FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 46
THE DISTRAKTED - THE DISTRAKTED EP
Let me tell you a real punk rock fact. The Distrakted have always been a good band and have gradually grown into a solid unit built on inner passion and a nifty nouse of noise. Watching the advancement has been my pure pleasure and no one deserves more success than this bunch of unassuming 'erberts. Personally I should have done more with this crew but alas I am pulled in many directions. I hope what little bit I have done, both constructively critical and positively encouraging has helped in however small a way. This is the bands third release to date and is the best yet. Packed with big riffage, blatant progression and blazing spirit you can't help but wonder what we will be listening to in a few years time. This one will take some topping but these guys are more than capable of going through the roof.
'El Sleazo' starts with a guitar riff that fails to break from the sonic strait-jacket and so gives a hint that this CD may not fulfil the expected madness. A frustration is appeased by the odd initial flailing acoustic arm before the break-out is had and front man Johnny's lyrics disarm, assault and rip the fuckin' entrails out of. Bold throat shredding roars assisted by musical 'fuck you' flamboyance gets the song pile-driving and with the odd staccato one-two power punch this is a big, big statement. Not overly busy and erected by strong chordage that won't be corroded you have just gotta sit back and let the band hammer you into submission. The cacophonous cunt is pounded and bloodied but these rhythmic rapists will not be denied a full on fuck and so be prepared as they take yer arse out with the massive 'Dead Space'. The gargantuan decibels that fall from the ruptured rectum stink of swollen attitude and surging ability. A swagger is had in the rear buttocks and so the delivery is stylish, rebellious and full of bang, bang intent. The initial guitar shuffles are way beyond the years of this band and seem borne of a crew who have been around for ages. The underdogs are represented finely here and all the fuckers who have played alongside The Distrakted should be proud of what the band are producing. The more I listen to this track the more layers of skin are flayed from my tuned in body and if flagellation is this good then whip me to the bone boys. Almost perverse in the delight I take from such riotous upheaval this is just a taste of something darn special.
'Mancunian Werewolf In Oldham' claws deep with toned talons sharpened on experience and youthful zest. This band want it and want it large. Vocals are torn with wild abandon and then held in check before a full mutation takes place. Strings and drums are executed with precision and wonderful sincerity and one can almost envision the band pouring with indulgent sweat. They may try and hide the beast inside but during this trio of full moons they fail miserably (much to my enjoyment). From out of the pack comes this unleashed animal foaming with fury, ejaculating poisoned semen with glee - Wolverine Punk - yes I think so!
So once again the rabid cur digs its teeth in hard and this time doesn't let go. Sinew is severed, gore exposed and masturbated over and inner bones of resistance cracked. The Distrakted have outpaced many runners with this one epic stride and it is up to the rest to keep pace. Do it, do it, do it - and when you are up to speed get this fuckin' CD in yer paws and play very, very loud.
KERPLUNK - THE MODERN DECLINE
'A dog's squeaky fart coming out of a 17 year olds mouth' - so sayeth Kerplunk about themselves on the old Myspace webwaves. Doesn't promise much does it? Add to this a quite piss poor end production and many a reviewer may be looking at a shrivelled tit of curdled musical milk rather than a buxom bust heaving with luscious tuneful liquid. Luckily, or unluckily, for the band I am not just any reviewer and try mightily hard not to palm people off with 'I know best' prickology borne from a stance of 'who fuckin' cares anyway'. I care, and even if something avoids my immediate taste buds of acceptance I ain't a fucker to give up. These Chesterfield chumps are having a go and need pointers - here goes my take and humble advice (filled with punk passion of course).
THIRTINAS - DEMO
Ok, ok so I am reviewing a CD that ain’t strictly punk but hey it ain’t the first time and certainly won’t be the last. Better to assess a crew who have no pretensions to be punk than an outfit who profess to be all spiked up and are nothing of the sort!
I saw the Thirtina’s not long back and was quite taken by the comfortable sound they produced and the laid back delivery of all involved. The crew has two members of that anally obsessed trio 3CR and it came as quite a surprise that words such as ‘Ringpiece’, ‘Arsehole’ and ‘Perineum’ were nowhere to be found. What the Thirtina’s do is produce a folked up kind of indie sound that in some ways yearns for some place in a commune full of hippy dope dudes. Yes – poison to my soul such a place as that but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating what this crew are getting up to and the general tone thereof. Anyway here’s my view on proceedings and fuck the hippy frauds wherever they be.
‘Fantasy Bar’ wanders in and is in no real rush to leave as the slow, smooth groove lays back and just wants you to join in the snooze. Despite wearing generous adornments the mix has enough torn and tattered edges to add extra character and so wins ample appeal from this festering myco-man. The tendrils of tuneage drift slowly into the cerebral mush and do little to mentally nauseate. This is a pleasant chug with drums, bass and guitar kept in check from a full on explosion. The vocals are cool, suggestive and slightly acidic and so undulate with many textures not borne from the punk rock twat! Despite the running time passing the 3 minute barrier the song gets by quite quickly which as I have said on numerous occasions points towards a compliment. ‘Conspiring Minds’ next and no sooner have the drums fallen away then the she-gob is strolling along again against a laboured backdrop of sonica that sways rather than rocks. A change in mood and clouds gather but the eventual downpour never really comes and so the song continues in a somewhat similar vein. This for me is an error and a turn-about within the mix would have been most welcome but alas it doesn’t happen. Rather than mull over the languid noise a sonic stone should have been dropped and so the ripples would radiate further and thus cause greater attraction and outside interest. The thoughts of Fungal but hey that’s what reviewing is about ain’t it?
‘Soft Porn Hit Parade’ condemns the parcel and packaged bilge and does it without bared teeth or balled up fists. Again the heat generated is tepid and surely the band are still in an experimental tweak and twang situation but are showing some promise at this juncture and a clear indication of what is needed and what is not. 5 tracks at this pace is fine and dandy but over a longer course the ‘off’ button may be sought. In the flesh the clout is obviously larger and so the songs are more effective and that may be worth bearing in mind with the next release. Not bad though but the best of the lot is the emotive and more fluent ‘Section 13’. With more acoustic overtones and a definite cut between verse and chorus this is a very decent listen and piles on the subtle melody with consummate ease. The front lass needs pushing more I feel and a really ‘let rip’ moment during this one would have finalised a very good job indeed however this is a darn good song anyway and has a sweet rhythm and an all round complimentary construction – applause for all.
‘Metal’ closes and is the roughest piece on the CD and is an likeable effort. More sniping and apparently vicious, the contrast between this and previous numbers is stark and so the lighter shades are emboldened and the more blatant colours complimented. Even though this is the one track most punks may prefer I still say the previous effort is the best – yeah awkward hey!
I likes a change in the stuff that rattles my head almost on a continuous basis and this ain’t half bad. As usual personal pointers are given so as to squeeze, squeeze, squeeze and whether the band say ‘ooh it’s just that cunt at it again’ or ‘Fair point we’ll consider that’ one thing is for sure is that it is done with the bands output in mind. A decent opening account but I expect more from the next one – be warned I am a greedy bugger.
THE DANGEROUS ACES - DENY ALL RESPONSIBILITY
Empty a dustbin of noise and what you get is a mess. A simple equation and one even the most noodle headed noise master can surely understand. The Dangerous Aces are of course mentally corrupt and pay no heed to the sonic formula and so continue to pour their foul trash onto the floor of the acoustic shithouse. Punk has no rules and for me what the DA’s do deserves attention albeit for the musical mayhem or on stage slacking. From the 'live' dens of perversion thus doth transcend the untidy output and this long-unawaited CD is everything one could expect. Discordant, prone to bouts of lunacy, seeped in sonic sauce and very wayward - loverly!
We commence with the laughably unconvincing claim of 'I'm Not Mad'. Boom, boom, boom several times over with cruelly tortured guitar work and the odd pneumatic attack make this an exciting opening with the 'repeat until insane' vocal prescription re-ordered over and over again. Doctors of disturbance dance wildly within the bowels of this chaotic number and if the DA duck was looking to shit from a great height on the casebook of conformity then the turd is a direct hit. The production compliments everything this crew stand for and does them every favour possible - in a bizarre kind of way. 'Johnny's Got An ASBO' is a charming number that combines sausage splatting drums, psychotically challenging guitar work, highly wired bass and ADHD agitated gobbage quite marvellously and so comes out as a cacophonous piece of shit one can't help but keep snorting on the sly. People ask me what I think of the Dangerous Aces and I always reply with the 'fuckin' rubbish but oh what a wonderful kind of rubbish'. This passes over many heads but a few do get it and are all the better for it (allegedly).
The disease continues with the intoxicating bargain basement filth that is ‘Binge Drinker’. Don’t be fooled by the gently inebriated intro – the song soon degenerates into likeable insubordination with the bands eyes obviously bloodshot due to the heavy slurps they have been taking from this bottle of noise. In parts the trousers almost fall around the ankles and the crew are left embarrassingly exposed. Never fear – these old sots have plenty of experience and rather than have a withered pecker revealed the mystique behind the member is sustained and they somehow just get by.
Talking of foreskin (well in a roundabout way) the cover ‘Seems To Me’ is tackled, melted down and re-shapen into a deformity worthy of praise by this Fungaloid reviewer. Always a ‘live’ favourite it does the business again with a rough-house approach and general shabbiness of state but with an underlying drive that steamrollers all in its path. There are pieces missing in the pornographic jigsaw but one can still imagine the antics that go on anyway. ‘Stand And Fight’ blisters sonic skin with a deliberate tortuous prong of malicious intent. Again the band have focus and however wayward they may seem the end result is achieved and enjoyed if taken for what it is. The string work is as corroded as you like and drums are played with lunatic zeal and breathless urgency. Moz at the front snarls along with the discordance and so the band win appreciation with their unified contribution to the undignified.
‘Can’t Take It Anymore’ may be the words uttered by many who don’t get this CD – oh yes sir. Striding in with preparing pomposity and grandiose guitar work the drums shuffle in before the most effective song thus far chops and swaps into the grey matter. Almost sounding like an orthodox outfit this one shows that if the band want to play boring ball then they can surely do it if they try. Not to say that this is a run of the mill song by any means and it really does have a bite to it that is full of noxious spittle. Next comes my favourite of the CD due to the fact that all members nearly lose their minds and the general vigour is nothing short of mentally crippled. ‘Endless Bullshit’ is short, explosive and shits in its own pantaloons with grinning insanity. The sequence where varied members repeatedly scream ‘bullshit’ is not for the faint hearted and is a moment to almost masturbate over. Minds dissolve into riot riddled globs of noise addicted shit and I for one respect that. A diamond moment and if you are close to a breakdown and want to just tumble over the edge then play this one very loud.
‘Go It Alone’ is encrusted and slams along in expected style with a soiled bass paving the way for a no nonsense quickie. Regular underpants are pulled aside and the probe of passion is rammed up the ring with a sincere love of pain – both receiving and inflicting. If you like/dislike this then pain is definitely what you will get – fair compliment I reckon. ‘Lock In’ is trying to say something but I just can’t make it out ha, ha. Ok the lads have a drink problem and need more – I can relate to that! This is the most basic of tracks that any twaddling tit of tuneage could knock out – but they don’t and the DA’s do – says a lot about the psychological make up don’t ya think? One I relish ‘live’ and no different here!
‘Ain’t Lookin’ For A Fight’ is a sweet piece with a sobered inner segment and one that assesses the nature of the boys in the band. Good ‘erberts just out for fun who may not look the ‘general’ part to the masses but are worthy of support no matter what. A few of these dudes I have known a goodly while and have never found room to gripe. Amiable, prone to bouts of idiocy and always good company this lot will do for me and this final number rounds off a CD I knew would be rusty but one which I knew I’d fuckin’ enjoy. A comfortable closure to a good CD that a few will dismiss as cluttered crap but which I deem an untidy triumph. The passion to be involved and play is there and in their own disorganised way The Dangerous Aces do just that – small success!
OI FUCK YOU, BEST OF BRITISH VOL 1 - COMPILATION
This land of hope and glory has a music scene tucked away that is built on brutality, cobbled belligerence and utter self belief. Detractors try and use political prongs to discourage the continuation of the working class concrete cacophony but on it goes with flags of victory waving large. I like the Oi angle to the punk scene and more often than not welcome the noise it offers. In some instances it can be highly predictable, in others most blatantly regulated but, it usually does the trick and meets the needs of the most animalistic acoustic desires. This CD is a quality showcase of the racket out there over the last few years and in many places really kicks your arse hard!
After the initial musical theatrics and stage-setting Condemned 84 sway in with scarred fists thus starting the lengthy melodic melee a-going. 'The Sound Of Oi' twists with grinding guitar before the intense mid-paced lyrics join the brawl and contribute to a song that has inklings of a track from those far off 'Oi' compilations that we all got spirited by but now with a modern day production. It is a solid song to start off with and via a band who take their fair share of political shite but carry on nonetheless. Many gobs open with no evidence of what they speak of but C84 march forth and just get on with the job. A stance is taken that this is full on Oi and I am more than ready for more after this tasty opener. Tattooed Mother Fuckers have some storming material out there and stick to the basics here and drive forth with no looking over the shoulder. Confident and hard driven this stomping thug-fest sets out what it seeks to do and so 'Another Scar' is taken, digested and is an ideal follow up to the opener. Expecting more of the same is careless and what comes next is totally admirable and no less than the best song on the entire CD. Superyob are a good 'live' act and have many a good song floating about with this effort right up there with 'Living In A Doorway' and 'Vicious Circle'. Thought-provoking, articulate, natural and unafraid to deal with dangerous subject matter this song has all the trimmings of a classic. The construction is perfect, the vigilante call brave, the entire song pleasurable but quite neatly questioning - av' it ya bastards and enjoy this stunning dimension to a sub-genre many dismiss without properly listening to.
Scum have been knocking about the block for quite a while and this ain't a half bad effort by em'. 'Oi Mate' is soaked in retro inflection and definitely has laddish overtones. Scum have no intention of over-elaborating something that can be done with a simple approach and so apply themselves with an intrinsically straight ahead thought pattern. It works so what's the problem? Retaliator follow a somewhat similar route and grind out a result with the pressurised noise entitled 'Judge And Jury'. This one needs attention to the volume button and without any 'ooomph' through the speakers the effect of the racket does get somewhat lost. Not bad and followed by the equally flavoursome 'The Tonbridge Robbers' by Loyalty. The pace quickens and a merry old skip is had as this tale of robbery unfolds and reaches its end destination. A mode is found and continued throughout with little variation but the song does work and has a good final mix to keep all components on their toes.
The Gonads shout 'Hey You' in demanding style and after the initial police warning do a pretty decent job of dishing out the usual street sonica. The artillery is loaded, the noise slightly corroded and the attitude expected. Not bad and showing progression from bog brush bOIsterousness. On File follow and stick to regulated ravings with the orthodox rant of 'Stuck In 82'. At first I hated this one but it does get better and is well included on this CD. I don't agree with the sentiment of being stuck in 82 and although it was a golden year for the underground scene I am happy to keep shifting and sifting with the hope to find new exciting material to buzz on. Anyway what the fucks it got to do with me anyway ha, ha! Mind you the nostalgic lyrics do make sense and looking back the country was in a darn better state then rather than this hippy fucked rulebook shit hole we have now - everyone tries harder this days to be different yet everyone’s the fuckin' same - blah - nice one lads. Moving swiftly on and Code 1 offer us the aptly titled 'Bomber'. A song about the twats that live among us who wanna take the piss out of the country and blow it to smithereens rather than be a decent citizen and make a worthwhile contribution. Dangerous ground but Code 1 get on with it and do the job in hand via an angry noise that is tattered and torn but still fuckin' enjoyable.
Fatal Impact poke a finger at couch potatoes and the like and demand they 'Get A Life'. Too much time in front of the voyeuristic idiot box is the crime of the cuntry (yes 'o' left out on purpose) and contributes to an affected community who are basically full of processed shite. Bass welcomes, clashed guitar strums once and a militarian shuffle is taken before the main thrust of the song surges. Nice and easy to get into and typical inflection of the scene under scrutiny! Am I complaining - no way - it's Oi and far more relevant than a lot of stuff out there! Splodgenessabounds always seem to be on the Oi compilations I receive and seem well taken by the whole arena and with the tongue in cheek approach it isn't really any wonder. Between the more politically orientated statements about everyday life Max and his army bring a welcome bout of light relief and this is as usual with 'You've Been Splodged' which is typically idiotic and may it be said, stupid! I shouldn't like it but I do and such is the state of affairs with most things I hear from these dudes. This stuff has its place and this crew have been around the block enough to realise that and play it for all its worth - 'Splodge on' is all I can say!
Vicious Rumours are established and 'G. Y. K. D' is a good rattling number that has the crappest lyrics of the entire CD that really don't do justice to the meaty delivery and punkoid grind. There is plenty of meat to be potentially delivered and grinding is much sought after but not for this old Fungal cunt. One for the whoremongers and slappers methinks - enjoy! Overload give us the crushing blow that deals with society’s infection otherwise known as 'Greed'. A real old school plod this and one to get yer cherries polished to and have a good old stomp. Really takes me back and good to see some bands keeping the old style in there. Nobodies Heroes scuffle with swiftness and go crash, bang, wallop with the choice 'Motherfucker'. Almost cowboy blues and sub-rock-a-billy in tone and so creating an interesting concoction. Like 3 bands moulded into one and definitely has my curiosity tickled. Finally comes a track from a band I used to manage. Churchill heave ho with 'Revenge' and the fact that I ain't heard this for a year or two still leaves me thinking this is still a very good romp. Incessant and full of spirit the noise warms the cockles of my heart and brings back some good memories - hey ho.
3 bonus tracks are made up of 1 song each by Tattooed Mother Fuckers, Retaliator and Churchill again. Rather than reveal too much I will leave these as a nice surprise for ya and just tell you that you are in for quite a treat.
So 18 tracks of pure Oi and if this is your chosen bag then you are in for a quite a pleasure. If you can take or leave this in yer face form of rebellion then I'd suggest a 'take' manoeuvre and help keep this psycho circle spinning. Me - well I love this stuff and really can't wait to review the next volume. Keep em' coming!
HI-FI SPITFIRES - ENGLAND SCREAMING
I know little of the Hi-Fi Spitfires and am glad to get the chance to review some of their material which many rate quite highly. I have heard one track previously and seen one video and have found no room to bitch - surely 14 tracks would give me good reason to moan ha, ha. The sticker on the front proclaims the band has ex-members from The Lurkers and Holy Racket which is all well and dandy and of course they are two fine fuckin' bands to be sure. For me though the sticker is ignored as the crew will be judged on what they do now and if it is bright then I will do all I can to increase the glow and in the same instance if all I uncover is shite then I will constructively criticise and smear my honest words over the listening walls. Gotta be fair tha knows! No favours with any flavours - a simple ethos.
'37 Hours' needs to be a grand opener and catch attention and immediately give hint at the pursuing flavour of the CD. It does just that and is recorded well, played with accuracy and composed with an individualistic forethought and a certain typical identity. Guitars are neatly rusted but sustain a clarity, drums pop along and hold fort and bass provides strong support. The vocals are clear, contain a controlled sneer factor and compliment the backing noise quite adequately. The mapped out composite is adjusted to suit the bands desires and so this, and all what follows, has an instantly recognisable sound. That can be a good thing over a short distance as long as the band keep on their toes and mix and match the efforts - we shall see. A solid start followed by the rallying 'Write It On The Rooftops' which I am sure will be many listeners favourite. Hints at calling the crowd to become involved are far from subtle, guitar work is grooved up and the general drive is catchy. 3 key ingredients to having a reliable number in your armoury and no reason why this shouldn't be one of the bands 'signature' tunes the crowds all cry for.
'Broadway Fugitive' is easy listening and so is one to transcend frequently fucking fences and skip into unexpected sonic fields where outside music fans frolic. Again the 'all for one and one for all' unity inflection is given as well as the clarity of each component and overall unpredictable drive and so a minor hat-trick of winning songs is had. Rather than play all three back to back though I prefer playing them individually and so appreciate them as a single item rather than another product in a suffocating carrier bag - just a mode I choose and one which may give hint at the entire CD's effect. 'Between Here & Sanity' growls, twangs and gets its feet tapping and then stamping. Stylish, adorned with professionalistic trimmings and sweetly produced the song captivates and wins immediate favour with its articulate construction and applaudable production. Components are kept crisp and only slightly scratched so come up brightly but offer a few welcome thorns within the general melodic foliage. Getting deeper into the undergrowth the theme still remains lush and at each and every level of growth the band are giving obvious messages that they are intent on 'reaching the light'. The front gob here is carrying a huge load and doing it with triumph. The drums and bass are all in accordance with the rhythm set and this is very much a critter in a most perfect habitat. 'Cold Blood' and 'Cover Up' are partners in crime and two granite songs that uphold the quality mark and keep doing the band umpteen favours with the listeners lugs. I particularly like the surge of the chorus in the latter song but in truth this is just a high from a big fuck buzz!
Already I am convinced that we have an accomplished band on our hands who are going to impress over and over again. Will the scene repay the output - another question indeed! 'Brickwalls & Barricades' is nudged in with drums before twisted taut guitar solos. The first chorus is dished forth, gentle persuasive red carpet is laid and another verse is given. Awaiting the chorus with anticipation one is far from let down by what follows. A catchy simple shout of the title and all is done. More of the same and the song goes by and leaves me somewhat disappointed - paradox. So much more was promised and yet whipped away at the final breath. The song is still fine but not up to the expectations the band have persuaded me to have - oooh what a shame Fungal is such a particular twat. If this was a stand alone piece then my criticism would not have rose to the surface but as its part of this good album then the niggles sidle in. The small critical insects soon scurry for cover though as my fingers reach to tap in words of predatory praise as 'Hate And Glory' raises the standard to a new level and gets this CD very much back in winning mode. As with what as gone before not quite a regulated, orthodox offering with small gambles taken and achieved. We are not given a straight run and that creates thought and work on the listeners behalf which is never a bad thing. Of course lazy music to lounge to is all well and dandy but when a band bends the path it usually generates new sensations. Thumbs up here and perhaps, as said, one of the best so far!
'Real Detonator' seems borne from a band at full stretch at this stage and control is still kept and order maintained with the tightness obvious and attention to minor detail cloaked in success. The track slightly over runs its time for me and needs a minute shaving off I feel but certainly not the final segment which closes the cacophony well. Staccato stutter strings and 'Doin' Alright For A Dead Man' steams in and immediately has me reassessing my pick of the pops. The radioed voice snippets and following chorus has me reaching for the 1st prize rosette and this one is definitely my choice cut. The whole flow is remarkable and enough bite is squeezed into the generally melodic song. A nice sub-sang/spoken/shouted snippet slices the song at 3 quarters way in and does nothing less than add further character - good one!
Splash, splash, splash - military drums and in come the 'whoas'. 'The 'Biggest Blunder' is far from that and the Hi-Fi Operations Crew have yet another fair song on their hands. Time will be needed to fully consume this and many other tracks but they are worth sticking with. 'Vertical Hold' outshines its predecessor due to a pressing urgency to get its message across, a more ensnaring output and just an overall punk rock attraction one can't help gazing upon. Like a Gorgon on speed - the eyes are wide and one shouldn't look - but just one peek and then another and then.....Irresistible!
The last two entitled 'Satellite Boys' and 'M. G. C' respectively close things and do a darn good job. The former staggers on sweet sonic discordance whereas the latter tries to mow down the last of the reviewer’s resistance and comes darn close.
At this point I am all out of mental ink and even though this has been a good CD to hear I have found the review difficult. In my opinion this is due to the fact that the songs offer something more than the expected and so I am more than happy to positively promote this product on the back of that criterion alone. The fact that an enthusiastic nature for all things punk will find many hidden treasures here and no doubt will be prompted to make note and go and see this band 'live' adds to its appeal so a mushie man nod is confirmed.
DOGSFLESH - REVIVAL OF THE SPECIES
Dogsflesh are a brutal sounding band who now have one foot in the hardcore camp and one foot in the pool of melodica. The mix makes for good listening and the band do what they do with utter dedication. Due to the contorted hands of fate playing bastard the band are now a three piece and lack the 'in yer mug' forwardness of a sole frontman and one has to wonder what to expect of the impending 12 tracks. Top dude Rob Moore has bravely taken over the helm and I worried on his behalf whether or not he would come out looking liked a flaccid member rather than an upright victor. The CD has surprised me no end to be honest and I am very pleased that Rob and the crew have pulled out a marvellous little effort. It won't make much difference on this side of the pond due to the usual wank apathy but in Europe and beyond where the band thrive this will make a most gratifying wave.
'Revival Of Species' is as it says in the tin - an instrumental. I like CD's having a good intro and more often than not a rousing riff soaked entrance sets a most believable platform from which the players can only build. Crashing in after Mr Caines wafflings the strikes are bold and brash and after a miniscule pause that gets screwed tight the dog of discordance is beaten hard and whipped up into a foaming beast liable to chomp at any given moment. A fuckin' marvellous tumult to get drawn into with occasional moments of added threat and tuned texture. The deliberate attack is focused and things are kept without over-complication and I am very keen to get into the main meat of the CD after this appetising first course. 'EU' is dirtied thrash but vocals remain lucid and that is a very vital ingredient as I feel if Dogsflesh pushed harder and became more intense the general appeal of this fine band would be lost. The drive is saturated and intense and the main composition basic but effective. Rob surprises with such good gob work (no there ain't any homosexual undercurrents there ha, ha) and is backed by immaculate string and drum labour that does the fuckin' business. Dogsflesh may come across to some as just another punk band - and the argument is? The backbone of punk is built here and many older more 'named' bands do this kind of stuff to a lesser effect and win wide acclaim - strange don't you think for a scene so well educated as regards noise? Two great pieces for me and 'City Of Dust' is no exception. A bomb blast builds rather than destroys and a hate, a spite and a disgust is more than apparent throughout. Guitars buzz with static fervour, drums bend but keep stability and bass provides grim glue. The end monster lurches and looms with an inner malevolence one can't resist. Tasty stuff and one for punk rock vultures to feed greedily upon.
Foot off the pedal and a whisking tune is had that turns everything to pulp with slow, affected rotations of the riffing blade. An unstoppable force is christened 'Remembrance Day' and a call to keep close to your heart the memory of the fallen and show some appreciation for what they did is given. One of my initial favourite tracks and although not one for smashing your head apart to one very much necessary as a contrast to the other flavours. 'Eyes Of The Blind' crunches in and is punctuated by slam dunk blasts. Snarl and slaughter intent is embraced and the question is posed as to whether or not you have insight into political trickery. The orbs of sight are set very much on the final abrupt eruption and the swift journey to the last strum is a fair one with a definite old school melee had along the way.
Dogsflesh obviously know what they want to play and do it here with convincing spirit. The rest of the CD is expected to be more of the same and if that is the case there shall be no major complaints.
'Challenge and Protest' sets its own backdrop and prepares one for a mighty assault. Again we are given a full piston pumping tirade with the theme this time supporting fathers everywhere and pissing on the carefree beaurocracy of the CSA. I love the bass lines Dogsflesh are throwing up - so menacing and stalking the melodic prey with deliberate doom laden strides. The drive is piss wet through and when things are eased the band thrive with consummate ease. 'Broken Britain' staggers and then collapses beneath the tumbling rubble of the band. A regular snippet that goes well with all surrounding noise but in some respects doesn't do enough to stand out. At this central stage something out of the ordinary would have been most exciting. Still a fair shout with clout but for the next time I would like a real tangent in the mix - go on lads - gamble!
'Innocent Victim' wrecks more ear cells and is a decent probe to electrocute yer bollocks off but alas I am going to move on to the CD's best song of the lot and one that deserves more of my time. 'Next Of Kin Informed' takes time, prepares for a steady push and goes for it with delightful impact. The fallen fly back and the relatives are given the sickening news - fuck war, fuck politics and fuck this loss of life is the message and who am I to argue? The sincerity of the delivery is what makes this one hammer home and the crew thrive like wanked off bitches in a kennel club. Frontman Rob is contorted with fury and that bleeds from the speakers in gratifying rivers of spirited belief - top quality! With the temperature levels now set at sizzle 'Blood On Your Hands' has a lot to do to hold favour. Twisting on its own innards the song soon spirals away with flapping wings and relentless decisiveness. Straight ahead and ramrod punk rock intent on being just that - it ain't nothing new under the searing sun but I for one have no disagreement. There ain't no need to be pompous and adopt a stance of grandiose sagacity, Dogsflesh fly forth snapping at your heels and don't give a fuck for anything sublime or profound - suck on it!
'High School Massacre' thumps along and 'Watch Me Bleed' slaps yer faces whilst fuckin' yer listening orifices with erect riffage. The CD started with madness and power and so right up until the last stroke it is entirely the same - too much, too little, too late or too soon - the closure is had and a slamming CD of punk poison is injected into the scene. Now you can take a self-prescribed antidote and get the fuck well clear or, if you are perverse and passionate, you can let the filth flow through your veins and delight your deviant spiked heart. You just know which option Fungal is taking and I welcome any twats of tuneage of the same opinion. Bloody rousing stuff that will always be what it is - hard, raucous and punk - oh how I love it!
THE KIRKZ - AGROCULTURE
Firstly, before I start this CD review can I just take time out to congratulate The Kirkz on being together for well over a decade and staying true to their own musical cause. It ain't easy out there and for ones so young (and in Max's case mentally immature ha, ha) one needs to pay respects to their determined attitude and 'never give up' spirit. Over the years I have seen these dudes quite a bit and have criticised, praised and appreciated in equal measure. Whilst playing support to The Dead Pets on many occasions The Kirkz always gave their all and I bet many who saw those and earlier performances didn't think the band would be still going and still on a slow, but steady, upward curve. Applause, applause!
So without further ado let us move on to the CD in hand! 12 tracks of typical Kirkitification and all oozing moments of power and occasional wayward gambling. Whether I like it or not is the matter of importance and despite a gushing review in that over respected rag 'Big Cheese', who for me are fairly detached from the underground scene and spend too much time peddling new school sounds and 'across the pond' twiddlings, a solid honest account will be given without bias or preconceived ideas. You get what you get with Fungal and it will be of punk rock leanings and nothing less - so read on or fuck off!
Tranquillity that is most appealing to Fungal's natural side is broken as Farmer Piles strains his haemorrhoids and kicks his big 'fuck off' tractor into action to escape the impending storm. With shit filled wellies he flees and from the darkened skies come forth discordant droplets of noise borne from the snotty noses of the flying Kirk dragon. Nah, Nah, Nah's are sweetly obnoxious and a bold statement to the CD is had with the 58 second uproar of 'Viene La Tormenta'. The fields are scorched as are the ruddy rear cheeks of the aforementioned cultivator and with eager souls we await the impending downpour. 'State Of Fear' is taut and held in check for just so long before the leash is eased and the rabid dog of sonic hate is let free to run. Bounding along on paws of passion with a wonderful general rhythm the song has riffing moments of true magnificence, controlled segments of high octane power and a darn nasty bite to retain that punk and spunk street cred. This mongrel has the lipstick on show and its all down to its own arousing racket - watch yer legs oh pickers of the poison berry - this scruffed cur is looking to hump a limb and it may all just get a little too much. A scorching start to a CD I initially had doubts about - what the fuck was I thinking? 'The Revenge' is a cockerel on heat. Feathers stand on end and wattles quiver due to the overall oral urgency and the 'doodle doo' that comes our way would blow up many a box of Kellogg’s and crack eggs at 500 miles distance. On one claw the start hops in before a frenzied rant is had and the comb is raised in annoyance. A bit 'new schooly' which deters the barnyard birds member from becoming too bloated and although the melodic Viagra is effective the band will never raise this old cock's cock. The production is fine, the end result good but a little short of orgasmic.
'Enemies' begins with a swilled out sound for the punk pigs to feed upon. Things freshen up and new slurry is spilled forth and although some snouts may turn away many will stay in the trough and feed like fuck. Maybe one or two honking tangents too many but the band should be applauded for the general accuracy and overall pitchfork sharpness. The prongs are many and despite hitting the odd stubborn sonic stone the crew get by and many a curly tail will waggle in rhythm with the racket. Funked up and snazzy jazzy 'Get Lucky' waddles along like a thousand ducks arses on fire before suddenly becoming sobered and then breaking through into a feather flying triumph with a chorus to just enjoy. The lead up to the chorus is pretty wank to be brutal but the brief jerked snippet is soon blown away and success is had. A good head-banging power surge is brief before the front beak quacks on in insistent style and so carries the song to new well rippled ponds. The wind down splashes with glory and the finish of this piece and the start of the next number contrast quite markedly. 'Panic Earth' is an accomplished piece of work that unifies the band and their chosen pieces and comes across as perhaps the finest Kirk moment to date. Free flowing, technically swift and efficient all the effective armoury of this shotgun number is there to see and you'd better crouch nice and low or this salt filled weapon will blow yer crack wide apart and leave one helluva mighty sting.
'Kickbacks' swings its butt with a groovy bass line before all members contribute to what is the most purist new-school noise on this CD. Bland in parts, spunky in others with no real lead taken but when the chorus strides forth a genuine commanding role is adopted. The sonic sheep are rounded up into the pen of precision and a more stable outlook is had. One or two woolly wankers escape but with so many flocking fuckers the risks are obvious. The following 'Fuck Up Generation' is a focused piece and gets into the zone and has no reason to bail out. These turkeys are on full gobble and more than just Bernard Matthews will have a hard on listening to this briefest burst. Well included and well timed and a nice lead up to the complexity of 'Massive Fun With A Tommy Gun'. Another strong egg is laid here with a multi-coloured shell that takes a little time to adjust to. Slightly cracked and with a strong flavour this may be a little too strong for some but please bear with it and don’t let your mind get scrambled. The build up in intensity is worthy of appreciation and the torched tonsils admirable. Again the strummer, drummer and bummer (take yer pick ha, ha) do their stuff and one really can't gripe.
'Blank Cheque' does indeed bounce but not as rhythmically as I'd like. The song gets going but strays oh so slightly and thus needs reining in. Staccato stutterings trot, stop and snot and so plenty of tail swishing is achieved although this melodic mule seems quite poisoned with a little too much rhythmic rambunctious ragwort. No sooner as the equine effort inflated its member and dangled it to the ground than it is retracted due to the aforementioned over toxicity and so only flaccid skin remains. A trifle harsh I agree but you gotta keep bands on their hooves (oops toes - darn these farmyard obsessions).
So far I have been slightly critical but that shouldn't detract from the decent album we have on our hands. Don't get too misled by my poking fingers and get this CD and let yourself be roughed up by The Kirkz spirits.
'Zombie Nation' hurtles along like a goat with a cherry on and skips over potentially hazardous trickery and comes forth huffing and gruffing with glory. When The Kirkz go for it without thinking then a greater degree of success is had. Of course a shorter running time helps so that the power, vigour and general enthusiasm is condensed and more colourful thus having that 'in yer face' impact. We close with a shuffle, electro twist and bop along drive fest. 'Decapitation Policy' is a right good track closing proceedings on a general high and exposing the still promising potential the band have to move onto yet higher plateaus. Good stuff.
Amidst the ensuing silence is a piss about that names many a dude who has worked with these guys and a thank you from yours truly for the mention is sincere. Whether my name is praised or rubbished is beyond me but the thought is there ha, ha.
So The Kirkz move up a notch and do their stuff. If you've enjoyed the ride so far then hop aboard and get some tractor factor with some prickly punk that has many thorns to niggle with. This CD will propel the band further and help them over the next decade or so because I am more than confident they will still be around. Watch this space and call me in 2020!
THE SCRUB - LIFES TORN THE TUNA OUT...
4 tracks here from Bristol based skankers The Scrub and although a taster the result from Fungal is of a fairly good listening experience. Lets not run around the melodic bush and leap straight in and hopefully get ripped and torn on many sonic thorns.
'Fine Time' pronounces itself with big strums intercut with light ska strokes. A striking contrast and before we are settled all is screeched away and the brass smoothly whisks us into the main cruise of the song. Dawdling around a small moment isn't taken before tempo increases and the vibe doth indeed vibrate! Swap shop singing styles are bold before clutter is taken away and a lone gob is left to work almost alone. The chorus whips in and an undulation of tone is noteworthy and gets the ditty truly going. As the song progresses safe switch arounds are taken and all contribute to the final, fairly even mix with the structure left looking in tact rather than fractured with many uncomfortable hairline annoyances. Vocals grow as the song advances and by the time the final burst comes we have a band bobbing along in unison and really turning on the style.
'Storm Ahead' inches forth with brassology soon joining the crawl. More typical skank bounce is added by the strings and after the first verse comes a power surge that is accurately delivered and exposes inner ability. The pursuing segment of soothing sonica is perhaps misplaced but no real aggravation is aroused and I can find no harsh words worthy of use against this decent track. Well produced, built with care and leading into 'Rhonda' with a ‘pssst’ of a can. More light guitar and then added twinklings give this a somewhat foreign inflection. Drums become restless but are put back into their place as the mouth opens and versage is borne. Perhaps the most accomplished and orthodox song of the lot with components oiled, spaced and balanced and with the general gist of the song attractive, catchy and somewhat easy to digest. Again an inner dabbling is had where instruments fiddle for no real reason and only when power is upped does the snippet seem worthwhile. In fact when the band really get the gears moving do they thrive at full capacity.
Lastly is an effort entitled 'Unstuck'. It is now more of the same and I am liking this CD the more I spin it. Something soothing this way comes but not too laid back so as to be a curse to the cataleptic. Don't worry, this will keep you away due to its cute craft and swirling soul. Almost spoken, this one just steps into the arena of acoustica and yet is a trifle more. Hard to assess which isn't no bad thing and certainly maintains interest. A prolonged slice of silence and a bonus track slips in with squelched guitar and dripping serenity. A gratifying instrumental that closes a good CD with 'beddy byes' effect - fuckin' hell I don't half feel doped.
So The Scrub pull out a nice taster - is there anything else out there - I ain't sure but this is worth the effort of looking - well it is for me anyway - come on skank up and seek!
SADIES DOLL - SELF TITLED
As I review this CD I tap the keys oh so gently and seem overly relaxed thus struggling to write a darn word. You can blame it on the sunshine or blame it on the boogie but I blame it on the band. What Sadies Doll do is mix serene tranquil tones with lightly sugared reggae, streaked with soporific skank highlights. The slow swirling pool of sonica is charmed and balmy and soaks through into ones inner fibre with massaging melodic hands liable to subdue the most whizzed up wanker (or wankerette for that matter) into a comatose state! This is in no way my chosen noise but as it is another release from the Do The Dog stable and will contribute to fulfil my desire to review all of the labels releases then a good spin has been given. Climb aboard the word express, ignite a spliff and let’s see how the textual tranquility unfolds.
The 'Apple Tree' is kissed by the SD breeze and rhythmic leaves are fluttered and rustled within a general forest of carefree spirit. The instruments are persuaded rather than pushed and the output is strolling rather than rolling. As many know I like noise with 'ooomph' but am partial to the occasional switch off moment that relies on slight insinuation as opposed to powerful suggestion. This is an OK start and gets the initial droplets falling however the pursuing 'End Of Summer' withers the leaves and brings about a glorious autumnal colour built on positive skank structures and a more upbeat attitude. From the initial strums the song is on air-filled soles and bounces along within a soundscape that is well oxygenated and full of refreshing spaciousness. Despite feeling 'so tired all the time' the front man shines bright and has a hope and clarity in his delivery that captures the listener’s attention. 'Moons Of Cheese' is a ponderous, thoughtful daydream that perks up via the chorus but soon flops back down and dozes beneath subdued stars that speckle silent skies. During the instrumental one can almost slip into an irretrievable slumber and a bag of prizes is given for this most relaxing of tunes.
'Clear Skies' are here again with a strong claim to keep hindering clouds at bay. The sun shines as the band gush through the opening sequence with a jumpy delivery that most surely will get you bopping. The switch off is surprising and once more we become chilled by a breeze of casual tones. The alternation continues and a song that may split, hit or shit is given leaving the reviewer here, there and everywhere but leaning cautiously towards the 'hit' suggestion. 'With Me Tonight' is a truly horrible discordance to Fungal and why it was slipped into this collection is beyond me. A pointless exercise that gets caught up in its own intricacies and comes out as nothing more than failing experimentation. Maybe I am missing something but I don't really like this one so am offering a very stubborn 'pass' as excuse.
'Before Too Long' is a sweet slumber eked out between fluffy pillow persuasiveness and 'carefully does it' blankets that are neatly ruffled but never ripped up. 6 tracks in and for me enough is enough and the rest of the CD is certainly looking like a struggle. At this point a break is taken so as to not flog songs hard due to over exposure to a rhythmic light I deem too subdued and too watery. Many find this great listening and in parts it isn't too bad but for this punked pirate a wank on the plank is needed. Tug, tug, tug.
Some time later...
So as a CD this falls foul to the Fungalised lugs so smaller chunks will be assessed. The next 4 tracks begin with 'W. C. A', a song that in parts leaves me standing and yet in others (the quicker bits tha' knows) reinvigorates my interest. 'Cellophane Lungs' is tropicalised and a sweet listen and doesn't run on for too long, '500 Years Dub' is way out of my listening pleasure zone and although I dabble with many noises this ain't one I prefer to be surrounded by - awful stuff for Fungal but the chillin' chaps will no doubt love it - ya silly buggers. 'Can't Forget' closes the quartet and is dreamy, creamy and offers a silk wrapped jig. No sweat broken and if you are leaning backwards you will be in a state of total collapse after this one.
'Ignorance Is Bliss' is a welcome thrust and the band do the new school sugar rush delightfully well and one must ask - 'why not more?' Due to the preceding upturn of noiseatrocity the bounce of 'Know Its True' is emphasised and thrives. This one fuckin' reminds me of something but can I name it - can I buggery! It ain't a bad bit of fiddling and the levels of tone are applauded and the somewhat sobered vocals are likeable amidst this somewhat chaotic jigsaw of sonica. 'Headache' is an honest sound solarised with tepid tones of floating skank. Very delicate and almost too fragile to believe - it does work and hops from verse to chorus with easy glee.
'Calling All' rustles along and at this point fails to inspire, 'Moons Of Cheese Reprise' rushes, pushes and falls back into the awaiting mattress of middling melody where I am happy to ponder the impending closure to a CD that isn't meeting my noisy needs. 'Mr Marigold' is doped up and has me wondering whether to cut the whole CD short but I stick it out for the 'Final Outro' which, on the final listening, I do indeed switch off.
I've tried with this one and failed and of that fact I have no shame. I am a punk and like to dabble into other areas and sometimes I find a brew that just turns my taste buds inside out. If this were a four tracker than patience would have been held and a more favourable review would have resulted. Alas it isn't and at 45 minutes plus I reckon this is 30 minutes over time. If you like things reggaed up, super chilled and with no punk rock antagonism then get this but for me it is a super no, no, no. My least favourite of all the Do The Dog CD's so far but containing several moments that I will revisit. The result to date however is - Fungalpunk 1 - Do The Dog 20+ - bastards!