FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 29
DOGSFLESH - VISIONS OF HELL
Bludgeoning hardcore here that radiates an intolerance of anything mild and not totally committed to bursting eardrums. Typical early 80's violence soundblasts the listener from all directions as Dogflesh ply their trade with stunning effect.
'Borrowed Time' stretches sinews, strains ligaments and hurts real bad. It whips the listener to attention raising welts of pleasurable agony with its intense work-out of all things brutal and punishing. The song drills straight to the epicentre of the hardcore soul and is up there with all other discharged works from the coherent speed demons. The throbbing intermission of ominous guitar, bass and drums halfway through is totally head damaging stuff that punks everywhere will buzz to. A simple riff guaranteed to get those skulls nodding! There is no let up as 'Sleazebag' points fingers, confronts and then beats the living daylights out of anything indecent. Brutal noise, straight to the heart of the matter lyrics all intertwine around the throat of the deviant groomers and deals with a social disease in no uncertain terms. The production is spot on here and with a volume set at 'bleed' you can go at it full tilt and let that anger splatter the walls.
'Fuck All' hits a hard bass groove which is soon smashed by intense guitar and usual fury of vocal. The crazed question posed of 'What have I got' is wretchedly angst and finalised with the songs title. The blast is liable to have the hardcore fraternity pounding their heads with zealous joy as is the pulsating 'Last Renegades' which is more orthodox and a pure sound of the early 80's with a more up-to-date production. 'Kids Kill Kids' deals with sensitive subject matter and is delivered with the same riotous resonance that has dominated thus far. Perhaps the blandest track on the CD and one that disappears beneath it's more violent and striking counterparts although the final gun shot is somewhat unsettling. The tumbling drums that accompany the chorus of 'Psycho Bitch' make the song what it is and the now typical verses are neatly sliced by these intermittent rolling explosions.
The relevance of this kind of music is debatable today in punks somewhat over critical scene and ridiculously divided gigging arena. Punk is more than just about the racket a band makes but in some ways too many noises that are too remote to even consider themselves punk are passed off as such. We have no such controversy here and Dogsflesh make no intentions to be anything other than they are and that is a damn fine hardcore band. It is what it says on the tin so there you go. The signature song 'Dogsflesh' backs this theory up albeit a song that isn't really about the band.
'That's Life' hails loud about standing up for being yourself, having a voice and the tortuous hell of the enforced day to day procedures. A common punk theme and a common enough piece of tuneage but the persuasive insistence works and despite the fact that these old fuckers are starting to get on a bit there is enough belief in the vocal output to make it listenable - loudly if you take my advice and the print on the disk.
The next 3 are more of the same and 'Yesterday's Heroes', 'The Threat Remains' and 'Vision Of Hell' all gush a clinical accuracy and mire of ire that draws in the punky curiosity. All the comparisons that are going to be made here are blatant but Dogsflesh hold their own and in fact outdo most of what their counterparts throw out. The choice pick of the previous three grenades is the slow deliberate guitar chug that sinisterly rolls along during 'The Threat Remains', taking deep breaths before exploding once more. The fact that the pace is slightly toned down indicates what I feel to be an oversight on the bands part in as far as the CD not including one or two less speedier tracks and relying more on threat and imposing riffs rather than going in with all fists flying. Just a Fungal consideration to mull over before the next recording.
We end with 'X. B. B.' (Ex Borstal Boy perhaps) and as if by magic we have a slower, seething piece that backs-up my previous thoughts and what a great song it is. The focus seems more exact and the looming rhythm commands attention. Just what was needed and a great way to end.
It's fast, it's high standard production and it rouses with passion - oh and the bonus is that it finishes with the best track of the lot. In this country Dogsflesh don't get the appreciation they deserve and so travel further afield to punkers who love the noise - don't force this CD to go the same way.
GIMP FIST - UNITED PUNKS AND SKINS
Now this my fine friends is a free CD. A CD you get for nothing. Interested - well you bloody well should be. All you have to do is purchase Gimp Fists classic album 'Your Time Has Come' which has been reviewed on this site and really deserves the listening time of any self respecting punter and you get this 3 track pip for sweet FA. Now come on - how is that for a bargain? If the main 10 track album isn't enough then this trio of covers will make you appreciate one of the best bands in the land and the talent that they so obviously have.
KINGS OF THE DELMAR - SEEMS SO EASY
A cut back in crew members as only helped SS Delmar to sail more swiftly in the turbulent punk rock ocean, leaving all stragglers in their foamy wake and left to mull over the meaning of 'Intelligent Punk Rock For The Masses'. With musical oars pumped at full tilt there is no stopping this victorious vessel as its punky pirates rape and pillage a variety of venues with a full on assault of merciless melody and riotous rhythm. The skull and crossbone logo that signifies the Kings are here doesn't truly pre-warn of the avalanche of high standard noise ones ears are going to be subjected to as this 3 piece unit draw cutlasses and let the cacophony commence.
'Talk Sideways' is more deliberate in approach and picks up the cultured baton and walks with cool aplomb. No rush, no stress - just a band at ease knocking out another cracking tune with both chorus and verse of imposing strength. Riffs aplenty and mean determination to get the job done this track exudes KOTD's new found belief.
We close with 'Christians', an historical piece that opens with a creeping flatline and drum/heartbeat rhythm that soon becomes a Killing Joke replica and then in turn metamorphs into a Delmar delight which commands at the altar and offers a sermon into the wrongs of brainwashing and the need to control. There is a malevolent edge throughout and a suspension that remains taut until the very last yell of 'Bring Out Yer Dead' which brings a perfect close to a very impressive CD.
Kings of the Delmar are on a dramatic upward curve that one as to see and hear to believe. Get this then go see em' 'live' and see if you can prove what I say here wrong. I very much doubt it!
RETCHER - DEMO CD
A Pumpkin Records release that again delves across to the crusty side with a 3 track taster of embryonic band Retcher. This lot still seem far from settled as regards musical output but the foundations are there for some very decent tuneage and regular mouldy oldies. Don't expect nothing new under the nuclear sun but much of the same that goes on in this dread head political sub genre. This is not bad at all though and we get underway with a song entitled 'Your Conscience'. At just over two minutes the song is well timed as anything shorter would have less effect and anything longer would stagnate and then bore. The slow guitar grind takes us forth into the quicker melee with casual effect before we are thrown into a barrage of bitch and banshee terror that is always welcome in punks male dominated arena. Formulated with no suprises but the she-spittle has poison and so carries the track and just about retains attention.
LOS SALVADORES - EXCERPT FROM A WARD
With a deep sense of the arts, an immaculate attention to detail and the insight and know-how as to carefully crafting a sublime song that has a persuasive inflection the band Los Salvadores, on this evidence at least, are a real looming presence in the punk and ska future. Cast behind you any thoughts of throw away melodica that has a 10 spin life-span and thus becomes condemned to the 'that was enjoyable' CD box. This is intrinsically a CD of many layers, with each one becoming apparent after more and more rotations. Hailing from Kent this 6-piece are working hard at gaining recognition and with armoury such as this to back them up in the 'live' battlefield surely it is only a snippet of time before some hawk-eyed supremo snaps them up and pushes them as far as their talent is worth. Then again in these times when talented is rife and overlooked one shouldn't get too carried away I suppose!
Curtain raised and 'Act II' bleeds in with blanketed bass and uncertain drums before erupting into a beautiful haunted cacophony that will magnetise the most neutral of eavesdroppers. This is an all-inducing madhouse of melody and rhythm with the final execution both professional and practiced. Lyrically ambiguous with what could be construed as a double-barrelled outpouring but you can decide whilst I await the lion tamer and scratch my head in this padded cell of mine. The screams and the shouts, the lack of doubts, all combine to make a fantastic effort that I for one truly admire.
'Seasons' percussively keys in with a buzzing hesitancy before unfolding into a smoothly painted piece with timed mandolin snippets, staccato segments and opposing vocal noises that paradoxically work. It's another winner that has an aftertaste of something accomplished and sanguine. The sagacity of all aspects bodes well for a band with oodles of room to spare in the output department and I feel if they build up some real momentum then there will be no stopping this outfit. One way ticket to the top - fares please!
The carnival continues with a somewhat diluted and regulated opening sequence that introduces us to 'Still Superstition'. A hollow yell of time soon altars this mood and the cascading keys are dramatic, effective and mightily impressive. The whole song comes together in the ecstatic moment of talent and for me highlights the brilliance of this band. Great stuff and keep it coming.
So the Los Salvadores impress and do it in a big way. A real pleasure to review a trio of tunes like this and an impending viewing of these fuckers on a 'live' basis promises much. A review of that should be a matter of course too and containing an equally gushing overview - lucky me I guess.
DEATH ZONE - WHEN THE PUNKS OF THE WORLD UNITE
Get your time machine out and go back 25 years. Open a couple of bottles of sherry, spliff up and have some glue for back up. Got that so far - right! Now prepare to be battered by the sub-hardcore noise that Death Zone spew forth - without affectation, without trying to be novel - just crummy punk played for the hell of it. On and off since 1981 the band has been here and there in many guises but with still the insistence to play the same meat-pulping punk that was typical of the early eighties. These days we have an overflow of so called new skool punks who would label this as old hat and of no relevance but, as per usual I disagree. This noise is relevant and is vital adhesive in the punk framework and although not to everyone's liking the fact that it is played by punkers who just love their scene adds weight to its worth. Old skool/new skool - what the fuck - if I like it I like it and no fuckers gonna tell me what punk is or isn't! The verdict comes at the end though - so read on me old china!
We trample in with the updated recording of 'Singled Out' a song that has all the trimmings of its time but one which still seems mightily effective. Grungey bass lines, slamming drums and grated guitar strums all piledrive behind the hurried vocals that have a typical cavernous feel and second wave angst. Not bad at all and the rumbling bass line that follows and leads us into 'No Faith In Humanity' doesn't pre-warn of a song that isn't as speedy as one expects. It is a somewhat mono-melodic number that lacks any significant clout and so pales into insignificance against some of the more 'in yer face' numbers. 'Day To Day' is one such number with a switched on speaker breaking up into a short, sharp cacophony ideal for the small, enclosed gigging arena. The song seems unbalanced and nearly trips over its own feet but somehow manages to reach the finish line.
'C.S.A (Took My Life Away)' is a hot topic and a song that starts with a fire in its belly but soon jumps into line with previous tracks so far and loses some of its initial spark. It ain't a lousy effort and has a good tempo about it but the similarity between these and other bursts is detrimental to the end result. 'Reality On TV' is more laid back as regards pace but has a strong vibe that stinks of raucous, grubby punk more in tune with the cider swilling spikeheads rather than the clean cut new boys in town. Very soiled and scabby as is the opening bass grumble that begins the albums longest effort 'Secret We Shouldn't Share'. At 4 minutes 57 seconds you'd think that this kind of punk is best kept short, and in truth I would always agree. However here Death Zone bring about a change of the Fungal mind and for me produce their best over this longer distance. With delicate subject matter relating to the malevolent filth that is child abuse and how help is required from a solitary victim the whole concoction reeks of despair and helplessness and I feel attains the albums highest moments. Crackerjack stuff portrayed with expected punk annoyance and rabid rage.
Turning for home and the drilling killing racket continues with the tunnelled 'Don't Come Crying To Me', the swift excellence of 'Masters Of Sheep' and the subtle fury of 'Whore Yourself'. 3 decent songs for the grunge heads and with the middle of the trio being my particular fave.
The anti-violence stance of 'Use Your Mind (Not Your Fists)' is gurgling terror with a solid message but mundane tune and 'All Through Life' is much more of the same and at this point a little too similar to whats gone on before. Just as the CD is going to flop out on a dud note the final curtain is raised to a fanfare as the decent' tune 'Punks Of The World Unite' to a certain extent, saves the day.
After the initial 12 tracks you then get 3 bonus recordings, namely 'Singled Out' - original 1984 recording, 'The Youth Is To Blame' and 'I Hate The Pigs'. Very ropey recordings but one for the avid enthusiast of both the modern day and yesteryear.
In summing up we have a CD that mixes a definitive old skool sound with modern day subject matter plus a sprinkling of retro recordings. In parts it's good, in parts it plods and in truth it is a hit or miss CD. The first half really does outshine the second and I would judge the band on these first few tracks and a recent 'live' performance rather than the shady latter efforts. Check em' out 'live' first then consider getting a CD.
JAMES BAR BOWEN/JIM SPUTING - STILL REVOLTING
An octet of acoustica here with 4 tracks apiece from James Bar Bowen and Jim Sputing. One familiar, one complete unknown to my good self and so a CD to challenge my reviewing temperament to say the least.
Now onto the second artist namely Jim Sputnig and what better way to introduce us to this bloke than by giving a little snippet from his myspace page. Quote 'Jim Sputnig is an anti-social idiot with a bad temper, a dislike of inequality and has some reasonably good ideas. He probably thinks too much, and styles himself a peasant philosopher - now how up yourself is that?' Unquote! Ha, ha - interesting to say the least.
Struggling with reviewers block and really feeling stretched by this one (two) man output 'Ignorance' leaves me at a loss as to what to actually say. It's decent enough and just gets on with the job. The undertones are somewhat darkened and the final delivery works but other than that nothing grabs me by the throat and just maybe that isn't a bad thing. There is an intolerance throughout that occassionally gives rise to a venomous eruption that also adds interest to a fair track but move on I must. 'I Don't Know' rounds off this CD and does so in a consistent and appreciable way that completes an above average 8 track product.
Acoustic evaluations have me struggling at times and this one was no exception. A few songs were easy but towards the latter end words were failing and if I am brutally honest I have to admit to my limitations as regards knowledge and insight to this style of delivery. I am far from a connoiseur of the unplugged offerings but still appreciate this as a good CD that makes a nice change from the usual hustle and bustle riots that batter my ears. Check it and see what you think and the main recommendation I would make is to get any of these two artistes on an all day punk do. I have and it works mighty well and will do so again in the future. Variety is indeed a precious spice so why not partake
MAKE THAT A TAKE RECORDS - BOOK YER ANE FEST COMP
A charity CD given away at a recent fund raising gig for Safe Tay. What is Safe Tay I hear you ask? A worthy cause is my response. Read this snippet from their website and you'll get the drift - 'Safe-Tay is a voluntary water safety and drowning prevention registered charity dedicated to promoting Water Safety. A non-profit making association to enhance the safety and preservation of human life in the aquatic environment. In particular, training of life guards, support, development, improvement and promotion of water safety. Principally in Perth, or in any other place if required. We seek to educate persons in the community about the dangers of water and water safety with the aim of preventing tragedies'. Sounds good to me!
Here we have 13 tracks from all angles of the nebulous punk spectrum throwing in many tangents and unexpected twists that keep the most enthusiastic listener on the edge. I certainly have had to take my time with this one even though I am familiar with a few of the bands on show.
Starting off are accomplished outfit, Aberdeen Skapunkas The Hijacks who tear it up with unrestrained merry-making and upbeat melody. 'Victim! Ain't No Alternative!' is a solid commencement with subtle brass and infectious melody both running hand in hand amid a cacophonous whirlpool of catchy skank. The Living Daylights pursue with a modern day noise entitled 'Maps'. This ain't my usual bag but it is so professionally delivered that a thumbs up is given and a nod toward the lighter end of the scene is definitely given. Spikey tops and adorers of angst avoid but free floating lovers of the clean cut crews get it checked out. 'You Were The First' by State Of Affairs is a terrible torture for me personally and before I say too much negative wordage I shall move swiftly on. You can decide on this one! Mafafi eviscerate themselves with the frantic razorblade lunacy that is 'Ed Burns'. Explosive hardcore by unhinged noodles whom I personally adore!
The evaluation so far is of a real mixed bag and although every flavour doesn't tickle the taste buds of tuneology I like my CD's dished up this way. These assortments of noise prod and poke and eventually hit the melodic erogenous zones which is what every compilation should be looking to do. Sometimes many a thrill is had and now and again just the odd bit of titillation is achieved but either way if you are of the right curious state of mind you will always find something to get off on.
Tonsil tearing terror next as Sunset Squad vomit blooded dirt via the oddly entitled 'Three Red Tulips'. The title does little to pre-warn of the vocal violence that ensues but for me it does the business. Raw energy just following the hardcore route with unadulterated passion whereas Torturo Nervosa hold back on the accelerator pedal and grind out 'Saturnalia' with a bone crunching intensity and heavy laden guitar strokes. The volatile song threatens several times to totally erupt but stays simmering, which in itself is no bad thing but just restrains the effort from reaching its full, harmful potential.
We change tack yet again with the skipping modernisation of 'The Long Emergency' by Fragile which avoids becoming overly technical and has a freshness of sound and wholesome optimism that helps it to poke out from the pack. A clean shaven effort full of quality moments that keeps the entertainment value right at the top level and I suspect has varied sub-genre dwellers all in agreement of a decent tune. 15 Minutes give us 'Remember', an acoustic effort that thrives with spot on lyrics and a westernised horse chase guitar strum which both combine to create a winning showdown. Morals, passion and a great delivery I guess is why I pick this out as the pick of the pops and the fact that it is followed by the short madness that is known as 'Feral Children' by the impressive 'Black Channels' only emphasises the fact that this CD has great diversity and packs several major punches to the aural groin. Two stunners and Swordmaster gallop forth on Iron Maidens with the metal flamboyance 'Guardian Of The Waves'. This is a grand instrumental that has me reaching for the codpiece and spandex and ready to fuckin' rock man, yeah!
A stunning trio that leaves us with another 3 tracks to go and Joey Terrifying kick off the hat-trick with the hesitancy that is 'Troubled Times'. I previously described this song as a scuttling insect and one which I now feel eventually finds its wings and gets airborne, albeit a little unsure of its ultimate direction. Mesa Verde 'Return To Victories' and leave obscure memories of an outpouring difficult to pigeonhole and generally evaluate. A bit of hardcore, a bit of indie, a bit of punk, a bit of this and a bit of that all make this hypnotic discordance a bit of a conundrum - is it a good track or is it a bad track - bit of both methinks!
We close with 'A Line Of Flight' by Kaddish and another thoughtful episode that exhibits all the trimmings of a band attaining an individual sound and stretching the boundaries of the scene and their own ability. It will be received with hit and miss reviews so I will gladly sit in the centre ground and flip the V-sign both ways. Nowt like being awkward!
The main accomplishment of this compilation is the wide array of sonics it has gathered together over a fairly short space of time. A veritable lucky bag of sounds and I suppose that this is success aplenty and gets a few messages across as how to approach your music. Keep snuffling out those treasured truffles of tuneage and more often than not your aural palate is improved.
PUMPKIN RECORDS - SAMPLER CD
What a fuckin' rip off! What a nerve this lot have! A full £2 for 50 punk rock tracks - the bloomin' cheek of it! I work hard for my money and the thought of paying 2 golden nuggets for a paltry 50 tunes is beyond belief! Surely they could have rounded it up to a wholesome 100 songs and given the purchaser value for money? Pumpkin Records are money grabbing bastards who really are taking the piss! And so sayeth Charles Cheapjack - the ubiquitous punking scum you meet quite regularly at the bar who always claims to have no money to buy a CD but still carries on drinking all night. Well Charlie me old mucker - there ain't no fuckin' excuse here. Half a century of punkology for less than a bottle of QC. 4 pence per track and even if 90% of this CD one doesn't like there is still no reasoning as to why anyone would not pick up a copy of this. An ultimate snip and a great peephole into what is actually out there at the moment. So put down your cocks, rocks or beer - dig deep in yer pockets and get 2 pounds winging its way to Pumpkin HQ and await your prize. Right - publicity push over now to the review itself.
Well all 50 tracks are wank and this really is a waste of.....only joking - get that envelope stamped! First up are Atrocity Solution from Texas in the US of A with 'Streets Laced With Hate'. The cool as a cucumber skank that begins this anarcho arrangement builds to a simmering intensity and in no way gives any clues as to the sub hardcore vocals that are coming the listener’s way. It takes some to adjust to the style but the chorus soon has one drawn in and despite being a tad too long the first step on this 50 ditty marathon is a solid one. One out of fifty ain't bad I suppose ha, ha. Agrotoxico follow with a Brazilian riot that is labelled 'Inimigo Real' which translates to 'Real Enemy'. 100% brutality here and no intent on being anything else. The hacksaw guitars boldly stride forward before adopting the heads down 'blast em' away' approach and pummelling forward with meat tenderising incessancy. Nice about turn and Nino Zombi from Mexico spread the frass (caterpillar crap = shit) with the brass and spill out a skank attack that ducks, fucks, dives and jives with several unexpected turnabouts that keep the listener intrigued. Back to the homeland and the mightily impressive Burnt Cross singe more arse with 'Hate Of The Holy'. Ok, OK nothing new lyrically and sonically typical of this sub-genre but still a decently delivered song with an acuteness that impresses. The midway break is timed to perfection and in this pool this dynamic duo should do more than hold their own. Don't forget there is only two members in this outfit and these are literally bedroom recordings - impressive or what and real punk spirit as regards production - yeah I like it!
Sonic drum rolling apocalypse is broken by bombing bass beats before the entire furious arsenal is unleashed and 'Divided By 8' is upon us via the rotten gobs of Power is Poison. High tempo stuff that is scratchy patchwork punk at its dirtiest - fits nicely on a CD of this ilk as does the effort by The Something Somethings. 'Brotherhood' is much more of the same but with an extra sprinkling of skapunka that gives the track a double pulse and so widens the spectrum of potential listeners. Dead Subverts have eluded me so far as far as a 'live' viewing goes and on the evidence of 'You Call This Civilisation' I am missing out big time. The best so far for me and a track totally reliant on big, big noise. The opening strides are large and the forthcoming onslaught dissolves cerebral matter and incites my punk instinct into fervent appreciation. Bang on the fuckin' button and blistering all areas. Looks like that fucker Pete from 2SM has got it right again - oh how I hate talented bastards!
So onto Mise En Scene with 'Paranoid City'. A level playing field here with a consistent rhythm throughout with the first choice moment (of two) coming at approximately 1 minute 17 seconds in when a backing vocal repeats the main oral outpouring and combines beautifully. The Extinguishers tell of a 'Slave Generation' but dawdle on the point a little too much and weighing in at over 4 minutes it loses some of the impact it should have had. A pretty average track the Offbeat Heroes raise the level only slightly with the jittery 'Politkovskaya'. In parts good, in other parts too disjointed but I suppose the blend does intertwine to produce an effort of interest.
Surfin' Turnips are a welcome change of modus operandi with the shanty-esque emerald gem 'Fare Thee Well Bideford'. Many tankards of frothy ale and fiery rum can be slopped about in appreciation of this scurvied scrap of talent that has a jolly ambience which seems almost unintentional.
'Stoopid' by Shrapnel Suntan is foul mouthed hatred and a song I have heard before but can't for the life of me remember where. Sponsored by 'Cuss-o-thon' they really do clock up the points here with the 4-letter onslaught but it is far from a slack-jawed track. It ain't bad in truth but I would expect more from this lot. My Own Religion I have seen in the 'live' arena and if memory serves right they supported The Restarts somewhere in Manchester. I was quite taken and this reinforces the belief of a band who know how to construct a good song and place emphasis on a social message. It elongates a point that could have been made just as well with a terser number but that's just old fussy Fungal at it again. 9001 Zombies greet us with a hellish goblin snigger and roll us forth into the creepy cruise that is 'Rotting Zombie Blues'. A sinister number that has flashbacks to some creaking 'Doors' and other sixties psychedelia. In fact these hippyfest snips are pleasing moments and maybe where this zombie army may find its future. A fair carrion methinks (pun there in case you missed it).
This may well be the longest CD review that I do and perhaps the most time consuming. A lot of the content is similar but it still doesn't help the individual analysis and so with arthritic fingers I type on.
Canon Law spurt forth a strange tune that misses the mark with me but I am sure will gain appreciation from others. 'We're Fucked (Quit Your Life)' comes across as not really being sure as what it wants to be and so loses a little influence. Rash Decision however seem to have their minds fully made up as they scorch ground with the hectic 'Metro'. Rush, stop, start, rush is the main theme with a tumbling wind down that works just fine. One of the highs of the first disk is the next song by Toxic Suicide. With a she-bitch at the helm full of restless poison the corrosive noise is nasty, effective and totally unwashed. The buoyant vibe works despite the crusty edge and I do appreciate when a raucous rhythm is held. Nice!
Closing in fast towards the finishing line of disc one we have the superb one man output of 'Some Sort Of Threat' and the classily delivered 'Marching Blind'. One of the best six-string protest songs I have heard that plays it short, plays it simple and plays it very sweetly. 'Serial Killer' by The Taxidermists is a little too fuzzed in all areas and the skull and crossbones delivery becomes infected by its own venom and so falls short of meeting its own standards. A pocketful of muffled bees break loose next as we bumble in to the quality offering 'Big Words' by 2 Sick Monkeys. An established band producing the goods as expected and the strum, strum, strum and roll break about halfway through is execution par excellence. A good song followed by an absolute classic song as Global Parasite fulfil their total potential and offer us the absolutely massive 'Fight/Resist'. I have reviewed this elsewhere on this site and gushed over the final result and that's all I need do here - gush, gush, gush - fuckin' brilliant.
Officer Down failed to impress me on a 'live' outing despite them being a very popular band in certain circles. This effort 'We Are The Enemy' is quite a bit more lighter edged than what I was expecting on CD and so reignites my curiosity. As can be the case an initial viewing can not give a true insight into whether or not one finds a band appealing and on the back of this another peep into the OD world needs to be taken. Not a bad ditty at all! Whipping my reviewing digits into overtime action we come to The Autonomads and 'Supermarket Sweep'. This is a band who have impressed when I have seen them on the stage strutting their encrusting audios to very acceptant, albeit obvious crowds. This is a cute little effort that has an Inner Terrestrial feel with added female vocals. The weaving attitude is smoothed with saxy sweet talk and the message is expressive of this sometimes misguided sub-genre who now and again get the message bang on - your decision is yours - so make it. Molotov Compromise scream and skank with the fairly decent 'Ultra Marine' and in fact I am still undecided whether or not I would have preferred an all two-tone song or a real yell fest. We close with good old Raw Poo who curl one down with the nicely entitled 'Smells Like Bacon'. The lyrics are pretty swift and so leave me at a loss but I am presuming we have an anti- meat song here - or is it something to do with the police ha, ha. Either way I like it and the short running time helps it to achieve.
Hip Hip Hoo-Fuckin'-Ray - 25 tracks down and just another 25 to go - aaaggghhhhhh! Well at this point I am going to review some more CD's instead and come back to this half century epic when all the crust and rust has been washed away. The fuckin' back-log of CD's ain't happenin' due to this mammoth collection and so as soon as this fucker is up I'll have a few ready to follow almost as soon as.
And so we open disk 2 with the seething surge of 'Liberated' by Officer Down. For me this is a contrast to their previous offering on this compilation and is much more undiluted and displays yet another facet of a decent band. Keeps my curiosity semi-erect for want of a better phrase! Droppin' Bombs also surge with 'Recede' but lose a little melody whilst getting more on line when switching to a hustling skank mode. Not bad at all but 2 Sick Monkeys set the standard so far with the solid 'Me, Me, Me'. It is common knowledge that my respect for this band runs deep and in the annals (yes two N's you deviants) of punk this lot must surely have made their mark. Rolling in on thunderous bass and tumultuous drums the 2SM Machine soon gets underway with a sharp tongued assault that works a fuckin' treat.
Dead Subverts are making an audio impression with myself and here again we have another exciting outburst. The fact that Pete from 2 Sick Monkeys is at the helm only proves the potential but I have to admit this is another good unit. Powerful stuff and I like the way it leads into the brilliant 'Dubbin' Up The Downfall' by the equally impressive Autonomads. This band are turning real dreaded heads in their very own sub-circle,s and in fact beyond, and with tunes like this so they fuckin' well should. I like a bit of rub a dub punk (in fact I like a bit of all punk but it seems this is not the norm these days - cunts) and this is up there with the best. The many flavours included in this cruising mix combine perfectly and the whole dreamy landscape has a fiery sunset that holds enough threat to keep all intrigued. A band to watch - explode or implode is the question - hopefully the former but the latter is a thing I have witnessed on many occasions when a breakthrough beckons.
Global Parasite have it seems indeed imploded but from the debris we may salvage the remnants of a very exciting band who teetered on the cusp and then unexpectedly fractured. All is not lost and the song 'Prejudice' makes me more than thankful for that. Powerful and to the point I personally can't wait for this lot to start firing on all cylinders again.
Agrotoxico burn bright with the brutal flames that are 'Escravizados' - Enslaved methinks - anyhow the hardened ambience works and precedes the decent 'Concrete Kids' by The Something Somethings quite nicely. Both tracks work in unison and uphold the overall infection and inflection of this CD. Retcher don't do it for me and I still think they are a band in the initial stages of their career in need of that initial spark that gets things identifiable and readily rockin'. There is a darkened essence to this effort and the song is Ok but needs the extra 'zing' factor which I am sure the band are on the edge of discovering.
Moving swiftly on we have Resolution 242 with 'War Crimes', a song that slows the pace right up with smoky waves of reggae punkolution and sub-skank smoothness. A nice break from the hellfire and a cute inclusion to a CD that was always liable to suffer from the 'too much of the same' curse. Goatorcycle screw brains inside out with a full throttle amphetamine rush entitled 'Hurry Up I Need A Piss'. Deceleration is had in certain parts but the holistic outlook is of rapidity and this gains the song Fungal favour. The Casual Terrorist gives us one of his best efforts with the scathing anti-macho 'What A Fucker' and Molotov Compromise leave me somewhat unsure with their hit and miss effort 'Religious Profiteers'.
At this point I am like a drowning man fighting for air amid a polluted ocean of sonic similarity. 50 tracks is a helluva lot of stuff to get through and the bulk is aimed at a certain crowd thus encouraging a quicker stagnation than one would feel with a more varied collection. F. T. O. help me out somewhat with the brief sonic screech fest that is 'Chewin' Thumb Tacks'. Yeah I like it and as I have stated a million times, if you are going keep it nasty and noisy then for fucks sake keep it brief. Good one!
Demonic Upchucks are known by most punkers and have a fair reputation but 'Private Police' doesn't live up to their standards and drifts around all over the place and detracts from some good solid moments that are contained therein. There is a hefty simplistic riff that works marvellously but some of the more wayward inclusions take the edge off the finished ditty. Cutting in with harsh electro guitar are The Infested with 'Not Dead Yet'. A radio-esque vocalisation is given and if a bit more clarity had been given to the final arrangement the song would have been a whole lot better than the frustrating article it is. Far from a dud but one that really begs for a better finishing edge this is the undernourished urchin in this backstreet of grimy tinkers. 'Boredom' by Rash Decision is almost a relative of the former song but has a more rough-house edge that gives it a bit of extra kick.
Axis of Arseholes weigh in some adequate bounty with 'Smash EDO'. Like a mouldy Oi song gone political this ain't bad at all and the overall cut is sharp enough to singe a few aural hairs. Canon Law almost seem another one on the conveyer belt and 'Peak Oil' is individually what one now comes to expect and being a latter end track disappears in the whole avalanche of noise. Raw Poo come up with another winning title with 'Put Your Boss In The Bin' and highlight just how effective you can be in such a short space of time. A brilliant snippet from a fine band and one which outshines the following 'Officerism' by My Own Religion. Don't like this one at all and the fuck police message is old hat and one I only half subscribe to.
The last 3 songs begin with Six Fish and a twinkle toed anthem that asks 'Dole Scroungers Of The World Unite'. Not a crap rap at all and leads us into 'Down The Alley' by Atrocity Solution quite nicely. This is another smart swanky piece that has a venomous undercurrent most of which is dealt out by the fervent vocals. It drifts on a little too long again but both songs pale into the background as the superb finale by Burnt Cross blazes strong. 'Governed By Fools' is well driven, perfectly composed and lacks any 'fuck around' foot-loosing which I for one have a preference for. This band is becoming more impressive with each located treasure and the album I have awaiting review is a real mouth-watering aspect.
Well there you have it - a 50 track review and all for a scene who will hardly pay it any attention. No bother either way - I do what I do with honest intent - like it, lump it or hump it - the review is done. Pumpkin Records can expect a heap of hate mail from yours truly after putting me through this arduous journey and I hope they sell this fucker by the thousands or I am totally at a loss. Look wankers let me repeat - it is 50 tracks for two fuckin' quid - why not invest? If you hate 40 tracks you are still getting a bargain - come on wake up - you are being fuckin' spoiled rotten - buy, buy, buy! You don't even have to review it ha, ha.
A fine job Pumpkin and the Fungal cap is raised in respect for a massive effort - good on yer.
RAW POO - JOB NONSEEKERS UNEMPLOYMENT EP
Mindless mayhem from down south with manly moronic lyrics about tits, beer and beyond. It's all coarse stuff and many a drunken goon will pogo to this titillation with utter delight on his face. The packaging is cute and comes in the form of a Jobsekers Allowance pack albeit with no giro-cheque inside - damn it. It is an obviously considered project and although awkward for the OCD sufferer to fit neatly into his CD collection (personal experience talking) I do like the presentation.
So the first three do well and the title of 'The Ballad Of Shitlock Lee' gives promises of a cruising croon that embraces all the usual clichés and pays homage to a chum. No such thing here as the speed is fair, the delivery orthodox and the overall composition containing several u-turns. It follows on nicely from previous offerings and gives no hint of the pursuing strength that is 'Job Nonseeker'. With a distinct metal riffed edge and a sneering inflection of the gob the song comes to life when the chorus snarls in to action. There is a defiant pride in there and a deep unconcern about the rules and regulations of signing on. Having set a considerable record myself on the old rock 'n' roll I can relate to this effort and I am sure work evading 'erberts will be enjoying this in between afternoon episodes of Columbo and Bargain Hunt.
The CD ends on a sombre note and tackles that sensitive subject of the last drink. 'Ode To My Last Beer' is the CD's high and is a superb little closure with skank, reggae and phlegmy punk all copulating to create a melodic Ménage à trois one can really get off to This song really highlights the craft of Raw Poo and I suggest that the previous humour detracts from how good this band are capable of being. Sensible caps donned young men and go forth and knock out a cracker.
An Electro Hippies style full stop is blasted out after the final track with a five second eruption of hardcore that runs on a little too long with the final 3 seconds taking the edge off the first 2 powerful seconds (tongue in cheek).
So yeah not bad but as mentioned I think Raw Poo do themselves no favours and perhaps get overlooked musically due to what they do lyrically. These tracks and two on various compilations convince me of a Melvyn Bragg trying to break out from a Chubby Brown prison and I for one would be more than ready to take him some cake and supply the file. Have a listen, enjoy and see what ya think. And as in the words of the band themselves 'If you don't like it then fuck off'.