FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 40
 
 

BLACK EDDY - POPULATION 4

Black Eddy have played a couple of Fungal gigs to date, first time round they were good, second time round they were fuckin' fantastic and brought about a brace of nipple-based explosions I am still dealing with.  Man, they opened up the last gig and set a hefty standard that forced all bands to raise the bar - this is a good thing?    The crew claim to be an alternative rock band from Blackpool and keep away from that spiked tag that cripples so many artists chances - this is also a good thing?  I have been impressed thus far, this CD is highly anticipated - ooh me gonads!

The 7 track fiasco commences with the raw-gut spill known as 'Dance Fuckers'.  This one whacks right into the neural noisy zone with zipping relish and thrusts itself with wild liberation claiming that a metalised possession has taken place and the carcass is no longer one’s own.  The dance-inducing demons are dictating, this is a dazzling blow-out with a tightness counter-attacked by a looseness thus making an aural oxymoron for you to contemplate.  The bass is a bad ass bastard, the guitar loaded with tension, the skins amphetamine induced and the sub-Biaffra squeals add the final facet to an eruption with many wrappers to remove.  The inner sweet is worth the stripping process – suck, swallow or spit - I know what I am doing!  'We Are Unique' is a celebration of your warts, failings and non-conformist angles you sometimes struggle with and which the mass mush eternally  puts you down for.  Fuck em', rise up, be proud of being outside their fuckin' circles.  This one moves with treacled perseverance that is prone to thoughtful posturing before throwing off any blankets of doubt and creating a sing-a-long scuzz-bucket of celebration.  Inner trances come, it shows the band are not resting on limp laurels but are keen to stand proud and push home that inner gutsy belief.  All the while the band combine the cacophony with a subtle cruddiness and a free-flowing ambiguity that should please many heads from many different scenes - I fuckin' hope so!

'No' tympanically rolls, uses minimal wires and states the case for a chance waiting to be had.  The six-strung weapon skids, the bass bubbles over and the vocals jump into the fray.  The loose-scream slung gobbage is wonderfully natural, one can almost feel that we are being led into an eruption of attractive majesty and do you know what - I ain't fuckin' wrong!  This is a splendid effort, a kaleidoscopic construction that throws many colours into a motion of melody gushing with a spunking sincerity and all round verdant vibrations that really magnetises this assessing gits attention.  This is a peach and that word 'no' is punk incarnate.  Man, I am playing this over and over, you know the answer if you want me to stop!  'It Hurts' comes next, throws us a curveball and offers up something post-punk, pseudo-grunged and considerably outreaching.  The bass operates with a semi-synthed sound, the guitar escalates and copulates, the drums drag themselves along in wonderful desperation and the trembler of the larynx just goes with the flow in what seems a 'fuck it and see' kind of way but is nothing of the sort.  For me, Black Eddy have nailed their 4th song in a row, I am overjoyed, and the fact that it doesn't fit into those usual boxes adds to the ecstasy!

'The Vengeance Rainbow (Interlude)' is a raving scrawl across the lavatorial walls of your mind, a place where insanity dictates and a pastor of perversity pukes up a seething mass of worded weaving that leaves one clutching at straws as to the actual aims of the piece.  I skip on here, appreciate the crazed effort, I miss the point!  'What Have We Done' is a chopped up mush of vegetative verdancy pulsating with life abundant and looking to shoot entwining acoustic tendrils around your vulnerable extremities and squeeze out a response that is hopefully...favourable.  I spin and spin again, I shake my head free of the sonic spears and yes, you guessed it, indulge in several more rotations.  This is a 'happening' number and jerks out its juices with a spasmodic vitality and we are left 'juddered', the final stagger out reinforcing the gist!  We finish with 'Nibiru', a bass and stick stutter start before a deeper and more determined drilling takes places.  A shining shoddiness devours the hesitancy, the effort is thrashed forth with glowing coals of desire thrown many ways and a gruelling scurf of sound always keeping things…nasty.  There comes an eventual cooling down period, we are taken aside and given brief respite via radio whispers.  The demands not to worry grow, become forceful and are pushed down our open throats with spite.  The song is in no rush to fuck off, it takes several more turns, it is one to consider further but has immediate elements that shift some shit - sexy! 

Yes, Black Eddy have backed up their 'live' performances with a quite active and impressive blast out of noise that comes from several angles and is forever blessed with the gift of unpredictability.  Yes, Black Eddy are coming for you and are coming back to play a Fungalised gig - I may have to get my loose trousers on, I am getting carried away!

   

ROTTING SKY - SEDATION

The anus of corruption has been spread apart by taloned mitts of evil intent, the rectal gape created bleeds blood of black and causes chaotic pain to cripple.  We are beneath the shower of shit, gore and bowel-based toxicity - hold on dear friend, the Devil will have his nefarious way.  This is droning crust from Portland in the USA and is borne from the darkest and cruellest minds imaginable.  Shoggoth, Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth and the like are surely the influential forces behind such debilitating and stomach heaving noise.  I switch on, play loud, encounter visions absurd, visions abnormal and fall into a heap...beaten.

The first tentacle of twisted tonality to reach out and penetrate parts best left unspoken goes under the name of 'Smile', a fritzing fuzz-fuck of gut-juddering suspicion that duly unfolds into a suffocating black pall of acrid and offensive sonic smoke.  I gag at the first taste, empty the contents of my carcass from every viable orifice at the second play and yet somehow find the will to delve deeper.  We have a headfuck from Hades that toys with our sense of decency and offers up a demonic white fuzz of torture amid which voices strive to be heard, fight for air amid the cloying clamour.  This is heavy duty acoustica with all shackles of conformity snapped and discarded - we run with wild animals, we are caught up in a dust-storm that their galloping hooves kick up - I cough, splutter, seek out a respite - I think I am in danger of being trampled to death!  The follow-up is a stampeding compression of advancing disease known as, paradoxically enough, 'White Angels'.  Keys compete with the snowstorm before a bewitched abhorrence takes the reins and sits up on high, commanding we mortal listeners to bow down, eat shit and suffer.  The cataclysmic chaos poured down is deliberate and stretched over an 11 minute 20 second period that, if played loud, curses one with blood-letting visions and cranial carousels to be nauseated by.  The band are evil magicians creating aural puppets to go forth, groom and cripple - I peer deeply into their sable, nefarious eyes and witness nothing only spite, malevolence and a determination to...debilitate.  I fall down, curl up and get bombarded - the intensity of the beating is beyond the spectrum.  

Two down, two to go! 

'Tyrants Of Sedation' leaves me standing and wondering who the fuck actually gets off on this stuff.  It is a 12 minute 29 second violation of sonic decency and pushes the limits of even my elasticated patience.  The steamrolling behemoth crushes all, it takes no prisoners and leaves no-one behind in its perverse wake.  There is a deep carnal corruption here, a sincere arse fucking by an icy-cold shaft of scaled and spiteful prominence - the resulting spunk of sound is rank, blooded and destined to give rise to hordes of evil.  I shit myself and run for the rucks, here I quake and hold up a flag of defiance - not for me, not for me....not for me!

'Ivory' is a mere 7 minute+ excursion into racking realms with the opening thuds on your door of attention laden with ominous horror.  The fiend outside wants to enter and destroy, you are an easy victim - will you face the executioner or will you cower in a darkened corner and tremble in your piss-reeking terror?  The entrance is eventually made, the ambiguous demon that has come to thrill and spill towers and teases, this is a playground which avoids musical simplicity but which is used instead as a theatrical stage to create abysmal atmosphere.  I am in the stalls, watching and spewing blood - are you with me or down at the forefront, converted and subverted?

I sign off, my job here is done, you must get the gist, smell the firm sense the emotion - if not, I pray for your soul!

   

VAVARA - GO

From South-East Finland come Varvara, a band who draw influences from the late 90's and early 2000's and who deliver a mellow kind of sound when compared to some of the brutal shizzle I regularly deal with.  This CD is primarily all the bands own work, from the playing to the mixing, and thus setting off a peel of ringing DIY bells in my head.  The mix is said to combine garage and melodic rock, a combination to perhaps suggest an ambiguity and 'niched' end puke up.  I care not, I take it as it comes and deliver a review as thus:-

'Gone' opens the gateway and casually rises with a coruscated underscore that is eventually washed over with pronounced application and sub-grandiose string splashes.  The movement finds impetus, the bass is a defining and driving factor, permanently scrabbling away with organising intent whilst the other implements used weave a tight path of alternating direction.  Initially the gob floats high, it is soon joined by a rising acoustic flock and the flight is well feathered and glides on sturdy wings of know-how.  The flavour is sanguine and mobile, the aftertaste isn't half bad!  'Fly Far' is an active commodity that subtly switches from one conditioned cruise into another with all rhythmic rowers in tune, synchronised and obviously aiming for the same destination.  No real peaks are attained, no real lows fallen into, what we get is a middling movement that has reliable weight and an irrepressible arrangement.  Each contributing component is easily recognised, the production values are above the DIY level and perhaps this quite uncontaminated effect may be the reason why I am left a little tepid.  I know many that will disagree and find an abundance of plus factors here, that is par for the course in the musical melee.  'Anxiety' sounds like it could be a testing mush of nerve-wrenching trouble, a real taut affair kicking back against many stresses - my preconceived ideas stand corrected and as I listen I become musically erected.  The best song thus far with a free and easy freshness that blows away any cloying webs and wafts forward on a buoyant updraft of convincing music.  The generous blend and the complementary facets are easily digested and the moments when a focused drive is injected the song rises higher than at first considered.  A fine moment!

'Identical' is rather drifted in affect and floats through the sonic stratosphere rather than soars along and creating a sonic boom within the attentive substrate.  If cacophonic climactic conditions are sought then this episode of noise is best describe as 'clement', an offering with a mild touch and without threat or danger of any kind.  As you may have guessed, despite the exactitude of the execution, I am not that keen and find the flavours rather insipid.  This does not make it an ill-timed or clumsily played product, it just makes it one that doesn't provoke my inner core to spill positivity and praise.  'Up To The Top' is a very professional sounding song with a post-punk feel cruising alongside a more rocked up rhythm that adds sufficient weight without being too opposing.  There are no jarring intrusions or out of sync switch-outs, what we get is a complimentary ride with a band very much in an erudite comfort zone and with a sound that can appeal inside and outside many sub-generic niches.  The vocals are lucid throughout, the strings snazzy and varying the textures with ease - I have no gripes!

'Asylum' is a robust tune that holds its own and flies high, swoops low and picks up within its grasping claws our unwitting attention.  It is a theatrical piece in some ways, a construct that provides a good blend of the clean cut mixed with general hard struck chordage.  When the drums are slapped with intent and the guitars clash the greatest success is had and the song gets an elevation worthy of the band at the helm.  It may not be my bag of boom but I can smell a good effort going on!  'Warm Engine'  is pleasantness incarnate held aloft on a coffee smoked comfort borne from relaxed realms of deliberate forethought and tepid tones and made for those with weak digestive systems.  This is a middle-of-the-road session of soft rock that moves with a consistent purpose and has no real flaws but also as no real plus points, although the back end shift of all components is dramatic.  I do find this one just a safe and steady inclusion, I stand with disinterest showing on my face. 

I take the last 4 in a very quick and all-embracing stride (tis only fair on the peruser don't ya know) and pick up on 'Homecoming' as a crisp and vibrant composite with a sound oceanic roll of all compartments thus making for a healthy and somewhat robust offering that has a consistent flamboyance without being overly vulgar.  'Os And 1s' jumps from outside the norm and clashes with greater freedom, bashes with a more open handed liberation and thus emanates a vibration that seems less rehearsed and with a greater crudity in certain parts.  That appeals to my DIY core, the extra polish here and there has me thinking and suggests something with longevity may be on my lap - come back in 10 years time and I might have a definite answer.  The penultimate effort and voluminous rolls of noise take charge with 'Closing Time' a slow and threatening number walking on lengthy strides that seem to ache with intent but which melt into something fluffed rather than fucked.  This I deem a mistake and rather than whip up the listener before the last we are serenaded and soothed which, paradoxically, gets me all tensed up.  The band play out matters well, they just leave me at the back of the pack muttering my frustrations (it is a regular occurrence).  We shut down with 'Halfway', a song adorned with the same rhythmic raiment’s that have cloaked the previous indulgences.  The vocal style is sub-whispered, the first verse is stripped to the bass and skin waist with the guitar called upon as an escort to the chorus proper.  Here we see the band release and whip up a greater energy but all the while they keep things distinctly cared for and...perhaps overly attended to.  The blend of all areas is exact, the production room staff have done their job, we are left with some clean and tidy rock for those without pimples and without warts - oh heck!

I am convinced and unconvinced in the same tapping out of a sentence here and can see the good and the bad from an objective and subjective point of view.  I am outside of many boxes and so assess with neutrality as best as I can and I think the band under the microscope are more than capable, stay within certain confines and have the ability to produce something extra special along their way.  Whether this will happen is a different matter, what you get here is solid enough but leaves nothing memorable behind.

 

ACID CANNIBALS - WHY NOT EVERY NIGHT

First and 'Are We Metal', spasms in, flourishes and flies with captivating pace into the twat-tastic discharge that immediately exposes players with hearts on fire, arses filled with animation and souls that are acoustically hungry.  The underscore of grubby and abrasive noise is worked through with energetic tympanic application and given life therein.  The chorus is simple, it asks a question that I for one couldn't give a toss about.  All these fuckin' labels and genres are all well and good but sometimes can be a divisive impediment and mar one's overall opinion (if one is so easily swung).  I take several bites from the flesh of this pugnacious and free-punching number and come out with a maw filled with bloodied pleasure.  The winning aspect is the thirst shown but do not underestimate the way the molten lava flows - liquid man, liquid!

'Boy Music' starts in cruddy fashion with a corrosive mix of machinery hinting at some kind of industrial hardcore.  The vocal application banishes these thoughts with a blend of the gliding and the grinding.  There are chops and changes, angular attacks and moments that condemned the nervous system to level 'troubled'.  The band throw together their mix without thought of genre-restraining shackles and here move through their shit-filled gears with a resolute drive that sees them perhaps trespass outside your circle.  Pollution levels are dangerous, the soiled palette is indulged in and an offensive glory is achieved - is that good enough for ya?

'Light The Rightning' is a heaving bastard of nastiness, tumble-twatting with injurious excitement that tears up the health and safety manual and dips many open wounds in a festering fuck bowl of bacteria laden sewage.  The band seem to be in an embryonic stage where raw frustrations are still being manifested and an internal raping of the existence is taking place.  From confusion and chaos something akin to a product is shat forth, I poke with an assessing stick, scratch and sniff with tentative hands and still come out...unsure.

The fuck down, shit down, wipe out comes via 'I Put My Fist In The Air And Disappear' - a grime grind that has great revolutions in the rhythmic wheel and throws its shit-heavy punches with fiery venom.  The musical assault is a blazing rag dangled over the expelling shit-hole of an aching beast of frustration.  The stench expelled is ignited, the result is a toxic mix that has elements not to everyone's taste, in fact it will be a minority who indulge in a smoking of the fart.  Myself, well I like to mix and match, this is fine by me although not crucial crud I will be over-indulging in, I think that is fair!

A dirty dick of a CD, brandished and thrusted with spite and of its own brand.  A mix of several styles with a DIY blend, I think the band have better things to come, I treat this as an aperitif before a better blow out, keep in tune folks!

   

BARREN WOMB - OLD MONEY/NEW LOWS

Hailed as a noise rock duo from Trondheim, Norway the two buggers at the helm use the usual array of musical instruments - sticks on skins, fingers on frets, gobs on your aural membrane and simply ram it home with riffed up desire to make their point.  Sounds simple doesn't it - but the proof is in the musical pudding and this Little Jack Horner is sticking his thumb right in and any stinking plums will be duly outed and put into the compost bin of honesty.  I take my seat, indulge, digest and have the following opinion:-

'Crook Look' advances on bloodied knees, stutters and staggers on thumps of the tub before the fused throat strains out its diatribe and strained lyrical weavings.  Initial restraint is thrown off and a more forceful, punked up aggression is had whilst the machine-like mush rolls onward and the cogs and gears grind away with deliberate determination.  Corruption is called out, how can it make a difference in times when everyone is told to live their life and all are on the me, me, make!  This is a slow coiling serpent of sound that needs slow consideration before being judged.  I listen over and over, the lack of fluidity impedes my vote of confidence but it is a hurtful and ill-tempered piece - not bad at all but not a moment to invigorate one into pinging action!  'Mystery Heat' is a hammering blow-out that sees all pistons pump blood, all spark plugs ignite inner anger, the exhaust billow out searing plumes of head-melting toxicity!  The lead lout orally bleeds, the back boom of sound is reckless but organised - what we get is a pounding to admire.  The band choose the tortuous route, clobber away like they have a destination to be met.  The intoxicating mix is puffed out in harmful plumes that pollute the listening space and give one very little room to manoeuvre or...complain.  It is perhaps an acquired taste that spills from the speakers, one that is corrosive on the receptors and maybe a little too harsh for some but, the fact remains, this is strong music and played with a relish!

'Theory Of Anything' is a clanking hammer on the anvil of your mind and pounds away causing cerebral chunks to fly in many ways and make the assessing process all the more difficult.  The gob hollers with licking flames of magnetism, the backdrop of noise is, in the main, like a dysfunctioning machine on the brink of a full on collapse - from here danger reins.  Brief pseudo-chorus cuts are tossed into the mechanics, it tempers the upsetting bomb blast but I find this one a little too uncontrolled for its own good and not providing enough tonal conflict.  'Slumlord Millionaire' falls through the door of silence like a cripple on a seizure and spouts its poetical puke via a spasmed sonic backlash that heaves, contracts and lets loose throughout an episode of challenging tumult.  A hefty shift of sound this one, a slab of constipated cacophony aching with much griping industry and gnawing intensity that, when the mood isn't right, may just cause the listener untold trouble.  When the emotive balance is just right and volume added this though may be the tuned up tonic the Doctor of Discordance ordered - there is only one thing you needed do!  'Cave Dweller' begins with a great groove and follows with much anguish emitted from the throat.  The accent is salted and peppered in a smokehouse of imposing fumes.  The smelting action obviously taken emits a noticeable thermality and relies on this heat output rather than any outrageous flamboyance and idiot decoration.  Initially I get right into this one, the groove shifts my gears, the slap around where drums and strings let it all hang loose is motivating and note is made of a potential grower with perhaps more layers to examine.  It is mixed well and delivered with authority - rock on baby!

'Drive Thru-Liquor Store' is perhaps the greatest advance of sound thus far, a very sinuously muscular movement of prowling noise that postures and punishes in equal measure with the pace levels and wealth of industry combining to give the boldest impression yet.  The creep unfolds into a focused crawl, the crawl soon becomes a looming march, the march becomes a mad dash of fury.  The song becomes something more and although of the shortest running time there is far more to witness than on lengthier escapades - maybe my punk nature dictates!

'Mad 187 Skills' begins with lasses hollering before a riff and roll grind out hip-thrusts with blatant vulgarity.  The song here is armed to the teeth and comes out throwing some good bombs from a sonic shoulder well-muscled.  As things progress I feel though that matters become diluted and the impact is stretched and eventually lost.  Tis a shame and a lesson in how over-cooking a molten recipe can burn ones backside.  All is not lost those as moments still come to move the bowels, I just would have preferred a minute or so shaving off the construction - I am a fussy bugger!

The closure known as 'Russian Handkerchief' is a slow and direct motion of ascending magnitude, built on a regular foundation not to be undermined anytime soon.  The plod progresses, the band add more resounding strokes and move with slow overwhelming waves through what I deem to be a track that outstays its welcome.  This is still a strong and bold effort with the musicians at the helm in one accord and advancing with graceful power, it is just the running time that niggles me again - what an awkward git hey?

That is it, the Norwegians have been noisily nobbed and I have said my piece.  There is a good focus within the delivery and something that may transcend the crews own inner circle of sound.  It takes all sorts so they say, well if that is the case have a tootle down this avenue of acoustic backlash and see what tha' thinks!

   

SPEILBERGS - DISTANT STAR

A power-trio, one who move in with a certain thrust of all elements and strive to make that oh so crucial 'impact' factor.  Hailing form Oslo the band are relatively new boomers on the busted block and here we have 5 tracks to toss around the palate or toss in the trashcan of, ahem...tossology!  I waste no time here, it is a commodity I am keen to maximise the potential of, here goes a 5 card reviewing trick.

The stark reality of 'We Are All Going To Die' tympanically terrorises with a repeat skin roll of military persuasion that initially stampedes the resonances of the song into the eavesdropping bonse.  The strings chug to the beat, something machine-like strikes one with galloping force whilst all the while I am having visions of mid-80's copulations found in underground dens of alternative iniquity.  There is a great escapism found here, borne of moors blown, open vistas slapped through via an artists abandoned brush.  This fresh and breezy approach helps the song succeed and gives one a dynamic affect laden with eternal momentum.  This is a good animated piece of kit, I wonder what will come next?  'Daisy.  It's The New Me' switches on, holds its digital breath before tiptoeing along on wired waves that are yet again borne from a time of hefty hair, loose clothes and semi-commercial sensations.  The band plough out a mix here that is instantly elevated but rather than cough up great contrast and a switch from the smooth to the corrugated they deliver a consistent shimmer that has its vitality diluted and stretched out over a lengthy playing surface.  The outcome is of a tune that I feel should have been so much more.  I go into track three now split down the middle!

'Ghost Boy' sidles to the forefront of our attention on a gothic phosphorescence that eventually gets escorted by shimmered and regulated pulses of encouragement as well as cautious lullaby murmurings.  It is a teasing and yet tepid opening and as the song settles into its modus operandi I feel as though a theme has been set and no uplifting highs are going to be had.  A withdrawn opalescent suggestion is never allowed to develop into a lustrous demanding statement and as I further indulge the more I become more...disinterested.  A rear end flourish comes a little too late, I remain disappointed.

'Distant Star' orbits the reactors with a fizzing crispness and a greater fire in the tail.  The glow radiated comes from all components thermally activated in unison and the purpose of the song seems to be the strongest so far. We hit an asteroid belt of injurious proportions that knocks the flow from the song but the early resonations hold on to the cranial cobwebbery and when I replay are easily trotted along with.  I dabble several more times, discover deeper elements, all quite popped rather than slopped and with a little more refinement a certain commercialised level of success could be achieved - blah!  We close, appropriately enough, with 'Setting Sun' a crepuscular cool down of a languid lilt and idling methodology appealing no doubt to those in need of a 'chill' time as well as those who don't want their listening heads turned to mush.  The quiet and uncomplicated pitter patter of this slowly thoughtful composition is all well and good although there are no defining vines of vibrology that I can clutch at and all the while, whilst attempting to become more entangled, I find myself falling free and remaining uninvolved.

I am not a fan of this release, I had a tickle early on, I felt hope arising and then, during the wind down I had my interests wain.  This is a personal viewpoint, as are all CD reviews no matter what the fuckers tell ya, and as per, this does not make what is written absolute gospel.  My opinion is of a tentative effort lacking the killer punch, sometimes people prefer that...I don't!

   

MARTHA FFION - SUNDAY BEST

A message, a request, a leap outside many boxes and a fuck-it and see approach.  Martha Ffion is a solo-artist who has Irish roots, lives in Glasgow and pens soft ballad-esque tunes that are tattooed with an exploratory nature.  It is an intriguing mix and although it is one of the most unlikely reviews you would expect this cantankerous spiked pig to do I maintain that stepping into areas not routine is always the best way to operate.  I switch on and roll around the palette and contemplate what the Hell I have let myself in for.  It is a good move and after much mastication and mulling I put fingertip to keyboard and cultivate some feedback.

The instant suggestions I pick up on via the opening track, 'Missing You' are of Spectre-ised tones that radiate a certain hollowed impeccability thus emanating a naive and minimalistic approach ideal for emphasising the components at play.  The stark arrangement is a genuine risk as the solo artist is left abandoned and exposed and in danger of falling flat on her oral face.  Fortunately the peril of embarrassment is a passing thought as our vocal donator passes her introductory examination with flying colours.  The clarity, subtle texture and throw-back essence all copulate and give birth to a showcase that indicates a warbler of lofty standard.  The sweetness of this opening gambit is not lost even on this spiked bugger, I advance intrigued.  'Real Love' follows a more modern-day commercialisation but avoids a full-on collapse into that cruddy pit by keeping the verses cute and controlled.  There is a charm at work, one that captures a youthfulness of popsicle sound, perhaps best suited to a monochrome time when we were less clued in and unaware of the ills and evils of everyday life.  There is a definite need for this floating cloud of sound, an escapist elevation of quite uncomplicated comfort that eases the soul and at the same time gently intrigues - I complain not!

'Take Your Love' is a wonderful peregrination across love-troubled realms that gently caresses the pondering senses with uplifts of purified air delicately pushed forth from lips of thoughtfulness.  The verse moves with caution, the chorus is poured like the most fragrant cream, borne from vessels of yore when Hollywood's lasses from a monochrome era bore worries of losing one’s looks and being ousted by a younger figure of adoration.  Tis a short and mesmerising moment followed by the hovering 'Punch Drunk', a more serious affair ideally created for a shimmering backdrop of oceanic expanse and sunset skies.  The twilight tinkerings have a spaciousness, a feeling of liberation that is sobered by an acceptance of reality.  The tones are blended to an exactness rarely tasted, the vocals forever stay afloat on the rippled rhythms, the overall sensation is one of sublime success and I submit my applause!

'Record Sleeves', 'No Applause' and 'Lead Balloon' are a delightful ménage de trois with innocence not corrupted and a soft eiderdown easiness readily reclined in.  The first of the 3 is youthful and has a vibrating vivacity that nibbles away at the listening lobes and convinces one of an inescapable seduction.  The cajoling is sun-tinted, warm and unrushed, I am a mere music mortal - I'd be a fool turn down these acoustic advances.  There may be lipstick on my collar but everything is above board!  The second song clashes in with great tumbling gusto before taking to the breeze and emitting its own sonic pollen in the usual heady style.  The appearance here is of a slowly shifting  tune of slightly disjointed angles that somehow, with slight concentration and a certain care, reveals itself to be a quite likeable effort with inner gumption and alternative fragrances not previously radiated.  One to take ones time with methinks.  The last of the copulating trio is an oddment that uses a sparsity of sound that develops with each rotation and comes across as a crisp, acoustic session encouraged by the babbling bass and consistent skin and cymbal taps.  A carefree languidness is partaken of, a sub-flavour that enhances all areas - I am way out of the zone where I find release here but I will not be denied the right to say that this is a lemonade refresh in the midst of a fire water scorching - I like that!

'We Make Do' brings visions of clockwork ballerinas emerging from a slumber in a most hesitant and sub-introverted way.  The movements ache with a quaint struggle, reminiscent of that climb from the cradle to the patter of tiny feet  or from the pupal case to the flutter of airborne wing.  The embryonic sensations have archaic touches too which all adds to the fascinating profundity of this honey-coated number - lovely.  'Beach' is a trip of stabilising smoothness that only ruffles the hair in the slightest way and leaves one with a sensation of something unfulfilled.  The song seems laden with regret, looks back on an era of hope and when time was creeping upon the tootsies of innocecet without one being aware.  This is a somewhat tepid number and floats along with very little uplift and so leaves me with something not as memorable as those that which has been granted thus far.  I listen several times extra, as a stand-alone greater success is found.  We close with the countrified yarn called 'Baltimore', a slow waltz of a number that curdles my juices and leaves me...cringing.  I hate this kind of tale-telling bumpkin-ised soppiness and despite the fact that is played quite delightfully I am just not taken with this sub-generic shizzle - tis a shame to sign off on such a duff note.

Overall, despite my background and the polarity that is had between this song and my sonic stance, I can honestly say this is a decent dabble into the world of delicate discordance and is so clean, pure and absorbing that even my scuzzed and scratched soul can pick up on the merits of the melody.  For me, if anything I come across is destined for bigger things I usually have an inkling, I have a twitch here, I think it is well justified, we shall see!

   

BLEED - NOT SO QUIET

From the crummy infected arteries of a West Yorkshire shitheap runs a lifeblood not to be denied and is there, for anybody willing to take the time, to fuckin' gorge upon.  The Bleed that comes is bubbling up with roaring ill-temper and throat searing mania and having played a few gigs for yours truly, hammered out several CD's for my foul self to assess so far, I have been quite taken with the ferocity and incessant rage.  My only gripe is that there has been a distinct lack of variation in pace and that is what I expect here.  The band look like a bunch of stubborn bastards and are zoned in to what they do so I am not holding my breath, let us wait and see shall we.

'Same Old Story' is a strong starter, heavily spiced with the hard condiments of cruel cacophony that are poured onto your palette with deliberate intent.  The opening strokes are given blue-light assistance, the threat levels are high and what comes is typical of a spite-hitting, substrate dwelling unit who shovel shit with muscular intent and fling it as far as they can with heavy industry.  The content alas doesn't tickle my fancy as that timeworn punk holler of A. C. A. B. is one I don't concur with and find it an overstatement of the most ludicrous order.  Of course some coppers are bastards (I have encountered a few) but some are trying to do a decent job and help out a society that can't look after itself.  The style of this one lacks overall frills, rolls on for too long and although it is ground in your face with authority I remain clutching at the card marked 'par for the course'.  Thankfully this dubious commencement is soon banished an my seeming polemic stance is altered when 'Fuck Your Scene' bursts forth, says it how it is and pisses in the face of the PC brigade and backslapping bum-wipes who have, in many ways, lessened the strength of the scene and made just one too many socialised niches.  This song goes straight for the central nervous system, shakes it up like a dog with a blooded bone and tears the flesh of resistance.  Of course the artillery used is sharp-edged, it goes without saying the band are foaming at the mouth and, you will be pleased to know, that there are bollocks exposed here and a spiked stoutness that some may be upset by - bonus.  The band goes through the drill and closes down with an instrumental flourish - weighty man, weighty!

'Something To Believe In' and 'Vigilante' both screw up their cacophonic countenances and hammer home a double ender that is riddled with blood stained sweat and relentless heavy duty riffery.  The drive is harsh, fully focused and as per, without a single let up.  The second song has the greatest danger levels with all pistons belting out at full force and expanding an already swollen gut of grabbing noise.  Both songs are best taken as a double-dropped disaster dabble - you may come out worse for wear or fuckin' delightfully bomb-blasted - I have warned you.

A quick triple, 'Fuck Authority', 'Us & Them' and 'Dissatisfied' are as brutal as you could want and offer up more relentless raving from a band on fire.  The first of the fiery three stops and starts before getting the noggin down and stampeding with a forthright drive not to be denied.  We all have a streak of defiance, sometimes it needs provoking and this jack-hammer bastard is the way to do it.  The second of this defiant batch puts forth the question of barriers and how many are on one side and never allowed to have a place in certain circles.  This divisive scenario is omnipresent and smacks of people’s insecurities and need to plot and plan for their own ends.  This isn't my favourite song, it disappears into the pack a little too easily although it does have its own subtle character.  It is one of those tracks that starts, continues and finishes on one level playing field - I wanted more.  The last fling is a burst of tearing frustration, an example of what brings the band to the noise making table and why they keep banging their fists with such gusto.  This is the classiest crippler of the 3 brain-blasting pieces and exposes a slick fluidity broken only by machine-gun frenzies that mow down the unwary with relative ease.  The aggression is tempered by some emotive guitar subtleties and the hunger and passion are enhanced by the odd grunt and usual relentless mania.  Taken from the pack and played with venom this is a good piece to recharge the batteries.  A behemoth waiting to rise from the substrate of your indifference.

'Malicious Damage' and 'Fuck You' are the next 2 hammering bastards to kick your guts out.  The first seems to glide in on tempered tones and I find myself in a state of 'wonder'.  Will the band cool things down or am I being given a false sense of security cum hope.  Eventually all is revealed as the band carve into your flesh with another unapologetic blade.  This is one for those on the cusp of an explosion, it may very well push them over the edge.  The second song is the best of the lot and sees the band combine their vicious violence with a superb glass-light skank that oozes energy, texture and alternative essences very much needed.  When the gob begins to holler we are refreshed and ready to rock anew - this song has the ability to raise the spirits, induce a dance but all the while keep the rage burning with an incandescent glow.  I like that and a fuckin' like this song...a lot!

Last 3 ya bastards and 'Wasted Nights' starts in head down style, billows away and spouts off about the times when only noise and beer mattered and the head was relieved of all the everyday stresses and strains.  We should all know what this song is about and recognise those many splendid affairs when the head was rattled and we were in the zone.  As cheap as chips - booze, glue, fags and racket - yeah.  This one strikes a chord, there is a pride in the product - and so there should be!  'Us And Them (Instrumental)' is at it says on the tin and rushes along with good fluidity and texture taking us into the last with easy application - this would have made a good closure but the lads throw one more into the fray, namely 'Not So Quiet On The Western', a regular run out that sees no new sonic stones turned over and no new thrills sent my way.  It is a steady chuck out of the usual style, I was happy to be done with the instrumental but obviously a last blow out was needed - it happens, can you take it?

Bleed hurt, Bleed take no prisoners, Bleed do it their way - who am I to complain?  Well despite another beefy and admirable listen I demand that they kick up the dust and take some severe risks with their next offering and add an assortment of flavours into the mix to test themselves and the listener’s interest.  A couple of tracks here give hint at some great promise, I sit back, replay and...wait!

   

ELECTRIC JAGUAR BABY - OLD SONGS FROM BEYOND

5 fuzz filled songs here squeezed out with a certain high-grilled intensity to sear the neural membrane.  The creators are a pair of Parisian meddlers zoned in on generating a whirlpool of unhealthy noise that will hopefully have enough toxicity to seduce the listener and reduce them to observant appreciators.  The fumes have somehow been wafted my way, as ever I am taking a good lungful, letting the pollutants do their thing and coughing assessing globules in return - tis better than doing fuck all.

I heave, retch, clear the bags of wind and spit - the first track is a cover 'Foxy Lady' no less, that Hendrix croon laden effort with sultrified sex and big riffs.  The EJB two tackle the song head on and whilst sticking to the main tramlines of tonality they make sure they take the odd detour and concoct several pleasing colliding incidents.  The mix is borne from the industrial garage with all implement used to construct this vibrating vehicle brandished with a certain abandoned and unprocessed angle.  The song here has much appeal and still continues that slaggy, almost care-free easiness that was found in the original cut as well as the general uncouth power that pulverised many a mallet-head - this is no bad thing.  The opening cuts to 'El Diablo' are almost akin to some chainsaw massacre with the following plod and clatter a cruddy scuzz of melodic flavour designed for those with an acquired palette for all things...scummed.  There is enough swing in the posted resonations to get one's booty rocking and rolling and all the while a certain miasma of acoustic filth invades.  Don't expect a clean-cut listening experience here, you will be a trifle irritated if you do.

'Can't Stop' is the pick of the pops for me with a steady repeat beat interspersed with unleashed assaults all aimed at reducing your will to molten shit of insignificance.  The clash of styles is a strong contrast with both aspects coming together and rebounding with a deliberate and decisive force.  Here, more than anywhere else on this 5 track fiasco, the crew expose the greatest mental uncertainty and a charming suggestion of insanity which only adds spice to an already titivating dish.  The relentless push of this muscular song is worthy of much time - delve, discover, disgust yourself. 'The Shrine' moves in with punctuating purpose before briefly bulldozing and then opting for a quite stripped out chorus advance.  The thermals rise, the chorus is harsh and the overall gist I get from this one is of a woodpecking penetrator that nags and gnaws with a reason to ruffle.  The diced delivery is sub-grungey but with added pace, the freer-flown bursts give extra energy to matters and so keep one intrigued.  All the while I feel this song needs work, more from the listener than the player and therefore, with each rotation, higher success and satisfaction will be had.

The last spectre to haunt our attentive caverns floats by under the appellation of 'Ghost'.  It creeps in on wary limbs before collapsing in a vulgar heap and dragging its carcass along an uneven substrate of sound with an almost sickening and insistent slant.  The swing is subtle and deliberate, the mush of sound not easily digested and in some respects, unappealing to the tender parts of the lug.  The overall shift of the sonic shittery leaves behind a skid-marked scarring rather than a tattoo of triumph - no, not my favourite moment that is for sure.

So, a 5-cornered oddment that has points to ponder, points to be pleased by and the odd incident to be made flaccid by.  There is plenty of weight and intent behind the output though and it offers a dirty niche in which to escape that which is the more commonplace - I reckon another 5 track release would be a good follow-up and give this reviewer a deeper insight into where these noise makers can go.

   

CORPORATION POP - MEET ME BY THE VIADUCT

I am from Wigan, I am now a resident of Stockport, 20+ years I have been in this area and it has its good points, it has its bad point - the council, the small town mentality, the unwillingness to escape affect both zones, but isn't that a case of this obscene and septic land?  Anyway, the artist under the spotlight here is from the sub-Manchester sprawl, is a poet who manipulates her words above a soundscape of stark intent and who, along the way, offers up a likeable disdain and dry, insightful wit.  Only 4 tracks to toss around the palette here, I take my time as per!

'Seven Miles South' is laid atop a substrate of sound that is sober, subdued and morose.  The poetical weavings could relate to many a neglected shitheap where concrete and corruption has combined to become a dulling overlord that dumbs down hopes, ambitions and creativity.  Some people have a pride in their hometown, I pick on that emotion here, albeit in a level-headed and perverse kind of way.  People are highly capable of contributing to a downfall, here is an example, that miniaturised mentality is a hypnotising trick, it is a disease to watch.  This opening snippet has its own sardonic slant but there is a polite fondness and charm that comes through - perhaps those with the aforementioned 'pride' can reveal more layers, who knows?  'Ted Hughes' stays tempered and lo-fi with a sedate and stated series of words placed one after the other in the hope of arousing visions and perhaps an empathy towards those who have been forced into the so-called new-age.  Is today better than yesterday or did that time of yore have layers of shit we now file as 'unseen'.  This slow moving play of almost ambiguous weaving has its own personal slant on matters - whatever they are may just be irrelevant as long as you have your thoughtful juices provoked.

'Blood On The Bedroom Curtains' has fond dreams of then, not now, - we have a rose-tinted blend of something more underhand with a suggestion that all is not what it seems.  What is the focus of this arrangement? Are things all in hand or is there some lurking danger that makes Mother worry?  Is it all a parental way of life, a hereditary strain of stress that keeps one alert?  The runaway wants freedom, the guardian wants to keep the nest in tact - the delivery is paced with an exactitude to give time to guess - is this a good thing?  I think so!

We rinse out this poetical EP with 'Bleach'.  Perhaps my favourite effort due to its insight into social life and the way it reveals many murky goings on that seem so banal, so aggravatingly irritating but which, in some warped way, make many the urbanised and crushed…operate.  The minor waffle, the disrespect, the inability for people to get on no matter what their level of social standing are all examined.  Beneath this offering and, as a matter of fact, all the rest of these knitted ponderings, I sense a certain bewilderment, a dissatisfaction and a realisation that things are doomed.  Paradoxically life is highlighted and given importance beyond what the emotion suggests - I like the fact that we are perhaps tied in cerebral knots!

4 tracks, 4 to test the noggin perhaps and 4 to use as a stepping stone onto further riddled roamings.  It would be too easy to over-analyse these driftings and try and reveal things that aren't there and things that perhaps are - all one can do is go with one’s own piqued core and let thoughts spill as they come.  For what it is, this isn't bad, where one goes from here though is anyone's guess?  I shall hopefully find out!

   
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