FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 60
CLEAVERS - HARDCORE FABULOUS
Pure trash straight out of the trash can into the trashy CD player puked out through the trashed up speakers - and I like it! What Cleavers offer is nothing more than soiled hard-edged sonica dipped into a grime filled gluten and dosed with every repulsive granule of noise you can think of. The soiled underpants of punk expel forth more grotted droppings and here I am with my open mouth to taste. Stand up and fight oh deviants of defecation (but don't forget to hitch yer britches up too)! 3 turds, 3 overviews - let's go!
'You Will Soon See The Omelette Of My Egg Plans' surely convinces the punter that not only is the music warped but the minds of the players also, along with the fact that a tongue is well and truly placed in the cheek. Shoddy accuracy comes via the opening strings that seem borne of the hands of a crazed chainsaw killer hell-bent on mixing murder and melody. The gob work that follows is crazed and dazed and artistically inaudible and combines with the garaged grottiness quite nicely and so ensnares an essence that isn't as easy to grasp as one thinks. Many know it alls will smile oh so slimily and class this as top notch bilge water - how wrong they are. As soon as this track is done we are propelled with punk propane explosiveness into the ludicrously entitled 'Who Will Eat My Pizza Crusts When You're Gone'. Sharp tinned out guitar strokes, dustbin lid drum assaults and shredded larynxes make this another hot water scorching that never fails to keep erupting with numerous power burns. The break where drums are left to slap around is only to prepare us for one last unhallowed scream out - glory, glory grimy gunge pour forth on me!
The climax and sub-epic mush that one can mentally collapse to is the delicious delicacy known as 'Hulk Hands (Cryin' Into My Cafitiere)', another penny dreadful soaked with noisy nonsense in fuckin' amazing wasteful sincerity. The riff is easily picked up, the pages of the tuneage flicked through and enjoyed and the lurid murk bathed in with such absorbed joy. When filth is played with abandoned precision like this the paradox of adoring shit is complete and for me, anyone interested in the more genuine rawness that punk has to offer should feed on this with a frenzy second to none.
3 tracks and that is quite enough. Anything more may have overdosed the listener, anything less may have starved the connoisseur - but set a three I reckon we have a small beauty which to get our warted lickers on and one to blow out diseased minds with - repulse me some more! Scat on!
HOMEBREW - LAST ORDERS
You know, when I first opened this latest can of worms by this long journeyed band I wasn't the least bit impressed. The songs don't instantly settle and instead wiggle and wriggle like the aforementioned annelids within the soil of your soul and so cause initial discomfort. Luckily I ain't one of the sonic gardeners who digs in the spade, sees the worm and cuts in half with spiteful blade and scathing textual twattology. Over the years one thing I have learned is that the things that at first don't appeal can be capable of winning your overall favour if only one takes time to look more closely and have a little more patience. Too many shit arses in the natural and noisy worlds rush along with a 'I don't like that, stamp, crush, next please' approach and these fuckers need to slow down and watch their step or be in sincere danger of missing out on some real beauties. The band take risks here and that always gets my applause even if I hate every darn note. No risk, no knowing what one is capable of - the formula isn't too difficult to grasp surely. So as a green fingered assessor I wander into the garden of dinnage created by the ale infested louts known as Homebrew and with shears at the ready I hope too many blooms ain't gonna be dead headed.
The first feisty flower that catches my eye, and thus I duly sniff at, is the semi-fragrant 'This Seat's Taken'. A strong bloom borne on straggling spiked stems they crawl over the sonic soil and take hold wherever they can. This is a very awkward style of growth that branches off in many directions and so takes a bit of time to fully contain and assess. In some parts the song pulsates with inner juices, in others overloads with unnecessary thorns and so spoils the general aesthetic edge. The fact that Homebrew make this so darn difficult to grasp is not a failing and at least the band are attempting to push themselves into newer, more fertile ground. I like the inner toxins, am unsure about the stop and start pattern but am ensnared by the unorthodox end mix that leaves one wondering. Tricky! 'Remote Control' is a towering bush that burns with passion over how the capitalist wankers have fucked the game of football up the arse and made it an all raping, all taking non-contact farce. For me to support the game and be a punk is a total contradiction and all spiky tops need to abandon their tribal ways and get back to basics supporting the sides in the non-leagues where prices are still at a working mans level and the heart just about remains. That's my opinion on a great game ruined and here’s another one on the song ya fucks! Plenty of thriving material surrounded by a healthy bark of belligerence with guitars threatening, waiting and then slapping one into attention. The nettle sting given irritates and so demands you take note. Still the routine is out of step with what one would expect and once more I find myself admiring a band stretching themselves beyond the typical punk output. The seeds shed are loaded with spirit but you will have to spin this quite a few times before mental germination takes place - think on and don't give in at the first few spins - dig in!
'Fuck Revolution...I Need A Drink' first appears as a cautious stalk reaching for the light in sunless Heavens. The sky splits open revealing the golden orb and stature is gained as leaves of toneage are produced little by little with yet another period of rest taken before further strains are had, forever striving to reach maturity. The root system of this one is healthy and so the players that come into flower are of exact artistry and high potential. Each note is a nutrient and feeds the end structure making for an explosive display with the sticks tidily tumbling, strings vibrating with virulence and the vocals adding the much needed gravel so as to keep things edgy. 'Psychosomatic' is far from mentally unstable and sets about its target with focus. Bass trembles inwards, a tendril thrusts out, the pulse of the drums injects life, more ensnaring vines reach out and then comes the strangulation of the noise. Regular in pattern, taking no risks and straight ahead punk rock growth - this subtle song has the odd touch to thrill here and there but fails to raise utter inspiration and comes forth as an understated shrub in an hedgerow and fruit bearing greenery. A drone in of what is seemingly bee like, a tribal tub thump, a cautious bass line before a Clash-esque heart rhythm wins favour. The repetitive flavour is what wins the day and no matter how much one tries to shear away at the upper layers the song keeps on growing and so overwhelms. Again many neat touches, good drive and solid musicianship help one forget the previous sub-ear/eyesore and so get us back into the general Homebrewed groove. When the band rely more on basic boisterousness the effect is all the more thrilling a point very much proven later on in this CD.
'Crash And Burn' has me thinking The Kingcrows all the way and if anyone is aware of this fine glammy whammy punk band they will know what I mean at this point. Slightly orchestrated, oh so spacious and with a melody that breathes, rushes, breathes and rushes once more. The acoustical photosynthetic process within the flesh of this song is flourishing with the cacophonic chloroplasts easily catching the sunlit attention of the listener. As a result much energy is released via sonic stomata which are wide and open and happy to give you a good supply of the zest. 'Fatal Flaw' jumps on the back of the aforementioned song and produces more nourishing fruit that satiates the appetite for brutal clever noise. Stamping in and building up in equal proportion the eager drum sequence promises a busy one and that is what is planted. A billowing wind blows the foliage around and with only a little respite you'll not get your breath back before being windswept into the classic that is 'King For A Day'. The towering tree in the garden with a lofted approach capturing the carefree essence of the doleite who has one day living like the Lord of the Manor and thirteen days scraping around looking forward to the next ‘big’ one. Been there and done that and although not the ideal way to live (or survive that is) it doesn’t do anyone any harm to adopt this lifestyle for a while. Bass begins, the drums bop around with authority, the swagger of the opening riff is fuckin' marvellous. Add to this the gob that joins in is perfect, the wordage of an experienced loafer - the chorus that follows the magnificent verseage superb - this is a fuckin' 'out of work' anthem full of defiance and 'you won't have me' cockiness. The album reaches the skies here and it won't only be the most high flying punk rock birds that will roost here and swing those branches hard - class for sure!
'No Crimes' may struggle to follow the previous pearl but Homebrew play a cute one and rather than reach for another great height they come back down to earth and offer you something more woven. The lattice work is built by steady tympanic twigs and solid 4 wire wobbles and so the guitar wielding vocalist need only train the growth the way he wishes it to go. Less impact doesn’t make for a lesser song and you need to take time considering this before pouring out a judgement from your over enthusiastic watering can of criticism. Think about it! The finale is a self congratulating and self boasting signature tune (and why the hell not) entitled 'The Mighty 'Brew' a sanguine song as bold as a blood red poppy and filled with as much pride. No apologies, fully justifiable wordage backing up their 15 years on the road and a darn good tune to boot - have that one, sit back, put down thy spade and just enjoy the racket.
So Homebrew continue and I for one am glad that they do. It ain't fun being an Underdog band and takes some doing to dig in so deep. This noise has many a fine moment and a few that will have you debating but Homebrew are trying to grow in different ways, spread their seeds and pollinate others into believing this noise matters - my opinion - of course it fuckin' does and bands like this are the backbone of a very relevant scene - don't try to keep us down and get tuned in NOW!
THE LEMONAIDS - SUMMER CRUSH
Slushy, mushy pop punk here and a million miles away from many other sub-generic sounds you can hear in the punk sphere. What is punk anymore is all so vague and neither here nor there so I just take the music as it comes, try to stay objective, neutral and duly assess. From all nooks and crannies of noise I am asked to peer forth though I do like a bit of peephole time to peruse the poppage niche and usually come away quite satiated. The Lemonaids play this 6 tracker squeaky clean and with an orthodox overtone of youthful wretchedness do create a listening experience to just...enjoy. No deep delving is needed, no quest to seek out hidden sub-text...just a chance to chill and cruise to the melody...and much welcome it is!
'Summer Crush (On You)' aims at the skittles of resistance and is bowled with an accuracy liable to cause a strike when most unexpected. A swift hurl this one spins around on a sugar-coated surface that is polished well in the production room and so meets the set criteria for the lush pool of poppage. The mix is appealing, the tones without threat and the numerous influences that have contributed to make this sound are more than a little obvious with the buggle-gummed surfs up edge giving further clues. A good opener followed by the equally saccharined 'Surf's Up (But I'm Still Feeling Down)'. A slightly more fluffed up pillow of sound this one the theme wraps around itself and doesn't break free. The groove is forever on the move with a good melody found and assisted by some cool melancholic overtones that seem never able to find a positive frame of mind. The music delivered is very much 'easy as you go' spillage and doesn't need too much reading into it. Let the flow go and just skip around to some highly digestible tunes without any hidden agenda - makes a nice change don't ya think?
'(We Can't) Party At The Beach' grinds along with a sound rhythm and relies on a more rock and rolled aspect to generate intrigue. The run is mid-paced, the vibe typical and not creating anything new under the gloried sun but, at this stage, does that really matter? The band are obviously well versed in their selected pool, the production pirates have done an exact job and the interspersed drum splash sequences add to the songs ambience. You could indeed close your eyes and feel the sand beneath you feet, the breeze in your hair and the disappointment of the misery laden vocalist - bah! There's always one isn't there? 'I Wanna Go To The Kempen' is a plush number full of sickly sweet inflection and generously honey laden just for safe measure. Yearning and earning this one once more arouses the mellow erogenous zones of the popsicle licking vibester and with a tight orchestration, a foam and sand feeling again we have a winner. The best song of the lot is the pre-autumnal twilight regret of 'Summertime’s Up'. The sensation that the sun has set, the fun is over for another year and the aching orange sky is filled with painful tenderness is all etched deep within this nifty number and anyone looking for youthful, emotive, soppy arsed sentiments will be in their element here. I gotta admit this band hit their own nails with great accuracy.
The closure is the crafty pill christened '(The Best Part Of) Breakin' Up' which looks forward to a falling out just to make it all up again with some smoochy moochy love. Skipping along, with balls bouncing that are barely out of puberty and with spotted happy go lucky butt cheeks enjoying the melody. I love the ambience once more and have just got join in and bop to the beat of this fizzy little unit.
So a swift overview of a sextet of songs that are just pick up and play pieces that will definitely not offend anyone unless they are addled with over crustation of thrashed up titillation. A target this year is to check out The Lemonaids and jolly well enjoy the pleasantries - seems a certainty I feel - go forth and get this ready for when the summer is here - great driving music and a little bit more!
DICK VENOM & THE TERRORTONES-ROCK N ROLL VAMPIRE MAN
Nasty nob out psycho sonica here with a modicum of melody, a heap of horror and a shit load of theatrical grinding - brush up yer quiff, don your crepes and get ready to indulge in some toned up gothic gang-banging vampirism that will meet the needs of the ones already in the graveyard and will attract interest from the odd nosey ghoul on the outside. Without further ado - let's get bitten!
We open with the vulgar staccato stomp of 'Sticky Pants Trance', a ditty that hops about from acoustic shank to acoustic shank and seems filled with restless beans and active sonic ants. An itchy number that throws the listener and does need some adjusting to. Sticks tap and we go into the aggressive ramrod that echoes with rock 'n' roll rudeness stabilised by a hollowed out groove created by instruments given more than ample space and so allowing them to create a somewhat haunted style of sound. This B-movie mix is very much for an intended audience who enjoy a good dress up and mess up and will undoubtedly lap up the skeletal bones of a song donated here. Out of the three tracks offered forth this is the one I am least sure of but can still recognise where the crew are aiming at and the fact that they may just have it right for that particular audience. A 'not bad' from me but a bit more swing in the hips required. Talking of which...
'Rock 'n' Rollin Vampire Man' greets with opened drums that need guidance which is partially provided by a hesitant guitar twang. As vocals join in we still have the vacant husk of a song awaiting an injection of life. The eerie atmosphere is soon over-run by a real groovy ghoulie melody that grips the attention and makes the whole song work. From the tip-toed cautiousness to the confident rhythm rock the contrast is what is needed and we have the best of the trio for sure.
'Lilly And The Killers' closes this terrored triumvirate and does so with as much promise as given on the preceding track. The delivery is more relished, more theatrical and may it be said (without insult), more pantomimed. The corroded strings that open soon swing into a drive that is musically malevolent and will not accept refusal in any form. There is a hunger about this one and all players seem more activated which of course (when dealing with any band that has a good degree of talent) the outpouring thrives. Many a skeleton in yer cupboard should be rattling their dusted bones to this and if that ain't motivation enough for you to do the same then no matter what I write it will be pointless.
So yes - why not indulge in some venomous Dick and get your aural tunnel filled with various Terrortoned liquids. It may feel a trifle nasty, it may sound a little bit suspicious but the band have a niche to help fill and within there I reckon they will do quite nicely. You never can be certain of these things but I am sure this lot will have fun trying anyway - and why not?
THE VOX DOLOMITES - DEMO
From the ashes of several punk rock fires comes forth some singed phoenix-fuck up hybrids still yearning to make a point and make some noise. The Vox Dolomites ooze experience and although, at the time of writing, only have one gig under their belts as a collective unit, they have still made a solid impact within local circles. The ripples from that opening splash however are concentrically moving outwards and whether or not many of the idle headed noodles within the scene take note is anyone's guess - I suggest they will (if not forever damned they be).
The demo under the spotlight opens with a sub-funhouse jingle overlain with a skanked up shuffle and squeaked syntho relish. 'Horrorshow' sets out a busy effect and maintains it throughout which is essential with this hyped up style of punked and spunked two-tonia! The soundscape isn't saturated which could be deemed a mistake but somehow the band claw through, primarily down to eagerness and a new found hunger. There is certain rawness about the delivery but each instrumental piece is positioned with forethought and a knowing experience and so this tale of a shitty disco wins high favour from a Fungal nut very keen on things of this inventive ilk. The vocals have an incessant breathlessness, the 'na, na' inter-cuts are delicious and add an emotive feel with the bass weaving, wandering, and binding. The keys are polished, charmingly and hauntingly baroque whereas the guitars oppose and so, we have a general composition that is sweet - oh yes.
'Alone In Mexico' has a lighter feel and although a ska-based pulse throbs in the background the overall essence is of something more direct. The opening thrust lasts throughout the main verse work but the recipe offered is only truly completed when the extra seasoning of guitars peel away for the 2nd time and create an instrumental moment that leads us into an aerated chorus that has a pang in the tuneful chest one just can't shake off. This second snippet on what is a debut demo does more than just please, it paves the way for many options the band have at their disposal and that can only be a good thing for all concerned. 2 out of 2 - of course!
The gambling track entitled 'Losing Hands' comes next and one can be forgiven for expecting a slip and so the band missing out on a possible three card trick. Alas the band pull out the final ace and so complete what promised to be a winning hand in fine style. Every CD, no matter what length, needs a 'stick in the cerebral matter' moment and this one is exactly that. More clatter is added but only in small doses with a higher degree of saturation apparent throughout. The main key to this song though, like any classic, is the chorus. A superb join in moment that isn't rocket science but doesn't need to be when delivered with such desire, such belief - yeah a hat-trick for sure.
So initial spins gave a verdict of a good old 9 out of 10 and there is no reason at this stage (after many, many rotations) to change my mind. In fact I could easily raise the rating a couple of nought point something’s but hey what would the band have to aim for? The standard is set and this crew have to maintain it (which will be darn fuckin' hard) but that is how the cacophonic cookie crumbles. Get this, follow the band and see what transpires - it will be interesting if nothing else!
SEGISMUNDO TOXICOMANO - UN BALA
Spanish punkology here that has essences straight from the football terrace. Having formed in 1997 the band have built quite a reputation enhanced by playing with big names and having earned the honour of winning the award for best local album in 1998 with their highly acclaimed self-titled release. Here, at the request of STP Records, I tackle the bands 2009 album and wonder what influences and textures lie within the weave. Having dabbled with quite a bit of European noise I notice that from certain countries certain flavours prevail more than others - so what do we have from the Spanish shores I ask?
'Frente Agnostico' builds slowly on methodical bassism and muttering guitar. Intensity increases with the riffage and then comes the unified opening gobbology that exchanges places with solo mouth work and is escorted all the way by crisp strings and hectic but well drilled drum labour. The relish within the vocalist’s style is reminiscent of many offerings from the European acoustic abyss and one must also compliment the exact production work that makes a lucid offering to easily assess. The music swings from the rafters on well-built sonic muscles and the opening approach is blessed as a good un'. 'Las Nochos Siguen Sabiendo A Sangre' is a complete tumult with the initial 4 wires warning of a feisty thrust to follow that never offers respite until the final strum punctuation. The guitar is pulsating electricity, the drums a breathless beat and the bass a sub-layer that fills each sonic cranny with rumbling rhythm. For a follow up to the initial dish of the opening track this an ideal desert and builds a nice taste upon the aural palate of the listener. Yummy!
Static mis-tuned and then 'A Punta' chants in before opening up and rocketing along with emergency levels set at urgent. Similar in strain once more the band come together and unify then peel away and set about contributing their individual part to the end mush. Plenty of power thrives within the mix, the wind-up to the finale is choice and with a last flourish we fall down with a skanked snippet. Sub-level guitar feeds in before the speakers are loaded more intently as 'Hot Como Ayer' offers what is the most thoughtful piece so far with a narrated aspect that is relevant today as much as it was yesterday. The drive isn't as forthright as the previous tuneage and so wins less favour from me but that is a personal preference and just part and parcel of the review routine. The money goes in the slot and the can of noise is opened and although the production values are sound I just don’t really fully settle with this one. I suspect the language barrier plays a bigger part here and so all I can say is decide for yourself. The chorus ain't bad though!
'Heroes' rises from the sleeping ocean bed of noise and creates small initial bubbles before shaking up the settled sands with a swirling serpentine shift. Once full swimming impetus is had I expect the band to end up creating a full on maelstrom of tuneage, especially after the opening speed burst. Instead we get a half decent effort that somehow loses its way in the depths of dinnage and so I come away not quite satisfied. An ok effort with the following 'Lobo Solitario' much more worthy of attention due to the flashlight flickering guitars, jungle tub thump of war laden drums and pummelling bassism. The band are alive during this one and breath fire with the unrelenting drive and focus. The duelling buzz saw guitars add further interest to a song full of fuel and vigour - its what I desire! Segueing in next is the delicious 38 second burst entitled 'Futbol'. In just over half a minute the band pack in a bounty of nervous energy and tuneful effect and this midway eruption is quite choice. Like a kick up the arse to ask of us 'Are we listening' - 'Yes we are' is the rock and ready response!
'Ultimo Asalto' is a chopped up chunk of mighty musical meat that goes for an approach that isn't in any rush to power surge. Easing forward I find the more spacious moments where vocals are seemingly all alone the most effective but as one progresses with the band and we hit the short solo section we realise the gentle upward curve is more effective than first given credit for and what we have is a creeping giant. 3 swift assessments next with 'Dame Mas' a sincere piece that retains a busy approach and has some good muso touches whereas 'Guerrilla' has a more direct drive, a deeper resonation and a simplistic approach thus winning greater initial favour. 'La Tormenta' has lighter tones but still the rushing intent remains, the clarity of the players sound and the unexpected turn-arounds frequent - not a bad trio at all.
4 to go and still with the language barrier impeding my assessment of the content I am free to carry on assessing the noise. 'Stupid' continues the set trend and has the fuzzed up guitars still rattling along. Drums this time are more regular in the main whilst the gob has a smidgen more sneer. I'm 50/50 with this one whereas the tight and terse 'Navarro' and 'Cabron' don't dawdle and drill home their ingredients. The former is a well played instrumental which makes a nice change with the latter effort a sing-a-long' piece that is lightly delivered and much more on the precipice of popped and crackled punk, thus hopefully drawing in listeners who have thus far felt somewhat excluded.
The closure shuffles hard before commencing with identifiable riffage. 'Humano' is a good final fling and has some good bop and bang moments with highly riffed up segments that are way too short. More terraced sub-chants are included, a lesser degree of unpredictability but still easily played with plenty of friskiness.
So that's me finished, another CD done and dusted and my thoughts go like this. In the main I have enjoyed it but 30% of the time I found myself switching off - and this is where the problem lies. The band are proficient and recognise and deliver darn good tunes but on this occasion do it with too much similarity. As per, I judge songs on their own merit and there are plenty of good ones here but as an album this is little too much of a good and similar thing. Sometimes this method works, here I feel it doesn't - just my view - talk about ending on a duff note - twang! A score out of 10 would be difficult and is something I don't usually do but to keep me on my toes - how’s about a 6.5!
THE DETOURS - IGNITE
A little snippet first from a Prescription PR Press Release - 'Formed in 2006, The Detours’ combination of energetic guitar riffs and soaring sing-a-long choruses has seen them amass a legion of loyal fans. The band have had the pleasure of sharing stages with many distinguished artists including Bury Tomorrow, Asking Alexandria, The Answer and Slaves To Gravity to name but a few. A slight re-jig of the primary line-up in 2010 saw the introduction of the very experienced vocalist Matt Littlefair. With his arrival, a maturity in the band’s song writing developed, and his cleaner vocal added new dimensions, possibilities and commercial appeal.
Having appeared live on Channel 4’s ‘Orange Unsigned’ show, and beaten off over 10,000 other acts to win Live & Unsigned 2009, The Detours have unsurprisingly become renowned for their dynamic live shows'. Impressive hey - well Fungal holds no sway and will review from an objective stance - if this is shite I shall uncover it but if its good I shall give due praise - you know how I operate.
3 tracks it is then and the first of these is a nifty little number entitled 'One Last Chance'. Punctuating forth with strings compressed and glistening the first verse follows and hits one has being remarkably clear yet still retaining ample power. The rise into the reliable chorus is slightly held in check by a one line preparation but when the melodic phase hits us it is with a pleasing melody that, in truth, is over too quickly. We repeat the style and then take time with gentler moments that regain a certain foothold before rolling on to the final breath. Not bad and for me a song oozing confidence and ability - what next?
'Ignite' is sub-radioed piece that begins on smoked strings and dumbed down drums before breaking through and trampling one under foot. The groove is high with a sleazoid edge apparent and a furrowed focus obvious. The switch of styles between clouded verse work and aerated chorus cuts operates well and with a bit of flamboyant cock rock guitar work sneaking in you get another well played episode of clean and tidy dinnage that isn't necessarily my thing but is something I can easily appreciate. Something professional this way comes and if you like things without threat, with a fair old bit of beef and with some good tuneage then get a nibble of this.
'Free' is the closing piece and is the most fractured fuck of the triumvirate on show with the first minute really hesitant and uncertain as to which way to fly. The bursts of 'Free' release the acoustic animal from the cage and the band are all the better for it. More full blooded sanguinity comes and some neat unexpected beats and turns with the extra flavours included will all generate interest from many sonic circles I am sure. Far away from the gutter in which I pick up my noisy kicks this is quality and I hope I recognise the class found therein.
There you have it - 3 songs not of my type and yet 3 songs given the thumbs up. Am I interested in what The Detours do next? Why shouldn't I be? Its noise and although in no way punk it is done very well indeed and has that hidden zest so many, with more or less talent, lack. The route this band will take, if successful, will leave this old Myco music man way behind but good luck to them in their endeavours and on the evidence here the commercial doors should open and give these a piece of the pie that makes me puke but which the many want to glut on - each to their own!
BROCKER - OUT OF ORDER
Formed in 2004 and based in St Albans Brocker are another of those bands that make one wonder where these outfits hide away and why exposure is so slow within this scene that speaks of itself as being 'liberated' and 'encouraging'. In the madness of my musical meanderings I too find myself guilty of missing these boys but am so glad they recently played a SAS jaunt and came up fuckin' tip top trumps. The CD here was acquired at the said gig and many plays have been had. We have many influences thrown into the Brocker melting pot and here is my take on what I found to be brewing within.
'Getting Late To The Punk Rock Gig' could be a tentative step for a band at this stage in their journey but this is nothing of the sort. Slam, twang, double slam, loop - into the first verse with drums rousing the rabble, guitars equally keen for a tear up and bass trembling with anticipation. The vocals that follow are suited to the essence and with a definite sanguinity they beckon us on into further trouble. Switch arounds, technically on the cusp of being over elaborate this is no easy pick up and play episode of poppage and is piled high with intricacies that could well cause overload. The band offer a flavour that oozes youthful hunger and oodles of downright power bursts - take yer time, digest slowly and, just like me, you may find a really appetising song.
The next song is the one that caused quite a stir at the aforementioned SAS show and made people sit up and take due note. 'Gangster Ska' is a cultured piece building on cool dude bass and flicks of the fingers. Cymbals add quivered shadows and so a scene is set. The initial shout of 'Ska' drives the 4 wired weapon into fuzzed up hysteria and it weaves out a thread the others in the band can't fail to pick up on. A superb moment with drums adding stability and guitars soon upstroking the ditty to a more resolute and effective acoustic erection. The whoa's that follow have a chilled note, the ambience that accompanies has a hood'ed feel and the general gob work is wide boyed, hungry and of a sound quality. This is an irresistible tune and one you'll hear, savour and skip around to like a kangaroo with its goolies tied in a knot. The guitar tinkles echo a vibe not dissimilar to an Edgar Wallace theme tune and that always wins favour from me. Fuckin' class A output!
'Kadaver' is of the newest school thus far and like any good electroid eel is a pure bastard to grasp. Peeking forth before a commitment is made it is only when the drums two-thump and guitars strum with intent do we feel the song will make any progress. A shuffle and a roll and the first steady verse follows which in turn rises in temperature and escalates in overall busy bee activity. We progress and the band fall into their roles with ease and include some nice moments included a drum and string duel to absolutely relish. No resting on laurels and one can't help but applaud another solid track from a band I am growing quite fond of. The closure is entitled 'One Man Mosh Pit' and after an electro fuck screech, a madhouse guitar breakdown, some wound up releases of energy and added maniacal laughter a fast blast session blooms and pollinates with sweet, virile, infectious grains. The pace is harsh, the inflection less so and both aspects combine to vary the angles and flavour of this entire EP thus highlighting what this band have to offer.
And thus 4 tracks listened to, a 'live' viewing to call upon if need be and due care and attention given. The feeling is of a very sound band that can do it in the flesh and do it in the studio. I for one am very much impressed and am more than happy to prove the pedigree of the underdog by using this band as an example. Look we need this noise and we need these younger dudes leading the way - let's give Brocker the encouragement they desire and deserve - I for one am hopefully doing my little bit so why can't you?
THE GUNTYS - PUNK ROCK DEBAUCHERY
This band played a recent SAS charity bash and left a somewhat sweet taste in my mucky mouth and as a bonus a CD was given to me and a review requested. I have a massive backlog at the mo and am tapping those keys like a titillated twat on heat especially when the standard of the underdog noise is of such standard as found here. In the 'live' pit these lads rocked and they back it up well on this dirty DIY CD that has no frills but oodles of swig and jig melody and pumping passion. Without further ado the curtain rises and I am gratified to give thee 'Punk Rock Debauchery'.
The title track builds itself up on heaving sonic steroids before slapping itself awake and beginning a bout of wide eyed hysteria. A pause and then the cymbals 4 tap us in to a real shanty shindig with a genuine hop in the strum. The mouth that comes forth can't wait to get on with things and the initial emotion spilled over is of a fondness and pride for the spiked times behind where glue, beer, anarchy and noise meant so much. The fact is though these things still matter and the latter facet is more than apparent as this song proves. A sharded inner section tinkles and toys and is assisted by some shadowglass hauntings and so one waits...and waits...and waits until...the re-surge is upon us and after a quick tumble we find ourselves enjoying a 100% irresistible noise. A fuckin' crackin' opening gambit and leading us with a swollen chest into the live and kicking 'Street Mosh'. A real head banging delight this with bass fully revved up and providing a nasty grind to the whole end mix. Something with whizzed energy is what we have with a tribal underscore that provides fodder for the 'fuck it and see' lovers. Another moment of patient deliberation and although the chorus is lighter in density than expected this is a good riotous romp invoking ditty when indeed it gets its arse in full gear.
'Dan Thomas' is a tale of a wonky eyed wretch who likes a good booze up, a good noise and a great deal of idiocy. A happy 'erbert song reflected in the upbeat zeal and with the humour found within the wordage. Remember children lancing boils with a compass from a geometry set isn't advisable. The ditty moves forward at a good pace and we once more come to a creeping moment that is nicely effective and one which ends with the sonic spew coming through the teeth and forcing the band to sprint on and sugar rush to the closure. Keep it going lads! 'Nanny State' starts with grim gravel sprayed all over the sonic surface before the labouring loons drop tools and dance like fuck. The eruption of pace is harsh and the tumultuous trip we are taken on is punked and unrelenting. A really forward piece of racketology with guitars rough, drums dragged into place and gob work unhygienic. 'Killing Me With A Spoon' is a more tuneful track and although not a piece of murderous cutlery criminology the vibe is sure to please the deviants of the ditty. The tale regards those shitty sheep serving crapholes where beer is cheap as well as the company and the intellect therein and is delivered via a pure sing-a-long sharp one you will not be able to resist. Unlike the gaffs concerned this song has a good atmosphere to it and will have many an inebriate joining in and keen to down a few more jars - can't fault it really.
'Tick Tick' is a more vicious piece with a big banging swing time bomb approach that bombards the gonads with grenade-like punches before teasing the todge with carefully positioned deliberate jabs. The attack is once more all out and the genital-based bruising is delightfully painful. The band deal with this two-pronged attack quite efficiently and yet again rise above the swirling scum and swim like real good un's. One of my favourites and the final slam out is sublime! 'Stag Night' is what you would expect, a boozers song! Almost a thirst-up football chant this one brings visions of the male hordes with arid throats headed to the local drinking establishment for one hell of a bender. The sup, slurp, bounce and burp inflection isn't lost and although not about the beautiful game (rather the dreaded wedded one - not by me though) the desire for drink is what rules this throughout (and that can't be faulted).
The closure is a bit of fun but a very pertinent point. We all hate those dirty bastards who let their pooches shit and piss all over the public walkways and leave us poor buggers to be the ones who put our foots in it (literally). A more complex intro with the initial tuneful tones making way for a regular march that states the shitty things just as they are. Again we have an easy number to swallow and this foot tapping episode will attract the attention of the ones who like a good riff with a comedic message. It may concern a load of shit but this one certainly isn't!
The Gunty's are a quality outfit and are one of the best 'live' underdog units I have seen for a fair while. This CD is proof that the band have more in reserve and I hope these dudes stick at things and chip away at the punk rock resilience. If you get the chance go see em' make sure you chase up a CD - in both instances you will not be disappointed.
THE JACKHAMMERS - GIVE EM' ENOUGH DOPE
Foul swill from the trough of punk rock garage trough with many a pig fuck bastard ready to feed through whiskered ever hungry maws. Sometimes one picks up a product, tastes and thinks - 'that's just too clean cut man'. Not here - many foul flavours await to be tossed around the mouth of the swine and I am betting that this will go down a fuckin' treat to the ones who like things under-produced, well oiled and best described as a slop with genuine fluidity. This Glaswegian outfit create their recipe, mix and spill and you'd be nothing less than a pedantic sow to criticise - Oink, Oink - let's get on with it shall we.
'Punk Rock Rules' throws the guitars low, smears the skins in sewerage and cloaks the vocals in composted smoke and thus we have a wonderfully unwashed opening. The bone jarring bass line that greets is apt and gives you a firm message of what is to follow. Guitar is high wired and drums are tinned out, vocals are snotted - the mix with the heavy bass still rumbling is very powerful indeed and with added volume really makes those inner organs become delightfully painful. The wires careen in parts and add that extra danger element and we open with glory. 'Used Rubber' has the definite Jackhammer rattle before cruising through a deeply grooved verse and chorus and becoming another sneering, leering snippet of rusty wheeled trashcan gunk. But what lovely gunk it is!
'Retard Masterplan' is irrepressible sonic sludge that flows with thick liquid urgency and goes straight into awaiting aural orifice whereupon it flows deeper and clogs the mind with heavy duty radioed recklessness that somehow hits all the right hotspots. The least tuneful so far, the briefest bomb blast and the most panic stricken - the band tackle the style well and deliver a rowdy pop punk onslaught full of 'have it' inflection. More nail gun stick work and then into the chaos that is the nastily christened 'The Worlds My Toilet'. 1 minute 30 seconds to drop the sonic trousers, curl down a foul acoustic turd and flee. The challenge is set and The Jackhammer jerks produced a spellbinding episode of oral evacuation that has a 100% sound saturation right up until the last ear-splitting fuck up of feedback. No messing here - well not with the noise anyway! Pure rectal rhythm baby – thrutch, thrutch!
More crap as 'Bags Of Dogshit' slams in and then races and disgraces with equal weight in double quick time and once again leaves a solid sound reverberating around the cracked crust of the cacophonic connoisseur. All is still highly screwed and we leave this brief tantrum in the same style has we met it. 'Flesh Gridlock' next and perhaps the most nauseous dollop of dinnage to hit your awaiting palate thus far. All starts with a merry chug with the melody verging on a sub-fairground carousel operated by a demented dude hell-bent on making the rebellious riders puke. It is when the wind down hits us that all toxins break loose and a pure messed up sequence rapes us ragged and we know the opening stretch of rhythm was nothing less than a grooming - bastards.
'You're All Dead' hits us with a malevolent chased down horror where the Zombies of Noise will not be denied and upon your meat they need to feed. A grim sound from airwaves long corroded and filled with the rotten remnants of guitar flesh gone bad. The chords are all broken and beaten, the chorus that tries to break free into a cleaner realm somewhat fails and this, unfortunately, is my least favoured track of the lot. No sooner has hope faded a little then a quick bass boom raises the levels of optimism once more and we are into the tuneful trash of 'Tourettes Lautrec'. Slinky one-line outbursts are chopped up with derailed string work and randomised shouts and as we cascade into the abandonment of the chorus we realise this is yet another sure fire clump of garbage garage. When the Jackhammers hit the zone they do it remarkably well and on this CD so far they are having a 99% success rate.
'Trust Me' begins with a telephone panted wankoid moment with the recipient at the end of the line preparing to be disgusted. What follows is a systematic grind that begs belief, begs your will and without remorse...takes it all! The orifice awaiting will be filled with sonic spunk of the nastiest order. The song tastes foul but works - such is the artistry of the JH joyriding machine. Next up a contrasting cut of madness entitled 'Can't Leave The House'. Swift, raw, sincerely agoraphobially tortured and as soon as the door opens it is slammed shut again. Cursed!
A sprint to the finish line I think - on yer marks...'Dead Braincells' clobbers along with still oodles of beef in the bollocks and kicks arse with a wired up groove, 'Gas Chamber' slogs it out on the ropes and is a gruelling grind that in such a small dose gets by but anything longer would be a disaster and 'Bingo Wings Breakout' switches from a moronic 'oh I give in' delivery to a 'fuck this and let's have a go' style - schizophrenic until the last and still falling to bits - consistent or what? A 13 second bout of madness and yes it's time to fuck right off.
So out of the dustbin, into the gutter, down the grid and out into the ocean of sonic effluence we go. This stinks, it is a rotten old romp, it seems to be dropping apart at the seams and...I think it is a fair old racket - many flavours and all that - you should know the score!