FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

BLITZKRIEG - BLIND FAITH

For fuck sake, this band have been around longer than Ken Barlow and thankfully provide a damned sight more excitement and intrigue.  They have had a rocky ride over the years, ups, downs and roundabout turns but, at the end of the day, this stubborn unit from Southport is still blaring loud and with much impressive gusto.  A recent re-acquaintance in the 'live' pit convinced me that the band still have a lot of fuel in the tank, the question is 'can the same be said after listening to the latest CD'?  I duly received this disc, spun amongst the musical melee that hits my cranial nucleus - eventually I came up with these thoughts.

'Stay Asleep, Obey Or Wake Up' is a resounding message in the first instance, the music backs up the thrust of the tonality and razor-wires across your apathetic throat with much venomous spite.   The dirty opening bass lets you know what to expect, the slap-heavy drums and keen edged guitar insistence are thriving and are soon joined by the gristly and forthright command of the gob, a blistering element that breathes 'fuck you' fire and doesn't mind who gets in the way.  The target for this intense fireball of no-nonsense noise are the doped-up dullards who are being defeated each and every day without ever realising it.  On your toes is the place to be and what better way to take up that stance than with a musical escort such as this.  'What's Your Game' has a groovy rock and roll core slapped up with driving toughness and rigid rhythms that consistently wraparound a spine of sonic goodness.   When stripped to the waist this song is, in all truth, an intrinsically simple construct but when adorned with the heavy duty attire and given a size 12 boot up the arse, it gets moving with purpose.  It is a mere stabiliser for me, continues the assault already started, this is no bad thing but I am expecting track three to really get into the meat of the murderous matter - the clobbering finish here though is very much needed.

'Blind Faith' comes, horror bells toll from feedback and murk.  A rumble, a roll, a rhythm of cutting intent that denounces the human filth.  They create war, bring about untold deaths and perpetuate a foul suffering - it seems to be the entire lot of man.  The anger and energy poured in is tangible, the raw-boned electricity emanated strong and healthy, the inner core is borne from a time when punk spat with a vicious intent and the cabaret was left to those washed up.  The band nail this one, drive it home with consummate energy and make one sit up and take note - fuck your war!  'Conspiracy' features the ex-warbler of Wasted Life who is now the frontman of Discharge.  The song flutters with palpitating energy, cuts a swathe through your senses and batters on your back door of indifference before bursting in and taking your senses hostage.   Straight ahead slamming, swashbuckling releases of nuclear power and a fiery gob flame searing the upper surface make this one an incandescent moment to be struck blind by.   Relentless, all consuming, not a song to be fucked with - lovely and...without a moments respite we are cymbally rushed into the meaty and moving 'Glass Eyed God'.  This one takes the theme of 'Big Brother', warns of the ubiquitous electro-peepers watching and recording your every move and kicks back with a feeling of disgruntlement and general unease.  The band, through the verse bites, keep things on a leash and foaming and only when the chorus comes do they ease up on the chain and snap with more venom - I find myself convinced thus far.

'These Four Walls' is a tale of claustrophobic intensity played out within a grinding enclosure of high pressure frustration and a need to break free.  The band apply themselves with great focus, create a watertight scenario that chainsaws with zoned in focus and sticks to a very strict path of rhythm whilst flexing muscles and resisting the incessant push of the imprisoning boundaries.  'Divide And Conquer' is the chasing track, a far more impressive song due to nothing more than a consistent driving power that never lets up throughout the entire running time and leaves one 'fucked' by the end of the listening experience.  The incessant approach, the blister-inducing thermality, the exposure of the controlling cunts who like to see those below given an overspill of misinformation so as to keep them bickering and distracted, all combine to make this bleeding punk built on the fundamentals so many have overlooked, diluted and took the piss out of.  This is a soul-sizzling spit out and followed by the equally upsetting 'Inner City Deprivation', another song that takes no prisoners, sweats its bollocks off from first to the last, leaves no room to breathe and absolutely gets the production room finish spot on.  This is a gravelly kick up that relishes the task at hand and creates good tonal turmoil loaded with beefy riffs, belted skins and blood-dripping gobwork - massive.

'Bankers Of Hate' wastes no time in preparation, pummels with undying persistence, twists the blade into the guts of the eavesdropping victim whilst bombarding with gusto and throwing numerous big-handed grenades of bad blood to hopefully take one's head clean off.  I do find this one disappears into the pack and doesn't make the biggest impression although it has a hardiness and no doubt a durability not to be questioned.  'Got A Gun' is a fave of mine, a veritable implacable and inflexible beast of sound galloping forward on muscular legs weighted with a design to kick ones bollocks to utter hell...and back.  The inner turmoil, the taut coiled tension, the need for the release are all caught, mushed together and shit out through a very resistant and yet at the same time relaxed orifice of threat.  I find this song is a latter end cruncher and surely crushes any resistance I may pathetically offer.

The last two storm down the final furlong and break the tape at the end with much fuel still left in the tank.  'War Breeds War' has a nifty rhythm in the anti-conflict cacophony, progresses through the first impacting verse before simply stating the chorus in a no-nonsense fashion that indeed works.  In some ways this is basic punk, in others it is all-consuming, drenched through discordance that hits a studded and spiked nerve and leaves one invigorated.  Strip away the layers and what is exposed is a machine built of hard-working components, well-drilled, well-oiled and not afraid to have a tear up.  'Change It' segues in with conspicuous and shameless hammer-wielding madness.  The blazing exhausts are given one last blow-out with tympanics clattering, bass bombarding, guitar abrasively lacerating and all the while the fucked and thriving larynx is put through its paces and ultimately bled dry as the oral offerer sweats his guts out.  A fine way to finish, a real apposite question placed at your potentially idling feet - yes indeed, what are you gonna do about it?

Blitzkrieg have thrown in their all but have they dished out their best offering to date?  I think it might just be the case.  All I need do now is get these viewed in an up close and personal gaff again and enjoy this power-soaked display and get a few others to do the same.  Well done chaps, a fuckin' fine piece of work - just what the punk rock Doc prescribed!

   

UP THE ANTI - AUDIO AMMUNITION

There is nowt wrong with good honest-to-good punkiness played with a certain freshness but all the while soaked through with inspirations from the late 70's.  One thing the scene can be proud of is that it has many strains, some noticeably honest, some bang on the mark, some obviously dubious as bands try to cover all areas and fail.  Up The Anti are a new band to me which is always something I like - new and moving rather that old and stagnant. I have spun this 5 tracker many times, I have weighed up using the scales of the critical and fair, the end review balances out as thus.

'Van Diemens Land' begins with stated bass, flourishes into a nice splash and stream moment, moves with the utmost sanguinity before relating a tale of crime and punishment and the threat of being banished to distant shores now known as Tasmania.  The holistic feel of the song is genuinely uplifting and has a mix that gives each and every component room to breathe, express and be examined.  I duly delve, I take each contributing factor and come away without anything to find fault with - I am mighty impressed and the vocal style is absolutely bang on the button as regards strength, character and most importantly of all, clarity.  'Guilty' is a real confident construction that proudly pronounces itself on weighty strums before cruising through the first verse, a verse that gets to the nub of the matter and nails its words to the holier than thou walls.  Paedo's and psycho's are labelled and put on the row of death which, in truth, is no bad thing at all.  The song generates its own zest, bounces with a joy do vivre that is quite infectious and all the while remains clean-cut and very strong.   The band have obviously taken time getting the equilibrium of all elements just right, it really does make a difference and indicates a crew well-oiled and functioning at a very efficient level.  Cracking stuff I'd say!

'Freedom' tightly glistens, once more makes a stated entrance, scurfs up and goes for it.  The sprint via the first chorus is done over a fine bass substrate and whooshed along with nippy drum work and a further urgent guitar.   The vocals stay up with the pace, never lose their clarity and contribute to a good raucous punkery that stays clean, agile and impressive throughout.  There is a certain style and substance being played out here by a band very much in control both when plying their trade and in the production room - excellent.

'Stranglehold' is a massive mover, laden with sing-a-long defiance that is easily swallowed, swirled, spat back out with spite and utterly believed in.  Refuse to take their orders is indeed the message given, live life your own way (provided you cause no harm of course), jump up and salute another rip-roaring effort that moves through various gears, alters tonality without breaking sweat and slams this one home with consummate ease - I struggle to find fault, it makes a change.

The closures is entitled 'TV Overkill', one for the brain-dead tube addicts and a raucous wake-up call to get the arses shifted and stop wasting precious time.  The band are whipped up for the task at hand, plough away with focused industry and energy whilst going at matters with hammer and tongs blazing.  The stick work insists impetus is high, the players are kept on their toes right up until the last and we, the listener are bloody well entertained.

That is that, I stride on happy in the knowledge there are many bands out there making some solid music and doing it with style - here is another one, and even though I am 54 years of age at the time of writing, sozzled with sonic overspills, I reckon I can still recognise and enjoy a good tune when I hear one!

   

RUMOURS OF WAR - SLOGANEERING

A Scottish band with a problem, the problem being an urgency to create a noise and get one thinking.  In this day and age to get anyone's noggin ticking is a real troublesome task but here the crew have a go, play out matters in their own style and make sure things are not overly done and kept real with a very obvious DIY minimalism.  The frontman has a definite singing style I have encountered several times before, here I go again, dissecting, deciding, doing my thing in the usual way.

'Declaration Of War' is a shifty shit tiptoeing over the recording surface of silence and leaving behind a very light tread of tonality that, if examined in an up close and personal manner, reveals careful lyrical content and a certain situation where the composer has taken an abundance of time to get the atmosphere and message exactly right.   The outcome is a throwback song that stays within a certain straitjacket of sound and wallows in one semi-subdued state that has to be listened to when in a certain, almost studious, mood.   This isn't 'get up and dance' music but rather more political finger-pointing that further exposes a situation and throws due shit.  Thinking man's fodder methinks and nicely arranged at that - the only request - more gumption in the mixing room please.

Next and 'Clean',  a sedate and tentatively looming song springs to lo-fi life with great consideration verbally played out and all with a detestation for the great scheme of things where contradictions, imbalances and unfairness rule the roost and makes for a society tilted all the wrong way.  The main style of the song is the fact that it is in no rush to get things dished out, is determined to relay its full message in its own poetical style with the verbals taking precedence over the tuneage.  In this day and age of the idle-headed and cranially inept this could be a severe drawback but I feel we need sounds with substance and designed to make one...think.

A bouncing bass, a string flicker, a skip in the skins, 'Sloganeering' comes and points a very straight finger at the many slotting into place, singing about the right things in the right way but making sure they sit within the parameters of the middle ground and do fuck all.  Quick to encourage, slow to act - sound familiar!  The spartan soundscape, the disillusioned wordery, the wondering where it has all gone so fuckin' wrong spills with sharp passion and although the chorus doesn't rise as much as I like, I reckon in the 'live' arena this one will be a real treat.

The finale of the four is 'Half Mast', we start with a sound-bite that gently peers into the awaiting space of silence before stepping forth and placing one tonal foot in front of the other. Again we are soon donated a downpour of direct and uncompromising detail that uncovers the false grief, the commanding con and the sheer atrocity and waste of war that can never be encapsulated within the confines of one song.  The impetus of this effort rises as we progress, the initial impression is of a sombre shading across the palette of the punk canvas, with time the hues become sharper and more intense, with thought the final picture can be viewed with greater clarity with all areas nicely positioned.

A 4 track CD that takes some adjusting to simply because that songs aren't of a 'crash, bang and wallop' mode and it is designed to get the juices of the noggin flowing.  For me it is of good stock but, if it is to be part of an album then several shorter songs need throwing in the mix and next time emphasis needs placing on moments of contrasting sounds and some heavy riffage - it will be interesting to see how things progress.

   

NATHAN SEATON - RUNNIN' LATE AGAIN

More one man meddling via the Hospital Food stalwart, one Nathan Seaton.   A good old bread and butter bloke and an important part of the DIY scene with an appreciation of the shit being shifted and the shit being thrown.  He has stuck in through thick and thin, stayed loyal to the cause and seen his outfit finally get due reward.  Here he bravely goes it alone and perhaps even more intrepidly asks yours truly for a review.  Is the man laden with self-belief, keen to get advice or playing with fire - we will just have to wait and see.

'What Was Yer Name' is the opening gambit, it knocks me sideways as I genuinely and truly had reservations about Mr Seaton's ability to pull off the one man routine - my doubts were unfounded - I love the raw talent in this underprocessed outburst, an effort that sees the man shine bright.  The string work is wispy, a gentle accompaniment to a vocal effort that is worked at with a naturalness that operates at a quite convincing level.  The episode here concerns a meeting, a forgetfulness, a moment in time that is scratched in the subversive annals of history as a faux pas.  It is a mere confessional moment, it works well, I am rather taken.  'Thick Rick' calls upon our doofer to test his mettle, the 'whoa hoa's' require accuracy, I think flying colours are exposed before we travel into a tale of an idling, weaving wanker who takes all and gives nothing (we all know one don't we).  A song to remember is played out with careful adjustments in tone, a steady oral application held and a certain disgruntlement with one of life's parasites convincingly relayed.  I like the way the irritation ascends, I like the exposure of a recalcitrant shitehawk who has no morals, no cares, no fuckin' decency.  I think the job here, is once again, a good un'.

'Secrets' shuffles, delivers, keeps the opening verse honest whilst regarding a date, a word best not shared.  The move into the chorus is done without perspiration on the brow, the content deals with a dubious slag who, in truth, wants her fanny kicking in.  I prefer loyalty, there is no place in life for deceivers.  I am sure many will be able to relate to this underhand dabbling, I am not interested.   Tis a well played song, the content just turns me off.  'Armageddon' is a serious stalker whose presence is just lightened by the odd string flick and the general rhythm.  Our plucking gent grinds out a gravelly account, faces head on the decaying mess that grows and grows, assesses the situation and seems to fall down when it comes to any solution.  This is a strong song and one that has solid resonations, I consider and give a thumbs up - it would be rude not to!

'She's A Hurricane' stops and starts, looks back to the 1980's and seems to have a fondness for the shit that went on due to another episode of loved-soaked misdirection.  The song has its own character, the minimalism works well, it gives space for our player to expose his dulcet tones and expose them he does in unabashed and careful style with a small flag of victory flying at the end.  The overall construction is uncluttered, reflects a DIY approach and succeeds as a result!  Next and 'We Gotta Fight' drives in with a resolute determination emanated from the strings, states a case, looks forward to the end full stop and relieves one's chest of many, many gripes.  The tilt, the sway, the imbalance are all there to correct and realign but as long as people are kept distracted that is the way it will stay.  The intent of the song is to provoke thought and to inspire action, the pied piper needs to blow damn hard to shift some of the many redundant arses out there and I wish him well.   The flow here is tidy, orthodox and sweetly executed, it is not a bad effort despite staying within certain parameters.  'Superman' is a far better song, a song with a searching soul stretching himself, creating a sound of very gratifying tones and one, that once again, is blessed with a voice that is honest, effortless and very real.  The blend of string work and throat application is found to be in a fine state of equilibrium and as the song progresses one feels we may be witnessing the best effort to date.  I play over and over, tis a lovely number.

'Goodbye Harry Patch' is a Hospital Foot re-jig, a sanguine song that deals with a lost soul, a victim to the senselessness of war, an emotive serving that shows how people can be persuaded to abandon common sense and follow some senseless propaganda.  The tonal touches of the guitars are splendid, the oral escort blended with disbelief, sadness and regret.  The whole composite is perfectly put together with thought behind every ounce of the acoustic arrangement and the weight of the chorus perfectly contrasting with the considered verses - a pinnacle for sure and a tribute to the last fighting Tommy of WW1.  'Suck On That' is a feisty number, plucking with zeal, throatily spitting out its verbage and seemingly coming out on top.  The guitar neck is molested, the domestic situation out of control, I find this one a struggle to fully enjoy, I reckon the main cause is that is comes after the preceding whopper and the one chasing it - like a spat out cherry stone between the cleavage of 2 fine heavers no less.  The chasing number is entitled 'Small Man In A Big World', a very gentle song despite the subject matter, a ditty held in good check even though there is an undercurrent of ill-feeling towards a ten-man bully beef who really needs bringing down a peg or two.  The soft whoa hoa's, the tender verse, the embracing chorus all count and make for a drawn out listening experience made by an artiste very much in his own quality-riddled zone.

The last 3, She's The One Who's Cryin',  'Jimmy' and 'Intimidating Man' are all sober tunes, the first a miserable dirge that does little for me and leaves me with ghastly visions of a well-punctured hag who has lost her self-respect and is mere an article for society to use and abuse.  There are many out there who are in the same situation, stuck in a rut at the beck and call of men's needs and using the only way they know to gain some sort of twisted love - quite tragic and the song, although not for me, captures the theme quite ideally.  The second ditty is a very accomplished piece of corn that rings many a bell but retains its own identity.  A war torn tune that relates the usual tale of loss and overall pointless stupidity - you know the script, just enjoy it.  The latter song regards a washed-up wanker, who is looking to strut his stuff and is never what he seems.  A middling effort for me, one not listed on the CD case, it may have been a mistake to add it at this late juncture.

I sign off, despite a few songs I find not to my liking I can confidently say Mr Seaton has worked wonders here and done himself proud with an acoustic venture he should continue to follow.  Next time a few different themes, some obscure genres and perhaps a few extra instruments and we could be in for another treat - I hope so.  Personally I would like to see an alternating pattern of Hospital Food songs and solo efforts - I think it would work a treat.

1

LES BOF - VIOLA

Vintage vibrations surf forth with many accents and strains via a band that jump from one age to the next and leave one struggling to actually assess.  The mix is best described as 'strange', the accented avenues invaded are at times dubious, at others slightly unsettling but all the while reminiscent of acoustic areas I have wandered in my time and come out of aurally bummed.  It is good to explore and when something unexpected turns up one must appreciate it even if one doesn't like it.  I pounce here and let the assessing words flow - naturalness must be maintained.

'Jezebel' jangles, gyrates, emits a hunger for the cause whilst radiating a lusty sex-drive with all implements getting fucked.  The throwback mix is cavernous, straight from the cool cat dives where monochromed montages move and groove beneath a myriad of swirling lights.   The brothel creeping bass line that arises from the opening cacophony drives the song forward with the regulated skin tap equally motivational.   The strings play it low, the vocal is sub-sinister and stalking, the back 'whoa's' add to an overall eeriness.  This is a decent opener, I am wondering where this CD will go already - tis no bad position to be in.  'Fin De Monde' begins with big swishing drums, rolls on with dramatic effect, screws out a sonic revelation from yesterday all ready for the morrow.  The stop start guitars, the Euro-salivations, the easy chorus that breezes through all make for a mix that is delivered by obviously excited artistes.  This excitement gushes over from out of the speakers into the receptive acoustic valleys and pings around many easily persuaded neurones - I get greatly affected, shake the ass and find myself enjoying this one - oh man, let's groove!

'Vie De Chien' gives suggestions of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich throughout, rustily travels and oozes itself outward through a constipated sound system that, in some slight way, hinders the end fluidity.  The inclinations are awkward, not as effective as they should be and of a certain B-grade ilk that, despite the critique, just manages to saves its sonic arse and have some semblance of success.   All the while though I can't help feeling this one is not the finished article and I do struggle trying to get into the proffered zone.  I prefer the funky chicken strut of 'Ma Claque' with its jingle-jangle accents, corn-ball cruising and uncomplicated approach that is easy to pick up, digest and puke back up in the nearest bin.  A throwaway morsel from and old era, almost of the pubescent rock and roll times when greased barnets and basic tones ruled the roost and innocence was a commodity taken for granted - how silly!  Yeah, I like this one, I move on with a skip in the arthritic step.

The blues pour down from shimmering skies were tub thunder seizures all helps welcome the zoned-in, staccato vocals that make for one higgledy-piggledy listening excursion. 'Je Suis le Boss' rides roughshod over an uneven musical substrate and sticks to a very direct route with no diversions had.  The band have their methodology set in stone, they stick to the drawing board plans and come out with an easily digested song of sub-generic character.  'Drogue 'N' Roll' is another uneven trundle, traversing scuzz-fuzz trackways with all manner of tonal parts falling this way and that as the chassis of the song clanks and clatters forward on a mission to destination 'uncertain'.  For me, the greatest failure of this song is to not fully grab the steering wheel and drive along without any strict direction and acoustic smoothness.  There is an inner break that brings a cruised cacophony but we are soon back on the ambiguous track and all the while, I lose a certain interest!

A snatch of 4, 'Souviens Toi' is a slightly darkened mystery, casually sweeping in on low thermality and convincing me this may be the true direction that the band must aim for.  They capture a Noir-esque sub sexual ambience, create an end result that oozes conviction that I am sure will get any cool cats out there releasing their pheromones after only a few eavesdropping sessions.  'Un, Deux, Trois, Quatre' boogies and bops with a strict stutter style that shakes the undercarriage and gets any loose nuts and bolts rolling down the trouser leg and relieving a little tension.  For me, the saving grace is the sax soothing that helps balance the journey as well as the blatant throwback tones that will appeal to many aging passers-by (oops).  'Soixante-Huitard' is a spunky number with a dirty guitar lick and some bass and stick driven gumption that helps the richly accented vocals overspill with obvious relish, a relish that keeps the listener appreciative and involved.  The style may be a slight upheaval but it gets by, just!  The last of the quartet examined in one passing fist is 'Liberes Moi',  a song that begins with a fine splashing appeal before saw-boning, stopping and starting and then swinging along with invigorated joy with one of the most naturally kicking tunes of the pack.  The fuzz, the buzz and the emboldened drive make this a slightly elevated episode and I listen over and over just to make sure the juices are flowing in the right direction.

The wind down comes, I enter the tune known as 'C'est La Vie', a creeping feline slinking along your aural alleyways and flicking its tickling tail here and there to create extra invigorating sensations.  The whole composition steps with stealth but makes good headway into the inner receptive recesses and leaves one with a fine impression of a song with more depth than initially considered.  The harmonica spices matters up, the slow staccato certainty creates a stratagem to explore over a longer period - nice!   'La Fievre Du R'n'R' is a frothy number, over-spilling with much dynamism and general breathless steam that comes in relentless minor plumes, each one as clear and lucid as the next and giving note that the internal machinations are well-lubed and moving as one.  The positioning of this number gives it greater success, I go into the last two rather juiced up.

'Port St Louis' is a short, spicy Blues-ed up jangle of instrumental inspiration, thrown together with a blend of sub-skiffle, surf and psychedelia - it doesn't hang about, it hits the nerve and gets one jigging.  The closure comes, 'Formidable' has the responsibility to full-stop matters, it does so with a riff akin to an Edgar Wallace mystery souped up with oral offerers very much up for some resonating sensations to inspire a reaction.  The guitar is the main dictator and twangs and twilights whilst the bass beetles and the drums skip and splash.  The vocals over the top are clear and precise, I think this minor flourish suits the CD as a whole.

I am outta here - this CD has taken up a huge portion of my time (don't they always) and I am 60% sure I like it.  This may sound harsh but I listen to a lot of stuff and sometimes get lost in a maze of musical madness and have times when some tunes work and then they don't.  This is such a CD, I have to be in the zone to fully appreciate and when I do it feels mighty good.  There are of course some tracks that stand tall, I particularly like the instrumental - it is all about different flavours for different folk though and let us hope it stays that way.

PAT BUTCHER - SELF-TITLED

Pat Butcher - no not the fat-slab of ham from Eastenders but a group of hardcore arse-wipes raring to go and always willing to smear their sonic shit over your aural wall.  I have spun many times over, have found nothing new to fracture the spiky sun that pours its rhythmic rays forever on my sizzled pate but I have discovered some good bollock-hoofing bellicose noise that rather excites something inside this seasoned and spiked carcass.

'Conservative Crop Circles' celebrates the madness of our ex-Tory leader who threw caution to the wind and ran riot through the fields of wheat proving that pure, unadulterated rebellion is rife in all walks of life (I doth taketh the piss).  The opening confession is soon drowned out in a bloodbath of dirty fuckin' noise that rumbles, grumbles and winds itself up into manky states of spasmodic shit-kicking.   At times the musicianship collapses in on itself but is utterly forgivable as the design of this discordance is purely aimed at dabbling with disaster - I don't mind the end result at all.  'Raceday Wanker' is typical drilling that is based on a repeat-beat blasting and a clobberin-time energy.  A titled statement, a gruff-response, a fast and furious sonic approach and some high-wire wanking and a full-on fuelled throat release - there you fuckin' go.  No nonsense, no nobbing any niceties, just a slam-ram with juicy jangling jam smeared all over your apathetic arse - have it.

'The Suit Is Black' is an 8 second speedburst - many bands of this ilk do these kind of things - it comes, it goes, it is barely noticed.

'Butcher's Block' shadow taps in, power pronounces and then pummels away with much excitable industry.  The stall has been set, kicked over and set on fire - the meat served is bloodied and flung many ways with the gristle grimly riddled with many toxic tones and dripping with a thermality not to be underestimated.  I like the pulverising strength of this one and the unapologetic raucousness - sometimes we all need to get sonically molested by something primitive.  'Clifton Cat' is a tale about a scavenging bastard who takes and doesn't give a fuck whilst doing so.   The song has a rasping tongue in the furry cheek, bounces along with the greatest rhythm grabbed thus far and uses a double-ended gob jab that penetrates with arduous hollering gusto and taut wire work that soon fuzzes up and gets some fluttering sticks to assist.  I don't mind this bout of tomfoolery, the song has multi-dimensions and much contrast, it works well, it may be a route the band could ponder a little more.

We belch outwards towards the final silence with 'Boozehound' a rabid foamer that starts on the leash before running wild around the bar whilst barking hard for more liquid refreshment of the intoxicating kind.  The immersion into all things raw, alcho-based and frenzied is done with such utter sincerity that one could easily question the mentality of the players at the helm which, in truth, is always a good sign.  From the stated to the sprinted, from the controlled to the clattering, this is no bad way to shut the door on this 6 track sensation.

Pat Butcher, come, throw their full weight behind matters and splat down into one's lap with decent impact.  Some accepting eavesdroppers may get squashed, some may survive and live to share the experience, either way I think it is worth taking the risk.

LUCY AND THE RATS - STICK TO YOU/TRUE ROMANCE

From London to Melbourne and now from here, to there and back again.   Lucy and the Rats have been reviewed on this site before, I am rushed and can't keep repeating the introductions, here is a 2 tracker - make of this what you will and if intrigued, go find out a little more - they have produced some quite nifty noises over the years.

'Stick To You' sub-fuzzes, jumps into a groovy tune and slaps it out like a pseudo-Quatro clone hepped up and with many throwback punk qualities.  The persistent fuzz-scuzz saws with great consistency and focused accuracy whilst the radio-fied ravings above the wire and skin weavings give the thrust a credible character as well providing the final rock and roll edginess.  When stripped bare and examined more closely we find we get nothing more than straight-forward pop punkery - if this is your thing you may ruddy well enjoy this.

And flip, as per.

'True Romance' is a fleet-footed song just trailing behind its counterpart but finding recognition via a really quirked bubble and squeak popsicle of sound that drips fruity juices of joy borne from a feel-good vibe found within the 'love' soaked ticker.  The persuasive resonations of the whole composite are squeaky clean but have just enough abrasive edges to keep the listener involved.  The opening lilt and slip into a sub-chorus lift is utterly sweet and the sugary feel is maintained right up until the last tonal touch.

So, quickly in, quickly out and hopefully I have impregnated your noggins with a seed of curiosity that will get you investigating this band further - it is decent trash-can pop and there is a place in everyone's heart for such sonic shizzle.

   

TRIPLE SUNDAE - GLOW

Look, let me make one thing clear, when something gets labelled 'melodic punk' I do get concerned and after having witnessed so many bands turn out the same 'sub-generic' noise and fail to rock one's conkers I have to try darned hard not to be a petty purveyor and add salted criticisms due to a long-term sozzling of the same old, same old.  The same can be said of many other sub-generic areas but when one is dealing with one zone less favoured one has to watch their step.  Triple Sundae come, offer nothing new and so I step back and take it for what it is, consider where they will fit in, where they won't and how they ply their trade - at over 1500 reviews in, assessing CD's gets no fuckin' easier.  Oh, the band come from London by the way and, at the time of writing, have been on the rhythmic block for about 5 years.

'Mental Pollution' is a full-on song, alters tempo at will and at times gushes in torrents and bubbles with perhaps debilitating mediocrity.  For me the band showcase many skills in this strongly orchestrated piece, the only blip I uncover is the harmonised moments that get caught up in cobwebs of consideration and so impede the more liquid moments that give the song the most impressive spice of life.  The crew have obviously spent time composing, recording and generally mixing, the question that immediately springs to my DIY encrusting mind is 'have they over done things'.  I remain in judgemental limbo, the song isn't a favoured tipple but is indicative of a tidy band - ooh the perpetual problems of this musical life! 'Swisher' is a rather ordinary episode that comes from an era when many a band fell into a kind of suffocating middle-of-the-road punkism that, in truth, wasn't punk at all but some watered down bi-product that catered to a new generation of dudes looking to chill rather than challenge.  The ability shown, as is the case here, was very applaudable but just never rang true in my barbed heart that always requires things more obvious.   Here the players pull out a decent effort with the blend of all areas just right and complimentary, I however, remain uninspired.  'Dazed' has more clout due to its machine-like drive and fuller feel to the soundwaves.   Again, I am out of sync with the flavour and would like to see some bare-arsed bollocks of the crudest kind thrown in but hey, this music menagerie is all about personal tastes.  The main gripe I have is that the song appears to have no real backbone of sound and waltzes around a flimsy core of nebularity that never really catches the passing ear (well, mine at least).   Upsurges in power do come, the density of sound works well, but once more, young Fungal is left flapping away and struggling to spill true praise.

The 4th song, 'Everything's Cool' is a straight-forward, stated case that is initially easy to get in line with and shows that the band are thinking on their feet and striving to keep the flavours varied.   The track soon veers off into many different avenues which is a shame as I found this rather uncomplicated approach highly appealling and think it could have led to a moment of angular surprise.  What comes is a multi-faceted mush of technically sound music with great gusto poured - it is what bands of this ilk do - I think sometimes say and do too much in one blast though.  Not a bad effort this and throughout lucidity is upheld.  The title track 'Glow' is a number I find too bland and lacking in any decisive moments to make an impression on my rhythmically bombarded noggin.  Time submerged in tonal waters does take its toll and on my quest for new treats and something close to originality I find myself with nothing to inspire here.  The route taken is very safe, the stabilisers are working and there is nothing whatsoever out of place and no frayed edges.  This is pure bleached and blended music that, to me at least, needs a good noxious rocket up its arse.  I can't fault the musicianship, the application, it is just the end result and sobered edges that are just too refined - no not my bag at all.

We close with 'Safe', I shudder at the title and hope the band don't play it so!  The opening is reliant on minimal guitars and gobwork, a twilight tinkle enhances, the movement stays mid-paced.  Again the cream at the core is slowly curdled, the foam that rises is of an acquired taste, the mathematical precision may be too much for those who prefer things off the cuff and raw-assed.  A casual croon this one, with all individual components easily examined and given the thumbs up and yet overall, I am still on the outside feeling rather chilled - ah shit happens.

No, not my thing, no, not a flavour I am taken by and by a band that are very, very good at what they do but fail to turn on my nob of musical attention.  I will sign off and leave it there, if you like the more modernised pop sub-punkism that gets bandied about then this may very well be your thing - please have a see and do a review more 'glow'-ing than mine - it is all about balance after all.

   
1

THE WASTERS - SELF-TITLED

The Wasters pogo in to my listening parameters all the way from Scouse land and vomit forth a youthful mix of retro-fied garaged sonica that is played with the paradoxical controlled recklessness liable to serve the band well in areas best described as 'grubby'.  Many clean cut and processed punk rock wankers may not fully get the gist here, they will be outweighed by the ones in the groove, soaked through with long term head-clattering and ones besotted with all things bordering on the beautifully shabby.

The first track has a 'couldn't give a flying fuck' essence with an almost ad-hoc perpetual reactive methodology that makes the song a really salty kickback and throwaway piece of trash.  This is all positive stuff, there is a place for this lovely 'crash, bang, wallop...and fuck off' noise, it is an acoustic area where many deviants find salvation and as a bonus it helps them relieve much tension rather than wank off their privates to utter oblivion.  The opening pronouncement promises big time here, the song reels around, has a purpose to blow ones one mind, to let those 'Three Fat Stripes' do the ultimate business.  Yeah - sometimes tis the only fuckin' way baby!  'Another Pointless War' adopts a regular and organised riffery, bounces along with great gusto before pseudo-skanking above a serpentine bass line that adds a perky pizzazz to generate a certain joy de vivre that all other components can thrive upon.   The six-strung tool friskily fuzz bounces, the skins are skipped over and slapped, the gob remains slightly snotted, always annoyed and sweetly contrasting - I am rather taken by this political rant that has great tuned flavours.

'Anti-Freeze' sums up the position of the crew's mental state and their insistence to get wrecked.  The main spine of the set-up is ascending grooves pepped up with splash and crash drums and the expected 'get fucked' gobbage.   The running time is terse, it compliments the action and makes sure we don't fall into the realms of pissed off ennui.  The song comes and goes and does what it has to - any further questions can be answered on-line via 'kissmyarse.com' - get over it!  'We Will Never Die' tin bins with bass focus, slaps down the lids with tympanic forthrightness, screws out a twist with six-strung malevolence.  The promise is upheld by a quick gear shift and a direction found.  The vocal overflow adds a certain recklessness, the move from verse to chorus is mightily effective. The question raised is to all those energy vampires that feed on those that struggle, the schadenfreude soaked shits who leak sexual juices when they know a struggle is going on beneath their feet - what a bunch of utter cunts they are.  The effort here has bite, defiance and throws in a few extra textures just for the sheer Hell of it!

I kick on, 'Drink, Drink, Drink' is a mid-paced tickle with an easy vibe to get swallowed up by.  The message is simple, the arrangement without snagging intricacies, the ease with which the band deliver neatly done - I have little to criticise here.  The flow is steady, the mix ideal for the crew  and the slightly snotty edge appreciated.  I move on with a quick ping in the step, 'Happy' is a great tune that poses a real craw-sticking question and leaves one pondering the masses of 'sad sacks' who are looking in the wrong places for that elusive 'feel-good' emotion.  There are many bastards who take and build their piles, they remain frustrated, there are many who have little and seem contented - are you getting the message!  The arrangement of this melodic poppet is to keep all areas moving as one, highly fluent whilst making sure the accents are fairly relaxed.   I ruddy well love this one, I love the spiralling ascension to the finish - it is fuckin' marvellous.  'Nosebleed' is a more serious sounding effort with deliberate statements stamped down onto the recording substrate via genuine juiced up determination and great off-kilter relish.  The band are enjoying a certain self-inflicted pain, wallowing in a situation gone 'wank' and all the while jacking off and splashing forth a right good riff-up.   The mix is spot on, when volume is injected the slaggy serenade works a treat, it gets beneath the trembling epidermis and has one all a-quiver - I like this feeling.

The closure is here, another bass-beginning and then a holler from the madhouse where rooms are rubberised, electro-shock treatment is the order of the day and all those 'desperately seeking a pal' are confined in a room where they can wank like buggery to get the idiot needs out of their system.  The disgust, the sub-fear, the superb bass work and the tireless pushing passion all culminate and contribute to a very effective full stop - yes!

I have listened in, done my honest bit, now have the band booked and hopefully can help them get a bit more note and keep them on their toes.   What they do here has all the fundamentals of early defiant punkism and is delivered with a good modern day spirit.  I am looking forward to the 'live' viewing, I expect it to be deliciously 'off the cuff' and a times promisingly shambolic - there is no other way.

   

THE BORDELLOS - UNDERGROUND TAPES 22

The Bordellos continue to avoid the flow, they continue to be productive, they continue to do things their own way - and for that we should be truly thankful.  They offer an array of bedroom-based expulsions, you know the ones, those creations thrown off the cuff when the thought arises and slapped down and recorded before the inspiration flutters away into the great all-consuming ether.   On many occasions they produce something magical, of course now and again they produce something off kilter and not to my tastes but throughout they produce what they want to and ask my humble opinion - I am appreciative of that.

So to the 4 tracks on offer, the first is the electro quirk known as 'Elastic Band Man (Dan Bordello Mix), a cold, almost Kraut-Rockian episode of embryonic roboticised madness that inches along like a sonic slug wary of the awaiting critical lettuce.  The abstraction of the verbology, the stylophpone punctuations, the general 'away with the fairies' expressionism has subdued angles, strait-jacketed vulgarities and an almost insightful autisticness that slowly undulates over many emotive sensations.  The only word to use at this juncture is one I have already called upon in the past and will do so again in the future, that word is 'odd' - and there ain't nowt wrong with that!  'Tattoo For The Heart (Echo Mix)' disturbs the stinking substrate and kicks up an initial plume of toxic vibrology that sets the mucky dog senses reeling.  The cloud becomes thick and cloying, from within oral offerings struggle for the snippet of the spotlight, all the while the musical industry continues unabated and keeps on clogging the listener's aural airwaves and leaving one in a state of indecision.  There is a good song going on here, the pulverising plumes are too overwhelming and what we get is a dirty move lost in a miasma of muck many may not have the wherewithal or patience to battle through.  I like certain elements, some I would alter, the entire shebang though piques my curiosity – I am not in the least bit surprised by this situation.

Shush, shush sneaking comes with 'Snatch' floating in beneath the doorway of your attention and reaching in with cooled tendrils of remote acoustica that always seems to be coming at you from just behind the shoulder.  A rear-ground offering done with the lilt The Bordellos are mildly renowned for (well, in my head at least).  The crew are, in many ways, at their best here, emanating a quite pure 'off the couch' DIY touch that gives hope to every plucker and fucker looking to have a go.  There is a nervousness, an anxiety found throughout the score, the strings and tubs are barely touched, this faux lack of sanguinity is not to be believed - the band know what they are doing and do it well.

We close with a pseudo - 'Warhead' bass suggestion, a painful anguish from mote swirling depths, a gnawing nightmare that sees the hazards of mixing 'Smack, Crack and Iggy Pop' come tumbling down onto ones unsuspecting bonse.  The echo-vibes at times hurt, the players are undergoing a therapy, they seem to be banishing demons, within the unpalatable offal a stench of something worthwhile apprehends my doubting sensors - The Bordellos do this time and time again.  I don't like this one and yet for some reason I disagree with myself - isn't DIY music just the best.

There is a crisis going on, a troubled period that will never end and therefore will always force our minstrels at the helm to go on 'creating'.  At times I am elated, now and again deflated, quite frequently things are debated and the shaft of reason is masturbated but, one thing is for sure, I am eternally intrigued and an unashamed fan of what transpires here.  I think it is healthy to be a fan and not claim to like all, I also think honesty leads to respect and vice versa – put that in your jacksie and digest it.  

   
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