FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 36
 
 

SLOW FACTION - UNDER HEAVY MANNERS

A new band with an old style and with both eyes on keeping things politically pertinent and musically attractive.  The approach is considered, it tosses various composed flavours around the palette before gently spraying them forth in a decent mix of reliable on-the-ball punkism.  The band are a 4-piece, they hail from London and have no qualms about labelling their sound as British 77 punk - personally I think it holds its own with that which has gone before and brings forth the sonic spices into the here and, more relevantly, the now.

The opening gambit to be risked against the Fungal wrath is called 'Under Heavy Manners', ah yes, a title track.  A refreshing opener that is cladded and cobbled in a very real way with our street-corner observer taking all in, making note and sandpapering across his thoughts via this pulsed punching tune.  The spittle-soaked vocals, the regular clatter of the bin lids and the efficient and liquidised guitars come together, are injected with a discordant discretion and blended with a very thoroughfare-feel.  It is more than obvious that we are dealing here with long-term residents of the rock and roll punk and piss pit and they pass over their acoustic and cranial output with...quality.  I am keen to hear more and so invest some time in track 2, namely '59 Minutes Past 11', and again I am encroached upon by some educated sonica delivered by savants on a sincerely good roll.  This one is a cracking expulsion of guitars that shine, tympanics that rouse and vocals that appeal to many emotive receptors.  Again we are in the real world with a natural substantial solidity to the vibrated airwaves that rock our soul.  The lyrical content deals with the pig-fuck attitude of the human populace who thrive on greed, oneupmanship and ignorance.  The warning signs are clear, the heads in the sand are many - fuck that falling forest, I am on my phone Jack.  I am in tune with the output and the fact that this is a well-crafted piece of orchestrated alley noise sits well with my unassuming designs - nice one.

A frisky start to 'Poundland Society' comes next before the first verse tones itself down and makes a point of highlighting how society has been torn up, divided and...destroyed.  The slow and promising ascension to the chorus chunk is executed under controlled and somewhat restraining hands but when the release comes it is both satisfying and on the mark, albeit in a raw and blatantly obvious way.  From the cool and considered to the swiftly relieving this is a song that works because it sticks to certain basics and moves with confidence - it may sound easy, but it isn't.  'There's A War Going On' is a classy affair with a reggae pulse dictated by a wonderful wire-bending bass routine that operates with a palpitating beauty.  This facet is escorted by sonically exact guitar strokes, regimented stick applications and an oral overlay that is worn, battle-scarred and knowledgeable.   The move from the heavily-laden atmosphere struts to the free-gliding position of observational pertinence is sublime and the hard-biting facts are poured forth with a spittle-soaked venom that invades the opened wound and...stings...I like to face the truth.  Perhaps the best song of the lot this, it is a heady sextet of sound, I am putting my jugular against the blade trying to pick the ultimate triumph but I reckon I am on the mark here.

The last 2, 'The Definition Of Madness' slips in, double thumps and away into a dazzling blast of breeze blown guitars we go.  The verse comes and is gifted with lucid, wised up gobbage that helps all swing along and neatly slipstream into an uncomplicated and quite effective chorus burst that reiterates the fact that we are all caught up in a perpetual loop of insanity which  will see us all end up in situation 'nowhere'.  Whilst enjoying the ride with our heads screwed on backwards we can either accept or kick back and make some fuss for the fuckers in power - and you can use this tune as decent inspiration, get off yer arse!  We close with 'In Your God's Name', a vicious anti-religious nut effort played with a strait-jacketed restraint just keeping things efficient, to the point and coherent.  The finger points to those malcontents who, through lack of love, empathy and consideration, go forth and try their best to make things uncomfortable for the supposed 'non-believer'.  The style of delivery is impermeable and of a strength that will surely stand the test of Old Father Time (the nasty bastard).  Yes, a good effort to close, with all trimmings set and consistent with the theme and ,in this world of terrorism, a much needed reminder to avoid the many-mind numbing traps is had.

6 songs, no complaints.  Tidy fare this, one for many listening levels and a product with many layers.  I aim to check these guys out, it should be more of the same, if it is I will struggle to find a gripe - unbelievably, this pleases me no end, see I ain't the bastard critic you would have yourselves believe.

   

DIRTY FENCES - GOODBYE LOVE

I have done one review for this lot so far, a 4 track EP that whet the whistle and had me pondering further releases.  Here is such a release and this hard-grafting New York based outfit are certainly in a comfortable groove and squeezing out many a tune of a classic rock and roll standard with oodles of consummate professionalism dripping from every track.  It would be foolish to give too much of the review away at present and I take this sub-pub rock cum pseudo-garaged noise and waltz through and scribble thoughts at my leisure.

'All You Need Is A Number' is a superb opening track and played with such approachable liquid ease that one is instantaneously dragged into the swirling sonic elements without the slightest resistance offered.  Facets of old school are had with a souped up sincerity and an advanced talent for creating trundling tuneage of an earthy aspect that is accented, warming and wonderfully fluent.  The mid-paced essence, the smart vocals and the pub-rock approachability are totally bewitching and that raw-assed appreciation of sanguine sonica built with the primitive scaffolding we are all holding onto is...sublime.  I name this a stunner.

'911' tub thumps, glistens and drives forth on yet more popped tones.  This is a quick, gratifying tune that stays on a certain flat-line and refuses to over-elaborate matters.  The pseudo-chorus matters merge into the general mush of the music and we are left with a certain vagueness as to where each section begins and ends.  This blurring of lines is a drawback but one can still say, with mitt on ticker, that the song is played well, is upbeat and follows on from where its outstanding predecessor signed off.  'Dance' is a sweet song with a gratifying twist in the gears that dazzles with subtlety and moves with a bouncy elasticity of sound that gets me trampolining to the tune like a frog on poppers.  A real popsicle treat with just a trembling blend of tonality appealing to my more easily persuaded neurones.  Sometimes one doesn't need profound depth or bollock-walloping aggression - a fuckin' good ditty will do!

Next up, 'Goodbye Love', 'Teen Angel' and 'Never Over', a trio of tasty compositions structured around the usual canorous spine of sound that dabble deep and molest my musical privates with disarming charm.  The first effort is the weakest of the three with an awkwardly fitting verse/chorus arrangement that doesn't thoroughly succeed in hitting my sonic hotspots.  I like the semi-snotted hollers that come via a titled repetition but the songs just feels a little out of sync with my palate - bah - I can't like everything and this is just a personal thing, do not fret dear reader.  The second is a spotty arsed refresher, full of pubescent spunk and fizzing with hormone excitement.  It gets beneath the skin and scurries away, snaps, crackles and pops with jumping bean sensations - lovely.  The last song of the grabbed bunch is a crisp affair, more sedate in a fashion and may I add, a trifle soppy in part.  The bounding tunery is chirpy, sunshine glinted and has the usual pep in the step - I settle down and refuse to read too much into the situation.

'Blue Screen' strums and stops and...repeats before coolly moving through many pristine moments of high clarity and harmonified attraction that sweetly flows from wholesome verses into more fizzing chorus chunks.  The arrangement is highly flavoured without being overly flamboyant and thus sickening the eavesdropper.  The band are zoned in and strutting well here, and all without breaking a great deal of sweat - nice.  'I Can't Sleep At Night' uses bare-cabled guitars and a simple formulaic approach that makes things skimpily clad and lacking any extravagant ornamentation.  This makes for a basic sound that harks back to sub-pub-fodder many old timers will duly enjoy digesting - I am one such muncher.  This isn't a dazzling track and certainly disappears into the pack if one is not too careful but my advice is to pluck it out, play as a loner and absorb the threadbare tones and the bog-basic rhythm. To add to the plus factors is a repeat nag that is akin to those night-time thoughts that niggle the noggin – pass me the sleepers.  'Love For Higher' is a frisky kitten clawing away at your nadgers with much activated stimulation that sees the band go through the regular motions with such a controlled and easy manner as to be almost...irritating (in a good kind of way).  This exemplifies the fact that this unit are proficient with their pulse, are running along on the crest of a creative wave and have found a zone in which they are very comfortable and knocking off each tune in a very easy manner.  I am not moaning here, I am too busy enjoying myself.

'Four Leaf Clover' is too mellow and too flat for my liking and although played with the same crispness and lucidity it has a chuggery beneath the upper layer that is too repetitious and doesn't really elevate any section of the song.  If I was in the bathroom of noise this would be a soft slab of soap - there is a fragrant smell but I can't seem to get the best out of it and so get frustrated - well, something like that!  I do have a fondness for the following track, a fruity blend of the excitable and the generally spunky.  'Message For Anyone' is a sugary song with a buoyant sensation permeating the midst of a ditty that is easy to adopt and never operates within austere acoustic boundaries so many get ensnared by.  The main appealing factor is the breeze-blown freshness and the way the band move from one sub-section to another - nifty.  We close with the slow drift of 'One More Step (ft Christina Halladay)' a wandering weave of he/she harmonisation that in some ways is a gentle way of closing the lid on a very adept and complete CD.  This latter song is semi-soppy, strolls down avenues new and gives the crew...options, a quite crucial thing to do - I shall leave things hanging there!

A wholesome and gratifying CD this with a sonic scenario set that doesn't need great pondering or involvement.  There is a place for music that one can just take in ones stride without straining the lug to get the gist, we have such a collection of sounds here, and I ain't complaining, well just now and again.

   

BEE BEE SEA - SONIC BOOMERANG

I know nothing of Bee Bee Sea, at this stage I don't want to - it keeps me fresh, unbiased and guessing.  All you need to know for yourselves at this stage is that the band hail from Italy and play psyched garage - you too shall be kept in a state of guessing flux, until that is…I scribble an assessing explanation…like this:-

'Sonic Boomerang' is a heavy sensation of eternally swirling colour tones whipped up by players hungry for psychedelic highs.  The footstomp operates at a zested level and rotates with a control that paradoxically borders on abandon.  A fresh feel comes from fuzzed fuck underground vaults where all operators cross wires, untangle and then get knotted up again for the sheer perversity of it.  The wire work is best deemed as gnawing, the drums regulated, the scant oral offerings are hepped up and semi-tribal and, as the carousel spins,  we are mere victims caught in the generated air flow - I am not complaining, I duly pogo.  The inner lo-fi turn down only makes us salivate for more of the same - when it comes the mind is melted.  I dance into track two, uncover a ditty called 'D. I. Why, Why, Why' which rolls in on twatted membranes before twist twanging in a cock-strut style glossed over with pseudo-harmonised accents that glide along on reminiscences of a sub-Beatle-ised output.  A smartly textured piece of cacophonic kit this is a genuine appetising listen with the band on a happy flow of chordage that hits old-school hot-spots.   My formative years were spent dancing to rock and roll tunes instead of going to school - it seems only right that I like this stuff.

Languid summer pool shimmers flicker tonal light our way.  We can either bask and accept or try and adopt an over-critical stance and rubbish the output.  I take my time making a decision, one has to be careful.  I am floated to tender entrapments and as 'I Shouted' laps against the exposed nipples (of noise) I feel a sensation of pleasure eventually taking hold of my framework.  The tremulous waters serenely lick, the tonal quality is semi-submerged but lucid all the same, there is a charm here my punk rock head takes time to adjust to but luckily, over the years, I have bathed in many pools of sound so am soon floating with enough confidence to enjoy  - maybe you will too.  'This Dog Is The King Of The Losers' skips in with a background cured and a foreground grooving.  A grabbing gust of string work blows the senses clean and as we enjoy the airing out we are soon hit by an opening verse that sends thoughts AWOL.  Almost a warped and wanked teeny-bop affair with a dwarfish vocalisation borne from imp-laden ghettos were, stunted 'erberts dressed in Day-Glo colours, dance.  These visions I feel sum up the essence that wafts my way - a very odd number and one that I can't fully criticise but can't holistically praise.  It digs for too long and that opening twist promises more than I actually get.  It is a spicy piece though and one to jig too whilst doing the dishes - now that's punk, pass me the Fairy Liquid ya fuckers.

Casualness dictates the early strains of 'Chum On The Drum', a very easy going number with no perspiration oozing form the player’s duds of delivery and no consternation on the countenances of application.  A languid cruise of almost prostrate manipulation that is best used as middle-distance music rather than a sound to get up close and personal with.  Inoffensive and flowing but failing to raise any hackles of response or goose-bumps of arousal.  'Psycho Babe' has similar pace but those guitar vibrations are nothing less than pleasing on the lug.  The tonal throat gifts are light and buoyant, the reflected waters shimmer with a pleasantness that is mellow, soothing and...serene.  Sometimes moments as this are needed, especially when ones noggin is hammered by many aggressive and ball-bursting outbursst - yes, this one will do for me.

2 left and 'No Fellas' whips matters up with a froth ascension of overflowing energy that always stays controlled but has a foam over that is pre-planned and effective.  The jizz of the song is easily identifiable as regards the bands emitted flavour, this is a boob/bollock bouncing number that definitely needs an  injection of volume and your pinging assistance.  The rippling is there to move to, stay static and you miss the point.  We close with 'I Shouted II' a tropical sun lounge that is dappled with tender touches and washed out blendings that will induce a certain inner lethargy.  Personally, at this late juncture, I would have preferred to have had a new anus torn  but instead I get merely tickled by the trickle and sign off deflated in some respects, chilled in others.  I think the band nail what they are aiming for, it is just that my personal target was elsewhere on the discordance dartboard - ah, you know as well as I do that these things happen, fuck it.

A nice CD with many appealing nuances and characteristics but one which just doesn't use the poke and pep methodology that raises the tempo without any embarrassment shown.  The band do what they do mighty well, I am just a demanding twat at times and, after doing so many CD reviews, I suppose I have the right to be.

   

BRASH BULLETS - RADIO THERAPY

I gave Brash Bullets a gig, an opening slot on a Noise for Nature gig, it was a punt I like to take and after buying a CD off them I now have a review to do.  The set they played was a belter, the CD I have here is riddled with DIY strain and very much a home-made product.  The band are a 4-piece, the come from darn sarf, Southampton in fact, and play their music with no fuss and an adherence to that which is straight-forward, uncomplicated and, most importantly...snagging.  I go in, enthused and standing proud - not bad for a 52 year old.

'Snap' is a fuckin' beauty, a real hark back to pre-punk when back street dives saw misfits knock out bog brush tunes that were approachable, non-too particular and with the bare backbone of a ensnaring tune.  This song starts with a spartan style, with all areas subdued except for the vocal department that has a cold, calculating essence destined to chill the inner gunk.  We enter the most primitive bout of elemental music, a chorus built on a riff and repeat holler, it works a treat and I pogo like a penetrated pig on poppers.  I add volume, I breathe in the controlled wire work and the slap and smash stick work that hits highs and lows in fine unity and makes for an explosion of raw, old school dinnage I absolutely adore. Shove your techno-trickery and vulgar exhibitions of convoluted bull - you will never outweigh the most rudimental methods of racket creation.  'I Wanna Buy Her Love' is a desperate song borne from a desperate situation.  Loins are ablaze, there be lust dripping from the oriental eye and the strain on the sac is obviously painful - the options are varied - have a wank, write a song, find a brass - it looks like all three options may have been taken here.  This  wonderfully crude clatter twat hammers in, keeps up the labour as the gob joins the melee.  After a jacked off first portion the musicians unravel and flow with desire and a somewhat incessant raving of a man in need.  Gloriously nagging, encapsulating what one can do with the balls out and a small budget and making sure the end product is not covered in masking distractions that add an unreality we get too thrown off kilter by.  Again, no rocket science used, just rough and ready insight and a lashing of effort - is there owt else necessary - love it.

'Indoctrinated' states its situation, it needs relief, is there any escape?  Chants, drum tumble, a slow riff wank and then a strip-jack verse that sees the fabric of the number worn thin.  This duplication ditty drives forth on middling pace, wrap-around wordage and to-the-point attacks of noise.  It comes, fucks off and leaves me little else to add - the most underdeveloped song of the lot.  'Girl Next Door' is sub-peep-hole pervert with a definite slant of a behind the curtains 'I'm Watching You' creepery.  It whizzes straight in, it runs with a lustful yearning to 'get it in'.  The verse is a very honest piece of composed rushing that whips up any lowly vulnerables like my foul self.  I take to this like a fucked duck to polluted water and paddle away to the gushing events that unfold around my hammered head.  The first chorus chunk is swift, 'whoa hoa'd' and of little complication.  An inner strip down sees guitar absence and a vocal promise create a certain threat level, it is good to get to the wind down and thrash to the line.  'Capital City Disappointment' swings in, throws its fisted efforts with freedom before stopping and going into 'chant mode'.  On the plus side, this is a nice turn of style, on the negative side, the free for all advance is hindered.  Is this a good contrast factor? I am unsure but the repetitive title tirade is convincing and really catches the luggery.  I suppose I remain 50/50 here, the band are testing varied areas though, I am never one to kick a crew for that!

'Soldier On' halts proceedings and combines stated lines with almost petulant 'yeah, yeahs' whilst a bumble bass route takes place and the guitars are slashed at and the drums clobbered.  A military pseudo-march inclusion, the raw-boned, unrehearsed precipice is trampled underfoot and changes of pace are subtle but plentiful. As we started, we finish, low-brow, lo-fi, right up the Fungal shitter - yikes.

I am hailing this as an embryonic success, one that nobs the caveman neurones and gives me many prehistoric thrills.  I like to get back to zero, a place where the affected and egotistical are absent and those that just wanna crack out a good tune are found.  This is such an episode, I feel as though I don't need to justify why I like it so much anymore - those slurping from the same slop-bowl will understand.

   

THE MACGREGORS - KISS IT

From out of nowhere The McGregors came and played a Fungalised show, nailed the performance home with much passion and left me with moistened underpants and a CD to dabble with.  The crew came all the way from Essex to do their bit for 3 wildlife causes, that means a lot to me, it is the way we should be - operating with passion and putting back in rather than thinking about a profit.  This lovely gesture may be expected to be met with equal kindness but I don't operate that way - bullshit is bullshit and is best left kicked aside, honesty and integrity matter, see if you think I have stuck to my ethos during the following review.

'You're Alright' has a piss patch of joy de vivre spreading all over its own under-duds of sound and eventually splashes out a spray of satisfying discordance that really sets the knackers throbbing.  A sultry request of 'Kiss it' comes and then the flourishing style of sound overwhelms the senses led by a ravenous mouth dictation that drags all rib-rattling components forth with a friskiness in the tail.  The expulsion oozes life, squirts animation due to nothing more than the joy of generating a clatter. We are duly given an opening burst of star bright sonica that dazzles from many angles and all the while clatterfucks the senses to smithereens.  The sound is condensed, all packed with a punch and this backs all promise as was given during a recent 'live' performance for ye olde Fungal self.  'D. I. T. H.' ram-raids into the fray next with a two-fisted fuck eventually joined by a rectal twinge and a groove of dirty intent.  A brief slap around and a holler and away we go with a curiosity met with a startling fact - there is something dead in the hedgerow it seems, surely not the spirit of punk rock, I did have my concerns about this raped and ravaged scene but man this would be a shocker.  The song develops, takes perverse delight in its decomposing discovery and as a result hot-foots along with a tune to celebrate the mush.  A glorification of roadkill, one can almost envision a salivating Ray Mears jigging with delight at finding his next meal and being encouraged by this rabid tune.  Each component has weight and is well-placed alongside the rest of the riotous pluckings and fuckings and the vocal rawness rises high and surfs home with success - gimme more baby, I am taken.

'300 Brake - Facelift' is next and is the best of the lot so far.  Expressing itself with gusto and gonads aflame the speed demon sincerity flows through the veins of this arse-tearing tune with inescapable drag.  After the stage -setting start and blue light chaser we are propelled along with increasing gravity and vigour along a highway of rock and roll enthusiasm.  The 'whoa hoa' section is all consuming and devours any defiance you may still have stupidly residing in your framework.  The 'badda bup' outburst, the neat bass touches and the general thrash about is all perfume on my stinking pecker of discordance - I ain't complaining and neither are the neighbours.  'Rock 'n' Roll Bitch' is a full on matter-of-fact tirade of what many of us have ended up like after so many years of pickling, tickling and just being plain old stupid.  We ain't young, we ain't fighting fit but here is a song to celebrate our failings and keep things partially oiled.  A groovy wind in, a bin lid hammering, a proclamation of a body falling apart.  The chorus is straight up and nailing matters in no uncertain terms.  The whole escapade comes and goes and leaves one feeling...invigorated - by heck, I may even summon an erection, ah yes, I remember those throbbing things well.

We shut down with 'You Don't Know (Shit)', a finger poke at a wannabe know-it-all and a so-called friend who shoots off at the mouth and reveals nothing more than a lack of insight and an IQ lowered than Ronnie Corbett’s prolapsed ring-piece.  This is as you would expect.  High-wired, foaming, vicious and with an adroit application that sees the band get the best out of their weapons of battle.  I could gush on, I shall sign off here, you make sure you get this you bastards and play very, very loud - I can almost see your vital organs trembling with delight.

   

MT. MORT - VULTURES EP

A solo artist from the Garden of England who does all his own writing, recording and producing in true DIY style - is there any other way?  Apparently his work has been described as being 'fuzzy melancholy' which doesn't bode well for those who are seeking clarity and positivity.  I am a mere passer-by, one I am sure who may be caught in this noisy web.  I have my critical wings ready to fly free, my assessing legs ready to kick like hell and hopefully escape the constructed cables of cacophony.

'Boneyards' comes from realms of Disneyland charm, were colours are garish, sweet creatures reside and crystal waters babble beneath verdant canopies of prosperous emerald.  We absorb the bliss, we are shocked by an invasion of weaponry - the slumberland serenity if banished, a sable nightmarish attack throws us from the mattress of expectation and...comfort.  The first song proper, ‘All In Your Head’, waltzes in with something akin to indifference.  It is a false sensation and borne from the opening shock, I soon realign the senses and get into a very embracing groove of cultured, thoughtful and proficient execution.  The blend of all musical fragments is so precise as to give the end product a creaminess that is laden with warmth and sincerity.  The vocals are pleasantly tepid, they neither scald nor freeze, they are just right for the acoustic ambience created.  I am indoctrinated by the presence, a very sanguine sound that pervades the most unyielding neurones.

'Listen To Your Mother' begins with the bending of an electro-wash board, a quite odd sound that causes some quite sinister sensations.  This song squelches along with inoffensive mellowness that begins on a platform of sedation and never really takes off and hits any highs.  The chorus causes a hillock of acoustica to rise from the general substrate and a certain deep intonation pervades but I am not in line here and pass on with no congratulatory flag waving taking place.  'Easy Way Out' is a firm movement of dependable easiness that has smoky textures and easy rippled consistencies that escort the laidback tones quite perfectly.  Very clean cut, unflustered and without any danger, this may not be what gives me an acoustic erection but that does not stop me applauding the application and easy to swallow slant that this slides down.  The fact that it is terse and tenderly tuneful is the main key, I nibble, roll round the palate and nod in agreement to the tingle - quite pleasurable sir!

2 left, 'He Comes To Me In Dreams' falls as steamed window droplets whilst grey external skies invades warm inner comfort and create emotive...wretchedness.  This is a barbed drag down of woeful misery that rotates with such a heavy languidness and sub-tuned serenity all personal switches are flicked to 'snooze' mode.  Tis a shame as I expected more but I suppose we were due a change in tack and just because it isn't 'my thing' doesn't make it crud. 'Vultures Take What’s Left' seems almost a submission of hope and lays back and accepts the beating that life duly gives and the aftershocks kicked out via the parasitical feeders.  A strange oddment of idling affect that rotates downward into its own garbage chute of despondency.  From where the CD started to where we have finished are two places of polarity although there is still a sub-quirked carry on beneath the upper epidermis of sound.  I walk away unconvinced here though, I believe there are greater highs to achieve.

Over and done and fuckin' outta here.  A few morsels to chew over, one or two to spit out and a variation in emotive action.  The player pushes in his own style, and even though I am not thoroughly in line, I can see the talent and ask for nothing more. 

   

PROCESS OF GUILT - BLACK EARTH

5 track filth here coming my way in a torrential black-out of deadening tonality all the way from Lisbon, Portugal.  What on earth have I done to deserve this?  The bleak industrial doom that comes on sludging, drudging waves of gassed grimness is definitely not my chosen cha' to partake of, especially when the sable cur is nipping at my vulnerable heels.  I remain sturdy though and take on this 5 track feast of overwhelming noise and do my best to rustle up a review - there should never be comfort zones. 

The last blooms of resistance are finally dead-headed via cruel sonic shears brandished by cultivators immersed in their task and, there is 'No Shelter'.  Clouds gather, bloated droplets of disarming decadence fall, the roaring fury unleashed is strictly for the chosen few.  The hammering repetition jangles nerves, destroys ear drums, takes one to the dark side.  The industrial filth puked up is splashed around and the globules that land on the flesh sear in no uncertain terms.  The inner switch off prolongs a certain agony, only the truly corrupt denizens of darkened rot-holes will spring to life and feed on this - for me the matter is too dense, too indigestible and too bleak.  It is played with an exactness though that, after many grappling sessions with this type of dinnage, I can easily recognise.  'Feral Ground' is slowly broken up next, with heavy spadefuls intent on numbing the noggin and being thrown forth with patience-testing malice.  At long last the Hell-flamed throat makes its presence felt, albeit amid a chest freezing throw up of misted malevolence borne from the operators with a real grudge against decency.  The ploughing drift through blackened fields is deliberate, one gets depressed by the destruction that is both internal and external - the question is, how long will you let it go on?  I feel detached, move into track the third and am bomb-shelled by more of the same.  Guitar twinges are followed by muddy squelches and then pursued with Hell hollers from a very stagnant and all-consuming pit.  Rank vegetation of the mind drips down nasal passages flared, black gunk of vomit-inducing texture bubbles from infected lugs and the mouth that throws out its idiot filth is cancerous, obscene and not for those of weakened heart.  The mechanism of the delivery is punishment untold, a very special kind of indulgent fuck is where one will find greatest appreciation - alas I am not that fuck, I am an innocent witnessing an Armageddon I do not want to be involved in, I shall not be a ‘Servant’.

The last 2 songs (I use the term loosely) are of even greater depressive stature and have a combined running time of 19 minutes and 40 seconds.  The lengthiest effort is the first, a dirty death rape of invasive desire that pins one down and slowly and cruelly...molests.  It is way out of my rhythmic realm and as I crawl on bloodied knees to the bitter end I feel...fucked.  'Black Earth' is a trial, 'Hoax' is no joke either.  This is pure constipation and I am lacking in all areas of laxative assistance and so can only respond in an equally clogging manner.  This is poison to the soul, I am cutting my textual roaming short - a 100% no, no from me, and to all you miscreants who like this heavy shizzle - may God have mercy on your soul.

   

EXOSKELETONS - WE ARE HERE TO MAKE THINGS BETTER

Splunge, stwarve and expodgiment - 3 words I have no clue about, just like the band under the spotlight here - oh what better way is there to be.  To keep noise fresh for me is punk incarnate and exploring new vibrations and out of bounds areas is the way it will stay.  This release is on Skingasm Records, the same label that brought me the heady delights of Frau Pouch, a band with restless angularity and good ring ravaging riffery.  I have no expectations here, no pre-sentient emotions tickling the cranial fluids into expectant action - there is a charm in this state of play that keeps me...addicted.  So, fuck you, fuck me and fuck it all, here we go, all arses to the deck.

'Face In The Rock' comes on languid skin smatterings with an ascending glassy guitar sparkle that shimmers with subtle promise.  The oral offerings present themselves, are painful, anguished and almost...wretched.  A release of simmering stress is apparent, a certain innate naturalness spills, a 'go with the flow' aspect that creates a jazzed jaunt not easily captured in one listen.  Several rotations are needed to ensnare the gist, a wave my critical butterfly net and I realise that what I have caught is a troubled runt of rhythm with many angles to assess and consider.  I wave a flag of indecision whilst hanging out a testicle of acknowledgement...acknowledgement of a quite artistic tune.  'House Of Disappearing Bricks' witters in, fuzz fucks beneath suppressing blankets before jumping up and pogoing on the mattress of potential sound and creating an angular screw-drive of challenging sound that is of a spurring and somewhat provocative persuasion.  At times a spasmodic spasticification of wild, 'off the leash' mania takes over with the band double-fucking various orifices and leaving us to listen on, in wonder.  A certain frenzy appeals, a disharmonious clatter throws the cerebral gunk into a luscious disarray and with added spectrum-spinning shards of dazzling electrocution I find myself in a position of conviction.

'Kuiper' next, a jangling episode of edgy attention, all zoned into an upheaval of mis-fitted melodies that copulate and squirm with nervous toxicity.  The impregnation of all areas could be deemed confused and testing but somehow from the melee slips out a whelp of cohesion and, may I bravely but justly add, excitement. This awkward hotch-potch is tantalising stuff with depths to delve and a longevity you may at first not recognise.  Throw yourself in, gung-ho fashion, examine all areas, chomp on the mush - I guarantee something tasty is transpiring.  'In Real Life' is a misshapen memento of sound that we take from this already testing tuneful trip.  It has moments of relief, moments that cause grief and comes on a substrate of jarring coruscation that at first offends but which, with a peppering of patience, grows into something bordering on the listenable.  Not my favourite track but within that wanked up weft is something I need to unravel - I may be some time.  'Crash Symbols' twitches, is on the precipice of a full on crack up, repetitively moves through the spasms of sub-fear and winds itself up into a disposition of agitation.  The vocals rise from the jungle of jangle, we are left feeling uncomfortable throughout the journey - I am considering myself a pervert as this isn't such a bad predicament.  I skip on before you accuse me of being 'odd' - tis very rude don't ya know!

'Holes' is a shit-kicking fuss of breath-holding that sees a sub-cacophonic conniption throw its shit with a repetitive snot off.  The sloping holler wanks emerge from a clog-fuck of muddied guitars and have an incessancy of 'Fall-esque' mania that gives the whole contrast a certain aspect worthy of one’s time.  I am not swayed by this comparison though and am happy to applaud a band playing awkward music that will undoubtedly offend many 'we know best punks' - lovely.  'Cicadas' comes forth on something akin to normality.  Crikey, pass me some meds.  A rolling bass line and a consistent skin tap is invaded by rude jangle jabs that eventually create a niche for the oral offender to do his culpable bit in.  An oddity transpires, it drifts on and creates an undulating pattern of no real convex highs or concave lows.  There is an easy flow happening here and it feels as though the band are having a break from the angular and staying in the realms of decency with many adequate spills leading to some quite subtle thrills - not a bad do at all and perhaps just what the bent medicine man ordered.

'Show' and 'Dust' are a troublesome pair of nob-rotters.  The first crawls from beneath a stone, rises on a Will-o-the-Wisp radiance that is abruptly halted and taken over by the bands usual madness.  Not my favourite episode this one and with a central drift that is as difficult to grip as a Hippo's nob dipped in chip fat.  The song seems to have no true direction and no matter how hard I try I just can't grab the gist and wank out any positivity.  The second effort is a runt, a spoken word of robotic horror that desires a takeover of the soul, a mass blending of all into one unreal, synthetic sludge - ah fuck it.

Lastly and 'Wild Swimmers' pulses, shows a sign of life and side-winds with sounds from far distant shores of almost exotic style.  The progression is sub-Banshee-esque before being skewered with the ingrained nervous energy and shape-shifting molestation of melody the band were obviously born to do.  Up, down, left, right and sideways - am I being tossed about or tossed off, either way the sensation isn't too bad at all.

I am signing off, what does thout think oh traveller of the textual runway.  The odd moment does little to perk the pimples but there is much to be marvelled at and gets certain neurones...pinging.  I can't ask for owt else can I...well...!

   

SUGGESTED FRIENDS - SELF-TITLED

I have grappled with the goings-on of this crew before, it was a brief bout and the release was part of the Oddbox 100 series.  If I recall correctly (a dubious procedure indeed) I was left intrigued and in some ways wondering what would come next.  Here I get my questiosn answered and am given a further 10 tracks to roll around my tuned in/tuned out toss-box.  As per, I am taking my time, so much to do, so many tunes to deal with, I will not be rushed or pushed.

'I Don't Wanna Be A Horcrux For Your Soul' is a travelling tale of tepid tonality that slides across the attentive epidermis and leaves one....caressed.  The refusal to be an enslaved receptacle for someone else's needs could be prone to coughing up an irritated outburst but Suggested Friends keep the lid on their emotions and deliver a fluffy pillow persuasion of subtle inclination.  A heart is slowly exposed, a love wrap is spread and a deep scar is still not fully healed.  The band move through the gears with fluid expertise and although no great waves crash against the shore of recognition there is a sonic sleight of hand that maybe has more cards up the sleeve than you may initially predict.  Listen in, examine with your acoustic hand-lens, don't overlook the detail.

'Motherfucking Tree' peeps then creeps before timidly tiptoeing to the forefront of our attention.  An explosion of sound comes, the band find the place where they soar best and all components collide and make for a foamy pop punk mousse of mouth-watering appeal that bubbles, settles, re-bubbles and satiates.  A very typical recipe whisked with ardour and placed on our awaiting plates with a certain je ne sais quoi.  I soar on, held aloft by a charmed zephyr and fall into the pastures of 'Chicken'.  Here we have a similar offering with the relaxed interwoven with the more ruffled, both elements working well and helping this ditty to outstrip its predecessor due to having a greater contrast factor and letting the free-wafted episodes soar to zeniths untouched.  There is a cradling comfort in the general tonal quality, a cushion soft persuasion that induces the listener to take up a relaxed and accepting stance.  There is a glorious grooming going on, I am happy to be a victim, it is all above board.

'Menagerie Of Cats' barely raises itself above the sofa of silence and whispers forth on gossamer flimsy tones that are winter frosted and oh so slightly, haunted.  The zephyrs expected eventually come, the vocal magnetism survives the updraft and we move along through a forest of swaying sounds that just caress the senses rather than roughly persuade them.  This is a watercolour weaving based on diluted pastel shades that still have great effect - nice.  'I Called Her Out In The Wrong Way' initially starts off with the barest of applications, a canvas that is merely touched with nervous suggestion.  The slightest sign of life eventually kicks in above a palpitating pulse and drifts through a pseudo-comatose haze that relaxes the furrow in the brow.  A rise comes and we are not wrong to expect a watershed, what we get is the finale, how odd, how ruddy awkward!  I am not disappointed though, awkwardness is a wonderful essence.

Next, and 'Grateful', 'I Can't Roll My Eyes That Far (Back)' and 'Please Don't Look At Me On The Bus' all continue the style set and parade themselves with utter sincerity.  The first of the three is as hesitant as that which has been but unravels itself with a subtle need of solar assistance to invoke greater life - not my favourite track this one.  The middle track has some pleasurable trills and when it throws itself headlong into the wafted warmth generated by cute application we are all the better for it.  If punk rock vibes are the dirty underpants of noise then the sonic garments here are the white and flimsy cotton dresses that smell of the great outdoors - I hope you get the drift.  The last of these fleetingly assessed three is the best of the lot with a good contrast between the thoughtful and the desperate and with a certain toilet-need push in parts that ups the ante.  The opening whispers are invaded with a rousing burst, they regain control and eventually we hit a galloping thrust that is...spot on the mark.

'Grown Man Bop' flickers in, infuses itself with a sub-country guitar tickle, smooths things down with the usual she-caresses and travels in an uncertain way that keeps one guessing.  A trifling tune not to be delved into too deeply and one that brushes over the senses and leaves reminiscences of a transient tickle - nothing more, nothing less.  We finish with 'If I Were More Gullible (I'd Be A Gull)' a very tender snuggle down of contemplative time that drifts across the rear of our sentient soul and creates a sense of a languorous lullaby aimed at sending the listener into the Land of Nod to contemplate the CD that has just been encountered - bring on the zed's!

An interesting donation that has seen my interest wax and wane throughout with some songs hitting pleasurable zones and some just inducing a daydream situation and a loss of focus.  Suggested Friends have their place though and just because this punk pig bastard can't like everything and has critical prods here and there doesn't mean this is not worthy of your time, it has certainly been worth the effort for me and, as per, I am intrigued what will come next!

   

BRASSICK - APPRECIATE YOUR CONCERN

Brassick, a band doing quite well for themselves thank you very much and one I hear constant good feedback about.  It is all piss off a foul punk bastards back and I am unswayed by what I hear so that my reviews are objective and as real as I can make em'.  I have seen the band a couple of times, they do what they do mighty well and have a sharp edge that fits in with many certain niches in this rank and rolling cesspool.  The turnip on drums is a fine chap and through him did I receive a request to tap out an assessment on my wanked and warped keyboard of corruption.  I sit down, turn on all components, after much digit deviancy this is what appears.

'Bigot' clobbers in, spits up and spits out with roaring  venom, a banshee blaze that infiltrates the settled senses and grabs each neurone and duly tears out a new rear orifice.  Quick, to the point, outta here!  'Life Best Spent' scuzzes and skin crawls before pulsating with more feminine irritation spiked by a devouring need to conquer, crush and defy.  A sub-skank injection adds to the variety, a follow up attack of heavy fists comes and the contrast factor is offered.  It could have been more challenging, the hardcore edge could have been produced to a more swollen and head-knuckling degree and although the band perspire like puppies at the end of a shotgun I feel there has been a trick missed.  The band are pushing though - something I won't kick them for (well, unless it’s for the hell of it).

'Taught Within' is a pregnant punisher that twang wanks in, rips up the mattress of decency and vomits out a bloodied, raw-boned spew-fest of happening material filled with tapeworms of tension.  I remain unsure but when the band find a moment to glide with gripped gonads there is a zenith reached.  The song ends on a mocking string fiddle - quite odd don't ya know.  The best song of the lot is 'Back To That Place', a ditty that has the most definite structure, the most jarring riffery and a clobber factor that comes from various angles so as to disarm any sense of safety.  The lead lass has greater freedom to express tonal desires, a desperation combined with an inner urgency culminate in an offering that has the most notable weight.  The grumble factor is dense, the chorus chunks released with fire and the animation levels inspiring to the dancing framework - pass me a hammer, I may do some damage.

'Strung Together' unravels with slow texturisation, has a quick spurt and then goes at matters.  The throat is put through its paces and does its worthwhile bit whilst coruscated outbursts mixed with sandpapered flows blend with the fluster and bluster of the backbeat that does so well to keep the waves wafted and blown through with gratifying cacophony.  These latter two songs encapsulate the best elements of a band who have plenty more up their ragged sleeves and who will undoubtedly build upon their growing reputation and kick some shit in the face of the doubters.

So, for me, an unconvincing start but finalised with a flourish that indicates a band doing their thing and driven forth with all eyes on the acoustic road ahead and intent on hammering away at the great mass of indifference.  As I say, many speak highly of this lot, who am I to tread on their toes...well, as it just so happens...!

   
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