FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

BRASH BULLETS - RADIO THERAPY

I gave Brash Bullets a gig, an opening slot on a Noise for Nature gig, it was a punt I like to take and after buying a CD off them I now have a review to do.  The set they played was a belter, the CD I have here is riddled with DIY strain and very much a home-made product.  The band are a 4-piece, the come from darn sarf, Southampton in fact, and play their music with no fuss and an adherence to that which is straight-forward, uncomplicated and, most importantly...snagging.  I go in, enthused and standing proud - not bad for a 52 year old.

'Snap' is a fuckin' beauty, a real hark back to pre-punk when back street dives saw misfits knock out bog brush tunes that were approachable, non-too particular and with the bare backbone of a ensnaring tune.  This song starts with a spartan style, with all areas subdued except for the vocal department that has a cold, calculating essence destined to chill the inner gunk.  We enter the most primitive bout of elemental music, a chorus built on a riff and repeat holler, it works a treat and I pogo like a penetrated pig on poppers.  I add volume, I breathe in the controlled wire work and the slap and smash stick work that hits highs and lows in fine unity and makes for an explosion of raw, old school dinnage I absolutely adore. Shove your techno-trickery and vulgar exhibitions of convoluted bull - you will never outweigh the most rudimental methods of racket creation.  'I Wanna Buy Her Love' is a desperate song borne from a desperate situation.  Loins are ablaze, there be lust dripping from the oriental eye and the strain on the sac is obviously painful - the options are varied - have a wank, write a song, find a brass - it looks like all three options may have been taken here.  This  wonderfully crude clatter twat hammers in, keeps up the labour as the gob joins the melee.  After a jacked off first portion the musicians unravel and flow with desire and a somewhat incessant raving of a man in need.  Gloriously nagging, encapsulating what one can do with the balls out and a small budget and making sure the end product is not covered in masking distractions that add an unreality we get too thrown off kilter by.  Again, no rocket science used, just rough and ready insight and a lashing of effort - is there owt else necessary - love it.

'Indoctrinated' states its situation, it needs relief, is there any escape?  Chants, drum tumble, a slow riff wank and then a strip-jack verse that sees the fabric of the number worn thin.  This duplication ditty drives forth on middling pace, wrap-around wordage and to-the-point attacks of noise.  It comes, fucks off and leaves me little else to add - the most underdeveloped song of the lot.  'Girl Next Door' is sub-peep-hole pervert with a definite slant of a behind the curtains 'I'm Watching You' creepery.  It whizzes straight in, it runs with a lustful yearning to 'get it in'.  The verse is a very honest piece of composed rushing that whips up any lowly vulnerables like my foul self.  I take to this like a fucked duck to polluted water and paddle away to the gushing events that unfold around my hammered head.  The first chorus chunk is swift, 'whoa hoa'd' and of little complication.  An inner strip down sees guitar absence and a vocal promise create a certain threat level, it is good to get to the wind down and thrash to the line.  'Capital City Disappointment' swings in, throws its fisted efforts with freedom before stopping and going into 'chant mode'.  On the plus side, this is a nice turn of style, on the negative side, the free for all advance is hindered.  Is this a good contrast factor? I am unsure but the repetitive title tirade is convincing and really catches the luggery.  I suppose I remain 50/50 here, the band are testing varied areas though, I am never one to kick a crew for that!

'Soldier On' halts proceedings and combines stated lines with almost petulant 'yeah, yeahs' whilst a bumble bass route takes place and the guitars are slashed at and the drums clobbered.  A military pseudo-march inclusion, the raw-boned, unrehearsed precipice is trampled underfoot and changes of pace are subtle but plentiful. As we started, we finish, low-brow, lo-fi, right up the Fungal shitter - yikes.

I am hailing this as an embryonic success, one that nobs the caveman neurones and gives me many prehistoric thrills.  I like to get back to zero, a place where the affected and egotistical are absent and those that just wanna crack out a good tune are found.  This is such an episode, I feel as though I don't need to justify why I like it so much anymore - those slurping from the same slop-bowl will understand.

   

DIRTY FENCES - GOODBYE LOVE

I have done one review for this lot so far, a 4 track EP that whet the whistle and had me pondering further releases.  Here is such a release and this hard-grafting New York based outfit are certainly in a comfortable groove and squeezing out many a tune of a classic rock and roll standard with oodles of consummate professionalism dripping from every track.  It would be foolish to give too much of the review away at present and I take this sub-pub rock cum pseudo-garaged noise and waltz through and scribble thoughts at my leisure.

'All You Need Is A Number' is a superb opening track and played with such approachable liquid ease that one is instantaneously dragged into the swirling sonic elements without the slightest resistance offered.  Facets of old school are had with a souped up sincerity and an advanced talent for creating trundling tuneage of an earthy aspect that is accented, warming and wonderfully fluent.  The mid-paced essence, the smart vocals and the pub-rock approachability are totally bewitching and that raw-assed appreciation of sanguine sonica built with the primitive scaffolding we are all holding onto is...sublime.  I name this a stunner.

'911' tub thumps, glistens and drives forth on yet more popped tones.  This is a quick, gratifying tune that stays on a certain flat-line and refuses to over-elaborate matters.  The pseudo-chorus matters merge into the general mush of the music and we are left with a certain vagueness as to where each section begins and ends.  This blurring of lines is a drawback but one can still say, with mitt on ticker, that the song is played well, is upbeat and follows on from where its outstanding predecessor signed off.  'Dance' is a sweet song with a gratifying twist in the gears that dazzles with subtlety and moves with a bouncy elasticity of sound that gets me trampolining to the tune like a frog on poppers.  A real popsicle treat with just a trembling blend of tonality appealing to my more easily persuaded neurones.  Sometimes one doesn't need profound depth or bollock-walloping aggression - a fuckin' good ditty will do!

Next up, 'Goodbye Love', 'Teen Angel' and 'Never Over', a trio of tasty compositions structured around the usual canorous spine of sound that dabble deep and molest my musical privates with disarming charm.  The first effort is the weakest of the three with an awkwardly fitting verse/chorus arrangement that doesn't thoroughly succeed in hitting my sonic hotspots.  I like the semi-snotted hollers that come via a titled repetition but the songs just feels a little out of sync with my palate - bah - I can't like everything and this is just a personal thing, do not fret dear reader.  The second is a spotty arsed refresher, full of pubescent spunk and fizzing with hormone excitement.  It gets beneath the skin and scurries away, snaps, crackles and pops with jumping bean sensations - lovely.  The last song of the grabbed bunch is a crisp affair, more sedate in a fashion and may I add, a trifle soppy in part.  The bounding tunery is chirpy, sunshine glinted and has the usual pep in the step - I settle down and refuse to read too much into the situation.

'Blue Screen' strums and stops and...repeats before coolly moving through many pristine moments of high clarity and harmonified attraction that sweetly flows from wholesome verses into more fizzing chorus chunks.  The arrangement is highly flavoured without being overly flamboyant and thus sickening the eavesdropper.  The band are zoned in and strutting well here, and all without breaking a great deal of sweat - nice.  'I Can't Sleep At Night' uses bare-cabled guitars and a simple formulaic approach that makes things skimpily clad and lacking any extravagant ornamentation.  This makes for a basic sound that harks back to sub-pub-fodder many old timers will duly enjoy digesting - I am one such muncher.  This isn't a dazzling track and certainly disappears into the pack if one is not too careful but my advice is to pluck it out, play as a loner and absorb the threadbare tones and the bog-basic rhythm. To add to the plus factors is a repeat nag that is akin to those night-time thoughts that niggle the noggin – pass me the sleepers.  'Love For Higher' is a frisky kitten clawing away at your nadgers with much activated stimulation that sees the band go through the regular motions with such a controlled and easy manner as to be almost...irritating (in a good kind of way).  This exemplifies the fact that this unit are proficient with their pulse, are running along on the crest of a creative wave and have found a zone in which they are very comfortable and knocking off each tune in a very easy manner.  I am not moaning here, I am too busy enjoying myself.

'Four Leaf Clover' is too mellow and too flat for my liking and although played with the same crispness and lucidity it has a chuggery beneath the upper layer that is too repetitious and doesn't really elevate any section of the song.  If I was in the bathroom of noise this would be a soft slab of soap - there is a fragrant smell but I can't seem to get the best out of it and so get frustrated - well, something like that!  I do have a fondness for the following track, a fruity blend of the excitable and the generally spunky.  'Message For Anyone' is a sugary song with a buoyant sensation permeating the midst of a ditty that is easy to adopt and never operates within austere acoustic boundaries so many get ensnared by.  The main appealing factor is the breeze-blown freshness and the way the band move from one sub-section to another - nifty.  We close with the slow drift of 'One More Step (ft Christina Halladay)' a wandering weave of he/she harmonisation that in some ways is a gentle way of closing the lid on a very adept and complete CD.  This latter song is semi-soppy, strolls down avenues new and gives the crew...options, a quite crucial thing to do - I shall leave things hanging there!

A wholesome and gratifying CD this with a sonic scenario set that doesn't need great pondering or involvement.  There is a place for music that one can just take in ones stride without straining the lug to get the gist, we have such a collection of sounds here, and I ain't complaining, well just now and again.

   

THE ROUTES - DIRTY NEEDLES AND PINS

The Routes are a Japan-based jazzy band man, they pull you in with that retro fuzzery borne in garaged vaults were sub-surf spills, passion effervesces and a certain stomping and grinding gyroscopic spellbind of sonic excitement overflows.  I have dealt with this trio of tunesters before, last time I was  split down the middle and niggled by the similarity between the vibrations, I am asking for more this time around - come on chaps, let the flavours be many.

'You'll See' is a sprightly number with a good corrugated edge and much clattering and sizzling action going on within the almost ramshackle weavings.  The fervour and fruitiness of the hypogeal offering germinates and rises and sends out many clasping vines to not be discouraged by.  The song is animated, zapped up with much electrified vivacity and if your dancing shoes are ready to hit the floor and do their thing then this is the tune to waggle your hips to.  Not a bad start and chased along by 'Ego A Go Go', a funky hop-frogging rock and roll bazaar of many free flavours for us to cast our lugs over.  A veritable 1950's hot-dog strut of sonic swagger that bubbles with a life and a Chuck Berry-esque quirkiness that keeps the tail feathers frazzled and the legs dancing.  The band combine this old-school aspect with a garaged earthiness and a clear and spunk-laden sac of sound you may be happy to get impregnated by - I know I am.  We move into slightly darker realms next with 'I Ain't Convinced', an exploring blend of mysterious tonality that has suspicion etched in every strum every tap, every utterance.  Again we have a repeat hook that continues and is only given true respite through the more fluent chorus episodes that unravel themselves within the textured weave.  The Routes are of a distinct strain, the strain is pure, monochrome and effective, here we have a real slinky dink extract of their magnetic sound.  In darkened alleys a doorway glows, from here there is a sound going down, one must enter.  As the cold and dank night is left behind the warm radiance and heavy acoustics hit the head - tis The Routes on stage, let’s get down and dance baby!

'Somebody's Child' is suggestion of a swirling psychedelic movement rinsed through with lo-fi experience and fizzled over with tremulation-tastic touches of the most 'sub-scene' style.  This is one to digest over many a lamp-lit spin, in a room where illuminations are subdued, a reefer is ready and a heavy tipple is invested in. Sit back, get leathered, take in the spillage.  The vocals are snotty and cocky, almost spat out in a paradoxical charismatic way that has a certain chemistry to get addicted to - pass me another needle of noise, I'm gonna shoot up the sounds ma'an. 'Dysphoria' has a lovely drift of rusted irritation that appeals to my stressed and overstretched side.  I fall into many webs of clogging pressure, the state indicated in the title is well recognised and as I move and groove to this corrosively blended mix I feel a certain therapy taking place.  The band adopt a lick and stride forth with it and make this a simplistic listening experience with...an edge.  That dirty, unhygienic slant is an acoustic powder to be snorted, I am reaching zeniths.  Crank-angled keys combine and copulate next as the sneaky, under-the-carpet earthworm of sound known as 'All I Find' inches towards to attentive trouser leg.  As matters travel, a tickle is created, consciousness is aroused and we feel an itch.  We squirm, the squirm becomes a dance, it is a slow and spasmodic display but we are infected nonetheless.  A fine molten brew of ambient sensations come, my only grouse is that events outstay their welcome (or am I being picky).  'My Hardened Skin' isn't a genital-based jaunt of one for scleroderma sufferers to get too excited by.  It is one for the long-term pachyderms who, after many years of hassle, are now immune and proud to wear their hefty epidermal layer.  This throbbing song takes its time, has 'whoa hoa'd' assistance and moves with a hard strategy that sticks to a definite path with no trespass taken.  It has many good aspects and liberated touches that imbue life into a frisky but restrained framework.  It is one of those growers, stick with it and make sure the almost inconspicuous shift from the regimented to the released is noted.

Finally we hit the last, are met with pulsed reverb echoes, a languid skin crawl comes, a prolonged sprawl of wire work that is smeared.  The gobbage of ‘No Return’ gets involved in the laboured approach, I find myself clambering to stay in the zone.   A treacle-drenched trudge that feels like glutinous snot hanging from my aching snout, a substance that dangles, delays, distracts.  I try and wipe it clear, I attempt to discover some liquidity - I fail.  Light sparks from within the morass - it is too subdued, I bail before I get ground down by the gloop.

8 tracks, a couple of blips I find personally annoying but many aspects I find most rewarding and easy to get acquainted with.  The Routes are a sub-genre group of a distinct essence - are you inhaling the fragrance or snorting with revulsion, there is only one way to find out!

   

SLOW FACTION - UNDER HEAVY MANNERS

A new band with an old style and with both eyes on keeping things politically pertinent and musically attractive.  The approach is considered, it tosses various composed flavours around the palette before gently spraying them forth in a decent mix of reliable on-the-ball punkism.  The band are a 4-piece, they hail from London and have no qualms about labelling their sound as British 77 punk - personally I think it holds its own with that which has gone before and brings forth the sonic spices into the here and, more relevantly, the now.

The opening gambit to be risked against the Fungal wrath is called 'Under Heavy Manners', ah yes, a title track.  A refreshing opener that is cladded and cobbled in a very real way with our street-corner observer taking all in, making note and sandpapering across his thoughts via this pulsed punching tune.  The spittle-soaked vocals, the regular clatter of the bin lids and the efficient and liquidised guitars come together, are injected with a discordant discretion and blended with a very thoroughfare-feel.  It is more than obvious that we are dealing here with long-term residents of the rock and roll punk and piss pit and they pass over their acoustic and cranial output with...quality.  I am keen to hear more and so invest some time in track 2, namely '59 Minutes Past 11', and again I am encroached upon by some educated sonica delivered by savants on a sincerely good roll.  This one is a cracking expulsion of guitars that shine, tympanics that rouse and vocals that appeal to many emotive receptors.  Again we are in the real world with a natural substantial solidity to the vibrated airwaves that rock our soul.  The lyrical content deals with the pig-fuck attitude of the human populace who thrive on greed, oneupmanship and ignorance.  The warning signs are clear, the heads in the sand are many - fuck that falling forest, I am on my phone Jack.  I am in tune with the output and the fact that this is a well-crafted piece of orchestrated alley noise sits well with my unassuming designs - nice one.

A frisky start to 'Poundland Society' comes next before the first verse tones itself down and makes a point of highlighting how society has been torn up, divided and...destroyed.  The slow and promising ascension to the chorus chunk is executed under controlled and somewhat restraining hands but when the release comes it is both satisfying and on the mark, albeit in a raw and blatantly obvious way.  From the cool and considered to the swiftly relieving this is a song that works because it sticks to certain basics and moves with confidence - it may sound easy, but it isn't.  'There's A War Going On' is a classy affair with a reggae pulse dictated by a wonderful wire-bending bass routine that operates with a palpitating beauty.  This facet is escorted by sonically exact guitar strokes, regimented stick applications and an oral overlay that is worn, battle-scarred and knowledgeable.   The move from the heavily-laden atmosphere struts to the free-gliding position of observational pertinence is sublime and the hard-biting facts are poured forth with a spittle-soaked venom that invades the opened wound and...stings...I like to face the truth.  Perhaps the best song of the lot this, it is a heady sextet of sound, I am putting my jugular against the blade trying to pick the ultimate triumph but I reckon I am on the mark here.

The last 2, 'The Definition Of Madness' slips in, double thumps and away into a dazzling blast of breeze blown guitars we go.  The verse comes and is gifted with lucid, wised up gobbage that helps all swing along and neatly slipstream into an uncomplicated and quite effective chorus burst that reiterates the fact that we are all caught up in a perpetual loop of insanity which  will see us all end up in situation 'nowhere'.  Whilst enjoying the ride with our heads screwed on backwards we can either accept or kick back and make some fuss for the fuckers in power - and you can use this tune as decent inspiration, get off yer arse!  We close with 'In Your God's Name', a vicious anti-religious nut effort played with a strait-jacketed restraint just keeping things efficient, to the point and coherent.  The finger points to those malcontents who, through lack of love, empathy and consideration, go forth and try their best to make things uncomfortable for the supposed 'non-believer'.  The style of delivery is impermeable and of a strength that will surely stand the test of Old Father Time (the nasty bastard).  Yes, a good effort to close, with all trimmings set and consistent with the theme and ,in this world of terrorism, a much needed reminder to avoid the many-mind numbing traps is had.

6 songs, no complaints.  Tidy fare this, one for many listening levels and a product with many layers.  I aim to check these guys out, it should be more of the same, if it is I will struggle to find a gripe - unbelievably, this pleases me no end, see I ain't the bastard critic you would have yourselves believe.

   

HOOLIGAN - TEENAGE REBEL

Hooligan are back and after making a fine impression on me last time out this time they are changing the style and offering up a more mixed bag of tonality.  The release is on Reekus Records, has a new rhythm section on board and offers up 4 tunes to ultimately spin, digest and feedback upon.  I play and replay again and again and eventually plough out a review that goes like this.

'Teenage Rebel' is a cover of that old teenage troubled classic by The Outcasts.  The original was a textured rock and roll affair that relied on delicacies rather than what we could term as vulgarities.  Here the same formula is used, the crew do not shy away and this is a straight-forward imitation with the players applying themselves with attention to paying a full homage to a song that is well and truly lodged in many memory banks.  The irked, hormone hassled angle of the ditty rekindles memories of a youth lost and from the dulcet bass tones, through the fresh observant vocals and the crisp underscore of scurfy guitar this is a winning number all the way and is played here with a lucid and old-time earthiness that, in this day and age, is perhaps given too little attention.  Straight from the street corner where the pissed off strugglers dwelt, from a time of yore that was less plastic and less hygienic, what a stunner. 

'Generation On Fire' begins on subdued and compacted tones before slowly moving through highly orchestrated motions that are rinsed through with post-punk confidence and a general feeling of a band who are highly articulate and having a 100% belief system.  The mix is clichéd in many parts and several moments are highly recognisable to the punk pervert who has spent too much time listening to this branded outpouring.  This is a cultured song and in keeping with the youthful rebellion and inner disgruntlement of those formative years where dreams and anguish went hand in hand and a need to kick back was never far away.  Come on you young buggers, have it!

Solitary strums in a wilderness of silence come, are soon escorted by an almost pleading voice before all areas are rallied and operating.  'Calling Joe Strummer' is a cultured song reliant on a desperate angle that needs some sort of hope to cling to, some reality injected back into a life with a void.  Another saluting song this one, an effort that doesn't appeal to my anti-hero/up the zero stance but a construction that is played with intriguing articulation and an adherence to certain simplistic and delicate designs.  This is another example of a band still wandering down many avenues of acoustica.  This is no bad thing but the questions arise - will they ever settle or have they done so already?  Either way the band do know how to make a tune.  We close with 'Gang War', a more assertive song with tympanics and wired mechanics all blinkered and bounding towards each verse and chorus chunk in strict unity.  This is perhaps the most bog standard composite of the quartet with a glaringly obvious punk streak that will appeal to many manky pinger.  It has a good clean bite, a hard-boiled edge and a down-to-earth drive that makes sure all areas are direct and in tandem - all I suggest is you add a bit of juice in the speakers and away ya go.

Well another one down and hopefully more to come from this highly capable, efficient and ever toe-dipping band.  Where will they splash out a sound next, what style will it be, how will the punters take it?  Here is my take on the here and now, my recommendations are for all old schoolers to dabble.  I think this is where it will find greatest praise but, you know me, I think everyone should try everything and try and put something back into the melting pot too - onwards.

   

THE MIGHTY BOSSMAGS

From Anti-Pop Records comes The Mighty Bossmags, a crew who confound the senses with a warped and weird masturbation of sound that humps from many angles and keeps one on the edge of the quite moistened seat.  The band hail from Warrington and being from such a place you only have 2 options - stop in, self-abuse and talk about the weather or...make merry melodic mischief - thankfully the latter course of action has been taken here.  I am a mere victim thrown into the cauldron and left to stew.  I clamber free and spit out an assessment, hang in and see if you agree or disagree, all I can do is my honest and well-intentioned bit.

The introduction is titled 'Intro' (fuckin' hell these free thinking buggers) and is a cool brew of B-movie circus horror, with a whispering imp tempting our tuned hearts and requesting we step into a nightmarish freakshow of melodic waywardness.  I am easily won over, I step forth with the skeletal fingers of excitement playing merry dancing Hell up my upright spine.  The first cabinet of cacophonic curiosity to sail my way is the topsy-turvy oddment known as 'Ghost Ship'.  A heaving journey full of accurately accented slants and with a good robust rumminess that creates an engaging musical presence that delightfully emanates a sub-insouciance borne from souls wrecked but ready to rock on.  It is a fine mischievous meander with skanky hunger, florid oral vibrations and a subtle chill factor that defies any cloying fug.  I abandon ship and jump forth and peer at the delightfully tagged specimen known as 'Withered Hand'.  A truly gruesome monster mash of involved and submerged devilry that sees the band run themselves ragged in a haunted house of vision-soaked pandemonium where events unfold and the madness found soon takes over and dictates a little too heavily upon the direction of the discordance.  The sonic spells cast by each contributing component clash and explode and leave us in a mist that ends up lacking focus. Each and every turning reveals a new chill and thrill but I find myself a trifle lost in the over embellished mix - I nail a note on the backdoor of this outburst - things could have been so much more!

The next splodge of sonic shittery to drip from the walls of the halls is the instantaneous snagfest known as 'Gazebo Anthrax'. This number, I am sure, will have a short shelf life and no sooner has it infected the tastebuds with its multifarious flavours than it has gone to pot and developed a crust of fungal illness that will leave one indifferent.  It is the case with many quick ball grabbing outbursts although there will be times when a reflective jig is needed and the delight rekindled.  We must concentrate on the here and now and this is an uplifting quick fix built on a sing-a-long sensationalism that really nips the nipples of attention and perks them up no end.  I play very loud, I jig and swig and end up nutting my pet Budgie - it may give you some insight into the joy this one injects into the easily led framework - oh the wonder!  'White Limousine' is the next exhibit to cast ones peepers upon, a disturb sub-psycho-billy oddball, swirling and twirling with hypno-aural deviancy that eventually takes the song to echelons of pseudo-madness and necessary respite.  A mental breakdown or a deliberate ploy, you decide but it isn't long before we are back on board and taking the last revolution to silence, lovely.  Rumble drums are keyed up and a jaunt comes under the flag 'Poison Tree'.  The mix is majestic and jester-fied with an impish underscore that keeps one far from comfortable - this is a crucial ingredient.  The vocals are neatly rasped but remain lucid, the theatrics are at work yet again and the inner pseudo-barn shindig is reinvigorating, the need-riddled rundown wonderfully desperate.  A tidy tune for sure!

'Too Much' is eagerly at it from the start and displays an efficient hunger that takes us into a surprisingly radiant skankoid snippet to get those dancing juices flowing.  Hit the dance floor brothers and sisters, here we have a clashing peach that will keep all eclectic and manically electric eavesdroppers...plugged in.  Deliciously played with a salivated edge one gets truly encouraged by.  I hear a suggestion of a band called 'Imbalance' in the mix, I really do need to get out more. 'A&E' is a more balanced affair but again the band nail it home with a scooting session of sonic smoothness that is never once taken off its own tuneful track and, although moments of mania invade, this is a very zested mix and a formula that the band are using to their utmost benefit.

3 wrist flick wank offs (or rapid reviews if you so please) - 'Waste Of Time' is a pulse pusher that grabs the gonads of the rock and roll carcass and re-injects with animation and much needed sonic spunkery - dirty bastards.  Again I feel a sub-terror tonality and this all adds to the longevity of the CD as a whole, not just this song.  Bass hypno reggae worming comes next via the tidy streetwise fuck that is 'Rise And Fall'.  The opening switch down casualness is peppered with pointed vocals and a certain astringency of tone that is only soothed via a chorus of grandiose accents.  This segment raises the bar and alters the strain of the drift.  In fact this song never settles and moves from here, to there, around the corner and up your jacksie with a mix and match approach that will keep you eternally guessing - the question is though, are things overdone or is this a moment to ponder all the finer facets of the band under the spotlight?  Come on ya buggers make a decision!  The final song of the quickly examined three is 'Ghost House'.  This one is a journey of fun-fair creepiness with a clawing and gnawing repetition that grates to the marrow.  The waltzing jerkiness and the over-cooked echo style make this the weakest wank in the pack of pulls and I am not keen at all.  Tis a shame as it could have been so much more, the lads have missed a trick methinks.

2 left, only one blip so far (in my cruddy opinion) and the penultimate song comes and hits me full in the mush.  'Johnny The Claw' jazz cymbals in before harsh wire slashes come.  A grisly episode of gnashing choppers this with a stalking presence never far away along with a mentally disabled feeling that suggests one is being prepared...for the kill.  We are still in the crooked cabinet, we are still entertained.  We slam the door shut on this mix of melodies with 'Banana'. This rousing shindig is designed to give the soul, the brain and...oh those private areas...one last reason to throb and tingle and bounce to the joyous vibrology.  The opening holler, the persuasive chilled tonality, the whipped up passion and the gushing zest that shows this discordant dog still has its lipstick out and raring to go is all there for we, the mere perverted listeners, to admire and get off on.  This finish is needed, a fizzing and glowing full stop to a strong CD and one that I take good note of.

The Mighty Bossmags have an uplifting freshness and are an animated band that will undoubtedly get the crowds moving and a grooving.  There is a good spirit here and if ever you need to shake out some cobwebs or a touch of the blues - well, why not try this?  All I can do is scribble and nudge, the rest is up to you.

 

VILLY RAZE - IGNITE

Villy Raze was, and still is, a member of that tight spiked unit known as The Dead Class.  I have seen the band a few times, they do just fine and this plucker fucker is a decent frontman.   Since I last saw the Liverpool crew the lead lad has been dabbling and here we have his latest produce.  I plunge inwards and as per, all I can do is offer a sonic suggestion as to the ingredients and give my honest viewpoint, the rest dear peruser, is up to you!

2 tracks and the first of these is entitled 'Ignite (Franny Asprin Extended Mix)', a weak wanked weaving song that hails from tranced dance-floors and mixing rooms where those who like things processed can get off and do their noxious thing.  This creamed mix is all very synthetic and although my tastes are eclectic and quite-embracing there are one or two sonic spectrums though that really shrivel the genitals.  Jazz is one, the electro-ponsed piffle borne from diluted 80's sub-dreams is the other - I put this in the latter bin.  Look I can't like everything and I won't hide behind a mask of falsehood just to try and look like some all-knowing overlord of acoustica who has deep insight into every musical nuance.  This grates on the gonads, is too wishy-washy to strike a chord and travels on for far too long.  I bail and move on to track two.

The second track is called 'Ignite (Franny Asprin Mix)', what we get is more of the same, I grind my gears and pull off the stick with frustration and try and force myself onwards.  Again, like a Bird's Angel Delight, this is too fluffed up, lacks any substance for this punked soul and leaves a nasty aftertaste I need to swill away with something more...real.  I hate being so negative and despite the attention to detail, the wonderful change in style for the artiste and, if I may say so, faultless application and in-scene adherence I can't get my choppers around the shaft of sonica and suck out anything that is appealing and worthy of more time, sorry bro.

I am done, I tried.  No doubt to some I have failed, to some I have hit the nail on the head, to myself...cripes what a trial.

 

THE COWBOY - SELF-TITLED

3 gringos kick their acoustic mules to fuckery whilst twanging and clanging out a roughshod rock and roll effluence only the true investors in the mire will get.  This trio of troublesome tuned-twats spring from the orifice of Cleveland and create a corrosive accent not to be undervalued.  This sandpapered, raw-boned, spit and sawdust shittery is a commodity revelled in by many dirt-dive dwellers and I am joining in the fray and seeing what acoustic bruises I gain, it is all part of the encompassing perversion.  

I tear my pants down, get ready to be fucked over and am met with the instant delight known as 'Everyday We Grow', a superb groovy number with a great vocal accompaniment that really appeals to my low-down dog dirty soul that has a penchant for playing things with a wonderfully roughed but reality soaked edge.  This a treat built on minimalism with accents aplenty and one that is so easy to get in the groove with.  Feel that rock and roll rhythm man, the sub-(fuckwit)-standard but mightily effective production - and enjoy.  'The Cowboy' is a chaotic title track that soils itself with naturalised and off-the-ragged-cuff noise making filth the grub-connoisseurs will roll in.  It has all the ingredients of an embryonic outburst from a band still finding its feet but rises above such a foundation due to its cute know-how and subtle suggestion of focus.  Hesitation opens, a test grumble is taken before the pour down of clutter-fuck-it, piss-bucket noise comes and showers our heads with a corruption to either protect yourself from or get soaked by - can you guess which option I'll be taking?

'Golden Man' and 'My Champion' may have both walked from the previous shower, they have a similar feel but with a strict shout and clout characterisation that keeps the songs on a certain straight and narrow.  The first is a basic battering ram of vocal discord that repeat slams against your sonic skin whilst the second drills with a raw directness using a sonic screwdriver of gouging spite.  Both efforts are wonderfully stripped and unscientific and stick to the most primitive principles of racket making.  Nice.

'Sneaking Leaker' spirals and twists after a plodded start.  The manic relish served up amid the clatter-twatter tunery is delightful and that lo-fi sub-60's film noir detective vibration appeals no end to my untidy ass.  You can't beat a bit of loose-wristed, fuck-fisted DIY noise when played with a certain naturalness.  This song moves through the motions with abandonment but has a control not to be underestimated.  Right up my acoustic avenue this stuff - a cracker.  Next and 'The Door' is left ajar, we peek through and hear a din rattled forth with punk recklessness and rock and roll fervour borne from artistes refusing to professionalise matters.  This one is sharp, bloodied by bass riffs and delivered like a bomb through your letterbox - boom and all is up in the smoke of memory.  

'Peaceful Dreamer' is a scurrying fucker with a robust honesty and stark scrapyard appeal that borders on something patched up from many clanking parts.  This again is back to the intrinsically basic bread bowl of din making and the band kneed with ardour and kick up plumes of clogging dust to splutter on.

'Smaller Rider' segues in, brandishes a sharpened stick of toxic nastiness and brings forth an almost jammed up jerk off to get saturated by.  It is a very splashed abstraction of mis-fitting restlessness that comes, vibrates and halts in a most abrupt fashion.  One thing is apparent here, this Cowboy ain't willing to prolong the shoot-outs.  Come, get shot down, suffer.  'The Burner' is a dirty dish of colliding condiments that leaves the tastebuds...molested.  These tracks are being coughed up with ease, like the phlegm from a bronchially blasted vagabond who has spent too much time on the roll-ups and not enough on the meths.  It is a rough expulsion, it fits right in to the outcasted acoustica on offer thus far - I am not complaining.

3 left you gits.  'The River' flows over an uneven bed of hindering rocks but will not be denied.  The extended musical intro leads to a doped out vocal entrance that is soon whipped into a frenzied waterfall of slamming sounds all the while destined to be dashed on the boulders of the end silence.  You know what is coming, you either run away or accept the rhythmic bumming...however painful it may be.  As a DIY pervert my arse cheeks are spread - call the head doctor.  'Beyond The Yard' is a nagging mush of dirty mind-affecting sewerage that flows in a cruddy fashion and carries all sorts of floating detritus best left undescribed.   A rotten drift that stinks of sonic meanness - here I find a complaint, I think the band could have done so much more and really riffed up with violence, prodded the membrane of a new musical mire and over-elaborated matters and let themselves go.  Never mind, I move into the last with hopes still high.

'On The Farm' is the last blast, no rush lads, plug in, wire up and clatter.  The remnants of decency that are left are given one final kicking by a ramshackle construction that is best played at maximum volume so as to aid the pogoing madness.  It is a rust bucket of dissolving dinnage, we have had it all the way so why change things at the last - fuck off.

The band here have a style, a way of doing things that will appeal to the calloused cacophoneers with attention spans of glue-sniffing dogs.  It is worthy of time and attention, it may give a buzz longer than the aforementioned solvent and, for those who like things short and sour - this will do the job.  Next time though I demand the band throw in new flavours - gotta push tha' knows.

   

THE CRAVATS - DUSTBIN OF SOUND

Angles, tangents and awkward acoustic facets are things I always appreciate and, even if I find them most discomforting, I feel there is a greater long-lasting effect than something that I merely consider OK.  When offensive attributes copulate to construct a sound that challenges and, in an underhand and cultured way, entertain, then one could suggest a recipe for success is had.  How the cacophonic cooks use this recipe and the way in which the ingredients are manipulated is a make or break process - something The Cravats do not shy away from.  These producers of abstract dishes have an eye for certain complimentary tones and paradoxically pleasing noise clashes and, on this latest release, we see many flavours thrown our way with challenging abandon.  The band first tossed pancakes of irritation in 1977 and now, with a pending tour, the frying pan of contradiction is brandished again and I textually throw one off the wrist and claim it to be something akin to a review - this is what I have splashed forth.

'King Of Walking Away' is multi-layered fragmentary fuckology that moves with lightly brass-rubbed affect before self-inducing a schizoid attack of the vapours that come in shape-shifting uncertainty.  Within the kooky peculiarity comes a sound-fix of outré fascination that compels the luggite to pay closer and closer attention.  Abstract punk splashed onto a carved up canvas with nothing less than provocation being the order of the day.  This singular segment of sonic testing is a decent opener and par for a crazy course of unpredictable hazards. From the tentative, to the regular and onto the experimental and eventually to that which is something with circus-esque tomfoolery - all the while the band make a point but one is unsure as how to take it - a tangent too many have completely fallen free from.  'Batterhouse' is a cruel bastard that flies in under red light radars and drops discordant bouncing bombs of clobbering intent that sends spiteful shrapnel, this way, that way, piss way, twat way.  The opening siren whinge and the initial doodlebug downpour spits excitement and throws us into a chaos of uncertainty as the band add further violence to the assault.  The vocal style is naturally unhinged and reacts to the cacophonic catalyst which is looking for nothing less than...aggravation.  It gets it, right in the shitter and this electrically charged upheaval does what it sets out to do and that is, to disturb.

'Motorcycle Man' tunes in and begins with almost a trace of something akin to the orthodox - how dare they!  A soupçon of brassed spices are sprinkled with care whilst the fidgeting chug of the acoustic engine forces itself down the rhythmic roadway.  We sneak off into digressing byways of finger-poked curiosity but all the while a certain direction is clung to and some semblance of sanity is had.  Still we have the hard worked and very quirked essence but I reckon I am on top of this one and happy to just sit tight and enjoy the ride.  Dramatic levels rise further next with a bass rumbling grim grind known as '100 Percent'.  A filthy foam-up that bubbles with a wonderful swamped stench I am utterly attracted by and willing to wallow in.  The vocal emittances are riled, almost alligator-ish in their shifty way and the horned up inclusions add an extravagance to the melee that is theatrical and very magnetising.  The Cravats have a style not to be underestimated or thrown to one side because your patience is limited.  Indulge, ponder and...hopefully musically prosper.

I skip on, angled and awkward as you could wish for.  'Blurred' is equally maladroit with an uneven approach that throws us uphill, downhill, against many throbbing walls and in an end dustbin of kicked-to-fuck confusion.  There is a gauche application that vexes the attentive cranium and serves up a situation of clashing discombobulation.  I stick with it, am eventually won over and nail this as 'thinking man's' music that must be cradled, replayed and pondered.  With some TLC the sonic soil gives rise to tonal tendrils that choke out applause of the most convincing kind.  A warped song for sure, a success nonetheless.

Briskness comes, 4 ready roasted nuts are ploughed through.  'Powerlines' pulses, telegrams forth before a riff is received.  A mid-paced side-wind cum sub-grind jerks off with a certain noodle-nobbed nonchalance that is surely soon destined to fracture.  The crack comes in one hard-throated roar whilst the machine judders and buggers in one gruelling mess.  There is no denying the advancement though and I enjoy this arse-bruising trip.  The rise of the brass is par for the course and incessantly captivating.  'Jingo Bells' begins with a lost soul striving to be heard in a quagmire of toxic tonality hoping to raise a frisson of excitement within the eavesdropper’s hearts.  The cries are eventually drowned; a meaty fist of pummelling sound punches holes in the substrate whilst disharmony and head-clatter-fuck vibes arise.  The soil at ones feet breaks apart via the emitted quake - the danger felt is par for a very crooked course.  'Bury The Wild' is a repeat beat bastard that nags with disease ridden desire borne from I know not where - 'e causa ignota'.  From the throbs comes radiated release with a blossom of soaring delight likened best to a respite from suffering when the head hits happy zeniths duly exaggerated by relief.  This is a fuckin' good rousing song that slaps together many sensation and man when those horns blow so does mine.  'Bigband' is keen to corrupt, silks in, bass bumbles and then destroys any suggestion of things tamed coming your way.  Flesh is flayed, the band are flagellating with ardour (filthy bastards) and end up somersaulting into a melting pot of bubbling psychotic mayhem that at times tub twats, wire whines and seizures.  It is a crazy mix but out of it comes life supreme, a feeling that all cobwebs have been cleared, all stress has been eased - that is one of the fine aspects of this noise, very good for the soul methinks.

The stretch homeward is upon us, 4 outbursts to tackle and 'Whooping Sirens' promises more of what has transpired thus far.  Testing pressures come from curious hands looking to stretch limitations further still.  A schizophrenia still persists, an uncertainty of mind that creates an uncertainty of direction, something some will embrace, some will be repulsed by (the latter lot are the silly cunts).  From the thoughtful to the sub-gung-ho, from the mockingly sane, to the vulgarly unhinged, The Cravats create a deliberately contradictory melting pot of sound one can never fully grasp - this is a modus operandi not to be undervalued.  'Hang Them' is a nippy ditty that wriggles along like a caterpillar up your back passage.  Add to this a pseudo-Edgar Wallace rhythm and you have more than one mystery to fathom.  A song from the meddling hands of a mad scientist and with a uncomfortable patternation that somehow works for all the wrong reasons.  Within the Pollockonian splatter something regulated and organised is had - concentrate hard now, do not miss the thread.

The last 2, 'Big Red Car' is running on an off-centre track, I am a mere passenger being tossed about...and off I reckon.  The pulse is stop/start chuggery with the inner pistons purposely misfiring and creating a situation in which the exhaust can be blown and we can be duly choked.  Crackpot chassis shaking stuff, that upholds the strained set.  We clash into the final brick wall with the snippet known as 'All U Bish Dumpers'.  Flutter brass arises from substrates of confusion, we are given lyrical nonsense of almost 'Lear-ish' leanings.  Whispered and ambiguous, I find this a subdued shut down and I know not what the fuck is going on and why the hell it is occurring.  The band keep you reeling with discombobulation until the very last, you can never question their awkwardness.  Not my favourite song but I would be a rotten sod to nail it as 'rubbish' after such an interesting acoustic journey.

That is that, a treat of angular aggravation and done with an eye for artistry and an ear for experimental trespassing.  The Cravats have something different for you here, a bastard-punk parade of multifarious melody that will, if you so allow, keep thee guessing, re-assessing and wanking with wonder – watch yer foreskin folks!

   

NUDIST - BURY MY INNOCENCE

I am sticking my assessing pecker into varied external orifices yet again and this time taking a tumble on the tuned in, torn to fuck mattress of tonality with the band Nudist.  This release is a treacle-ised 5 track tester.  The band, via Facefuck, slag themselves down as Post Metal/Sludge/Noise/Psychedelic/Doom - a mix to turn the bowels of the more commercialised to stinking liquid.  I have swallowed many eggs of binding before tackling this in the hope of inducing balanced shittery so that the end review is more accurate - it ain't gonna be easy.

'Strengthless' rises with slow anguish, claws through barriers of seeming cloying pain with bloodied hands.  It is a slow and draining commencement and when the scorched vocals come even they are caught in the barbs of suffering.  This is benumbing noise that is nothing more than a pollutant to my varied dish of listening matter.  I strain hard, I clutch at straws, I jack up the focus and wind forth the magnifying lens.  I am struggling here and am nailing this as a depressing puke up of slow, turgid, meandering murk that is very much in need of a pace injection (preferably right up the arse).   'Bury My Innocence' is a chopping mush of defeated discordance that accepts a state of play and wallows in it.  There is a disharmony within the strain, a constipation of noise and an ill-fitting overcoat of worm-eaten wretchedness.  You have to be in some mood to listen to this and the spoon you use to feed it into your gaping may will have to be well oiled.  The band have talent, the talent though gets battered underneath the persistent dragging flow that takes too many turns for its own good - what about some regular riffage chaps just to alternate the attack?  I remain outside the stinking circle.

The self-examination and fake proclamation at the masses comes via the fumed fuckery slapped down under the banner of 'Bloody Waters'.  Initial murk is steadily poured before sharp infecting barbs are thrown in and the surface simmer of vocal annoyance adds the seething accents we have been beaten with so far.  The song progresses without any thought of change and hits a wanked down patch of sticking trouble that hinders the flow in no uncertain terms.  I am swimming as best as I can here and looking to salvage something I find to my liking.  The final wind-down here is destined to aggravate those on the cusp, I am one of those, I flee with my assessing tail singed.  'Dead Leaves' and 'Drift' close this crushing EP in the way expected.  All areas are slamming and head-melting but the former song is my fave and has a moment of bass and blast copulation that closes the song and leaves me wanting to play one more time.  Pace is injected, the band finalised the movement with the most impressive flourish and I am eagerly replaying and digging the moment of respite cum success.  The final song comes like toxic fumes beneath ones door.  It is a warning that outside a blaze is happening, it won't be long before your protective doorway is ash and you are to be burned...alive.  An ominous bass throb, a tympanic scuttle and then the tribal tongues of hating flames devour.  It is as you were, the band are unremitting in their stance and play a tight, compact and hard hitting game right up until the very death.

No, not my thing at all, too drawn out for me and I always prefer my heavy duty noise to be quick, to the point and done in double quick time.  If you are looking for something dark, damaging and mightily destructive this may be your thing, the band know the groove they want to be in and I am sure there will be no distracting them from that - and why should there be?  It would be interesting to see them nail a few zipped up quickies though - nudge, nudge!

   
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