FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 68
URBAN DOGS - BONEFIELD
An acoustic mix from a band that is deemed a side-project but for me have released some darn decent material over the years and are as valid as many units out there. This offering cuts it back to the sonic skeleton and what we have is equal contribution from that workaholic 'erbert and UK Subs frontman Charlie Harper and that much under-estimated string/vocal chap Knox of The Vibrators. Both donors are committed punk rock zealots who, no matter what, can't help but dabble. I didn't know what to expect from this stripped down offering but it wasn't something as effective and convincing as what I have got. The other Urban Dogs CD's (Urban Dogs, No Pedigree, Wipe-out Beach) have given me much pleasure and it seems I have a whole lot more before me as this choice CD will be played over and over again. Let's have a closer look at the offerings shall we and try our hardest to come up with due positives and negatives.
Questionably the most famous and critically acclaimed track of the entire UK Subs output is a song called 'Warhead' and one must appreciate the brave move of opening an acoustic album with this great, great number. Hands up, I expected a faux pas (as a Subs fan for more than 30 years I will not be palmed off by anything other than the real deal) but what hit me, full in the lugs, was a construction founded on subtle insight, musical know-how and just all round quality application. The essence is altered (but the main vein of the song runs with the bold, virulent blood we adore), the initial tinklings are crisp and genuinely emotive, the rise to the first vocal application choice. Charlie lays on the oral cream with concentrated belief and in we are drawn. Knox echoes the finish of each verse line and the chorus is as we know but with a new sensation. The relevance of the lyrics is amazing, the song washes over us and for an ardent admirer of this exceptional number I can only give this one a big, fuck you grade of A double plus. A superb stall setter and for all those who are curious the message is 'Don't be' - this is worth the value of the album alone. 'War Baby' has always been a magnificent tune and an Urban Dogs delight but this is something special. Plucked forth from a catalogue beyond compare the choice here is perfectly precise (albeit yet another risk) and the daring duo just fuckin' nail it. I can't remember an opening brace of songs to have such an impact as these and for all their subtleties and careful strums the effect is amazing. This war damning tune is a classic and hits the targeted heartstrings with the acoustic ambience created as accurately as we could wish for. Believable, dripping with a pang, overlain with waves of thought - oh man this is just beautiful.
2 crackerjacks and 'Hobo's Lullaby' continues the high standard but is a more dirtied and bluesed up affair with Mr Harper going back to his roots and squelching the old mouth organ (now that does sound sexual) and Knox donating some sweet string seasoning. Not as instantaneously ensnaring as its predecessors but after a few spins the laid back nature of this sub-western drift is impressive. Good one dudes but not quite as good as the pursing genius of 'Not In My Name'. An original cut decrying the blood and the battle and surely a rabble rousing rant that should generate a rebellion against the unnecessary bloodshed out there. Each puncturing string cut digs into the attention with a resonance only further enhanced by the vocal passion. One of my favourites of the whole album and considering the quality level that is a bold statement. From one of the strongest to one of my least favoured (it happens tha' knows) with the claustrophobic heaviness of 'Summertime' seeming almost vulgar compared to what has transpired thus far. It ain't bad but is a touch clouded and slightly overbearing. The song however is a necessity as it parts the cleaner cut waves and rouses the eavesdropper into adopting a stance of deeper scrutiny. Maybe my verdict of 'just OK' is a little harsh but immediate comparison is a bastard to overcome. Talking of which...
'Tomorrow's Girls' is indeed the gem (little play on words there) we all utterly adore and it seems only a short time ago when I picked up this baby on blue vinyl and played until every word was drilled into my soul. This lighter version is...now get this...an improvement I feel and it does seem this entire concoction was made for an acoustic make-over. The chug of the wires, the deliberate overall effect and the familiarity of the famed tune make this yet another stand out moment. 'New Barbarians' is another Dogs oldie and in bare truth was never a favourite of mine. A bit too chanted for me but...on this evidence perhaps I was wrong. Life is indeed injected into another old dog and the extra spice, new found passion and overall feel good vibe isn't lost and captured for everyone to hear and get enthused by. The jerky strums and shouts of 'hey' urge us to indulge and enjoy and that is what I bloody well do - over and over again. 'Move It On Over' wanks the Hank and comes up with a flourishing orgasmic spillage filled with relish and mouth-watering low slung melody. Both players seem at home during this flame-grilled flare up and this may be the most arse-kicking song of the lot. A real mover that will not have the spirit doused and one (yet again) to wake up to or wind down with (now that is a compliment). Back to the blues with a swaggered waltz and a harmonica laden journey with a lazy, hazy melodic muck out earning the thumbs up from this inspired reviewer. Glazed with traditional touches, seasoned with spirited sonica and delivered with a focussed influence this is one to groove and move to with all liberation of limbs an essential. Get down and boogie dudes - another peach.
'Cocaine' is a rusted busk with an unwashed feel you get bitten by (or is that the fleas). It is a somewhat typical song with a thread heard a million times before but as part of this solid package the sheen of the structure is heightened and I am utterly taken. It's one of those songs that has that one man band feel, reeks of a bare-arsed honesty and is as rough as delightfully fuck yet wins my favour - oh yes.
The only limp lump in this gathering of bloated sonic bunions is the plodding 'Swamp Dog Blues' which just idles away and is nothing more than a tail dragging biography of Knox. As a piece of entertainment it doesn't do anything for me, as a curio it works. Don't expect too much from this one but take it as it is - a tale not really a tune. 'Dragnet' is an old Vibrators song with plenty of relish and gusto and it punches its weight here with a great riff, Weedon-like interference, Knox' slightly sleazed gob style and a purely insistent vibe (bah slipped in the pun there). Lucid, glossed up, slick and etched with a nostalgic memory how can one stick the boot in at this final hurdle? We shimmer out with all kudos in tact and I immediately reach for the replay button.
So what a marvellous offering. Rekindling many a flame, delivering from a different aspect, sticking to the DIY ethos and keeping all areas enjoyable and loaded with sincerity the two guitar gangsters on trial get off with a sentence of 'Not Guilty' and go forth with high recommendations from this Fungal twat. I love it and am lost for words although I do understand some may just not 'get it'. I have got it, and do get it and insist you so the same - a precious moment in the annals of both artistes - congratulate em' when you see em' - they bloody deserve it ya know.
CHOKING SUSAN - I WAS A TEENAGE TRANNY
Crude, lewd, humorous, sexualised, and with a whole heap of attitude this motor-city mob, led by the over the top and irrepressible Colleen Caffeine, create their own vibe and go about it with fun-times to be had along the way. I have seen this bunch play a couple of times and have been utterly pleased with the whole noisy nonsense and have stood back and watched all male eyes peer at the lady in the lead and be swayed into a judgement not entirely based on the musical output (dirty dick-driven buggers). So, just for a change, I will give thee a treat - a low-down of what is actually being played rather than displayed and hopefully provide a better insight into a band I am sure have much more going for them than an attractive lead lady. That fanny watching will do ye no good my friends - it has its time and place, be respectful to the creators of the discordance. Alas though I am going to play this one kinda a dirty-ish to keep the essence but please take into consideration my assessment and don't shoot your opinionated load too soon. Here we go then, a tad critical, a whole heap honest, flavoured or fouled - the verdict will be fair.
The vaginal flaps of silence part and the first eruption to tremble our way is the schlocky tale of cross-dressing entitled, 'I Was A Teenage Tranny'. A good thrust-fuck vibe is had, the front lass bitches it up in teasing style whilst peppering her delivery with the usual screeched statement closures. Verses are tightly played, contain the usual girl snot sleaziness and slip into the more robust cunt of the chorus with vigorous energy. Initial reaction to this was to class as a mucky member but the ambiguity of inflection, the punky sexualisation make me warm to this opening burst - hands up, I just can't help it! 'You' has an inner desperation and school-girl tantrumised need. The pulse is quickened and the tribal tension built is a good encouraging injection at such an early stage. From the opening sub-scuttle, through the almost begging intent of the vocals, to the final flourish of nervous agitation - yes - why not.
'Dementia' holds the danger and dabbles on a controversial tone whilst wishing up a memory lapse and seemingly having regrets of wayward liaisons. The verses are strict and a trifle too routine but all aspects of the song are heightened with a basic but bold chorus that repeats a drilling title over and over with increasing zeal and angered focus. There is some clout within the realms of this rhythm and the final 'yah' to each inner tirade is spiteful and yet somewhat erotic (in a dominatrix kind of way). 'Thimble Tits' is the tacky edge I feel the band play out and sell themselves short. No matter what anyone says the penny dreadful lyrics many crews take on these days does blur the quality of the talent and many, many punters take things as a mere comedic act rather than a serious band plying their trade. It's all been done over and over again and this is another episode of cut price musical porn. The production is fine, the zest nice and urgent but those bloody words - darn! If this is your thing and helps ye get a rhythmic lob on then so be it but I do prefer something a little more subtle and erudite. There is a place for a quick toss off though so take it as you will - a flaccid moment for me though! Luckily my flopped attentive nob is reinvigorated with a fine episode of sonic Viagra called 'I Wanna Blow You Up'. A good initial swagger riff, deliberate singing style, cutting edge. The running time is at the two minute tititivating level and with a final wind-down that glories in its own threat-making - nice - and we have a small pip to enjoy.
'Aqua Queen' is a schizophrenic sound loaded with nasty venom and hard-driving stringwork. Bass opens the floodgates, wires rumble and screw, Colleen gets her talons into the flesh of the song and tears open a sweet meaty piece of melody with the inner instrumental sharded and shredded emergency giving the song a nicely timed fetid kiss of life. Watch yerself Uncle Stu - the creatures coming for ya - what a way to go! 'Oprah's Sweet Tampon' is a punchy vibe filled with nonsensical vulgarity and the rhythmic blood that drips forth is only marred by the contextual clots that are really unnecessary although I do hate that bloated fuck Winfrey. A fairly bold gush that I can't take seriously, which for me is a shame, but is the whole point of the fiasco. I'll move on before I get too splattered.
'Touch Me' comes across as a begging bitch who wants touching in places she never knew. Come on lass - ye should know em' all by now. The 'come and get me' approach is delivered with salivating belief and works a treat although in the 'live' pit one can almost see the washed up geezers foaming at the oriental eye and paying little heed to the construction of the cacophony. It is a somewhat orthodox thrash about that only truly opens up via the sub-orgasmic chorus pleas. Perhaps a trifle corned but the target sought is achieved and no-one can ask for more than that - or can they? 3 to go with 'Tempt The Ending' grumbling inwards, sliding into a flourish and then slutting along with a cool assed cruise fizzed with a backdrop of guitar corrosion. A fair romp but outstripped by the best track of the lot, 'Victim Energy'. A cute play on words, some solid subject matter, a real opening flavour to savour and the lyrics that make one sit up and take note. The rapists out there have their excuses questioned, the lass in the lead becomes increasingly frustrated by the lack of answers and what we have here is a pertinent prime cut of punkage that puts a poser on the line. Nice work.
We close the whole cacophony with the frisky power surge of 'I Can't Let Go'. Full of whipped up female angst and all round fist-pumping, rear humping energy that brings all proceedings to a sound finish. The greater the incessancy, the more fired up the accelerator - the greater the success that this band achieve - think on.
So praise given, criticisms too, pointers aplenty and a big fuck you - this isn't as bad as I first deemed and has grown on me over several listens. In fact it's worth a bit of your dosh I reckon and if you overlook the tackier moments and concentrate on the general noise and the obvious choicer cuts your sonic gut may find much to satiate it. Play over and over and don't judge on initial spins - let the layers be stripped away and examine the awaiting flesh beneath - it ain't half bad!
RUST - OI OI AUSSIE ROCK N' ROLL LIVE
After mulling over how best to deal with this review it seems pretty obvious, to me anyway, that to review each individual track of a 'live' album would be a sincere error and be something of a repetitive read and a minor detraction from what the band are trying to do. These kind of offerings are not there to be broken down and analysed but there as a taster of the energy and passion the crew pours forth in their 'in the flesh' encounters. This 12 track offering does just that although it is a rough house listening experience that has to be taken with a 'collectors' or 'fans' stance rather than that of a casual punk assessor. Rust deliver with impact and that is more than apparent here but let us be honest - how can one ever capture the essence of a close up and personal encounter on a cold, non-reactionary disc that eventually becomes part of an ever increasing plastic collection. What the band do is set a high standard and try to meet it on the silver circle and...fail. Like numerous outfits before them the goods are not delivered in full and no matter how powerful this album aches to be it just doesn't pack that quality KO.
I have listened to some darn awful 'live' albums over the years, some that are OK and the very few I deem listenable but in the main these passionate attempts usually end in a dud do. As far as these things go though this is a fair effort and the main winning aspect is the rattling wires and full on strained gob work. The intensity is there also and the full on style in which Rust go to war is apparent with the odd moment capturing full attention but in the main becoming one chunk of infected noise. The highs are the middle trio of 'Urban Legends', 'Spirit Of The Anzacs' and 'Oi Oi Aussie Rock 'N' Roll' with the cover of 'Chaos' are nice inclusion.
I feel cheated somewhat here and equally feel over critical which is a shame because this band are magnificent noise makers and always deserve top notch reviews but...alas my honesty has to prevail and why insult a good crew with a lie (like so many demand). Overall I would pick this up, like already stated, as a fan or collector, but as an outsider seeking new shit to listen to then get their studio album first - also reviewed on here I believe and given due praise. There ya go, verdict given - it's a tough life being a reviewer - hence the reason so few choose to commit - bastards! But how can we improve our lot, get things out in the open and keep this rockin' realm real without feedback (not as though the idlers will care). On we go and hopefully so do the 'Rust'ed rockers!
SENSELESS - THE SAMBA SESSIONS
A solid band from down Stoke way with a growing reputation for being one of the most reliable bands on the circuit. The 3 members mould into one unit and give you a tight structure of sound that is built on old school traditions and stocked up with a good driving zest. I have seen em' a few times in the flesh and have yet to see an utter shitter, but...can they maintain the edge and not become a routine band who play too much and don't vary the sonica enough? Excuse my wariness but I have seen it happen on many occasion and as I see this crew plough through the gigs I do get a trifle concerned. Anyway I digress - on with the review and does this 9 track expulsion match the reputation?
'Thin Ice' is an eager start with drums shaking up the sound system before a slide inward to an enticing groove prepares the soiled carpet for the vocals to puke forth upon. The main asset of this and the following songs is the dirty, unwashed infection of the gob work with the overspill at it's finest via this grubby chorus. You always need a rowdy opener and this is just that. 'Midlife Crisis' breathes down the first tracks neck and comes forth after a basic tinkle of strings that doesn't prepare one for the sub-snotty scummy crummy discordance that follows. It is a swift stop and state surge filled with the most basic of punks nasty elements and should be taken for what it is - a bare-boned affair without frills. It certainly is my least favourite track and from a band with such a good approach I expected more - blah.
'17 Stitches' is more like it and has a better all round construction, a much improved texture where the band appear to push themselves a little more and, most crucially, a better passion. Twists and turns abound, all components roll into one neat package and the complimentary production gives the song that extra kick. The crew apply themselves well and from what I deem the worst to what I consider to be the best we go in one easy step. The track listing on the back of the CD now goes all awry and a song seems to be absent from this DIY mix - fuckin' hell indeed - as though my time ain't filled enough without trying to suss what song comes next - bastards!. 'Barstool Jockey' follows and is a solid jaunt with that drinking sing-a-long ruefulness capturing initial attention before the explosion comes and the track hurtles headlong into its own melee. The impetus throughout is contagious and keeps re-infecting the song into new rushes of spirit - this is a good one to pogo and ping to and displays the dexterity of the band. Good work dudes.
The next 3 according to my track listing are 'Section 39', 'Blah' and 'Rose Tattoo' which means a track along the way has gone astray - bah! The first of the trio coughs up a rewarding pellet of textured punkage that shows the band have more than just the common abilities so often found within this mire. Gently drifting in, merging into a controlled power melody with many catchy edges this is a decent jaunt with a tidy instrumental to follow that I am sure warms the cockles of the heart in the 'live' arena where songs of this ilk are destined to be enjoyed. The last of the trio is the exemplary 'Rose Tattoo', a sure-fire winning number that again eases gently inwards, pumps its fist, is maximised with pride and has a nostalgic, homely sort of feel that many will instantaneously take to. The closure that states that 'Every dog will have its day' rings true and Senseless are hitting the right track with songs of this standard.
Now according to my listing I have 'Confessions' and 'Tracks' to finish that makes a total of 9 tracks, not ten as promised. Fuck it - this is my take on the last two (whatever they are called). 'Confessions' is a mid-tempo affair filled with zest that is kept subdued due to the aforementioned production. Not quite there but Senseless shine through with a bold effort that has a robotic style early on and plenty of balls in the bag at the latter end. A nice radioed sub-skank sequence and fair impetus help 'Tracks' take you out of the discordance with a feeling that this crew have a lot more to offer. A clattering track before breaking down into the lush air-waved shuffle and then we twist onward and meet the last, darn full stop strum with glory.
This ain't bad folks but I know for a fact that things can be improved. A good band capable of more and although many will be satisfied by this I am not. When I get gist of a keen and quality outfit I demand only the best so that is why for you I give a 7 out of 10 yet for me it's only a 6 - that is how hard I like to push bands sometimes and Senseless are more than capable of meeting these demands. I await with high anticipation.
BRACE FOR IMPACT - 3 TRACK DEMO
With bollocks bared, passion shared and all systems very much on the go what we get thrown our way here is some mean as fuck aggression that is played out via a crummy DIY production. It is what it is - a bare-boned opening gambit from a new band on the block loaded with punk enthusiasts who have done their time within the scene. Stark, unapologetic - let's not fuck about, let us jump straight in.
'Riot Cop' bleeds in via the sirens of scummed sonica before we are thrown headlong into one ugly fuck of a song that shits out a forceful stench of DIY incessancy. The production is pretty wank in all fairness and I have to scratch away at the unhygienic layers to reveal a song that is turbulent, hard-hitting and full of bloodied spirit. It isn't one I will play over and over due to the aforementioned poor production but it is one that reveals a powerful band pumping out their first sonic splash of semen that will undoubtedly impregnate the minds of those who like a bit of 'oooomph'. 'Screwed' slips in without one even noticing if all attention isn't paid and that is a veritable fault and one the band need to correct for future releases. All CD's in the main need contrast and there just isn't enough here although the brutality and amphetamine rush do grab attention from the pits of my punk soul. Not bad but outshone by the more melodic number known as 'Excuse' which has a better gist, a greater smoothness and a somewhat clearer edge. It is still a murky moment that breathes hard beneath a scummed upper layer that in turn clouds the judgemental process. Having seen the band 'live' I know what they are capable of and it is, in brutal truth, better than this. What a shame!
So three taster tracks and not doing the band justice but, and this is more than a little obvious, if they take heed, prepare well for the next one, and plan to give Fungal a two fingered salute via a marvellous explosion of hard-cracking noise then so be it - I will be more than happy to be blown away by an upswing in sound and that is what I bloody well expect - squeeze, squeeze, push, prod, poke - it’s what I do and all I want is for bands to maximise their potential - now go do just that dudes!
THE HIGGINS - FIRE IN THE CITY
Music-makers The Higgins come forth here with an 8 track offering that has much to be appreciated. The whole package is professionally delivered without losing its approachability (at least from the street) and has many a tune that will stick in the old grey matter. This is now a fairly old release that has been requested for review by music peddler Jozef Chlebik (I hope I spelt that right), and so being the good punk citizen (laughable I know), I duly gave it my attention and best assessing shot. All I can do is my small insignificant bit in a humble way and thus let the masses rip apart, criticise and re-review and leave me out of gas - fuck it. I hope I once more capture some degree of accuracy because this is a decent effort from a band well-versed in noise making. Here we go – splash!
We commence with a song called 'They Got It All'. A crisp strum and then a moderately paced sequence with a 'ooh' taking us in to the sprightly riff. A comfortable opening verse enthuses and the pulse is nicely balanced before the unifying chorus envelopes us and heightens the number no end. Immediate winning aspects are the tightness of delivery, the lively tempo and the solid production standard that lets one dissect, inspect and appreciate each individual player. No faults found and this one comes ahead as a straight ahead sonic construction with that little something extra many seek and many never find. 'I'm Guilty' is a gritty and tough outpouring with deliberately stated verseage backed by single strums and a persistent bass line. Drums organise and open up when necessary and with the obviously accomplished gob work at the fore, and the deliciously enjoyable tune, we have a follow-up number to the first that takes us up a couple of notches. It is the way to go! The pure punk statement of 'I Don't Care' is rammed home via a ditty that is determined, irrepressible and full of overwhelming, plodding focus. A real old sweated and fretted grind-out this one with all musical muscularity stretched and strained to the max but control very much in the hands of the band. We wind up with perspired intensity and this one completes a fuckin' impressive hat-trick that still leaves one pondering how much the crew have in reserve - clever buggers.
The next song came as a little unexpected outburst and is a sub-hardcore tear along that really throws the scabby cat amongst the much maligned and equally encrusted pigeons. Red light, flashlight, watertight rocketing punkage in no mood to mess about and this one flourishes from start to finish with no need for apology. Perfectly done and perfectly positioned. The title track, and undoubtedly the first song to ensnare your lugs is 'Fire In The City', perhaps the most orthodox song of the lot and one with most repetition. I should dig in here and look deep for a fault but the offering does what it does and creates a signature tune, emphasises the quality of the album and in the 'live' pit I suspect gives the fans a good old chance to indulge and become one with the band. Again, as is the case throughout, production is spot on and that certainly helps make this CD a winner. More high-fire rapidity with 'Spoil The Fun' fuckin' nails a powerhouse moment and slamming along through verseage and then stomping heavily through the opposing yet complimenting chorus rants. A swift instrumental cut is tense and the final slam-out is a joy - whoosh!
The last two and 'Don't Need No' scuffles and shuffles with the pressure gauge at the max. Unified shouts of the title are intercut with swift gob bursts and we are propelled forth with eager zeal whereas 'Stay Away' is equally thrusting and brings in a good surge that closes this CD in tip top fashion. Both these latter two songs seems to work together as a partnership so are best summed up as one beast - very good indeed.
So The Higgins CD is assessed and a late, late review at that but...it has been done and hopefully will eek out a few more interested parties who will pick this up and enjoy. Here's hoping and a definite recommendation goes out to all and sundry from this fizzled Fungalleer.
AFV MAGAZINE - CD COMPILATION 1
A new magazine has hit the streets via the meddling mind of Mark Sesin and it comes as a high quality product peddling the female side of noise that many punters like to partake of. Eye candy acoustica distorts the views of many male onlookers it seems (ooh controversial) and some just prefer their sounds that way. Me, I couldn't give a fuck - if the band is shit or a hit is all that matters and I will take this CD review as it comes. Is just peddling female noise a form of sexism (now why did I have to ask that) and are these CD's a little too overloaded with the female trills? Here is a down to earth, honest as can be overview with the highs and lows taken into consideration and a taster of what to expect all yours to criticise or praise. By the way, these cover CD's are freebies with the aforementioned mag and even if you hate the whole racket you should pay respect for the time and effort it has taken to offer these extra bonus bites.
The main target of a compilation CD is to grab those attentive bollocks straight away and never let go. An impossible task is to get to the end but if you compile the tracks correctly you may get a fair way in before the grip is lost. Here we commence with 3 tracks that really hit a variety of acoustic highs. The Smears begin with a lofty scream-out entitled 'Freak Show' that begins with a mean drive, welcomes us in via ghostly banshee gob work before hollowing out the soundscape and somewhat taunting and enticing via a pride destined to become a peepshow curiosity. 'The freaks are here - come take a look’ (or listen). The interrupting drum slaps help demand attention and the glorious chant that relishes being an outsider is pure punkage indeed. The coating of snottiness helps the song thrive more and then we are into the beauty of 'Empty Streets' by none other than The Pretty Mess. A strong guitar riff, machine gun drums and cementing bass all assist the scorched bitch vocals at the fore to shine as bright as fuck. The face of the wailing wench can almost be envisioned with the spittle flying, the eyes screwed up with passion and the temple veins fit to burst. I like it when obvious quality acts go at their trade full tilt and just do not have a concern about holding back because...when it works the results are gargantuan...just like here. Marvellous. To follow on from two great songs you need a mighty good band indeed and The Front are just that and roll out one of their all time belters with the raunchy sexed up fuck and roll surge christened 'Snake Oil Salesman'. High class stuff indeed and with power riffs, exciting stick work, a horny vocal assortment and one bang on bass line to jizz for this makes for an incredible hat-trick of delights.
The CD, in truth, never reaches these pinnacles again but hey, what fuckin' CD would? What happens though is that we get a great variety of delights that cover a whole generic playground embracing metal, goth rock, alternative, experimental and the like. A few efforts don't exactly tickle my tune-loaded todge and so a full on ejaculation of spunky wordage is held in check but, being realistic, if a CD doesn't meet all desires then it more than likely shows good variation which indeed this 16 tracker does. There are plenty of other good highpoints though with several obvious picks being the slow and sexual throb of 'Cigarettes' by Virtue, the sub-hallowed haunt of 'Kill This Party' by The Sunday Reeds and the speed squeakiness of the quirked up 'Knee Jerk Reaction' by Husbands N Knives. A mixture for everyone with some tunes destined to grow in stature as the disc is played over and over.
You may have noticed I have changed my reviewing style and not dealt with each individual track - it is deliberate and instead of walking you by your idle hand through a full breakdown I will now offer a taste and fair assessment of more lengthy offerings. Time doesn't allow anymore and in truth you music lovers are over-pampered anyway so have this and if you have interest enough I am sure you will get the basic gist. Hats off to the AFV crew for this recipe of rock and the fact that it is free and comes with an excellent magazine for all things fannyfied gets my vote every time. £10 for the first 3 issues I paid - bargain all the way and if 90% of what I read and heard was bilge I'd still be supporting and helping the cause - fully deserved - get ordering folks!
AFV MAGAZINE - CD COMPILATION 2
The second CD in the series and the usual titillation via the female throats (naughty, naughty). Once more I'll take in my stride and pick out the nadirs and zeniths and come up with something resembling a fair assessment. As with all compilations it is easy to get bogged down and feel guilty about not mentioning each and every track. I am no longer falling into that mire as time dictates and I do more than my fair share. This is an overview and written so as to give a taster and perhaps tempt or deter you the listener and give you hint at what to expect. I do too much but all with passion - see what you think but one thing is for sure - make sure you get the mag and support the cause.
Lesbian Bed Death storm us with the bold and spacious 'Chains' and after a hesitant tickle bowl forward with a fair contrasting song that holds many layers with some energetic pulses whereas Riff X metalise things a little more via a paradoxical cock rock out I come across quite a bit and can take or leave. Both initial outbursts once more embolden the fact that this is a CD that packs variety albeit borne of the rhythmic bitch rather than letting the cacophonic mongrel have his input. To heighten the assortment levels Training Icarus become all progressive and offer the pomp and artistry of the lengthy 'Taking What's Mine', rubber stamping the fact that this isn't really a punk album. This latter sub-big stadium fart around is something pretentious and not my bag but I have to admit it is a wonderful construction, played with authority and should be something the band can use to move into the higher (shitty) echelons of the music scene. Good luck to em' and they certainly get my vote as one of the bands with most potential.
Overall this CD isn't my bag but the over-riding raison d'être that flows through my veins is to seek out new rackets and new exciting sub-generic participants. This CD does offer me much to ponder and I reckon after many more plays in the future I'll be chasing hard on the heels of some of these well produced units. Other thought-provoking highs are 'Stock Exchanger' by the haunted and undaunted Factory Acts, the full-on face fuck of thrashiness that is 'Plastic Lies' by Doll (best racket of the lot if you ask me), the quirky poppoid quirky jerkiness of 'Wrong Date' by Kitty Complains (pushes my previous pick mighty close for the top spot) and the murky garage-esque rumble 'Fireflies' by The Death Notes. Plenty to ponder.
Look - this music game is all about exploration and getting yer ears tuned in to new dinnage - this CD helps and it is a sweet FA offer - beat it and then moan! If ya can't - criticise gently if you must, encourage and indulge - go on Sesin lad - keep rolling out the rhythms.
THE KRAYONS - PLASTIC PIGGY
A band here whom I have booked for a gig without hearing the CD in question. This CD is a rough house affair that is under-produced, full of unwashed hindrances and in no way highlighting the best assets of the band under scrutiny. I know the crack only too well - tight budgets, lack of time, trying to get something released no matter what etc. and it all builds up sometimes into an effort that could only be graded as 'could do better'. I take all this into consideration and try to push and poke the band on to better things and sometimes get reward by seeing a unit stretch themselves and go on to releasing ever improving silver circles that wins them fans by the bucketload. Mind you sometimes I get bands taking umbrage, never speaking to me again and spreading the word that I never will know anything about music ha, ha - good job I am a punk pachyderm and understand being truthful always outweighs being part of a game. And so here is another review - brace yourself!
A clatter and a bass vibe creates the initial eruption from this fly-blown dung heap of punk rock noise. Noxious spores are dispersed via a very angry young man and when the clouds of infecting musical microbes get blown even harder around we find ourselves diseased with a dirty filth straight out of the DIY annals of toxicity. 'Cameron' and the pursuing eruption of 'Plastic Piggy' are real low grade punkage that inspires with nothing more than under-rehearsed, under-washed, unaffected desire. Both are vicious assaults on authority in one way or another and use street language that lacks profundity and also ambiguity. They have a point to make and refuse to fuck about with frilly wordage - is that to the detriment of the songs - I think not! If you like things intellectual then this will shrivel thy eavesdropping nipples but if you like your sonic soup served cold and encrusted then this will make they papillaries stand proud.
'Mine Sweeper' is a hurtling song whose lyrics I just can't pick up on (darn these knackered lugs). The hunger is good, the nastiness levels sweetly controlled, the overall scuzzed energy applaudable and whether or not this grimed gift is about a ship or the old classic arcade game I care not - the best of the lot for me. 'Generation Tragedy' skids in its own recently defecated underpants and so makes something of an unruly mess and really doesn't grasp several potentially winning moments that could have been built around and used as the starting point for better outpourings. With sonic scurvy like this you need to scratch away and create something of a neat shower rather than just a wayward cloud of cacophony - this one just doesn't make the grade and lacks a general cohesion. 'TV Lobotomy' is the final song of this penta-punkage presentation and is a fair do with more routine, more necessary orthodox touches and of course - more control. The alterations of the pulse merge well, the clatter no matter how cobbled has a paradoxical level that one can stride along on without being forced to trip - see lads you have it in ya!
So 5 tracks, 2 apprehended shifty suspects and 3 that are let to roam free and pollute thy nobs and noggins. As I say I have this lot booked to play a Fungal gig and I reckon they'll be alright on the night. In future I would like them to keep the rusted style but try and maintain a rigid solidarity within each song and just slip in between the burst the odd moment of obscurity. Worth considering!
TOUCHED BY NAUSEA/TOTAL BLOODY CHAOS - SPLIT CD
To be nice, to be critical is the Fungal way and to be noxious, to be cruel is the option to avoid. Any mug can find fault with most music and stick the assessing boot in but if that kicking is given just for a kicking's sake then what is the point? I like to poke and prod and niggle but the whole focus is always on getting the best out of a band and that is the course of action taken here. Both encrusted forces we are dealing with do things their own way and slot into a sub-generic filing system I really couldn't give two hoots about. For me I either like a tune or hate it and can see where a band is coming from or just lose vision as to their goal. It is just how it is - no pretence, no grooming, no falsehood. If I do find fault though I don’t let it pass – that would be the cruellest act of all!
We have here a double headed dittified delivery from two very rough and ready bands, one of which I am unfamiliar with, the other I know only too well. It is always beneficial to both units when indulging in a split effort (the further apart both bands are based the better) so immediate applause is given for taking that option. The question is - will I still be clapping at the end of this 9 track onslaught or be suffering from aural clap instead as these foul fuckers roger me with a raucous rhythm? Questions, questions...
Touched By Nausea are a dirty crew from South Africa and are a unit that have briefly passed by my Fungalised airwaves and left an impression of a hardcore unit with much to say. The initial explosion here is entitled 'Black Heart', a song that rages against the dehumanising process that takes away the soul and replaces with a clockwork mechanism that jumps in line with procedure (well that's my take on it anyway). Rotting strings bid you welcome through a semi-haunt that disintegrates into a screamoid terror that clatters and clutters the fabric of the sonic landscape and leaves one at a loss as to how best sum up. The intensity singes, the saturation levels are overload and the general effect is to be toxic and troubled. When a riff is taken the noise thrives as a result and TBN show their true potential. This song has me left behind for the first battering but when the feet are found I am dragged into the melee with glee. 'Work For Yourself (And Not The Company)' is a case of wise words easier to follow without responsibility. Being a 17 year drop-out and now a man keen to look after his family I have seen both ends of the regime and am still at a loss how the ethos of beating the system can work if people remain full of ego, selfish desires and competitive lunacy. I hate the mundane routine and capitalist state and agree with the words going on here as the robots play games, commit deceits and end up losers. This hefty rant is more aimed at the bands homeland and the fury puked forth is admirable (nowt wrong with a load of disgruntlement). The tumult spills over the lip of the cracked glass at times and so to bring things together more the band need to adopt a tighter core melody and thrash around it (just a thought) but as a DIY rave this does OK. The crossover singing is a little too nebulous and could be improved upon but the basic building blocks of fury are there and this shouldn't be a hassle.
More texture through the commencement of 'Innocence At War' and when the splash zone is opened the foam builds although with a lack a smoothness that I feel hinders proceedings. We move on and the belting thrash comes with an overloaded pulse that detracts attention and makes for something uncomfortable. Throughout this song though the band chance their arm with new styles and show greater potential than many could give them credit for (don't underestimate the power-mongers folks) which proves the crew choose this racket rather than ponse about with some processed garbage (which never gets my vote). Not bad and into the crews last offering called 'The Ecological Footprint'. More untamed rage that certainly gets noted as it informs us about the greed and selfish ways of man who is raping and pillaging this earth and leaving it left for dead. The natural world goes unprotected as man takes what he wants for purely unnecessary purposes (in the main) and if only a little thought were had then we may just rescue our most precious resource. Touched By Nausea don't hold back and let us have it full fuckin' tilt and show a disregard for anything unnatural and subdued. A string exit and completing 4 tracks that many will find hard to digest but the connoisseurs will fuckin' lap up like ravenous dogs.
Total Bloody Chaos next with their piss basin punk approach and sincere scrotal sonica that needs constant care and attention. 'They Fuck You' is the first hungry whelp off the leash and races around as though its cacophonic cock has a hurtful infection. The bitch and bugger vocal crossover is the key impacting element but the swift sharp effort, the cutting strings and relentless sticks make this a breathless intro you can't help but love. Nasty, dripping potent pus and more than a little restless with the current political state - nifty intro dudes but falling way behind in stature of the exceptional tribal scumdown that is 'Braindead'. TBC at their finest showcasing all their finer elements and then giving it some. The bass dictates the tempo and grumbles away with delicious fervour whilst the two front fucks lash out with sharpened tongues amidst the further chaos of guitars and drums. The structure is solid, the irate effect purified and the lyrical invective not to be resisted. Sing-a-long to this, get some stress out of your soul and admire a brutal 'this is how it is' approach that is out of the gutter and into yer head. Stop the press I shall make this a 'Song of the Month', then again - nah let's save that spot for the mighty move entitled 'Her Wish'. I always like it when someone rises up and speaks for the victim and when it’s done with such passion, such utter disapproval and via cute articulation without being pompous and pretentious then that will do for me. Add a creeping malevolence and nerve-pricking edge to the general delivery as well as the song-creators insight and you have a total uncomfortable pleasure to indulge in. This gem relates a tale that is only to frequent in society where bully boy dominates his wife and takes control of an innocent soul until nothing but the hope of the end is left. TBC don't beat around the bush here and go for the blatant jugular with necessary abandon and the result is fuckin' magnificent. I like the way the band come forth in an unwashed, roughshod way and never shy away from confrontational subject matter - like it or not that is the way it is and the way it should bloody well stay. Great stuff!
'New World Order' is typical tuneage from this scummed genre but that doesn't make it any less powerful and pertinent. You get the feeling that you have heard all this before but also the feeling of utter submission to the dirty irresistible punkage that just rocks thy jigger. The bass is the key once more and rumbles with authority and creates a platform for the rest to roll around on and insist you enjoy. From the pit, from the heart – totally convincing and with an unrelenting drive – what’s not to like? The final he/she contrast between mean and gravelled to clear and girly works wonderfully – solid man solid. ‘Black’ is perhaps TBC’s weakest blast out and although fair enough just lacks that productive clout given elsewhere. Cluttered and clattering and with extra toxic treacle swirling around – the rescue factor is that the song is brief. Not bad!
2 outfits going at it like hamsters on Billy Whizz – this is the salt of the earth and where punks foundations doth lay. Go take a rest with these low brow rockers and taste the sweat of the punk – tasty ain’t it. TBN can do a bit more with their sound I feel, TBC need to keep it controversial and carry on as they do – both bands need to keep grinding away though – victory is in just doing it!