FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 77
CSOD - BEGINNING OF THE END
From the realms of times past I recall, in this bewildered slab of aging grey matter, reviewing a CD by the band in question and being slightly pleased with the emitting disturbance. I may be wrong, it could indeed have been a pile of excrescence dropped my the most fatal farting orifice ever known to man - but I think not (either way - you can check it out on the Fungal site as per). That CD, appropriately enough, was entitled 'Shove It Up Your Arse', a statement that kind of sums up the approach of this band (in a none gay way of course - but you just never know) - do it, do it ones own way and fuck the rest - I like that! After many attempts I finally caught up with these Blackpool Bastards of Noise at one of my gigs in Bradford, were they duly played and duly impressed with both output and attitude - I can't ask for more than that can I? A CD was gained, a review requested and you should know the rest - the tickle of the keys comes this way, the pixelated digits appear and this is how it all ends up looking.
Devilish music from a catacomb rumbles before the main sonic thrust of 'Burnt Bridges' shoots its heady infection into the expectant vein and creates a metallic adrenalin rush built on rage and rhythm - nothing more, nothing less. A conflagration is started, the energy intent is responsible for the increase in the flame and those damned souls desirous of something hybridised between two melodic mules ready to be burnt to a crisp will be satisfied with the sound spilling forth. Bass and guitar wrap around each other and pulsate as one with the 4 strung sword providing resonate underlay, the 6 wired weapon donating an ornate pattern of solid tension. Drums beef it up, pound and roll with total focus and the gob resides in his own puked filth and is raw, gruff and consistently wound up with fury. This is hefty output and is a powerful opening gambit - boom. 'Dayruiner' initially tortures and teases as the quadro cables are wanked off with relish. Straight ahead and an ensnaring cut of saturated spillage floods the atmosphere via a crew very much wanting to kick down doors and leave footprints on your already pulverised skull. The riffs are incessant and this is a volatile track constantly exploding - a bag of hand grenades that will not be suppressed. One expects a short running time and it doesn't transpire which surprisingly doesn't matter and as a startling consequence the song only thrives. As ye know I have a penchant for short sharp bursts but am loving this prolonged beating and so can only offer up my humble applause to a band cutting a fine groove.
'Born Victim' definitely leans more towards the long haired brigade with a necessary plod, a decisive hammering, a more routine method in the madness. The verses are grinding, the chorus simple, all adorned with the odd strung elaboration. Despite this rather orthodox style the song convinces and in part is needed within the midst of its more flamboyant cousins so as to provide variation and contrast. An inner segment of showmanship and final unrushed punishment full stops in strong style. 'Hate Thing' is straight at you, feeding on your visceral desires, pulling apart your resistance and splattering it all over the shitbowl of sound. Carving guitar slices with intent, drums slam nails into the more vulnerable areas, the bass keeps kicking the bollocks and maintaining that dull throb of pleasure. The frontman is still snarling and dripping insane saliva from a grimace borne in the bowels of Hades. This is dark, reverberating metallica posing in punked spikes and getting away with it. The crossover could be termed as blasphemy but I can't help finding perverse delight within the searing din - intense man, intense!
'Devil Beside Me' pulsates, booms whilst on a leash, then...gallops along via a certainty and deliberation that intrigues. We are now becoming more and more immersed in the blood of the rocker and wallowing with a bleak triumph. The final drenching that the song (and its brethren) has undertaken in the studio is complimentary to the bands style and they are really getting the best out of themselves and just a leaving a little room for more. Energy is poured in, the song reflects this by radiating a black light that dazzles, the influx of perpetual riffage power pounds the flatulent doubts that may arise - even if this isn't your thing, even if this isn't nothing new under the sun please, yes indeed please - hold your calloused and warted hands up ye merry masturbator of music and accept it as a darn good effort.
We close with 'No Way Out' - boom, hard wire, boom, fast twang, boom, boom, fuck it. The opening oral hand is scathing and wears away disbelief and replaces with a heavy fisted slam of conviction. The roar through the first verse showcases the band at their best and into the merging chorus we are plunged with, it seems, no escape. Onwards and the hefty kicking being dished out as a farewell and fuck you is well appreciated and every bruise, abrasion, broken bone is well worth it. The band rise and go for it and right up until that last expulsion we get absolutely hammered.
CSOD come, they do not fuck about, they forcefully breed two genres and swing the acoustic afterbirth this way and that whilst compelling the offspring to make one hell of a howling discordance. This is knuckle-dusting stuff to attract a diverse brigade of rhythmic rockers and hopefully will unify many head rattling bastards and make their ears, balls and bowels bleed. Next instalment of crushing exhibitionism please...NOW!
GUMS - ANTIPATHY
From a dental stance I have perused these exposed gums before and found them to be not utterly to my liking but, I reckon I was wary and insightful enough to recognise the potential for bigger and better chomps. The last exposure convinced me of an orifice of acoustica that was capable of belching out more convincing filth and I felt I came away slightly deflated. Alas I am requested to conduct another routine check-up of this Glaswegian collective and I am looking to find a new and refreshing gob of discordance fitted with sharp and healthy dentures of dinnage that are ready to nibble away at any doubts. Let's hope I don't touch too many nerves along the way either - I always have care in mind but I won't shy away from the job at hand - one has to be direct and determined to squeeze the best out of all concerned.
The first tooth of tonegae to be hummed and aahed at is known as 'The Willow Cafe', - hum, aah! A very retroed piece initially harking back to a 'Monkee'ish innocence before wobbling away into a harmonised cum sub-spoken journey via an enthusiastic guitar squelch, a foundation providing bass and some hoppity drum work. This one is seemingly over quite quickly (well that's the impression I get) despite the 2 minute running time which, as it turns out, gives hint at a decent ditty. The usual flavoured plaque is scraped off to reveal a sturdy opening offering.
'New Year' needs a closer look and out comes the magnifying mirror to just check the main root of the song and the overall structure. A crisp strum, a suggestion of weariness, the inclusion of he/she murmurs and then we break out into a blossoming moment that is nothing less than well scrubbed hygiene. The edges are neatly flossed and no superfluous sonic food remains and so any impediment is avoided. The clarity of the delivery, the floating harmonies that reassure, the opposition between the sub-triumphant, sub-defeated, the general professionalism of the song - when these gums produce acoustic enamel such as this there can be no fault found. Charming. 'Luckless Days' is 'Marr'ed in a true Smithsonian way and is a gorgeous flaunt of solid musicianship that captures an air fresh aroma built on sunny styles and lyrics done so simply and yet so accurately. The lead lass has a voice dipped in accented honesty and glazes over the whole sharpened canine of cacophony quite perfectly. A filling of glinting gold exhibits the effort gone into making this a stand out ivory and each and every player does the business - skittled drums, twinkle guitars, bounced bass - oh yes!
And swill and spit please.
'Are You Still Cruel' teases with Hawaiian-esque idiocy squirming away in a backdrop of morose mutterings and madhouse 'whoo hoo's'. A really uncomfortable and decaying plug in a line of pearly whites. I just don't get this and although the arrangement alters the stance of the CD as a whole it is a right old dreary dangler. The pliers are reached for, out it comes, aaaggghhhhh! The saliva that dribbles forth is not from relish but from a numb sensation that this one has brought about - sorry people - you gotta clean things up a little.
Gargle, the pain and lack of sensation subsides, the treatment is over...and so…
Let's see you 'Dancing In Your Room'. The drill is now applied to the nervous system and a higgledy piggledly bout of sonic hop scotch is forced via a jerky verse that eventually leads into the encouraging spunk of the chorus - move ya bastard, move. The fidgety, spasmodic burst is most welcome, the not stop flutter of all components most relieving and this one is a fair toon to get yer ass shifted to. And so into the 'Function Suite', a party it seems, after all that has transpired. A harmonised opening, a spoken segment assisted by minimal touches, a combo of the two styles and a switch into a more emotive cutlet that takes us by the dreamy hand into a liquid chorus of choice simplicity. The Gums are healed, the day is rescued, the potential nightmare avoided - the band send us homeward bound with a cultured tap on the shoulder and a rhythmic kick up the arse in, ultimately, progressive style.
Gums offer a whole heap to consider, they give their tuneage forethought, they are capable of producing good classy material (examples given here) and I feel, given the right break, could be moved on up into the higher echelons of this murky musical shitheap. You can sense the insight and precision - it just needs an open lug or two and a bit of effort on the listeners part - for fucks sake - get the message, get the CD - tear open your punky strait jacket and liberate tha' lugs. OPEN WIDE!
PEDAGREE SKUM - NIGHTMARES AND SCREAM ESCAPES
From the ravaging embrace of reality comes a grimed and very honest shard of focused product that is seeped in life, its curses and its challenges. Pedagree Skum are a gathering of cultured punkers who are doused in the blood, sweat and tears of the scene and therefore have much self grown shit to pour into the overflowing melting pot. They play gigs anywhere they can and are led by a sweet lead lass who has no pretence, no piss-arse angles and yet has an eye for a good tune and a good spirit. Each player contributes his weight in scum and this entire collection of scratched, scathed and scuffed sonica is one that will tickle the already well worn taste buds of those lovers of hygienic filth - the oxymoron is beautifully exact - never doubt, the revelation will appear.
'Numbers' defies authority and then tub-thumps before racing along with an hot-wired engine spitting initial fuel everywhere and making the way for many better offerings This is a straight ahead snip of punkage with sub-radioed ravings, a middle slice of chopped stringwork and some witch-esque sniping. Primarily bass and drum driven before a final gear shift is had - it ain't bad but, when the CD is reflected on, this one comes across as one of the most tamest and orthodox tracks. A middling start! And so the ante is upped. 'Autistic Song' powders the granules of sonica and the ensuing discordant dust is blindingly effective with guitars throbbing, pulsating with a gnawing life and giving this one a vitality to be reckoned with. Beneath these two wired up components we have the drums scatter attacking the scuzz and only splashing when required - ideal. At the fore comes the varied vocals of the front lass - wow - even after seeing this lot perform 'live' several times I never believed the textures of the tonsilised deliveries could undulate and weave so darn bloody well. The subject matter is close to the heart of this gobby vixen and the passion, lyrical insight of a different reality, cute word play, pertinent point making capitalise this whole construct and make it an overall bold and blazing song to reckon with. The band have found their strength. As an extra thought - if you doubt the content then consider this question - 'isn't everyone on the autistic spectrum'? Think about it!
'Big Band Theory' begins on tight bass and tempered taps before a playground taunt is thrown into the melting pot. Strings stir up the punky porridge and each and every player takes their turn to spit in the end mix before offering up for the bigger bands to partake of. A real fighting talk underdog outburst that is a short sharp shock of reality. The construct may be tame in truth but the bite is hard and that, in the main, carries the song. 'Con 'Dem-Nation' works its way steadily through the resistant undergrowth with a scything inflection and acute stubbornness before a clearing is eventually found and the band surge along as though a leopard of criticism is hot on their heels. The anti-political walk and run style resumes with a nasty underlying spite overflowing with a double repeat attack of the title wrap-around another bout of energy filled raving. The final scream is welcome and this is a swift inclusion to keep the chomping jaws at bay.
'Futility Of The Human Condition' is a questioning curio with many subtle angles thrown in and thus making for an intriguing listen that has plenty of life. Very much a song built on the disbelief of anyone with a brain. The whole approach and idiocy of the masses is put under the spotlight via a statemented style interspersed with high flown glidings and swooping bouts of taloned aggression. The strung thermals and maintaining tympanics create a good airspace in which to fly and the Phoenix at the fore does just that with convincing muscular style. The Skummers with a DIY Pedagree are turning my head and I expect many more to follow as they pick up this CD and duly appreciate. 'Meat Hook' glistens with bass before fanning the electrical flames with hot roasted guitar. The intensity becomes harsher as the biting bitch chips in with her viciously stated bellows and lets the listener have it right up the jacksie and right down the gullet. This one is akin to a thumbscrew being slowly turned with the only intent in causing severe displeasure - the band fail - what they create is a deep, dark pleasure that is done with such conviction and focussed spite one cannot help but submit to the decadence. An inner radioed repeat chant is almost mocking and heightens the experience no end - a sizzling slab of sound. 'New Generation' begins with a haunting pluck, twinges with a pang for more energy, tick tocks and then splashes in anticipation. A pause, you know what to expect - a full on flow spouting off about a new breed to be reckoned with. The old school could be washed up in the main, the new school lacking the true ethos and spirit - this is gonna separate the wheat from the chaff - do you want it? It is a typical sub-rally call, self-confident chant - it rises and carries itself on its own enthusiasm - not bad ladies and gentlemen.
'Reality' once more uses a bassed up intro and is soon assisted by lightly touched guitar strings and deftly tapped drums. The mouth work is floating, lightly spread, evenly dispersed and utterly convincing and the sable sub-suggestions that are obviously promised come as the throat gets gently torn up with all held in adequate check. The repetition of the chorus and ensuing pulse of the players gives this thriving beast new life and as we gulp air and drink in the final expulsion where all facets are repeated we have a sense of complete satisfaction. The concoction has clarity and a classy edge but remains DIY, crummy and of the street. 'Relationshit' double strums, runs, double strums again and then jogs along on rhythmic feet with an in-built confidence and sage advice to boot. The corrugated underflow gives strength, the delivery changes its epidermal layer from smooth and shiny to something scaly and matted - the juxtaposition is careful and works quite nicely and something beneath gives a general uplifting feel. The vibe is to open up, don't be afraid - let somebody in and place your trust therein. And still the lowbrow overflow comes - phew - and bloody glad of it we should be! 'Stronger' is a puncturing piece that slams titled nails into place amid a brandishing style of sonic warfare. The opening rise and reveal is preparatory and makes way for the duplicated statement of the songs name and the bass roll that is full stopped with guitar and drum strikes. After an abrasive charge where dust flies and controlled, drilling discordance reigns we refold back on ourselves and carry on this way to the last strike. This is a subtle change and adds a bit of chomp to the CD - as though there ain't enough already. 'We end with a 'Virus', an infecting scourge that screeches in and duly sets about its debilitating work. The first verse is coldly stated amid the tribal underlay and scouring guitar. Whack up the volume, the hollowed hollers of the chorus need to make full impact and with an increase in sound levels they do just this. Another abrasive number that is only lightened by the front lasses pseudo-delicacies, a very nice way to finish this whole sonic shebang if you ask me.
So Pedagree Skum finally get it together and produced a CD with many contemplative moments, many justified highs and many fulfilments of the obvious promise. A couple of numbers are pretty regular but overall this is quality product from another band below the shitty commercial radar. I hope this hasn't come too late in the day and the kafuffle of the grapevine can be kaboomed into the great unknown leaving this lot to rise on the quality found here. Either way - collectors of purism - this is thy moment to indulge.
VIKI VORTEX & THE CUMSHOTS - BITTERSWEET TWISTED DREAMS
The knicker draw of riotous rhythm is opened once again and I am forced to sniff around and see what untold pleasures I can textually cum across. I rifle around and find that the said container of all acoustic knick-knacks was first open in 2008 whereupon these Spanish thrusters set about filling a few orifices with their own brand of throb. Based in Brighton and with some good contacts the band have a few dedicated followers and knock out something more than the expected sleaze the name suggests (although I may just trickle down that route with the review - oops pardon). So here we go, 9 titivators to uncover, plunge!
The first pair of acoustic panties to be held aloft are emblazoned with the name 'Hold On' - ooh sounds promising. The initial impression is of a sturdy feminine driven construct with ribbed gussets of bassism providing the most important aspect as regards support. Stickwork is brisk, guitar scuttling and the overall appearance is without frills and instead built to fuck rather than fuck about. The intimation is of a quickie and that is what we get with verbals kept strong and necessary girlie in parts. The odd squeal shows relish, the humping impetus is effective and a midway shuffle of the ass to create a deeper resonance assists the end sensation. Nice start with a good close-up and personal eye to eye defiance. A shuffle about and lo and behold a brace of vibrating duo balls are examined further. 'Big Mouth' and 'Give Us A Reason' are scrutinised and each vibromatic pulse considered. The former track is of a loose tongued twat (which could be sexually pleasing but in this instance is nothing of the sort) who can't keep a secret. The billow and bite has a gusto and the vibes are attracting with a consistent flow of the inner juices created. Cuntrified (deliberate miss of the 'o' to keep the theme), hip-swaggering and deeply rattling - ooh me orifice. The latter number quakes with greater nervous inducing necessity and really shakes up the internal erogenous zone. The electric shimmering sends an electrified tongue deep inside the listener and there merry devilment is concocted. You will do well not to twitch to this pepped up piece and the six and four string weapons that provide the main zest of the song only add to the thrill. Don't underestimate those tympanic titbits though - the whole masturbation of melody needs these incessant tickles of the skin.
All a tingle I delve deeper with hungered digits. The 'Plastic Fantastic' that is gripped is phallic and full of promise. 'Play Loud' is etched down the sides and that may be a signal to groan with pleasure, indulge with leisure - who am I to sway such an innocent passer by? Penetration is had, the buzz is heavy, the whole lead up to the climax routine and perhaps less titivating than other thrills but the rattle of the inner implement gets the job done and the end vibromatic experience ain't too bad. Ooh another pair of sonic panties - this time neatly embroidered with the suggestive message of 'Easy Come, Easy Go' - wow - talk about throwing it about. My pecker is up now and after the previous track I am making sure I get a good snifter here. The aromatic flavours are consistent with the last song and in truth I am getting nothing extra in the dingle dangle department of discordance. The back rattle is as you were, the fast wire whipping also without variety, the gobbage still sucking out the appreciation with usual hunger. Again the experience is fast, slightly rough (don't ya just like it that way) and will not take 'no' for an answer and is in keeping with the rest of this tucked away collection. I shan't complain but there is room for something crotchless, something peephole, something more lubed.
'Burn Today' repeatedly slaps the face with a wake up desire before trundling along the juddering lines of noise and just about keeping on track. The band seem to be racing to an unseen climax and the sonic steam train known as Her Royal Highness Clitty Clitty Chuff Chuff is stoked, well driven and giving off much pollutant smoke - cough, splutter no tutter! What happened there then. ‘Angel Or Devil' is a sexual shriveller that is just too much of the same for me and is one of those that if presented earlier in the CD would sound a whole lot more convincing. It has the bands idiosyncrasies and shuffling attacks as well as the same irresistible tempo but just lacks that final magnetism...or does it? Repeat, shuffle, mental scuffle...reconsider...nah I be wrong - this is equal to any track so far but is just forced to sit in the wrong chosen chair.
A bra and two cups of noise to ponder. 'Rats In A Cage' rattles with vicious intent, is once more built of rib rattling rhythm and straight ahead focus. Words and a statement of the song title come and go, the inner spice and spite combine to add an edge although this song has the unenviable task of preceding the best of the lot and so is soon forgotten. 'Twisted And Sick' is mid-tempo, has more feeling to the gob work, eases along into a delightfully basic chorus that gently undulates with emotive encouragement and artistic accuracy. The bass heightens the tactile presence of the song and the general liquidity makes this step forth and out compete all of its near relatives. A fine closure. One bra – one titty, ditty small, the other a whopper with a nipple of noise like a discus – thanks for the mammory!
So in summing up I am going have to be honest and say I am please yet a little frustrated. The band have much to adore here with the final masterpiece showcasing why, in the main, I am still on edge. It is blatantly obvious this lot have more to offer and until they do I think I can reserve full judgement. I like this neat package and the overall essence but...oh but they could have done so much more. Again I find myself squeezing hard (in all vulgar and sonic areas) and if they produce the goods then all and sundry will be more than happy. Watch this sonic space.
4 PAST MIDNIGHT - LIFE ON THE INSIDE
Look, 4 Past Midnight are a sound band who know how to knock out a hefty tune or two and keep all punk rock perverts happy. Having said this, even I wasn't prepared for this latest episode of galvanic power that not only gets the noggin wide awake and fully alert but encourages one to repeatedly smash the old skull into a immovable brick wall in utter noise-laden madness - again and again and again and...again. There has been a shift in the line-up, a break seems to have re-energised this Glaswegian force, the whole crew seem to have come back like men on a mission to new melodic levels of mayhem - and why the hell not? The fuel is in the rocket, blast off is imminent - here is my take on what distant sonic stratospheres and lands this noise may reach.
5...4...3...2....fuckin' have it!
The initial take off is aided by the steady upthrust of 'Broken', an episode that commences with crisp, clean shaven strings and is boosted by the strength of the opening verse. Steady as she goes Captain with those flesh-ripped vocals relating a tale of an insult to womanhood and the bastards who make their lives so damn hard. The rise is perfectly controlled, the exhaust clouds given off wonderfully toxic and the production found therein exact for the band. There are many better songs to come but for that first zoom upwards this is more than adequate and has an increasing strength - hop on board quick, this is promising to be a fine journey. A sharp injection of stretched guitar, a rattling rumble of bass and drums, we are reaching new zeniths so soon and the extra fuel blast leads us into the hard and direct zone where rage statements are given and a pure simplistic double ended boost is had via a chorus that makes impact. The sonic skies blur in a frenzy, overload already seems imminent, the band take a neat free-float option and reggae things up before switching back on and absolutely surging through the ozone with a torrent of discordance energy. A quick pause to assess the situation and wham - the final tumult - a magnificence surge – no way a ‘Nightmare’. The Heavens have been reached, we need to go further and what better way to do it than with the assistance of an ignition firing anthem known as 'Any Other Way'. The verse is built of concrete foundations with an exoskeleton of productive acoustic values that give pure strength to the whole vessel. We need this strength to gain higher altitudes of respect and appreciation and from the first utterances the riffs and gobbage combine to make this an irresistible force and thus the applause follows. The chorus is all embracing, it takes us through the clouds, beyond the atmospheric layers of the average and exceeds its own progressive nature. At last we are in to deep space - what a fine moment to be had - what a way to reach such plateaus.
Chaos comes as the aggressive asteroid belt known has 'Riot' rattles the ship and we hold on for dear life. The initial drive is drum driven with a tympanic terror indenting the outer shell of resistance. Verse and chorus blend and hurtle bigger boulders of resonance before flat-lining out and giving one steady batter clatter. Sparks fly, a drift through a more spaced out moment arrives and is well timed, we are heading for safer flying room - one last hammering - done - we made it - not a bad wake up call (as if we needed it). The glory of surviving the upheaval is had by a stunning surge known as 'Justified'. A blossom of flame roars from the rear, the visual blur is created by hard, hitting pace and delightful accuracy, the ultra sonic zest fractures new barriers of time and we are whipped along by a crew laden with new found relish and desire to reach certain interstellar highs. One of my favourite moments here and a really uplifting effort that gets us into the whole meat of the journey. A port of call, a time to consider what this racket rocketeering is all about - the flashlight flicker intro welcomes us - we refuel, we bid you re-welcome.
Beacons glimmer, celebrations are prepared for 'Punk Rock Noise', the bands new signature tune, the sing-a-long gem we knew was coming, the call for all fans to rally round and slurp, sing, stagger and swirl. The band come off board, play a crackerjack and throw in many clichéd touches that should be enjoyed rather than dissected too hard. There is a something almost professional here (which isn't necessarily what I prefer) which should take the band on to new levels of praise - not my favourite but certainly a decent moment. 'Story Of My Life' sees a frog march across the dusty plains with a subtle bout of confidence giving a kick up the arse of all weary warriors and well worn rockers. It is the least effective episode of this entire journey and is a midway junction to pop in at only now and again. It is played well, ascends and exhibits in good measure but lacks the rocket juice that has brought us this far. Time to hop back on board and go for it methinks. Enter, strap in and prepare for the reckless runner that is 'Nothing Has Changed', a DIY number that lacks the production prowess of the more 'grab and smash' numbers but a number that is worthy of its place on this CD. It leaves a plume of dross behind, shoots off with pace aplenty and focus set at the max - why not? All seems to be smooth, without danger and then 'boom', a stray meteorite rattles our aural vessel for six and the impacting holler known as 'Hollie' really makes us sit up and take note. The subject matter is of such magnitude many would steer clear let alone deal with it in the forthright way that the 4PM boys do. The creeping malevolence of the aftershock sends us reeling, the inflection is vicious, the song is not for the weak of will. Red alert - help is needed - lets maintain this music and stop the deed in question - nice work lads.
We fly on, we have an inkling (whether it be about the answer to the previous song or the whole thing known as life in general), maybe 'The Truth Is Out There'. The view from the portal shows a nearby satellite station indicating a sign of life, that life comes from the core of this song - a rampant devil in appreciation of a TV show. The halo around the presence of this effort is bright, the inner zonings well crafted and built of punked primitive instinct that won't sit still until all nearby stars are blown out. One, two, three - triumph - foot down, we are already homeward bound, the vortex of passing time is to be avoided - 'Trapped' by the system many may be but not this lot - a fast fuck runaway number reliant on sanguine skill and an in built hunger to do the job and do it well. The midway rumble arouses fear that the whole eruption may implode - no chance - impetus is had – let us give closure to this CD with the last 4 nailed in one mighty swoop.
'The Fight' helps us glide, aids us in free-floating along with this successful bunch and gives us promise that giving in is never an option. The instrumental cut is sublime and perfect for the job at hand, the final closure is unifying and will fill the pits with pogoing zealots - spicy. 'What You Gonna Do' is potentially a last minute crisis and is a song that wraps around itself a little to often for comfort. The players control the repeatoid cum spinning sensation and level the ship via slamming pushes of various pedals, dogmatic stubbornness and hard-fought musicianship. Not my favourite moment of this trip to be honest and one easily forgotten - thanks goodness for 'Who Takes The Blame', a gritty affair recapturing the violence, intrusive aggression, up front and blasting desire. All components burst us back into fresher skies where colours are more sharp, unified and in full focus. The bass is given time to rumble, the drums still shudder, the guitar careens and organises in equal measure - the vocal work is turning black with the radiating heat - will we hold up to the final landing spot. Chutes open, we ease up on the terror, yet tension is still high as the guitar twinges with intensity. 'How Does It Feel' - well quite fuckin' splendid - whoa hoa's are triumphant, the home base is missed, this one is gonna crash in spectacular style into an ocean of praise. 'Nobody Knows, Nobody Cares' the band state in almost defeated manner - I fuckin' know, I care - this is massive, monumental music and the spray that rises from the impact, the foaming whirlpool that is created is all down to the players talent and refusal to take the easy option. The break comes, we wonder what next, bubbles ascend to the surface - the throats rise from the depths for one last burst of victory - great stuff all round. The end stomp says 'have it' - dare you refuse?
Journey done, mission accomplished, verdict registered high - this lot know how to rock it, know how to blaze a severe trail and what you get here is a taste of just how good this band are both on and off stage and on and off the silver circle. Their best stuff to date? I think so - why - because this explosion has maturity, thought with the end sheen and is the most consistent cut thus far. They can ride high on this offering for a while but as always that niggling twitch to get out there and travel once more will soon be apparent again - I personally cannot wait!
BLACK EYE FRIDAY - DEMO
Very exciting off the cuff hardcore with a yelled and yanked soundscape that has a certain orderly fashion hidden away beneath the wild up front urgency. Hailing from Leicester this lot play most gigs in another sub-generic pool of punk and for me it is about time a few more trapped and self tortured spiky tops got around to hearing this lot as well as seeing them in the 'live' dust basin of swirling discordance. I have been mighty impressed with the bands 'live' songs thus far and I reckon they can mix it up and hold their own far and beyond their current circle - here is a CD review to whet yer appetite.
'Refuse To Die' kicks off and is 56 seconds of thundering trebled up clatter led by a flurrying frontman who propels himself with hollered assertiveness and relentless gumption. The backdrop of musicianship travels along on stable tracks without too much wavering off course. An adequate scene setter loaded with that signature impetus the band carry with them at all times. Swiftly on and into the crackin' crusade labelled 'Run Fascist Run'. Straight at ya, burying its teeth in your indolent arse and shaking out some life (and shit) for sure. The first verse is high energy and packed up with irresistible relish. The slip into the slashing chorus is exact and we are only given a brief guitar twinge before we are straight back into the zest of this fine song. Hardcore needs its foundations injected with breathless passion and fuckin' thriving fervour - both qualities are found here. The song threatens to close several times but thankfully doesn't and travels onwards to create a wonderful moment. 'I Found Nothing' exposes more of the bass and excels as a result. Another excitable number buzzing with DIY riffage and air raid warning necessity. The vocals are pushed to the max, the strings intrude and powerpunch within reason, the sticks never cease until...that last unexpected scream is had and we complete a hat-trick of songs that has me convinced - just like the 'live' viewing I recently had.
'All Empires Fall' is half a minute of H/C scarcity, a real bare arsed number that sets out to get the job done as soon as fuckin' possible - it is too quick to kick - too swift to slaughter - it maintains the urgency. 'Heroin' is a chasing gem that stutters beautifully at the start, surges forth with perhaps the most considered construct thus far, showcases all components with generosity and provides the most accomplished combination of sounds. The alteration of gobbage, the threat of utter breakdown, the ride on the cusp, the vimmed up delivery all make this a tip top treat to throw off many a sonic shackle to. The last blur of acoustic fists full stops a beauty. 'Mouthpieces' has a built in repetition that hum-dings along on a buffeting underlay of noise. The neat switch off to some crisp and cultured stringwork is choice and fractures this song right down the middle and gives the second half a more flavoured and fighting quality - lovely stuff. 'Their State' closes this respectable upchuck of breathless angst and is a ditty with a classy tin can alley start, a straight forward (well for this band at least) scuttle that has distinct verse and chorus cuts - almost like a retro machine going through its industrious duty. Aa midway pressure drop typical of the scene is had and is just a preparatory contrast moment before the final downpour (that we know must come). If I was choosing a runt of the pack I would hesitantly pick this - much prefer the swift, short, sharp attacks - this ain't crud though.
At the end of this all out attack, and taking into consideration a 'live' showdown, I reckon this is a fuckin' fantastic crew who can only get better and better if pushed really hard. Again we have another example if the Do It Yourself ideal and again it proves that this hungry and hard hitting style can pay huge dividends if time is given to get out there and consider. I have this lot already booked for a gig and reckon there could be a few more coming too if all goes to plan. Carry on bursting the core the only way - the hard way.
SHIT HOUSE - NIGHTLIFE EP
Get several bastards from Basingstoke, inject them with sheer amphetamine based energy, stir in a fiery passion and some deep hardcore artistry, blend accordingly with electricity levels at the max and blades severely sharpened, pour into a bag and throw deliberately against the ever-resistant brick wall and examine the resultant mess. What you will get is a visceral dirty mix of wild abandon that is lavishly dripping with pure talent, wild freedom and an exact underscore of structure on which the disarray can find its footing and duly...arouse. In the flesh these guys are fuckin' massive, on CD...well you better read on and prepare to witness more shitness.
The initial track is as it says on the very battered tin 'Punk Rock Freight Train'. An out of control locomotive of lunacy aiming to derail at the nearest station and destroy all and sundry in one bloody unbridled collision of cacophonic mania. Wheels turn with hectic pace, the fires are stoked with perspired intention, the toxic emissions given are sheer plumes of invasive choking filth we must inhale to capture the maximum 'hit' factor. Immediately the band make the impact a delight and plough forward with charring unstoppable riffage that captures the attention. Regular drums begin the evil that is 'Pissing Blood', before the burning pain intensifies via deep grinding string work. For a song with such a title we need violence and disgust by the bucketload and that is what we get - a real stampeding vocal thrust that assists the breakdown of the vital organs and so encourages that haemoglobin based torrent to begin. With such rhythmic radiation as given off here it won't be just the one orifice to bleed - no - many will rupture and leak the life giving liquid. It may sound revolting, it is our pleasure - Shit House capture their chaotic methodology and nail it quite superbly. 'Santa Maria' hot foots it next and is another swifter cut to the flesh, this time with a rustier blade, a more bassed up swipe that has a deeper target in mind. The roughshod gobbage is a livid conflagration rising from the smouldering sonic ash heap and what ignites is not only our attention but the soul of punk rock passion. The drums here are provoked into terrorising intensity, the guitars war amongst them and create fine kindling on which flames can rise. No sooner has the heat seared our skin than all is over and we are immediately shot down via the purist cacophony known as 'Nightlife'. This one is a relentless horror, a crazed acoustic axe man that just cannot be stopped, a harbinger of doom that wants to hack all refusing meat to individual hurtful pieces. From the opening rattle, through the accelerated avalanche swing, the blazing chops, the freewheeling break, to the last verbal eruption this is brutality without regret - a wonderful moment.
Just as we are thinking that this six track sentence will be one punishing course without time to realise what the fuck it is all about an anthem comes entitled 'DIY'. A theme close to my heart with wordage to warm the cockles - ah yes there are others who want to keep this noise under cooked, unaffected and 100% lucid and real. A sing-a-long piece that captures the theme and the belief system - really well delivered in a readily raw way and surely a song to have blaring at any gig with the intent there for all to hear. Have it, dance along, punch the air - DIY is the only way. The last blast is utter sonic violence that scorches all before it and leaves the listening landscape utterly devoid of life. A nuclear blast dealing with the ego, mania and destructive ways of man - 'Terrorizer' is totally unforgiving and H-bombs its way forth and brings one to their knees. Black noise with a Motorhead homage towards the latter end - terrifyingly effective all round and showcasing the sheer horror this lot can throw your way.
Stunned, absolutely stunned. The ethos, the approach, the quality both in the flesh and on CD have me beaming with appreciation. The band clobber and clobber fuckin' hard and when that heavy duty beating is dealt you cannot do anything less than submit - you would be a fool not too. Check out this lot - far outweighing a lot of the more processed, pretentious and so called 'named' garbage out there.
UNDER DOGZ RECORDS - SPRING 2013 COMPILATION
A new fanzine is being distributed amongst the sonic sewers and alongside comes a new series of CD compilations - we really are spoilt rotten! At the helm is Jamie Jambo Sirman and his desire to contribute his bit, to keep things rolling and to make things happen is worthy of anyone’s support - which I have duly given - have you? Here I review the first of what I hope to be a long and successful series and I do so with full honesty at the fore and the critical eye kept to its most alert. Look - I love what this guy is doing and the only way to help anyone along to greater levels of triumph is to be honest and opinionated without any nasty, callous sub-text - think fuckin' on!
The opening chunk of racketology is 'Television' by the greatly versed and overlooked Potential Victims. After the initial utterances the song cuts hard with acute guitar speed and splattered stick labour. The gobbage is always sneered and full of suppressed anger liable to ignite and duly erupt at anytime soon. The band have nouse, they ply their trade with conviction and this is a fine example of what they do best. A few sub-flamboyant touches spices things up and the compilation is kicked off in decent style. 3 Stone Monkey follow with the raw morsel known as 'Sex, Violence and Profanity', a song that tosses about at first, duly filling the whole awaiting arena with uncertainty. Eventually the song spills out its guts and is indeed a visceral offering with the players all exposed, filled with a seeming anguish and proffering a noise laden with unprofessional productive values and dirty dog affluence. This is grimy punkage with a sub-industrial edge that blows out sniffable plumes of sonic smoke and, in fairness, it is a complimentary follow-up to the opening burst. The Krayons maintain the DIY levels with an angry outburst that buzzsaws along and is entitled 'Cameron'. A short fuse is lit and burns briefly with this episode of bog brush punk - it does the job, nothing more, nothing less. Alas for the previous 3 tracks they have to precede the hefty effort that is 'Complimanix', a nuclear noise burst from a super electroid, futuristic unit known as the Black Light Mutants. Beautifully composed, borne from the loins of many influential rackets, delivered with atmosphere at the fore and with anger nicely dispersed throughout. I like this band and this is my favourite track they have released thus far - a real pinnacle and capturing an essence that is loaded with horror, artistry and the basic foundations of good thought fuelled noise making - lovely.
Flip the noise...
Squelched guitar, cool reggae cruising, tones I recognise, easy as ya go - hey up its Skip Rat. I have done a few gigs with these decent dudes and have thoroughly enjoyed what they have brought to the whole set ups. I have em' booked again and here we have one of the reasons why - a real political saunter that avoids obvious anger and makes its point with genuine melodic persuasion. 'Fascists' is a wonderfully unassuming song that tickles the senses in such a way so one is not at first totally aware of the delight attained. The band are progressing and are still plucking rather than fucking (around) - great switch and equally great inclusion. Lowlife UK are doused in experience and stick to a ragged and torn output that has served them well for many a year. 'Dead And Gone' rants over that all consuming bullshit known as nostalgia and spouts off with vigour in the hope of getting some fuckers to smell the new sound. Brutal, to the point and very pertinent with a thudding style that demands attention - it is what they do and no matter if I say this is shit or a hit they will not change - and why should they? The Kirkz have also been around for many a year and offer up a sound with rapidity and more of a new school slant. 'Zombie Nation' is nailed with aplomb, has many cute turns, mixes and matches several obvious routines but is a well executed song that doesn't go overboard on the technicalities. Straight forward stuff for this band and if you like what they do you will find it hard to argue with this.
'Hospital Food' goes right down the throat of the OI routine and pulls out many corned clichés and predictable slipstreams but...the band do it quite fuckin' nicely. We have heard all this before, the usual red, white and blue pride and football-esque anthem style delivery but 'Oi For England' is a fair toon and if you are like me and place no emphasis on flags and countries you still may just take it for what it is and enjoy it. The band keep good tempo, hold consistency and nail it as far as the sub-genre demands - I'd be a pig to ask for more. 'The Sanity Clause' jump up next and 'Army Girl' is a surprisingly sweet jaunt that has an intro filled with Business-like duty before becoming less provocative and opening out into a loved up episode of grubby melody making. A street urchin ode to an adored one, an innocent search for a lost love - a really easy track to get into - slushy and sugared unlike the nasty filth 'Jerusalem BC' by the foul mouthed Hung Like Haranty. Many rattlers of the old religious routine will rise up to this and foam at the bit with the distinctly familiar vibe, the sing-a-long chorus and vicious tirade against a viewpoint many hold dear - it could be controversial and shocking but alas it isn't - the tune is effective though and the spite drips over in huge globular slabs. Next - how about an attack on Islam, Hinduism, Catholicism and the punk scene heroes - now that would get a few in this pit rattled. Good old hardcore faves Dogsflesh ram home the finalising point of this CD with their standard onslaught and boom bang style. 'High School Massacre' is predictable stuff from a band who won't bend or break and yet they do it so fuckin' well. This one reminds me of a Discharge assault without the thrashy elements and lunatic pace. The recommendation is to play loud (as is the norm) and appreciate some decent guys doing it with passion.
There ya go - Under Dogz Records Compilation No 1 - any gripes - no way - it be natural stuff done for the right reasons. As an OCD riddled pedant I could smack the guys bottom and say 'watch yer bloomin' spelling' but that would be cruel so I'll just drop this blatant hint instead. Believe, buy, bang yer head!
UNDERCLASS UK - LIVE AND LOUD
Underclass UK go at their business full throttle and pour in many influences in a strictly unapologetic way. Their noise is distinct and tells you much about the band and their style without delving too deeply. I have reviewed a previous effort and if this addled memory serves me right it wasn't a bad old do. Very street-sounding and prone to a clobbering style rather than relying on persuasive delicacies, although the band do shuffle their stance and come up with several cute u-turns. This 'live' offering raises my sceptical head as, in total truth, very few 'live' albums have had me entertained over the years - just one of those options that never really captures the true essence. Anyway - in for a penny, in for a sound - let's see what acoustic resonances arise.
A song about those footballing capitalist wankers who take and give little back isn't the best way to win Fungal favour but this is a powerful start and 'World Cup Tears (of a nation)' backs up the forceful potential this lot have shown on previous recorded offerings. The subject matter may be abhorrent to my soul but the song, structure and delivery are purely pleasing and the fact that this is 'live' only adds to my appreciation as many offerings of this ilk over the years have fallen right on their wannabe arses. An immediate sing-a-long moment with plenty of muscular heave ho. 'Broken Dreams' bops in next and has some good vim mostly driven, initially, by the jumping bean bass. The song eventually blooms into a full on tumult that powers through with yet more gristle and marrow exposed and with the band fully in control of a beastly sound. The burnt up vocals, the weighted bass, the necessary thrust of the guitar, the readily splashed and whipped tympanic kit all copulate to give birth to a right bonny babby of sound. The band are straight into the next two without fuckin' around - so why should I? 'Skint' pelts the sonic surface and leaves good pock marks with its brief approach whereas '25 Years' drills deeper with an opening salvo full of intent and a sequence that carries the song into new stratospheres. The verses are terse, the chorus bursts infectious, the midway switch around into a more cultured mode is neat and the whole concoction comes together and completes a quite fuckin' solid opening 4 track onslaught.
'Get Out Of My Way' booms the bass, shimmers the guitar, strokes the cymbals before churning out a regular bout of riff laden beefiness - the deeper, more resonant moments are fractured and shredded by acute talons of guitar and the final wind up is neatly timed. 'Harry' is a typical darn sarf number, full of that 'Oi mate' cockney crooning, this time rolling along on a well-tempered tone and highly insistent rhythm. The song travels with good pace and once more leaves little room for airspace - the feeling I am getting is of a very accomplished unit power-housing through without too much need for thought. 'The End Of The line' emphasises this although the tempo is switched off and the crawling malevolence and ominous imposing vibe it gives off is what carries the overall gist of the song. It ain't the most instantaneously nut grabbing number but it somehow upholds the standard and consistency. 'Hey, Rockstar' is an immediately infecting racket with a biting attack and a fast snatching intent. No arsing here, still undercooked, still fighting hard, buzzing and thrumming with balls bared - great burst of strength but for me preference goes to the more rhythm ragged 'Fantasies Of Violence' a real nasty sniping number loaded with emotive finger pointing, self pleasing exposure and fantastic undulating melody. The rolling verses, the simplistic stated chorus cuts and the celebratory twinge of the guitar after each proclamation make this a self assured cracker and what better way to celebrate afterwards than to rattle off a cover, namely 'Limo Life' by the UK Subs. I am not the greatest cover fan in the land but don't mind the odd one thrown into a set - especially when it is nailed. This is a gem and the crew at the helm capture the flavour, boost it with their own belief and knock forth a most excellent morsel. Good on ya chaps - I was ready to pounce!
More football homage with 'The Spirit Of Bobby Moore' slide-tackling around before regaining its feet and holding the defence line firm with bare bollocks and manly attitude. The surge and the plod methodology works, the ethos of the song is sweet, and the money laden wankers of today are given comparison to players of yesteryear - the stark reality is there but the question remains as to whether these old stagers would have sold their arses to the coin based devil for fuller pockets and greater kudos with the unthinking nob-rots - mmmm - not nice to dwell upon. 'I Am Somebody' is a great song to build up the confidence levels and rushes along without looking over any unsure shoulders. A real tight number loaded with self belief and 'get up off yer arse and believe' attitude plus some good old fashioned defiance too - whoomph!
2 left - 'Get The Fuck Out' turns up the temperature with resonant bass and drums providing a platform on which the well slashed guitar and more wild and flourished vocals can let rip. A firm effort with only the central grind out impeding the gratifying flow. The song is a matter of course for this band and is played with an almost blindfolded ease it seems - buggers. A final bonus track skips along and is a pick up and play piece of hefty tomfoolery whose meaning I can't for the life of me grasp - what the fuck ha, ha.
So that's it – an Oi-infected rock and roll crew with a little more than the normal boom tit, boom tit donations we can sometimes get frustrated by. Underclass UK do indeed have a classy edge and as a 'live' offering this is a certain belter that will add to the collection and showcase a fine band from a different slant. Why not check it out - go on - you tell me!
COLIN'S GODSON - GREATEST HITS
A comic, a mini CD (literally) and joy is mine. Colin's Godson I rate very highly, I like their unique yarn telling approach, I like their skill at composing a good rock opera, I like many a tuneful ditty they duly intermingle within the thematic thread. Here we have a simple collection of greatest hits rather than another travellers bout of toneage - I shall not complain as there are many fine melodic morsels to be tossed around the appreciative palate. At this stage all I can say if you ain't heard nothing by this lot yet then 'jump on it' as soon as can possibly be - brilliant unit.
'Stadium Rock' is etched into my receptive brain like so many of these beauties and from the initial sawing guitar, cute starlight tinkles and wondrous utterances through to the pure clarity of the sub-chorus this one rises high on cool clouds of progressive professionalism and has me drooling with delight. So many instrumental ingredients perfectly mixed by well crafted hands to make something more than a mere trifle - almost a majestic end product is baked to perfection. 'Theme From Colin's Godson In Space' is a sublime gem that floats along in a perfectly induced vacuum where the whispered tones can gently kiss our awaiting eardrums with such utter delicacy. As a stand alone this is a caressing pearl, when located within its correct place and as part of the fantastic journey the band created this is something else - massive.
'Blackadder Back And Forth (You Let Us Down)' is a fine example of how this lot make something utterly innocent, uplifting and genuinely fun (without being ludicrous). The thrust of the song is paced to exactness, the joy de vivre within each and every thread make this woven composite a masterpiece and the tinkle, twinkle and encouraging festivity that issues from well worn speakers is almost alive. 'Nothing Compares TU2' is an odd fairground bout of almost 'away with the fairies' insanity. It ballet dances along with a steady madness throughout that takes no notice of outside influence or opinion. A veritable warped curio that many would fail to match and again when part of the full tale it makes more sense and gives a greater impression than it does here - again I cannot really gripe. 'Death Star Ditty' is casual sauntering with a retroed keyed underlay on which to make the journey most comfortable. Very clever, accomplished to a degree that it may be overlooked, so comforting, cutely constructed and without nonsense frillage - this is firm gentility and I love it. I feel so at home within the confines of these confident constructs.
'Louis Theroux Visits The Viking Longboat' is scatty natty dabblings with the console at full tilt, twinkling with flashing alerts, thrumming with haywire jollity but still functioning with exactness. The fear of an internal breakdown is eased by the short running time and the floated vocal delivery - add to this yet more flourishing zest and much to ping and pogo to and I'll argue until the sun comes down that this band aren't the real deal. The courtyard of cacophony is visiting by a weaving minstrel and the delicate trickle known as 'Tony Robinson's Underwhelming Time Team Find' comes, goes and leaves us as we were. It is a snippet of sound that tries not to do too much - a bit out on its ear and better as part of a yarn - go forth and purchase. 'Gary Bushell's Ostentatious Beard' is an over-enthusiastic gush of idiocy that scootles along on strummy yummy eye rolling strings and fluffed up mouth work that sounds a trifle deranged - a perfect combo and showing that the band are happy to wander down many hallways of the acoustic asylum and seek out many special tormented tones. The madness and sub-slanderous name dropping continues via 'The Day I Was Paul McCartney' and 'Brian May's Intergalactic Tax Dodge Tactic'. The first of this brace starts in dustbin clutter style with a headlong racket swiftly melting down and springing free into more aerated tones that add a stark opposition to the opening sequence. The backing 'la, la's' delouse us, the keys put a spring in the step - the refuse container scuttle is almost forgotten - what a shame as both areas work and shake hands to make a gratifying, opposing ditty. The second effort begins on rocked up guitars before jauntily swaggering along via a verse and into a fully convincing chorus moment that gives us enough of an electronic boost to fire us all the way through another great song and into the final mental breakdown. By golly these twats are great! ‘How Cheap Is Your Love’ is a Bee Gees raping and just scrapes by with its sub-acoustic feel, washed out desperation and insistent belief. At first I remain unconvinced and felt this one to be one of the bands most insipid efforts but…the passage of time has helped this one grow – one of those that needs another 6 months perhaps. The inner burst of passion helps no end – the boot is held back!
2 left and 'Back To Earth' is almost art and captures a state, a moment, an essence quite perfectly. The floating down to the homeland is awash with reminiscences, angular regrets, acceptance and a strange sensation where what we once deemed familiar now seems distant - the parachute is open, the landing will be both soft and uncomfortable - the vibe taken for the last leg of this homeward jaunt is exact. We close with an extra un-named morsel that is nothing short of advertising pornography. It is a sweet tinkle that repeats the title of the bands website - a recipe for disaster - not for this lot - even something so vulgar and blatant as this is done with class - beltin'.
There ya go - I am bent, corrupted, crooked to the way of the CG crew - I admit I am smitten by this lot - it is beautiful stuff and even when something this way comes that I won't like (law of averages say it will happen) I will remain undeterred and shall still proclaim this crew to be utterly fantastic. Cheers guys. Now everyone - go throw some angles into yer collection - get this.