FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 76
EPIC PROBLEM - ALL BROKEN
The best way to describe this band would be as 'solid'. That is what they are - absolutely concrete both in delivery and reliability. They play sound saturated songs, create a hefty impetus and bowl out high intensity track one after the other with little let up. They hail from around the North West of England and have become caught up in the Manchester dragnet which, to be fair, is easily done. The first offering I assessed from this outfit was, I feel, a distinct episode of 'feet finding' and 'safety first' and so didn't do the band justice as compared to their 'live' offerings. Nonetheless time has now ticked on, I expect more and after another viewing in the flesh it may just be that is what I will get. Let us peek a little closer...
The first bloom found in this varied album of acoustic aggression is the onslaught known as 'Choke', a high resolution acoustic image that is in focus, perfectly cropped and of a good lurid contrast. After the opening guitar stomp the raw drive ensues and the speeding emergency works a treat which is simply down to good tight musicianship and good production values. A moment to chug, then the fired up vocals take us to the roaring finale via a brief silent inclusion that does nothing less than prepare for the final tumult. This is more like it. 'Have it All' keeps things more routine and evenly textured before rushing along in a flurry of oral fists that are similar to an onslaught by a whizzed up pugilist with a wasp up his jacksie. A veritable thumping of sonic feistiness and yet holding on to a thoughtful mode of melody that tickles away just below the upper bubbling surface. Things are pushed to the max without become hardcorian and the added sharded guitar touches give bonus character and so achieve an overall better finish. Moments like this back up my belief the band have much potential and need to get out there and fuckin' tap it. 'All Broken' perhaps embraces the most predictable modus operandi within the US/Punk crossover sub-circle but...is play with such energy, gusto, life, belief that one can hardly raise the critical boot. The verse to chorus slipstream is held and we have a free flowing number that upholds the incessant industrial machinery we are very much treated to. Unrestrained, unsanitary, delivered with con amore etched within the throbbing ticker - choice enough!
Vitality is not let off the leash as 'Reverse Negative' races along with much amphetamine necessity and scuttling accuracy. These songs are not designed to be considered over a long drawn out moment of indulgence, no, these efforts are there to be picked up, assessed on the spot and to be thoroughly indulged in. Let yer heart follow the vibe and see what emotive responses arise - sometimes one can over digest and become sickly and thus off target. Puke at ones pleasure and you may get the gist. Another white hot poker but preceding a fuckin' jerked up, robotic stutterfest known appropriately as 'Short Circuit'. The nail gun fixes all components into place as the initial twitchiness is escorted by a chant and rant vocal outburst. Taut strings wind upwards, thirsty gobbage unloads desire, double ended rages work with tremendous effect, the warring wank proceeds. A caged animal this one that paces back and forth prior to bursting free and ripping your discordant heart out. The fury ascends and the last throw of the fists rubber stamp a crackerjack.
And so to the closure. 'Freeground' sends up initial plumes of sonic dust before traversing over the usual ground in the same old heavy riffed boots. The character of the band is re-emphasised, the power they contain once more bared, the three-riffed blasts exciting and sweetly executed within the melee. There is still something here that has me thinking that those across the pond will utterly embrace this as would many new skool eavesdroppers who like things all racing and finely tweaked. Not a bad racket at all even for these buggered lugs.
Sp Epic Problem now have me convinced and have released a good 6 tracks here to certainly put them in good stead further around this saturated circuit. Now all they have to do is fly and drop acoustic eggs here and there and hope they hatch out many new ardent followers. Nothing is easy, there is a whole lotta competition out there but it ain't a bad way to hold yer own by releasing a good EP - onwards and upwards chaps - go on give it a fuckin' good shot!
NOMATRIX/FIRST TIME RIOT - SELF TITLED SPLIT 7"
Both bands on this limited edition split 7" are bands who I have worked with in the past and who have been quite supportive of the Fungalised/Spit and Sawdust ethos. I thoroughly enjoyed all that transpired with some good noise emanating from both camps before a somewhat premature silent period. Two of the members of Nomatrix make up the force that is Deadlamb Records - a mighty admirable promotional DIY punk label that has done more than its fair share for underdog punk and, continues to do so. FTR are early players on a few Fungal gigs and also are bitten by the dog over and over again and so we have 2 units very much on the radar and who have given me much to ponder. So what do we have here after such a considerable wait:-
Nomatrix first and a real raw and gutsy effort that swirls around the pit of noise with the usual bands wavering rough-house edge. ‘What Are You For' crashes straight in and throws itself about with controlled abandon (just). The first verse rattles along with all scuzzed sound backing those emerald utterances, and into the chorus we go - a sub-chaotic repeat of the title with all splashing and smashing in pure punky joy and enhancing the clatter ten fold. We go through the routine again, we get a terse soiled break and buffet around to the end - a short, sharp shake-up - ooomph. 'This Scene' follows in equal bustling style with a more deeper weight hitting the attentive midriff. Drums hammer away, guitars skid and scuff, the gob seems in control and does what it does regardless of the mania in the rear. This combo works and it is so good to see Nomatrix holding on to their style, keeping it grimed and with a nice new hunger. The end production may smack of DIY but it is a good quality DIY at that - take note. Plenty of wallop in both songs - keep at it boys and let's see some more pretty soon.
First Time Riot roll in with a crummy bass line that weaves us into the main thrust. Resonant, loaded with well driven melody, plenty of pace and with a new vocalist doing a sound job with a solid accented style that is easy to grow fond of. 'Accelerate ' is breathless and driven with a bit of class - the FTR machine are cruising here and still outstripping many competitors. One listen and I am already thinking of a reconnection. Gotta be done - a smart tune that is intrinsically simple but given much juice by a quality crew. A small peach and I reckon this will be a massive moment 'live'. Talking of which...'We Are First Time Riot' is more prime sonic shizzle with high octane energy, a comfortable verse and a terrace chanted chorus that will have that sweaty pit bouncing. The string work is crisp and usual fare for a good unit, the sticks are up to the job in hand, all is tight and tidy - the closure punctuates a sound sentence of noise.
2 bands whom I love, 2 songs from each that I find very rewarding and ideal as a partnership - do not hesitate - support these fine DIY underdog stalwarts. My advice - both do a split again soon with a different band each and then swap over and keep the circle expanding until...oh until!
THE POOR GEEZERS - ALL 4 ONE (THE BEST OF)
The Poor Geezers are borne from the refuse tip of rhythm and come with much stinking sonica many less insightful shits will have duly thrown away. Too many think they know best in the musical arena and if something isn't as polished as a well-rubbed turd then these deaf and blind self disposal goons safely step over the offending acoustic article and move on into the deeper waters of their comfort zone. This isn't the way to be. We should be proud to be sonic scavengers and, along with the seagulls, if anything is going a begging then in we should swoop, on unbiased wings and with all ears open. Thumperpunk Records is such an avian scrounger who is willing to pick up and help many a scuffed up player providing the intent is bang on the mark. The label deals in Christ orientated offerings (I can hear ye squirm and get ready to throw a few verbal bricks and yet if it was Muslim, Hindu or some other foreign religious slant you would say very little - come on be consistent) and does so on its own terms, quietly and resolutely pushing the cause and their beliefs. We all have our systems of faith and as long as we ain't harming anyone, allow all and sundry to debate and making sure love, anti-prejudice and freedom are at the top of the criteria we shall not fail to go far wrong. Alas...many don't concur. Anyway - by hook or crook The Poor Geezers are on the label and this is the first offering and...Fungal has been asked to do his honest, fair and forthright thing.
We are welcomed by a 15 second 'Intro', a tootle about that chimes with wedded bliss before a poem entitled 'Blood On My Shoes' states its point, provocates the punks with its religious angle and leads us into the meandering casualness of 'Riverside'. A sauntering drift throwing off the initial tensions and completing an opening hat-trick that is utterly patchwork (as it now says on the tin). The main winning aspect of this opening trio is the unexpected turns the newcomer will be greeted with and the predictable utterances of 'what the fuck' that will drip from the slackened jaws. Hey isn't punk meant to be like this - just a question?
'Never Mind Little Girl' slowly blossoms and fights against the worldly dross with passive persuasive sentiment. The cool approach, the tranquil cadence, the posers put and into the plodding politica known as 'Man Finds Biro'. Both tracks are raw despite their fragility but both play with words, keep it etched with The Poor Geezers honesty and have that DIY hypnotic charm you may just well appreciate. 'Shadow King' is a biographical poem that is based on misdirection eventually pulled back in line by a certain 'light' that is very much part of what this whole CD is about. Can't fault the bravery, the confidence in their faith, the spirit shown that leaves many punks sitting! 'Where Next Penny Rimbaud' is a real niggling verbalisation that throws everything anarchic and Christian into the air and lets them fall side by side with the result there for us to ponder. A real hackle raiser and argument starter - yes, success overload!
'Ain't Like It Used To Be' is a marvellous session of acoustica that opens with cool strums and wise words and just wanders along with rhythmic hands in pockets and head lowered pondering its point. It is a sweet amble followed by a similar wander that has more hope, more carefree abandon despite the lyrical content giving one reason to have much to despair about. A pinnacle moment of many this and played with such sincerity. 'Homeless Again' indeed.
The next 3, namely '3x Dead', 'Be Transformed' and 'Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee' have a similar nagging vibe that wraps around itself in persistent style. The opener is blue roasted, deals with salvation and is raw as buggery, the chaser has more directness, more demand and is loaded with political anger whereas the finale of this threesome is westernised with a dream-like slant. Still chanted and ranted but a darn sight odder - what else can we expect from these experimental 'erberts?
One thing you can say about this tribe - the mix and match, grab and snatch approach is unending.
Onwards and 'Intro To Poor Boy' is cleverly worded and apt for this release whereas 'Poor Boy' is a tickle of the tuned testes where merry sperms are soothed via dulcet tones and rocking chair bluesiness. It is buskerino stuff and has that feeling of everyday people tampering and making self-therapeutic vibes. Here we see delicate female tones assist before we are given a little extra shake of the she-cellar via, appropriately enough, a ditty called 'She'. Those initial string strikes hint at a Banshee-esque affair before getting down and more DIY with a confident skip in both verse and chorus, helped of course by the his/hers counterpunch. I like this one, with its massaging approach and more professionalistic essence (ooh blasphemy). We tribally plod with all areas undressed and parading faulted nakedness in a bare sonic room where the basics are given good time. Look if you are looking for something technically twatted here please bail out - this is punkage to piss on many flames and isn't about comfort zones. Unadulterated scummage - is that a bad thing? Talking of bad things - 'Wup, Wup, Woo' is one such example - the icy dollop on the cake of many colours. Too similar, a bit too spasmatic, a trifle too musically chopped and so a Frankensteinian monster is had without any semblance to the creator’s idea - a moment of madness.
Recovery time methinks - jack up the chassis of the cacophony and let's pull out an inner working that keeps the whole engine moving. Enter 'Flying High' which doesn't give a full on injection of super fuel but just eases the whole melodic motor along nicely with softened treads and back seat assistance via the Eagleised one. A countryside cruise built on loved up tranquillity. 'The Reaper' sobers things up and puts all things in perspective as regards this transient existence. This is what this lot do - one moment massaging the senses, the next rogering the mental arsehole of equilibrium and suddenly...we are off kilter. The uplifting tempo is in total contrast to the lyrical content and The Poor Geezers continue to keep the angles sharp and uncomfortable - I like that and I like this disturbing number!
And to the close down in swift style and 'Voice Of The Streets' whispers again, has a familiar chorus, is etched through with what the band do and has a good heel digging intent. 'Dancing In Dachau' is brief and without distraction, 'Starting Point Of Genocide' reiterates a point and somewhat rams it home (no bad thing sometimes) and at last we reach the finale 'Burn Media Burn', a shuffling sneaker that gets under the mattress of comfort, undergoes the pupation period and hatches into a niggling song one can't shake off. Again a quadro-quirky, ever jerky bunch that is as unexpected as anything Dahlian. Result.
The Poor Geezers are an acquired taste and that taste must coincide with an acquired mood. They are a veritable thorn in the side of a scene that claims tolerance and free-thinking and yet becomes all prickled when something of this honest ilk arises. The fact remains though, if anything can be classed as punkage, this surely is it. It doesn't conform to its own generic pool, it leaves a nasty taste in some peoples gobs and a sweet one in others, it gets one thinking outside of the very insular box. Look, I don't like every track on here but some I love and that is how it should be viewed but...I have untold respect for the players and can only encourage them in their endeavours. Support this stuff and get off ya mental backside!
THE POP DOGS - COOL CATS FOR POP DOGS
I have read the promotional bumph that comes with the CD, I have trawled on line in search of more balanced assessments, I have listened to this CD several times and come up with my own thoughts which go something like this. The Pop Dogs are a post punk/new wave hybrid who place emphasis on mid-tempo melody and bubble-gummed essences rather than more full on dramatic outbursts. The tones suggest something 'Buggle-ish' and 'Byrd-ish', something highly sugared and a noise that is deliberately inoffensive. The production values are precise and get the best out of a band with much potential, the style quite easily picked up, played and tossed away (which in itself can bode well). The listed influences include REM, The Ramones and The Beatles amongst others and if one ponders one can see where they are coming from. So what is the end verdict regarding this release from the Lincoln lads, as per, 1, 2, 3, and in we go.
Track one and glucose loaded gumption via the pleasurable jaunt christened 'Kelly's On' - switched back cruising effortlessly played out on a pastry of divine tickling cadences that taste just oh so perfectly. The strings ascend with crisp encouragement but indeed carry a weight of their own which is richly coated by a bubbly squeak vocal escort adorned with cultured poppoid textures. Sticks neatly hop along creating that extra froth and therefore we get an exact sugar shake of rhythm that rises above the rim of the rhythmic glass and sets this CD up in appetising style. 'Honest Guy' is more toffee wrapper excitement with an initial intro that has a genuine edge to create rippling tones to caress the doubting tympanic drum. Impetus is eased along through delicate layers and all the craftwork of solid song writers is there. A foot-tapping moment interrupts, but in a polite manner, and we swing onwards on many vibrations borne of tidy, hygienic, meticulous artistes. The promise of not being let down holds true and I find myself thoroughly enchanted by 2 magical melodies thus far!
The next song is a commercialistic saunter with shimmering sonica layered in a fluffed creamy style but, and most importantly, doesn't try to be anything else, and so avoids a punky kicking (just wouldn't be fair would it). 'High Time' is a gliding sound in sunshine skies with minimalistic touches all contributing to a fuller end output. The strings are nicely attended to and do so little yet so much, whilst the gob upholds the characteristic slant and animated subtleties. Easy music to digest and sometimes just what is needed. 'Last To New York' is a picture built on less flamboyant colours and goes for a somewhat pastel shading of sub-melancholia that entwines itself around nebulous hope that we know is there but just can't fully grasp. This effort needs time due to the aforementioned softer finish but it has its place within the more showy executions and I personally find it quite a grower. 'Wake You Baby' has more ripple within the weave and foams up with little effort. A mid-tempo ruffle creates a road that could lead us into the second half with expectations on edge or could safely assure us that the consistency and musical methodology will remain - the latter option is taken. Not punk, but I shan't question, as the sonica thus far is well short of being disagreeable. The song itself is affluent with the bands idiosyncrasies and gives generously in many satisfying ways. A sub-quirky appeal, as always, makes that tick in the 'convinced' box a little easier to make - thanks fellas.
'Ocean Blue' smoothly opts to commingle several generic spices and I can't help placing my main vote of similarity to something 'Orbison'ised with added splashes of popsicle gentleness and honesty. There is an utter freshness to this pervasive tune with a softly, softly propulsion right behind each and every note. The foundations that this track are built on are highly absorbent of all forms of attention and this one will undoubtedly turn up a few more hardcore noses but can they really find fault - no! Relaxation melody to float around to, it isn't harsh reality but purist escapism - get over it! The 60's detective instrumentalisation that comes next has me wondering if it is really needed. A slinky pulse named 'Mild Mannered J' that offers a moment to just switch off to. No hidden agenda - just a cruise along that chills more than it thrills but it offers a break in proceedings which is nicely timed.
Rougher stringwork chases as we climb higher into the convincing sanguinity of 'Kissin' Alicia'. Despite the slightly more abrasive edge the heat is set to moderate and these Dogs of Pop coast through an easier number with accomplished aplomb. The approach to the final sizzle is careful but the band make just enough of an impact to make this a fair toon. 'Queen Of The USA' is a tragic tale rammed to the rafters with exact emotion and equally precise noteage that makes this a real pleasing offering emphasising some real choice qualities the band bring to the table of tone. If one was looking for a double A side from this set of ten then this and the opening track are sure fire musts - both work in unison and flow in such a style as to make you aware that these players are really into their set modus operandi. Appreciated!
The closure is a named as 'Dancin' Again' and 'Whoa hoa's' upward on sparkling keys and assured strums before the tone gets tenderised, the fragility within becomes apparent. The band handle their goods with care and we move further on into a softly pulsating segment that blossoms into a fresh and buoyant inflorescence of pleasurable cacophonic colours. Very encouraging, quite innocent, deliciously flawless.
The final woof is done, the leg that was cocked has been lowered and our listening lamp posts are left to stew on the sonica that has passed. Scrubbed up, processed, squeaky and cute - all the things I hate and yet a CD that has me beat. It has a couple of wonderful highs and overall is a complete package of wondrous poppage that works and works bloody well at that! I always welcome noise away from what is crude and straight forward punkage and this is an example of a sound that can break down a few restricting walls - have a dabble, reach out - take the time to let myself and the band know what you think!
THE REVERENDS - THE NEW ADDICTED
One viewing of this band, after much grapevine hype, where I came with sceptical eyes and ears and went away with an outlook of conviction - I like that feeling. Hailing from Derby, formed in 2010 the band seem to be hitting all the sonic hot spots with innumerable people feeding back that this is one of the bands to see. Vibes like this get me intrigued and also have me slightly more aware as to what I will actually get and how good the end product really is - never be swayed by talk - see and hear for yourselves! Now to the album which has also been highly praised - by heck is it time for some reality - nah - I'll be honest and see what spills forth.
First track and 'Deranged' starts with a good old fashioned stick beat before scuzzed strings rev things up a little. Mid-tempo and in no way preparing you for the vicious, snarl of gobbage that follows, real meat tenderising fury, the kind that drips with seething contorted edginess and liable to blow a fuse at any given moment. For an opening burst this is a lesson in intensity with a punishing verse that drops into the open orifice of the simplistic chorus as easy as you like. Offensive and inoffensive in the same breath - it ticks quite a few boxes don't ya know. 'Pick Up The Pieces' has a good nerve jangling precipice throughout and after starting with smooth moves the jerky uncertainty that follows has us very much on the back foot. Into the verse proper with bass commanding throughout whilst guitar and drums add just enough and the rage at the fore, once more, spits out its highly weathered words. The liquid rushes contrast with the staggering bursts and all is tattooed with an approachable street ink that will duly stain anyone who strays too near. Gritty stuff indeed and I am expecting nothing to change!
'Big Society' gets its pistons pumping from the off with all machinery working in unison and supplying a good exhaust full of toxic, tuneful pollution. A sub-military style approach is opted for, a vocal delivery that states and then runs with it in stomping style. A very hob-nailed tirade with the main well worn carpet underlain with something peculiarly Crass-ite. Not the most tuneful song you'll hear but a decent beating is had. ‘Community Workforce' has a 'Killjoy' odour as it reels along on melodic heels and rat-a-tat cymbal insistence. Quite old school as suggested and driven hard on a good bass rumble and groovy guitar repetitiveness. The old man oral expulsions contrast with the youthful danceability of the general vibe and this is one of the tracks that lighten the entire mood of the CD. A good piss up number I reckon. 'Left For Dead' is a real Oi'ish old school tear along with that two-tap insistence, spacious sonic arena, swift chorus and bog brush basic chorus. Short and without tuneful tassels - have it or move swiftly on.
A pulse, a grimy rise, a twisted intention bleating against the washed up - 'Uptight Citizen' is a fiery burst that drills in hard and shows a diseased desire to imprint the songs point right into the marrow. On first listen to this CD I thought the songs were actually longer than they were but when scrutinising more fully I am quite taken at how quick they are rattling by. This ain't no bad thing and strong punk structures were built on such foundations. Not a bad grind out this and follow by the slightly eased off 'Head In The Sand'. This one ensnares the bands approach thus far, throws in more suggestions of full-on Oi, keeps it raw and underfed but has such a primal instinct one can't help but get dragged along with. There is an intrinsically unflustered punk flow going on here with nothing outlandish to report and although I feel I should pick fault my punky soul says 'no'. It is what it is and nothing more and this spiked bastard loves it for being just that. 'Camps' is the best track thus far, due to its unflinching, straight ahead weight that propels this forth with genuine greater insistence. More bassed and beefed, pummelling with focus, no nonsense noise - it leaves me with little more to say. 'Yellow Cake' follows and is somewhat of a nagging track that I can take or leave, just a bit laboured despite the controlled glow of intensity that duly radiates. Similar to a pan of beans that simmers away and awaits one to turn up the heat so as to burn each morsel through and through - the rise in temperature never comes and I feel deflated - sorry chaps.
'Sings His Life' and 'Give It Up Son' are more pure old school snifters giving off an odour of safe consistency, reliable characteristics and mid-tempo clout. I should, at this stage, be finding serious fault due to all that has transpired is too much of the same but the infective punk virus gets beneath the skin and has me bopping which may not be right for an objective reviewer but who gives a toss - that's the vibe that I am getting. The second track has many good undulations and is my favourite of the two and gives a sort of salutary slant.
Warning must be given at this juncture - it needs doing - and that warning is that if the band continue to produce similar sounding songs for the next CD I am afraid impact will be lost and the band will be faced with less favourable reviews. I am putting the squeeze factor on ya see - surely any reviewer’s job is to keep bands on their toes - go on lads - push harder!
Back to the CD and 'Fat Frank' rattles the ribs with a stop - start - pummel routine that fails to piss about and nails it in one swift explosion. 'Take The Money And Run' is more thoughtful and is one of the best drippings from the sonic snotted nose. The drawling biting verses slide easily into the bare basic repeat chorus and we have a flared nostril of a song not afraid to snort its disease your way. 'Suspects' is the closedown, the final curtain - there ain't nothing new under the Reverends sun. The grind here is still mincing, still intense, purely old fashioned with torn edges, snarled gobbage all kept in a middling simmer - well almost. I feel a rise to the crescendo - we are over and done - the consistency throughout is highly noted.
And that merry reader is that! The Reverends back up the 'live' hype with a regular CD of thick, gruelling sludge that moves consistently and avoids any negative coagulation. It is thick, glutinous and yet holds good rhythm from a time of yore when technicalities were sparser and a steadiness and passion were the main ingredients. I am keen on what the band do and after an introduction to them 'live', and now on CD, I am keen to know where they will progress from here. It won't be easy as more of the same will be an error of judgement - the band have their mucky hands full. In the meantime enjoy what is transpiring - you won't be disappointed!
THE FRANCEENS - DUCK AND COVER EP
When one is infected with the disease of noise one can't help but go forth and try and swallow as much sonic sludge as possible. If the said disease is of the DIY strain then one will be found, most of the time, in real living dives where the cacophony created is without frill, with pretension and certainly without bullshit. To mooch around these places is such a divine pleasure and more often than not the soul of melody is tickled pink by many reliable acts and frequent newcomers. Occasionally I have the purist pleasure of uncovering a crew who really get beneath the acoustic cuticle and set every sonic fibre alight - enter The Franceens. I had a spare slot at a Bradford gig, they came and wow fuckin' wee - blasted my ruddy socks off. A catch up again in Manchester and 'yip' this machine is the real deal - garaged up, scummed to an exactness many connoisseurs of grime will adore and capable of mixing it within the midst of other fine bands. A CD was given to review and so here I am, expecting a big, big circle of listening matter by 3 fine players from the city of York - will I be still enthralled and gushing at the end of it or will I feel utterly dismayed by a real floppy fuck up? Read on eager beaver and find out.
'Gone' careens in like a scabbed up pig on ice, all limbs flying but just holding onto that curly tail of control. The guitars and bass scuffle for main attention, the drums nail all into position, the he/she gobbage works a treat and the overall chomping fervour is immediately capturing and gets us off to a free flowing, sub messy clatter with the band showing those loveable DIY aspects and grooved up attributes. 'Attack' is more deliberate in its approach and ploughs in with gristled intent before throwing in the typical garage undulation that can be found in many hotspots on this much underestimated scene. A great hip-grinding number that swings through the verses with ultimate aplomb. The front mouth is stylish in a dirty sort of way whilst the lady on the bass weaves and drops in occasional backing vocals just when needed. Cymbals add complimentary splashes, the soundscape gets sweetly loaded up and the heart within the band beats at its finest. We rise to the chorus - a short, sharp repeat offence of the title between fluent grooves. A spacious moment leaves agonised oral donations and shook up drums copulate before we are allowed to enjoy the final grind out - bang!
'Try' thumps through its own wrapping paper before clearing itself of obstruction and allowing a nice 4 string waltz to occur, importantly with minimal assistance. The heat is turned up and a flourishing salvo of hungry intensity comes with verse and chorus cutting through our epidermal layers of doubt and capturing our full buzzing bee of attention. Here is a thirst apparent and the trio are satiating it with gorgeous musical liquid - take a sip yourself - refreshing quality with frayed edges that blow evenly in a self created wind of wonder - crackerjack cacophony! 'Need' twinges, scuttles and adds a slight snotted, matter of fact layer of verseage. The chorus snip is encouraging and nips the idle arse with gusto before we wrap around back to the initial thrust. The track doesn't have the emergency urgency of other offerings and propels itself forward on casual garage work that has a few shifts of style that maintain interest. Look it is soiled, sonic and groovy - I ain't complaining and neither should you. 'Traps' rattles along and is over and done with in a mere 20 seconds. It doesn't fuck about so why should I - it fits in and leads us into the gorgeous grind out that is 'Pledge'. Great bass line, tamed drums, pulsations from the six string serpent and then a building rain cloud of rhythm - switch to the vacant mode. The cleared out verse rises into a sexual sonic climax with he and she showing their enthusiasm via several duelling 'yeahs'. Retread the same path and then open out into liberated indulgence that energises the whole offering – oh baby. Thriving life consumes attention, a new seemingly improvised section bursts into centre stage and then we are back round in the loop. Highly contrasting stuff and thoroughly convincing right up until the final strum whereupon a good old nuclear warning that patronises the hell out of the public asks us to 'Duck and Cover'. Take my advice - don't listen - stand upright and face the explosive device that is The Franceens and get blown right away.
Fantastic cutlet of garage flesh, chomp on it doubter!
THE TEARDROP EXPLODES - WILDER
Once again Prescription Press keep me on my toes, this time with some retro post-punkage (a very vague term indeed if you ask me) via a band who formed in 1978, were based in Liverpool and had a fair degree of success along the way (the single 'Reward' was the most noteworthy offering). Around the time this band were strutting their stuff I was already dabbling in the harder edge of punk and so they came, left a slight impression and...went their merry way. After their first album release, Kilimanjaro (1980) this second full length release was much anticipated and looked set to establish the band as major players in the alternative scene. Alas a split was soon on the way. Frontman, Julian Cope, moved on from the band and made a successful solo career after the band split in 1982. In 1990 the band released the laughably entitled and somewhat conceited 'Everyone Wants To Shag...The Teardrop Explodes' which kind of encapsulates the attitude at the time (what a shit slag driven world hey)? Anyway, here I am, with a band that meant fuck all to me, looking to review a re-release with the usual ethics kept at the fore - by heck the PP crew have me by the knackers. I am dealing with this one in batches of 4 - seems the best way for a non-TE fan. Here's hoping kid!
The first batch begins with the budded inflorescence known as 'Bent Out Of Shape', a track that sends out initial tendrils of synthed and keyed up toneage, seemingly looking for a firm holdfast before truly blossoming via the pleasurable chorus snip. The blooms are soon retracted and we move along in sub-shadowed sonica with semi-whispered vocals most noteworthy. A steady start with much promise and enhanced by era-identifiable celebratory brassage. 'Colours Fly Away' is etched with initial sanguinity via bold adornments before somewhat floating around in a self-made whirlpool of satisfaction. I can't help being reminded of later 'Jam'my jaunts and it seems Weller’s gobbage is only moments away. There are several twists and turns within this clutterbucket of sound and one never gets to feel at ease as the song progresses along in somewhat experimental mode. Within the weave are some promising focused episodes but the whole concoction is too disjointed for my punked tastes. 'Seven Views Of Jerusalem' is a fidgety episode of bloody awfulness that confirms that my spirit of punkage was well directed and...still is. Just a light skimming number that farts about on notes that are seemingly unsure and fragile. At moments like this I do wonder what the band think of songs of this ilk all these years down the road. A real toss track if you ask me and one that fails to raise any interest. Hey it happens. The closure of this first 4 is an effort entitled 'Pure Joy', a ditty that starts with crisp guitar and is followed by a military trundle filled with a little more pep than discovered in the previous effort. Repeat and then enter a short snip that has an extra spaced out feel. Onwards to the finale with Cope at the fore maintaining his pleading, desperate style - not too bad.
Retrospective reviews are a strange task and without the squeeze and encourage factor I so consistently adopt I feel oddly awkward trying to best sum up this music that isn't for me. This however can be a good thing and keep one neutralised. I am already struggling though...
Track 5 and despite having the basic building blocks placed in an exacting position 'Falling Down Around Me' carefully steps out as a fair track and explores new avenues of sound and so immediately captures my attention. Less brazen and brassy, more particular and soothing and showcasing Cope at his textured best. The crawl is plucked, twanged and nervously twitches with an inner snip that is relieving - nice work. 'The Culture Bunker' begins with more comforting tones before fracturing into a typical era orientated upchuck. It is usual fodder and is quite deflating especially after the opening feathered vocals. The orchestration is ornamented but the song only glistens when the chorus manifests itself. It is a time warp tune and one many within the circle will waltz to (but not me). 'Passionate Friend' has a good spruced up vibe and skips away and radiates a carefree abandon whilst creating a fairly solid tune. Straight in on pronounced notes and having a distinct nostalgic trait - it may not encourage one to put ones head through a window but it was never meant to. Objectively this is a slightly sugared saunter with a sanguinity most apparent. As is the case thus far all units do work as an end machine and so the final product has that professional sheen (I know ghastly isn't it - and me a sewer punk - splurge). The last donation of this improved quartet is christened 'Tiny Children', a morose song that drips with exhausted lethargy and thus creates a yawn rather than a sharp intake of breath. Almost like a fairy tale teller bombed on Vallium the front dude comes across from cloud nine and is backed by a crew of droning Cuckoos - all contributing to a song that aches with expectation, that is veritably pregnant with potential and yet...the acoustic labia seems sewn shut and so no great expulsion is had - shame!
'Like Leila Khaled Said' has hope in the opening strums, creamily inches along, decides to avoid a gamble and thus comes across as a mid-tempo scoop of mediocrity. All is lucid and liquid in approach but there are no real thrills, no actual zest, no awakening flutter of the rhythmic wings...I progress quickly onwards. 'And The Fighting Takes Over' steps down a level or two as regards tempo and yet excites me a little more. Guitars are trickling and shimmer with an abundance of thought whilst the overlying utterances remain somewhat aloof, sobered and yet thoroughly in sync. One of those snippets that threatens to erupt into an avalanche of piercing violence but is utterly convinced in its own thread that it really doesn't need to. The tepid key tones enshroud this one in a comforting finishing layer and so we get a charge of relaxed positivity emitting from our neurotransmitters of noise. 'The Great Dominions' has a heart that beats with Metropolis mechanicalism and twinges with sub-Arabian essence. A smoked synth induces atmospheric presence, drums beat with emphasis on scarcity, the words are delivered with more fragility and so win sympathy (in a none patronising way) and ones attention - overall this is sweetly executed although the ending needs a snip or two. 'Christ vs Warhol' is more dreariness and plodding idleness that fails to create a response although after the midway zombified statement of the title the song does find a truer grip on matters and starts to awaken some interest. The interest however dwindles when the song unnecessarily extends the rundown - bah!
Diagonal (with pace).
Talk of unnecessary extensions - this review ain't half going on - 9 swift ones for your pleasure.
'Rachel Built A Steamboat' is higgledy piggledy dabbling and as a result wins the prize turd with a flag in it that is emblazoned with the word 'crap'. Really hate this indulgent number and so run from the stench into 'Suffocate'. This track ponders and dawdles but when eventually it puffs out its chest and decides to get on with things the success levels rise. 'Window Shopping For A Crown Of Thorns' begins with a melancholic early 1900's backstreet London vibe with the hallowed vocal style on top creating a counterpunch. Background invasions take many forms, a whole load of deliberation is had - almost a dirge manifests itself from the containing shell of this miserable shamble - a big no, no. 'Ouch Monkeys' is a scratching number constantly niggled by the rasp of a rattler that fails to excite the foreground of cold, dank and detached emotions. This slips by without much to recommend it - a very frosty excerpt. 'East Of The Equator' has an underlying Division of Joy that separates the track from that which could be gothic and that which is almost new romantic. The initial steps are restrained and dull but the brass lets the song off the leash and brightens the soundscape. A science-fiction sub-detective slant is formed in my mind and this inner instrumental piece is easy as you go and none-too offensive. 'Sleeping Gas' is a ‘live’ offering and does what it says on the tin - sends you to sleep - what an absolute crime of the self-indulgent time - once more I flick on knowing the reason I went punk was through outpourings such as this. 'The In Psychlopedia' is an effervescent number that has opposing angles with the electro-bubble up against the stark tones of the frontman. Whipped up, relentless in rhythm, space age and just overdoing the running time. Almost like a work-out for a jitterbug. 'You Disappear From View' stutters in, struts on peacock heels, drifts on well flavoured essences, travels deeper with a bolder stride, cruises further in TD tradition. Again not the thing that attracts a Fungalised bastard but highly competent, classily produced and with a better structure than some of the wayward weaklings on here - yes - I can get this. 'Soft Enough For You' is bordering on some 'MFP' 70's easiness, too inoffensive for its own good but with a tantalising finger clicking underscore that will draw in the more sedate sonic seeker.
Continuing the rapid-fire routine...
The BBC sessions gave many opportunities and the next 4 tracks are what this lot had to offer back in the day. More DIY in appearance, rawer and thus promising alternate possibilities - I am awakened. 'Pure Joy' is as militarised as mentioned earlier on the more spruced up version but here we have a stronger show of muscle, the song has more weight therefore more impact and perhaps in danger of being in the minority (well no danger in fact as that is usually the best place to reside) this one outstrips its doppelganger and is one of the best offerings of the lot. 'Like Leila Khaled Said' is a deliberate piece of sound and knows where it wants to get to. Earlier I dashed away from what I considered an almost lifeless duck - why the hell then am I not getting the same vibe here. It may not unexpectedly burst into life, it may not alter its stance at all but this time around I feel the whole offering is a more finalised package and the band know before staring off what they want to achieve. Again a vast improvement on the er...so called improved version. Madness I tell ya madness. 'I'm Not The Loving Kind' and 'The Culture Bunker' follow and both have a greater raw appeal although the former track is very hollow and wallowing. The latter track has a glisten within the weave and then somewhat flatlines but again that simpler end shine works wonders - still not fantastic but better than the previous offering.
Last 4 and taken from a Richard Skinner session back in 1981. Let us not dawdle - first up with 'And The Fighting Takes Over' as you were and yet having more pronunciation of the glisten, more shadowed edges to the vocals, more depth to the texture - almost hallowed and highly appealing. 'Better Scream Make That Move' reinforces an inkling I have about this band that when they are more forceful, more downright forward marching the success rate soars higher through the air. Add to this a refusal to toss about and you will get my drift. The song is only marred by such tomfoolery at the latter end - a shame because this started with hopes high. 'Bent Out Of Shape' is reincarnated and this time kept inside a sonic straightjacket and delivered from a creaky church that demands restraint. The band resist in part, are held in check in others - I have a soft spot for this song in both formats - sweet. 'Screaming Secrets' closes this entire collection, is a funky monkey full of advanced insight and many clashing touches - almost improv affluence that almost gets carried away once more - phew - just made it.
A long haul through a journey I am glad I wasn't involved in - better noise to dabble with ya see. Having said this I can see the bands quality, I can see their situation as it were in the early 80's sub-generic pool and I can see how many have a liking for this intricate fiddling. It is just too over fond of itself for me, too preened, to poseur-ish and too...tame. After all these years I reckon the band could have done and been so much more but retrospect is easy and it ain't no good having regrets. If this is your bag you will undoubtedly have many faves but if ye prefer things more venomous, more terse and to the point then like me, you shall run away and into the Fungal riddled woods.
OLD RADIO - CONSUME AND KEEP SMILING
Old Radio come on Skacorian heels primarily constructed from roughshod DIY breezeblocks that are placed into position with an exactitude as regards the said ethic and end sound. All vibes truly hint at retro rumblings, avoidance of commercialism and keeping things quite approachable – hey that will do for starters. The tones from these Liverpublian clatterers are richly woven and blend many flavours so deeply as to make all influences quite indistinct (if one doesn't scratch hard enough). Formed in 2011 the band are making slow and steady progress and so’ if this CD does the business’ and a few more get off their arses and help push em' along I am sure we can get the flow gushing a little more. It is what we are here for - come hell or high water! So what does Fungal make of this one then?
'In Ignorance' opens with a cine clip I have heard before on a 4 Past Midnight CD - I love this little furious cum desperation plea that asks you to not take this shit anymore. Straight into the song proper and free-wheeling aggression and hunger takes us through the first verse with no arsing around. A rolling and stuttering snip of spirit and the chorus is nailed. A deep bass rumble abates the avalanche and then...more sonic ice cascades and crushes. Guitars throughout are grimed, drums knocked about with exact abandon, gob work accented and unaffected. Skids and rattles and then a switch out, a moment of skanky reggae repetition - sweet - and the final blast out comes. The first stone is laid, can the band build a tower block of succeeding toneage? 'Anarchists Anonymous' is a fuckin fine second slab to lay down with questions posed and pondered, an aggressive DIY rally call given via a superb chorus, more flavoured skankiness thrown in and an overall excitable desire to deliver an anthemic tune that will serve the band well over a long period of time. The resonant bass at the rear adds weight to this song and the screwed up boat race delivery heightens to the overall conviction. Good stuff!
'Our Contributions' makes a grand entrance on showcased strums before tickling along on speed skank twinkle toes that fail to prepare the way for the surging and opposing chorus (no bad thing - contrast factor had). We are initially teased before the outpouring of the said chorus hits us like a direct runaway train - slam. We repeat the formula and are given several more episodes of preparation and power surges and so get a real treat in keeping with the heady standard set and what has passed thus far. The band are impressing me! 'Them And Us' has the most ambience with a shadowglass backdrop overloaded with sidling bassism, tranquil strokes of the strings, just enough tympani and mouth work that is entirely real, working class and in need of answers. The mellowed tones work in conjunction with the restrained anger and this one is over way too soon - so much to toy with, so much potential to tap further - a pearler! 'Brain Haw' has a tribute paying slant, is a coasting jaunt and has me thinking that the band are rattling off these efforts without too much fuss. This is one of those numbers that one thinks 'yeah' and...nothing more. You get moments like that with some songs - they come, do the business, fuck off into the ether and leave one with not much to add - and why should we? A steady midway outpouring as is 'Drink Myself To Death', but this latter track nips the arse with a little more self destructive spite. The flavour is spiced up using ingredients such as speed and gusto and the band shine all the better for it. Tenderised, scuttling in parts, forever on the hectic go with an essence of something Tartanised - strange one that! I ain't gonna complain though - another safe and strapped in effort!
Time ticks on.
'You Call This A Democracy' ticks a little more on a rushing vocal driven reggae/skank up that metamorphs into a scuttle shuttle that finds a new track and fuckin' hammers it like hell to the next station where once more we switch out - phew. The song is a swap and change number with opposing/complimenting styles neatly mixed and thus highlighting the many facets of the band as well as their capabilities. The accent in the gob once more adds identifiability and I like that - kind of makes it approachable - a key factor for sure. 'Move Out' stamps petulant feet, demands you take note and then skanks it out with rapid lyrics pouring over the upstroked and stung strings whilst cymbalised tympanisation takes place at the rear. The bass is the foundation, the explosions that come are scatterbombs of great necessity, the climax to the final rage carefully staged - this is good stuff indeed and capable of capturing the attention of varied sub-genres. The pursuing tickle is much the same but has greater impetus, a more twinkled toed crustiness, a more acute attitude that punctures the eardrum of the listener and feeds on the resultant submissive blood. Glassy, abraded, corrosive with the acidic spittle flying in more wayward directions - I'll be to the point - Old Radio do what they do so well and this song, 'On Your Own', is a prime example to back up that statement.
The finale is fantastically played out with a sub-dramatic build-up leading into an adrenalin rampage that no sooner appears than fades into another classily delivered bout of skarred aggression. The bellow out of the power driven chorus is perfect and the thunderous drums and electric lightning speed make this, as well as the song in general, a delicious sliver of melodic meat. 'Fall Like Rome' is a fine full stop on a surprisingly good CD.
So Old Radio are another wondrous crew on the good ship Discordance and are contributing a healthy mixture of several genres and making their own merry, alco-laden waves. The scene is rippling with bands like this and one should bloody well appreciate it - I certainly do. Again another one for this shroomed scribbler to check out in the flesh and again another one I expect to tickle my testes of tone - oooh mother!
GROIN - A GOOD DAY FOR BANNING
Slam - a kick indeed to the Groin with this heavy, arduous slab of meandering experimental vulgarity really squeezing the sonic testes and bleeding them dry of almost any salvation. This is the dabbling of a deviant, the resultant acoustic excrement from a bowel laden with mischief, erudite frustration and a desire to kick against the fuckin' acceptance pricks. The toxic insular ocean known has punk drowns a few, tosses around many who are happy in the 'one way' waters but has a few leg kickers who just need to get away, to a distant land, and flex their artistic limbs. Here, I feel, we have such a case. Whether I like this or not is a matter to be discussed and whether I respect it or not is something else to come under scrutiny but the man at the helm is certainly no way frowned upon by me and is one of those people you meet within the masses and think 'yes' - he has it! The 'it' I talk of is insight (not genital pox) and is most welcome in what is best described as a primarily 'it-less not tit-less' arena. So to the review - fuckin' hell this is gonna be a tough one. Splat!
The initial transgression beyond the barbed wire fence of choking punkage comes in the misshapen acoustic hunchback known as 'If You're Not Going To Pay Us', a foundation piece, filled with disabling industrialisation, grinding relentless incandescence where the light that shines is searing, testing and ultimately without point. The laughter at the finale and the redneck utterances that segue us into the ensuing '100% Guaranteed' are both mocking and diseased - the space age is upon us. Satellite touches, Clanger-esque shadows, the shit stains of the Soup Dragon streak the jewel studded black velvet - we are left to float in a gravitational free void. What the absolute fuck! Still bewildered, still astounded we are greeted by the 'Admiral Of The Night', a sinister figure swallowed up in this fairy tale miasma of complete lunacy. Satanic to the core in a lulling style that will consume your soul let alone your loins of lethargy. The chimes are spartan, the delivery minimalistic - it has something - but it needs a super nova take over - nothing less will do.
'Nev And Benny' set off numerous fire works in a brief attempt at escapism but the direct fury of the laser light mania known as 'Shangri'La' has me more intrigued. Tym 'panic' electric warfare begins, plasma bolts excite, proton clatterbombs disrupt - too much, too much - we need a saviour - the light blossoms, the calm after the storm - are we saved, are we at last given hope or is this just a nervous system needing to exorcise a few demons? The keyed tranquillity suggests both possibilities - we get caught up in a conundrum - darn bastard! 'Doom Of Drillbunny' is a deathbed concerto (in reverse). Last embers of life flick and flash in the orbs of sight and an overtaking fusion of utter finality provides desperate horror, supreme unavoidable terror. Drink the sherry from the anus of the demon, pop the pills from the mouth of the shambler, feel your existence be transported into a new numbing void that is utterly frightening. We are plunged into the last torment 'A Big Can Of Fantasy Whoop Ass', a sanctity from the previous nightmare. Many in the scenes of noise drink deeply from such a can and are seemingly drugged up to their glazed eyeballs with ridiculous self pomposity and ego driven misdirection. This one could very well nullify their ‘know it all’ ways - we start at nowhere and finish up in the same place having successfully been...nowhere. The minions of Elvin shits squabble with delight.
A jaunt, a tickle abroad, a venture for the hell of it. Vacant slabs don't build houses but they can lay good foundations. Whatever construct this leads to I am sure many will not be welcome and the few that are will be prized sensation seekers, never at rest with the flatulent flat line. The banquet is yet to come, the shit we eat takes on many flavours - be afraid, be very afraid. Verdict - hatred and loathsomeness copulate with intrigue - thank goodness for my good health.
FREEDOM FACTION - ANOTHER QUALITY CAPER
First formed in 1984 this crew are literally purist old school and after a long pause popped back up on the scene 20 years later with new line-up (the only original member being that loveable rapscallion Nick Grant of bass duties) and somewhat new sound. The initial releases of the comeback had a lass on lead who, for me, underestimated her own punky talent and contributed mightily to a sound that really rocked my rhythmic rafters. The band suddenly went into another diapause, things became silent, would a new beast emerge and would they hold and maintain the levels set - far from easy. The overall presumed ecdysis is now over it seems and the next instar is upon us - the question is as to what this next development stage will bring - success, failure, more of the same - like I say - it won't be easy!
And so to the CD - initial impressions and all that. For me the first thoughts are of a band in slight panic and in a rush to get back out there and create an impact on the back of the set impetus (which in truth has fizzled) and so slip into a groove all up and running. I say this because each track on this CD has a distinct similarity in both output and construction which, in this instance, impedes the potential and pre-created opportunities. The whole angle of the band and where they come from drips with a greater variation than included here and that is a very basic error I feel. As a result I am not going to deliberate too long on each track, I refuse to pluck the wings off individual beasts and give a false reading when in truth the end swarm of songs has a certain captivation. Here we go then - up front, the advancement of the band the utmost priority and hopefully keeping all areas motivated.
The first 3 tracks are simplistic enough with all proceedings beginning with a sub-Pistolonian vibe that develops into a fair tickling number. 'On The Fiddle' is a decent intro with an ensnaring vibe and as a stand alone is worthy of attention, despite the simplified construct. 'Rip Duty Free' follows and continues the vibe set but has more speeded up spunk in the shaft of noise. The guitar once again cuts with a rusty edge, the bass bubbles with life, the sticks maintain regularity and splash when needed. The gob is a style that is odd and easily recognisable and I suggest it could be of quite a Marmite flavour. Either way this second song outstrips the first due to the higher zest factor and the zipped up fast track to the last blast. 'Can't Beat A Quality Caper' suffers as a consequence of following 2 tracks that are almost the same (a theme to continue) and so has its impact well and truly impeded. The style is fine but the wrap and repeat chorus is overly done and this one lacks any general finesse that is very much needed at this early stage.
'Under The Thumb' comes next and is a song ruined by too much repetition - simple as. The atmosphere and darkened mood is a solid move and executed well with hints towards early 80's punkage that tried to advance the noise. The only gripe is that the darn chorus line is fuckin' stated over and over again to an almost soul sapping degree. What a shame and a real gem scratched and marred as a result - boo! 'Out On Your Ear' chugs inward, builds a platform, strolls on lazed feet and then moves into a chorus that is soaked with failing familiarity. The frustration that arises from this one really grinds and we have a band surely culpable of being overrun by urgency rather than dictated by care and punky preciseness. Again the song is half decent as a lone ditty but within this pack it gets crowded out and becomes a different beast. The last song of this second batch of 3 is entitled 'Paparazzi Nazi', a scuffling effort rising on rolled drums and scuzzed strings. 'Ditto' is the only word to use and that can be taken as both a slight and a sign of utter bewilderment. The fact that an inner skanking segment showcases so many options the band could have used only backs up my feeling that the band have yet again committed a major faux pas. I bail out and take a break.
'Sleepy City' cuts a dash, cymbals tinkle, guitars corrode and then the gob takes up where it left off. Good energy throughout the first verse and then a crazed chorus that becomes almost comedic in its attempt to really screw things up. Again the drive is healthy, the grind effective, the instrumental blast fuckin' headbanging' but...the band refuse to alter their stance. Not bad though this one and a definite piss and pogo rattler with oodles of well tempered pace. 'Five Litres A Day' takes hold of things and care is had via a verse in no rush to slam home its point and instead relies on a firm grip of rhythm that slides perfectly into a real cultured chorus. The delivery however is one you just can't pull out of an orthodox hat and wear – it just doesn’t fit right – that can be a good thing. There is a certain relaxed approach and without trying too hard the band let it flow and come out with the best song of the lot. 'Shipwrecked' appeals far better than it would as a result of following the previous track thus backing up my point that these individual songs are not that bad but as an overall collection get a duff deal. This latter song has usual fizz but is shaken up at first and so helps the song stay afloat. It is the chorus that releases vital urgency and helps maintain interest and if the band take note of this high action chunk and the previously complimented relaxation method then variety and quality levels will rise like an erection loaded with the 70's arousal cream known as Endros! Nudge, nudge, wink, wank!
'Human Missile' slaps about in confident style, ascends on gruff strings, slinks it up a little via the main meat of the song, takes a break on a funked up Warheadian style cutlet and then ploughs on to the finale where it clatters out. 'Nuisance Neighbour' follows on with just way too many reminiscent moments of all that has gone before. The chorus is well blustered and neatly flustered with the released follow-on packing good rhythm but...well you know the rest.
The result - a real let down. The reasons as stated and I feel very deflated after this one. Freedom Faction had so much in their sweaty palms and have let it go and are currently stepping back up on the rung of this noisy ladder. They have much to do but, if you do indeed dig deep and take these songs as individuals, there is much foundation laid. They need to mix up the approach, believe in taking a chance and work hard at altering the structure. I think a 4 track EP is a must next with at least 4 flavours rattled in, varied lengths of song, caution with atmospherics had and from the utterly swift and raging to the more drawn out and dramatic thrown in. It can be done. In the meantime this is getting a mere lowly verdict and written off as a rushed error.