FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 56
DREWVIS - DISPOSABLE PLEASURES & MEANINGFUL PURSUITS
More acoustic ska via the DTD label and this time coming from a solo cum duo cum occasional trio from Brighton. I have reviewed a prior release from this unit so in some ways knew what to expect. Let's get straight down to business and assess the 13 tracks on offer.
'Liberate Never Hate' is a wonderful sentiment and for that matter is a wonderful little jaunt of a song. Iced with stubborn rebellion, delivered with lighter tones and tenderly caressed with cute string work this opening escapade is seeped in sanguinity and pastel-shaded artistry. It isn't punk and is easy listening skank for moments when anger needs putting in its place and a time to contemplate is needed. The pace is steady, no outbursts are had and all airbrush components work well and add to the targeted vibe. This sets the standard of all that follows so if this isn't your style press the ejector seat now!
'Its All Good' sounds like a bold statement and scurries in like a clockwork mouse from the unnoticed sonic skirting board where many critters dwell but get passed by. A somewhat worried love that seemingly alternates between emotions of fear and confidence. A dozed up blighter this and not one to listen to if you are a trifle low or feeling rather knackered. All instruments are stroked rather than strummed, tapped rather than hammered and the essence of course is dreamy. OK but doesn't hit my acoustic erogenous zones. Drums cascade and guitar soothes the pain as 'Short Measures' bobs along on fancy free airwaves of serenity. The bass has attraction and yet more doped up meandering is had. I have to take these tuneful tablets one at a time or else I would overdose and not reflect the true style of the CD. This is 'nice', nothing less and nothing more. The descriptive word is quite apt here with its basic and obvious meaning and so without over-elaborating or under-stressing I will move on.
'Let It Go' is the best of the lot and warms up the ready made pillows and gets one supposing and reposing in equal measure. From a sure verse to a thoughtfully delicate chorus this has an inner winning aspect I can’t just pinpoint. The shuffle parts inspire movement, the slower pondering highs encourage admiration - just a good song I reckons and nothing to deep perhaps - an art form in itself! 'Drunken Words 'N Dub' eases along and once again has the mood subdued and mellow and refuses to overflow with emotion. Settled and soothed - there ain't a lot to say from me so I'll leave it up to you. Nothing outrageous but keeping it in the family!
When the air is cleared and the emotion is sharper Drewvis convince me even more. The 'Fortune Cookie' is opened and the future is bright as a tickle in the tune encourages and an injection of optimism removes any embryonic cobwebs. Skipped up strings, the weaving bassism and the dusting of vocals and you know what you get. Not bad at all but...as a punking dude this is the point when I say enough is enough. My boots are full, I need no more but alas I have a 14 tracker to review and so on I go.
'Estoy Esperando' is usual tuneage and is salvaged due to the added female touches via Amanda Bes (whoever she may be). Repetition destroys and all I can add to this and the following numbers is more of the same and so...I shall be terse. This one is good for the bedroom and the next one entitled 'I Want' is good to get you going in the morning. With more wind in the sails and a bit more pep in the pecker this one encourages you to leave the early morning salute alone and to spring off your back and get rolling. Again all areas are produced to maximise their potential given the chosen sub-genre we are dealing with. Ones who are really into this mode of music should be loving it by now.
'One Moment' scratches about and breaks into its bouffant style with added melodic mousse to make things slightly unkempt. The comb that runs through the general bonce is careless and so rather than have a completely tidy barnet of acoustica we are given something wavy, uncertain and slightly just out of fashion. Do you get it - I do! 'Compass' seems to point in the right direction and once more concentrates on a soothing serenade approach that has added sandman granules. Twinkled in parts with night time stars this is definitely down there in lullaby country so don yer night gown, get yer candle and retire!
3 left with 'Purple' oozing shyness and then suddenly gaining confidence. For me the CD should have stopped a bit back as my interest is waning and so feel that I may not do these latter efforts justice. This one is too plodded and lacks spirit and so is mundane rather than majestic. The context is smutted too and that comes across in an unconvincing yet sinister way - no - not for Fungal! 'These 3 Words' (‘I've had enough’ by any chance) gets a bit more shit in the cylinder but somehow is lubricated rather than clogged. When the band keep it swifter a greater freshness is achieved and that is were I find most favour. We close with 'Do One' and it is a fair romp that twangs a few springs, raises promise and leaves me in a fair mood despite the recent tail off.
Overall this is a precise and exact CD with the usual Do The Dog level of production and artistry. This one however is less embracing than the more skanked up numbers and so will not cross the punk/ska bridge as easily as other outfits on the label. That's how it is but if you are ready for something without threat, without rage and without fist pumping gumption than have a peer more closely at Drewvis. Oh and you get a bonus track by the way - you can tell me about that one!
FUCK CORPORATE WANK COMPILATION - VOLUME 3
The 3rd CD in this hardcore collection for a darn fine cause. The people of Haiti need help and this does its bit. Even if you are turned off by the noise why not just pick one up to support the effort - go on 'why not indeed?'
I ain't gonna dawdle here and make this a short but sweet sonic appraisal with 2 sentences per song given. Nothing more, nothing less - it will test my powers of accuracy and keep it nice and digestible for you overfed bastards out there. Right, here we go:-
Fucks Sake have the unenvious task of opening proceedings and after the cymbal splashes rattle your constipated minds and scorch forth with red hot poker effect and ominous deliberateness. 'Necroslut' sound sable and is nothing less with all areas bleak, incessant and blown from hard pressed lungs - very nasty but powerful all the same. Distansia offer 'Sociedade Suicida' and keep it fairly clear, hammered and totally roughened. Gravelled vocals, good string precision and honest hard-worked drums all combine to give a strong sound to a thrashing beast. The best song so far is 'Human Waste' by Campus Sterminii in which all hell is let loose and a pile-driving lunacy is taken. Demonic death-core this is as expected but the song truly comes to life during an adventurous and triumphant sequence were guitars thrive, unison is achieved and the art of mixing up the style is mastered - wow! Iszonyat close the first quartet with a neat noise that kick-starts, twists around its own string work and somehow remains melodic. 'Uton Utfelen' may have a hard edge but the essence is lucid, catchy and well produce which, enhances the racket within this tough collection but will still lead you on a 'Highway To Hell'.
Tacheless scorch themselves with the self-made firestorm that nearly approaches Armageddon. Really nasty stuff but darn effective and even more so as it leads into the quiet commencement of 'Volti Ifastiditi' by the raw sounding Punk Virus. Very unprocessed and a pure sweat soaked slog with the pumps pushed hard via a DIY approach. Street sounding and unifying - a good switch and then we are into 'Nekare' by Mass Obliteration which flashes forward with unrelenting venom and causes nothing less than unadulterated sonic pain. Very heavy shit indeed and the black metal heads will no doubt suck this singed sausage until all meat is removed - nasty! Zudas Crust pounce with 'Kami Datang Dengan Damai' and after the feedback and the terrorised insanity the spleen is vented and a volcanic expulsion burns the atmosphere and leaves the brain mushed. There is a thread going on here and it really isn't that hard to grasp. If you are prone to migraines get the fuck out - if you are mentally disturbed smash yer bottle of medication and thrash on.
Totalickers is carved with a sub-Exploited necessity for noise but is overlain with the usual H/C madness. Quite a nifty slam-dunk and 'Politicos' keeps it easy, riffed and rolling. Social Chaos offer forth 'Insanidade Politica' and batter like fuck with 100mph vibro-matic persuasion. Utterly on the edge, ear-damaging and somewhat perverse - a very heavy sound to digest. Clarity is offered as Shit With Corn Flakes pour out 'Running Against The Clock'. Despite the chaotic essence there is a sense of underlying organisation and apart from the solo segment which is out of place I do like the mania projected forth. Zora nob the skull with the black death plague christened 'Enslaved By The Pigs'. Swirling swill streaked with the rectal blood of a thousand whores out of favour this one doesn't try to win friends but is happy to fuck you without commitment. A bit hard for Fungal but I know many who would love to get bummed by this beastie - such are those cacophonic perverts!
With arse and ears on fire I thrash on!
'Calcino' by Carlos Dunga (now there's a porn star if ever I heard one) starts with a polished essence but soon becomes a crumbling massacre mowing down all resistance with flurried firearms. Sub Alert state 'Jesus Was Not Right' and go about it with livid life and the expected screaming fury. Usual fodder for the crusted masses but it doesn't try to be anything else so ticks all the limiting boxes of criteria without much ado. 'PFA' try to 'Empty Streets' by opening with bassed wobbles, slamming yer head with noxious notes and ending unexpectedly. A rapid riot - not bad whereas Greed Killing labour the point a little and serve up the brain damaged 'Police State' with all sense of decency gone AWOL. Another blackened and burnt number that in parts borders on a full on sonic possession - you know who will be loving this then.
The aural and anal blaze continues...
Imminent Chaos Absent Future produce the smartly executed '(17)'. This song crosses bitch and bastard and slides forth a cunt of a kid whom loves to offend, loves to whizz it up and just can't help but shit in the musical playpen. I like this one! I Know attempt to bruise with a song written in Belarus that I just can't decipher. Fuck it - it is punk so what does it matter? The song in question rants, raves, singes and twinges but all in all kicks its way into your attentive arena and demands. Not bad I suppose! Il Disagio call out the 'Cops' and pour hot, highly flammable larva all over everyone’s head. A mush of decadent H/C faeces all swirled into glorious confusion. The swiftness of approach is the salvation - simple as.
The last 5 with Yattai donating 'Good Medecine' and amalgamating semi-metal and soured punk into one acoustic alloy. Whether or not the listening patient survives is anyone’s guess but no doubt they will be further poisoned by the rough and unready disease by Fuser. This one goes by the name of 'Beware Of God' and jacks itself off with under-produced relish thus falling a little short. Well paced but without variation and so it’s quickly onwards into the 'Fear Of Life' by Kalazaar. I like the late introduction of something more skanked and wanked and so am happy to put the thumbs up. The mix of speed and ska is always a nice confrontation and so I move to the final pair with hopes high.
Kann Ich Mit Leben give 'Gewait' which fannies about before splattering itself around the musical shit bowl and making nothing less than a montage of foul colours. Stupidity and sincerity combine to fuck up in drastic style - make of this what you will. We end with 'Underwater' by Dezanata which is isn't on the disk so fuck ya.
That's it - the cause I admire, the racket I can take in small doses - if you do like it hard though go get fucked by this.
FIFTEEN DEAD - DEMO
I am slowly developing into something of a hardcore critique at the moment with more than my fair share of heavy thrash attacks being requested to be put under the Fungal spotlight. I don't mind at all and it's all good bloody music at the end of the day and even if it isn't my selected slice of noisy bread I can still enjoy the odd crusts here and there and nibble at the inner goodness at my leisure. This 5 track attack has been reviewed via the web waves and so has had me screwing the computerised speakers with the sonic mush. Right - the cerebral whore says she’s ready to bleed so lets spread the listening legs and let the appraising menses drip forth.
The first globule of nasty racket falls from the hidden womb of discordances and splats upon my musical id! 'This Is Scotland' proclaims itself to be a motherfucker who wants to molest hard and sets about the task after an initial statement of the title. Boom, bang, boom and the guitars whine with undulated intensity as drums sizzle with searing rhythmic energy. Vocals are sparse and burnt with the chorus a repeated shoutfest that punctuates the flowing current quite nicely. We are off and rolling - crank up the volume. 'Our Home' follows a similar uneven cinder track with heat applied by these masters of melodic fire. A very harsh and unpalatable sound - this is genuine hardcore at its most violent and upturns and sidewinds in turbulent fashion with ‘off the cuff’ explosions aplenty and all machinery gutted to the core. There is nothing left in reserve and the band bare their asses - I like this one and move on with passion.
A sobered opening to 'Our Birth Spells The Death Of God' with a semi-classical approach adopted and given promise of a new noise order. The fact that Fifteen Dead refuse to get gobbled up by their own self created monster is a good call and the lack of incessant ear slamming is equally appreciated. Eventually the orchestrated instrumental piece ends and this speeding set of sonic swines are back within their own sty of slop. They roll around in the filth with zest and this shines through from the spinning disc. There is a distinct sound and that is a necessary aspect in the over-saturated H/C world - yeah not bad at all.
'Never Had It So Good (Cunts)' is perhaps my least favoured track but when the moments that deliberate riff it up a little I find myself in a much more appreciative mood. Between this and the hammergun madness I do find pleasure but the song is a trifle more awkward than its predecessors and so gets less points. Nothing horrendous but at track 4 a nice tangent would have worked better. The production is adequate as it is on all tracks but hardcore requires 100% from the recording room and is very rarely captured. Nevertheless this is DIY decadence and does just fine! The final blast is christened 'F. F. C.' and rounds off a fair penta-punkage riot with easy articulation. The mildest track of the lot and one with a more sanded surface and so offering a new angle. Quite a lengthy number for this style of sound and after passing the 3 minute mark one does wonder if the band have pushed it a little too far. It keeps the flow going up to the last breath so why complain?
Fifteen Dead are a new band to me and as far as this 5 track outburst goes I am quite happy to indulge. For me the band are best sticking at these 5 track releases and keeping things consistent on each release but varying each disk from its counterparts. The capability to diversify is obvious, the talent to cross punk and metal bridges is blatant - whether the band want to or not is another matter!
THE WRONG BOYFRIENDS - WRONG FUCKING CENTURY DARLING
Coming from an obscure tangent with sonica skewed and splayed for all to analyse The Wrong Boyfriends travel their own path, piss about a little on the way, force several generic dogs to mix their cacophonic chemicals and tear up the nearby eavesdropper without any thought at all. What we have is a bizarre mix some of which could be punk, could be indie, could be alternative or could be bollocks. Lets be honest, this one will divide and if a band are pleasing and upsetting in good proportion then something must be very right. Maybe I am misdirected but if a unit sets out to please the masses then please don't ask for a review here - this is about blending reality and positivity - not pandering to the ladder climbing cretins. Ooops I digress yet again - let's get on with things shall we?
'Le Chroma' comes from turgid waters and gradually soaks the listener with a very dense musical liquid that is not easy to swim through. Slow, thick, glutinous - the instrumental maelstrom begins and turns with a deliberate, ominous motion one could easily be hypnotised by. This is a gateway to bigger and more dangerous events it seems - we can do nothing more than look deeper.
'Boats' blows in with leaded sails and plods rather than ploughs its way to your attention. The vocals that accompany the initial hard ground guitars is looming, thoughtful but stained with a deeper psychotic edge one wouldn’t be surprised to see break out into a full on tantrum. No extra pace is given, no serious turn of inflection injected and so what we get is another oppressive sound that needs to be taken in small quantities. This blackened leech has its character but get too involved and you will be drained of more than just your blood. 'Dreadnought' is the best song so far and comes in with a total DIY vivacity that is torn, worn and ragged. Insanity dwells beneath the unwashed layers and a yet again a mental collapse seems imminent. Schizoid, bleeding and self-harming this satanic sound utters madness, falters with that imperfection we can't help but adore and staggers with a puzzled countenance that leaves us at the edge of our seat. Interesting to say the least!
'Dr Reverb' idles away with strings thrummed with hash-head indifference. The sewer is a strange place and these rats play and dance with pure belief. I am not sure if I wanna jig too long in this shit-filled tunnel but I do get the bands stench and deem this just a little too luke warm to be fully fetid. 'These Days' has more about it and combines a rooted melody with the lazed and glazed overtones that create something unique but reminiscent of an underground psychedelia where hippies drifted out, punks drifted in and the passers by did indeed pass or sometimes pondered. Cruising, occasionally cluttered, retroid and with an essence of incompatibility this is crafty stuff that won't follow routine. I suspect in the 'live' basin the effect is impressive and a note is duly taken to try and check out in my ever busy schedule.
The contrary, flexible approach continues with 'Bear Pit' starting in death sentence mode before opening up to appeals and becoming more spacious and relaxed. It isn't soon before the strict stride is re-taken and the song is broken up. The segments where the shackles are removed are most profitable and I am thinking along the lines of a morsel Huskered and a morsel Du'ed! There is something to snatch at within this one but the band hold back and go their own way. I applaud that aspect but reckon if they open up their musical wings and go at a few numbers there will be a fair level of success achieved.
Menace smoulders, misty concoctions cloy at the membranes of attention - the 'Scientist' creates and destroys and is sung in muffled tones of terror. A mundane effort, please sit back whilst the band inject you and let the 'sop-horrific' serum coarse through your veins and be absorbed. Another twisted moment and one I am in appreciation of. This is a different drug to the usual intake but hey - why not! 'Voodoo Corkscrew' does indeed wind itself inwards and outwards and harks forth to a cabalistic vision where sounds of yore are projected into a future gone industrial and demonic. The intensity builds to an almost incandescent pre-orgasmic state and the band as a unit thrive. Strange but true!
'Taking Turns On Sharon' has a good aroma but mixes with a reek of a cheap shot and so loses some of its dignity. Musically and lyrically it is a nice vicious dig but just dips into the pool of crass and frass I would expect from more diseased bands who go in for those awful inexpensive shock tactics. No need for this here - the band have more depth but I guess many will argue. Bah - reviewing hey - who needs the hassle ha, ha!
'Coming Up For Air' slops about in a sloshing ocean of awkward movement. Like a crab on the sandy bed trying to make headway and forever tossed and lost this little confused critter of a song is worked hard with all rhythmic legs trundling. The cacophonic carapace however lacks that finishing touch and so I turn away unconvinced. Following on in bastardised westernised drawl is the sluggish 'Deathwish Kojak'. It picks up the pace and throws off its wearisome countenance and one wonders if this CD is gonna run out of gloop. This one is undecided and has bursts of energy and bouts of doped hopelessness leaving the listener mentally distressed. Again I am unconvinced and yet can see something in there that needs tapping and pouring forth in a guise all its own.
'Wootton Bassett' is processed with an intrinsically basic threat the band overdo and so build up an unsettled theme. It sticks to a regulated mind melt, will not be one you will be dancing along with and is nothing more than a contemplation of what could have been. Racked with a deep seated misery you must be in the mood for this one. The finale entitled 'Dark Speed' crawls towards the full stop without a care in the world and synths a serene landscape with all shades monochromed and kept suppressed. Underlying the drugged down idleness one suspects a danger awaits but that is left to your imagination as The Wrong Boyfriends refuse to tow the line of tradition.
This has been a very interesting listen and despite some songs passing me by others have made an impression and given me food for thought. I await the bands next release with hopes high of something booming and coming from yet another awkward angle. A veritable oddity and one I would suggest you check out first.
NEW TOWN KINGS - M. O. J. O .
Skankydankysuperlicious! Boy do I like my fixes of ska/reggae spillage especially if it is played with high articulation, genuine talent and deep rooted knowledge. My previous encounter on CD with this crew was enjoyable and so I expected more of the same. Foolish or faithful - it doesn't matter - the words will flow with the expected positivity and honesty and if I do uncover a festering hovel of discordant musical disease I will say so. Somehow I reckons the text that will flow will be smooth and easy and highly appreciative - but - you never know!
'Games That People Play' clutterbuckets in for a brief moment before stepping out on rubberised heels and bouncing along a superb path of well paved positivity that is kerbed with a winning carefree attitude one cannot resist tiptoeing along to. Brass invades here and there and only adds further acoustic colour and thus completing the collection of sweet vibes and uplifting essences. If the CD continues in this fashion then undoubtedly we have something wonderful on our hands.
'Stop' is a lovely number that sneaks forth, thinks about it but eventually gets rolling and I am glad it does. The body of noise is massaged with sweet melody, injected with juicy brassage up the back passage and rubbed down with a complimentary towel of tone that exhilarates. The message regarding racism is exact, the vocals cool and free flowing and with an inflection from an island in the sun. The rhythmic road the New Town Kings drive down is one they are quickly making their own and I just hope the accelerator is pressed down for a good while yet. 'News Stand' continues the magnificent mix of harmonised melody with a certain delicacy of sound the obvious aspect of this winning third track. What this crew do so well is make it hard for a reviewer such as myself to find fault even though my sonic sphere is just outside where these creators of tuneage dwell. As a toxic punk I feel I should tear these songs up and become frustrated at the lack of violence but alas I do have a soft spot for good skanky numbers and so the NTK crew leave me helpless. The flow of this latter track is continuous and weaving with the gentle merging of one drift into another totally smooth. The finishing gloss is apparent but do not underestimate the layers of acoustic undercoat that make the final brushing so easy to apply - great stuff.
'Dynamite' greets us with labrasone accents that soon shapeshift into an impulse driven skanking romp filled with the welcome blend of Jamaican reggae and retro two tones. Each and every player gets their individual pedestal to work from and is highly visible to the assessing ear. The vibe here is what wins through once more with an eagerness, an enthusiasm, a veritable necessity to please. The song is broken by the screech of a trumpet whereupon an instrumental piece is taken to the cleaners in amazing style. Swanky, casual and sanguine - NTK rattle on. 'Hollowhead' knocks on wood and hey - guess what? Yeah a beauty that's what! The gob in the lead thrives here with 'whoa's' complimenting in part and brass emboldening in others. The sticks are tidy and skip with persistent, consistent accuracy alongside the general theme of the ditty. The rock steadiness is tighter than a squashed cuckoo's chuff (no, I don't know where that came from either) and alas we are given another episode of unflustered music delivered with apparent ease - aggravating isn't it?
'Round And Round' is a case of going through the now set and smooth motions (no not those sort ya nasty bugger). Guitars are upstroked, brassage pulsates and the voices croon and join together in a carousel of joyous liquidity. The band are in full swing and this number, the pursuing 'String A-Long' and 'New Town Hop' are cream in the middle of this mouth-watering cake of tuneage. The middle ditty of this central triumph is supreme reggae-muffin chill-out output with the sub-generic flavour sought, found and smeared all over the top layer thus adding to the general beauty. Punk, skin, skanker, wanker - get this and get cooled down ya angry swine! The latter effort in this selected hat-trick blasts in with bold blows before getting the head down and fuckin' rattlin' along with convincing tones that are stark and contrasting. Instrumental skankoid scuffle and shuffle like it should be played - crackin'.
3 left and 'Star Of The Show' goes straight into the meat of the melody and is a simple song that exudes unrehearsed talent and shows the band are really in line with the noise they produce. 'Steal For His Bread' steps slowly with a pride in the heel. Chorus and verse merge without a hitch and this is yet again a massive moment and just pushing this CD along to the final fence quite nicely. The closure is sincerely encouraging, totally blissful and filled to the brim with unrestrained optimism. 'Brighter Day's' succeeds and breeds a sense of yet more classics from this accomplished crew. Like a refreshing shower on a sun-baked day this one cools the tired limbs and the sun-drained head and brings glory in abundance for the imminent future. Day to day worries are washed away and the world seems a brighter place - how's that!
A stunning set of 11 songs and for me a fine example if you are going to show someone how to execute the skanky reggae scene and make people sit up and take note. The New Town Kings are quality and you my friendly reader should go and get some of this shit right fuckin' now!
SUPPORT YOUR SCENE - DIY COMPILATION
The big, greedy fingers of enthusiasm tear at the underpants of noise and after discarding the commercial crap, the wannabe big players and the 'fuck me I'm famous' fags we are left with the DIY scrunters who do it their way, the only way, the proper way. As the digits delve deeper the remaining melodic muck is found to contain various flavours one of which is easily crusted and so dirtily dense. Within this filth there is talent and belief aplenty and yet again it is my task to taste, smear and suggest - oooh mother!
In I go with nostrils flared, honesty bared and hearing unimpaired...
Power Is Poison ring true with the virulent rust that is 'War On the System'. A pounding number that retains a clarity and a very definitive old punk feel one will be more than familiar with if pushing the 30 years of punk rock interest barrier. It sets the CD off in the style that it is more or less set to continue so like it or lump it. Al Thawra make a bold mistake in insisting that 'Truth's Eternal Sun' progresses past the 6 minute mark. The lack of pace, the cavernous resonance and the hellbound delivery all make this a stagnant sonic pool for Fungal and I am left on the outside looking in with favour abandoned. I suppose this style and my mushified self are not destined to make a perfect musical marriage and I am more than happy to leave others to have a relationship with this lengthy mode of malevolence. When the surges happen I awaken but in-between I slumber.
Greed Force tap sticks on the 4 beat and produce a blindingly effective number that turns melodic meat to pulp and shows that driving your engine hard produces the best results. 'Subscription' is a brief, well whipped song that leaves no room for air and no room for failure. Perhaps the best song on the CD - a big thumbs up. Diskent do what they do and take no prisoners in the putrid process. Violent, pistol-whipping madness that begins with a fury and ends with the same ill-temper. One short sharp thrash attack is pushed aside and the band continue in a similar thread in what seems to be a different realm - my brain hurts, I'm confused but Diskent leave an impression with ‘Society Fail Again’.
Nonsense offer 'Tragovi (Proces)' which begins with an Exploited guitar slant (think 'Never Sell Out' on the 'Fuck The System' album) however this crew add their own flavour and bring forth a song chilled by the distant vocals that work in contrast to the rest of the cacophony. A strange one for sure! Disciples Of Anarchy Set out to create a bleak episode of raging intent and leave swiftly after doing nothing more than that. 'Extremist' explodes in, bumbles around with aggression and leaves the building - will you be blown away - that is the question? Atomic Pollution dig out their own cesspool and wallow therein. Very acute of sound with speeding sonica played accurately and with a noticeable joy. This seems to have be borne of a hulking hardcore whore who has unexpectedly been impregnated with some seeds of US popcore. Have a listen and see what you think - not bad I reckon.
Passive Aggressive go for a clobberin' time effort and 'Deplore' with expected effect. Some big riffs are had and discarded and the vocals swap from solo to unified thus giving a greater impression. The full tumult drags you along without complaint and that is how the harder edge of punk should be done. Many try, many just miss - some just hit the bull’s-eye. Pentnaesti Ceh come at ya with the pounded 'Danijelova Mtznja'. The song respires well, things just hold back from being overly cluttered and the pace is adequate. Sub-chant moments are had but all too briefly and it is the general rapid -fire approach that will win praise here. Tres Borrachos Locos go for the dustbin lid mania approach where all instruments are tossed around and played with careless abandon yet somehow retain some semblance of a song. 'Don't Tell Me What To Do' drips with the usual punk tinsel and is a mess of a song borne from the retro bowels where sub-live recordings had their place. A bread and butter noise and very natural - not bad in fact! Iszonyat enter with a certain blue light flashing sensation before ploughing on with a drum build up and a rattling deliberate mode. 'Egy Bezart Klub Margojara' is orthodox tuneage for this pit and goes through its own musical waste with care and attention. It is more of the same for a compilation of this ilk and you do need to be taking time out now and again so as not to get too stale!
T34 bellow out a nasty subterranean din that loses all attraction due to its murky, shit-hole sound. A very untidy noise built on blackened scaffolding that warps under its own weight. The production does little to help, the DIY ethic is blatant but I come away from 'This Machine Kills Fascists' a trifle disappointed. I much prefer the Urban Dogs song of the same name - OI OI! Ruggine fly forth with 'Vittima' and do nothing more than hammer nails into your sonic buttocks and leave a bloodied mess to delight in or be appalled by. From blasting to grinding this is a powerful song that is given extra zing via the vocal roaring! Tuhkaus open with riotous glory and go forth from there with a nicely burnt out piece of carnage. Don't know why I like this one - good tune, strong passion, the fact that everything is strained to the max - no idea! Next we have 'Apathetic Ways' by Life Erased which rolls in with gusto, is broken via a scream for Hades and then just slams along in pure Death-Metal style. Fuckin' hell this is hard work. If you like your cacophonic coffee black - sup this one deeply - if not then switch off quick!
The skies turn bleak, disorder comes (almost literally) and Slaughtergrave post a piece of heavy thrash through your aural letterbox and await a response. 'Napalm Up Your Ass' seems to sum up this painful experience as it does the following effort by Fight Back called 'Fuck The Fashion'. Both tracks are well out on the harder edge of this turning acoustic wheel and all I can say is 'beware'. Degrade prepare things with a somewhat pompous entrance but back it up with the decent 'Another Day'. The best of this latter trio of tracks with drums flying fast, guitars thrummed and strummed to the ultimate and the bitched gob work honestly spewed forth. Influx come in from a horrible angle with the totally unwashed and stripped down racket named 'Government Cut'. Heard it, done it and happy to dip in with it now and again but at this stage I am somewhat overfed. All departments are screwed up and frenzied with the resulting mush just short of chaotic and sounding as though played from inside a box (a very crummy box at that). Partiya give us '40 Minutes' in 38 seconds and start with an epileptic bass line that dissolves into nothing more than fetid angst. Aflame with crippled temper this one is no good at all for the digestive system so please following the instructions on the packaging - very strongly flavoured.
3 to go and what a grand trio. Burnt Cross offer their usual excellence with the fresh and alive sound of 'Paths To Persecution'. Wonderfully composed, textured and of a pure crustoid stance that is just a superb breath of fresh air. The song has a tune, the song has spite and the song crosses stupid boundaries - the outcome is of a solid song. The Washingtonians follow with the beefed and volatile 'Hardboiled' that is indeed cooked long and at a high temperature so as to create the desired end product to match the descriptive title. A fair riot and found in-between two cracker songs this one is enhanced ten-fold. We close with the wired up vibe of 'Job Done' by Oiz II Men'. I have recently reviewed this as part of a 5 track effort and was more than a little impressed by this one so can only compliment the band again on a smart piece of punkage. A fine way to close a long testing haul.
The main gripe here is mainly that there is too much of the same thing and when something different is thrown into the mix it stands out like a sore thumb. It is a vehicle used to promote DIY punk rock and with that I have no complaint - it is the only way tha' knows but more variety wouldn't go amiss. If, however, you love a good lughole war going on then get this - you will be most aroused.
KREOSOTE - A TIGHT ARSED EP
Some bands are just always there. They may seem quiet and in a complete catatonic state but they are still there. Occasionally there is a wake up and action commences and that is the case with Kreosote. They seem to have been around forever but for long periods they just disappear beneath the radar and then suddenly spring up out of the all-consuming blue. They could in truth have been digested by a homosexual ogre with a fetish for deviants of the noise or in fact sat upon by Excalibur Von Gastropod and disappeared in the endless expanse of posterior padding. I digress - you get my drift - let us march on into the review proper!
The first nob rot of noise comes at you with guitars roaring and peeling away in a twist of acute idiocy. The vocals soon blast in and 'The Fury Of Noisy Piss' reflects the small minds at the back of this offering. I fully condone stupid behaviour as long as the accompanying racket is applaudable. This powerful piece is just so and gets a piece of Fungal favour without any dribbles left within the underpants of doubt. This is how it is and it makes no apologies for it.
'Parlour Games' opts for the nailgun style and is delivered with unhinged effect via vocals that are dark and guitars that are engine-like. I suspect the lyrical content deals with something semi-sexual and fully fuckin' dubious and thank goodness I just can't make out all the words. Following on from the first cacophonic squirt this is as expected and delivers another hammer blow to the twitching corpse of decency (well someone has to).
'Pokehat Badsong' is a mean, lean mother fucker with added brutality. Kreosote play it short and really have no intention to fuck about. The production enhances what the band do and so we have another blistered song with sprouting pubic sonica singed.
Pain is had with 'The Triumph Of Noisy Piss' splattering all the scrawled walls of your inner discordant karsi. 30 seconds of fearful stress and coming out smelling of urine sodden roses. Anything longer would have been too much but this is timed to perfection for this mode of madness.
The white coats arrive and...
We are carried away to the working nonsense that is 'Potato Song'. I like potatoes and am a great believer in their freedom, vegetative rights and underground political stance so take to this without a problem. Look - you know what you are getting at this stage and if ya can't fuckin' join in then get the fuck away from here.
As in the words of Billy Smart when first being penetrated by a bi-sexual elephant - 'what the bloody hell is going on here then'. It is rough, it hurts and it leaves you in a bit of a mess but hey that's Kreosote and on this evidence I would certainly give em' a slot on a future gig as long as they play to this speedy effect. Hardcore lunacy that gets on with the job - it has its place!
THE COLLECTIVE UNDERGROUND VOL 2 - BBPR COMPILATION
A class collection of DIY underdog punk covering many flavours from many areas and with many tunes new to my lugs. Yes - I salivate as I write. When these gems really shine bright they do so with an unbelievable spirited incandescence that burns the aural retinas into paradise. This marvellous 29 track explosion is bang on the fuckin' button and has done what I am sure it set out to do - that is - get the listener checking out new bands, making new contacts and spreading the word of all. This Brown Bag Propaganda Records production was indeed sent my way in a brown paper bag al the way from the US of A thanks to Animal Train driver Rich Carosi (nice one man). Here's my run down of this mucky rocking and rolling mixture.
Bombs Over Broadway welcome us with an initial verbal piss take out of beloved scene that is soon corrected by a flashing effort entitled 'Themes To Revolution'. Soaked in new school, splattered with seared overtones and rammed up your rear end with furious determination this one is a relentless drive and so gets us twitching from the start. I Stabbed My Landlord continues the swift, throat-burning theme with the tight as fuck delivery that goes by the name of 'Ugly Place'. Powered up from the start with the initial showpiece strums the surge soon gets going and I pity anyone that stands in its way. This reminds me of a local band I favour who are called The Distrakted and has all the urgent zest I find so pleasing in this sub H/C racket that goes for a trifle more melody than those in the darker side of the pit. Not bad at all! The Scam next and the delightfully dark and spiteful 'Vengeance'. The bass holds centre stage here with a wonderful rolling rhythm that binds the song together. Guitar chugs and provides a perfect partner, drums stabilise all areas and are busily effective and the vocals are just so exact for this song that seems bordering on Oi but somehow just doesn't fit into that pigeonhole (and as I always say 'Smash the pigeonholes').
Track 4 and The Hated give us the swilling hard throbbed 'Beer Talk' with all its blurry appeal. The production falls short here but the band hang in and hold it together with some good undulating bassism that is the main point of appeal. Beneath the froth the liquid is punked and a few will be intoxicated by this brew I am sure. Opposites Attack continue the strong bass theme with the intro to their contribution called 'Suicide Kings'. A stomping beast this with all instruments played in a forthright manner with intricate touches added for icing on the cake. In parts the songs becomes a little too spacious before bordering on the precipice of a skank out but never taking the plunge. Not too bad I suppose! The Apathetics pronounce themselves with strummed effect before marching into a definite new-school noise that comes from the more youthful punkers out there and from a period that I just couldn't get into. Frilled, lightweight and sub-poppy this is an acquired mix and although played well the song does occasionally get overly busy and nearly trips over its own rhythmic laces. A good inner segment that ska's its own flesh displays this band have many a trick up their sleeve so I move on undecided yet expectant.
Scene Of Irony put forward 'I Played A Misfits Song' and do it pretty well indeed. The 4 strings meet a skidding vehicle and the main vibe is taken. The chorus has plenty of beans, the general rhythm is coated with a decent sonic sauce and the vocals are apt for the chosen drive. Nothing outrageous happens but it doesn’t need to and the honest rumble is level and straight from first to last with a short chomping break the only respite. Throttle do anything but 'Daydream' and give us something short of Nirvana and something more closer to an experimental metalised grungeoid romp that takes some adjusting to. After digesting the main thrust, contemplating and then replaying one has to admit this isn't a bad song although once more I feel it will divide opinion. Perhaps the main niggle is that the production doesn't give enough beef to the guitars but other than that the potential is obvious and this is a crew to note.
Next my favourite track to date with General Bastard proclaiming 'You Can't Touch Me'. A strange twisted opening is soon contorted into a seething weapon of hate that travels fast, travels hard and travels true. The vocals are radioised and mushed and come across the airwaves with good force especially during the repeat and beat chorus. An intense number that burns harder the louder it is played. The Hairlips produce a great piece of quirked pop punkology with 'Katie' doing the melodic business. Full of vim and vigour, delightfully simple and played with that omnipresent zeal so necessary in this feisty sub-sonic pool. You can see the effort and the perspiration flow in equal measure and if you like a good old ‘doo wop’ pogo and slop then this is for you! The Angry Bootboys knock out more than your teeth with a good, genuine dust up entitled 'Sound Of The Streets'. Shaven to the bone, brimming with Oi aromas and straight ahead as regards delivery this one is fairly predictable but still does what it does with a subtle class. Very typical but one I do like and so should you! Celebrity Stalkers donate a beauty with 'Thin Blue Linen' that is streaked with snotted attitude, burnt with swaggering rock 'n' roll and hepped up on solid rhythm. The vocals are easy, the drift and riff approach succeeding without fuss and the overall composite very rewarding. Forget the question of 'Where Have All The Bootboys Gone' the Celebrity Stalkers are here and glad of it you should be!
Animal Train are a band I am quite keen upon and I have done my little bit here and there to help their cause. 'Baby Steps' is a song that displays the sure-footed progress the band are making and this is a fine example of basic DIY that cuts deep. The unit is now instantly recognisable with the banshee at the front growing in stature and the band at the back finding more comfort in that roughened edge - lovely! Bob Problem And The Automatics propose a 'Shut Down' and come at you with the 'inside a box' sound that has a wrap around rhythm, loads of untapped potential to build upon and a fair gristly melody. I need a few more listens to be honest as I do with the quirky curio entitled 'Police State' that is gifted us via 'Baylie's Band'. A synthoid composition that reels all over the place with a chopper winging away at the rear and the music makers seemingly struggling to hold on to the controlling joystick. A bizarre one! A 'live' dish served next and despite the rough as fuck production there is a tune there that The Rooks try mightily hard to pass across. 'One Step At A Time' is murky and cloaked beneath the muffleman's membranous skin and so what transpires is only a hint at what could possibly be. I pass on this one!
Facepuncher are subdued before the stick beat and then awaken with the very corroded US vibe named 'Imperfect'. Again the production is sub-standard but there are many aspects to enjoy especially the drum burst, the bitched up vocals and the general feeling of antagonism. Hotwired do indeed 'Make It Count' and after splashing in combine female sweetness, traditional punkage and an uplifting message that requests the arse is shifted. There is a lot to work with here and I feel given a super duper studio to ply their trade and enough time to compose a set of songs that capture the bands potential we could have a classic album in the making. This is a good wholesome song and I really do need to get my Wires Hot soon (nasty hey). Sad But True follow and twat about with the dirty 'Burn Fuckin' Bitch'. Raw, sliced to the bone and very diseased with a criminal edge this one gets by but does need trimming down to a shorter song. It bypasses the finishing line and so gets caught up by its own momentum and falls foul. A rock 'n' roll guitar switch off precedes the wind down but all this is unnecessary and I move swiftly on.
Spotlicks make merry hay with the confused and upset poppoid jaunt called 'TunnelN'. Groaning with passion this one almost turns sexualised and I like the fact that the strings are wobbled hard, the sound remains slightly unhygienic and the band all seem committed to the racket. Wayward in parts, exciting in others, solid throughout - yeah - I shall check this crew further. The Olympians come forth with apparent experience and produce something that is bordering on professional (whatever that means ha, ha) and something with plenty of inside working nouse! The blend of all areas is nicely done and these chefs of dinnage work well together and give something not harsh but certainly not insipid. The tumult towards the finale works and I wander onwards without criticism.
Complot Soviet change the route of the entire CD and give us a hardcore toasting via the madness that is 'Esclavos Modernos'. How much better does this type of ram-rodding rhythm sound when it is surrounded by different styles that oppose and compliment in equal measure. A CD full of this and my nose would turn upwards. Here I enjoy immensely, can see where the band are coming from and most importantly appreciate the demonic artistry. Possessed in all parts, thrashing and turning corners at will this is a bold bang and blow number that the H/C wildmen will relish. From the roughened chaos to the gentler approach of The Mighty Midgets - or so I think? This new school band do what they do with such precision they put many bands of the same vein to shame. I find the new strain of sonica a trifle tedious when played without utter accuracy and that is why The Mighty Midgets get the Fungal vote. When I first heard the band album I knew I was dealing with a tidy outfit and it seems many have come along and concurred. This twisting, techno trek is of the same ilk and nails the riffs hard and keeps it tight, compressed and adequately complex. 'Fuck The System etc' operates at full tilt - concentrate hard now to get the full gist!
Still 6 tracks to go. No wonder I get burnt out. It is a joy to review these quality punk offerings though so don't expect any complaints.
The Piss Pops dig into the egocentric wankers at Hollywood with the obviously entitled 'Hollywood Ego'. Popped up and toasted with that urban polluted sound soaked in streetwise garage effect for the ones who love it raw to admire. I have a good fondness of garage style punkage and the well oiled grime that drips from the outer paintwork does it for me more often than not. This is a fair effort! The London Diehards produce some stunning boot stomping magic with the chanted and riffed 'We Gotta Organise'. Lyrically loyal and patriotic many will slate as going over their own self created limitations but I find this a fuckin' joy and love the cobbled edge, the honest pub gobbage and the gang-style inflection. Very good indeed in fact!
The Barons run themselves ragged with the power thrusting, head busting drinkathon called 'No Pints'. Big strums, cymbals splashes and we are at it with the foam building via the whipping up urgency. Fast and readily rolling this is a welcome surge towards the latter songs and before we know it we are in to Fuckland and their 1 minute blast 'Sin Conocimiento'. Blindingly fast this one doesn't sit and idle - the throat of the listener is targeted and the inner jugular is torn out. The violence continues with the superb fist-throwing slam-out called 'Last Man Standing' by the quality outfit T.M.F otherwise known as the Tattooed Mother Fuckers. If ever a song was liable to get a pit exploding into action this is it. The band rattle out numbers of this ilk with regular consistency and this is one of the best. The final curtain drops with The Erratics providing a stunning pop episode that keeps it short, bass tremblingly good and fighting hard with effervescent life. 'This Is Not A Star Fucking Hipsters Song' is sharp, sniping and spot fuckin' on – I love it and it rounds off one of the most interesting collections of punkage I have had the privilege of listening to.
29 tracks, a great diversity and one to rattle off over and over. Plenty here to seek out further so if you ain't stuck in a nostalgic rut you have no excuses.
THE KINGCROWS - UP BEFORE THE BEAK
Is there a friendlier bunch of dudes on the circuit than The Kingcrows? Is there a band deserved of a break more than this bunch of ardent 'erberts? Will Ratbag ever marry Bruce Forsyth and so satisfy his celebrity perversions? Questions, questions, questions - one thing though - this outfit is the epitome of the underdog and ply their trade without fuss, without pretension and with colourful passion. I have been viewing these dudes for quite a few years now and enjoy them time after time and come away satisfied aplenty. This is the 4th CD I have reviewed by this crew so lets have a peer at my thoughts shall we?
We begin with the sub jazzy intro of 'Who Are The Madmen'. The scenery is sparse, the haunted house of cacophony hollowed out and after the opening vocal burst the harsh tones of the song pour forth. Icy cold, stripped of blatant emotion and played from a casket without comfort, without affect. The Kingcrows hint at something horrified and that in truth is the subtle set theme throughout their outpourings. This one takes a few spins to adjust too but when one gets into the flowing vein one understands. All functioning parts are greased up and move in unison and so a fair opener is completed. 'Party' continues the frosted tones and a halloween-esque party vibe is produced thus creating one of the best tracks of the lot. Phil at the front does a tidy job and has recognisable tones that suit the style set by his fellow twangers and twatters. The honesty within the weave is likeable but how would this sound with a full on production and with added extra intricacies and acoustic effects. Definitely worth considering and another case of a band that could highly benefit from a boost in the recording room. 2 tracks down and a pleasure but there is so much potential still to be had!
'Don't You Know' has a grand riff and an easy pick up and sing infection. Straight out of the speaker into the brain and staying put for a good while to come. The essence of a strong song and this is indeed my pick from the seven screamings on sale. Switching in swing from chorus to sub chorus verses this has all the trimmings to be a 'live' favourite if not something of an underdog anthem. Concrete work! 'Renegades' pursues and crash, bang, wallops into your attentive zone. Rougher, tougher and showing the KC moonlight men can keep their sonic razors eager this song is a good switch and injects some midway spunk into a decent acoustic engine. A bit of metal glistens and there are no real faults to be had with the same verdict given of 'Lunchtime At Luby's' which is an equally pleasing effort. Lighter shades are applied with care and something of a semi-westernised rhythm is had. The flow is pure liquidity, the gentle backdrop of group vocals harmonise well and the band display erudite insight and keen craftwork that is salted with forethought, afterthought and something artistic in-between.
'The Kids Are All Wrong' should be better than what it is and is the one track I find I just can't fully praise. It's good but not as good as it should be. Don't know why and perhaps I miss a point but once more I ponder the improved production room and wonder what would spill forth from the melodic mixing womb if a real good expensive fucking were given. The song is neat and tidy but...I shall leave you to contemplate and decide on your own!
'Friday Night Heroes' finishes in style and is a predictable surge but has that vibe the punk spirit can't resist. A lovely signature sound with shuffled moments, purposeful posing moments and a heady sensation that is pure rock and roll. This recipe is concocted with such accuracy and when the Crows dig up the choicest worms they real do make ya wriggle. Yes - I am still in love with this band for sure.
The task is easy! Go and see The Kingcrows a couple of times, then get a few CD's. After that become absorbed and see them a few more times and then go and push further afield. I do my bit - do you? If not then why the hell not? As I say - underdog outpourings encapsulated – yes – do your fuckin’ bit!
SMOKE LIKE A FISH - BLOOD, FISH AND BONE
Superbly efficient. Aching with articulate skankiness. Produced with care and attention to detail. Released via the stupendous Do The Dog label. Anything else you want - well Smoke Like A Fish have promised to deliver and this is what you get!
The initial tendrils of sonica rise upwards via the song entitled 'Perfect World'. Starting unsure, bursting into nettle-stung irritation and then soothing oneself with a brilliant drive that literally asks 'Do ya like it'. Yes I fuckin' do and the foot is tapping in appreciation. Strings dance on vibes of glory, vocals seize the initiative and run hard, the drums hold a stabilised beat and the brass indulges whenever the need arises. Momentum is the key and that is what is most striking. The swing is alive and the slight adjustment throughout hinders the process not one jot. A passage of brassage adds yet more encouragement, a segment that is slightly darkened fails to mar and only enhances further and overall we have everything we wanted - the fish are making bubbles folks.
'The Opera Of Dickie The Third' is stylish and showcases a little extra flamboyance. Slightly quirked, filled with a curious joy with an underlying bite that just makes this a sheer oddity one initially struggles to grasp. The bass is casually adhesive, the finished concoction accomplished and the inner instrumental thriving. The class state is prodded and those with cash aplenty and bigotry to match should feel uncomfortable but the ones who like a good tune with a bit of political niggling will love it! Let’s move on!
'Tic Toc' pulses between moments of open veins. The sub-hesitant first verse is nicely minimal and the song progresses with only a little seasoning added as the cacophonic cooks know their recipe only too well. Rather than lash on the unnecessary condiments a slight sprinkling here and there is all that is required. The song bobs along and keeps things optimistic with a keyed split quite nifty indeed. 'Top Of The Hill' has a slightly cuckoo approach and seems to be bordering on the funky and fruity side of sanity. The quality of the production continues and is essential for this song that only just holds on to my favour. Something is slightly out of kilter with my inner rhythmic ticker but I can still appreciate. Vocals are lucid, the drift as always is fresh and as smooth as you like with all contributing parts thriving - I wonder why I falter slightly with my gushings?
'Rejoice, Rejoice' commences from a slightly submerged standpoint before breaking the waters and jigging along on the crest of a wave with grooved feelings and highly moved pluckings and fuckings. The 4 string wobble factor is most apparent and is what drives this tidy song along. Lay down and eat the sonic spume - frothy man. 'Crazy' has the unfortunate position of preceding an absolute classic but somehow manages to make its mark. The opening wail almost offers a sixties ballad but a twistingly well driven guitar breaks apart those horrid thoughts and a fine, fine tune is adopted. Semi-Blur-red, typically chipper and with enough persuasive confidence that even the most reluctant and retiring fart will be enticed into action. They do it so well tha' knows!
What comes next is mammoth! A skapunking masterpiece that mixes aspects from both sub-generic shite houses and comes out stinking of the most glorious fetid sonic turds. The slow westernised countrified dabblings prepare before tin can drums roll and the emergency urgency of the first verse strikes us. The bass is pilled up and bouncing with glee, the rest of the pack keep pace and the voice contains the orgasmic overflow well. The chorus is sub-humanoid and travels with a virulent vibe with the unleashed sax-attack sublimely accurate and well-placed.. This is a style I find SLAF mastering and such is the case here. Imagine if this band were hell-bent on releasing a full on punk album - interesting to say the least! Exceptional stuff.
'Tomorrow Calls' is filled with belief and hope as to what may happen if one works hard enough. Blinkers are removed though and wise minds know best. The power of positive thinking seems to be the main message and this crew seem to constantly be in that frame of mind. Essences of more familiar commercial ska is maddeningly included which is no bad thing if the truth be told. You will be making comparisons but the band hold their own for sure. 'Manufactured Messiah' is a political snipe at the ones who offer lots and deliver nothing. The show-piecing shite we are fed is exposed and berated and yet another fine ditty is ours. Why waffle on even more - you must be getting the drift that we have a fine CD on our hands.
The final 3 also do the business with 'Rainy Night' a heart wrenching piece of song writing that shows more than just emotion, 'Just One More' an alcho-addictive song that just can't say goodbye and 'Slow The Whole Thing Up' a bizarre nerved up rush that never knows when its done. For your pleasure a track is hidden and as per it is a good un' - fuckin' hell how do they do it?
So the DTD and SLAF combo works again and we are left astounded. Quality leaks from every orifice and the class is there for all to see. The band, rumour has it, are close to their expiry date although I expect these songs to stay fresh for a long time to come. Get yer order in folks before the shelves are bare!