FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

KID KLUMSY - THE FACES DON'T FIT

My mate manages Kid Klumsy and is forever singing their praises and pushing their wares - this review will be unaffected by that!   The lads in the band are a nice bunch, the lead singer is a particularly lovable gent but, as per, the review will be untainted by any false favour.  So far Kid Klumsy have been viewed in the flesh, played a couple of Fungal shows and have grown in stature and the impression they have made on the old myco-sozzled belfry is choice - this will not affect what I scribble here.  I am currently suffering from STP syndrome - Sudden Todger Protrusions - this may in fact interfere with what comes next - read on, you may agree, disagree or find something to be aroused by - here's hoping for all 3.

The first track and as I sit at my workstation I glance and duly glimpse the dangled sonic 'Boobs' and drink deeply of the lactating lilt - well, who wouldn't.  For me, this opening burst is as wonderful as the teets envisioned and has a fullness of acoustic bosom as well as a distinct cheekiness that many will be able to relate to.   The long school days of flaccid lessons were only enlivened by the stiffening of the shaft due to the ample chest appendages of the tasty teacher that surely increased the hormonal acne of many a pimpled soul.  The opening bass tickle is followed by a lovely lilt and sunshine twing-twang.  The vocal addition is perfectly light and innocent with a glint in the inflection of impish joy.  The song flows well, has bursts of weighty effect and all the while gets one indulged, singing-along and...perhaps most importantly...smiling.  'Don't Count On Me' is a solid chaser, twilight touches inward, skips on floated feet and then gets truly moving.  The excuses spill from an eternal promiser of assistance and it seems we are dealing with the consistent let down who talks the talk but never walks the walk.  You know the fuckers - all mouth and empty trousers - wankers.  Again the band find a fluffy flow and swan along with holler invasives giving the whole escapade welly and allowing the potential crowd to join in - and why the fuck not?  Not a bad second punch out this, one that gets better and better with each spin but never attains the heights of the first song - well, that one was a beauty!

'Little Boy Thursday' chants in, creeps along with a head down focus before adopting a scheming and planning inflection.  The song however is a lovey-dovey dangler with a heart donated to a cherished one via a tune that sticks to the regimentation set with a brief inner spurt of string wanking thrown in for good measure.   As a whole, this construction is of a simple formula, comes and goes in the spasmodic twitch of an assessing eye and leaves an impression that is decent but easily forgotten - I think more could have been done here, the backbone was there to be built upon, what we get feels like a cacophonic carcass that needs a little more meat on the bone.  'Lost Art' has more clout and material to get one's choppers into.  The effort deals with the PC situation, the spiteful and the utter twats always looking to upset and pass judgement - fuck em' all to fuckin' fuckery I say.   There is a streak of venom in the oral delivery, the chorus message is blatant and necessary and when all components are weighed up we have a fair helping of sound to masticate upon and then spit in the faces of those doubting deadheads.  I like the screwed up accents of this one, the nasty streak but the sound ethos - Kid Klumsy do this kind of shit well, I advance further with my testes bouncing. 

'Soup' is dished up, I wanted thick creamy warmth to roll down my aural passage and bring great comfort.  What I got was a thick lumpy produce filled with indigestible sonic gristle and many cacophonic croutons that I was far from impressed with.  I find this one an uncomfortable meal with no real separation of the flavours and making for one confused taste-fest.  It does have good animation and is played in a somewhat nebulous tight fashion - I get out my wooden spoon though and wallop down a dollop of disagreement - ooh heck, I bet I get asked to leave the table.   'Caravan Of Love' is the final serving and is the veritable cheese and crackers with heavy emphasis on the 'cheese'.  This is a pure bad taste move but, may I be forgiven for saying, suits the bands style and approach and is delivered with such good sincerity as to be utterly enjoyable.  I think the band throw in a gratifying curve-ball here and rather than cover a uniformed punk song they pick out something different and, to be perfectly honest, nail it.  Many may suggest that I should hang my head in shame at liking this - fuck em'.

We have a secret extra bonus track, I am not keen but am equally unsure of my judgement, I bail out and leave this one for you to decide - I gotta be fair tha' knows.

Again I have done my bit, again I have stuck to my ethos and I hope, along the way I have tempted and teased, been fair and given a little insight into a band who are doing 'alright'.  I like these 6 trackers, they are good bite-size mouthfuls to leave one wanting more - bring on the next one please but keep it easy on the cheddar! 

   

BURNT TAPES - GROWER

From the great musical beyond the Burnt Tapes cross my radar again via a promotional dabbler who is seeking out reviews.  The last time I indulged some time listening to the lilts and leanings of this lot was a few years back now, I am clueless as to what my end opinion was but this, I find, is a fuckin' good thing.  There is not much I can add at this point only the band come from the Big Smoke, have been around the block several times and profess to play Melodic Punk Rock with emphasis on various emotive states - I crack on, taking things in my stuttering stride.

'Dynasty, Die With Me' is honest music with a fine blend of all components immediately apparent.  The opening oral harmonies are straight out of the rhythmic draw from where these music-makers are happy to place themselves.   The inflection is tinted with poignancy, a slight hint of sadness but all the while contrasted with an obvious streak of hope.  The structure is pliable with no defining rigidity, a state which some are not in tune with and which some utterly adore (such is the musical realm).  Personally I am not a throbbing fan ready to ejaculate great spurts of praise but am happy to toss off the wrists a fair compliment and move on.   The song is well played, clear and of the said 'ilk' -  I progress to track the second.

'Get It, Got It, Good' sharply penetrates, pushes along with a scrunched mid-paced flow and is easily digestible fodder for those who like things tuneful, with a slight edge and somewhat inoffensive.  Those looking for DIY warts and other such enhancing blemishes will need to look elsewhere.  There is a good clean style to the delivery, all areas are lively, effective and moulded together to make for a fairly composed and sanguine listen.  The harmonised moments work well and overall the piece is fluent and tidy - I still reckon this is a mood piece though, especially for the older scuzz buckets like me - as is the norm, some will disagree, some may agree, I have tried my best to be honest.

'Greek Wood' has an attractive opening texture, progresses with a certain musical comfort and opens its ear with a really harmonious honesty.   The emotive accents, the strong flow and the soft tint of sadness and disappointment all travel through the tonal network paraded and create a certain individual life.  A switch down in the form of a brief fracture comes and goes with the thread of the flow soon recaptured.  We fly along on muscular sonic uplifts and overall I am feeling buoyant and happy to soar up in the stratosphere chosen - not a bad inclusion at all.

The final song of the 4 proffered, 'Yuzi Acoustic', a somewhat simplified ditty with a multi-cultural feel as well as having the obvious folk'ed campfire suggestions.  All matters are kept crisp, clear, precise and with a fair liquidity.  I find this too lightly shaded and somewhat vague of pronouncement and so designate to the file marked 'fungally unfavourable'.  I am not saying it lacks talent, doesn't have its place on this CD and isn't of a sweet poetical slant, I am merely certain in my belief that I just don't like it - hey fuckin' ho.

Overall the CD has many meritorious points, many indications of a band in their own groove and with a certain joy in what they are doing.  My feelings are mixed and I can't say I am fanatical about what I have heard but each to their own as it should be and there are many who will really enjoy this - and ruddy good on em’ too. 

   

KEYS - HOME SCHOOLING

Now then, what's going on here.  A sincere pre-punk throwback to when things were perhaps overly garish, when genres passing and genres promising were blending into one delightfully innocent and melodic outpouring and where areas perhaps deemed bucolic and billowing were left to copulate and create.  All the while pop tones fought for the forefront and spacious honesty was the key operative.  This collection of old/new/rare/generically soaked specimens is a slowly brewed concoction done with a certain easy languidness that this 'overly-punk splattered' twat is happy to roll around the palette - here are my honest thoughts.

'This Side Of Luv' is cherry-babe sugar sweet waltzing, done in a most unashamed style that, as well as the aging boppers, may attract a few younger souls to get up and take a turn on the floor.  The crystal clarity, the pillow soft swing and the more definite pronunciations all combine to contribute and make for a holistic sensation of yesteryear.  There are no profound trappings here, no hidden political sniping and no extreme ranges of emotion.  What we have is an example of slushy melody making with a perhaps overly neglected area of sound played out in the style sought.  Like it or loathe it, the band do it well and I am more than happy to applaud the effort.  If this CD was labelled as a drop-back to the late 60's and early 70's then surely the pendulum of assessment would be swinging to the side of the older era during the next offering.  'Phases' harkens to late Beatle-ised productions whilst slowly bringing to the fore many good home-made feel-good sensations amid emotions perhaps not as bright as they should be.  The vocal serenity leads us with easy charm through a slowly drifting verse into a highly complementary sound with a distinct comforting clarity maintained throughout.  Amid the crisp guitar, languid bass line and slowly stated stick slaps comes a feeling of something home-made - I like this added earthiness.

'The Strain' opens with a cool almost friable string strum before a listless approach comes almost following on from the previous rhythmic recline.  Again obvious comparisons can be made with turns of yesteryear but the song has its own value, own weight and easily approached mode.   When examined closely and the thread of the weave is taken apart what we find is and intrinsically basic composite that 'whoo hoo's' out in a somewhat sedated mockery of something 'Move'd.  Having said this, and tiptoed on the precipice, I can hold my hands up and clearly state that this is another appealing number.   The same can't be said for the chasing 'Cold Hands', a composite I find too aimless, too soporific and, may it me said, too patchwork.  I am reminded of a 'Pet Sounds' dabbling which to many will be a compliment but to my personal viewpoint, is something I find not to my taste.  There is just something experimental and nebulous going on here, something misted and not thoroughly obvious - I spin over and over and am a man trying to catch a melodic mist - I give in.

'Cargoes' sticks to the pace set, brings to the fore something more sub-psychedelic, more ponderous whilst retaining an ambiguity that this time...works.   Whips crack early but the players will not be rushed, they play out their roles in sedated fashion with the wordage soon banished beneath a soothing overlay of keyed sluggish motions that persuade one to take time to indulge and disappear within the consuming pulsations.  Here, if the tonality were to be personified, we could accuse it of becoming fainéant but this would be in error - the song emanates good life and although slightly idling, I am...convinced.

A clutch of 3 next with 'Trick Of The Light' raw, unaffected and with a substantial honesty that appeals.  Again no card-sharp trickery is called upon, no unnecessary foils to dupe the listener, no pointless parading so as to mar the basic values.  This is another fundamental song with the hook being its primitive openness and easily captured drift.  'Your Name Across My Heart’ adopts an almost identical approach but just nudges itself to the fore of one’s attention with a more rounded and holistically complete feel.  The blend between verse and chorus is complete, totally planed and pointed and with no decipherable separation - as a result one is initially caught, encased and refused escape until the final tonal touch - nice.  'Leave Your Mind Behind' is perhaps the most poetical of the group of three thrown under the Fungalising spotlight.   It is a tepid tickle that grows with each and every listen.   At first it comes across as an opened bud, slowly a show of inner colour is had, a blossoming follows and then we are left to inhale the quite intoxicating acoustic pollen cast our way.  This is a definite grower, a song with flower-power leanings, a quite lovely oral ode delivered on a waft of pleasing thermality.  Let the essence float far and wide.

'Home Schooling' is a robotic track that includes the hollers of some urchin and then many oral utterances from the same tinker.  A quick burst and a chance to include someone's loved one - I'd be cruel to knock it, so I won't.   The final full stop comes via the tweaking extravagance of 'Pressure Cooker', a sci-fi jaunt across an unfolding space scape that travels a little too far into the great confounding beyond and leaves me a trifle off-balance.  Again, from what has been before to this current state is totally disjointed and I am struggling to see the point of this instrumental dabbling.  It is a soothing tune, nicely blended but for me would have been better cutting into three snippets and used as a brief intro, a mini-half-way break and an outro to create some kind of on-going thread – these are purely personal thoughts though.

So, out of the box, into areas new and in general, very pleased with what I have aurally witnessed.  A good flowing CD only marred by the final 2 additions but hey, many would disagree and so they should.  I may keep an eye on this band, it could be interesting to see what musical thoroughfares they travel - another one on the endless list. 

   

THE WHITE RIBBONS - LEFTOVERS/S.O.P.H.I.E

Cultured, considered, crafted - three words beginning with 'C' and not hint of crapulence - whatever am I thinking of?  The three descriptive tags however are more than apposite when describing a band that really warm the cockles and bring to the fore a soundscape with many individual touches and much admirable naturalness.  I have only witnessed the band emanate their vibrations on one occasion before the impeding lockdown madness put 'in the flesh' shows...on hold.  I have reviewed a single offering thus far too and was very much taken, here is another stab at capturing the essence, being honest and just putting something back - I hope it helps clarify the ever-clanging and changing cacophonic picture.

The curtain is raised, the anticipation is eased and we are granted the first donation with 'Leftovers' pulsing on a heartbeat of tender thought and thermally alive, hope-inducing essences.  From a twilight world where loss is rife, bewilderment equally so, we hear a voice emerge, a vocal passion that is wanting, needing, wondering.  So many questions arise, the cruellest deed is highlighted, we are mere remaining morsels awaiting our turn to be gobbled up by the big black nonsensical void.   The texturisation of this song is ideal, the lilt absorbing and the touches of hallowed loftiness and cathedral-esque ambience come with great loved soaked sincerity.  The movement rises from a wavelet to a strong slowly advancing motion of growing grandeur – I think it is more than a little obvious that I like this one.

'S. O. P. H. I. E' is a beautiful song, laden with flesh-tingling power and all-absorbing good intent.  The opening twinkle has strength, as does the verse that moves with liquid ease and mastered precision.  The most immediate gratification comes when this verse slips into a slightly haunted chorus moment that is nothing less than deliciously sublime.   Feel the open-hearted freshness, stand back and inhale the day-dreaming wondering and the whole finely orchestrated arrangement that really hits a nerve.   The skin work is worthy of mention with the slaps and splashes giving the song a certain backbone, a veritable nudge in the right direction and the bass is an eternal tickler that donates bubbling joy de vivre to a poignant song with many layers.  I have played this many time – it is, as I say, beautiful.

A bonus sub-acoustic jaunt comes with a drifting accent and is a delight.  No name is on the CD case, who knows what it is called but it is a sweet, shining portrait of light-shaded pastels stroked across the awaiting recording substrate and done with utter care and conviction.  I am happy to let the reader discover more about this added trinket - go for it.

The White Ribbons are becoming more impressive by the day and are certainly radiating some music that has many emotive strains.  There is a good feeling going on here, I am enchanted, so far so good, but remember chaps, I live by honesty and striving to be transparent - don't rest on them thar laurels you acoustically inventive urchins.

   

THE INKLINGS - THIS TIME FOR REAL

Two blokes twanging, bashing and copulating in cacophonic cahoots - the birthing process has borne fruit - it was twins!  The first sonic splodge to fall on the assessing table was picked up, slapped on the arse and duly absorbed - it wasn't a bad do at all.  Here I am faced with assessing another 13 tracks so have to pulled up my hole-riddled socks, adjusted my silk crotched reviewing underpants and got out my penis-shaped pen from Blackpool so as to scribble a few thoughts - it is all part and parcel of being a punk rock pervert!

We open the doors to discordance with a 'Secret' - a tale regarding a pesky sable cur and of a need to escape.  A mask is worn, a hidden worry is found beneath the flimsy film of pretence and the musical tale unfolds.  The texture of the tonality ripples in a gracile manner, things are kept delightfully tepid and the song continually moves with careful consideration and appreciation of each and every note.  The band seem to be adept at relating a short tale with many layers and doing so with a distinct post punk cum pre-punk combination - I think it works.

Tale two, 'When You Hit The Ground You'll Be Running'.  A slow-burner, the flame is kept in the recesses, we have to creep closer and bide our time.   The oral tones that assist the limpid drum beat and the tempered bass rumble are ideal - all zones are lucid, contain a misted freshness and call upon dark-alleyway new romances where many genres grew as one and cultivated further depth and interest.  A slight upturn in animation levels comes, a change in the atmospheric air is neatly done and we drift to the final silence on wafts of considered goodness.  This is a change from many things I listen too - there are no belly-aches as of yet!

And so to stage three, 'Dead Famous' softly strums, finds its own mid-paced niche and goes for it.  A tale of the aging process and the inescapable clutches of Father Time ensues, the ego celebrity can't seem to take it and is in need of a facial make-over.  The tale is dealt out in the bands usual fashion, there is a certain simplicity and completeness to the offering with very little fuss had.  The exacting formula and precision of the mix make it easy for the listener (and assessor) to pick up on the design process and each individual component.  The outcome I feel is of a tune that oozes DIY effect but is a job neatly parcelled and packaged. 

A fistful of three as is my usual assessing style next.  'Devil In The Detail' is sincerely cool crooning with a tepid steam rising throughout and perhaps being suggestive of a song that is hard to actually grasp.  I certainly find a full-on aromatic flavour difficult to ensnare and although this is a deliberately subdued and cautious number I am finding myself not really magnetised to what is going on.  A little too light on the tonal shadings for me with no emboldened edging within the artistry and no splashes of blatant colour to give the composite contrast - I move on in this gallery of sound looking for something more appealing.  'It's Not Right' begins with lovely ticking string work that is eventually encouraged into the song proper, a song that is a reclined cadence of soft pastel application but yet one that makes for a portrait of neatly shadowed interest and slowly swirled compliments.  Whilst the sonica is softened and considerate the message is obvious - things are just not fuckin' right.  Sometimes hollering is not needed though, to simply state one's emotive state and pass on the feelings works better.  A comfortable listen with an acute point - yes, much more like it!  'Fields Of Blood' marches along with militarised discipline before having a free-flown dash via a light and fleet-footed chorus.  I am feeling something Jonah-Lewie-fied here, it must be the whispering.   The gentleness is careful, the touch of the strings and skins precise and deliberate and therefore making for something to sit upon, think about and process.  The band are tale-telling, reiterating the fact that war is no good for anything - this is a tidy snippet. 

'Zombie' comes next, it doesn't stagger in a half-dead fashion but advances with a spring in the rotting step.  There is many throw-back pub-rock essences foaming over the rim of the rhythmic cup here and as I drink deeply and glug to the beat I find the end taste simple but very appetising.  The spacious feel to the instruments, the back-room resonations and the somewhat uncomplicated arrangement - nifty.   Again lucidity is the key, this time we get a quite blatant lick to dance around with - tis not rocket science but the execution makes the journey a pleasure.    'Again And Again' is slowly grilled with the main glow arising from a thermally warmed inner core, a core that can only be appreciated with concerted effort.  The slowly rotating nucleus of rhythm has its own brand of gravity that gently pulls in all those with a curious nature and with patience.  The beat is steady, only raises above the level found on the odd invasive incident and all tonal aspects are again shaded across the recording substrate rather than etched deep.  The only niggle I can find here is that this, like many other songs, if played in the background, will go unnoticed which gets me to suggesting that greater licks and hooks are necessary at times.  There ya go! 

The final run in.  A crisp emotive string texture, a good rolling opening verse and then into the meat of the musical masterpiece proper.  'She's Coming Home' is the zenith of this CD due to the brisk and forthright melody, the tempo and of course, the impacting subject matter.   A tale of a woman under the cosh, a lady who is a victim of domestic violence but one who wins the day and eventually escapes the sickening stranglehold of a situation that is more than a little sour.  Fluent, effective, catchy and emotively impacting, this is a genuine peach with a strong message of hope.  'Dining With The Animals' strums, stops, strums, creates its own pseudo-skanky observational piece whilst all the while bearing something a little different.  This is a neat little mover and gives hint at an avenue I suggest the creators explore a little more.  The reggae bass is groovy, the lightness of touch apt and the accent of the lyrical offering perfect.  I like this as a partner to the previous outpouring - tis a good marriage of melodies for sure.

'Broken Souls' is a doom-laden song, asks a question and travels with a certain insidious threat/promise combo.  We return here to the bands creeping stealth mode, the sombre merge of greys move to reveal inner glimpses of more attractive colour.  The opening tickles remind me of an Insurance Advert, the following touches bring the bands own character and with further applications of the identifiable paintwork we have another competent end result.  The inner instrumental adds extra tints and I am happy to ponder the portrait further - tis a very appealing account.  'No Time' is regulated rhythm built around an upright spinal column of sound that finds the target, aims true and hits home.  Nothing outrageous transpires, nothing overly exciting but something reliable, steady and sure-footed.  The dependable drive of the gentle discordance is fine and dandy – I have little to add at this stage – perhaps it is just as well.

'Goodnight' is a sunshine one-trick pony keeping things simple for those who have a waning concentration or who like something cheaply tickling.  I am not keen, tis an aggravating pimple on the upper epidermis of the CD and I want to squeeze out its inner puss and have done - ooh what a fuckin' annoyance.  Tis a closure many may find apt - I am not a happy man but – each to their own

Despite the last niggle of noise this is a fair collection of creations done by a band who are settled in a groove.   Alas, that groove is already getting well-worn and I am throwing in a verbal firework here and hoping to blow the band into another creative thoroughfare.   The talent is there, next up - a 4 track EP would suffice - something full-on, something more skanky, a dabble of reggae and something unplugged.  Challenge set, can they do it - I am waiting, I am expecting! 

 
 

SPUNK VOLCANO & THE ERUPTIONS - FOOTBALL IN THE SUN

A new release from the demons with the sonic semen and splashing your way is one track (yes a single) and one harking back to yesteryear when we rolled onto the park, picked sides and had a good old kick-about.  Jumpers for goalposts, Jusoda for half-time refreshments with a puff on a No 6 and then back at it.  This is rose-coloured tinted music that overlooks the cunts who put in rough tackles, the teenagers who rattled the ball harder than the nippers could ever dream of and the shit footballs we used to used that would be so light they would swerve all ways in the wind or be so hard they would leave your conkers throbbing for many a day after misjudging that world famous Phil Parkes save.  Great days, great fuckin’ days…perhaps!

The tune, known as 'Football In The Sun' is a lovely, sugar sweet jaunt without fuss, without mean intent, without any stupid innuendo.   The song here is very corned, goes hook, line and sinker for the heartstring that is easily twanged when simpler days are remembered and nostalgia is called upon.  Of course sobriety is brought to the table in the form of dog-shitted trainers but what about the times when the ball went in the bramble patch and left your legs scratch to buggery or when Tommy Tintwistle had to go in and the main match ball was his – rotten bastard.   Besides these points though the song works well, has a nice easy drift, some sing-along snags and is mixed to a tee.   The vocals are lucid, the changes in approach smooth and complimentary and the overall feel-good factor is spot on - a real sunshine retro burst.  I do have one niggle though - the song goes on for too long and relies on the same trick that leaves me a little bored after several listens - ooh heck, trust old Fungal to step in the shit.

So, 1 song, 1 review, there you have it - not bad but I reckon longevity is lacking with this one - a summer song for old farts who need to get out more I methinks, you may disagree – fuckin’ reviewing, what a waste of good time?  PS - Ossie Ardilles my arse!

   

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!

 
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