FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 48
THE FANNY PADS - TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY
A straight forward political riot opens up this well-packaged and well produced CD that really does blaze an opening trail of melodic upheaval and sing-a-long punk rock. 'A Better Life' is perfectly chosen as the starter track as it grabs attention and thunders along ideally and precedes the tuneful and may it be said very catchy 'No Confidence' with excellent efficiency.
'When It Ends' blows and slows in fantastic orchestrated fashion and highlights the fact that we have another flavour to savour as another great underdog band produce some belligerent ball busting stuff equal to anything the so-called top bands get away with.
A perusal of the enclosed booklet is typically punkesque in design with lunatic band pictures, thanx and vital lyrical matter that all comes together to be impressive to any reviewer. Adding lyrics is a definite 'MUST' for all bands as it increases the catchiness of each song and immediately helps involve the listener. Why bands omit a lyric sheet is baffling but there you go!
Anyway the CD does the job on all fronts and being overdue in its release backs up the argument of 'better to wait for quality than to overdose on crap'. Other highs are the brilliant 'Why' a real misfit comes good tune and the comically defeatist 'Disillusioned' that all the labouring army can relate to.
A good CD with the first half outweighing the second but all in all no real faults to find. These lot are on the SAS 3 dayer coming soon and I am well proud to include em'.
THE X-RIPPERS - RIPPERS LAMENT
And so The Legendary X-Rippers have another one for ya. The Barnsley boys have not had enough and a grand chapter in Yorkshire punk continues. It is a welcome and I have many good memories of the band and of trips across the moors to their fine hometown. Hey ho - on we go!
THE LILLINGTONS - THE TOO LATE SHOW
Hailing from Newcastle in Wyoming, USA The Lillingtons produced their catchy pop punk buzz from 1995 until 2001. In 2006 a get together was sorted and 'The Too Late Show' was created - man what a move! What we have here is my personal choice of CD of the decade. It is my 100th CD of the year 2010 and so what better time to pick out a prize piece of punkology.
This CD is short (11 tracks at a running time of 24 minutes), it’s addictive and it is without flaw. The pace is ideal and has enough rapidity without being reckless. The end mix enhances each and every sound and for me it is one of the few albums I can listen to over and over again and not find a duff number. It is a masterpiece, a stroke of luck, talent and pure timing at its most rewarding and here is my review cum tribute to a marvellous package of sonic supremacy - read on!
'Gunbullet' winds its way inwards with a tightly screwed drone bursting to be released. Simplicity incarnate with a wrap around lyrical content, straight ahead vocal style, swift infectious guitar and a brief inner segment where drums and bass are abandoned and the job is done. No masterplan is needed to construct songs of this ilk but what is required is a deep seated insight into making something instantaneously infectious without getting over-technical. Many will say anybody can do this but the fact is they don't - and even if they did would they do it this well - I doubt it. An ideal opener that propels us on melodic heels into the sci-fi drama entitled 'Target Earth'. With a subtle dread warning the crew inform us the saucer men are coming folks and The Lillington B-Movie noise is laden with a doom one can't help but be hypnotised by. Never mind the ray guns or the plasma heavy artillery, I am too taken aback by this effort and am happy to dance in the garden of hope rather than worry about the alien invasion. The fact that I love horror/sci-fi material and am a bugger for pop punk already has me looking favourably on this song but combine that with the winning energy, the general rhythmic excellence and the just spot on delivery and I am convinced we have another sub-generic gem.
Two great songs but what comes next is nothing less than perfection. 'All I hear Is Static' is a pinnacle in the popped punkoid history and one would have to search darn hard to see this one bettered. The whole inflection is uplifting and filled with such a positive vibe that one can't help but be absorbed. The lyrical content oozes frustration and angst that many a teenage bopper or 'never say die' aging punk will relish but still the jigging joy cannot be resisted. Fuckin' magical stuff and if you are indeed feeling wound up then get this rotating and use the therapy - definitely music that can swing a mood. Straight in next comes the Fumanchu favourite 'The Augurs Tale'. West vs East, East vs West - this noise is in the middle and mocking the foolish ways. The signs are given as ominous but the song shakes off the vibes and comes through as yet another conquering ditty. Guitar work is sharp handed, drums are in the groove and will not be shifted and the vocal style is casual, effective and totally appropriate. If you are not still pinging about your room to this one then my head is in my hands and I give up on your so called 'sonic spirit'. This maybe the weakest song of the lot but I still rate it and if I knew nothing of The Lillingtons and had only heard this my curiosity would still be ablaze.
The pinnacle at track 3 was a massive moment of music and unbelievably is matched by the next track. 'Mars Vs Hollywood' is exemplary genius and a song you will never shake out of your head for days, months, years, life. It drills in, weaves a wondrous path and enchants with incredible ease. Immediately the drive forth is intense with chopped and surged strings exploding with life. Verses are compact and sweetly delivered and segue into the excellent chorus snippets with a liquidity that is clear, smooth and gratifying to the listener. A siren cut between all enhances greatly and I am addicted. The stars flee, the green men fire their death rays and all is well in the war of the worlds - when all around is crumbling we have a racket like this to rely on - it will do for me!
'Do It USSR' begs for destruction with an ambiguous message bordering on nihilism. The swinging rhythm pounces at once, the victim is the listener and the ride is the most uncertain yet. The mean 'red alert' aspect is class, the instrumental cut clean and aching for air guitar assistance. You'll be into this one in no time and at 6 tracks in one is already peering towards the finish line with a hope it never comes. There is a definite paranoid sensation going on within the thread of this collection and it comes to the fore with exception in the unhinged twist that is 'Zombies'. Do the dead walk the earth, is the graveyard abandoned as cadavers go in search of fresh meat? Any song that contains the line 'I saw them eating human brains, and it went right to my head' has me intrigued and so with a free flowing mode once more adopted, a swift execution and yet more stunning production I guess the only way I can vote is with a mighty 'YES'.
'Vaporise My Brain' abandons the horror output and deals with a kind of schizoid over-pestered mind that just needs a break. When dealing with life’s pressures this one is glorious escape with all players in full swing, a groove to the tuneage to adore and an emotive edge that one can relate to. The desperation, end of the line gob work is convincing and yes indeed the CD just maintains one massive high. 'Russian Attack' deals with the cold war threat in an outsider’s style that will have you wondering which side they are on. The neutral aspect comes across if it is intended or not and pulsation that goes with it is gritted, more alerted with red and breathlessly insistent. The stampeding fear is unavoidable and we are swept away on an ocean of exact sonica with the simple chorus repeat adhesive and to the point. More sirened guitars swirl before 'Charlie Goes To Cambodia' is upon us. The battle ground awaits and the fucker better fight or there ain't no return. The Lillingtons offer a resigned inflection that is matter of fact. How they contrast this with yet more virulent vibrations is beyond me but that is what they do. A penultimate stormer and with one last song to give us I did wonder on the initial few spins whether the full winning formula would be maintained until the last. No worries whatsoever and the sweet love ditty that drips with cute words and easily picked up statements closes in epic style. I don't care if things have remained basic, I really don't give a toss that the songs revolve around a few tricks and go for it, and I am under no illusions whatsoever that the 24 minute running time has helped keep things as close to perfection as possible. This is a splendid effort and the final song finishes with an upbeat note shining bright and leaves us (every single time) reaching for the replay button.
There you have it - less than 30 minutes of amazing popology and it is a classic. Yes that word is banded about a lot these days but not by me you twats. If you've read this review then go check some of the noise and please, please, tell me what you think. I think all pop punk connoisseurs will agree and many new lugs to the band will also concur that this is a pearl. When things are this good I don't care anyway - it is what it is and I love it.
GREENLAND WHALEFISHERS - SONGS FROM THE BUNKER
The 3rd CD I have reviewed from this jolly crew and you know what - the best yet! This one is more polished, more of an 'end product' and a lot more in your face. The mix works wonders and several songs are genuine giants that loom large over a hefty parade of melodic monoliths.
Straight into it with a rip-roaring instrumental that smashes waves wide apart and creates a foaming turbulence one is happy to be bounced around by. Fiddled in the extreme and with the only wordage of a warning slant this does what it sets out to do and the waters are there to be conquered. The first question mark is overcome (you'll see what I mean) and a shanty-esque joy fill the acousticised oceanic air with a merry jig given one cannot resist. 'The Guest' may reel with a drunken tomfoolery rhythm but the lyrics are laden with sobered armoury and if one ponders too deep a head or two may be blown apart. The song has more sinister shades within the mix and so several listens are needed to uncover all that the band throw your way. Undulating, unsettled and with a fair bit of bite - this will do for me. 'Waiting' is an ambling song with typical greened up inflection often found within this pool. It is sparse of sound in parts but the vocalist carries the can and comes out as unconvicted. The escape is due to a decent production and a gratifying build up to the main chorus. It is a close call but the band just get away with it.
'In The Bunker' is a grand rolling slice of down in the doldrums misery with a sorrowful tune that can be almost tasted. After hurling down a few bevvies this is a dangerous listen if your mood is far from positive. Very much a bleary eyed inebriated wallow but done oh so perfectly and liable to win wide acclaim from many. Almost lullaby-esque in some respects, regretful in others and paranoid in parts. The drugs didn't work, the eternal slumber beckons and before the blade is brought forth the crackin' 'Police Chief Inspector' arrests the downward slide and lifts us back into that marvellous reeling rhythmic mode the Whalefishers do so well. Cascading in a tumult of tonic tones this one regenerate’s activity in the soul and in certain areas creates an ambience you can almost disappear in. One of my faves for sure.
'Back Up Man' has gritted teeth and a determined aspect that won't settle for the same old shit. The drive is always aiming one way and you'd be hard pushed to refuse a lift. Several listens will be needed to appreciate each player’s contribution but that isn't no difficult task when the music is so likeable. A busy crowd is assaulted with bagpipes before the grim semi-acoustic tale of 'Tony Riot' is pushed our way. For a sound so intrinsically simple the effect is quite stunning and the whole bleak landscape is ominous and impending. The lone vocals work well and are gently haloed by delicate back-ups during the sub-chorus and one just gets the sensation throughout of a horse galloping into the pits of hell with no return intended. A stand out moment for its pure feeling and general different mode. The pick up into a celebratory jig is sublime and therefore the lead into 'Drunk Vs Lovesick' is effortless. This song doesn't dawdle and is usual fare as expected. It is tidily done, has no errors of judgement and is paradoxically one of my least favourites. I don't know why but it just passes by without making me stand to attention and yearn to scribble praise. I suspect if heard in the midst of a compilation then the outlook would be slightly different but within the mix here I find nothing really to describe.
Moving on 'I Just Saw You' is morose and shuffles its feet but once more captures that 'glancing backwards' nostalgia many will absolutely love wallowing in. A sweet tune, composed with mellow edged angles and salted with a seemingly doleful regret - it is what it intends to be and if you wanna feel down in the dumps and ponder mistakes then go for it. Bollocks to that for me and the energy and captivating joy de vivre of 'Rich Holder At Thorp Arch' is much more like it. Thriving, alive and action packed with sonicology, all the trappings of an ensnaring melody one can't resist are had. It injects the CD with a final flourish of intoxicating life which I feel is most imperative with this style of noise. A good move and taking us into 'Rita Von Snider' with a smile on our faces. This song smoulders with uneasy temperament but is kept on a leash and so drips rather than pours into the grey cells of the eavesdropper. A skip in the step ensues with busy strings adding shimmering delight. Very casual and carefree in parts and so enhancing all facets of the song. A nice effort to take me down to the final station where I ask for these Norwegian fiddlers to 'Put Me On A Train'. A song on the run, in pursuit of a good nights boozing and rocking. Nowt wrong with that and after the last orders comes via a somewhat Trumpton-esque wind down we find ourselves done, dusted and happy in the knowledge that the Greenland Whalefishers are getting better with each release.
I have played this one many times and hopefully have got to grips with most of the tuneage and given a fair account. This is a CD to not take lightly and spin once or twice and give hasty judgement. Play over several weeks, mull it over and then give your verdict - my money is on a positive one!
DEADBEAT HEROES - NOSTALGIC
A combination of yank intricacy and hometown punk rigidity makes what the Dead Beat Heroes do quite a tricky bag to assess. In parts a vagueness of direction has me hesitant at the keyboard whereas in others I am inspired to tap away almost without thought. It is a funny old game reviewing and one never knows which song or CD will cause the least or greatest problems. I like it that way and more often than not the ones I have to mull over have secret layers that are only revealed by using the mode of repetitivity.
A clear two strum with background bassism and one expects Lars Frederikson to pipe up such are the obvious influences here. No bad thing I suppose as nothing is original anyway - blah! The forthcoming string and drum soup is clear and tasty and the verseage adds selected vocal veg so as to further enhance the recipe. From a sobered solo delivery to a unifying outpouring the flow is liquid and highlights these three chefs have indeed some rhythmic nouse. The 3 minute 6 second running time is spot on and gives enough room for the listener to warm to the song - for me the best song of the lot so I can't really say it's all uphill from here - sounds awful don't it? Never fear this is a fair effort and the chasing 'Simple Sue' chops in, wastes no time in getting the head nodding in accordance with the groove and alters proceedings enough to uphold interest. A rougher feel to this one with the soiled vocals smearing the sound and thus hopefully widening the appeal of the CD so far. Cluttered, DIY and lacking the final finesse of more advanced (commercialised) bands this appeals to my underdog nature and has me seeing a rosy future for this band if they want to swallow the whole shitbucket of sterilised conformity and jump to the tune of the more affected. Not my style of course but the opening is there - hold yer balls, take a deep breath and plunge...or...keep it real and as likeable as this and do it for fuckin' fun. For me a definite UK/US crossover that should win favour from varying listeners. The pace is quick without being forced and messy and the mix self-made without being noxious - yep it'll do for me.
The third song in 'One More Night' is a bit more cutting, has spaciousness around the verses and doesn't totally take off during the chorus. The line is flatter than it should have been and I was looking for a bigger booming bump rather than the simple sonic swell we are given. If a song needs ramming up the duff then make it a brace of fat fuck twins dudes rather then a 5lb runt. This is still Ok but at the third track stage a reinvestment of life could have made great impact. 'Situation' hotfoots in next and after shadowglass notes it splashes with self-excitement before driving along in regular orthodox style. The initial gob work is hesitant but holds attention, a pregnancy before the birth of the chorus is prolonged before the aerated embryo is spilled forth. The umbilical cord is severed too quickly I feel and the separation between the bitch and the born is too harsh. The songs starts to cry for attention with a repeated 'Every Man Is My Brother' rant and does improve with each listen. This wind-up to the closure saves the day and not a bad aftertaste is left! 'Stay Again' staggers along, utters and stutters and adopts a gently does it style which contrasts as intended. The ambience builds slowly into a more noisesome vibe but then levels out again and never really takes off. It is one I can take or leave but as a sub-acoustic piece it is OK - nowt special just OK - personal opinion but there ya go. 'Non-Denominational' intrigues me more and has a neat plod along crawl that leads into the initial mouth mutterings. A slipshod delivery is effective and fulfils the 'here's one I made earlier' criteria. A bag of potential is shown and a glimpse of various avenues the band may just want to wander down during future recordings are opened up. That is small success and anyone worth their weight in underdog salt (or canine cock liquid I presume) should be pricked (not literally) by this one!
'Big Dog' tidily chomps in next with a rumble in the gut and a spring in the step. The urgency forces the band to remain more in check and only the lack of end gloss stops this from being a full on romp towards the finish line. The band have obvious talent and just need to make the end shine a little more polished with this one. The sub-Sweet 'Blockbusting' split in the song is cute and before we know it we are at the last ditty on the disk which is entitled 'Stefans Place'. A bouncy number, the guitars still glisten though and the punctuated pause before the flow really gets going will have fans indulging. Not too bad but from a pedantic stance I would have like to seen a last blast leaving a singe or two within the aural armpit.
So 8 tracks and an abundance of aspects to ponder. This is, as said, frayed around the edges but, the band do seem in the main to know their direction and hopefully will continue to follow it. Again, if your thirst for racket needs quenching then please do delve into the DBH pool and assess a couple of these songs. This may be the start of something bigger and you'd hate to say you missed out now wouldn't you?
THE PLIMPTONS - 00's NOSTALGIA
In the forest of frivolity and rhythmic rape the Plimptons shaft many a toned up tree and come out with peckers bleeding in triumphant musical glory. The trees are mere instruments to be abused and the noise that comes forth during the aforementioned todge based tomfoolery is assorted, anarchic and accomplished. No two grunts are the same, no two groans interbred - the cacophony is twinkle toed and mightily melodic and so from the undergrowth I crawl and dust myself down ready for some arboreal action. Now where’s that conker tree I had me eye on.
We commence with a fuzzed guitar and crooked key work as 'Drink Y'Self Sober' hits us with dreamy 60's sub-standard glory and under-processed innocence. At first one is taken aback and even though I had had the pleasure of hearing the odd Plimpton track prior to this album I still found myself on unsure footing. The band kick up many leaves from the melodic woodland floor and the colours that float away on the charming breeze are varied and vivid. This is a sweet start and feels as though the acoustic area is filled with many harmonious birds all tweeting in unison. What The Plimptons create is something of a Frankensteinian hybrid that grows into a flowered growth with ever-changing scents. One moment the aroma is spiked, the next almost greased and the next almost two-tonian. The inner keyboard sequence mesmerises and really uplifts the whole song and I am absolutely delighted by this cute start - nice one dudes.
'Sea Quest Dependent Pleasure Cortex' starts with more corrosive guitar before ready steady popping into a melee of Day-Glo psychedelia via the verses and chorus. The shout of 'medley' whips up a wind and the fluttering foliage is impressive as a shimmering montage of colours hypnotises and forces a most pleasurable jig to erupt from the music-loving soul. How can anyone resist this outburst of spectacular sonica - the gripe is that it is so brief - bastards. 'Virgin On The Ridiculous' is slow dripping sap that has eye catching colour and saccharine essence to taste. Verses are easy flowing, choruses more stuttering but so glutinous and adhesive you cannot escape the Plimpton goo. These are choice globules of sonic gunk dripping down the underdog trunk of toneage and rather than climb higher to seek out other fruit I am content to lie beneath the canopy and watch the rhythmic rivulet. 'Lonely Old Man' begins with shanty-esque woe and soon drifts into something bordering on the insane. Not totally crippled of mind but slightly off centre with an approach of stupid uselessness you can't help but warm too. Like a squirrel on acid with a pointless penis - you do wonder but you just gotta give it a cuddle and say 'awwww cute'. Have a listen - you may drop in on my wavelength.
'Irony' is bubblegum awesomeness to fuckin' drool over. The head is filled with an array of those melodic mushrooms tuneful toxins and as one climbs upon a recently sprouted cap from the swaying woodland floor the smile is absorbed, the eyes totally away with the fairies and the head swirling. Once aloft the dancing commences with the white spots on the red cuticle merely a punctated carpet to glide over. This song induces visions and it’s all happy, happy, happy. Spliff anyone - no - here's a bit of Fly! Startled and stunned I tumbled back to reality and am immediately lifted aloft via another magnificent moment, this time entitled 'Everyone Knows Everyone Else'. Small city insularity is exposed and the incestuous sinister edge played out alongside a clockwork town composition. The band almost become wind-up mannequins at the beck and call of the acoustic overlord - the players have no choice, the notes are there to be played and so the end ditty is a delight by matter of course!
I am absolutely loving this CD so far and the diversity, production, intention and ingenuity is enthralling for a dude immersed in noise but always on the look out for those fresher winds so rarely felt. 'I Don't Wanna Be Dead' looks at the misery of life and the mundane beat. Rather than ruin the mood of the CD so far and catapult themselves into an abyss of self pity the Plimptons brush themselves off and offer a perfect piece of positivity. Life is there to be lived and this number more than emphasises its all we got folks so fuckin' get on with it. The slightly tetchy vocals are assisted by squelched keys and the mix is ideal. It shouldn't be but it is and that is down to no other factor than the bands insight and talent. To close side one 'if ye are vinylised' is 'The Day My Baby Said She Hated Ska'. The bees nest is upended, the trousers filled with stinging machines and the higgledy piggledy dance a matter of procedure. A tale of meeting a lass, of everything going smooth, and then...kaboom'. The girl sounds the business but alas her taste in music isn't compatible - bye, bye darling. The despondency at the back end of the tune is applied with accuracy and once more the instrumentalists (emphasis on the 'mentalist' part) come out draped in glory. We slip into a dream mode of things that could have been. All life departs and we are alone with just the sounds of the elements. Clouds gather and we wonder if a downpour is due, the semi-silence is ominous and looms large before a Shangri-La Christmas cracker is pulled and the woodland is filled with red nosed reindeers and a pissed up Santa wondering what the fuck is going on. The towering firs glitter as the confused avian life flees and on the way shite long flowing streams of tinsel from loosened arseholes. Have the band cracked up and where the bloody hell has this one come from. There is an almost sexual satisfaction as the vocalist proclaims 'This Is The Story Of My Self Pity, Baby'. It is a pure punk moment due to its unexpected, disjointed feel and the way it takes the CD is choice and seemingly ad-libbed. I love it when bands do their own thing and do it deliciously well. Have this one and admire!
6 songs to go and a pause is taken so as to just reflect at what has transpired so far. A fine spectrum is covered, an unconventional mush moulded and a mix and match approach second to none is achieved. I decide at this point to run from the wooded arena with critical clothes abandoned and to hopefully wallow in a verdant pasture nearby that I expect the band to provide. I ain't wrong you know and has my conkers bounce and my todger quivers I gambol through the liberating acoustic grass and wonder if I will ever feel the need to have a 'dig'.
'I'm Bi-Polar Baby' jerks around with quirky irregularity before the falling rain tinkles in the background and adds some sort of order. A mellow kind of track with a hidden perversity that runs with a choice sap that contributes to a nice end spectacle. The vagueness of the disease in question and the fact that it isn't just a case of being a bit 'fed up' is articulately dealt with and so yet more rewarding fertilizer is poured forth. 'Ocean Colour Resurrection' has acidic moments from wanderings in yet more fields, this time strawberry tinted (in all ways) and with slight flower power headiness. More barbed wire fencing that can be restricting to the sonic growth is snipped away and tendrils of fertile rhythm can grow further. Farmer Plimpton cultivates a good end crop and this song rises and falls like the said Farmers buttocks as if he were humping a goat.
'It's A Crime' is the one I would say is the most tamest of tracks thus far and perhaps the most orthodox. That somehow pinpoints it as the weakest track which I suspect is unfair. I feel as though I have heard this one before yet somehow can't nail it. Brass, guitar, vocals, drums and delicate backing all combine to make a very easy listen with the melody on a level without zenith or nadir. The grass is mown and all is neat and tidy - mmmm - over-groomed or tidily effective - I need to think further. 'I Hate Halloween' has Epoxied synth drive, a zombified automated coldness, a simple prepubescent 80's naivety and a certain sparsity of sound despite being seemingly inflated. A decent listen and one to appeal in and outside of the circle. 'Away From The Zeitgeist' is stringed and vocal and very little else during the initial verse and one is wondering if a semi-wingless butterfly is going to crawl our way. Striving to get airborne the dumbed down vibe nearly gets too heavy and then...oh and then! A further metamorphosis is somehow achieved and a delightful chorus accompanies the development of tuneful wings and the song just goes and flies. Hippy dope hopefuls will be reawakened as something wonderful this way soars. Colours fade as angles are shifted and suddenly the field is filled with swinging rebellion, the scent of hashish and the 'make love not war' attitude adopted. No not the sinister 'fuck anything that moves' nonsense but the rose-coloured fiction that was promised. A beautiful moment! The song moves on and changes once more. This time we are back to the larval stage where a creeping electronic caterpillar crawls forth with an irresistible force intent on pupating deep within your own thinking cavity. A build up is choice, a repetitivity of almost evil obscure and then suddenly the glorious end is found and we can settle back down again. Beware - drop drugs with this one at your peril - the mood swings may be many - I love it!
The finale is a defiant tale of all that has transpired so far in The Plimptons failing journey and is a tribute to all that is destined to be unsuccessful. 'We're Gonna Outlive You' is cocky, admirable, fuckin' tuneful again and full of spirit. If you are thinking of a way to close an album of many tangents then this is it - yeah on, and on, and on, and on, and on. Sometimes just being there doing it for the love and hell of it is enough - don't doubt it.
A long review, a classic, the end of. Thank you for reading and now (as in the 70's kids TV show) - 'Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go Out and Do Something Less Boring Instead'. Just seems appropriate when the racket is this good! Now I suppose I best chase up their other stuff!
MONKEY CLIT RECORDS - PUNK ROCK VOL 1
I contacted Ray at Monkey Clit and asked if he was interested in swapping 10 SAS Compilations for 10 Monkey Clit Compilations and then we could spread the word for each other on each side of the pond. Agreed, postage paid, CD's swapped and given out free of charge to those who were quick enough and passionate enough to want em. The job is done and passed as a good un' as feedback came my way of a crackin' collection of noise from the primate clitoris crew. As a bonus I thought I'd review the CD too so as to give my opinion and hopefully generate further interest unless the CD was a pile of shite. Fortunately it is a choice listen and so here are my scribblings!
The Sheckies produce the first blade of noise and leave 'Cut Marks' with the snotty, grotty sub-asylum seizure that has all the trimmings of the bubblegum fun and fuck fruit loop sonic circle enjoyed by so many popping bands and pogoing fans. Verse, catchy wrap-around chorus and swiftly executed string segments - fabulous. The Locals still flash steel and ask you to 'Watch Your Back' during the fuzzy garage grime that is haunted and DIY incarnate. The vocals are shaded, the cacophony corrupt and the final exhaust fumes slightly toxic. What the band do is simple but that soiled surface is what adds the character and so provokes curiosity. I presumed at first that this was another US band but thought there was definitely an Italian flavour thrown in similar to several bands I have reviewed in the past. A chase up on Myspace and lo and behold this crew hail from Genove in...wait for it ...Italy. I was quite pleased with myself with this one so thought I'd mention it - a digression but proves my lugs still do work - yippee!
The Absolute Zero slop out a bucket of pubic frustration via the squishy squashy 'Teenage Love'. Fantastically basic, unpolished, pimpled and with a sweated crotch this ditty does take some acquiring too but the uneasy edginess and under-developed sonica is worth persevering with. This will split opinion with the Oi brigade and hardcore nuts turning off but the more eclectic lapping it up. It fits in nicely to the whole discordance and so gets my approval. The Intruders waggle their hips next with a dirty grind called 'Lost Boy'. A tale of the hopelessly lost who strive to get back on track - the future is what you make it dudes. Not a bad shuffle this one - quite orthodox and lacking any nasty edge but with one or two screwed touches to provoke further interest. The Beldings add more clout with the garaged 'Butt Rock Queen'. A thick glutinous mass of noise this poured from a rusted tin of discordance with utter delight. The thrust is direct, unmoving and full of gristle. Pure backroom filth as is 'Fuck You Dawson' by Super White Garlic. The latter track has more zest in the vest though and speeds it up with a lighter more spacious effect. Both tracks compliment nicely and are followed by one of the best of the lot by 'Porna And The Trendy Kids'. An applause and the sleazy sonic spunk oozes from the acoustic oriental eye with nasty persuasion. Slightly smoked, greased and full of reality 'Fast Lane' attracts almost immediately and has something of a pornographic edge that conceals an inner brutality cum loss of innocence. Out of Tune are nothing of the sort as they puke forth the clutter bucket confusion that is 'She's The Queen'. Busy, with a focus only the band seem to be aware of, this one needs time but after several spins works a treat and adds yet another level to this captivating collection of noise.
The Sentiments sugar up with the shinier scoot of 'Victim'. There is a sub-energy here that one can almost overlook. The breathless attack sucks inwards and you will do well to resist. Popped and sharp this one grows with tuned tendrils embracing and refusing to let go. The whole gusto is the main attraction and so far I am loving this CD. I relish the prospect of a good compilation opening my eyes and ears to new dins - this one is certainly doing that.
The Spoiled Brats give you a 'Pushover' with a sneer and leer laid back verse that crumbles to dust via an explosive chorus where all hardcore hell is let loose. From one end of the scale to another - bizarre but it works and anything where restrictions are pushed is worthy of a listen. Soft and fluffy are the two words that best describe 'Fucked Me Up' by The Lolligaggers. Perhaps not the most striking cut so far but displaying another aspect of the underground market. Easy on the ear and none too swift this is a simple croon many will take to. Kill That Girl become cartoonish with the idiosyncratic energy that is 'Back To The Future'. Zany punk on whizz this cut as a rapid mosh pit urgency easily digested. Once more the construction is simple and unaffected but the end resulted is effective. I like the vocal style on this one and the semi-space age undercurrent that may, or may not, be obvious but is definitely there for me.
The Varmints keep it in the basement with the dustbin lid 'Punk Girl'. Lacking any unnecessary convolutions, sang as if one can't be arsed and with an utter punk streak apparent throughout this is one I should say 'shite' but effortlessly say 'right'. I like it for its laid back inflection and nothing more - get it - no - fuck off then. The Hung Ups have an arse full of wasps as their edgy busy noise stings with old school US attitude. 'Get A Life' is sub-pop, slightly fizzed and instantaneously tasty. It is and never will be a mainstream noise and that is almost tattooed deep within the flesh of the entire racket. This is a successful aspect many will question and few will understand - hey you latter dudes you are punk for sure. The Zits burst into action with the puss and fuss of 'Gosh I Need A Vacation'. A slow chug, a staccato snippet and then the snotted thrust! This pimple of poppology is very infected and inflamed but the undercurrent and seeping end noise is obnoxious and that is what it's all about. The filth explodes but does so with style and once more many peripheral players will question the outcome. The red carpet is rolled out and up struts a Regal Beagle with the semi-classy 'You're Too Shrewd'. I say semi-classy as the production ain't a full on million dollar job but there are some sweet touches within this one which just prods enough to make me wonder what else the band have on offer. Swift, not overly cooked and with something extra I can't pinpoint - bastard! This and all other tracks so far have really done it for me and pricked my arse into checking them out further as and when I get time. That is all a compilation CD can ever hope to achieve - thumbs up so far Ray!
The Fab Habs are very clean cut and give a glimpse of super processed scrubbed and rubbed punk that came and went (or so I thought) in the twinkling of a bloodshot eye. 'Giving It Up' and noise of such ilk are very rarely on my soiled shelves. This isn't too bad and is well included here but too much of similar stuff like this would have spoiled the CD for me. A cacophony for a certain muso! The Murderburgers move things closer to home and play out the 'Eyes On Her' with all that familiar zest and likeability I so rate them for. The MB's knock out good traditional punk and if you have read the reviews of their albums on this site you will know what I think of them. Excellent outfit - nuff said! Deecracks offer us the highly danceable 'Monkey Boy' and it really is a winning track. Cultured, oozing extra flavour, beautifully basic but adorned with effective rhythmic refinement this is one of the best. With an approachable fun time edge that doesn't transcend into the realms of the ridiculous this song inspires me to spread the Deecracks word. Watch out a message is coming your way! Pursuing with perspiring passion of the most mentally crippled kind are The Unreleasables with their fantastic warped punk rock sing-a-long - 'I Wanna Kill Myself'. Ultra punk in vibe and attitude this is tense stuff bursting with 'breakdown' boldness. More snot drips, more phlegm spurts, more spunk is ejaculated - sleazy filth with a deep seated suicidal sonica to adore.
'Hate Your Guts' by the Griswalds is tense stuff and the band are well known around the circuit due to din of this style. The flame is lit and the combustible energy all absorbing - one quick flash - whoosh - gone and the remaining ash is impressive. The Write Offs plead and state 'Gotta Let Me Go'. More rapid pulse mulch applied to the flower bed of noise and yet another interesting bloom to sniff at now and again. The Sedations ease up on the fast as fuck fertilizer and add more cultured nutrients with the sweet powder known as 'Abductee'. Don't misunderstand me the raging blazing efforts are just as choice but it is good to mix the music minerals and so create a broader spectrum of sonica to admire. I like this one and the tone is welcome. Flamingo Nosebleed bring forth a watering can that sprays sound seemingly all over the place. Look closely - this one hits the mark and the roots of punk growth are fed and more verdant vibes spring up from the song known as 'Mommy And Daddy'.
He Man Woman Haters is a fuckin' great title for a band and with the slightly noxious noise that follows the initial wriggly worm bassism I find myself making note of. Again a sneer is obvious but neatly woven against a slightly new-school framework that is only just discernible beneath the more prominent tuneful foliage. 'Half Gone' is one to ponder so I move on to the sloppy semi-Ramones rock and roll 'New Boyfriend' by the Kobanes. A sweet enough ditty that is friendly, easily digested and fluffy enough to play in front of your good lady how’s that?
Only 4 left - shite what happened here then - oh yes I had a good time! The Barroom Angels may have 'Too Many Problems' but get over the initial acoustic amble with a groovy tune resplendent in slutty attire sprouting from the 'fuck that' school of concern. A tale of excess in good old R 'n' R fashion and the glam brigade will enjoy this more than anyone. The Putz offering is a lovely piece of easy listening quirkiness. The construction is clear and precise, the mood very lucid and the style intrinsically to the point. The end mix is apt for this mode and there are no faults whatsoever. Spider Lane give 'We Are' which is something with a bizarre angle that has me thinking sub-rock, sub-punk or something in between. The crisp guitars avoid over intricacies, the vocals border on a breakdown and the drums splash and crash with zeal. The facet is slightly different and so we are looking at a CD that is close to being judged as more than a little fruitful in its quest to awaken interest by the punter in bands unheard of. The finale is free flowing and souped up with 'Batfoot' offering a glimpse of beauty via 'Utskushii'. A very solid closure with all accuracy maintained and the energy admirable. A good way to round things off I reckon and what a good journey this has been.
So ya underdog bastards - what about this then - 30 tracks and a showcase of much that many will have not yet found. Even with my scratch and find nature there are a few new discoveries so I reckon you should don your adventurers hat and take a trip to Monkey Clit Island and check out the racket. If Volume 2 doesn't come about I will be more than a little disgusted. Big up to all and especially Ray the compiler - this is the roots from where everything grows.
MEDIATROCITY - YOUR DESTRUCTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED
I scratch my head and wonder if there is a better ska-core brigade around in the country at the mo. Rising Strike and Sense Of Urgency are equal to the Mediatrocity machine but they better get recording to keep up as this album is gonna make mighty moves for this Norwich based band. Nifty stuff with scorched vocalisation and busy scuffling music ideal for that extra spice. These have played 1 SAS show in the past and stuck around and supported the other bands too which always goes down well in my book. Their previous recording was enjoyed but this is a definite step up. Maybe a fizzle out toward the latter end is had but the opening impact is darn decent and is surely a promise of things to come.
'Intro' is hay-wired. The confusion of the media, the crumbling of order into disorder, the lies and automated voices of procedure all becomes too much before a screwed guitar twist melts the mayhem and we have before us a song entitled 'You Call Them Heroes'. A very intent emotion is given before the snarling surge the band are known for comes to the fore. The verse breezes along before taking us into the great and glorious slam, wham chorus that is a snippet of Skacorian supremacy. The edge remains throughout the song after this and a very good opening splurge is achieved. 'Pain Into Power' opens in a somewhat tepid mood but one is no fool and awaits with baited breath the expected upswing in tempo. A good melody is given as way of introduction before a bopping skankoid groove is taken. The chorus is tortured and stretched to the extreme creating a contrast that is ear-catching. So soon have this band created an identity and it really is convincing and applaudable to say the least. Alls well at this point and we move on into the shuffled 'Pick Your Poison'. Once more haste is the main ingredient with testicle-taut gob work, tetchy strings and nervous drums all creating that aforementioned ID. The druggies are given a scolding and why not indeed. Don't dabble if it makes ye a dick is the main message and one I concur with wholeheartedly.
'Eagles Claws' is a number that fails to inspire me and only when the song hits the first chorus do I become further interested. It is in keeping with what has passed but just not active enough for my expectations and so flits by unless I focus a little harder. Perhaps an 'end of set' number when the pogoing few want to ease off and just sing along to. 'Hippie Critical' is more like it and has extra spunk in the bollock and bounces along before a brief respite is taken and then the power segment is released. More stop start and one wonders if a flop is forecast. A furious outburst and we are back into jigging mode. The bass is free flowing, the guitar slicing and so when drums and vocals are poured in we have a mixture to appreciate. 'Broken Britain' has an approach that stays within a self-imposed line and we get a fairly regular track with Mediatrocity not playing the gambler. Easy skacore without the abrasive edge and I must say I do prefer it when the band explode in fits and starts but do recognise many styles must be included in one CD to create wider appeal and to just scratch a few musical sores. Talking of which...
'Inglorious Basterds' is a smooth delivery of reggae rhythm and played with subtle comfort. The build up in temperament and tempo is quality and inhales the listener's attention with utter demand. The strings are manipulated to exactness and this attempt offers new avenues for the band to drift down. Politically outspoken and placing the band in the fields on the left this will endear them to those of that ilk and hopefully gain them a few extra gigs. When a punk band reaches out to grasp a new mode of music 9 times out of ten the grip is firm and the whole package is taken - this is the case here! The last trio of the CD proper follow suit with '9/11' less scorched but then again occasionally crisped around the edges. The now high buzz of the guitars is familiar as is the rest of the sonic input. 'Minimum Wage Mafia' just needs an extra boost in the production department so as to enhance the trembling 4 string weapon, also to add that extra grit and to make this a big heave ho effort into the final eruption. The penultimate track is where the final fuse should be lit with a big fuck off explosion awaiting at the last. 'Save Yourself' is decent enough as a closure but doesn't rip the face off and leave one reeling. Perhaps at this late stage I am being a trifle pedantic and asking too much but Mediatrocity are a good band and if being picky causes extra thought with further recordings to be taken, thus resulting in the arc of success swinging upwards with a greater degree, then so be it. This is the most emotive track in a suppressed sense but is outshone by the two bonus demos namely 'Waste Of Society' and 'Promised Land'. I have reviewed these before so won't cover the same old ground but the latter is perhaps my fave track from the band to date.
Yes I do believe Mediatrocity have set out their stall here and made a good initial opening on the full length front. The mix is neat enough with some areas shining and others falling into a penumbra etched with a slight hesitancy. I will watch this band carefully and hopefully help prod them in more fruitful directions. If you ain't seen them yet then please do so and offer your constructive feedback - it's what we are here for and the only way the scene can thrive.
WE STILL SAY FUCK YOU, BEST OF BRITISH VOL 2 - COMPILATION
The second compilation showcasing the best of the argy bargy Oi scene with all bollocks and blisters bared. This is a step up in class on the first effort and has 15 power-punching tracks to delight the boot stomping 'erbert or the passing punk dude. The layout of the booklet is quality and adds to the general professional feel of the whole offering. Some old faves are on here and some less obvious bands which I think is the best way forward and helps keeps things fresh and fuckin' happening.
A rattling machine gun roll of drums begins and it is more than apparent that Wasted Nation are aiming to get things off on the most rowdy of footings. The pace is intense and the saturation of sound worthy of the first slot position. 'Streets of Fear' is a strong, outspoken piece of rabble rousing noise and the call to fight back against the bullying fuckers of the street is passionate and full of bristling action. The vocals are choice for this style of sonica and backed by concrete musicianship. There is a moral here and if you miss it then why should I waste my time explaining - it is rather obvious. Excellent I'd say and followed up by the more 'expected' traditional obnoxiousness the scene throws out with utter relish. Tattooed Mother Fuckers are a mighty outfit who know how to crack out a darn good racket. This is gritted but not one of their best. It contrasts well with the opener so does its job but this lot have a lot more grenades in the pack and can blow you farther away than done so here.
One of my fave Oi bands on the circuit are Citizen Keyne. Up front, not afraid to say what they think and full of fuckin' attitude are just three of the reasons why I rate them so much. The main factor though is that they compose some real docu-punk tuneage as is the case with 'Police State'. Sirened, thumping and very muck 'bloke in the pub' music with extra spite added via that mouthy 'cunt at the front' and jolly nice chap John Clarke. Its all black and white with the CK machine and no grey areas are had whatsoever. There is an inner confidence which shows with this one and one thing that I like is the fact that after one spin you know what band you are listening to. They make enemies and fans alike along their own honest way - the Fungal vote is theirs for sure. Wasted Life I have seen once and also have reviewed one of their CD's. So far I am quite taken and 'All Fucked Up' does nothing to change my mind. Strong in inflection, robust at the front with a certain raucous edge that is purely untamed this one aims to pile drive home and in the main achieves a triumph. One to join in with I reckon especially in the 'live' basin. The London Diehards have their fair share of controversy (or so I believe) and it is something I am not overly concerned by. The song 'Wake Up' has that 'full of cocky statements' the OI scene thrived on in the early days and so many an old school dude may well love this. The production certainly keeps this one afloat and the tune is quite regular and easily embraced. Not bad at all and the flow is kept readily rhythmic with Pressure 28 pursuing and doing an equally good job. 'Pull No Punches' has a slightly erudite tone and rather than smash yer face in it gently takes you down a back alley and clips you round the lugs. Gently paced, determined to keep melody and equally resolved to keep things 'from the street' this shows that the Oi sound has a lot more to offer than given credit for. One of my favourite tracks of the lot and signifying a band very much cast aside by the general punk populace despite having good ability.
Keyside Strike come forth to many parts and on this occasion give a good account of themselves with the strongly flavoured 'In This World'. Light refreshing guitar opens before a direct slamming chorus builds us up to the self-believing chorus that is liable to lift the spirits without really trying. The persuasive tempo and strained sonica is combined neatly and the end result is gently impressive. Insane Youth drop out of line and go back to bonehead mode with the typical 'Cider, Fags And A Fight'. A mans man song (whoever they are) and with nothing of any intellectual importance to say. Ok it is easy to bang the boot in with these songs but if the punk arena isn't the place for such uncomplicated constructions then where is.? This offers a view from a different aspect and that is what punk should be all about. Yeah it is a bog standard effort but that is what the band want to do and so why not I ask? Not my most favoured track of the CD but hey the lads are at it and not beating around the bush - fair do I'd say.
Bakers Dozen give us the 'Biting Point' and tell us about our country and the pile of shit it has become. Stomping and romping the job is fair and Bakers Dozen go about their business in expected generic fashion. Not a bad crew this lot who like the meaty sound and pop up here and there on expected line-ups. A band I'd like to check further for sure - note made! Streetpunk Drunks put us right as regards the disrespectful shits in today's society who have no pride in themselves, others and everything around them. These twats need a beating of a lifetime but in the meantime will have to put up with a mouthy berating from this tidy crew. 'Billy England' hits several correct spots and tries and succeeds in avoiding being anything flash and arty farty. British working class racket done for all the right reasons.
Churchill are a band who are under-rated and sorely mistreated by a scene who know best (ha, ha). The fact is due to vicious rumours with no basis of truth and the band have suffered and all to the loss of the scene. Steady respect was being had and even after a line-up change the band tried to battle on. 'Hated And Proud' is the updated version and has a classy edge that makes it one of the stand out tracks. Andy K supplies slick vocals with big Wilf, Carl and Andy providing sturdy support noise. A swift, harmful track with an essence of 'who fuckin' cares' and 'Up yours doubters'. Nice gents, nice sound - the argument there endeth! Urban Scum rattle along in mid-gear with the scuffling 'Stand Out Of Line'. Chugging guitar, regular riffage and with nothing too challenging within the fold. It gets on with the task and leaves a small impression - nothing more, nothing less - too limited to gush over, too exact to criticise! The 'Terrorist Attack' by Breakout is almost similar to the preceding track and an exact description can be given and will suffice. Again with no super injection of pace and not chancing a gamble this avoids error but fails to meet its own potential.
2 to go with Rotten Apples not holding back and getting to the core of the problem and asking us to all smash in the face of a 'Hippy Cunt'. Live and let live is my preferred motto but hey some of these do-good feeble bastards need a crack to wake em' up I reckons. The spiral into shitsville has been aided by many a 'human rights', 'lets be fair' twat aiding the offender rather than the victim. I can understand the angst and see the bands point of view for sure. The thieving, raping and murdering filth in society gets treated as a human despite many an cruel crime and so one does wonder what these liberal thinking gits are on. The song is ambling and I would have preferred a more brutal approach to match the wordage but there ya go. We close with the minced ACAB approach of 'Fuck Em All' by Skinfull. True to the heart of the boot laden scene this will be lapped up by the usual suspects and will leave lots of jaws on the outside dropping. The statement is sweeping and doesn't ring true of course and we all know some coppers are bastards and some ain't - but that's life I'm afraid and no matter what circles you move in the same judgements can be made. Not a bad din though.
So the second instalment of noisy Oi and despite being quite varied it is a hit and miss collection for me with some stuff just too typical and predictable and some parts quite impressive. One thing though is that with the Oi scene and the like you get what you get and if you don't like it then I suppose it is a case of 'Fuck You'. Corny ending or what - apologies!
HARRY CALLAHAN - DEMO
Unapologetic, raucous filth is a fairly apt description of the thunderous bowel movement we have under scrutiny. If the punk scene is an arse (not too fantastic to believe is it) then this din emanates from deep down from the crack and leaves a stench man will be unable to stomach. Harry Callahan make no excuses for this and you can either eat the shit, love the aroma or plain old ‘fuck off’. Here my good people is another review!
Mr Eastwood escorts us in via the role of the uncompromising cop who is very likely to blow your brains out. The important question is - 'Will the band do the same'? 'Out Of My House' is goblin-esque with a demonic overtone swarmed with the possessed plucks of the bass strings and the frenzied upheaval of the drums. A total jigsaw of sound created by chainsaw carnage and careless attention. When the song tumbles and finds a target to aim for all is sweeter but I would have preferred a general safety first approach for starters. Not too bad but outweighed by the more apocalyptic and somewhat slam, ram, bam of 'Burn The Village'. Going for a totally destructive edge with an inner moment of pulverising tuneage this is more like it and the stop, start segment that comes before the end blast is effective also. Perhaps the best track of the lot but perhaps not...
'Written Warning' splits your senses with downright scorched mayhem and is the second solid hardcore outpouring, this time enhance by my favourite factor - transience. Short, billowing and to the point - essential criteria of that I have no doubt! 'Slugs' leaves a glistening trail of confused hardcore mayhem. A face screwing episode of powerful dirt that will take some acclimatising too but when embraced does indeed make a sufficient impact. 'Firebombs' begins with more threat before sharply chopping its way to a self made oblivion. The CD is now into full flow and like most grinding noise did leave me unsure at first. More plays and a dogged determination to reveal the inner thinking and this has me enthralled. Very potent with all gullet areas seared - tasty! 'Not The Elite' rattles along and two-steps and tumbles within a chorus liable to unsettle the nervous. All sorts going on here with a nail bomb cum PMT explosion that will divide, conquer and corrupt.
'Full Of Lead' begins with orthodox rock guitar and one just wonders what is coming next. Never fear it is in fact more polluted gunk from a machine in full working order and not looking like breaking down. Percussion causes concussion with a wild avalanche of stick work whereas the strings just slash away with random rebellion. The bitch at the front nearly prolapses her own womb with gutsy effort and uncontrollable angst. This ones growing on me folks that is for sure. 'Saturday' is rough, full of spirit but in need of a real switch. So far all has been well and this is fine and dandy but rather than smash headlong into ones submitting will I would have preferred a riff fest within the weave. It is yet another powerful piece with a nice gap left for a reliable old musical cruise. It does a job though and as a stand alone is as hefty as they come. 'A & E' prolongs the intro before a smashing and crashing blitz is given. A strum to clear the air and a full tumult that screws off course with heavy bass before rediscovering the thread and aiming home. 'Pat's Fetish', 'T-Rex' and 'Run' take us with twisted arms to the final curtain with many a powerful moment similar to what has gone before. The foremost track is my particular pick due to some darn red hot moments but there is a lot to buzz off within the whole chaotic web. Look, this is good honest hardcore but the sub-generic noise has its limitations and one can waffle on too much just for the hell of it. The last trio get my thumbs up as does the rest of the CD so I will sign off at that.
One last thing though - if you like it hard and rough - look no further!