FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 62
 
 

THE HECK - HATE IT HERE/I LIKE IT HERE

A double A-side single to review, what The Heck!  The band play it rough, play it melodic, play it with passion and with several recognisable influences in the mix, an obvious 60's feel and 3 pluckers adept at their art then what is not to like?  Well, there is only one way to find out!

A filthy grumble begins 'I Hate It Here' with a brief pause taken before the soul is bared and the true inner feelings are released (in no uncertain terms).  The chopping dirtiness of the guitars, the clobbering hectic approach of the slap-happy drums and the wild Neanderthal screaming of the wound-up frontman all make for a mix that will cause indigestion for some but great contentment for others.  This is caveman cacophoneering, clouted out with an aim to get the job done in double quick time and leave an impacting impression - I think the band do just that and have me very much invigorated.

A flick of the playing switch, a realignment of the senses and onto the next track.

'I Like It Here' is a 30 second expression of gleeful joy that sees players in a noisy situation and just loving it.  The sound is jarring but in a pleasant and appealing way, the emotive uplift is adequate and things are kept as simple and basic as possible.  It is a decent do and a let-down in one compact offering - my gripe being, it should have been a full 2-minute pop-song.

The Heck come, fuck off and do so in the thrutching of a well-vibrated anus.  I like what I hear and am left wanting more - let us see what comes next, I really can't add much more. 

   

PAUL CARBUNCLE - MONK FISH MIX-UP AT THE FARMER'S MARKET

Some folks are keen, some are just enthusiastic, and some are utterly cracked.   Combine the 3 and you can end up with a one man lunatic making a 20 track album and then asking poor old me to review it.  Paul Carbuncle has always been deemed a fine fellow, a good musician and a caring gent, by posting this hefty release my way I am now adding the description of 'rotten git' to his assessing files.  As one would expect, when offered the chance to review I said 'yes', I am adding 'daft twat' to my own personal descriptive CV.

'The Fisherman's Son To The Ice Is Gone' is a ditty with moribund overtones and somewhat oceanic wilderness weavings.  The first tentative string plucks are soon forgotten as a 'Leone-esque' lilt is soon captured.  A man doing his bit, earning an honest crust and yet, is it as honest as it seems.  I think not and as visions arise of man clubbing seals the song abruptly ends.  I am left pleased but unsatisfied, is this a deliberate ploy on the part of the twanger.

'Our Lousy Hops' is born from a Children of the Corn nightmare where the harvest is not satisfactory and there seems to be a grudge building.  Mr Carbuncle abandons the wire weapon here and goes it alone, the job he does is ruddy exemplary and indicates a man who has grown in confidence and stature.  For me this an 'in the field' sing-a-long where toiling brethren can ease the labour with minds distracted by a fine tuneful tale - I want to see this one 'live' - Mr Carbuncle you are due a return visit to a Fungal stage.

Third up and 'Blues Run The Game' is a lovely tickle that sees a runner perpetually chased, a man who can't escape the nagging dreary dog feeling.  The underscore of fluttering strings works well alongside our frontman's somewhat sobered vocal style.   The collision of these somewhat inoffensive methods is easy on the lug and the short running time makes something appealing for this punkily impatient pig.  'Gypsy Davy' is a cheeky imp that narrates, hop-frogs and has a glint in the keen-polished orb.  A lady has done a bunk, a tinker is set to do some tinkering, ooh watch that todge young man.   The squire denied wants what's his, the story unfolds, heads seem to be made up and the lass in love is back to earth in a very hearty tune.  There is a good bounce here, I am prone to having a jig.

'Deport First And Hear Appeals Later' is a sweet song filled laden with clashing sourness with the pertinent theme of immigration put under the harsh spotlight and shown up for the cruel unthinking system that it is.  The fuckers shuffling paper and making life-damning decisions are detached and clueless, swimming in a social sewer laden with real shits.  The stark stated words of the erudite thinker hit home and get one reevaluating one's own outlook.  It is always a good thing to do and this for me is the most ideal nudge possible.  The best offering so far? I think so!

A clutch of 3, 'My Darling One Or Hard Rain' is morose effort, it stays in the shadows, searches with endeavor and always seems unfulfilled.  The flicker of the wires and the softly sung placements are poetical, borne from the wilderness and every bit as heartwarming as that which has gone before.  The rustic and insightful observational route taken is done by a solo serenader who has certainly vested his time in his art and come out smelling of well-twanged roses (whatever they are).  There is something cultured transpiring here, I cannot fault it.  'The Final Curtain Call' is an escalating number with an inner anguish, a regret and a growing self of musical belief.  The song has a certain suggestion of something sub-synthed, the slight change in attacking accent is a pleasure and I find this one just gets more convincing with each rotation.  'The Old Cries Of Nottingham' is a street crying inclusion done with just stark-naked gobbery and a blend of statements of yore and encouraging unified encouragements.   It is straight from a cobble-stoned pathway and certainly has its place on this historically soaked CD.  Tis marvelous what one can do with just good will and a deep knowledge of the subject.

The next brace comes, 'Loco Fireman' is a sincere fave of mine with the pistons building up speed, the fires well stoked and the tracks keenly rattled.  The man in charge of the flame usually stands in the shadow of the driver but here is given a full shout out and praised for keeping the wheels turning and being the one to work away and get no credit (a common theme in life).  The showpiece at the front has the easier job and takes all the plaudits, I always knew Casey Jones was a wanker.  I like this stand-up moment for the real shovelers and doofers, tis where my heart is at and the bonus is - this is a great song.  'Fearful Song' follows, an emotional contribution that keeps it bare, from the ticker and very honest.  This is one for the fireside, a verbal spillage ideal for a small gathering in a cosy mood with a reflective leaning and in need of a gentle sing-a-long.  It is a sweetly delivered song but drags on a little too long for me and is a trifle too wallowing - hey ho, I can't like everything.

'Rise Up' leads the next trio and has good gumption, bounds along with political activity whilst calling for a backing for the Catalan folk who are stomped down and kept under shackles.   The song is a protest, a chant, a catchy number ideal for those switched on to oppression and fed up with the powers that be - a decent do this and one to pick up, play, ponder and throw away - this is a good thing.  'Walked In The Middle' is a tickling weave that points a finger at those taking the easy route.  Tis no place to roam as there are many shifty characters there thinking about self rather than others, protecting what is best for them rather than what is best for the whole.  This thoroughfare is also very crowded with more jumping in line each and every day - take my advice, enjoy this pick-me-up song, take the vibes and intent properly and avoid joining the masses with their heads screwed on backwards.  A fine tune this and followed by the possible zenith known as 'Witch Hunt'.  This latter song of the latest three-piece has subtle undulations, a gentle warning, a controlled emotive accent that perfectly suits the drift of the construction.  The strings are touched with sensitive hands, the vocal chords are called upon with sincere forethought and the output, as a matter of course, is perfectly balanced.  There are many things to question in this life, many things to be troubled by, sometimes it isn’t all about kicking and screaming.

'Shellshock' is a touching snippet that deals with a cerebral condition borne from the horrors of war.  There may be no physical scars, there may be no broken bones but there are injuries that run far more deeply and cause a pain that is almost indescribable.  The sufferers are left to deal with their affliction as the world turns onwards and people forget, act like arseholes and don't give a fuck - how frightening and disappointing this must be.  Mr Carbuncle tackles the subject matter with yet more insightful care and skill, this is a testament to a man who knows his stuff.

'Duty Of Care' is a creeping pseudo-jazzy hinting blighter that gets irritated, worked up, annoyed and yet stays in control.  The slave drivers get you called up, pass off false praise and yet don't give a fuck.  The systematic shebang is built on fraudulent empathy, the rise up to the finale of this song comes too late and I feel more pure anger should have been used and brandished throughout - this is not my fave but I like the sentiment.  'My Father Had An Acre Of Land' is almost shanty-esque with a rhythmic sing-a-long neatly delivered.  The tale of a man with some soil to tend to is trickled out through trembled tonsils and all done with a very archaic feel.  There is a complete 'back-to-earth' feel running deep here, a muck-stained effort paying homage to toil, reality and the simple things in life that matter - it goes without saying that with these ingredients I am a fan.

4 to go, here is the bunch as this Fungal git sees them.

'Pete Morton's Attitude' seems to pose a cerebral problem for the fiddling man here and after a cranky wanky jerk quirk start we see a viewpoint unfold that some, I am sure will find disagreeable.  I am a mere spiked git and am clueless as to who the fuck Pete Morton is but after research find out he is a British-born folk singer - thrilling I must say!  Here we have a jangle that exposes a real deep-rooted niggle especially via the chorus - it seems I need to do some investigating.  'Think About Things' has a good rhythm, semi-bounces along and has a certain clarity that has been a hallmark of this CD.  Even though I am a trifled 'folked out' by this stage I am nodding along to this one and liking the pluckery and cultured moves from tones deep, tones light and somewhere in between.

'The Poor Man Pays For All' starts with a Euro-texturisation that somehow reminds me of sub-Hippy theme tunes for 70's kids TV.  The drift alters, what we get is a tale for the hearts of the ragged trousered philanthropists and his comrades who are thinking and trying.  The bassy quiverings escort the serious delivery with the chorus an oddment to keep one unsure and interested.  There is a lot being said here and more going on than imagined.  The after effect leaves an echo within the cranium, I think this is a meritorious aspect and has me raising the thumbs.

The finale, a cute tickle known as 'Three Drunken Huntsmen' - a ditty done with a Lear-esque nonsensical slant that really works and shows a creative mind happy to go off the wall.  Tis gratifying the hunting trio can find fuck-all to butcher, tis equally pleasing that the song stays chipper and ends the CD on a somewhat positive note filled with a certain ludicrousness.

By heck man I have done it.  It has taken time and I refused to be rushed.  I hope I have grasped the essences emanated from a one-man creator of lofty standards.  I am hoping that the pandemic pisses off and I can get booking gigs again very soon, Mr Carbuncle get yerself ready!

   

FLYINGDEADMAN - THE NIGHT

Based on the unsurpassable classic known as 'Night Of The Living Dead' the 4 instrumentalists here combine their creative juices and create 5 musical montages for one to ponder whilst visions of the old Romero classic tumble around the mind.  I am a keen horror nut, I am keen on musical fixes coming at me from different angles, why wouldn't I put digit to keyboard here?

The post rock band from France enter with an orchestrated piece known as 'Reaching Out', a creation borne by getting inside the zombie surrounded dwelling where panic was overcome by hope only to be duly doused by total terror.  Here we are waltzed through the scene, given an overview of the outbreak and the situation, the touches are both exact, thoughtful and with the cinematic classic utterly absorbed into the bloodstream of the movement.  The slow, developing observational instrumental has heavy power, summons up great monochromatic visions, with Tom showing confidence, Karen staying level headed and the need for escape growing.  I like this opening sequence, I advance, involved.

'Barbara' gently wanders in, the silence between the tonal touches is threatening, there comes a slow rising thoughtfulness with the lady in the spotlight in a state of fear and reliving recent events when a graveyard was visited in the best of wills only for a living Hell to arise.  It started with the laying of a wreath, a mysterious stranger appearing, an attack and a death - from there, the rest is horror history.  The panic ensues and rises, hysteria takes over, the musical accompaniment ascends and yet maintains the same eerie, flat-line presence which I think, over the course of a full 9 minutes is a little too much.  I do appreciate the effort though; I would have just preferred a few extra startling moments.

'A Haven And A Jail' takes us to the abode where people are saved, imprisoned and left with grave concerns.  A rise comes, a conflagration of emotions are tossed up in a myriad jumble before a security is briefly embraced.  The salvation is a mere dream, the skin ripples come and suggest a certain nervousness within the weft.  More clamouring and upheaval, more discombobulation and sheer uncertainty (although not within the music making).  A change in situation comes across the airwaves, are we prepared, will the dead reign supreme?

'Dawn At The Gates' flows through the speakers with grungy gloopiness and has a certain decadence and hopelessness within the initial weave.  From the gloom though a thread of salvation starts to radiate and offer a chance of escape but all the while sobering words keep one firmly footed in on Planet Realisation.  An emotive strain invades the tonality and then a seeming collapse.  I am left confused, where will this situation end, is there any help out there?  We are taken further into the realm of uncertainty and left to dwell - this is horror, this is incessant perplexity and the players are beyond rescue.

We close with the dawning of a final scenario.  'Hopes And An Open Heart' is a tired and heavily reposed number, perhaps drained from all that has past.  It is a nagging piece; one I can appreciate but one that feels as though it belongs at the bottom of the multi-layered sonic sandwich supporting all that which has been.  It is important that I remember at this stage that this is 'cinematic post-rock', a very definite niche and one perhaps best left to those utterly absorbed. I do just that and sign off, nodding in recognition of players submerged and with an ear for ambience.

An intriguing trip down cadaver lane with many visions summoned and a need had to indulge in the film under the spotlight.  This is not every day playing material but it is a neat jaunt into sonic territory different and neatly executed - it keeps one thinking that is for sure.

   

THE CAVEMEN - AM I A MONSTER

On Pig Baby Records comes the latest release from The Cavemen, a disturbing situation that sees the noise-making Neanderthals from New Zealand kick out with another sizzling two-punch of sonic excitement.  Only 2 tracks here, if the band get things just right, then doubkle-headed fisting could work untold wonders - I jump in like a dung beetle in a vat of shit - there is no other way.

'Am I A Monster' rifles the underduds of your mind, delves straight in with grabbing mitts and makes one gunk-smashing racket that really enlivens the whole framework and gets one gushing from the off.  The band begin with a bright wild-eyed insistence and make sure they stay in the frenzied state right up until the final holler.  The bass is on fuckin' fire, the guitar stops, starts, careens in the mess whilst the smash and trash skin work is goof-balled up with no hope of recovery.  The gob work foams over from darkened depths of garage'd niches and completes a gathering that generates high, invigorating spunk - this a darned beauty - all you doubters, outsiders, castaways - play loud, play lots, pogo like a fuckin' goon.

Side two, 'Schizophrenia' pounces, propels itself and goes for the jugular with crazed-eyed lustiness.  The tympanic compartment is clattered by a frenzied malcontent, the cablings are stretched to wankery and given a high dose of indecent manipulation whilst the screaming demon at the fore is utterly 'off the leash' and very much at it.  The song, when viewed as a complete package, is a wild-eyed runt of applaudable kicking desire and for me, only those dead from the neck up will not be aroused by this Yell-in Hell attack - oh yeah.

A brace of songs, a couple of unmitigated assaults of nutjob noise making and there for those with a need to bite through the chain and run rabid.  The Cavemen have their style, do not hold back and, on occasions like this, make for some solid success.

   

NOMATRIX/FUTURE HATE - SPLIT CD

2 bands, 1 record!  2 units I have dealt with before, 1 opinion coming your way.  I like the ethos of split CD's, I like the ethos of Deadlamb Records and so far, I have enjoyed what I have heard from these 2-outfits.  I am not wasting time here - tis the music what matters, have a slice of this then.

Future Hate are a tempestuous band with a great gusto and a devouring accent. They hail from Mobile, Alabama and spit forth their noise with great punked venom and really make for a confounding cacophony to be reckoned with.  ' A Curse From Heaven' quickly spurts, spirals and throws a tantrum.  The opening thrustings are brattish and snotted with a fair threat brandished.  The song picks-up the impetus, thuds forth a good hateful and barbed attack with all intricacies both acute and in-line with the growing unease.   The structure of the song is not strictly orthodox, the band do what they do in their own style, there is a wonderful disgruntled unsettlement here - I am involved.  The second fist fuck up your oh so susceptible tender parts 'Comes In Waves' - a thrashing sub-sexy explosion of hormonal animal happening.  The loins of the lilt are worked with ardour, the inner system of sound is battered, clattered by held in line by some solid musical marksmanship.  The siren at the fore has a lovely snarl, the band compliment with a great slam and grind effect that really gets all juices flowing.  Of the two songs proffered I think this is my favourite - just!

Nomatrix come from the Emerald Isle, are a long-term crew with a fine DIY attitude.  The first offering puked up here is the neatly packaged onslaught of 'Vanity'.  The song rises on bubbling bass and builds a doom-laden intent before scatter-twatting with great haste and much disgust at the general 'me, me' situation out there.  Many only think of self and then throw in the odd token gesture to give the appearance of caring and being empathetic whilst all the while the scheme to get noted continues.  I like this terse burst of acidity, I like the switch in impetus and the contrast in the approach, Nomatrix still refuse to get entangled by unnecessary bollocks – I also like that.  The bands second offering is mid-paced, buzzes with enthusiasm, has a self-perpetuating gumption that sees the song move with decent liquidity.  There could have been an extra spark thrown in here I feel, but the band no doubt know best and I for one am finding nothing serious to gripe about.  The string work cuts to the core, the skin molestings are ravenous and the gob has the distinct accent I have come to know and love.  Not a bad do at all and completing a terse double injection of sonic goodness.

4 songs from 2 bands that complement each other and help spread one another's word.  I think they should do this all over again, maybe get another band in the mix.  My advice is to make it 3-way split and encourage a few others to do the same and then all swap, share and contribute to the end DIY approach - why the Hell not? 

   

THE STOOLS - CARPORT

Hailing from The Motor City these Detroit dabblers rattle out a maniacal garage sound that highly appeals to my noisy neurones and shit-laden sonic sensors. The band copulate blues, punk, grunge and other flavours and spit out here a 4-track blaster for me to try and tackle. I grab the main prong of the output, wank it good and hard and find myself impregnated with enough goodness to scribble the forthcoming text.

'Life's Hard Lover' is a strong frontrunner - galloping along and kicking up great sods of turf that I for one am happy to get splat twatted by. The grooved guitar finds the lick, the bass and drums scatter and spray the rhythm and keep all energy levels lofted. The throat is seared and forced to expel heavily sweated and blood soaked verbals during some very scorched verses. The chorus is raw and snagging with the repeat-beat barbs doing enough to keep me enmeshed within the shrubbery of sound.  The youthful gusto, the foot-stamping hammering make this a gratifying explosion - I crack forth, enthused.

'Hedge Witch' twinges, taps, explodes.  The multi-angled punches come in spunked bunches whilst being followed by more highly roasted throat attacks and some heavy footed thumpings.  In the weave the band throw in some ad-hoc touches, play the circuit of sound with delicacy and brutality whilst all the while keeping things tuneful.  The inner heartbeat of the song is securing and the blend of all components is absolutely spot-on with enough garage'd feel to make one go for it.

'Multiple Maniac' begins with a radio-fied twitch, briefly cracks before travelling along in great lunatic haste.  The set-up of the song follows a formula now sussed but the band throw their balls and other bits onto the precipice of danger and therefore create a quite exciting situation.  The nervous glow radiated is strong, the hormone driven desire obvious and the sub-loutish suggestions are cracking.  There comes to the fore here the most manic song of the lot but the band keep things tight - like a cramped ring-piece holding onto a stash of dosh - nice.

The final molestation and fat squelchy bass begins before regulating sticks call for order and guitar warpings add groove.  The opening verse of 'End Up There' is held back but seasons the eavesdropping circuits with a suggestion of things on the brink.  It isn't long before the deliberate and stated collapses into a screaming tear-out of abandon that adds a perfect contrast and brings great uplift.  The crew just change tack here and offer an alternative arrangement that bodes well for future release - tis good to mix the pace.

I am impressed by this rich and riotous piece of manic music making here, tis a good burst from some players up for the task.  Tis good to be invigorated by a relished racket at my age, especially amid a saturated arena that spews up too much of the overly processed.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,
21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40
41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50
51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60
61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70
71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80
81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90
91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100