FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 5
FRANZ NICOLAY - DOUBLE A-SIDE SINGLE
A one man music machine here catapulting out 2 tracks on the reliable Make That A Take Label and giving many a mundane scene-ensnared noggin much to think about. The Brooklyn based maestro does his fair share of literary and melodic shit and if you check out the dude’s site (franznicolay.com) you'll find out about how many gears this guy has actually shifted through in his career thus far. He has also made several TV show appearances and seems to be a regular man about town all of which concerns me not as I am only here to deal with the music at hand and give my due review. Respect though must go to the effort poured in, better than being a willing victim of inertia methinks. So without further fucking around the pole of insignificance I leap forth and am met with...
The initial subterranean clankings of 'Low Bridge, Head Down', an emerging piece that germinates and grows on varied shoots of sonic searching and bears leaves of developmental hesitancy. A close swirl of draughted application occurs and the sway within this living entity is perilous and one is always uncertain as to whether or not a full on end bloom will arise. Numerous buds appear almost in trial and error fashion and are escorted by a vague, ambiguous arrangement that creases the brow with disconcerting discomfort. What we get is a pot pourrii of hesitant essences not fully combining to make a final appealing flourish and in due course, it goes without saying, that flowers of frustration will be borne. An intricate song with much to dwell upon but, as my honesty must take precedence, I find this one not to my liking.
The second song of this two track tempter is slaved as 'Home Is Where They Take You In', a countrified jaunt that captures wholesome acoustics and homely adornments and comes up with a saloon bar treat built around certain opinions and observations. A wanderers sing-a-long ditty that is superbly mixed, awash with exacting delicacies and fluttering on self-made thermals that are neither too searing nor too settled. The balance is just right here and from an opening tune that I can barely stand the taste of to one I am more than happy to bite deeply into. When listened to several times over it is remarkable how simple in construct the song is which highlights what experienced hands can make out of very little.
You should have no reason not to dabble here, it is only two tracks and will take approximately six and a half minutes of your time. I reckon many will agree with my verdict and some will undoubtedly disagree - I ain't far off the mark though!
DON BLAKE - POCKET UNIVERSE
Don Blake are a pop band playing chewy bugglegum offerings that have flavours easily enjoyed and easily spat out when done with (a punk facet so often overlooked). As a result the tuneage doesn't take a great deal of bonse scratching and discombobulating cerebral mayhem before digit is put to keyboard to tap out a fair and hopefully accurate review. Sprouting from Bolton this lot have obvious influences, have much experience and adopt a name of the host for an Asgardian God (oooh the arrogant bastards). And so, with the expectation levels lofted, my lugs wired up for more acoustic bombardments, I get the head down and aim for an assessing bulls-eye or somewhere there abouts - bah. To keep me entertained along the way I'll adopt a theme and seeing as the band started the comic route I'll bloody well stick with it and attempt at a comparison based construction.
2 more and the uplifting joys of 'The Plan' dance to the fore next and offer a musical pathway that avoids unnecessary perambulation into external opposing pastures and so sticks to boundaries set. In many instances this could hinder the flow but not so here, we have a sleek law abiding creation that is adorned in well groomed chords and is ideally oiled with cushy slushy vibes. The vocal style is orderly and effective and has a certain creamy quality that lets it spill our way without hindrance - a nice track as smooth as Aquaman is through the surging waters (Ok a DC character, blasphemy indeed). 'King Of The World' is a sugar and shit number, one moment tasting all sweet the next curling the tongue upward and away from the disagreeable flavour. The verse is upbeat, bubbling and alive whereas I find the chorus cut numbing, languid and with a dead eyed drone that appeals not one jot. Just one of those moments that are best compared to eating a crap filled cake - at first nibble the taste is encouraging but when a further chomp is taken a mouthful of uncomfortable faecal matter offends - you get the drift and I fuck off forward before spreading the muck a little too far. Oh just to add this bears similarity to the old Captain America films starring Reb Brown, check em' out and you'll know what I mean.
Brace 3 begins, 'Things You Should Have Done And Should Have Said' cruises and power punches with well balanced effect and due to the tightness of the whole sonic shebang the band pull off a fair song that hunts down your acceptance and throws it to the ground and forces a reaction that is fully positive. Like Kraven the Hunter bearing down on his sought after prey this one is direct and zoned in to the task at hand. The same can be said of the more bass driven 'Towing Chain', a wide awake number that falls into line with all that has transpired and in some ways is a veritable doppelganger cum symbiote that takes many used components and rehashes them into another form. Of course Venom springs to mind as a comparison but the song is far from all-consuming and lacks any darker edges so perhaps maybe using The Chameleon may be a little closer to some semblance of accuracy (and it keeps the Russian theme).
Due to a high level of similar toned produce I am going to crack on at this point and finish with two brief fistfuls of four. Maybe not fantastical but you never know. Anyway let's go for it, I gotta keep things rolling.
'Existential Horror', 'Every Day', 'Any Better' and 'Don't Know When' all merge into one pink arsed gooey flat-line that will have those thoroughly immersed nodding away and gently swaying to the cushy rhythms set. Played on a loop and given generous attention nothing springs to the fore and kicks the nadgers of notice and we find a quartet without any obstreperous cunts to make a joyous example of opprobrium that will upset the applecart and create necessary danger within the weave. Just me perhaps, but I like bands to throw off the safety belts, drive with abandon and just swerve off track for the hell of it - hey ho. The highpoints of this more than solid foursome though are found within the opening 2 offerings with the first having a good wealth of 'on the leash' riffage and stated solidity wrapped with scuttle rushes to savour. The second chunk of tuneage has a tympanically active opening before strums and tinkles set the way for a quick burst that ends abruptly on the mellowest of tones. The last two are just there, neither bad nor good and failing to raise any inspired verbals from this cantankerous, ever munching...twat! Maybe this group is more a case of the Fanny-elastic Four but in this instance the elastic hasn't been stretch far enough and a distinct twang has been picked up on.
The last 4, as per, a chance to tersely taste rather than unnecessarily waste.
'Where Else Would I Want To Be' is The Flash. It punctuates and pauses before moving headlong with a charmed persuasiveness and a really sanguine assuredness that is no sooner started than done – ‘quick as a ‘ and there ain't nowt wrong with that. 1 minutes 5 seconds and a timely bail out and into 'Take The Hint And Just Go Home', a song tattooed with the usual cloud floating fragility and pushed along on a breeze of belief that blows with gusto. When pace is slightly upped the band shine brighter and the vocals ascend up the staircase of appreciation with toned toes left unstubbed - again all in place and as per - what more do ya want? The last 2 offer no change (is that a good thing) and choose to bring the CD to a closure with consistency unblemished, cacophony flat-lined, corruption left untouched (well 2 out of three ain't bad). 'Ticking Boxes' does just that I feel, in the most procedure drenched way and a totally ineffective style that reminds me of Dr Otto Octavius without his powerful limbs – crikey what a struggle. 'We Can Try', is a delicious ponder that shines with a dawn twinkled guitar flicker, moves on a tranquil mode of mood and survives to the finale due to a subtle wealth of oceanic emotion that moves languidly but has much liquid muscularity - a most accomplished closure shimmering in and out of textured focus like Sue Richards in the sun.
And there, my pop plucking perverts, is the review. A comfortable album, one that sticks to its own written agenda and plays a very safe hand that is in the main, faultless. If this kind of vibration doesn't quiver yer prostate gland or tremble your labial lips then from track one you will be left out of sync. However, if unrushed, well groomed pop punk is what gets yer privies pulsating then many a sexual sensation may be had. My undies have been stained throughout and although one or two flaccid moments have been achieved, that is just a matter of taste and I really shouldn't complain should I? Right time for a re-spin, pass the lube and the elastic bands (don't ask), here's to some more fun!
UK SUBS - YELLOW LEADER
The years have flown by, the highs and lows taken and overcome with a resolute focus that has seen many fall by the wayside but the machine that is the UK Subs rock forth. I remember chatting to the leader of the pack, one Charlie Harper, many years back about whether or not the band would ever complete their journey of alphabetical releases or would time deal them a cruel blow and bring about an abrupt termination. A wry smile, a glint in the peeper and I was assured that there was no rush and the book-like journey would have a full compliment of sonic chapters done all in good punky time. All these years on and we are now turning the page to part 'Y' with 'Yellow Leader' the latest effort and one, as of writing, is being gushed over by old stalwarts and modernised fans as well as many new band wagon comrades on a cheap trip to 'Popularville'. Having grown with the developing tunes and seen some distinct hits and some veritable shits along the way I take this one in my stride and as an ardent Subs fan I go in shaking free any crappy bias and slanted subjectivity - it would be rude not to. So in for a penny, in for a pound (£12.99 in fact) and I do my bit with reputation up for a ragging, pass me the skin thickener please - again!
More cultured and erudite wordage comes via the minor gem known as 'Bordeaux Red', a smart song that twists its serpentine ass in many ways and weaves an anti-war tale in impressive style. The musicians are kept alert and pull out many episodes of angularity with drums called upon to move in many ways so as to keep the architecture of the song appealing. A fully rocked up exponent offering with the procedure dodging application well received and applauded and stinking of more punk rock ethos than you may give it credit for. A thinking man's product, not a stinking mans piss patch! 'Chemical' cuts out a deliberate furrow via the opening bars before the vocals dreamily infuse the mix with a far away, sub-psychedelic feeling that swirls the set palette, even more so through the chorus. Drugged up zombification seems the intent amidst a chuggery that is mechanised and unyielding and I reckon the target aimed for is struck with capable accuracy. Not the most thrilling track in my opinion and one that is not saved by the guitar wank off, reliable rhythm and by being the predecessor to the fine typical spillage known as 'Deconstruct'. This is one of the reasons many of us are Subs fans, a cut out example of what the underlying vibe is that turns us on. It is a product that has an acoustic catch-line that has been well and truly flogged over the years but never so impressively as the way the Subs do it. The stated and raved wordage comes with flaring nostrils borne of ill temper and the pounding backdrop of sound is emphasised by a tribal drumbeat that will get our most primitive pogofied passions pulsating. It is a terse offering, donates nothing original and never intends to but, what a decent bout of basic blasting it is. The counterpunch is the slower and drawling 'Diatribe', a textured tune with a trilling undercore between regulated pulses that wear a total belt of safety that keeps all areas in secured check. A melodic massage is given with a comfortable balance of all tonality throughout and the band members keep themselves very much in check and tidily solid. A sweet trickle of a tune with a gentle nudge in the nadgers of the propagandist throwbacks (many of em' about tha' knows).
So the first set of 6 done and a hit and slightly miss affair but very much injected with familiar strains and sonic suggestions that will turn on the converted and the ones peeking in for the first time.
A nice fistful of 6 next and we open with the gratuitously entitled 'Feed The Whore', a metallic spasm wank of uneven wayfaring with free flowing infecting lyrics pouring from an open wound and causing much consternation no doubt. A very 'anti' song crawling along on defiant knees against the stampeding hoards who have heads screwed on backwards, eyes focused on self-need and desires not contributing one iota of goodness to the world in general. A dogged and defiant construct, an opposing piece and one I find quite worthwhile. 'Heathens' is a rib-rattling affair with a vicious anti-religion attack that, like most of these songs, mentions Christ but omits Allah, Buddah, Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti and other Gods - come now, let us have balance and not fear! The effort is a storming disjointed tear-up and a rally call to many non-believers to start to believe...in oneself. From the Tommy Gun mow down commencement through the consistent rage and rip up and toss hammering this one pummels the guts without thought for procedure and orthodox routine - I like that. 'Prime Evil blazes the set trail with a spiralling construct that twists through the innards, probes about and causes a melodic malaise that takes a trifle adjustment of the zoning lugs. Tempestuous, perturbed, skewed and rhythmically tetchy this throws the CD off balance and is one of those moments to get the nerve endings nettled - like many I reckon this will be enjoyed when the mood is right and slammed off when the head is awry! The same can't be said of the classic 'Rebellion Song, an effort I have recently reviewed on an Urban Dogs release and one that still has me convinced. If you haven't read the review of the aforementioned Dogs CD then tough shite - I ain't repeating myself but I will reiterate that this is an acoustic gem.
On a fair roll I continue with fingertips flashing and earholes ringing with 'Sin City Blues', 'Slave', 'Big Bug' and 'Suicidal Girl' all bound together in a big meaty morsel of assessing goodness - oh ye overfed twats! The first song of nutritious noise is a well hung rockin' dude with a well swung member of melody and big pendulous testes of ravenous relish thriving with life and buzzing with Harmonica assisted fervour. The buzz of the song is agreeable and only surpassed by the chasing ditties voracious vocal style that gobbles up all in its path and thrives further due to the marauding intent of sound and the hectic, epileptic savagery that throws huge haymaking lines at the traffickers of people and who delight at the shackling of others - cunts! An excellent boom completing a rewarding duo of dinnage with the third track, 'Big Bug', changing tack, being soaked in lovey dovey leanings and despite having much sonic strength not really grappling me to the floor and forcing a submission of appreciation. The lyrics are a bit weak, the delivery a bit slushy and the whole construct just doesn't tickle the emotive spot sought - a personal slant as per, agree or disagree at your leisure, I gotta go take my own honest route. 'Suicidal Girl' closes the quartet with an open, earthy and transparent hunk of beefy riffage that cuts a dash in established customary fashion with verses shouted and stated and choruses as simple as can be and just keeping the impetus going. A musical interlude, a hop back on track and done - clean as a whistle.
Striding forth to the impending finale with 'Virus' infecting the way with its spores of doom uncontrollably rampaging through provinces of decency and neighbourhoods of less aggressive noise-making. A real stink kicking assault that comes at you like the ancient pugilistic terror Harry Greb', otherwise known as 'The Pittsburgh Windmill', an all action fighter who was carved with unpredictability and had a swarming style that kept one reeling. The same can be said of the hard slamming chaser 'Cry Wolf', another very animated piece of dinnage that pulverises with activity and consumes with unyielding greed. Harper gobs off with is usual lungful of spirit whilst his accomplished cohorts cacophonise the acoustic arena after setting up power lunges behind wham bam jabs that get the attention just prior to the all out blitz. Flurries are frequent, set up straight armed slammers subtly thrown in - the end result is a demanding song that works you over and leaves a bruising impression. Out of sync next for a ghostly drift of misty tones and coffee table cruising with a necrophiliac’s treat smouldering slowly and emitting an incensed aroma of dreamy sinisterism. The overall feel may appear comforting but the subject matter is far from it - an odd moment but worthy of its place due to the angularity it offers. The unexpected cut off is a mistake though and a drift out and then a rise to the following instrumental burst would have been far better. '611' is a high flying closure that would have opened the CD in glorious style too (worth a thought for the next one) and with all players firing hard this is an ideal way to punctuate a solid CD - choice.
So there we go, another effective explosion from the UK Subs, a band I adore and one that I have kept tabs on since the 70's and have thoroughly enjoyed the ride with. This hasn't had me in a state of untold gushing, it isn't the bands best release but, at such a late stage in proceedings, it emphasises that the band have still got it, keep the passion raging and are still liable to keep you excited and enthused as much as ever. A few lows, many highs, a personal viewpoint and no fuckin' lies - as Fungalised as you like and if in fact you don't like it...do your fuckin' own review you lazy twats!
OBNOXIOUS UK - HORROR MOVIE MATINEE
Obnoxious UK have been around for some time now, have gone through the mire and had the usual struggle many bands face. They first played a Fungal gig 7 years ago, it was a good do in Halifax and showcased many talents with which OUK held their own. The band were a three-piece then, are now made up of four and have finally got their arses in gear and released an album. Here we have many old faves and several new horrified jaunts and if ever an album had a theme to be followed with textual wanderings this is it and of course, in true Fungal style, I won't. Many who review this will follow the terror trail and yet, despite a severe fascination with the horror genre (both written and cinematic) I'll scrawl out a review in a different way because doing the expected is utterly fatiguing and tiresome for the old turbulent noggin. So, if you don't wanna hear a slab of healthy truth done with instinctive spirit and forethought for the progression of the band then bail out now, pull your rip cord and land in a sweet safety circle of fat arsed convenience - blah.
'Drag Me To Hell' taps in, boogies on down into the netherworld of noise whilst the gobbage fights for a sense of recognition. A cemetery based shindig with an orthodox foot tapping mode taken rather than an aggressive snatch at some obstreperous roof raising angularity that throws all at the gateway in a completely off balance mode. Here, this refusal to be piercing and uproarious is tackled by the bands complete air-tight application and perspired passion to get a decent job done as well as the jumping bean tympanic pattern used. I like it although the same cannot be said of the less convincing donation scratched as 'Loaded Roadkill', a somewhat staggering runt that finds its feet, slips, regains a foothold and slips once more. Like a leprous dog on a one way ticket to death the limbs are shaky here and the finishing coat is manky wanky and very flea-bitten. Normally my slant is always aimed at things under-scrubbed but the band have a thematic thread going and need to nail these numbers in the chosen vain. Plenty of action, an abundance of open wounds but far from an attracting chunk of noise. 'Elvis is Dead' is bare basic punkage - crude, from slow to surging, repetitive and tongue-in-cheek and very much a pissed up sing-a-long moment - no rocket science involved, no grand adornments to enhance the shebang - it comes, splats, leaves a stain and is best left for you to decide how you will judge it.
I am split down the middle at this juncture and am sodden through with aggravating frustration as the band have talked a good talk, walked a steady walk and left me gagging, but...ah well but... let us cling on and make a full on verdict at the end.
Next up and a gruffy shit snuffler adopting the forthright approach once more. 'Burn' is a rattling number dripping from the same open vein as set and offering nothing original under the OUK sun. The vocals drag the chasing pack of musicians along and all components are kept animated and on the ball with no room to breathe and no time for tossing about. We still have a hollowed out feeling, a dirty din to choke on and the judgement is as per. 'Cadaver Doll' gets a big thumbs up due to unapologetic bias. It was a song that appeared on the SAS Movie, has served the band well over the years and hits all the right zones with me. Crisp and direct and just a personal favourite - apology you may expect but you won't get one , just go and check out this zipping song. 'God For A Day' is a firm footed devil that has well grounded roots and a solid spine of musical accuracy. There is no encroachment into realms of experimentation, no trespassing across fields of fiddling, no tiptoeing into minefields of meddling - no, what we get is straight ahead procedure with the captivating elements being the strong gobbage and liquid, easily embraced chorus. Sometimes the simplest route is the best one!
'Time For A Change' does not obey the titled command and dishes up imitating sonica, although this one is done with 'live pit' stop/start familiarity and is an odd song that always seems to be striving for a settled stance and a more established layout within the thread of noise. A curious song that always leaves me a little nonplussed with its swaying and slippery structure. Do I like it, do I hate it? In truth I just don't fuckin' know and perhaps that has got to be its most triumphant aspect - bah. Onwards and slow strung droplets fall, our vocal adventurer exposes more depth and highlights the fact that this band have a whole lot more possibilities more than perhaps they realise. From tender searching into more forceful roamings with the chance of a full on classic blown by the production mix and not having that inner belief to sonically splash at their leisure and not for the pleasure of others. A Fungalised grading system would pronounce this as a 'C+' with a strongly carved scrawl of 'could and must do better' the tag for the day. Tidy, ascending on gobbed thermality and with an emotive tattoo found throughout this is still a fair song but, well you know me...but, but, but!
4 to go and 1 bonus - time for a hotfoot to the concluding point of no return and investigate what tunes transpire.
'3 Dead Souls' is a fans fave, a delectable burst that has served the band well and here we get the latest edition of the song that...does nothing to improve upon itself - disappointing to say the least. Those who are not familiar with the ditty will no doubt enjoy this but those non-virginal eavesdroppers may get rankled by the lack of adventure and growth and so will undoubtedly fall into the category of crabbed and critical. The force of the song still leaves a good footprint on the flesh of the listener but soon fades and yet again it is another chance to enhance the bands armoury and reputation further missed - the silly, silly sods. 'Ginger Is A Werewolf', 'Iceman' and 'Amelia' all create the same cause for concern and my patience is akin to a skeletal marathon man - running thin (I know, shocking isn't it). The first of the three is compact and stable with a reliable rigidity but lacks true lycanthropic bite due to the same old reasons but the second slop out is a far more respectable song and really impresses me with its heavier, thudding sound that vibrates the very marrow in the bones and bulldozes out a positive reaction via the staunch and densely muscled delivery. The impetus is direct, stoked and smoked with an attitude of threat never lost even through the short catchy chorus repeats of 'Kill'. Nice and into 'Amelia' we go, another treasure chest golden oldie that requires an updated polishing and scrub up to keep the long term listeners enthused and to attract even more OUK fanatics. A fine liquid song with interspersed staggers and relentless stick pushes but...that word again...the Mr Sheen has been used sparingly and the glint I expected is a mere matt moment that never truly attracts the eyes and, more importantly, the ears. We shut down with the 'live' appealer and almost signature tune sub-skankiness of 'The Cottage Strangler', a delightful bout of tuneful tomfoolery that scoots along on happy heels and cavorting chordage. Nowt to get overly rankled by here, it is the last song and even this festering reviewer is sometimes prepared to chill - think on!
What you see is what you get as regards the review and although not glowing it isn't crippling either. I find many frustrations, several highs, one or two nadirs and although I personally didn't get what I want, many will indeed be pleased with the end result. I have made my case, stuck to my ethics and tried to be fair. Agree or disagree but the best way to answer would be with a review of your own - go on, it all helps the cause.
THE GENTLE SCARS - INVADERS
A multi-faceted crew of prodding and poking musicians here who stray on the precipice of many sub-generic whirlpools, extract appropriate sensations and re-mould into a mix of their very own that could easily slot, with suggestive discomfort, into various pigeonholes (now how convoluted and paradoxical does that seem). The end splash of sound that we get from these Liverpool racket creators is far from naive and far from low down and dirty and so gives hint of a band very much capable of breaking through the doors of ignorance and walls of utter sonic stupidity. Despite spending most of my time in the musical gutter with the struggling swines and overlooked beauties I am always up for traversing and, may it be said, trespassing into tuned pastures elsewhere. With 4 tracks here I do my tuned in best to capture what the fuck is actually transpiring!
'Shadow Of A Kiss' is once more back in the realms of monochrome thriller-style moodiness with a 60's edge prevalent and in cahoots with a modernised whore who offers further texturisation. An inner agony permeates the bleak soundscape, an exploring tentative nervousness hinders at first before the band hit more assured zones and move with greater heartfelt liquidity via something akin to a sub-chorus. The slow hypnotising swirl is fascinating and creates much room for thought with further visions had via an upsurge in momentum and desire. An instrumental passage takes us to the final shut down and twinges out leaving one quite incredulous that a song almost 8 minutes in length is over so quickly - seems like a compliment to me. We finish this 4 track release with the tumbledown shakeshack of 'Burton Buzz', a galloping song that doesn't raise any interest from this reviewer and seems a little too disjointed and overly whipped for its own good. Westernised strains intermingle with bluesed washes and countrified smearings and no matter how deep I delve I find myself coming up with nothing tangible to get excited about. Those more clued in to the aforementioned suggested genres may grasp things more assuredly and with greater understanding, it happens and as I always state 'I can't like everything'.
So 4 tracks from a new band on a different path than the usual fare that comes my way. I like to veer off and hear sonic treats from pastures new, it is always good for the soul. In the main here I have found much fertile fodder to graze upon over and over and despite treading into what I consider a closing cow pat (not ultimately true but it keeps the theme) I can honestly say this munching ungulate is quite pleased with the noisy nosh here! Moooooo!
TOTAL BLOODY CHAOS - VICIOUS INTENT
Total Bloody Chaos could be cubby-holed as an anarcho-crust band with many raging songs but for me that would becloud the intrinsic artistry and thoughtful machinations within the fabric of this feisty crew. These northern noise creators are a cultured outfit who glaringly exhibit a spiked hereditary, a leaning to all things corroded and clashing but, who have so much more to offer. Upon receiving this latest CD my sonic sensors perked up and I had many reasons to believe that my love globes would be throbbing with joy as the final track passed by. So, will I be left with dried prunes or bloated balloons, or in fact somewhere in between (ouch) - the answer can be found below.
all fade into a dominant shadow as a true behemoth arrives, takes all acclaim and douses the noggin with an episode of heartfelt emotion that is borne from real-life horror we should never see repeated. 'Scumbag I, II, III', is a real pertinent and thriving expulsion of living and breathing hate, disgust and downright frustration brought about by a heinous act built on ignorance and utter mindless stupidity. From the early tribal threat, the DK Cambodian overtones of stark horror and the frosted terror tones that invade the soul this gargantuan beast rises from an underworld of the suppressed and abused underdog and spits forth a most pertinent and convincing tirade against the sincerely lowest of the low. This is a thorough outburst of scorching injury, a wrenched eruption of broken hearts and a complete documentary style reality with the inner news reel words hitting home the full degrading brutality and sickening ignorance of what transpired on a fateful day back in 2007. What a moment to address that filthy occurrence, what a classic way to do it - songs like this make me proud to be on the outside of society, TBC take a bow for such a touching moment.
'Lunatics' zips things up, has a punked pizzazz that hurtles itself forth on pepped up ill temper and gravelly unsettled throat roars. A quick flash against macho violence and ape-like mentalities this harsh scouring of the pisspot of decency is totally welcomed by this tuned in reviewer. In and out in no nonsense style and a solid follow on from the aforementioned emotive overload. 'Mock The Weak' is similar in style but goes back to the duo vocal sex switch and thrives even more as a result. All action, drenched with animated flare-ups and given extra power by the incessantly battered and clattered tympanics, the high energy strings and the ravenous tonsil work. The coup de grâce is a superb rolling chant out that fades into oblivion but makes sure it has left a fist imprint in your doors of indifference - have that yer shits! More aggressive motor mouth madness next with 'Black' streaking along with greater pace and giving us nothing more than swift glimpse at an acoustic arse well and truly aflame. 1 minute 15 seconds of wildfire stoking and feverish searings that are kept alive by pure inflammable gut fuel - bang! Next and mouthings aplenty starting with a sound snip of some anti-Tory utterances that takes us into a sharp twanging guitar pulse. Riotous, rambunctious uproar pursues, chuggery to buggery and a high level of sonic unrest. A call to overthrow, a holler to take back the streets and dethrone the top dogs in their palaces built on others perspiration. Emotions are wound up, spiral almost out of control but just hold onto the reins tightly enough to hit the finishing line hard.
We bring down the tattered curtain with 'Aggravation II', another raving scrawl from our poisoned and pissed off lady who coughs up corrosive questions regarding this whole imbalanced system. The keys at the back have a threat, like predatory footsteps stalking a much hated prey and overall this is a quite ideal way to finish a CD very much loaded with annoyance.
TBC pull out of the tattered and torn hat a victory, a shout out for those underfoot and the ones trying to strive for balance. They do it with sewerage punk reality, pure belief in the cause with a resonating touch of classiness I hope many do not overlook. Get in there!
SPITUNE - IF ITS NOT BROKE, BREAK IT
The title says it all about this awkward questioning unit comprised of misfit components who are pure gems to know and who refuse to take advice as to what punk should be and will depressingly be (in many instances). The shovels of shit you get heaped at your feet here will undoubtedly stink to utter buggery in places and in others provide nutrients for lovers of nasty noise with an essential ingredient - the ingredient being 'fuck you passion' not 'fuck me fashion'. So Spitune request Fungal to examine to filth, take another chance at being assessed by my straight-forth, uncompromising, honest but punk as fuckery digits - and why shouldn't they?
I jump from the springboard of silence and land with a splash into the musical mush of the CD.
After a sound-bitten intro we are escorted into a familiar almost Satanic repeat chant with the invoking drain of 'Boris Is A Twat' found guilty of invading the cerebral cortex, twisting many vulnerable neurones and severing any hold on resistance you ever deemed yourself to have. Eagle at the fore absorbs himself in an abusive tirade against that wank headed mop top we all find bewildering,Rachel shadow echoes his main slanderous/factual vein of vocalisation whilst the one with the scummed ring at the rear manipulates trinkets of tonality to create mystery and haunting intention. A mix borne from genuine testing punk mires and one that will certainly be spluttered up by the more conservative spiked soldiers but one that will be given due time by those with purist natures and eager, hungry earholes. It sets the table in angular fashion, 'White Hart, Black Heart' sidles in, is a submersed meander that exposes its inner guts over a 6 minute plus period (do not fear, Spitune are not here to do you any favours). The sub-song (in utterly loose terms) scratchily and incoherently mouths off against racist/fascist fuck-wittery whilst the backdrop of tinkling and synthoid irritation goes through its own motions (literally it seems) and smears its sonic shite across many walls of disbelief and intrigued perversion. The reason Spitune fascinate me is the utter refusal to play the game and the complete desire they exhibit in persisting with output that they know only too well, will be greeted with 'what the fuck' in the main. It makes no odds to the crew in command, they do what they want and sometimes hit, sometimes miss and sometimes, just sometimes, produce moments of genius. Alas this isn't one of them, this is typical dabbling from unsettled noggins that the minority may get (and even that is a toss up). 'Rainbows End, Empires Fall' creeps like amphibious death, borne from swamps where sludge sucks in and tiresome trudges are had by all manner of noise listeners. Prior to the grinding plod we have an electrocuted torture with the victims outbursts a theme that should not have been allowed to let up – hey, ho - maintain the pure pain is all I can say. Not for me I am afraid but I love the refusal to play it without thought of rule and regulation.
Anti-drones comes next with 'Faceless Killers' another testing sub-tune dripping from a rusted tap filled with much disgruntled gloop and frustrated angst against the sky born death machines. Echofied sonic screed outlasts its own life and chants into a submissive positive with monochrome shadings weighing heavy on the back of this bended pig whore. With Spitune one can always find salvation but here we are damned, damned to a tortuous tunnel of toned out suffering that leaves me...inert and lifeless...it was always destined to happen. The fritzing, disorientating disease of synthoid worms and the poltergeist movements all sit uneasy within my fragile framework and I leave this one behind, in a self-flagellating, shit stained heap that it seems utterly content with. To add – this is 10 minutes 43 seconds in madness man, pure fuckin’ madness – can you take it? 'Mother Never Made It To London' rises from the previous alleyway of vulgarity and is a soft tune loaded with ticker turned tenderness and personal emotion that makes for a very tactile moment one can grasp easily and one can hear much conflicting pain and contentment within - very fragile. 'Anarchy In The Loft' is a terse encounter with lunacy, a brief sojourn into an upstairs room of psychological damage where murder of melody takes place, the butchery of decency is masturbated over and we, as onlookers, are left...disturbed. In short bursts these crude inventions are necessary, they hold more punked conviction than more palatable offerings - cuntism is good!
5 quickie dickies I hear you cry - for all our sanities!
'Shooting Fascists' has touches of European flavours or maybe something Arabesque where, over the filmy sonic needlework, a typical repeated pattern of stated words are woven. Once more we have a reliance on nagging rather than arousing outbursts with passions high and terrifyingly seething, although all areas are kept under the heavy hand of restraint and control which is not like this lot at all. Oh and to add that the final scream out is mere terror - nothing more, nothing less! A cover of the crass classic 'Bloody Revolutions' follows and in no way is a straight ahead sonic photocopy but rather an industrialised experimental re-arrangement that transcends realms of rhythmic decency and submerges itself fully into pools of torture, mental ill health and external oppression. A spiralling disgust emanates, a severe tension exists and a sci-fi disturbance permeates each and every neurone we have and tattoos within a deep seated fear factor that is hard to shake free. The twisted elfin vocal style, rear shadows of suggestion and abducting essences all create a listen worthy of time and consideration and may just result in a nod of affirmation as to its aural edibility - chomp, chomp! 'Man Finds Biro', is a cool meander of orchestration that floats, serenades, scathes. The bass is gentle and rather than full on fat is mumbled with care beneath the drum whispers. All very subdued here with no tones daring to tread outside the pastelised as is the case with the twinned double side of the song - a thoroughly narcoleptic moment to chill to. 'Atos Death Squad' is the twinging pain we should recognise if we have been tuned in to 'live' viewings and previous CD jaunts. It is a song that sees Eagle's breathless angst pour forth in typical fashion and release invective against greedy bastards at the apex of the miserable shitheap - basically the caring kicking back against the carefree - have it!
The closure of 'Anarchy In The Brain OK' and 'Boris Is The Greatest Twat In The World Dub' consists of some poetry from a gathering, some 'live' savagery and tribal clanking and then a closing 8 minute plus sojourn into tranquil lagoons with foul mouthed statements on repeat ad infinatum (well almost). It is, as ever, an eerie and uncomfortable mix - were you expecting anything else?
So Spitine continue...to confound, confuse, to tear apart any feeling of cosiness. A very unearthly sound arises, ruptures the status quo of many sonic heads and keeps people in that box known as 'what the fuck is going on'. I may not like every offering they belt out but I certainly like where they are coming from and am always up for a nosey - be warned this isn't for the sensible!
BLACK LIGHT MUTANTS - EARTH TRIBE TECHNOCRACY
Those Mutants that are back lit by sabled tones have had many a mix up over their short effective lifespan and yet through it all the flammable core of the intent roars mighty and progression is still made with the art attacking minstrel at the fore still turning many cogs. The last time I saw this outfit they were stripped down to a 3-piece and proffered forth perhaps the most disjointed, avante garde and thought provoking presentation I had witnessed and as per, was most welcome and in line with my gusto for things to be ever evolving. So a few more tracks to chomp on and see what the latest musical morphing has created - all good for the soul tha' knows!
'Frack Off' pours molten larval excrement onto the heads of the universal vandals and blind businessmen who are not just happy with destroying the world on an external basis but are now ready to probe internally and do more damage to our precious, reaped and pillaged homeland. The fuckin' useless self centred coin driven cunts march on and the more resistance they get the better and the BLM deal with the destruction in a terse and tetchy way with clobbering compu-cacophony somersaulting uncomfortably over and over with an intent to get the message across without fuckin' about. The blend of all sonic areas is bleak, muddied by a production value that seems deliberately set to assist in the fouling process and so, as a result, we get a firm fist fuck that just lacks that sharpened edge that will undoubtedly cut your listening ring-piece to rags. Not a bad effort though so bear with this one oh sweet eavesdropper. Chasing is the more ensnaring smear of 'Good Evening Anarchists', a better construction methinks, a dirtier mark on yer cerebral shithouse walls with a meaningful bass throb, scouring abrasion of seared strings and more scab-free scorched earth vocals that of course come from a nightmare future where seas of sonic vomit swirl within the wastelands of abandonment. Fritzed operations and an undercarriage of disgust help add conviction with the inner soundbite re-preparing us for the final sizzle. Into 'Media Blackout' we fall with neurones agitated and aural receptors intrigued. This song for me is the best of the lot with its sub-funk bass pop, usual punked overlay of anger and increasing energy starbursts that bloom high and with a wakening effect. The hybridisation between the casual and the caustic is ideal for this kind of shizzle and I am sure with a greater pronunciation between the somewhat opposing outdrifts we would have a classic on our hands, instead we just have to settle for a darn good song - bah.
‘Everything For Sale’ comes on cold vocal data and fear filled facts that open up a gateway for more technofied twattage that is on fire with the now expected feistiness. A sub-reflection of the previous piss flow with less emphasis and less contrast thus resulting in less impact. Having said this the song is a tempestuous cunt that bleeds bad blood and leaves an aftertaste of troubled minds and searching souls that are destined to be irked as the future enshrouds us. Not bad but the highly mechanised filth of 'Terrorists' is more appealing with its Metropolis incessancy and submerged 'pseudo happy times' lilt striving for air and very rarely succeeding. A vile piece of winning noise that is a tickerbeat of tuneful testing that has me pondering has to how things would be if the 80's synth squelch would have been given more room to expose itself and really upturned the acoustic applecart - mmmm interesting! I like the precipices this one walks on and for that reason and a few others will give it a firm thumbs up.
So the Black Light Mutants move on, with a style you can never really predict and with an artistic slant never far away. Sometimes they create a blip I get frustrated with, many a time they create a cauldron I love to get seared by but consistently they seem to be fidgeting and adjusting and for that they must get due credit and due attention. Go on, you may get disappointed you may get truly invigorated - nowt to lose by trying this out is there?
ON TRIAL UK - NEURO LAW
Having recently reviewed a quality CD by this fine outfit it was with much gratitude that I received this follow-up disc through my door. Expectation levels were set for more of the same and initial eavesdrops proved that to be the case. They describe themselves as, and I quote, '5 totally different people who only like each other when either drunk or playing music together' - now doesn't that have just the right potential for something special? So, rather than fanny about with another introduction I am as keen as mustard to get stuck in and so I will do just that, come on word and noise gobblers, keep by my side.
'Drinking Man' is a spritely affair with heavily dinned boots travelling with assertive self possession and emboldened desire to fulfil ones distorted and nasty needs. The threat of brewers droop may infect the lyrics but musically the construct is upright, throbbing and happy to be noisily nobbing. Surging along without thought getting in the way this tale of drinking to keep the demons at bay is finely rendered and keeps we lowly listeners on bended, appreciating knees. Next up is 'Hey Psycho' and after some initial space age utterances we get a very cool and controlled first verse that has many tones subdued and kept at something of a premium level with the players maintaining good rigidity and almost ad-libbed articulation. A distinctly restless underscore is had and this is far from an easy song to fully assess. The verdict wavers between the realms of undecided and positive and with each play further cranial discombobulation comes - one of those ya know.
'Murder=Art' opens on strict strums before weaving in to a song that is lyrically eloquent and challenging as the psychopathic mind offers up his kills for all the world to appreciate. A horrific angle to slide in from and one that is enhanced by sturdy sonic foundations and well organised acoustics. Thinking man’s music with many depths and unorthodox stances these tuned tales of terror and 'outside the suffocating box' examples give the whole shebang deep and applaudable longevity (of that I am more than sure). Next and the dreadfully entitled 'Heart Attack, Aneurysm, Cancer, Stroke', a song that will truly send shivers down the spine of the hypochondriac before even spinning the darn tune. The initial hauntings will add to the fear factor and the strained vocal utterances are purely exact for what the band have in mind. The effect of the switch between joy and despair is remarkable and those pluming chorus explosions are almost tear-jerkingly desperate and really hit a nerve with anyone having a fondness for this struggle called 'life'. The injustice of the whole lottery, the uncertainty and the ultimate full stop that we cannot escape are all marring and scarring leaving us hopeless husks never ever getting any answers or solutions. There is a definite talent here for fine self-expression, a totally off-kilter suggestion that keeps the lugs alert and sweetly aggravated in a quite pleasing way - good stuff!
Once again you shall be blessed with a final mad dash, an avoidance of over detail for thy pleasure is much needed I feel so here goes...everything. 'Not Talking To You' comes next, shimmery wire warpings lead, lone and unified utterances pursue and then into the squelching sonic mire with pace aplenty and relish equally abundant. A 2-minute titivator this, in and out and doing a decent job up to the final agony whereas 'Honey Trap' is far more patient, relies on rock and roll basics and moves and shakes with gentle quakes and more orthodox normalisation over a 3 minute period that is sinuous, utterly liquid and consistent. 'Mexican Girl' is a sloppy dish with a seductive love drenched lilt that in some respects, gets on me tits. A slow waltz, a tale of peregrination and longing with the usual pang twang dictating the appearance of the song to your well sonically sozzled lugs. The bounce and pace is too lethargic for me at this late juncture and I so wanted the band to rev it up towards the last. Talking of which...'Medley Of Despair' is the curtain closer, the final breath of this 11 track bonanza and despite my previous comment about wanting a last blast of ripping rock I am more than happy with this emotive shut down of genuine moodiness that creates a feeling of concern, introspective contemplation and a somewhat conflicting sensation of pleasure and pain - great stuff.
So these intricate artists daub the walls of my aural caverns yet again with another mural of exacting noise and colourful ornamentation that really does offer up so many opportunities and moments to dissect and admire. On Trial UK have something special going on here and as long as they take their time and maintain care to their work we will undoubtedly witness many special vibes.
SPOG - TALKING TO THE TAX MAN ABOUT POULTRY
Spog are a band that no longer exist, it had within its mix a man I know and love, his name is Gary Eagle aka Eagle Spits - I think that about explains all we need to know. This review is done to re-awaken interest on a project that passed many by, tune in, drop out or continue to fuck off - your call.
Travelling on from then, to now and to tomorrow - 'Tosser' is a duel sung effort with a catchy line of 'What A Tosser' delivered with such frosted exactness to be almost slightly amusing. The style of the song is almost ad hoc busking with a low rumble assisted by fluttery skin work and bloke in the pub vocals. An embrace of minimalism, an 'off the cuff' approach and intuitive mode of output once more we see ourselves drawn in to something without gratuitous decor or vulgar adornments - quite simple really but not an aspect everyone can master. Next and a quickie dickie with 'Poodle Boy' a swift mouth off that starts at Junction Troubled and finishes in double quick time at Station Irked. A primeval release that slips in, hollers and slips out - make of that what you will.
We fuck off with the delightful rage of 'Chipshop Fascist' a tale that is best described by frontman Eagle as thus - 'The story behind Chip Shop Fascist is all of Spog were psychiatric nurses, Neil Ready, Spog’s guitarist, wrote it but unfortunately he got attacked at work one night and as a result still has a neck injury which stops him being able to play guitar which is why I like to keep the song alive. He is a Jewish bloke who went into a chip shop just outside Boston and the bloke behind the counter was coming out with racist crap which didn’t go down very well. He went home and wrote 'Chip Shop Fascist' - simple hey? Anyway the song is a fine rant against bigotry and total unnecessary stupidity with Eagles sobered vocals rolling along on open wound noise and purist tones erupting from boils of frustration and disillusionment - a minor sing-a-long gem for the gutterised shits who have things clued in correctly.
Spog do the business here, maintain a back to basics beauty so often neglected today, so tragically lost in fact. Maybe Spog might dabble again and if they do I can guarantee a Fungal gig slot for them - it will be my pleasure and hopefully yours. Make sure you peck Eagle for a copy of this - the real foundations of why we are in this pit are there for all to hear!