FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 57
SUBURBAN LOSERS - NEVER COMING HOME
The Suburban Losers are a band I have reviewed before (what's new) and one who made an impression with their rough cut debut EP. In fact a song from that effort was chosen as a song of the month and played on a local radio station - Quote - 'November 2009 -The Movement by Suburban Losers - What a purely delicious piece of emotive post-punk poppology from a band who don't apply too much polish to their products and thus keep things very real'. - Unquote! I like the band and the style they deliver their sonica in, especially the DIY essence that is more than a little obvious. Here we have 6 tracks to assess one of which is on the next Underdog Morsels release, and quite conveniently that is the song we start the review with.
'These Streets Are Full Of Wolves' begins with well strummed guitar that holds back from a full on thrash attack. A yell of the title is a war cry and nothing more before the bass brings its own brand of menace and then in to the melee we go. A bout of tonsil tearing mayhem proceeds along an acute path and the character of the song is fully revealed. Powerful, angry, screeching out of control here and there and full of punk spunk. This opening onslaught surprises, breeds inspiration to listen further and is a fuckin' decent tirade. 'Restless' is indeed as it says on the tin and is a non-stop racket that has a million acoustic fleas stinging the listener's attentive arse. Vocally all is stretched to the max and the players keep up the tempo and contribute to a surging track. Yeah not a bad do and leads us into the familiar chimes of 'Kevin Smith'. I have reviewed this one before but can't recall it being as harsh. It is a very melodic track and unearths the fact that these Losers of Suburbia have more in reserve than many may give credit for. The opening verseage is spacious and contrasts with the gloriously loved-up chorus that is soaked in misdirected affection. I still don't know who Mr Smith is but he must be some looker ha, ha. Good brief track - enjoy!
'Cadaver' is straight into the action with guitars broken by a left, right cymbal tick. String work is incessant, the gob is sinuously fibrous and wraps around the backing sonic burst like a toxic Virginia Creeper choking the life from a fungally diseased bloom. It works if your interest is in all things ravaged and mine most certainly is. 'Fire In The Sky' adopts a similar thread and is the brutal twin of the previous track with balls bared and grimace adopted. Hard slogged and to the point with not much more to add really only that it is timed nicely, kept tight and much to my liking.
The closure comes via the tortured 'Held Hostage' which begins with threat, refuses to burn itself out with unnecessary violence and prepares to brawl in its own good time. I like the atmosphere setting approach and it precedes the obvious impending impact well. Following is a fast outpouring that rounds off a decent EP in fine style and just gives you another little glimpse of the many areas Suburban Losers could go down if they so desire.
The main task of an EP is to please but also to offer a pleasant taster of things to come. This one does just that so do I really need add anything more. Oh yes - check out this band - they may just tickle thy punk rock soul - I hope so!
THE SEPTIC PSYCHOS - TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIOT
When assessing The Septic Psychos one has four obvious characteristics to consider that the band so blatantly exhibit. Aggressive, forthright, highly riffed and typically noisy. Add to this the crew’s determination to keep all areas strictly punk with no apology or indeed no compromise and basically you are well on your way to understanding what makes this unit function and what their inner diseased desires are. Originally formed in 1979 and lasting only for a couple of releases and approximately 3 years the band split and went their separate scabby ways. Now the crew are back and after an impressive initial debut album have this 5 track racket on offer to burst your lugs to.
We kick off with 'Crooked Church', a song that begins with an expected threat from a bulging eyed preacher man, no doubt with one peeper on the collection plate and the other on his female flock. Drums and guitars stagger before cymbals make way for the regular hard riffed approach these pus filled madmen play so fuckin' reliably. Drums slam and roll with temper, guitar and bass cut to the bone with sharp intent and Chiz at the front shreds his throat whilst delivering his usual and effective gravelled gobwork. During this opening episode we are treated to moments of power and straight ahead focus as well as moments of darn special fury. Screwed up to the max with sonic underpants shit filled and bursting at the seams these fuckers love a racket and for that matter so do I. Smear the walls ya fuckers! Great stuff and into the opening bass work of the pursuing 'Bankers'. More din, more drive, more incessant punk rock strength. The song surges through your veins, hammers home its raging intent and hits the safety pinned nerve endings with remarkable accuracy. A pure zeal thrives and disperses its acoustics seeds so that a cultivated chaos is soon apparent with these fiddling farmers keeping all growth nicely in check. Go on lads what more do I need to add?
The cutely entitled 'Two Wrongs Make A Riot' chases along next with sharded guitar work causing a pleasurable pain before an 'Oi' awakens the soul even further. The first verse work is orthodox and followed by fairly regular chorus moments. This could easily pass as an average number in the grubby mitts of a lesser band but the SP brigade add fire, billow the flames and spread the conflagration with passion. Many could play this shit, few can make it work. Perfectly delivered with fuss and to the bastard point. Political ravings follow and then we are into the flavoured 'Local MP'. More clutterbucket intent, more high frequency insistence, more 'fuck you' viciousness and a flow you cannot escape. The waters flow and foam and take no prisoners and in parts a whirlpool is created that almost certainly means oblivion. Strings shuffle and shake the foundations and then we are into the finale, an old track revamped and called 'The Thatcher 2011'. What a fuckin' crackerjack affair and all the admirable aspects of the band erupt in a glorious Pollockonian mess of varying shades of garish racketology. The six strings are divided by the four and drums assist all. A quad count follows and music to melt your mind to ensues. Shout without doubt and fucked hard with venomous rampaging anger this is punkage without apology and why the hell should it be anything less? Raw, from the dustbin and of a standard I fully applaud - a magnificent moment and continuing the trend so far set, the Psychotic tale continues.
So there it is - a 5 track fist and arse clenching eruption from noisy bastards who just can't help themselves. It is more than obvious as to what flows through the blood of these thrashing swines and if you don't understand now then you never will.
ANIMAL TRAIN - UK PROMOTIONAL DEMO
I have a lot of time for Animal Train and have followed their progress quite carefully. With a few reviews under my belt thanks to Rich Carosi I am happy to run over this one even though I have already assessed all tracks on several different occasions. This one is designed to just spread the word so I will skim over briefly just to add my four penny worth and to hopefully help promote a unit I am very much a fan of. The DIY ethos needs all the help it can get and if you like all your turds polished and have no time for the underdogs then close down your browser now. Disgusting!
Here we go - swift and to the point.
'Atomic Clock' is typical produce and one of the reasons why I love the band. Sawing into your skull with no distraction - a monologue snippet breaks the rhythm and a mad blast flash takes us towards the full stop moment - one down and lovely. 'Delusional Power' slams along, the vocals are heavily snarled and you are truly the 'loser' if you can't get to grips with this smashing effort. So basic, so raw, so damn effective. 'Hideaway' takes its time and creeps in and is sinister enough to certainly hold my attention. Clear yet rough as fuck and ideally produced to give you the true essence of this underdog outfit. Of all the music I hear one could say why the hell do you rate this fundamental racket so highly - the answer is easy - I have a punk streak that races through my blood with wild abandon - I just can't help it! The evil intent is easily picked up and we are straight into the hammering vibe of 'Baby Steps'. Another feisty song without unnecessary attire. Buzzing, crashing, throbbing - nasty enough to taste - yeah 4 good un's people and the best is yet to come.
'Gary's Got A Problem' is a glorious song that builds up ever so slightly and nearly capsizes with the focus and one track excess. The lass at the front seizes this available moment, plays it cool and takes full advantage and delivers a punk rock treat. The consistency continues but a definite upturn in the graphical display is had - enjoy the fuckin' ride. 'Question It' - do you hear, is the title sinking in - you claim to be punk - please ask. Work out your problems, don't just fuckin' leap in. This song reverses, switches around again and gets on with the job. At once it is easily identifiable as Animal Train excreta and that can only be a good thing. The singing and stringing are aligned and it is as easy as anything to pick this up and become involved - come on ya lazy buggers.
'Hypocrite' sweats hard and builds up with gory colours and is in truth a nightmarish song that adopts a single stance and stubbornly refuses to be budged. A sable moment leading into 'Summertime' and thus making a concrete contrast. More hippy dippy and carefree this isn't usual AT tuneage but still has that typical unwashed edge and coarse end delivery. It bounces along in dirty underwear and for me is as it should be. 'Drunk Punk Pissed Off' is back to the temperamental state that twists in deeply and when withdrawn leaves a nasty wound you should be happy to lick at. Taut strings, splashed drums, blazing bitched vocals - it wins.
'Meltdown' was added to a recent Underdog Morsels CD released by my Fungalised self and if that doesn't tell you enough then fuck ya. Moving on and the urgency of 'Welcome To The Commonwealth' is what wins my favour and the fact that the voice at the front barely holds on in there and comes across as a pure 'get up and have a go' moment embracing the main punk aspect that the sonic arena is wide open for anyone wishing to dabble. Sometimes it fails but sometimes it succeeds in total unprofessional fashion - yes! 'Global Market' undulates and rocks away with the expected zeal - no fuss yet again and easily slipping into the cacophonous cunt that is 'Open Up Your Eyes'. I love this song with its primitive approach, unadulterated attitude and sawing sensation that persists and insists in perfect balance. 'Tell It Like It Is' is could almost be written for my opinionated and wordy gob and is one of the bands early efforts. It crashes around like a dodgem with its engines on fire and the chaos, barely controlled order and usual unelaborated style are what make it what it is. 'The closure begins with a bunch of brainwashed kids singing the words of the 'Star Mangled Banner' before Animal Train come at you and play perhaps the most basic piece of the lot. I am a fan and find no reason to apologise for something that lacks pointless refinery. This review has been nothing more than a promotional piece to kick up your interest as I have already stated and that all tracks have been fully assessed before. That may be good news or bad but one thing that is definitely a joy is that as I finish this CD review I have just received the bands latest offering which whets my appetite no end.
Chase down the Train and watch this space for an assessment of the latest EP. Fuck yer fancy, keep it primitive!
ELECTRO PUNX - PESKY HUMANS
This misanthropic outpouring rings true and is done in a style very much detached from what many spiked twats would deem to be punk. Look carefully and the essence is genuine, the angst tangible and the emotive delivery ideal. Thought behind the noise is apparent and a consistent electronic horror is revealed with many nice touches and numerous obscure angles covered. Of course I wouldn't be out there necessarily seeking out this kind of puke but when it comes my way and is done so smartly I can only appreciate. This is my take on a different facet of the punk rock genre.
'Message From Afar' is indeed just that with the alien beings created and given words. The words offer a choice, ones we are all familiar with and ones we all know the answer to. As a song it does absolutely nothing for me but alas I don't consider it a song but a mere opening statement that I hope will begin a long journey for the Electro Punx. That is how this snippet should be viewed and let us move on into the juicer meat of this CD.
'Snubbed' resonates and bleeds a noxious sonic gas through rhythmic nostrils that are flared, bared and infected. The listening-scape created is holocaustic and sears the inner eye with hurtful spite. Branded as an outsider is a familiar theme to many a punk and here the feeling is accentuated through gristled, straining jaws. The genuine flow is industrious and grinding with a heavy looming approach the blackened metal heads may well just enjoy. From the rusted mixing cum operating table promises to lurch a monster with a more optimistic outlook but the general outpouring is murderous and intended to maim. It works and something insidious blossoms! A pause for thought and we stagger on and then...
'Last Orders' is more automated and seems to be borne from a cavernous vault were the rulers piss on the poor and get them to work their arses to dust. The end result is an effluence of polluted filth that poisons all and this is played out via a background of noise the Electro Punx apply with intent. The disillusionment with the human race is highly evident and the cyberised vocals work a treat and add a further detachment and disgust that creates more than just atmosphere. The experimental edge pervades all areas but that is what this noise is and if you don't like it then so be it. My lugs are always here to review fairly even if the sonic sauce poured into them sometimes causes discomfort. The dripping liquid here is accepted without fuss and I would recommend a dousing of this stuff even if it is way outside of your chosen box of discordance.
'In Your Hands' sidles in and comes across on weakened knees. It takes its time to make an impression and is initially saved by the female pleas that come from Mother Earth her very self. After the opening segment angered vocals beg in earnest that we unify and change our ways and the feeling intended is transferred adequately. Overall though I'd be a liar to say that this was a favourite track of mine and feel as though the band have better ammunition in their guns. Nicely done though and followed by the best track of the lot entitled 'Technol Freak'. Chosen as a Song of the Month by my good self the ingredients here are much spicier and have more initial impact as well as maintaining the longevity listening factor. Warped bassism opens and we are in with a good vibe building to the first bout of wordage. The lyrics are concerned with people’s slavery to the techno world and how life can pass by in a virtual state without tasting anything real (shit, best get this fuckin' review done then and stop typing). A good song with a good meaning and a good rhythm too, as is...
'Feel Good Factor' twists its own bolted and wired up arse and gives a semi-danceable routine that is somehow stuttered and staggered but upholds a beat. A funny old song but the aim is right and insists you shift your butt and get up and do something. Now even if you hate the song that winds out like a dying wasp you gotta appreciate the message. One I am unsure of to be brutal but such is the musical palate! 'Numbers' Up' digs deeper and brings a doom laden message straight from the pit of the accursed many. Straight forward, without intricacy and without added tassels - you'll love this from the start or absolutely loathe it. I am enjoying this CD overall and as the regular inflection is maintained I rather think why the hell shouldn't I just say 'yes'. Its dark, densely delivered and oppressive - oh go on then 'yes'!
'No Place' is like a constipated cow with a non-elasticated ring-piece and strains out the sonic shit with furrowed brow, ruddy face and gritted teeth. It seems as though all rectal hands are to the pump and the stools of sound that drop into our aural waters are hard earned nuggets indeed. Despite this I appreciate the effort and am as glad as the band when the mini-mid way break is had. More pushing and general anal heave ho follows and I do find myself enjoying this laboursome piece of dinnage. Mincing, unstoppable - you'll get the gist.
So there you go - a bizarre electrocuted mix indeed but one which is worth a listen. For me the tracks would be highlighted/emboldened even more if they come individually on a variety of compilation CD's but that is just a personal thought and nothing set in stone. Next time I would like to see some added pace in the mix but for now this will do just nicely. The account is now officially open - withdraw or withdraw at your pain or pleasure!
MARGATE - ROCK 'N' ROLL RESERVE
Margate formed in Los Angeles in 2003 and are a 3-piece that are overlooked, to darn fucked and ready to make a breakthrough dudes. Professionally adept, oozing quality and with a trademark sound liable to traverse the sonic stumbling blocks of taste I expect to hear more of this outfit and on a much grander scale. This CD was mixed at Buzzbomb Sound Labs in Orange, CA. and had several keen players to add the sharper, more effective edge. This is undoubtedly a cut of class rock and this my friends is my take on proceedings.
Highly strung guitars burst into regular riffage as 'Control' finds its chosen track. Immediately apparent is the high quality production as the vocals convince with every listen. Guitars and drums are placed into position and are perfectly mixed thus creating an easily digestible sound that appeals by the bucketload. An inner solo 'rocks it up' and pulsates with metallic efficiency and flamboyance before the routine so tidily adopted is relocated and whipped into action for all it is worth. 'Whoa's' at the back of the sub-chorus embolden the aural effect and what we are left looking back upon is one saturated soundscape with attention to detail shining through. A granite opener and followed by the unexpected Beatlemania of 'Eleanor Rigby'. We all know this song whether our souls are spiked or not and Margate do it nothing short of justice. Without migrating too far from the set territory the band here recreate the classic and just add enough extra beef to make this sonic sandwich a little more satisfying for those at the heavier end of the musical scale. Some good strong riffs are applied in all the right places and just a good overall buffing up is given and as a result the classic glistens even more. Not an easy task and surely the mark of an efficient outfit to tackle a tester and come forth with full marks.
Cymbals are tapped and something streaked with late 80's Americana affect is poured from the speakers with 'Live It Up' exuding a gusto one is easily attracted to. More shuffled, more urgent and definitely more influenced this is a song that could be the product of many a so called 'bigger named' band (whatever the fuck that is all about) and once more I find myself tilting my assessing cap in acceptance of yet another accomplished piece of tuneful work. Composed craftily, moulded with artistry and of course played with obvious talent you'll be a turkey with a twisted twat to but the boot into this one. Next comes Fungal's favourite as the more emotive and thoughtfully alternating episode entitled 'Lovesick' bleeds its way into ones listening lug. The gob and guitars are in harmony with the sticks doing all they are required of without blemishing the song. One can almost see the acoustic jigsaw pieces being placed into position and rather than rely on the usual reckless abandon of the punk rock scene from where I do most of my tootling the Margate Men play it cute and give me something clean shaven to get my tapping digits around. Nice try dudes but this pinned and puked punker ain't too dumb to let a genuine classic slip by without credit. Yeah - a subtle beauty!
The title track 'Rock 'N' Roll Reserve' has its cheesed edge but hey it is played so delightfully and has wordage that many a musician can relate to it has just gotta be worth a punt. The love for the Rocking and Rolling lifestyle is racing through the entirety of this song and the smart execution and exactly positioned players make for an easy listen that you can just sing along too without worrying if there are any ulterior motives. At just over 2 minutes the timing is spot on as is the glaring effect of each instrument – tidy indeed. ‘This Road’ is a deeper cut however and makes a more marked impression with it’s slowly attended to build up, more revealing mouth work and overall somewhat sombre tones. The song is placed last and is the only place it should be – a solid finish!
The final summing up of this CD can be done in one word but let me just digress a moment. Look this isn’t punk, this isn’t commercial bilge, this isn’t middle of the road toss – this is the noise of the band and done with their own style and kept totally hosed down and blemish free. The warts and pimples I am usually attracted to aren’t there and so out of my shabby pit I must drag myself to assess. I do this and stand up and take notice because any band that asks for a review deserves more than just a brief shuftie and insincere end appraisal. Well this is my review and take note of it at your own pleasure – oh by the way the one word I mentioned – ‘impressive’ – get the drift!
THE SUPER HAPPY FUN CLUB - GO FUN YOURSELF
A flamboyant CD that is highly polished and aching with commercial wannabe success that very rarely this way comes. For me, when it does, my punked nose turns up, I grit my knackered teeth, clench my always busy arse and try to be as fair as possible with a sound that is a long way from the usual sonic shithouse from where I conduct my crapulence. What The Super Happy Fun Club offer is very much of this ilk but it is so darn fuckin' enjoyable and so accurately composed that my job as a reviewer is a doddle, my musical appetite is satiated and I reckon I may have one of those CD's on my hands that could go on to be something of a huge stepping stone in a bands career that is surely destined for bigger things. No matter what, I will still be in the gutter plying my overlooked trade supporting the ones at the bottom but there is no way this superb effort should go unpraised and unnoticed. Even my punk stained soul can still recognise ultra class and that my good peruser is what we have here.
Hailing from Chicago these dudes know how to rock out a good tune and keep it highly approachable. There are punk essences within the weave but in the popped up way and nothing grimy is had. Ok I like a bit of dirt but let's crack on and see what I make of this shall we?
'My Life's A Mess (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah' explodes with the aforementioned quadruple echo (repeat) of 'Yeah' and the effect is immediately triumphant. At once the Joie de Vivre is blatantly released and washes over the listener with vocals zested to the max and cheekily giving you a full rock and roll gob full of relish. The musicians add a tremendous noise and although the song switches gently from the riffed up energy to comprehensive moments of celebration the movement is boldly liquid and can only be likened to the power of the oceanic waves where one cannot fight the surge. Although the songs titled makes claim to disarray this is a song that reflects no such state and is a wonderful introduction to this crew if you ain't heard anything by them before. Magnificent! The race to the finale increases the gallop and one is left more than a little impressed - very succulent!
'Victims' strums and scuttles the six stringed beast as the four wired counterpart takes the main flow by adopting an ensnaring snaky style. Vocals are slightly sneered and angered before a brief upsurge is had. More serpentine slithering and then a crescendo of perfectly produced noise one cannot resist. We continue with keys adding more depth and the rest as they say is fuckin' glorious. These Chicago showstoppers are really turning on the style and once more I am of the belief that we have a humdinging crew on our mucky mitts. The blend of all contributing factors is precise with clarity the aim and clarity indeed the most notable achievement. Power isn't sacrificed and a nod must go to the dude who mastered this fine product - Jimmy Galanes I believe - take a bow!
'London' is the back of the net hat-trick achieving behemoth that starts with textured guitar work and a somewhat subdued inflection. The pulse builds and one just expects something special. The chorus provides big time with the initial instrument free moment adding to the overall effect. The bass is heavy and constantly at work and donates a good foundation on which to build - surely the rest is easy? It appears that way and that is a genuine identifying aspect of what I deem a very efficient machine! 'Generation' jumps into the waters of sweet sonic rhythm and although the least effective piece so far the composure and quality carry it through and I suspect this is the sleeping giant in the mix and 2 or 3 months down the line I will be enjoying even more. Plenty going on though but I prefer the pursuing Undertoned speedburst entitled 'Billy The Entertainer'. You will hopefully understand my hint at the comparison and even if it isn't fully justifiable I feel as though this is a 41 second beauty you should play over and over again. From the skidded intro the song abounds with life and keeps the eyes set firmly looking ahead and hits that winning end line with all flags of success flourished. Go on lads!
'Partners In Crime' takes a somewhat safer route and is the most gentle of flowers in this acoustic bunch of blooms. Perhaps, to please my toxic soul, more poisonous spines are needed on the main sonic stem but that is besides the point at this stage as the SHFC brigade know what they want to do and how to do it! Keys are lightly sprinkled, the coming together of the vocalists is orchestral, the varying movements totally of the new skool ilk - very professionally done - something all too apparent over the entire course of this CD. 'Light Pollution' pulsates and then beats its inner heart after a heavy traffic flow of acceptable noise. All is restrained, cautious and yet the colours that glow are stunning and hypnotic. The smouldering within enchants, the flame always threatens to consume but will do so without inflicting pain. The rise in heat is appropriate and somehow this band of hygienic 'erberts produce a song that is just set at the right temperature. A few bursts of well oxygenated energy inspire the captivating tongues to lick higher and I am all aglow with interest!
The closure comes under the name of 'Invincible' and is almost anthemic. How the fuckin' bullshit I hear palmed off in today's charts as music is getting more credit than music like this is beyond me and backs up my theory that people are clueless cunts led a merry dance by the media piper who leads them into the land of the gullible were cash will leave open palms for fuck all in return. Go on you rats - fuck off and follow your shallow leader! Look people this punk loves it nasty but this is classy stuff and aches for attention. Beautiful, heartfelt, delivered with passion and totally contrasting to what transpired in the earlier part of this seven track trick. I'll leave it with you to chase down - come on!
So I receive something polished, gaze deeply, wonder why the fuck I like it and just hold my hands up, accept I am beaten and hopefully give a glowing review. Great stuff all round and I hope success this way doth come!
RISING STRIKE - BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS
The thick almost indigestible sonic syrup that Rising Strike spill forth takes time to fully swallow and as a result this review is a little belated. Personally I couldn't care less as it is better done to the best of my listening lugs rather than a pointless palm off just to please. The band are currently climbing in the appreciation stakes of many onlooker and given time and a little effort true reward can be had by having a good long ponder over this collection of cacophonists! I have viewed them 7 times to date and have yet to be let down so this CD was grabbed with eager beaver hands and slung into the player with equal enthusiasm. The stodge was stirred, the Fungal noggin' pressed into action and this is the result!
Transmission is on, the high frequency nightmare begins and the gauntlet is removed from the skar-cored hand and thrown at our shit soaked disbelieving feet. All aspects of complete saturation are blatantly paraded and into the fray with the RS troop we throw ourselves. 'Watching Our Watches' is organised racket-hearing with the structured crime committed of intending to deafen without a care in the world. As soon as my assessing hand grips the shoulder of the guilty sonica I am taken aback and a rethink is needed. Misanthropic - maybe, bitter - perhaps, furious - of course. The cymbals crash, the chanted opening hurts and over -charged skankoid idiocy follows. Voices are set at 'coarse' and added to this is many a tumbling moment where almost all hell breaks loose. Powerful and of the bands signature sound - your mind needs to be decisive.
'Mr Fancy Pants' is a nice effort with the discordant dog still pulling at the leash. Straight into mix and match mouth work that dips into unhinged moments of demonic devilry. With a better framework this is the better song of the opening brace and when the brassage is inserted into the bands external back passage the sound is pure molten larva that runs very smoothly indeed. Fast snaking saxualised weaving comes next as the 'Joker's Mistake' prods the cerebral clitoris and awakens a certain amount of thoughtful excitement. Deeper thrusts are coarsely delivered with a back rhythm maintaining the pleasure factor. Power is added via subtle inner muscularity and the odd experimental moment is added to keep the 'proddee' from losing interest. The acoustic humping is nicely done with foreplay, interplay and endplay a bloody good do (and sometimes almost literally). Why do I go off on these tangents - bah - hopefully the point is made?
Cruel, fuzzed apocalyptic rumplings of the general sonic sheets is had as we get the commencement of the fine song that is overly entitled 'Corporate Responsibility Is An Oxymoron'. I see the bands point and one that highlights the world of deceptive fuckers we live amongst who palm off blame oh so cutely and thus avoid any punishment. Rising Strike deliver the tirade with astute efficiency and heavily laden musicianship that is punctuated with drum rolls, bomb blasts of scorched mouth work and injected with arse-kicking insistence. Guitars collide and the eruption is one of the best on this strong collection of sounds. 'Is It Solipsistic In Here Or Is It Just Me' is lain down on the sonic Scrabble board and scores heavily in many ways. Self-absorbed perhaps, all-consuming it may be or a darn good noise too. A bit too wayward to be honest and not really keeping itself in rigid line enough to be understood. At the midway mark something outrageous was needed and something placed in a contrasting juxtaposition to all around it. Just my personal thoughts but this track certainly gets lost amongst the pack and I am sure has more about it than I realise. Maybe or maybe it is just a pile of crap - get off my case you twats and work this one out for yerself ha, ha!
'Against The Safe' is a grand noise made special by defiant wordage that aches with punk rock awkwardness and gut instinct belief. Fuck the norm, don't conform, do it your way. Rising Strike certainly do that and split listeners across the board but, as I always state, if one is happy doing it their way then do it they must. So much going on within this one that the mess is to be marvelled at and the intricacies found therein to be browsed and appreciated. What is done here is done so well and the pulsing mush that is farted forth stinks of dedication and....passion - now that does indeed matter and not commercial success - fuck off! 'No Strings Attached' is indeed without controlling wires and runs amok amongst the den of din. Raging, aggravated and with a direct target in mind that is hit repeatedly via a cracking shot from the RS arrowthis is the most orthodox screamfest and oh how the band shine. This track and the pursuing 'Videodrone' are complete examples of everything good about this crew. Untidily effective with a camouflaged underbelly that will only be seen by the ones who are willing to take a nip or two in an attempt to fully reveal the creature we have on our hands. Yes indeed this beast has a nasty side but a little care and patience will be most rewarding. When the band unify the vocal duties the outburst is further accentuated and the added brassoid venom is a mouth-watering escort. In fact without the brass the ass would be severely prolapsed and a different review would surely this way come. Take note of this brace - outstanding!
'Pursuit' is a curio and bounces in like a duck on poppers - semi-quacked idiocy with all feathers ready to fly. When the flow dissolves we are left with a crawling, slow paced piece of haunted horror that is sable, high in density and pounding. If your drake of discordance has got one of his heads coming on then you'll certainly need the tablets at the end of this. Not bad and upholds the sinewy sound delivered thus far.
The closure is a plus five minute affair and has that famous graveyard sequence from 'Night of the Living Dead' to whet the appetite. Strings wander in the thunderstorm before the heavens start to fracture amid machine-gun blasts of thunderous ferocity. Hardcore hammer jacking is briefly dealt and then we go forth with stretched vocalisation and more wandering saxophony before a blurry, unhinged chorus is had. An overly technical piece that twats about way too much and the running time is way beyond what it should be. Several songs could be dissected and resurrected from this musical mush and so I leave the review a tad disgruntled - such is the Fungalised honesty.
Overall my summing up is of a very accomplished band who produce a good din but occasionally get carried away. This CD is definitely worth a gander though unless of course you like things more structured and orthodox. Many highs are had and a few moments arrive that have you wondering 'what the fuck!' This is a glutinous dosage and for some too hard to handle - as in the words of my good lady 'I can't stand it but they are still obviously a decent band' - yes more straight talking - the only way to be!
ANTI-CLIMAX - DEMO
Hard-thrashed Texas DIY noise with Anti-Climax playing it basic, pure and without unnecessary wayward wanderings. The intent is to drive out fast and loud spikiness and that is what we get. Highly scabbed, seriously infected and lacking any sonic detergent this is fouled stuff indeed and if you wanna keep ya mitts clean please steer clear. For me the true essence of mindless punkage like this is more relevant than many flowered up fuck-arounds and like it, lump it, love it or hump it - this stuff has its pit in which to play and will carry on regardless. A self-description is 'Five gnarly smelly South Texas fuckheads' - well I suppose it says a lot really ha, ha.
We rattle forth with 'All Cops Go To Hell' - well that is news to me - I wonder why? As is the strain within society you find good and bad in every arena and OK to be a copper in the first place does require a bit of macho, holier than thou self righteousness but surely there are a few decent ones. Over the years I have know a few Cuntstables and a few fair chaps trying to do a testing job - hey ho - I digress. The song pronounces with all instruments pounding and then the vocals grab the guts and twist the song in agony infected mayhem. After the first outburst a guitar sequence is tuned up and high-wired and then we follow the next assaulting burst of fury. As player’s boom and bang the gob screeches like a possessed pirate on the brink of death and the violent edge and totally flashing inflection makes its impression. 'Murder In Masses' trembles at the start before cymbals 4 crash and bring down the opening curtains of concealment. The noise that follows is expected but blazing and the mere amount of effort thrown in appeals. Leaning more towards something Exploited with equal rage this has further H/C inclinations and will meet the needs of the sub-generic brain busting maniac. Not too bad but the chasing 'Criminal Minds' outweighs via the hard pushed mouthing and persisting, persuading ranting. A very taut number with no definitive order - not bad and keeping things awkward.
My favourite track is 'Shit, Filth, Vomit, Disease' due to the virulent nastiness poured in and the equally obnoxious produce puked out. Swaggering in without typical murky noise the charge begins and the poison increases its danger levels by the second. The stamped and rolled chorus is genuine punkage and is a sing-a-long moment the most disgruntled and infuriated will salivate to. Pounding on with balls bruised 'Pawn Master' makes no apologies and jumps into the already turbulent waters and whips up its own area of spume. The strings are pulled tight, the drums cascade with incessant passion and the tonsils threaten to bleed - you should be in the groove now. A DIY instrumental piece is inserted into the jacksie of the song and we rush on. 'Anti-Climax', 'Final Breath' and 'Better Off Dead' make for an interesting trio of terror with the opener being the darkest most decadent piece thus far and perhaps the most rowdy, the second segment highly machine like and being a satisfying listen with rotor blade and turbine energy and the final effort a varied piece with some exciting riffage to begin, a chanted follow on portion and then more fist-flying fuckology.
'Black Out' begins the final three lengths for home and doesn't waste no time in hitting the violent zone. Oozing vigour, roared to the fore - come on you must be understanding what we are getting at this point. 'Weed Out The Weak' is driven and whipped by a good bass master and wins the nod with yet more H/C shout and clout. Unfortunately despite a good 10 tracks thus far the finale 'Creature From The Shower Drain' misses the mark with me and is my least favoured song of the lot. Bah - I hate it when the duff duck is at the tail end of the flock but such is the case here - I just don't like this one at all - bastard. I’ll bail out now whilst the going is good ha, ha...whoosh!
And so…a good nasty episode of scum-filled dross that hits many fine unwashed punk rock sores is attained and therefore gets the overall Fungal thumbs up. It is DIY and released in all the monochrome glory typified by this sub-generic pit - not a bad do sir!
ANIMAL TRAIN - DEMO
Any band that works hard, is willing to record and deliver and who maintains that DIY enthusiasm is liable to win favour from Fungal. If the band pour out some good unflustered music along the way then it’s a double win and that is what we have here. Animal Train just wanna do it and do it they do in their own unaffected way. This is the 5th offering from this crew to come under the Fungalised microscope and once more here is the lowdown.
2 tracks stand out on this CD and the first one of these is the opener entitled 'N. R. A.' Reeking of AT infection the drive is straight in and we are at once within the realms of all things gutterised. Guitars are instantly recognisable and the drums are kept simple. The severance of the fabric of comfort comes with tight, angry gobbage that spills out and grabs us by the mitt and takes us to the quirky chorus that 'whoo's' in cracked style. The interspersed Oi's make this a mix and match affair but it will do for me but Charlton Heston will be spinning in his grave! 'Off The Track' is usual spillage and for once I expected more, needed more and wanted more. Not a bad do but just one that slips me by and doesn't actually inspire. My job as a reviewer is to squeeze and at this point a fresh tightening of the grip is had. Animal Train are making good steady progress but now is the time to reach out further. This effort is fine and dandy but I am well versed in the bands outpourings and already the standard needs raising. If this gets the crew chomping harder and stretching into different realms then so be it - fail or succeed the opportunity has to be taken.
Moving on then and the second cracking song is the wonderfully worded 'Sith Vicious'. It has a great relaxed rhythm and is in every way true to the Underdog DIY spirit. Never follow the sheep, don't worry about the shallowness of worldly success and most importantly do it your own way. The chorus raises the spirits of the lover of noise and if you don't grasp this at this stage perhaps you never will. The emphasis on the last words of each chorus line insists a join in and sing approach and this is surely vying for a Song of the Month slot on my site. Delicious! 'Global Market' is a punchy little number that I have reviewed a couple of times now - I will not overfeed you bastards and shall simply state it is a good un' for sure - seek it!
'Missed Adventures' is a fast one track roll out that insists that it doesn't go off route and take in any surrounding sonic countryside. A slip up I reckon because even though the chugging is swift enough glimpses are had here (as well as in the past) to show the crew have more sonic scenery to display. A hard track though that will pound you to your knees - take note. The closure comes via 'Evil Behind The Wheel' as a rolling drum welcomes and the stage is set with carefully restrained noise. The she-gob gets the oil flowing and the motor flattens all in its path. A darker edge to this one and the rhythmic rubber left on the sonic highway is surely noted by all passing travellers of tuneage. A few skids are thrown in for effect and we have much to ponder before the bands next release (which is what we indeed require).
So the Animals on the Train move up a notch and so does Fungal's expectations. If we can keep on pushing and shoving and squeeze every last drop of potential from the cacophonous crew then I will be more than happy. I love the band and the approach - and the standard is slowly rising - very interesting dear perusers.
SHEER CONTEMPT - NON COMPOS MENTIS
Let's start with some stolen textual matter from Reverbnation - 'Sheer Contempt is an original, hardcore punk band from Philly established in March of 2003. Drawing their influences from the Dead Kennedy’s, Black Flag, Cro-Mags and Fugazi they've created a unique sound and a live show where the whole band is in attendance and mostly sober. Their music has been played on Mike Watt's podcast (former bassist from The Minutemen), Real Punk Radio, Mohawk Radio and Riot Radio'. Well this is all mighty impressive but being the perennial twat and requested critique I would be foolish not to have my say (yes tongue in cheek ya wooden headed goons). An e-mail, a polite question and a review was agreed to be done. Details were given as to the mucky murky sound I may uncover and at once my interest levels rose - you know me - seeking out the shitty end of the stick where the best punk pollution is had. Anyway time has been taken and due care given and this is the end result of some Fungal inner ponderings.
'Down The Hatch' pounds in with emphasis on the weighted bassed and middle paced route. An unwavering drive is given with a crunching brutality always present. The vocals that come are strong and dominant without being oppressive and the blend of all departments makes for a heavy duty listening experience. Defiance is added as an extra seasoning and a good standard opening burst is given. 'Can't Deal' has me thinking along the lines of something Billy Clubbed but with more of a DIY feel and unwashed approach. This of course intrigues aplenty and the flow from rough arsed verseage into the swiftly stated and shouted chorus lines makes for a strong brew. These Philly fuckers are ploughing a deep furrow here and I am sure many will find it an indigestible offering but I know of many who will love the pounding sound and they are the ones that need to read on!
'Need And Want' is a grinding effort that has an ethos of anti-greed which I very much like. The song starts great but I am unsure of the chorus when the title is sang out loud and the following lines ensue. Something more structured and impacting was very much needed so as to emphasise the lovely verse work and thus make a more contrasting effect. Hey, I may be wrong but I would indeed argue my point. Not bad but one of those that has let a good moment to be something better slip by. 'Entitled States Of America' deals with the wealthy and the poor and really doesn't have much going for it. The production here comes unstuck and gives us the first ineffective track on which I will not dwell. 'Tonight I'm Bad News' relates a tale of a wired up nut who is out on the loose ready to rock and riot. Not a bad track but just in need of more power surges and overall bollocks. Loads of potential though and on that aspect one must concentrate. Deep and hard earned this is one to play a few times to totally appreciate. 'Young Monster' has me initially thinking 2 Sick Monkeys but moves on into a dirtier sound. Fully grimed, entirely basic with the strings numbed and the drums not making sudden ass whipped impact. Once more this is all down to the unprofessional mix and the effort does has some good moments that need attention. I think given time and an injection of pace the song can only improve but from the opening impression I feel a bit let down by this and the 2 previous tracks.
A 4 count and a wolfish voice dominates once more with 'What's In Store' and 'Riot Starter' that are a hard brace that belt along in equal pace and power and once more, unwashed deliberateness. The second song is the better of the two with its more hammering approach and intermixed unified/solo singing that in its brief appearance enhances the song. The former song is fine enough but this latter effort just has a little bit more. 'Out To Do Some Damage' is a ponderous looming monster that slowly breaks down resistance after many plays. Bassism is injected into the beasts bloodstream and a denser sound is had as the inner floorboards of the soul rattle and shake. 'Killing The Middle Class' has a desire to drive home its point and does so musically but the production once more hinders proceedings. Nevertheless beneath the scummed upper surface dwells a potential strong tidal flow but how many will make the effort to look this deep. Knowing this fuckin' scene - not many! For me it is a song for the lovers of hardcore who don't, paradoxically, like it too hard.
At this point I feel the album should end and sometimes a band has just gotta know when the cut off point is. Nowt wrong with enthusiasm but better to leave early and let the bastards want it badly than to overfeed them and create a sense of apathy.
The final 5 tracks shall be summed up briefly so as not to go on too much myself and thus set an example ha, ha - here we go! 'Bring Me Down' is another prowling number that brings all players together and has a sharp flame that ascends quite nicely thank you. 'Growing Old, Not Growing Up' is an irate working with the sensation of unrest totally convincing. Rumbling and grumbling and to the point the 1 minute 37 second running time also assists the blow - not a bad effort lads! '7 Years Of Sodomy' is a deep and dank number that is an excrescence incarnate. The growth builds but is somewhat stagnant and doesn't have a spark so as to embolden all areas. An intended style, an overlooked error - you choose but I find this one a very draining experience. 'Why Does Your God Need My Money' is a 14 second repeatoid assault and makes its point before fuckin' off into the distance - nuff said! 'Shit To Me' storms forward in a sub kind of Front that is Agnostic in many ways. Running the final length with baton in hand it is very much a dash, stop and dash on mode that culminates in a final grind to the full stop of the CD.
Looking back I feel that if this was 4 EP releases then the verdict would be more positive and encouraging. As it is however the band poison their own liquid bloodstream by dabbling after last orders and so encouraged the listener to feel over-indulged as well. Despite this there are many positive aspects with some well pronounced tuneage to enhance even further with productive tweaks and twangs. I'd certainly like to hear the next release and see how things unwind but of course punk is all about enthusiasm - you really should get a dose!