FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 100
FREE PUSSY RIOT - COMPILATION VOLUME 2
Here we go, read the label, you get the gist, it's all about unity and re-emphasising the injustice in the world via a punishment built on nonsense and ego - here is a review.
Classics Of Love open the sonic banquet with a frosted number known as 'Walking In Shadows'. A seemingly painful clatter of tumbledown tuneage that contains sparse application via the versage that ascends to a troublesome roll around during the chorus. The vocal style is natural and somewhat injured with a heart on sleeve lowbred quality that emanates a real believability and approachable coarseness - it is a good start. Two Gallants chase the tail with 'Las Crucas Jail', a well scorched texturisation that rises from lightly glowed embers into a conflagration of disgruntlement that sets the sensors alight and keeps em' blazing throughout. The breeze that blows through is warmed by thermal passion and what we end up with is a convincing zephyr of tonality with hungry guts exposed and ready to cough up flames of desire. Despite the alteration of pace that occurs throughout the inflammable spirit is never dumbed down and this second spillage is a neat follow up to the first and rubber stamps the CD and its concrete commencement.
Joe Tilston next and the somewhat well prepared production known as 'Liza And Henry', a very sobered bout of orchestrated acoustica with a classical edge that pervades via many a strung serenade and back whispered caress. The movement is languid, the delivery morose and greyed with the man at the helm immersed in the dreary application that is ideally executed and suitable for the set theme. Don't expect a real hair raiser here, it is a mere ponderous moment loaded with emotion and is just as effective as anything more up front and glaringly opposing. Speed Dinosaurs follow with a sub-flamenco shuffle trimmed with new-school activity and youthful bounce. 'A Working Hypothesis' is a well crafted bout of stripped down noise that moves with fair feistiness and controlled rhythm. The lyrical content is well crafted, woven within the weft of sound with clever hands and given extra weight due to the careful arrangement and thoughtful edge. The band here reflect a sound level of artistry and I'd be interested to hear how they diversify their delivery and keep the populace intrigued. The Stupids piss about, before getting to the cacophonic crux of the matter with a fast paced bout of energised poppishness that sugar rushes with adrenalin and looned focus and so creating a cloudburst of hectic hyperventilated activity one needs to play over and over so as to get the gist of. A soaked through thrust of self-therapy relieving the band of untold stress no doubt and giving the listener a real flashpoint conundrum to unfold - not bad at all and counterpunched by the chasing 'Kick The Crab Bucket' by the gyppo folkiness cum skanked modernisation of Hallouminati. A hive of multi-faceted industry with all engrossed hands at the helm and each pumping like fuckery to keep the undulating ship of racket floating with pride. Canons fire with brass balls hitting the listener full in face, the organising skins just keep on the right side of sanity, the strings are wire wanked with zeal and the barbecued front throat is happy to lead the onslaught. A real hotch-potch that paradoxically gets some semblance of order within the mix - fascinating and one for those who like things difficult. Onto more routine fare next with the Barb Wire Dolls spouting off some orthodox punkage in old school style via the bomb blast known as 'Revolution'. A song that has all restrictions in place, a ditty well doused in predictability but given 'ooomph' by the cavernous density of the riffage and the front lasses lung explosions that come with intermittent sub-orgasm groans and sheer let-loose releases liable to burn all in their way. The song is a thumping affair filled with sloganised attacks and bog-brush aggression that many a spiky top will fail to turn away from. The band have doubters and shouters, this explosion should keep it that way.
Fait Accompli lighten the shadings with a panoramic slice of sonica that is sugary, fluffed and in truth quite simply constructed. Saying this, 'This Is The End Of the World' is a sweet listening experience and when the chug factor is increased and momentum builds we have on our hands a real confident pulse that has an upbeat feel despite the opposing lyrics. A smart mover with an inner radiance that has capabilities of capturing the attention of many sub-generic dwellers. The Hickey Underworld shimmer fractured glass, cut through the veins of reason and spray the walls with passionate lifeblood with their determined forthright effort labelled 'Mystery Bruise'. Straight from the ticker on to your turntable this desirable episode of alternative rocking has many clattering corpuscles of influence within the general erupting plasma and makes for a real gory mush of musical intent. The band do well to avoid a collapse into a full on tear up but keep things almost professionally restrained and wonderfully effective. I crack on with pleasure my soul mate.
Contradiktion cough up 'No Composure', a palpitating skanky swift episode that finds escape through the chorus and so gives a contrasting journey with bumpy backroads taken and smooth freeways roared along. The two modes of travelling serve as a chance to give the band a greater chance to showcase their talents which, are highly praiseworthy indeed. A drawling and trawling croon next with Lucero crawling along with the sun-kissed porchway ponder that is 'Better Than This'. A semi-bluesed number with whiskey soaked vocal delivery and barely touched guitar that just does enough to scrape by, albeit without any originality up its ass. Still a decent effort though as is 'One Arm In' by Bonehouse, a veritable oddment with moments of switched off driftings that are mellowed and thoughtful set in a montage of highly blistered outbursts that seem utterly spontaneous and without care and so add a dangerous element to what is a well prepared mix. The band strike me has having itchy feet and I suspect produce many a tune that is technically convoluted and equally unsettled which will undoubtedly cause division, just like it has done with me - I am thoroughly undecided. Bring To Ruin force the verdict with a thunderbolt of raging hardcore right up the arsehole of the listener. 'Career Suicide' is power violence unleashed, with a foaming front gob laden with disease and vein-popping passion. The backdrop is an avalanche of immersed idiocy thrown at us with maniacal glee - this band have chosen their route, picked up the weapons and are making sweet merry riotous war - stand in their way at your peril.
Faulty Conscience donate 'Storming Beacon Hill' to the cause, a testing skanked piece that eventually crustifies its own offering arsehole and speeds along on ragged shirt tails and well worn sneakers with an abandon in the frenzy that is more than appealing. A song that is in need of a good wash but is all the better off for being slightly crummy. There is an inner tightness and when the band rise higher so do the levels of triumph - not a bad dirty old runt. Rat Cunt Disco defy preconceived ideas with a communised strum out known as 'Everything That We Need'. This is a subtle gem, a political smart ass delivered in thoughtful and sobered tones with an heart for the basics and a refusal for the crime of greed. The blend is comforting, the wordage thought provoking and thoroughly agreeable and I make special note of this one and its position on a fine CD thus far. Next and Leftover Crack with a torturing piece of monochromed filth that is highly roasted and blood spat into your mug with grimaced and perspired temper. 'Burn Them Prisons' is quite predicable politico puke but is done with the screwed up disgruntlement we so often favour that we get...involved. The script is poisonous, rebellious and fiery with an unease against the state of play within the world today - and why shouldn't it be?
Another change of style with DJ Niesche offering a scratch and sample episode of drift and dabble experimentation that is loaded with mood swinging sensations liable to fracture many a noised in noggin. 'Je Suis Manger' eats its way into your psyche and leaves an aftertaste of pleasant but somehow suspicious eeriness. Uniforms spill their own brand of spunkage with 'Heads Down, Thumbs Up', a well furrowed number that is one you need to take your time with due to its minimal rhythm and straight ahead hammer out approach. It is a deluge of undiminishing discordance that must be taken as a mood piece and may not be tolerated if in need of some easy listening fodder. One of those which leaves me undecided as does the chasing pollution of 'N. F. S.' by !SSA although the latter songs impetus and dirty bass manipulation do have me salivating a little harder. The opening spiel is frenzied, totally at war, in protest with the propaganda machine that forces everyone to keep within their comfort zones. The chasing bilge water stinks mighty fine and as I write I can feel myself getting pulled more toward the side of favour - yeah, nasty shit is needed, why the fuck not - the only gripe is the extended running time - darn it!
The final three, Padded Cell jerk around with 'Happiness Police' a twisted piss-take with pertinent points that some may miss, some will pick up on and some will duly ignore - cunts. It is far from a classic and not really a song but a heavily sarcastic episode that deserves its place on here - you have to mix and match, you have to rupture the sonic snatch or be cursed with a multitude of normal babies destined to bore you rigid - think on. Nu, Pogoi follow with a superb blanket bath of white hot heat known as 'Lost Mind, Lost Heart, The Ultimate Slave', an absolute sizzlefest of 'fuck off' powermongering done with raped larynx labour and full blown bastard blitzing that burns off every layer of skin and sears your aural receptors with blazing spite - love it, nicely timed and positioned exactly - what a gem! Matthew Bourne closes all with a pure opposition to the last piece with a classical key dirge known as 'Lament', a sometimes hesitant, occasionally certain crawl across the horizontalised ladder of ebony and ivory where many strings of the heart are waiting to be pulled taut, relaxed and yanked yet again. This dreary closure is ponderous, perhaps labours the point a little too much but no matter what, still has the listener uncertain as to what will come next...and that is mission accomplished to say the least.
22 tracks, numerous angles, oodles of noise, a real diverse conglomeration of acoustic elements and all done for a worthy cause, come on now what the hell do you want?
THE YOUTH - NOTHING BUT...
Having reviewed a single release by these guys I have been struck by the dangerous contagion offered and swallowed up the chance to review this album, along with the appropriate meds. These sharp-suited Danes capture vibes of yore and spill them afresh with newfound vitality and animated relish. The repertoire coughed up on this album is, once more, expected to thrill with melody, to kill with startling accuracy and to spill with liquid lusciousness. The Youth have it all on their side, they offered me a taster, now I want a belly full of musical morsels.
The first swill is taken of a piece known as 'Come On', an immediate effervescing brew composed on eager beaver desire and brittle cinder vibes that make quite an intoxicating entrance. The strings are kept glassy, almost sharply fragile whilst the bass is kept bubbled and energetic so as to coincide with the upbeat friskiness of the tympanics and the grooved relish of the throat at the fore. The end result is of an 'happening' thrust of garaged thirst that will not be satiated anytime soon. Those who adore the cacophonic capers of this overlooked sub-scene will get drunk on this spillage and, like me, look forward to the chasing upchucks. 'Looking At You' gets bluesed upwards with a steam train forcefulness and early trashed out tonality that becomes further enhanced as the gobbage blooms from the steamed sonic setting. Industrious and scuttled with a dreamy overlay pushed from vaulted vaginas of yesteryear where a necessary smattering of scuzz was essential so as to pepper the whole dish with a certain reality. I am liking this and make special note of the decent activity levels going on within the weave - nifty.
'You're Leaving' punctuates, froghops on beaned up zest that reinforces the entire framework of the song and gives an encouraging aspect that will keep the idle eared involved. Again we have strains of 'in scene' infection that will only be truly absorbed by the clued in connoisseurs but these titbits should in no way be tossed aside just because they aren't your thang ma'an. Invest some time, roll the flavours around the neglected palate and ponder further - get in to the slipstream, savour the spartanised approach, feel these masters manipulate their melodies and strut their stuff. This one, perhaps is not as effective as the opening two accounts, but it has much to its merit and makes for a thriving opening hat-trick.
Next and the ramshackle rumble and skipped, whipped flurry of 'Girls Like You', a stark and rinsed out prickled product with hive-ish activity and tin can acoustics that reverberate around the inner lugs with generic precision. The song however leaves me a trifle flat as it never fully grasps its potential and seems to lack a conviction between verse and chorus with neither really jack-hammering the listener with direct and decisive tones. It may be a personal issue but it is one I feel worth noting - on I go with honesty in tact (as per). 'Bubblegum' bounces on the palate, improves with each masticated eavesdrop and flourishes the oral organ (ooy sexy buggers) with gnawing acuteness. The bopping rhythm, the cymbalised shadows that surround the skin work and the weaving bass routine that fills in any gaps all allow the guitar to strut its six-strung ass in almost jammed style and so, what we get, is a liberated lesson in easy go tuneage that fuckin' well works.
'Vicious' burrows beneath the skin with a sub-Cavernised sensation that has much self-confidence and decisive 60's pop culturism built in to the overall flow. The deliberate bending of the wires and that shimmered backdrop of neatly shaken not stirred sonica is swallowed in one easy draft with all glass rim additives complimentary to the main flow - easy. 'Count' whips a steel horse across tin foiled plains before easing up and taking time to recharge the batteries with cool dude electro impulses delivered from many immersed souls who know no better and play it for pure kicks. One for the aficionados of the sub-scene or those obsessed with dipping their mitts in the retro clutter bucket with full focus on a joining in the gallop and free-trotting along with a pocketful of vibes - you get the gist I hope. 'Suede' comes on buoyant tones each one bubbled with precise application and feelgood presence. The plucky nature belies the fact that the song is more sobered and deals with a warning. The vocal approach is smoothed and glides over the pimpled surface of sound with ease. The inner snippet soaked in hollered and hollowed tribality is opposing and upholds interest - the standard is maintained. Next up and forceful string strikes come in highly tinned up fashion and grab the attention in no uncertain terms. Tympanics pulse, the gobbage fights through the forthright chops and we end up with a condensed and well saturated sound that goes by the label of 'That's Your Problem'. The band somehow contrive to make a minimalism of noise into a maximisation of racketology and with the occasional surge and hepped up bass line this one is a real driller killer that bores its way into your foot tapping consciousness.
A rattle to the finish line with 4 to go and an appropriate shake ass shimmer to get you in the groove. 'Save My Love' has spunk, loads itself up with backstreet vim and shuffles away with yet more bluesy fragrances neatly dabbed on to what is a well splattered canvas. I find this one though a little too repetitive and not meeting the standard the band have set thus far, it's their own fault. It is in keeping with the route taken but I just feel a little uninvolved and a little less aroused than I do by other tracks. 'The Norwegian Feeling' has more funkiness, more gusto and swings its booty with easier relish thus magnetising the listeners attention and making for a real fruited up experience. The guitars are well wanked, the drums skipped with bluster, the gob as liberal and sub-scorched as per and when combining these elements with the overall jerkiness, the stop and showcase segment as well as the clustered effect, you have another gratifying ditty on yer mitts. 'About To Run' attacks, rolls around, gets set and goes at it with a staggered verse contrasting with the ironed out chorus - all done with the jerk factor high and the lo-fi affect, ahem, low. Metallic, glinting with inner agitation and as brittle-stemmed as you like - pure baby, pure. We walk away into the silence with 'Baby I Am Back', a drawling sneak along with a careful hand sliding up the sonically stockinged leg and offering something of a promise, something of a comfort. The underlying sub-text is blurred but the musical drift and intent is not and this is a fascinating finish that has me wondering if the band are best at alternating the slow and serpentine around the speedy and straight ahead - I reckon so. Either way this is a sound finish.
An album that has much to dwell on, one of those that no matter how many times you spin you always come away feeling as though something has been missed or a certain part of you is left unsatisfied. It has many highpoints to savour however and brings to the table some much needed options for a dude drenched in dinnage. The Youth are a very effective band and yet I still feel there is much more to come - bodes well doesn't it?
SUNDIALS - KICK
Sundials hail from Richmond, Virginia and heave priority onto melodic, well saturated, may it be said, erudite compositions that stay firmly footed on the side of squeaky clean and inoffensive. On FaceSuck they put down their genre as 'Nerd Rock' which in a self-effacing kind of way hits the nail on the head but shouldn't be used by the dismissive as a tool to detract from the artistry on show. I notice the label of punk has been cast their way but that runt of a genre has been so far stretched in many ways it has got itself to a stage where it has no believable foundations. The best advice I can offer is to, as per, fuck all labels and read the review, dip in and make your own decisions. Here is my verdict, flown in without affect, without bias and without bullshit restrictions the music scene so frequently builds.
'Dealin' is a wonderful commencement with a sparkle in the soul that makes for decently drenched din that has many optimistic vibes running throughout. The lucid vocal style and the overall appetite of the acoustica make for an instantly appealing song with a well-whisked scaffolding contained within and a somewhat carefree edge adding that slight touch of danger. The band blend experienced solidity with youthful frailty and thus create a construct that hits several aural erogenous areas without being vulgarly invasive. I particularly like the somewhat compact soundscape that still offers a lightness rather than overly suffuses and makes for a murked mess - a quite nifty start. 'Splinter' is a more contemplative number and that more attentive approach, for me at least, somewhat hinders the arrangement and makes for a less impacting end result. Things are still kept honest and semi-melodic but the band opt for a dreary route and take some of the polish off the final presentation. Once more the saturation levels are decent, the productive qualities of a fair standard but that more introspective and self-examining route is restraining and so a less convincing opinion is formed, an opinion that is balanced and indecisive.
In third position of this six-strung pack is a ditty labelled as 'Gained A Grip', a combo creation of the first two efforts with a thoughtful track taken but with a real enticing melody that intrigues and relies on cultured tones rather than predictable riffs. The glassy guitar has an underlying brittleness but remains reliable, the bass is kept compartmentalised and keeps the foundations firm and the skin work upheaves the general flow and induces a fair bounce in the sonic system. The gist of what we get is penetrating, the approachable gobwork somewhat homely and natural and again the end mix is precise and very much at one with the bands desires - a real concrete slab this one. 'Stun Spore' is more radiating charm with a sound upbeat sensation and lucid lyricology intertwined with some powerful guitar thrusts and well slapped tympanics. The productive mix is wholesome and fully rewarding with a rose-tinted buoyancy created throughout. The band keep the instruments utterly hygienic, all areas scrubbed up and spruce and you will do well to find anything untoward in the mix. Perhaps not the most obvious tonal tipple for a DIY scummer but hey, this is neat stuff and I need not be bound by idiot generic boundaries.
The title track, 'Kick', begins with a grumbling bass before sticks knock up a traditional beat and the mouth offers up clean-living utterances. The track derails somewhat after this promising start and becomes something of a sub-abstract montage of many moods that I find don't truly interlock and thus leave the end jingling jigsaw slightly incomplete and out of sync. Maybe a case of personal preference and just one of those toons that doesn't meet some nebulous in-built criteria I try my best to defy. The fact is though I ain't keen on this one despite its solid mix and the injection of well-weighted chordage - hey ho - such is the palate. We fuck off with 'Eugene', a closure that has a lethargic start and only gently raises the work ethic with its drifty and dreamy approach that grasps onto a austere construct and refuses to alternate its direction. Totally middle of the road meandering but done with good effect and award winning merit that will surely serve the band well in the more commercialised waters. I am 50/50 here but with its complete mix, complimenting production values and resonating tightness of sound I gotta give the band a fair nod of the head and say 'keep it up'.
The Sundials are in their own zone and offering up output of a high standard. They threaten to drift into other generic pools but manage to stay within their own although those extra toe dips do invigorate the listener and provoke deeper interest. In truth the band play music that isn't necessarily my chosen cha but I like to melodically wander and have spun this CD many times without any searing gripes - it must be good then (he says with all sarcasm attacking any semblance of arrogance). Have a peer in to the Sundials yourself and see what you think - you may just uncover a new vibe to tickle your tonal tastebuds.
DIRTBOX DISCO - I DON'T WANT ANYTHING FOR CHRISTMAS
Having watched these guys slowly ascend the ladder of listenability on many a twats turntable I can almost predict what will be coming here. The band overdose on hooks, cram their produce with crowd appealing sing-a-long threads and avoid offering anything angular and off kilter. It is highly formulated stuff stretched to the max and how many times over the years have we seen this modus operandi pay dividends for oodles of commercialised bands on a one-way mission to 'Pleaseville'? Personally, as I write, I still believe that the bands opening account was via some stunning material, which contributed to a delectable debut album to gush over...and gush I surely did. Since then I have felt myself become slightly unconvinced by the processing production belt but then even this Fungalised git has to hold up his hands and applaud some decent tuneage (albeit not in the same bracket as that wondrous opener). Here we see the band follow a tradition (I hate that), follow a procedure (I hate that) and cough up a ditty for a festive season I am sure none of them really believe in (I hate that too). What can I do, I am just a humble reviewer, as honest as the length of a reindeers nob and so say how things are without fear of being squeezed outside the throbbing boil of popularity. Many will give glowing reports, many have to, I don't but...if it's good you will know about it.
Side A, the title track, 'I Don't Want Anything For Christmas' is straight into the highly cheesed mould and harmonises the chorus in such a disturbingly sickening manner that I almost reach for the replay button with an utterance of 'surely not' upon my taut lips. The verse comes and is vulgarly clean, corns it up with essences of loneliness and that sad eyed bluesed up shit many spill at this most foul time of year with 'oh pity me' the most fraudulent aspect on show. The song repeats the routine several times over and I get quite rankled listening to the tidy sing-a-long vileness many so-called punk pisspot will ping about to - talk about losing the will to live. We get a middle guitar spurt that is as you can guess, the closing trail for home is fodder for the fucks and even though this is average acoustica the mistletoed morons will lap up I think it is a real flatulent piece of nonsense that wastes my time. The sleigh bells at the end is almost a piss take and yet despite my ravings I know this is gonna be a winner, and I don't hold no grudges at all but please, take time and genuinely consider yourself tuned out of anything resembling punk you bastards.
Side B, a super quick filler that reeks of 'Oh just fuckin' bang this on, the fuckers will buy it anyway'. I trust the bands honesty though and overlook this pseudo-accusation and look at this primitive number as one of those that has a piss taking, in the club finger point and is one for the genuine fans. 'Punk By Numbers' isn't even that, it is a short therapeutic blow out that is over shadowed by thousands of songs I have reviewed this year and so leaves me no option but to jump ship and label as 'nowt new under anyone's sun'.
Production wise the band are marvellous, progression wise this is pointless, popularity wise they will lose no brownie points with their following here. Me, I think its a load of bollocks and duly say so which, will lose me friends, lose me kudos and keep me as one of the few fuckers willing to put things how they are and get no respect for it - it's a shit scene tha' knows. DBD are a fair band though, a bit predictable and a bit too hygienic for me but, hey, I ain't in the minority for nothing. If the many say it's good then it must be - REALLY?
S's - EXPLODED VIEW OF LOVE
Morphing experimental pseudo-robotica spilt with the intent of provoking thought, enhancing cerebral hallucinations and wanking off traditional routine and procedure this obscured mix of molten monochrome tones is no easy task for the dabbler of processed dinnage - that is always a positive point. The elusive emotional butterfly of love comes under the glare, as well as many other themes such as war, on-line sex and hypocrisy with all tangents done with baroque sincerity and unnerving application. Absorbed, saturated, squeezed out - the melodic fabric is there to tear, available to tread upon and make threadbare before a re-weave is needed - S's take up the task, grasp the needle of noise and give us a patchwork affair. I tread carefully!
'Sex Machines' sparks, proclaims the roboticised stance, tin cans the soundscape with Dalek-esque mania, does nothing more than introduce the awaiting meteorite shower of automated insanity. 'Electric Friends' moves on frosted utterances and electro voodoo saturation with clockwork rigidity and a restless emphasis on futuristic unease. The essence one picks up is of a sub-dance opiate that has been suppressed by acute focus and a resolute determination to keep things in the right zone. The tribality, the wasted landscape reality and the horrifying signals that zoom in from a Dystopian nightmare make this an episode of disturbance one should not dwell on for too long, I sneak forth into less shaded realms (I hope).
A perverted pneumatica next with fizzing prisms of reflecting, refracting, re-energising illness all there to disease the individual with a multitude of clashing tones blended into one precise package of slightly drilling disturbance. 'Unhaunted' is a callous offering with no care for the listener’s gentler nature. This initially cold and matter of fact number thrives on a cold hearted delivery backed by a spasmodic flourish that seems to get fat on your undoubted struggle with the sludge splashed forth. A burgeoning mushroom of mania threatens to invade, it duly comes and adds to the overall disruption factor - a very interesting effort to dwell upon and…within. 'Love Life' is a 9 minute 42 second saga of razor edged abstraction fuelled by analytical moments and explosive outbursts of pure, unadulterated vexation with the state of all things. Suggestions of a mocking Satanism are never far away and the vulgar tribality is almost etched with Metropolis visions that seethe with unbending regulation. This throbbing routine gnaws at the will, tears chunks from the carcass of decency and duly infects with foul, rank sonic saliva not there for any self appointed fan of melody. A very trying slog, a nasty inclusion to the end picture but, may it sound like madness, a thoroughly necessary inclusion. Toward the latter end things start to break down, we get a chainsaw massacre nightmare, the soundscape is torn limb from limb, visceral knee jerk reaction is vile, are you ready to puke you bastard pigs!
'Strange Love' emerges from lunar pools where something Clangered gets masturbated by pseudo-croons and rippling sonic pulsations. Space age birds sit on wire-knotted trees and trill in sub-harmony whilst the underlying tympanics copulate and the floating utterances float over the exposed flesh. Visions of flowered fields are had, a lone tree is noted under which two androids fuck with blank eyed intent and overloaded genital batteries ejaculate acidic seeds. The love turns to murder, the grass is splattered with white liquid blood, insanity is still the master. 'NSFP BTFM' is a laboratory escapee, a cacophonic creature on the run from a test tube birth that causes a straight line approach to the world of rhythm, There is a strain to break away, a real inner anguish to crack the mould - am I on the wrong scent here. The vibration of the membranes resonates deeply, the floated cutlets offer needed interludes, I am slowly getting this. A last ditched yell and into 'Weapons Grade Love' comes, more of the same to be honest with a very detached feeling emitted from the slow pecking beat that, this time, gets one a little downtrodden. A case here of a theory exposed and raped before our eyes, a definite overcooked effort that suffers as a result of its positioning and unexciting edge - one for the melting pot as far as I am concerned!
3 left, time to cut a dash - 'Rip Out Wires' is a 2 minute track that begins with tin foil utterances followed by lunatic ramblings that are interspersed with overloaded tongue lashings. This song sees the artist tossing off in the face of the previous plod and finally crash headlong into a sub cassette game upload borne of Spectrumised times when a certain Willy of the Jet Set awaited our patience - no such luck here but the this awkward inclusion works. 'Pome' stutters forth through a fissure in the doorway of decadence. Outside the world turns to shit, our lead artists remains somewhat detached whilst spouting poetical driftings with a vacant stare. An accursed wretch affected by external madness and devoured by final avalanches of rolling scrapyard malevolence. We close with the 23 minute title track, 'Exploded View Of Love', another bout of primeval turnings with a domestic appliance repetition that molests the mind and leaves nothing more than a disillusioned mess of powdered thoughts. The intent is to wake up the listener to stark realisms, to force out an opinion be it by insanity or suffocating threat - the song has weight, distracting insidiousness but is nonetheless are darn hard piece of sub-entertainment. Just before the 3 minute mark we are left with a closing whir that lasts, and lasts, and lasts - a deathbed moment until...the closure.
Interesting indeed and not one for the sugar plum lolly lickers that like their music on a plate, well seasoned and fed to them on a spoon. These tunes are naked intricacies constructed by restless fingers in a digitised mood and for those who want good old rock and roll then a big 'fuck you and be disappointed' message is scrawled. For those with a palate for the obscure then you may find many facets to explore further here and many sharp angles to get pierced by - if you don't taste the merchandise you will never know.
EYE LICKER - CURSED EARTH WASTELAND
I know the lads from Eye Licker, but that won't sway my assessing hand. I like the dudes in this crew, but of course, that matters not one jot when reviewing the noise created by these Manc bastards. No, if its good I'll shout about it, if its shite I'll constructively let em' have it and if it is neither here nor there then I hope to get the review reflecting this. This lot are feisty in the pit, hit many flashpoints and pour forth a quite concrete energy but, despite doing the business on their first release, can they do it again here? I have major anticipation, I have a reputation for being fair and honest (in some parts translated as being a twat) and I look forward to giving this CD a going over in the usual helpful (if you are clued in that way) fashion.
First up 'Therapist' and instantly we are smacked around the chops with a new found impact and ultimate belief with the band radiating a superb flourish of DIY hardcore passion that creates one of those moments that make me utterly proud. The resultant opening mush of ill-tempered noise is wonderfully mixed (what else would you expect from Pumpkin Records) and it not only accentuates the artistry of the band but those wondrous ball-crushing riffages, arse kicking drum attacks, bulldozing basslines and of course the mentally snapped tonsil scorches. After the opening 'fuck off' moment the band take time with reliance of granite rhythm and taut intent before the song breaks out into a multi-blebbed body of pus leaking malevolence and hot shit desire. The penetrating gust of violence culminates in a final perforating blast out, the footprint left on our disbelieving carcass is real, wake up, you have just been kicked senseless and aurally raped! The title track, 'Cursed Earth Wasteland' rattles along with all private areas on fire. A real zipping piece with all zones in red alert mode and full to the hilt with diseased in-scene desire. The chorus chunks spurt out amid frenzied verses that are stuffed with an inner pulverisation taken via twisting heel deliberateness that pushes your mug right into the sharp edged gravel. Full spirited and emanating a provoking thought that the band are really up for this - fuckin' have it then!
'X' ponders the short running time it has been given, almost gives up the ghost and then bollock blitzes itself up against a fiery wall of noise with the result a straight-line smear of blood and spunk shot through with hard worked perspiration - a quick blow out, the veritable laxative in the mix and one that soon falls into the shadow of the evil insanity known as 'In Vain', a burn up that never burns out and begins with a superb genital snatching riff that there is no escape from. An igniting moment that slaps open the way for a vulgar exhibition of black hardcore, amphetamine gob chomping and flustered fret work of the most irritable kind. Drums are ravaged, arse fucked and left in a cymbalic, skin-shredded heap - the song is utterly in its own war zone and meets the needs of the H/C fanatic in many, many ways. Again, this one proves that sonic violence can be undoubtedly golden.
'Filth' gouges out a niche, settles in with an orthodox plod, succeeds in bringing some semblance of order to proceedings (I doubt if this is necessary or a good thing). I stay tuned, watch the bloodied bloom slowly open and sway in an acoustic breeze borne from clogged and clattered lungs aching to expel numerous toxins and diseased globules of angst. A testing number this, mainly for the band, who do well to not rip their arses out and follow the mad frenzied route easily taken to in this reckless sub-genre. The song is a well placed effort and gives that optional factor and rhythmic respite some less immersed eaves droppers may need - and why not? Decent indeed but a crucial gem follows and goes by the name of 'Nothing To Display', a fave of mine from the 'in the flesh' arena and one the crew have transferred on the silver circle with artistry and aplomb. A fantastic moment of clashing tonality with both sides of the cacophonic coin highly polished and reflective of a band in the know. As it may be apparent to long term perusers of this electro web compartment I am a great lover of contrast and when those checkerboard elements come together and give a fully opposing picture of neatly executed noise I never fail to gush. This is such a moment with the skipped and crisped moments precise and moving into the dirtier ill tempered episodes with oiled eased which, in turn, are propelled into seizured spurts of paced lunacy with equal smoothness - excellent indeed. Eye Licker exhibit themselves here as the band I believe in, a band who are not just a throw away commodity to fill a space so as to pave the way for some nostalgic act many are obsessed with. Look, Eye Licker are worthy of your time, are thoroughly convincing and can knock out a fuckin' rib-rattling set to leave you impressed - wake up, smell the rectal rhythm of a band with 4 arses on fire!
'Wham, wham, wham - the last 3 come at you with 'Clockwork Zombies' leading the way. Far from staggering on rotted sonic limbs this fine upstanding thrust has good flesh on the bone and after a frenzied ascension the song powerhouses along with a manic verses that tumbles headlong down the stairs of dinnage with a quick bone judder of a chorus. We repeat the violence, hit a squirm point where breath is regained, a quick chant of the title is had once more, another lashing given and then...fuckin' shut down. Into 'Why Ask Why Not When How Is More Fun', a song introduced by the inane statement of a moron before sand blasting your face off with a Thompson gun rapid-fire mow down that in the main is fuelled by amphetamine drums, scuffled strings, bee bumble bassism and a man at the fore possessed. Of course this music won't meet the needs of some, it is of that certain dividing ilk but for me it is wholesome high action noise played with a zeal to be real - I like that and I also like people who smear their sonic shit for the sheer love of it. Deal with these guys, there ain't no requests, no false fronts, no underhand plans to be big time bastards on a one way track to sell-out city - no, what you see is what you get, desirous noise makers in it for...the right reasons, not those fabricated punk ones everyone stretches.
We close with an indulgent 4 minute 40 second crawl of atmospheric metalisation that arises from 1950's Universal graveyards where ambience is everything and the monochrome shadings were emanated with so much mystery. From the misted miasma creeps forth a death laden 'Testimony', fuelled by sickness, disgust and complete exhaustion. The crew travel on careful tones, enhanced only by the sub-texturisation and the promise of an increase in stature. The rise comes, albeit only slightly, we remain involved and although this isn’t the most favourable track for me I think it would make for an intriguing opening and closing episode if split down the middle. The band could enter on the accursed tones and leave in the same fashion whilst in between blasting the onlookers to pieces with the shotgun hardcore - I think the effect would be most rewarding.
Well at the start I confessed to liking Eye Licker and at this final state of play I am still a convinced fan. This is quality stuff from a crew not getting due credit from a scene that is awash with people too caught up in the what's hot, what's not sub-fashion fuckology and not really getting out there and honing in on a variety of racketed shit. All I can do is a tiny, unassuming bit and cross my fingers and keep hollering - I hope it helps keep the band going and that they get a few more heads looking their way - grand stuff for sure.
BAMBOO VIPERS - DANGLING THE BAIT
From darn sarf, somewhere central, comes an unorthodox noise with strains of something mental. The flow is uneasy, the track taken diverse but I can't help having visions, of something perverse. Of the Vipers I know nothing, this disc came out of the blue, but one thing is for certain, I shall do what I do. Spin, spin, spin, absorbing the noise and the clatter, on the sonic swill I feed and get aurally fatter. Enough of the wordplay, into the review proper, will it be a big erect hit or a low-down flopper? Only one way to find out, as per, open ya peepers then go open your lugs, in we dive:-
'Alien Friends Reunited' chugs forth with B-movie application and instantly captives this lover of all things cinematically schlocky and wonderfully Penny Dreadful-ised. The initial utterances are maniacal, absorbed in the angular artform and totally not in tune with the traditional route so many players take (nice). All produced components are lucid, sparked with a galaxy roaming abstractness that almost sees them doing their own thing. Predictable this isn't (double nice) and the tale telling trek through many angularities is a thoroughly rewarding treat. We are given descriptive detail, musical moments of exciting exactness and a specimen of song writing that really does have that mystical longevity factor. I like a sonic scheme with a theme and when fully embraced it can be a dream - phasers are on full stun here folks. 'Banged Up Abroad' is a yarn concerning fantasies gone awry. A sonic saga of a quick druggie gain attempted by a careless cunt who deserves their place in the awaiting festering cell. Visions of all things plush turn to shit and the consequences dished out are ideal for this kind of irresponsible twat. The band play the rhythm with assorted styles but heavily rely on a natural rage that sees them display a certain pleasure at the culpable cunts suffering - oh yeah. The musical mix is crystal clear, thriving and vomited outward with spraying, infectious delight. The snatching essence, the desire and the noisy nouse exhibited bodes well for the rest of this CD and I move ahead with anticipation high.
'Wild Flowers' progresses inward on slowly winding strings with a subdued element that works beneath the thirsty gobbage and tumbling drums. A vicious edge cuts a swathe through the cosy comfort zone of the over glutted cunts who hippy skip to a regulated beat that really isn't so far out man. The essence is totally toxic and done in such a scathing and professional way as to be utterly enjoyable and thoroughly applaudable for its non-conformist methodology and anti-greed stance. There is a real kick back against that sickening conformity and inbred idiocy we all see as fakery and this once more is a fuckin' first class tune done with sub-abstract expertise. Stunning and the 'Biting Army' march in next with yet more outside the box tuneage and triumphant blending. A chug, more spittle soaked venom, some brittle cinder strums, much questioning - this multifaceted gem leads a merry dance down many avenues of unpredictability and off kilter cacophony but easily maintains a momentum that is obviously in agreement with the bands masterplan. The undercurrent of disgruntlement, the necessity of the unanswered 'why' question and the general gist all convince me of a band dealing in produce that is borne from very talented hands indeed with the leash well and truly broken free from.
'Royal British Legion' is a terse moment of fractured oddness that sees a pub crawling punk nut travel forth with a pack of thirsty noodles and do the slurping business. It is a thriving song with relatable wordage falling from salivating chops who have many an inkling to wander off course. Short, to the point and loveable - I'll have that! 'Crystal Methodist' is anti-religious cum substance hatred with a real momentous tirade rising and falling in magnificent irregularity. The element of danger is always present, the perilous route taken not one for the faint hearted (roughly translated as 'tone deaf cunts'), and the overall splatter attack is truly admired by those with itchy wings wishing to fly around various musical cages. What becomes more apparent with each spin, is the way in which The Bamboo Vipers manipulate the soundscape, throw in various unsuited aspects, shake up the tossology of tradition and brew up something of a conundrum that surreptitiously unravels itself in your swede without really letting you in on the secret - very invigorating it is too.
'The Lord's My Shepherds Pie' is a work of idiot genius and regards the desire to eat all in one's path and become a real fat bastard of mega proportions. We get a good rock and rolled intro before the vicious attack of the ever-hungry begins with a superb toxic verse leading into the crafty chorus that is brief and instantly adhesive. The tune travels and consumes the listener with a bout of factual frivolity that deals with a current epidemic where lard asses are created in a land of milk, honey, chocolate, crisps and fast food dominance. This is a crackin' song that raises pertinent points as well as a smile - I reach for the replay and indulge (and grab a sausage roll too - fuck it).
'Chemical Castration (Or A Day In Dunstable)' is a terse raving done in sub-poetical style that highlights one mans hatred of a parish village and market town set in Bedfordshire. It is a crazed moment and highlights how mental instability can lead to an all consuming hatred that just doesn't do anyone any good - I feel for the author of this misguided piece ha, ha. 'Swivel Eyed Loons' is back on course with a slanderous and utterly justifiable assault on that mop topped moron Boris Johnson - totally what the head doctor ordered. The delivery contains plenty of angles, numerous scathing lines and an overall feeling of rousing unease with all facets blended and posted in your mental letterbox with the usual forthright approach which commences from the opening emboldened tub thumps, through the dashing vitality of the first verse, to the trapping catch of the foot stamping chorus chant and up to the more protruding aspects that construct great engrossment and involving attention. I like the fervid action here, it seems a key facet of what the band do and it really does enhance all areas.
Forward and onto 'Fear', a spiralling plunge into the unknown, an indignant ferocity and a more orthodox punk upchuck with ample burliness thrown in for your listening experience. The band don't hang about again and splatter shit their venom with an underlying terror apparent. The drums roll and pound with ass fire emergency, the rest of the crew consume themselves on the whipped up rhythm and suddenly it's over and we are into the TV nostalgia of 'Tarzan Cards' and a tale of Ron Ely and his ludicrous hygienic and polished attempt at playing the Lord of the Apes. The collectible cards that went with the TV shows of the day were the height of merchandising and we, as young naive gogglebox enthusiasts were sucked in. The cheap gum was tossed aside and a for a few pennies one got 5 picture cards that had either info on the rear or a part of a large jigsaw - great stuff. I remember collecting the footy cards of course as well as Planet of the Apes and some Dinosaur ones and I blame this forced upon behaviour for creating my underlying collection streak I have today. The song here is nothing short of a bit of fun and drips with a fondness for yesteryears innocent crap - and why not?
One of my favourite songs of the lot is the close to the bone (quite literally if your head is warped) and goes by the double entendre of 'Roger The Cabin Boy', a smutty play on words that is done in glorious 70's style with the edge there to be laughed at, frowned at and...fuckin' enjoyed. Rolling along on high crested waves of rhythmic relish this bouncing beauty of big busted lustiness is delivered in a fuck you style aimed primarily at the PC brigade - or we could indeed flip all upside down and go the other way and still make a pertinent point. The nag snag pulse, the undulations and the somewhat adoration of wayward lust is done in such a style as to be almost criminal. Laugh or cringe all you want but the fact of the matter is that some young sprout in the annals (or anals) of time has been a victim here - poor sod. The fact remains though this play on words will get due attention and I for one think it is sharply done to a tee. Good one. On to the final few and 'God's Little Nimby', is a poisonous attack on the council slaves who kiss arse at every opportunity and keep all those held in high esteem sweet. This is another well mixed, well played song with the usual patchwork style and multi-layered depth that gives extra longevity to the song and of course more exploration value. The high clarity tones of each component, the unity of the players and the blatant spittle soaked angst all make for another appealing pip. 'The Bee Song' lives up to its name with a busy approach and a buzzing sensation throughout. Utter rapid action that races along on needy notes and brings us to the final full stop all wide and awake and ready for more - how's that?
Th, th, th, that's all folks. A fun, sharp, testing and ultimately victorious CD that showcases a band determined not to follow the usual 3 chord route and play it large with varied accents and slants. A band for sure to grasp a whole heap of attention and well thought out praise and, if they keep the creativity juices flowing, then a hefty degree of success too - I hope so!
BENEFIT STATE - LET THEM EAT CAKE
4 old farts (of the delightfully smelliest order) are here and off their flatulent arses with an effort to please the lovers of old school noise that has that under-producded and DIY flavour. Initial contact via the silver circle has seen me give decent praise to a few of their ditties and here we see the Salford based buggers spill out their first full-length offering. As I ponder the track listing I see a few songs that I have already dabbled with which should make things easier on the old digit tips. I reckon I know what is coming and am expecting something quite regular and reliable without blowing my balls off, let us see how close to the mark I am.
Drawing back the soundless curtains and we are smacked in the face with big slice of 'Cake', a song I think I have reviewed twice on this here site and one I find totally wholesome. If ya think I am reviewing it for the third time then think again dear reader, do something for yourself instead of being fuckin' spoon fed - harrumph. 'Touched' is another song I have dabbled with before as I have several others I can see coming up so I'll merely flit through these and concentrate on the newer stuff - needs must. This second song grinds in before going through a nasty tirade against those perverse TV personalities who dabbled in innocent areas that should be thoroughly out of bounds. The wake up call it gave must be fuelled and grim, power sludged songs like this will help to keep the idiotically star struck suspicious. A short heavy duty number that is to the point and worth a listen or two.
More dark cable flicks done with purpose next as 'Female Rider' nudges inwards, we are left with a noir-esque setting done in smoked streets under murky phosphorescence. A melody swirls the mist, a steady direction in investigation is made with all tones hooded and kept somewhat surreptitious. If care is taken a decent song is had with a comfortable mode operated within and a slightly unshaven slant given so as to enhance the character - which is the optioned taken via the more staggering throb of 'You', another ponderous exercise in reliance on ambience and subtle suggestion. Both songs have an inner grittiness but this latter one slightly outweighs the first with its meandering touches and more ornate appearance. The thoughtfulness and sub-heart tug is welcome and Benefit State get by with two strolling numbers - I must be slipping.
'Frustrated' is a gem of a song with a real infecting melody and a totally relaxed affect borne from various vaults of yesteryear where minimalism was used to varying degrees of success but which opened the gateway for experimental voids to be explored. Of course noise has progressed (and all the better it is) but spartan sonica is best served natural and here it is done by knowledgeable cooks who do not over fry their dishes. Kecks down, back alley deviancy, tricks spun and a distorted sense of decency are all dealt with via this sterling first class effort I duly spin to buggery (excuse the inappropriate terminology). 'T. W. O. C.' next and a real drop backwards into the grimed DIY pit that gave birth to many crummy bog brush efforts we, as devouring sonic pigs, glutted on. This is a pure unfrilled corrosiveness based around content that deals with the thieving bastards who break into your car regardless of the cost to you the owner. Another example of societies wondrous selfishness and delivered here with a straightforward dirtiness that has no underlying nonsense and intricate sub-text. It is what it is, as is 'Man Abuser', another song with an unhurried approach and the usual documentary style tones that keep things realistic and very approachable. The band have certain nuances, certain idiosyncrasies that make the spillage recognisable and that machine-like trudge could indeed slip into territory labelled 'tedious' but that is certainly not the case here. These are digestible chunks of solid sonica that are easily warmed to and taken as they are - lowbrow purist noise for the ones clued in below the radar. 'Fester' next, a slightly more upbeat zest is had via a well worked weave of hard fought cacophony that forces itself upon the impressionable noisy nature of the listener with utter simplicity. I like the confidence exhibited, the remembrance of a soul who enjoyed living and the way the knife attack is battered down and shoved, matter of factly, down the garbage chute. The extra twangs thrown in enhance quite subtly and this is another easy effort to ride along with.
3 left and no need to unnecessarily fanny around the pole of procrastination. 'Swingers' indeed has a swing, deals with a devious point, a slam dunk against purist love and decency with a vibe regarding the users and abusers of their own spirituality and genital perversions. The song moves in the usual direction, comes and goes and refuses to take the bait - the most average offering of the lot. 'Salford Girl' strips down, relies on a considered construction and ploughs out a very rewarding end piece that brings in swiftly varied angles and merges them together with unflustered skill. Ear clipping in parts, roughly caressing in others, snatching now and again, generally slowly persuasive in the main - I love this mini trawl of toneage that once more refuses to over adorn the acoustic composite - tidy man, tidy! We move towards the curtain of silence to the beat of 'Overdrive' with its opening twilight delicacies that threaten to plunge headlong into some cock rock episode of indulgent nonsense - I grip hard onto the groin of hope and plead that this is not the case. It turns out to be a worthy effort as the song is nothing of the sort although I do find it a severe let down and a somewhat nebulous number uncertain of its direction and with a misty end mix. It may be no surprise that this is the longest song of the lot and feels like it with an attempt made at closing the door with an erudite point made ending up as nothing more as a misdirected effort not doing itself justice - definitely not one for me.
And so we fall flat at the last and my Fungalised desires are left abandoned and I trudge away with the orgasm expected turning into nothing more than a niggling drip from the sausage of sonic lust. Hey ho, this shouldn't detract from the decent humping I was given prior to this last fizzle out and respect to the band for what is, an adequate underdog slice of earthy output that, in the main, stays upright and focused on its own intent. I wonder where they will go next - ears on alert!
BARKING IRONS - FUCK YOU
Barking Irons hurl their sonic bricks with force, aim to maim and have added a bit of pace to their output since hitting the streets in 2012. Hailing from Southern California and offering this release on Skinflint Records this lot strike me as a crew who really don't give a fuck if you like their shit or not which is just as well because I don't give a fuck if you agree with this review or not - fair is indeed fair. I crack on and I shan't dawdle here, it just isn't that kind of CD.
First up and 'Sovereign Nation', a guitar burst, an increase in zest and into the opening verse - traditional routine methinks. The oral spillage is slightly abrasive without being overtly offensive and the chorus is swift and to the point. Tidy indeed but lacking any killer flare and sub-originality that is a bastard to grasp in this weathered day and age. It is a song I have heard so many times before, a motion mover without anything new to offer but should that detract from the fact that it is played well, adequately mixed and of a certain streetpunk quality - oh we well worn reviewers are a hard bunch to please. Not a bad track but run of the mill for my tried and tested lugs so I move on to the second offering without debating the outcome of this initial number. 'Backyard Brawl' opens with sinister scene setting sonica before wires are multi-flicked and flashed in a spiralling acuteness that attracts. The mouth work this time is sand blasted with red hot angst and ill temper with the track taken somewhat straight but nonetheless slightly unpredictable - you just sense some big upheaving tangent is going to come and even though it doesn't the edge of the seat is occupied throughout - it is the best place to park your apathetic arse. Nice effort for sure and the extra sizzle and push to the maxi-fied tonsil tear up along with the switch in tempo makes for a concrete listen.
'Boots In Your Face' is what it is deemed to be, straight ahead aggression full of funnelled sweat and effort compressed down into one chunk of piercing streetpunk - nothing more, nothing less. This is general fodder for the free kicking swines in the pack that Oi'nk away and enjoy typical swill - now how easy is that to sum up. We close with the title track 'Barking Irons', another hungry chomp of raw and restless rhythm pushed forth with head down determination and blinkered direction. The strings are twanged incessantly and the drums hep up the pace with huge appetite and fidgeting fervour whilst once more, the gob at the fore, rips himself a new oral arsehole. You get the script by now - the heat is gradually turned up and this final flourish shows the band can sizzle with the best of em'. The big 'fuck you' at the end is a matter of course.
Hot and tasty but of one style, can the band offer anything more and, do they need to? Questions, questions are always rising and sometimes the answers always remain indistinct. This, for a 4 slapped treat, is plenty for the moment but over the course of a full album I could imagine myself drifting off - maybe that's me but let's be positive here - this one blisters and is a nice chunk of racketology - take it and don't try to over analyse - it isn't advised.
CITIZEN KEYNE - WHITE COLLAR HOOLIGAN
Citizen Keyne are a band I have dealt with for many a year now and are a bunch of gits who feel no need to explain themselves and no need to keep people sweet. They are led by a glorious gob on legs whom I am sure rubs a few up the wrong way but whom I find decently honest and punkily provocative in the most deliberate fashion possible. Over the years they have dropped one or two storming songs into the generic pit but have increasingly become sidetracked and forced into a sub-circle of sound. I care not for rumour or restriction, I care even less about fuckin' labels but I do care about honesty, integrity and being an anti-prejudiced bastard. Intolerance is maintained for cunts, I hold no favours and if these music makers from Milton Keynes slip up they will be the first to know about it - in true Fungalised terms. Music comes first with me, make up your own minds.
The kick off comes, the ball is booted, the 'White Collar Hooligan' is called upon to do his stuff - loutish cunt. Citizen Keyne come, zip forth on recognisable tonality with that snotty, sneering front git thriving within the melee. The cutlet here is lavished with the usual CK reality, pounds away with infectious melody and keeps a straight line routine. For me it is a safe and steady start (maybe a little too safe if I was being a pedantic twat) and gets the CD off on a sure bootboy footing. The content is as expected, the label on the tin gives the game away and I am expecting the rhythmic ratings to ascend from here on in. Great production by the way! 'Grey Zone' is a more forceful track with a political conundrum thrown in the faces of those who play righteous God to prove their very existence. The morality masters are pushed East and West with the wedge between taken as refuge and exhibited as a place to applaud. This will undoubtedly lead to more hot water being thrown but the CK lads really don't give a fuck and carry on regardless. Of course without explanation a glasshouse will be constructed and many, who will happily throw their bricks will, in a warped way, be helping prejudice to become the end result. For me, prejudice is a disease, built by masked inadequates who have many failings - that is all I will say on the matter! The song here is a charging bout of kick back against the political idiocy out there and I quite like that. It is well played, given a slight injection of Flash Harry string work and built on sturdy foundations - now that's more like it. 'Anti-Social Network' is a tidy effort that goes effortlessly along on a good productive mix and a ready to roll rhythm that shows the band stretching the frills whilst stating things as they are and rallying against the keyboard corruption and cruelty out there. The key tapping twats causing a whole heap of trouble border on bullies and none of us want that do we? I like this song for nothing more than the resistance and the call for a shut down of the more popular social media sites - now that would be interesting wouldn't it - think about it will ya!
'I Hate You' is a stress buster, a relieving bout of fully staring focus that rattles along and vents the old spleen against tossers incarnate who follow the grain and leave a stain (a shitty one that is). The inner tympanic rib rattles, the incessant pace and echo blast of loathing is spiteful and sincere - nasty bastards. 'Our Girls' is tribute to the shaven headed lasses (I hope that's all they shave, then again...) and the spiky dudettes (oooh spiky) who stick in, love their scene and put up with their opposite sex who take some taming. This is a cheerful jaunt just happy to applaud these granite girls who do their bit and get stuck in. The drift is touched with soppiness and has a distinctive happy go lucky essence that could almost see the band as being accused of tuning in to their feminine side - oh yes, I have waited for this moment - I knew they were on the turn, enjoy the curve lads ha, ha. It is the least threatening song of the lot, coasts along and needs to be nothing more - a nice windbreak to the usual turbulence. 'We’re Gonna Fight' is a fantastic tirade working against a backdrop of sinewy grit and never say day attitude that is duly strengthened by a drilling riff that means business. Despite much hassle and grief the band dig in, put forth a point and make a stand against the rock and roll river many swim in without even asking a question. The inner belief shown, that hard hitting cruise mode and the extra licks show Citizen Keyne, when in the groove, can mix it with the best of them - just like I have been telling you all these years - blah.
'Pedo Scum' tumble rumbles, careens around and takes many a sound shot at those dirty deviants that pervade our society and create a complete lack of trust. In fact, that damage to the fabric of trust is an eternal curse and one that has called untold unrest within a society poisoned by scum such as mentioned in the title. The vicious song is bang on the mark and fits in nicely to what is transpiring with all areas at it, sharp suited and kicking the rear of indifference. Again I find the band in cruise mode and as per I won't settle for that - come on you gits, I demand you rupture your rings expanding your circles whilst passing sonic shit of a very different stench - sorry chaps, I love ya really but won't let ya settle - wouldn’t be fair and honest of me wink, wank! 'Boots' is a bit of fun with a pre-warning that if you get too comfy and carried away you may get a stamping from some very proud and passionate hoofers (in the nicest way I hope). The song has a chopping buzzsaw effect that cuts to the bone and will undoubtedly have many a bare-bellied 'erbert pinging about in a sweat soaked pit with a smile on their mug and a whir in the head. Nancy Sinatra must surely have never realised that years later a bunch of shaven headed dues would be raping and pillaging her song and turning it into a sing-a-long piss up party piece - the rum buggers. A very comestible cutlet for those with an easy digestive system and who just wanna jump about without any underhand sub-text. Get laced up and jig ya swines.
'Keyboard Militia' is another stab at the deflectors who like to sit on their high and mighty thrones and cast judgement like the Gods they deem themselves to be. Incredible stuff indeed but hey - that's punk! I move on and deal with the music (no one else will because idleness is also punk as fuck) and come to the conclusion that CK are getting too caught up in this mania and should just move on and not get swallowed up by this time consuming bilge water. The song is a recurrent theme these days with a few bands saying their piece on how fed up they are with this new techno-age form of bullying. The song however has weight and merit with an acidic edge that is what one can readily expect from buggers like these. The pace is somewhat middling, the verbal assault forthright - the question is, are Citizen Keyne pushing themselves enough here? Sure there has been an advancement in the delivery but I feel the band have more than this in the tank and for some reason I find myself restless. The ditty does what it intends to do though and that is clear the air, stick up a middle finger and cause a disturbance.
Onwards we go with the retro toned 'United We Stand', a somewhat mellow song with a corned riff I know too well for my own good and one I just can't nail - bastard, my head needs a clear out. The song itself is a crowd pleaser, one of those that will have the punters united - as it says on the tin don't ya know. You can almost picture the throbbing mess of sweaty flesh jumping to the rhythm and reacting to the enthusing 'come ons'. It is a jig and swig number shouting for the community to heave together - an impossible plea but someone has to holler. Next up and a free swinging party piece called 'The Weekends Here', a theme that does the rounds and one that is built on the zest for the weekend piss-up and the revelry that occurs. A fine song to play whilst preparing for the rock and roll razzle ahead and the joys of plunging into a maelstrom of ale. A bit overly happy chappy in some respect but it is a one off inclusion and as a result shines brighter than if it was within a collection of similar stuff. The zip and thirst come to the fore, the band move with liquid ease, and only if you are of a dour persuasion (or dead in fact) will you not get this one. Following on and 'My World', a carefully crafted homage to the sub-scene in which this lot dwell and the pride found therein. There is something utterly confident here and a sure-footed stance taken that has a never say die attitude which, in itself, is one of the reasons why I like this band. They love their Oi and despite this corner of the punk arena having its attraction for many a moron or prejudiced twat there are some genuinely good chaps in there who like nothing better than to booze, bop and bang their heads to the solid street vibe that has relevance. A choice moment!
'Champagne & Orange Juice' - mmm a glass of Fucks Bizz to finish and no matter how far the tongue goes into the cheek you will do well to escape the taste of the shite here - oooh errr! It is the last track so easily skipped but I am sure, when a gig is in free flow and the heads are messed with alcohol fumes the crowds will lap this up - silly twats. A duff do that does no harm I suppose and it is a case for me of not indecision taking me from behind but one of these backsliding deviants - by heck missus. Horrible!
So the CK lads finish with a fart but prior to that do their stuff, do it with chests swollen, guts on show and balls swinging. The precision is upped, the spittled venom plentiful and one thing you can guarantee the band won't be bending over backwards to please anyone soon. No, they'll be doing it their own way and in truth, as far as this CD goes, that is just enough. I would like em' to do a few real rip roaring thrash outs and smash out a few angular touches in future but I am never fully settled am I? Get up, get the CD and fuckin' have it!