FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 21
THE EMBROOKS - HELEN
The Embrooks have passed me by, despite being on the circuit since 1996. They did split in 2005 but now they are back and this fungally alert fruit is all ears. They claim to be a freakbeat trio and come forth with the assistance of Dirty Water Records - these two elements alone are frighteningly capable of raising my acoustic todger to levels of almost erectile competence - not bad for a 50 year old. I strip bare and penetrate the carcass of sound and hope to achieve some level of stimulation worthy of my huffing and puffing!
'Nightmare' begins with an acute wire twinge before falling into a catacomb of crummy sound borne from bygone eras where flickering footage and melodic intent copulated with stylish looking minstrels who had a desire to pulsate with abandon. The main gist of this opening gambit is very retrofied with a deliberate scurfy upper layer that adds an alert and insightful unaffected spontaneity to the whole shebang. The record has good clatter, enough depth to avoid a tag of a short lived kerfuffle and moves with an ass-wise starkness that nags the bone. First impressions don't last (thank goodness) and the vibrations take time to tremble the inner core and shake out worthy appreciation. I have patience and after several spins I come away infected and...in many ways enthused. It is what it is, the sun casts its rays on nothing new but we can dance in the warmth and feel mighty grooved.
'Helen' crawls on electric knees before inducing a positive emotion with some sing-a-long feel good frivolity, backed by a coruscating sound and overall condensed clatter. The band fight between that which borders on hygienic and that which is slightly unwashed thus producing an end sound that can transcend listening boundaries and appeal to the decent and the dirty. A switch back into a relaxed hippified moment splits the song in two and gives a brief respite from the tuned toxicity. Am I liking this as much as the first track? Maybe not, but I can recognise once more that this is a simplistic grower that craftily sticks in the back of the bonse and casts its spell.
Two tasters, neither wank nor wasters but both songs demand time and a certain in-vibe understanding. The Embrooks have an ear for things of yore, to grasp this you will need one too - I look forward to what the band come up with next.
THE BORDELLOS - GARY GLITTER EP
The Bordellos are a curiosity found in one of the remotest corners of the gift shop of cacophony. You know the place to look - beneath the back issues of Rodox and Gentleman's Jaunts. Just at the side of the chastity belt collection and across the way from the glass cabinet that contains the assortment of snuff boxes and porcelain nipple cups (don't ask). They are a good find for the rummager of rhythm and if you care to swan down many generic avenues and poke about in various hovels of acoustic interest you may just come across the emitted tremblings donated here. Hailing from St Helen's, the crew offer up 4 tracks for thy sonic snout to sniff at, this is my take on the scent received.
Firstly and 'Gary Glitter' rises and hits us with a shadow shimmer and fuzz follow that opens the way for vaulted vocals that reach from the dark recesses of pseudo-safety and pose a question for the idle of mind. The casual delivery of the oral malevolence against the backspill of grungy filth is provocative and distinctly unsettling. The tonality, when souped with volume, is debilitating and the gnawing and nagging feeling that all is not right really does scuttle beneath ones epidermal layers. The broken keyed attack adds to the mini-nightmare and this deliberately uneasy listening matter that leaks from the soiled orifice of the band succeeds in many ways that are not registered as acceptable. Tis experimentation folks, get the fuck over it! 'Attack Of The Killer B-Sides' is a wonderfully entitled slap of gut bruising mush that moves with a swollen passion and interbred longevity. Emitting vibes of pluckers immersed this song moves with a sludgy grace and brings back thoughts of a time when 45rpm vinyls were greedily bought for their A-side obviousness and then when played would be marvelled at because of their B-side brilliance. Many discs had superior flip sides and I thank the players of this song and for reminding me of that fact! I don't mind this little tickle, despite it being a melodic mule whose parents seem to sprout from hippy-fried and Indie-fired lands were I am not a frequent visitor.
Onwards and 'Free Download Generation' stabs a green-stained finger at the comfortable couch tunesters who have their musical needs easily met by the strenuous task of clicking a button and keeping everything cash free. Life has become a farce of take and take and the masses indulge and still bitch about being hard done by. There are many elements that contribute to the dilution of music and I could go on all day - but I won't! The song here is a jumbling drift, seemingly settled but with an inner palpitation that keeps things animated. I am half and half on this but get the point and understand the Raison d'être for the rhythm - maybe it is a flat tit or perhaps a major mammary of melody - I will nibble the nipple of noise a little more. We fling the final worded appraisal on a song known as 'Disco Pants, a switch back cool cucumber that leaks juice with lidded eyes and gives you a flavour non-too sweet and non-too spicy. A tepid affair that has its own appeal due to it not trying to be anything else and by being of a certain punk DIY edge that isn't of the tick box norm. The edge of the song is skewed, warped indeed and yet still cuts through any layers of indifference and has me easily flowing - I must be going cracked.
4 songs away from the beaten track, thoughts come and go but as a result of this I am wondering if the band would like to jump on a DIY gig - watch this space and in the meantime please check out a groovy unit who may be playing a shroomed showcase soon.
RAINBOW RESERVOIR - COCO SLEEPS AROUND
Ladies and gentlemen (and those not so gentle), we bring you here a scurfy and sweet bout of tetchy pop punk from an Oxford-based outfit who really have captured the essence of saccharined sonica. I have played this Odd Box Records release over and over and I have to confess I am still not bored. The reason for this is found in the following review - I hope you pick up on my enthusiasm.
We begin with 'Kate Moss With A Moustache' and immediately bob along to the bass pulse and the curiosity soaked beauty of the juiced utterances. The slant is bubble-gummed and of a soda stream innocence that is always a charm to encounter, especially when it is so blatantly angled as this. The observational everyday content is perfect for the generic mode opted for and this twinkling tune may appear to be throwaway trash with no longevity but I would suggest you think again and see how you feel after many spins. Tis a minor delight and one to play amidst more rugged rhythm that rattles the gonads rather than tickles them. I think this is a real cutie, played with good intent and high articulation. Yummy!
'City Bike/Factor Of 10' is a portion of perpetual poppism that picks up an initial thread and never lets up until the slight preparation before the last run down. A delicious slice of consistently dripping cake where the insides ooze many observational flavours and the odd crude, opposing spice to keep one aroused. The incessancy of the shiny, shiny cum obsession tattoos our acoustic hearts with a feelgood factor borne of easily pleased attitude and sun-kissed sensations. The icing on the dish is indeed the run-out to the finishing line that is everyday wordage loaded with a sub-naiveté that convinces me to give birth to a positive review - YES!
'Coco Sleeps Around', a tremor, a soothing aftershock, we await the news of the noise. Cymbals rise as well as the front lasses angelic offerings. We wonder what hallowed ground we are set to walk upon and drift into a semi-lazed state before being snapped away by the repeat of the song title. A slight summoning of effervescence doesn't last long and we are soon cloud floating again and awaiting a re-fizz. It comes, it takes us nowhere new, in truth it doesn't have to and then...the abrupt finish comes. Odd, but in a charming way, and one of those that flutters around the cranial space and leaves one gagging for just one more fix...ad infinitum.
'Just Say Yes' is a sugar-coated drift that questions, sulks, sits back and digs in its demanding heels. A floating jaunt of determination and sobering desire this one is a dogmatic little gem that sneaks in at the last and leaves us in no doubt as to the units dogged outlook. There is some sublime power going on within the weave and some wholesome DIY-ness that satisfies my lowly needs. A delicate nudge of potential fragility that has an inner reinforcement to leave you quite assured the band are doing things right.
A satisfying account from a band fully in charge of their output and thoroughly at one with it. There is a lot of gas in the tank here without forcing any issues and I suggest the band follow this up with another 4 tracker of the same persuasion. I'll certainly be keen to hear what comes of it and whether or not the standard can be maintained, or indeed topped (he adds encouragingly).
THE FADEAWAYS/MUCK AND THE MIRES - SPLIT CD
So the dastardly Dirty Water deviants throw a split single my way and force me into a clattered corner where 2 units instead of one batter my brains. These kind of releases always cause a cerebral problem that has me worrying if what one band offers is shite and the others donations are bright, then how bad will Fungal look when he does his truthful and temperamental bit. Ah the wonders of the reviewing lark, tis all shit in the fan, blowing against one man and leaving him battered and bruised. Good job my thickened skin and utter belief is holding firm, bah the bastards.
So two units, two efforts each - how about this for a review then?
The Fadeaways come from Japan and twat out a garage-vibration best described by the following two-part review.
Track one and 'How Can I Make Her Mine', a snot-filled nostril of noise waiting to be cleared firmly and without apology all over your lap. The acoustic gunk is squirted via a full-on double quick vigorfest of needy musicianship that sees all players throw in their all, almost jizz in their pants and come away with a final sound that is zested, zipping and quite noticeably, enthusing. The busy bee approach, the underlying strength of the bass and the incessant action make this a throwaway product of the most rock and roll kind - and that is meant as a compliment.
'I Wanna Be Your Busyman' follows up the opener with a more deliberate and harder structured routine that, although lacking the formers pace, somehow has more effect and...appeal. The screwed up vocal style and the bass pulse provide a workplace for the guitar and skins to plod away and get through their rewarding labour. The pronounced drums lead the way for a stalking presence that comes up to your face and plays out its vibrating sonic show. The corrupt guitars have enough crispness to make for an easier listen than at first realised and I suggest you just slink along with this one and reveal the mover and shaker within.
Muck and the Mires come from Boston in the US of A and are long term fiddlers on the Dirty Water stage. Their offerings are digested and reviewed as thus.
The opener and 'Don't Let Her Getaway' rolls in with gusto before taking up a delightful rhythm and moving into something akin to a hybridised professional/pub rock release that is bare-boned, honest, without affectation and with a superb clear-cut end sheen that all and sundry can take to. The vocal style is pristine and very natural with the harmonised touches, clap and smile intercuts and just general happy-go-lucky jauntiness all easy-going joy to the lugs of a reviewer battered and bruised by much harsher offal over many years. I ain't complaining but this is a breath of fresh air to play when the spirits are sagging and the lugs bleeding. If I adopted a critical stance I could scrape the barrel and say it was breaking no new ground, pushing no boundaries and just being an uncomplicated effort jumping on the rear end of the rock and roll mare - so fuckin' what! One to take, join in with and bloody well applaud.
'I'm Your Man' maintains the barroom essence and moves with a very early seventies feel that has much perspiration flying and sub-generic substance snorted with visions arising of something akin to Ducks Deluxe, Dr Feelgood and perhaps Eddie and the Hotrods. From the opening twangs there is a thirst in the methodology and the initial call of 'alright' only emphasises this feeling. A cock-sure approach and a slight rise in thermals drags the listener along kicking and screaming and into the final thrust very much alive. Not a bad do at all, even if it is of a certain pedigree!
2 decent outfits on a label that produces much good stuff. In fact the level of the labels produce is so high this release will not stand out, nor will many others? Is this a good or a bad thing? Come on Dirty Water throw some shit my way and then I can appreciate the good stuff ha, ha.
ASHLEY REAKS - THIS IS PLANET GROT
Ashley Reaks is a London based musical minstrel and collage artist who seems to hold no favour with any particular genre (applause, applause) and plays his vibes from the hip with an instantly attractive honesty and bared-boned DIY reality. The man has a leaning towards the camp of 'get up and do and have a dabble'. This is always a good place to dwell and those that sit back, do FA and think about what they can get by taking the easy way need to fuckin' well take note - ooh the cunts! So 11 tracks here and a CD I am quite looking forward to although I shall not forget the usually sobered honesty and decent critique. Time to take the plunge, come join me for a dip!
First things first and to the title track, 'This Is Planet Grot', a cracking opener if you ask me and one that avalanches with a coruscating twist loaded with anguish and angst amidst a DIY maelstrom threatening at all times to boil over. The statements regarding the shit state of play, the spittle soaked venom and the nagging string skewer nails the point to the wall and shows, if one looks hard enough, one may come across people totally fucked off with the situation we all find ourselves in. This is a heavily vigorous number, pregnant with a cuntful of troublesome observations that will undoubtedly keep the spiral...downwards. Always a pleasure to hear a CD start off with balls bared and if you add to this an acute and alerting melody you are on a sure-fire winner - I love this one.
'I Am An Addict' has an harder feel to the encrusting effluence and wallows in a pit of self-loathing, self-accepting perversity that is simply delivered but still reeks of an inner poison that may just infect the passer-by. From matter of fact, sub-whispered verses to a tuneful verse this uncomplicated offering still has weight and one I personally find very much appealing. Still grimed, still gritty and oh so wonderfully shitty - music for the ones who mean it methinks. 'Waiting For Somebody To Believe In', is a thriving eel of acoustica, writhing and splashing in a riverbed of hopeless wankery where many don their blinkers and swim to hell, many sink without a trace and many get caught up, hook, line and sinker and bagged by the devil on the bankside - silly fuckers. A more commercialised slant sneaks in here, something almost Americanised too - tis a good job I have an eclectic taste. In truth the player avoids falling into those two cruddy circles by keeping things natural and coarse but damned honest and fluent. I am liking my third song in a row and I apologise not one jot!
The next 3 and 'Nobody Here Is Alive', cue bass grumble! Shooting guitar pains metamorph in spiralling whirlwinds before a calmness descends via the verses and a re-ascension comes during chorus cuts. Cuts that come deep don't you know. The gobbage remains wired and scurfed, kicking back against the brainwashing filth and walking against the crapulence encountered here, there and everywhere. A mechanisation scours away any affectation and again this dirty DIY listener is having it. 'Freaks Of The World Unite' is anthemic, a superb construction that calls to rally all the drop-outs and so-called outsiders - a message for the messed and distressed this cool breeze clears the sonic streets of all its bigotry, bullying and sneaky prejudice and blows home a victorious tune we can join in with and take pride with. Forget the doubters and empty headed shouters - get up, be you, become one of the clouters! Nicely composed, embracing and maybe the most orthodox creation so far but who am I to complain - tis a bloody good tune and I am wailing away! A tale of brutal sado-masochistic control next with an ambiguity so as to leave the reader just a wee bit of room to make one’s own mind up. 'Manipulator' gets on with the task set, runs in blooded rivulets without reason to stop and coagulates in one end crimson pool of true value not to be stepped over. A 2 minute punky affair, with all the scabs, warts and unrefined wankery bared - you should be clued in by now! I shall add no more here, come on don't be idle.
3 terse overviews next that goes something like this (tis all about the flow don't ya know). 'I've Got Everything (That Nobody Wants)' is an episode of pain relief as the artiste grieves for his own tragic state and acidically burns away layers of resistance with a doom-laden abrasion loaded with harsh, throat-searing overdosing defeat - one for the blazing rags of despondency! 'No Point At All' is one for the youthful outcast on a roll downhill when life is seen through those shit-stained glasses of reality and the future looks - abhorrent. A tucked away classic that resonates with memories of times when I was the cast-out, the one thinking rather than fucking, the one not playing and pissing on the dice. Hell, I am still a fly in the ointment prone to reality soaked distempers, this appeals and all those happy punks won't get it at all - now that is depressing. Great tune, great nihilistic edge and a sonic scoundrel you should be in tune with. 'No Life' is a chanting rant, a climbing vine of sub-tuned trouble, an involved bout of examining mayhem that only just stays on the right side of decency and coughs up its disillusion with acceptable effect. A murky account of a down and out who has fallen victim to those constant bullies who like to keep all underfoot so their own petty lives feel better. A nasty bite back!
A classic is needed at this point and that is what we get with the chomping suicide-wanting wail out of thrashing, seizured dissatisfaction that assesses the whole caboodle of life, realises that things are rather rank and that the opt out clause of self-destruction is a viable consideration. The messy melee from which order and passion arises is marvellous, the sharp tongued chagrin and spleen-slicing eruption against the ultimate downer is more than effective and causes one to seriously ponder the joys of putting ones nut through the nearest window. Noise should get a reaction, should indeed rouse the soul, be it the most obvious facet or the darkest recess, a kickback to the racket is success indeed and here, we give back as much as we can - what a fine outpouring!
We slap the face of silence one more time and ram into its docile mug the closing tune of 'Running Away From Reality', a squirming worm of slow, suggestive sonica that flees from the authority at the top of the shitheap, the one that directs, dictates and destroys and leaves you...void. The alteration of pace to a more cool and conniving tempo holds a greater danger and loots the soul of all its inner safety and keeps the listener...aware! Tis a good moment to end upon, it stays within the heady standard set, the lofted area is awash with kicked up filth and allows the eavesdropper to cough and splutter within. I personally gob up a splat of praise, because this CD is a darn good tornado of tonality to take ones breath away.
Ashley Reaks is an artist. Ashley Reaks dabbles. Ashley Reaks (at least here anyway) succeeds. A fuckin' bang on one man effort and showing that, with a good strain, a heap of talent and, most importantly, a vast amount of soul-searching honesty, some good sonic muck can be flung. Go on, get shit-stained!
NOSEBLEED - SOMETHING IN MY HEAD EP
Nosebleed came to my aural awareness, left a stain and forced me to take a minor note as to what they get up to, where they go and maybe, to trawl em' in onto a Fungalised gig. I received this latest CD from these Leeds based clatterers with keen interest but it seems the band have taken on a new guise and it left me guessing as to what my end review would be. It seems a different sound from that which has gone before, a lot more rock and rolling rather than straight forward punkism. The garage factor is revealing itself more and more and with my liking for this kind of shizzle I reckon I could pass out something akin to a decent review. Here goes nothing...!
'Time And Time Again' has a groovy kind of retro intro, borne from the dusted radio best kicked through and replaced with a noise player that can produce some hefty punk gunk. Nosebleed enter the fray - how convenient! The musical mush that slops forth is a wound up semi-garaged, full on rock and roll belt-out loaded with spiced and diced attention and good old honest to goodness rhythm. A slick chorus and a slap happy repeat chorus is the order of the day with a neat bass invasion really pepping things up, adding crucial adhesive and keeping things fluent. The hunger that is bared infects the aural passer-by, I am one of these such wanderers, I am now a victim. This is a grand start. 'Secret' has the same panging desire and general flitting fly animation with again the bass the commanding weapon to be reckoned with and thus keeping all other donated areas in-line, rushing with a need and contributing to a flash in the pan made for those with an attention span of a amphetamine soaked stickleback. To review properly a digit needs to be kept on the replay switch and a racing repetition needs to be had to keep up with the attack. I like fast fidget fuckery, especially if the melody is maintained and certain cheap pleasures are granted - oh what a sucker I am!
'Something In My Head' is a direct follow-on and leaps from the same buggered bed as its predecessor and waggles its erect and trembling acoustic nob of noise right in our mushes before donning some moth-eaten undies, plugging in and playing hard right up to the final ejaculation point! It is another repeat beat, arse thrashed turbine of tuneage that travels with desire and nails all areas with lo-fi affect. The musical legs of the players are a complete blur, they move with rapido mania and if you don't keep up you will be left behind in a heap of confounded confusion. Tis all par for the course and a pleasure it is to walk it! And 'Keep Walking' we do, with this track that spirals in and tears the ring a little wider with its mauling mitts of restless impishness. The fundamentals of a good rockin' roll out are followed, the spunk fired is savoury and borne from a tight engine room where the operators just wanna get down and boogie. The instrumental is terse and trashy and keeps within the jurisdiction of the jaunt in exacting terms. Drop yer trollies and toss off peeps. 'What You Gonna Do' is more of the same which could be a bad thing if the produce was laboured and prolonged. Not so here, the timing and accent are applaudable and I lap up another luscious hip-crippling blow-out with jowls salivating. Free and easy, uncomplicated throw-away copulation here, like a jazz mag well wanked over - this produce has its place - bring on the white rain!
'Watch Out' is the closing concoction and is, just maybe, the most measured moment we have encountered although it does follow a set routine well rogered. As flustered and wound up as expected with a twat nag chorus to lose your mind to and give it one last ping in the pogoing pit. A central section soothes things down and takes time to prepare for the last almighty throw down. Now is the time to get up, jump with joy and finalise this CD (and maybe a 'live' set) with your rank body steaming - full stop!
Short, without fuss, rattling by and without too many layers to trip over. Just what the quack ordered for the people on the move, in a rush and in need of a quick fix. I don't think a full length offering could succeed on more of the same and the crew need to stretch themselves further before flinging out an album but, for now, my thumbs are raised, as is my nob (good fuckin' pills see).
FRAU POUCH - BISCUIT BEARD
I dip my fingers into many melting pots and get asked to do more than my crap-soaked carcass can possibly manage. My fingers scrape the barrel of reserves, my mind spews up wordage from who knows where and my ears take a battering over and over again as CD requests come in from all manner of angles. Fortunately for me I am a sonic pervert, a get up and do merchant and a frowner on those who do nothing for their passions. I take in my stride the things that get asked of me and do as much as I can, as best as I can and with no thought of profit/gain. Sometimes I get asked to do something small, something that may not take much time - and here is such an instance. One song to review (whoop, whoop whoo) and from a source that hail themselves as a sci-fi based punk disco band that is made up of a tattoo artist, a tech genius and a nurse. Fuckin' hell, best get my pet robots nob booked in for some ink work then. So here goes a one song review, a rarity, a rapido delivery, a blessing in obvious disguise - don't blink now!
'Biscuit Beard' is spazz jazz that has a modicum of pizzazz and spunks out a fracturised cunt rupture of funky monkey shittery via an orifice of lunatic passion. That 4-wired cable vibrates my tendons and inner core and creates something epileptic in response to the rhythm rammed up my rear. The disconnected and yet obscure coming together between vocals and instruments is reminiscent of a time of yore when certain persuadable perverts were tempted into the arms of experimentation and quite happily flatulated forth their dabblings. Funkoid jerkiness this unsettled aberration moves along and adopts the odd power surge that creates static excitement and skewers the interest levels of the peruser cum reviewer (as in this instance here). Plenty of niggling suggestions here, just how we should want it.
Frau Pouch have tickled my titties and then fled into the darkened distance leaving me abandoned and with my nob of expectation semi-erect. Come back and give me more I say , the replay button has a limited clickability tha' knows.
ARCHIE AND THE BUNKERS - MYSTERY LOVER
Archie and the Bunkers are keen sonic spunkers and after having recently reviewed a few of their offerings I am not going to dilly-dally here. You should fuckin' keep up you derelict gits and get your arses into some sort of Fungalised gear. May the shrooms sprout from your inert rears and may the spores spread and cover thy entire being in fruiting bodies - I can't be fairer than that. But, if you keep on the go and keep acoustically active then you may just avoid the terror of the myco mania - your call! Now get reading and get mooching, tis all about keeping things flowing!
The first offering on this latest release by our tried and tested teenage turnips is a song called 'All That Lovin'. Creeping duo key insertions get accompanied by a dead-eyed vocal style, borne from a crypt of tense and unsettling proportions. The collapse of the concoction is expected and comes with a flurry of the keys and a built-in mania that shows these two trumpeters of tonality have much energy and frustration. One to digest over many sittings, not the easiest song to start a CD off with but one that again reflects the crew’s distinct style and identifiable traits. 'Mexican Garage' is a far better track and moves with more decency and grace. The bouncing commencement will intrigue the most noise loving dullards and get their tootsies tapping to the attack of 'organ'ised searings and fluid pushes. A skein of ebony and ivory pulsations fly over our bedazzled bonses and a multifarious kaleidoscope of delicious notes natter with glee as we listen on and take in the captivating cadences. The band, when at their most liquid, trickle out some very infectious tunes that invoke angular interest - just like here!
'Mystery Lover' comes on cathedral-esque vibes that jars the aural hammer and mallet and almost forces blood to drip from the assaulted tobies. A harsh thrust is soothed somewhat by the overcoat of utterances that once more goes back to the style of semi-detached. Pronounced with emphasis, almost deliberately positioned with determination the gobwork gets on with the task whilst the digits playing merry hell. The coursing jangle that causes lugged carnage is a treat and I convict myself of crimes of sonic perversion for admitting to liking this - 5 years solitary and 3 points on my listening licence should correct my judgement, then again...
Next fracas and 'Sunglasses After Dark' pokes its pecker of punishing dissonance right up against our personal windows and smears with spiteful joy, leaving a sonic slug trail to be duly hypnotised by. A tangent tune, leaning off-line and parading itself with gooned essences but overflowing with bouncing melodies and bowel moving oscillations. I am really into this one, get dragged quite willingly along with the drift and happily puke overboard in a fashion as equally colourful as the resonations causing the inner storm. 'The Moon And Six Pence' comes from darkened recesses, immediately unsettles my cheap sense of decency and takes me on a journey into realms - unknown. Up and down the rollercoaster we go, the tonality barely keeps on track, we work hard to avoid a puke out of disagreement and with time, a firm white-knuckle grip and an aatempt to keep the bile in the gut we can ride this one with pleasure. The escalation in the delivery impacts, there is little to find fault with here and I could, if pressured and pushed, be put in a position of voting this one the pick of the pops - gosh!
'The Thin Man' is perky and persuasive with a joy in the opening bars that creates yet more carnivalised visions. Ideal for a sideshow this eerie creation moves with many curiosity arousing accents and has an oddness very much propelled from yesteryear. The whole construction is pure Bunkerised offal fed to us wee pigs and, as the stench rises and the meat of the matter gets kicked harder we, as mere mortal animals, honk with ecstasy. A good mover for sure!
6 tracks, what more shall I add? It comes from an angle, has enough odd flavour to keep one amused and is from a 2-piece who are on a productive roll and making many waves - who the fuck am I to complain! Well...
SICKFIST - SELF-TITLED EP
Sickfist are a crew that came to my attention via that Tickturdian turnip, Rik Spanner, a DIY music lover who is, in the very truth of the matter, a ruddy good gent. I like The Tickturds, but will I like Sickfist? I have no time to toss off the todge of debate, let us take their Facefuck description of 'Stonery, Doomy, Down Tuned Loudness', roll it around the cranial gunk and deal with the 3 songs exposed.
Track one and a lengthy lout trembles my way in a somewhat laid back, fuck free stance under the banner of 'Periphery'. Semi-bluesed reverberations issue from a gently touched guitar before the power gust comes and we settle into the groove proper. A slaggish stalker that may be a prowler in the making but here is quite happy to step forth and brandish their rocked up arse that is tattooed with orthodox swishes and deeply drilled decadence. The flow never really breaks sweat and stays in a zone that is more threatening due to the control kept rather than being a psychopathic tumult of unpredictability. The knife edge is slowly sharpened, glinted with accurate touches and teeth of subversive spite, with the instrumental section catching most appreciating light and forcing one to perhaps indulge in a bout of suicidal headbanging. You are being watched, being sussed out - watch your step - the 'Periphery' is the place to keep your peepers on.
'Pains A Comin' is a scything shit that pushes and pulls the razored edge against the flesh of your throat with a bitter intent to cause distress and a perverse sensation of diseased delight. There is a consistent swing throughout the song that drags in even the most obdurate levels of interest and encourages a greater alertness on behalf of the listener. This is a well-oiled number that has an in-built reliability and gnawing agony-like affect which is in-line with the thematics of the thrustings. A proper pick up and immediately embrace effort that has no airs and graces but is just a good steady blow-out of the restless exhaust - rock on baby!
The final shit kick of this saturated trio slips by with the name of 'Let The Angels See Me', a song that wastes no time in plunging straight in and getting things a trifle heated, After the terse opening flurry the band adopt the chosen mode of sleazed coolness before emitting a jarring chorus that careens off-road and fuck tumbles down the awaiting cliff of cacophony. The trip is repeated with a slight extra injection of the overall juices and a good backdraft blowing from the rear tailpipe that leaves us slightly blackened by the whole effective event. When the crew flex muscles in unison and holler as one the entire sonic shebang takes on proportions not foreseen and Sickfist shut down this close encounter on a bold and memorable note.
Sickfist sound promising. They sound like a band that a good DIY gig would benefit from and they sound as though they bring to the table a good healthy dose of brain-blistering riffage. The genre is irrelevant, the tags that come with the mush not worth a jot - the music appeals and that is fine by me. Be good to see how they vary things on their next release but in the meantime...where’s that volume button?
PULCO - FARMYARD AND LIBRARY
Whilst on my travels a message was sent my way via the old e-mailing system and when I returned I was faced with composing a review of an unknown quantity known as Pulco. I mean, who the fuck are (or is) Pulco? Apparently it is the dada-pop project of Welsh fiddler Ash Cooke, a DIY deviant who is digging in, having a go and producing a montage of words and sounds via an arrangement of minimal equipment. Of course this appeals no end to my underdog nature and I dipped in to the Bandcamp link and listened intently. After much mind-bending, ear straining and contemplative arsing I have come up with a review that goes like this.
'Foolish Ways' bravely throws itself in first, shows itself up to be an art house construction of chilled dimension that takes a view from a distorted angle and delivers without thought for genre. Sci-fi sonics accompany a tale of a stupidity, cowardice and...perhaps cautiousness. A strange jaunt into a curious cerebral moment - I move on before casting judgement. 'Running Up A Descending Escalator' perhaps sums up the tangent of awkwardness we are set to encounter the more and more we delve within the mush of this CD. This effort is hardly bedtime listening and liable to set you up for mode snooze but is a nervously fidgeted copy, cut, paste push out of an unsettled musician. The words are tossed in amid a slightly fuzz rank rhythm that moves with something that may be passed off as 'normal' - oh no, not so early on! The pulses increase, the tension is in-built and we get the feeling of a creator barely just in control of his monsters. Acid-esque and wired this one is an effort to throw into a compilation of something very different. As a vandal would do to a more considered piece of art - oppose and destroy!
'Bookworm' is delicate and testing. A peeper from behind the door, a perverse piece only willing to give teasing glimpses of its operational innards. I don't mind that, the imagination can run with itself and create all sorts of outcomes! The tonal quality is gossamer thin, the oral touches perfectly placed and the visions created are positive and verdantly fresh. I am revealing a positive aspect here, a far from prosaic wander and one that relies on subtlety rather that vulgarity - a minor favourite in the Fungal Halls of Sonica. 'Which One's Woody' is an angst ridden stroll filled with so many insignificant options we duly get wound up by and really should no fuckin' better. The amount of hours wasted on pointless shit builds and builds and all the while the closer and closer you get to...the final curtain. This creation invokes these sentiments, nudges out a reassessment of one’s priorities. It isn't a song but it does more than what more vulgar blast outs do. Ooh shall I continue with the review or watch TV instead - the answer is always obvious. 'I Just Saw John Barrowman', is a well fuelled rave against the electric machine, the all-consuming pissery that sucks the soul. Again the man at the helm is wound up, the fuzz, stickwork and general tinkled accoutrements all conspire to kindle a fire and keep those with noses for the curious...involved. Anti-music for anti-minded deviants who are restless with the mank and wank. Listen in, don't judge with your stick of orthodox expectation...just have patience with the frustration.
Next and 'The Whispering French Wind', an angular infusion of an assortment of opposing sounds with discombobulation of the senses had, a feeling of the everyday becoming way too much to take - I progress, slightly tarnished. 'Just Add Water' is fish tank fantasy with suggested imagery given life through watery tones and Lovecraftian commentary. An eerie number in some ways, caressed with tragedy and with a slant that appeals to my natural side - nice! 'Spinning Tops And Whirligigs' is clockwork computeristaion found amongst fantastical worlds where pixelated creations like-Jet Set Willy wandered and manically mined with no thought of the future. Round and round we go, almost in a perpetual loop of pre-programmed lunacy and I can't help but feel that I should be sat in front of a 16k console and tapping my digits in tune with the vibe - aaggghhhh! Next and the sub-genius touch that is 'I Like My Own Seat On A Train', a superb sugar cane lick of luscious innocence that throws off all garments of distraction and trundles on to its own destination of 'Escapesville' with a glowing and infectious contentment to be warmed by. Unrushed, chilled, easy as you like and one that will see you jump off board with a smile on your face.
Still snuggled and at ease, 'Lom' floats forth and is an interlude of softly chimed essence, one that puts the listener in a prostrate position on the psychiatrists couch before the next song unfolds. 'Unleash The Hounds' begins with pure cottage industry indified indulgences and summer twinkles with positivity and hopeful reliance before...a brain crack comes, falls sideways into a mire of madness and throws everything off-line. Wrong and right in the same breath, ideal and abhorrent too - we are never left to laze and become too complacent in our verdict. There is talent aplenty, combined with a restless nature - what will you make of it. I am provoked and perplexed albeit in a pleasurable kind of way. 'The Universal Soldier' sounds like Emo-Phillips on acid and nerve pills - a real stressing segment that raises the blood pressure, makes the skin tingle and the tits get agitated. Not my thing and the flaccid fucker in a mixed bag of meandering. It is the work of a confused mind, one cursed with overuse of instruction manuals rather than jazz mags. Maybe...just maybe...the man at the helm needs a good wank ha, ha - good for the soul I have heard. From a foul faux pas to a beautiful drift of alcho-yearning that once more epitomises what this CD is all about. 'Brunswick' is a fluctuating delivery of whimsical unpredictability that will not be second guessed by any mere assessing arse. I like that aspect and I appreciate the talent being exposed, this is a tidy tootle down marshmallow lanes of comforting desire - all components are nicely balanced and the whispery oral inclusions are delightful. I levitate forth...
'Jin-Go Away' - mutter, utter, ponder and mentally wander - think about it, I have and come up with no answer. Maybe it is merely paving the following popping pustule of tension release, namely 'Sadowitz', a tempestuous concoction of thriving irritation that is tangent loaded and easily goaded from a position of inertia into one of wired up animation. Life and its incidents are causal agents creating a kick back - why the hell not! 'And Finally, The Finale' is a brief episode of confessional insecurity that hides behind a grown mask and a fractured key cripple and percussive invasion. Too much hash, too much paranoia, a generation unsure - silly cunts. Next and a smooth bass bend followed by a ripple of the waters leads us beneath the surface of a soothing drift that exhibits the ambiguous talent we are dealing with here. The swishes and swathes of pastel tones come and go and create reclined sensations and the only niggle I have here, and throughout, is that no lyrics are provided. I make up my own mind, my own version and enjoy - sometimes that can be the best option possible. A lovely penultimate track. We fire out with 'The Sounds Of Paul', which to all intents and purposes seem to be...just that! A tape and see, copy, cut, paste and patch up montage of certain moments - it gets one pondering what our own life soundtrack would be - is that the job done? Perhaps!
This CD hasn't been easy to review but it has in no way been a tedious affair either. It has been a challenge with moments that have left me cold and some that have warmed the cockles of my man-womb. It is an account borne from the life of a player, a player who wishes to record more than just music but who wants to get across emotions, sensations and day to day cerebral situations. In truth the construction teeters on the precipice of art fucks music, music fucks art and comes across as a piece very much for certain moods and frames of mind. There is nothing wrong with doing things your own way, avoiding tick box trash and commercial claptrap - I like this as much as I don't like it, and that ye doubting fucker is a high compliment and the real truth!