FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 15
SPUNK VOLCANO AND THE ERUPTIONS - SHIT GENERATION
Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions had a good start in life, they had an open doorway to jump through and jump they did. I shall not dwell on this area, it matters not, if the music is shite the band will sink, if it is half decent they will do just fine. Having said that I know many bands who are below a certain par but do OK because they are in the right social niches, have certain prestige amongst the slaves to a system and have good pals in ideal places (I know rotten isn't it). What I have witnessed so far from this band has been ruddy decent stuff but I have the feeling that more was there to be offered and I just hope like buggery that the game has been upped for this highly anticipated CD. The gents in the band are jolly nice, they deserve what they get in the most positive way, in fact I think so much of them they will get nothing less than a frank going-over here (without the use of latex gloves and open-crotch thongs) which shall be all done in (cue Mr Everett) 'the worst possible taste'.
Out of the jungle-oid pubescence that hangs from the clammy arse of the music mother fucker dangles the first tune, stinking and reeking with the tag of 'Massive Mistake Masterclass' it falls into the basin of assessment with a definitive plop and emanates a very reasonable odour of capability and catchiness. It is a vicious song, a blatant cunt of acceptance and failing glory that states, sizzles and duly scorches with a copulation of controlled and untamed mania that offers much to consider. The wild, liberated roars are my favoured snippets and I would label myself the biggest twat of all if I would slag this as a duff muffin. No, great start and I have a sensation in my sac!
Track 2 and 'Shit Generation', hop frogs in with pounding gumption that soon develops into a free flow of piss wank zeal. The two-finger salute to the doubters, the drag back clan who bring us all back to square fuckin' one is well meant and the whole imposing projection of this acoustic erection is there to be sat on and totally screwed along with. The winding up of the gears, the audible disgust in the throat tones and the compacted mix all make this a sturdy shafting of the simplest order - go fuck yourself. 'XR3' is a bare basic song with intrinsically basic wordage that has no profundity, no political insight and no piss-arse convolutions that dabble with ambiguity to gain some sort of 'clever clogs' status. No, this is a laddish cum loutish gob off about a trendy mode of transportation that many petrol heads may very well get off to. I can't even drive, believe cars are just tin can conveniences used to get from A - B as easy as you can, but, and oh what a sexy but, even I get where this fucker swings from and can appreciate the mindless passion for a piece of metal that moves with style. Each to their own and this song is surely an in-car stereo classic to play whilst burning rubber, tearing up the highway and leaving the Sunday drivers to chew on their own slack jawed lips. The pronunciation of each guitar stroke, the meatily splashed and smashed skins and our lead louts gobbage make for a beauty - oh aye! This song though is outstripped by my vote for entire victory, namely 'DNA Failure', a pertinent song that deals with the malnourished, boss-eyed inbred subculture that is turning our streets into a stinking soup of shit, that in all truth is ethics free, conscience barren and intellectually minimal. These indolent boneheads who live and breathe utter cretinism and have no idea of life whatsoever and need highlighting as much as possible - if we don't watch out the mindless herd will take over and we will all sink in a land of oblong-headed goons where Bargain Booze is a Mecca and incest is almost a religious ceremony. The song here is a bloody bold and brutal cracker that labels the useless lumps and lets you have the full SP. From the opening repeat chant we can easily get involved and through the skin-removing wordage of the verses (repeat) this is an excellently well-swung dangler that, with its pendulous motion, sucks one in (rather than off). A slow down, an assessment of the situation and a pour out of the greatest venom thus far ejaculated and all I can do is utterly agree and ping to the rhythm. A total pinnacle, a thoroughly punk rock bout of earthy mouthing with plenty of 'ooomph' to boot - I loves it I do, loves it!
Advancing forth and the fourth it is with 'Send The Boys Round', a no-nonsense crack twat of bowel moving molestation that somersaults down the stairs before chomping with spite against the big boy macho men who are full of shit and deserve the kickings they get. It is with high gratitude that I receive this straight forward song that I note is solidly mixed, unfrilled and nowt out of the ordinary. That latter fact doesn't make for a bad song and sometimes you have to throw off your raiment’s of expectation and just jump in, with plums paraded, enjoying a good old racket - ouch! 'TV God' consumes the miniscule spaced silence with a regulated piece of rhythm that I find not to my ultimate liking. The reasons for the verdict, that may be deemed negative or honest (hey maybe both), is due to a lazy sounding verse passage that lacks character and a chorus that is just far too uninteresting to counteract the immediately previous disappointment. Tis' a shame such an occurrence has arisen as such a good roll was underway and it is never pleasing to see it come to a deflating end but, there ya bloody well go. There is nothing out of place here, no bum notes or stomach flipping fuck up's - nah, it be just a vibe I find induces a sense of irritating ennui and for that the thumbs plunge downwards. 'X Factor' immediately banishes my driftings into the lowly realms of bad press with a song, that if your strip away a few elements of disguise, is basically the same as the previous eye-lid dropper but is enhanced and emboldened by nothing more than a good old kick up the jacksie. The surging verses, the mocking melodious chorus cuts and the venom against the cripplingly vulgar are far from refined qualities but they'll do for me thank you very much.
A shake of the bootie and a 5 time tweak of the assessing nipple, all in a fair state of brevity is the only decent way of course. 'Tattoo' is weak, watery sing-a-long simpleness, the kind that is overcooked by our lead peddler and comes in such slushy bundles as to be almost sickening. One cake and all is sweet, two cakes and the taste still appeals but when force fed over and over the guts turn, the nausea rises and one coughs up a happily rejected bolus of kick-back critique that stinks with the plea of 'please fuckin' stop'. For the pink hearted, limp farted buffoons all will be well - for long-term listeners who rasp with realism - oh it be too much. 'Fist Fights' has a subdued commencement before throwing off the veil and thunder-fucking with seemingly unrestrained lunacy (I have heard this trick before tha' knows). The tumultuous pummel makes way for a typical chorus without too much spice but a pound-a-doubt chorus leaves little room for putting the foot in the creative groin and I walk on with hands held fairly high in response to a slightly above middling mix. 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' the best of the blistered five due to nothing more than a no-poppycock purity of the liquid flow that sub-persists throughout and keeps the song lively and may it be simply said, interesting. The odd seize up adds variation rather than hinders and my only almost inconsequential niggle is the running time - maybe half a minute less would have helped condense the quality? Who fuckin' knows? 'Shut Up Or Fuck Off' could be an anthem to the Facebook fiddlers (which embarrassingly includes me, albeit on a lesser scale these days - I am learning) who live in a world so zoned in and blinkered as to be utterly laughable. This strong explosion though is more holistic and heave ho's with good gumption and grab-o-matic factor number 10 (whatever the fuck that is). As you can guess I like this - tis played well, delivered well and has a nice friendly, to the point message - wink, wink! Last of the 5, 'I'm Not Sure' (well I'll be fucked if I am) shambles in, ponses and takes time via the hesitant verse to wander in a guitar-free realm that provides a nice counteraction against the more saturated and self-assured chorus shoves. I find this a song that rises from the pack with each play and avoids that 'today a hit, tomorrow a shit' diaphanous delicacy that we all know only too well and good. A firm finish to the flighty clutch!
2 to go hombre and 'Let's Go With Your Idea', is a 'fizz'-ical number that immediately whips up the attentive facets of the scrutiniser. We seem to be headed for a somersaulting celebration of fruity output but a change of direction gives us an opening section that is neatly arranged and again, virtually guitar free. The simmering wire wank, almost ad hoc tympanic additions and spartan strung effects make for an ambience for the gobber to work upon and when a fuller push comes the song is accentuated in all areas and entirely complete - me likes it! We finalise all melodic matters with the competent crispy crumble known as 'Together Forever As Ghosts', a trip down soppy sugar lane with a ditty that is, despite the heart-shaped inklings, a cracking little donation served with sincerity, cuteness and much credibility. The opening distant rumble, the burst of urgency, the reflective first verse and the deliciously attractive chorus that has such general heart-warming honesty and validity make this better than I first deemed it and signs off with a certain flourish not to be miscalculated.
I like what goes on here and despite a few minor hiccups (in my personal and not biblical opinion - silly cunts) I reckon this is a listenable CD with some good jump and jig highpoints as well as a few more cultured moments for the more considerate. I could do with a dose of volcanic spunk in the flesh now - somehow that sounds highly wrong (thank goodness).
OTTOKRAFT - THE SICK CULTURE OF WEALTH
From the bands website - Ottokraft is an electro project from the alternative and indie scene, formed by William Dark. It can be a DJ set when William D performs alone or as a live band when added Jeremy T on drums and Stef T on bass. Ottokraft music is a combination of traditional indie rock and modern alternative sounds' - so now you know. In fact you should know already as I have reviewed Ottokraft before and was quite taken with the wired up manifestation that trespassed from the sonic speakers into my awaiting lugholes. Not the norm this fodder for a punk rock pig but nothing ever should be and the moment the playing field levels out is the moment I want it ripped up again - get them fuckin' hob-nailed boots on and of course your sonic screwdriver ready!
'Public Posers' pulsates with palpitating unrest, is shadowed by a strange, disconcerting mechanoid splash that helps force the movement into more profound, nightmarish depths. We are left awaiting an avalanche of self-relief and it comes our way as a bleak, sable haunting with a prowess to be staggered by, an unstoppable weight to be crushed by. The main absorbing ingredient we are exposed to is the crippling and numbing intensity, an astronomic industrialised deluge of seemingly diseased electromania that paints a scene on which all the following creations can indulge. A sound opening, an initial ear attack done with premeditated rancour! Oh how cruel!
Rising from turgid treacle seas is a heaving mass of bestial sound, a punishing discordance that comes with the malevolence and stark hostility of something akin to Cthulhu and his brethren, a monstrosity that seems to want to disarm, devour and ultimately destroy. Visions come in rife repetition before the song unfolds into something other than first deemed. 'Damned, Doomed and Cursed' eventually displays itself as a hard-edged vibrator that rapes the senses and gives one a sensation of something tattooed with pop artistry but cloaked over with futuristic fear that somehow squeezes in something with promise and uplifting hope. Madness it be but the main thrust of this track, when slapped with a slagging of volume, is something to behold. A gust driven grind of liberated music making that still remains highly saturated and equally wired up. 'Crazy Horse' is a multifaceted marvel and double fist fucks with a spark flashing speedburst and heavily pronounced key depressions. The new age flow is instinctive and via the versed vessels is poured forth with duo-sexed consideration amid a syrupy pulsed backdrop that is quickly fizzed up into a steaming and streaking flourish of condensed and saturated auditory dynamism. The effect is startling, the transmogrification from one neurological beast to another is precise - best of the lot thus far!
'Get Off My Bones' is a queer portion of uneasy leakage nudged forth on a very unstable, somewhat watery under-structure that lacks the solidity and, may I add, expected reliability of the preceding presentations. The fact is that this song is like a free-floating cloud of nebulous ambiguity that, no matter how hard the fingers of the mind try, just can't seem to gain a definite grasp of the complete creation. I replay, furrow my brow in concerted concentrating effort and give untold benefits of the doubts - I end up in the realms of indecision but am certain this is the weakest electro-runt of the sparking litter. Advancing on, shaking off the acquired slant towards negativity I welcome 'Sadomanic' and expect much. What manifests itself is a muled montage of early 80's synthoid exploration and a futuristic shimmer of time travelling advancement borne from the loins of a 'Whovian' obsessed whore. This is what I deem as 'descriptive, landscape painting', acoustic artwork where the artiste relies on the palette of the airwaves to create his works - I am in the groove here and I scoff up the next 3 in double quick Pac-Man time.
'Reactor Breach' is a delightful number that donates two primary facets, one of grainy, gritty abrasion, the other of punctuating jitterisation that opposes yet compliments. In the midst of this contrived combat are several smoothed moments that harken back to a saturated wired -in era that duly gives the song depth and an extra angle to give 'oomph' to the longevity factor. 'What You Own' begins with pronounced drums before fizz-crackling alongside shifty vocal whispers. The rise is slow, we get to wait for longer than we expect - and when it does come I remain oh so disappointed here. I feel this is a track that flat-lines way too long and never real shifts through enough gears to get the blood racing. The montage is reflective of a movement struggling to find a clear channel to run through and something seems to stick in the critical craw and thus avoid being thoroughly digestible. One of those moments that sees me fall out of sync, drop by the wayside and perhaps get left behind - tis all part and parcel of reviewing with honesty! Fuck it! 'Toxic', begins with funko-acidic testing, a spasmoid eruption borne from cerebral restlessness no doubt. A beat is adopted, the strain found is in line with the crew’s desires and a dis-regulisation, a bastardised beep, bleep and bam modulation operates alongside a reverberating repetition of magnetic malevolence that won't easily be shaken free and which persists with a passion to try to defy. I submit to the rhythm, rush to the gush and do you know what - I feel all the better for it. Yeah, perhaps one of my favourites.
The closure, breathed in as 'Defribrillator', is a pounding mover that has artistry, techno-culture and a touch of new romanticism mixed in with the sub-sensual gothika and grim reality soaked slantings. This is the most disco-danced number in some respects but doesn't abandon the deep-growing roots of resonating futurism and in-house familiarity that I am recognising more and more with each rotation. They say neglect can be caused by such a sensation, fuck that, I am on my toes, I won't be giving second service here. Just a few more listens before the verdict! Pause. And the result is...a pleasing finale to a very consuming CD.
Ottokraft add angularity to my listening matter, they throw in some very confident keyed up moments and exude a very advanced edge and progression to their offerings that keeps me very much provoked. For those outside the general arena from where this noise erupts then I suggest you drop in and dabble and then decide - I await some very positive feedback.
THE COUNTRY DARK - HYPNIC JERK
What I knew about The Country Dark you could fit onto the back of a postage stamp with a paintbrush dipped in excrement. You could set fire to the said stamp, inhale the resultant ash and cough up a blackened globule of flecked sputum and extract one darkened blemish. That miniscule speck of filth would represent about 100 times more than I knew about this band, I hope you understand this and see the predicament I was in. What I have learnt since is that the band hail from Kuopio, Finland and this album is primarily psycho-rock and roll and has a sable edge to slice through your innocence and leave you provoked. That is about it, it is enough and I enjoy the fact that once more I enter the assessing fray almost virginal and without outside swing (as if that ever affected me). Hold on to your genitalia folks, I am trying my absolute fuckin' best here!
The birdcage of nothingness opens its door and releases many fluttering songs to get to grips with the first of which is the head pecking twat known as 'Demon In Bambi Lee'. A jarring crash, a boneyard rhythm and some chiller thriller gobbage sees this first fruity flier drop its acoustic eggs with charmed and in-sub-scene accuracy that will see many greasy gum chewing Joe's and Lucy Lou lip smackers gyrating their hips in tidy time to this ghoulish grind out that has much flavour. The rulebook of the genre has not been torn in two but has been thoroughly read and taken heed of with shaded strings, lust leanings and semi-galloping typmanics all bringing into play a very rock and roll rigidity - a sweet listen anyway so on we go! Crumble rumble cables shake with fear and set a quaking foundation for the pursuing number tapped down as 'Burn Engine Oil', a safety belt trucking of rib-bruising, blood-simmering grimness that is a heavy duty listening experience and only lightened by the crystallised ice fractures that catch just enough brightness so as to help us see and realise the true core of intent. A song I need to play several times to award a winning review which is just about deserved.
'Mummified Head' is a malevolent snake crawl through bleak undergrowth where unsuspecting tootsies tread and await to be bitten. The crew in charge slither through the main chunk of the song with furrowed brows and ominous ambience before loosening up the muscles and proclaiming a warped need with loose screw effect. A slow boa constrictor of a number that slowly and steadily squeezes out your much needed attention and...may I dare say, favour! 'Skank Ass' is more to my liking with its wilder, more liberated naturalness and of course the dodgy edginess the players radiate throughout their dabblings. The turkey-assed bastard vibration that persists throughout the jaunt is a hot-coal saloon bar shindig that will see much kicking up of the dirt and spittoon-based abuse. The band have a relish for the rhythm, are not afraid to strut with sanguinity and roll the dice of discordance with a trifling of flamboyance that just gives the noise the believability factor. The more I progress though the more I see the output as strictly in-scene tampering and for those on the outside it may be a trifle too much of the same. Who wants to please everybody anyway?
A clattering quartet next dealt with in terse time, it is a formula tried and tested and keeps things moving - a literary laxative no less. 'Useless (Like Tits On A Boar)' is cuckoo raving that has a snatching impulsive beat and general cracked twat underline of hedonisticindulgence that nob throbs with devilish deviancy and sub-mesmerises the internal organics and causes one to cluck in concurrence – I am ashamed of myself but what can I do? I am a mere lover of racket and victim of the vibration! ‘Green And Drippin’ is a tactile transmission, an almost acoustic onomatopoeia that can almost be felt as well as heard. A thick, gunky monkey of invasive sound that snot-flops from the nasal passage of noise and splats into your lap with disagreeable perversity. A decision splitter this one – some may pick at, some may puke at. I find it stodgy stuff and only bearable in small doses. The replay button is never an option so I pass judgement on this as an acquired taste – fair methinks. ‘Take Me From This Garden Of Evil’ is a song that slips in the nether-regions of the CD with the potential to be lost in the overall fuzz if one isn’t too alertly hygienic. A ditty that has little in the way of stand-out factor and boom-bang magnetism but a construction that trundles along in its own tidy and consistent way and gets the job done. A busy, bustling song that is average cement between the more protruding slabs on sound. ‘Fucked Up (In Some Many ways)’, comes in on countrified heels with the corn swaying and the dust swirling to the gentle flow taken. The pure paradox is of a cultured hick, a thoughtful barn goon that maybe blatantly inbred but which has an insightful intellect beyond its appearance. In truth, it is too westernised in many respects for me but in equal honesty it has a sweet tremble. This and the chasing ‘Two Dicks In One Hole’ are similar in aspect with the latter maybe arousing a few more eavesdroppers for reasons more than the obvious. This latter track blows harder in part, has a more perilous leaning and slightly greater fracture in the mental decency. It is one that avoids a strict pigeon-holing and be the finished product shit or a hit, the fact it can’t easily be labelled is a bonus. I am as unsure as the oddness, as vague as the direction – it is your turn to decide.
To the last fling and ‘Farmer John’, has a hotdog shoo along opening with a great drive and a shimmery shadow rear before things stagger and collapse and lunacy dictates the order of the day. A number engrained with foolishness and off the leash leanings that become so involved as to be almost criminally sexual. If you are of a mindset at this stage to hang loose, let it go and jump in then you’ll ping with pleasure and finish the CD in good fettle. Be warned, if you are in a picky mood you may wind down feeling frustrated – oh these unpredictable moods.
My final opinion of this CD is mixed. In parts good, in parts hard work. In certain areas effective, in others confounding. It moves with fluidity and then stutters, it seems to hold onto some semblance of routine and then smashes expectation to smithereens. I am up and down, in and out, with sanguinity one moment, the next with doubt. I best leave it as one of those for you to rate, I am down the middle – split like the old bamboo, fucked if you will!
B-LEAGUERS - DEATH OF A WESTERN HEART
Having previously reviewed a sugar-sweet band known as The Pop Dogs the contact therein sent me his latest produce from a new outfit known as the B-Leaguers. The gist of the output is the same as encountered with the PD brigade with accent on thoughtful power pop noise that radiates a cultured professionalism rather than a wham bam rush and gush naturalness. This, in the most obvious respect, should turn me off but the Lincoln-based crew have something, a certain respectable charm that tickles a melodic bone within my ever-ready rocking and rolling framework and so I go in with the hope of unearthing some more fine sounds. Be warned though, I have never been afraid to admit being let down - the fingers are crossed, uncrossed and tied in knots (this may change) - all I can do is what I do.
The gateway is swung wide, I enter the field of rhythm and am first accosted by the title track, namely 'Death Of A Western Heart', a very confident cutlet to be dished up first but one that still sub-hints at a veritable shyness and, may I cautiously add, a distinct delicacy. The first tentative donations are akin to teardrop tones falling from a melancholic cloud darkened by thoughtfulness and introverted reflection. The liquid lands and a splash is created, gentle concentric ripples spread outward and make the first attempt at genuine attraction. The vocal tones delight, are borne from quirky-80's realms with colourful accuracy, the chasing thrust is cultured and pleasantly weighted and persuasive. The band are in no rush and mix the mellow, melodic and magnetic with trustworthy balance. Offering up an opening pop song at 4 minutes 28 seconds is a risky business but the players get involved and, with much artistry, come out with credentials intact and positivity raining their way. It isn't the best song of the CD but it does immediately resonate within the receptors, sets a firm standard and has little to find fault with. The more easily digestible and, in my own opinion, more convincing 'Amnesia' froths up next and from the opening tub thump is a self-elevated cascade of thriving vitality that scuffles its acoustic ass with gratifying animation and hypnotising relish. The productive arrangement is exact, the bright and shiny radiation infecting and the elasticity of the sound creates a certain comfort that one can ease into and not be suffocated by. The stop start moments are ideally timed and add a terse respite to capture ones breath and admire the surrounding glory. One to play repetitively with increasing volume - it really gets to ones core and causes a quite pleasurable conflagration of respect.
Third in and 'Numbers' stutter shoots with power in the chuggery before the song unfolds into another prosperous cruise that adds more flesh on the bone of the minimalistic pop tune and creates a construction with greater texture and layered composure. This, despite sounding advantageous to the end output, isn't always the case and sometimes simplicity is a far better option. I get torn in two at this point and a conflict between the desire for advancement and the love for stark naked pop tones gets heated and causes an inner confusion. The song excels in many areas but I can't help panging for something more stripped out, more exposed. Just a sensation I can't shake but in no way should detract from a fuckin' decent affair. 'Canyons (Suburbs and Centres)' is a different beast altogether and takes a more theatrical cum prepared route with less leaning towards the poppoid generics and goes more towards a collected and arranged slant instead. The opening sparseness provides a foundation for a breeze blown blossom to ignite the senses before the heat is kept on simmer and we loop back within the weave. Perhaps the most grandiose, in some ways pronounced effort, and one that tap dances on the senses and leaves something akin to comforting gratification. Not bad at all I humbly reckon and another song that can stand the test of time.
We are into the last three, I hope to be bordering on the precipice of accuracy and so go into 'Rock And Roller Tunes' with fingers crossed and nob knotted. The song under the beady eyes and blood-filled lugs is a mixed bag with a radioed opening that chugs in before power-flexing and bounding forth on well-propelled wavelength quivers that are pulsed with passion and desirous drive. The liquidity of this donation is the winning element and no matter how hard you try to walk against the wind you will eventually lose your resistant footing and be carried along by a darn good draft of highly palatable music. 'Lemonade' is spilled our way next and fizzes with ardour and slick smoothness whilst clogging the attention passage with effervescing zest. The quickest song of the lot, a crucial input to show that the band can do things in the most generically traditional sense and tear a strip off any disbelief you may have nestled in your cranial sac. I love the push of this one and the consistent whip up of one darn good flavour so often hinted at through the course of this CD. We have tasted the outer layers and here is the yummy soft centre - go guzzle dudes and dudettes - it tastes good!
We fling a farewell to the theme of 'Rise And Line', a quite sultrified, shot down shifter that rises from a prone position and gathers up a steady and determined head of steam. No desperation, no rush for the final full stop - just utter sanguinity and control of the acoustic arsenal with the overhead attack well organised and perfectly timed. There is a strategy occurring here, a certain pre-planned positioning of each note, each chord and a bounty of benefits arise as a result. Of course I have a preference for mucky, mire-borne naturalness, it goes without saying that my slant is on things corrosively under-processed and reality soaked but that doesn't mean I am ignorant of more processed products with a tattoo of professionalism running deep. This is commercialised cacophony of the cleanest kind but boy isn't it fuckin' good to hear. I stand unembarrassed.
I admit to liking this although it is not from the realms where I roam but then, where the fuck is that anyway. My toes dip in here and there, fuck generic restrictions and what people expect - even I have no expectations of what I will like...or won’t! Here ya go, 7 tracks from a new outfit, 7 cleansed creations to clear your head with - please, do not be swayed by your own pre-set modes, dabble instead!
SALTWATER INJECTION - REGURGITATED FOR THE PEOPLE
A band that give visions of a severe penetration followed by a spunky climax that will leave you strained and drained (he hopes pathetically). The 2-piece band are a noise factory of political irritation and have been likened to a brick in the face - now that sounds darn sexy. The duo come from Ellesmere Port, throw this fodder our way on the Anti-Pop label and seem, by all intents and purposes, up for it. Well chaps, so am I, bring it fuckin' on - my ass cheeks are parted, I await your first thrust - you better be rough now!
'Sexual Adventure' is a molten swirl-pool of kick-shittery that dons metal-capped boots and persistently heave ho's at your vulnerable abdomen, duly turning your inner digestive system to a bruised blue and purple mass of rank rejecting ruination. The cruelty of the hoofing and the arousing zeniths attained are disturbingly discombobulating as well as chillingly disarming. I curl up and fall victim to a thoroughly nightmarish attack, whilst the two assailants seemingly spunk in unison and, perhaps most horrifyingly of all, take pride in their output. A fuckin' evil encounter has taken place, I am left impressed - oh what quirky characters we can be. This is not music for the virginal or women’s' institute members - take note, we don't need any more soiled undies in this heaving scene. Next and it is the genital area that takes the full brunt of the explosion with 'Cuntryfile Part 2', stamping away in abandoned shit-lunatic fuck mode. The uneven palpitation of the leeching advancement sucks the living daylights from your erection of normality and leaves it a frail, flaccid obscenity that isn't worthy of a snigger. The crew continue, abuse the lifeless flesh that is left and still manage to create a responsive animation with nothing more than careless, cock-damning evilness. There is much torture within the chests of these disturbed demons and here it spills outward in toxic, puked quantities that burns the shine off your shitty shoes and wipes the smile off your smug face - I'm absorbed, are you? And yes, everything is turning to crud!
The third avalanche of arse waste is dolloped down as 'Kill A Boss', a song that follows the other excremental exactness down the U-bend of devastation and stinks out the whole system with its nasty bastard edge. This anti-finance/status shag-out is delivered with the paradox of kind cruelty that sees us get kissed hard on the smacker by a foul breathed behemoth pregnant with spiced rhythmic runts! We are repulsed and yet attracted, from the opening slagged low slung invasions this one works – have it! A twinge of feedback, a glutinous plod and then 'Master Bear Baiting' jacks itself off in a nail gun horror storm of frightening effect. A battering ram of disgruntlement and autistic ill-temperament this one vomits its gunk with a glee best left unexamined. Hardcore, powercore, porncore - you name it, you shame it - the noise pollutes and damages regardless. I think these are worth a gig slot at some point, I plan to be aroused.
The closure is a bonus ball called 'Unlicensed Beatles Cover', 1 minute 2 seconds of abuse. An upset stomach of debilitating proportions that comes and goes in the thrutching of an expectant anus - you fuckin' decide for once.
As in the words of Billy Liar 'You know you are making me ill?' - whether or not you visit the Docs and request an antidote is up to you, I'll just perversely suffer for a bit (with me kecks darn for good measure).
STOJ SNAK - HAPPITALISM
An insightful artiste I have assessed on several occasions before and one who has hit some genuine zeniths via his hungry, articulate strumming and razored gob work. The chap under the shitlight comes from Aalborg, Denmark, a scene that has some good shit going down and one that can only get better provided the guts are up for the battle. I shan't fuck about here, there is no need - keep up, crack on or kill yourself.
'Privacy Is A Crime' is a glorious and pertinent start with the finger pointed at those ever-watchful soul stealing bastards who have you followed, filed and, eventually, fucked. The plea to format all is in desperation and comes from a clued in noggin appalled and panic-stricken by what goes on and what will transpire. It would be easy to relay this message via a raging cunt of hardcore fury but our plucking player has more nouse and delivers a loaded up song full of textured, tumbling spice from a shaft of well-quivered forethought that makes sure the angst spunk doesn’t splash in disarray. The vocals are stretched to a certain level and remain audible and full of spittled desire with the rapido string shake-up totally complimentary and succeeding in making this a very exciting listen. I have pondered the possibility of this dude being one of the best acousticised outpourers on the block and there ain't nothing here to change my mind. Having said that, we are only one concrete track in, the bugger may slip up yet although the bastard has me doubting it (ooh I be a troubled turnip). Yes, great start and make sure you read the lyrics whilst listening, very well constructed methinks! 'Old Friends And Irish Coffee' is a comfortable saunter down avenues of fondness and comes with a hands in pocket, smile on face and feet kickin' the dust care-free yet confident manner so as to help radiate that feeling of self-assuredness. The strings drip with character, the lilt of the arrangement is embracing and although more soft-centred and slushy than the first number (which contains no slush whatsoever) this is still a cracking inclusion and keeps the standards lofty. To keep things changing and unpredictable a twilight tinkled instrumental comes, slipped from a brief moment in time when seeming X-Files are opened and a cacophonic curiosity is let free. I am undecided about this minor invasion and find it nothing more than a separating slice of fiddling that may be, at the end of a puzzling day, unnecessary. I don't know, something tells me 'yes', a more persuasive element says 'no', and one niggling nudger says 'maybe' - darn those battling senses.
As the combat of indecision takes place the next song comes to the fore and I see the armed forces of 'negativity' and 'perhaps' fall in defeat at the hands of the surging affirmative campaign that is laden with appreciative vibrations I for one am certainly recruited by. 'Copy/Wrong' is a beauty, a real identifiable piece of work from the mitts of a respected player and again with a sagacious message to roll around the cranial palate and use as sweet provocation. The plucky forward rolling upbeat essence cultivates your attention and closer scrutiny by the listener is the well earned result. The stone gathers moss, the moss is verdant, the result is an unstoppable force and the final trickle outward rounds off a real ready roller. The time to pass on into pastures silent is near at hand and our final fling of noise comes, a delightful jaunt blessing or receptive orifices with a finely blended penetration that seduces with care and tenderly provokes us into a self examination mode with subtle suggestion. Like cool autumnal waters, still kissed by summer’s warmth but leaning toward the reality of winter this song has many emotive clashes that all mould into one end sensation that gladdens the soul. ‘Happitalism’ is ambrosia to feed upon, are we, the lowly luggites worthy - well tune in, find out and cast thy feedback - it all helps the long and arduous cause.
With the sun shining outside and my digits tapping with enthusiasm I have a good feeling about this CD, I think things are nicely balanced and the future looks rosier than a recently shafted choir boys butt cheeks. Tis all promising and surely this is a CD (as well as other releases by this minstrel) that we should all be checking out. My bit is done, my hands are now tied, who will have their curiosity provoked? Fuckin' hell it ain't half a frustrating bind this reviewing lark.
GOVERNMENT DEATH EPIDEMIC - SELF-TITLED
From the mank of Manc this band come on soiled knees and create a reality sodden sound that has no covers, no bullshit and no pointless effect. The band are as they are, plough out a mix of punk, reggae, sub-skank and alternative and ask for nothing in return only a bit of time and attention. On a 'live' basis they have always done the business and are on a firm slope upwards that is slowly attracting the bloodshot eye of the more discerning deviant of din. Let us see if they can back it up on this 4 track release.
We open with 'It's The Governments Fault', a song that emerges from dark bassed up recesses and squirms forth on a rotten DIY undercarriage laden with scars and poxed, infected passion. The drive of this 4 minute 20 second effluence is primarily wrapped around a shaft of repetition with a dirty backdrop of sound working away whilst the gobs ease some inner pressure and let loose a chant that avoids turmoil and goes straight for the epicentre of your notice and gives a message one could read two ways (in a fine punk tradition). You could in fact take it that too many blame the government for their own lack of progress rather than getting up and doing it regardless of their restrictions or you could take this as it is more than likely meant - a fuckin' big finger point at the useless shits in power - either way I think it is an effective operation. The anger rises, the swirl of the sonica increases, something earthy, bleak and yet subtly hopeful emerges and the old school simplicity is what keeps me intrigued. Bread and butter punkage that some new recruits may not fully appreciate or indeed understand! Never be restricted by time and tradition. So after a firm start we go into 'Cyber Hell', a drum caress and a push through the first verse which melts into a bassed nakedness and takes time to re-ignite its own ass. An awkward moment that needs time. I spin and spin, I re-observe from different angles and eventually grasp the stop/start interference thus making a decision as to the song as a finished article. The answer is middling with the main gripe being that the song doesn't slam dunk as hard as it should between those terse switched off moments. It does grow though and maybe a judgement after 7 or so spins is a trifle premature in this instance. A decent alteration of style is appreciated despite my criticism.
Track 3 and 'C. I. A.' comes with the most forcefulness displayed thus far with a head pecking approach that sees the gobs thrive and the musical section radiate a greater purpose, a higher level of hunger. The short snap of sound comes and goes and leaves an essence of old school purity as well as offering an alternative angle when set against the chasing outpouring known as 'Government Death Epidemic'. This one sees the band find their true feet with a considerated creation that wanders from the sedately thoughtful to the rabidly rushed, from the controlled and immovable to the leash free and energetic. The crew combine two well played elements and blend to make a counter-balanced number of honest, lo-fi noise that some may sneer at, some may turn their noses up at - it happens you know! For me, the productive levels are basic, the end mix not borne from the cunt of a cash cow and the approach, in the main, totally and utterly unaffected. These, to some, are flaws, to some are benefits - can you guess what side of the fucked fence I am on?
The GDE squad are growing in stature and are now a settled unit on the prowl for more gigs and more alert ear-holes. This, for an opening account, will do the job very nicely but the buggers had better move it up a few notches next time, they have the potential and I have the desire - what a combo!
SINK ALASKA - BATTLE LINES FROM BETTER TIMES
I did a review of a 4-way split called 'Roaster' some time back (it all becomes a blur after so much musical meddling), with the quartet of bands each donating a brace of tracks apiece and making for a darn good listening bout. Make That A Take Records was the label that featured the 4 units, one of which were Sink Alaska, a crew that during one song convinced and during another left me on the outside. Here the band offer (yes you guessed it), 4 deliveries and I crack on and see what these melodic Scotch punkers have on offer this time.
To begin and 'I Am A Legend/I Am A Robot' cascades down upon my attentive suede with good wholesome collisions that smooth out and tumble with liquidity and saturating effect. The vibrant splashes are thoroughly modernised with distinct emphasis on keeping things constantly moving and consistently melodic. The verse and chorus chunks are somewhat merged into one strict flow that has a ceaseless slant and so requires the listener to donate a little more time than deemed necessary. I re-rotate over and come up with a conclusive opinion (it is what I am required to do) and slap out a verdict of a ditty that has no barbed angles, no threatening irritation and no overly technical twattage that makes for an easy listening experience to just tap along with. Very digestible fodder, take a nibble! 'All That Got Hurt Was Feelings', is a grittier song and so magnetises my dirtier side and alerts my nastier senses into full focus mode (as if there is any other way to review these offerings). Again the band move with total direction and have a relentless modus operandi that gives the whole shebang an added attraction to keep one embraced. The guitars are blended with care and cruise with consistency and good rhythm but still rattle the arse with robust and aurally nutritious power. We well fed eavesdroppers are catered for and the sonic output does a simple trick and keeps things...hygienic!
'Poacher Turned Gamekeeper' is another fine offering but for me doesn't alter the gist of the CD enough and follows a set route which is a real error and a chance missed. 4 tracks is an ideal opportunity to chuck together many flavours and in this instance it is an option very much needed. Again the general mix is organised and appealing, the flow primarily unhindered (except for a parading section which gives partial respite) and the poppoid overtones ideal for the cause but nothing extraordinary comes, nothing wham bam whacks one in the gonads and I really do think this is a grave error. Slick and quick but it slightly gets on my wick - ahem, I spring on and hope my observations are noted. 'Overkill Is Underrated' is a song I could sum up with the one word attack of 'ditto' as it follows the same path of its predecessors although I am finding this to be my pick of the snap, crackle and pop. The sound feels more zoned in and the band seem more aware of time, tension and the inevitable finishing line and so zoom forth with a more impacting unity that creates a gratifying end work-out. Shuffled with exactitude, no room to squeeze in critical wordage and I step out and leave this one with a definitive thumbs up!
Sink Alaska offer up 4 very rewarding songs but have more capabilities and potential to embroider their produce further and tear up the path of predictability that they have got stuck in here. You can feel the talent and the know-how, almost grasp the efficiency and high level of marksmanship but you can also visualise the leash they are restraining themselves with and that does nothing more than frustrate. I am pushing for more, I am putting on a gentle squeeze - next time the expectation levels are higher - 4 more tracks please, 4 more flavours. In the meantime, we I shall make do with this decent affair.
WOLF BITES BOY - FAMILY ISN'T ALWAYS BLOOD
The first gig this lot played was on a Fungalised effort, I am right proud of that fact. The band strutted their fine stuff on the 12th July 2014 in Elsecar (approximately 3 months after starting up) and gave a solid account of themselves encouraging me to book em' two more shows, one at The Star and Garter in Manchester and one at The Jump Club in Barnsley - both were fuckin' solid performances. This Stoke/Sheffield based unit create classy street music loaded with quality and accents as good as bands receiving much greater praise for their efforts due to nothing more than fortune and fuckwittery. The band for me are set to be something special and will undoubtedly be moving on to some worthy pastures where they will win many new fans. I hope so but also keep the digits crossed and hope they will pop in on a Fungal show here and there for DIY’s sake - always welcome.
We commence here with an accented intro and a bellow of the opening songs title 'Gotta Get Away'. This song doesn't hold back and exposes an exciting voracity for the task ahead and exudes a talent I am gratifyingly bowled over by. The string work is scuffling, the drums firm and handy whilst the gob is superbly sizzled, has a remarkable strength and snatching slant that reeks of cobblestoned reality that keeps this manky fucker absorbed for sure. An understated bout of accomplishment and I can't help feeling this dose of honest discordance is leaving the door open for something special to enter, you just get these sensations at times. 'Fighting On' is the immediate answer to my premonition and is, in no uncertain terms, a fuckin', stone-walled beauty that even the most ardent detractor would have some task in shifting. The anthemic opening chant using the tried and tested one line of 'Don't Let The Bastards Grind You Down' is simple and of a mode that anyone could dish out but, and take note of this but, the mix here and the general gist of the output is precise and gloriously ideal for the message relayed and that is what gives Wolf Bites Boy the extra edge and makes this an A-Class stand out moment to absolutely piss-oneself too. This song is so good that immediate thoughts are had concerning a possible 'Album of the Year', which is testament to the marksmanship of the crew as at the time of scribbling it is still only February. Again gobs, guitars and sticks are grinding gears in concordance and hitting all the receptive radars bang in the middle. 'Family Isn't Always Blood' confirms the superior calibre of the output so far with a song that glides through the movement with such well-grafted excellence that cements the standard set. This is the balancing song, the one that keeps us level headed but doesn't let us drop the praise given. Comfortable in its own right, clouting with firm acoustic hands and we bend down and ask for several more whacks as a matter of course and decency. 3 down, 3 to play regularly and with repetitive expectation - and the best is yet to come (pass me a handkerchief please).
'Big Man In A Small Town', is an unadulterated session of impeccable noise construction that intertwines many sub-generic styles, brews to a tee and pours forth with choice exactitude that leaves ones mouth-watering and aural eyes wide. Anyone brave enough to try and besmirch this song for me would be best branded a noodle as this is surely faultless fodder we can all jig along too without fear of a fault or faux pas. It is a delicious skanked stepper that explodes over and over again with feel good factor and feisty, sharp-assed insight into those typical wankers out there who really, at the end of the day, amount to fuck all. The highpoint is reached thus far. 'Backstreet Kids' comes on a more stabilised, earthy substrate and holds on to a foundation of innocence so many want to take away. The wide-eyed waltz has gritty power, bloke down the road honesty and is overlain with an aroma of yesteryear when times seemed more natural, more threat free. This is a song of a certain ilk many tackle, it is a tried and tested tootle down a thoroughfare of fondness and will go down well with the masses (including me for that matter). As easy as A, B, C it seems!
'Against The Grain' is right up my awkward alleyway with its kickback against expectation and procedure. The opening fractured crystal breaks away and becomes a tight shuffle that foams at the mouth with a desperation despite going at the noise full fuckin' tilt. The verses stay compact and closed in before a glorious release of the title comes and gets us questioning provocateurs kicking back and pinging. Like a release from unnecessary outside pressure the valve is eased and the gas let free to scald those infected by regimentation. Fuckin' love this relieving moment and I re-spin and put my foot through a door just for good measure - have that ya orderly cunts. 'The Place That I Call Home' adds more cultured refinement to the collection of quality thus far with an anthemic sing-a-long mode of melody that will surely see an army of acoustic admirers joining in with and paying homage to their own personal stomping grounds. A home town boy offering, for those with a pride in their patch, a loyalty to their own lump of land. I personally don't get this style of thought but I certainly get the song and who it is aimed at and can appreciate the leanings taken. Again it has good chuggage, a certain crispness in part, a harmonised exactness and some good understated adornments - the standard remains lofted. 'Rise Again' continues the embracing outpouring with a reeking effluence of grabbing glory and unstoppable force that ensnares a spirit I am always on the lookout for. A veritable cobweb of colliding and condensed noise that will see many hollering addicts up for the shout and having it. The complete saturation of the soundscape is the main achieving aspect as well as the bands ability to keep things sounding fresh, well-practiced and full of spirited gumption. There is no idleness in the drift, no lack of hunger - it does keep one enthralled.
Behold a clutch of quickness.
'Wear Your Heart With Pride' is a chanted tune with an obvious 'Clashoid' guitar sequence that retro aficionados will lap up like eager salivating dogs of discordance. No room to threaten with rankling critique, the band are on a fuckin' roll and I find myself squashed by the superb all encompassing trundle- remember kids, a rolling stone gathers up the dross - I am that dross, and ruddy happy to be so (fuck all pretensions). 'Stupid Boy' twinges and twangs, roughs up in an orderly fashion and sets about a rugged opening verse that develops into a 'don't fuck' chorus chunk, a gritty, muscular meat-filled clump of no-nonsense streetpunk that oozes with traditional essences and heavyweight punching power. Again a song to bowl you over and one that contains more concrete fascinations to keep you all aurally agog. 'I'll Be There For You' backs up all proceedings with its own fine awareness and articulation via a two-toned toss-about that smacks of thoroughbred thoughtfulness and eclectic insight. I love the skanky sharpness, that cobble-smart attire the song wears with such appeal and zoned-in expression and the keyed assistance that gives a very era-energised appeal. The bulls-eye hit on this alternative generic dartboard is done with aplomb and thank fuck we are not at the end game yet. A marvellous moment to complete the swift hat-trick.
'My Friend' closes the CD proper with a slow grilled intro that slows builds to a panging waltz that is happy to stroll along and remember times gone by when a companion was closer and everything felt safe and cosy. Things change, the song progresses on a steady flame and although not the strongest card in the pack it closes with seat belt safety and no danger is had - is this the first minor flaw? The ebony and ivories add a closing heartfelt twinge and the CD shuts itself down in a weepy kind of way. Utterances from the noodle who opened proceedings and we are...not done. 3 bonus tracks, whoop fuckin whoop!
A brief lowdown (as you should do more for yourselves ya spoon fed bastards) reveals a high voltage holler off known as 'Choices', a donation that is loaded with peril and seems liable to dissolve into mayhem at anytime despite its strict arrangement of minimalism and raw chuggery. Talking of rawness, then 'S. L. D.' follows suit and is a 'demo' version that is unscrubbed, highly scabbed and borne from dirty vaults where the heart overrides the output and gets the offering through to the final strum. A good snatching song built on hunger and one that comes with a repeat moment that really finalises matters with flags of victory flapping and just reminding us what a great listening experience we have just witnessed. 'I'll be There For You (Video Version)' is a strong closure and even though I prefer the previous incarnation this is still a beauty.
Wolf doesn't just bite the boy, it bites all those who listen and for me you will undoubtedly be rabid with praise after taking time to tune in to this wonderful contribution. I best get these fuckers booked again soon methinks, before the real wolves snatch em' up - now that would be a shame!
HARRY VIOLET AND THE SHARKS - JUNGLE CAVALCADE
I swim in many melodically induced oceans and get wave blown in many directions by many flowing requests and ebbing demands. I come across a great array of gratifying flotsam and jetsam and wallow in an abundance of choking sonic spume, all taken in good stroke and keeping me afloat with much pleasure and much hope. Harry Violet and the Sharks have swum my way from the eternally watery web and have dropped by with 2 tuneful escapades to examine further and do the assessing business by. The band are, and I quote 'raw sax driven rock and roll' and issue forth an old school vibrology that is easily swallowed and spat back out. The crew crawl from the capital, are a 4-piece and have made the following impression via their A and B side donations.
The opening surface of sound uncoils with serpentine threat before groovily ascending on underhand utterances that come from depths perhaps best left uncovered (sagacity comes with experience). With tones that undress and hip-gyrating sinuous manoeuvres that caress this song progresses from the creeping and cacophonically coy to the more self-assured with a superb retro rockin' accent that I find utterly irresistible. The punctuating wire work, the lubricated sax work, the gravelled and groomed vocal inclusions and the general well-buttered flow of the track as a whole all goes to making this wannabe groovy cat purr with praise and of course, pleasure. The balance between the old and the new, the intrinsically basic and the gently textured is fine and this will feed the needs of many sub-circle dwellers. 'Jungle Cavalcade' is good man, good!
A swift flip with expectation in the musical tum and 'Dance At The Korova' comes with a sub-tribality that beats away with regimentation before that sassy brass mesmerises prior to several sun-glints that flash through the canopy and get all units woken up and jiving to a strict rocking routine. A sweet desire in the movement is cultivated with a mellow, readily reclining pose never far away that keeps this song controlled, perspiration free and with much street-cred coolness. Try as I might I need to keep replaying this slippery eel to embrace the full on tremblings that pulsate my way and with each spin I find that greater foot tapping impetus comes and before I know it I am in the zone baby. Why not indeed!
2 songs, a mere taster for things to come and if they come with such clarity and craftiness as this I shall be lurking about in anticipation of a darn fine release. There is no reason not to stop by and pick this up - go shift with the drift!