FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 9
 
 

ATOMIC SUPLEX - 14 INCHES OF FIST

A fizzbomb of white light heat is potentially the outcome of this CD from a band who are highly charged, unpredictable and joyously committed to the harsh acoustic attacks that have been created over many years and with such loving rock and roll care. This is another Dirty Water Records release and this time around I shall not labour the point of an intro and move quickly in and deal with this donation from these London loons.

The opening gift is wrapped in glittering skin-splitting sandpaper and wears away your immediate refusal to accept with a loutish mouth off that duly leads us into the chaotic slaggery of the song proper. The 'One Man Party' is amphetamine fuelled with an extra dose of high agitation and erectile throbbing music that pushes the perspiration factor hard as well as the whole spittle soaked shaft of manic desire. Trash can vomit sprayed with a couldn't give a fuck attitude but with enough tight assed control to be hypnotised by - a full on and fruit-flattening start. Splat! The follow-up to this opening tantaliser is slapped forth under the name of '14 Inches Of Fist', a very raw open wound of acoustic uproar that judders like fuck via repeat jab verse volts and gapes wide open through chorus lilts that let the arms (and trousers) drop and let you see everything on show. The inner screwdrive of all spiteful strings and slamming sticks partnered with the poisonous bitch line that offers up a knuckle-driven kiss are both acute and exciting moments to cherry top a fuckin' mesmeric noise. Twat! Reeling back after these two body blows I am glad of the soft tinned opening of the third track 'Set It On Fire' but am a whole lot more aroused by the surging incandescent passion of the clattering construct that ensues. A bounty of careening, out of control, crash, smash and bollocks raving delivered by a crew satanically switched on to all tunes trashy and temperamental. That skid and screech effect, the inescapable draw of the blazing chorus and the general massive life on display are all tantamount to a cerebral raping of the most pleasantly cruel order. A smashing way to complete the opening high energy trio!

'Wild Love' mechanically creaks before superbly hot-footing on frequently punctuated punkish airwaves that are both noxious and invasive. The sub-radioed, fully corroded jack off is torn at the seams, ripped at the arse but, fascinates and masturbates with muckily sleazed cravings that need to be satiated. The whole upheaval is flourished and corruptly aligned thus creating visions of a sonic ramshackle, trashcan charabanc that is packed to the hilt and headed for a well-received aural oblivion in the most noisiest way possible - smash! Clunk click, let it rip! Into the 'Firing Line' we are thrust with uprising chuggage into a tumbling tympanically assisted roll before the jerked and quirked curio belches forth from the AS gut of invention. From the stop/start uncertain flutters into brief seizures that upend and assault the main frame of the tuneage thus given a double edged ramming to your orifice of pre-perception. Despite this one having the scabrous foot off the pedal the band still mange to make a cluttery creation that sticks with the modus operandi used - I am still enjoying this, nowt wrong with a bit of rough stuff!

A flinging quatro-tumble next and 'S. U. P. L. E. X.' leads the way with hallowed openings borne from a church of the unhinged. We have a brief bass grumble before the flourish of a very terse and sonically appealing track unfolds on amphetamine rush delight with all bin bag clatter in accordance and meeting my sonic requirements - a brief beauty. The raunchy and suggestive title 'It Takes Two Girls To Satisfy Me' is awash with trouser-loosening tension borne from groins that need relieving, A grimy get down and grind confusion of flesh sweat chordage and hard massage masturbation that sees those sonic erogenous zones brutally man-handled and yet achieving gratifying zeniths. Sheets are torn, skin carved open and all in one melee of copulating sex therapy that just does what it sets out to do - wank on! 'J. D. Attack' is playing with fire and walks a very fine line between that which is decent and that which is close to complete exhaustive collapse. It starts in a fairly buckled up mode but has a distinct desire to thrust outward and push the danger levels to concerning heights with a distinct feeling from this reviewer as of something not quite right. I play several times over, eventually fall in the shadow of the sub-chaos and appreciate the chantoid action - phew close call. The last of this quartet comes forth with the name of 'Ass Tecnica', a dirty fucker with an echo-shit, cavernous cruelty that chops itself up, slices and dices further and re-tunes several times throughout making for one uncomfortable mess. It was liable to happen, the band were playing with fire and here the fingers get burnt to a crisp. Just lacking a little control and melodic effect with the instruments that are too disloyal to one another to be ideal.

'No Pain No Gain' and 'You've Got Some Nerve' are two episodes of hectic, epileptic speed bursting with all consideration for pre-thought banished and a full on 'let it hang baby' onslaught had. The first of the brief brace is 18 seconds long and splutters up a surge of manic waywardness whilst the second is a longer effort and has equal sufferance of mis-control and so both tracks get a thumbs down and leave me wondering where the CD will finish. 'Pancho' is a more structured number with crinkle cut crispy chunks dissected by firm footed stomps of acoustic determination. The chorus is stated and slammed, the overall attack pronounced and focused but yet again having many fractured moments that just squeeze by. 'Chicken Rich' is radioed bollocks and is a mere countrified down slop of crippled nonsense that deserves no place on a CD that has so much more potential. Bands do like to piss about at times, who am I to tell them not what to do but also, I am one not to ignore how a fruitless moment could take the gloss of many neighbouring ditties. Take it on the chin people. We close with a decent nut noise called 'White Shoes' a recovering flurry of screwing B-zone garage that delves right into its own dirty drill hole and comes up with something resembling a rhythm. The invasive brass, the confused build up to a sub-crescendo of simpleton waffling and we are...outta here!

This CD started boldly, rocked away with powerful prospects before, I feel, plummeted away towards the second half and never truly getting back on par with the original highs. I reckon this is how the band will continue, from great to garbage and back again with along the way some moments to agree and disagree on in equal measure. Music should never be tamed and people should go with what feels good and take the verdicts as they come, here we have the hits and the shits in equal supply!
   

FOREIGN LEGION/THE SHAME - SPLIT CD

Yippee, a split single, tis the best way forward I feel and as result of the combined effort both bands can only prosper as a result - but, a question remains, a very important question at that, namely - does the Fungal bugger like what's on offer? best wya to find out is by carrying on reading dear peruser, it is all done the the best possible taste!

Formed in 1984 with many line-up changes and pregnant pauses along the way the FL crew have a street edge that will very much appeal to a certain cobble-stoned clientele.  They have built up an impressive CV (if you are indeed impressed by big names and venues) and have produced a few releases (not as many as they should have done if you ask me) and seem to be one of those bands that are always lurking in the shadows.  I go in, as per, unswayed!

'Nowhere Left To Hide' is heavy duty boot plodding mainly built on a good 4-wired bass wobble and grinding gruff gob work.  The drums and guitars play minor roles and hold the song tight and within its main structure.  The verse and chorus chunks are positioned in uniform manner and contribute to a song that has no real flaws but no major highs either.  Foreign Legion seem most adept at producing songs that are indeed 'regular' which is a word that is meant as both complimentary and critical.  I like consistency but I like advancement so here I get caught between two lines of fire and give the end verdict has a crippled duck – ye can make yer minds up if you have the decency to listen. 

'Our Word Today' begins with a dirty slummed edge keyed in with an insight to the state of play today and the injustice of many situations.  The approach of the acoustica is very much in line with several old school Oi CD's I have in my collection with that distinct 'boom tit boom' repetition always there on the underbelly of the delivery.  It can be quite a niggling experience if overdosed on and Foreign Legion just add a little bit of extra peripheral shading to the tones to avoid a full on lesson in repeater rhythm.  The lyrical content is pertinent but lacks poetical adornments whilst the music plods away and gets the job done.  Old school noise with no desire for progression which nails this where it stands.  It has its place but I do wish the band would stretch themselves more.

The Shame are 3 old-school Tulsa punk veterans who use the basic material of punk, footy and beer on which to compose their tuneage. They have played with several big names (blah) and you can almost imagine, before spinning, what direction the produce will be taking - hey ho, let us go.

'Crossing The Line' is fair gumption tattooed tuneage with swollen chests and strong beating hearts the main aspect of a very backstreet but upfront song.  The unit are capable cacophoneers as far as the generic mode taken goes and here they apply themselves to all the rules and regulations of that chosen pit.  The finished product has a shopworn feel (in several ways) and helps radiate the dust-kicking amount of activity found within the weave of this weighty song.  Inside the category of noise this is routine fodder but sometimes we need tuneage to just stomp along to and shake off any wayward shittery.  One of those standard value-for-money tracks I reckon.

'Faded Glory' coughs up and grumbles on a mid-paced bassism with a typical accent to proceedings.  The first chorus goes tidily through the motions and keeps all areas inoffensive and non-too testing.  Structured and heavy laden with over-control this sturdy spillage fails to open any new doorways of discordant devilry or get one surging with outlandish spirit that is not easily contained.  No, what you get here is traditional street vibrology many of you will have heard a million times before and is a sound that is best played whilst indulging in a good piss up and pose session. Reliable but lacking in frills and thrills - steady as she goes I suppose.

A CD that is of an age, of a style, of a definite genre.  Don’t expect your mind to be blown open or your erogenous zones of sound to reach new heady heights.  Just take it for what it is and see what ya think.

   

HORN AND HOOF - MUSICAL UNITY COMPILATION

A local label to me, based in Manchester and with a DIY ethic I am more than familiar with.  I know the chap at the helm (Scott), a decent chap who has done his bit for many a moon but a man who finds himself in murky waters where there is a sincere overspill of noise to get through.  It is an ocean in which to sink and many fight to stay afloat in waters that contain much flotsam and jetsam as well as the odd worthy buoyant example.  In an age of throwaway music it is no mean feat to keep trying and so, as a matter of decency I do this review, but it will still be one that will hold no favours whatsoever (I don't insult friends that way).  An upright grading system is included here, something I don't normally do as it is too routine but hey, let no rules apply.
 
First up and the jerks known as The Kirkz, a band on something of a go slow, pick and play stroll at the mo that sees them just ticking over.  Many adopt this stance at some stage, it’s called life - and who is interested anyway - blah.  The song is an oldie by today's whizzing standards and is entitled with a name that sums up the whole fuckin' shebang 'Zombie Nation'. The dead-eyed and dead headed are given a going over with a flurrying and hurrying zip of zested tonality that chops up its own guts and adds some technical tightness in the mix.  It is thrown together well enough, has a fair amount of foam dropping from the hungry jowls and so a nod of assent is given, have a B- ya cunts.  Glue Ear follow with a heavier track that has deeper resonation and a more riffing weight.  The vocals are accentuated with a strained feel and have a more grabbing hunger but, despite this, the song dilly dallies somewhat and seems to outstay its welcome and over cooks the sonic broth.  Something tells me the true direction of the noise is lost but the focus of the message is bang on.  A solid bass-line composes matters and is joined by an almost relieving guitar sequence that rises to its full height and commands centre stage.  A difficult one but I am reaching for another B- despite the textual twattage somewhat challenging the verdict.  Fuck it!

Gin Shop Revolt skank up with the occasionally rushed, now and again pushed, but by no means hushed shit spill of 'Eleven'.  An actively challenging tune that has a combat zone within, between those eternal warring and reuniting factions, punk and ska.  Both acoustic armies vie for sonic supremacy whilst distant divisions of something suggestive of reggae are forever tossing in the odd grenade of favour.  Standing back and viewing the scuffle from a neutral standpoint I see much crafted insight and tactical manoeuvres to appeal to the music nuts out there.  The sprinkled switch outs, the small doses of brassage and the fair unified hollers give this a slight edge thus far, a mere grade of B, nothing more or less is given. Clayface 'Skunk' it up and roll out a purer two-tone-ish streetwise tumble that is smoked with cocky-assed sanguinity and urbanised slanting that will appeal to the newer breed of noise merchant.  The tonal edge is given zest by an almost rappy happy chappy who is in the mood to chill and thrill in equal 'gangsta-esque' fashion.  Still I stick in the B zone though and keep this one down the centre.

Seamo next, a one man practitioner of the acoustic art whom I have seen on one occasion and whom did a very decent job.  'Trouble' is a coffee-stained number activated with Euro-seasoning and given a slow grilling beneath streetwise thermality.  No rush, no push, meticulous manipulation given tepid treatment and a snake up your trouser leg craftiness. The vocals are drifted rather than direct and in truth the tune isn't my thing at all but recognition of the skilled structure and neat production force out a C+ verdict. Hummer are another crew I have seen and who squeeze out here a new school episode of unoriginal westernised dust kicking discordance that has a hygienic slope and appealing texturisation many will clutch at.  'Enemies And Friends' is good, cuts a dash and staggers around with many switches and turns but outstays its welcome and gets a little too involved with its own output but hey, some like it that way.  It is well played though and I feel gets the best out of the band so a B- is donated.

A typical gruff upchuck next from the hands of 'Manifest', a crew from Manchester with a decent level of respect.  'Ordinary Man' clutches at under-produced offal and lets the innards slip and slide over your lap without apology.  The tried and tested formula of one statement, a unified echo and fast scuttling strings is effectively done with the only gripe the blank out moments that are just too darn clean to be convincing.  The rest of the offering is booming though and a definite B+ is chucked their way.   Oiz II Men fail to reach as high with their booze up 'Another Drinking Song'.  Fast rattling laddish lunacy with basic attention paid.  This would be OK after 20 pints or so but in a state of soberness I find it very throwaway produce that is only worth a spin on the very rarest occasion.  The first D- I deliver and have no apologies whatsoever.  No Decorum offer up the unsteady 'Hooligans', a wannabe Oi song that cultivates skankage in the mix and yobbish lyrical effluence that may not convince but offers no offense either.  A band stretching out with one or two hiccups in the mix but slowly getting there.  This song is taken from a decent album and this is a sweet song to not read too much into - C+ I reckon as there is a whole lot more to come.  

I must state that many of these songs have been reviewed before and outcomes may have been different.  The reason for this is that I refuse to copy what I have already said and that these tracks are being reviewed as of now, not as of then, with the role in amongst the compilation strongly considered - think on!

Corrosive Machine pedal hard and true with a thrusting belt out known as 'Black And Blue'.  Basic as per, containing a superb accuracy and breathless coruscating effect that will appeal to the dirty dogs forever pissing up the lamp-post.  CM are no more it seems and here they leave a shit stain that is from the gutter in true DIY fashion.  I reviewed this bands full length effort and found some delightful tones to bang out to, I am doing the same again - something in me likes this but I insist on keeping things fair and level - B+.  The Crash Mats follow with a wraparound repeater known as 'Watchmen', a groovy kind of filth that finds a thread, picks it up and follows it to the bitter end with very little variation throughout.  An almost sub-skank number bathed in leprous disease that sees the upper epidermal layer flake away before your very perverse tinted eyes.  Not bad but only deserved of a B- I am afraid.  The Hostiles drop in next with their very capable mitts presenting an overly busy and distracted din known as 'No Greater Force Than Silence', a tumbling number that is neatly attired but is adorned with just too many baubles of toneage and unnecessary trinkets of fiddleisation.  A shame because all areas do more than their bit, the brassage is most welcome and the general gist of the number is very much of a certain era/generic ilk.  A mere C is awarded as it is to the overtly unrhythmic 'Fail' by Flat Back Four, a song that has a flatline feel beneath a busy upper layer that has me clutching at sonic straws as regards where this one actually falls down.  It is one of those aggravating numbers and one I may have been kinder to in the past but at the current moment one which niggles my nipples of noise no end - bah.  The shutdown to silence comes from Big Ed and the Stink and the repetitively strained but sweetly stroked song entitled 'Gomer'.  A somewhat conflicting effort with coffee sofa contemplation crooned over a slightly tetchy underlay of crumpled wire work that never truly finds solace in its own sonic confines.  Despite this opposing melee within the melody I quite like this one so a B+ is given.

Look, it is a compilation CD that is designed to spread the word of many bands and mix and match the flavours along the way - these things do what they gotta do.  Take it for what it is, open your senses and seek out a couple of your more preferred donors and do your small but appreciated bit - you know the script!

   

FLEMMINGS - SHAKE WELL BEFORE USE

I know sweet FA about this crew, no idea where they spurt their sonica shizzle from and haven't a clue what to expect - I find that thoroughly refreshing.  As a cop out for an intro I exhibit the attached stolen wordage that came with the review request: 'Flemmings are David, Mads and Jez from South London. This SE4 crew are a pan European fizzbomb of excitement with members from Spain, Denmark and England.Brash, abrasive and full of big loud guitars and feisty beats, this trio are set to play Indietracks this summer and Odd Box has got our mitts on 4 new tracks all packed up on a hissy tape. The tape is being made in an edition of 50 white tapes and 50 black tapes'.

How's that, saves time methinks and into the general juicy (or shrivelled) bits of the CD we go with my task to undress and assess the four ditties on offer with the usual fair play card used.

From the midst of the anticipatory void of sound slips forward the gritty and garaged runt known as 'Get Away From Me Right Now', a superb opening gambit that sweats convincing beadlets of garaged grime whilst power-pumping onwards with an unrelenting highly Sugar-ised cum REM-ite blast of hard-fought noise.  Play loud people so as to accentuate all the delicious nuances involved and to embolden the waterfall of clashing acoustic elements that all thrive within the liquid downpour.  All units are kept close-knit, the vocal splashes work hard to remain well foamed and cool amid a saturating sound that, for me, make this initial upchuck of indie-fried music cooked  to a tee and combining a reality with a naturalness so many carelessly imbalance.  All I suggest here is that you plunge deep within the swirling waters, let your limbs hang loose and go get yourself tossed about (or off for that matter) - ooh err!  'I'm Afraid I'm A Jerk' throws its scabby ball out of the playpen with a shit-splattering tantrum of high confusion and goes for it with bawling carelessness that sees the blankets of comfort torn asunder.  The cacophony is well timed and gets the reviewer immediately confronted by opposing styles that could indeed lead anywhere - this is all exciting stuff for a chomping assessor.  A decent outburst I feel and worthy of a positive slapped arse!

'So' maintains the cruddy exposure levels and slaps forth with a more routined approach in a way that typifies the verse/chorus state of play drilled into the rhythmic rulebook out there (oh those bastards).  This lurking tickler beneath the upper liquid layers that are spattered with much detritus is a soothing song that goes for a slight sing-a-long simplicity within the chugging drive that rumbles and grumbles with self-satisfied conviction.  Of course it’s dirty, of course it’s melodic and of course its effective - but so easily it could be the other way around and be a total heap of error ridden rubbish - good on the crew for holding the reins.  We close with the somewhat misshapen runt slagged as 'Stone Circle', the most grunged grind of the lot and perhaps one I find least favour with.  The song just lacks the ensnaring tuned thorns that adorn its relatives and instead of catching our instant attention we need, as eager eavesdroppers, to take a little more time to fall into the slipstream of sound.  The tribality of the chuggage, the rising maelstrom of well-whipped angst and the pursuing mix and match of that which is haunted, harrowed and happening still make for a gratifying gurgle of gripery and I find myself absorbed by the filth displayed.  The abrupt end seems about in-line with what this band do, I look forward to hearing more.

4 tit-bits to partake of here and having a palate for many flavours I find this most appetising.  It is nice to toss many generic juices around the aural orifices and even though some may make you spit, spew or shit yourself many don't and are a pleasure to behold.  I like this one, it has much weight and more-ish essence and so my suggestion to you is to have a nibble or two and make up your own idle mind why don't ya!

   

PROPANE 4 - FREEDOM, EQUALITY AND ROCK 'N' ROLL

Propane 4 have done a few gigs for my shroomed self and have presented themselves as fine gentlemen and talented executioners of the sonica style and fit in to my usual patchwork punk gigs as easy as a bottle of wine and a packet of cheese slip into the pockets of the tea-leafing TV chef Antony Worrall Thompson.  They have a smooth accent to the produce and play things with a distinct leaning to melodica rather than mayhem which I find rather pleasant to partake of.  So, 5 offerings from these South Yorkshire dudes, with my ragged lugs expecting some alluring rhythms to be seduced by!

First up, fist up  and a fuckin' A-class toon baby, a ditty that raises the goosebumps with its troubled shadings and struggling tones that coarse through the attentive veins with provoking prowess.  'Tough Shit' is thoroughly worn, starts with strings that almost run out of life (a trifle dangerous methinks and the only minor flaw) before the whispered vocals encroach upon any comfort zones and relate a tale of earthy reality we can all invest favour with. The tear kissed despondency, the trilling strain of hopelessness and the slow injection of emotion that enters, intoxicates and mesmerises are all sugar on top of a very tasty cacophonic cake.  Mmm - sweet!  Remember folks, chew slowly, consider the flavours and swallow at your leisure - this is a rewarding belly filler! 'Ticking Time Bomb'   pounces straight in on whipped crispiness that throws good sparkage into the listener’s receptive earholes and forces a stance of 'get up and kick back'.  The first verse gains control, mouths off against the spend, spend, spend economy that will draw the ever-ready consumer into a cavern of no return.  Those slaves to the systematic shittery that tells you what you need are doomed and on it goes with Propane 4 stating the obvious and no-one taking any real notice - daft cunts.  This pertinent popsicle of tonality bounces along regardless and is a treasured treat that rises in frustration whilst maintaining a certain upbeat buoyancy in the face of financial adversity.  The final meltdown sees all involved dissolve into a wailing sign off and very well deserved it is - a fine accompaniment to the opening classic.

'Around Here' is the most moribund track of the lot and prefers to beat a path under twilight skies through the most troubled undergrowth tackled thus far.  The stealthy approach offers a new angle, one that tiptoes over tonal terrain not yet discovered by this progressive band.  At first I remain uncertain and yet stick with the delivery due to my duty to try and my eternal sonic stubbornness - it pays dividends.  The simmering accent, the sub-fractured constructive, the promising glisten of the strings and the pecking stick work all come together to create a finale worthy of the leading advances.  To be fair it isn't my favourite track and I still believe a little more work can be done to finalise what could be an atmospheric classic but, despite this, the song is adequate and changes tack quite nicely.  'Sniffin' Propane' is a punctuated repeat beat sing-a-long that bops and bites in equal measure and collides the two aspects with old school articulation that will undoubtedly appeal to those well-versed.  The stagger pulse means that all areas need to be lucid and so the pressure rises.  The vocals very much hold their own and are mixed with an exactitude to make this song work.  The more liquid moments are well scrubbed, ready rubbed and have a neat rhythm to relieve the tension and the simplistic wind down needs to be nothing more - easy peasy!  We close with a strummed up campfire sing-a-long that comes goes and shouts out for 'Freedom, Equality' and 'Rock and Roll', and there ain't nowt wrong with that.  A terse full stop to proceedings and a good way to sign off.

Propane 4 roll forth with little fuss and make solid songs with very little effort it seems.  This is a hard knack to acquire and not everyone is capable of using this style and making such grand effect.  The end result is an output that few are actually creating in the current climate and that for me is quite intriguing and makes them a welcome band on any Fungal excursion. Don't complain, go sniff the Propane!

   

THE ELECTRIC CHEESE - LACTOSE INTOLERANT

Some bands are cheesy and then some bands are....cheesy!  This Lancashire based three-piece have been on the cutting board of noise since 2014 and here serve up 4 sliced delicacies to get my aural choppers around.  The request for a review came from an old comrade who played with a favoured band of mine, namely, AFS.  There is no similarity in the tuneage which is for the best I think and I tackle this quartet of soundage with neutrality at the fore.  No fuckin, no duckin, no obsequious grooming cluckin' - just the usual pure approach you should expect!

The stable door of sound opens and 'Gold Divers: Under The Ice' is the first trotting tune to manifest itself with a strange blend of poppoid tones, breeches down countrification and US drawling – it all creates a well saturated noise to dwell on. Glinting in before rising on delicate foams the texture of the delivery is quite rumpled and so the fabric of rippling rhythm creates sweet sensations aplenty although I would suggest a little more pep in the department labelled tempo.  The throat is gristly and slightly barbecued with strung escorts more plucked than fucked.  The overall strategic positioning of each players contribution shows the band are thinking hard about the end product.  An intriguing sound and one that is not so easy to pigeon-hole which, as I always insist, is a fuckin' darn good thing.  'Girl From Somewhere' starts on sub-military skin scuffles and squelched wire work before crippled rock and roll gob gifts croon inward and create another spit-roasted chunk of tonsil torn tuneology that grates and sedates in an unexpected non-negative way.  The waters are mucky, in fact suggest a garaged lo-fi accent, whilst the liquidity is far from smooth.  This one takes a little adjusting to and may need a little more lube in the tonal tube before a pure unadultered digestible track is had - splunge!

'Leopold's Apple' is my favourite track of the four with a zephyr induced cruise constructed and a most westernised fragrance blown our way.  The elements the band throw into the melting pot collide and combine here with the greatest gratifying majesty and in-groove articulation.  The proffered tuned titbits find a synchronicity and this may be due to sheer accident, insight or abstraction.  The tempo seems more enthused, the rhythmic relaxation levels higher and the general emotive lilt and zest for the job at hand more convincing - surely the way forward.  We close, shut down or, if you prefer, fuck off, with the ditty scribed as 'Genius Disease', a quaint repeat belch of railroad chugging cum freeway trundling.  An almost piss-taking Americanised cowboy waddle that contains underfoot hot-doggin' and suggestive barn dance noodleism that causes a furrowing of the brow for this discombobulated assessor.  As stated on the bands website the claim is  of a 'psych infused power pop crew' which I am certainly failing to recognise at this moment in time.  I don't know and maybe I don't get it but this closing number fails to get me truly rockin' in accordance.

4 songs, 4 oddments from outside many boxes.  A quirky band I would have to hear more of if I am honest (which I always am) and one, if hoping to survive, will have to up the ante and mix and match styles a little more freely.

   

HEALER OF BASTARDS - SELF-TITLED

The dude responsible for chucking this 6 track avalanche of electronic hardcore my way is a chap I have been dealing with for many a moon now.  He is a darn good trier and has put in more than is two-penneth worth with those Angry Scenes Compilations memorable exhibitions of the quality of noise out there.  Here we see the chap in question involved with 2 other gents and producing a mix and match melee of wired up/wired out noise that stretches all concerned and makes for...well that would be telling wouldn't it!  The best way to see what comes is read the following assessment of these Birmingham Blastsmiths and see what this initial fuck-up of noise throws forth. And so... 

'Who's To Blame' is a smattering of angularity that opens on cross-wired electrocution that pulses hard with 'not my responsibility' ramblings infected the sonic showcase.  Another pre-intro burst, this time with a synthoid 70's sci-fi inclusion before catapulting sub-hardcore anger is unleashed.  The fast trundling flow is hot roasted, happening and just shy of being totally hectic.  Tonsils are worked over, the sticks dictate zested levels of animation and the string swingers do well to hold all aspects tight and keep the riffery roaring.  Slight metalised tints are added, numerous slapped down splashes thrown and deep scarring strokes added to create an end composite with many textures and tastes. A rough-house art slop to perplex the aural onlooker but one done with such talent and sincerity as to raise a nod of positivity.  'Bastard Species' is an equal spillage but this time opening with rave-oid accents borne from a sweat laden club hopefully free from the second rate hippies that ruin a scene.  Do not panic dear spiked swine, the band are back into their usual feisty furrow and kicking up much sonic shit with a direct screwdrive of tense and enraged vomit splashing out onto laps that better take heed.  Very pertinent lyrics here placing the human populace on the dung heap and quite clearly reiterating the whole fuckin' mess we are making of this planet.  I like this kind of defiance, a delivery that deals with the desperate idiocy taking place and even before the music melts my mind I am convinced.  The rhythm is, as said, direct and to the point and doesn't fuck about.  Listen up and roar with the reasoning - it will do thee no harm at all.

'Half Price On Humanity' deals with the financial farce we currently find ourselves in where the poor man takes a bigger whipping and the rich shits stay secure.  Injustice is a consistent trend in a world of trickery and selfish fat cat twattage and so the Healer of Bastards have every right to vent their spleen.  The 4 wired weapon commands the day here with a seducing weave of melodic thrumming that paves the way for a more than an adequate foundation upon which the crummy scuzz guitar and slap bounce of the tympanics can operate.  The throat is sandpapered as per and so we get usual schizzle from a crew who have already found their modus operandi.  A neat and tidy, tidy and neat (oh Mr Men how grand ye were) expulsion that is, for me at least, the pick of the rasping pops.  'Pit Bullshit' chases, is a controversial subject I am not thoroughly in agreement with (hey it happens) but reckon the sizzling noise will get people sitting up and taking note of the point made.  It is a buzzsaw moment that frazzles the receptors if played at a heady volume level and the more typical thrash and fuck hybrid certainly have their moments.  Biting hard into the flesh with fiery jowls whilst shaking your carcass into attention is the route taken - ouch!  To add, I think dogs are too often used as a symbol of status, have been, over the years, bred into all shapes and sizes due to our petty desires and for me I feel most need to be stopped from breeding and let to go into non-existence.  All these vulgar abnormal obscenities that walk with arthritic gaits, breath with difficulty, have protruding eyes or weakened frames are frightening examples of our almost Frankensteinian desires and I for one don't like it!  Give me a good old regular cur any day (just my personal thoughts and as you know I gotta chuck em' out there as I don't get paid enough to keep quiet - harrumph).

Last two - 'Killed By Catwalk', has material I very do much concur with and think the stinking propaganda out there that dictates to many what they should look like is a disease that needs constantly exposing.  An electro-snigger, a waffle, a deep throated war warble and into the straight ahead tear up.  The verse sections are a trifle tamed and don't tickle my tonal testes but the stagger chorus and drift dream float add character and rescue this dittified dog from the gutter.  Average for me with a few moments to savour further. 'Blinded By Simple Tricks' is the least effective runt of the litter with a somewhat blurry pathway taken that sees the song not run as truly as it should do.  The lack of liquidity, the echoed similarity to all that has passed, the overly jerked and perhaps fussily worked orchestration leaves me a little on the outside although the song does develop a little more towards the latter end.  Just one of those ya know!

In the final overview I feel that this CD starts well and offers a cutting, scathing sound with much political gutsiness.  Towards the latter end I feel the tracks waver slightly and just run out of alternative gas and leave one frustrated and wanting the band to venture forth into realms promised - I await to see where the crew go from here!  I trust they will do themselves justice!

   

THE BREAKDOWNS - ONE UP THE NARROW BIT

Another band who, with a little pondering, could be classed as 'not right in the head' and a crew who come to the table with many songs that deal with the flaws of daily life and the frustrations found therein.  These twanging and banging buggers from Buckinghamshire are busy dudes and sent me 3 releases in one wee envelope that is more than a little work for equally wee Fungal (unless the kidney stones kick in).  I don't mind, my main duty in the noisy scene is to do reviews, help all and sundry and be left to fester in my own pollutant fungalised world.  Ah but never fear, the seemingly shitted end of the well worn stick throws up one or two fragrances to get me by and despite the unending workload I crack on with hope, honesty and my personal view of integrity in good working order.  I tackle the 6 tracker here as it seems easiest to do and so give the illusion of myself being productive snigger, snigger!

First and a short  masturbation session splashed out with the title of 'The Ballad Of Ghengis Bone', a mere intro splat jacked off and splashed onto your lap with pointless passion.  First song proper and 'I Want To Beat You With A Stick' is a pure swift surging belt out of inner frustration that doesn't want to sit down and talk about it but has reached a stage where the idiot violence is the only option.  Like it or not we all sometimes reach this state and even if we wisely don't react to the raged sensations we can relate to this no-nonsense primeval release of tension.  This is a good pour out with some nicely condensed sound sensations coming through the general tight assed noise - a fair start! 'Working In Starbucks' is another ground down kick back against an antagonising situation and is pure pop punk in accent and attitude.  The song pronounces inward on grand strums before crouching low and sprinting ahead with feisty sing-a-long smoothness.  The style of the ditty has me making comparisons to that Teenage Bottle Rocket  classic 'Blood Bath At Burger King'.  The disgruntlement with routine, the somewhat youthful desire to break free, the ball bursting tension that shouts out 'fuck it' are all kindred themes to relate to. Guitars are crisp and well brandished, tinned drums are right on the mark and the gobbage is lucid, free travelling and very apt to the cacophonic cause - nifty and one I will be bouncing to for many a moon to come. Keeping  with the set scenario ‘Everything’s A Pound In Poundland’ semi gripes with bassed uncertainty before a drum skip and pursuing guitar pulsations inject excitement loaded life.  The taut lead wires combine with the initial bassism whilst tympanics rise and join in the musical structure.  The gobbage has a griped feel to it and is certainly relishing the role of the raging upstart and this effort, despite another simplistic lyrical slant, is a meaty tune with many juicy angles to devour.  Metalised screwing, drifting plods, ramming thrusts and rising holler outs – not rocket science but executed with convincing gusto. 

‘Don’t Shoot’ begins with submerged Elvis-ised tones (shudder, shudder) before gaping wider and exposing an inner tirade against the butcher that is Oscar Pistorius!  A nasty smear on the walls of sound that have a fair reek anyway but are surely always in need of a further stain or two.  In truth I find this one a little tame and that is merely down to trying to combine the same lyrical formula with a slower sonic movement.  If the foot is going to be taken off the gas I would suggest more profound, poetical lyricology rather than a general wrap-around orchestration that gets itself a little deflated.  Personal thoughts of course but that is what I am not paid for so I gotta say my piece – besides opinions are there to be shared and get people thinking, nowt else – so have a think!  We shut down with ‘Wanker’s Cramp’, a quick flick of the wrist that rubs itself off, shoots its load and tucks itself away - over and out and little to add.

That's all folks, promise shown, arses bared, a few blemishes observed and a few tracks thoroughly enjoyed.  The first of three CD's and I am looking forward to the next one for sure - and hopefully I can get these on a Fungal show too - compliment enough I reckon.

   

DUVALIER - NO SLEEP

Duvalier remain a mystery, have very little immediately accessible web presence and so make this review a trifle more difficult than it should be.  Having said that, I have experience of this crews produce and work from there as way of an intro.  They describe their music with a 3 word whip - Desert/Psycho/Garage upon which I would like to sprinkle a suggestion of bluesed and indified condiments.  It is a strange mix and rather than weave around a flimsy shaft of pointless distracting bullshit let us examine what these Italian maestros offer up this time around and give it a darn fair going over.

'Fingertips' is first slow-grilled grind to assault your sonic tastebuds and is a song that after an initial tentativeness grips the recipients flesh a little more firmly and begins to sonically slow fuck with deliberate sub-sleaze efficiency and semi-sweated seriousness.  The tender yet slightly cruel tones come from a distance where detachment pervades and leave me under the impression that I am the victim of a harsh sonic seduction.  There is a distinct cunning within the fabric of this track, a simmering slyness that distinctly tells one to be wary, not to get too involved but, alas like all curious cacophoneers, I get sucked in, sucked off and come away...perturbed but intrigued.  A quite involving number!  'Satanic Alibi' is a repeat offender that courses along with much rhythmic sub-chanting borne from a mind obviously unhinged and immersed in a whirlpool of religious discombobulation.  A dirty creeping little beast that, after settling beneath your skin, sets about torturing your soul via a slinkily persuasive methodology that caresses with hinted cruelty rather than stroking with genuine care.  An odd invasion that certainly fits in with the bands semi-angularity.

Third up and 'Cotard 9PM' is a gruelling denim frayed grunge out that nastily pervades the carcass of decency and fucks inward with almost unsettling malevolence.  The pimply greased arse of the tympanics provides a regular thrust to numb whilst the sleazed gobbage and desert heat guitar wankage combine to make a real dust kickin' contemplation of insidious character.  The band are ploughing a furrow with distinct facets, I stroll on with caution.  'Merciful Allah' is the most gratifying track thus far with a consuming guitar crispiness, a relaxed dusk chilled swagger and a blend of neighbouring components that work in true unity.  The most bar room countrification so far with a minimalism never far away that perhaps, just perhaps, creates the greatest fascination of them all.  A certain confidence is had but only in the most subtlest of ways and so we have a number that is not one to pogo and ping to but one to delve into and...sway with!

'Third Eye - Vision' continues the barely glinted, slightly tinted approach with a sparse commencement before drilling a trifle more sternly and captivating the attention.  This one, despite the melancholic entrance, kicks its own arse and eventually whips up a minor maelstrom of discontent whilst still refusing to headslam at a lunatic rate.  Precision, pre-determined attention to the acoustica makes sure the unsettled style is strait-jacketed and not thoroughly lashing which helps the end control - maybe it is just as well.  I like this one, something disturbing unravels itself and lies at your feet like some vulnerable runt in need of attention - interesting indeed.  Next and 'At Least You've Been Loved (Gospel Song)' is a fumbling fucker, a way too hesitant dirge of depressing mis-desire.  The she-moans sound add to the drowning effect that keeps one submerged in the nether regions of wretchedness.  Within the escaping bubbles the essence of a song is had but this one is just a little too taxing for my well-stretched patience.  A horrible moment for Fungal - bah.  'Liebensbrigade' is similar in tone but reaches further into the scrotum of emotion and grasps many sensation inducing seeds and provocative whispering vibrations.  The dreariness of the drift is aided and abetted in a crime against the upbeat by noir-esque visions pumped forth from a molten liquid movement that eventually simmers harder when a touch more thermal application is used.  A good song to throw in the midst of a compilation containing more brutal and blatant numbers.

Forward and into 4 terse and truthful titbits with 'I Just Can't Sleep/Cracking Up' and a tribal intro that insists from Planet Mess whilst muttering and meandering within unconvincing murkiness.  A semi-instrumental that lacks punch and true gnash.  The stagger punctuation of '20ft Of Rope' is more back on-line with a haunted/disturbed/unpredictable knife edge that takes one through many tonal territories of angular construction.  The jigsaw box of instrumental inclusions spills one or two pieces and so makes the end picture incomplete but what we do get is worthy of attention.  Preference however lies with the chasing nag reminder of 'Wasting Water' a smooth cruise that has a message, refuses to blow its own gasket with over-tempered trash talk and keeps a serenity that is so out of sync - I don't mind that.  The heavy pulse of the song is far from eye-opening but this is another to consider throwing in the midst of more savage spillages.  The last of the swift four is 'Pigs w/Anita', an abstraction of hurt that uncoils like a distempered snake and slides into your conscious zone with rinky-dink sweat soaked chest sleaziness.  The crawling seductress who plays the major role is far from being labelled as an innocent ingénue but has much inner experience and clued in tonal sweetness dripping from her teasing mouth.  A sexed up number, a disabling dabble into dream worlds of perspired flesh were erotic ambience rules the lustful roost! 

To the last brace and 'It Sure Does Get Quiet Around Here' is a messy composite I find little profit from.  A coarse chopped up ensemble of patchwork appearance that craves attention from hands more careful and tender.  The approach is dishevelled and I skip into the last thrust slightly disappointed. '1994' is back to the predatory style that the band do so well even though they over boil this one with a 5 minute 19 second running time. REM-med up edges appear amid the glutinous swirl and finds the lead whispers within realms of brutal minimalism where many visions of monochromed suffering arise.  A slow burning candle this that will only scorch if one takes the time to get up close and personal - always your choice.

So I am through, out the other side of a very troubled and troubling CD but, and a certain and distinct but, despite many unappealing aspects to my personal palate I still find much emotive intrigue provoked and a solid angle on which to hang myself now and again.  Duvalier have their own particular patch of sonic grass on which to park their asses and pluck out a rhythm or two - just make sure when you sit alongside the players you don't expect the sun to shine too brightly (if at all).

   

WE WERE LAWLESS - SELF TITLED

unadulterated discombobulation.  The terror primate responsible for the cacophonic crapulence is native to the wilds of Todmorden, a Yorkshire niche in the recesses of nowhere and liable to produce wayward madness, melodic experimentation and people with square heads or...shudder, shudder...all three.  I go into this with blindfold donned and ear plugs at the ready, you never know what I have let myself in for.

Firstly and the throb nob vibrology of 'Hard Reign' an initially foot stamping number that quells its own unease before adopting a frightful skin-creeping murmurised approach that moves with mighty malevolence.  The instrumental components drip with threat with the bass rumbling and guitar glistening, both activated into life with a steady stick beat that provides us with some hope of normality (how nasty).  The vocal style is a gruffalo cum buffalo utterance done with much thoughtful pre-planned grizzle that eventually foams over into a well stirred hot-pot of relieving power rhythm.  A sturdy moment liable to suffocate if not taken in the right dosage.  The embers remain stoked and flames continue to ascend via the second treat entitled 'Losing Faith' another bout of glutinous sub-filth that is one heavy cough up of forcefully riffed rape-ism, a pulverising slab of abuse that takes its time, salivates over the task at hand and ploughs away with head down, faced grimaced focus.  There is a clashing element, a saturation level that hits one hard and one receives the impact with gratifying honesty.  This turgid treacle beating is borne from a drowning soul in search of salvation, a determined dog trying to hang on to the last vestiges of sonic liberation - be absorbed, be appreciative of something not thoroughly in sync with your usual listening crapulence.

'Darkness' dawdles on the doorstep of discordance before generating enough confidence to step forth and offer up its true rhythmic identity.  A tip-toed lesson in tentative care slowly smouldering into something more sanguine.  The arrangement continues before picking up ornamental trinkets of tonality borne from Eastern imaginings where alternative viewpoints are stacked.  For something so darn sobered and gruffed one finds a mesmeric appeal that is a paradoxical combination of that which is hazy and that which is lucid - quite odd!  One would do well to resist the relaxed horror, the precipice of death and all that filthy hopeless nothingness that comes with it - do not deny the tome-impending gloop.  'Where Do You Go' has a 60's B pulsation that incessantly cultivates cheesewire tension liable to cut your damned throat at any moment of vulnerability. The prevalent horror that is forever at your heels is constructed through hard discipline and a rigidity to know ones destination well in advance.  I am liking this goosebump grind and am wondering what comparisons I can ultimately make - I confess to revealing an inner struggle, always a good thing!  'In The Woods' and 'People I Know'  are fungalised diseases that send out malevolent mycelium strands on the lookout for the susceptible or the just plain old weak.  Once infected you will be gradually broken down by the glutinous acoustic enzymes that will turn your resistance into...mush!  The former song is weighted with warning and sagaciously suggests that one keeps away from the inner forested sanctums where all sorts of atrocities are committed - one for those with wicked imaginations methinks.  The latter dollop of effluence is a radioed pondering with an extra troublesome needle within the vocal strain and overall sonic sludge.  A questioning, outside the circle shitter that uses the same tempo, harshly grilled plod and very penetrating vindictiveness of tone - a rewarding change from the usual noise that spills my way.

'Smokings Cool' reminds me of something 'Fall'en, something disconnected with expectation and so finalises itself as yet another faulted, fragile and generally fucked end product that is solidly held together with the bands special brand of acoustic adhesive.  The tympanic minimalism and simple bass and guitar accompaniment nicely make the way for  a somewhat quaint tickle that has decent inner turmoil and necessary speed injections.  'Ship Wrecked' begins with Joy Division essences (no bad thing) before whispering the first verse and then hitting a repeat chant that sucks one in and duly spits out.  The gothic arrangement with under vibes of disconcerting effect once again work a treat and this, just maybe, is the greatest triumph on show from what is a watershed of backstreet terror.  The only thing I would suggest is to sharpen up the guitar twinges and make them really skewer the listener's epidermal layers – ouch, but as per, just a personal thought!

The closing brace and 'Everybody Likes A Good War', is the chosen funky oriental gibbon plucking and fuckin' with his fruits of disgruntlement whilst watching from a lofty bough as the human race indulges in mindless violence.  This sub-jaunty jerk is seething inside but does well to keep somewhat controlled and cool as the world remains forever at war.  Pertinent points are made through rasped lips and get the usual job done.  We waltz into the unavoidable silence via the Edgar Wallace-esqe kissed lamplight leaning known as 'Suits', a provoking susurration of advice against those sinister suit wearing players who slot into acceptable line just to take advantage and get what they ultimately want with no thought of ethical value.  The mafia-ised slant is most apt and like a hypnotising serpent it captures your attention and slowly seduces your entire being.  I can't help wondering though why I am so intrigued by these slow concoctions of near death - how odd it all is?

That is it - sludged and drudged to the last, a melting pot of supreme restlessness and bleak pessimism which is hardly created to lift ones mood with whooping delight.  Something though, within the meandering muck, draws me in and as I slowly drown I can't help but raise my thumb in appreciation of the general mode and delivery.  The waters close in, my thumb slowly disappears from view but I hope, at some point, I have aroused a speck of curiosity on your much pimpled rear!  Farewell dear faithful reader...glug!

   
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