FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 10
 
 

THE MACGREGORS - IN YOUR FACE

Another new band for young Fungal to deal with and a CD that has had varied receptions radiate my way.  As per, I do my own thing and remain unaffected although I have much respect for those with an opinion and a desire to do their bit.  Here we have a band who hail from the much maligned county of Essex thanks to the slack jawed cut-outs who disgrace our TV screens and have only one way to go - brain dead twats.  The music on aural display is car crash rock and roll played with spirit and slap dashed with a condiment known as vulgarity - mmm, let us hope the blend works and the naughty doesn't detract from the noisy.  I slide in with wariness at the helm of my receptive ship...

'In Your Face' pounds in, is the ideal opener for demanding your attention and lets you fuckin' have it with no apology whatsoever.  A shout and response of ready, a 4 cymbal splash, gruff grizzly guitars and a bass twang - in we go.  Wound up vocals scream like fuckery, recharge with glory and wrap-around with frenzied ferocity that leaves this mucky musical pig wallowing and swallowing in equal measure.  The hard flung semi-threatening mouth work and the electro-wire cuts that sear the attentive membranes operate amidst gravel grinding guitars gripes and gonad grabbing gratuity and this one sets the CD off on exactly the right footing required.  Boom.  Further excellence and ear-snagging triumph comes with the extra melodic, awestruck attack scrawled as 'Heatwave Medusa', a chasing gem that not only equals the opening avalanche but, in my personal opinion, outstrips it with ease.  This marvellous creation is high octane, energised and hungry with a superbly appealing bomb blast of animated tuneage.  The opening grim clouds are soon blasted clear with a storm of love laden effect that pours passion and purrs with inner sanguinity.  The blend of urgency, musicianship and clout are all in accordance and combine and clatter with aplomb with the most lug-snatching triumph being the overall liquidity and unstoppable effervescence.  This is a beauty, alive for all the right reasons and if you ain't flinging your shit after this capital cacophony I fuckin' give in!

Track 3 and the more vulgarised 'Sir Eddie (Of The Yard)', a song with equal want, equal surging but one that slips, rather negligibly, into realms of over hated coarseness that could detract from the gush and push of the construct proper.  A swift moving number with all areas brandished well and kept in line with the scathing attack on the jobs-worth jerk relentless and going down a route that I feel should have been less gutterised.  Just a thought but the song would have a whole lot more weight if kept more zoned and verbally honed but, it still has plenty ooomph and just gets by due to the previous two slammers creating such a positive sensation.  'Red' is a more controlled and swaggering cruise with deliberate acoustic feet placed one in front of the other with specific hot assed rock and roll vibrations starting as soon as the typical tympanic tickle.  Savoured to a high degree, sleazed in part, ground into the dust in others with a consistent constrictor embrace squeezing tighter and tighter as the ditty progresses.  Again we have a confident mix and a solid surround sound thumper with the main downside being the overly stretched running time - be careful chaps.  'Swedish Whip' begins with more cymbal splashes before screwing in on by now familiar tones and equally familiar exactitude.  A gripe and grumble, a sharp wire twinge before a paving of the way for the first smooth verse to flow.  A perverse leaning that flutters and throws adequate punches all with consistent effect whilst ruffling feathers and raising the odd roof or two.  Nothing to ponder too deeply here, just a good blow out with usual tuned tendencies and in line with all that has transpired - not a bad thing it is too!  'Bastards' jumps onto the set theme and goes through the motions with decent effect but lacking any real character of its own and so losing some value in the process.  The stop start flow throughout the versed chucks is not easily taken to but is slightly made up for via the chorus thrustings that, after a stated effect, go for the jugular - albeit too darn briefly.  An average song one will be divided by but one thing you can't question is the bands desirous intent - always noticeable it seems.

Not bad thus far lads and lasses and into the final four I go hoping for a rise in stature and a real mind melting finale.  The 7 minutes 38 plus ploddery of 'Glass Sky' is not what I was expecting to start the dash for the home-stretched and this ponsified, over-elaborated bended knee crawl really isn't my thing and in no way suits the bands style.  In opposition to this statement though the band should in no way keep chucking up the same old structured sonica.  In truth the blend works, the ballad-esque pomposity does have impact and leaves good reverberations but I am a trifle out of sync with the whole croon-esque slop and give it a defining thumbs down and kick up the self-absorbed jacksie for good measure - you can't win em' all especially with well worn taste buds as Fungal's on the receiving end. 

Last 3 - whoosh - 'Freeview Blues' is pertinent anti TV raving that takes place amid a turmoil of well perspired R 'n' R lunacy with the band and the man at the helm in highly agitated form and giving it to you...hard baby, darn hard.  A more than competent piece.  '300 Brake' eases in, glistens and hits the road with unflustered affect that sees perhaps the most reined in number of the lot take us on a journey to Cruiseville.   The light handed touch, well blown accents and overall consistency make for an easily digestible number but a full two minutes need stripping off here to get the listener wanting more and not wanting to upchuck the overfill.  Always leave em' gagging, and only in the right way dudes!  We finalise proceedings with 'Socks' a thrashing twat of lusted thrusted sexuality that has no subtlety, no tenderness, no delicacy.  It is a rampant dog on heat that needs its lipstick retracting and its knackers removing.  Many will react, become engorged and gyrate their privates like Viagra soaked vicars - whatever takes your pleasure boy!  A real spunky finish - almost literally!

And there you have it, a 10 track ass wobbling tear up whose greatest assets are the downright desire, retro rock and roll surgings and overall gusto.  There is a lot of similarity but the band can get away with that for a 10 track occasion and this one is ideal fodder for the greaseballs, the punk bastards or those who just wanna throw off their stresses and blow it all out.

   

RESISTANCE 77 - NO ESCAPE

A band that have bobbed about over the years in gushes, pushes and rushes and are still plodding along some 38 years later- applause, applause.  Of course over that time there have been many line-up changes but a few elements have been consistent, primarily the output of sound.  The band do the usual rounds typical of the old-school and have a fine following who will no doubt stick by them to the very bitter end - no bad thing.  Here we have a full album to tackle and produce I may be able to predict in advance (which I won't, so there).  So let us see what 38 years of experience can amount to, what the passing of time cultivates from the asses of players not liable to give up anytime soon (and why should they).

And so...a post apocalyptic wasteland is blown by a wretched zephyr before hope rejuvenating guitars strike firmer and firmer and peel away epidermal layers of scorched sonic skin to reveal the usual lucid and dazzling urgency Resistance 77 have offered us so many times over the years.  ‘Drop The Bomb’ is a multi-faceted construct not prone to stick to regularised routine and the fact that the band juggle many textures and facets and keep things highly kickin' is all credit to their expertise.  The flowing crystal waters that plough through the first verse and into the delightful chorus blossom are superb and the overspill of vim and vigour is an ideal way to kick off a CD that promises so much.  'State Controlled Assassination' begins with a swift revved up tympanic roll before rolling forth on steady sequences of questioning curiosity spiced with a peppered passion and unsettled saltings of spirit.  A more stealthy and somewhat backstreet tiptoe of a tune that takes time to fall in line with due to the busy arrangement and overall ornamented acoustics that drift with several generic hints.  Rumbling clouds break and brighter bursts of noise beam through thus offering salvation to what could have been an over dreary effort.  I am fifty/fifty with this one but can't fault the production levels.

'Glory Days' is that corned crud that comes forth from those looking back at times that seem so much better in retrospect and of course fall victim to the rose-coloured hands of bias.  I am sure everyone doesn't look back with such pleasure and that there are a few more reality riddled runts out there who see the draining black as well as the hopeful white in what were grey and grimy times.  Taking this for what it is though, and trying to behave myself (not easy for a long term bugger), this is expected tuneage that many will get slightly teary and tender to and ping around in a somewhat disturbing parody that is surely a form of therapy for the derailed.  The song is well played throughout, has emotive aptness and plays up to the theme chosen with clout aplenty - it just isn't my chosen nob of noise.  'Fear On The Street' is more like it with a direct and authoritative approach through the verse segments that solidly unfold into relieving chorus onslaughts awash with spittled sincerity and arising angst at a utterly shitted state of play.  The whole leakage of dripping anger is a complete blessing to the aural radars and as we pick up on the ascending frequencies of frustration our appreciation develops in accordance. Flicker and die!

3 quick blitzes thank you and the focused tear up of 'No Escape' opens the passageway and gives you a thumping bout of traditional punkage built on desire and uptight impetus.  The song shudders and shakes as well as chants and rants in holistic equalised measure and gives the more bare-boned basic believers out there something to get their lugs off to.  'I Don't Wanna' is the token cover and is dealt out with gratifying power and appealing accuracy to the original subject matter (without being a shabby imitation of cheap pretence).  A pure defying fuck off to the routine of life through the eyes of a youthful tinker this still has weight especially with the cunts who will never know no better (nowt wrong with that).  It is a simple creation but appeals to those primitive punked instincts we should all give respect to.  The last of the spurted three is 'Open Your Eyes' a song that begins with pseudo-skanked minimalism that breaks up to a robust rock out with moments that power drive and episodes that pulsate with irresistible relish.  The front man gushes with life whilst his musical cohorts thrive in a multi-functional melee of melody that delights and excites with comfortable exactitude - tasty!  'Young And Wrong' captures that teen frustration and wide-eyed uncertainty that is looked back upon with a subtle disbelief, a firm understanding and an acceptance of time wasted and chances blown.  The breezy aspect of the song suggests a carefree attitude, the stripped down acoustic moment of thoughtfulness counterbalances this outlook but then the final flourish swings the weight back the other way - nowt wrong with keeping one on the precipice and this is a fair dinkum ditty to do just that.

Into the final four and 'No Future' is again for the young un's with a real rambunctious and ready rocked roll out of upstartian noise that grips the nadgers of the neglectful and ignorant and asks for all to wake up and remember the youth that will make tomorrow.  Industriously buzzing and with a tangible buoyancy this ever-growing escapade of desirous discordance alerts the inner senses and raises an awareness of the importance of keeping the next generation encouraged and enthused.  There is a distinct belief in the cause radiated here and I applaud that as I do the questioning unprejudiced stance of 'Religion Today' that avoids digging the cerebral steel-capped toes into the midriff of the faithful and instead takes an erudite look at why something that is supposed to be about love, faithfulness and helping ones neighbour has turned into an excuse for bigotry, bias and bloodshed.  At last  a band don't go for the available jugular of the easy prey and think about things and post a fair poser into our mental letterboxes.  No need for those swayed religion knockers who will put down one strain but fastidiously neglect the other to shout out here, no, this cultured song takes heed of the human tainted cultures out there that have been infected and now are a travesty of what they really should be about.  The song is delicately composed, has the usual concrete foundations and gets one pondering - triple result for we hungry listeners.  Next up and 'Sick Of It All' is purist spiked disgruntlement that nudges its way inward with tribal drums and jabbing guitar twinges whilst spouting off about the many things in life that really get ones head hanging and spirit flaming.  Don't look for mesmeric intricacies here, just get your head up and get clued in to a song that bleeds rage against the bollocks and urgently thirsts for a more positive situation.  Sometimes the back to basics approach is essential, we have the point proved here.  The final throw out and 'Walk Away' has all the trimmings and tinsel of a heart-wrenched number that meets a finale and goes through some quite choice motions (without gloves on - mucky buggers).  A look at the shitty changes and divisions out there and the hassle they unnecessarily cause is dealt with in a manner that  I can utterly relate to (although the dignity leaves me standing behind a little - boo for Fungal) and it makes one wonder how many are getting totally bewildered by the many political and spiteful angles out there.  It goes without saying that the band tackle the emotional strains,  troubled tones and somewhat saddened accents with aplomb and make this a sterling farewell to, I hope, is only the CD.

Resistance 77 have a high pedigree, have done their bit through many eras and many slummed and successful times and still they produce the reliable goods.  Yes, that is the key word here, 'reliable' something, that in a warped and tragic way gets turned into neglect and a lack of mindfulness by many.  You will hear far worse CD's than this and for me it once more rubberstamps the quality of the crew at the helm (albeit with minor line-up changes).

   

DOGTOWN REBELS - BRAVE NEW WORLD

It seems like an age ago since I last ran my aural assessors over produce from this highly competent band who are soaked in experience, noisy nouse and spiked peddling.  Hailing from Ipswich, Norwich and Bury St Edmunds (awkward gits) this is a pure punk rock outfit with no illusions or delusions of being anything more (and why should they).  The crisp effective pronunciation of what they do rifles through every track and this is a fine example of dragging that what was into the the modern era.  Initial impressions were high and after more plays...now, now, you ain't getting things that easy...read on you sickeningly idle shits and see what a little effort on both parts produces.

The dreary drapes of noiselessness billow back under the thermal emittance of the first upchuck that is slapped down as 'Brave New World', a song that gets into a dynamic groove of excellence almost instantaneously and blazes a trail of sing-a-long excitement which will undoubtedly get many inspired and unified.  The hectic affair of the tympanic and string coupling breathes a sincere confidence into the unfolding drama and for me, as a partaker of many discordant delicacies, I find myself utterly at home within this well concocted brew of old/new school fizzage.  Each and every compartment merges with concurrence and I move on elated and pumping fist to the echoes of the glorious chorus.  'Overload' upholds the wealth of promise with a blue light bass snippet that leads into the swift somersaulted rush of the first verse.  A blustering effort with high action, saturating effect and the expected accomplished accuracy.  The perpetual motion ascends in stature and orgasms with gratuitous gushings borne from a stance that has taken too much and just needs to release that inner venom.  The pace is infectious, the dynamic delivery breathtaking and the aforementioned final thrust absolutely bang on the mark.  A testament to a fine band and doubling up a two-punch that rattles the listening framework with embracing totality.

'Look To The Future' is a softer song in tone but with an emboldened message equal to that which has transpired.  A greater reliance on streetpunk emotion and traditional sub-generic persuasion this neat droplet of noise falls with tidy pertinence and calls for a pride to be rekindled and a notice to be had of where you are at and what you stand for.  Holler together, push into the future and get in-line with understanding the cause is the thread I am picking up on here with emphasis placed on pit-pleasing prowess.  All perfectly acceptable but out of the opening three jaunts this is the least effective (just).  An injection of speed and 'Plastic Cockney' bounces in after an urgent cymbal 4 tap.  The galloping effect is grabbing, the spring in the mattress of melody and sniping gusto is fitful and troubled with a fine blend of the wound up and the lucid still making the A class grade.  The gobbage is steaming and filled with observational alertness that has a zoned in appeal and easily picks out the wannabe east end wide boys with a little bit of savvy here and a little bit of savvy there - cunts.  A meaty song and one that gets under your skin after the first play - have it.  'Dead And Gone' is a partner in crime to the preceding gem and has equal magnitude and self-assured onslaught.  Grandiose suggestions are hinted at through the first twangings and belie the fact that what is coming is a hard hammering upchuck of irate sub-bitterness that sprays toxic spittle far and wide and into many faces (oh yes).  The guitars powerdrive with a scathing essence that is backed by those ever-energised sticks.  A quite firm slap in the mush folks!

The classiest and perhaps most sharp dressed strut through this CD is taken down the avenue labelled as 'Someday', a veritable thoroughfare of simplistic but highly articulated noise that feels cock sure and stands out due to its semi-two toned accents and liquid punctuations.  The opening bars hint at some jumping boys enthused by Undertoned warbles and continue through with an increasing tension a noticeable chaperone that gives the whole escapade...muscle.  The fact that the song is chased along by the more amphetamined and drilling 'Shotdown In Paradise' accentuates both composites with the more blatant anger and machine-gun flare making for a perfect partner in acoustic crime.  This latter effort is a good clatter batter cum twatter with the band in austere control and making sure they keep melody and durable lustiness for the cause all unreservedly obvious.  'Now And Never' is a shadowy doppleganger of the previous two efforts with the throb of one intertwining with the clout of the other and making for an offspring with many fine assets but a slight lack of its own identity and character.  This is not to say the song is a mundane and somewhat greyed affair with an arid essence that will deaden the most patient of palates.  No, the song has a fair subtlety and considerable 'ooomph' to take note of, it is just that amid these many pounders it loses some of its general effect.  I move on before digging a whole too deep and without foundation - otherwise known as a bottomless pit - oh heck!

A triple dash with 'Fight For Liberty' staying in a somewhat middling ground with a fiery breath held in and mere scorchings given via the crew that are convincing me more and more of their stabilised and accurate excellence.  I use the word 'middling' here in respect of what my expectations are as a result of what has passed by my ear-holes and believe me when I say this is a more than adequate number with many meritous aspects to glow over.  It is just that the standard is so fuckin' high that it would be dishonest to say that every song is reaching the same zenith. I hope you understand and appreciate this tidy turn when spinning in your player - good on ya chaps.  'Johnny Come Lately' is again a comfortable drift that is loaded with accomplished ease without over-stretching its potential.  One of those where you think that the band are just throwing these off the wrist without even trying - clever bastards.  All we can do is stand back, take the ejaculated offerings and consider ourselves blessed.  Once more all elements are individually choice and has a pack hunt down your resistance with cultured expertise.  'One Way Ticket' closes the thrifty three with a fast flowing donation that reels around the well tossed trashcan of tonality with almost complete abandon and relieving roughery.  The structure is obviously building to an epileptic rant out and when it comes the senses melt, the vision stains red and the life giving sanguine liquid bubbles - I love it.  

The final stretch with another trio of noises to delve into.  'High Definition'  pronounces itself with a demand on your attention before trouncing the tones with incessant need and well aerated acoustics.  The anti-TC cum war tirade throws itself into your mush with robust effect and has detailed ammunition that is perversely and lovingly spraying debilitating warheads of racketology into we, the admirers, mugs.  And I wouldn't want it any other way!  'Song For The Fallen' is a tribute laden corn that many bands throw in to the mix, especially those long term servants who have seen many bandits fall by the windblown wayside.  The fact is though many don't do this traditional remembrance sodden sloppage this well and even this ragged git finds himself suffering from a tenderisation of the heart whilst listening in - bah bugger!  An emotion is needed, a pride injection as well as a respectful radiation that keeps within certain boundaries so as to avoid offense - all boxes are ticked and if after this bare-souled bout you are not quite proud of certain aspects of our scene then a distinct heartlessness may the accusation made.  And lastly into the slightly popped and crackled join in and swing sweetness of 'The Fear', a fuckin' spot on closure with all textures, vocal utterances, unified harmonies and aqueous lilts combining to make a back end treat and leave the crucial positive aftertaste so many crews fail to place emphasis on.  Yes, all good from this side of the fence and I reckon a grand CD full stopped with aplomb.

I knew that the Dogtown Rebels had something exceptional within them, had a real gut feeling that an album with longevity and admirable song writing skills was easily within their capabilities and here, if I may say so, all has come to wonderful fruition.  Sometimes reviewing CD's is such a pleasure!

   

SUPER FAST GIRLIE SHOW - DON'T GO DOWN GENTLE

The Superfast Girlie Show are a fiery three-piece awash with hard-edged essences currently slapped down on the Antipop Record label with much forthright lust and toilsome ardour.  The Liverpool lashers have much clout and have played many quality gigs that have given them every opportunity to ascend higher and all I am currently wondering about is if this CD is actually good enough to help with the potential ascension? The only way I'll find out is by delving in myself it seems, no good relying on others, life has its time limits and rather than ask why it is better to keep it DIY.

The commencement comes through a curse called '1980's', a grungy crag faced repeat slab of heavy duty slag noise that initially falls in dirty great glutinous globules before eventually finding a little fluidity via a routine that is somewhat orthodox.  The combination of treacled tones, sub-psychedelic touches and the semi-hardcore suggestions make for sonic subject matter not that frequent in my assessing duties and so leaves me working harder to embrace the leanings.  This opening track has good pounding rhythm, a dirty incessancy and a tightness that is not immediately apparent due to the crummy end production.  Play loud at your peril, the effect increases to diseased levels and as per, I am always happy to risk an infection or two.  Quite effective this opener as is the more bouncing tremulations of 'Mind Control'.  This little bone vibrator has me pondering similar songs with less bassed injections and I am sure I have heard the like before but just can't place it.  A very hop-along swinger this that real does shake the dust from those tucked away aural crevices and a song that works its way into your very souled foundations and provokes a response of the positive.  The basic ingredients of rock and roll are there to be partaken of, there is a liquidity not to be denied and a strength to be choked by - and why not?

'Freaks' is more rib rattling ooze from the depths of discordance were strangulated sonica thrives with wise ass tendencies to give a back alley US cutlet that takes no prisoners and clobbers along with the expected fashion that at one point, spirals to the brink of a complete celebratory eruption and wallows in the glory of being outside the damn circle.  From foaming filth to a slow simmer that comes to the boil before hammering out with a certain satisfying full-stop.  'Stand Up' tub thumps with equal resonance and calls for you to leave the confines of comfortableness and make your personal statement against the bilge.  A throb nob that causes aural haemorrhages aplenty especially if that volume button is forced to level max.  The odd stutter threatens to kill the pattern of pleasure but the crew force their own hand and make for another hurtful, but applaudable, episode of gristly, unapologetic noise.  For me the first number that has negative aspects is the chasing 'Leave It', a song that is patchwork play that, when grabbing the leash, keeps a good orderly conduct within the cacophony but a song that, now and again, just drifts into slightly less effective slaps. Maybe this slant is needed and I am missing a point here, but I just get the feeling that a lack of the previous adhesive exactness is missing - hey ho, I gotta go with the honest flow.

'I Don't Care' farts out initial black swathes of clogging strummage before angrily kicking up a further stink against rhythm and routine that is silently requested by the idiot masses.  The punctuated pieces and cruising rattles counterpunch and counterbalance with further dramatic flatulence before the final flurry comes - fruity man, fruity.  'Oh Well' considers where it wants to go with a brief bout of indecisive twiddling before jumping up and enjoying a pepped up spree of highly relished din making that now and again over fizzes and slops energy ooze all over your perhaps expectant lap.  This one doesn't fuck about, it comes and goes before my fingers have chance to do a full assessment - a slippery eel to consider many times over (like I do) and still come out undecided.  'Stones' is another pounding migraine of harrying insistence that you either have to run away from or totally immerse yourself in.  It seems a lot shorter than the previous track (which it isn't) and is a drugged induced sable woodpecker that won't be easily shook free from the bark of your brain - cripes.  For me an average track considering what has transpired thus far.

4 Left and a refusal to dawdle is had.  There is no change expected and 'Roller Derby (Stole My Baby)' concurs and still trembles with glee and spite but here we have a synthed speckled groove that contains more regularised melody and so will perhaps intrigue those with softer leanings.  One of the best this one, a semi-sleazed ease emanates from the sturdy bassy background with the almighty oscillations mushing one to a submissive, lamentable heap - nice.  'Seen Enough' (I know that feeling) flutters then barks from strange lands laden with hesitancy.  Eventually the sonic serpent unwinds itself and sidles along with repetitive patterns - a very non-venomous number that has a tame bite and certainly doesn't infect in any way whatsoever - a shitting slobberer rather than a virulent cobra - it happens.  'Doley Boy' digs in, grits the teeth and fuzz buzzes with usual thematic threads frayed and swaying. Yet again a gruff rough creation that has a Motorhead-ish intro, US leanings towards the backstreet clubs where DIY danger resides, and a severe upswing during moments where impetus is motivated by pace and let loose desire - maybe the bands best route in the long term.  We shut down with 'Pub Fight', a clubbing melee that kicks and punches with almost reckless ambition but maintaining the usual orderly tightness.  Switching from cruise mode to clatter mode, from the aurally lenient to the acoustically austere is all done with an uncompromising fashion blatantly stating that the band know what they want, go for it and do it with blinkered zoning - is that a problem?

So my personal view on this one is of a well-grilled, nicely drilled burst of weighty sounds blending into a powerful upheaval that is always appreciative of a little extra juice in the speaker.  It strikes me as an acquired taste but one that will be surely meeting the needs of many punk and metal heads as well as a few external hardcorian enthusiasts.  I would have preferred this release split down the middle and served up as two EP's rather than one album with a each offering containing something totally different – a full on skank moment, an instrumental or a wild H/C thrash out - maybe worth a thought for future ventures.  For now I leave it in your hands and hope my textual overview arouses your curiosity levels - digits crossed!
   

LOS BENGALA - INCLUSO FESTIVOS

It goes without saying that when I am requested to review any produce from the Dirty Water Records stable I get slightly aroused.   The reason for this perverse reaction (of which I make no apology) is that, over the years, the label has given me untold delight with quality release after quality release.  In fact, along with Do The Dog Records, I would name these peddlers of noise as the very best labels to have tickled my tastebuds in recent times.  Of course I can't like everything, that goes without saying, but the hit rates here are fantastically high and this underdog pig bloody well appreciates it. So what of Los Bengala, and what of the CD release here.  The band arise from Zaragoza in North-east Spain and are a brace of racket-makers who combine drum and guitar and do so with a leaning to sounds definitely garaged.  It sounds a tantalising and compelling mix and I go in salivating but sober and more than ready to give an honest run down of the ten tracks donated my way.

We start with the intro instrumental known as 'La Caza', a one way track tumbledown that is merely the carpet layer for the cacophony to come.  Slightly jungleoid and tribal, beautifully ornamented with a repeater beater string manipulation this one threatens to rise to heady heights but leaves you in limbo and opens the way for...

'Sé a dónde voy' a song that knows where it is going from the off with a free-flowing glitter tint of animation soon spiced with hollered and hollowed chants borne from bellies laden with festival energy, lo-fi suggestions and tumbling acrobat vigour. The song propels itself forward on self-made gusto with the galloping attraction thoroughly magnetic and pulse lifting.  Many flavours collide and come out impregnated with neighbouring essences thus making for a bag of spangular sonic sweetness constantly fizzing within your inner aural orifice - tasty!  A keen start with bolder pronunciations unfolding amid the grand triumph of 'No hay amor sin dolor', a ditty that blooms with acute punctuations before blossoming brighter with tympanic assistance.  The first verse is shouted from the rear, gives a feeling of over the shoulder urgings that promise to fulfil yours, and the bands own, expectation levels.  The chorus that emerges is a fantastic explosion of joy de vivre and enthused thirst for creating celebratory triumph loaded with textured tonality and high-flown professionalism.  This is exciting spirit raising gumption flapped forward by highly capable mitts and if anyone is feeling lowly after an unbridled ping about to this then their sonic soul is bereft of life – and I pity them!  No pain, no gain, work hard and get the results - seems the recipe here!

A scorched three count and into the fuckin' thrusting craziness of 'Jodidamente loco' a song dripping with juice, goodness, incandescent jubilance thus putting another feather in the ever refined cap this band are donning with brazenness.  A delectation of devouring acoustic intelligence that utterly refuses to take a backward step without taking your acceptance as prisoner.  The band have a penchant for vigorously involving your very quintessence and whipping it up into a frenzy of glorious gratitude thus forcing an acknowledgement of the superb sizzle-o-mania.  A flag-flying beauty of multitudinous colours - wave on! 'Máquina inferna' is a effervescent little number, best likened to an Orthopteran specimen pumped full of candy sticks and other 'E' based material.  A fidgeting fuckwit once again pumped with a sense of acoustic adventure and infecting hullaballoo.  The colliding vibe and booty shaking flavour overcomes anything lost in translation and for me, this is ideal musicianship to shake off the daily stresses with.  The attention to detail, the high action level, the fine clarity all combine and keep this CD flourishing and may I add, verdant!

Suddenly we have a change in approach, a thoughtful, slow strummed introspective start to the next track which is known as '65 días'.  The initial worries about a stale flopper that may derail the triumphant tempo of the CD are soon banished to Nonsenseville as a woven blanket of intricate European leaning slips over the ear space and provides deep rooted rhythmic comfort.  A mix of the spaghetti-ised western-esque tension, abundant fiesta alcohol frolics and the usual whizzed lust and cacophonic concupiscence the initial bloom of trepidity soon confidently opens to reveal a varicolored pompom of magnetising melody.  I sniff very deeply indeed over and over again and, never fail to smile with appreciation!  Track seven already and 'Aaah' bassily funks inward, pops its own cork and offers a chance to clap along and feel that vibe ma'an.  As we move on we can almost predict a virulent onslaught coming and are soon rewarding by a brilliant episode of wild, untamed free-reeling that invades the more controlled moments (in the loosest sense) with a new found level of liberation.  No matter how far to the extremes this duo push they always have a full grasp on the vital core of the tuneage and create sweet mushrooming music of rewarding dimensions. Hefty stuff.

'Ataco' assaults the senses with another festival of tonality all sparkling bright, poured from many directions and sending the inner attentive senses haywire.  It is a bombardment of unaffected ease, a shower of overloaded notes and chords and trinkets of glamour to both delight and bewilder in equal balance - I need add very little at this point.  The closing two numbers are equal in stature and strength to anything that has gone before with 'Perfect Body' a scrummy dig at vanity and self-adoration.  Tackled with flair, flamboyance and 'fuck it' naturalness it is, as you may expect by now, another winner in the Fungal sonic book of assessment.  As is the closing 'Abran Paso' a song that spreads itself out on your indolent lap and has one last attempt at invigorating your arse.  If, at such a late juncture, there is no sign of life, maybe it is just as well, Heaven help you.  This closing piece is a foot-stomping, heavy chomping nag at the last bastions of your senses that must surely submit to the pecking tumult.  This is the least ornamented song of the lot and so the least effective it seems but after a pause it sucks new life up its own resplendent jacksie and farts out one last blast - a very wise move.

And that is that, over, done, finished, finalised, full stopped and fuckin' dealt with and...what a joyous journey it has been.  If you have stuck through the review thus far then you need no extra persuasion to buy this, so now switch off from this site, get your cash and get ordering, what is, a cracking ten tracker to elevate your very being.

   

LA TI DA - LA TI DA

Do you remember Gooseball Brown and his weird and sometimes wonderful spillage known as 'Coyote, Crow, Buffalo, Beaver'.  No - well fuck you and wake up ya bastards - there was some real effort poured into the creation as well as the ensuing review and all you do is lay back, get fat on your own ego bar and moan about how little gets done - blah.  Here we see the dude from Montreal, Quebec munch his way through another 10 tracks this time under a new nom de plume and with real forethought and greater attention to the production levels and persuasive passion (although the quirkiness and uncertainty is still there- yeah).

We are greeted by the cool sultry driftings of 'The Ballad Of Polly Parker', a lazed float on shimmered waters of comforting tranquillity and exacting balance that buoys the listener with positive appreciation of an artist exhibiting new found cultural depths.  I love this opening dreamboat that cruises with untold serenity and a carefree unrushed aspect totally in tune with the soul, the skin, the cerebral core.  Our lead man flicks thoughtful droplets along the way of his pondering path and makes for a swimmingly delectable listen with a cheeky glint in the eye and still, that most essential, DIY undercurrent.  I doff my cap sir, the start is a beauty!  Ploughing on with zones chilled we are met with uncertain almost hauntingly tentative tickles of the ebonied and ivoried, where virgin attempts at tunesmithism (I reiterate - there are no word rules in the Fungal camp) are taken and come up with an intro to a song called 'I Write Songs', an episode tinged with heart-aching fragility.  Into the first cascade of noise proper and it is more than glaringly obvious that there is a complete epidermal strip down here that exposes the very nucleus of our crooning creator and gives the listener a glimpse of pure reality.  Raw vocals, manipulated guitars that puke occasional feedback and a gritty substance that is not overly noxious make for another thoughtful trundle through pastures fresh.  A revealing of the inner talent suspected is had and the attention to keeping things lucid, crisp and very natural does not go unnoticed - thank you dear twanger!

A garaged lunacy opens 'Vaguetown' where mental stability is sought via bottled escapism and crooned wanking.  The backdrop of carouselled B-movie rotations where corrupt phantoms lurk and animal faced minstrels pluck and fuck adds fear to the troubled track that sees our lead wordsmith roam in perplexed and tormented  tribulation.  Something thoroughly unambitious and revealing manifests itself at this juncture and gives a greater colouring to the gent at the helm who is really at home in his chosen dabblings.  Paradoxically the oxymoron exposed is of a faraway neighbour to the previous brace and one that keeps me thoroughly absorbed.  As does the donkey dick swinging drawl of 'The Metapsychosis of Gooseball Brown', a purely headless chicken strut that potters in rambling fashion without any seeming target in mind.  A chest reliever, a therapy in public I feel with a new slant exposed and one that leads one up many expectant laden pathways without any definite promise.  My least favourite thus far but this isn't a bad song and just keeps you wary as to what will come next which is a vital ingredient for an artiste such as this.  Worthy of my time though, is it worthy of yours?  If not it bloody well should be if any sense of curiosity is had within your confounded carcass - take note!

'Of Significance' is testing sub-underwater hippified 60's suggestion with murky generic pools rippled and overlapped in a dope-smoke style that creates minimalist psychedelia.  A creeping maggot of injured experimentation nibbling on the crud of your concentration and taking what nutritious attention it can get.  This one is a sticky maelstrom of times hazed, dazed and may one suggest, decadent.  Cramping and destabilising this filth needs listening to whilst wearing a flowery shirt, ripped shorts and with having a bellyful of acid - drop out baby!  The pursuing 'Fun Cuts' is a continuous rant that refuses breath and exchanges the life-giving oxygen for a suffocating stance that niggles the noisy assessors and creates a sub-song that lacks melody, bounce and, sadly, interest.  My least favoured erumpent bout of acoustica to break through the rather intriguing bark of silence.  The throbbing tribality and underhand sexuality of the chasing 'Bottles And Balloons' is more like it with a grind out pulsating with mischievous delight and perverse implications.  Amid a semi-chaotic montage of tortured midgets and ever swelling nob-rottism this bleak orgy steams with sweat and somehow survives to become something akin to a song - why do I find myself liking this?

Only 3 left and 'Raylene' leads the way with a chirpy homage to a biscuit making bird who has nice buns as well (now then, now then).  This one exhibits our artistes slant towards things unhinged, simplistic and comically passionate.  You can't help but find this sweet-toothed tuneage darn likeable and the way the player involves himself and plunges into the calorie lusting tomfoolery is a sheer delight.  Drop yer kecks, get the cakes in and fuckin' dance man, dance.  And if that ain't enough, go further into the caverns of jiggoid jerkiness with the unleashed, free swinging pep of 'Texas Is Death', a hectic upheaval of stress-busting cacophony charged by one man’s need to release spores of sonic freedom and inner fire desire.  The garaged tones appeal, the salivating style is apt and from that initial yodel of madness through the fuzzbelt of sound this is a Utopia for those not of sound mind - yippee!  We shut down with 'L. U. C. I. F. E. R.' an insidious song that paints an anti-religious portrait of sickly hues that strike the onlooker as something abhorrent and impish.  The opening dialogue between someone sinister and elfish demons of equally unsettling proportions is sick, sick with decadence and underhand brain sozzling.  A veritable full stop to a CD with few boundaries and keeping one alert, unsure and a trifle scared right up until the final note - oooh!

So a CD to raise a glass to, a CD to ride the highs and lows with and a CD that is not easily categorised and in part mesmerises, in others befuddles.  I like stuff such as this though, it keeps one alert whilst ploughing through the undergrowth and never fails to have a few moments to never forget - the curve is definitely upward here!

   

THE BREAKDOWNS - INSTITUTE FOR SKATEBOARDING OTTERS

I have just reviewed a CD by this lot and if you haven't read it or are not clued in to the band then tough shite baby because I ain't repeating myself here - I am going in head first without thought of an intro and am just rattling out the reviews of the rhythm in necessary style.  I have a third CD to deal with by this lot as well so keep on ya tootsies please, lots to get through, lots of enthusiasm needed.

The first belch from the squalid gut of the band and 'Asbo Grandad', a song with a grandiose start before scuzzed shenanigans take place with all grimy hands to the deck and pumping away with lunatic fringe relish.  Usual fair this that I have heard a trillion times before and truly noise from the underbelly of the scene where creations come just for the sheer hell of it.  It has a tightness and orthodox procedure that appeals to my more primitive punked instincts but has no profundity of tone or deep rooted meaning to the lyrics.  The criminal OAP at the crux of the matter is a comic character easily envisioned and if you take this for what it is then you will have fewer complaints than me.  'Psychotherapist' whips along on replay display methodology with chopping riffage and well walloped drums that give good groundings for the grimaced gobbage to somersault along to.  An irate and intense onslaught that slots into a set strain and hammers home the point.  If you are looking for rocket science than go down to your local library and loan a book, you won't find it here.  'Another Night With You' completes the opening triplet of toneage and is a blend of the straight forward hustle and bustle moments already witnessed and a ponderous section that recaptures breath.  Again a tidy and very effective blow out that, from the non-pedantic side of the fence, is all fine and dandy but from the didactic perspective where the pennon cuntish critique flutters a very different opinion may be had.  An opinion that discusses a song too routine, too similar and too in-line with expectations but I reckon it is far better to stick to the easier and less brutal slant and go with the spiked flow.  

Onto the next one and 'We Seek Revenge'.  A great guitar sequence opens with hints at subdued metalised meanderings before the main thrust of the first verse is upon you, still maintaining the rhythm and severing many links to that which has passed.  A quite advanced number exhibiting a strict adherence to generic uniformity and traditional tonal layouts.  It shouldn't be the way forth but here it seems to be the case with the crew exhibiting sound structure, articulate musicianship and a certain inner control.  A firm standing track with broader appeal and much inner angst to add that much needed spice.  'Never Stand Up In A Dinghy' is a swift chomping tune that consumes the basic elements within the acoustic nucleus and has them shattered and reeling with bog brush noise that doesn't need to be anything more.  Thrown at you like an oily unwashed rag, rubbed in with pace and without thought for pointless showy bangles or ponsey accoutrements this terse titbit asks for only a brief moment of your time, but is it worth it?  'Porno Wife' is a crude tale about a whoring bitch who sells her body for pounds and pleasure whilst her neglected husband ponders the prospect of a pecker not up to size.  It is moronic in essence and of a certain gutterised punk we, as grown adults, should avoid but, alas we can't.  Something about this numbskull noise makes us pay attention and listen more closely to lyrics best left abandoned - is it perversity or just an innocent curiosity? The major winning aspect of this song though is the pogo inducing riff that is bare-bollocked, tit-stripped and utterly magnetic - the bastards have me!

4 left and on I prowl.  'More War'  has a good stop/start drum driven commencement before getting the crust down and shoving itself forth on a careening drive of frustrated angst.  The verses are screwed and grimaced with pushing intent whilst the chorus chunks open the airways and let fly with a well-aired repeat beat.  Amid the structure is a wasped string flutter and head pounding collision that backs up the questioning verbals and makes for a plussed up listening experience - scuzzy.  'Jonny's Still Drinkin' Johnnie Walker' is a fine effort despite running over the 5 minute mark, which always tests my punk patience.  Anthemic tones, firm footed placement of verse and chorus, an abundance of emotive reticulations lying over the core of the rhythm and giving an almost tone tactile effect that is very gratifying to the aural touch.  One of the more rewarding tracks and that opening glass-light twinkle and embracing essence that smoulders away with sanguine aplomb is all credit to a band capable of many more zeniths such as this.  A supping song too me reckons - bonus for the fat bastards out there!  'Born And Bred Local Lunatic' is back to bare balled blasting with all decencies thrown aside and exchanged for a good old fashioned wallop of bricks and mortar punk-esque piracy with blades swung and many resistant throats cut.  Numerous rapids are created, occasional ripple rides had but in the main this is a rough journey not for those who get a little queasy at the slightest upheaval.  A fine follow on from the previous classic and just what the ship’s doctor order along with the obligatory cough and drop once over. The finale is back to the coarser channels but is a comically cute number with much laddish idiocy and rock and roll relish.  One for the horny corny brigade who read The Sun, sup cheap lager and treat women like trash (ooh errr horrible devils).  Despite my disagreement with the cracked lyrics I do think this is well put together and is right up the street (not the shitter) of the gooned revellers who screw anything in sight and have no muffed morals whatsoever ha, ha.  Take it or leave it!

Cor blimey guv'ner another CD done and I reckon a fair critical review given.  This is what it is, no airs, no graces, no real embarrassing disgraces (you did come close though chaps) and one or two moments to really indulge in.  We are in a DIY scene here, you need to check out as much as you can and this should be on your list - devour, devour, devour!

   

TWO WHITE CRANES - RADISON BLUE

A solo set up from a plucker fucker from Bristol whom has tootled about in many tonal areas and in many tuned in guises and ended up...here!  That is all I know, nothing more, nothing less and, as any nosey noise meddler will tell ya, it is the way that usually leads to most excitement.  Know little, expect little, receive...well, who the hell knows!

The first attempt at sonic pleasure comes via the name of 'So Much Water', a simply featherweight episode of quite beautiful acoustic minimalism that is awash with child-like innocent, delicacy and wide eyed wonder.  The slightly coruscated strings are suggestive of sub-garage and the gently smoked throat donations are magically embracing with complimentary warmth added to the aforementioned wire rust.  Despite the gossamer fragility the song has a definite robustness and strength of sonic spine and should in no way be underestimated as a weak open runt of tentative rhythm.  I find myself thoroughly taken by this charmed nudge of noise that I just can't help playing over and over again.  With a seeming theme set it seems as no surprise that 'Diaries' shadows the same pathway and has the stripped bare hollowness that so rightly intrigues.  This second slip from the tentative is equally attracting due to nothing more than that caring, cautious worry inflicted onto each and every vocal utterance and musical attachment.  The deliberate strums add an inner belief that is at first not apparent to the soul-searching spillage and once again the gently sandpapered oral offerings dig out further depth and reveal a little more about the character at the helm of the output.  I am liking this but am under no illusions that if this style is kept up for the full album accursed ennui may sidle inward - damn the fear inside!

'Daytrip', 'I Tried' and 'Adler' are the next fistful of forlorn flutterers that escape from the bleak flowerheads of silence with the first song in animated slow-motion with a film reel exposure seemingly skipping every other frame and creating a sensation of unfinished business.  The slide into deeper resonance is brief, the opposition between the firmly thrummed and the gently ushered is accurate and it is a case of as you were.  The second snippet comes on threadbare foundations with sparse sonic adornments placed and positioned with heartfelt need and an aural determination to enswathe the eavesdropper in solacing sun-drops of caressing treasures. Nice.  The third cascade has greater pep in the nucleus of noise and radiates a more upbeat liveliness that comes at a juncture when it is very much needed.  The tissue-paper tones are still present but reinforced with hope-filled string twinkles and a firmer strum of the strings that make this darling gem rise from the pack and expose what talent we really have on our mitts.  Vocally more stretched, rising to a minor acoustic challenge and coming out reeking of many floated petals - quite appealing.

Another bunch, this time containing four drifts of the same slant with 'Coach Trip' a wary spillage of watercolour dilution and semi-introspective leanings that dribble out an unsure timidity that, quite sneakily, enchants.  'Brighton' is mere wretched poetical musing with a slight suggestion of horror intertwined with a worrisome thread that exposes further a open-wounded heart streaked with a rewarding transparency.  'Minto Road' is observational acoustica with a greater grip on the groove and a move away from the usual trepidation and sub-hesitancy.  More of these moments need to be had to accentuate all contrasting areas and to bring out further the sullen beauty and the more robust features.  The CD is working well but is not as multi-dimensional as it should be.  Just a personal thought of course.  'Strange' is one of those lost in the pack moments due, I feel, to the aforementioned point.  Alone it is a well wafted draught of yet more fragility with a porcelain sadness appearing through minor cracks in the outer surface and a tear drop lilt creating more thoughtful aromas to inhale but, just not enough stand out individuality here to get it due credit (make note).

Two to go and the penultimate track ‘Resilience’ is one of the best for me with many prospects to mull over, a more diverse arrangement of noisy nuances and a fine opening quirky punctuation that gets the sonic sphere, rolling.  This ditty captures all the finest elements of the artist - garaged tones mixed with stripped down spaciousness creamed through with child-like tones of lucid accuracy as well as the ascension into nearby waters that promise so many options for future days - quite a dainty little dabble and one to sit on further and of course, admire.  Note must be made that when the tonsils are pushed further something very natural, and may I add, punk-esque, is added - intriguing indeed.  We close we a gusted affair 'We Grew Up' that has a 'live' slant that adds to the corrosive rustiness and gives most hint at what to expect from an 'in the flesh' encounter with this unstretched artiste.  Judging by this all bodes well and I appreciate the extra animation and swifter delivery which keeps in tune with the CD but just adds a much needed 'vavoom'.  Good closure.

I have dwelt on this on for a while now, tossed it around the lughole palate and considered what potential is on show and what potential is there to be tapped further.  My conclusion is that this is a quite decent do and that, with a little extra commitment to adding some ‘oomph’ and still throwing in the highly applaudable lighter touches there is a whole host of doorways to swing open and walk through, with many prizes to win – ooh, exciting times!

   

PARANOID VISIONS - CRYPTIC CROSSWORDS

By heck me dears, Paranoid Visions have been around some time now - (34 years at the time of writing) and are still pushing themselves and their own personal sound barrier as far as they possibly can with a whole wealth of political discordance borne from in-built frustration and untold necessity.  The mix they produce can be anything from the minimalist basics to the intricate, from the gutterpunk street to the lofted staged vaults - and all done with as much adherence to the DIY ethic as is humanly possible.  This latest spilling is packaged neatly and contains a good batch of assorted sounds for my eager lugs to trawl through - the question is, do my acoustic erogenous zones become inflamed or wilt under much confusion - I examine a little more closely.

'The Angelus (at 6pm)' begins the musical montage and is a holy, holy scrawl across recesses long neglected where many youthful souls still remain, mentally  and physically in pain after many a year contemplating a harrowing episode of horror.  The shimmery affect of guitars and gob are kept in line with a drum beat that is persistent and unbending and guilty of adding a regimented order that is also hinted at in the vocal stresses.  The song drills with psychotic sufferance, winds into your marrow with inescapable cruelty and pleading need, making this a hard to swallow lump that will need plenty of chewing to thoroughly appreciate. It is an interesting commencement and leads us into the more rushed and tumbling rawness of 'Anagram Sam'.  This is a polluted shit of a number with various drossage floating out through the speakers along with the general underflow of the construct.  A grimaced, ill-intentioned glut that begins with palpitated restlessness before getting its head down and ascending to punishing, yet gratifying highs, via expulsions of knuckle-dusted intensity and unswerving zooming to the cause at hand.  No gaps, no spaces, no room to breathe - this highly flammable mush is compacted and yet again not easily digestible but, it is a quite hard fought bout with a chance of getting well-earned respect.

Titbit the third and coming at ya is a pulse known as 'Across The Holocausts', a semi-skank dream lushed by female lilts and re-inforced sonic saturation.  The subject matter primarily deals with the human races’ inability to learn from past atrocities committed by the insane, and religiously rank and supported by bigotry and blindness.  The song has versed construct, simplistic chorus demands and moments that slightly fall out of line and push home the message of the song with the emphasis on the message slightly outweighing the melody.  Having said that, there is a many a good moment to swing yer ass to.  'Murder Most Foul' opts to emphasise the gory, gruesome goings on in streets that are unsafe and quickly becomes out of bounds for the naive and innocent, the thoroughfares where mental illness and evil copulate to create monsters, molesters and of course, murderers.  These creations of a system gone wrong and the downward spiral they contribute to are given a going over in a mush of malevolent, doom-laden music that swirls like weary glutinous excrement, stinking, seething and full of crucially infectious substance.  The stench is necessary to attract further curiosity, the rising suggestions of ill temper vital to the core of the construct and the virulence merely a resultant product of the passion poured in.  Hardly a dancing number, but one you can slowly wallow in and ponder the state of play of the world today.

A full on tumble next that gives hint of a newer band on the block called Dischord and a crew who would definitely suit sharing a stage or two with this lot and, may it be boldly said, will give them more than a good run for their money.  'When Anger Turns To Rage' is a dirtily driven mass of curdling shittery that begins with misdirection before downing its crummy head and charging forward with an inflamed gut for fuel.  The tale of reaching about when one can take no more is easily related to and comes forth on powerful sonic waves washing up much flotsam and jetsam from lives tested.  The relentless power, the thriving 'ooh ooh's', the final 'blah' all raise the hairs on the neck of the adorer of the unwashed and if nothing else, the passion alone should pique ones interest here.  'Paranoid Visions' is a statement from the band and about how they try to operate.  Anyone in an underground band should be able, at least in part, to relate to this and the struggle it deals with and the determination it takes to hang on in there.  We start with a soundbite from one of the few decent TV shows out there (Ripper Street) and then roll forward on steps with immovable prowess.  The clatter that follows is slightly messy and murky but the message gets through.  This is not one of my favoured tracks musically despite a healthy pulse and throb tempo but, attitude wise, it has strength and belief - a long time ago that is all we sometimes needed, the change in sonic diets that has invaded the underdog scene sometimes leaves me bewildered.  One to play with the lyrics at the fore, don't just hear it, fuckin' feel it.

'Mutant Circus' twinges inward, splashes the cymbals, darkly progresses with familiar tones - we know the script by now.  The molten mass that flows in 'suit'able obedience to the tick of the clock and systemised demands gets scrutinised closely here with an end point reached that has been attained many times before (with little resultant change).  This treacled grind moves against the mindless flow and away from the invisible crock that never has gold but has much defecation.  A turgid tune, swollen further with an inner seething angst.  'Love Letters' is an alphabetical run down with a mis-tuned, dis-interpretation that readily dissects the many emotional building blocks and lays them down in a new angular fashion and, if you are paying attention, will get you thinking!  A straight run through that slightly rises in parts and struggles to emit any hope of longevity - feel free to disagree.

And to the last two, the closing brace to bound around the aural catacombs.  'Halloween' deals with the many masks people wear, masks to hide the truth and to help one keep within that definite line the masses draw.  The scene and beyond is full of this frustrating behaviour and for me, bare arsed honesty and acceptance of who you are is the only way we will advance.  I get in tune with this from the off, flow with the racing waters and get tossed about by the cavernised overflow that sucks one in and keeps one almost suffocated.  An intense number once more treading a very dangerous runway across the land of positive and negative with little meanders sneaking into each area with equal carelessness it seems.  The band bite as deep as ever.  The finale splashes to the fore under the title of 'Ba'Nama Republic', a wonderful bout of acoustic political point making done with floated oral tones and well-skipped strings that combine to make an observation, digest it and spill out the resultant verdict in a very gentle and persuasive style.  Musically it is out of kilter with what has passed but that doesn't stop it being above and beyond the best song of the lot.

I am done, I have put in my honest work and have come out at the end of it with a decision of a band I can take or leave, a band who, in part buzz my boulders, where in others deflate my dumplings, and now and again leave me undecided.  The band have a good reputation out there, that is no reason though for me to be dishonest in my statement and gush like a pudding.  All I can offer are my pure thoughts, I hope it maintains a balance.

   

LES GRYS GRYS - LEFT UNSEEN

This crew are from Montpelier in France and knock out a discordance that is alive and active with much youthful spunk and steaming perspiration.  It should be a common commodity but is sometimes lacking in the music scene and that just gets my goat up and clashing its head against the walls of half-heartedness.  The band started out with a set of covers but are slowly bubbling up with new self-made treats, two of which are found here.  Another brew to review, this time with two sonic slugs needed to hopefully give hint at what is on offer - gob open, throat ready for accepting - watch yer step ya nasty minded gits.

The initial tickle and 'Left Unseen' is a commotion in motion with an overlapping swell of many refulgent rhythms and minor sonic skirmishes thus making a very concussive bout of industrious music one has to take time with.  Big proud tympanics escort us inward, taut guitar punishments induce further accents, the 60's gobbage completes the time warp.  As we progress the whipped whirlpool of sound is splashed with Stonesey applications, further pushed into sub-hectic realms and overdosed with lavish layers that may or may not be necessary.  The positives are there on parade for all to examine and be impressed by, the only negatives are the too flustered mix and the fact that the closure is flimsy and has no distinct definition thus leaving the listener...at a slight loss.  Not bad, not great, but a good starting point to further build on I feel.

The flipside exposes the tones of 'It's Mighty Crazy', a better example of what the band can do if they keep a lid on the passion and make sure that complete orchestration of all areas is attended to.  The song here uses the bluesy, rock and roll route with Yardbirds cum Byrds retrofication and much thriving zeal within the active mix.  The bass bounds, the drums hustle and bustle whilst guitars shimmer and twinkle and the gobbage remains precisely abraded and ideally suitable for the style sought.  The band do overload towards the latter end and again just fade into silence but this time one feels the ending is justly timed – or maybe it's just me, blah.

So that is it, a quickie taster for all to ponder and one that, if I am thoroughly honest (it goes without saying that I will be), just misses the target (strong emphasis on 'just') but oozes potential and untold promise.  That is all one can ask and I will be more than a little interested to eavesdrop, and review, their next release - go, go, go!

   
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