FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

THE WHITE RIBBONS - SELF-TITLED EP

I recently saw this lot play a gig in Manchester, they came, threw together a quite accomplished set and exhibited a social conscience that is never a bad thing.  A few of the songs were absolutely outstanding, several highly intoxicating and one or two thoroughly jig-tastic.  Messages were spilled with fervour, some I agreed with, some I didn't (hey that's life and David Bowie is still a dubious character) but all in all I was very much taken by what was transmitted my way and was quite happy to accept a CD and scribble my thoughts.  Here I have 3 tracks to tease my tonal taste-buds - come the end I may be spitting back the sonic offering or duly swallowing like an eager beaver - either way this twat will be true to the cause and try his best to make a pertinent assessment.

'1 In 6' hollers in, has a coursing lifeblood borne from a copulation of scenes gone by, accents from different angles and a caring interruption where the end sound is considered.  There is a wholesome honesty within the weft of the rhythm, the opening vocals accentuate this fact with their lucid ease and easily embraced openness.  The backdrop of sound smoothly moves with regulation pushes and skanked moments sweetly blended together and making for a quite appealing listen.   The inner waltz around I consider a faux pas although it is tidily posted and enhances the wander to the final silence.  Yes, I am more than a little convinced here by a band who have many layers to still reveal.   A neat and level bass-line opens 'Burst' before pronouncing strums come and a casual lick draws us gently by the hand into the folds of the musical escapade proper.  Tonal thermality is lowered, again the oral offerings are clear and progress with little fuss whilst retaining a certain ambiguity within the poetical labyrinth.  The strolling song has a somewhat disillusioned and 'fuck it all' comfort that really gets beneath my eternally troubled and questioning skin.  It seems a moment in time to reflect, take stock, admit the fight is uphill and then carry on regardless - oh aye.  Overall this is a minor song of accomplished proportions that really drops back to pre-punk and post-punk times grabbing elements from both generic pools and then adding some - nice!The finale comes via 'Greatest Man' and after the initial snigger and stage setting strums we get a mild melody to absorb whilst taking heed of a tale regarding a fucker fading, an ego now falling into the realms of nowhere, a passing trend now destined for the filing cabinet 'has been'.  A song of change, a mellow creation of hopes lost, of times too difficult to keep up with, I find this a complete construction from first to last with the band sanguine and sure of what they want to achieve and how to go about it.  I think this one adds a firm punctuation at the end of this 3-way statement - good work fellas.

So, I have delved further, examined a few more episodes of WR goodness and find myself still in situation 'convinced'.  I am no fool though, all could turn to shit very soon and too many slaps on the back and false words could easily corrupt the focus and fuck up the output - White Ribbons, my challenge is simple, carry on in your own style, fuck em' all and keep the thought processes behind the output flowing.

   

ETT DODENS MASKINERI - SVERIGES HUMANITARA RUINER

Dystopian distress is carved deep into the recording substrate as this Swedish hard-hitting band ply their trade and lash out with utter disgruntlement and unapologetic passion.  There is a language barrier that stands between myself and the bands aggressive output, this is no excuse not to tackle the proffered racket and give a thoroughly external review.  We have 5 power slams to absorb, the thermality and utter spirit poured into each is not lost on this assessor, I go in tooled up and ready for battle.

'Dödens maskineri' just comes in under the 5-minute barrier and emanates a feeling of great unrest, heaving intent and a need to bellow and billow to ease the inner disgust.  The opening vocal violation is, as expected, raw, livid and utterly nefarious.   We have a two-ended attack, rising from a conflagration utterly incandescent, completely incessant.   The blend of these fiery components as got to be exact to make sure the ultimate impact is made - I think the band make the standard sought.   An inner switch off is brief, a slight change in the nerve-jangling journey is made, it is a delicate and yet hefty touch and showcases the bands ability to react to the flow and feel the vibrations within their trembling bones.  This is more than a thrash out, it is a cultured creation with some very good musicianship enhanced by a blatantly focused unit - I walk on into track two expectant of the same quality levels.

'Stad i Ijus' stamps and throws a fit before kicking its way into a blazing spaciousness where the players can make a thorough impression onto the cranial substrate of any passing punter.  The methodology is to take one’s time and make sure the overall spillage is dealt with in a prolonged vicious assault that pushes the perpetrators to the brink of their art.  I listen several times over and am convinced of a very capable band punching their weight and in-keeping with the rules and regulations of their specific pit of sound.  The inner instrumental is well-earned with  time taken out for the ferocious front gob.  The song continues in an unstoppable manner and come the end of the 4 minute 38 second attack we are left, shaken.  'Leviatan' is the shortest song of the lot, grumbles inward on scuzzy bass and agitated skins before adopting a general tone and then stripping down and allowing the roar-maker to rise.  Like an incessant storm striving to drown the listening lands the downpour comes, gets thrown this way and that by energetic wafts and creates a tear-up of controlled and authoritative dimensions.  For me, the terse timing of the song accentuates the power shown and gives us a swift thrashing to remember rather than a longer hiding to be a little numbed by.   It does what it sets out to do although it seems a somewhat incomplete creation - there is something missing and further investigations are needed to find out what - I shall kindly leave that to you.

'Patriarkatets siste faste' is another elongated onslaught which tests my eavesdropping mettle.  We enter on a glowing knife-edge, slow stew in a melting pot of fuming and foaming liquid life.  The oral orifice breathes fire, we suddenly fall in to climes 'chilled', something akin to a dream sequence is served, the contrast complete we are soon rising again with tongues of fire lapping at our doubting rears.  The song fails to warm my inner cockles, I find myself in a nowhere-land of missed opportunity, a place where I feel the band miss my personal radar and yet do themselves thorough justice on a wider scale.

'Röda stugor med ruttnande knutar' closes, comes in on hepped up skins, twinges and then goes at matters after a short preparatory shout out.  The avalanche that tumbles down is Discharge-esque broken by minimalistic moments so as to offer a clash and collide aspect.  The surges are where greatest effect is found, real blistering white-heat explosions that show a band who know their artistic abilities in many, many ways.  The precision, the alternating brandishing of sound and the final mix all prove the merits of a thriving band, it may not be fully to my liking but man, what they do they do fuckin' well.

#So, as per, I jump in, jump out, take time and come up with an assessment built on the usual building blocks of honesty, objectivity, personal preference and fairness - some may like the approach, some will spit out their dummies - hey well, here's hoping.  In the meantime - just investigate the wide world of sound out there and do your bit!

   

THE WANTS - CONTAINER

The Wants create from darkened recesses were rhythmic meddling occurs and Frankensteinian results are offered.  We, the mere passer-by, are left to contemplate, examine this post-electro residue that oozes from the overhead gutters where dreams ascend and duly descend.  Within the acoustic rain-fall we encounter emotions both cold and detached through to that which is warm and involved - we are in the midst of a strange mix and as a long-term punk bastard I am happy to spill some honest feedback from a place outside the circle.

'Ramp' revs up, tumble tones, splashes onto the awaiting canvas with abandon before placing down orderly touches via a pulsed rhythm that works might well.   The arrangement that manifests itself exhibits a certain amount of control whilst trespassing outside suggested limits.   This is a mere underlayer of sound that comes and goes in the flick of an artiste’s wrist but what it does is leave untold promise and many questions waiting to be answered - nice!  'Container' has a sterility and excitement built into one conveyor belt package of sound that is clean-cut, regimentally executed and generally appealing.  The simply-stated vocals are utterly lucid, the main spine of sound robotic, the rise to the technological kick-back perfectly done so as to gradually draw in the listener and slowly bind and gag them with a quite hypnotic creation.  I am convinced here - not bad for an old punk bastard hey!

'Machine Room' functions behind steel-doors before a pulse escapes, a dance-inducing emanation grips the senses and an industrial repetition hypnotises the framework and has one reacting.  The surge is soon over, we are given the therapy of 'Fear My Society' as compensation.  This cool 80's reminiscence comes on slowly sated tones kept on ice throughout and maintaining a certain 'straight-backed' attitude.  This doesn't detract from the rhythmic artistry, the underlying mystery and the throwback state of play that would be perfectly accompanied by an 'ambiguous' video escort.  A veritable snippet of yore, not my musical beverage chosen to warm the cockles but one I can still appreciate for its very clean and clinical execution.

'The Motor' is a vehicle of vibration that confounds, clanks and careens with the end destination always stuck to and the same spine of austere regimentation followed.  The opening thrust is akin to an old video game, the following electro-hybrid is sub-funky, tattooed with fidget life and almost scientific in stature.   The opening tonality is calming albeit with a surreptitious threat that always seems to dictate the direction.  The route taken is looped,  the same ground is covered and the sonic scenery repeated but, I tip my titfer for the exacting methodology and the fluid machinations of the inner engine.  'Aluminum' pulses, throb-waves, moves through metallic caverns of reflective sound whilst catching subdued shades and echo-emitting complimentary tones.  We find ourselves in a labyrinthine conundrum of surgical cleanliness with a minimalism of life borne from the merest refractive glimpse of energy.  I find this automated offering too cold, too synthetic and too distant to make any real tremulations within my attentive soul - these things do happen with such sources of experimentation.

'Ape Trap' has rhythmic rumours of B52-esque embryonic offerings with a certain stripped down beat reliant on the basics before adding the merest suggestion of sci-fi advancement.  A certain cavernous residue drips from the ceiling of this somewhat enclosed song with the rhythm taking a little time to permeate the attentive epidermal layers.  Eventually the outer membranes are invaded, the assessing neurones gratified and a song of growing structure and accomplished blending comes - nice.  'Waiting Room' is a quick journey into skew-whiffed oddness with an instrumental burst neither here, there or...any fuckin' where - I completely miss the point of this one - how strange it is!

4 to go, 4 quick assessing flicks.  'Clearly A Crisis' creeps in on well-timed touches before taking on a sub-suggestive 'Fashion-oid' hint.  There is a very aged creative flow here, dragged forth in spasmodic style to the here…and the now.  The shimmered opening takes us backward, the tonal touches give a nudge towards times when faces were heavily made-up, ornate posturing was the rage and up-market videos were aplenty.  I remain on the outside.  'Hydra' is an aloof movement with diluted shadings flowing through the membranous skin of the creation.  The initial beat is stamped down, the automaton cum conveyor-belt delivery as expected with the mechanics of the song both shuffling and highly efficient.   There is still an unorthodox production line at work with many tonal packages produced of the same set standard - a strange one this, onto 'Nuclear Party' we go, a fidgeting number of unsettled intentions.  The opening strains are coughed up with digital effect before pre-cooked statements come and a twisted vision is flickered across the screen of your attention.  A certain spiral into repetition is deliberately created via dabblers determined to keep things 'awkward'.  We are now at a stage where the strict generic rules are dictated and as we stagger into the last offering I can't see much changing.  'Voltage' spends its time wallowing in a heap of blown fuses, severed spitting cables and a confusion of electro-haywire.  It is merely a signing-off death knell, a musical abhorrence destined for terminus 'silence' - it kind of sums up what has been and what will be.

And what a weird journey that was!  It started well, ended in a place not to my liking and in-between was rated as a hit and miss affair.  The band have a niche noise for what I suspect is a niche market but what I have heard is done to a very exacting level and will meet the needs of those futurised and digitally plugged in.  I think the first 2 tracks are the best though, here is where further success will be tapped methinks - we shall see!

 

5 FEET UNDER RECORDS - SPLIT VOLUME 2

From a Danish DIY label who claims a non-profit approach we see 2 bands get further exposure and do their nasty, noisy stuff.  I am not fuckin' about with an intro here, let us get into the musical muck proper and see what my thoughts are on more arse-tearing rumblings.

Political Spit cough up the first trio of acoustic globules and propel them into your face with the opening gambit slapped down under the tag of 'By Af Beton'.  This rusted fucker of sound abrasively rubs over the listener's membranes with deliberate cruelty and dirty dog effect that expels the DIY strain the band are obviously very much immersed in.  The underscore of sound is put through an unhygienic mincer, is escorted by a smoked throat emittance straight from the dustbin society where real life pervades.  This is a somewhat sludgy number in need of a little more pace perhaps but it still trembles my receptors for all things unwashed - onwards.  'This One Is For You' is far more like it, a quick-travelling abuse of terribly scummy proportions that I very much enjoy (when in the mood).   The savagery, the snarling, the relentless simplicity and attacking voracity all moulded into one shit-ball of stinking passion, an excremental sphere to be bowled over by - is there any other way to go?  Both these opening gambits compliment and clash, they are also terse and to the point, this is the essence and life-blood of making dinnage such as this - I hope it continues.

The final lump of rattling gunk to be expelled is entitled 'Them'.  We begin with a military tympanic procedure with the membranes lightly rolled over before giving way to a wildman surge that dictates the pace of the presentation and gives us one pure chunk of scabby noise.   There are no delusions of dynamic discordances here, no con-tricks to try and make you believe this is top-notch artistry.  No, what you get is an upchuck by restless folks 'having a go', straight out of the gutter into your lugs - therein success is found.   From the hat-trick of offerings this packs least spite in the punch but it still ain't half bad - ooh aye!

Grassat come to the spittoon of sound next and donate 'Lad Mig Nu Holde Fridag'.  The initial splutters and seeming hesitation are soon overcome by a free-wheeling up-throw of fast action that is over quicker than I can get the assessing words tapped down.   I replay, feel a hunger, an 'ants in your pants' need whilst the pure nervous energy batters away and as me labelling this as a 'not bad' expulsion.  That bass is on fire man and perhaps with a few minor adornments we would have had a sure-fire sizzler - like I say though, this ain't a bad do.  'Koncentrationslejlighed' praises the joys of having big conkers before setting down a substrate of fuzz and bass.  A brief moment in tonal time is taken, a preparation and then a full-tilt panic dash is had.  The players gallop and grind, thrash out a burning bastard that blows with fury, takes respite and then billows some more.  There is a youthful hunger within the weft, a bumbling bass line and an unstoppable thirst to get the job done in double-quick time - I have no complaints.

The closing blast is 'En tatovering er en Buffalosko, du ikke kan tage af' a song that fuckin' melts the mind with its opening glut of riffing goodness that I for one turn up, play loud and fuckin' ping to.  A stagger and a grind out follows with all intensity high but it is the verses that make the greatest impact albeit with the second one too short for its own good.  This is a fair holler-out, the best yet - the old saying of 'save the best til last' certainly rings true here.

A solid coming together of two bands who like to get the job done quickly, with much noisy effervescence and with great impact.  Tis two new bands on the Fungal Radar that is forever bleeping even though the receiving aerials are somewhat drooping these days.  I think this is another occasion when I suggest you have a mooch into the murky world of hard racket making - the beating your ears will take is nothing to complain of.

   

SLOW JAMS - HEAVY BLUES

A multi-international gang of thrashing bastards all brought together in a Berlin-based outfit zoned in on turning your guts to mush and making your undercarriage leak foul-reeking emanations.   The heavy attacks are old-school, the aim to piss on machismo morons who perpetrate the scene and make it an unwelcoming commodity - I fuckin' like that - a pity they haven't got a track called 'Muscleheads Die' to make sure their point sticks and stings.  I jump in here having heard all what goes on a million times before but still as keen as a humping rabbit when another sonic sex-carrot is dangled - 'What's up Doc'.

The first violent vegetable of vibrating goodness to be rammed into my assessing lughole comes under the name of 'Determined Law' and if songs had vitamins here you would get your daily dose...and some.  A wonderful hot-wired, hard-fired fuck with the bass work and six-strung serpent all venom-laden and creating a scorched substrate for the tympanic tyrant to crash over and allow the highly aggressive vocal spewer to spray out his intoxicating verbal virulence.  The whole concoction is over in 1 minute and 29 seconds, the effect left behind is impressive and once again we are witness to a raw-assed escapade done in 'fuck you' style fulfilling one's inner H/C desires.

'Griefcase' briefly clank-wanks, finds a wondrous riff and explodes against the inner cranial walls with quite gratifying gumption.  The blend for this type of music must be spot on to capture the madness, the power-violence, the fuckin' thirsting desire made for those willing to be abused.  The flames reach high, singe, sear and leaves us spluttering.   A brief switch off and then a real solid drive comes with the band radiating a white-heat to be beautifully blistered by.  This is a fuckin' stunner - from a band frothing at their hollering mouths, let us continue into the molten maelstrom.

'Reanimator' is a mad-fuck film, the song here involves equal lunacy.  The initial chops to the eavesdropping throat disarm, the savage glory of the beating issued is a sonic sadomasochists delight that pulverises any resistance and makes sure the whole attentive framework is kicked to fuck.  Hard grafted chugs, incandescent flares, weighted uppercuts all combine and keep one reeling.   An inner switch-off prepares for the final attack - we are backed into a corner and pummelled - oh yeah, hurt me baby, hurt me!

We close with 'Body Fidelity' - a song that quickly tumbles in, roars, moves the heavy duty shit with great deliberateness before once more making great stinking manoeuvres and bone-jarring advances.  This is my least favoured fuck-up but it still makes a bold impression and has many worthy Hardcorian merits to make it a viable listen.  Again big explosions of sound arrive, more effulgent gobbery blazes a trail and we, the humble listener, are left torn asunder - it feels mighty good.

In summing up, what we have here are 4 red-hot eruptions from an offensive creative volcano letting off enough steam to burn one’s conkers clean off.  The key to the success is that it is just a 4 track release, nothing more, nothing less, and the fact that the band have the blend of thrashing merchants just right.  I hope they stick to this strict 4 track formula - anything else would be vulgar and, to be fair, fuckin dangerous.

   

DISCHORD - CONVENT CRESCENT

Another band I have followed since day dot and have given gigs to, spouted about their musical wealth whilst watching them strive mighty hard to fulfil their creative potential.  Many have joined the fray, have been bedazzled by the sonic brilliance and charmed by the warm and approachable nature of the band.  Here we have another full length release, this time with an accompanying novel to increase the profundity and blatantly exhibit a band thinking on their feet.  I take, ponder over time and then tap fingertip against a multitude of keys and end up with a review that is hopefully fair and decent but one that, as per, is tattooed with honesty and critical juiciness - hold on folks, I may be quite a while here. To add to the mystery this is a compilation that isn't a compilation made up of bands that only exist if you want them to - ooh heck!

Gothic ebonies and ivories are tiptoed, a theatrical scene is set with sable tendrils of searching wonder enshrouding the listener's conscience and gently charming outward an alteration of perspective.  We stand before a sonic structure that holds many secrets, an unearthly arrangement where surreptitious events are destined to unfold - 'Convent Crescent' we are introduced, we are willing to walk further into the folds of the acoustic mysteries and let the voices come and try to commit their persuasive cacophonic crimes.  'For Sale' brings the curtain up proper, we are granted a bout of searching intrigue, initially escorted by the regulations of a dusted timepiece and some slightly bewitching folk-esque incantations.   The 4 seekers are soon revealing their true rhythmic intent with a slab of delectably urgent, needful and passionate desire poured forth via a molten slab of lucid injury and uncertainty.   The verses see a heart exposed, the chorus chunks indicate a wealth of emotion erupting from a soul ablaze.   The construct of the sound is beautifully layered, a horror impression built up of natural touches that depict a band very much at one with their art - I absolutely love this opening brace, I am a bewitched victim of something more than just Hocus-Pocus.

'Director's Cut' scores deep with a frustrated and bewildered verse before committing itself to a chorus chunk of zenith-attaining magnitude.  The swing is snagging, the explosion of need billowing and effective, the lyrical content weaving, occasionally deliberately ambiguous it seems and yet all in tune with its literary companion.  The undulations of expression come and swell to a final blow out that completes what I deem to be a sincere exemplary moment.  As a counterpunch to this high impact piece we become all minstrelised and typically lore-esque with a dabbling folk touch seemingly borne from the weeping loins of a Man of Wicker where followers sway on the cliff edges of Summerisle, their eyes bewitched, absorbed, manically entranced.  The smell of flesh charred caresses the olfactory senses, a sense of something unhinged and abandoned ascends from the creative souls and the final dance of death somewhat adds the perfect closure.  'A Wonderfull Discoverie Of Witches' says so much about the bands influences, perhaps more than they suspect - I am hopefully in tune here.

'Us Sinners Now' is best described as an episode of wallowing black gothika, sung with convincing oral tones of persuasive yet deceptive designs.  A confessional is offered up, is anyone listening, is anyone willing to assist a suffering soul saturated with inconsolable guilt - the horror continues, this time in sincere, unsettling fashion.  We are witness to a rhythmic raping where the victim feels culpable, there is a ring of truth to what transpires, the cloth cloaks the crime, the cacophony to accentuate this drama is spot on the mark.  'Hellequin' drops back into pure Dischord-ian mode with a stamping good sound built on relished spit-fucks from the eternally hungry oral orifice.  The solid under-substrate is built on heavy slaps, fuzzery and a nether-rabble and provides a rear-shadow worth its weight in gold.  Something self-destructive is passed forth, an impish glory taken in creating chaos, disorder and a perverse victory - the unified hollers that shout for a killing are mere punctuation marks to get the eavesdroppers further aroused - a ruddy good inclusion this.  'Serenada a la lana Creciente' is a moribund track tattooed through with mystical attentions and brought nearer to scratch with the neat brassage inclusion, the minimilised and somewhat clockwork strings.  The basic militarised sticks and the contemplative voice capture the essence sought but after the halfway point I feel my interest levels wain and consider a song that has been sorely overcooked.   I find the composition spot on, it is in keeping with its textual counterpart but alas, my punky nature prefers things more to the point!

'Misery Loves Company' starts with distracting whispers and overlain vocals before more straight-forward thrustings come via a band portraying evil at work, striving to capture the work of demonic hands, working up a sweat to concoct a brew of self-negating emotions where the end result is further internal sufferance.  The songs rises, falls, harkens back to previous efforts from a band already well-versed in their art.  It is perhaps one of the simplest offerings on board this silver surface of further rhythmic rovings - it keeps us all guessing.  'Dead Cassettes' has a comfort, a strain of nostalgia in both the verbals and the vibrations.  The essence comes from something powered by the flower, the content stays within the folds of realms arcane, enigmatic and somewhat uncanny.   This is a choice cutlet, a very effective understatement of sound that works its way to the fore after increasing rotations - I am sure I have heard many things similar in my time though, it is one of those Déjà vu snippets!

We move on, and tapping at our windows of attention comes 'Redbreast', a song that uses orthodox means, pulses inwards, pierces the flesh and sets about a somewhat droning song that promises to erupt and erupt in a glorious bloodbath of flying acoustic feathers.  Alas when the detonation takes place I feel it comes all too late to save the day with the explosion brief and not as powerful as the cataclysmic proportions expected.  A chance missed methinks, we get another dose before the finale, the terse familiarity cultivates greater warmth - we just needed a little more of this violence.   'Insatiable' taps about, lays a fuzz thread, seems a trifle subdued before grinding out a regular tune that the band do so well.  The weight of the riffery, the dark edged sonic sword that is brandished with deliberate spite and the switch in tempo make for typical fare from a band seemingly spiralling further and further down in realms best regarded as mystic.  A bog standard effort this and when you are dealing with Dischord there ain't nowt wrong with that!  The chorus is beautifully hollered by the way - please play loud, feel free to lose your mind!

'Ghost Train' is a mechanical taunt, a mocking apparition of delicacy that slyly requests you to come closer, investigate further, partake of the hidden memories that will haunt, nip at your heels and consume.  It is a weary song, a slow soup of sonic suspicion that I remain unsure about - I feel that the main mistake is that the band have produced such a molten brew at such a late stage and failed to include any explosive finale - I always like my punctuation marks to be loud, brash and firmly hammered home.  As way of a true sign off we get a soundtrack, it is straight from the 80's video cassette and onto the disc here with surely influences taken from many 'on tape' shockers that made sure the films musical intro and outro was atmospheric.  I have heard these tonal treats many times, this is par for the course and as

as many offerings out there - I am a bit of a retro horror nut tha' knows. So, book read, CD listened to and a final summing up required.  Tis a big yes for creativity and for great effort thrown in and of course, for not taking the easy option - I like to see bands push and Dischord are doing that - surely all people with a willingness to do want to keep pushing themselves, tis the only way to go.  From a severe personal standpoint the book left me cold and I felt tried to be too many things at once and use too many influences in one complete shebang which I reckon is caused by sheer over-enthusiasm - I can never criticise that.  The CD seems to be forced to work alongside the book with perhaps too many austere guidelines but the band pull out some beautiful moments that are worth their weight in pure gold.  Of course some areas I feel work less effectively but hey, this whole achievement deserves one big nod of appreciation and should be used to highlight what a stand-out moment this band have made.  Take note people - tis not about pleasing everyone all of the time, therein failure lurks and here we certainly don't feel that to be the case - I hope you all understand!

   

THE CALLAS WITH LEE RANALDO - TROUBLE AND DESIRE

The first Dirty Water Records release of the year, another outfit for me to discover with a 15 track deluge offered to get my assessing lugs around.  Here we have some multi-media meddlers putting their hands into a juice filled melting pot and helping it bubble over with a garish collision of confounding angularity.  I am intrigued by all things challenging and off-kilter, I like to step outside of all boundaries and even if I hate the outcome it is, in many ways, far more gratifying to have rifled the rhythms rather than remain aloof and stuck in the same old cycle.  Too many in this world remain within their own sonic straitjackets, it is not an healthy thing to do, it restricts the bloodflow that gives birth to adventure and wondrous discoveries - think on, take the risk, indulge.

I step off the precipice of that deemed 'normal' and plunge into the opening gambit, namely 'Octopus No 1'.  The shapeshift begins, the stage is set, we have a mere preparatory piece of haunting indulgence that shadow suggests, lays ambiguous and uncertain foundations and then...we are done.  'The Magic Fruit Of Strangeness' pounds in, stamps its forthright feet before dream dancing within a tribal-esque billow of insectoid activity that gives a substrate of security over which the drifting vocalist can levitate.  The general feeling picked up on is of a retro psychedelia that multi-copulates with varying influences from here, there and who knows where!  There is a fascination within the weft as well as a certain abandon that  cultivates a deeper interest.  I jump from the clashing boughs, lie amid the leafy lilts, slide do the inner truck of tonality and consider this not a bad structure sound, I suspect there is more life within that maybe discovered over a longer period - tis all food for thought!

'Octopus No 2' prepares, drift dreams and perhaps schemes - it is a chilled spectre arising from the silver substrate of metamorphing magic - something very sinister is had.  The chaser, 'Μελανιά (Bruise)' is more straightforward, a song that begins with a regular routine of rhythm whilst emanating easternised pulsations on a recurring basis with the exotic and simmered sweetly coordinated and delivered.  The approach is still borne from minds aloft, cerebral areas unsettled and looking to create visual sonic gratification via a blend of sub-generic aspects.  At times I slip into slumber, at others I am kept alert, in-between I have a middling judgement to throw your way which can take on many forms dependent on the swing of the mood.

'Octopus No 3' is a pseudo-fog-horn warning, a cry from misted depths with a repeat message confounded and preparing.  'Trouble And Desire' comes, chops in with grinding groove, has a wonderful psyched in sound that comes from shape-shifting departments in a swaying towerblock of 60's design.  The windows blink and glare with eternally swirling hues, the uncertainty of the structure is never in doubt as the under-quake of tectonic tonality moves and creates sound animation - I am taking up residence, this is a fair groover.  A bonus track cuts a swathe next with the dirty waters of 'Same River Twice' flowing with polluted porridge effect and yet more tremulations and titilations from lands sand-blasted and scorched.  We have a repeat patternation to nag the sense, a pseudo-echo arrangement within the cloying approach that duly sucks us in and keeps us sinking and sinking until fully submerged - there is something sinisterly satisfying in the immersion, I feel as though I am losing my grip on reality!

'Octopus No 4' - caresses the senses, holds the stages with a 'Warlords of Atlantis' type preaching - why on Earth am I making this comparison.   The opening bars that follow ring true of something 'B52-ish' with 'Mirroir' another strange oddment from a band blending essences from who knows where!  As the tonal creation progresses we are kissed with sub-erotic whisperings, sobered by deliberate repetitions and then some deep-screwing enthusiasm that cuts into the epidermal layers and leaves untold scarring.   Not a bad inclusion this, dark and tuneful and noticeably odd!

'Octopus No 5' - flutters in on wings of metallic texture before uttering words of nebulous definition.  'Πετώ (I'm Flying)' thrums on a precipice, is awash with nervous tension before indulging in a pseudo-prayer that grows in stuttering stature before adopting a full-on angularity of gait that causes, this listener at least, great eavesdropping discomfort.  I am on keen on this one, it is sombre, melancholic and moaning with a deep-rooted pain all too obvious.  The gnawing and nagging of the entire construct turns me completely off, I jump[ forth in another tentacled titbit!

'Octopus No 6' scythes deep, creates a nuclear glow, reveals underlayers of throbbing promise, the simple question offered is saturated with threat - I am disturbed.  'Acid Books' gets into matters without pause for thought.  A determined march comes, tramples through the awaiting silence and replaces it with a highly animated chameleon of cacophony that shits garish colours and smears your listening walls with more than a suggestion of uncertainty.   All the while we fall downwards, get tossed this way and that and end up in a heap of agreeable disccomfort.  This is a song that exemplifies the most acute and profitable aspects of the artists - I listen in and try and absorb the deeper qualities - ooh me mind!

'Octopus No 7' - a scenario suggested, an observation with more questions placed at the front of your cranial gunk - there are no answers waiting.   We walk into the finale with heads bowed, a pulse determined to uphold discipline.  'Γλυκιά μου Όμορφη (Sweet and Beautiful)' plods along, wades through thickened gloop and leaves one utterly unconvinced.  I would have preferred an nice quick paced swirl of clashing and thrashing experimentation, I was unprepared for something to similar to what has already passed.  This isn't a bad track, it still pervades with an overseas policy of awkwardness - I shouldn't complain.

Over and out with a head full of doubt, I suspect this is what the cultivators of this obscure and puzzling montage wanted.  This is very much 'Marmite Music' of a flavour this will leave some retching and some licking their lips with curious glee.  I like to step in and out of varied pools of sound, it is rewarding to be baffled, bowled over and buggered - I have experienced all three sensations here - make of that what you will but please get out of your comfort zone and keep your neurones of noise...challenged.

   

REBBECCA RADICAL - KNEE HIGH SOCKS AND HOT ROCKS

From North of the Border the strumming lass with enthusiasm and spirit on her side has requested that I dabble and delve into a long-playing mush and come up with my usual lucid and considered thoughts.  I see the webwaves have been labelling me as 'brutally honest', a tag in many cases laden with sub-text and a polite way of people in disagreement with me scrawlings.  I care not, at least I give good time to these reviews and spill with naturalness and without expected formula - you would be amazed what gushing shit I see posted out there from folk who have merely skimmed the surface.  Hey ho, away from this digression, into the melodic mire I throw myself and 'out of order' in many, deliberate ways.

I pluck out first the madness known as 'Living For The Weekend' a title that makes me shudder with disagreeable fervour as the method of living stated has never been my thing, I prefer to crack on every day, tis a far more profitable way to live methinks.  The song is brief and follows the lead lasses tried and tested route, the clarity seems spot on, the freshness appeals and the accented tones as familiar as ever.  The angle comes from a youthful eye, a place where misdirection rules and things are not truly understood - is this a bad thing?  'Positivity' is where the artiste finds her true creative flow, the words spill with great thought, come with personal feeling combined with a leaning for the betterment of all and done with a great pace that, in truth, just needs a little toning down to let the content have a greater impact.  The verbal skill is appreciated and the pace does show a loquacious liquidity but for repeat listens it loses its sparkle and one needs more time and space to fully absorb the spillings.  A re-hash with a restrained tempo and emotive back strokes would be wonderful - this is still a strong moment though to show how a thinking brain ticks.

'Create' is another spoken piece, another collection of tumbling thoughts of a lady finding her feet and showing a precocious persuasion with so much going on, so much to do, and such urgency forcing the issue all coming together to make for one immersed avalanche of verbal passion.  Again, a bit more care and time is needed to give the words full impacting weight but man, what is said rings mighty true and if you are listening in then what is your excuse for not getting up and having a go - think on!  'Be Intense' is a song I have reviewed before, I shall refuse to regurgitate the assessment but what I can do is say is that this is a nagging little blighter that sticks in the noggin with great charm and is a simple uplifter that somehow pleases me - I don't know why but there you go!  Tis a pleasant stroke of sincerity - cheers lass.

A clutch of 3 randomly plucked efforts.  'Bojo's Nae Mojo' is a doom-laden tickle against the state of play now that we have a detached mop top in charge of the country with the need to wake up and kick back as important as ever (fat chance).  There are many who voted blue, there are many who were sold a plan by a crafty stuttering man and it is all of us who will pay the price.  The tonal palette here is awash with murky despondent greys and shit-streaked hues but, the creator just manages to add a little bit of stubborn sparkle and I for one, like that.  The song wanders around a central column of sound, has a few subtle angles and finishes abruptly, there be growth here and it is duly noted.  'Hedonist' is a more hippy folk fuck with a droning start that soon gets itself sorted with the vocal ad-lib operations working alongside a very austere and repetitive string structure that just needs to be more liberal and play with an abandon set by the gob offerings.  I think here the 2 elements offered compete rather than fully contrast, they pull apart rather than work together and I hit the final proclamation with a sensation of disappointment.  'War Is Shit' is the last of the chosen three, tis an old song that leaves me perplexed - OK we know conflict is crap but hey, what do ya do if ya haven't got a wee clitoris - ooh heck.  Despite this the song is a sweet and sharp concoction that has a serious message and asks all to think about the political intrigue of killing and maiming and what on earth drags people into the whole fuckin' mess.  The general advice might seem comedic but if one ponders surely a wank is better that a tank, a rattle is better than a battle, tis better to throw one of the wrist rather than contribute to a casualty list - yes, I like your style girl, thinking is, as per, the true weapon and can ultimately bring great victory.

'Don't Belittle Love' - ah that sweet commodity many never taste and many never truly understand - tis a word thrown around and yet used, as per, by those feigning sincerity to get what they want in the here and now - fuckin' bastards.  Rebecca comes, analyses matters and throws in her own views, some I agree with, some I don't - I am always up to listen to others angles and see how things pan out but am still a believer in two for one, all for two and utter faithfulness and 100% commitment.  Tis a tall order for some, some fail, some don't - but rather than let folk down I would suggest many arrangements that have gone stale are best sorted and disbanded so heartbreak is avoided - too many talk of a situation that is built on convenience rather than love - bah.  My views on the song, well, it has got me thinking and spouting, I would say that is no bad thing, I would like the flow to be be less stated though.  Sometimes a good blow out is needed, 'Just Wanna Get Pissed' is an emotion I have followed many times, some with disastrous results, sometimes with release found and the head cleared.  This is a quick release, it has a thirst on I reckon which culminates in an end surge to get the song done and the liquid poured - I thoroughly get the gist!

'Skin Up, Chin Up' is a delicious snippet of up-lifting encouragement built on a good wrist flick, lively well-breezed youthful vocals and many encouraging 'arm round the shoulder' words.  The lilt is so easy to tap your foot to, the saccharined elements are not overly sickly and delivered without any patronising angle which is utterly important when listening to this kind of shizzle.  Yes, a nice tickle this and onto the Star Wars tinted 'Rebel Scum', a song with a lazy drift that plays a few cute oral cards and states its defiant stance with weed-like resolution - it grows, is in risk if being overlooked but manages with care and attention to bloom and get its pertinent seeds planted - not bad lass, not bad.

The last four, I put a skip in the step - 'Too Many Blues' tries to defy the nip of the sable cur, asks questions and finds progress darn ruddy hard.  The tones remain sombre throughout, the thinking somewhat emotively troubled, the rear string caress perfect for the acoustic aspect chosen.  At times we struggle to get to the finish and become almost reflective of when one is low and victim to and inner imbalance.  This is all part of a certain journey, a journey that stops off at junction 'Get Creative With Your Pain' another mandible wagging spillage that is testament to the quick alert mind of the constructing agent who, with a head liable to explode with thoughts and suggestions, foams over with yet another quick episode of sagacity that at times, almost trips over itself.  The flow is not perfect, the flow though is very real and imperfection is beautiful reality as opposed to the ugliness of the immaculate.   The message is, as per, aching with positive vibrations - there ain't nowt wrong with that!  'Johnny Hash' is a very tender trickle that deals with matters of the herb and the convoluted intricacies that are its eternal escort.  I don't mind a bit of 'Bob Hope', I do mind half-wits who use it every day and end up off-kilter and no-use to anybody.  Like anything, people use, abuse and make a mockery of an ancient escape route - hey ho.   The ditty here travels along, causes little fuss and is in and out like the flickering puffed tip of a bifter - easy man, easy!  The final song I have to deal with in this ramdomised review is 'Psychedelic Eyes', a dragging dirge that sinks my favour beneath the heaving waters of criticalness and leaves me in a lowly state of mind and finishing the CD on a downer.   Tis a miserable moment, too sedate and downcast for this frisky fucker and although the sorrow-stained ambience sought is embraced and used as a trigger to test the pluckers talent I feel the flow is not purely liquid, has too much uncertainty and comes across as my least favoured song of the lot.  Even with such dumbed-down escapades a bit more spirit and liquidity can be implemented - just, as per, a thought!

And yes, there ya fuckin' go - in at the deep end, being honest and critical and not shying away I hope from giving a nudge, a helpful suggestion or two and keeping the lass at the helm thinking.  I have been hammering my head with music for 50+ years, am 1500+ CD reviews in and am still out and about picking up on the new breed but…I refuse to tiptoe and do reviews with a fawning angle - tis never going to help anyone – think on.   This one has charm, it has its fine points and is reflective of a journey with much steam to billow outwards - agree or disagree with the comments and sentiments, the ethos and aim is good-hearted and I have tried - as per, let us keep things honest, helpful and ongoing!

   

THE GHOST WOLVES - LET'S GO TO MARS

I have reviewed a few bands over the years from Austin, Texas, here I have another, this time a rough and ready crew throwing up some lo-fi lunacy built on nothing more than the basics of rock and roll, a distinct quirkiness and a somewhat sub sci-fi suggestion that shoots from stars perhaps not registered on your current listening shit-waves.  With the weave we get components unidentifiable, solar intrusions, space age oddness and a grubbiness of tonality that many self-externalised freakoids will utterly love - here is my take on this two track slap of capriciousness.

'Let's Go To Mars' sounds like a great idea, I hop on board this synthetic synthoid spaceship of sound, strap in and take the journey.  The leader at the helm is vocally charged with girly-girl accents and intonations that instantaneously give the whole rhythmic peregrination a freakoid and uncertain edge.  As the waffling commander continues and gives suggestion of what to expect the background noise is treacly, lo-fi, clogged and grinding with satellite swirls, laser light intrusions and interstellar twinkle spirals all counteracting against the under-sludge and making for a trip with more interest value than first deemed.  I examine this song, as is the usual case, many times over, I am of the belief that even though it isn't a classic it gives suggestion of a band with many avenues to explore and a foundation on which to build further.   I don't mind this but feel the crew could have done so much more in the room of creation - let us see what the flip side brings.

'Last Man' is an eerie brew that swirls in a slow and deliberate way with hypnotic charms untold and a certain fear factor used to keep the haunting theme...effective.  The pondering and considered rotations are cloying key elements, we become mesmerised and the hook is soon ensnared in our cranial gunk leaving us victim to a noise nag that is far from displeasing.   The tones used may be monochromatic, the tempo pedestrian and the whole shebang bordering on that which may be classed as 'jejune' but I think the target set has been hit here, the ambience sought looks to be captured and I am involved - it is a very interesting snippet that opposes its sonic neighbour - nice!

2 songs, one that leaves me deflated, the other swollen with attentiveness - I think this lot have a lot of potential and possibilities, they just need to use their capriciousness to the max, not be afraid to throw in the orthodox and the angular and to just let what they feel flow with sturdy sanguinity - I shall be keen to see what comes next, tis another unit to keep tabs on, the list is endless.

   

THE KINGCROWS - BRUTE FORCE AND IGNORANCE

The Kingcrows could be described as a gang of lethally toxic homosexuals with a need to twang their twiddly bits and musically molest one's sexual membranes - this, in many ways is a very apposite description but more needs to be added to get a more lucid picture of these Yorkshire lads who have been around the block more times than deemed healthy.  They are a reliable unit, ever-willing and of a good honest calibre that provides a substantial slice of goodness to any evening's entertainment.  It is many jaded moons ago that I first exposed them (phwoar), they have played several shroomed up gigs since and after a lengthy spell are set to dip in again late in 2020 - I am already semi-aroused.   Here I am late with a review of their latest album, eventually though the act has been got together and these are my thoughts (for what they are worth).

Track one, 'Psycho Radio' - a tuning in, a snigger, a sub-rambunctious roll out of a good old sing and shout style that this lot do so ruddy well.   This opening portion of grooving noise is typical of the band, upbeat, politely rebellious (paradox alert) and with a certain high impetus that makes sure, at all times, each and every player gets a good slice of the airspace and showcases the profitable contributions these pluckers, fuckers, slappers and oral slingers donate.  This is a fine foundation on which to build, there is better to come, how exciting is that?

'Blood Brothers' drum splatters, drives like a demon along roads of harmonised juiciness and creates a surging unifying glory that gives insight into a well-versed band plugging away for the sheer fuckin' love of it - I mean what more could you ask for!  Chorus and verse chunks blend into one slip-streaming formula that has a high octane vibrancy and general feelgood pride thus giving the song 'life exceptionale'.  One of the main ingredients the band bring to the tonal table is the fact that they have no deceit or underhand plans but instead just one routine to create a melodious racket - there is always a place for these characters and their uncomplicated output - good work chaps.  'Car Crash Cadillac' kicks in the engine, slaps away, grinds a few gears before taking a mid-paced route with all systems functioning in a somewhat stated unison.  The change of tempo is well-received, the chuggery exact and effective, and as per, the clarity of all components is spot on the mark.  A point also to make at this point is the extra beef that seems to be emanating from this latest release - am I being treated to the units greatest offering so far - time will only tell as well as the bulge in the front of my trousers, keep reading folks!

'I Love Myself' is the band at their best, free-flowing, upbeat and raucously rocked up whilst rolling with a 'fuck you' flamboyance and self-confident cockology.  Even though I am a loyal bugger and dweller at the bottom with an eye and ear for things decent I can recognise the tongue-in-cheek approach here and the fact that these decent chaps are nothing like the character portrayed within the weave (thank goodness).  I do like this number, the liberation and cohesion are perfectly balanced, the reckless thematics are a perfect counterpart - lovely.

'Vic The Vigilante' is a stunner, a tale regarding a right nosey bastard who is a self-appointed watchdog and taking the law into his own misdirected hands.  The song powers along like a prowler on the look-out for a bit of bovver, the content exposes a dickhead with a disease to dabble in things not of his concern - what a world hey?   The musical arrangement is heavily sinewed, the payback comes after many pose-downs and flexings with total control had throughout and a great chant foot stamp ideal for rousing the rhythmic rabble.  I love a good song with meat on the bone, here I am set to get mighty fat!  Into the mush of the CD we continue, 'City Kids' twinges, fuzzes up the airwaves, pronounces.  The melodic spine is seized and massaged with the band hammering out the simple verse before cruising through the triumphant chorus that hollers out for the street corner dwelling cunts some of whom are bored, some of who are just shits and the few who are just chemically dysfunctional and without direction (darn those wank parents).  The concoction here rumbles, flows, once again showcases a full on sound that sticks to the basic principles of rock and roll - what is there not to like?

A celebration of the imperfect, the wallowers in things not meant to be processed and plastic are lifted high and applauded, tis time to holler, pay homage and be thankful for the warted cacophoneers who won't stop, can't stop and who give us eternal hope.  'Bum Notes And Feedback' sums up life in the musical gutter, many wouldn't spit on it, many use it, abuse it and then move on to things they have been told are 'better', oh what fools and flimsy fucks these are!  I am like a pig in sonic shit with this number, I get involved, am enthused and make no apology.    This is a genuine highpoint, if you don't understand now, you never will – end of!  'Z-List Celebrity' crunches the strings, taps and fuckin' zooms.   The finger is raised, pointed toward one of the many fuckwits we encounter be it in the scene, in the tabloids or on the darn digital vomit box.  They strut, hold in the gut, believe they are the centre of attention whilst the brown-nosing fuckers fawn and nod and help cultivate an inequality that really turns my stomach.  The ambition to be 'known' is beyond me, it indicates a foul self-indulgence, I concentrate on things of more value - this tune in fact!   The band apply themselves, go into cruise mode and come out smelling of perceptive roses - it is an easy song to get into, just par for the quality swollen course.

A celebration next, a flamboyant upchuck known as 'Saturday Night Rock City', a song that, in truth, meets all the expected criteria and pre-conceived ideas but does little to force itself from a very entertaining pack.  This doesn't make it a bad song, far from it, but for me it just lacks its own character, its own individual hook to get me thoroughly enthralled.   I am sure after a few beers in the pit it will be a whole lot more appealing but within this excellent mush it just lacks that decisive 'X' factor - whatever that is!   'One Night Only' Tommy-Guns in, quickly gets down to the nub of the matter, races along with great endeavour and nails a tune of snagging impetus that wraps-around itself, forever pulsing and being a sure-fire pick-me-up tonic of winning ingredients.  A brisk and breezy and blow-out that re-awakens the senses at such a late stage - I appreciate it.

'Do What You Do' pronounces, stamps down a good preparatory tonality, has a mean edge that is not to be trifled with and then a purposeful steady chug unfolds.  What comes is a trifle chilled, a laid back lilt that the crew do so well, an easy coming together of all 'believing' accents with a shout out to the dreamers who need to dig deep and shake off the doubters and down-shouters and to just keep on letting the spirit flow.  I am in line with the ethos - it warms the cockles.  I am also very much a supporter of a good old piss-up and so 'Rip It Up' gets my vote almost before the hard-edged riffery kicks in and fuzz-fucks the awaiting receptors.  The opening bars are egged on by well-slapped tympanics, a crash and bash style of organised deliberateness that gives the concoction undoubted welly!  The string section is hefty, focus and penetration with the clear, effective oral offerings is instantly recognisable and rockin'.  I have no complaints here, the song gets done in double quick time and we are left with one final scream - you were warned.

The final burst is labelled 'My Heart, My Life', a song that rises and glows mighty bright with a thirst for life, a desire to crack on and an urgency to nail this CD in the usual flamboyant and highly active style.   I think they do just that, the band keep us all elevated and upbeat, rockin' til the sun rises for a new day to start things all over again, this is a solid way to sign off - jump to the beat folks and get ready to reach for that precious 'replay' button - the pleasure is all yours.

The Kingcrows are a reliable and quality laden bread and butter band with many miles on the melodic clock.  Here they have reached their greatest recorded high to date, have outstripped all that has gone before and cemented themselves a new foundation on which to carry on regardless.  I am proud of em', they deserve a good review like this and they deserve the growing appreciation - tis a big fuckin' thumbs up from me - long may the journey continue.

   

SLOW FACTION - UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

With influences from generation-one comes this considered punkified unit, a London-based 4 piece who play with care whilst placing emphasis on melody and political insight.   There is no raucous ripping up of any rule-book here, no arse-tearing tonality and certainly no use of foul language just for the sake of it.  No, what we get is a clean, fluent 9 track spillage that is done in the bands usual style that really does warm the cockles with hope.

'UDI' calmly introduces itself, without pause goes into the political stating that is both fluid, erudite and a mere snapshot of a country laden with sub-text, downright detached madness and an insular thinking that is a terrible, terrible disease.  The spiral continues, as I write the filthy blues have won another term in power, the great lavatory of hope has just had its chained pulled and down the U-bend many hopes and dreams go - it seems we have a unit pissing in the wind, is anyone fuckin' listening?   Well I am for one, I am totally respectful and appreciative of the observing noise, the need to get away and of course the great catchy snag that makes for a pure punked listen with political passion (a rare thing indeed).  As per, I hope these fuckers don't just sing, strum and slap but get out there and do their bit, and if they drag a couple of more along for the defiant trip that will do for me.  Personally I will use this one as a pick-me-up and to get me out there trying - thanks fellas - defy that fuckin' flow.

'The Blank Generations' is a beauty, stutter-grinding in, gobbing off and then wonderfully sub-skank stinging with a pulsing desire certainly not underestimated by this eternally eager assessor.  The nervous bee-hive activity is a commodity all too uncommon in this day and age where partying, posing and ticking boxes is the order of the day whilst everything turns to shit.   The next wave of apathy crashes against shores of disaster, the heads are still screwed on backwards.   The song nails the state of affairs, calls out, hopes and prays - it does it with a whispering zeal, an embracing completeness and of course, a warning.   This is a stunner, please dissect, read between the lines and of course, the lines themselves, and fuckin' do something!  'And Never Said A Word' is liquidity exemplified, a song with a sharp apical point that is smoothed over with a shroud of unbarbed tunery.  The price of war takes its toll, the victims keep it schtum, the disgrace never ends.   The SF squadron swoop in, assess and play out their own observations with guided aplomb, sincere sure-fire belief in their own style and, as per, with a winning recipe done in the most creeping style here - I shall carry on, there is little more to add.

'Antifascist' speaks for itself (well I hope so) and highlights, indicates and places a divide between two opposing factions I still remain dubious about.  I don't mind good passion though, it is the only formula I respect but the passion must be open to debate, to consideration and of course, thought.  Racism is a disease, but any extreme idiocy is, sometimes lines are blurred, here the band try and clarify matters.  The song speaks out, kicks down the fence and relies on good old school foundations on which to rant and rave.  The message for me is to look more closely, examine the inner core of the individual and try and see where they are swinging from and, more crucially...why!

Onwards, 'Oblivion' starts in bassed stealth mode, remains in gear position 'reclined', whispers and states with gentle authority whilst casually maintaining its position on the thoughtful dais and dealing with a situation of ill-mental health and hopeful dreaming that drips with downward spiralling sadness and emotive insight.  A lack of self-respect, a lack of support, a soul left to rot in a world of so-called caring that couldn't care less.  A slow death comes, another let-down unfolds within a society tilted by forces within their control but with the reins of change dropped and the nag of defeat left to run wild - a shameful situation.  The song initially fails to impact, stick with it and it becomes one of the best and perhaps is the one with greatest longevity - we can only see!  'Haters Hate' is a number that has me contemplating my seething soul, a spirit raging with hate against many aspects that grind gears thus keeping me kicking back at the pricks and trying to smooth my own personal roughened stone in the process.  The finger points at those hating through dissatisfaction with their own lot, those who hate for the hell of it - thankfully I am blessed and hate with a venom built on assessments and long-term observations.  I see many with a poison, many with a passion - there is a difference.  The song splashes in here, takes stock, moves with considered ease, perhaps eases back a little too much but just in case, throws in a few terse punctuated spurts.  This isn't my favoured track, tis one of those that becomes immersed beneath more striking efforts and fails to make any initial impression (there is always one).  I play numerous times over, tis a middling escapade methinks - not bad, not outstanding but still worthy of time, with more rotations my mind may change.

'The Breitbart Boys' is a joy, an energetic and urgent push of free-flowing nervous agitation kicking back against a bilge spill of right-wing shittery that too many consume without considering further.  The slow-simmering intensity of the song is kept under control, the movement is incessant and of one convincing chunk indicating a creative band knowing their style and what they want to say.  There is a seething undercurrent here (again), this time against the foul news peddlers hell-bent on distortion, it takes all sorts, shit does indeed have many shades.   Yes, my thumbs are raised for this one - an all-round darn tootin' good un'.  I dash on into the last two, the first of which is 'No Country For The Young'.  This penultimate piece paints a damning picture of the future, a future looking fucked due to people’s idiocy and selfish approach to their own insignificant existence.  The twinkling tones have a sobered up feel, facts are stated of colours drained, a situation of monochrome misery beckons, my advice - take stock, get up and fuckin' do something.   Something for the natural world and each other - ignore the misinformation that guides your every step and let us make the years ahead...rosier.   I like the cold, bare arsed matter of fact approach here, an approach kept digestible with some good musicianship and a tonality that does have some positivity - remember though, rose-coloured glasses are ultimately useless.

We close with the sing-a-long 'All You Fascists', the usual slant is taken, the band combine dirty bass and shimmering guitars with the usual skipping and attentive stick work and the sub-spittle vocal style in a somewhat obvious and corned parade of political persuasion that calls for unity and...progress.  Tis an easy tune to pick up and throw away, the ethos seems a little more difficulty to attain and maintain - fuckin' people hey!   I give this one a hit and miss report - if I am in the mood then 'yeah' but if not then a sincere 'no'.  Tis just one of those - a mood piece if ever I heard one.

That is that folks with the majority of songs hitting the right hotspots and a few just not bulls-eyeing my own personal receptors.  The band are a tight unit though, they have a good vibe going here and look set to get a few heads thinking - I hope to catch up with them sooner or later and witness an 'in the flesh' assessment - as per, Fungal expects.

   

DISIDENTS - GENERATION WASTE

A man called Matt Woods sent me this CD to review - I was expecting to be forced to evacuate my bowels during the listening process as this fella likes things to be rammed up the sonic shitter with violence and nasty noisy nefariousness.  I span and relaxed the attentive sphincter and let myself be molested - at the end of the 9 hump experience I was hoping to give an insight into what the Hell had gone on, instead I came up with this.  Oh by the way, the band hail from Liverpool and Manchester and are seemingly mentally unstable - lock up your animals’ folks, a lack of trust pervades the air (ooh me pet pigeon).

'Outside The Outside' begins with a soundbite that deals with the symptoms of a musical fever, the exposure of signals that may indicate one is 'absorbed'.  From here a sludge-trudge pronounces, a low-fi scramble of the wires and a constipated thrust before the true design of the creators is revealed.  Unapologetic shit-kicking of the most disreputable order from tonal backgrounds of the most abrasive and abused kind.  I like tear ups of this ilk, under-processed, raging and wonderfully irresponsible.  As per, without a lyric sheet I am left to judge the general acoustic outpouring - the verdict, I have a small swelling down below!  'Holiday In Rwanda' skids through its own defecation, stands up, prepares and duly explodes.  The meat of the matter is exposed in a visceral episode of musical murder indulged in by rhythmic rapists who are a little out-of-control - is this a bad thing, I think not!  For me, this dirty deviancy is a brew best served natural and fresh without too much processing and too much fiddle-fuck idiocy.  If the resultant mix is then brought to a strong heat and thrown in the eavesdroppers mush then that is always a winning formula.  The band clatter-batter the senses here, I like a bit of peppery madness thrown into my musical meals, I think this one just out-sizzles the opener.

'Boiling Hatred' is a beauty, has a fine repetition within the abandoned sickness that seeps into every listening pore and causes a reactive perspiration that is duly tinged with blood.  The players are infected, they are willing to share their own personal pox, how fuckin' kind of them!  The spewed filth that intoxicates our framework is borne from men who need to wank more, men who need to smash more windows and kick back against the stagnancy - I am sure it will help.  I am thrilled by this, I am sure some people would consider this a shameful admission, I care not, all I can speak is the truth!  'Ferocious City' is a conker-cobbling razor slice that erupts from an initial apocalyptic dust bowl.  The usual pause comes, a sub-fuzz fuck and then the flesh-searing impact is welcomed by a carcass happy to be blistered.  I have heard much of this irritated toxicity over the years, as long as it keeps things short, utterly violent and without unnecessary adornments I am more than delighted - this will do for me.

'Bitter Old Bastards' has a brief moment to prepare, strums, slaps and then shatter-shits out its polluting refuse for we, the sonic seagulls, to squawk over, peck at and duly crap on.  Like a strip of barbed wire dragged over the perineum and up the more sensitive regions of the undercarriage this vulgarity causes a sincere pain in the proverbials with its raw and ready assault mode and the numerous prongs of spite that come together to make a real spunky sensation.  I may be on the cusp of trying to book this band, I may be on the precipice of a breakdown - please help!  'Welfare State' follows the recipe set, throws in a smorgasbord of shit-flavoured spite and serves with a sweating brow borne from utter ill-temper - partake at your peril.  As per, when the hand that feeds is offered, many greedy bastards will serve self and over-indulge - I hope the fuckers choke.  My advice, spin within the weave and weft of many opposing tracks and share the word - mix, masturbate and masticate - a simple formula to get the best from a simple song.

Down the final three-way stretch, 'Porno Control' rants and raves in a too similar style to that which has been and so, has a negating result and loses some of its potency.  To combat this I pluck the fucker out and play as a stand-alone and feel the benefits bombard my critical dome.  The avalanche of acoustic power-mongering is adequate, I feel the vibrations gnaw at my marrow and judder out a response that is natural and irresponsible - can you guess what it is?  'Generation Waste' makes a pertinent point as regards the modern-day morons who have no ambition, no style and certainly no self-respect and who make it their business to just be a wretchedly depressing pimple on the anal area of society.  The tune is par for the course, by this stage I need a little extra, a curveball, a moment that makes me consider the bands 'mental stability'.  This is Ok, the content is bang on, the final shit-down nauseating, like I say, I just wanted a little bit more.

We flush things down the ultimate U-bend with 'Valkoinen Kuolema' a sniping attack that mows down resistance in the expected fashion and, I presume, pays homage to a one-man army who defied, stood firm and beat back the aggressing forces.  The technique, the exposed bare bollocks and the no-nonsense approach throw nothing new into the attentive dishpan, the thrashy and buzz-sawing urgency is borne from blood long infected by the sub-generic disease - at this stage you will either be still with it and loving the racket or you will have your head between your knees and sking for mercy - watch ya don't get bummed (unless of course you don't mind).

So, I expected a noise fest, I got one!  I presumed something untamed was going to be vomited forth onto my feet, I now need new sonic shoes.  I will never be a full-time HC nob-rot but I will always love a good honest-to-fuck mush up, just like this one in fact.  I crack on, taking in the many angles from the sonic pit - I love it!

   

HOOLIGAN - DUBLIN CITY ROCKERS

4 tracks from a band who jump at ya from Dublin and who swap and change their style with a certain ease to leave one never ever sure as to what will come next.  We have another EP to deal with, they are the best format if I am honest, not too much, not too little and giving me a great opportunity to get to the nub of the noisy matter.  In the past this lot have hit my sonic hot-spot, sometimes missed it, I do what I do with good intent and honesty at the helm - I know no other way!

'Dublin City Girls' swings in, takes up a real hot-dog rock and roll groove and has me a taking a step back to consider if this is the right band spinning the vibes.  The composite is upbeat and after a steady intro and a somewhat glammy opening verse the chorus that follows is straight out of an Americanised jukebox with elements both blues'ed, countrified and rocked.  The homage to the emerald lasses is based on a repeat beat signature, a showy cockerel of cacophony with the pecking style not really maintaining my interest levels.  I play over and over, there is little to keep me enthralled despite all areas being played well and being well-blended.  I suggest that this is a throw-away sing-along number for an end of set shindig in the bands hometown - nothing more, nothing less.

'A Gang Like Us' swings in with flying fists of confidence and suggests several old school influences whilst giving a good urgent burst of street-kicking irritation.  The song moves with high activity, grooves with solid sincerity and splashes and strums with gratifying abandon.  The vocals are a little submerged within the acoustic riot and the chorus is not as stand-out as one would like but hey, you can't fault the gumption and bollock kicking tempo that flows through the veins of the song.  The more one spins the more one’s ears become attuned to the style, in fact one could be almost found pinging with joy at any given moment!

Onto 'Punk Rock 'N' Roll', a mid-paced certainty with strains of something akin to what Lars Frederikson was dabbling with several years back.  The lick of the verse is an imitation of many things heard, it is new journey for this ever metamorphing band though and I do wonder where the Hell things will end up.  The players know their punk history, of that there is no doubt, the only question I have here is if they make this song their own and have an ample supply of individual identity to make it viable.  The string manipulations are all fine and dandy, the stick work stabilising and the vocals do the job requested, I suspect this is another slow-burner.

I finish with 'Saturday's Heroes' a controlled bout of cobblestone sub Oi, a composition that is neatly arranged and well-worked music polished up via the mixing room. The shebang is of a somewhat uncomplicated arrangement starting with quelled guitar murmurings before rising proud and after a brief verse going straight into the rather obvious chorus.  The song is well-blended but just lacks a little raw gumption and gets lost in between the fiery and impacting and the tame and  insipid.  It has many qualities to take and use in a more boisterous bomb-blast methinks, these are though personal and honest thoughts, I can offer nowt else.

Another review done folks in the only way I know.  The band may not meet all my desires here but there are many positives - the main one's being that they are still producing, still throwing many spanners in the wanky works and still keeping me thinking.  I feel as though the unit are still not settled on what they want to be, what they want to do and where they want to go - this, in some ways, is a good thing as we don't know what to expect next.  I like this situation and I like the fact I keep getting asked to do a review.  Now, all you need do is listen in and give the band your thoughts too - it all helps (he says hopefully).

   
1

BROCKER - SHAMBOLIC

Brocker are good!  Brocker are a band I have sung the praises of, have given gigs to and have been bloody proud to do so - I hope to do more of the same and keep the lads enthused and fruity.  Here we have the units third full-length release, it has 13 tracks to get my head around, I will do my bit, no favours, no arse-kissing, no nastiness - just a reviewer doing his bit with honesty and helpfulness the key ingredients.  So, what have these southern gits got in store for me, I expect a lot, I am no fool though and know that nothing is set in stone in this musical mire - I tread carefully and type out the following appraisal.

'The Machine' taps in, crystallises into a cacophony of full-on live-wire activity with the bands emitted vibes instantly recognisable.   From the door being kicked off its hinges the band use stealth mode through the first verse before opting for a reveal with a chorus of sublime energy and convincing liquidity.  The ingredients are tossed all ways as per, the band have no immediate reference points and the individuality is duly applauded by this lover of folk doing things their own way.  The song here is tumultuous at times, coolly controlled at others, machine-gun laden and emotive here and there.  It is laden with well attended tonality whilst all the while keeping the players and the eavesdroppers alert and in the zone - it is a winning recipe.  Like a caged animal let loose for the first time there is a hunger in the release, a desire to be enthralled by, my thumbs are raised, I bow down to this initial beauty.  'Inferno' wank spirals with terse spasms before racing forth with all tongues of fire licking the arse of the listener and warming the cockles with great gusto.  The vocals have an accented swagger, a sneering snottiness with streaks of sincere class thrown in.  The band accomplish what they do by having a fined tuned-in camaraderie that makes for a molten movement of magical excitement that has so much youthful relish, well-informed musicianship and darn thrilling animation.   We have two back-to-back major movers - wonderful.

'Something About Devils' blends the bass and guitar to a tee, all is hepped up by frisky and firm slaps of the skins before the first verse comes and wallops along with considered coolness.   The hive of activity though is always apparent as the inner fire of the players burns bright with the incessant desires of a band trying mighty hard to make their mark.   The chorus is delightful - noisy, clear, fluent – need I go on?  Extra intricacies are thrown in because the band can, it is a simple as that, and it works mighty well.   The best song so far comes best and casts a giant sing-a-long shadow with 'Gasoline' tearing down the receptive alleyways and leaving a rubber-burn impression to utterly appreciate.  The initial drive sees the head down with breathless application before a quick flick of the gears takes us into a well-greased chorus that sees all inner nuts and bolts hold tight whilst the cogs, wheels and tuneful chains come together as one efficiently activated machine of gratifying gumption.  I am dragged along in the slip-stream, acoustically oil-splattered and fucked - I am not complaining and the end sexual thrust is a fine punctuation mark on which to finish.

'Stereo' is a quick burst, surges with all areas blasting before stated strip downs come amid the lightning bolts of untamed noise with a holler out to the inner musical fire that needs to be celebrated and shared.  The inner bollocks are exposed (ooh kinky), there is no stopping this one, it is a pure rock and roll homage - the conflagration in the belly is there for all to warm their cockles on.  This rapid upchuck is soon dowsed though by a work of sheer skanking excellence thrown our way under the banner of 'Stoffel'.  This moment is pure unadulterated magnificence, an example of why I do what I do and try and push these fine underdog bands each and every year.  The classy elements that are exhibited are par excellence, the whole creation is a masterpiece and I feel as though words are not needed for once.  You just need to go and listen to this and see what you think, I would be surprised and disappointed if your carcass is reacting with orgasmic pleasure.

A snatch of 4 - 'Outside The Box' pronounces, repeats, grooves on low like a sniffing dog around your disbelieving feet.   The structure is firm, swings and sways with commanding authority and is of such a striking delivery to make one sit up and take extra special note.  The impetus rises, the harmonised bursts heighten the experience, the inner solo and showing off are all easily digested, the vibrancy of the band has so much to offer - indulge.  'Distorted' abrasively grooves, takes things relatively easy, lays down foundations, rolls out a fair chorus-carpet and goes through the expected goodness this band do so very fuckin' well.  The band become airborne, nosedive, sweetly regain uplift on self-created thermals whilst all the while being on the cusp of a collision.  The tight-arsed artistry has a sound that is very much their own, the reflective cool down moment and chasing surge is sublime - suck on it let's have a 'Hellride'.  This one develops, gets the gears glowing whilst gas is guzzled and the freeway of recording space is seared with a rubber-burn of stinking sincerity.   The three supremoes plying their trade are cruising here, accomplishing quality-laden zeniths in their own rocking and rolling way and not giving a damn about generic expectations - I am all for that!  Rapid rushes, stated slam-dunk segments, slick system changes, a multitude of fumes blown into your on-looking face - there is a 100% commitment here and success is hot on its tail - whoosh.   'Underworld' closes this batch of four with the strongest song of the batch planting its feet, standing firm and delivering a quite solid outcome.  Stamping, smooth, inviting - as matters progress the flame beneath the concoction is turned up on high, the bubbling contents emanates a flavour created by sonic chefs very much using their own gratifying recipe book.  Again, I am absorbed, it is another zenith from which I am happy to pronounce 'success' – oh yes!

'Mayday' begins in hectic brain-scattering disarray, finds its feet, sub-spasms along the opening highway, stops for a bout of 'whoa hoa' enthusing before hitting the brunt of the melodic matter with a very discombobulating sequence that I find a little hard to digest.  We re-travel the tonal territory set and although all areas are mixed with lofted exactitude I find this one an overloaded overspill I can't get to grips with.  It must be added though that the pseudo-ska moment is sublime.  I move on not fully in the groove, it was bound to happen.  'Alcohol & Rock 'N' Roll' is a boozing celebration, a feel-good penultimate push that sees the band indulge, drag us into the fray and have a moment just to switch off, swill and swing.  The band are 'on it', thrashing headlong to destination 'plastered' with great abandon and exhibited showmanship.  If one cares to take the song and dissect one will find 3 players, at the height of their game and very much in tune - it is another example of a thriving beast destined for great rewards and much critical acclaim - here's fuckin' hoping.  The final thrust comes via 'Nowadays', short, sharp, in your face with oodles of 'fuck you' gumption.  There is a time and a place for this direct approach, that time and that place is here and now.  Take delight in this swift sign off and reach for the 'replay' button - and of course, fuck em’ all!

Brocker have style, Brocker ooze class, Brocker just need a fuckin' good break to get them truly flying.  The output they have is very much of their own design, technically they are sound, as people one can have no gripes.  This album and the band come highly recommended - they have the right spirit and always offer something different - wake up and break away from the rhythmic rut folks.

   
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