FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 20
 
 

THE X-RIPPERS - LIVE AND CANTANKEROUS

Me and my good lasses used to have many a good time in Barnsley watching this lot ply their tomfoolery and tickle the crowds with the tongue-in-cheek tuneage.  Panama Joe's and The Arches were grand places and we saw some other good bands there too - UK Subs, The Lurkers, The Lame Ducks, The Dead Pets and The Agitators to name a few, were all enjoyed and pinged about to.  Now we are many moons on, I haven't seen the band in a ruddy good while and I am ploughing deep in the reservoirs of rhythmic idiocy trying to keep some last bastion of hope alive.  The X-Rippers are still dabbling too and here is there latest offering for me to mull over - I see some old faves on here, ooh heck!

No need to detail every damned blast here, I have done the songs before both 'live' and on CD, make of this review what ya will oh slack arsed soniceers!

Two CD's - one 'live' - one 'not' - fuckin' hell, I hate 'live CD's.

20 tracks on the ‘live’ side, 18 on the cantankerous side - I am limiting myself to 2 paragraphs each - it will be a test of my skills in terseness - ouch. 

We go 'Live'.

I am always wary of these 'live' offerings as so few, over the many eavesdropping years, have really done the business and I reckon, if the truth be told, less than 10 are worthy of regular rotations.  Please excuse my wary approach and perhaps sobered evaluation, you have been warned.  In truth initial clarity is fine and avoids being an overly stripped down shit out that can't find any sense of sonic decency within a mire of mis-recorded crapulence.  From the first bunch of belt-outs the evergreen 'Magnet Blues' and the frustrated madness of '4 Inch' soar with supreme rhythm and ideal transparency that gives the offerings an aerated essence rather than a busy, clutterbucket slant that is so often the case on these kind of releases.  Classics come and sound real good, 'You Don't Like Us' emphasises the quality of the product giving a contrast of styles to ponder, '49 Bus' is a thugs delight with a fine vibe to riot to and the viciousness of 'Kill A Clown' and 'Jimmy Kelly' come and do their own business in similar and yet opposing terms.  This latter song is perhaps my favourite snip by the band and they do it ruddy well here, with its hairy warted arse uncovered for all to see and...admire.

Into the second half of the first disc and the UK Subs cover of 'CID' is ideally executed and followed up by the miniature marvel that is 'Who's The Doctor', a screwdriving song that impales, twists  and sends a really vibrant chill down the spine with its catchy opening drill.  Cracking effort as is the following anger of 'What We Want' and the idiot sing-a-long sniping of 'Pop Idol' a couple of long term servants to the Ripper's set that keeps us, the punter, enthralled and smiling.  'Demis Roussos' shows the mentality of a band with too much thinking time on their hands and 'Rolex' is a short spurt of arrogance that is a peach in the pit.  

The wind-down to the finale is not my favoured pot of musical cha' with 'Terry' and 'You Are My Sunshine' bloody awful expulsions and not really hitting home, the 'Anarchy In The UK' cover is pointless but well executed and done with good effect and 'Ripper' just full stops matters bringing the 'live' set full circle.

As stated earlier, I am not a fan of 'live' recordings but this is very listenable effort and brings back memories of some good nights across the moors.  I shall move on rather than look back though, only decent ya see.  A good effort this and I go into the recorded side confident of a solid experience.

We enter the studio...

What we get here is a 90% repeat beat of all that has transpired on the 'live' side, but of course, all numbers are presented in their productive Sunday best!  So, to maintain tersity and, I hope, accuracy, I am going to pick out the good, the bad and the fuckin' ugly (Brent stand up please).

THE GOOD - The zeniths of this 18 track treat are many but of particular note is of course the smashing brace of 'Who's The Doctor' and 'Rolex', the sharp smack in the mush of 'Jimmy Kelly' and the football chant of 'Five 0', an encounter that incites trouble and kicks some mighty butt.  To be perfectly honest, there are many good tracks on the CD and I could hark on for many a while but I am teasing you here if ye be a virginal X-Ripping listener and if you know the band inside out what more can I add.

THE BAD - 'Living In New York' is a weak number that fails to raise much interest in my lowly receptors and 'Billy Don't Be A Hero' is perhaps the biggest mistake the band have ever made when it comes to recording material.  A shit song in the first instance and still in need of a complete overall after this effort.  Just not my bag dudes.  

THE UGLY - 'Dog Food Debbie' is shabby filth of the crudest order, uses a vacant Pistol rip-off as way of intro and deals with the dirty goings on of one nasty bitch who seems to be constantly on heat and has no shame whatsoever.  A song to titter at in embarrassment methinks - oh those dirty devils.

I like this CD, hey I like the band.  I have been upfront, pure and genuine, it ain't all a bed of roses but the X-Rippers are worthy of your attention anytime, anywhere!

   

BROCCOLI - HOME

90's forwards and backwards punk here melded into a coagulated slab of modernised movement that aches with a certain technicality and independent acoustica.  Broccoli came, played, pissed off and have re-surfaced.  The sound here is multifarious and comes with an incessancy not to be taken lightly.  Released on Drunker Sailor Records this generic bloom will be inhaled by many new-skool old stagers and perhaps plucked by many long term spiky tops - tis all about time, patience and being eclectic - come on now, let us part the fanny flaps of silence and stick in our ever erect ears - the sex is aural!

'Constance' comes, rises on a rich thermality that instantaneously sears the epidermal layers and creates an outer itch that needs crucial attention.  Those initial icy warehouse strums may attempt to lead us into a different rhythmic realm from the one that manifests itself but hang with it and feel the warmth emanate from a construction that is both condensed and unremitting in its controlled intensity.  The vocals get somewhat smothered during the mix and we have a moment of less abrasive essence but the song is an opening success and has a surreptitious vibe that one can't pinpoint but which magnetises nonetheless.  'Chestnut Road' unwinds before us and is an acoustic thoroughfare of equal magnitude to its predecessor with the same shimmering heat haze rising, the same gutsy bite within the whole escapade.  A lightly struck moment causes a slight concern but the band throw this brief flutter off and use it as a counterbalance to the overall surging of the structure.  The mouthwork is hungry, even ravenous perhaps, and with a rear guard of perpetual motion and all-devouring resonance you will do well to escape the barbed wired snags of this gratifying sound blast.

I bound on...

I come up against the third slab of saturation with 'I Am Robot', a more considered offering that takes time to situate each segment of the song and make for a listening snippet that comes in good time and has more layers to uncover than first considered. The approach varies with subtleness but an inner strength is retained and the stranglehold put on the listener is no less intense than what has past thus far.  The opening string coolness is soon melted by a growing volcanic eruption of thriving noise all created by keeping every component active, in line and kicking arse.  Simple it may seem, I'll tell you it ain't!  Hat-trick achieved - hoorah, hoorah!  'R. S. V. P.' unfolds as the tamest track thus far with the radiance emitted down by 10% on its predecessors - which, as it turns out, hardly matters at all.  The opening thrust is as per, completely enveloping and soaked through to the skin with musical mushed goodness.  It is a vitality filled start, one in keeping with the set flow but which has lighter stroke play and a more spacious feeling to the initial manoeuvres.  The power builds, we get into the groove and then, at the halfway point, all hands are off deck, are taking time out to chill and throw the song into territory new.  A move needed, a move unexpected, a move that creates uncertainty within the reviewer.  A power chug saves, we are taken to the last fling on a high - phew!  

To the next 2 and 'Sleep Tight', and 'Home' alter the tempo and take the CD down a new channel of tuneage that is, to some I am sure, very much needed, but to me is a moment to find fault with (a personal viewpoint of course).  I see these two songs as too drawn out, laborious and somewhat dreary which, after the opening assault, is quite disappointing indeed.  Of course the CD needs variation, it goes without saying that too much of the same would be a drastic error but, something doesn't quite hit home during this brace of dragged out deliveries and I find myself completely out of sync with the entire coupling.  I feel wank at having to dip my estimations of the output but there ya go - honesty must dictate and even if I am in the minority I shall not be swayed.  Elements within the weavings threaten to burst through the mundane membrane and give some hope - you can agree or disagree with my verdict, feel free to scribble your thoughts in a review nudge, nudge.

'The Tens' moves with more persuasion, scorches with sincerity and slices flesh with a determined shove of the sonic slab in the direction of your awaiting ear-holes.  The pulsation increases, the elasticity of the overspill is stretched to somewhere between midway and the max and yet still comes across as a creation very much on the leash and at the master minstrels beck and call.  Another good sugarised shit-out for me, less textured perhaps but still exuding fair flavour.  'Tongue Tied' nips away at our knackered heels and will not be shaken off  no matter how hard one kicks and screams. The band are in a concentrated furrow here, beavering away like artistes immersed in their own excremental overflow.  They flow and flourish with consistency and uphold an unstoppable threat with aplomb despite this fucker passing the 4 minute threshold.  The lengthy running time does take the shine off the impact effect but hey, these guys are doing their thing baby!

The last two, 'Short Straw Fate' and 'Well Wishing', pour forth with the former being a continuance of the deluge, no let up and no apology and the latter being a number that takes more time in delivering its crushing cadence and appears as a more orchestrated number that highlights, for me at least, that the band impress best when they put their backs up against the wall and masturbate their musical weapons with full, unadulterated gusto.  I walk away from this finale before I dig an unnecessary hole!

That is all folks, a review that I hope embraces the electric energy transmitted and indicates just what pocket of noise this discordance leaks from.  My end opinion is of a product that does the business in the main and just misses my personal radar on a couple of occasions.  This shit happens, what can I do?  For me, if you like to keep your punky noise eclectic then this is worth a peek and a poke, however, if you like to stay living on an isolated sonic island - then fuck off!

   

WHITEBELT - THE 100 CLUB SERIES

Whitebelt come from Bristol, are a 3-piece whom describe themselves as a Synth-Math-Pop outfit that produce electro/post-punk/krautrock/no- wave/angular/pop - oh my goodness.  This 7 inch release comes as part of The 100 Club Series, a collection of releases on Oddbox Records that returns after nearly a year’s break.  A nice idea and a good way to get vibrations transmitted far and wide.  Two songs may seem a doddle but it is all about patience and trying to get the true gist, never easy!

Side A 'Eyes On The Feet' in rotates and emits a sound that initially invokes visions of a 70's Dr Who monster scene where the dreaded beast is eventually revealed and let loose before the dodgy camerawork.  These images are banished by a floated opening vocal push that is both featherlight, tissue paper thin and slightly mentally corrupted. The awkward guitar slants that come as well as the somewhat off-the-cuff tympanics make for a discombobulating encounter between the absorbed and understanding players and the straining and out of kilter luggite.  No easy thing to embrace this kind of shizzle but tis noise that needs to be made so as to keep them thar boundaries stretched.

'Crave' is loaded with nervousness, fails to instantly start and when eventually a raison d'être is found it is with purely experimental and disharmonious designs.  A hippified dreamscape comes and banishes the initial troubles with a steady beat taking the reins. A criss-cross of generic essences come and copulate with an overlay/underlay of organisation somewhat apparent - I feel shocked.  What unfolds is a mini-adventure into explorative noise, a creeping torment that unsettles the listener but, with some perverse patience, may tickle certain unknown body parts.  It is a Frankensteinian freak - how long will it walk in your midst?

A strange couple we have here from a band on their own collision course to nowhere. Will success kiss their attempting arses or will a shiny boot make contact with the active rears - all I can do is give you my thoughts?  I wouldn't mind hearing their next release and seeing where things have ended up but until then...who knows?

   

THE DOMESTICS - BRUTAL REGIMES

The Domestics hail from Sudbury/Ipswich.  The Domestics shit bricks.  The Domestics do not fuck about and crap forth the cacophony with laxative-induced urgency and hardcore shittery.  No fuckin' about from the band, no fuckin' about from the reviewer - a combination that will hopefully shed some light on this 6 track toilet trasher that comes under my ever searching radar.

Begin... 

'I Love My Job' - Cripple crush, hate rush and in we slam against the maddening mundane flow of the working regime that takes away the soul, the individual and the glimpse of any hope...if you let it that is!  All the components that make up for this stifling shit segment of our lives are force fed down our only too gaping gullets with a forthright rage obviously built on years of hamster wheel insult.  Wires are bent double, drums ravished and vocals spat forth with possessed passion.  A blistering attack, one for your boss methinks - right up their shithole!

'Spit On Your Flag' - Division trashing rage that defies the banner waving cretinism and slaps home a response.  My favourite sizzler that hits home a relevant point I have made many times.  I love the dangerous tumble and thrashing restlessness that splashes over out listening conscious with utter venomous spite.  Stops and starts fail to impede a gathering cloud of eternal frustration and the impacting edge this one brandishes cuts very deep indeed - and that brief bass clatter towards the end only ignite further excited interest.

'Brutal Regimes' - Speaks out against that which is obvious - the governmental corrupted bullying that sees the people trod underfoot and kicked about like second rate fuckers.  An avalanche is expect, it duly comes with pace and perilous mania but it is the more stabilised and calculating segment that turns this listener on and gets him pogoing on the spot.  A massive assault of seething kickback that plays it tight against the chest and alters angles quite ruddy nicely.

'You're Fucking Dead' - A hard thumping headcase of a number that bruises in with stated lines amid a turmoil of chopping strings and slapping drums.  The throat is shredded with greater malevolence here and the band take on a new level of poisonous production with a swift, rear-kicking rip up of unapologetic hardcore.  Short and spiteful - like a homosexual dwarf with an infected cock ready to go on a rampage of rear end rape - run for the hills, run for them thar hills!

'Friday Night War' - We all recognise what this one is about, the time when the animals in the zoo are off the leash and they release all their petty pent up failings and go hell for leather on a booze fuelled blitz that will see many come a cropper in the overall lunatic wastage.  Usually the suited and booted fuckwits of the most average kind go ape on the weekend battlegrounds due to having small pricks, small minds and small ambitions.  The band don't hold back here, delightfully call out the stance and want no part in the idiocy - good on em'.  For me another concoction that is well timed and well delivered.

'Into The Light' - From the darkness you are requested to step into that nebulous world that may be a little more well lit but which still has many varied untrustable tones.  We can only try!  The approach here is as per - pounding, spiced with pace and with a prepared opening account that screws up, sets down some concrete foundations and has you leaking spunkage in anticipation of the main guts of the savagery.  You will not be disappointed and may the last wank off to the robust and rocking rhythm be a fuckin' delight - I suspect it will. 

End...

The well used basin of tuned turd passing is now in need of repair, as are my ear drums.  I should have known better but a musical man has to curl down a review when the need arises.  I have listened, squatted and squeezed - I hope you appreciate the textual stench and are willing to sniff out this stinking six-track blow-off - you may get slightly aroused tha' knows!

   

WITHOUT KIBOU THERE IS NOTHING VOL 4 - COMPILATION

A small compilation closing a series of 4 releases.  This mini release keeps it DIY and is released on red or blue vinyl.  There have been some good bands go through this label, as I browse the track-listing I see a few on here too - Fungal expects.

2 Sick Monkeys open this 9 track adventure with the gruff grumble of 'Lost My Head', a sonic splodge that exposes initial bass bending layers before trouncing its own internal riggots with a rambunctious supply of upheaving power fucking forthrightness.  Clobbering and raw this hors d'oeuvre is an appetising starter for a 9 course meal not to be taken sitting down.  Active Minds pop in next with their swollen organ of noise tattooed with the name of 'The Real Cost'.  The member of melody is wanked with furious fists and spunks forth a rank and rancid hardcore globule of frightening terror.  Time not wasted, neither is breath - a full on tumult tightly twatted outwards for those with ears tuned in, to adore.  The ones on the outside of the aural zone may also get splattered and be impregnated with curiosity - if not, then fuck em'.

Third in and Slug build up a 'Paper Mountain', and then turn it to rubble with a fuckin' delicious kick up of irresistible fury that nails its own teste blasted temper to the wall for all to see and take due note of.  The band have their whole functioning areas on absolute fire and the incessant repeat thrash takes away any illusions one may have and leaves you howling for another immediate fix.  Slug Junkie Slags - oh a terrible breed.  A nice alteration in the tonality next with a very old school sounding tickle oozing forth on unhurried tootsies that threaten to slip into a mire of mushed mayhem but just keep in-line and create an end product that is a neat inclusion.  Rats As Big As Dogs play a sweet one with 'Bedford Day' throwing in an extra facet to what is a swift but very rewarding collection of rackets.  I feel as though I should be able to place a definite comparison with this latter song but it just eludes me - bah!

The Domestics are masters of their art and they produce a blasting bastard of goodness here with 'Don't Waste My Time' being a huge puke up of resenting wildness that makes for a booming bonne bouche to roll around the palate over and over again.  The fast fuck organisation, the in-built  adherence to the happening structure and the literal violence of the noise all poke at my sensors and have me reacting in the most positive way - ooh there goes me head through a window!

'Copper Cunt' comes via the mauling mitts of Violation and is nothing short of a toxic puzzle that seems to chuck in several sub-generic flavours and mix them in such a way as to make all utterly disguised and, may I add, inseparable.  The content is par for the course for this rebellious scene and although this song cracks no new surfaces of sound it is a strong enough inclusion to hold its own here.  Dis-Tank next, a band I have come across on several similar compilations and this I know, in some respects, what to expect!  Is that a good or a bad thing?  Well, 'A Sad Demise' is pulverising cruelty borne from a band who only know one way in which to deliver their fast and furious style of noise.  It is what it is, get over it!  Razored, mashed with great strengthened and squeezed out through a tightened orifice that may cause blood loss.  A song best taken in small doses!  Poho Assault offer up 'Tired' and take hardcore into the most bleakest realms and come up with total thrash trash that only those who are fully immersed will appreciate.  I can take or leave this very concentrated produce and prefer it if delivered in super short packages in the midst of much opposing music.  Here I feel overfed and a bit stifled and find the track too much - you are welcome to disagree.  The band play it hard though and perspire a certain exactness - it ain't all negative me old turnips.

Lastly and  Ziplock give birth to a decent closure, rattled down as 'I Will Never Learn', a real rousing fuzz-up of defiant discordance that pulses in, grits it out and sub-scatter splatters with a certain direction given.  A number that induces a bouncing response and a fist-pump chant along, ideal for a final fling on a  'live' set or, as coincidence as it...a CD.  Good one.

A very interesting insight into the harder side of the punk pit and one that is delivered with pace, precision and good time in mind.  These things should never outstay their welcome, they should come, exhibit swiftly and fuck off leaving us all...quivering.  I think this release meets its target, gratifying indeed!

   

LITTLE TERRY - POSITIVE

Acoustic folk/Punk/Country/Reggae is what this young fellow describes his sound as via the Facebook fuckery we seem to get so wrapped up in these days!  A gigging musician who, at the time of key tapping, has played one fungalised gig and is booked down to do another.  I was taken by the Doncaster lads amiability and 'in the flesh' delivery with songs that were humorous, political and day-to-day observant all thrown into a short but effective mix.  I have 7 dittifications to investigate here so out comes the aural magnifying glass and my cacophonic Columbo jacket is donned,  the scrutinsing glass eye inserted and my twitching lug switched on (I forgot to mention my nob is hanging out but that is par for the course in these sexually political times).

Firstly and to the choicely worded 'Fur And Medication', a crisp and attentive ambiguity that could be taken as a piss-taking chuck out regarding the leftie do-gooders or as a homage to their drop-out and do it lifestyles that quite capably pigeonholes them as well as the way they look a certain part.  Punk is a viper's nest of ambiguity and so it should be, it keeps us intrigued.  The wordplay here is niftily passed forth via a tinkle twinkle that may seem a trifle studied but which has a distinct upbeat penumbra of defiance and, may one add, hope. The vocal style is lucid, well balanced and radiates a definite focus we duly get dragged along by.  The increase in the melody towards the latter end is sublime and I truly love this one - well done Tel!

Tribute time next to that tuned in, tossed off turnip many of us have been blessed to know, namely 'Johnny Half A Day'.  A doer, a diddler, a ditty constructing deviant and one who is well and truly tuned in to the DIY ethos - just like our artiste at the helm here!  A great tune this both 'live' and on this CD let me tell you, no nonsense, just a merry tootle along the tonal track with oral applause given for a gentlemen and a minstrel.  Honest and well-aired this one doesn't need too much analytical arsing - just smile, bounce along and enjoy. Oh and have a banana - t'would be rude not to!  Ook, ook!  'North East Cold' adds more shadowy accents to the outpourings with a sweetly haunted tuned brushed forth on a light thermality that will, given the right amount of time and patience, warm the cockles of your ticker (despite the songs title).  Sub-whispery and with a draught caressed core this slow moving river of rhythm has a straight ahead flow with some subtle weight perhaps not overly stated.  Don't get too close to the edge, you may get washed away and taken below the surface - one to consider further methinks but a solid change for sure.

'Homebrew' is one for the cheapskate piss-pot who wants to stop indoors, indulge in homely comforts and get rat-arsed.  Inexcusable behaviour (apart from the drink) and if the chance arises, get out there and boogie.  One for the idle oldies methinks, those arthritic washed-up wank buckets who can't be arsed to leave the sofa - darn buggers. You are never too old to ping, think on!  Tiny Terence tinkers with freshness, keeps all arranged and trundles along with obvious delight in his doings!  I am charmed by this persuader.  Good fun next with 'The Re-Incarnated Neighbour's Cat' being a Silly Billy serenade that unravels itself with cute persuasion and leg stroking shiftiness.  It is a fully rotated, wrap-around and titillated trinket that could indeed get on ones nipple endings if overly done, but take your time folks, it isn't a bad old donation.  Not my favourite, perhaps a vote of average is my end decision and I feel harsh at that but, as per, honesty is the key.  No offense, no defence - many will disagree - such is reviewing, tis a well played ditty either way you look at it!

The last 2 and 'Molly Grey' staggers in, is a paradoxical sobered tale of a piss-pot who seems lost and in need of a hug rather than a glug.  The strings move with insistence here, the strain is limiting and keeps to a rigid movement that keeps within its own confines.  Nevertheless this is not a bad do and although it travels a little too far for its own good I do like it.  Again all areas are kept a clear as a virgin’s conscience, as pure as Emily Bishop's love life (allegedly) and I move into the last one expecting no change. 'Marching Along' is a grand closure and kind of leaves us with a determined carefree attitude that simply says we will carry on, we will never give in and we will do it as best as we can.  A DIY anthem I reckon, played by a man in the mire who knows the struggle but, carries on regardless.  Perfectly positioned, a sing-a-long finale and a farewell to a CD that won't stay still for long - in the player it goes!

Nice work here, easy to review and a reminder of the pleasure I get from being in the pit with these overlooked pluckers.  We aren't winners, we aren't heroes but one thing is true - we are losers and zeroes with a passion, a passion second to none.  Get this, help another straggler keep doing his bit and jig to the tunery!

   

THREE SMILES WIDE - THREE SMILES WIDE EP

A three-piece who make tinkling alternative music that is very much indified, clean cut and with a strain of commercialised leaning within the weft. This is a reissue of a 2013 release that was sold at gigs and duly sold out.  We have another limitation on this release so if you like what I write you will have to get your arse in gear and chase down one of these musical products...or...have a wank instead - the choice is always yours. I am merely an honest enthusiast trying to add some clarity to many murky matters and do my lowly bit – by crikey.

We delve and are met with the opening tonality of 'Daddy', a song that positively blossoms with dew kissed petals of sound both brightly coloured and wafted with a sincere draughted application that keeps animation levels intriguing.  The opening vocal donation is instantaneously lucid and attractive with the backdrop of string and skin work all in capable cahoots and crafted with a knowledgeable and exacting talent.  The angles thrown in are subtle but effective and we change course through the acoustic occurrence with sturdy accuracy and quite powerful assuredness.  From heavier strums to twilight string glistens the movement has weight and consistency, a sanguine opener I feel!

'Derren Brown' tub rumbles, advances with a firm heel dug into the substrate leaving a firm indentation on the receptors of the listener.  Similar in essence to the previous leakage here adorned with minimalist moments and then strongly sugared up with a loaded, well fuelled push of all compartments.  The song packs a professional punch and has a nice glaring contrast between the restrained to the more relaxed.  Throughout a positivity is radiated, I never have any complaints with that!  'Ten Pound Bottle Of Wine' is the most leisurely track thus far and somewhat a little too laid back for its own good.  Again the stark and the more saturated vie for the foreground, twang, twinge and tumble in equal proportion with the bass grinding out a sound underscore on which the rest of the melody can vibrate.  It is something of a grower this one and if you apply plenty of ardent aural fertiliser as well as a bit of concentrating compost you may just well get enveloped by the tuned tendrils!

'Tesco' gradually reveals its inner core, but only after much ado about...something...stripped bare.  The rise comes in well-spaced cascading waves without any real splashes made other than a consistent foaming that does draw the listener inward.  Not much else to add here, a tepid touch that may not grab the initial rod of response but which squeaks out a small slice of concurrence.  'Shut Your Face' is the penultimate piece and the most accomplished track that sees a distinct glow arise from both verse and chorus applications and thus give one pure and complete finish to the whole product.  The sparkles are plentiful as well as the fluid moves between all sections that, as a result, makes the band stand out as a fully competent unit on the crest of an exacting and gratifying wave.  The only gripe I have with this number is that it reminds of an early 80's vibe that was delivered by some squeaky clean cunt with layers best left covered - shudder indeed, the oily bastards.  A good track despite these internal and personal terror flashes.

'Half Rice, Half Chips' power spirals and drills with intent before opening outward and stating its sonic case.  Textured and layered the opening section collides into a stressed and almost panic laden chorus cut that trundles deep within itself and gets wired up and agitated.  It is an odd song this with a point I am struggling to grasp.  That doesn't take away the fact that it is an entertaining number that brings to a close a more than adequate CD.

A fair release if you ask me.  Consistent, cleanly delivered and with a final glaze of production that makes it highly appealing for those of a more delicate palate.  Despite my liking for muck and mayhem there is nothing wrong with a bit of decency and I am slightly taken by this 6 track tickle - I must be going cracked.

   

ARCHIE AND THE BUNKERS/POWERSOLO - SPLIT CD

A split single (yes, always a good way to spread the sonic spunkage), with a band I am familiar with and one I know sweet fuck all about. Archie and the Bunkers impressed me with their full-length release and are a teenage raw garaged crew who sprout from Cleveland, Ohio. Powersolo hail from the Danish town of Arhus and allegedly puke out a trashy kind of sound that combine elements of fun and danger into the volatile mix. It sounds a right crippling combo but the proof is in the pudding, I open my lugs and let the vibes pour inward.

'The Roaring Twenties' comes first by the mangling and molesting mitts of Archie and the Bunkers and is a tympanically energised waltzer whirl of far flung psychedelic colorization that mushes the cranial membrane and leaves one bewildered and befuddled. The keys are trampled on, the gob work is a freewheeling and sloshed down with abandon and in some ways we may be guilty of hoping to get something akin to structure. Fuck that, the song is thrown our way with a naturalness that stinks of couldn't give a fuck arrogance and multi-tossed ill temper. Youthful and most effective when blasted loud and the listener is loaded this one may not be the most easy listening matter, may not be the best song you hear this year but...it has bollocks and blows mighty hard. On-line, off-line, collapsing and recovering - an unpredictable bitch it be.

Powersolo upchuck 'Fuzz Face', an uneven episode and jitter jaunting jangler without traditional attention and slip easy progress. Again another seemingly ad hoc, off the cuff problem that it takes several spins to unravel and feebly get to grips with. Tumbling and tetchy with a sub-sung, primarily stated, awkwardly masturbated rib-tickle this one is like a well oiled piglet, it is difficult bastard to truly grasp. From the minds of people disturbed, from the souls of gents jerked sideways this ditty will split the masses and leave some nauseous and some nobbed - tighten your pants and take your time.

2 tracks, 2 to test one's patience. This isn't a classic, it indulges itself a little too much and forgets the bare basics of music making but, and a very emboldened and significant but it is...the songs show that the artistes are stretching their wings and not sliding along in a crappy comfort zone where so many wallow in the own aural excrement - make of that what you will!

   

CARL MOORCROFT - ON THE ROAD

More acoustic offerings here with a scouse strummer applying his trade after his previous band (Protocol) wrapped up due to nothing more than life getting in the way.  Emphasis here is on simplified stringwork of obvious style and I go in expecting little and getting...well you will have to read on won't ya (honestly, you lazy bastards out there need a real kick up the rear).

I am dealing with these 8 tunes in 2 batches of 4, seems most correct to me.

To the first quartet on this Antipop release and the opening tune that is entitled 'On The Road'.  A bouncing tune this with a regulated rhythm throughout the course of the ditty that never lets up or strays from the set path.   The vocals have a good wholesome strain factor and the nagging vibe is initially effective with the chase up number of 'Tea Or Coffee' a nice comrade in cacophony and following a similar thread.  This one has a determined push within the wordage and a decent vigour level within the wire manipulations that keeps us, the wee listener, up to speed and involved.  The singer rises accordingly and towards the latter end upswings his efforts albeit in a subtle and non-too brazen way.  Not a bad opening brace but reservations are in the back of my noggin and I plunge into track three wondering of the variation I am going to encounter.  Track 3, namely 'Today' is a dreary affair when compared to its predecessors and shadow chases in a way that is less appealing and perhaps a trifle trying.  The heart is still pulled at and the effort is poured in but the concoction comes across as a slightly scurfy and unfinished affair with no hook to get snagged by and duly, wound in by.  Tis a difficult task to maintain the interest of the listener whilst just relying on the word and the weapon.  Not my favourite and one to re-work methinks.  'Judgement' is a harder whipped runt and has welts on its arse due to nothing more than harder appliance and firmer focus by our dabbling minstrel.  Some good angles are thrown in, an honesty is revealed that sees things kick on from the frontal trio and with due care and consideration I may just be finding myself giving the badge of honour from the opening batch.  Rumbling in part, cutely tweaked in others and having something of experimentation squeezed into the recipe - not bad and well timed for this easily tetched up twat.

A pause, a ponder and then a push into the second half.

'Deep Fried' attempts to achieve something dramatic and ends up coming across as something disparate.  A lack of cohesive movement, a disorganisation within the most basic elements sees this enter my lugholes, get judged and fall out the other side with a verdict of 'careless craftwork overcooked'.  The plucker is trying and I hate to be the bearer of bad opinion but, an opinion is what I have, I am not one of these cunts to palm you off with a lie so there ya ruddy well go.  Track 6, 'For You', is an all round healthier track with a concentrated move inward that retains hesitancy but opts into a realm of misery without apology.  It is a mood piece, one for when the rain trickles down the window, the grey skies dictate the head state and the falling leaves represent the decline in any hope whatsoever.  Not my choice of listening matter but I reckon if this snippet is hurled into a collection of steaming, thunderous punk it would have a stronger effect on the luggite.  'All About Me', doesn't stray from the set rails and runs along with similar pace, similar steam in the tank and with the usual destination aimed for.  I pick up a one way ticket so as to avoid ennui setting in and along the way note the consistency of tone, the clarity of delivery and the final hoot of the hollerer as he cleans his lungs out and gives burst to a closing mouth blast.  Perhaps, with a little more patience on my part and some further study, I have found the pinnacle of the release thus far and one that may carry the minstrel a little further in the ratings of the mass music medium.  Fuck knows!  We full stop the 8 tracker with 'Reckless', a rumbling song that ascends only slightly before adopting the usual strain.  The lack of definition between verse and chorus is a pecking complaint not just here but throughout the CD but things do get rescued within this song by a certain desire to move proceedings along with extra gumption and get things tidied up in double quick time.  The song is played adequately and sits well as a stand-alone article, it is just that when viewed as part of the pack it loses some gloss.  Not bad though.

A CD, if I am going to be honest and fair, that I can take or leave but one that shows a player who can indeed play and who has potential to extend himself a little more.  As stated it is no easy task to judge acoustic music as, over the years, I have listened to so much and it is a very limiting force.  You have 6 strings and a gob and only so many variations are found therein which in itself is a bastard for a long term reviewer.  It will be interesting to see what others think!

   

SWEET DEALS ON SURGERY - THE SNAKE AND THE SNOOZER

Prior to an 11 day wildlife excursion I received the CD under scrutiny here.  As I travelled hither and tither the CD got several spins and thoughts were gathered about this angular jizz-jazz crew who combine several generic seasonings and cough up with their own identifiable sauciness.  Sprouting from the depths of Manchester these artisans of awkwardness avoid an overly-serious approach, apply themselves with tight effect and at the end of the day, produce something akin to pleasure.  I have been intrigued, confounded and perhaps corrupted by the tuneage on show, here are my useless thoughts!

Kick off comes with 'Like, Constantly', a song with an awkward title and an equally ill-fitting methodology.  Spilling and stuttering, fulfilling yet sputtering we have here a complete statement of where the band are coming from and what they are all about.  Easy coffee table shuffle strings open, stagger shagger pushes chase and we fight the froth to stay afloat and maintain a semblance of interest.  Churning stomach grinds come with weapons screwed deep before the patchwork quilt of cacophony is ruffled further by the wanking beast beneath.  Initial plays leave me flapping like a fat woman’s fanny in the wind but I have a firm patient grip and I hold up my pecker and proclaim this a very interesting piece of noise indeed.  In fact I am going to go so far as to spunk out a splash of positivity and claim that I am liking it - what a wanker!  'Quarterly Bill' follows the same routine and has a dangerous unpredictability that appeals to lugs overly immersed in many soups of sonica.   An oozing talent manifests from the cooled mayhem and bass, sticks and six strings work in a warped unison with the thrown down oral offerings.  Artistic in a Pollockonian cum Kandinsky kind of way with something very natural about the whole fuckoid fiasco - I don a hat of agreement and raise two slashed thumbs in appreciation.  'The Snake And The Snoozer' comes next and is a delightful song that combines the clashing and the comforting and really exposes the depth of quality within this band.  The opening gushings bordered on absorbed lunacy and are immediately counterbalanced by a sane zephyr of relaxed application that ultimately provides an extra facet of fascination.  Where things will go next is anyone’s guess but it comes as some relief that in this instance at least, the band opt for a consistency and perhaps safety first manoeuvre that increases the overall impressive effect of this song.  A ruddy gratifying moment I feel.

'Let's Trade Places' upholds a lofted standard and keeps things unfuzzed and punkily nasty but just has enough vibromatic noxiousness to keep the more spiked punters aurally agog.  From a jazzy snazzy verse to a more bass bent chorus that again relies on something almost unrehearsed and off the cuff.  There is a deep skill running through proceedings here and the more I listen in the more I find there is to appreciate. My advice here is to peel back the layers slowly and never underestimate each new colour and flavour exposed.   'Desk From The Waist Down' brings to the fore the most clattering and perhaps vulgarly stimulating moment thus far with a wild and free expulsion of blitz and blast free-wheeling that urges all  limbs to...flail.  The gob is relishing the sonically structured stage it finds itself upon and throws out an energised burst of worded wankery ideal for the scenario set.  The players blend and bang and make one hell of an upheaval that literally speaks to the inner sonic core and insists upon a fuckin' reaction.  Be it a pogo, a spasmodic dance or a full blown attack on a man of the cloth - all will be fully condoned I am sure as the music is a virus and you are indeed a victim.

'Elvis Costello Is A Wanker' skank wanks and fumbles before creepily stating ones almost sinister dislikes.  A weirdo waltz that takes time to prepare itself for a tirade against that bespectacled light-lunch deliverer who had one or two hits in the midst of a whole heap of idling, ineffective tuneage.  This schizophrenic outburst is mesmerising in the most basic form and comes from a cerebral angle that is both thoughtful and careless.  A captivating copulation of somewhat opposing essences with the recklessness perhaps sneaking through and baring its pimpled arse.  Thoughts melt and I kickback and just go with the uneven flow - ooh aye!  '100% Hitler Free' is a challenging song that rises on jangling tones and nervous bass and skin energy.  The mouthwork remains aloof and elusive before being pushed by the rear rhythm.  A song that has a direct fashion of flight and glides along with a few flaps to maintain uplift.  The least imposing effort and one that could easily be overlooked unless, you are a curious seeker who tries not to miss a trick.  I feel stuck in the middle of Decisionland  here - what a shit place it is too.

'Rohypnol'd At A Family Do' is a strange structure that rises and falls with balanced pseudo-tranquillity and pushes the electric fence boundaries a little further outward (no bad thing but watch your balls chaps).  The opening spring is busy below the waist - wanking hard and spurting in sprays whilst the upper extremities seizure and await an influx of activity.  It comes, the band swiftly shit themselves and then move back to the flutter flow that I just can't get a grip of and so remain on my knees in search of a definite answer.  I feel more secure in my decision with the following track, a trifling known as 'Speed Date Your Way To Fame'.  An irate piece that fist fucks and flashlights with a freedom to jump up and join in with.  Pace, passion, darn accuracy and a modicum of derelict thinking make this a cacophonic commodity to pick up and use and abuse at your listening leisure.  A bee hive activity and waspite unpredictability make for a creation of credible proportions that encourage consideration further!  We squeeze out the last tonal turd with an effort known as 'Take My Hand, Punch Me In The Face', a wound up crescendo that feedbacks in with vulgar resonance and leaps at the jugular with wonderful salivating desire.  The content spills out in slopfuls and gets stained with the bands own blood and semen of lunacy thus making for a glaring, soul baring clatter twatter of freak fuck mania.  Within the knotted and gnarled framework the band hold onto something akin to rhythm and this, with all its wayward elements, is a ruddy good way to finish and keeps things...dodgy man, dodgy.

This CD is a paradox insomuch as it has me clawing at the raiments of judgement and coming up with mere shreds of certainty.  I like it, well I think I do! I want to book the band a gig, would that be wise?  I am looking forward to where they go next, I may be very stupid!  I am recommending you take an aural peek here, apologies in advance for my possible error!  Fuck, isn't reviewing a real test of the soul!

   
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