FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 26
DIRTY FENCES - FIRST EP
Dirty Water records consistently offer up new and exhilarating vibes for this tuned-in chomper to evaluate and here we have another new crew to aurally view. Dirty Fences are a US band who use a distinctly melodic rock and roll style to impact upon the senses whilst maintaining a foot-tapping element to keep the sweeter soniceers entertained. There are many formulas in the mix one can easily recognise and make due comparisons by but this lot have their own angle on things and I come up with a critique something like this.
The first song plucked from the pack is tagged as '2*2', a fuckin' superb feel-free, sing-a-long jaunt that is awash with magnetic tonality, uplifting accents and a drift that really does just snatch at the sonic receptors and drags them onto the jigging floor. Sometimes the chemicals tossed into the cacophonic melting pot are just perfectly balanced and when poured forth pour drown the listener in nothing more than true delight. Here the quirky vocals, the blustering guitars, firm skins and delicious ensnaring chorus make for an absolute triumph and I play very loud, ping and smile and forget all my fuckin' troubles - nice! Next pick from the pack and the rapido number known as '1000', a 1 minute 28 second headlong blow-out that stays tight on the reins, gallops with a whipped arse and keeps thre rock and roll spices rammed and crammed in the rear of the racing melodic mare. Routine stuff nailed with ease. 'Bomber' has more clout, screws in and enters the first flavoursome verse with light tonality and many ensnaring facets. Easy as you go outpourings by a band on the ball and kicking up a good discordant dust cloud that isn't offensive and smells mighty fine. The song moves several ways and isn't one that easily sticks in the cerebral framework but the feeling that the players are in full control is always there - not a bad effort at all.
'East Gun Hill' next, a flurried tumble along that seems in a hurry to get things done and dusted. A slight suggestion of basic rock and roll rhythms is made, the flow is fairly uncomplicated and for me, this track is very average and after the opening number blew my socks off I feel the CD is falling away and not building on that fine foundation...or am I just an awkward cunt? Either way I expected more and stick with my vote of 'middling' for this one! 'I Saw You There' is a far more rousing number with draught blasted harmonies arse-whipped along with much gusto. The routine is built on a bouncing set to create a trouncing and as we progress further into the fray we indulge ourselves (why not) and enjoy the tear up for the sheer hell of it. The finale comes and is timed just right - there is never any need to overcook the broth ya know, or indeed undercook it!
Into the last three, darker tones reveal the tuned talons of 'Kitten', a semi-graveyard kitty jitter that sees the feline and the fucked come together for a cemetery shindig. I am sure something sexual is going on here and the holler outs are borne from testosterone twangers who have sonic spunk flying by the bucketload – then again. The band hang loose, deliver this one with a hip-gyrating lustiness – I like it. 'Sell The Truth' has embryonic punk honesty, flows with a basic methodology and also brings back essences of the opening track. A delicious oral sheen is generated, a fluid significance is noted by this alert assessor and a gratifying timbre is noted with both factors equally gratifying. There are no gripes here and I flit to the finale hopeful of a last blast banger. 'Sid Final Mix' is a somewhat languid roll out strutting on a cocky glamorised heel that is fruited up and yet remains steady. The length, slow simmer style and seeming refusal to go all out with flamboyance flying high are all hindering aspects that somehow force me to come up with a final verdict of 'let down', for this piece of safe music making. Bastards, I was aching for an end explosion and all I got was a middle of the road ripple - bah.
I sign off now, this band ain't half bad but, and you may hold your breath if you want to, I feel there is a whole lot more in the tank that just needs a precise flame to thoroughly ignite. The first song is a cracker, a couple more are solid as rocks but a few are just not fulfilling the potential and leave me...frustrated. There ya go - I remain honest, sometimes it works, many times it gets me into hot water - what other way remains?
MAYBE DON'T - AT OWL MANSION
Another treat from the box that contains much oddness. I like to be stretched and still, after all these years, have a love for discovering new vibrations from new artistes. Here we have more indie-fied poppism coming from a band who were born in late 2014 and who apparently have a tongue in their cheek during the coming two tracks. They are still green when it comes to 'live' performances and this release is once again on a limited run of 100 copies. My job is to listen, assess and maybe cultivate further interest or kill off any arousal of your senses - bah, it is a task I love and hate all at the same time but, someone must do it...so I do!
Toss of a coin, the song to do first is 'Certain', it comes to my ear openings as a quirky tickler that resonates with innocent pop tones borne from a theatre of noise-making that is inhabited by those with a love for DIY and all things pellucid. The latter word is meant to indicate the glimmering translucence of a number bathed in unassuming characteristics and kept in a youthful state with lashings of untroubled lilts. The initial moves are oddball in a safe kind of way, the move forth is casual and embracing and one for the punters in the pit to sing along to. A thread of sub-misery is always lurking, the strings and sticks at times, work hard to advance but after a while eventually pick up their tails and flourish. A funny little snippet and one to just go along with and jig away - remember, it costs nowt to jig!
'Mansion Owls' is a carefully crafted cutlet, trickles and occasional bubbles whilst the accompanying oral clarity beats down on the musical surface and adds a crucial glint. The chorus of course sees the liquid bubble up and the spume that rises is far from scummy and more like a lemony foam created from luscious liquid and blessed with sunshine spices liable to tempt the most unrefined palate. Changes of direction, pace and general style make this a meander to mull upon and after much effort and numerous plays I still find the journey most difficult to encapsulate in one final verdict. Neatly composed, smoothly nudged forth although the last movement towards silence is a little draining and perhaps could have been snipped off the end pressing. I shall go for a nod of appreciation here but in a tentative way - such is the state of my noggin.
'TNT' is a supremely positive track that has a zesty youthfulness interwoven with a sub-melancholy slant and a feeling of uncertainty as to what will be. The music follows no real set path but knows its direction. The oral tones are fresh, honest and inoffensive whilst the jangling guitars chug when needed. The drums hop this way and that and the extra harmony hollers add a fragrant release that does the senses untold good. I am not griping about this one, it trickles over my regularly bathed ear-membranes and does subtle business.
Maybe Don't have a sweet sound and know their target audience and although I have spent years dealing with more abrupt, razor-edged eruptions I have also put in numerous hours listening to all sorts of shizzle. I like this even though the second track had me in a state of caution - all I can do is listen to the instincts, unreliable buggers they be!
MARK AYLING - BIG CITY DREAMS, SMALL TOWN FAILINGS
An ex-drummer turned to the sextet of wires and now kicking out tunes with much heart and much precision. This Aberdeen based minstrel throws in an assortment of themes whilst creating a punk energised output that needs time and patience to fully appreciate. Dark at times, earthy and very much without affect this is DIY to the core and my take on matters goes something like this.
'Big City Dreams, Small Town Failings' - soundbite, eager frustrations tumble toss in worded web-weaves that intertwine, become knotted, burn from the incandescent gut fire. Earthed honesty and open-hearted reverberations emanate from a glowing grate where life is created and life if lost. The bitterness and the acceptance our artist tosses onto the consuming blaze is sobered and yet spirited and so we end up at a crossroads of welcome insecurity, an insecurity where questions of oneself need to be asked. I am having this one, it is a tune that defies the inanely grinning flow of the mass market and gets us back to...reality! 'This Place' comes next on very sobered steel that slow simmers with a monochrome reality appearance. The eyes look back, over the shoulder in to times gone by and, best left behind. The retro-pondering strikes one as useless, the cold tones are dreary and promote self-wretchedness exhibiting the fact that the player is perhaps psychoanalysing himself via music and bringing buried demons to the fore in order to clean out ones conscience. A hard worked song with little melody, a grainy sketch book that will appeal to those with time to consider, not those who like pick up and play thrills.
'15 Minutes' rises against the tide of verbal tossology, strives to be a voice in an ocean of oral overspill where everything washes up onto the listening shore and no sooner finds its place than is washed away by the ever moving scum ridden waters. Those moments that come for a chance of pseudo-glory are brief and hungrily sought after, it all adds an extra shit smear to the hideous world we live in. Our plucker deals with things in his detached observant view and I suppose is caught between the devil and the deep crummy sea - fame would spread the sonic word, but is it worth shitting oneself for? This song is an example of how the twanger has moved on and goes about his business with an obvious self-belief and absorbing talent. Nicely played sir! A 'Quiet One' next, it comes with a determination and puts itself forward as another transparent creation that bears sound soul and serves up a superfluity of strengthened strums. This one deals with a reserved nature that metamorphs into an escape artist who wants to beat the humdrum existence. An odd little piece that leaves a feeling of something unfinished...perhaps like the business at hand. No bad track though, the manipulator certainly knows what he is doing!
'Faded Glamour' is a skeletal song, borne on a theme that deals with those haunted and heart-caressing areas we all have looked upon and wondered where it all went wrong and how, from a place of fun and laughter, things have turned to a ghostly nightmare. Our artiste looks upon the scene with a broken heart, he captures the feeling of loss and irreparable neglect of places whose magic should be...eternal. I love this little escapade, it rings a bell inside, has a suggestion of terror beneath and conjures up many visions are truly well defined. 'Letter From A Quiet Town' next and a song that starts in a clumsy fashion but soon settles into a flat-lined flow that has many things to say and many points to dwell upon. That word 'dwell' is a key feature as the output of what this minstrel produces is very much of a kind that has been seemingly mulled over for many a hour before eventually being coughed up and delivered our way in one tuneful package. The sadness that pervades this, the feeling of abandonment and the overall state of feeling left behind in a wilderness lost is all spot on - this dude knows what he's doing.
'Four Winds' whispers in next, is a place of further reflection from the howling unpredictable gales of life that blow many of us to utter defeat. A morose and wretched essence that resides in its whole wallowing pit a little too much and finds me, the overwhelmed listener, getting dragged down into a bleak mire I feel most uncomfortable with. The string work never lets up, is a persistent flow that never really alters its pattern and falls from leaden skies with a nagging, draining regularity that leaves me...sonically sodden and perhaps...ungrateful for noise that has feel, albeit non-too comforting. I run for cover! 'Fantastic Mr Gray' is a catchy number and regards a bloke down the pub caught up in his own cobweb of fibbery and at the grasp of the hangers on who are after a freebie or two (fuckin' cunts). Comical, sad, with a chorus that is self-perpetuating and blows a fine path through the core of the song. The promotion of a life that didn't actually take place is a scenario many of us have encountered falling from the loose lips of a lair and no matter how absurd we may find it, that strain of tragedy is always there. A good inclusion this, top marks.
'Something That I Do' stinks to high Heaven with passion and questioning disbelief. A disbelief of those who are processed, plastic and praised for having a more promoted commercialisation that is easily rammed down the gaping throats of the listening parade. The main point exposed is that the creation of something heart-borne is blown into a wayward wind and lost in a melee of muchness that is of no concern to the masses who are just in the musical mire for a social past-time or to gain some kind of idiot comfort. Mr Ayling is wound up, the belly fire is glowing - who the fuck is taking any notice anyway? Oops, well I am! The last 'A27 (End Of The Road)' is a ticking tocking delight that moves with clockwork regularity passing junction after junction before hitting a real open road and flowing through a chorus section that generates the breeze of life, the gushing of true activation. The structure is perfectly composed, the song a complete package and the movement from 1st through to 5th gear is done with learned and insightful precision. The small, barely noticeable touches that make the end cruise a success are emphasised by this reviewer – observe and admirer – a great finish.
That is that, I have taken a long time with this due to a persistent back-log and a need to make sure I get this acoustic shizzle summed up as precisely as possible. I hope I have done a decent job, I hope I have provoked the curious juices to flow from the easily seduced as well as from those who are too dried up for their own good. For me this is the pluckers best material to date and exhibits a good step forward – I would be a fool to ask for more!
SPUNK VOLCANO AND THE ERUPTIONS - RAM RAID EP
Ah the Spunking Volcano is at it again, erupting five quick splashes my way in the hope of staining my open crotch underpants of positivity. I'll have ye know, dear virginal reader, that I have undergone several similar semen based onslaughts in the past and am still up for more - perhaps that says a whole heap about the goodness ejaculated my way or the state of my sonically perverse bonse. I care not what you think, I dangle my dong of discordance and do my bit...and it goes something like this.
The first fetch off of feisty dabbling is known as 'Ram Raid', a title that conjures up visions of having ones dirtbox ripped out by a smash and grab shaft of evil proportions. Alas it is a song of theft via a vehicle but I am far from in a position of moan and groan (mores the pity) as this thriving song does the business both raucously and rapidly. Stutter penetration, holler and then off we go. A boastful gob rises above the noise, celebrating the waywardness and stupidity borne of hands destined to a life of deviancy. The irresponsible lyrics should be frowned upon as the cunts that steal cars and smash peoples business attempts to utter fuckery surely do need a kicking never to be forgotten but, and a cretinous but at that...the music dictates the outlook, we get dragged along with a 'fuck it' mentality and I for one hold my hands up to hypocrisy as I frown on these bastards yet ping to the racket. This from a man who has many arson-based crimes against his name, as well as attempts at train derailment and other misdemeanours to make your stomach turn - oh we fucked up fools. Great burst this, to the point and over and done with before the cops of boredom catch your tail.
'Stop Lookin' At Your Phone' is a delicious piece of agreeable vitriol that I can certainly relate to. I do not own a phone, the fuckers who are a social menace who see nothing only their digital appliance drive me to despair and, in many ways, are responsible for the downward spiral this shit heap world finds itself in. This searing piece of spleen venting is one of the best songs the band have done thus far, is an insatiable runt allowed to run off the leash and bite the arses of anyone who gets to darn near. The front fuck roars with rushing splendour, his whisked up comrades provide a mighty tempo and encourage the gushing and I play this over and over before going out and punching a phone-glaring goon right in the genitals - feels good!' 'Hanging Round The Shops' is a sing-a-long bout of nostalgia that brings back to the fore times when we arsed about in the light of the off licence and smoked various fags and drank cheap beer. Many of us have done it and many are still at it - in fact only a few weeks back I was asked by a couple of young buggers to buy em' 10 fags - which, as a recogniser of deviancy, I did. This is a good tickle, the only flaw is that it doesn't mention Merrydown Cider, No 6 cigarettes and a customary tin of Evo-Stik - well, one can't have everything. A simple tune, thrown in, pulled out and waggled about with gusto. The mix is marvellous and gets the best out of the band, splendid.
The penultimate tinkle, 'I Think Her Name Was Tracey', is thunderous tackiness that pounds in like a virile rhino on steroids, using both horns to do untold damage against a rectum-based decency. The whoring piece at the centre of the shenanigans is reminiscent of many nympho-nob devourers one meets throughout ones existence, these slack fannied females who have been neglected, rejected and affected by unthinking parents and lusting gents come forth, get screwed, spill the sprogs and continue a dreadful cycle. The essence of this song is furious, totally bewildered how some families live and how, in this day and age, there is no progress. This one didn't strike me as a winner at first but the blinding white heat and throbbing inner core that blazes hard is very alluring and after many listens I love it! The final fling of 'Snap Backbone', has an upbeat melody and is an openly refreshing song that alters the theme of the CD and gives us a breezy blow-out that looks at the aging process and how we are all bending double with much baggage straining the spine. An easy jaunt, one of those that you can go along with whilst pondering the points made and hopefully learn from. Sing, swill and stay positive. We are getting knackered by the day but that ain't no reason to give in. OI OI - oooh me arthritic knees!
5 tracks and good success methinks. No songs elongated into realms of ennui, no over-elaborate ponsing just for the hell of it, no self-indulgent bollocks to try and impress the muso's. Just honest rock and roll poured forth with a solid style and much freedom as well as lashings of spunky beer. Getting supping folks!
WOLFHOUNDS - UNTIED KINGDOM
A jangling rock band from darn sarf and who come with a very distinctive strain of 80's indification and slanting sonic coolness. They are indeed a long term unit having been on the block (on and off) since 1985 and have built up a solid discography along the way. This is outside my many listening zones although I do dabble now and again. I don't mind being thrown outside more circles, they are the best places to frequent as I keep constantly reminding people. Here goes fuck all and to add, the sub-title to the album is (or how to come to terms with your culture)...interesting hey?
'Apparition', soundbite - wordage. Poetry cum experimentation. Fractured ambiguity, a tale of the downtrodden and the power held is suggested. Without lyrics several listens needed. Respin, respin, rotate! Delivery unconvincing! Invasion of hallowed thematics - onwards. I walk away unimpressed and change my reviewing tactics to that which is less 'Burrough'ed! Boom, bang, fuck!
The first song proper develops with incandescent guitars shimmering whilst being sun-kissed with westernised accents and zebra-striped throughout. The definite indie-esque arrangements come clean, come dirty and have a delivery slightly irritated but nothing too shirty outlook. 'I Am A Killer' is a thoroughly listenable song that harks to things more intense but just stays in its own pit of decency. Melodic and mushed the colliding aspect of all facets make this a construction to investigate closely over a longer period of time and, if tuned in right, will reveal more layers than first considered. Blue light emergencies come and go, skins are slapped around like awaiting sadomasochists who just love a good pounding. Wires are infused with static sex and are molested aplenty whilst the gob just survives the flow and does its justifiable bit. Not bad at all. 'My Legendary Childhood' is one of those dishes that is served up and brings back a whole host of nostalgic tones with scrunched up guitars, alternative slow strokes and a blended vocal arrangement that adds to the languid and laid back comfortableness that pervades the entire delivery that will be lapped up by many modern day loafers. There is a sub-element of Brit-Pop here and although the label conjures up aural visions of much cruddy shit I mean this comparison in the nicest possible way - honestly! The guilt-free mischief making is confessed here, the times of penny-pinching fondly remembered - ooh they must be mad but it has to be said - something simpler made for less trouble is the way and that, in all truth, is always the right way.
'Everyday Monsters' strolls with the same sonic stride, works forth with barely kissed wires, massages with more intent and eventually mulls over its own content with a regulated sanguinity. Again I am having many memory banks niggled here and comparisons that should be obvious just can't be named and shamed. This gripe is overcome by the weight of the song and the inner muscle that somehow persuades me to give this a thumbs up despite it not being usual fare for the Fungal Fucker. Gotta be fair, I kinda like this shizzle and 'Thanks' is more of the same and a real nagging piece that I can't get out of the crammed and clattered noggin. Glutinous but not in an offensive way, lazy but without any idiot indolence, drifting but maintaining a certain direction the drawled ditty works and with volume added it is one to play and ponder for many a year to come. Understrokes and soft tattoos of shadowy assistance are eventually recognised - a song with layers is always worth ones time.
I take time out, I am playing the first five again, bear with me - sometimes it is nice to indulge.
The next 4 clout with considered venom with 'The Stupid Poor' ascending with talons bared and ultimately clawing itself to death with much inner antagonism becoming too much and resulting in self-fuckin'-abuse. The song threatens to break free and damage those within close proximity and although I get buffeted I feel slightly let down by the degree of the attack. This is a tune bathed in darkened facets, there is a heap of heavy application operating beneath the noticeable sheen, I still remain unbruised. 'Lucky Heather' continues beneath a smog, lays low and places itself at the mercy of the peruser. It is gentle but firm, smooth but textured, seemingly in control but in fact slightly troubled. The drone, the lack of flamboyance and the fact it fails to hit the highs set all make me turn my thumbs down here - darn it. 'Oppositeland' is sun-soaked in such a manner as to be fizzled out before it even starts. A sincere oddment invading the albums acoustic epidermis and residing deep beneath the living layers to cause nothing more than irritation. I am tumbling on with my ears covered, there is some semblance of insanity here that I can relate to but there is a country bumpkin croonery that upsets me no end and I flee, with my breeches pulled up and my sphincter clenched. Not my favourite.
Last 3, a quick burst to the end silence. The mechanical ploddery of 'Fire In The Home' is more like it, a steady progressive advancement of cruel clanking that disturbs, drifts and...delights. A veritable ramshackle vehicle with sub-erotic tones that come from distance shores and are distinctly positioned to maximise their hypnotic effect. There is a child-like charm as well as something more profound that has enough sanguinity not to be rushed - I respect that! 'The Comedians' is more feathery and more gliding despite a fair bit of ducking and diving with a pulse section awakening potential switch out sensors. The opening is upbeat, the first verse scatty, the chorus not rising as far as anticipated. The song continues regardless and is one of those that I can't make up my mind on. Sometimes more appeal manifests itself and then at others I feel there should be something more emanating from the core of potential. Not a duffer nor a delight, I hang myself...divided. Last and not least is 'Across The River Of Death', a persistent peddlar of flat-lined noise that never seems to let up and hangs on like a rabid riffing dog with a point to prove, over and over again. Tight, impenetrable and almost suffocating this is a song that has the good, bad and ugly all rolled into one extended mush. I sign out - buggered to be honest, it ain't half hard work this reviewing lark.
The Wolfhounds have a superfluity of quality components moving within their overall output and the quality production levels, universal appeal and street-wise sonic shimmerings will put them in good stead on many platforms. I have found much to gush over here, a few disagreeable blips and some moments I can take or leave but, at the end of the day, the vote of confidence is easy to give.
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH - THE TOURIST
There are so many nooks and crannies within the sonic pit that it really is a test of one’s nosy noised nature to keep up to speed with the ever-increasing list of artistes. Each one finds its own particular area in which to operate and even though some achieve good success it is easily overlooked by those outside the pond, no matter what its size. I splish and splash as best as I can, ping here and there and try to absorb as much as possible but...this lot have slipped beneath the radar and it kind of highlights the unimportance of the whole shebang - I like that! This is the bands fifth album, it isn't punk rock, it doesn't have to be to get my attention. The band have many years on the clock, hail from Philadelphia and are best labelled as 'American Indie Rock', if a label is at all necessary (fuckin' nasty things they are). Here is what I make of things, bare-assed and balls out as per usual.
The first splash and ripple in the lagoon of sonically kissed water is named as 'The Pilot', a slow gliding affair that is submerged beneath a wispy layer of misted air, a veritable early morning dew spray that floats across open liquid glades forever caressed with solar gifts. The presence of this opening track is timid yet noticeable, it appears from silent fronds, a delicate image of life donation, a sound that is utterly relaxed yet suggestive of inner turmoil. The bass is natural and the guitar is a light accompaniment that assists the whispered vocals no end. I shake off the punk adornments and bathe in this one several times over and finally, after the spiked scum is washed off, get to grips with a pleasing chill-out - not bad at all. 'A Chance To Cure' carefully treads forth, timidly offers oral touches before drowning in a whirlpool of syntho-swirls. The swish of the liquid is slowed, the vocals take charge whilst guitars and skins meld together in a mushy melodica of the softest accents. The overall composite never solidifies and is a flimsy construct one may find easily disposed of - my advice is to be not too quick in your judgement. For me it is a song that strikes me as an unfinished piece but has a texture to feel many times over. 'Down (Is Where I Want To Be)' donates an aqua-marine sensation producing many bubbles of puzzling angles that float to the surface that eventually gets foamed up with a repetitive rush of something akin to...urgency. When the guitars up the ante and the drums are slapped with more authority the song comes alive, albeit for a brief period only - oh my punk membranes wobble with disappointment. The ditty travels on, meets the final silence and leaves me little to add - this can be a good thing...sometimes!
'Unfolding Above Celibate Moon' is a tip-toe tootle across a landing of cushy cacophonic carpets that conjures up a state of blissful ataraxia that almost summons soporific sirens to lower the aural eyelids. A million sonic years from the usual pasties of sound that get served up on my tuned table but one which I delve into with carving delight and feast upon like an uncouth pig. I listen, re-listen and then play some more - this goes down as one of those to play amidst many wild uproars. The flavour of the song will then be maximised and your condiments of praise will fall as a matter of course - a sweet dish before bedtime - ooh! 'Better Off' is a fluffy frivolity that floats above a bass-line of sturdy foundation. The direction is always uncertain, the gossamer threads that radiate from the central web of sound quiver oh so slightly with tremulations that are most sublime. The prey caught are those that are curious enough and patient enough to let the hypnotising tones magnetise deeper interest and, as a quite tolerant and conscientious soul may I add that if caught, you will not be disappointed. The final ascension of vibrating matter is balanced just right and I would be a cruel critter to criticise this effort.
A quick trio - 'Fireproof' has a babbling brook background intro that allows the floating vocals to undulate forth into a section that reminds me of 'Pepper'ised tones before wandering off-line into something ad hoc, adventurous and perhaps sub-psychedelic. The rotation of many suggestive undertones as well as the player’s determination to use pastel shades rather than full on splats of heavier colour helps to create an end result that is inoffensive and curious. The chaser known as 'The Vanity Of Trying', enters from the distance on tympanic tootsies, stepping in machine-like routine before being escorted by the usual murmurs. I won't hang around assessing this one - it is an inclusion that is too drawn out, has no real highs, no attractive edge and no captivating rhythm - as a result I don't like it - simple really! The last of the swift batch is 'Loose Ends', a semi-countrified folk river rhythm, meandering through verdant pastures whilst attending to the tenderest needs of each and every listener. Very lightly touched, floating on silken wisps this may be 100 miles outside my usual acoustic zones but I can still give credit where credit is due - a nice caress indeed.
The last two, 'Ambulance Chaser' begins with two robust tympanic thuds before gliding on in anticipated fashion and ruffling the bed linen of sound with attentive care. The rises come and the colour splashes hold attention with the inner anguish and troublesome tones all making for a listen that perplexes in a small way, pleases in the main and is easily thrown in amidst many firmer maelstroms of melody. Sugary but not sickeningly sweet and sobered up by that panging edge - crafty man, crafty. We fold with 'Visiting Hours', a disturbing number that flat-lines in before strumming with lethargy and making very few ripples. This one is too sedate, too serene and perhaps too switched off to affect my sensors and I sign off somewhat disappointed - what a ruddy shame but this will not deflect from the many appealing moments uncovered along the way.
A pleasant CD this with many moments to bask in and many occurrences to keep on investigating. Don't expect this silver circle to tear you a new arse and don't expect anything spellbindingly outrageous to blow your socks off, just dip in and let the flow take you to perhaps realms you don't normally frequent. Tis all music and all flavours - we would be fools to have it any other way!
IDLES - BRUTALISM
Frisky and confronting the sound emanating from the silver circle here is buzzing with life and hungrily puked forth onto your wanked lap from this Bristol-based band who wallop with vindictiveness. Apparently this CD is dedicated to the lead gobs mother who is pictured on the front cover which is a sweet touch to a very head-intoxicating brew. I go in with respect - respect for the band and for my own honesty - it can make for an uncomfortable situation but it keeps things darn real
'Heel Heal' captures a soundbite that defies, tub thumps with sub-electro regularity before the visceral gob rides in alongside nerve waves of piercing spite. The heat ascends, the full machine moves with corroded mechanics that offer a very unstable substrate on which the seething gob can rise. Although components work as one there is a rickety danger within the engine that niggles ones instincts and forces one to observe from a certain distance. Pistons pump, cogs whir and catch valves pulse with stinking steam assistance and from within, a tortuous message leaks. The presence of defiance coupled with a frustration at a seemingly hopeless situation will raise the hackles of the thinkers who find the foot they are under too imposing to live with. This song has guts, a foundation is lain, where shall we go from here?
'Well Done' has a blend of stop-start stomping, a Crass-ite fury and yet more industrial futurism that gives the whole effort...character. The ill temper, the mockery and the blood-filled 'fuck you' to all the nagging questions many of us have encountered (be they blatant or sub-textual) and have, to this day and beyond, dug in, defied and done it our own way. A song to celebrate your awkwardness and unacceptance of the usual routes, one to play damn loud and jump with victory with the fact that you are holding your own the only success needed. The ascent of the noise billows hard and removes any doubting cobwebs - love it and you ain't gonna have me yet! 'Mother' is a momentous moment that sweats hating blood and pukes back at a system that takes all, gives nothing back and leaves one...void! The injured and infected accent that hollers with a gutsy grimness is borne from nothing more than a sobering world of deception. The black treacle waves that crash against the shores of our consciousness are overwhelming and the end victory submergence is all in favour of the artiste - a tremendous heave ho that punches its true weight - slam! From more urban confusion erupts the next pustule of infecting sound, this one with the appellation of 'Date Night'. This determined fiasco begins with hiccupping bass throbs, irate throat work applies a flame and the temperature, as expected, rises. The song may start uncomfortably but things iron out and a true flow comes and we, as mere mortal attendants to the acoustica, are won over. The acid spillages, the hard rocked snatching, the claustrophobic compression of the delivery and the spleen venting relief is all tangible and very, very cogent and the final yes/no hollerings adds to a feeling of mental strain. Marvellous work.
'Faith In The City' is another weaving that invades the tapestry of this idiot life and is a song that growls out vicious intent and virulent soul fever. The city is a Mecca for many, a foul shithole to avoid for others - I am in the latter camp. Big business proceeds, the place to be seen remains - I am fuckin' off out in the fields. An upset entity clambers out of pits of despair and exposes long term scars via a sonic showcase that is nothing more than tetchy turmoil - I am lapping it up.
4 rush gushes and '1049 Gothic' starts the quick quartet with an incisive cut of carving wire work before hot-footing on ill-temper and disgruntlement. A more focused account than what has travelled past thus far but one that has an intriguing acuteness and drilling determination to ease a load from a very troubled bonse. Very abrasive, very antagonising - quite impressive. 'Divide And Conquer' is a sludgy repeat chant, expressing and exorcising in equal measure and hitting a mechanised flat-line that shovels big shit in a somewhat burdensome way. A product not easily digested and one to swallow whole and breakdown over a lengthy period methinks. 'Rachel Khoo' gives the aural assessor a real going over with a somewhat castigating drubbing via noisy fists and scathing tonsil attacks that have the usual energy and accurate delivery. The muscular tension and the sinew tautness magnetise, that heavy bass is more than a little generous and when the song decides to pound with focus we are...enthralled. 'Stendahl Syndrome' is an awkward beast and perhaps the first fucker that I really don't care for. It is a troubling piece, a bit too corrugated and a bit too similar to many threads woven already and as a pack member it dies a death and disappears without much trace. Hey ho, shit happens, sorry folks!
Down the final stretch 'Exeter' crawls on bended knees, fights through a mire, sweats blood and draws out an agony that is tortuous but perversely gratifying. Repetition dictates, the hamster wheel rotates and drives the lead lout insane, the beans are spilled in thick syrupy piles - what more do you want me to add? 'Benzocaine' tumbles in on a tumultuous wreck-heap before sub-tribally hot footing over 'live' coals that keep all components animated. The chopping and chomping whip along has no high rise affect of invading explosions and this lack of upsurge is a flaw to my lugs. Having said this the saturated shit out applies good pressure and somewhat batters the listener into giving something akin to a positive verdict. I do just that and then question myself and therefore change stance to a 50/50 decision - what a turd!
'White Privilege' is a kick against the loaded fucks who stand above the masses down beneath their feet and carry on with a fine detachment (methinks). A blood pressure builds to levels of danger, the impetus is sure to hit a fiasco where the fuckery consumes. It comes, the demands to dance wear themselves out, we see the rising repetition overspill and we get thrown about in a tumultuous hell-hole of sound that...hurts! 'Slow Savage' is a cathedral like dirge cum last blast heart spill that haunts its own inner caverns with a tonality quite terrifying. Scenes are set, threat pervades, disturbing promises insisted. The rawness of the orifice clashes grandly with the key kisses and causes blood to trickle from the ebony and ivory lips, much to our involved consternation. Self-flagellating, loathing and in some ways...mentally stressed, this is a transparent fuck and there for you to dissect. I have, I am positive about things here - all is poured in, all is naked!
Yes, exciting shit going down here, scurfy, real, tattooed with desire and never shying away from what needs to be said. The Fungal prescription advises you take in small doses and await the hit to knock you off your feet. Do not overdose, it will turn you off but if each injection is done with care you'll be back time and time again.
BOARS - THERE WILL BE PARTIES, THERE WILL: BE FUN...
Crossover is the key word here. A cacophony that constructs bridges, from one pit of noise to another, and wanders over them bringing back to the editing room a whole mish-mash of influential vibrology that is duly thrown around, injected with futurised tonality and given the assistance necessary by the pluckers and fuckers at the helm. This is a hefty piece of sonic kit, my hands are more than full.
'3%' appears from mechanoid landscapes from times distant. Pulsated horror unfolds into a shape-shifting beast that moves with predatory instinct and has a certain classiness borne from the copulating loins of opposing generic lusters. Slick, seasoned, on the run from inner alien hauntings this dark nightmare comes in a crescendo of well-rehearsed tones spunked forward with an emphasis on liquidity, drama and sci-fi gothika. Drop an ecstasy tab, jump in shadowy recesses or embrace the flow and consider it a challenge. The lengthy running time, the drift out into gaseous realms, the end wind-out are all theatrical and although this is far from my noise of necessity I applaud the many fascinating aspects. 'Deeper' creeps in, follows the multifarious methodology with all components switched up to a high functioning level and jack-hammering out a piston steamed product that is more than a little industrialised. The whole watershed of audio accents is overwhelming and to grasp the full nature of this composition and the intricacies involved would take some sincere time. I am merely a human, a reviewer who attempts to nail and intrigue - this is not digestible matter, it is exacting noise with a modulation to consider many times over. Very forceful, imposing and perhaps overly dominant - one for those who want to be punished!
The black clad cacophony pours like hot treacle into every open wound created and as you writhe beneath the bombardment the next 3 tracks unfold. 'Gospel/War Songs', 'Wish You Were Dead' and 'Cyriax' all boil down into one molten lump of loud hailing terror, consistent with the theme set, triumphant and hallowed in parts, devilish and deviant in others - constantly colliding the destitute and lost with that which has a glint of hope. The first of the 3 is a deep rooted behemoth uttering hymn-like comforts that somehow don't ring true. The anti-religious scorch that comes is considered, carefully plodded and forever advancing with potency. It is a weighted piece, a punishing ordeal that requires your prayers - are you converted brother? The second snip is a better moving song with an inner wheel building up good momentum before rolling clear and leaving one piston pumping to escort the troubled lyrics. Futurisation continues to be an injected ingredient, shifts from the saturated to the spartan, from the hopeful to the hate-ridden - what we are left with is a confusion to dissect, a heap of musical manure to plough through to find potential gold - the question is - do you have patience enough and can you be arsed? Oh the joys! The closure of the terrorised trio side-winds in, breaks from the substrate and feels a new borne breath of revitalising air blow across its countenance. DJ scratch and sniffs further push out the envisioned whiffs, the instrumental fuck becomes slightly more passionate and ejaculates outward before its destined time - short and leaving you...wondering.
Greater automation comes next via 'Sociologist/Ape', twilight twinkles under synthetic skies before the mood laden flow hits highs of energy prior to taking time out to soul drift. The creators use wise hands to create theatre, to infuse the acoustic event with drama and so, as a result...they build something quite magnificent that has only one flaw...it isn't always easy to digest. In fact, the noise avalanche is overwhelming and although wonderfully delivered my instinct...questions - one has to trust ones gut! 'Guilty' peeps through the drapes, wonders with caution before throwing them back and striding forth in the most grandiose of manner. The irritated vocals are as per - produced with extreme, assisted by orchestrated adornments that this time rely on subtle persuasion before throwing forth the expected avalanche of sound. I am taken by the exactitude and quality of the mix but am left cold by the final product. It isn't raw noise, it isn't gut rock done without affect and just thrashed out to exorcise a demon. No, this is rehearsed and manufactured fodder and in the many ways that it is to be admired, it has an equal amount of failings to this street dog’s ear. Having said this, it is mighty powerful stuff and although missing my receptors it will get many gushing.
4 fast blasts come from my digits next - hold on to your flopping hats you twats! 'Anyway The Wind Blows' segues in, continues without finding its own character and disappears into the pack. Quality in the most polished kind comes in abundance, the lack of warts is a crime. The church of tuneage though is still a place to attract great flocks and what devil am I to question them? 'My Own Private Sacha Grey' worms through your electro portholes, sneaks in and then thrusts with the usual baroque and blossoming theatrics before travelling on with no activating spark and metamorphing into the chasing 'Ehlers Danlos' without notice. This following track is short and to the point and is an effort that is neither here nor there. I am at a loss how to encapsulate this one in words so I use just one - ineffective. The last of the swift 4 is more of the same and tests my patience to the extreme. 'Merry-Go' Round' has many admirable qualities, moves with the same weighted prowess and is a well crafted track that has a production level many would kill for but I feel myself, and my interest, waning. A personal thing for sure, one many others will feel too but also a sensation many will disagree with. I am putting it down to the fact the songs last too long for me, the essence is overly purified and the noise lacks bare-boned rhythm and opts for something more...affected.
The finale comes under the named cloak of 'Berzerk'. I listen, fail to respond and so fuck off and leave this one for you to decide. I am disinterested and that shocks me as the creation is articulate, insightful and of a soaring quality - ah those personal angles sometimes overstep the mark and no matter how objective you try to be the sonic balance still gets swung. Honesty dictates though and I would be a fraud to scribble down some bullshit to save face.
That is it - game over, CD done. A work to be proud of but one that many may find over elaborate and too intricate for its own good. It is of a certain ilk and needs time, patience and repeated thought - can you take it? NB - The full title of this album is 'There Will be Parties, There Will be Fun, There Will be Gallows for Everyone' - fuckin' hell - even that's too long!
THE DARTS - THE DARTS
An all-girl band oozing frisky pizzazz and juiced up jazz that perhaps is still in a somewhat embryonic stage but is making big moves forward and is ready to pounce higher up the musical ladder. There is no need for labels, the band has many accents and tones that are easily recognised. The name suggests I should do the review with a certain slant so, as I step up to the musical oche, I prepare to throw my first assessing arrer and get the game underway, although reviewing CD's is not a game and I take things rather seriously - tis only fair. Ladies and gentlemen (and those in-between or who are just uncertain or not bothered) - tis 'Game On'.
Chuck one - the result is entitled 'Running Through Your Lies', a scrumptious starter that boom squelches with slow slug sex accents whilst being aroused further by oral modulations that are wonderfully exciting and filled with electrified elements that burst at the seams when the sub-chorus explodes onto the swinging scene. A thumping, humping crescendo overspills from the speakers and brings the initial bloom of life to a CD that already oozes promise. The move from the prowler to the blatantly parading is emboldened by the horror key inclusions and throw back earthiness that culminates in a stunning first dish that could be dissected further and...gushed over. I move on as I could indeed get carried away on the crest of a very infecting sonic wave. 'Revolution' is alive, frisky and sending multi-coloured body waves of sonically induced madness your way. The room flashes with swirling lights, the kaleidoscope is free-wheeling and all consuming, the lasses are off the leash, the vibrancy of their howling madness is pleasurable poison to an already corrupted soul. I am a junkie to the acoustic juice, I inject, get erect and get wrecked - is this so fuckin' wrong? Swirl and twirl fellow victims, dissolve into the mayhem, pixelate your privates and jack em' to the rhythmic insistence and hit many a bulls-eye.
A hard fought leg of noise comes next as the musical missiles flung are through a shit-mist of cloying proportions that the band do well to penetrate. 'Carry Me Home' eventually hits the target but only after perseverance on behalf of the chucker and the recipient. The glutinous wrap-wound of fuck fuzz is harsh, the emerging vocals and pain twinged keys crucial relief and I end up coming out of the rear end of this song shit-stained but non-the-worse for wear. Not a bad jingle but not the best you will hear on this CD. 'You Got Me' is a deliberate grind out that has a certain curtained sultriness that cloaks the eavesdropper in sticky, encompassing matter that suffocates with a distinct deliberateness and so, leaves the listener with very little breath left to cough up a criticism. It is a switch in pace, an alteration of persuasive techniques - I am submitting myself to the enveloping swill and have anticipation levels set at 'hungry for more'.
Next batch of 4, I add oil to the text and glide through the review like this. 'Take What I Need', is a fruitful burst of self-determined dimensions with bold drum booms, a trembling bass line to vibrate with, a keyed fluidity to increase the general flow and those Day-Glo vocal tones that do the utter business. Love it I do and that undeniable thirst for getting one's own way is both cheeky, cheering and in many ways, irresistible. 'Ramblin' Stone' dirt fuzzes with glutinous prowess. The thick syrupy stroke of the song crawls along the neurones of patience and towards the end of the song the personal asset runs thin and I am finding this the most testing song thus far. It lacks an embracing tempo, it’s just a little too cruddy and, despite a certain sex appeal, it outstays its welcome. My thumbs go downwards - sorry my musical makers. 'My Heart Is A Graveyard' gets back at it with a 60's synthed up surge loaded with B-rated sci-fi essences, psychedelic light blooms and much thriving relish in a rhythm that is self-perpetuating, dramatic and, thoroughly exciting. Clashing, splashing and saturated to the extreme this is one highly animated and extremely dance-inducing beast! Swing that booty baby! Last of the nippy 4 and 'She's Gone' is a real pip with a montage of dustbin tones all thrown this way and that by 4 alley cat cacophoneers who are moving with delectable grace and yet still pissing up the walls in the most indecent way. The melding together of things unwashed is accurately done and the distinct basics of rock and roll skeletons are rattled to fuckery here with a somewhat minimalistic approach taken. It is all souped up and given...new life. Those key inclusions are absolutely perfect, add a dynamic thrust that forces your idle hand and I am in no doubt that if you play this with generous volume you will be twirling with glee. Great song!
Travelling on enthused tootsies I confront 'I Want Your Fun' and react with a smiling boat race, a shaking ass and highly agitated pegs. The liquid electro sparked forth is generated by nothing more than bursting belief and have-a-go enthusiasm. Add a sprinkling of talent and a love of noise and there ya go - the rest, as they say, takes care of itself. Passion is a disease, if you deliberately lower your immune system you will enjoy the infection that will take hold of your carcass - go on, avoid the doctors, let the tuned toxins invade. 'Evil Wayz' is a clogging cutlet of dense discordance that drips from the tightly screwed tap like sausage meat from a clenched arse. It is hard going, it emanates a stench that is somewhat reminiscent of distance lands - places where camels gallop, Arabs exposed their privates and cacti grow with malicious thorns. I don't know what the fuck I am saying here but this is the honesty flowing through - say what you see and fuck it. Do I like the song? I am unsure, it isn't as effective as some of the splendour on show but there is something that may just grow on me - like a rash I expect - ouch! 'I Wanna Get You Off' gets straight to the heart of the matter with a perky girl persuasion effervescing with joy de vivre before, quite aggravatingly, hitting a sticky patch that clogs the acoustic arteries and halts the flow of a potential crackerjack. This stutter is soon overcome and a chorus cut blossoms bright and sends out embracing pollen that causes more than just an allergic reaction. It smells mighty good, heightens the senses and is blown on a bold breeze billowed further by these feisty cultivators of dinnage. I repeat spin over and over, the song grows in stature, even the section that is less fluent improves with each rotation. The initial impetuous reaction is buried, I bow down to another alive and kicking beauty.
Two to go and then outta here (well, with frequent return visits paid) and 'Kiss Of Fire', a submitting sex drawl that lays back in silken sheets of burgundy, smiles with eyes of sultry sheen and splays welcoming arms for an embrace to die for. The flesh meets flesh, the perspired beadlets of tension blend and become one, the breath arises in unison, lips finally meet. The resulting copulation created comes from a rhythm of erotic languidness and firmly manipulated musical sinews - is my point made? We turn off the final switch to the escorting sounds of 'I Wanna Get You Off (censored)', a copy cat of an earlier track, slightly more rustic and honest in its approach and as good as ever - a real zesty moment and a good way to finish, albeit something of a cop out – darn those sneaky kittens.
The end verdict of this album is very positive and it is one of those that will be spinning in the player over and over again and getting me repeatedly enthused. The band have a distinct ability to create some fine rock and roll vibes and let themselves go at just the right time with a flourishing flamboyance kept on a leash but still sweetly liberated. Great work and one for when the head is feeling a little off kilter! A musical pick-me up no less!
SAM JONES - HELL'S BANK NOTE/THE WALKER
Who is Sam Jones? That is the question! Well, I have reviewed some of his shizzle in the past which was secretly done under the disguise of The Berlin Lights. The song 'Hit The Floor' was on a split vinyl single with The Dugz both featuring Charlie Harper who hollered on one and played the oral organ on the other (the dirty bugger). If memory serves right both songs did the business, tickled different neurones than expected and were worthy of my listening time. I go in here virginal, a deep discordant diver taking a dip in a new pool of noise - let us hope my critical todger doesn't fall out of my loose lipped shorts - oooh!
First song and 'Hells Bank Note', a country and western hot grilled twang-o-tastic titillator that comes and walks with a confident strut and sonically gratifies due to its strict adhesion to the generic pit chosen and the clear cut production levels that get the best out of all components. The initial skip is only interfered with by the cute wrist twist that bends the wires after every oral donation thus giving an ideal punctuation. The chorus slips in with easy execution and the dust cart chug that rolls beneath the upper layers kicks up enough dust to make this a song with good earthiness and approachability. A decent ditty to not get too involved with - let the player manipulate the wires and you can warm your ass on the acoustic fires - enjoy!
'The Walker' is a song that chases the tail of the predecessor and in all intents and purposes is a similar cut. Here the structure is more westernised, more exacting and definitely more macho. The song is delivered from a loner, a man who walks his own path and keeps those squinting eyes on the road ahead without looking back. The song is short, repeating, to the point and will be easily joined in with after a couple of listens. It is not a ping and pogo effort, it is not a waltzing run-around - this is precise music with a distinct flavour for those in certain pits. I need add no more.
2 songs, take em' or leave em - all I can do is scribble my bit. There is nothing fantastic on show, there is nothing flawed either - just regular noise from a regular bloke having a go. The final question is - is this enough? Oh them darn posers!