FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 67
HOSTAGES FOR SMACK - BRITANNIA BLEEDING
A collage of cacophony seemingly placed in haphazard style with a strong suggestion of pot-shotting and chancing ones arm. Not so - the Hostages under scrutiny are a busy bustling bunch who obviously like to vary the angles from where they swoop and give the listener/reviewer/passing punk pervert much to ponder upon. Elements of anarcho crust, street punk, retro rhythm making, hardcore and expected offspring make this an aural experience to consider over several sessions. Hailing from Hertfordshire with a fair quantity of know-how under their sonically studded belts this crew offer intrigue, awkwardness and a holistic punk rock acoustica that is both raw and well rehearsed and after their initial one gig controversy and split in 2005 it is the punk’s pleasure that they are back and hammering away. So into the low-down we go, but how low shall we go?
'Start The War' opens up with hard hitting reports, separating via debilitating static before the newsreaders coldly state 'Time is running out'. The following explosion of repeater riot making is hurtful and sincere and comes from foamed gobs that want to make an impression - badly so! Deeply piercing madness - no sooner started then over - a swift execution. 'Gaddafodil' continues the poisonous pestilence and the barrage that follows is instantaneous with a greater inflection in the opening guitar strokes noted. My high fuelled spit and spirit flies forth and we are into a similar groove. Things are tightened, accelerators pushed and with a thoughtful dreamoid sequence stuck in the middle of the melee we have a more effective offering than what could have been in lesser hands.
'Violent Society' is a sloppy sounding scum up with a druid-esque edge and weirdo sub-drone between the meat of melodica where under-processed offerings are aplenty and grimy goings on predominate. The Crassite vocalised dirt is honest, the scatter attack moments clattering, the timebomb tick always liable to go up in your face. Potential is obvious but whether or not it is tapped to its maximum is the question posed - the answer being a definite 'no' but with some interesting wanderings to examine further. An oddity with a punch but just missing the full on attention grab! 'Friday' scuzzes inward with a new reel overlay before clumsily staggering around in grubbed radioed haphazard havoc. A stripped down and shagged up scuffle with something half-decent going on beneath the flotsam and jetsam of sound. Guitars get wired up in all ways, the vocal style is still crummy and the drums do well to keep up with the roaming chaos. 'Monster' is a great creeping grind out full of raucous hauntings and ranting deliberateness. The crawl in the rhythm is well founded and produces a good affect with the numerous layers of noise assisting in keeping the bucket of sound full to the brim. All is raw, unwashed and as you were but when given a little less juice the listener has time to appreciate a little more. Nice track and followed by the terse tirade entitled 'Hatred Is The Key'. A real thrash attack with all airwaves corrupted - you know the type of attack - many out there - this is much the same. What this brief bomb blast does though is nicely lead into the efficient undulation of the classier 'Call To Arms (The Bitter Taste)'. Once again Hostages For Smack stray into different sonic lands and this time come up with a subtle beauty that grasps that much sought after balance between what is rough and what is deemed smooth. This, like a gentle rub down with the finest sandpaper, reveals nice touches beneath a surface that could appear a trifle unfinished. The guitars add various grains within the melodic woodwork and the overall flow is pleasurable. Perhaps a little to lengthy but that would be a pedantic point to make - a fair do!
'Teenage Dreams' rises from a seemingly sub-electro Land of Nod before the orgasmic fuck thrust comes and one wonders if this is going to end in nothing less than a wet patch. The humping insistence is delivered with enthusiasm and a perpetual repetitivity which works well in this instance. The pause to allow the maniac within the claustrophobic cage to rant the songs title over and over adds a testing edge and the final wind down comes after what is almost a full on collapse. One of my favourites for some reason - good one! 'Ahoy Britannia' boogies on down before bizarrely stop to squeak like a squashed mouse - how odd! We march on and the main thrust of the song comes with a seared style heaped with the discordant dung of fury. Another squeak insert, more rapid fire raging and eventually through another lengthy chorus eruption into a solo that has reminiscences of a DK flow. I told ya these guys fill the melting pot sky high. A closure that collapses inward and into the hardcore thrash out of the quality 'Dragged Down'. Dirty torn punk rock this with all hands on deck and scrubbing up a sound that splatters sonic suds all over anyone who gets too darn close. A nice piece of shitty sonic mania - one of my faves ya know.
3 left and a detective style intro in to 'Bring The Violence' has me wondering what the fuck this flitting band are up to next. They keep the tension, hold on to the DIY inflection and peel away the layers of verseage to go into a strong and well crafted chorus that shines out from the slightly polluted waters of production. A shifty moving piece that seems almost untrustable but when flowing really does entice you deeper into the melodic mystery. A floating instrumental moment adds more to consider - on we go! 'War Britannia' has a great riff before dissolving into a chorus I am far from entertained by. A messy moment followed by a nice screech out via the guitar. From good to the ugly with a bit of badness in between - shame but still has one thinking. We close with the overstretched yet quite adequate 'Revolutions'. A more stabilised song, a more controlled temperament. The band once more display an insight via a decent crack of the cacophonic whip and come up with a fine closing song that should have been shorter and perhaps a little more obscure. Nonetheless it collects the ingredients together for a fair full stop so why stick the boot in at such a late stage?
Result - a CD that has you challenged, a CD that offers plenty to mull over. Hostages For Smack have my vote of confidence and a 'live' viewing is needed to satisfy my curiosity as to how the band will deliver such diversity. It ain't often you get a band jumping in and out of so many sonic pits so please give em' a bit of your time and good patience - you never can tell.
THE SENTON BOMBS - GAMBIT
The Senton Bombs are not a punk band! The Senton Bombs are not a heavy metal band! The Senton Bombs are not a ska band! The Senton Bombs...just are! Labels sometimes are a drawback and can push bands, unwittingly, into areas and gigging opportunities that really does more damage than good due to the onlooker’s heads being addled and unable to differentiate between outpourings and attitudes. I have given the band in question here a few gigs over the years (my true pleasure) on what I pushed as primarily 'punk' gigs (which indeed they were) but at this stage in proceedings I recommend that the band move out of the punk circle and seek out gigs where new fans can be picked out and their sound doesn't get overlooked. Saying that they still have a couple of gigs for me and on the evidence here it looks like I may be a very lucky chap. Here is a review of their latest album and some explanation as to my thoughts on this band. Good noise, good chaps - good review - maybe!
We commence and into the first episode of sonic sexualised sophistication that hip-thrusts a rock and roll fuck you (literally) and impregnates your mental womb with a genuinely naturalised throbber. 'Experiment' is screwing a deep groove with a sub-ostentatiousness making this a glamorous grind that taps into some cute sonic script work and pulls out all the stops to make a mighty impressive delivery. The inclusion of segments that are less saturated and create stark, punctuated dividers is the sign of a chancer - the result pays off but its a close call dudes. From this one song alone one surely can recognise why I opted to open this textual account with such bold statements - this band has all the armoury to thrive in diverse pools and as if to bolster my opinion we have 10 more power riddled jaunts to sway your thinking. 'Just Visiting' doesn't mess about and after the virginal roughing up the band have their pants back around the ankles and are banging away like good un's yet again. Front gobber Joey salivates as his lyrics wind on down whilst all string assistance is tight, muscular, of metallic intrigue and prone to explosions of flamboyance. Drums need no mention - always a believable battering of organisation, outstanding timing and (especially in the flesh) controlled angst. Two songs, two thriving cuts of living acoustic flesh you need to taste - bite deep now.
The sex and swagger continue to melt into one another’s rhythmic loins with the passion, warmth and deliberate arousal of measured tones all working a treat and undoubtedly getting us all 'Hooked' to the offered orgasm of sound. This arrangement is a top class hooker indeed with crafted and experienced talons knowing every erogenous zone and how to play em' good. Sleek, with push and pause tease sincerity - let the manhood bleed. If the high achieved thus far isn't enough then prepare to be bowled clean off your feet by a song that I personally consider to be one of The Bombs best efforts to date! That honour goes to the thrashing epic known as 'Do Your Job'. A stop and start behemoth that tears up the flow thus set, moves on into echelons of relished rhythm and over-flowing rock Nirvana and lets you have it right between the eyes. All players are in exact cohesion, the gob is salivating again with the 'job' at hand and is perfectly encouraged by the unified shouts of the title. Superb succulent sonica - this one is dripping with juice! The electrified break is shockingly effective - the whole meltdown just grows by the minute!
'Highflyer' goes back to a more persuasive march with a regulated grind displaying the characteristics of each noise creator and allowing them to be interrogated individually. You would be darn lucky to find any fault within the weave of this side-winding stranglehold and as the rotations increase the grip gets tighter. A full on production, more skilled attention, a mouth-watering style to the whole shebang and this sonic serpent fills you with intoxicating venom that has ye convulsing in appreciation of a band at new heady heights and unwilling to come back down to earth. Flashing on and 'Retired' is still soaring stuff and after a prodding and poking opening sequence the groove we seek is located with the band cruising along from verse to chorus with belief and stunning professionalism (in its purist form). The mix and methodology reek of a process where the band have poured in their entire hearts and souls and the dividends have been paid by the precision of each note and utterance. Guitars break through the cacophonic curtain and make rude but necessary cameos whilst the unrelenting delivery of the more blatant presence hits us with tidal wave power. There are good energy levels to this song and when pushing harder we are taken to yet more convincing realms. How the fuck are this band getting overlooked?
'Sick Speed' turns it over with a nice electrified sequence of intensity before a crawling approach is adopted. The usual teasing tones are added, the sub-sleaziness an added bonus, the marksmanship of the players admirable, the general tension created cute and the hunky man's man inflection when the beef-caked yells are entered make for an intriguing song. 'Gambit' hot heels in pursuit with a raw open wound of noise that is much welcome - you can't be slick all the time! This one is perhaps the most difficult song to adapt to despite having the usual trimmings and funky frills. The flow is regular but there is a slight loss of 'ooomph' and the band seem to be juggling several ideas about and never really settling on a winning end formula. The weakest track of the bunch and only at the extreme latter end do the band find the target. 'Nine Of Hearts' begins with the grooviest vibe interspersing the flash Harry guitar twist with a grumble of bass and a twattering of sticks. A roll and into superb Sentonian Bomb World where the band rule the roost via their magnificent musicianship. An unflappable nonchalance glides through the seedy systematics of the song and with the usual slick finish, various rhythmic hyphenations and exhibitionist necessities we have another golden nugget on our hungry hands. Take time to dissect the individual players and examine the 4 wobbling wires, the 6 strings of steel (12 in fact), the beating of the barrels and the oral satisfaction proffered - utterly lush dude!
2 left folks (wow where has this one gone) and into 'Yellow Rebels' we go with a tribal beat and some heavy, heavy bass. There corrosive guitars follow and as expected so do the stated segments of the first verse. Spatiality increases via the chorus and the whole song comes together as yet another prime identifiable cut from a band on the charge. After a moment of tense deliberation we wind upward to the finale in glorious fashion with encouraging unified shouts of 'Hey' - masterclass baby! The finale and the horror opening of 'Jackals'. Jowls salivate, the bastards that will take all are there, the Senton Bomb machine is functioning at a rate beyond compare - really in the zone. An acute drilling sensation is the main effect that strikes ones attention to the fore as well as the usual thirst to play one helluva mean tune. The melody gets mushed and mashed via a basic one strum intercut that builds to a cloying instrumental - a raping rhythm, a pause, the life is re-injected, the band throb to the closure - collision course is...achieved.
A great album this and one, as a fan, I have expected, wanted and in truth fuckin' demanded. The band have always had it in them and here is 100% proof of a fine band that has been left too long out in the cold. The band should go forth now and branch out and, given minds and ears are open, then this lot will win a mighty league of fans from numerous sub-circles - then again the music scene is a foul enclosure full of disregarding fools happy to swim safely rather than risk a fling in unknown depths - here's hoping for justice.
GIMP FIST/LAST ROUGH CAUSE - LAST ORDERS
Earthy, honest and specifically working class with no ambition to be anything else. Punk rock can be found in many places but when looking for something of this ilk then try a cobblestoned backstreet and choose one the many facing windows. Let yourself be led inside by the mucky mitt and let your ears, eyes and soul take in a view of a sincere soap box drama. Both bands are well versed in their noisy niche, both bands provide both ample sonic sawdust and passionate polish and what we get here is a complimentary two-way shafting via the insightful quality of two excelent crews. Both bands have appeared on Fungal jaunts in the past, both bands seem to be doing alright for themselves in today's oversaturated market and the ones in the know will, like me, be expecting a darn good do here - we shall see!
The curtain goes up, the first brigade to appear are Gimp Fist and in we go to a strong, regular riffed up effort christened with the title of 'Them And Us'. Out of a dramatic vortex a bass line crawls and is soon pursued a stringed beast that splashes and shuffles with drums insisting the surge gets underway immediately. The verse that hits us first is unwashed, highly recognisable as the band in question and full of those bold and honest sonic strokes they mingle into one and create a strengthy starting point. The chorus is easy as you were without nothing outrageous to report - the band are here, all present and correct and it seems, still ploughing out the usual, high quality product. I said it years ago that this was one of the best Oitfits out there - I stand by that and track 2, 'Day In Day Out' keeps my opinion reinforced. Old style bog basic lyrics, a fair tinned up opening sequence that clouds over and erupts into a storm that is both straight forward, from the heart and etched with a desperation to break away from the old routine we working class warriors fall victim to - no matter how hard we persevere. The familiarity of the words, the unaffected candour and the documentary style sensation that emanates from the rugged noise make for a sound some will just not appreciate but the gritted, spitted and calloused handed will love.
Next and a cover of a song that is a fuckin' treat. The song is 'The Violent Few' and was originally puked forth by, Last Rough Cause. To do a cover of a band you are appearing on a split CD with is both complimentary and highly risky, the latter being particularly so because if this ain't up to scratch - ooomph - the Fungal boot flies in. Need I worry? Need Last Rough Cause worry? Of course not - with hands safer than Peter Shilton the GF trio catch the sonic ball, dribble it around their own chosen pitch and rattle the back of the noisesome net with a fizzing pearler. The textures, the slightly chiaroscuro touches of oral emotion and the superb caressing melody all make this a great homage to a fine bunch and a great song too. Played with an almost arrogant casualness and unflustered aplomb Gimp Fist show their class and nail a fuckin' crackerjack. A classic made into another classic - choice!
'Count On You' is a marvel with spirited gob opening alone before the fine concrete reliability of more words and musicianship pours in. True hearts, true minds - sing as one to this anthemic piece and dedicate to the few who really can be called upon in times of desperation - very few I know but what a great song to pay heed to em'. The construction is relatively simple yet this band do something miraculous with the whole concoction and give it absolute conviction. REPEAT - I told you ages ago that this was the best Oi band around - many now agree, some still need to wake up - LISTEN UP NOW! 'Same Old Story' is Gimp Fist's last offering and is one of those industrial urbanised chimney smoked outpourings that the band do efficiently and without any fuss and fannying. Guitar is scratched and gently scathing, sticks bustling and without frills, bass grumbling like a good un' - it's all identifiable stuff. One for the rough and ready backstreet, frontstreet crew - up yer arse, down yer throat - eat it - Gimp Fist are still doing the business.
And so to Last Rough Cause, a delectable band who play their noise with less aggression and obvious Oi influence but who, when given time, get their point and passion across and please this Fungal twat no end. 'Home Is Where The Heart Is' repetitively tumbles around before discovering its dittified destiny and casual strolling through the first verse with such delicacy and yet such labouring appeal. The chorus is an echo of the songs title several times over with dissecting 'Whoa hoa's' and crash, splash cymbalisation. That's yer lot throughout and despite whipping the chorus to buggery in the final stretch the last gutsy vocal burst helps save the day and make this a bloody good sing-a-long number. Right up the arse of this number is the chasing and contrasting 'Out With The Drinking Crew'. A song for the ale swilling lads who like a good blow out and a break from the weeks toil. One of the most raucous tracks ever to spring from the soiled sonic loins of the LRC crew and my how nicely they do fare. With a shit-shovelling impetus, a boisterous intent and a firm injection of pace this one is a bit of a stormer and pulls no punches as to what it is - a good fuckin' tear up and nothing less - all join in, sup, sing and sup some more!
Now it’s the turn of this crew to dish forth an effort of their fellow residents on this CD and the choice is quite pleasing indeed and a trifle apt. 'Common Ground' is a fine song full of embracing punk earnestness and celebratory kinship with a sound driving force blowing our way and being nothing short of magnetic. We get drawn in because our primitive punk instinct will not be denied and the fluster and bluster of the billowing noise is ours to get blasted in. Again another one to involve yourself with and one for those who are draped in punk belief. Just one of those that does what it says on the tin and needs little in the way of explanation. Ascending with care is the rage against the systems of punishment and the way they let down the victim and the community as a whole leaving us completely bewildered by the whole regime. A short fast punching piece filled with an underlying plea for an explanation. Swift with the tightness in the delivery secured 'No Justice' has certain appeal to certain crowds - again nothing outrageous or ground breaking but rugged enough and with a good kick to be worthy of your time.
The last blast is entitled 'The Worst Week Of My Life' and again has a criminal angle, a victims view and a disgruntlement with the powers that be. Like listening to a tale in a pub from a woe begotten bloke this is another highly approachable song full of a certain naiveté and 70's sub-pop punk essence that is just hard to pin down - a somewhat Herman's Hermits/Undertones hybrid given a streetpunk make-over perhaps? A good feistiness in the fist of the melody captivates and I reckon Last Rough Cause wrap up this CD in sweet style.
So before the review I was a fan of both bands and after the CD I am still enthralled. It may be nothing new under the sun, the bands may be sticking to the sonic streets they know best but sometimes, just sometimes, that's all an outfit needs do. If you like this kind of noise then you would be an utter twat to let this slip by. Thoroughly entertaining and believable!
ANTI-VIGILANTE - TEMPEST
From deep tragedy great forces can arise and remarkable reserves of inspiration tapped. Those that have great fortune to witness such unpolluted powers of musical passion at work can be left nothing short of captivated and enthralled. After a period of such appalling misfortune (losing ones drummer (Oli Smith RIP) to abdominal cancer isn't easily summed up and apologies for not finding the words to sum up the loss) Anti-Vigilante have come back firing hard, re-motivated and with a vengeance to make us fuckin' listen up. There is a thrashing vitality about this outpouring with an especial touch of emotion that is riddled with exact pain and soulful insight. It is a very educated, forthright and accomplished piece of labour and here is a review that hopefully encapsulates everything admirable about this quality unit.
A bold unsettling riff escorted by serpentine saxiness, with hints at something full of promise (not necessarily Eastern), we are led to the sub skank-rap that soon unfolds into yet more strengthy sonica - continue. 'Go Outside And Play' encourages, praises and says thanks with tribute paid to the noise we all love and adore. The power in the poison that is poured forth by the AV aggressors is impressive and as we wrap back around to something Egyptoid and then the final closing strum we are left quite taken by this tirade against the lifestyle soaked in vicarious idleness. Straight ahead and into the switching and twitching skill of 'As Good Men Do Nothing'. A call to the masses (wasted breath I reckon) but this band do it with downright belief you can't help but listen up. With many crushing hammer blows, power inserts, violent attacks and techno-twat abouts that succeed in the main (especially when interspersed with awesome explosions) this is a song to consider over a lengthy period of time. I am still totally undecided but recognise some masterful quality anyway! 'The Rot' is the best thus far with punctuated, hepped up ska, amazing urgency and a right boot up the arse of the un-motivated idler for letting things slip through the fingers of life. An easy void to slip into so take heed punters, punkers and spunkers. When the song decides to really unleash itself the restraining sonic skin (that is always mightily taut) ruptures and reveals a buzz bang bomb drop of high quality artistry gushing and pushing in many directions at the simple drop of a top hat. All weapon bearers keep in stride and the vocal commander encourages both his fellow crew and the outside eavesdropper to stay enthralled. Wonderful modern edged punkage - this is the 21st century you know!
The wise assed style of delivery for 'Be On The Watch' for me is a slight contradiction of the subject matter that deals with the peddlers of fashion, fantasy and pure fuckin' falsehoods. They tell you this is how one should look so the masses fall in love with something similar and make their ideal man or woman a lustful icon bred by pre-programmed nonsense they can't refuse. Great subject matter and highlighting the power of the advertising, brain-washing, self-crushing beast that is an omnipresent curse that wants to bleed your character away and replace it with a goggle-eyed, slack jawed disciple. The sex on the internet, the roles on TV - we are all being fucked and we don't know it. Back to the aforementioned contradiction - I don't know - maybe I am wrong but a feeling of something just bordering on the machismo niggles me but despite that (perhaps unfounded) flaw the song has a graceful yet self-assured approach that keeps just on coming and coming without any concern for what has gone. Very direct, demanding and accurate of opinion - not the best on the CD but certainly a necessity to the mix. 'Create The Fear, Sell The Solution' judders, rises and crashes about with unflinching intensity before blossoming into a bold riffed apart number that strikes yet another supportive chord. Seemingly destined to be a consistent big hitting number we are given a lighter sequence where distinction between the layers is had. Machine-like in many parts this one is an unremitting blare-out you will love or hate. Here's my cross in the box - one up to the love campaign!
'Remember Jean Charles De Menezes' is a brutal orgy of noisy overspill that jackhammers its way inwards and shakes your soul into a listening stance. The ordeal of a mum having to wake up and find her son killed by a police squad rank with fear and paranoia is the theme and after the busy bee is let out of the box we snake forth, grind out a cruddy riff and sub-rap to a gargantuan chorus that batters and splatters the word. Industrialised grinds flow through the next rant before blowing steam and ram-rodding home the message. Listen big you shits - this is lush booming music and AV are right on the ball. To convince me further the flesh is sliced from the bone with a razor sharp guitar intro that is supported by bold drums and splashed cymbalisation before a positive yell of 'We Keep On Trying'. Great stuff and after the rapid scuttle of wordage we are punished brutally via a dense bombardment of rib-cracking blows before an ultimate slam of determination, belief and utter refusal is slapped into your thick fuck face. Superb stuff culminating in crescendo after crescendo all built on foundations of big technical riffomania. A feeling of sensational spirit and knowing ones own mind is blatant here and I fuckin' love it. 'Count Your Blessings' is the track of the CD for sure and one of the songs of the year to boot. Suck on that then!
'The Heresey Of Cynicism' opens with a fluttering mystical quality before rapping out lyrical content promoting compassion and damning the ways of the human race and that age old excuse 'survival of the fittest (or is that shittest)'. The sub-flamenco mode operates onwards before morphing into a solid bout of scuffled skank. The colours of the cacophony intensify and change at will with all complimentary and swirling. Its another big thumbs up especially as the running length is a risk and pays off so well - mmmm- make note - clever bastards getting carried away - must pounce when the error comes ha, ha! 'Push On Through' hit’s a spot with me with its accurate advice and belting rhythm. A natural, more intrinsically simple structure is uncovered and, if heard as a one off, wouldn't do the band justice (even though the song has weight, substance and great production values). As part of the collection here though the songs thrives and this one is a song not to disregard. Class as is the moving, heart wrenching honesty of 'Song For A Friend'. A tribute to the drummer Oli Smith who left the band at the hands of cruel fate but whom will be more than proud to hear what the band have produced here for a close friend who is obviously sorely missed. A choice touch that says a lot about the players - nice one.
So we come to the closure and 'Quam Minimum Credula Postero' which is an erudite song that preaches well and requests we don't put too much faith in the next day but concentrate on the here and now and learn from the past. Well written and well executed the band sign off with glory and show their appreciation to the noise, the circuit, the players within and the strife of life (which can make you a far better person). Another jaunt stretching over ye 4 minute barrier and not offending me in the slightest - how good is that?
That's me done then and a big hats off to a band battling on, hitting it big time and coming forth with a darn decent piece of product. Get off yer ass, loosen your restrictions and dabble with the mush squirting out from this superb unit. More than happy with this and the next time they are up this end I hope to check em' out and give em' an equally congratulatory review. AV rock - come and say thank you and enjoy the din! Do not miss out a read of the lyrics either - some good shit in there!
SEGISMUNDO TOXICOMANO - KE NO CUNDA EL PANICO
Segismundo Toxicómano are a punk-rock band from Vitoria, Basque Country, pouring out their sonic shit since 1997. These sonic Spaniards are a mix of many sub-styles but in general combine street vibes with slight hardcore overtones to come up with an interesting flustered mix of discordance. The band have some good statistics and some sound foundations with much experience within that does indeed serve them well. Only 8 tracks to get my mushroomed mitts on this time and so the assessment goes a something like this.
'Kien Vigila Al Ke Vigila' watches its step and makes sure a fiery trail is had with a 100% all action stance taken and held on to from first to last. The blaze begins, strings tighten, drums unfold the song and we yell forward into a surge oozing insistence. A fast paced effort with the frontman delivery an epileptic fizz of wordage over the layers of bubbling musicianship that is given extra skip and battle ready belief via the fine assortment of stickwork. The harmonised passion is well packaged and whilst in full control the ST union provide that essential danger element where you feel they are going to overspill into a mulch of over-intoxicated discordance. They don't and thank fuck indeed - not a bad start but outstripped by the far more effective 'Contra El Muro', a song that has more organisation and, may it be said, traditionalism in the tuneage. That should be a criticism but in this instance it is a definite compliment and despite a certain procedure the band throw in numerous cuts and turns that one can consider. The splash around sound is done with such tireless vigour and animated forcefulness that one finds one in the middle of a storm happy being saturated by the unending needles of noise. The spanking sonic seizure we are given flails with electrified impulses and natural instinct and thus avoids criticism of any kind. A song very much alive and fuckin' kicking!
'La Ciudad Del Fango' attempts an eerie haunting and instead ends up as an ambiguous piece of pointless dabbling. The effort is soon whipped into shape with high-roasted rhythm eventually igniting into a tune that has all the bands usual ingredients but leaves me a little unsure - now what's that about? The trouble is it seems is that the song has an unsettled rhythm throughout and is one that doesn't keep still long enough to fully grasp the essence of. Similar to trying to photograph an Asparagus Beetle - you get everything in focus and then the bugger eludes you by a subtle shake of the ass (in this case the acoustic one). A song I am sure is better than I deem but one I don't really like - and I don't know why! 'Incontinencia' has an industrial chug that pupates into a straight ahead rapid fire blast with all players getting back on a more regulated rhythmic track. Interspersed with confident bellows, shook up with shuffling strings and highly charged sticks the pace is reckless but yet again a crash is avoided and Segismundo Toxicomano do their business well and meet their own set standards. The final wind up is particularly effective here!
The next brace is made up of 'Un Dia De Furia' and 'Celdas', 2 more songs that are overflowing with hungry fuel that is lit and inflames the whole cacophonic arena and so produces the expected conflagration we are now familiar with. The former song is blinkered somewhat and has a target in the distance and runs like fuckin' mad to get there. The latter effort has more character and arm-chancing moments whilst still holding onto the sharp edge the band do well to deliver over and over. Opening out into yet more harmonised moments further triumph is had and of course further interest. Blazing away these two go and yet...why am I still uncertain as to whether or not I fully like this band - odd indeed!
'Since 1997' slams, rumbles, thinks about it, screws inward and then eventually flows. More shouty vocals, the usual of escort wires and skins, the unified bellows and what we get is some more of the same. The 'Whoa hoa's' add extra life, the solo is cruising at a fair rate of knots, the song travels at pace without remorse and is over before the 3 minute mark - it's OK but it is what the band do and no chances are taken. 'La Hora Del Chacal' follows in the footsteps of all that has passed and as a stand alone is the well-structured, sonic blast I would predict was coming but as a tail track it is now a little too much. Therein my earlier indecision lies - over a couple of tracks the crew make a fair impression but anything longer and I find myself drifting off. Is this a flaw with what you get delivered?
A bonus track is offered and yes you guessed it - need I explain? So a CD that started well (no matter what track you begin with) and ended on a too easily recognised piece (no matter where you end). Too much of the same albeit top notch quality and brimming with a lust for life - just how the opinion is and all I can do, yet again is, repeat myself - as if I have to, and be honest. If you like the bands previous stuff you'll fuckin' relish this but if you like things varied and unexpected you may end up like me - frustrated and slightly disappointed.
TRIGGER McPOOPSHUTE - COUGHING UP A PELLET
Hailing from the bowels of Wales these vulgar merchants of backdoor (or is that back passage) punk rock played two slots on a weekend charity gig I did earlier this year (2012) and really caught my eyes and ears with their commitment, good fun tunes and general fine attitude. Fond of a piss up, fond of a good racket I was looking forward to getting my mitts on a bit of product from this band and here we have a feisty 6 numbers to roll over the sonic palette, spit out and re-digest before coming up with a verdict. Munch, chew, spit, swallow - blah!
'American Manc' is a charming tune with vicious lyrics against a deviant US nob rot who is palming himself off (in many ways) as something he really ain't. No beating around the bush here (mind you given the chance I bet they would) and the TM tribe hurtle forth with a really enjoyable ditty that has good rhythm, crude lyrical content, a pisshead charm. You gotta smile, swill and jig whilst listening to this and that is all the crew wanna do. The growled vocal style adds extra punk identity, the instrumental is brief and simplistic and the overall construct of the same mould - what the hell - it is a likeable track nonetheless. 'Sheep' hits nastily at the followers of sub-cultural fashion who have individual intellects on a par with a tick turd and a moral high-ground of about 1 inch (just like their nob size). We strain in, chant along with the usual forthright attack, occasionally burst with pure invective, take time out to be jarred by a swift bass buzz and then crack on to the finish line where one manic flourish of the unified gobs hits us. Nice!
'Glory Hole Viper' is a slower, evil little song packed with raw DIY noise, diseased insight and usual crass yet accurate wordage. The wagglers of the worm whom find pleasure through those secret circles where chopper gobblers await are given a tanning via a tirade of the lowliest order. If punk didn't exist then where the fuck would this crew 'ply their trade - a remand centre for the mentally crippled? I shouldn't like it and of course there are many aspects to criticise but it is what it is and Trigger McPoopshute are doing what they want to do. The fouled flavours emanating from these tuneful turds somehow attract and for that I beg thy forgiveness. 3 down and not bad at all! Next an insight into the alcoholic world of this band and their followers (in this case a chap called Plug). The song entitled 'Plug’s House' (as featured on the latest Underdogs Morsels collection) is one of my faves and has a sincere honesty, unpretentious approach to hanging around with a carefree, forever welcoming pisspot who sounds like a decent guy who goes with the flow (especially the beer one). After the initial bleary-eyed discussion the drums tap in, the guitar picks up a vibe and then the rough and ready vocals follow. A good verse to jig too, a chorus to let things dangle a little more, a rawness that keeps things believable and a tale you can relate to if tippling is your thing.
'Give And Take' is a saga of the strap on she fiends who duly donate and receive via the duffel-bag or ring-piece dependent on your range of vocabulary. A rock and roll vibe ensues that is easy to get into (just like the lasses under scrutiny it seems). The verse is bellowed out with insane relish, the shuffle that pursues neat and the chorus structured and enjoyably moronic and vulgar ha, ha. I love the line in this song that states this butt slut enthusiast will 'bust your washer'. Looking at the picture alongside the lyrics I do believe she will. Again I shouldn't titter but I do - guilty as charged. We close with the bands signature tune (and warning to anally vulnerable women everywhere) 'Trigger McPoopshute'. An ending that is finger licking good and one that is a rusted, mistrusted, crudely thrusted this way, that way and the way you really don't want to know about. A caustic sound you will be soon singing along with - what accursed creatures we punkers are!
So 6 tracks and not a bad do. The band are equally effective and similar in the 'live' toss box and so provided they don't overdo the same old themes, keep things fresh and penetrate the sonic shitter from varied angles I expect they'll entertain many a potential pooper along the way. Poop on!
GUMS - A GLASGOW SUMMER
And yet another Plimptonian side project, this one straying away from the punky circle (that's if you ever considered The Plimptons to be punk) and more towards the outer peripheries of alternative, experimental and somewhat sub-anarchic quirkiness. Add to the ingredients members from the Orphans, Collar Up and Headless Kross and the end result is a poignant packed dish to ruminate upon and then change ones mind over. I like the fact that this crew dish up rhythmic riddles to solve and come in from obscure niches where there is much to fathom and fuck around with. A full punked out mouthwash taken, a following sterilisation as regards influence and in I go with all assessing facets clear and neutral.
'A Glasgow Summer' slowly undulates on crisp guitar caresses with accented sub-whispered vocals escorting gently and providing a more subdued feel. Hope and depression combine, a distant 4 tap and the soundscape opens up into a fresher tone where the look back stance has brighter appeal. A hint at aforementioned glumness infringes on the expectation and before the sun sinks we are done. An opening gambit that sets a scene - played well, textured throughout and nothing more. Judgement reserved until the full sextet of soundage unfolds. 'A Long Walk In The Rain' isn't expected and the looney tunes opening, the fondness of times that should have been miserable coupled with the fragile honesty of the female gob work, the morose interruptions of man mouth and the general upbeat sensation make this a real paradoxical challenge to mull over repeatedly. The contrast with the initial outburst, the continuation of something emotive but unpredictable still has me scratching my singed bonse - wait on will ya?
'The Middle Of The Year' resonates with bassism, aches with a melancholic depression, meanders on heavy notes that seem to be only played under duress and is a song that should not be played when feeling lowly (it goes without saying). The attempt at something dreary is achieved but this is definitely a song that is not my bag. In fact it makes me almost ill - sorry chaps but I'm bailing here and moving on – cluck, cluck. 'Park Weather' begins with dirtied guitar and gets moving with desire. Somewhat serious in tone, lightened and fluffified by a sub-chorus that harmonises well and induces one to take closer heed. One of those songs that is no sooner started than done and a bit of a twat to grasp - I am still uncertain as I write this - it sounds good but is that enough - you tell me! 'Paw Prints' negates the probable high and goes back to the sorrowful swanning about with this dreary song laden with dense and droning emotion. This one, unlike track 3, rises slightly above the pit but I am still skeptical folks. It is articulate, creeps steadily, has a dream-like content but just takes a trifle too long to inspire - a frustrating piece.
The closure comes via a tune called 'Why Is It Spring' and still we struggle through the melodic mire until a backing vocal addition refreshes the acoustic fields and gives us more promise and feeling. The essence during these fragments is as though from the sixties and I reckon if the crew go full tilt at a Mama's and Papa's punkoid release therein may lay massive success - think about it.
I am hesitant of this effort and although have liked the other off-shoots from The Plimptons stable I just reckon this one gets a nod towards the negative side. That isn't to say this isn't an adequate attempt and is played sweetly - it just doesn't do much for me. A few highs, deliberate lows and 'no' - I just don't like this enough to give the thumbs up. But, and a big but at that...check em' out yourself and then feedback - I am no means conceited enough to believe I am right all of the time (if at all - bah).
THE MACHINES - SELF TITLED
Formed in 1977 and lasting until 1978 (now that's the punk spirit) and then reforming back in 2006 The Machines offer up a flavour obviously steeped in the expected traditions but also add a little bit more so making a discordance that is appreciated for what it offers and how it is constructed. Threads of yesteryear and today intertwine to create a musical sub-montage that will cover the age range (if you allow it) and tickle the tetchy, torn and twatted ears of those intrigued by the span of time and how music crosses the aging bridges. Having played The Vortex and The Roxy, had reviews from none other than Mr Peel and dabbled with other musical arenas there is much to ponder and assess before digit hits key. The main crux of the matter however is do the band have anything to offer in this fast track age and how on earth do they hope to stand out from the ever-swelling crowd. Here is the Fungal view on which to stew - I may miss the point completely or then again...
'Racing' kicks in, exudes old school rock 'n' roll alternatives, sticks to a basic regime, undulates with eager tones and is nothing more than decent tuneage that is built on music’s most primitive instincts. No deep profundity, no political sniping, no sexualised swagger - just a bare-boned effort for you to enjoy. It ain't bad at all if I be honest but I am something of a nut for the old persuasive chord and when things are stripped to the ass then my fervour inevitably increases. 'Cyclone' is, in my humble estimation, an even sparser track with discordant cupboards left even barer. A repeater style with an underlay of twinkling wank off guitar, interrupting strokes that come from harder realms and clear vocals that get the message regarding the old whizzing powder across. I should find fault here but maybe I am losing the plot because I really can't find an error. The construction lacks intricacy, the overall sensation invokes similar aural memories but...it isn't a bad track at all. Opening drums encourage, the slide into the groove is clichéd but works and the easy composite charms and is no sooner played than stuck in the noggin - oooh the aggravation.
'Perfect Black' is a rally call with a mean groove that is to the point, a repeated over and over riff, a plodding pace and yet again a simplistic format. This one doesn't actually rise from the silver circle and grab you by the throat and yet is highly listenable although it does wear a little thin after several back to back spins. It is played easy enough and the band are confident in their own specific style - OK - nothing more. 'Pirate Times' continues the steady pace and refuses to erupt and chance ones arm with rude/crude interruptions. The mellow sensation is of a cruising mode, the guitars are treated with care, the drums tickled rather than twatted, the vocals identifiable and too harsh - overall another middling track that plays it a little too safe. Again I feel unable to slate but also unable to rate - see what I mean folks. 'Weekend' is much more like it with foaming zest, a real reek of yesteryear, enough of a sprinkling of today and that easy as you go approach that thrives with life when delivered just like this. The guitars combine wonderfully and swirl up the sounds with drums busy and scuttling away with tidy zest. The band feel more up for it here and that is what encourages us, the listener, to take greater notice. A good move and into the best of the lot with the sub-narration cum ditty called 'Girl In Black'. A stunning moment that applies the perfect inflection to a song about a disaster we are well versed with if our punky knowledge is on the ball. A warning via the confident story-lined swagger and a tale regarding a drop into a maelstrom of disaster and death. The smooth flow from verse to chorus is precise and gratifying and this is just one of those great songs to play over and over and ultimately never tire of.
A machine gun rattle, a cool dude bass alongside a stubborn, demanding tap, swinging riffs and in we go to the inner meat of 'Chain Gang'. A fair persuasive route is taken, a chorus that is nothing out of the ordinary chases and a subdued section that adds extra character is donated. The instrumental follows, it isn't bad and we flow onwards to the final repeatoid blast. Again Ok and only saved by the none too fussy mode and good production. 'Parent Zone' is once more drenched with early punk attitude and is a fair old belt despite being of a distinct and somewhat obvious routine. Vocally the song works with the players keeping attentive to the theme and making this an anthem for the frustrated teenager who just wants to breathe and be free. We all remember the parental pressure and breakaway desire we suffered from - listen to this and relive those tense times. The mix yet again is exact and the band do themselves fair justice. 'Sue This Song' offers a drum beat before giving a nice nagging drawn out undulation that is now recognised as typical output. The vocals verge of the precipice of collapse but scrape by due to the instrumental intrusions. Without elaboration, over in a tick - fair enough chaps. We shut down with the more meaner edge of 'Don't Be Fooled' which buzzes, slides, cuts and swaps around in small doses and is another clean cut of intrinsically simplified noise. Again, the song is very much what the band make it and brings forth the usual identification points - read into that what you will.
As well as the tracks reviewed you get 6 'live' bonus offerings from the bands early 77/78 days. Rough as fuck but a nice glimpse into the sounds of yesteryear and, in a primitive way, appealing to my love of under-rehearsed, under-produced musical muck. Overall my recommendation for this CD would be to the retro rockers and the collectors of the obscure. There are some genuine highs and a few that just come and go without much fuss but what intrigues me the most is what the band could bring to the table in about 6 months, if that is, they get writing some new stuff. We can wait and see - hint, hint!
THIRTINAS - END OF...
If I told you that this 4-piece contained two members of that deviant three-piece 3CR then I am sure the first few things you would do is lock away your Grandmothers used panties (yes that's how serious things have become), put a cork up yer jacksie and get out your underhand mail order catalogue out to purchase 3 tit doorbells, a brace of novelty cock watches and a packet of fanny flap gum to chew on whilst pondering the contents of this CD (I blame ye not). Its true that the guitarist Shaun Shit has several convictions for selling the dead skin of prostitutes and that Keith Willocks (on drums) has had an affair with the 4.28 steam engine from Preston Central (chug, shag, chug). Looking beyond these two crippling factors and taking the band into consideration as a new entity what we get is a fairly crime-free concoction playing a style of music that tiptoes into folkish, hippy, commune-dwelling realms and then creeps back into something with a harder edge. No definite pigeonhole can be had and that, along with the crystalised utterances from the frontless, causes intrigue. Viewed a couple of times, reviewed on CD once - so far not a bad do at all – now, as the vicar said to the laundry maid ‘what about this full lengther’.
Opening wide with the untamed assault of 'Yeah, Yeah, Yeah' you get, in one swift blow (non-sexual due to the drummer not keeping his dental appointments), a real taste for the output of this crew and the style that they are determined to stick to. Alternative (to what is deemed the norm on the supposed punk circuit), harmonious in parts, downright disruptive in others and, in this instance, lacking a necessary lucidity in the vocal area. The trill is sweet, the execution not as utterly acute as my ears would like but therein is why we get a distinctive tone to mull over. The guitars tinker around, drums hammer then caress, the drive is intermittently broken but when the title yells come we get more enthused. The claustrophobic sensation that arises from the lyrics makes for a real conundrum and at this early stage I'll settle for a vote of 50/50. Tinned drums rattle, retro bass captures attention, a great vibe and holler make for a solid intro. The front lass opens her orifice (now, now mother) and expels a fair level of toneage that is heightened by backing 'whoa's, good rusted and trusted musicianship (that sees the players extend themselves) and a new found passion for a noise that could be deemed as 'awkward' (which always gets my vote). I like this one (called 'Deadly Scents' by the way) and the more orthodox construction attracts to a loftier degree.
Moving on to the more experimental and obscure 'End Of...' title track no less! Starting funked then screwing up with grimed affect before the banshee wail invades and the conflicting mix fights to retain its folky lilt. Industrious, cold, carrying over the insecurity within the weave but, what perhaps makes this one of the most impressive tracks, is the directness and more forceful intent. The inner break of alternative tribalism and the blinkered wind down to the last blast add extra fight - yes - good work all round. Subdued guitars, and the commencement of one of the most attractive tracks with 'Demons In My Head' surely the style where The Thirtinas will have most triumph. Confident, laden with a greater degree of erudite sonic positionings, and a song in no rush to impress but oh so sure that the delicate touches will win favour. It isn't quite the 100% finished article but it has all the potential. Maybe a better production and perhaps a few small twiddlings here and there - just something to spice up an already fair track. 'Nowhere To Hide (Loaded Gun)' chops in next with a Smithonian (Patti that is) venom that sharply cuts the acoustic air and makes a fair impression. Via this track come thoughts that this crew thrive better when the foot is gently pressed on the accelerator (like the previous track) or at nearly full temperamental throttle like here whereas when caught in between they somewhat miss out. Take this offering and the pursuing rattle of 'Outta Control' and consider the rapid urgency, judge alongside track 4 then mull over and see how they fair as a contrasting, complimenting unit as regards all other tracks - somewhat better methinks. For me this inner trio are fine examples of potential to be tapped - the future could be brighter than what any of us think.
'The Hum' begins with a lush and living rhythm before peeling away into a lucid, spacious, hippy skip delight that breaks down into corroded hesitancy. When the flow picks its own ass up again success is higher and we have a track that excels via the verse, avoids strict routine, dabbles but stays within set limits and comes forth as a decent listen. Make that 4 good un's in a row. 'Crushed' bares its soul via hollowed openings before burrowing down into emotive layers and aching pages of retrospective regret. A minor ballad build on heartfelt foundations and natural application. The avoidance of pace, fuzzed injections and trying to be punkish makes for a unpolluted degree of success and for me this is another area where the band should stray into. A really believable song that reinforces the fact I have always known to be true - that when punkers leave the restricting confines of that genre they shine brighter and find out a little more about their own talent. I love this one - beautiful. 'ConDem' alternatively experiments and keeps all areas somewhat hygienic and then rolls forward into a song that is less appealing than its predecessor but has something to examine more carefully and consider. The problem is that there is now a set structure as such and the song is rather plain but somehow rescued from the doldrums of ditty hell by various switches in application that are best described as a conflicting couple known as laid back and slightly imposing. Both partners are subtle in their approach and I suspect lose that 'instant whack' appeal but take time, listen carefully - this ain't total crud. In fact it rises slightly above the average barrier unlike 'Capital Punishment' which is the bands low point and falls in on itself with a lack of direction, too much meandering tossology and just a mundane flavour that thrills not one jot. A shame as the CD was going so well but this is a difficult area to master over a long haul and only the most well versed minstrels within this generic pool succeed. Not to worry - the only total dud thus far which I think is fuckin' good going - especially when one considers I add my assessing steel capped boots all polished and ready to kick fuck out of the whole collection.
'Tribal' darkly hypnotises, has an underscore of infecting attraction, works well as a persistent grind of threatening prose that warns us of the perils out there with dogs and knives at the ready as well as their limited intellects tuned to the art of theft. A song to pluck out every now and again and admire for the stalking style and unorthodox approach that works greater with repetition. Onwards and 'Section 13' is troubled, unwilling to commit and tiptoes to the fore with care. The initial trepidation has me reaching for the rubberstamp marked 'Turkey' but after a few almost unhinged backing vocals the front lady opens her heart and lungs and gives the song a Joie de vivre that is so fucking essential. Note to the band from this humble bigot - don't be unsure of thyself - commit, follow it through and puke up thy enthusiasm - the hungry ones will lap it up.
'Soft Porn Hit Parade' next and a pop at the state of play today when the natural is overlooked for a creation built on a cunt for cash structure where the gullible are lured into a cheap trick thrill for 5 minute satisfaction. The band tackle this with a spiteful and angry edge that could be a little more venomous and a little more controversial - say it how it is - consequences create consideration. A tad too laid back for such a hot topic and the band perhaps have missed out here with a penultimate crack at a passionate explosion. The whole sincerity of the piece is taken away by a lads call of 'Show us yer botty hottie' - faux pas indeed! We close with 'Glory Days' which has a bit of vim and vigour but stutters occasionally, and seems to be afraid to grab the sonic bull by the horns (or balls if ye prefer) and fuckin' let us have it. The 'Bill and Ben' sub-yodel is a nice experimental touch the band need to do more often but overall a slightly below par number.
There ya go then - not totally convincing from start to finish but not a streak of shite either. Some really nice highs have been uncovered and it is more than a little obvious that The Thirtinas have a few tricks up their sleeve that just need a little teasing out. Poke, prod, tickle! Check em' out - something different and you never know - you may just get it!
BITE BACK - BITTEN AND TWISTED
Hailing from Liverpool, rammed to the rafters with an abundance of experience, soaked to the undies with spirit and passion, blessed with a new found desire to knock out some good, old-school punk and roll and with numerous contacts to call upon this fine, fine crew should do very well for themselves and build up a solid reputation on which to play their punky tones. I have only seen them strut their stuff once to date (which is entirely my loss) and was quite impressed indeed. I gave them their first review of an EP and this I presume will be a continuation of that fair effort - or would it? Some bands can produce the goods over and over then for some inexplicable reason give birth to a right duff dud of a CD - I hope this is not the case here. Right onwards we go, and hopefully upwards!
The sonic bra is whipped off and the first nipple of noise to quiver out a tune is tattooed with the name of 'No Imagination' which glistens twice over before continuing with extra weight. The initial gob burst devours attention and the riff involved has focus. The chorus develops and we get a right old lyrical lambaste as regards the tired old baa baa brigade out there who just follow for the sake of followings sake and to be part of the 'acceptable'. The lack of imagination in the punk scene is baffling and I find more spiked spirit in the most unlikeliest of places outside of this broken pit. Never mind that though - back to the song - and what a good opening. There is something substantial here and something you grasp, admire and believe in. A bit of grit and attitude always serves a song well and when combined with some clichéd but effective touches the bastards who are biting back shine. So we have a solid opening, let's move up the scale shall we and what better way to do that then with a belting little number called 'Dangerous Minds'. Great rhythm is always a handy tool to use when creating a cacophony and when combined with an enthusiastic drilling determination then surely triumph awaits. It does - and in such pure punky unwashed style that hits an inner zone that is always happy to be bulls-eyed. Vocally hungry, stringwise orthodox and leaned, sticks also orthodox but keeping all in check with ease and this trio must be one of the best new three-pieces on the broken block. I shouldn't be convinced because there is no experimentation or dangerous wanderings but...it is good wholesome noise played by minstrels who mean it - how can I fuckin' resist?
'Don't Say Sorry' retains the high level of consistency set with a steadier tune that compliments its predecessors and has that same noisy nutrition I am enjoying feeding upon. A born and bred sonic babe is muck without affect and ideals to be anything more. A grinding song with little frill but ample thrill and so concluding a solid hat-trick but...the best is yet to come. Being a feisty, questioning bastard 'Know Your Rights' appeals before the first chord is truck but when this one kicks in I am in my element. More shimmering guitar work, tribal drums that roll, stated verse segments wonderfully sectioned off via relaxed 'Whoa hoa's'. Impetus builds to a simple enough chorus but the whole drift impels one to enjoy and that is exactly what I do. Sometimes you don't need to cut and quarter a song to extract its essence - this is bare-assed punkage with no intent to play with hidden profundity or futile fiddlings - as straight as a di and giving you a big winning experience in the process. The key here is that the artistes are drenched in punk rock experience and without trying to hard are delivering songs destined to tickle the taste buds of the long term tuner's in! Lovely stuff!
A gradual build reveals several acoustic layers and then the striding sound of 'I'm Not Listening'. Defiantly primitive and with an undercurrent of hate, spite and utter refusal to swallow stagnant bullshit. That delivery has more weight than first given credit for and a moment comes to consider. Bite Back are blending many elements within the weave of the clattering construction and only by repeatedly hammering ones lug with the bands sound will a full grasp of all that transpires be had. I have played these initial 5 tracks over and over and am still marvelling at the sonic sub-strata. 'Bitten And Twisted' is, I presume, set to be the bands signature tune although it isn't the strongest song of the lot. It packs a punch, rises in effect as time passes, is the sing-a-long requirement fulfilled and has a screwed up breathless strain many will appreciate more than me. It's decent enough and has a good slamming persuasion with the harmonised chorus straight out of the street but...hold on I may be wrong - after the final listens before the review it seems a far better effort than I have given credit for - oh fuck it.
'Wrong Reasons' winds upward, scuttles, begins to hammer away with semi-hoarse singing and gets a point across that is pertinent and needs pushing. The scene, riddled with takers and fakers, is on the cusp of becoming a joke and despite an avalanche of great units out there too many are feeding on the benevolent pap of this scene and screwing a few nuggets here and there - whilst others get fuck all. The song goes at the throat and says it how it is with all players relaxed and producing an effort that has secure approach without risk taken. A comfortable moment for both listener and band. 'Open Your Eyes' asks you to do just that and is a peach of a song with suggestions of reggaefied skankiness, sprinklings of textured streetpunk, injections of traditional punkage. The delicate undulations of pleading emotions, the rise in insistence, the stylish persuasion of the tune - marvellous and another genuine high that leads us by the hand into an alternative noise. 'Strip It Down' is a hungry bog brush holler fest that pays tribute to the 3-chord wonder joy that, gives us that primal punk fix we should all be in tune with. Too many self appointed know-it-alls decry the basics and for me they border on the cusp of showing themselves up to be utterly out of sync with the punk ethos. The eager drums take us into a repeater nut beater energy packed surge that won't let up and only the inner bassed up section gives light relief - good one lads.
Tumbling up, tumbling down, injected/infected and the defiant rush against the aging process is one for all the elder statesmen to get to grips with. 'Growing Old Disgracefully' doesn't fuck about and seems intent on kickin' about those aging brain cells into a new way of thinking and a new way of looking at yourself, and others. The guitars buzz and bleed whilst drums uniformly operate and stick to the hymn sheet. A good eruption that precedes the more sobered tribute to the fallen friends or family member entitled ''To Those I Remember'. It is what it is and follows a predictable path but it doesn't need to be anything else. It is corned, traditional and emotively predictable but that is the whole idea of the song - not my favourite but certainly one many will pick up on and run with. A sing-a-long pleasantry filled with heartfelt fondness - there is a place for it tha' knows even for the most obdurate, insensitive buggers. You can see the crowd sway along to this one, arms aloft (no lighters please) and eyes closed thinking of their precious lost ones. Hey it even gets me going! 'She's A Rebel' hotfoots in next and is a fireball that fizzes with a inner blazing core that fights the corner for all those female warriors out there who stand their ground and do their bit for the fair army. A superb, fist-raising number that the lasses and laddies should pogo around to and utterly believe in. With an SLF style intro, a full-on charge, a war cry chorus and plenty of vim and vigour this is one of those latter end kick up the arses we all need.
2 to go and 'Ignore All Those Fools' shows there is still plenty of chomp in this CD with a 2 fingered salute to the detracting dicks out there who'll always try and take a liberty and dictate your every step. Mid-paced, starting with an ominous pose, twinging with angst, pulsating with ill temper - the song bleeds defiance and will not be dragged down by morons. The chorus is somewhat dark and pounds the message across with a furrowed brow - almost tribal and fair enough I'd say. We close with the anarchically entitled 'Smash Up Your Town' where anger is misdirected against ones own kind and the proper enemy we should all be fighting against stands back and sniggers. A rock and rolled riff throughout with a gunslingers swagger, a nifty release of bassism and internal grit built on frustration. Back to the bog standard stuff for a change and why not. I reckon the band have earned this more basic moment and we close with the DIY ethos still flying.
Bite Back are here, they are pretty darn decent and you do need to have a peek at these punked pirates in the flesh and then, if pleased, pick up some product. This crew will get gigs no matter what because the hearts and contacts are in the right place - it's just a bonus that the music ain't half bad either.