful and kept tight with the main structure of the song, when stripped bare and duly examined, being seen to be very simple indeed.  There is a place for simple sing-a-long episodes of spite - this is what it is.  For some reason 'The Count Of Monte Cristo Lives In San Francisco' does sweet FA for me and is classed as such as a pointless snippet of nonsensical noise that comes, goes, harmonises and fails to shift my Fungalised arse into any action whatsoever.  The stops and starts, the attempt at contrast which doesn't work and the admittance of preferring an adventure over something cultured cultivates visions of an impatient goon liable to drift off to lands of daring dabblings and exotic encounters - well, I suppose I can't fault that.  This is an escapist tale I can relate to but I am just not keen on the overall arrangement - these things are all part and parcel of the honest reviewing lark - onwards I go with many a doubt and frown at my tail.

'Reminisce' and '3 Bottles Down' are a fine coupling with both tracks having oodles of gumption and moving with appreciable muscularity.   The first races forth through the opening eager verse and then slams home a pecking chorus chunk that really raises the bar of consuming cacophony.   The band roll with the accelerator down, thrive with a complementary production value and showcase all their inner goodness via a blast that is surprisingly over in time quicker than I deemed - tis always a good sign.  The second blast is an erudite blend of boozing goodness.  The tale ponders the draw of the liquid toxin, the spiral down into self-despair and the inability to escape the all-consuming maelstrom.   We have all had times when the need to get blasted dictates and then a turn for the worst comes and the head wonders why the fuck the staggering situation is had - and one still can't stop.  Life is a tricky customer, the stress more than holds its own in an on-going battle, sometimes to have a partner in crime is the only way and more often than not that partner comes from a bottle (usually labelled 'QC' in my case).  The fight is there to be won though, many come out and stand proud but whilst listening to this take time to think of those still scuffling and taking a beating.  I like this one - it rings true, it has a vein easily related too and a tune to enjoy - a double whammy for which I thank you Mammy (or something like that).

'Bitch Full Of Stitches' brings visions of a woman I once knew who gave birth to a 3 stone pygmy who was borne complete with a quivering hard-on.  The slippery product of pain grew up into a fine, strapping, pot-bellied pervert, the lasses fanny was never the same again - ooh what a mess.  The song here waltzes along and has nothing to do with torn-twats and vertically challenged deviants (worse luck) but deals with a rough old bint who likes to get stuck in and have a tumble.  It is a ditty that captures elements of old, keeps things clean-cut and rolls along with decent accents.  'VDTV' slams along, trounces your resisting receptors and cuffs one around the lugs with a swinging acoustic arm that means business.   The aim is true, the infection of the soul-sucking screens put to the fore with a forceful tune that takes the CD to a previously un-visited cacophonic cranny.  I for one appreciate it, the on-line wank, the media invasion and the absorption are rife - one needs to ask - what is the real virus in society?

'Simple But Effective' is a real cutting swipe at the punk scene and the bands that all sound the same and lack any true originality.  No matter what one says there is a lot of formulated froth riding atop the goodness of the spiky scene and it is a froth that gets most note.  By refusing to blow it away and drink from the delightful discordant dregs I may point out that you are seriously missing out – take fuckin’ note.  The band use their own formulaic ideals with a sing-a-long chorus used and abused and no doubt destined to be sung by many who are in direct contradiction to the theme of the throw-out - laughable isn't it.  Of course it goes without saying this eternally awkward spanner in the sonic work likes this one, both lyrically and musically – so have that!  The final song is a misery soaked affair called 'Ain't Life Grand'.   This crawling ooze-out slides into a headwind of resistance whilst all the while emanating a feeling of despair and utter disillusion.  Wallowing in dive of depressive thoughts is easily done and before one knows it an all-enveloping state of play is had and escape seems almost impossible.  This is a laboured song that is not for me.  If I play when in a buoyant mood it reminds me of times of bleak moods and head-twanged situations, when playing when downbeat then I get really pissed off - it is a piece best left by this tetchy bugger.

2 bonus tracks come, I shall be brief. 'Tizwatitiz' wallops along with frisky impetus.  A good holler, an open and transparent theme with the wires jacked off with good purpose and the drums smacked about like a bald man's head in a cranial orgy.  The song flies by and leaves me with little room to criticise, at this late juncture it is good to keep the cobwebs blown away and the pace rattling right up until the wire.  A screw-in follows, a repeat 'Wake Up' call comes and leads to some verbology regarding the blinkered bastards who pervade the scene with their one-way thinking and a crushing lack of adventure.  I really like this final slam-dunking, arse-clanking hammer-jack that rips up the track-way to the final full stop with top-trampling tonality.  This thumping tune leaves me in a mood to take no nonsense and perhaps press the replay button – tis a good punctuation mark to say the least!

So, what are my final thoughts on this CD that is perhaps the start of a new dawn and a two-fingered salute to that what has been.   Well for me, it isn't the band’s best, it isn't their worst.  The collection has numerous high-points and several areas that are easily forgotten.  There is spite in the mix, sonic serenading and the usual 'whoa hoa' sing-a-long tick-boxing that is par for the course - it is in truth a decent mix.  In summing up though, this is a CD I can take or leave, it is one to dip back into now and again but not a classic to get mesmerised by.  I hope I have been fair, I do try my best but, as per, I try and stick to my ethics.

   

THE INKLINGS - THE DUNNING KRUGER EFFECT

Another new band, this one with traces spilling over from Zeitgeist 77 and one avoiding all strict genres.  The output is of varying styles, that is all it needs to be - a fool conned by a label is a fool not worth considering!  I take my time here as per and give this North-East duo much of my musically soaked time.  The most obvious aspects from the initial spins is of a crew who have thought hard, worked hard and produced something very...well, stick with me and find out why don't ya!

'The Dunning Kruger Effect' is a perfect opener, a confident and encouraging instrumental that perpetually twists and spirals and gets the listener intrigued.   The blend of all areas is exact, the glimmer shimmer effective and although the clap-along tidiness may be a little too 80's for some and perhaps a little too hygienic for the more scrag-ended bastards I think that, despite my tonal tastes being from the dirtier end of the eavesdropping elements,this one is an ideal stage setter.  What comes next is a strange blend of atmospherics and strictly positioned tones with 'See You In The Morning' kissed by whispered verbals, bespeckled with somewhat computerised punctuations, strung along on careful wire-weavings and kept in check by tympanics barely touched.  The strange and sanitized sound is far from a cold creation and is given a generous amount of warmth and magnetism by a process obviously well thought out.  I listen in over and over again, from the first watery overspill to the final structured exit I get a feeling of a very interesting and involving effort that grows in stature with each and every rotation - yes, this is better than I initially thought and in time…who knows?

'The Modern Way' comes on light, somewhat fluffed up tones and has a 'Buggles-esque' feel that I can't escape from - am I going mad?  The song has more sub-shadow vocals behind a strong point, the accent is awash with observational disbelief and the invasive soundbite of battling halfwits perhaps gives one a greater insight into the subject matter under the spotlight.  We get a corned repeat of the title towards the latter end and then we sign out - tis a funny song but it has many individualistic traits - that is something I shan't complain of.  With scenario set 'Scars Master' comes on very tepid and thoughtful airwaves with emphasis tuned in on things considered in all manner of ways.  The musical score is atmospheric and blown through with a frosted breath, the vocal style is consistent with the flow and equals the misted approach.  A solo sequence perhaps leans too far to that which is deemed 'poseur-ish' but quickly negates this feeling by refusing to hang around and self-indulge. The level found is a level maintained and what we have here is a fairly accomplished episode of cooled consistency.

I am wondering next if 'Dance On Air' is my favourite track, I think it may well be.  With touches of shadowed moonlight, tender folk strains and gossamer light rhythms this one appeals in great waves and as the tale unfolds one is drawn deeper into the weave and weft of love and sadness.  From the creamy smooth flow an uplift comes with more deliberation in the melody allowed to work alongside some sub-spoken utterances.  The mix may just be slightly off and just needs a little more clarity and softness added to the area between strings and vocals so as to garner a complete deserved lucidity but this is still a very gratifying song that I thoroughly enjoy.  'Calm Down My Dear' is a thermally cool number played with susurrated sway and done so beneath the more noticeable levels out there.  Time is invested, the tranquillity of tone cradled in the assessing arms is pondered more carefully.  I see a band moving into pastures they feel comfortable with, creators doing things their own way and offering something contrasting to the usual raucous spillage I get to review.  I love to recline with rhythms, this is a song I deem best exposed in the midst of heavier hitting outpourings - nice.

Next two and 'Go To Hell' comes with sinister threat, has a psychedelic feel with the ensuing keyed underscore a real thriving breath of kaleidoscopic air that swirls around ones bonse and brings many appealing sensations.  We have here a hybrid of something digitised, something post-punk and something suggestive of ill-emotion and cutting hate.  The inflection drips poison, the words used are sometimes coarse but descriptively pertinent and the edge on which matters are played out cuts through to the attentive senses.  A simmering moment I would suggest, liable to spill over at any given second.  From here we need a full on blow-out I feel, what we get is a fruity ditty known as 'You Can't Explain'.  The waltzing lilt seems a little cracked to me and when combined with the lightly shaded vocals the concoction ends up making for a brew that is very odd and, may I suggest, quite unsettling.  This is a good moment to further evaluate the band as a unit creating things from a recipe book of yore that, despite being not as popular of late, is still capable of tickling jaded taste-buds.   I listen carefully here and come away on tiptoes of indecision but can thoroughly recognise there is much potential to make something greater and something more impacting - I think the swing needs a bit of pace and a dramatic instrumental segment included- these are, as ever, personal and hopefully, helpful thoughts.

On to the closing brace with 'The Fall Master' gracefully flowing inward to take centre stage.  A change in theme comes, a Jam-esque drive hits home with something 'Rut-ified' making a brief appearance.  The opening verse is well-guided, has a good meaty undercurrent that I am sure will work mighty well in the 'live' arena.  The vocals are considered, the lyrical content uncomplicated and of slightly deeper shades than witnessed thus far.  The back-hollers add atmosphere, the bass provides a good substrate on which to progress and the overall creation is slicker than initially deemed - not a bad do at all.  We close with 'The Greatest Story Never Told' - an impacting orchestration of lofted standards that shows what the band are trying to do and highlights the fact that they are making tracks with something majestical always on the cusp and trying to break through a very delicate surface.  Here we see carrots dangled, taken away, foolish folk abandoned and hopes lost forever.  The creators look at the expected and the end results and make a stark conclusion with the tones sonically sagacious and almost cathedral-like.  The instrumental break is too rock-esque for me but played mightily well and soon after we are done - now what went on there then?

So, a very interesting listen by a new band and one carving out their own niche.  This will not be to everyone's taste, but of course, nothing should be.  It has many meritous points and only minor tweaks are needed in certain areas to create things black and white and to accentuate the grey.   The flow is not far off the mark either, again just a few segues need just a final iron out and yes, something very interesting is there to behold.   For the next release I would prefer something shorter and with a clashing of styles - again I am throwing down a challenge, isn’t this part of what every reviewer should do?

   

ABORTED TORTOISE - SCALE MODEL SUBSISTENCE VENDOR

The shell of sound is thrown off as these sonic sneakers plod forth with a real down-to earth sound that has many low-slung and readily-raw moments all thrown forth into a melting pot of DIY disarray with oodles of character and discordant goodness.   The band hail from Perth, roll out their produce with decent distinctiveness and have a very gratifying lo-fi feel that real keeps my boat ploughing through many wanky waves.

We open this 4 track toss-bag with the quickly rolling 'Making A Mint'.  After the opening flutter-fuck we find a stance and jerk along in fine rough and ready style with the vocals slapped over the substrate of sound with real natural effectiveness.  The loose and low-slung style is rewarding and accentuated by a nervously activated speedburst that seems borne from a youth with his pants full of shit - the reeking rhythm emanated certainly does it for me.   At one point the band partake of harder riffery of more orthodox proportions and man they do make for a fuckin' good tear up - yeah I am liking this one.   The quick follow-up comes via the oddment known as 'Factory'.  Demand outweighs supply as the band relate a tale of consumers’ needs not being met.  The throb of the wires persists, accoutrements of twanging delight are added, the skins of encouragement are given a decent slap whilst the frontman once again adds the slag-slack spittle-suggesting gob donations that give the escapade extra entertainment value.  This second globule of basement-banging excellence has the hallmarks of pop-punk garage with something a little sleazy thrown in - I can't find fault in that - I replay several times over just to make sure.

The next 2 songs and 'Violent Consumer' is a superb surge about a trip to the shops and the emotions it duly causes.  The spacious strums that begin are soon overtaken by hungry scuttling that quickly subverts into a cock-snot spillage of unmolested, unaffected pollution.  The construction intoxicates my soul with its poppy aromas, incessant rolling methodology, utterly fresh and happening style and of course, the subject matter that reflects a society laden with 'I want, I need' cretinism.  Again the AT troops shit forth a winning song perfectly played with a certain rusty accent that belies the fact that the band know what the fuck they are doing.  'Plastic Orgasm' is the last ejaculation, a song that sees the crew work themselves up into a sweating fervour with a more wayward lunacy pervading matters with the end resulting perhaps a more de-controlled, abandoned and off-the-frayed-cuff delivery.  This one is the one that takes most time to assess but even so it is latched onto with any hitch and easily enjoyed.  The expression poured forth is well composted in a dustbin of delivery that gives off a goodness liable to feed the roots of the most delicate rhythmic listener.  The main winning aspect for me though is the 'get up and have a go' slant and, of course, yet another magnetising lilt that works a treat - nifty!

I am very much a fan of this lot, a convert and this kind of sonic goodness is right up my unrehearsed, naturalised and noise-loving shit-street.   I am going to chase up the bands other indulgences, play loud and I perhaps, review.  I will see if they want me to first though - one has to be decent despite being an overly keen cacophonic crank.

   

BOGANS - SELF-TITLED EP

Bogans - a band from North Wales, they have played a Fungal gig already and have proven themselves to be highly capable.  The music is tinged with more modernistic punk flavours but that in itself is an ambiguous statement as I really don't know what punk music is anymore and in fact, I don't fuckin' care.  I am as keen as ever to douse the lugs in noise though, here I have 5 tracks to tackle and tackle them I do - you should understand the approach by now!

Carnival Of Souls' is the opener, a song that brings visions of that warped horror film from the 1960's - creepy man, creepy!  The opening tonality tries to pull a trick, it starts in a creeping manner and has one considering a song chilled and subdued.  Not so - the band soon plough inward with a heavy duty mush that is highly condensed, incessantly impacting and as minced and malignant as ever.  The modus operandi of this initial gambit is of a levelled out buzz-bomb intensity that stays at one pressing level and never really falls or rises.  Thankfully the sonic strata reached is of a solid standard and so the band get by - I do feel a bit more space and pronouncement of certain riffs would help though - such is my ever- critical (and hopefully helpful) way!  The next offering is entitled 'Wretched Man', a real hive of hiccupping activity that has agitated acoustic ants in its fizzed up pants.  The opening vocal-assisted blast is coughed up with great strain and has a certain constipated effect that indicates a victory until a pebble-dashed stutter comes and the song seems to seize up.   Eventually things unfold, the basin of attention is splattered all ways and as I apply my attentive bleach to uncover the inner nutrients I find a multi-mixed crap splat that needs sincere time to fully adjust to.   The song emanates a stench not for every hooter, it is an acquired reeking - I stick with it and find much goodness but am of the opinion this will be a better blow-out in the 'live' pit whereas on CD I can duly take it or leave it.

'The End Of Times' seems a pertinent postage and is a level-headed number that gets the noise-creating nugget down and from the first sharpened glistenings it drills deep into the sensitive nervous system with a relentless hammer-wank that forces one to take note and let the meat of the belfry get duly pounded.  The harsh reality related is scorched to the core and sizzles with matter-of-fact forthrightness riding along on a sinewy current of unwashed and quite infecting music.  The are no obvious zeniths here or outrageously magnetic snags but, the song works - the reasons why are beyond me, it may be something to do with the overall intensity.

The penultimate track, 'Breakneck Sleep' is a twisted affair with a few tickles off course, several odd invasions and a coming together of varied sub-generic suggestions.  A quick exchange of tones both sharp and piercing slap against those that are slamming and numbing before a raw-assed drive smacks one in the mush and leaves one...considering.   The band are plying their trade with a tightened compaction, the music is well-played and produced and the thermals emanated make the skin blister.   The only gripe I have with this one is that the gas is turned down for a trifling moment and the impetus is impeded.   It is a slight niggle though but not one to dwell upon - there is good meat on the bone here and well-cooked it is too.   We piss-off into the darkness of silence with 'Water Under The Bridge' a closing ditty that begins with something akin to an early-days Kerrang-ified cock-out strut before falling in-line with the usual Bogan booming.   The opening throes are not to my liking, seem a trifle bare and leave me cold but the thermality and saturation soon increases and I become more intrigued.   The band fanny about a little too much rather than get on with matters at hand but this is a musical style done in their own way and has a quite identifiable strain.   This closing blast has points to praise, moments to mull over and a few areas that need careful attention - I think the band come out with their cacophonic conkers intact.   I still think those opening bursts are too reminiscent of cod-piece wearing rockers though - ooh perish the thought!

So the Bogans have upped their game and are maintaining some good flow.   To prove that the curve is upward I need to re-check these guys in the flesh and I suggest you do to.  The last viewing was chunky, I expect boulders next time, big hairy boulders at that - and yes, I am a greedy bastard.

   

CHOKED - BLOOD SPORT EP

Choked, a new generically blending bunch of dabblers from the Borderlands with various essences thrown together, proffered up on a DIY platter for keen dogs like me to partake of, digest and spit back with feedback.  I was asked, I will do, it was made clear that I should be honest with my review - by heck, I have never done things any other way - hence the unpopularity and the many bruised toes and egos out there.  I do what I do with good intent though, I think some people are just a little too delicate for their own good - ooh the silly sods.

'Two Can Play' is the opening gambit, it appears on the periphery of our aural vision with a slow-steaming chuggery before the radiofied vocals give the first hint at true direction and sub-snarl out an opening verse/chorus chunk that has a lively chomp.  The mid-paced style is zoned-in, somewhat condensed and of many merging tones.   The second slab of gobbery comes, the impression is enhanced, I am so far convinced.   We re-wrap around the central shaft of spiralling sound once more before duly drifting off into submerged realms were a switch in the general blend comes with the main spine of sound soon re-located.  The oral hook is perhaps a little over done, maybe the song just hangs around for a little too long although the shadowy effects to the verbal spillage is a nice added extra that drips with potential.  To be fair though this is a decent opener and has certainly got me involved - job done.

'Reaper' is a doom-laden piece stating its case against positions precarious and reflective of nothing more than utter foolishness.  The structure of the song is adaptable, metamorphic and somewhat nebulous, there is a definite ad-hoc arrangement emanating from the musical quarters with the lead lass on an eager carousel of repetition and unending desire.  When the song steps out of the loop good relish is encountered with a drifting bass washed over with persistently shimmering string strokes and nervously agitated drum beats.  The song is just a trifle imbalanced when it comes to the final mix and just lacks that final finishing flow.  Too many wanderings off-line are unnecessary and thus distractions cause discombobulation which is a shame - I just hope the message is taken note of.

'Phone Calls And Lies' is a rock cum psyched out mule of melody that kicks its feet and waltzes around with a somewhat wayward gait.   The spine of the song is somewhat unstable and wavers a little too much for this listener's comfort.  The substrate of sound beneath the oral hooves is a shifting state of affairs that gives the vocalist room to express and manoeuvre but which fails to provide a foundation on which to increase direction and drive.  Maybe this is a deliberate ploy and I am missing the point, I do feel though that the song would benefit from an underscore of regulation riffery.

I crack on, 'Blood Sport' is the next ditty with opening deep resonating bass bars best given an enhancement via the ever-awaiting volume button.  The initial swings in the funky serenade are passionate, from the viewpoint of the hunted, away from the pompous inhumane wankers on horseback who dress in traditional raiment’s that in some ways reflect the hopeless cases that they are.  The thought behind the musical product appeals, the overall construct itself works too with a freelance accent never to be tamed and a runaway indulgent interlude played with utter focus.  Again, and this is my irresistible punk soul talking, the song would fare better if lightly shaved and the running time cut, but as I say tis a personal viewpoint and there ain't nowt wrong with that!

And lastly 'Blind Faith' a number that squelches in but not like a damp fart.  No, the song has a more solidified feel and is pushed out with a certain muscularity that gives it a chance of winning favour.  My initial thoughts are unsure and then I listen more deeply.  A gentle rhythm opens with the lead lass somewhat hepped up and hollering with good gusto whilst driving home a kickback message against lunatic acceptance which seems to ignore the fact that things are turning to shit and inane words of wisdom are offering up no solution wahtsoever.   Again the musical style is different from what one usually receives and is in direct combat with the gob work - I am all for things coming from a different angle, I now have to try and see this lot 'live' where I think these songs will work a whole lot better.

My honesty must dictate in my summing up and I find myself in part unsure, in others intrigued.  I think there is great improvement to be had here and yet I think this is a good opening gambit.  I feel the band have much to say, it may be better if they say it in a more succinct punky way and add in a few 'orthodox' power riffs but I also recognise that the band have their own style and I certainly don't want to quell that.  Like I say, a 'live' viewing would be welcome and I will be certainly interested to see what their next step is!

MFC CHICKEN - FAST FOOD & BROKEN HEARTS

10 years on, the clucking fuckers we have before us have released 4 albums to date and I have been privileged enough to review the lot.  The band pick up the most basic of tribal rhythms, wraparound a central shaft of snagging sound and adorn with choicely picked elements in the most uncomplicated of ways.   It has been a while since I dabbled in this quite refreshing musical realm, I am expecting big things here but won't shy away from being critical if the need arises.  I don my jitterbugging shoes just in case though, these might be a real finger-licking, bollock-kicking beauties - there is only one way to find out!

'Always, Always, Always' gets the foot tap and the groove set - I have no complaints.  The shadowy surfed drums, the immediately effective sax-appeal and the nagging basics of good old rock and roll all jump from the rotating circle of silver and do what they set out to do - get one all a jitter.   The vocal inclusion is highly relished and utterly hungry for the job at hand whilst all musical touches are somewhat minimalised but still come together to make a quite complete sound.  Several 'obvious' licks are had, the groove is straight out of yesterday and dusted down and delivered today - I think I need add little more only that I am now ready to cluck and fuck onwards.  'KFC Called The Cops On Me' tells a tale of a potentially chicken chomping chump who gets busted and is left in a state of salivating need with emotions spilling and the local law needed.  We get thrown around a deep-grilled bout of trouble and for one, I am happy to be in the melee.  Tis songs like this that the MFC crew cough up and have me questioning their whole mental stability.  They really are on the cusp, thank goodness for that, anything more refined and deemed as 'normal' would be an insult to what they do - ooh the cracked set of bastards.  Whilst all this noodleism is transpiring it would be wise to remind all that the music is darn tasty and should not be overlooked - we have to be fair here and this band are certainly no set of bumbling amateurs.  I go onwards, skipping and singing, a quite unsightly spectacle I can tell ya.

'Who Gave What To Who' is a fine jaunt maintaining the nervous quirky vim set and travelling the tightrope of tonality where this band can be found balancing.  The jumping bean agitation is delivered with a high level of convincing perfection whilst the fore-crooner opens his heart and admits to being a trifle blue'd up.  A precarious number, hot-footing on sparking keyed coals that scorch the tootsies and keep one intrigued.  A real oddball this (well aren't they all) and one that keeps that crooked flow moving.  I am chugging along and chomping deeply on this twat-tickling treat - hot damn!

'Shell Of A Man' is a stop and start, stutter nutter confessional that sees an admission that all that is left is a mere husk striving to hold on and squeeze out the dregs of the musical carcass.  The running time is terse, the arrangement built on one strict spinal column of sound, the delivery sharp suited, to the point and free of unnecessary fluff.  We are hypnotised from the off by the prodding saxophony, marched deeper into a state of mesmerism by a strutting chunk of tuneful moving with an inner instrumental noisily invading and keeping the eyelids raised.  The final harmonies raise hopes and then into the next one we go.  'I'm Lost' is a real mover with a deep resonating reverberation that trembles the listener's undercarriage with mean intent.  The key to the arse-moving goodness is the bee-bumble bassism that is incessantly on the move and providing a solid and highly energised substrate on which the other swinging contributors can do their funky thing.  From the off the dark edge of this number is brandished, the relish for the task at hand is blatant and the need to twist, twirl and twang one’s appreciative foreskin is high.  Pure pick-me-up tomfoolery this with a rewarding superfluity of spunkery - have it baby, just fuckin' have it.

A sharp invasive discordance, a matter of fact move and 'I Couldn't Say No' turkey-asses along with an irresponsible stride that sees seeds planted here and there and due eggs of suspicion fertilised -  oh the dirty cluck-wit.  Eventually the song reveals a situation sussed, the cunt dipping cock is dealt with (hooray) and the song is done.  This is a mere tonal tale, the content cripples my interest but the toon is a good un!  'Fresh Chicken, Straight From The Trash' is straight at it, bounding along with robust rigidity on a skeleton of sound that remains upright, enthused and dangerously untrustable.  The vibe is as per, this is one of those moments when I need to add little else and I am happy to jive ass along.

'Spy Wail' is delicious sub-Duane Eddy wriggle that squirms beneath your skin and succeeds in creating a head-nodding episode of agreeable dinnage.  The whole shebang has a snake-charming essence that sets out to mesmerise and duly does just that!  There is something jazzy going on here, a cumulative reactive rhythm seemingly operating on a 'see what happens' regime.  The brass is a significant component; it certainly helps enhance the overall tune.  A fine 'Johnny B Goode' guitar jangle welcomes us into the clashing song known as 'Spontaneous Combustion', a viciously penetrating song filled with great grooving venom and hitting the agitating sonic hotspots in utterly glorious style.   The fizzing ill-intent of the number is counterbalanced by a deliciously animate tune that never lets up until the final blow-out - this may just be the best of the best - I replay over and over just to be sure!

Down the home run, 'Breakfast Taters' is a quick looping undulator of food-obsessed thinking that reveals a potential fat-man fighting, a fellow immersed in the prospects of the fry-up, a bloke baconified, greased up and in need of the early morning appetiser.   The strings are akin to the eager heartbeat just prior to the nosh up, the lurching sax strikes give hint of bowels filled to capacity and bordering on a reflux action.  The song is far from sickly though, it is a nutrient filled serving that I for one am happy to indulge in - by heck this reviewing lark don't half build up an appetite!  'Fuck You, Me' is a vicious song delivered with a totally opposing shindig structure that lightens the output and keeps one wondering about the mental stability of the lead hollerer and his comrades.  It seems there has been some upset, forgiveness is not an option and we are we all encouraged to clap along and swing to the rhythm.  It seems the you and the me is gonna get a kicking from the self - if you get what I mean!

'Free Range Man' is a slowly boiled blues'ed up creeper with certain 'Holly-esque' guitar ripples, a shady shiver of the cymbals, a rich oral organ twist and the surreptitious bass that keeps all flowing...the right way.   The vocals are as cracked as ever and gift us words dripped from a never-to-be-tamed man's lips, a real wandering nomad of drifting and dreaming ideals - is that a bad thing?  'Tipi Tapa' prepares and then side-winds along with gratifying hip-gyrating gumption.   The snag is magnetic, the sub-rustiness attractive, the overall delivery utterly absorbing.   The impetus builds, the crew cacophonise with clarity and a smile-inducing influence and I rate this as a real dipper-dapper ditty of welcome joy - bang on baby!

The closure is 'Waste Of Space', again the flow is adequate as is the mix and the overall enthusiasm.  The song starts and prepare, hope springs eternal but matters are soon dashed against the rocks of reality with the statement given being more than a little sobering.   The verses are accompanied by a guitar tickle, the chorus stamped with authority, the message rammed home with finger-licking goodness - I sign off quite pleased.

Is this the best MFC serving thus far?  It may just well be so!  Are the band destined to keep on raising a smile and getting the tow tapping - I can't see why not.  Am I suffering from cluck-o-mania cacophony - well cock-a-doodle doo - it seems that way!

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