FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

DEADLAMB RECORDS - 50TH RELEASE FREE SAMPLER

A celebration from one of the best DIY doofing labels around.  A label that have stuck at it through thick and thin and supported my old SAS Tour, helped many struggling bands and have showcased much talent - it is all ruddy well appreciated.  Here, as a celebration of many years, we have 33 tracks gathered together showcasing the best of what the label have offered over the years - and what a good do it is.

Track the first, 'Fool' by Nomatrix gut throbs, has a weight of threat that is soon displaced by a questioning assault of fluent power-housing that throbs with the bands recognisable accents and healthy avalanche of good-to-honest noise making.   A bold cutlet to get the CD rolling with plenty of fuel in the tank and a fair amount of wallop in the swinging hoof to propel matters forth.  The perfect contrast to this opening fist-fuck comes via a Deadlamb favourite known as the Greenland Whalefishers.  The song here is typical fare and is known as 'Joe's Town'.  It combines the light and gentle with the more darkened and serious with a lilt that raises the spirits whilst getting one all considerate and somewhat reminiscent.   The tonal quality is highly recognisable, is supported by an incessant tympanic flutter and blessed with a fluted haunting that adds deeper character.  The throat work is neatly scorched, the harmonies all inducing, the crew are masters of their art.   The final song in the opening hat-trick is by the quite wonderful Splntr with 'Propaganda Machine' highlighting why I rate this band so highly.   The architecture of the song is strong and reinforced by struts of composed care that remain solid and reliable throughout.   The swift moving skill, the ability to make things rhythmic and utterly magnetic is a joy and the clarity of all components is absolutely spot on.  Yes, I am a fan, yes I am very much taken by this well-oiled track played by a band in a very mouth-watering groove - long may it continue.

Into the next snatch of 3 and the delightful vibrations come from locomotive Eastfield and their on-going journey to do things their way and in their own very distinctive style.  'Turn That Noise Down' is a voice from the past when punky records would be spun, mum would hopelessly holler up the stairs and dad would try and get some shut-eye after a night-shift on the factory floor.  The times ring true, are brought back to the fore of the memory-banks by a fine ditty that sees the band operate with their usual animation, joyous tuneage and easily snagging verbals - lovely stuff - a return ticket please.  The Nilz jump to the head of the pack next with the 'Toybox' kicked over in a swift and efficient manner leaving us with a clattered and battered head that is for sure.  The intent is mean, the tone initially drilling before becoming more abandoned with a wild woman fury taking the lead and forcing out one great all-consuming racket.  The song is best categorised as hardcore with good clouting rhythm - it makes a decent impression.  Existenz join the growing army of din-designers with 'They Can't Control It' a creation built on raw, abrasive tones laid upon a structured surface of sound that poses no difficulties for the listener to fall in line with.  The fuzz gives a good buzz, the strain causes a pleasurable pain and the word is heard as the band apply themselves in a good street-punk way and make their own mark on a very decent collection thus far (and hey, if one is sharp enough there is a bit of a Subsy lick in the weave too - bonus).

Next and Jobseekers come and ask the all-important question of 'How Many Calories In An Ice Cream'.  This crumpled coming-together of many disturbing elements struggles to get going but when it does the effort is raw, youthful and just on the right side of cohesive.  The arrangement is scruffy and to the point - this is how music of this kind should be played - I have no severe gripes at all.  The conveyor belt of acceptance is moving well until an unexpected item is spotted in the noise-nagging area.  The Hoors are the guilty party, the problem product is called 'The Rise Of The Machines' - it is a snarling puke-up of angst, an angst borne from a pertinent paranoia built on a world of technology eternally closing in.  The initial spiral, the continuing compression of sound and the constant temperamental turmoil make this a piece you have to be in the mood for - it is a tempestuous fucker.  Old favourites 2 Sick Monkeys arrive on the spinning scene next and handle their offering very well indeed.  An agitated ant of noise is labouring away with a coruscated upper surface that only deepens the character of the potential calamity.  'Wake Up' wants a reaction, I listen hard and fall into line with the dirty dustbowl and enjoy coming out the other end coughing and spluttering in appreciation - the band do what they do so fuckin' well.

'Commodity Conformity' by Disturbance nervously taps its way inward before growling out the message against a somewhat spartan and stark substrate of sound.  In good time though the band clatter and batter with glorious fury and hard-edged affect that leaves no room to doubt what the band are about and their political bent.  The song is a meat-mincer for certain powermongers, I reckon they will enjoy the feast.  Zoo Party freshen the soundscape next with the mighty fine uplift of 'Wake Up'.  I like this band, I have seen them 'live' and worn the T-Shirt til it dissolved on my back.  This fresh and happening number is executed with uplifting melody whilst a wealth of power-riffery is donated as well as an-all round infectious enthusiasm that I for one am utterly smitten by.   This is a pinnacle of the CD, a moment to jump up to and clear the fuckin' noggin with.  A rock and roll example played with tight accuracy and awash with lucid lyrics - ideal man, ideal.

Next up and Bono! spill 'Bullshit' - a contrasting song that starts in mucky, crawling fashion before getting all slap-happy and going Hell-for-Leather with a blistering attack of acoustic vehemence.  The execution is exact and done in double quick time which is how I like my sonic beatings to be delivered.  I am not overly keen on the opening sequence but when the accelerator hits the floor I am all agog - there be good fury here!  '1984' by Criminal X is a rapid effort, built on amphetamine urgency and good-to-honest punk rock basics.  The theme is typical, the whole operation uncomplicated and of a certain formulated style which should raise critical reactivity from this long-sonically soaked twat.  Alas, I know no better and am tickled by this song - I think it is something in-built, inescapable and what makes me tick - ah fuck it!

Blisterhead bounce in with a beauty next.  'Border Control' reflects a good band thinking on their feet and pouring out a strong nagging tune interspersed with some good administered verseage.   The cool and clashing works a treat, the underlying bass is a strong component that gives the song extra energy and the surges in the midst prove that the band I saw in the flesh were really that good!  'Hangover' by Plan of Attack follows, it is a good old Thing-esque 'clobberin' time' belt out with great Oi touches and cobbled cacophony to boot.  Forthright, dealing with a night on the piss and the consequences, this is bog standard bollock booming noise we have heard a million times before but here the mix is spot on, the aggression nicely held in check and the flow very effective.  When playing the CD fully through this one instantly sticks in the noggin and, from first to the textual assessment being tapped in, I find myself taken.

I crack on, and see that Save The Embers begin with a holler, slam along with a modernised vibe that sees urgency overspill and much ado about something enter the listening fray.  'Everett' has many clichéd touches from a certain spiked era and is quite obvious from where it is borne and where it will primarily be lapped up.  Tis a strong and thrashing tune and maybe not totally agreeable to my palette but it certainly packs a punch and oozes talent.   It keeps the angles varied and one alert - that is necessary for every CD.   Social Schism tear-it up next, a band (like many others here) who played a couple of FP gigs before disappearing into the great all-consuming void.  'Squatter for A Day' makes up for what it lacks in finesse by showcasing a seething hunger and a political need to get the job and message relayed.   The attack is concentrated and vicious, played with an uproaring passion and focused with great clashing tonality.   I liked this lot, this is evidence why, tis a great shame they came, went and many still ask 'who'.

First Time Riot were always held in high regard by me and when playing a few of my gigs never ever let me down.  The band exuded a certain class, just like here, and always brought to the tonal table a clear, well-structured sound that gave birth to many a fine ditty.  'Accelerate' is another stand-out moment on this CD, a lucid, liquid affair that is an instantaneous attraction with all areas neatly blended and effective.  The band do this kind of stuff with great ease and I spin and spin with utter joy - excellento.   Next and an arse-ripping molestation via Revenge of the Psychotronic Man who spill their all with 'Beer For Breakfast'.  As per, tis a fast paced number, built on tight application and a need to get the job done in double quick time.   This combination makes the song a winner - any slackness would make for an obvious faux pas, any delay would dilute the offering.   The change in vocals enhances the delivery and I am very much in the groove.  Nowt wrong with a good tear up, nowt wrong with early morning boozing - thumbs raised. 

Into the darkened depths of the CD I plough, tis a long and intriguing wander. 

White Flag kick in next, old school swings come, the retro snot of yesteryear is snorted and yet again we get another decent listening experience showcasing the varied offerings the Deadlamb crew have pushed forward over many years.  'Radio Free Misanthropia' is a rocking and rolling tune borne to convince those with heads doused in tunes of yesterday, and those of a more modern school still liable to like a good strut.  Plenty of swing in the style here, plenty of positives to acknowledge which, of course, I do.  Shoplifters offer up 'Carnivore Heart' next, a song that is built on melodica more than anything else and has the light and tuneful approach that has never been my favoured musical brew.  Having said that, there is more regularity and listenability here than I first deemed and as I re-spin I grow with the flow.  Easy listening for people in an easy mood I reckon.  I would have preferred more acidity but then again this is a sweet change and very much needed.

I am heading down the back stretch, by fuckin' crikey I have dragged my feet here but there is never any point in rushing a review, especially a review of a compilation.

The Nerks rough it up with the raw and ready 'Pedro's Case', a scuzzy number with an unaffected approach that charms and wins the sway of the crummy cacophonic senses.   I am not sure what the fuck the band are on about here but in this instance, I couldn't care less.   The application is spirited, the outcome rougher than the complexion of Anne Widdecombe and the rawness more tender than the ringpiece of one Liberace - apologies for these descriptions I have none.   From this delightful loutish lilt, we enter the delicious rocked masterclass of 'Charlie' by the refreshing and evergreen sounding Leather Zoo.   The band played out their own style of pleasing and impacting noise and this is one example of the many choice cutlets they professionally presented.   Well-constructed, relentless in its movement and shifting from one accent to another with incredible ease this is a wonderful highpoint of a very rewarding compilation and I for one am revisiting the Leather Zoo back catalogue as a result - job done.   From a cutlet of controlled sonic passion to a full-on sizzle dished up in swift and accurate style, a style that the band, The Septic Psychos, are utterly renowned for.  In a 'live' setting the crew are a display of relentless energy and blazing racket-making, this they transfer to the silver circle with relative ease and here, blast your conkers to Kingdom Come with a quite thrilling assault.  Feel the power, feel the bleeding desire, enjoy the beating you wonderful set of noise-loving twats!

A batch of 4, I am racing to the final full stop.   The Might Midgets groovily move in with the 4-cables trembled.  An abrasive guitar stutter chops before the melodic first verse comes followed by a vocal input burnt to an utter crust.  The Midget Men are a quality act, mix and match the styles within one movement with exacting and impressive aplomb and since hearing their opening explosions a few years back now I have found very little to criticise (if anything at all) - there is no reason for that to change here.  The Tans knock one off next with 'Devil Eire'.  A strange computerised sounding opening leads us into a dense deposit of pressing rhythm that eventually works alongside a snarling oral bite that is not prepared to take any shit.  This song almost feels apocalyptic in its strain, it is a real harsh scabbing on a CD with many invasive crusts and clashings.  A heavyweight piece for sure, disgusted, diseased and utterly pissed - lovely.   The chasing track is another zenith on this ever-dazzling silver circle of sound.   Runnin' Riot produce the goods via 'Frank' - a superb stop start sequence opens, the impetus rises and flows, the unified hollerings only heighten the impression made.   The whole composite here is beefy, bollock-bursting and vitriolic and gets the job done in a rather quicker way than expected.   For those frustrated by things not as long as they would like - please pop more pills, see your local nob doctor or, in this instance, press the replay button you lazy gits.  I rate this one very highly - length doesn't matter.   SMZB finalise this fistful of four with the chanted and bag-piped serenade of '10 Years Of Rebellion'.  A cross-thatched sound that brings in some accented flavours and specific tones that will be met by utter glee from those in certain noisy niches.  The opening may be corned, the general creation somewhat obvious but there is a time and place for this kind of warbling and wire wanking and although not a particular favourite of mine I can see where it would go down well and its value on this hefty compilation.  The mix is spot on, as is the flow, I am just not in line here.

The last 5, by heck my lugs are frazzled.

Electric Frankenstein swagger up next and snottily offer 'Rock City Rocks' - a groovy number strutting with a cock swagger, posturing and posing with great unadulterated assuredness.   The vibrations come from a pit were sweating, long haired louts indulge and get their hirsute bits all steamed up.  This is not a chosen snippet of sound that I would stray towards but, when in its local quivering area, I am happy to jig along and appreciate - I know my sonic place though.   'Urban Rape' by Valdez gets back to things more bog standard with a wound up straight-ahead drilling that finds its furrow and stays within it.  The energy and overall animation are applaudable but a terser running time and a swift alternative blow-out within the mix would have accentuated all areas.   The band do what they do with great efficiency, at this late juncture though I wanted just a little more.

A 'Kick In The Chest' comes next, the culprits of this cacophonic assault are California Redemption, a unit who throw in their all, offer much changing of direction as well as great funky-monkey gumption.   A blend comes of something quirkily popped, retro and modern with technicality the order of the day which of course, will keep the 'musos' intrigued.  I am not a 'muso', just a doofing fan, but there is much to appreciate here and once more, something a little different to add to this ever-growing rhythmic recipe.   The penultimate track comes from Lucien who sing the praises of the 'Unholy Lord of Rock'.  Again we jump on the train to 'Rocks'-Ville' and jerk things off with abandon and perspired desire after a brief rumble and six-wired sex shimmer.   The pace is zipping, the hunger from the throat and the electric components urgent and the skin attack is whizzed up and happening.  If you were thinking of nodding off at this late stage, don't - this will help keep thee awake.

The closure comes and something wonderful is needed.  What we get is the quite brilliant nastiness of 'FNG Little Babies' by the very raw, ready and rhythmic Future Hate.  I gushed about this song in a review a few years back, I am re-listening here and understand why I was so excited.  The spillage is poisonous, wound up and simmering, the message may be blurred, the message may be obvious - the wild trashy intent though is there for all to understand.   I love this blow-out, the raw aggression and from the doom laden-opening to the last gob off this is a beauty.

So, there ya go - 33 tracks, all dealt with, all consumed and considered and now is the time to fuck off and play this gem a few more times.  If you want to help a label doing its bit, discover a few new bands and have a good musical blow out this CD will meet your requirements - great stuff.

   
1

RADIOACTIVE RATS - RAT RACE

The riotous, raw-boned, ear-destroying Rats have appeared on 2 Fungalised gigs thus far, I have been greatly taken by the avalanche of power produced.  Upon visiting the venue where they where duly exposed (ooh missus), to pick up some gardening gear for another DIY project, I was given the band’s latest CD to review by the landlady - apparently the crew didn't have my address and so sent it to the place from where my gigs are played out.  I returned home eager and excited and these are my thoughts on what I consider to be a hefty piece of listening material.

We begin with an impacting instrumental burst known as 'Intro'.   The machines are kicked into immediate action, the gnawing teeth of the tonality bite to the bone with lusting desire to make that all important initial impression.   The grinding gears move with unified precision, nail the intent to the sonic wall and then machine-gun away any remaining resistance you may have.  Guts are exposed, something visceral issues from the nucleus of the noise and I am immediately set into situation 'red alert' - I just love a good opening instrumental - cracking stuff.   The follow-up to this juggernaut of discordance needs to hold its own and that it duly does with great magnificence.   'Heads Of Nations' is a steaming behemoth breathing fiery breath and mauling your attentive flesh with wild abandon.   The dominating blast of furnace'd angst is built on hammer-tongue skin slapping, lightning fast wire molestation and the very ready roaring lass at the helm.  Like a banshee with a throat laden with blazing razors the output is searing, cutting and a complete painful pleasure.   The whole blend is animated, volcanic and victorious and for me, this is one of the best hard-edged tunes I have heard in a fuckin' long time.  I play this opening combo over and over and am utterly smitten - would it be greedy of me to expect a hat-trick?  It seems not as 'New Order, New War' slightly alters the tempo but keeps up the blitzkreiging   bombardment with great emboldened insistence.  The embers glow, we are serenaded, pummelled and gradually groomed.  The third song in this opening gambit advances, the tempers rise, infuriation becomes the master of the situation and it isn’t long before all Hell is let loose.  We are backed into a corner, kicked to cacophonic fuck and doesn't it just feel mighty good.  The acoustic fists fly in at double speed, laden with spite and venom - this completes the threesome I so much desired - baboom.

'Your God' comes next, smacks your face with repetitive sound smashes before the first verse travels at punishing speed along a trackway both rugged and rattling.   The chorus is pronounced, sinewy and straining - it makes for a quite impressive contrast.  The route is re-followed, there is no let-up in the lofted standard, one remains aurally agog, one is kept on the back foot and can only nod in acceptance of a darn good puke up.  This is supreme heavyweight throbbing liable to blow ones fuse and make one rectally bleed whilst pinging with zeal.   Yes, I exaggerate not, I am very much bowled over thus far - more of the same please – oh and a new pair of underduds too!

Onto '1984' we go, the stampeding action follows a terse stage setting.   Thompson-gun fire mows down the backdrop of sound with peppering accuracy whilst the lead roar banshee bellows with scorched earth fury and slams home her verbals with sincere spirit.   The massive attack is of blinding authority and is a veritable sonic scud aimed true and ready to blow your bollocks to kingdom come.   The muscularity of this (and all other movements) is momentous and puts the crew firmly on the noise-making map - there be a future bright for this band, all many need to do is listen, understand and push.

A quick brace.  'Eye For An Eye' is deliberate strident stamping that throttles and thrusts with a really direct and demanding authority.  The path it walks is not one to get in the way of and the complete full-piston-pumping machine-like forthrightness is a quite crushing delight.   The female at the front is up on a dais of victory - thermally scorching all the on-looking victims with red-eyed passion.  This is music not for the faint of heart, not for the trembling leaf who likes things gentle - no this is for the absorbed, the immersed, those indulgent and appreciative of all things hefty and happening - great stuff.  The follow-up punch to this severe abdomen dig is slapped down under the name of 'Rat Race', an insane explosion of psychotic temperament that sees things smoulder, surge and ultimately destroy.   There are questions posed, the creeping malevolence unfolds, nay blossoms, into a black rose of ill-will, with reaching thorns looking to infect and arouse one's attitude.   When the action becomes more zested and zooming the effect is utterly gratifying - the band are at the top of their game here - I am loving this entire album - wow!

The last 3, I crack on.  'Reach The Sky' is from the lunatic fringe of music making with a blistering scatter-twatter hail of bullets opening the onslaught before a double -gob grunt takes us into a somewhat laid back moment of consideration.   The ravaging power-assault follows - we repeat once more then get placed in a headlock of commanding cacophony.  The squeeze applied is inescapable, the pain quite thrilling and as we lose consciousness and drift to the final silence I think we must accept the sounds offered here are just fuckin' brilliant.  'Prisoners' is the penultimate blow-out, a slam-down of full-on pressurised commitment that pounds and pronounces before letting rip and driving itself forth into the nucleus of your cranial recognition.   A sludgy stride comes, a swift dash whilst all the while the exactitude of the mix and the caring message hits home.  This short creation is well-placed at this late juncture and keeps one alert and ready for the finale.  The closure comes via a cover, namely 'The Guns Of Brixton' by The Clash.  Leaving the reggae-roots and rhythms alone the band take the lyrical content based on the heavy-handed manners of the police as well as a certain paranoia.  The song here is an example of 'The harder they come, the harder the stand'.  It is a unique take on the original, scored throughout with the crews own significant style and brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century.  The heavyweight bass line that opens sets the stage, the following noise blast sets the rage, all the while the players remain unified, right up until the final vocal shout out.  This is a sanguine and imposing punctuation mark at the end of one great sonic statement - it goes without saying I have spun this one to utter buggery!

And that is that, and what we have here is a CD that is, in many ways, a truly momentous offering and all signed, sealed and delivered by a unit some adept at their art.  These folk do what they do with good attitude and are willing to muck in and support the DIY cause - for me they are deserved of top class marks all round here and I can't wait for my next RR fix - bring it on. 

   

LUCY AND THE RATS - GOT LUCKY

The 6th review I have done for this lot so there is really no need to fanny around with an intro.  I have a dozen tracks to toss around the palette, 12 tracks I expect to have the comfortable sugar-crush, sweet uplifting rush running throughout and, if I don't feel perkier by the end of this jingling jaunt, there will be something to say about it and say it I will - ooh heck mother - pressure on!

'September' opens proceedings, begins with somewhat reflective sombreness with the dulcet tones contemplative and seemingly hopeful.  A look back over the sun-kissed shoulder to distant memories of days of languid ease and unending warmth are passed over from a song that gets going after a start I am unsure of but a start which is soon forgotten via the bright, life-infusing chorus.  The repeat loop comes, I grow into the groove and nestle down and let the noise infiltrate the pores - I can tell you it ain't no bad feeling.  My initial reservations have been evaporated, the gifted glow is invasive, I fall victim and accept a quite gratifying commencement to a highly anticipated CD.  Next up and 'Real Thing' sweetly strolls forth with a love-leaning ticker beating away with needful innocence and a somewhat fully committed adoration.  The slant is unashamedly popped up corn with an utterly besotted blatancy offered up and done in great 'clichéd' effect.  To be fair, I couldn't give a darn, it is a lovely number - as fresh and as unmolested as a newly blossomed daisy - and the acoustic aroma it emanates is simplistically invigorating.  I inhale deeply and am duly gratified.

Onwards as per.  'Not One Tear' drips from the speakers without any lachrymal assistance.  It is a sombre and sad tune but the orb-borne droplets are held back as a cool aloofness is adopted.   The slow hesitant approach is graceful, emotionally stained and very unaffected.   There is a subtleness, a gratifying fragility and of course a wonderful diamond-clear clarity that makes this a real umpteen carat creation of the most tenderest proportions.  It may be considered soppy in some ways, a bit too doe-eyed but there is a strength within the weft, I am greatly taken.  'Time To Time' is a more forthright popsicle dripping with the usual flavours and elevating the taste buds into a tingling euphoria with nothing more than a simply concocted recipe blended to a tee and presented with such utter delight.  Each component is proffered forth with complimentary consideration and with all players in a gloriously appealing unity.  I need not dwell here - this band are making things mighty easy for me.

A swift 3 to assess.  'On Fire' is limpid tranquillity emanating a crystal-dropped glow borne from a purity and an abandonment to the senses.  A drop-back to retro vibes and things slightly 'Spector-ised' makes this ultimately basic song slip down the assessing orifice without any inconvenience and with great appealing ease.  It is a transient listening experience, it comes, goes, tickles the senses whilst present but is easily left behind - this is far from an insult!  'Pinch Myself' has a great vigor, a lovely opening drive that raises the tempo and a cutting roughness that I for one am happy to be scarred by.   There is an earthy honesty in the lick, an obvious old-school punk/new wave thriftiness that sees the goodness of the basic elements used to their maximum potential - I think this is a real mean mover with a furrowed brow and obvious determination in the drive.  It is a genuine stand-out moment amongst many attention snatching offerings - I play to buggery - needs must.   The final throw-out of the snatched three is entitled 'Dark Clouds' a fruity number streaked through with flavours subtle and flavours obvious.   Again the chipper approach dictates, the shiny-bright positivity holds the reins and we are nudged along with a more than pleasing noise.  It seems that this is a quite easy formula to follow and even if that is the case, to execute matters this well certainly takes some doing.  I am struggling to find any faults thus far - long may it continue!

Into the back 5 with 'Lucky' opening on stripped bare tones and confessing to a sonic sin many of us are perhaps guilty of.  Playing heavy metal, to some, is unforgiveable, to keep it punky is far more correct although variety should always be the spice of every lilt-laden life.  This song is a right old soppy shit and in truth, even though is sweetly tickled, this is my least favourite and a bit too swooning for its own good and one that I am not that keen on.  In fact, the more I listen, the more it grates - sorry folks, I skip on and receive another 'Sorry' - this time with bubbling buoyancy, a confident and slick pootle into pastures favoured where the musical flowers sway in colourful union and make for a sense-alerting experience that works a treat.  The zested and cushy combine to make a fragrant pillow of sound one can easily fall into and...disappear.  The verse and chorus cuts are wonderful, especially the latter component which is spruced up with great wire weaving and an uplifting lilt I utterly adore.  I am picking this has the Top of the Popsicle Pops - I taste over and over and have still yet to feel 'yucky' - oh we greedy bastards of multi-flavoured noise.

'Get Down' is a cool dude, swinging low with a deep groove that will duly appeal to the thoughtful, the ones in the shadows watching, the one's looking to get away and float on high and leave the rabble to it.  Tis easy to get ensnared and walk along the precipice but when all questions are asked I can only feel that music such as this is part of the big salvation.  We all fly too high at times and, like Icarus, come crashing down and left in a heap of regrets.   The answer - get yer wings fixed, play this ditty, reconsider and get flapping again - I think it may be a pleasure to do so.  'TV' languidly falls in sweetened droplets from a persuaded sound system that has now been groomed and re-tuned and utterly g'rat'ified.  A craft stealth serenade is thrown in to catch you off your guard and to groom you into a state of submission.  I had a problem with the previous minimalist construct, not so here - this is a lovely lullaby to be cacophonically cuddled by and to chill along with.  A song that gets better and better and one done, once more, with very little intricacy and overwhelming force – result!

We finish with the fantastically squishy 'Jelly Baby' a song that sums up what this CD has been about, how the band operate and the style of sonic goodness squeezed and squirted your way (in an innocent and non-sexual kind of way of course).  Tis a delicious punctuation mark at the end of a quite pleasant and uplifting tonsil-trembling statement and I for one clap like a giddy kipper injected with a glee-based serum that makes me look rather silly - and I don't fuckin' care!  Great stuff.

12 tracks, 11 I love, 1 I don't but overall what a peach this is.  Right in line with what the crew do, utterly simplistic but effective and with a delightfully inoffensive, non-political slant that is needed in this struggle we know as 'life'.  If you need a bit of sunshine in your musical existence, then invest some time beneath the rhythmic rays cast forth here and...take it easy!

   

BRONTOSAURUS - THESE PEOPLE

A new band on the block and one that has been cruelly tagged with the term 'Britpop'.  I hate that fuckin' add-on, in fact I hate most of the shit that was produced during a period when dilution took hold and many wannabe rebels could take an easy option by listening to some utter crud.  As you can imagine, by reading this opening rant things are not looking too positive for the review but, I am considerate punk bastard and give good time and honesty to this request and will listen in, delve deep and take an objective review whilst obviously swinging in with a few personal points.  I am in tune with other weavings from some of these creators and I have been won over many times - here it may be a case of the critical boot swinging or the gob opening wide and eating some much needed humble pie - either way it is all par for the warped course of music reviewing.

'(Theme From) These People' is a delightful opener that is both light, fluffy and simplistically observant.  The spotlight falls on the ubiquitous 'no-one', celebrates the reason-less life that, paradoxically brings something quite comforting to the table.  To accept nothingness, to be no part of the big scheme, to be a mere insignificance can be a refreshing state of affairs and for me this is wholly captured by this unassuming slap of honesty that may be sobered but has a certain acidity the detached need to take note of.  We may be regarded as nothing, we are always something, I feel a call for equality rising to the surface amid the jingle-jangle poppish-ness.  What a fine opener and the brass accentuations are just ideal - one down, 11 to go!  'Band Of The Week' shimmer-shakes in, sings from the heart of the failing muso, the one who fleetingly became the flavour of the month (or week in this case) and was soon forgotten amidst the ever-changing fickle sea of sonic insincerity.  This is a real charmer that touches a heart that has been close to so much transient abuse.  Many a band I have seen come into the fray with hepped up talk, high hopes and much belief only to disappear into the great all-consuming void where a minor memory is made and a small stain is left on the sucking karsi of consumption.  Disappointing in many ways, tis the way it is, and this song captures the whole situation with a pseudo-happy/pseudo-sad style and the mockery of the McCartney-ised creation a cute touch.  This musical slice of happenstance is masticated and the poignant flavours are not wasted.

Next and 'Blogger' hesitantly taps in, deals with a shit job, a shit corner one has been backed into.  The underlying comical aspect is one we can relate to and an area streaked through with an obvious reality that is worth its utter weight in gold is observed.   Seeing a band dream, piss in the wind and just give it a go is something rather endearing and the disappointment, the brush down and the re-injection of effort are something we should all make extra note of.  These are heart-touching moments for the wallower beneath the radar - you should never take it for granted.  This is an accurate song and a real soother with a keen eye on what goes on beneath at level ‘hopeless’.  The better song of this next snatched brace however is 'A Do-It-All Dad's Denim Dream' - a concoction of love, DIY dabbling (literally) and banging and hammering away (perhaps literally too) done with great innocent gusto.  The upflow of the ditty is delightful, soft, soppy, superbly squishy whilst having firm foundations of acoustic accuracy.  The besotted deliverer of adoration travels along on the crest of the melodic underflow with believable passion and the whole 'hook, line and sinker' sensation captivates and keeps one...activated.   I really like this one, a fine nifty mover for sure.

'Soundman' deals with the noise-nob-fiddling fellow who, after working with an abundance of clatter creators becomes a jaded and faded example of indifference going through the motions before focusing efforts elsewhere.  We know folk like this, irritated, fed up and looking like they have swallowed a cold turd whilst the tunes fill the air and they are surrounded by people in a better frame of mind.  The song deals with the subject matter in a delicate way, tiptoes around and gives us a short, somewhat bittersweet listening experience.  'Powerpop By Numbers' switches on, tones in, waterfalls with terse sound glistens before reclining and letting the first verse fall with genuine lackadaisical easiness.  The chorus counterbalances the lax approach with more animation and adequate energy before we swing back through the pathway set and enjoy the ambience.  A break is brief, we are soon tumbling to the tape - not bad fellas and in keeping with what ya do - the Fungal judgement - sweet!

As per, my reviewing approach demands I throw in 3 quickies - here we go.   'Winterton Binman' is a tickling tune that has essences of street-life duly Mr Benn-ised and of a quite innocent nature.  Long gone though are the days of humping black-handed workers with a considered disposition.  They are now replaced by dashing detached slaves not placing any pride or respect upon their given role.  I stick with the rose-tinted view, abandon the new crew crud and sit in a sunny street of yesteryear and watch the community hustle and bustle with the tin-bin tippers cracking on, waving a hello to a passer-by and keeping the whole shebang moving - such is the vision inducing naïveté of this song - nice.  The next song is a real beauty and pinpoints many so-called geeks, autistically obsessed and the insanely competitive who add to the rich colour of life no matter how 'mad' they are.  We all know folk like this, they are harmless and in some ways utterly insular but hey, they certainly know their stuff.   'The Supergeek' is, I suspect, a little insight into some personalities of the band and over the years a few of the pluckers have revealed a little more than perhaps they should have done and shown their ‘true collector-mania cum pixel-obsessed, TV Junkie’ selves (tis just a thought).  This offering rekindles memories of comic collecting nuts I have known, hobby-ists who have gone too far and thick-lens wearing coke guzzling maniacs immersed in a world of fantasy - you gotta love em'.  I love this ditty, there is something just so 'off the cuff' and observant!  Slow swinging accents follow a swift tympanic roll and we float on down into 'Contact Centre Adviser' with the hopelessness in the lilt totally recognisable.  I worked in a similar situation and lasted 2 weeks before being shown the door - it was a great moment and I strode home delighted.  The role sapped the spirit, gave me an insight into sub-slavery and made me wonder how the fuck society turns the completely wrong way.  The band don't hang around with this one, they capture the soul-destroying spirit and flow outward - spot on.

'Vegetable Lover' is more of the same, this time a song built on a quick trend that starts cute but soon gets on one's tits.  A relationship begins, a fraudulence is seemingly uncovered, the state of affairs progresses and yet all the while I get visions of a High Fearnley Twattingstall look-a-like, dishing out advice whilst self-appointing oneself as a guru - what a cunt!  I do like this one despite the chilling visions.  Again the smooth undulations and soft applications appeal - there is something cushy emanating forth - eiderdown acoustica to ponder and smile at – zzz!  A tale of hypochondria tiptoes in on keyed nervousness next with pill-popping the order of the day and the inevitable worries far from abated.  'Probiotics And Antacids' accepts the downward slide, takes it that the carcass will fall to pieces and the worry will just keep on mounting.  The tune seems reflective of a mind in trouble, a grey gunk not happy with the state of physical play.  The lilt becomes almost submissive to the call of the fleshy corruption - there is a fascinating horror within.   I like the all-consuming pessimism here, the complete loss of hope - I think I may be a pervert of mental pain but the fact is the band capture matters just right and it deserves good warped acknowledgement.

We finish with 'Band Of The Week (Reprise)' a semi-nude meander down a path already taken, this time more exposed and done in double quick time.  It is a mere sign off, it works adequately and has a certain poignancy - the band will have to start their next album on a chirpier note though – I am waiting.

Done, over and out and hopefully enlightening.  There be a musical monster setting off on a journey - will you be left in its wake wallowing in the dung or will you fall in-line and enjoy watching the doubters get trampled underfoot or...perish the thought...will there be another premature extinction and we will be left wondering...what the fuck!  I hope the band stick at it, I hope the follow-up to this goes a bit more pop-punky, in the meantime, I hope this one gets due note.

   

CHINA SHOP BULL - PUBLIC DISORDER ACT 2

It has been many a year since I last got a fix of CSB in the 'flesh' - as per, they were angled, jizzed and jazzed and mightily effective in putting my sonic soul up the duff with great gratification.  The band have their own street-wise style, a modus operandi that transcends boundaries and throws the whole generic pigeon-holing bollocks into disarray - this is a good thing.  Now, I am faced with the band’s latest 10 track album to molest, dissect and give feedback on - it will be no easy task but therein I am expectant of many problematic delights - hot damn!

'Public Disorder' skank wanks, advances with techno-fied ad-hoc intricacies and is nothing more (and nothing less) than a chain reaction of chasing tuneage that reacts to the instance before and the instance after.  This approach makes for a fascination, an indulgence of many layers that will only be exposed via numerous plays and much cranial involvement.  As I listen deeply and warm liquid drips from every bonse-based orifice I pick up on the talent, the investment of creative time and the inner epileptic tune that really does get me all twitchy.  Like it, loathe it, curl one down on it - the fact is that this collection of cacophonic comrades know what they are doing and come up with tunes laden with longevity and inspiring spice.  This is a solid opener, lively, dissident and paradoxically indirectly direct - nice!  The follow-up punch comes at the unprotected eavesdropping lugs with good 'Progress'.  This cocky swagger is wise-ass, has a glint in the sharpened eye and speaks with a vocal frustration from a street where the neglected forever hang on to the shit end of the stick.  Between the tumbling waterfall of words, the brass penetrates, the musical swingers keep the flow molten.  In the mix we get much disgruntlement with a society that is sick, divided and kept on the eternal backfoot by the powers that be, you know the ones, the suited and booted people still so foolishly vote into a place of control - daft cunts.   Eventually we escape from the verbal overspill and hit the final gob-free escapade that full-stops matters with pronounced and sanguine conviction - this is a cracker!

More grooviness comes from the sleek and suited 'Step In The Dojo'.  A brief blown intro sets the scene, a mysterious sub sci-fi sequence follows before we rap along and then metamorph into a purely anarchic fragmented fuck-up of exciting disorder that is somehow held together by the merest and most insightful musical thread.  There is a stagger and swagger whilst the brassage penetrates many a passage and the gob pseudo-garbles and incessantly spills the verbals.   The sharp mix, wise-ass approach and again, full-blooded sanguinity all captivate and keep me listening with eager intent.  3 down - no complaints thus far!  '2 to 1' is a political point maker and melting pot view shaker with an explanation of a certain situation many debate with anger and yes...hate.  The cool, finely tempered approach displays the band’s standpoint and puts across its reasoning in the most languid, rhythmic way.  The opening gambit is played low, gently smoked and with the usual snazziness.  Beneath the perspiration-free brow are two enraged orbs looking out at a scene gone spiteful with much shit hurled and many fronts of frustration unfurled.  The sonic sori are cast unto the listening wind, heed is taken of the exactitude of tonality and thoughtful work input - yeah, I am having this and at the end of it think 'fuck all divisiveness'.

'Mental Health' is a hard tune to stomach, a real cerebral melting pot of head flashes, mis-firing inner cortex pistons and a real nerve-jangling bout of acoustic upset.  Akin in part to something 'Cravat-ted', splashed through with Jazz'ed off-the-cuff-ness, whilst squelching along like a head-fucked bugger ploughing through the gloopy thought-nagging treacle.  Being a mental health sufferer myself I find this both relevant, dis-rhythmic and a painful pleasure.  The band capture the sensation of when the belfry goes twang, call for more recognition of the ones with bothered bonses and crack out a tune with much angularity.  It may not be the easiest listening experience but sometimes - needs must!

2 reviews on the double-quick bounce next - 'NHS' pulses in, indicates a sign of life with the brass and tympanics adding to that glorious feeling.  Acute buzz-fuzz attacks persist whilst the verbals overflow with gushing necessity.  The passion shines, the care for that which is precious is more than apparent, we need to be less blasé, take heed of that which is a gift and a real blessing to all our lives.   This song has a snazzy style, nips at the acoustic consciousness and keeps one in tune with respect for an integral part of any decent system.  Watch out folks, this may be a good tune but don't get carried away - the thieves and privatisation pirates are at work - use this as fuel to keep you active and kicking back.

I like 'Opium Of The Bastards' - from the initial hesitancy of the digital pulses through the growing brain sparks of soothing psychosis to the general feel of a head swim running smooth.   When the horns of brass invade the tranquillity factor heightens and the nascent trepidation of what was is soon forgotten.   The song grows in stature, the song grows in worthiness and this instrumental invasion is greatly appreciated.

The final hat-trick, 'No News Is Good News' is up for the leading the way with a dig against the misinformation and the constant barrage of negativity via the media madness that invades every attentive pore and every orifice of alertness.  There is a spasmodica within the sonic flow, it makes for a morsel not easily digested and one needs several rotations to duly fall in line with.  This is my least favoured song, the verses are too uneven and don't work with the sparseness although when progression is had I find myself more taken.  I stick with it - am convinced and unconvinced - tis a quandary that arises too often, again I must stress, reviewing music is a bastard.  'Tuff Like Rhino Back' waffles with wiseness, features 2 warblers known as Jugganaut and Dialect, heaves and postures with pronounced tribality and allows something very primitive to transpire.   The band have dropped back to basics, kept things simple yet paradoxically verbally convoluted and what I perceive is a headjam that, if not in the mood, can be ruddy painful.  If the mood swings, and the mental position is apt, the levels of intrigue can soar, you just gotta pick your time and place with this one.  A bit of whizz may help but for goodness sake don't pop a couple of Tramadol and chance your listening ear - you may ended up in a rubber room.

We close with 'Enlighten', a tune that thumps in from varied angles, wanks itself ragged with a final fling of fury, throws in many slanted nuances and spews up the sonic shizzle with great aggravated alertness.  The all action flurries come like a Hippo on an amphetamine and Viagra mix (thick and fast) and the impregnation of our minds is completed via one last urgent heave-ho that leaves us well and truly fucked - ooh me cacophonic chuff.

I am still a fan of CSB, they do what they do with high focus, within genre specifics and with much appreciated quality.  They cultivate a sound that is ideal for trespassing those restrictive rhythmic boundaries and that is never a bad thing.  I suggest, if you want to shake up your listening routine, then get a dose of this and jig - simple hey!

 

DANNY CLEAVER - I WENT DOWN TO THE BASEMENT

Loud, snotty and capable of shifting the most indolent ass Danny Cleaver vomits up a 4-track treat here with a vigour I for one am appreciative of.  Some people have been bummed by insatiable fatman in need of a thrill, some folk have used various vegetables to achieve heady sensations borne form gusseted zones, me, I prefer a good blast of honest music to get myself invigorated although I do enhance the experience by using semi-frozen sausage and back issues of Anal Internationale - that approach however is not needed here.

With kecks fastened, all lower equipment tucked safely away I press the play button and am struck by a forthright guitar burst that enlivens the guts, gets the bowels bubbling and forces me to shit out some scribbling of well-deserved praise.  'I Went Down To The Basement' rocks hard, rocks true and, after examination leaves me with a freshly torn arsehole.  The throat work is done with a certain sizzled and strained effect, the focus of the tunnelled wire-work is unstoppable and the direct and high-action approach is what delightfully pecks at my ever-yearning senses.  There is no introductory nonsense here, no carefully planned build up - the artiste goes at it from the off and from this starting point to the final thrust of action I am animated, bowled-over and appreciative - a fine blow out this and as straight-ahead as you could hope for.

'No Direction' gets the steam rising, the pistons pump with charged up energy and from the utter instant that this song kicks in we all enthused.  The urgency, the foaming desire, the overspill of frustrated need all conspire to work alongside a whipping rotation of speed-laden musicianship that blurs and whirrs in one breathless attack that is all over and done with in 1 minute and 19 seconds.  A short, sharp power punk snippet with the garaged tonality tattooed throughout and the hunger obvious.  No regrets?  You betcha!

The final two tracks of this 4 track super thrust are merely instrumental versions of that which has been - 2 repeat ditties without vocal assistance and destined for your own vocal gushings to accompany.  These gob-free throw-outs accentuate the vitality of the music and are just darn good sounds to use as a tonal tonic and get the carcass moving.  There is something primitive borne as the brain is sparked into life and the body duly follows - sometimes our prehistoric instincts are to be trusted - tis the only way - back to basics forever.

A very zestful and impacting release this, terse, triumphant and with a radiating electricity that ignites the positive molecular structure within.  Sometimes you just got roll with the way the rocking rhythms are thrown - I have no complaints about that methodology here - switch on, crank up the volume and...ping!

 

BRIAN BORDELLO - BORIS JOHNSON MASSACRE

I like The Bordellos - they confound, confuse, create with home-made flavours and, more often than not, tickle the Fungal senses.   They are a highly productive DIY band and have had me absorbed over many rotating circles.  Here, Brian Bordello goes alone, a lo-fi immersed bugger who won't sell out and who is more productive than a council estate lothario with swallows on his neck - ooh those semen-spitting demons.  This time, we have two acoustic tracks from the perpetual purveyor of sonic experimentation - I am happy to donate some time sharing my thoughts!

'Boris Johnson Massacre' has a light skip in the strum despite the utterly factual content of the song.  The mop-headed comedian voted into power by people not-thinking has made a mess, another contributor in a long line of donators to the crap-heap of life.  The sweet serenade has a somewhat beaten acceptance of a situation best deemed as farcical and ultimately hopeless.  The lilt is soft, lightly applied with the vocal style 'as-a-matter-of-fact'.  It stinks to buggery of The Bordellos accents and that is no bad thing.  There are no frills here, no heart-stopping thrills but just a sobered observational flat-line that, duly does what it sets out to do and, in the process, appeals to my earthy desires and political disgust.  The Tory Jackanory Story - tis a comedy still unfolding and destined to inspire the disgruntled to keep on creating.

'Laughing' is the better song of the brace with a slow repetition coming to a tepid simmer that remains easy, caressing and highly considered.  The question asked is delivered with a soporific slant, we are on the cusp of slumbering sonica where eyes are lidded and we are left at the final silence to drift off and ponder.   Some music is made to provoke physical activity, some is cultivated to promote cerebral consideration - this song is an example of the latter and is a nice counterbalance to the flip-side product.  I play this ditty over and over and am absorbed - it is a great contrast to the rowdier tunes I get bombarded with.

So two somewhat monochrome tickles from a prolific plucker and keeping the misshapen ball of cacophonic consternation rolling forward.  Tis a flavour of DIY some may spit back out, some may swallow in greedy gulps but something I am happy to sip at and roll around the assessing palette - make of that what you will!

 

LITTERBUG - ABSTRACT MELODIES SAYING TERRIBLE THINGS

From northern shores comes a band who have always been appreciated by this Fungal git due to creating a cacophony that is quite individual, of varied flavours and with a distinctly quirked, hard-worked edge that has a concrete level of nouse and talent.   The crew are a good bunch, have a deep doofing streak that I thoroughly respect and when they play 'live' deliver the goods and maintain their amiable approach - which is a real vital aspect of being in this, and any, scene.  I am up-to-speed with Litterbug reviewing duties and am faced here with a 16 track task - as per, I am up for it!

Scrunched and somewhat nostalgic strings open 'Push It Away' and before we know it the LB louts are delivering a very confident, spruced up, but still raw tune that has all the hallmarks of the bands very own sub-pop-punk sound and somewhat off-kilter chiming.  Bass and guitar collide and operate as one efficient unit, the sticks react with regularity and a certain naturalness whilst the recognisable oral donator does his ever-reliable and effective stuff.  There is a good buzz going on here, a hove of gratifying activity I am happy to poke a stick into - oops, I think I have been stung!

From the opening assuredness I progress onto 'Confused', a verbalised start is quickly swept with vigour under the table of tonality before a full on clatter of noise comes with the usual keen and all-consuming vitality.   The construction glistens from a multi-faceted lump of loud and colliding gusto with the impetus unstoppable and only broken by a quick holler out and a reinforcement of the zeal shown.  This is a grower the self-obsessed will cower at, the few may consider, the odd one may use as a tool to become a better bod - the song however, still works.  Next up, a groovy bass and guitar contest, a push into the meat of the melody, the usual oddments of acoustica are brought together whilst the band emphasise the fact that we are all just test-dummies for many a big plan.  'Guinea Pigs' is a cute mover, a reactive sound that seems to have the players instinctively bouncing off one another and making for a very comfortable and natural sound.  Having listened to more than my fair share of LB produce I feel the band are playing within a very rewarding zone at the mo with evidence proven via these opening 3 tracks.  As per, I replay just to be sure and reckon this latter effort has greatest style and a fair darn wallop - ooh me cacophonic conkers.

'Time Machine' next - twisted cables come, a sweet well-manipulated bit of bass bothering leads us into a pinging ditty with the usual heavily scrunched sound and forever advancing arrangement present.  There is a good clash of that which is perky and that which is persistently progressive here with my favour leaning towards those bits that really have a fruity feel.  This is a continuation of all that has been and all that is to come - I have little extra to add (which makes a change).  Sharp electric shocks follow via 'Getting Fined', a rather piercing song that deals with the taking of cash from folk not following in-line and treading on the pages of the easily overlooked 'rule-book'.  The construction of the song is a trifle messy for me and with escalations, discomforting discordances and a somewhat patchwork feel not really hitting my sensors of appreciation.  I don't know why this is, there is some good musicianship going on here but something seems just out-of-sync.  I think the band try and do too much with what should be a proud-to-be simple song.   The end wind down fails to inspire.

The next duo begins with a craftily manipulated bass-line injected with the odd neurotic string twinge before the opening oral gambol comes with a fine angular snag offered.  'I Don't Want Anything' sees the Litterbuggians at their finest with that oh so identifiable lilt combined with the tonal qualities that always seem from a place of opposing melody and sub-awkward timbre.  The arrangement is, as ever, deliberately off kilter - I like that!  'Let The Night Unfold (Part 2)' begins with a dramatic horror-tinted pseudo-explosion before rolling along in the pre-arranged manner with the wheels of the song seemingly on the brink of leaving the rails, especially after the sub-chorus yellings.  This is a severe patchwork of sound, at times jingling, at others jangling, it is a real test of the reviewer’s temperament.   The opening verse is bouncy and easily grabbed, the swift chorus is somewhat elusive and needs time - it comes, goes, jumps around in spasmodic fashion and leaves me at least, somewhat confounded.  I need to play over and over and duly do - I am gradually falling in line - the bastards are having me.

As per - a quick assessment of four to keep the textual oils flowing.  'Alienated' is a 1 minute 50 second semi-sing-a-long inspiration to keep the toes-tapping, the hand-slapping (on the chest if you are one of those trendy fuckers) and the fingers clicking (if you consider yourself ‘cool’.  Lots of gumption and goings-on are paraded in and around our aural receptors and I for one am taken by the active little snippet.  'Midnight Dream' briefly flashjacks, indulges in a great fluent and eager progression with the gobwork incessant and the melody at times reaching a new found liquidity that the band really do need to harness and use for future cheese-pop chunks that may see them produce something unexpectedly wonderful.  Here there is much to entertain and perhaps frazzle the brain but man, those sub-chorus driftings take things to a new gratifying level - think on chaps, Fungal expects!  'Too Late' gallops with little patience and a refusal to 'fuck around'.  The initial pace is without wayward weaving and forces the cacophonic vehicle through the delicate silence of your soul.   The chorus cut is warped, to the point and done with great haste.  There is a rush in the rhythm, an assured and buoyant uplift of energy that is borne from players almost wanking out the vibes without thinking - the band are certainly accomplished and comfortable with what they do and are still in the musically fecund groove.  The last of the fertile and evanescent assessments is the disgruntled and the partly disjointed 'Cut Throat Capital'.  The song starts with a bright and breezy clarity and something akin to a routine considered 'orthodox'.  The creation works well and is an efficient mover with all cobwebs left in a rather bubbling wake.   The chorus de-escalates down the tonal ladder and adopts that expected 'slanted' style that really is a perpetual curveball I am still striving to grasp and duly puncture.  This one is par for the course, if you are out of line already you will stay that way, if you are on the right track then the journey continues.

'Not A Real Person' takes us into the last five that I will deal with in one great fistful.  This opening thrust is a great ditty and one destined to be thoroughly enjoyed by all those fucked off with the idiocy of the populace, detached from the flow and striving to piss against the wind and ultimately failing.  From the opening starburst a revitalising chant-a-long verse comes that is a great source of energy for the outsider.  I love this one, those spiralling verses are pure quirked poppery of the highest order and the spit back against the consumer shittery is icing on the cake.  'Sludge' stutters, hesitates, tumble tosses before shouting out and striving to escape the cloying and confounding mud that makes life, at times, a fuckin' grind.  The descent into the cacophonic maelstrom is done with oral hollers and proclamations of sub-despair.  The composition is simple enough, is played on a tight wrist and has a certain low-slung rock and roll slackness that appeals.   The song ploughs on and the band instinctively know when the job is done - kaboom.  Next and glass shard tones open 'On The Table' before a scuttling roll over the tympanic membrane is had and the 'state and shout' first verse is upon us.  The angled tones are there once more, the merge into a nebulous chorus comes before we jump back in the loop and continue with the total clashing and bashing incessancy.  Politically alive, kicking with spasmodic serenades and sonically progressing with the standard set, a standard maintained.

The last 2, 'Straight Edge' moves with a sawing action, cuts to the sentient bone and clears the picture for us to progress forward.  The clarity of all components and the final blend is most effective with the end parcel and packaging still done with the tight security and certain tilted style that the crew manipulate oh so well.  I am at a stage here though where I am in need of a really disjointed surprise, something out of sync with the bands procedure - as a result I merely assign this penultimate mover and shaker with a tag of 'OK'.  The last blast sounds, the title of the acoustic escapade is assigned with the appellation of 'Waiting For Something To Happen' - in we go folks.  What we get at this closing juncture is a lively clatter splatter of undying energy and colliding donations that develop into a frisky sing-a-long piece that is very much of the strain set.  From first to last the band have maintained the quality levels, have remained industrious and have hammered away at the cause with efficient insight and application.  Litterbug do what they do, if you are not in sync now I think you never will be.

What is there to add - the band have delivered what was expected and proven themselves over and over but, for me at least, there needs to be some strange and challenging angles thrown in and some new sonic sub-areas explored - the crew have mastered their art now they need to stretch themselves - this is no time to sit on one's posterior or indeed ponder one’s navel - I am still in a state of expectation - greedy noise-loving bastard that I am.

   

KNIFE CLUB - WE ARE KNIFE CLUB

I am fuckin' way behind on many fronts and so this review is rather belated.  Some may be frustrated whilst I have melodically masturbated but it is better to jizz up a review with thought rather than have a rushed back alley tug and leave the thoughtful seeds splashed against a wall where their lack of insight will fail to bear any provocative fruit.  So, at last I have rubbed away and eventually yanked the plank to 'Opinions-ville' - the destination reached, when metamorphed into descriptive passages, goes something like this!  I could add that 'I hope you like it' but in truth I am far from bothered - all I can do is listen and throw one off the textual wrist without sexual sub-suggestions - tis all up front with me, suck on it!   Oh by the way - Knife-Club are an hotch-potch gathering of various musical contributors from here and there within the DIY niche - I should go into details but as I say, I am in need of a good catch-up so please feel free to do your own research you loafing gits.

The opening sub-scrunched tones emerge from the nether layers before a holler comes and we get the first criss-crossing of sex-swords with snarls and spittle battling away via a sinewy verse that leads into a simple but snagging chorus.  The clatter factor of 'Making A Big Deal Of It' has good gumption and finalises itself with a resonating chant ethos - there ain't nowt wrong with parting the butt cheeks and curling one down on the sinister commodity of 'selfishness.  There is a good lick going on here, a fair barb that has many fundamentals to inspire my soul and a vocal violence with good snot snorting effectiveness.  Remember folks - the world doesn't revolve around you!  'Schnitt mit dem küchenmesser' reaches into the kitchen drawer, pulls out the appropriate blade and brandishes with orthodox and simplistic affect.  A quick burst done with all the trimmings of fast-action tersity and the double-ended gob delivery doing its thing.  This is a style well-whipped, will be continued to be flogged by bands of this ilk and it comes, goes and leaves little impact as a result.  It is played well, mixed to a tee and has a fair wallop but...ah those fuckin' pernickety buts!

'Remember The Gold Dollar Sign Hoodie' is a well-composed song with a concrete underlayer of chanting desire vandalised by a forcing urgency that hurls one back in the face of the penny-pinching gripers and general tossbag takers.  The DIY approach and ethics are obvious, the gritty fuzz flow and snapping oral chomp all combine to give the song life and the pace and precision are aspects one cannot really find fault with.   Again we have good join-in and sing-a-long devices operating with convincing clarity and destined to give the 'in the flesh' onlookers a chance to holler along and be included - tis no bad thing!

A swift knuckled bunch of 3 with 'Artex' a restless free-flowing primal sonic scream filled with nervous energy and self-doubting problems.  Having an itchy brain due to thinking about what one has to prove is no good at all - fuck proving anything, just do what you do with good focus and let the buggers think what they will.  The song here is wound up, self-destructive and inflamed - what is needed is a kick up the arse, a harsh word with oneself and more zoning - other than that - I like the fidget-fuck vigour.  'Tibby Tan Tiger' is a sing-a-long snippet many will undoubtedly embrace - you know the ones, the swaying serenaders who holler and then go home and do nowt (I am a cynical bastard).  This one is neither here nor there in my opinion and comes and goes without leaving much of an impression.  It is neatly played and has a good bouncy accent with some tidy, encouraging back hollers but it does little for me - I move on.  The finale of the fleetingly reviewed 3 is the paradoxically entitled 'Working Class Tories' - yes, the mind boggles.  There are many of the blue-soaked shits as well as many reds who vote one way and live the other - you know the ones - a tick in a box and then out chasing the coin, status and the trimmings - silly cunts.  Stepping down off my acidic horse (a horse with a big nob I'll have you know - as if that matters) I find this snarling puke up of agreeable venom a very appealing number with much ado made about something.  The times are trashed, a chance has been lost and a chance to improve the lot of the many (no, not your own life - you gotta think bigger than that) has been missed and now we can duly suck shit and think about where it all went wrong - the answers seem clear, but are they?  Yes, a good flowing burst this and the chanted episodes really do liven up the ticker - job done!

'The 1%' bass grumbles, pronouncements come, a straight double-ended fuzz onslaught comes arrives with an elevated stance taken and a typical noise attack had.  The same can be said for 'I Mean I Probably Would Take An Adidas Endorsement' which is of the same strain that is all well and good but already in danger of being rogered ragged.  Both tracks come and go and leave me unenthused despite being mightily clobbered and having genuinely effervescence.  This is a mere personal viewpoint, it may be a minority judgement but there ya go - I am not paid to tell lies and even if I was...I wouldn't.  I know many who will love this, I know a few what won't - I have said my bit!  'Killing Two Birds With One Stone' completes a hat-trick I fail to be thoroughly inspired by but here were have some good chopping arrangements with the gobbage allowed to expose a fine hunger and further clarity.  I play umpteen times, I feel this one growing on me, my resilience to things hammered is weakening but the following track ups the ante and I am smitten.  'Do You Want A Knife With That Salad' snarls with imposing need, requests the blades of destruction and just gets on with the task at hand with superb barbed relish that entangles the inner sonic core and keeps it snagged right through the cracking finale that is, in truth, repetitive and chanted.  I like this one nonetheless, it works, it triggers an inner applause and hits the right receptors - solid.

2 left, '27% Of Statistics' jumps straight in, wants something more than being just a number, it perhaps asks for the impossible.   The style is as set, the sword of duo edge is cutting and sharp and the rapid-fire action is what many will absolutely thrive upon.  Machine-gun rolls invade, a gnawing accent consumes and the early structure sought is adhered to.  The end comes quickly and we bass-fall into the delightful chant along 'TNSClub 7'.  This closure is a fine episode of hope and resistance with the swiftly nailed verse being a perfect partner for an instantaneously catchy chorus.  This is a good way to end the CD with positive vibes aplenty, an acceptance that all things may not go to plan and the need to dig in that may arise.  There is a good energy in this end punctuation mark, it may be one of the most 'obvious' songs on the CD but I care not - I like it so there ya go.

Not a bad do this, a good consistent blow-out from many well-versed fiddlers still with a need to twang and twiddle in the hope of creating some tonal goodness.  I can see where the band will fit in, I can see many who will love the spillage and, as per, ruddy good luck to em'. The more music being made the better - we should be grateful.

   
1

MOST LIKELY TO FAIL - FAKE EP

The joys of being in the DIY scene are many, as are the pains, but along the way one meets some good folk and a friendship builds.  Sean and Dave of MLTF are 2 fine lads, a joy to know and are music creators I am always happy to do my honest, fair, critical and hopefully helpful bit for.  Here I have been given 5 tracks to listen to before they hit the airwaves, it is a privilege I do not take lightly but will review with the usual ethos and the usual considered way.  The band are now stripped to the basics but seem to be producing some real progressive tuneage with appreciable productive values.   I listen, re-spin and listen some more - here is the lowdown in my usual verbalised style - if you don't get it by now you never will.

'Fake' quickly bursts in, pulsates with pace, moves with a groove before the first verse is delivered.  Matter-of-fact vocals do the business above the live-wire guitar sequence with the drums pounding with good effect and ideal timing.   The blend of all components gets the best from a band who need to get the cylinders sparked up and firing again.  This is a refreshing propulsion and to be honest, it is a complete package that shows how the band have retained their crafty quality laden music but now added the extra sheen I was very keen to see happen.  From point A to point B this creation impresses and finalises in such a way to make for an absorbing listen - and the fact that it realises the amount of frauds out there are plentiful is icing on the acidic cake.  

Next and a strong strum, another pulse, a cold, icy matter-of-fact opening verse of the tersest kind.  This intro though does not reflect what is to come with a 4 minute 24 second episode to be had with subtle twists and turns taken via tale of debt, idiot spending and reaching for things that really don't matter.   The fuckers tell you how to live and you duly follow - and for what - just so the neighbours and shallow friends think you are a success - embarrassing isn't it!  The song here flies by with middling pace, alternates the textures and holds onto a very strong inner core of quite efficient music.  The tonality is in-line with what the opening gambit set, the blend of all components is clear and the job, as they say, is a ruddy good un'. 'Subject To Status' indeed!  To note – post spins prove this to be a genuine grower – I am in a chokehold and have no complaints!

2 down, so far so good, I plough on and throw in my attention to the synthed up 'Square Hammer', a snippet that moves in with intriguing authority and with a tonality out of the band's usual sphere.   From the fascination of the opening sequence comes a stripped naked verse built on firmly stated vocals and restrained string flexes that operate above a regular stick beat.   All looks and feels good until we are elevated into echelons dazzling with a pronounced and somewhat all-consuming chorus that does indeed have a certain majesty, sanguinity and over-all completeness.  The maturity within the weft and weave of this song, the emotive textures and the feeling of a creation complete make this the pure top choice of this Fungal Fan.  I am impressed, tis a shame it is a cover song but the band tackle it mighty well nonetheless and for me outstrip the original version by 'Ghost'.  Oh PS - fuck the Freemasons!

'Live Before I Die' is smart work, an easy going song with languid tones and adornments well calculated and neatly blended.  The creators are settled in their sonic realm and are tossing this one off the wrist with hardly breaking sweat it seems.  This is the toughest song to fall in line with of the lot, it has a bleak edge, sobered tones and a mid-paced acceptance but, within the composition a determination arises and a hope is generated from a seeming despair.   MLTF, over the years have used this 'hope/loss/despair/defiance' 4 trick methodology to a very convincing standard and as I stick with this one I can honestly say, 'the lofted level is maintained'.  Yes patience is needed but the end prize is worth it - I hope!

The final push is a beautiful snipe at the pseudo-punk religion done in double-quick pop punk time with bright sunny energy focused beneath a very attractive lens and delivered with utterly singeing intent.  'Get Outta My Way' shows worthy intolerance for many missing the point and playing the game by the numbers and rules set.  This short closing snippet is spot on and full of upbeat freshness whilst making a pertinent point but...the band miss a trick and should really make another longer version of this complete with a really pop punked middle 8.  I think it could be a real winning track - in the meantime this will suffice!

Are MLTF back?   Is this a one off dabble before distractions dictate?  Can the band build upon this latest taster and repeat the trick?  For me it’s a 'who knows', 'I hope not' and 'most certainly' response and, as time presses on, we all grow older and each day flashes by there is no room for indecision or procrastination.  To the band - get on it, to the potential listener - indulge in this 5 track offering - to myself – re-spin and keep the buggers encouraged!

   
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