FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 41
RUST - LEAN MEAN STREET MACHINE
From down under comes a raucous noise packed with muscle and street based chant and rant vitriol. Rust are a band I had never heard of until Stu Taylor of STP gave me a CD and asked me to put it under the reviewing microscope. The first play left me totally indifferent and whether that was down to mood or the CD needing a first spin adjustment is by the by as my opinion has thoroughly about turned which the following textual substance should reinforce. This is a power surge that travels the full distance of the entire offering and hammers away with utter conviction and mighty effect.
We begin with 'Oi Oi Aussie Rock 'n' Roll'. A patriotic anthem, a call to arms and straight into hard riffage, balls out mouth, deep grinding rhythm and splashing drums liable to move oceans. Full on noise I particularly like the switch to more resonant tones prior to each fist-raising chorus. This opening blast shakes the internal organs into mush and the grim determination behind the drive is clear to see. 'Bang, Bang, Bang' rat-a-tats in and continues the pile-driving impact. We are being knocked ragged here with sandbag weight that sets one onto the back foot with no apparent room to recover. The melody is forceful and obviously great for that 'in the pit' action and there is a blatant desire here to hurt with intent. The chorus mows all down in its path and before we know it we are in the fray of track 3 entitled 'Heart Attack At The RSI'. Palpitating bass is metallic and fast thus introducing us to one of the swiftest pieces Rust have to offer. At this 100mph surge the band are tremendously effective as they are at a more sober pace. This 3rd offering has a backbone constructed on lunatic zest and all players thrive in the mayhem.
'Skinhead From The Burbs' slaps the face of the eavesdropper and says 'hey listen up big now'. A boys together football-like chant is had before we are propelled forth on heels of rock and brawl fire. The sonic scrotum is stretched and bared for all to see. The vocal/band interplay is a winning recipe that is played to the full at the third verse stage. Prior to that we are readily riffed up and given a fist pumping OI respite to whip up the punk zeal. The foaming passion is there for all to see and the shaven headed pit a matter of course. 'Boys Will Be Boys' sets up with harsh aggro influence and keeps on going into releasing tension with a fractured chorus that briefly staggers buts retains its footing to fight back. Polished and with a density of delivery to absorb the Rust army are firing the big guns and one must take heed when I warn 'take cover'. The swift vaporisation that comes next may hint at another route to be taken but never fear - Rust have a one way focus on this album and drive it to the max without thought for a 'brake' or two. Almost tripping over on its own blurry toes 'Female Japanese Psycho Killer' creates aftershock after aftershock with its intense battering ram riot and mad, blast wind down (or should that be 'wind up)? The crashing cymbal comes like a bolt out of the oriental sky and before one can recover it is straight into 'You Ain't Lived'. Disturbed rhythm dissolves into the saturated noise and we have what is my least favourite song in this bag of rowdy rats. A strong enough piece with a sanguine break that eases up on the gas but a more regular effort and following an orthodox route that has been built by the band so far. The 'ooomph' is still there and I guess it is a case of the listener being spoilt, but naming ones high and low point as part of a review helps gauge what level the band are working at and believe me when I say if this is the low point then this outfit are operating at a real heady strata. 'Rock 'n' Roll Gunslinger' moves up the scale from the miniscule dip and gets this CD soaring above cloud level with a groove and move blast that undulates with rippling melodic muscle. A tireless effort that exudes vitality and general sonic spunk and leaves the listener shagged out.
Dusting down we come to 'Anita' with a Cockney Reject feedback moment leading into some hardcore riffage before a tale of wicked murder is had via some more throaty, sinewy rage. Slap back in the zone its another corker as is the penultimate 'Urban Legends' with its poisoned inflection and, as expected, constant sonic buzzes that come in waves aplenty foaming with fervour. The tune is 'at ya' and unfussy which is the way I like em'. The solo lacks any real intricacies and so just screams along with metalised ambition - nowt wrong wi' that but don't let yer hair grow too long lads!
Finally we have 'Black Rats' crawling in with twitching whiskers and set to be the longest track on the CD. What to add? The guitars rock hard, the drums are whipped into oblivion and the frontman has remained as intense as ever - shit ain't it - these selfish bastards not giving Fungal the chance to pick any faults and let them fester - bah!
Well Stu Taylor told me it was good and after the first spin I thought the bald twat was talking bollocks. A lovely man but bald, a twat and prone to talking bollocks nonetheless. However, I stand corrected and make my humble apologies to a top bloke who knows his onions. Yes its a cracker and the band should take heart that they are knocking out some sturdy shit here that I for one will help to spread.
RASH DECISION - TEMPORARY WORKER (CLAUSE 4.1)
'A spoonful of hardcore helps the medicine go down, the medicine go down, oh the medicine go down' so sayeth hard edged thrasher Mary 'Poppin' Pills! Well something like that ha, ha! It is true though and a little sprinkling of this acquired taste is always welcome. The truth is though it has got to be played with real accuracy, zeal and talent or else, like no other genre, it really does fall apart. Nebulous links with a band called Dammit brought about this CD coming into my possession and although not utterly convinced of the CD I reviewed of the aforementioned band there are no such doubts here. The nail gun is out, the fast hard weapons hammered home and with a grinding impression made.
The first scratches are almost taking the piss and this twiddling nonsense is soon blasted away by demonic vocals and mincing guitar. The breath is held, a few rusted notes and then head down and fuckin' rock man. This is the real deal and with pace, passion and pure fuckin' desire the short, sharp opening punch is a hard one. The strings are chopped at with the resulting noise polluted and just very suitable for this riotous sub-genre. 'Veins' wastes no time in tearing more flesh from the bone and almost chokes on its own lifeblood with a mesmerising racket that has many turns. In between power surges of breath-draining desire we have a rant and rave outpouring that is like a butterfly on speed insomuch as it is darn fuckin' difficult to net! Just over the 1 minute 20 second mark a new direction is had after two presented guitar chugs. The intensity is still there but slightly more ominous and then a strange 'calm before the storm' threat is had. A fascinating filth and the need to get infected is atrocious but necessary!
At 1 minute dead 'E. S. T' feels like a whole lot more. Perhaps similar to eating sponge - only a little swells up in the belly and one feels disturbed yet satisfied (data collected from Sponge Eaters R Us Magazine circa 2008). A tumbling assault with barbed edges and mind mincing fury. The band are thoroughly ramming it home hard and unprepared aural openings are in for a real ravaging. 'Learning Things (About The World) is polished precision that is less than half a second in length and epitomises everything beautiful about this clot-creating genre. I love these violent short grenades that blow brains cells far and wide - for me hardcore should always be this way. A remarkable moment and one that inspires me to suggest that the band need do a 20 track release crammed with explosive devices of this length and power. 'Rabid Hackery' is another nugget where the band are timing everything fuckin' spot on, as must be the case with hardcore like this. Razored guitar soon wipes away the initial cock up and the fiery vocals raze the sonic landscape to a blackened portrait where some keen swathes are made via a stunning sample of 'fast fuck' string work. The final disaster unfolds with satisfying corruption and the monochrome work of artistry is finished. Four splashing cymbals, wild unified shouts of 'Oi Oi' and the most orthodox track is underway. The attempt to stick to regularity and maintain the noxious noise makes for one of the best tracks thus far with a style that can be easily captured and accompanied. No arsing about, just great incessancy and the slow grind is merely a showcase of a different tangent that the band could, or could not, throw your way at the slightest whim. A touch of class I feel!
Any doubts as regards the CD letting up are created by a mind not borne of reality and so I suggest any feelings you have similar to this need be washed away to save embarrassment. Only a fool would consider such an error and Rash Decision back up this notion by slamming home the twisting metal insanity that is 'Fuel The Fire (Insurance/Submission)'. A wild song on the cusp of being submitted for a full mental assessment. I love the unpredictability and yet the way the song sticks to the basic H/C principals. Harmful, hateful and heavy! The best is saved until last with the gargantuan blitz christened 'Giving And Taking (Fuck You)'. The warning comes with the opening grinds that loom both large and with malice. You can raise your fists to this and go bananas dude - totally excellent and yet still the quality tuneage comes my way from this scene that so many think stops and starts with well known bands. Wake up ya set of cunts!
Well another enormous pleasure to review and proving once again that we have never had it so good. Hardcore, Skacore, Skank, Pop Punk etc. are all overflowing with brilliance and my job as a reviewer is just a fuckin' delight. Come on take advantage and let the bands know you appreciate what they are doing - get out there, support, drop messages of thanks and punk on!
MEDIATROCITY - WASTE OF LIFE SINGLE
A good band here and this two track taster reflects that point and enthuses me to book em' again for future gigs if and when I get my promoting head on again. Contact was initially made with this band after I had put on former outfit of at least the singer entitled The Jinx. That gig was an alcho-fuelled affair but left me convinced The Jinx were a fair band. As soon as Mediatrocity got in touch I thought I'd give em' a go and in Wakefield they well and truly shone. Their support for the other bands didn't go unnoticed either so more than anything I was hoping they could do the business on CD.
We open here with 'Waste of Society' a hard grinding piece of skacore that twists in with taut string rhythm just slightly seasoned with an un-cleansed pepper that keeps things approachable to the more polluted punks. The vocals soon come in with fervoured frequency and add further sonic stains to what is a highly listenable mix. The chorus gets all mean and nasty and one can envision the screwed up faces and seething frustration. A song that shows much promise for me and convincing me Mediatrocity are certainly going to have a lot to offer.
'Promised Land' is a solid little number that I have really taken to over quite a few listens. I love the buoyancy, the reassuring belief, the summery skankiness that has an acute edge and of course the escorting gravelled vocals. This is the kind of skacore you can really ping about to and captures the entire essence of everything melodic within this dirty division. The chorus blooms but behind the sonic sepals are, I am sure, a few stinging spines to keep the admirer on their toes. The song breaks at 2 minutes 16 seconds to create further attentive dilemma but all is cohesive and on this one song alone I recommend you check out this lot.
So the message is simple - Mediatrocity get in the studio and get recording an album NOW! People go check these fuckers - a good band with good tunes and one I hope whom will stick around and keep it fuckin' real.
STILL DYING PROMOTIONS - COMPILATION
And so to a review of a Still Dying CD that is actually a real fuckin' release and not a give away with a fanzine. For once you miserly bastards you can dip your hand in your pocket and appreciate what this fine label do for you. Not a lot to ask is it?
15 tracks this time around, some of which have been taken from the cover disks and some of which are fresh releases by the label. All good stuff to me I reckon – we shall see!
Vincent and the Onepotts commence with 'Devil's Eye' which is one of the songs I have reviewed before and was slightly taken with. At this point change 'slightly' to 'mightily' and hopefully my increasing liking for this song is conveyed. It has a subtle boldness and strength that build with time and the edges of horror and sable sonics all make this a good opening track that gets the CD rolling uphill. Blitzkrieg offer one of their best and coldly sobering songs to date entitled 'We Die Alone'. It is a regular routine but has the necessary ingredient that is 'catchiness' and to be truthful sometimes that is all a song needs. It works and works darn well so what more to add - oh the musicianship and vocals are pretty decent too. A bold statement from Fungal is par for the course during reviews and by hook or crook I say what I believe and take the flack or praise for it. I can only be straight and that is what I am when I say that the next track is the best of the lot on this entire silver circle which is in itself no mean feat. A few come very close for the pick of the pops with perhaps Born To Destruct having good claim for a tie which when I get around to that epic I will explain. 'Fleur De Lis' is a song of hope and is textured with gorgeous vocals and cute subtle musicianship that relies on good construction more than anything else. Things are slightly corroded as regards the string work and this adds character and when coupled with the harmonious passion of the she-gob makes for a stunning listen. One of the true finds of 2010 for me!
Getting down and nasty is required next as The Speedogs tell us 'It's Electric'. A smooth and noxious rock 'n' roll drive that reeks of greasy rhythm and booze laden sleaze. Straight away the 'check out this band' radar is beeping and this lot do well to follow such an ecstatic high and still come out with Fungal favour. The Eruptors come at us with a similar flavour and fuck us with sordid sonica that just says 'Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah'. The drums are splashed and mashed here as this boisterous crew party away in the midst of a good melodic melee. The players are throwing themselves right into the outpouring and that gets my thumbs rising as I type (difficult ya know)! Cultured tones get the 'Deathrace' underway before gears are altered and we move up on in pace. At the wheel are The Scutty Neighbours who in no way are in a desperate rush to finish the song and perhaps maybe do one lap to many. A decent listen though with a consistent drive had and with an exhaust that billows plumes of sonic smoke that isn't overly toxic as to make the mix poisonous to the lugs. The only flaw is the drift in the midst of the offering and why it is there is beyond me! Pink Hearse are an impressive band 'live' and here tear it up with the screech and scream racket 'Virtual Valentines Day'. Snotty bitchiness carries this effort and although not 100% cleansed via the production room I like what I am hearing. A good melodic chug is had and the vocals are tinged with a cavernous hollowness seemingly borne of the crypt. The louder the more painful and that ain't no insult.
Chaos Baby bring 'Our Common Rise' to the table of tuneage and is a song that rolls in on military drums and rocks a steady rhythm that in some ways seems a bastard hybrid of the two previous outbursts. More she-scorched vocals and gruff guitars and lengthy running time, this one threatens to bloom into a different generic flower but alas stays within the prickly punk meadow. Guitars veer and steer the track off and on the rhythmic road but the band manage to pass the finish post in one piece and yet more Fungal curiosity is aroused. Shag Nasty don't go for an all out attack but rely on a kind of narrative song style that has a message and immediately has me thinking 'Newtown Neurotics'. I know the comparison is blurry but I reckon it is justifiable and am sure some will catch on to my drift! Another stick induced beginning with some warped anthemic twangings and then into a retro working class revolt that works the more one rotates this disc. A very natural sounding punk band who obviously have a patriotism and belief in their country as well as a hatred for the governmental goons - nowt wrong wi' that lad!
The Machines come across with a punk/new wave poppiness borne of the late 70's where this milder side of the genre thrived for such a short period but won many, many admirers. Over the years my liking for the less aggressive side of the scene has grown and this is a real nice piece of tepid punkage that should do the band some real good favours. 'Weekend' has vocals and instruments that hold a similar melody which is essential in this style of output. Be interesting to hear what these lot are like over a full album - bloody hell another band to chase down. Born To Destruct are a band I have a fondness for and believe they are developing into a very reliable, and strangely comforting band that have the potential to produce a stunner from completely out of the blue. 'Sick, Scum and Apathy' is simply their best song to date and is such a mammoth snippet. A choice tune, lovely vocals in cute harmony with the more blatantly punk backdrop, this is a sugared delight to stand the test of time and in my opinion is a marvel from the underground circuit - love it!
4 to go and The 5150's lead unto the closure with a nifty number entitled 'Camera Shy'. Yet another piece of new wave sounding memorabilia that has post punk properties of an independent inflection liable to please the hunter of the obscure. Fungal is just such a predator and is satisfied aplenty with this bubblegum flavoured popsicle that has plenty of flavour and individual essence. Light and heady with a syntho backdrop of perseverance this will gain the band many new admirers, albeit after their demise. Misled Icons play some neat stuff although labour the point a little too long for this punked critique. 'We're Not Listening' has a decent roughness and criss-crosses restrained and uncontrolled vocals with a certain know-how. A few moments of tumbling drums and sub-riffage and we have a song to ponder that ain't half bad. Like I say my only minor gripe is that it over-exposes itself and should leave a little more to the listener’s imagination. Danger's Close play it just right with the textured 'Closer Than You Think'. The production isn't as good as expected but this strong song oozes promise and punk ring craft with frontlass Abby a settled sorcerer of the sonics and really coming into her own. Adverse Camber bid us farewell with the problematic 'Can I See'. The problem lies in the fact that the whole effort borders on being a cracker but doesn't quite grasp its own bollocks and go for it. The melody is just oh so slightly amiss and with an extra dashing of poppy sauce the dish could have been memorable. I love the mix of vocals and general music with each reflecting nicely off the other and creating something garage-esque and yet something that is almost divided with joy. My nose is twitching so I will check out more by this unit and that is some success in itself.
15 tracks then and the 4th CD I have reviewed from the Still Dying camp. This is the only official release so far with the other 3 being fanzine cover freebies and yet somewhat controversially I reckon this is the weakest collection of the lot. Still a good do but just lacking a sparkle I found more than apparent on the other 3. Yeah Ok trust Fungal to be awkward but hey that still don't stop me from recommending you chase down all four CD's and broaden your punk rock horizons - there are some crackin' bands to discover you know.
THE SKALINERS - BELLY DANCE
German skankers The Skaliners have plenty of know-how as regards their output and this is blatantly relevant on this delicious slice of skank cake centred with swinging sugared rhythm and confident cream to just drool over.
The opening orchestration of '5662' is a mean hustle and has punked guitar, carving rhythm, eager brassology and an overall feel of a haphazard car chase. It gets one straight into the mood for music and if the music is going to be of the same excellent standard as set here then what a joyous time we are going to have. 'On The Loose' begins with sanguine skank and builds up a consistent shuffle of the very highest order. The brass, upstroked guitar, the tumbling bass, steadily applied drums and focussed tones of the vocalist all smack of orthodox ska but when played this good all rise to new heights and tower above many lesser efforts. The pace is approachable and measured with enough zeal to capture all age groups. The song is over too soon and many will be flicking the 'replay' switch before moving on.
'Sometimes' is a real slinky number that thrives on a well ventilated ambience that exposes a fine clarity of each component. Total chill-out tuneage with gratifying guitars punching oh so slightly against the verdant vocals that simply drip into the awaiting aural pools. The self-assurance shown here is borne of a crew who are both accomplished and lacking any doubt. A case of 'crede quod habes, et habes' I feel. Wonderful! From the slow serpentine slither to a busy beetle brilliance known as 'Friend On The Moon'. Robotic verbology imposes a threat which is washed away by an easily embraced effort that promises the world. The ska arena is always liable to throw into the pit such innocent sounding soldiers as this - but beware - before you know it you are captured and willing to submit your dancing soul for a piece of this action. Bouncing along on air-filled sandals of delight the pathway here has been hacked clear of any noisy nettles and it is a sweet journey right up until the final countdown. The burn-out is a cleansing moment and leaves the listener ready for more.
'Bernadette' adds to the promise of another set of classics and I am just gushing over the smart production so far with an accuracy that really emboldens individual contributions. The unity, the simplicity of sound and the stunning effect all interfold upon each other and contribute to the generation of interest many will find they have for this, and other songs! A sub-madness snippet next with a sun-stroked delivery from the golden sands where pyramids, sphinxes and toxic drains thrive and a certain mystic magic pervades. 'Kebir' charms the snake from the basket (no not the trousers) and hypnotises with a darn good tune which will have punk, skin, skanker and wanker toe-tapping along to. The atmosphere sought is ensnared, held onto until the final crash of the gong and exuded from every acoustic orifice the band are so willing to expose. Hey presto! 'Our Way' switches style and pangs with nostalgia for items such as skateboards, C64's and vinyl. The opening organ is funereal and the initial guitar work hesitant and shy. The first verse is stated rather than sung and a reviewer’s hesitancy is had. A dud firework in this box of crackers? The law of averages I suppose! And then.....wham - what a delicious chorus that adheres all parts together and (primarily in hindsight) a great, thoughtful song is had! The final tape-loaded computer game music is poignant and perfectly put - oh those were the days!
'Castaway' is the hardest song for Fungal to get to grips with as it is over 5 minutes and has many layers. Here goes nuthin! Pastel colours begin with the first verse relying on persuasion rather than bullying! The chorus adds strong arm tactics but in a friendly way and is a bold snippet. Bluesy guitars sneak in and then we continue after the briefest of brass interims. Tempo builds and so does interest and by the time the second chorus expulsion is upon us we are into the groove of the song. 'Hot Nights' starts with emotive strums before weaving its way along with a bouncy bop that injects ear-catching persuasion and takes away all our jigging resistance. You just gotta skank here man and all I can say is 'just give in'. The lucid production is precise and The Skaliners thrive and drive it to the max. 'Spiderwoman' will ensnare you in the melodic web and have you shaking every strand with rhythmic appreciation. A fuckin' crackin' number with sunshine brass and crystal clear vocals that pounce with a chorus of delicious simplicity to die for. Shimmering skank of the most attractive kind and be you the most awkward music partaker out there your taste buds of tones will be tingling away to this one. Placing an instrumental as the penultimate track is a total error in my books unless of course you put in a real darn good tune. The Skaliners do just that and keep my critical yap shut. This is a multi-coloured journey with a summery coffee-table opening, a bolder brass-induced continuation that has the odd shatter-glass guitar punctuation. Becoming jazzed up we drift into 007 territory before going fun fair crazy via a warped keyboard which leads into a funky guitar solo that is similar to something borne of a Gerry Anderson theme tune. We get back to the highlighted sax and trombones before the close which turns into a sand blown Egyptian horror - marvellous.
The finale comes with the lengthy 'Desert Of Sudan' that hints at a madness both in musical comparison and the quirky flavour. Far from a long trek across monotonous sonic sands this is a veritable oasis and closes the whole CD with a switch in style. Mr Bond even makes another cameo appearance and I am sure even his sophisticated tastes have been satisfied on this solid 12 track trek.
A very accomplished piece of kit doing a great band proud. On this evidence I am keen to chase down more Skaliners stuff and if you like things in black and white with many a ditty to dance to then this is crucial tuneage of mighty calibre to most definitely check out.
FLAT BACK FOUR - ARMINIA BIELEFELD
I am, it is fair to say, a Flat Back Four fan. I have given then approximately a dozen gigs, spouted off about their wares and music for many a year and have enjoyed their 'live' outpourings no end. This CD review is a matter of course and just keeps my hand in assessing what these dudes are up to. 6 tracks to assess on this 'only released in Germany' effort kicking off with a footy related song that is just a deliberate rip off of the wonderful 'Thatto Heath Song' with altered lyrical matter. This isn't as good as the original effort and lacks the final crisp production and tomfoolery touches. Nevertheless it does what it intends to do and is a rowdy football chant the fans will take to. Only a beer or two am I away from thoroughly enjoying this and that is how this one should be assessed. 'Burn The Flag' is rather rocked up and is one of the bands 'bread and butter' numbers that always does the business in maintaining a rapid flow and in holding onlookers and listeners attention. Some good chordage and sinewy strumming hold the entire offering together and it is a solid song in the mix!
'Jeff's Rock Night' is an instrumental and a fuckin' good old riffage fest. I love this song that has many suggested flavours and an equal amount of twists and turns. The ingredients may be mixed but the end result is consistence and excellently played by a band forever on the up and up. I have this one opening one of my SAS compilations and that is how much I consider this effort a bit of a belter. 'Better Days' has a staccato commencement before rushing headlong into the main thrust of the song. Nostalgic and forward looking at the same time with an orthodox tune to run alongside and incorporating an almost hymn-like break this ain't a bad listen. It is bog standard FBF and if you like the band the simple answer is that you will like this. A resonant shuffle, some chop and swap drums and a joyous belief in life are the spices thrown into the next song and with frontman Steve exclaiming 'I Wouldn't Miss It For The World' you have to wonder where the piss-up is happening. Bordering on rock rather than punk this may separate a few lugs but I am happy to be sitting in the bath of biased and give it the nod. Hey it is my fuckin' review after all and the band know if a cold turkey is had then I would be the first to expose the rancid giblets. Gobble, gobble!
'Psalm 23' is simply the best track that Flat Back Four have created so far and I reckon it will not be surpassed. Bands occasionally have one defining moment that will stand the test of time and be always the song they will be judged upon. This is such a case and if I am correct than what better effort to make a verdict by. It really moves up several notches from all other efforts and blends moralistic determination, great rhythm, strong riffage and ideal construction that makes it the classic it is.
OK enough is said and although for me the review is brief it pays compliment to a steady crew who can be relied upon to create good tunes, play good gigs and be good company. Pity they are shit are swilling sherry but one can't have everything ha, ha. Go on chase up a copy just for the hell of it and support a worthy unit.
PADDY AND THE RATS - RATS ON BOARD
'Bobby Shafto went to sea, became a punk at the age of three, joined a band as happy as can be, drinking rum no time for tea' - and there doth end Fungalpunks feeble attempt at a spiked sea shanty. Thank goodness for Paddy and the Rats is all I can say! All aboard HMS Rodent and a fuckin' fine drinking voyage is guaranteed to be had as your lugs will be raped and pillaged by a bevy of rockin' and rollin' songs borne from some accomplished artisans who obviously like a snifter or two.
Before boarding lets take a step back and call in at bar and discuss the prowess of 'The Six Rat Rovers'. A big opening effort that loots the booze booty and fails to get enough. A wee jig and swig number for sure that sets off foot loose and fancy free and never lets up. Lucid lyrics are mixed with big unifying roars with the shouts of 'More, more - we want more' ideal for a piss-up well under way. The relaxing mid-way respite from the slopping and slurping pirates is delightful and I am sure we all wanna sing whilst hangin' on the riggin'. Choice guitar cuts in and the violin adds that final seasoning to make the atmosphere complete. Fantastic stuff by the gallons! Up the gangplank and we are accompanied by the 'Song Of A Leprechaun', a song that yearns for the admired homeland and has a subtle passion that makes even the neutrals hearts swell with pride. A mid-strung twinkle in the eye of the song is escorted by floor-tapping drums before the sonic cargo is shifted with a dash as all are eager to walk on emerald-tinted lands once more. Less boisterous than its predecessor this is a second placed settled number that has a noteworthy production that is guaranteed to continue throughout. Things get well underway when the fiddles shuffle with glee and all are finally aboard and up anchor is had before the song helps this sea-faring CD slip away from the shore.
Memories of times in the boozer are told next with a Dropkick infected opening that leads into a spirited drive. No sooner are we at sea and a teary eye is had for the public house ambience and the many tempting ladies of liquor found therein. A lovely song this that reeks of a polished band and many assorted alcho-fumes. A foam is built on the sonic surf that rises into a final wave to admire. As though almost trapped by the chosen waters the band will not be restrained and produced an absolutely gigantic moment of melody with the gorgeously anthemic 'Freedom'. A powerful song built with barrel-bursting muscle and many an attentive ear. Some songs are liable to wash one overboard in this rolling punk ocean and this is such a case. Call me perverse but to drown in such a turbulent eddy would be the only way to go and even though Paddy And The Rats may have many magical moments this will always be one of the best. It drills with passion right into the ears and brings about a thunderstorm that rattles the heavenly stratosphere to its rafters. The haunting bags hypnotise and are gently eased aside by an equally enchanting first verse which soon pounds with exclamatory beats before searing forth with a one line chorus of 'FREEDOM'. A massive, massive song construction which is bewilderingly simple but unattainable by so many.
At this juncture already I am convinced I am being spoiled rotten by being given the chance to review a wonderful CD and thanks must go out to Nathalie Tachet for asking me to do the scribbling deed. Cheers me hearty! The punk scene and peripheral areas are thriving with talent at the moment and once again I find myself at a loss for words. Well almost!
The sails fill with the gales and billow forth via the next expulsion which sees all hands on deck for a swift industriously busy number entitled 'We Will Fight'. The work is busily attended to and all areas are applying themselves with accuracy and aplomb eager to get things done it seems and reach for a flagon of foaming beer. Another sweet moment that informs us that beer is indeed the most important factor in the voyage and it is best to just let the players cum drunks get on with proceedings. A nice enough number but the trouble is when you have to follow a giant one can be overshadowed. Add to this a pursuing number that portrays the tremendous tiredness induced by overdoing the ale and you can understand how the song may be passed by. Take heed of the warning but hey don't get carried away and miss out on The Rats ultimate dreamy ditty that is aptly titled 'Fuck You, I'm Drunk'. The haze that follows a heavy bout on the ale is hard to assess and so an attempt to put it into a song would be an admirable winner or a soggy sack of shit. What the Rats do is capture the self sympathy, the poignancy and the basic 'I can't be fuckin' arsed' emotions that come with the expected fuzzy head and cushion coated muscles. For the sensation sought the final execution borders on perfection and I can only applaud that and open a few tins meself! Needs must ya know!
'Poor Ol' Jimmy Biscuit' led a sad life and all for the love of Miss Whiskey. That cruel scorching bitch has led many a man to an early grave and on the way forced him into deeds deemed unfit for a dog. And all to quench an insatiable thirst! The Rats reel this tale off with a knowledge oh too obvious of the queen in question and cut a dash to get to the final note so as to save revealing any more embarrassing clues ha, ha. I like this one and the cat 'o' nine tails are swished with speed and demand our attention. Fair enough! 'Hurry Home' is the call from the crows nest as it seems beer stocks are low. Oh shit - how dangerous can things get? Outrageous and despite an all out panic to drink ones own piss the crew come together and proudly take a stance of 'Lets sit down and sing about it'. You'll soon be on yer feet however as this is a swinging number to dance along to and forget the shortage of ale for a while. Incessant and addictive, one just cannot stop when one takes to floor and all components are flourishing and flying as high as the Jolly Roger in the breeze. A bit of whistling softens the impact the song is making and is a sweet brief respite from the ever-growing sonic shindig. Trust 'Sailor Sally' to keep minds occupied and the Butch Cassidy/Sundance Kid guitar-esque strokes that introduce us give promise of a very melodic number indeed. The verses are very attractively put across and intercut with joyous moments where all the team row as one. The song is about a young lass who sails away with a besotted captain but who has a liking for other members of the crew (place precedent on the word members). She wanted fame, ended on the game and a sad story is had. The tale of woe is washed away via an upbeat melody that shimmers bright in a oceanic panorama of serene sonica thus, as one should suspect at this stage, making for a crackin' listen.
Balls are bared, loaded into the canons and 'Bang' we go into track 10. A bizarre fairground melody this that takes a little acquiring to due in part, by this stage, one is absolutely shattered out by the overdose of quality. The more carefully one listens the better the track is with an accordion appeal and funky jiving drive had. All is let loose towards the end and I'd be hard pushed to find any definite fault here. What I need to find fault is an 'Ugly Drunken Woman' but the staggering bitch that comes my way next is hardly anything to criticise. This inebriated harridan has swinging breasts that move in time to the almost skanky guitar rhythm and a inane grin which is reminiscent of the slightly unhinged sound we are getting here. Another curious effort that somehow remains highly listenable despite a busy composition and apparent unorthodox approach. Like the aforementioned tonic filled titties this one is one to sway to and many, many punters will indeed do just that. The on board party carries on even though the 'Clock Strikes Midnight'. What a glorious number once again adopting clear vocals, perfectly plucked guitar and ever reliable, effective drums. The acoustic masts are scaled and the riggin' danced upon as another moment to celebrate is achieved. A delightful dozen with 3 songs to go and I have my 4 leaf clover clutched as I wish strongly that this CD doesn't come unstuck.
'William' scratches in on dated footage before a nasty 'Oi ya Bastard' awakens the soul and we go head first into the song. A ditty of war and such historical goings-on that basically gets on with the job and keeps this 15 track jaunt on strong legs. Swift and persuasive with a more verse violent edged vocal style between merry defiant choruses. The last two songs are traditional shindigs one of which everyone will know and one that is less familiar. 'Drunken Sailor' is marvellously executed and the only other cover version I have heard of this is by the mighty UK Subs (officially my fave band) and this is certainly the better version. Feisty, full of spunk and encouragingly catchy just you wait until the instrumental breaks when your inebriated mind will be blown apart. Free-flowing and out of control I just can't wait to listen to this when I am pissed out of my skull. The musical chemicals splatter the walls as all rhythmic hell is let loose and we spasmodically jitter away with the intent to swirl and twirl within the melodic maelstrom. 'Bully In The Alley' is an exquisite closure and as land fast approaches a touch of sadness is on the periphery but a smattering of a job well done is at the fore. This is a sweet tune that has a dreamy all-embracing inflection liable to draw one and all onto the decks for one final sing-song and it is a great way to end a superb voyage.
Fiddle, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, accordion, bagpipe, whistle, guitars, drums, and of course the gob all combine to make this a precious effort with the bands aim to introduce the crowd to different kinds of celtic punk/folk rock of the highest, highest order. Looking at the bands gig list they seem to be doing alright for themselves and after the hard work destined to be put in this year I reckon their status will rise ten-fold. On this effort it certainly deserves too.
THE BERMONDSEY JOYRIDERS - FOOTBALL
A 4 track single release with 2 tracks that I could harp on about till my arse sets on fire but I reckon my views on the soccer industry and the egotistical twats found therein are well aired so on with reviewing the music.
The first two tracks are entitled 'Football (Home) and 'Football (Away) and are in fact the same song re-mixed and juggled along the touchline for your pleasure. I reviewed this song originally for the BJR's album and wasn't thoroughly convinced but stated quite categorically and I quote 'The way it is improving upon me though perhaps means I will be re-writing this review in 10 months and proclaiming a classic has been unearthed - then again the entire Premiership may be giving 50% of all their wages to charity and Neil Warnock may be devoid of opinions regarding referees and their decisions (emphasis very much on the 'may' I think)'. Interesting to say the least and to be fair this song does sound a better effort than what I it gave credit for. Very much from a working class background with the Saturday afternoon mentality at the fore (fuck Sky TV and the way they have manipulated the footy schedule to fit in with their financial plans) many a soccer psycho will love this and be happy to play it loud whilst driving down to the weekly match. Pity the song has hindered itself with only naming London clubs thus limiting the appeal and not acknowledging that the best teams are up north ha, ha. The first song is the punkier version and the one I have preference for with the latter effort drenched in bluesy stains similar to B B King in a Chelsea kit.
'Genuine' is a rotational effort that finds a trick and repeats it endlessly and therefore leaves me bored. The band are a whole lot better than this and to prove it I suggest you get the album. This I found the weakest track on there by far and although well played just lacks variety to retain attention. The unhinged twisting rant that closes is entitled 'Mystery Bonus Track' and is a musical monologue that preaches and teaches that you can stick the fancy trimmings and synthetic status symbols in life and as long as you are a 'nice' person that is all what matters. For me this is a great punk ethos and I hope the band mean it as much as they sound like they do (you never know - there are some right twisting cunts out there). Fungal likes the morals and so the song gets the nod and I like the inflection adopted here - very much a 'bloke in the boozer' style and that will do for me.
Not a bad taster but if you are tossing a coin whether to get the single or the album then plump for the latter. If you have no coin and are just tossing off then thanks for reading and fuck off!
LAST ROUGH CAUSE - THE UNOFFICIAL ENGLAND SONG
Football hey - a rough and ready game of the working man now a non-contact sport played by affected bags of toss who don't deserve the attention of the grafting classes. I love football but I'd also love to see the whole game drop to its knees and start again with reality kept in check and ego's fuckin' kicked out. As you can guess a world cup song ain't going to win my favour as regards lyrical content so I will judge this strictly on music!
Low key guitars crawl forth and the patriotic singing calls forth the England Brigade to get up on the terracing and support their team. Straight over my head but I can see where the band are aiming and the open goal is hit in the top corner with this booze and ball piss-up ditty. It has a verse that is cultured and a chorus equally less so that will appeal to many but for me I would piss in the beer and ignore the women of whoever and keep it punk. I know, I know but hey what shall I do - fuckin' lie? Soccer enthusiasts should buy it, punkers like me who hate capitalists twats pinching a living should let it go.
Now two 'live' studio tracks is more like it and 'Roughin' It' and 'No Real Reason' give a slight peephole view into what Last Rough Cause are all about and the thinking mans streetpunk they produce. This is why I rate the band and not on the first novelty track! 'Roughin' it' is of a mid-tempo with many cute touches and clichéd riffs combining to make an easy but effective listen. For a 'live' recording the quality reflects a choice crew and 'No Real Reason' is of an equal standard with emphasis more on a nostalgic sound and narrative inflection. The song literally scrapes itself together to get going and one almost imagines the players packing in and saying 'I can't be arsed with this'. Never fear the song builds slowly and the general melody is what holds one in and it is just as well as the ensuing effort is sweet, neat and complete. It'll do for me.
If you are liking what you hear on this and have no other reference material as regards the band then go buy the crews whole offerings - a couple of CD's on top of this I think. Now just find a quiet room, put a disc in the stereo and enjoy. The sound creates a bridge between now and then and both aspects become relevant – what a noise!
THE MURDERBURGERS - BURNED OUT, WORN OUT
Yeah know the fuckin' feeling but one has to crack on or shrivel! Anyway, the third offering from The Murderburgers and I was wondering well in advance of receiving this effort if the quality is on the upswing or drooping like a Scots nob after a night on the McEwen’s. No time to digress as I'll review this with the speed, quirkiness and to the point intention of the band. Oh and to be an awkward twat I'll do it in any old order - fuck numerical systems keep it haphazard!
'Outta My Mind' is magnificence incarnate and clutches dear at punked up poppology with hands keen to masturbate melody and rub rhythm. The speed entices, the guitars bleed with emotive desperation and the vocals are purely suffering thus making this one of my favourite ever MB songs and giving me a good piece of ammo to argue the bands case wherever I go. From the opening pangs to the final hepped up wind down I find this faultless tuneage to piss my pants to. And why the hell not? To prove that this tetchy trio are not just one off big hitters 'Sickness In My Head' is a choice cutlet from the carcass of this CD and has equal feeling, competitive speed and opposing flavours. The tantalising tones ooze radiant health whereas the lyrical matter is shrouded in mental illness. The accuracy of the players and articulate simplicity hit all the right Fungal spores and have me bopping along and desiring another 'live' performance from one of my favourite bands on the circuit. Frontman Fraser applies himself with zeal and the fact that his partners in crime follow suit make for exciting musical vomit.
Flitting like a fly from one turd to another (and oh what turds) we move on to track 10 namely 'Ugly As Sin'. The guitar sequence that starts this hints at a garage style vacancy but what we get is a nasty tumbling number that suggests embryonic retro yankiness with all the barbiturate nervousness and perspiring enthusiasm. It takes a few turns to catch up with but hey this ain't no floppy frog and hops and bops with ease without croaking too early. The swift running time is apt as anything longer would have forced proceedings to become submerged in their own sonic spawn thus creating a rather unpleasant mess. Nice one me old Burger Boys! 'Eyes On Her' is the opening crust in this 14 sliced loaf of noise and at first had me turning my thumb most definitely down. Ever the stubborn bugger I persevered and am liking this more and more although I do think a stronger track should have been had at this early stage. Nevertheless it is terse, typical MB output and most importantly to the point with a nice punky feel to raise the spikes and get the phlegm coughed up. Not too bad after all - phew!
From one sonic stool to the next and I guess I am just 'Easy Come, Easy Go' as is the title of the next offering. A new wave cum frolicking yank affair with a boggle-eyed lunacy just flittering around the periphery of the main thrust of the song. Fans of jittery laxative lunacy will act like zany cretins to this and others will smile in appreciation and award a rosette of acknowledgement to a fair track that adds a new spring to the melodic mattress. The longest outpouring on the CD is at position 3 and tagged with the name of 'Beer, Don't Fail Me Now'. It is good to know the lads have their priorities right with the lengthiest piece saved for important subject matter such as ale and the guzzling and arising problems that come as a matter of course. A song to some extent without a definite chorus but one that is a meandering wander of melody that complains away with relatable regret. Ha, ha - silly pissheads - we have all been there and the melancholic approach that resists the sub-pop tones works ideally. A punchy chorus would have been nice but we don't want spoiling do we? Well perhaps we do but moving on...
'Eh? Huh? Wha?' has a maturity that comes with a mid-paced settled drift and some adequately positioned wordage that runs with complete fluidity. This track won't leap out and say 'look at me I'm fuckin' fabulous'. No, this number needs pulling to one side and appreciating on its own whereupon I am sure the verdict will be a positive one and of something not strictly pop punk but something slightly more profound. Repeat all that has been said of the previous piece too as 'I Hope That's It' is more of the same with the lyrics essential reading matter so as to get the excellent drift here of wasting time (in others eyes), drinking too much and just being over enthusiastic and suffering from burn-out as a result. Passion has a price as I well know and it is beautifully portrayed by another song that won’t grab yer goolies but just gently tickle them into favour. 2 songs on the turn and in order throws out my evil plan to conquer the world with this mixed up review but regardless I will get back on the wayward track and propel myself back to track 2 which is the essentially exciting 'Lump In My Throat'. The tease is set via a placid verse before another MB select chorus is had which we can all join in with. Apathy and melody grapple in a ring of noise before settling their differences and pulling their weight to make a well delivered dish for us to partake of. 'Burned Out, Worn Out' is swift and tireless and defies the meaning of the song. An inward look at the hassles of being in a band are succinctly put and the result is a realisation that one really can't help doing what one loves no matter how fuckin' shattered one gets. The message is basically 'It's in the blood' and if you can't relate to this then find the exit door and go find your niche!
The next two songs come for me as one and are re-recordings of two old classics. 'Braindead (From Hanging Round With You)' and 'I've Got A Plan (To Kill You)' are two pop punk classics I play regularly with volume mark 10 always a must. The 'Whoa oh oh oh oh oh oh oh' segments of the former are droolingly attractive and just can't be left to float away on their own and very much need my personal vocal company (albeit out of tune and fuelled by booze). Great verses, great choruses and trimmed with talent both efforts are quality with the initial 8 count and forthright rush of the latter mesmerising stuff to round off a bang-on brace. You may hate the Burgers that taste of Murder but I'll argue their case until the sun goes down over these two underdog gems.
'I Don't Want To Have To Entertain You' is a case of tough shit dudes as you are already doing just that! A one paragraph dreamscape with a pillow soft approach that makes this the most mushy song of the lot. The lyrical content reflects intolerance (translated as 'pissed off with') and eventually we meet the light and bubbly chorus. Repeat all and you have a decent ditty that even the most commercialised and conformist punks will enjoy (if they are even punks that is). Most definitely a throw-away piece and so it should be - it is part of the sub-genre tha' knows. By chance the last track I deal with is my least favoured and called 'Don't Patronise Me'. At position 9 it falls into the mix but having been exposed at the arse end of my review I hope it doesn't detract from what I deem a grand CD. The song tumbles and fumbles for me and just doesn't ensnare itself in my cerebral pubes. I love the lyrics and can relate to them due to a lengthy period I had out of society where late-nights, insular comfort and an anti-social stance was had. I am hardly a social cat now but this 'locked away safe and sound from the outside shite' is definitely a feeling I know. Just unsure of this one so will shut the Fungal yap there and not taint a solid CD with one provocative pimple.
The Murderburgers are doing well and will continue to do so if the standard set is maintained. They get plenty of shows and all and sundry I talk to like what they see and hear. As far as advice/criticism goes well what to say? More of the same, get a few more super-short ones rattled off and just keep at it - it don't need an intellect to recognise a good band methinks - just a bugger who likes punk and don't mind what flavour it comes in!