FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

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.

   

JOHNNY MAFIA - PRINCES DE L'AMOUR

Johnny Mafia attack the sonic airwaves from the shores of France and dish out a cosmopolitan mix of high energy sounds run through with hot riffage and varied influenced suggestions.  From the past to the present with pace alternated and passion constant we get here an array of textures to pass our appraising lugs over and to ultimately try and decipher.  They are suggested to be 'high rollers in the burgeoning post-garage punk rackets' but I shall make up my own mind, I shall be honest and I shall be darn well fair - here we go, here we go, here we go...

And firstly...

'Big Brawl' is a fresh a fruit number alive and kicking with a joyous fizz of teenage vigour and pop punk excitement.  The skip in the stride is intoxicating and has an honest, whirring headed joy of swirling impetus that grabs any nearby listener and whips them along with quite attractive abandon.  The switch from the contemplative and calm to the sub-chaotic and corrosive works a treat and within this nicely orchestrated kerfuffle comes many snagging angles to make one wonder what the rest of the CD will offer up - this is a good sensation!   'A. C. O.' serenades and charms its way inwards, has a 50's jukebox reality tattooed throughout the opening strains that brings visions of foaming sodas, dripping popsicles, polka dot dresses and greased barnets all enjoying a time when...ah when!   These brief daydream fascinations are cast into the winds of time when a whipping draught sneaks under the door of comfort and blows the ambience over on its arse.  This is no bad thing as we soon return to matters pleasant but the contrast factor has been snatched and brandished and as an overall result things are emboldened.  A tidy little snippet, something to mull over I reckon.

'Secret Story' is a deliciously upbeat and feel-good offering of bright-eyed music that is persuasive and mixed with a certain attracting zest.   As matters develop there is magical dust scattered and the carousel of sound rotates with varied accents and merging cacophonic colour schemes.  The rise of the rhythm is calculated but highly natural and the vocalisation surfs along on the crest of a tidy acoustic wave provoking much interest along the way - nifty work.  'Crystal Clear' is a heavier song, full of meaty momentum that rocks the boat in fine style and keeps the sails full blown and billowing with belief.  The opening gambit steps forward with deliberateness but with authority and when the storm builds we become awash with solid reverberations and gentle motions of convincing power.  I would have liked a little more ornamentation and perhaps some overlain atmospherics but this one does the job, packs a punch and carries the CD forth with fine prowess.

'Ride' is an exposure of schizophrenic upheaval as the tuneful, the temperamental and the testing all combine to cause a sprinting fascination of flourishing noise to be dragged along with.  By far the most intense song encountered, a solid wake up moment and as the song seeks out thrills and spills the inner components further blend and make for one heated aural spectacle.   It is a lovely sensation created, the cacophonic contrivance pays dividends.  'On The Edge' pop pulses on uplifting vibrations that really having a perky ping in both the delivery and production elements.  This one may not be as instantaneously infecting as that which as passed but the fact that the player has a distinct signature sound, converges several opposing facets and brings them together as one is all fine by me.  Although this isn't a personal pleasure I am able to witness the craft that has gone into the creation - I can't say fairer than that!

A flitting 3 piece, 'Feel Fine, Feel Time' flutters in decent style and continues to flap away with popped tones and a breezy updraft all wafting the senses with a sense of ease and uncomplicated innocence.  This isn't my favourite track but it isn't offensive in any way - perhaps therein my gripe is found.   'Justify' is an unassuming number that goes at its own pace, minds its own business and floats on a self-made waft of casual tunery.  Now I am all for the faster paced music but this one has accents to attract and I indulge myself.   The weight increases with the passage of ticking time - I shall recommend this one for sure.  The last of this brief assessing burst is 'Each Side', a quick jangle jitter that tubs it up and throbs with a rich vein of desire and gets the job done in the quickest time possible.  Short, to the point, I prefer the middle of the 3 here, is it so obvious!

'Sun 41' lays down a foundation, splashes with enchanting colour and adds enhancing shadow effects that take us by the hand into fields of psychedelia where swirling crops of animated glories are annually harvested.   The loop is liquid on all fronts, the mixture blending in hypnotic fashion and thus producing a fine puissant reward for the pluckers toil.  Any doubts are taken away by the efficacious instalment of invigorating music - a fusion to admire!   We close with 'That Shelf', a protean piece that metamporphs in an almost camouflaged fashion, moving from one resting giant into a behemoth that kindly tramples.  The progression is dextrous and combines many past flavours into one finale that does the job requested.    I have no gyp with this one and as a result investigate the album all over again.

A very good piece of noise this, coming at the listener from many areas and always offering something new to consider.  It isn't bog brush punk, it isn't out of the gutter and it certainly isn't underprocessed - God bless my appreciative and nosey palette - it would have been a tragedy to have missed this.

   

WAR WAVES - BE WELL

Since 2015 War Waves have applied themselves with a cool and yet troubled indified edge that sees them produce music that is more for the aficionado and investigator of tonality rather than the passing music lover.  The songs aren't rushed, great depth is achieved and the placement of individual notes,  chords and drum slaps is all done with well-thought planning.  The outcome is a rich tapestry of cutely interwoven sounds that even when outside of one’s normal noise-laden parameters still have enough angularity and spirit to gain a foothold in the conscious cranial gunk.  I take my  time as per, after many aural examinations (oooh mother) I have the following diagnosis to make.

'Lion's Head' is the opening piece and lightly flashes inward on elevations reliable and initial vocal sub-harmonies that have a certain thermal adequacy.  The drift is unhurried, balanced with tonal pleasantries and unbarbed accents that betray the inner spirit that makes this one tick.  The approach is perhaps too analytical and too prepared for some and, as a lover of things natural, shoddy and free-flown, I can perhaps see where the band would fall down in a more DIY setting.  Having said this the produce is saturated, has a latent strength and is delivered with good heave-ho, this one especially so at the latter end.  Not a bad opening burst but 'Blame' seems to edge matters with a lightweight touch that somehow has a greater certainty within the delivery.  This however is a transient feeling as a moment that seems timid and stuttering invades and somewhat throws one off kilter.  The hesitancy is perhaps reflective of the emotion but a little more fluidity would have helped one to gain a greater initial grasp and move on with the favour a little more quickly.  I listen over and find this a test too far and walk away frustrated.  Frustrated with a song that should have been so much more, frustrated with a song that is passionate and unorthodox and laden with talent but just misses my personal radar - bastard!

'Sleep', moves with sublime care in the tones and is applied with a very natural swish of the artiste’s arm that brings about a creation of pastel delicacy and faithful warmth to the War Waves style.  Earthiness is thrown in, the band do not shy away from dealing with matters in a honest and worthwhile style and all the while flow along with an almost carefree aspect that counterbalances the ringcraft on show.  This is perhaps my most favoured track of the CD, it has a completeness, a holistic embracing of the elements that make the band what they are - tis worth time and consideration that is for sure.  'Some Of Us Die' is a sobered tune with a sobered title and predates ones a attention with a minimalised first verse of unflustered and yet resolute worthiness.   The power eventually exposed is muscular and of the same pace, a firm stranglehold is what eventually squeezes out a conviction and although this is away from the short and sharp gob offs I so easily find in the more obvious punk circles, there is plenty to admire here albeit with a greater strain on the sonic sensors.  'Irregular Arms' enthuses me more and has a greater clarity, warmth and spontaneity to the structure of the song.  Each switch seems to fall off the cuff, every twist and turn seems as unexpected to the player as it is to the listener which inflates the intrigue and ignites a certain blanketed excitement.  The sway involved beneath the upper surface of sound is suggestive of a lullaby, this combination of comfort and power is where the band thrive - I am quite taken with this one.

From here we have three more tracks, repeat beats of the first three offerings, this time 'Radio Edit' versions.  As one may imagine, diluting and editing for commercial reason is not my thing and my punk awkwardness is provoked no end.   Darn their fuckin' expectations and limitations, darn their censorship and lack of understanding - the processed processors commit a crime untold...then again...

...and breathe...

and so we are done, War Waves are vying for greater appeal, have enough to compete on many fronts but, and a wee but at that, there is still room to define a real signature sound and throw in a few blatantly melodic and swifter snips to showcase their talent.   It will be interesting to see what the band could possibly achieve if chancing their arm, they should do it, the talent is oozing and here they go through motions well practiced, well played and well finalised - thank you for passing my way!  PS – the last 3 tracks are as tidy as ever – I hope the airwave wankers are appreciative!

   

MARK SULTAN - LET ME OUT

Mono-man oddness leaks my way via a strain of Dirty Water that time and time again I nip back to for a thirst slaking indulgence.  Here we have things delivered by a man immersed and forever creating, be it in one form or another. The tones are minimal and stark, the effect is...well, you'll just have to find out won't you.

The first tonal treat to be offered by our shopkeeper of sound is horror labelled as 'Coffin Nails' and is a mere tickle of one man tampering with the airwaves trembled with a formulated regularity that hints at many other efforts I have heard over the years, primarily here from a late 70's/early 80's sub scene.  Semi electrified, semi-b-sounding, laden with keyed budget tones that add life and a certain haunting intrusion. The song however fails to get fully launched and as it is hops along I feel let down that a fluent surge doesn't come.  There are many promises here though and I move on with hope high and potential ready to be fully ignited.  'The Other Two' weaves in, uses primitive key pulsations and corned love apologies from a heart injured by the projectile from the cheeky imp of adoration.  Hope springs eternal, the chorus is a fruit-juice melody and all the while the adhesive liquidity that flows through this one radiates a simplistic but rather talented tickle of affirmed aplomb - not a bad little do at all.

'Everybody Knows' is a crawling creeper soaked through with self-inspecting resonances that are a gifted with the artistes personal signature sincerity.  The sound is a touch 'Animalistic' and harkens back to the monochrome 60's when things where more sonically spartan and perhaps produced with a certain freshness.  Here we have a slightly more purified blend which in some ways perhaps mars the antique appeal that gave so much life.  The song nonetheless has its charm but could have just been a trifle more effective with a slightly scurfier edge - just a personal thought though and I am sure many will love this one.   'Believe Me' is a groovy cool act frequenting alleyways of yesteryear with sub-psychedelia nudging inwards and rusted rhythms prevalent throughout.  The 4 wired wank weapon provides the heartbeat for the rest of the melodic components to follow.   Along the way side-tracks are almost followed to the full but thankfully a direction is stuck to and we get by primarily unscathed.  The better song for me though is the chasing 'Don't Bother Me', a fruity upstart that moves with jigging joy before staging a stagger sequence that may impede but provides a nice counterbalance to the more liquid.  The blend has life, a certain schizoid suggestion, a blatant message of irritation - the mix is still undercooked, very approachable and with an offering of hope for all DIY ticklers who may be perhaps considering a further plunge - that is an element to always applaud!

'Last Chance' is a slow slithering snake of sound that cruises down the avenues of unassuming easiness with a lilt almost cathedral.  A vein is opened, a soul bared and a cool croon offered up in homage to what seems a love lost.  The interjections of rasping opposition seem to hint at an emotion troubled and seeking to upturn an anguished applecart - it is an odd inclusion but just about works.  'Humilation' blends sub-doo-wop assistance with a keyed persuasion and a gob strain that is hungry but held in check.   The final product has many elements to satisfy but they definitely need extra juice in the speakers so as to give a fuller sound.  This is now expected dabbling, I am wondering if a curveball is coming, it will be most welcome.

4 quickie dickies - 'Let Me Out' is slightly frosted, seemingly the barest encounter yet.  Events wise very little transpires and I seem totally out of sync with this one.  'Head This Message' is a keen spirited little ditty with the bass once more the encouraging factor and allowing the guitar to twing and twang at almost ad hoc leisure and add due ornamentation.  The vocals are hungry here, a facet that seems to make them shine all the more brightly and give a greater finalisation to the numbers.  'Black Magic' conjures up a potion of frisky movement awash with encouraging music that rhythmically rushes whilst exuding a thoroughly magnetising zest.  The groovy B-vibe is forever swirling and of one embracing cut that has no flaw to speak of.  Just a good wholesome number this and one to jitterbug or jerk off to - it takes all sorts!  'The Problem' is a cool customer, a tune that is no rush and, as it suggests in the song, is a quite natural 'time waster'.  There is a stubbornness within the oral offerings, a nice punked attitude that refuses to accept outside pressures and incessant pointers regarding the way to walk and talk.  The chilled sanguinity running through the veins of this toon should not be overlooked, fair enough I reckon.

2 to go, 'Tragedy' funks and fucks, scatter searches for a thread and when found forever pings along like a bout of acoustic ADHD, full of beans, unable to settle and with the eternal prospect of unpredictability.   Initially the song hits one as being too busy, eventually placement of each component is had and a regard for the intricacies achieved.   The end composite is cultured and with potential longevity factor oh so crucial in this throwaway sonic world.  The finale 'Wasting Away' is not my favoured full-stop and is a languid, almost defeatist, number that is put in a position where it shouldn't be.   This CD yearned for a full on sonic spectacle of feelgood noise to finalise matters and not this injured creeper that seems tired and aching for the final silence.  Not my thing and sorry to end on a duff, but honest, note.

Overall this is a tidy offering that charms and cajoles with an almost bare-basic transparency.  At times I am inspired, at other times I drift off, in the main my verdict is middling but that is down to personal taste and shouldn't detract from a talented artiste working his arse off.   There are many who will adore this, I am not one of them, that is not a bad thing, just a matter of course that shouldn't be covered up in the hope of currying favour – think on!

   

SUICIDE GENERATION - LAST SUICIDE

Let us cut the crap, let us get to the nub of the noise matter and deal with Suicide Generation, a raucous rock and roll garage outfit who tear it up, spit it out and shit their sound down clanking u-bends of disturbance and through pipes of distorting angularity.  The trash splash of foul racket comes from these London based deviants in quick successive blasts and if you don't take care you will miss the whole fuckin' point.  Here we go then, into a whole slag-o-rama of shit-kickin' sound, don't say you haven't been warned.

First up, 'Hypnotise Me', a grating gyrating vomit spill of shit-streaked, hard-freaked funk-o-licious manure rolling that provides mis-tuned wire wanking, epileptic bass incessancy, submerged stick raping and a gob that is whore-screeching sensationalism - loose lipped, wide eyed and smutty.  This is a fuck up festooned with shoddy deliberateness that is spat from the core of the creators with a loveable naturalness.  Some would frown upon this and tag is as 'shite', them thar fuckers would be wrong!   'Trapped In This Place' rocks it up, crisply riffs and scratches whilst stating its case via the already expected snottiness.  A sharp blade is brandished after being dipped in poisoned excrement.  It is flashed across the epidermal layers of your examining mush - the infection that follows is something that is almost unexplainable. Fuck treatment, absorb the infection you bastards!

Track 3, 'Rotten Mind' - man that opening filthy cable crustiness rocks my rafters and the hooligan hollering via a twat on a tantrum is whore-wanking wreckage spat with the purest form of disease.  The mental unrest within the ticker of this unit is tangible and exposed with a gratuitous vulgarity that tears at your underwear of common sense and fucks out a response of 'ooh yeah'.   'A Hole In The Head' is more deliberate with its initial thrustings and slams home its melodic member with a quick humping impact that leaves this recipient at least...frustrated.  3 grunts and groans, a lot of doggy style carelessness and the end result is a mess that doesn't really get one off - I hitch up and look to the next to get something akin to a sensation.  Thankfully 'You Gonna Burn' is a whirring fire-wheel of singeing spite hurtled round and round on a pivot of high zest and spunked up the crack of your jacksie with vicious direction.  The whole molestation is hectic, numbing and wonderfully delivered with melodic maulers running rampage over flesh only too willing.  These occurrences are not for all, only the perversely shoddy of the mind will submit - and why the hell shouldn't they?

'When I Think About You' slops in like a bucket of visceral vulgarity.  The snotty, shitted and pebbledash gritted combine to make a track that isn't as attractive as the rest and just lacks that inner punchiness.  As a result we get a moment that is lost is the midst of trashed time and I find myself with little to add - I skip on still hopeful.  'Wanna See You Die' is better and catapults along with hefty action and much writhing of the sinews.   The carcass of the fuck up is in a state of sexual epileptic excitement and as blood trickles from the nose, the damp patch appears on the crotch and the eyes roll back and reveal a blood flecked white, I know the racket is doing its thing.  I don't mind this at all, the damage being done is all in the name of discordance - hot damn!

The last 4, I grasp like the nettle and try to negate the stings.  'Death Smile' is a magical misfit of expected clatterisation that crumbles the senses, sweats like a huffing pig and gets the job done in double quick time, akin to a humping whirligig beetle (so I believe).   Still rough, still unbridled, you should have a full grip on the script by now!  'Trash Talk' skips the skins, turns the thumbscrew, adds a smattering of rock 'n' roll corned and crooked shit before turkey-assing along on jitterised feet of whizzed up animation.  This is a mere crude throwback and having a fondness for the old school jiving I find it just not up to scratch.   Not my favourite by a long chalk and in dire need of a scrub up and an exactitude in the vibration - I never thought I'd be saying that about this lots produce.  'You Must Be A Witch' rust crunches, finds a lick, takes us through the darkened forest of unsettled noise and leaves us to wait and contemplate the slight change in ambience.   The ghoulish aspect is subtle, the eerie and spooked sonica does the job, albeit with the usual SG signature shit flung over the final fix.  The bass provides the sternest foundation and so gives structure - this is a decent angle thrown in and keeps the band, as well as the listener, perky.   We fuck off with 'Suicide', a headlong rush to oblivion with all pistons pumping, the gears clicking and the driver at the helm looking forward to the climax.  Surging along in primitive style, the odd collision neatly avoided and with a few skids thrown in to keep the goosebumps raised this is an easy end to a CD that is just what the band do.   They could have upped the ante here and slammed out with a carnage to ogle - the rubbernecks may be a trifle disappointed.

Done, many good elements to note and the usual shabby wank splattery donated.   This lot won't be changing style anytime soon and why should they?  I am in part highly taken, in others outside the vibes but man, when they hit the ground running you will do well to not scamper alongside.

   

BLACK BELT EAGLE SCOUT - MOTHER OF MY CHILDREN

And I quote 'Having this identity - radical indigenous queer feminist - keeps me going. My music and my identity come from the same foundation of being a Native woman'.  Cripes, now here comes territory to trespass and do my Fungalised thing.  What we get is a one woman showcase of emotion, confrontation and striving to be at one with life and the landscape.  The album was written after a heart-wrenching loss, the soul is exposed, the talent used to the extreme.  As an assessor I have to stay true to my ethos too - I hope to gain balance, truth and insight - as per, time is taken, appreciation given, heaps of honesty used with thoughtful strain - it is no easy thing.

We begin with 'Soft Stud', a needful song that begins on stripped down minimalism and gradually works itself up into a more complete composite of impressing sound with whispered tentativeness gradually leading the way into something more sanguine and striding.  The power of emotion forces the progression and despite the lengthy running time of this opening aural episode we find ourselves well into the fray before wondering when the end will come.  The blend of featherlight oral offerings and the ominously wired underscore add a subtle strength of he/she hybridisation and perhaps here we find the songs greatest assets.  An intriguing commencement and onto 'Indians Never Die' and 'Keyboard' we travel, a barely touched couplet of fragility unbound and an emotive essence that is both dew kissed and gently ambiguous.  The first offering suggests a chant cum incantation within a weft of soft-lipped utterances blessed with lullaby warmth.  The second sliver of embracing delicacy is caressed and entrancing with the ebony and ivory hypnotica slow and disrobing.  From a realm of hefty head blasting matter to these tender offerings a certain appreciation can be had as well as a naked intrigue created by the obvious tonal opposition - I am happy to nudge these along with a vote of semi-clouded confidence.

The next 2 and 'Mother Of My Children' and 'Yard' stay within the confines of the dreamscape drive and down avenues of thoughtful prose we are carried by tender hands of parental care. The first is too fluffed and floated to make any significant impression on this hardened sonic git although the ambience sought is well achieved.  The second song is barely touched, an almost naked number that hardly registers on the rhythmic Richter Scale and seems almost destined to become background music (well, at least in my gaff anyway).  I do like my music to have guts, here we have something that has spirit but no blatant hooks or moving weight.  I listen intently and recognise the pastel shades that have been applied with porcelain-like delicacy - I am not convinced but there are some I know who will appreciate it.

'I Don't Have You In My Life' wire walks and soothes with an empty heart recently tattooed with the pang of loneliness. The barren soundscape reflects the stark isolation and as emotion is gently warmed by thermal turmoil all things stay serene, contemplative and almost of a meditating therapeutic slant.  Is release sought through acoustic incantation?   Is the refusal to get angry a ploy to punish an endo-suffering that remains mostly hidden between a conscious substrate of bruised mistakes?  There is a fascination and intrigue here if one tries hard enough!  'Just Lie Down' enters from white fuzz confusion where a maelstrom consumes and anxiety levels spill over and twist all sensibilities and sear all outlooks. A salvation from the wreckage comes in the form of a wisped apparition that enshrouds our prostrate form and eases the misery.  Questions posed, facts offered, solution perhaps gained.   The time to rest is encouraged, this is a moment to take time out with, to absorb what is, what isn't and gain some semblance of that which we all seek - equilibrium!    We close matters and are led by the hand into silence by the kissed lilt known as 'Sam, A Dream'. A case of hopeless dreaming filled, paradoxically, with hope! A situation impossible it seems, a cerebral wonderment of wishful thinking and liquid drop fantasy moving into musical wafts of softly smoked scenarios where imaginations can...flow.   I am in the groove, I can see the raison d'etre but now my punked soul is ready for some action and so I leave this opposing sound behind and maybe, just maybe, will revisit it in times of necessity - who knows?

Overall this is far removed from that which thrills my soul and spills my praise but...variation to one's listening matter is never a bad thing and this has had me thinking and searching which in itself is small success.  I won't be investigating this artiste further though, I would not recommend to many of my spiked and spitting mates but...one or two, with curious snouts may just well get it.   If you want something easeful and uncomplicated then this may be the route to take!

   

BOILERMAKER - SHOP FLOOR

I have never seen Boilermaker but am familiar with the tones.  The band are of a working class ethic, feature a few familiar faces and are driving home their noise with an unassuming edge - there ain't nowt wrong with that.  The band are a back-burning unit and are in no rush to get things going, slow and steady is the way it seems and this CD is a firm foundation and a good introduction to a noise with backbone.  I spin over and over, this is the end result of my musical contemplation.

'Bang To Rights' begins with cretinous utterances from an outback redneck who may have just hit on a little sense.  From here we have a stage setting sound blast that gives the song an almost instant authority and lyrics that pull no punches and indicate what can happen when a cunt gets his comeuppance.  The guitars saw through the listening bone, the gobbage is rough and raucous but still lucid, the skins are slapped around with care but with gumption.  What we end up with is a sub-Oi-esque gallop that improves all the while with each and every spin and each and every twist of the volume dial.  The solo perhaps needs a bit move bollocks and obvious riffery but besides that the song is nicely soiled, torn and fuckin' real.  'This Time' is a strong counterbalancing number that has a good pop in the vocal style and comes at you with a chest-swollen sanguinity that makes an impression on this noise-hungry dog.  The opening lamp-light flickerings fall into the yodelling’s before a real boot-stomping forthrightness is had with all ammunition blasted into your mush via an easy pogo and ping bout of street chanting.  The soundscape is full to the brim, the band are in the process of making concrete cacophony and are striving to move forth and drag a few who a willing and able with them.  In this day and age of much technical twattery and ‘me, me, me’ nonsense it is good to remember the guts and gonads of what much of the scene was built on and still should be.  A good hefty effort to manhandle when the mood so takes you.

Third up, '81/82' is a rekindle of a memory I am sure many old stagers can relate to.  The hopelessness of the school situation and out into the big wide world with no future - oh bugger.  The wide-eyed idiocy, the first taste of work, the soon to be joined queue of losers.  I went through it - left school young, spat back, got bunged on a YOP, burnt the factory down, was on the outside for many years to come - disillusioned, unmotivated and finding my feet.  This for me is a celebration of the survivors, the ones who went one way, came the other and still have spirit and, added sense.  During this time a certain war was taking place, more buggers were being used, thrown to one side and left to ponder - it were a crazy time and full of uncertainty.  The band buzz along here with good clout, put in a strong verse that will be picked up by the 'live' crooners who will jump around, spill their foaming beer and enjoy a sound slab of earthy noise.  This one, once more, like a choice wine, improves with age - sup deep ya bastards.  'Weekend Millionaire' neatly moves in, 'whoa hoa's' and welcomes the chance to celebrate weekly escapism.  The song is what you would expect, the band have set out their stall and are moving through obvious gears with no shame.  The grind is over, the time to switch off comes, there are no frills or fuck-about frivolities - this effort is a mere stabilising and somewhat cementing number in a CD that has a firm consistency.

'All Night, Alright' strides forth, hits a foot-tapping, head rapping nag of noise and ploughs away with a burning and insistent drive.  This drive comes from the tympanic section and urges on the boys and makes sure they keep animated, rolling with fluid sanguinity and maintaining a good massage of the musical movement so as to finally end up with a supple and street-fighting sound, albeit in a subtle kind of way.  There is no bedecking to prettify the production, no affected baubles of shifty suggestion to try and up the ante in a most unconvincing way.  No, this is feet-on-the ground boots and braces honesty - like it or lump it!

'Away Days, 'The Sirens And The Lights' and 'Gotta Let You Go' get grabbed as a fistful of 3 and tossed around the shithouse of consideration by my ever-hungry mitts.  The first is probably the most subtly emotive and understated piece of the lot with fine textured guitars, a semi-harmonised sounding vocal timbre and a straight-forward alertness that puts the band in good stead at all times.  From here we move into the second shifter, this time with an early 'Insane-esque' guitar rumble joined by ascending vocals and a cymabalised thermality sending us into the deliberate march of the first verse.  The chorus cut splashes and opposes, it carves a swathe through the pressure cooker environment built by crafted technicians and yet within the grilled atmosphere we still feel that street-cred transparency and working class reality that makes matters believable.  From here we get another switch as the last batch of this snatched trio briefly skin roll and moves along with the most cultured and sub-snotty leaning that harks back to times of yore.  The sneer is effective, the bitterness delivered with convincing venom albeit without an 'OTT' exaggeration.  There is an in-built fluidity and magnetising melody here that I just can't nail.  I am taken, I think something old blended with something new has won the day, I am a sucker for the basics.

Into the final 4 rhythmic furlongs and as the whip of assessment is brandished 'They Say, We Say' repeats a tale we are all well-versed in and yet is a tragedy many don't take heed of and walk a life that is without question and offers little threat to the minds of the masses.  To question, to do your bit, to walk against the flow - Albert Finney says his bit, a snippet from that classic film introduces and then we saw to the bone of the matter with a somewhat matter-of-fact acceptance before rebellion is had via a slap and grab sub-chorus.  When the blow-out comes the band stay restrained and I would have preferred a greater flourish, a more resolute fuck off to the controlling powers.  The string work is nifty though, the hot arse instrumental that sees the harmonica raise life is a delight, I go out of this one stomping.  'All The People' cuts a dash, gets on with matters from the off and has a biting appeal that grabs my attentive gonads.   Somewhere along the line the thread is diluted and that initial attraction is lost.  This is still a worthwhile inclusion and after such a scything introduction I would be a fool to bruise the knackers of the noise for my lack of concentration.

'All Day Session' comes with a determined outlook and is hell-bent on supping hard and enjoying a heavy bout of escapism.  That feeling before a full-on blow out is captured and expectation is mighty high.  The desire to get to the bar and begin the belly swelling/head melting shenanigans is felt throughout the celebration.  Along the way big riffs come, switches in the onslaught and an insatiable zest for life are created - tis amazing what the prospect of beer can do.  I love this one, it would be a good way to finish but we have one more, namely 'You Threw It All Away', a song that is a tad gentler and one, if my honesty must dictate, that I am not fond of.  The CD, as a whole, has been a fine jaunt with plenty of clobber had and a good reinforcement of talent never doubted but here, the emotive and more tenderised approach just doesn't resonate within my soul and so I end on a downer - bah.

Ok, so the final full stop was a personal flop but that shouldn't detract from that which has gone before and exposed a band playing in their groove, sticking to their ethics and providing a healthy bout of alleyway acoustica where strains of nostalgia pervade, heaps of heartfelt honesty are thrown in and that industrial town earthiness is rife.  If you like your music without unnecessary adornments and as straight up as you could wish for you may well just get switched on by this 12 track creeper - I expect, with increased spins, it may just get better and better – who the hell knows?

 
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