FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 36
SCOTTFEST - KNOW YOUR GOAT SAMPLER CD
I was given this sampler CD a week before the Scottfest event and it is only a few days away as a write and I have a fridge full of mushies that need identifying before they turn to gunk - aaagghhh. Turbo review time indeed with a condensed listening period of a couple of days before my digits hit the keyboard. Right here we go - what can we expect this time around?
Track 1 comes via Silver Medal Massacre and the noisy boldness of 'Eighth'. It is a roaring flame reminiscent of a Turkey Vulture offering that is nothing more than pure metal hardcore. Whatever you make of this stuff one must admit this is played quite efficiently and these racket creating bastards are worth a watch. There is many a riot going on within a tumult of trashing tuneage and if you like to make your ears bleed then cop this.
Mafafi or Make A Fist And Fuck It screw your mind with 'A Glimpse Of A Thursday Afternoon' and to be honest this is the kind of violent vomit I have come to expect from a good old H/C crew who have played a few Fungal gigs in the past and always come up trumps. Fuckin' nutcase noise played with unhinged zeal and a totally indecipherable angst. Dark and sludgy in places and light and whirling in others Mafafi explode and implode with equal measure and excite as a result. Two back to back hardcore tracks though is a semi faux pas and I would have liked to have seen both blow-outs split by the best track on the CD, namely 'Talking Sideways' by the ever impressive Kings Of The Delmar. These merchants of classy melody are headlining the Scottfest and this track will tell you why. A fine 3 piece burning bright at the mo and really producing some memorable material. For me they need to crack on and capture that flame why it is blazing boldly and blast a fuckin' full length album our way. The track here is catchy as well has having a retainable depth and just makes you want more.
Idiosyncrasy are 'Alone' but draw attention as this is the most indie sounding song in the mix and ain't half bad. It may be slated by some and unexpected by others but Scott has always been liable to mix and match a right old sonic montage and that gets the thumbs up from me. This is mild compared to other outpourings but again worth a few listens before harsh judgement is given. As this is a swift review my judgement may be off centre but I reckon that this will leave most punks behind but a few will be liable to investigate further. I can take it or leave it - it ain't punk, it ain't shite and the band do themselves justice with a fair tune. If I catch em' in the 'live' arena then my outlook will no doubt sharpen.
Dirty North exorcise 'Demons via a scally rap that is a bit too gangsta for me and strays from what I deem to be punk. OK so the definition of punk is becoming ever more hazy and whether this is a good thing or not I am sure you will have your own opinion but don't blame me for the state of play today when all and sundry claim to be punk and in fact there is little of the spirit left. Ok so not punk so judge on musical merits - yeah if you like this stuff then this is a real good piece that has relatable subject matter for all to mull over and jig too. It is a tidy effort and has me wondering what the fuck a full set will be like. I may be impressed or depressed but ain't that the way with all tunes - if you attend Scottfest then these must be checked out if for no other reason than to settle idle curiosity.
Rebel Conspiracy 'Defy' and ooze excellence with this well produced piece of sub-hardcore. Quickly developing into a strong band the RC trio are moving steadily in a positive direction and with a recent quality video under their belts, some hot rock performances and some spicy releases waiting in the wings the future looks mighty rosy. My liking of this band is increasing and I am more than proud that they played their first ever gig for Fungal here - a choice moment and more gigs to come.
Glue Ear give us one of their best songs to date with nostalgia and youthful headiness all minced up in a fuzzy blast known as 'Punx And Alleyways'. Nice drum based opener with some chanting ranting vocals and then in we go. Pacey, tight and with an infectious streetstyle - you can't help but love these gits. This a nicely produced piece and a U-Turn in Glue Ears releases so far. A maturity is had and if they can follow up this sharp punching piece with a few equally effective shots then many a knockout will be had.
OK so why should you go to Scottfest is, I feel, fairly fuckin' obvious but let me just clarify further. 1. Scott is a darn gent and deserves your support for his selfless, profitless efforts 2. This is what promoting music is about - mixing and matching and being given the chance to check out new material 3. £5 for these bands and more - come on now lets have a bit of sense - and finally It is Scottfest for crying out loud - what more do you need. See ya down the Hollow - 26th September 2009 - 3pn sharp. Nice one Scott!
THE LEES - THE LEES EP
A few years ago The Strait Jackets played a couple of SAS gigs and left me quite pleased at what I saw and heard. In fact they even appeared on a SAS compilation which I deem compliment enough. Time passed and unfortunately for the scene the band disintegrating into that punk void known as nowhere and so the players were left at a loose end. One of the said players was a guy named Lee who has always kept in touch and recently revealed to me that he had started a double act with another guy named Lee. The name of the duo was revealed also and I wonder how long it took to reach the end decision as to what to call this newly formed outfit. The Lees are what they are called and the profound thought and insight behind this tag is quite remarkable (add heavy tones or sarcasm and piss-taking verbology ha, ha). And so what to expect - more punkabilly noise with a sneering edge perhaps - no not a bit of it. In fact this 4 track DIY offering is more like a Simon and Garfunkel gone AWOL propulsion that is really fuckin' likeable. In fact let me explain...
THE FRONT - SNAKE OIL SALESMAN
Hailing from Caspar in Wyoming, United States this band have a fair CV to their name with appearances on the Warped Tour among the most noteworthy of inclusions. The whole essence of what we have here is seeped in quality with a typical Americana rock edge that relies on big, big riffs, tumbling bass lines and blazing banshee bellows liable to wake the dead. Polished, processed and professional this is a million miles away from the gutterpunk street sounds I have a preference for but that doesn't stop me from admiring a good band at work with some good tunes to offer. The initial comparison that springs to mind is with the amazingly excellent Objex also from the US, a band I witnessed on a couple of occasions and whom left a massive impression. This 10 tracker has the same high octane edge although leans more towards the rock end of the spectrum than the aforementioned outfit and so the question is would it appeal to my punkoid lugs with the same force? Let us see shall we...
A smoky voiced vixen soon becomes corrupting and leads up the stairwell into an orgy of 'Low Income Love'. Defiant against the odds of having no money love conquers all and the passion the song exudes carries it somewhat and overwrites the lack of melody. This is quite an unsure song and not as instantaneously catchy as its counterparts and comes as a midway moment that can easily be by-passed. It is a decent piece but not up to the stature of the other 9 giants. 'Fire Away' rips along with hefty gusto and with an intolerance of musical stragglers. Hitch yer britches up and get jigging to this - a quick muffle scuffle and its turbo time. Its own individual strength is enhanced by the oils of fine production and the chorus and verse blend beautifully to maintain the high energy. Whoosh!
Footnote: - Snake Oil first came to the fore in the 1800s where various elixirs and potions of all kinds were sold as a cure for everything that ailed a person. Snake Oil was a popular ingredient in these medicines but as for their effects - total bollocks!
REVENGE OF THE PSYCHOTRONIC MAN - MAKE PIGS SMOKE
Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man are a band I am more than familiar with and have watched them progress from a decent melodic embryo to this thrashing bastard of a dog. The change has been gradual on the 'live' front but quite sudden on the recorded side and this is by far and away their hardest stuff yet. Has the change been successful - well in some parts yes and in some parts no - allow me to elaborate by taking you through this album review.
'I Durst Venture South' builds up with a frustrated Motorhead-like beast raring to be let loose. One doesn't have to wait long before the eruption comes and it is quite an impressive outburst. Keeping it short and brief is a key element and anything long would surely stain these sonic underpants. The odd streak left here is decidedly arty and in nowhere can be classed as a blemish. A good mad opener followed by the equally efficient 'Cosmopolitan.Horse.Tits' - both tracks merge almost into one and so become one dirty foetus of discordance rather than two individual bouncing baby's of blastology. The tersity of both tracks help overcome this minor identity problem and you can just enjoy them as one long (well just over 2 minutes) track. Not bad at all and the kind of stuff that has me reaching for the claw hammer and QC ready to do some damage - yeah!
'Mines A Pint' is pisspot rage and is borne of a mind that is ill and pickled with booze. A few chops of the strings and the idiot fury is squeeze from the vocal rectum with sphinctal lips rolled back and anal teeth bared. I could mentioned the bottom tongue that lolls but that's just nasty. This is good and excels the ROPM outpourings to date.
'Blackpool Rock' bursts in with a bass line borne from a thousand punk rock ditties and for that matter so is the guitar. So fuckin' what - it is a right good riff and the cymbal tap, tap that comes is most obviously leading us into another full on wank off. Nowt wrong with that and ROPM are far from spitting salt at this stage in the rhythmic rubbing. With a title like 'Blackpool Rock' the taste of this should be cheap and have 'this is shite' written all the way through but - it doesn't so fuck ya. 'Mainstream Music Is Shit' (couldn't agree more) and the jack hammer blitz here is everything mainstream music isn't. However this isn't the best track on the CD and for me loses its way during the verses and never recovers. It is a pity it isn't really bad or I could have said 'Mainstream Music Is Shit' is shit but alas I can only say it’s alright. It's all about comparisons here and it is the weakest offering so far whereas 'Felch Death Fuck Storm' is one of the best. A strong vocal insanity and a consistency of terror that raises hackles and foams with toxic tuneage. What makes a good effort and what destroys a song is a very fine line here and just a few notes in the wrong place could sound mighty awful. The crew keep in the groove though and are producing a nice little hardcore album that has a likeability all of its own.
'Needles To Say' is more of the same and already at this stage it is more than apparent this is, in the main, a one trick album and that the band would be foolish to follow up this 14 tracker with more of the same. The definitions between each song are nebulous if one isn't concentrating and so I do hope the band don't fall into the pitfall of becoming bleached by their own belligerence. Individually this is a solid song again but can be lost in the mix if one isn't careful. 'I Know A Cracking Owl Sanctuary' is a subtle gem and should be opening this CD and closing it as well as the bands 'live' performances. It is just an ideal deception that is capable of throwing a newcomer off the ball and ill preparing them for the avalanche of noise that the band can throw their way. It is well played and perfectly slotted into the melee and a Fungal Master Medal is pinned onto the player’s hairy, pimpled buttocks. Note: - Abandon the 'one trick album' quote for this epic - se honesty fuckers. 'The Fuck It Button' is one I press every now and again before going on a bender and a song by this name is long overdue. The gush and rush is machinery out of control with an electro-vocal lost in the midst of pumping pistons and static filled wires. It’s nice enough and short enough to handle - similar in fact to a nude Ronnie Corbett in a flowerbed (if you are that way inclined).
Breakdown time and 'Tramp Rape' hurts (not that way although I'm sure it does) and pisses its own pants with a frenzied free for all straight out of Broadmoor. The melodic meths are spilled, the encrusted back passage of tone buggered and a pig squeal of pain is given our way. Super fast and incoherent but with oodles of fury - now that's what I like baby. The fact that the lyrics are inconspicuous may be just as well because if Matt Woods, the gonad of the guitar, is involved in the construction of this song then nerves may be upset. The great riff that ploughs a deep furrow in the mental fields is rock, cock solid and 'Donkey.Yeast.Infection' has the potential to thrive. It does in fact just become a brief free for all rant but again the variation is welcome and the rapid punch is better than a long boring beating.
Fuckin' hell track 12 already - where's this one gone (hands up all those who said in the bin - you naughty twats)! 'Bouncing Back' is just there and despite a grand guitar opening the song just doesn't grab my sonic nuts. They may be tickled slightly by the bold breeze but no - not one to write home about. If it had been earlier on in the CD than a bigger impact may have been had but several spins have made no impression with me - neither shit nor a hit and neither a thriller or a filler - just one of those. 'Dear mum and dad - there's this song that I have played and.......' no see - like I said nothing to write home about.
'Bitter Bastards' is either about people who think things are shite if not going their way or people who love a pint of the brown beauty and don't appreciate it - guess which I'm opting for. Bitterness is rife in the scene and I myself have been accused of this due to my ravings and disgruntlement against all that is static - NO - my rantings are for the want of a better scene and anyone who is trying to keep things moving and taking chances, and succeeds mightily, gets my nod and hopefully support. There are a few out there though who hate moving forward and if I knew what ROPM are saying here I could give it my support - but alas. This is a fair song though and again gets on with the job which is all good for me. Oh by the way I have been accused of being a bastard too - well 1 out of 2 ain't bad.
We close with more mincing speed and some solid bass blasts as well as electro-junkie indulgence. 'Drop Dead' is as harsh as it sounds and is played well and caps off a CD that I will now give verdict on.
Its raucous, it retains rhythm and it is consistent and yes I fuckin' like it. This is a good move by the band and although on a 'live' basis they don't always hold it together you can see things progressing and the trio getting things on a firmer footing. In truth I have abstained from watching these guys for several months which is a style I always adopt with all bands so as to view them again with a kind of outsiders view. Sometimes you go back to the players and think 'fuckin' hell why was I raving about these' and sometimes you think 'Shite a bollock these are good'. I am due to get my ROPM fixes again real soon and a few other bands for that matter so keep checking the site and see what my verdicts are. As for this - well why shouldn't you buy a copy - answers on a postcard to me and I will explain to the band your refusal to pass money over for a fair listen.
LOS SALVADORES - WASPS, BIRDS AND CLIENTS
A curious band Los Salvadores who mix high energy bursts with folk-ridden roamings reminiscent of gypsy get togethers. They are an impressive outfit who have an instantly recognisable soundscape and seem to be making inroads into musical circles one could easily deem beyond their own sub-genre. No bad thing and even if you don't like what the band push your way surely you would be wrong in dismissing it as shite. In the main I like what the LS lads do with only the odd moment leaving me indifferent. This is more of what has gone before with a few songs revamped for your pleasure.
'Empty Boxes' nudges its way in with typical tinklings and desperado vocals. At once we are thinking along the lines of a polished product played professionally by a band that are adept at their chosen art. The lyrics and general modes of melody are charmingly archaic and the flickering fire that shines with each and every note has the listener transfixed. More pluck than fuck this is a casual opener that doesn't raze the roof but merely warms. At this stage that is enough but I suspect on a full album this track would be capable of disappearing in the mêlée if positioned wrongly. 'Leviathan' continues at a similar pace but is, in several areas, a more accomplished song. Having reviewed this one before the impressions are still the same although this version seems to be more hollowed than what I remember. Less vigorous in fact and more orchestrated but, still effective. It's a nice tune and always has a chance of turning heads in the 'live' arena.
'No Heroes' is aching with melancholy and in need of revitalising assistance. The dull tones transmitted from the opening bars are not my cup of cha but sweetness comes with a more upbeat delivery and I drink deep from my mug of melodica. Originally I reviewed this as being one of the more discordant tracks on a previous album. Here the discordance seems to have dissipated and the song flows quite nicely and seems more than settled in its own pace. Maybe familiarity with the band has altered my judgement hence the reason that one or two spins of any CD is never enough to make an accurate judgement upon. Here 'No Heroes' is striking me as one of the best songs so far which I am sure contradicts other thoughts of yore. I ain't checking though - you can do the analysis!
A shuffling ruskie dancing tune opens ’Ignore The Sketcher’ before a dreariness is flecked with mere indifference and so gives us a tune that is adequate but fails to inspire. Los Salvadores have more than this and although the song is well played I prefer the band when they are in full swing and producing compositions with more positivity. This is definitely a 'mood' tune but still stays in keeping with Los Salvadores' mode of operation. 'Still Superstition' is similar to its predecessor but advances ahead with one or two cute touches and a more general encouraging influence. The sobering melody and lyrics are well matched and the cruise into the sonic sunset is melancholic, drifting and at ease. The truth is sought and perhaps the final track is where it really is at. A good old fashioned drinking song (known as 'The Drinking Song), with the weary flabbergasted state we all reach defied with optimistic zeal. Not as punchy as the album version and so the 'at the bar' rowdiness is left behind and we are left with something that resembles a commune-esque shanty. Can't knock it though because it is a fair bloody tune at the end of the day and calls 'last orders' with style.
So once again Los Salvadores prove what an accomplished band they are and although far removed from in yer face punk rock still get the Fungal vote for some darn clever song composition and listenable lullabies. You can chill out to this stuff yet still get emotive and spirited and that is enough to create interest - know what I mean?
RBH - LORDS OF THE WRIST
Sometimes one feels sorely let down by the system and sometimes one wonders why people of a dangerous moronic tendency are left to roam the streets spreading their foul wares amongst a populace of decency. Arm these inane lunatics with musical instruments and the world in general should hold its breath with fear. RBH are idiocy incarnate and their compulsive obsession with masturbating, breasts and general nude depravity goes some way to highlighting my aforementioned worries. Why these 4 demons of the dick are blessed with liberation is beyond me and a padded cell, regular beatings and doses of bromide would surely benefit all and sundry.
So here we go into the review - first up and surprise, surprise it’s a song called 'Wrestling The One Eyed Champ' - now what's this about then? The ingredients here are strictly basic - idiot humour, hard riffs, metalised noise and sperm. We thump in with hard grinding noise that comes from a rockers disturbed mind - the vocals soon join in and it seems frontman Rob the living Nob has improved his ejaculations. Not too bad at all and far exceeding the lowly expectations I had. Take away the goon obsession with all things bell and you have a sub-sonic metal band that are OK. No matter how hard one tries you can't help but laugh at this. Total lavatorial filth and literally 'off the wrist' but still forces a grin.
POP FOSTERS - 4 TRACK EP
I like what I have heard from this band so far and recently gave them a gig. Much to my annoyance I rather over-indulged in the QC quaffing and collapsed outside before they played their set and so am still a Pop Fosters virgin. Really fuckin' pissed off at myself for this I was surprised to find the band had left a CD for me with my fellow promoter of the gig. Thanks to the duo is genuine as are the apologies for my piss-pot antics and I hope to get these on another Fungal gig soon so I can at last view them and enjoy what I expect to be a good noise. This 4 tracker is a likeable little snippet so a review was a pleasant experience for me.
HAROLD SHITMAN - DEMO
This is nasty pasty, dirty Girtie, filthy Wilfy thrash core of the most abrupt and effective kind blasted forth by four foaming hounds of hell all determined to make your ravaged ears bleed. There are no excuses here and certainly no apologies with a big bastard noise thrown forth for all to run away from or to totally get twatted by. Piss off into the distance or stand and take yer kickin' - the choice is all yours. I like this power violent vomit and am happy to regurgitate in unison with these blistering bomb blasts. Apocalyptic and swift - blink and you are burnt - lets examine the fall-out.
'Perfect Centre Power Violence' misleads. It deceives us with a tinkling nursery security before a deranged commentator breaks the bliss and asks 'Hi Kids do you like power violence'? A united cry of 'yes' and Shitman shoot you full in the face with one 40 second tear up that is just fuckin' beautiful. The short running time is excellent and the nuclear upset caused is tantamount to nothing less than total destruction. The chopping guitar and unified shouts that commence are a glorious celebration of thrash core and the following speedburst is superbly rattled forth. Like an exocet missile heading for your mind the resulting explosion is nothing one can imagine. Class!
'False Hardcore Creates Rapists' is a seriously dirty nappy in a washing bag of other soiled articles. The intensity of the shite is triumphant and this disjointed number jangles nerves, plays many tricks and is a nice follow on from the opening bruise fest. The dual vocalisation is both demonic and disturbed and goes straight for the throat. You need to hear this via headphones turned up very loud - sit back, get into the zone and melt you fuckers MELT!
'My Husband And Child Are Dead, Let's Go Pot-Holing' hurts the head with its opening shatterglass guitars. Twisted and just in tune the avalanche of the one and only verse slices the song deep in half and the final chant of 'Rock Climbing’s' For Girls' closes with style. 'America's Next Top Sperm Bucket' is a 24 second orgasm - the lyrics are warped and are made up of the following one line - 'Why don’t you just eat a fucking pie....you teapot faced bitch!'. It is a totally diseased piece and as swift and spiteful as you could wish for. The fury is blazing and yes I fuckin' love it. Nail gun stuff that draws blood every time.
Lastly and, who the fuck is, 'Barry D'. A swinging resonance opens before swapping places with blue flashing light madness. Repeat times one and into a doom laden riff that darkens the whole atmosphere and takes pleasure in mixing vocals once more and winning big time. You just can't resist!
It seems Perth has many a mentally ill person roaming its streets. Luckily, four of them have found each other, decided to indulge in a bit of musical punk pornography and given us many spiteful sonic sprogs to assess like the five boisterous bastards showcased here. I really can't fault this and if you like it fast, hard and painful then go get bummed by a gorilla or buy this. Hump, hump, oooh, oooh!
LAST ROUGH CAUSE - THE VIOLENT FEW EP
It is always a delight for me when I receive a CD to review which has a band relying on cultured subtleties rather than brash punk rage. One doesn't need to burst a few blood vessels to get ones point across if one has enough nouse and artistic talent as well as a steady literate nature. What Last Rough Cause do here is exhibit the three aforementioned characteristics as well as a nice attention to detail thus coming across as a very good band who I feel have been let down by a scene that is sometimes too obsessed with forthright, and in many cases, false rebellion. This 4 track limited edition contains 4 songs written by LRC in 1984/85 and shows what a depth of talent we have always had if one could make the effort to look a little deeper. Even my quest to seek out new underdog bands still leaves me missing the odd prize punker but it is appropriate here to encourage all and sundry to keep looking for new stuff such as this quality disc which backs up my ardent beliefs.
'The Violent Few' starts with a nostalgic feel that slips quite easily into the first verse. All is steady with a moderate rhythm flowing neatly before merging quite elegantly into a stunning chorus that somehow blends and blinds with assured measure. There is no urgency here and all players are happy it seems in the fact they are knocking forth a great tune that is entirely complete and really cannot be bettered. The 2 minute 43 second running time is over in a flash which is credit enough but one must surely mention the great production that is clean and well mixed without becoming over-processed. The vocals are spot on and all I can do here is just add one compliment after another.
'No Real Reason' adopts an acoustic ambience and therefore gives all participants more room to ply their trade and so gives them a more obvious place in the reviewing spotlight. The opening strings are emotive and the cavernous mode of mouth could be in danger of over-exposing itself but hey we have a singer here and one who the band really compliment quite excellently. After the first verse and chorus the band kick in proper with all components weaving their merry way with efficiency and harmonised accuracy. No one is exploding here and doesn't need to! The settled sound is winning all the way and the change of style highlights an outfit with a stash of capabilities ready to be showcased whenever they feel the need.
Defiance and determined doggedness are ground out with superb skill as the quartets greatest moment is issued forth via the cracking 'My Life'. Go on I dare you to play this and not get involved. You'll be singing along here in no time at all and every punk and skin under the sun should be able to relate to this. Some songs encapsulate the punk ethos without even thinking and this is such an example. Really proficient and a highpoint that is testament to nothing less than talent.
‘Let Them Know’ rolls in and oozes confidence. Chugging guitars with brief lightning flashes are encouraged by the sturdy scaffolding of a good drumbeat and consistent bass rumble. The whole composition is a compact faultless construction that leaves little room for criticism. I can’t for the hell of me find a point to poke here and am more than happy to say that Last Rough Cause have combined 4 belting songs on one CD and left me gagging for more.
I hope LCR get gigging soon and hopefully are willing to play a SAS show as soon as I get booking again as I am sure it will be my pleasure entirely. Steve Scab must get some credit for this as he sent me the CD recommending it highly and boy was he right – cheers me old mucka.
So again the scene throws out another great silver circle that the punters should fuckin’ lap up with eager hands. If this had a big bands name on the label the discs would be on everyone’s hit list and praise would be coming from all quarters. Well don’t fall into that trap – get up and contact the band and get a piece of this limited edition – do not miss out.
THE RED EYES - FROM THE OUTSIDE IN
So a great band who have graced the SAS stage send me another CD to review and I expect nothing less than a 'very good effort' from an outfit that have convinced me of their high pedigree. The Red Eyes produce melodic, well thought out punk and leave the wall-busting riots and political rantings to others. This isn't a band that shy away from problems but a band who place emphasis on a darn good tune first and foremost. The SAS 3 dayer on which these guys gave a double performance was memorable and this crew did well to stand out. This offering is long overdue and follows on the back of three previous CD's I have already dealt with namely the 'Norah Louise Kuzmah' EP and the 'On Prescription' and 'Up To Our Eyes In It' albums. Let's see if the curve turns up like the arch of a firm bosom or swings low like a penis in despair.
'This Is My Life' is a proud punk anthem we should all take pride in and be able to relate to. It is a stunning start and has my toe tapping almost immediately. This is the way to kick off proceedings and the initial impact that the Red Eyes I am sure wanted is very much had. 5 guitar punctuations then a one for all join in chorus of 'This is what I live for, the songs and the music it's a way of life, and this is what I live for, the songs and the music - oh this is my life'. If you can't link up with this then question what the hell you are doing in the scene because this goes right to the sonic sweet spot and loiters with intent. The players are straight into harmony mode and are hitting it off left, right and centre with frontman Alan calling upon all his know how to deliver totally first class lyrics. Wow - I didn't expect a start like this and just love the whole essence and attitude the band have embraced and held onto here - brilliant. Let’s have it!
'Back In The Day' hints at being a nostalgic piece and indeed it is. You know me with nostalgia - fuck it and why look back when the future has enough to concern you with. Well from a neutral standpoint and throwing off my views this is a solid fuckin' song that compliments the opener quite deliciously and has a fondness of memory some could deem as sickly whereas others will quite relish. The rhythm is perfect accompaniment to the lyrical matter and you can see this one going down with bleary eyed oldies who have a preference for times gone by. Each to their own I suppose and even though the wordage is wank to my ears I think this is still a marvellous little song. Written well and the musical composition is utterly professional - clever bastards.
'Say Something - Do Something' is bold and grabs attention. The opening is full on and the song that follows equals in all parts and creates a three way wonder to cherish. Not many bands start an album with 3 such solid songs and it’s a cap raised to the Red Eyes experience and perfect positioning of these three pearlers. 1, 2, 3 and lift off is had with mesmerising gusto. Passion is rife, riffs rampant and application rock solid and so all three efforts make one big, big impression. If the rest of the album is crap then praise aplenty could still be given but let us hope we don't get a few duds following or I will still be disappointed. I want more and I want it now!!!
The fall from grace is a hard theme to tackle and the band do it with a nice musical narrative here starting with a twisting guitar and eager drum routine that unfurls with a regretful tone of gob before slipping into the matter of fact chorus. 'All Dressed Up (Nowhere To Go)' is a sad song and the inflection the band put into mix is exact and totally apt. In same ways the following 'Last Orders' is of the same lonely, washed up theme with yet more unhappy vibes presented with precision. The acoustica start is sweet and the song equals its predecessor. Both have melodic melancholy, great rhythm and are in truth very likeable cuts of polished efficiency. Everything so far exudes professionalism and I am of the belief that this fuckin' scene is not doing this band justice. Punk is a beautiful thing but sometimes can restrain one from reaching out to punters who would lap this stuff up. I hate to say it but it is a fact - blindness is inside and outside and people do judge on labels. Anyway this is fuckin' cracking stuff and I hope credit really does flow the Red Eyes way.
'Dumbing Down My World' increases the anger levels and a big fuck off to refusers of responsibility and the jerks of judgement is had with a more straightforward track that is restrained frustration. Maybe the least stunning track so far due to its more punk orthodox methodology but the screwing string work, the nifty bass rolls and general gusto work well and so should not be overlooked. Nevertheless the following track 'Kids' overshadows with ease and from the first beautifully delivered chorus to the last hurrah the trip is tremendous. It has emotion and comes with a parental outlook that shakes its head in traditional style at the way the young un's are today. Underage pregnancy and knowing no better is the main source of inspiration and with the musical acuteness that The Red Eyes infuse throughout the song it is another fine effort. 'Flawed' isn't as it says on the tin - so there! It harks back to a retro age but has a modern sensation with a delicious free-flowing ambience that gets me thinking whether or not I have heard a more 'correct' kind of album this year. It really is put together with deliberate forethought and every facet retains roughness but is a slick as they come. A purposeful paradox or a fortunate occurrence – who fuckin’ cares?
'Just Another Stranger' flies in with electric helipower before a strong opening chorus peels away into a light breezy chorus that again works remarkably well. This band triumph big time with this chorus winning creativity and songs that could easily be passed by are rubber stamped with a touch of quality via these crucial inclusions. 'Blind' is another such example with perhaps one of the most subtle rhythms on the CD. The intensity oh so slightly undulates before reaching high in search of daylight with the all for one hail 'I'm Blind'. With each listen new layers are exposed and all adds to the CD's longevity and the general admirable attention. A pinnacle is reached with this 13 track treat and the standard is consistent throughout which at this point I feel the need to praise.
3 left and what a closure! 'Rottenrow Baby' is a sub-football chant that will have gatherings glowing bright as they all sing together to this enticing gem. How many who don't know the name of this track will be shouting 'Rock 'n' Roll Bay' instead of the correct title? As solid as they come and followed by the delicious tale that is 'Norah Louise Kuzmah'. A incredible moment this in the bands history and although a rehash of an old fave the extra trimmings here just enhance the song no end and polish up what already was an impressive diamond. A textured narrative and a major zenith is achieved that the Red Eyes need to use as a bench mark. Can these dizzying heights be maintained over and over again - what a challenge to set! It is a perfectly positioned high and just helps one maintain enthusiastic interest in an album that holds attention over and over again. Play this one very loud and sing along to the massive chorus - incredible!
So it’s all aboard and tickets please for the last trip entitled 'Bamz On The Bus'. A sobering look at the variety of filth that uses our public transport which will leave Stan Butler and sidekick Jack turning in their comedic graves. We are all aware of these kinds of people and so the song sticks. The melody is harsh and I feel a funny way in which to end a choice CD. A fair track but an odd one in some ways that seems a trifle detached from what has gone before. Maybe it’s me but there you go - I ain't knocking it though and it does indeed round off a great 13 stop journey.
So a band I have never doubted the quality of hit the mark yet again with what is their most mature and polished offering to date and one which encapsulates and emphasises the bands numerous talents. Is there any reason I can give that you shouldn't dabble with this one? The answer is a bold 'NO' so the rest is up to you!