FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

SOUTHEND PUNK - VOLUME 1

A retro CD bringing many fine sounds into the 21st Century.  This is a collection of old punk bands hailing from the fair realm of Southend where, like other places across the country, many plucked, fucked and had a go.  The CD arrived and was nicely packaged and obviously presented with great care, this is obviously a work of love and I am more than happy to give my honest opinion on the 14 track collection.

Perhaps the most famous band of the lot is The Machines and they open here with the irritable delight known as 'You Better Hear'.  From the off the band give warning, scuzz along and strive for attention with a bass laden sound that travels with good cruddy energy and that fantastic old style 45rpm effect.  The guitar skids and scratches, the bass bumbles with tireless rhythm, the drums maintain the pace and the front gob is obviously relishing the task at hand - this is primitive noise making in all its glory - spot on.  The Steve Hooker Band offer a bit more class and more nouse in the production department.  Here we see 'How Did You Know' develop into a more pub-rock tune than its predecessor during which it brings quality composure, an exposure of players who knew their stuff and of the typical honest and unaffected output so many of us thrived upon…and still do.  For me the inescapable impressing aspects of this and the opening number are the transparency, the DIY need and the just darn lo-fi accents that thrived on being under-produced and highly warted - fuckin' great stuff.

The Vicars stride to the fore, create a pseudo-Banshee-esque soundscape with 'Radio Roy' awash with careful touches and many seemingly opposing inclusions.  The drums are almost tribal, the guitar glistening and clear, the bass persistent and the she-siren at the fore donating a perfect pitch of voice to complement the backdrop of sound.  The whole composite is a pleasing piece and really gets my neurones vibrating.  For me the hat-trick is diverse and yet of the same ilk, that ilk being DIY sodden - marvellous isn't it?

The fourth track already, The Deciballs offer 'Solitary' and bring another decent cutlet with a bass bubble and scurfy string overlay whilst drums are pelted with naturalness and the gob seemingly reacts in line.  An unorthodox tune witrh many touches of yore and of course some good old blemished nuances.  Despite having numerous moments were that could be labelled shortfalls I find these exposed warts something to be proud of and only enhance the overall listening journey - this will do for me.  The Psychopaths dole out some 'Drugs' next with an abrasive crumble cruise done with an almost heavy-lidded approach and a somewhat couldn't-care-less singing style that just has enough snottedness to make it intriguing.  The minimalist production room mix highlights yet more strict budget punkiness which works a treat and maintains the appeal of this surprisingly decent CD.  The smoke-bombed film that seems to cover and indeed permeate this pseudo-soporific delivery is counterpunched by an electrically excited string touch - I have no gripes.

'Too Close For Comfort' is a poppoid treat and has distinct accents that rise above another heavily bass infested tune.   From the quaking bog of rumbling undergrowth comes a youthful and freshly pimpled gob that tries mighty hard to blossom and spread enticing pollen to catch the roving aural radars of the rhythmically obsessed.  A mere hint of the fragrance has me rummaging deeper and the coruscated juke-box gem has me in severe need to do some pollinating - I am gently buzzing.

Greater strides are taken into the CD with the cool death tones of 'The Fighting Continues' subduing my advancement and putting me on the back foot.  I am wondering where we are being led to here and am glad to discover that it is to a reggae-fied, cavern-esque drift with emphasis placed on atmosphere, subtle shadings and almost twilight tonality where the mind is left to dwell and the preceding day’s events can be more easily summed up.  The Bullies go for subtlety, add a different facet to the CD and I think, come out with their credentials intact.  The Icons hop up next and go for the more vulgar punk approach with limitations used and a single motif hammered away at over a short period of time and resoundingly drilled home into the submitting cranium of the listener.   No adornments here, no attempt at anything special – ‘5.15’ is a strict and direct spiked affair doing some honest chest-relieving - and why not.  The positioning of this track is choice and follows the previous drift mighty well - a smooth ale followed by a harsh chaser - ooh me noggin.

The back 6 are penetrated.  The Sinyx come, 'Animal' is their chosen song and delivered with a sub-hollow trait that gives a certain garage'd aspect whilst all the while the retro punk vibe is clung onto.  The 4 wired weapon is once again a driving force with reactionary sticks and strings playing it tight.  The verbal content is nagging and somewhat delivered with a direct belief with the final wind-down showing the band have something serious to say here.  Not a bad song at all and leading into the skid and screwed up chase of 'Blind People' by The Krondstast Uprising'.  This is a heavily minced tune done with a certain colliding clockwork effect that is pushed along through a quagmire of pushing and pressing application that in part has a militarised roll, a regimentation beneath the upper scuzzbowl.  The essence is slightly rabid, has a good urgency and to be fair this is bread and butter punk many of us got wonderfully fat-headed upon – belch!

Shadow-images appear, hide, peep and fall back into the recesses.  A rhythm is eventually found, a new-romantic bout of tepid travelling that sees a dancefloor filled with bouffant bods and made-up posers as the pseudo-synth smoothness unfolds and perhaps has us wandering down strange acoustic byways.  Allegiance To No One are more than welcome to appear here with this perhaps out of sync oddment.  The post punk goodness of 'Aftermath' is a perfect condiment to throw in a very appealing mix.  The Burning Idols pop up next, perhaps play out the most magnetising, memorable and perhaps obvious track of the lot with the fine qualities of 'Give Me A Chance' holding great street-cred vibrations, a keen sense of timing, good musicianship and a reeking aroma of 'a minor classic overlooked'.  I am sure I have heard this before and yet can't be sure, but all the same there is a bell ringing of something good and carelessly neglected which I think gives this collection a little more clout.  All compilations should be journeys of discovery, no matter how old the tuneage.  Here I have uncovered another pip.  I like the blend of all components and the perspired energy levels - I can imagine this lot in a small gaff sweating blood - oh aye!

The final brace, The Prey produce some 'Sleepless Nights' with another post-punk drift that relies on smooth vocals, a preparatory sequence and a carefully blended mid-paced follow-on.  The gist is with emphasis on clarity and for a song that is decades old I think the band got the very best out of their recording environment.  May I suggest there are some hidden gothic depths here, many new wave elements and some good-to-honest endeavour - either way, it is in utter keeping with the compilation and keeps me interested right up until the last.   The closure comes with The Armless Teddies and 'Serenade'.  The song begins with slightly rippled twinkles soon persuaded forth with light skin tickles and 4-wired charms.  The intro extends, a ripple comes, I expect a holler out, what I get instead is a carousel of increasing rotational rhythm that surprises, swings with glorious ease and builds itself up into a fine instrumental showdown that finalises the CD in a somewhat satisfying manner.  It is a good punctuation mark on a collective statement that really works.

Youthful hunger, sonic chancing and just having a go are all recaptured in this quite dazzling example of good vibrations that have been but should never be forgotten.   The only thing I can say in summing up is that I am gagging for Volume 2 – I think that indicates how I feel about this great collection – tis in the blood don’t ya know! 

   

GIRLS ARE LOUD - PUNK 4 THE HOMELESS COMPILATION VOL 1

Punk 4 The Homeless raise money for Street Kids, they do it in many ways, this time via a CD that showcases the dabblings of the warbling lasses.  I have a long stretch of sound before me, the attempt is to capture the essences in double quick time and hopefully give you a reason to buy this CD (or not).  The fact is, the money raised goes to a worthy cause and if all the music encountered is utter shite, it matters not one jot which kinda makes this review as pointless as all the rest - cripes.

We begin with 'War(t)hog' a dish served up by those awkward outsiders Anarchistwood.  The escalating strings come, there is a lightly off-tune loveliness and a sincere 'Slit'-oid oddness with Crass-ite leanings thrown in.  Coming from a multitude of angularised accents the song is fruity, honestly slapped down and done with natural reactive feeling - the added abruptness of the ending suits no end - nifty.  Sally Pepper spices up the tonal quality with the classy cut of 'Real World' - a very confident electro-strum enhanced by some wholesome vocal work that deals with an inner toughness and long-lasting defiance.  The liquidity of the composition, the general weighted tonal blend and the completeness of the whole work is what gives it the winning factor and for me, the opening punch of tunes sets the stall out for what is to come - varied and unpredictable.

Third up and Alice Lynn pitches in with the slow and sedate hallowed trip of '1000 Times' - a sombre piece played out with subdued shading that takes some adjusting to.  The style of the serenade is easily overlooked if one doesn't take care which is perhaps suggestive of a song that lacks the extra lick destined to immediately ensnare.  The swing is languid, the drift heavy of eye and for me I find things just passing me by without making me sit up and take real note.  'Damp Patch' is more like it, with a certain coarseness overridden by the blatant honesty of a situation where a woman is used, left to dwell and abandoned in a state of deflation.  A user and abuser has come, humped meat and released his macho seeds before going off on his blinkered way.  A very sad song and beautifully played out by the obviously talented Pixie Styx.  The lesson, keep yer legs shut and believe in yourself before some fucker takes advantage.  Wipe away those tears and crack on lady!

Activistas arrive next, 'This Land' is a political gem sung with heart-swollen passion.  I have reviewed it before on the bands CD and also given it a Song of the Month nod on my website - need I add more.   The players excel themselves here with a very convincing reggae drift of street-thinking alertness - fuck all flags, divisions and borders, and fuck all the piss-takers who ruin things for all.

Dandelion Florence deserves big mention for a quite wonderful name, the offering donated is equally wonderful with 'Scarborough Fair' elements blended with something Wuthering and Heightened.   The atmospheric, bared heart approach is blown through with a misted nebulousness, borne from a spaciousness, a wilderness where wire grasses susurrate, keyed marshes murmur and ghostly waifs baffle the senses - a work of delicate haunting for sure, awash with a gnawing trepidation - spooky!

Strong waves crash upon the shores of your senses with the passionate overspill of Erin Incoherent professionally pouring genuine goodness via a tune known as 'Empty Room'.  The ballet-esque gracefulness of the swirling opening chorus pirouettes into a gratifying chorus that floats by like an autumnal leaf destined to land who knows where.  The general naturalness of the liquid, swaying leaf-drop is enchanting, I feel as though something magical is unfolding with a pang of sadness tattooed throughout the whole composition - nice.  'Solar Grandmother' by Laura Grevel is intense poetical weaving that sees an identity sought, numerous questions asked, no real answers found.  Warnings arise, a soul-searching experience weaves an ambiguous path filled with concern, wariness and yet all the while - feminine strength.  A bold inclusion.

A throwback to pseudo-folk, early 70's drifting next with the articulate 'Fighting For' by Kerry Jackson, a commune piece that contemplates and remains unsure.  Many fights, many head-on confrontations but there seems to be still no answers.  A stance is made for recognition, a love song unfolds with an obsession perhaps hinted at.  Maybe a need is unfulfilled, the fact remains though another squabble has led to a pointless situation and we are left touched by the thought - a lovely snippet of fragility.  Headstone Horrors bound in with the more punked and obvious thrashing of 'Gone And Lost It' - a song from a band with good gumption and great liveliness.  The song scuttles in, the front banshee snarls, the situation dealt with is of an idiot loss with the masses left with fuck all to celebrate.  The offering moves with thrashing need, feels complete and is a welcome intercut.

Further into the mire I go, I am struck next by the cultured beauty offered forth by that quality riddled being known as Carol Hodge.  'I Still Love Me' pronounces with power, takes a stage and indulges in a reincarnation that drips with self-belief, sanguinity and high-flown positivity.  The message is a pick-me-up, done with great stated clarity and refreshing belief - it is a stand out moment.  The soul sounding Idealistics come next and despite the band name giving a false impression what we get is a pseudo-new wave cum poppoid drift awash with stunning swathes of generous tones and much colour.  'Scandalous' is a strong push, a wealthy sway of artistry that hits true zeniths via a chorus of flushed wonder - momentous.

The next batch of three are led by Jess Silk who considers the 'Stranger On The Tube' and the hate-filled heart and quite desperate prejudice ways.  The spittle in the serenade is inflamed, the bewilderment of an encounter with a barrier creating hater throws one on the back foot, the message being spread more than frowned upon.  The observation of a spirit lost arouses passion and the ultimate question of 'why' - I think the job here is a good un' - poetical weaving with political anger - tis necessary.  Talking of poetry - Kezzabelle Ambler offers up some great wordplay via 'Retro Afro Muff', a sniping look at the world of glabrous bippies, enslaved victims and how idiot fashion can even affect one's private parts.   The whip cracks, the dicks demand, thout shall present thy twat as thus - and the daft fuckers do just that!  The profit rises, the pride sinks, the lyrical weaver here constructs a thoughtful haven, not a fuckin' shaven one you silly gits.  Very sharp this, I am appreciative even though I only have a todger!  The Cars That Ate Paris visit 'Kuala Lumpur' and deliver a superb encrusted diamond drift that is straight off the DIY shelf, onto the counter and into one's attentive pocket.  The crumpled tin-foil approach, the steady under-thrust and the persistent bass all make this a switch-off moment.  When things strip down further success is had, I just wish the lyrical content was a bit more clear and the band would have called things a day at around the 3 minute 20 seconds mark.

Next and a 'Wade In The Water' - a reclined number that grooves on down with sassy tones that swing with bluesy convictions and a somewhat gospelised slant.  The stripped down strings, the slightly smoked but highly fresh vocal overlay and the general solitary voice calling outwards all make for an appealing blend that really cools the senses and gets one mentally peregrinating - bon voyage Llinos Belcher! 

Las Ratapunks takes us down the start of the back stretch.  The song given is called 'Las Ninas', a frisky shit-kicker that winds itself up and then let’s fly with a perpetual motion trampling.  Splattered and battered we stay within range of the melee and come away with a feeling of a good clattering had.   The vice-like tightness of the band's ability is pushed to the max, they squeeze on through and come out leaving a solid shit-stain on the spinning circle.  The Hope Orphanage Choir swan along next with a youthful disjointed jungle-jangle called 'My God Is A Good God'.  A child-like innocence manifests itself via an anarchic jamboree of colliding twitterings with the end result an experimentation both fresh, fluttery and head cracking – by gum lad you have to be in the mood for this one.

Peesh pay homage to their 'Punk Mum' albeit with great frustration and, may I add, a smattering of annoyance.  The strong strings are escorted by a wannabe rebel who is being eternally outdone by a mum who seems to have done it all before.   The answer to all that comes is to be just yourself - there is no competition, there are no rules.   The message will speak to many and is a delightful jaunt with the tongue in the cheek - tis a nice to see the punk fashion highlighted for the predictable beast it is.  Besides this though, this is a pleasure pip not to be taken too seriously.  Of far more weight and impact is the counterpunching power 'Rat Race' delivered by the Radioactive Rats, a band who are nailing what they do and showcasing here why they are a force to be reckoned with.   The energy, the emboldened emotion and the kicking and spitting aggression all builds into a fine tumult destined to hurt – and by heck what joyous hurt it brings!

2 left, Sheer Class prowl, prod and pervade with a cloying electro nausea that upsets and causes one to reassess.  The big men bullies are nailed via 'Muckismo', a heavy-duty song that faces a disease in society that brings great misery, great suffering.  The pulsations nag, the thunder booms add heavy exclamations and darken the overall aspect of the damning account.  Macho-men cower you fuckin' idiots, this is dealt with mean intent and I appreciate it.  We close this lengthy account via 'X-Factored' by TBFDCAP' another harsh tale with winners and losers in the mix and stark reality the main weaponry used.  Used and abused, highs and lows and all spilling with bitter spittle.    The style of the mouth is to state each and every line with purpose, to ram home its point and to nail the hate and bitterness into your attentive lugs.  It finalises the CD on a vitriolic tone - needs fuckin' must!

A fine example of what the lasses can do.  Textures aplenty, emotions in abundance and some nut-cracking angst and ill-temper.  This is a good celebration of female plucking and fucking and needs must.  I am happy with the avalanche of she-sound as well as the intent of the CD and the political thermality generated but...will there be another follow-up Volume - I can't see why not? 

   

LAST CLIMB - FAUNA CORRUPTUS

I am once again 5 Feet Under; I am once more thrown forward into a musical mayhem where irritated nob-rots feel the need to ejaculate some quite filthy sewerage.  I know little regarding this Swedish-based band and so have a real excuse not to waffle on here and try and set the stage.  I am going in gung-ho, I am thrashing this out with the aim to be mightily swift and ruddy accurate with, as per, much honesty in the flinging elbow - fuck it if I fail.

We get quickly gnawed with 'Rat King', a shit-feeding scurrier with an appetite for the souls of those who want to be devoured by sound.  After the sub-whispered warning a tumult of demonic raving comes with the gathered rhythmic rodents frenzied and showing an early appetite second to none.  The feed and puke, the resultant overspill if reeking, toxic and not to everyone's taste.  Alas in the sewers of sonic waste there are nooks and crannies that see many deviants dwell - with this opening morsel they will be tempted out to partake - and why not?  'Red Tape' takes a breath, slams home the contents and leaves one reeling.  From a scream out a hammergun sequence pummels and has great weight leaving me slightly dazed.  I listen to this in an early morning scenario and feel my head take a shock.  The job is a good un' - I like the energy infused and the need for these rabid bastards to get their own brand of sonic passion spilt.  Like blood from a deep, ragged flesh ruin this one pours, appals and somehow infects - I am taken.

'Neanderthal' is indeed caveman clobbering and if you don't fuckin' like it get to fuckery.  Primitive and raw, clubbing without apology and utterly brutal - it doesn't matter what the fuck the band are blaring about, the fact is the intent is 100% power-mongering and essences of many bands I have tripped across come leaping to the fore of the fermented bonse (Mafafi being one such example).  From the opening tub-thumps to the last abhorrence this one hurts - oh aye!

Into grim depths I plunge my eavesdropping sensors and am accosted by a fistful of horror, 4-folded into one fiendish package or terrorising ill-temper.  'Dead Rattling Jaws' is the best yet, an accomplished shit-splatter of noxious frustration initially expelled by a swift rap and then a rumbling, tumbling reanimated corpse of flesh-flinging malevolence.   A lovely hurtful piece for sure and backed up by the granite-stature of 'Future Failures/Past Regrets' a poisonous bout of admittance and acceptance with drums tribal, strings scorched and the oral invasions raw and bloody.  The stated gob work soon fractures and gets carried along on a foaming rapid of cruelty.  There is a stark honesty running throughout this inescapable tidal breach, that opening oral stampede is all consuming and really does get one inspired.   The band have the blend of components down to a tee - I am absorbed.  'Dragge' is a regulated number with an inner beat that is difficult to escape.  The turgid and somewhat black-hearted bass work sees the rest of the sound operate on a foundation of sturdy treacle with the result being another complete and compressed explosion of tonality.  The initial mutterings are cursed, borne from a mind melted by this raping ransacking crew - the listener has my deepest pity but hey, you take your chances and you see what comes.  The final fling in this quatro-crippling is slagged down with the name of 'Throw It To The Wolves'.  Filled with aggression and movement the initial verse is not to my liking but salvaged by a quick chorus that double's-up the impacting punches in nifty quick time.  The effect is all too brief, I nail this as my least favoured song of the lot thus far.

Slutch-steps are taken, from the clogging gloop is borne an abomination known as 'Centiped Grin'.  A stutter spasm shit that jerks to the fore with crippled movements before detonating an inner bomb and making for another upheaval.  The destructive force that comes is unstoppable, the frenzied assault utterly debilitating - at this point I need to take a break, these are impressive bursts but must be taken in bite size bursts.

Re-charged, ready to fall victim to the violence and 'Broom Or Rake' hits me full in the mush and leaves me...damaged.  After the initial sub-radio-ed wafflings comes a JCB of oblivion that digs deep into the substrate of your mind and uncovers unwanted terrors.  The drawn out bombardment is less effective than the shorter shockers and I find myself a little lost here - perhaps my punk patience is getting thinner by the year and I am more prone to things delivered in this style – what an ear-fucking!  'Burn' tub thumps, seizures and gets things done quickly.   As a result, I am titivated and admiring of the huge epileptic maelstrom kicked up, a maelstrom may I add that is like all that has gone and all that will come - it is a snippet of energised wonder but I do feel the CD should end...NOW!

Onwards I travel despite my earlier reservation with a the last 6 taken has one huge dollop and dealt with as a group.  The lows of this loud lump are the fact that we get more of the same with a chance to throw in a curveball missed.  'Reptiles Of The Mind' marches in and is a cold, scaly sludge shifting that progresses into a shit kick of devilish intention.  'Snake Eyes' is fervid foaming with the main approach being to blitz and batter the listener into submission.  When the song opens out with an instrumental liberation the ante is definitely upped.  'Rotten Mind' stinks to buggery, farts out a paralysing dung spray of indecency and really impresses all senses.  I flick through this one several more times than its near relatives - yeah, I am smelling the cacophonic corruption and enjoying it.

'Man Is War' is an exacting title, scrag-arses in on a scurfy substrate that is torn asunder and leaves one choking on the dead skin, the flaked flesh, the general loss of life.  A stutter collapse comes, almost indicating a disgust in the situation.   Plodding on to the final is as brutal as per, albeit in a ruined kind of way - strange.   'Buffeljavel' fights through white noise, thumps hard and then scrambles like a ferret with its arse on fire.  The beast's teeth are bared, duly dig in and bite mighty hard with a shake of the noise-making head helping the epidermis of the listener to tear apart.  I like this terse uprising - it comes, causes pain and fucks off - ouch.  The final full stop follows, a trouncing tantrum rising from the grave and indulging in a nightmarish rave where rotten limbs fly and wild eyed zombie’s seizure.  'Living Dead' throws in its all, has a superb inner segment of noise that makes me want to desecrate decency - this is a last fling punctuating the whole CD with one shit-staining exclamation mark - boom.

A heavy duty CD and one to be taken only when the mood is right.  The band do what they do and do it with great focus and intent - my advice - listen with volume at the max and bring a spare pair of undies.

   

KINGSWAY FLYERS - THREE SONGS

From the oppressing realms of a virus addled scenario reason has taken a one-way ticket to oblivion, madness has decided to move into the vacant house next door and good old Father Irrational has started exposing himself on the streets again.  Whilst this nonsense is transpiring a new band has sprung into life laden with their own flavour of noise built on many years of experience.  Who the fuck this 3-piece are I am 2/3rd's baffled, where they come from I know only too well and what they plan on achieving is anyone's guess.  I have 3 tracks dangled before my ever-gaping maw and, as ever, I adopt the role of assessor with the usual ethics applied and the clutch at elusive insight done with great belief.  I clamp on and partake, after much mastication here is what I cough back up as way of a review.

'Don't Let It Go' tumbles in with good impetus, stops and starts before going with a strong tidal wave and therefore making one sit up and take note.  Familiar vocal tones come, the crispness of the guitar and the underlying bass solidity help embolden the delivery with the stick work brisk and happening.  For me the most triumphant aspect is the liquidity of movement, especially so when we slip from verse to chorus and back again.  Good energy is emanated for the surge, the positivity found is more than adequate and the middle break is coherent, complimentary and enhancing.   This is, without doubt, a very good composition, I am duly salivating, bring on track 2, (or indeed the next titty).

From twilight avenues of acoustic investigations emerges the second track, a more thoughtful and perhaps less natural number as a result.  'Abandon Ship' relies more on atmosphere and melody and in some ways outweighs its predecessor but in others just doesn't capture that 'hang loose' naturalness and fluency.  The change in style is subtle but noticeable and, may it be said, necessary.  More care is taken via the lugs to pick up on the nebulous motif and general angle - in some ways I am convinced although the inner pause is unnecessary and one or two moments could just do with some extra wallop.  The run to the finish is clean and cutting and leaves things on a good note - I move on with a 60/40 stance taken.

The trailing tune of the trio is a pip, namely 'Change To Colour'.  We get a fine blend of looking back, wondering, accepting the shit end of the stick and then finding salvation.  The song resounds with reality soaked ruggedness, embraces the general failure of the whole shebang but hangs on to that which gives true hope.  The verses are well-chopped, have a good slap and wire manipulation with the chorus a breezy intercut of open spaciousness and well blown tonality.  This is a good healthy episode of sound with the only niggle the back-end baggage that just labours the point instead of letting things be full stopped and leave one wanting more - ah the joys of being an awkward Fungal bastard.

So 3 songs, 3 titbits to tease the seekers of new noisy nipples.  The paps are dangled, go forth and drink and see if the lactated liquid is to thy taste - I am back on the tit for sure, it keeps me intrigued and has served me well for many a year – suckle fuckin’ suckle! 

   

THE LEGLESS CRABS - NO WAY NO WAVE

You want DIY, you want reality, you want raw and real noise - well drop your underwear and let the Legless Crabs nip at your nether regions.  I have removed the said scrotal cradling duds, I have been pinched by the pincers, I have come out the worse for wear but hey, needs must.  From Dallas, Texas we get a dive-bombing team of deliberately awkward gits not playing by the rules and chucking out the clanging detritus with great belief.   The fodder here will certainly turn some stomachs and be deemed a waste of time, I think many miss the point. I however, if I hate or love, have admiration or am appalled, am always happy to indulge and try and unravel matters.

'(I Wanna Be) Teargassed' - comes, speaks, belches up some heavy vibes and relates a tale of being invaded and threatened by certain warped powers that be.  The victim ponders the outcome, goes for the more perverse route and shows a cracked delight in his potential downfall.  The music made amid the pseudo cum epileptic poetry is treacly and dolloped down with almost reckless abandon.   The overall formula may seem from a mind deranged, I think there is a method in the madness and am intrigued enough to venture forth.

'Redneck Scott McCloud' throb heaves with big filthy reverb rapings coming via maulers of heavy intent.  A slow stated and sedated gloop scoop that is left to drip into your open maw and destined to suffocate any decency you may have inside of you.  This is a dirty death dirge planned for people on the brink of doom, it is those who feel fine and dandy I have greatest fears for.  Stick with it though folks, a gathering of tonal facets comes and some good noise is made, albeit a little too late to save the construction and to give one any idea as to what the fuck is going on.  'Ed Flesh' is a neurosis of the nerve centre gone 'fuck'.  The discharge that seeps from the spiracles of the crawling creature is reeking, oozed out on purpose and done so with a vindictive spite.  The Legless Crabs are as sinister as their beach-dwelling counterparts and just as feisty.  You dear listener are the bare buttocks that are to be lowered onto the sonic sandy substrate whilst the music makers here are the awaiting clawed bastards ready to cause upset - and upset they do - and with a modicum of unorthodox success.  We duly fuzz-spazz outward!

'Stevie Part 1' is a countrified homage to who knows who?  It is an interlude from the toxic tonal violence, it deals with an oddball, a man on the outside and stuck in his own world with numerous felines and shitty fashion sense - there is always one isn't there, thank fuckin' goodness.  I find this one the most disturbing track so far - I think that says a lot.

'Turd Immunity' is pertinent, bordering on being a proper song and hits home withclod-hopping crap-kicking intent.  The virus under the spotlight is examined, the beat in the laboratory is accompanied by mis-firing, wank wiring eggheads all probing and making experiments and coming up with a conclusion of 'fuck it'.  The mush muck bubbles over the tampered with test tube and spills onto the floor of your eavesdropping substrate and mindlessly burns a hole.  Fuckin' hell!

'Plastic Babylon' slug-jerks along over terrain regularly uneven and somewhat repetitive.  This is the closest we have got to something deemed 'normal' thus far and, I suspect, in many cases, folk will be grateful.  I find this slow reflection a counterpunch to what has transpired, a paradoxical fly in the ointment albeit in reverse.  The cold calculated delivery holds horror-tones, disregards the masses, considers a weaponisation and goes on regardless.  A lengthy offering this, the question is...can you take it?

'Stevie Pt 2' - a veritable dustbin lid cruelty that fails to offer any shining light or sonic salvation.  Akin to an embryonic plucker still learning the art of rhythm and arrangement this is a jerky annoyance that really nips at all the wrong attentive areas - I am mighty glad when it's over.  'No Way, No Wave' comments, corrupts, jazz wanks this way and that from a recess best described as 'angular'.  From a primitive neanderthal clatter an opposing dip into a trough of serenity comes thus highlighting once more how the Legless Crabs are immersed in the art form of relating trashy Tales of the Unexpected.  There are many meritorious points here, things to think about and be troubled by - I think that is the aim of this latest adventure - ooh the pesky irritants.  The follow up to this niggler is 'No Way, No Wave (Reprise)', a discordant heaving that splutter coughs from demonic Hell with the intent designed to upset, confound and cripple.  The cymbal shocks reverberate, the insane utterances defy, the pause after the opening burst is simply ad hoc and followed by a driller-killer invasion and beep-addled sci-fi disturbance.  The mentally ill whisperings are not for the faint hearted, I am left deranged.

'Long Gone Death Cult Blues' pangs, pains, progresses in the usual dirty garage way with more rhythm initially found.  Eventually a sonic blow-out clouds any sign of melody, repeatoid self-abuse chants finalise matters and are banished into a spiralling void of eternal mental anguish.  This is an interesting cutlet from a madman in a laboratory - what monsters are made, what cranial havoc caused?  The penultimate track offers no respite with the sub-chug journey both on the cusp of a derailment and bound to send the head AWOL.  Psyche-trance propulsions swirl and chop through the cerebral juices as 'Touchy Talk' parades itself in the most vulgar disjointed manner possible.  The inner core of orthodox normality is raped by a patternation of insulting swishes that makes for an end product both cracked but with some hidden qualities.   These qualities are elusive, strange and of an accent that is 'testing'.  Something snarls, snags and surprises - I will remain as nebulous as the noise.

We close with 'Stevie pt 3' - an abomination of colliding sounds borne from the techno-studio, the industrial future and the great outdoors.  All aspects fight for the foreground, collide into one mucky mush and leave one feeling dishevelled, degraded and damned.  Space age aromas pervade the sniffing hooter that at this stage, should know better.  I feel as though the journey is destined to end in a collision, the collision being the ultimate silence - I am now suffering from jet-lag of a very extra-terrestrial kind.

Well, I have stuck at it and made myself unwell in the process ha, ha.  I am a stickler for hanging in with vibrations from folk who are having a go though and although this is not a CD I can rave about the fact is it has been done, has avoided following routine and has some surprising elements.  The only way I can suggest this is to take a small snippet, chew well and see what you think - you may spit or swallow and even invest further time - either way, you have my best wishes. 

   

SPUNK VOLCANO AND THE ERUPTIONS - BARRY MILNER IS THICK

The seasoned Spunkers under the spotlight still keep me in the loop and here is another take on some more of the sonic spillage proffered.  You should now all be up to speed with who the fuck these lot are and if not, well get off your jacksie and do some research, it will be worth your time.  I am as keen as mustard to do my bit as per, but not so keen as to be all silly and gush for the sake of it - that would be the behavior of a prize eavesdropping pillock, there are enough of them about as it is.

The gates are opened, in comes the vibes of 'Broken Hearts Make Better Songs' - a fine song that is crisp, lucid, done in the familiar way in which these operators function.  'Whoa hoa's' welcome, a scene is set via the first verse, we come to realise that the gist of the song is about wallowing in a desired mire so as to make music with more meaning and feeling.   A man abandoned is injured, the first place he turns to is his beloved music and here is the result.   The smooth and slowly snagging slant of the faux-serenade touches the ticker and makes one instantly take note of this moment and, what the CD will bring.   The follow-up is a song I have recently reviewed, namely 'Football In The Sun'.  Rather than repeat myself like some overstuffed belching pig I will leave you to chase up the aforementioned assessment but what I can add is that this nostalgic piece is better than I originally deemed and makes a reappearance here like a friendly face from the misted past.  It lifts ones spirits, has a carefree element to be embraced – it is rather lovely.

'Soldier On' walks into a headwind.  The struggle met is uphill, a feeling that many of us encounter in this lunatic lottery known as 'life'.  Mistakes come, moments of regret take the legs from beneath us and we are soon drawn into a cloying, debilitating web that stops us from making progress and staying focused.  Sometimes all we need is a nudge in the right direction and thankfully this song can be used as such a kick up the ‘arris.  The pace is below middling but the weight and impact is still of resounding value and these alterations of impetus and emotive content are what keep things compelling and stimulating.  3 tracks in, no fault found and the best track so far comes with the brutal bulldoze of 'Hard As Nails.  A song about a cunt to be fair, a cunt who is nothing more than a fuckin' idiot with an ability to waste energy of proving his machismo nature rather than doing something positive.  In truth though, there are many heads that need cracking out there and if one goon is willing to have a go and make sure he busts the right belfries than so be it.  The song here hurtles along, puts a size 12 boot in the midriff whilst numerous follow-up fists pepper the bloodied carcass - by heck, beatings like this are fuckin' wonderful.  This is a powerful blasting – accept it!

'Swiss Army Dick Head' flourishes from the off, has great heavy hands delivering the sonic goodness.  The opening verbal attack is swift, takes no nonsense and gets its message slapped down onto the melted wax of your lugs.  Solid gale force wafts come from a band blowing out a song in double quick time with melody and tonality still held onto whilst the power is lavished throughout in great huge fistfuls - fine stuff but one to play several times over to get the full wallop.   To lighter tones we neatly peregrinate next with 'I Should Have Seen It Coming' a tidily fluffed up sour/sweet serving that flows along without hindrance and showcases the Spunkoids softer side.  Although the blend is gentler and the approach less clod-hopping the fact remains that all areas show good muscularity, a great sense of rhythm and move with eye-catching smoothness - almost like a weight-lifting sex God but with bigger bollocks in this instance methinks - (ooh me globes).

On I go, into a very rewarding mix of noise with the nasty slam down of 'Little Red Buggy' being squeezed out, smeared all over my imagination and then left for me to still smell even when the song is over and done with.  This is a short look-back at a pedaling shit-arsed kid going Hell for leather on his mode of transport whilst all the while the defecation is ignored (the dirty cunt).  The thriving glory taken in the despicable act is a delight and surely if any song deserves to be accompanied by a 'scratch and sniff' card' this is it.  1 minute and 27 seconds of hard hitting shit - I wouldn't have it any other way.  'Magic Manikin' has a gusted, well-thrusted opening sequence that instantly snags the attention and has one listening with a distinct keenness.  A pause and what blossoms is a pseudo-love song with a twisted underscore that sees a mind possibly unhinged.  A long time ago, in the times of a murky past, I once watch a programme called 'Journey Into The Unknown' - one episode was called 'Eve' and starred Denis Waterman, please try and find and watch and then play this quite lovely song.  I like the thinking off the imaginary cuff here, tossing one out with utter fantasy the driving force - there are never any rules and the odd episode of strangeness is always welcome.  The regulated crispness of the music is just expected icing oozing out from another good slice of cacophonic cake.

With a thirst growing I am tempted by the foul filth called 'Council Pop'.  This liquid salvation was duly drunk from a fountain we had on a park near us whilst in our embryonic years.  Many got cold sores and have since suffered from bow-legs - I am not surprised.  This one refuses to sing any praises of Adam’s Ale and nails it as pure shite - especially when warmed by the solar spite.  This ditty is another one that hits the mark, rattles away with a theme many should be familiar with - young, potless, scarred by simple things and left to carry on regardless - oh the good old days, well not always.

Into the final five and 'Looking For Something' is a refreshed and rhythmically active mover that keeps this jaded old joint of jangling bones enthused.   The initial flourish is salved via a comfy chorus that sees the band glide along without any serious threat of rupturing a gonad.  The chorus is equally strain-free and pleasing with no uncomfortable snags or testing thrusts of angularity.  I don't mind being rogered sideways by unorthodox tuneage but now and again tis good to have a regular bumming too - this acoustic predator delivers just that!

'This Is Fucking Shit' nails a fact-based episode that indicates the problem with too many people - unhappy bastards stuck in a misery and with no insight, gumption and wherewithal to get out of it.  The procedure has been swallowed, the situation is void of creativity and the horror it emanates is too much for the plucking bastards at the sonic helm.  The fury is one I recognise, there were reasons I opted out of the routine when leaving school - 17 years drifting had meaning, here I am reminded of why I was in such a quandary and state of loss.  I love this vicious tune and what it says - fuckin' suck shit you unthinking cunts.

'Only Got Eyes For You' is tonally caressed with hues of sadness and imbued with life via a convincing loyalty shown.  I like the style here, again the band jump from one direction to another with little fuss, it goes without saying they are a very adept bunch.  This I feel is a sleeper, a zombie in the pack waiting to be reignited and to jump up and throttle out a very positive reaction.  I could add here what a well-played song it is, how easy on the lugs it is but what would be the point - it is par for the course with this lot now - clever twats.  'Tomorrows Promises' slips into a subtle stealth mode, progresses with honest minimalism before splashing and pronouncing before going back to situation'same'.  A song to give the vocalist more room, to expose the mixing accuracy and the finer points of a band too easily labeled as 'just punk'.  Too often bands with ingrained culture and insight get diluted by this flimsy tag, it irritates me no end.  This song is a peach and yet even this is outshone by a wonderfully transparent heart exposure known as 'Caving In'.   A composite of stark relief, naked soul baring, emotive depth and invading eruptions of power, this is a genuinely gargantuan touch and a very brave way on which to end a CD.  The extreme profundity of a head gone AWOL with despair a damning dictator is all-pervading and for me, the band take on a mighty task here and fuckin' nail it - well done lads.

The best CD the band have produced so far?  Of course?   Are Spunk Volcano a punk band?  Get to fuck, they are too good to be limited by a pigeonhole?  Is there more to come?  I fuckin' hope so?   Any further Fungal advice?  Yes - get this, the back catalogue and fuckin' well have it!

PS - Barry Milner - what a roundabout!

   

ACTIVISTAS - A IS FOR ACTIVISTAS

Idea.  Action.  Impregnation.

Rehearsals.  Experimentation.  Birth.

Shape-shift - settle - shape-shift...the players involved copulate, they are fidgety blighters and ping here and there and everywhere.  Here, under the guise of Activistas, we have a release, I know what to expect as much as I don't know what to expect - I have no idea anymore if this is a good or a bad thing.

Here are my dissecting notes on what I have been given, forgive me oh God of Music for I am about to sin again.

'Boris Is A Twat' lullabies in before opting for a machine-like delivery of the obvious with great venom, offbeat lunacy and embracing unity all combining to make for a sing-a-long jerk off.  I have witnessed this relentless spillage of toxicity on several occasions; I am still dragged into the flow and in accordance with the intent.  It is a threaded and wankily woven pattern that is easily followed - do not underestimate its accuracy and potency.  'Black Dog Blues' is the better song with gruff and growing bursts of oral aggravation intermixed with lunatic gatherings of suffering souls who take the opportunity to highlight the nipping cur and its positive-humping desires that are quite a task to subdue.  Victims from the peril of the sable head-fucking mongrel are beckoned forth, here is a chance to banish some demons and do so in an unprofessional manner without the use of pills (unless you like to odd pick-me-up).  The flow is uneven at times, just like the mental condition - within that similarity there is great apposite pertinence.

'Badger Baiter Masturbator' is an ad-hoc rehearsal tumbledown wank spill that sees the protagonists of misfiring mayhem seemingly operate from individual stages and just take the chance that all will fall into some kind of coherence.  The result scrapes by and is surely deserved of applause from any DIY pervert.  The ethos behind the work is admirable and anyone in disagreement with the verbals is indeed the ultimate wanker.  

So far I am liking the jangle angle that doth dangle and I await the next sonic wangle that may breathe further life or indeed...strangle.

'Product Placement In Reverse' nails the big companies who kill to profit, who advertise to create the consumer.  The whole shebang of the cleansing and disinfecting designers is built on many dubious foundations and all the while we have to be on our guard against putting brass where it really shouldn't be.  The keyed crank circus touches and the nebulous tangibility of the delivery once again indicate a band not playing by the rules (whatever they are) and destine themselves never to be considered 'a regular band'.  There is more going on here than given credit for, I am rather pleased with what I am hearing.

'Star Man' is an undoubted pinnacle, a great escapist peregrination that goes beyond despair and perpetually rolls on, falls, dusts down and gets on with it.  The whole drift is ruddy sanguinity floated to the fore of your receptors with such elevated transparency and fresh-blown innocence.  This is one for the bewildered, the battling, the blues bitten buggers who feel like they are walking headlong into a shitstorm - think on folks, all is not lost.   The delicacy of delivery, the just gentle earthy goodness pervades my being and makes me reel with satisfaction - the CD's zenith - massive.

A lament next, a hard reading that lays out the doom that is coming for all the fat-pig consumers and those who really don't give a fuck.  'Mother Earth Is Dying' is a tale of damnation, a damnation deserved and one that will ultimately prove that ignorance is indeed piss.  We have a world to admire and take care of and yet so many just couldn't care less.  They wake up, don masks of consideration, cough up fine talk and make token gestures but all the while - self and sheen is top of the agenda.  This poetical sermon will no doubt fall on deaf hears, I am listening and listening big and...appreciating - thank you, the design is perfect, the theme utterly embraced and delivered with looming intent.

'This Land Is Your Land' is a beauty, tis a song I have recently chosen as Song of the Month on my website - the reason - tis a political pip delivered by hearts who believe and who are trying.  I enjoy once again, I am totally convinced by my initial judgment and reinforce it here with great Fungal spirit - a quite momentous song for a greatly improving CD - tune in, wake up, kick that needful nature and consider others - ta!

'Take My Hand' bass farts in with a suggestive buoyancy, a promised uplift that is soon fulfilled with a sweetly bobbing synthed up jaunt that rides the waves of life and makes good headway.  The lifeblood of the throw-back keys are essential and the gob-givers at the fore harmonise in typical loose and approachable fashion thus making for a very inviting sing-a-long.  There is warmth radiated, a slowly magnetising quality that sticks in the pubic fuzz of the brain and makes for a really sticky mess - I am not complaining - head-fuck indeed.

The finale comes via 'They Haven't Been Fucked Since Cromwell' with another political jangle that is paradoxically polite and insulting all in one fun-fair mix.  The carousel turns, the finger points at the puddings in power and the comfy state they are in whilst the rest of the land gets tossed about and tossed off.  The sonic postal service comes up with another DIY package of surprises and gets the juices of this underground loving lout...flowing.  Again the band grasp their identity, state their caring case, waltz with ease and have me convinced - a fine full stop.

Activistas have done a good job here - said what they need to say, have shown no shame in their warts, have weaved a merry path and...produced a real good listening piece.  Over the years, in various guises, I have always been honest with the players involved, sometimes agreeable, sometimes not, but all the while truthful - here I continue the theme - this is a beauty!

   

MUCK AND THE MIRES - GREETINGS FROM MUCKINGHAM PALACE

Some good to honest rock and roll vibes are expected here, driven forth from a garage of high credentials before the accelerator of impression is pressed and the whole shebang hits your cranial sensors.  I have reviewed this lot on two previous occasions, so far so good and I head on into this lengthy mix with hopes held high.  14 tracks await listening examination and then the final dissection - you know how I roll by now - if you don't well what can I do?

'This Time I Know I'm Right' starts the show with great eagerness and magnetising zest in the delivery.  The first verse swings with a general prosperity of tone and a juicy pizzazz in the melody with an overall feeling of great ambition and positivity emanated.  The chorus cements matters and brings to the table an undeniable sanguinity and further uplifting forcefulness whilst all the while avoiding anything vulgar and brash.  Tis honest rock and roll to be fair, in a style that we should be jolly well attuned to.  Nice!  'I’m Your Man' oozes gumption from the off with a good arse kicking vibration getting the inner core pulsing and the outer shell jitterbugging.   A writhing lick keeps the electric action forever fidgeted and frisky with the whole escapade accentuated by a perfectly complimentary mix ideal for noise of this kind.  The string manipulators are allowed enough space to flamboyantly flourish, the slap happy chappy is regulated but given room to splash and trash with abandon whilst the grooved up gob pours forth the wordage with quite noticeable relish.  This is souped up pub rock of the highest order - there can be no greater compliment than that.

The third track sees 'Too Soon To Fall In Love' lush things up and become all sugar soaked and rather soppy.  The middling pace, the lilt in the swing and the jukebox retro feel brings visions of seaside pondering within a cafe overlooking a promenade and a solitary figure dreaming of a loved one and the situations it could bring.  Something pure and innocent comes, we saunter along and move into a fun fair of uplift where a carousel slowly swirls and keeps the ticker alive and fresh - to complete the feeling I order a banana milkshake, sit back and play all over again.  'Strange Waves' alters tack with a slightly darker edge to the tonality and a more noir-esque accent that flows along with insistent cymbal tickings and a steady skin smack.  The glinting guitars and the easy verbals combine to make a reclined rhythm that the listener will easily embrace.   The whole composite is entire and this is a quite convincing song without doing anything overly flamboyant.

'Mint Condition' grooves on down, follows many strains set but has its own lilt and leaning to make it a very likeable number.  This is a simple composition with a basic verse and a relieving chorus cut done and dusted without extravagance.  Sometimes these uncomplicated numbers are overlooked and not given credit where credit is due - not so here, my advice - play over and over and lap up the goodness.  'Sunny Feeling' is an upbeat and bright excerpt without being a brazen dazzler.   The key to the shine factor is the relaxed way the band roll and those juicy chorus cuts that are veritable zephyrs blessing the lugholes.  The glint and grow approach wraps tendrils around ones hopeful side and I feel that if one is willing to walk on the solar rays sent one’s  way then we are set to duly arrive in a far better place than when we took the initial step into this musical treat.  The song is awash with retro nuances and is a highly polished piece to be enthused by - come on folks...smile.  Next and the cock-sure strut of 'Don't Start Running Away' - a mithering song that pleads for you to stay put and perhaps...listen up good now.  A ditty built on persistent nervous niggle noise that pecks, pokes, prods and eventually...persuades.   As a stand alone this may be one of the least impacting tracks but when in the midst of this magnetising CD the offering displays vim and vigour and helps one maintain the foot-tapping involvement and keeps one taking good heed.  Again, nothing profound and intricate comes and in truth that kind of bollocks isn't needed here - the crew know their style and nail it...big time.

A tumble down, a more garaged sound, lots of lo-fi lilting done with solid emphasis and with the usual gratifying essences.  'Messed Up Mary' sounds like a right bugger and is paid homage here via a decent tune that just gets on with matters, offers nothing new and just keeps the decent rhythm feisty.  Tis an easy song to pick up, play and toss to one side, in the midst of the rotations one can easily jig too - bonus.  'The Way It Was Before' is a crisp and harmonic touch of gentle pseudo-crooning with a dew-eyed drifting that I find to be not to my taste.   A bit too weak-willied for me, a bit too soppy-arsed and lacking any chomp that I am always hungry for.  Don't get me wrong, this inclusion is necessary to vary the flavour, it will no doubt magnetise a few extra lugs but it does sour bugger all for me - I make no apology for my honesty, tis the only tool I have.

A snatch of 2 - 'Cupid's Not A Friend Of Mine' is good value and moves with a furrowed brow from the off before opening up, swinging with strong sensation and rattling the inner core with good energising vibrations.  The collaboration of all components displays a strong unity, the work in the production room accentuates each player’s output and infuses with new life - ruddy rollicking good stuff this is.  'Loneliness' is a smoother and more sharply suited mover and if all other tracks are the finished article then this is the same with nobs on.  This is a joyous moment with an ease of delivery akin to a well-buttered pregnant woman dropping forth her heavy load.  The ticking understroke, the swinging guitar lilt and the just unflustered and unconvoluted composition make this a winner for me - spot on squires.

'Good Enough' is controlled mover, has a pleading lilt in the question naggingly asked.  The mid-paced waltz is a little too repetitive for its own good but the trimmings added by the band offer some salvation and therefore helps me avoid from hastily writing this one off as the weakest runt in the pack of prize tunes.  I spin over and over, I am not overly keen on this one if the truth be known.  'Act Fast' is a far better song, has greater depth and intrigue levels therefore increasing the longevity factor.   The main route followed is less orthodox than the previous track and the tonal textures and general goodness of the gist are highly appealing.  The stature and groovy happening delivery make this a real sinewy morsel to get your choppers buried into - I am loving it.  We shut down and enter the final silence with the clattering 'Break It All', an almost eager beaver overspill that sees the band celebrate all that has been and all that is to come with emphasis on getting you, the passerby...involved.    This final flourish is done with yet more convincing acoustic acumen and a thriving appetite for making music highly twanged and tanged.  Yes, this is a decent zested finish to another accomplished CD filled with accumulated Joie de vivre - tis ruddy excellent to witness.

A band alive and kicking with an album to suit - I have very little to add at this point only thanks to the music makers under the spotlight and the label pushing this kind of sonic shizzle (Dirty Water Records) - tis worth the effort that is for sure. 

   

REAL(S) - D. S. L. B.

Art is noise, noise is art, silence is the crucial shadow - and here we have many shadows, many noises and much artistry.  Real (s) have a made a transmission, it comes via a debut album filled with off the cuff, well-practiced, unpredictable resonations that border on things surreal, fantastic and at times wrong.  I am always ready to step outside the sonic boundaries - the in-genre duped say thout should not trespass, so I duly will.

Track the first, 'Sleazer' - a sub-function feedback injection comes before a lick is captured and squeezed out through a misfiring sound system deliberately off the wall.  A piss-squirting fuzz-fest of fiery tones that copulate, steam, sweat and eventually...indulge is ours to savour.   Within the dirty dabblings sonic sensations arise and disappear with much concentration needed to fully appreciate and no thought at all needed if one needs to feel the naturalness.   I have a fondness for surfy scurfy spoil heaps where I can disrobe, delve and become infected.  I am naked here, ploughing through the muck and amidst great plumes of detritus that I am happy to be choked by.  Yeah - this is a fine toxic opener, isn't the finale quite beautiful  - let us see what comes next!  Sludge heavy toxins are tipped from a weighty cavern barrel and bring visions of a puking fatman with much indigestible cacophonic fodder to get off his chest.  The vibrating vomit of 'Stop Freakin' Out' is garish, fluent and reeking of multi-flavoured messiness whilst all the while a certain routine and direction is embraced and hammered at.  The full-incandescence is thermally dynamic, the billowing folds of the cacophonic energy are rippled with good muscularity and although this is, when dissected, seen to be a somewhat simple construction, the heave-ho the band put in, the way the product is propelled and the end mix all make for a minor success.

'Wilhelm Scream' pronounces, parades, has a grandiose aspect with mid-70's nuances tattooed throughout the understrain of sonic goodness.  Something sub-lullaby pervades as well as a pure tint of soppy soap early punk love vibes.  There is a definite comparison to make here and the look-a-like lilt I am looking for eludes my cranial grasp.  Besides this niggle we have a song that is highly listenable, cacophonically condensed and with a sweet melodic strain so as to capture listeners so far not ensnared - tis no bad thing.  'Up The Slopes' begins with a dramatic pronouncement and then changes tack and goes for a softer approach with one long, drawn out pleasure trip that floats along over a period of 4 minutes 39 seconds and leaves one wondering 'what was all that about'.  The tonal quality is consistent throughout, the journey is swifter than it seems and the shading between each application is smooth.  The creation eventually drifts into pseudo 80's dreamlands were bands self-indulged and I ran for the hills - I am not keen here, the brassage tempts me to take further time but at the end of the running period I am convinced this is not for me!

Almost at once 'From The Seed' grabs the radars, bends them to the source of the bright-eyed sound and has one captivated.  Psychedelic turns, pastures of promised land essences and overhead skies of illuminating clarity come, we have a drift to fall right into here and...disappear.  I am taken on an updraft of joy although I do feel as though those opening tones could have been used more and more throughout the course of this presentation and really accentuated the whole end vibe.  Nevertheless, this is still a lovely waft of something utterly elevating and I use it to keep my head refreshed, thinking and shimmering with hope.  'Dark Web Messiah' is a more sinister mover of greying tones and of a certain flat-line arrangement.  It never real sparks and so I feel somewhat deflated from the start right through to the finish.  I listen in several times over and fail to find any real note of inspiring interest and so duly label this as the weakest track thus far.  These things happen, they are nothing to get too bogged down by and shouldn’t detract from the surrounding goodness.

Flip.

Side B and 'Radiation' has slightly haunted tones held aloft on a foundation of shimmers and rich bass lines.  The sonic situation set is very retro and dips into a varied hotchpotch of decades whilst adding something a touch experimental and modernised.   The mechanoid structures are not lost, the certainty of the dabbling is imprinted with great belief and the exactness of each and every tone rings true, albeit in an overstated way.  When the leash is loosened during the chorus cuts the feeling of space and liberation is accentuated and provides a nice compliment to the more rigid verses - I rate this one 'not bad'.

'Rausch' rolls in with good bounce.  Smoothly surges down a furrow of well-planed sound before accentuating itself with a decent space-age gothika that transcends the pathway taken.  When the song really takes flight the impression is very appealing and again the sound radiated full-on and complete.  We fall in amongst the trappings of the swirling sonic montage and come out a little shaken, a little stirred, a little wealthier for the experience.   'Heaven' is a better song, it radiates an instantaneous freshness and open-air feeling that is awash with positive encouragement and feel-good sounds.  The early drift is crystal clear, takes a moments respite before reaching new heights with a simple statement of sagacious advice that pervades the doubting soul and brings it to a whole new level of sanguinity.  In the main this is an uncomplicated creation, the target zones aimed for more than a little obvious but, if one takes things for what they are...it works and works mighty well.

The final two and huge monolithic futuristic statements welcome 'M. I. C. Blasters' before a trundling machine-like efficiency consumes.  There is a good weight to the noise and those open wire bends are laden with electro thirst waiting to feed on any stray pulsations and unwary passers-by.  The push is lush, the multihued delivery aesthetically pleasurable in many ways and with an abundance of influences thrown forth for the listener to dissect and identify there is a good longevity about this number.  It goes without saying that this isn’t for everyone and for some, it may take a little adjusting to but, patience is a virtue and here it pays good dividends.  The closure is named 'For All Eternity' a song that drifts in with utterances barely rising above distant Ice Cream Men.  The creation unfolds, the seller of things chilled disappears into the void whilst a warmth comes via an homage to love and adoration.  This is a slightly different approach by the crew, an unexpected way to finish but I am happy to sit back and wallow in the lovey-dovey goings on and let the music wash over me.  It isn't a bad way to finish at all and it leaves me with little else to add - that is no bad thing.

Real(s) come, offer a range of sound and blend many essences into a melting pot I am happy to dip into.  This has been a very interesting listening experience and has left me wondering where the band will go next - I am happy to say I haven’t a clue - wonderful isn't it!  

   

RITES OF HADDA - THE HORNED GOD

A new release from Rites of Hadda, a band I have been rather taken with and am happy to help move further into the musical mush and disseminate their discordance.  The tonal happenings are heavy, thoughtful and coming from a variety of nooks and crannies that some may have left unexplored, be it on purpose or by accident - either way tis unforgiveable.  I am pregnant with expectation here and am hoping for some serious bowel blowing moments with a pot pourri of essences borne from musical belfries clanged by the age-old battered clappers.  My fingers are crossed that all will ring true and just to be certain I have put a knot in my todge - and why the Hell not?

The blasphemous opening strides in with certain pronunciations that are both imposing, bleak and, most blatantly, threatening.  The threat attacks your sense of decency, perhaps even more so if your submerged safety net is of a delicate construct.  'Miscarriage Of Justice' throws a curveball into the belief system of many although stays too Christian for my liking.  I feel the assault should be more multi-pronged and confront all forms of religion rather than the easy option that has been whipped ragged by many similar bands.  The music however is fine, it is a looming noise that moves within deliberate darkness and leaves one quaking.  Rites of Hadda aim to punch hard here and do so with a Foreman-esque weightiness that judders rather than knocks one clean out.  It is a severely bruising beating and I am very much a willing victim.  A solid start for sure.

The pertinent and perhaps highly necessary 'It's Time To Riot' follows with a great bass driven gumption gusto that gets the jowls salivating in great need of something highly orgasmic.  The initial verse is in a narrow groove and flies along with inescapable breathlessness with the words rolling out and dealing with many aspects of situations gone sorely wrong.  The band force the issues, ride a precipice before tumbling down through a chorus burst that just (and I mean 'just') holds itself together and keeps things rolling. Several spins are need to fully capture this ditty and when duly caught the impact is utterly worthwhile.  The main note to heed here is 'take your time dear listener'.

'The Right Time To Die' is a long procession of multi-flavoured happenings with the crew at the helm showcasing their eclectic natures and 'difficult to pigeonhole' beauty.  The song slowly and steadily walks forward, takes the stage and presents itself in an unrushed manner with a tale to unfold before an audience who may need a little extra persuasion than at first deemed.  At 6 minutes the rhythmic ritual that unfolds needs concentration and a certain ease of mind - a combination that can be quite tricky to attain.  I hang loose, zone in the cranial gunk and feel a well-played song with varied accents comes.  The tones complement and keep the lugs involved although all colours are low on the spectrum and not as garish as encountered elsewhere.  The creativity has consistency, the main blip is that there is no defining high to embolden all parts and the immediacy of the number is perhaps diluted.  This is the seemingly most prepared piece, for some that will be a good thing, for this lover of DIY naturalness it just takes off the edge - I gotta be honest tha' knows.

'Sun And Storm' and a sharp spiralling twinge twist comes, the flesh is duly opened up and impregnated as a militarised drum beat assists and makes sure the zone of pain is well and truly punctured.  This is a stunning sunlight dazzle that takes its times, exudes strong restraint and makes sure the impact is not soon forgotten.  Heavy bass adds bruising and then the commanding gob enters and delivers its verbal arrangement with sub-spoken word authority.   All the while the underscore of sound naturally reacts, electro-zeniths, attains an unaffected level of power-thirsting stature.   A self-feeding, eternal greeding roll around comes, it envelops the concentrated juices of the mind and tosses them slowly into a cocktail of considerable appreciation.  A climatic song, a leaf blower, a sun-dazzler, a shape-shifting movement - the band are absorbed, and you should be too.

We close with 'The Ending Ritual' a blend of 3 songs, namely 'Filth, Indian Nationalist and The Horned God'.  This is a delectable trio of paganistic power-mongering, rhythmic rebellion and at one point - out and out possession.   The opening riff is a joy, the bass demanding, the guitar scything and the stick work encouraging.   The vocals ooze resistance and refuse to be molested by the powers that be - they stay in command of the task, they are a perfect accompaniment and add to the overall rising pressure and help one bounce around in unison with the sounds emanated.   This is lively, happening music played from level zero by people in the mush - tis inspiring.  The move from part one to part two is liquid, the emotional switch done without flaw and we are soon plunged into a creamy, dreamy swirl of blame, regret, suffering and head-nagging trouble.  It seems a relationship has upended, the heart is an open wound and a soul is bared.  The song goes with the agonised flow and contributes to a feeling of abandonment, detachment, perhaps fatal acceptance.  We leave on the rumble of a thoughtful 4-wired trundle; a new invigoration is found as one turns to the dark side.  The final segment of this stunning saga gallops from the forests of absorption and ensnares one further with a full-on commitment to the worship with all areas fully focused, eternally zoned-in to the naturalness and real life out there.  The band set the fare, feast on the fodder and puke up a great multi-stinking fountain of celebration to Mother Nature, her horny helper and all those wisps of the woods that keep things rotating and genuine.  This is a fuckin' mammoth piece of noise - clashing and concentrated for your delectation - go get fat and think you bastards.   The finale is akin to a Satanic collapse where the party of sound breakdown in bestial submission - it is highly infective.

I have bitten off a mighty chunk of sound here, nibbled, chomped and swallowed like the glutton of noise that I am.   You know what - I have belched and farted and belly-griped along the way and have come out the other end absolutely thrilled.  This is a sensational listening experience and has me bursting to book this band again as soon as possible.  There is something finely tuned here but which, all the while, is without affect.  The band have their own niche, fuck this, I am going to play this disc over and over again.

   
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