FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 37
 
 

THE CRASH MATS - 69 PERUVIAN PAN PIPE CLASSICS

The Crash Mats are a local-ish band, they have been around for a few years now and played a few Fungal gigs along the way,  They have made good contacts and are doing OK for themselves and so I take a step back and fluff up the feathers of a few other fruity outfits.  There has been a marked improvement over the years in the offal this band spill out and, as stupid as you may deem it, I am expecting a lot here.  At the moment I have a lot to tackle so tuck in my privates, put down my latest copy of 'Iranian Fat Arses' and do my usual bit.  This review is long overdue due to my head being a distracted mess and full of DIY wasps, let us see if there are any stings in the tail of this hard fought lowdown.

The first sonic spore to float from the lamellae of silence is ornamented with the name of 'Hot Air Balloon Ride'.  The main winning aspect of this first package of acoustic enzymes to infect the trunk of my attentive framework is the fluid and lucid mix, the nicely zipped pace and the usual nonsensical angle that shows a band who want to send out political free hyphal threads and suck out your juices of acceptance forthwith.  I like this nippy rascal, it is baggage free and uncomplicated - sometimes one needs little else.  The follow up fruiting body to erupt from the substrate of creativity is slapped down under the nom de plume of 'Drive Me To Drink'.  A flitting snippet with one hook wrapping around itself and getting things over and done with in the spasm of an epileptic anus.  It is a formula I have encountered many times over my 52 years on this planet, could this be classed as an early crack filler or a quick flick of the wrist moment that is pure musical masturbation - I remain unconvinced here - it brings back too many reverberating memories, I am always trying  looking forward.

'I Don't Wanna Go To Grandma's House' is a pure pop punk title and travels along with a desperation in the tone and an obvious fear of the hairy chinned, piss-smelling creature from planet 'Incontinence'.  I remember this situation all too well but I was lucky though, my grandma used to supply me with No 6 fags and thick chip butties, plus a cup of her tea-leaved riddled cha' - lovely.  The song here hits a level, stays tight on the reins and ploughs along with an easy snag in the scenario and has me bopping.  Surely no bad thing, well except for the floorboards.  What can I say about 'Oldham's National Anthem', short, repetitive, pertinent and summing up the diet of one local area in one 47 second blast.  There is good fuel in the tank here, the exhaust pipe billows out hefty clouds of ill-tempered vibrology - I am happy to cough and splutter in the fumes.  'Don't Go Down Yorkshire Street On A Friday Night' is one of those pseudo-homages to inner city thoroughfares where all the dross and deadheads of society gather to get hammered and hammer somebody - primarily because their lives are shit, the brains small and the attitude stinking.  I know a few of these places and as an aging punker remember running the gauntlet a few times in days gone by.  This is a rough and ready tune, sending out a warning with an abrasive edge that really appeals to my scraggy senses.

'Hans v Police Academy' is a mild cruise with a lovely tympanic beat that slaps and splashes and keeps the cable corrupters in check.  There is a planed out smoothness to this effort that raises levels of gruffness and pace towards the end which, in turn, shows how the band have advanced and are now playing with a certain sanguinity and sonic balance.  A tidy tune.  'Watchmen' is a doom laden slinky dink number that asks a very pertinent question - if you are being watched, who indeed watches the watchers?  This sax-ual slip between the silken sheets of posing seduction comes forth and perhaps highlights the greatest progression of the band to date and, maybe, is the grooviest cool cat in this very mixed bag.  The serpentine brass, the almost ad hoc bass that follows and the slipping guitar work all provide a foundation on which the oral hollerer can repeat beat his mouthy manipulations and give us all something to sing along to - nice.

4 quick tickles of the assessing feather 'fuck you' duster next, hold on to your privates, I am gonna fly baby, fly.  'Rubbish Truck' is a neatly played escapade regarding a hoarder who doesn't know when to stop and ends up in a pile of shit (in many ways).  A slick number, skidding along and causing no fuss, it may be one to play whilst tidying up, then again, it may be one to play whilst adding to the heap - either way it does the job.  'Don't Tell Mum The Babysitters Dead' is a 51 second horror escapade that sees a screw seeker minder without life, the boyfriend nowhere to be seen and the hollerer of the song in utter panic.  Sub-hardcore in many ways, a quick double 4-count, a gruff hammer away and built on bare-assed lyrics of the basic kind - some will find this a pinnacle - some people are silly sods.  'Sloppy Love Song' is the hand under the table moment when your privates are under threat.  Grooming tones are manifested, the genitals shrivel with a premonition of things to come.  The lead lout seems to cling on to a thread of sanity but the players look lost in the realms of desire.  My silken knickers of resistance are lowered by nob-warmed hands, I await a seeing too in a slow unsettling fashion.  Instead I am brutally rogered in a short end burst - I don't know what it was but I am sure something popped my cherry (and my anal valve too).  'Home' weaves in, rattles away and harks on about being stuck on a bus with a weird and wonderful fellow whom I am sure we all have come across.  There is nothing to see hear, this is a local song made for local yokels and, if you jump on any bus around these parts, the chances are you will bump into a troubled turnip.  A wrestling song follows called 'Terry Funk Forever'.  After introductions a double quick march comes and a rough and ready tirade comes against a half-witted wrestler (aren't they all) who had one of those pre-practiced dust up's in a barn and got clobbered by a horse.  I am glad about this and am happy with the whipping song here and the way it flies along like a mare with a scorpion on its dongler - nasty.  A good whip on the arse this, just what the Jockey Club ordered!

Another fist of 4, to keep the assessing shits flowing.  'My Girlfriend Has Only Got 24 Hours To Live', is one of those warped pop punk titles that leads one into thinking a soft-soaped affair beckons but what we get is a pseudo-regret of liquid stick-skipped noise that stays in keeping with the bands fresh and happening sound.  This is a decent ditty that once more is easily sucked up and spat out - there is a place for this, the tosspot of tunery is always awaiting the next globule.  'Let’s Go And Get Stoned' bass gyps, string slashes, surges with pace from point A to point B.  It is one for the hammerheads who like to switch off and zone out with some mind-melting toxins.  Oh long gone are the days of glue and Zoff, these modern day punkers have things so much more hygienic - buggers.  This is zippy, nippy and if you take enough drugs, may assist in helping you bum Mr Whippy - I know not, but it is mere regular charging!  The chaser is another quick heel snapper that digs in at that Z-class wanker who claims powers but in fact only has one power that is quite prevalent in the scene in which he operates - the ability to con.  The world is awash with cranial feeders praying on the gullible - every walk of life has them, seeing a need and filling it.  Like a rapist seeing an arsehole and duly slamming home they are guilty fucks and are in it for self gratitude, nothing more, nothing less.  This leeching lump of useless lard gets nailed nice and hard here with a sabre like thrust that is laden with piss.  Musically nothing more comes to the table but as a standalone it cuts a dash, sticks a finger up a certain arse and doesn't hang around...so neither will I – fuck you ‘Mr Wonderful’.  'Look At Me I'm A Fuckin' Arsehole' is a pertinent song in a world of people needing attention.  I hate this shitty overwhelming state of play that sees many wannabe celebs push their faces here and there.  Here's some advice ya cunts - play this loud and put yer face up yer own arse - best place for it and what a nice musical escort to do it with.

A few left, 'Party At Lou's Place' begins with drunken waffle before cruising along in the Crash Mats favourite style - smooth, bass woven skankiness punched up with skipping skins and a skidding guitar mode that all come together (or perhaps cum together) to create a creamy escapade that niggles the dancing feet into energetic action.  The fact of the matter is though that here the band have tidied matters up, sharpened their playing pencils and got the production values spot on - hence my thumbs of critique being turned...upward.  Lastly (well for me anyway), 'The Farce', a perfectly timed number with added brass sass that opens many doorways and offers so many new avenues to a  band on the move.  A bit of footy waffle, a scuffle and a punch and then, after a melee of the usual components, the brass invades and adds freshness and snaking promise of things to come on forthcoming releases - this gets the juices flowing and is a very sweet move, ooh me cherry.

After these 18 tracks and a consultation with the lead lout (and bassist) he told me that there was more to be uncovered.  He stated that 'Tracks 19 to 66 are wrestling crowd noises of booing and chanting. Then tracks 67, 68 & 69 are the three secret tracks' - my genitals duly withered. The wrestling noises are as stated, the 3 secret tracks are quick doses of fun, smack of idiocy and are rapido, full-nonsense snippets that will reach the private parts of many and tickle away. I am done.

A good effort by three pirates on the upswing. Where the curve will take them is anyone's guess but they have good contacts, seem to be enjoying the task at hand and are getting 'out there'. Watch this space, there may be a few surprises in store!

 

BVI RECORDS - DIRTY POWER COMPILATION

Rich from A-Train niggled my ass and got me intrigued about this 31 track CD compilation.  The man is a DIY dog like myself and does things the right and only way.  The label Rich has created is BVI and this is one of the releases.  They are based in Austin, Texas and going on past form I am expectant of some fine underground happenings.  Crikey I best get stuck in here, hold onto yer ears folks and get yer patience ready - I will not insult anyone with a rush gush of little consequence.

And to song the first, the dogs are out of the kennel and a bass rumbles as Screech Of Death come in and offer up their number called 'Run'. The bell is rung, the whelps snap at the heels and the bass gets gears grinding.  Strings and sticks join the fray,  we maintain a raw-boned rough and ready approach that uses Do It Yourself minimalisation that allows for an easy weaving that drips with a love of the stripped and exposed.  Too many are seeking intricacies and moments to show off rather than produce naturalised noise for those with roots embedded in the gutter.  Right up my street this, easy to swallow or spit back out - the way it should be!  Brewtality Inc next and the scurfy mix of 'Three Sheets To The Wind'.  Melody combines with boozing pride and gristled vocals with the result being a matter-of-fact sing-a-long sensation for the merry headed piss-pots who like to swill and serenade with smile assisted abandon.  It is another fairly basic composite but again it has its own unaffected charm that cruises to the core and gets one nodding along.  Why ask for more?

A steady drum tickle next infused with scuzzy guitar and slow drawling sleazed up vocals that has a very distinct New York Doll's feel that I find quite ruddy rewarding.  Eastside Suicides move with convincing sanguinity during this fine movement coined as 'Don't Kiss Me, I'll Kiss You'.  Maybe the NYD feel is overdone and too close to the knuckles of the real thing but that would be a minor gripe of petty proportions and, in truth, this is a superb inclusion and keeps variety the spice of the CD.  The Dicks penetrate next with the low-production emission of 'Lifetime Problems'.  Typical stuff from this band on the cusp of cerebral collapse and highly troubled by this mad existence.  The crew do what they do, the lead lout ends up in a predictable frenzy and this cavernous eruption from a darkened cell of suffocating effect does the business but suffers due to the shitty sound levels - another one of life’s niggles.

MDC jump to the beat next with the erratic nervous vigour of 'Open The Door'.  This is a lunatic fringe radiance of music that is only just tamed and barely keeps on the rails of what is deemed 'normality'.  It is a song that somehow encourages a lapse in mental decency and with its elusive edge and dance on the brink of volatile destruction one has to give it more credit than perhaps due - or do the complete opposite.  Into the tones of 'Reptoid vs Stonehenge' we go with the driving force behind the shenanigans known as Brutal Juice.  A cloying and clogging muck spurt of fumed noise that hints at something stoner, something sub-metallic, something hairy bollocked and irritated.  This is a gruelling grind that slots in to the vacant cunt of position 6 and throws the CD off predictable tracks - a nice move.  

НАЗАРБАЕВ ТЕРРОР МАШИН next and the tribal shit-sludge known as 'Жөк көру адамдар', a fucking reeking inclusion of hardcore malevolence that drips with sable terror and a roughshod tonality that only the purists will be able to stomach.  It isn't bad but it outstays its welcome and like any unwanted guest I kick it up its arse and throw it to one side. One of the best songs from this opening batch of intrigue is 'Immortal World' by Animal Train, a band whom I have dealt with for a long time now and who have found themselves a favoured spot in my noise battered ticker.  The she-throat here is as raw as ever, the intent of the musical weaponry more damning than usual and as the creation of cacophonic clouds looms large I am ready to be soaked through over and over again.  

Sabbath Crow next and the command of 'Bug Out', a tune that really peps up the pecker before collapsing inward and adopting to go for a slow grinding throb that really throws the fat cat amongst the even fatter pigeons.  The drudging effect is not as pleasing as that opening salvo and no matter how raw and ready it is I can't help yearning for another uplifting fix.  I shan't kick this one though as it opposes expectation and as a stoner sludgery piece it does what it sets out to do and rankle the rhythmic comfort we are all guilty of getting sucked into.  An angle to ponder.  'Don't Be A Dick' by The Avoiders is a more blatant underdog effort that doesn't beat around the bush and pushes home a straight message of venomous honesty.  The scuzzy lilts, the headlong slam into walls of stupidity and the bog brush punkism flick a switch in my very soiled soul - I can't help it, neither should you!

A quick drumroll, a new school thrust and a band I am familiar with who have a good sense of balance and combine good angry noise held in check but with effective power levels. 'Mother' is a well-played piece, touched with VOA's signature lilt and slapped around like a penis in a love-shack.  Replay this one folks and make sure you don't overlook the little nuances and hard-handed applications.  Idiot City next and they throw in one of the genuine highs of the CD with the scuzz-fuzz roll out called 'A Black/White Interpretation of Unrequited Love'.  A flame roasted song radiating thermal heat throughout its entirety and having a raw-boned feel that dogs in the cruddy kennel will forever lick at. Something very gratifying manifests during this escapade and I have a few old school CD's from the US of A that have a noise very similar - far better than all that overly-processed tick-box trash. 

The next 3 begin with Apples For Eyes and the controlled honest punkism of 'Stars And Floors'.  A very confident song with an attracting tremulation borne of heavy warped bassism, scurfy strings, cymbal snickering tympanics and a sweetly accented vocal strain. The song finds its thread straight off the bat and although a tune that could be deemed as 'regular' is in fact nothing of the sort and has a character that very much appeals.  Welter come next and offer some very UK sounding punkery via the effort known as 'Executrix'.  This is a relaxed song with home turf tones as well as those across the pond.  Pistolonian riffs are hinted at, a fluid and very relaxed approach wins my vote of confidence as does the very transparent and honest mix of components that is DIY done with a certain excellence.  The Nervebreakers ask us to 'Just Yawn' via a self-therapeutic number that tries to stave off an impending nervous crack up borne through nothing less than an immersion in a passion.  The edge to this song is acute, it is low slung and played with an undercurrent of countrified croonery.  A slick change from the norm, an inclusion that keeps us...thinking...which all compilation CD's should do.

Stronger tones come from the hepped up siren of belligerence who leads the charge known as 'Trailer Trash'.  The  she-rasps are aided by strong guitar and stick movements that provide a solid substrate on which the gobbage can sprout, grow and bloom.  A glowing number that sends out high-viz warnings and hot roasted femme fucks for you to get....screwed by.  Tony Jones and the Cretin 3 spill forth the contents of 'Christine' via a moderated melody that finds its hook and ruddy well sticks to it.  If you get the gist you can groove the night away with this rather quirky escort that has a good lilt but just overstays its welcome.  The mix is sweet enough though and there is a chance you could get this one stuck in the noggin - tha' never knows.  Rebel Flesh next and the classy rocked up 'Sacrifice' unfurls itself and exposes a deep-rooted saturation of sound that propels the band along as well as emanating a semi-gothic smattering that enhances all areas of character.  A very classy song with all players contributing well to a deep, resonant sound that helps the sound stand out - the production values are solid too.  Next up and All Opposed knock out a subdued ditty that quite catches the lunatic fringe, namely 'Mental Ward'.  A brief bass nibble, a cruddy lo-fi scouring and a melodious earthy opening verse with an easy slip into the all too brief chorus taken.  This is basic fodder to easily bite into and despite the scurfy end mix it will do for me.  The chasing track is rapid action filth, a nasty bout of desperation by perverts incarnate who are hell-bent on getting their end away, in the most crudest of ways.  Mugero spunk out the coarse offensiveness of 'Ruined My Boner' with utter relish and I know many indecent fellows in the punk rock community who will absolutely love this.  It is a sharp track liable to draw blood or inflict pain - this is not my favourite track but I do titter at the inanity of it and it is delivered with good focus - ooh wither me widgies.

Moving on, The Code 88's and the very subdued tones of 'Cabizas Podridas'.  The volume levels of this one are shockingly low via the on-line version and I struggle to fully grasp the throat scorching intent proffered.  Slow whoa hoa's open before unleashing a searing blaze of sizzling noise, I have heard many episodes of this simmering stuff, ah if only the tones were elevated.  'Clear To Me' by Zero Percent is all the better for chasing the blanketed tones of the previous track and is a fiery expulsion of tight-knit noise that has a high incessancy and unstoppable drive.  An inner chug riff hardly eases the strain, this is intense discordance but not in an overwhelming way.  Get yer head down and soak up the sonics man.  One Shot Down jump into the slipstream and give you 'City Streets'.  This is a chomping chunk of wholesome racket-making led by a frontman with gonads bared and making sure his fellow warmongers are whipped along and up to the task.  The song is strongly heavy-chested and strides along with lofted self-assuredness.   The pursuer is less robust and due to a dampened production sound doesn't do itself justice.  The horror pop dribble of 'Zombies Ate My Girlfriend' crawls on decomposing knees with the end impression in the turf of your mind not deep and impacting enough.  The Butts have more to offer, the mixing room can help matters as well as an injection of pace.  Sonic Ammunition suffer a similar fate as their neighbours with 'My Way' staying below the fuzz-belt and not getting a true exposure via the volume vibes.  This scurfy and scuttling affair has impetus and a toxic edge that is drowned by a smog of impeding antibiotics.  The verdict is of a 'let down', a shame, things could have been so much more although the track is par for this lengthy course.  Best band name of the entire CD goes to Mr Clit and the Pink Cigarettes - lovely.   The screech laden upchuck of 'Bee Girls' is of Z-movie proportions and is a frenzied banshee wail that floats amid backdrops of charming cheapness – it has its own individual joys.  

Nearly the last blast and Dead Zebbra burn a hole in your attention with the hefty viciousness of 'Witch Burner'.  This is a spiteful incandescent bout of hate that laps unclean tongues of heat against your oh so delicate skin.  Midway the band fuck up/funk up before finding a power chug and nailing home the last vestiges of vitriol and falling down in the smouldering embers and giving one last kick - lovely.  Point Blank smoothly cruise in, chant with whispered effect and call upon you to stop worrying and crack on with your life.  The anti-rules, the lack of fear when all emotions come into play is idealistic in some ways and in others spot on the mark.  If one tries to be good and harms no fucker then go for it and enjoy the spirit of this urging ditty.  'Life's Too Short' is without fuss and reiterates the title - why not?  Sometimes we all need a kick up the arse.  The Agrestix give 'C'Mon Denied', a latter day tuned up sprint that has many elements from across many ponds that once more exhibit a frisky talent bursting at the seams with condensed and saturated application.  This is run of the mill  stuff but in no way less effective and impressive.  A good street flare up with a decent dust cloud created.

2 left folks, A New Hope offer up the turmoil of 'Waste', a ragamuffin rip up of frustrated thought that assesses the situation and comes up with only negativity.  In truth we are all wasting our time and we all get moments like this, where nothing seems worthwhile and all aspects of life seem like a load of shit.  The sufferance of others helps, it may be a perverse form of sonic Schadenfreude but I make no apology and crank up the volume and release some pent up emotion.  The Dispicables  close this lengthy journey with the celebratory 'Pinche Punx', a homage to a band of outlaws and done with much pride and gusto thrown into the wind.  It is a regulated end thrust with the band accomplishing their mission - to rock and reward.

I am fuckin' outta here, what a long do, what a stretch of my sonic time, but what a worthwhile CD to listen to.  Many new bands have been revealed, many new sounds have rippled the nipples of this noise laden 'erbert - I shall not complain.

   

FIRST BASE - NOT THAT BAD

Sent my way via Drunken Sailor Records this Toronto based band are apparently self-confessed power pop nerds who have no shame in exposing their influences via the gushing sound.  The first 100 copies of this release are on blue vinyl, you get 11 tracks for your money and my opinion on them is something like this:-

'Cry Baby' comes on a rock and roll twist before harmonising its way to my heart with such soft, cream-cheese cadences that move with a delicious delivery laden with natural insight into what makes an appealing jaunt of juiced up goodness.  The melodic waters foam, any sonic flotsam is floated with relish and although nothing profound emanates from the spinning circle of silver this is simple fodder to play when in an unflustered frame of mind.  I move on...beaming!  'Eastchester Avenue' is easy on the lug, a mellow syrup flow that glides along before being deliberately stutter-buttered so as to give the whole construction a firmer feel and a different flavour to contemplate. There is no secret formula to creating work like this, just douse yourself in the sub-scene, pick up a guitar and let it happen - I feel as though that is what is going on here, albeit with some good rehearsals under the belt.

Track 3 and 'Sandra' is a lushy mushy slush up of gently chopped up tunery that somehow wends its way into my flank of favour and has me crooning along to the very scented vibrations that quiver my way and send a sweet and tremulous caress up my stout and overly stiffened spine.  I refuse to be groomed by soppiness and serenades such as this but I am a mere musical mortal and the disrobing allurement is even too much for my somewhat disagreeable character - bah.  'Dumber By The Day' has the merest bass rumble before picking up its glowing feet and dancing along on a substrate of enthusing spirit that helps each step spring higher, each wave of feel-good joy coarse through the veins with a joy de vivre of the highest, and most invigorating, order.  Music to run along with, music to clear the stresses and strains and to renew hope of a brighter day ahead - quite excellent if you ask me.

Strains of T-Rex stagger into the playground next as 'Cooking Up Trouble' has a mid-70's feel and is dressed in funk-glam rock and roll raiment’s especially during the versed moments.  It is an intriguing and tantalising piece that gets one pondering where the CD may end up.  The harmonised feel to the song, the Bolan-esque tones and the general cleansed and complete sound to the whole serving pleases me no end.  Light, fluffed and a stark antithesis to the usual racket I hammer my noggin with.  'Judy' flows in with fluent ease and chops away with hypnotic interminate smoothness as to be subtly stupefying.  The band have captured a good strain of sound here and this is another example of a sophomoric song given restraint and loaded up with sudsy sweetness.  I ain't griping!

'Not That Bad' is a perfect description of the following song, a ditty that smoothly runs like freshly whipped cream with watery base and pours from the goblet of production without the slightest hindrance.  A fuss-free bout of bubble-ised beauty that floats with gentle abandon and ticks all the right boxes.  Teenage-tinted, bushy-tailed, in a fettle that is fine and quite considerate - ooh aye.  'Busboy Job' has an early morning twinkle, a sobered swing along that is assisted by a quite marvellous cadence of cruising tunery all sanded down, brushed over and stardrop sprinkled with sunshine positivity and glint-eyed honesty.  The riffery is light, the bass cutely roaming and when all components are threaded through with the bands strain of cottony snugness we have another tune to taste over and over again.

If First Base serve up the food of music then here we have a veritable tray of Milky Way mouth bites - I plan to carry on swallowing without ruining my appetite.

'This Guitar Of Mine' is one for all those fond of their six-strung serpent of sound that has served them well over many a recording, many a gig and many a bedroom tickle were solo practice is the word.  I love this one and even if you don't own an actual instrument get out your air-based version and strum along baby.  In fact I can almost envision an encouraged crowd playing along to this one, each one twanging the invisible weapon with a smile on their face and soaking up the uplifting vibrations - it must be done!  The next song writes itself as anything with a title such as 'Ding, Dang, Dong' speaks volumes.  This one isn't my favourite expulsion but it stays within the set parameters and keeps things smartly crafted, lightly draughted and wonderfully wafted.  Just a bit of extra cheese in the chill-room, a smattering of blatant plagiaristic plucking and I reckon the tune would improve no end - just personal thoughts but there ya go, it has gotta be done.  We finish this fruity affair with the delicately lathered zest of 'Together Again'.  A love-laden lilt of recurring rhythm that quietly imposes itself.  I can find no gripes here and this is another cracking song to squeeze in between the confines of more corrupting and coruscated cacophony - a perfect desert to a fiery main dish, the fruit sorbet to partake of after a crippling curry - oh yes, oh me arse!

Quite simply this has been a pleasing joy, one that trips along and persuades the listener to jump in line.  Not wild and reckless punk, not torn and ragged raving and neither experimental and awkward testing.  This is just sugar candy for the dittified dandy who likes things easy and chilled, sometimes we all need to adopt that role.

   

KID KLUMSY - SPIT YA DUMMY OUT

Oh Mumsie, I have a band called Kid Klumsy and, after entertaining my nob of noise with their oral and acoustic talents (hey up Vicar) I was given a 6 track CD to have a sneak preview of and....assess.  There was no rush so rush I did not - in fact I never do, I just play until the wordery is ready to fall.  The angle of the songs slants into nonsensical pits, the delivery is simply punk and roll but along the way some pertinent points are made.  I tucked in my gonads of idleness, wiped the ever-sniffing hooter and leant a lug the way of the output.  Here is what transpired:-

'Grow Up' bubbles up, spirals to heights, slaps around with fresh and zested tonality before grabbing hold of its own meat and shooting out the first verse proper.  The vocal style is user-friendly, teeny-bop cute in a warp kind of way and re-enforced by some regulated riffery that pulls no unforeseen underhand punches and delivers a good wholesome wallop in the jewels.  There is a very distinct pop-punk, hot spunk piquancy that sparkles on the tongue like an overdose of space-dust.  The Peter Pan proclamations that clearly defy the ageing process all add to the somewhat innocent, anti-adult charm.  The extra edge to the song, the full on belief in what is being spilled convinces.  One down, five to go!  '24 Hours' engine thrusts, gathers momentum and moves with a deliberate chug thug.  The gobbery is pseudo-rappoid, the chopping effect of the operating acoustics is nasty and spills out into a sneering, malevolent snot drawl of repeating insistence.  A nag and snag methodology is scaffolded by strapping and stable sonic struts that might bend a little but will certainly not break.  Many elemental influences are being rolled around the tumble dryer of discordance, the paradox being when the song is done you may have certain areas that appear damp.  A good alteration in style for me, it is the way to go.

'Sugar Junkies' is a lovely celebration of addiction that has me reaching for a packet of Spangles and a bag of Fizzy Lizzies.  I feel an urge to get E'd up, sound boosted and bopped.  This is a stunning roll out of banging jowl juicing goodness that will undoubtedly be responsible for many diabetics going off the rails and falling into the realms of a glucose whitey.  The thrust of the number is protrusive, snazzy and remarkably barbed.  The thorns of nabbing noise are inescapable and this is a brain banger that will roll around the grey gunk and keep thee forever bouncing.  'Pig's Ass' is a more driven affair with a matted edge to the overall colour scheme.  It moves on heavy tones and has a subtle darkness pervading even the brightest aspects.  This isn't my most jizzed over number but the opposing tonality it proffers up and the sway and splash double kick relish in which it is delivered works efficiently and enhances other more glowing facets of this 6 track fuck-up.  A bit of metalised string indulgence, a steady stick beat and a chorus release to keep the cobwebs away - many will be happy to ping to this.

'Bully Bullied The Bully' is a superb track with a comic-book title and a full on sanguine serenade chorus that will get the ones on the back foot moving forward and hopefully regaining balance against any wannabe aggressor.  In life, there are always some fucks trying to impose their will, be it blatantly physical way or a subtly psychological.  It is a terrible way to operate and you must walk through life and let no fucker overwhelm you or beat you down.  This is a belting soundtrack to raise the level of your spirits and the vocal style, the blue light emergency bends and rushing cock-sure 'let's have it' chorus works an absolute treat.  The aqueous flow is inescapable and I suggest you all throw away for life-jackets of lethargy and hop in here and get yer confidence boosted.  Yeah!

We piss off into Silent City with 'Mr Bluey Man' a final ditty that starts with tepid tones before finding its feet and nails home a yarn about those omnipresent drinkers who never buy a round, sup their friends dry and seem to have arms too short to reach their own wallet.  This is a neat trickle without any profound depth or outrageous explosions of sound to test the detective skills of the assessor.  No, just go with drift here, take it easy and enjoy the unaffected snipe at the allegedly impecunious shit that takes and never gives - what a bastard.

I sign off here quite pleased.  6 trackers are ideal for my reviewing efforts and when of such a pleasing standard I am reminded of why I do this stuff.  Mind you, it is all part of putting back and the joy is you get to listen to fresh and fruity music of all styles and put your honest thoughts out there for others to be inspired by or to give them an opportunity to criticise.  Ah well, this is a good CD, agree or disagree ya buggers, I have done my bit.

   

NERVOUS TWITCH - I WON'T HIDE

A long time ago, after the demise of a fine band I know who went under the tag of The Despondents came a new fruity sensation from the falling fragments.  They were called Nervous Twitch and in their early days they played a few Fungalised gigs here and there, it was a joy and it has been too long since they were involved in one of my patchwork gigs.  Here they are back on CD, now on the fine Oddbox label and delivering their own brand of quirky, garage output with the expected tones of sugary innocence that always makes them a winning unit.  I shall go in unfavourable here as per though, it would be vulgar and quite unhelpful to enter with sway, this is the take from a myco-addled mind.

'Put Me Back Together' is a jingly, jangly affair with a marvellous cheap-key waltz invading the versed areas between a guitar pluck-fuck that initially fractures the flow.  This is a neat snippet with its only flaw being the lack of a defining chorus chuck that stands out from the main swing of sound.  It is a cute construction with lollipop flavours aplenty and a sticky chops innocence one comes to expect - from here the band can build and raise their game.  'That Weird Guy' is higgledy-piggledy poppism that has a tantrumised she-squeal borne from stop-start arrangements that lead into a squabble-ised pseudo-chorus straight out of the play-pen of toy-throwing joy.  This is a youthful sounding effort with the trinkets of tricky tunery adorning the background and keep the whole essence almost innocent and naive - it is what goes on in this small cranny of cacophony.

An early zip with a bunch of three belted out in double quick time.  'Look At You' is a plodding waltz, never really takes off and relies on a single trick in the tunery a little too heavily.  Of course the output is unmolested and sweetly retro but that is to be expected, I just required a little more at this stage.  'Numb' leaves me with the chosen sensation as it has very little feeling, keeps itself wrapped up too tightly in morose melodies of blanketing suffocation and the juicy fruit goodness the band are so loved for is lost.  The inner wire stripping is cute but fails to elevate any sensation seeking neurones.  I demand erections for all,I want a frisky finger up the jacksie of attention.  'She's So Hip' is more like it and provides a fizzing screech of animated and fidgeted noise that is easy to lose one's nut to, especially if an increase in volume is had.  From the upbeat skin skip via the scrunchy guitars and snotty bitch hollers and through the keyed explosions to the last hissy fit this gives me hope of a CD on the rise.

I jiggle on, '21st Century Love' is a lethargic crawl of self-pity that sees our hollerer feel all alone and in need of some modern-day comfort to shake off the nagging, melancholy-inducing blues.  The sound is dreary, a pervasive miasma that shadow creeps over all hope of a pick-up and that is how things end up.  A desultory, dreary and mechanical inclusion - not for me folks.  'The Last Laugh' is shorter, more avid and with a quirky excitement many oddballs and outsiders may latch onto.  It is a mere 55 second flash in the popping pan and comes with a punctuated matter of fact tonality that it loses some potential vigour and pizzazz along the way.  Better but, as a long term fan, I am expectant of a real upward curve.

The next three begin with the scurfy peeling of 'You Done Want Me', a frisky back-scrub of wholesome string work comes with a sound of some young pimpled arsed 'erbert fucking around in his bedroom and bending those wires with zeal.   The she-spells of oral tantrumisation work a treat atop this small hillock of unassuming, unaffected noise - yes, back on track we are.  'Promised Me The World' opens with a salvo of flourished weaponry before we settle down and get put in our place by matter-of-fact refrigerated vocals that state a case of being in a state of deflation.  The mouth moves through some decent planes, the musical escort gives room for all components to breath and a few cute touches complete a quite appealing package – plush.

3 up-tempo assessments next, 'Torment Me' is a premeditated attack that bides its time, crisply moves through with the lead lass at the helm having a sincere toxic bitchiness that overflows and ends with a solid, immovable decision, an interesting little insert this one.  'Waste My Time' is a perky piece of jerky jauntiness that has no ambition only to see the time tick away.  This is no bad stance to adopt and if you have your swinging shoes on and are willing to piss to the wind 2 minutes and 4 seconds of your life this may be the song to do it with.  And why not!  The last of the terse trio is 'Never Can Tell', my favourite of the three, a hiccupping stutter frog-hop of uncertainty that gets the juices flowing and leaking all over the jitterbug tootsies.  I like the animation, the fidget-factor, the citrus tang that squirts from the appealing pith of the song, I peel with a smile, anyone for a sonic segment?

The last 2, and 'I Won't Hide' is a perky number with a decent flourish throughout.  All combinations of sugariness, garaged hollowness and a certain jollification bubble away within the usual layers and keep things squeaky but not overly clean - I am happy about this.  We finalise this CD with the staggering legs of 'I Wanna Leave', a semi-crippled stutter to the final silence with vocals minimal, strings chopping and skins slapped in an almost ad hoc but liberated way.  It is a final spanner thrown in the machination of a musical morass that has some tidy listening points, the odd blip and the continued strain of a band on an ever-increasing roll.

My end verdict is of 'more of the same', although this isn't my favourite release by the band it is still in keeping with the current set theme and will no doubt see many fans, both old and new, enthralled – all one can do is hope!

   

SILENT FORUM - SACTUARY+

Another Oddbox Records release and on a limited cassette by a band from Cardiff - ooh the nastiness of it all.  The band have been in gear of late and are a 5-piece who have a small repertoire and are striving to move on.  I hear they have a post punk feel, I am going to make up my own mind on that, I am an awkward cuss.  I switch the play button to on, I await the tuneful tickle, this is what I am met with.

Semi-erotic envelopes of shimmer/simmer sound inch forth other rippled substrates and bring to the table a haunted, melancholic meander of baleful leanings.  'Who's Going To Side With Me' has a rich anguish that emanates from a seemingly diseased niche where all hope is clung onto with feeble, neglected fingers.  Sinister gothic under-wavelets catch the disconcerted strains of the troubled orator at the fore.  Industrialised machinations revolve around a central spin of repeating rhythm that, if the truth be told, can cause a certain aural indigestion.  This is still an interesting opener and will lead us who knows where?  'When I See You Shake' is equally tormented of tone and comes from cerebral forests of bending boughs where nerves are molested and the heels are forever troubled.  We escape the tonal trees and hit open moorland of plain, panging misery with rolling clouds always overhead and perhaps making matters a trifle too dreary and desolate.  It is a heavy cloying number and has a certain suppressing infection that disarms any inner positivity.

'Shame' advances with soft-machine resonations before being barely brushed by a crepuscular string stroke.  The oral chill pervades and here sets about covering the same ground over and over again and creating a shamanistic chant amid an ice-vacuum of spartan sound that pervades the soul of any settled and comfortable carcass thus creating...discomfort.  The treatment given to the tonal sketchpad is laden with cruel stokes and a certain uneasiness that permeates the lamina of the exposed organic - make of that what you will.  'Nameless' is a morose entity, dripping down in languid drops that are etched with weariness and subdued tones.  A very tepid inclusion with the vocals almost distant and the musical escort quite surreptitious in its approach.  An atmospheric piece for a certain frame of mind.  'Cortisol' is of a similar vein and for me drags the CD into subduing undergrowth for a little too long and in some ways, knocks the impetus out of the whole shebang.  The band have obviously sought a chosen sphere in which to toss around their scripted sound and do so with an undying belief and discipline but they do so with such an absorption in their output as to almost forget the listener's desires.  A song that once again overstays it’s welcome and as a result, loses impact.

'Trust' grumbles and glints, floats with oral liberation.  The essence is of an introspective moping moment that pushes the 5 minute barrier and sacrifices a striking impact for a testing bout of careful persuasion.  In generic terms, as regards where this tonal snippet springs from, it is exacting music and very much in accord with post-punk/sub-indie styles and will get the greatest blessing from those dwelling in that pit.  Alas I am not one of them but do have the odd stop over now and again, I am not overly keen on this track though.  'Limbo' is a limpid wavelet flicker that has a counterpunch to the music via a morose and sobered singing style.  Here, the contrast works to exemplary proportions and makes for a listening experience that is more than a little intriguing.  Again we wander down thoroughfares of thoughtful imagination where creation is careful and each and every subtle application is etched with consideration - quite appealing don't ya know!

'River' is straight forward track that wearily fails to meander and so creates a lukewarm trickle that misses a distinct trick.  The tonality is fine, there is an adherence to the thread taken but I would have liked to have seen a journey take place with a mountain peak droplet falling away and leading to an oceanic finale.  I feel the song hits flat ground way too soon and no turns, minor gushes or essential babblings are had, a shame.  'Humility' catches transient light, reflects rather than deflects and enhances our vision and lets us delve deep within the inner confines of the musical matter and make decisions based on tonal quality and the enforced lucidity.  It is a prosaic and carefully applied moment and embraced in its own pseudo-gothic raiment’s that have served the crew very well thus far.  The song eventually turns on wheels more grimy, more geared to stressed anguish and the finish is ideal for the construct under the spotlight.  We finish with 'Hosanna',  and, with my true punked arse bared, I feel it is a silly escapade that travels on for way too long and in a small way, mars that which has gone before and in a blatant way, brings nothing new to the table.  A pointless episode and one that takes a bit of polish off the CD for me.  I regain my senses though, replay the highpoints and let my honesty be balanced by the overall view.

In summing up, I find this a detailed and decisive CD and yet at the same time it tiptoes on the precipice of many sub-genres I know only too well.  This is a good thing and provided the band dip in and out of the said pits with a determined and blatant direction they can achieve a decent amount of appreciation therein.  If they are willing to mix up serious veins of sonics with shades more contrasting I think the benefits will be many and the band could see their popularity rise even higher - here's watching the future.

   

NEGATIVE SPACE - GESTALT

Post punk roamings into spatial areas that are often overlooked and, may it be said, vulgarly neglected.  This sub-genre of seeking sound often coughs up many creative runts of extreme angularity and sets many a noggin off on an experimental route that would undoubtedly end in a colliding culmination of success and failure.  So, I enter the fray of the fucked and flamboyant sound offered here by a London based unit perhaps wondering how things will eventually turn out.  Then again they may just be flexing restless wings and indulging in some personal therapy and trying to quell some inner demonic fire - it takes all sorts.

'-' opens and is straight at the meat of the matter with a positive charge of colliding wordery that spills with incessancy and a documentary style scripting.  Life is given by the sword slashing guitars and the mountain tumble tympanics.  The ambiguity of the words that remain stewed in the sonic melting pot only become lucid with repeated rotations of the dichotomous disc of spiralling discombobulation - I travel on...wondering!  'Zero Hour Contract' is a high energy upchuck of splatter-fuck tension that sprays the awaiting carcass and perversely poisons the bloodstream and induces a kick-up that gets any zombified neurones charged and challenging the apathy.  A switch down is still laden with simmering and blistering frustration and the obnoxious hollers and gob ups of aggravation work but I peck for more, but will I get it?

'Negative Reinforcement In Dogs' wanders in with a deliberate and imposing step.  The chuggery is charged with fuel liable to implode at any time.  The pulse has a warning signal, it signifies the calm before the storm, which eventually...comes.  The thermal overspill is foaming at the mouth, the tangible turmoil is halted by a tympanic bout of palpitated rolling before the loop is re-taken.  A solid piece from a cultured angle of unashamed emotion - yes.  'Open Secret' is similar but has a greater undercurrent that whips up deeper detritus and sub-flow shit.  The bass is the driving force as well as the initial skip impetus and the fuming gut fire.  The band are outside the usual box here and offer hints at several sub-generic sounds, not least of all an infusion of post-punk/indie-fied experimentation.  The swerving route through varied obstacles of sound is picked up on and the vigorous vitality of vibrating disgruntlement that it encourages is not wasted on this cantankerous twat.

'Physical Form' warps its own weft with a metamporphing sway of track chug tuneage that derails and clatters through nearby acoustic herbage.   A considered, exacting approach inter-works with a bass-pushed routine that lets the band test themselves rather than settle back in a bed of easy-rhythmic roses.  The song has moments of military regulation, once more winds itself up to a crescendo and that final run for the finishing tape is spittle-splashing sincerity.  Nice.  'Top 5 Rooftop Bars' somersaults in and tumbles with violence before settling down and  relishing the delivery of colliding chordage and wired-up restlessness.  The spirit of the song is run through with a liability to end up who knows where and this, in some respects is an applaudable methodology to adopt but, I feel a dilution has occurred due to an over-cooking of the sonic soup that takes away some of the impacting flavour - I may however, be wrong.

'Fashionable Clothing' enters a fracas, splashes and spills with the bass the only regulating factor.  We roam with two colliding styles sometimes joining, sometimes bending away on a curving tangent.  Eventually something akin to an organised routine is embraced, albeit a scything, many pointed advancement that nags at the receptors and sends them into the silent aftershock on bended, perhaps convinced, knees. The intent at times roars, throughout bleeds blood, I think that should be enough for most.  'Payday Loan' tympanically rolls and strolls, wires on the 4 fingered hand keep it stark and grounded whilst on the 6 fingered mitt add needle injections to...annoy.  The slow threat, the lack of anything new leaves me a little dry in the undercarriage of desire and at this stage, my privates needed something more moisture-inducing - I march on, with a limp.

2 left, I jump for the finishing tape, 'Without Jealousy' is a short sharp jolt of electric activity that has some high fire moments to wank over.  The inner strip down is unnecessary and one consistent tear up would have been so much more impressive.  'Demianczyk' is a sobered and sedate episode that never really leaves the acoustic airstrip and as I wait for take-off I feel frustration rising. I wanted more at this late juncture, I wonder if I am all alone in this feeling, it wouldn't be the first time.

So, up and down, all around and a hit and miss affair for my personal tastes.  When the band snarl though they do so with sincerity and the shockwaves they emit certainly tremor my testes of tonal need.  The flat-line moments come when the band go into their own shell and let their desire for contrasting angles take over a little too much.  The mood-laden sequences are all well and good, but too many can drag one into the doldrums too - tis not what this bugger needs. So, I leave you there, swinging on a tree and hopefully wondering what will come next!

   

ELMO AND THE STYX - BE FOOL

One review, one view, Elmo and the Styx I have found little wrong with you...until...well until!  This 3-piece of restless rocking noise merchants have made progress and hung into the fray as have the label on which this record comes, namely Anti-Pop Records.  I go in without prejudice or sway here and expect the band to confound and have me reaching for the under-duds of safety and making sure my attentive globes don't get stretched too far.

We begin with the tamed and somewhat trimmed twat of tunery known as 'Homo'.  A multi-fractured fuck-fest that screws out reactions from many unexpected angles that duly affects any exposed nerve endings.  The opening oddity of a sequence is tuned out in a cerebral kind of way and throws one immediately off kilter.  We soon get to the true crux of the clatter when strings are bent hard, drums are injected with vigour and a thread is grasped that has some inkling of reliability.  The band are thinking on their feet and not resting on languid laurels best left to the washed up.  This opening burst takes some acclimatising to, I think it is worth the effort.  'Fat Albert' is a more immediately impacting song and has firmer cadences and more clashing dynamics that really meet the needs of the musical nomad.  The staggered pulse promises, the regulation chug and twist excites, the first verse is wonderfully ominous and minimalistic with the bass the dictating master.  The vocals stay restrained before catapulting into echelons on high and dragging the rest of the creative company along for the ride.  We repeat, we remain absorbed, subtle touches take us to layers at first unseen, the band raise the bar to lofty heights here, this is stunning success.  I love this one, can you tell?

'Fuzzo' tinkers on the periphery before hitching up its musical shorts and taking the plunge.  A drift of casual delicacy firmed up by direct strums and slapped down skin molestation comes.  The band never settle in one spot for too long but also they don't over-indulge themselves in clatter-splatter mania with the main aim to be to show off their talent.  There is a certain elegance and cultured craftwork that sees each sub-segment of the song merge into its neighbour with ease.  Angles, ill-temper, pulsations and improper alternations of direction arise, somehow we are kept in tow - quite remarkable how they do it!  'Chillin' Like A Villain' segues in, is a niggling bastard of sound with its uncomfortable throbs and ambiguous targets.  From the reclined to the upright and having it, this is a song to ponder and listen to many times over.  I grapple, I take in all the idiosyncrasies and chew like a chub on a chuff and come out still uncertain.  This is a moment that has me split - a schizo-inducing mongrel of disobliging dinnage that has me saying 'yes' and then thinking 'no'.  This is a good thing tha' knows.

A snatch of 4, 'Bollywood' extends itself over a 4 minute plus scenario and takes us all around the houses, in one or two back doors and occasionally in the odd dustbin of decadence.  With an adroit artistry and a pecking need to expand boundaries this one needs some time to adjust to (as do all numbers for that matter) and if you are of a goldfish mentality or like things bog brush basic then flit on and do your thing.  Abstraction, ambiguity and autistic traits invade, I welcome all and enjoy.  'Toothache' is mucky in part and probably, to an even lesser degree, hopeful.  No real thread occurs, but we are given promise throughout.  The band play with the mind, offer various gists and them seemingly snatch them away - this one is a jumbled jaunt and one I just can't take to - which is indicative of an album that will always make or break opinion.  'Gloomy' and 'Don't Like This Song' come as a pair - we initially funk tremble before being poked by wired-in fingers and stick mithers.  The curve upwards comes, a weapon of ill-intent is brandished and the meat-flung composition is ambiguous, hop-frogged and impishly deviant.  The collection of spiked and deeply-pained disturbances spring from a cabbaged and corrupted brain of dada-dicked disease that duly culminates in another molten brew of highly misfired articulation that has a solid production level and a superfluity of layers to peel back over and over again.  A different thrill awaits with every flick of the wrist, akin almost to an endlessly changing jazz mag of thoroughbred quality where the masturbatory sensations never fail to please.

'Timber' twats about,  immediately fuck seizures and pseudo-funk rapes with a loose jacket of sound that never truly fits.  Within the epilepsy of acoustica a foaming focus is grasped, lost, re-grasped and duly grappled with.  The band roll with hectic vim and throw noisy opiates against the rubber room of your mind and create a certain thrilling pandemonium.  The sensations caused are many, the confusion tantamount to something insane but something genius at the same time - is your mind ready to take the treatment?  'For Jan Terri' space whines in, flutters and flashes before offering up furnace blasted ill-temper, overdosed technicalities and the usual high standard of threshing music that generates an all-consuming interest within the listeners noggin as well as the usual rabid discombobulation - is it perverse of me to find pleasure within the weave?  We close with the direct shatter fist of 'Pink Lemonade', a strong song that hammers home a multitude of skin bollocks, chanted summons to those beyond, string stretches that cause pain and a vocal thirst not to be denied.  It is a fitting finish to a very intriguing CD and maybe, just maybe, it is the best song of the lot.

You know I can gush and push here, I can kick and prick but this CD has many facets that avoid direct pigeonholing and in-scene labelling and that, in itself, is a very good thing.  One may think certain parts outstanding, others shite or the whole kaboom just one messy experiment but...you would be a fuckin' fool to turn your thumbs down and publicly declare this as a failure.

As a footnote – there are umpteen hidden extras here, all horribly testing and of a warped ilk – come on, do some work yourself for once!

   

ESCOBAR - THE BIGGEST SOUND

Escobar come on another Dirty Water generated wave and are a French duo who throw out their sound from many, closely arranged angles.  Their on-line descriptions arouse curiosity but as ever, I am unswayed and will make up my own melodically saturated mind.  With pre-slanted thoughts the review should come out as healthy as a new born babe and without any unnecessary maculation - here's hoping!

'Terrible man' has much fire in the high functioning engine room, coughs up its soundscape with efficient and hard-pushed labour.  The song has a saturation level to please the hunter of the full-on beast of noise.  The initial strums are given a spice of the exotic before all boils up nicely and we have a rippling morass of moving music that has a perpetual enveloping feel laden with a hunger to tear up the carpets of comfort and outwardly bend the walls of restriction.  The galloping drums add excitable pizzazz, the vocalist gets duly whipped up, I am thinking this is a start to savour.  'Misbehaviour' skids up on the pavement and mows down all in its path with a foot-acceleration of zipping noise that is so easy to indulge in and make sweet merry Hell.  Excitement levels spill over and the framework is electrified and zapped into a position of responding fervour.  From that which is pulsing on the precipice to that which is wildly free-swinging and oh so fuckin' infecting - a great inclusion and only slightly tempered by the pulse shove of 'Stuck On You'.  This piece heaves and rolls, spits and vomits, undulates and flows - all operations are carried out with a distinct threat that consistently offers up a feeling of danger being never far away.  The switch from the sub-unplugged to the completely wired up is dramatic and as the band pour in their all, the sweat that sprays is a baptismal blessing to be converted by.  'Paradise' is a choppy song that spumes up and creates an abrasive sensation against any exposed sensors.  The tumble trash factor is high, the thermal radiation liable to rattle the Geiger counter and get one considering the problem of such fizzing, high energy cacophonia.  Not bad but the more deliberate swishes of 'Salvation' convinces me with more authority and lead me into several naked warehouses of pseudo-garaged happenings that open doorways and display a mechanical efficiency as to be almost...unsettling.  Rotations of a specific loop come with increasing weight and as we get pushed further into a corner the impression made is certainly more imposing.  A tidy track - without fuss, without distraction but with an effective force behind the delivery!

'The Biggest Sound' chops away on naked strings before grabbing a robe of tympanic towelling and adding and an extra layer of vocal insularity.  The straightness of the donation perhaps needs one or two bends in the bough but an inner attack of austerity works mighty well and just grabs my head before it slips too far into the doldrums.  'Big Town' has a great guitar intro, so fresh, so tuned in with my acoustic protons that ping this way and that.  Fresh, magnetic and soon run through a brief waterfall of white water before we hit the main session of sound that keeps me elevated and moving, grooving and, get this, enthused.  It is a frisky number that doesn't fuck around and keeps its licking lush and happening - I replay over and over.  'Brain Out' is a dope-dreary fuck that tests my assessing mettle.  Oh what a crash back to earth, what a kick in the seat of the overly-complacent jacksie.  There is a repeat-offence going on, a languid idleness that cloys and smogs my senses and leaves me with very little positivity.  I am not one to dwell on the dip, whoosh!

'Changeover' is a perkier event, sub-scuttles whilst the gob continues in the same vexed way.  I like the fly-in-the-undies agitation here and the sharp and stimulating energy that has a relentless feel to it and eventually foams over with a delicious desire that consumes my attention and gives my DIY undercarriage a slight tickle along the way.  This is down to nothing more than the use of minimalism to create a sound that has much value and much substance. 'Stranger In The Blood' is a replication routine that offers no new bangles and jangles of noise to adorn the assessing carcass and so leaves one feeling naked and bare of any real conviction.  It is a quite insipid number whose only flavour rises when the mood is right, just a little extra sugar please.

2 left, 'Dumb Feelings' is a fired up and well revved number that bursts in with an exhaust-cleaning opening salvo before the vocals jump on board and ride the melodic machine into rock and roll echelons put aside with a thought for those on problematic pins and nobbed by needles.  That opening sequence does it for me, I grab my sonic surfboard and ride the rising waves with a smile on my face and the discordantly generated wind blowing through my hair (well, whipping over my bald head but you get the drift).  A choice penultimate perk up, don't let it pass you by.  We end on a prepared tromp that starts a little too deliberately for me.  Rear night time noises invade the sable support of 'Drifting', the gob weaves its wordery, the strings offer no ornamentation - for me at least, we end on a low point, a nadir to avoid and one to not distract one from the better moments on this CD.

Do not forget that this CD is made by a mere 2-piece and is an effort that ticks many DIY boxes.  From small numbers a swollen sound is clocked up and I think, despite a few of my criticisms and the few numbers not to my favour, this is a decent effort and worth having a peek at, it is all about many styles at the end of the day.

   

BARONEN AND SATAN - SATAN IS A LADY

Baronen and Satan are from Sweden who dabble in darkness and all things off-kilter.  If you keep up with my reviews you may have noticed a recent 3 track molestation of wordery as regards an EP release - this is a longer collection of sounds, I reach for the pills, wish me luck dear browser.

'Lady Creature' operates from below the slime covered surface of a lagoon gone putrid.  Like an embryonic mosquito buzzing with initial life this one floats upward but for me, never truly finds flight and stays on the covering membrane of acoustic algae and fails to find true liberation.  It is a number that needs a full-on tickle of brazenly obvious riff-rhythm and I walk away from this one...disappointed.  'Catwalk' claws in untidy fashion and disconcerts with a clamorous bitchiness that eventually settles down and lurks in decedent passageways best left to those already dwelling there.  This one does little to raise the goosebumps, it is a real sewer rat wallowing in its own swill and I skip on tubbed up with disappointment.  'Asskisser' is a better track, with more positivity in the fuzz, more pep in the general motor.  There is a danger of the racket made becoming too compartmentalised and slipping into a double sub-genre that will limit the overall scanning spectrum of the curious populace.  This would be a tragedy because all flavours should be thrown far and wide and left for as many noise lovers as possible to cast their judgement on but, as we all know, much sinks, little floats.  Here we have a concoction that I suspect is too inbred for the masses and so will hinder that pass and play approach many rely on.  I give this one a 50/50 vote - I think there is more in the tank of tunery to call upon.

4 swift thrusts and 'Headcuts', The Project', 'Comet'  and 'Satan Is A Lady' continue to drag us miles below terra firma and through a stinking underground catacomb of bleached horror where all is rank, dank and very disturbed.  The opening number of this crooked quartet is a lazy limpet of sucking style that is purely parasitical in its persuasion and takes all attention and gives nothing back only pain and perversion.  The second oozing to come to the fore is a black fly of zipping mither that gets in the head and puts a finger up the jacksie with a final repeat beat question of impertinent wonder.  It is a pestering flit that comes and goes and leaves a tinnitus like after-shock that hums through the aural canals with much fuss.  Thirdly we slink along to a thumbscrew pain that at first brings sado-masochistic pleasure and envelops the cerebral framework in numbing comfort.  Before long however one is irritated by the persistence of the perversion and we lose patience and ultimately...interest.  A trifle overworked I reckon.  The last of the fucked four is a warped and whipped up episode that sees grimness brightened by a tympanic zest, a bleak backdrop of sound given life via a heartbeat of thirsty desire.  Not bad and the chorus here is a little more open and free flown, which helps matters no end!  The best of the quartet!

Into the last 3, 'Pony' trots in on tentative hooves amid a soundtrack borne from exotic shores.  The main thrust of the song comes, we are dished up a frenetic alternation between he-desires and hot man hunger and she-serenading and sultry attraction.  A coming together is never far away, we walk on the cusp of a sub-acoustic orgasm - the final gallop is releasing in many ways before a crumpling comes and an after-sex goodness pervades.  'Sugarwalls' spirals and swirls like a liquid shit tornado that creeps closer and promises wreckage.  We can sniff the danger in the air, the twister is coming methinks.  I gird my loins, expect to be blown off my feet, bugger, all I get is merely rippled.  For me this was the time for a real pace injection, I feel a bit let down.  We finalise and fuck off with 'Underwater Love', a 4 minute 54 second submersion into weighted realms where only the truly fascinated will hang around.  Again we reside amongst the tangling weeds and fail to swim with any fluidity and I find myself dreaming of Acousticised Atlantis where things may shine more brightly and have more attraction.  No, this is too suffocating, I swim like a tadpole and go get a gulp of air, I hope to avoid the pond dipping net of nastiness.

And make of the review what you will!  I sign off as confused and unconvinced as ever but, beneath these thoughts, something is nipping at my conscience and telling me there is more to come here - I am wondering what on earth it can be...can anyone help?

   
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