FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 78
PUNX.CO.UK - COMPILATION NO 1
A new website has hit the web waves and unlike this dogged electronic era it has many contributors which, if they all stick at it, will outstrip my output and keep things rolling forward (just how it should be done). I have mooched on the site and find it almost similar to that old crackerjack Punk and Oi in the UK run by the enthused Rebecca who poured in her heart and soul for little reward and a shed load of hassles - such is this selfish shit heap (I remember though and still have utmost respect for her efforts). Anyway the site here gets my vote, the fact that they are doing a series of CD's is even better and the super duper fact is that maybe some of the load that gets chucked my way will ease off a little (I be only a humble enthusiast who can only do so much). So here is a review of the first CD, and hopefully an intro to many more textual assessments.
We commence with Pedagree Skum and their song entitled 'Numbers, a ditty taken from their recent album that had me greatly impressed. Alas this radioed track was one of the weakest efforts I thought and was of a middling standard - sod's law I hold thee responsible. It surges and plods in equal measure and gives a slight taste of what the band have on offer but for me if you take this and times the quality by 10 you can get more of a flavour of their recent release. Burnt Cross epitomise the DIY essence and have, in the past, had a murderous intent with the melodies full of a forthright thrust and chomping viciousness. Here they continue that style with the new found glory added via a contrasting bout of female gobbage. 'Rise' is in keeping with the bands quality and is a well aimed arrow through the heart of the indolent. The guitar is buzzing with life, the passion is blatant, the inner switch off a moment of pondering horror that suggests oh so much. Totally funnelled and filling ones glass with seething discontent. A corrupt bass, a whinge of the guitar and then a full fuckin' thwack of hardcore hostility via Black Lanterns bruising episode entitled 'Red Carpet'. High octane action interspersed with staggering bouts of insolence that remind me of a tantrumised child not willing to play ball - nice. The heavy density of the whole discordance throws this collection into darker, dirtier waters and for those who may at first shy away I ask you to reconsider - this is a meat-mincing mess made pliable and then moulded into something articulate and...effective.
'All Nazi's Are Bastards' almost sells itself with a title as such and in making such a grandiose and confident entrance we are almost sold hook, line and sinker. A roar, fury unfolds, blazing fury at that - we are consumed. Total hate-filled noise rattling on overloaded thermals that singes anyone within a radius of 'interest'. Saturated, slamming, reverberating and ram-rodding the misdirected with nothing less than musical power violence. Black Light Mutants next with a song that opens with 'It's never our fault' gobbage, then clubs its way into a searing exhaust expulsion that removes ones face with its vitriolic rage. Grinding away and highly abrasive this is powerful political venom that calls for unity, a resistance to the incessant sludge poured onto the victimised heads - BLM do this stuff very well indeed without being over reliant on pace. Andy T next and a diatribe loaded with abusive accuracy against the rotten righteous rapist Maggie T and all the fuckin' disarray she caused. Reggaed up with fat bass, solar touches of the strings and duly sobered with matter of fact statements - and then the explosion of the titles comes (with added fuckin' for effect not affect). 'I Still Hate Thatcher' is a simmering piece that is well founded and still has relevance - the waves created still drown the many!
Destroy DC continue the dreaded theme with a crackin' coast that has more weighted bass, shadow laden drums, tweaking guitar, cool dude accent and atmospheric sub-genre appeal. After the fiery start 'Tear It Down' goes through a serious routine with flavours from Specialised' Ghost Towns and beyond. It is a nice streetwise number and adds stark contrast to the chasing classic 'Seaside Suicide' by the highly commendable Dischord. I rate these Blackpool based bashers very sincerely and this is a melodic hardcore example of the band at their feisty best. The opening proclamation from the disturbed funfair almost has us utterly acceptant of something amazing to come - we are not disappointed. Scorched, ablaze with passion and melody, loaded with a lack of pretention, injected with a sing-a-long charm, more than capable of blowing you away with its explosive riffage - nice work chaps (and lady). Luis Drayton next and 'Sick On You' is a low slung episode of suggestive sleaze built on a rotating thread that slowly rises in tension and sexualised passion and gives it you with necessary desire. A hybrid between a New York blow out and a clued up cacophonic junkie completely adorned in slinky black attire, soaked through with a controlled perspiration of passion. Easy, almost carefree noise, that has a most attractive appeal and unwashed aroma.
No Decorum are a band local to me and are rising steadily on nothing more than dogged determination and passionate persistence. Several of the members are from an old band I used to deal with called Section 47 - a ska-punk crew who struggled to find their true balance. Dissembled, dusted down, back with a new front man and the Oi route has been taken with the ska still running down the countenance of the cacophony. Here we have a nicely constructed song entitled 'Hooligans', a tale of street warriors created via light upstrokes, cruising bass and power surges. The song has appeal although many touches are out of kilter and just not positioned has should be. The progression though is sterling and by all accounts this comes from a very worthwhile debut album I must purchase soon. Outcast chase with 'What Goes Around Comes Around', a smooth buzzing mid tempoed tune with plenty of fucked fuel in the tank and plenty of exhaust flames burning at the rear. Hot roasted oral spillage, immovable grinding strings, neatly slapped tubs - no danger lines crossed - a simple surge through a dirty groove of fine effect.
Burning From The Inside are an admirable band of street scummers who knock forth heavily weighted grittiness with emboldened melodies prominent throughout as well as a relying on muscular riffage and booming wire and skin work. 'Falling Fast' is an impressive chunk of pacey noise that begins with bullworker drums, emergency strings and cavernous vocals. We zip ahead and into the chorus section which is as smooth as the drummers head and the bassists chat up lines. Onwards with a yell of 'come on' encouraging, the tight leaden grime of the guitar appealing - the rest is a matter of course. I have a lot of time for this band - I know it’s good and so should you. Eye Licker next and 4 fine chaps making a racket with hardcore essences at the helm and roughshod riffs coming by the bucketload. A chug carries the verses, the chorus snips open out more, time for some clatter skins and flash Harry guitar (in the loosest sense) and this band convince both off stage, on stage and on CD. Lovely fellas! The finale and Sinister Chuckles give some sub-garage low slung advice via their cool cat 'TV Generation'. More rock and rolled, more greased than the previous few tracks but no less effective and adding another welcome facet to a tidy collection of sounds. The twangs of the strings, the laid back sensation that emanates from the acoustic arse and the general well oiled approach wins me over - such a sucker for a good toon I be.
Nice one indeed - a website backing up their work with a series of CD's - fuckin' hell its all about off yer arse antics and my applause goes out with choice respect. The script doesn't need to be re-written, you know what I suggest - now quietly go and do it!
DETOX - THE DIRTY SECRETS OF THE WORLD
A belch of sonica via the belligerent bastards from Beirut and another DIY episode that puts many to shame. I will not piss about with an intro here - the band have desire, are achieving far more than many so called success laden saps who are cruising to nowhere and are straight out of the gutter with unwashed arses and equally unwashed attitudes - I appreciate that although it doesn’t make all on this CD merry pleasure to my lugs. So without too much flapping of the fanny, without an overindulgence of the wanking wordage, without an excess of textual tit-tapping - in we go to the assessment proper.
First up and Crassite rust is puked via the strung sword with an avalanche of wordage making 'Suckcess' immediately thought provoking. After the first nasty bout of verbage the whole shebang is dismantled, thrown into disarray and a mocking jaunt of folky wankiness is had, cocking an accusatory finger at the business man, the warped society where money rules and where the outside sheen and appearance is what matters. This inner cut is perhaps more vicious than the aforementioned onslaught and also highlights at once that this band will not be following expected routine. The fracture comes, disgust overtakes control - we hammer homeward via dirty scuttles, madhouse eruptions, screwed up sonic distortions - the pompous, self righteous masses are battered via a stall setting slam dunk. 'Great White Human' is all over the place as regards routine and yet the power surges override the idiocy of the mental collapses and create more awkwardness that has fairground mania built in, industrialised incessancy the main pivot from which all sound rotates. The uncontrolled cacophonic cattle stampede is without thought but some consistency is found especially towards the last - phew - lucky buggers. A cool wind blows, 'Camel' loads up, grinds out a plod, then tribally screws upward with idiot intensity. Squeaks, grunts, statements of insanity, Indian hollers and eventually a full throttle breakdown that takes us nowhere - a real trial and not for me and one to definitely skip over - like I am going to - boing.
'Beautifail' rotates with music box innocence before a 50's sheen is kissed over and lipstick is smeared with lunatic lovey dovey misdirection. Keys piddle about, voices of the tormented arise, resisting defiance tries to burst through - the schizophrenic delivery continues. Utterly off the cuff until a midway moment of joy escapes and adds relief - one is immediately untrustworthy but yet can see hope...more keyed raindrops fall and we drown within a finalising pool of unsettled discordance. A red neck cuckooed jig pursues that is poison to my soul, but then 'Thumbwars' kicks in and rattles along with gusto - more like it for sure. A collapse, a lovey dovey cats bass line and then ramming incessancy again. The song tosses around and creates some semblance of order via many opened cages where animals rampage amid some good whirlpool cacophony - fuckin' nuts but somehow operating with experimental success and the energy injected is noteworthy. Unpredictable and more punk than many would deem it - there should never be rules no matter how offensive the outcome.
5 songs down, my mental state is in turmoil, I take more pills - here goes nothing.
'Gotta Go To Work' begins in a very unimpressed style - labour hey - not a great prospect at times. Again totally off balance, almost clownish with a jammy jazz and jizz carelessness. But listen...the band pull out some crackin' moments here and show what high capability they have - they ain't hiding behind unnecessary noise - they have talent but insist on branching out - like it, leave it - it puts questions out there. The debauchery continues as 'Bamboo' twirls within a funhouse and utterly loses itself within the daydream - we are left outside, in the rain, looking in at the incessant unhinged behaviour. Munchkins on acid invade, plucks, fucks, what do ya want - this is pointless. 'Rabies' strums and keys in, drums ascend briefly, the monkey becomes funky - cold statements follow amid a shuffling style. A mud squelching inclusion ends in a deranged squeak of the title and after a repeat bout, a drift into assorted acoustic oceans and...we are done - interesting indeed this one.
'Me' is a fine scramble headlong into a messy thorn field that cuts deeply and exposes the wounds of the self obsessed and ego riddled. The surge ploughs through the undergrowth before leaving the bass alone and then taking a moment to contemplate...before a wrap-around burst of increasing pace and mania ensues - I love it. 'Cow And Chicken' is noodleness extreme and straight out of the naughty toy room where inanimate objects come to life and make a discordance. The train choo choo's, the animals harmonise and make a hurtful operatic score that soon develops into a brain melting muddle that becomes nicely hectic and full of retro crustiness and anarcho filth - before we know it we are into the train smash known as 'Populate', 100% experimentation which is utterly harsh and without any sense of routine. Chaos reigns supreme but in this instance at the expense of any decent tuneage which is a shame because several sub-songs are aching to burst through with their opulent rhythms. 'Snow Cat' meows in and is aided by a twisted metal string section and randomly assaulted drums. Bass rifles the nether regions, a routine of fashion is found - the band seem to be irate, the repeat beat is working, the snarling, clawed energy is finding the band on their best paws to date - the rock guitar, the puncturing bassism all contribute to what is a good number that highlights the band can do so much more than keep straying off track. This one reinforces a belief I have that if the band mix the chaotic with the more routine in equal measure and stick to songs that run for below three minutes they could very well have some gems on their hands. Worth a thought!
A pulsation, cymbals sneak in, 'The Dirty Secrets Of The World' are there to be revealed. The initial brassed up din is delightful before an invasive wasp adds extra zest. The mania is there for all to see, the band hold nothing back. The dissolve that manifests itself is bizarre and self-defacing and mars what could have been a crackerjack - we are left abandoned in a nightmarish world - I hear ya. 'Mr God' sears the soul, banishes doubters, creates a hell filled with the horror for the supposedly innocent. A blood curdling sequence well captured on the silver circle, the wails come thick and fast - mercy is needed. Early Banshees-like prayers are offered amid a mechanical maelstrom - we are now outside the realms of music and being tossed around in maelstroms of artistic licence - I judge as such - abstract industrialisation seething and hell-bent on tearing up the canvas - mayhem and mess make a point -nothing more. 'Social Death' brings closure, the band delay the point too much. Initial power chugs are welcome, almost heavily metalised in style - the splatterpunk madness folds inwards - I bow out beaten.
In parts Detox nail it, in others they fall apart and get caught up in their own web of weaving wanderings - they need to pick a target, go for it and differentiate more clearly between the played and the painted. I do like what they are doing, the way they refuse to suck on the rule book and the style with which they create their many fragrant uproars - the utterly frustrating thing is that they have so much potential that a more routine album is there for the taking and will undoubtedly get their point across much more clearly. I am not one to douse the flames of experimentation though and do feel a combination of the testing and the well timed will serve the band better in future expulsions. I shall see what rises from the bands sonic loins - ooh err missus!
EXPLODE THE TV - GODBOX
Explode The TV come forth on cultured undulations created by a breeze of many influential sources that are combined with careful hands and dutifully regurgitated into a whole new sonic wave system. The band have many angles primarily doom laden or anti-media which, in some respects, could get them note from the spiky pits where I spend most of my musical time. However, this small sub-generic whirlpool is not the be all and end all and, from what I can gather, ETTV look to have capabilities and potential that can carry them quite adequately in various niches of noise. The spillage here is definitely towards the alternative/post punk side of things with a unifying soul searching modus operandi that gets one involved - it ain't no throwaway bilge that's for sure. Anyway my opinionated slant on things goes a something like this:-
The 'Intro' does the job, introduces us to a CD that is modern, questioning, commentating and prone to the unexpected (I presume). 'Pure Water' is the first track proper and is a casual jaunt that has a very sanguine feel throughout, a comfortably reliable rhythmic pulsation, a full sonic saturation and a subtle but effective drift that will pull you under without too much of a struggle. In truth there aren't too many intricacies to this one and the whole construct is rather simple but the band immediately show craftsmanship with a cool delivery loaded with just enough ammunition to grasp attention. There is plenty of weight and from the first impressive verse this one sets up the CD on a very high plateau indeed. 'Narcopolitic' is a gem as it fumbles in with innocence before power blasting onward without unnecessary wayward anger marring the end finish (although I do like waywardness). This is cultured and controlled and the 'Wake Up' call is matched ideally by a sunrise guitar, an invigorating caress of precise musicianship. The bass fulfils its role and helps all other players to rise higher, the drums are sweetly active despite the soft tones of the frontman and this, despite everything telling me it shouldn't work, is an impressionistic piece that has many facets of light combining to make a genuinely attractive end panorama of sound.
'The Treasure' seems borne on the cusp of twilight, a certain eeriness is captured, cupped in cautious hands and released our way on wings of sable blue. The opening segment is given muscle by the 4 wired electro weapon whilst all other players add only the tenderest input before a chorus is heaved forth, pregnant with suggestive power, gut-bloated with an embryo of blood coursing emotion. The life springs from this ever-spiralling font of zest and as the song progresses the accomplishment of the entire piece glows increasingly brighter. The closure caps an advancing session of boldness - the band are coasting on confidence. 'Driving Yourself' is a number that is too tamed and although it moves forth with good prowess and unrushed certainty I find this the least favourable morsel proffered and at the stage when a resurgence of energy is always essential I feel a little frustrated. Having said this I recognise my punked, DIY stance has influence and trying my hardest to shake of this ethos (temporarily mind you) I can see where this song will appeal. Its sub-whispered vocals that float on thermals created by strong instrumentalists and the general ease with which the sonic waves splash on the personal, emotive shore will capture many admirers. It ain't all about Fungal tha' knows (in fact hardly anything is).
An outer space whinge, a machined chop, the usual uttered characteristics, a development that produces soaked through sonic sensations aplenty - the song finds its heart, finds its true balance. repeat - this time with more beef - 'Don't Do It' is one that imposes itself the more one rotates the rhythm. I am finding something very post punk and independent here from an advanced stage of early 80's dabblings and am having nothing left to say - not like me I know but the song just meets its expectations without fuss. 'Barcode Heart' tunes in, steadily takes hold of the reins and trots to the fore, the whip is cracked a canter of glory is taken, the melodic mare is muscular but well controlled and I just wonder if the riders should have gone a little more bareback, a little more reckless perhaps. Very cautious verses are easily hoofed over by more impressive chorus bursts and only then can we get to fully appreciate this latently well groomed beast. It is clean cut, clipped and, as said, totally under control but...that niggle regarding a freer rein is still there. Fine musicianship though so mustn't dig in the spurs too hard. 'Everything Is Borrowed' is an erudite orchestration and a song that rises from promised lands into a free flying bird which is allowed to cruise around and appreciate its own talent. The precision of each player is again spot on the mark, the production values deserve more note (applause, applause) and this will sit quite nicely on many sub-generic shelves of sound. Too appreciate fully I need to crawl out of my DIY ragged and rotten hovel and take in the full essence of the whole rhythmic recipe - I do, the result is satisfaction. I scurry back on dirtied knees happy in the knowledge that there is yet another band out there waiting to be discovered and move on up the ladder of discordance - I ain't griping about where I am at though (the pig in shit is wallowing with glee).
'Use Me' begins with crisp strokes that are made firmer via the subsequent gobbage that is, as ever, fully controlled, brimming with certainty. The orthodox style is expected, the ‘as a matter of fact’ sub-sequence to the free flying chorus is careful, the chorus itself tension relieving and filled with liberation. Higher realms are glided towards, a cut out segment that narrates rather than sings splices the song in two and the final swoops of glory are taken. 'Cry For Attention' spreads its sonic petals in one initial whoosh before swaying around in a self made breeze of gentle tones. Accomplished, grasping onto a foundation of bass, loose shouldered drums, urging guitar strokes and tiptoed tonsilisation. The ingredients thrown in are all compatible, the extra soakings given to the acoustic blanket necessary and although not bulldozing belligerence these efforts have their own brand of clout. It is a softly melodic track as is 'London Prayer' although this latter track teeters a little too much on the edge of experimentation and, may it be noted, topples over several times. The initial convective rays radiate good energy levels and even though the opening mouth work seems pained and wandering I can still dig the groove somewhat. The main problem is that the structure of the effort seems to be caught between an instrumental and a song - and if I opt for reviewing as the second option I am afraid it falls short. If assessed as a sub-instrumental and positioned in a more central position then 'yes', I can get where this is coming from however, at this tail end position a hesitant 'No' is held up on the placard of judgement.
The finale is back to the better style with a glistening commencement, a determined vocal whisper that drips heartfelt emotion, an exact shift of the gears that emphasises all, a strong flow of life blood and an all round better arrangement. Explode The TV in their own comfort zone and exuding the welcoming and embracing vibe they do so all. ‘This Is For You’ is a sweet closure.
That is it - a slow and steady jaunt that I have walked alongside for many a spin and come away quite pleased with. No way is this my regular listening matter and no way will it ever be because I am too overloaded with more spiked and angry stuff that tickles my tempestuous boat along the ever rolling rivers of rhythm but...even I need to switch off the engines sometime and swim around in different waters and, when I do, this is the kind of ripples I like to splash around in. I think this lot have produced a nice album here that will intrigue many but...if something similar in style is re-puked upwards they may find less favour. My recommendation would be that the next one keeps the quality of tracks like 'Pure Water' and 'Narcopolitic' then adds in a few that up the tempo, chomp the jaws a little harder and yet somehow retain the textures and intricacies found here – only then further success levels will be attained. A hard task but toes are there to be kept on - Fungal is watching you!
CORROSIVE MACHINE - JOHN WAYNE WAS A FAG
I come into this review completely cold - no idea what to expect but am soon realising this is a machine and they are very fuckin' corrosive. Hailing from Ireland, with much ill temper, the band nail it hard and fast and buck and fuck like a pig with a pork sword problem - get it done before limpness sets in (and so on). Anyway - as fast as the band play their noise I do the review. By the way this will be released on Horn and Hoof Records - they know their onions so invest.
'Black And Blue' is coarse brutality, immediately harpooning the indolent, impassive buttocks of the listener. Acute guitars twang, drums roll - the pace is quick - prepare for a traumatic event. Initial rasps of the tonsils are highly grated and when the lead to the chorus comes the shredding moves up a notch or two - I am liking this. Plenty of singe and spirit with the final batter and last title statement decently snotted and sneered. 'Blind' is rapid violence with a slamming burst followed by a ram-raiding that can only lead to an acousticised affliction that causes a loss of sight due to many cerebral veins exploding without warning. The song is alive, booting balls big time and scuffling around with arm-swinging, leg flying, head slamming conviction. Hot roasted, totally toasted - get up, smell the riffage.
'Craic' - a four tap, a slam - job done.
Red light alert, best track of the lot whizzes up on the inside - stops off at the local veggie bar and waves blood soaked meat through the window. Angular, provocative, two-fingered in intent - this one will upset a few - isn't that punk? 'Eat Meat Vegans Die' is built on power chords, is replete with pornographic ugliness and thrives in the fact that it will piss off a few preaching non-meat eaters. The drums loom, the guitar is taut and fracturing, the bass burrows into the core of the matter, the gob fuckin' wants trouble - this is essential hardcore constructed with restless angst. The fact many may accuse this as irresponsible thoughtless raving adds to the charm and the skanked out inclusion seals it - verdict - class!
'Even More Craic' - why not - 4 seconds - done.
'Greed' slam wanks, pulls back the foreskin, rubs itself off with venom before jacking out the chorus based seeds with strident, happening glee. Fuckin' wondrous skull crackin' danger fully electrocuted via a tight and blurred wrist action. 'Jimmy Just Died' gripes, drum rolls, has an acute twinge and then roars along on smoked and singed vocals and still burning strings and drums. The chorus comes and is as expected - raw, basic, crummy - the boys flash it up with a stop, start showcase and then thrust hard to the final blast out - neat, unflustered racket making. The title track, 'John Wayne Was A Fag' is 80% lunatic ramblings by some spaced out fruitloops guilty of having nothing better to speak of and a sudden burst of inharmonious, pitiless repetition - they do it so well.
Drum and bass begin, guitar remains restrained - we scuttle on in a more spruced up way - many songs have been slapped on the griddle, deep fried in vengeful spittle, tossed onto your plate with a side dish of puke - this is the lettuce leaf - cleaner, rinsed through but...when your turn it over you reveal a layer of sonic soil that adds to the flavour. 'Love To Hate' is the least spiced up number but still has that gritted taste, earthy feel and simplistic wrap-around structure. This pleases the palate and although not a pure head racking moment it still has clout.
'More Craic' - you should know the crack by now!
'Murder Your Idols' is a melodic moment with a deliciously provocative, punked up and pertinent message that is beautifully delivered. This one ulcerates the grey gunk with a vibe that is nicely bubbled up and utterly saturated in a sub old school essence. Many will feign grasping the drift here, some will undoubtedly wallow in it - so they should - marvellous. The hook applied gets you between the shoulder blades, picks you up and tosses you about like a spasmodic puppet on blood soaked adrenalin. The riffs throughout and accompanying gobbage work a treat, the more spacious chorus cut is a delight - love it. 'Snobs' starts with a harsh whine, shadow dances with cymbalised encouragement, twists its hips in a semi-rock and roll vibro-sludge mode before grinding out a perspired episode of introductory grime. An explosion comes and takes us to the last - it is certifiable slapdash sludge brought into order, screwed with buzzed excitement, given through nasty gnashing teeth - a hard fought effort that hurts it seems. 'Tales Of The Bog' jigs about in a barnyard of burnt cinders and tossed acoustic hay. Ale is swigged, pitchfork spite is brandished, breeches are lowered and again balls are bared oh so briefly - this could have been a long drawn out shuffle but, quite gratifyingly, the band won't hang around and nail a short, sharp swell. And so to 'Vigilante', the finale, a nail gun batter clatter number that is well distributed in the genre of dinnage. Always on the precipice of collapse, bursting at the seams with focus and zoned in muscle stretching melody this is pure scuzz to be scraped from the rear end of the CD and duly rolled around in - go on don't get too fussy now.
I love this CD for many reasons, the obvious ones being that it is to the point, very grimy, has several moments to rattle a few cages and is a real good mix of hardcore at its DIY and lowbrow best. Forget all the more polished attempts at this kind of noise, you will never outdo this kind of polluted filth when it is composed so fuckin' ideally. All I need to do now is catch these guys 'live' in the pit - I think I have missed em' locally once due to wildlife and family duties - I need a fix of this - my diary is open and awaiting a date - do the same.
DETOX - WAITING FOR THE WAR
Detox can, in some respects, lay claim to being the first punk band in Beirut, Lebanon albeit under a different name and with a slightly different line-up. They claim to be 'pissed off people' and one can only imagine why. They have much material to use so as to construct their outbursts and I for one was totally intrigued when they asked me to rattle off a couple of reviews of their very high energy, slightly experimental, rough and ready riot making. The whole affair is pure DIY, something I very much believe in and the fact that they have so many obstacles to overcome, so much downright shit to put up with and so many restraining factors and yet still try and get out there to play and record their noise shows, in no uncertain terms, that these feisty buggers mean it. Female fronted, blazing with intensity, doing it the right way - what comes forth could be bright or shite - here is the Fungal low-down.
'Why Panda Left The Band' is a vicious farce that is merely a piss-take out of someone deemed self-absorbed and ego-riddled. It seems the band don't suffer fools and I am utterly appreciative of that standpoint. All for one, one for all - if not - fuck off. 'Enough' is a thrashing whale in an ocean of conned indolent arses where the ultimate trick has been pulled and the lass at the helm just wants to get away, rear a donkey and live in solitude. The true feelings of a frustrated anarchist come to the fore via a ball wrecking explosion of angst, frustration and ill-temper. The scuzzed, fuzzed pace, the jumping with nervous energy intercuts, the careening style that has one awaiting some climactic, all-consuming oblivion - dangerous, on the edge and bitched up - have some choice carnage. 'Parental Politics' is kick back vomit awash with twanged twattage and more dominant vocals that lay down a new law filled with questioning foot stamping defiance. The backdrop is a tickling twang run on nervous irritation and manic effervescence - a right old ant farm dance where a million legs land on a keyboarded bed of high octane frivolity and thus numerous notes are summoned and pinged about all over the sonic space. A mad hectic cut of fizzology - oh yeah - a wake up call for sure. 'Play A Fucking Instrument' throws itself at you with repeated anger before unfolding into a dirty low brow verse, going back to the chorus, twatting itself inside out and then cock arsing in many directions of uncertainty. The feet are finally found again, we crack the grungy whip to the finale. 'Never Trust A Panda' and 'Rat Peach' are heavily warped offerings - the first is an instrumentalised (emphasis on the 'mental'ised) fairground jaunt, tidy and without rage or too many wanderings - only gripe - the carousel does an overspill of rotations. The second is a plucked up bout of head illness with redneck and throwback hints that may just get me bummed if I don't play ball - oooh bugger! Mind you it sounds as if a few critters are getting a seeing to and I may just well be safe. I ain't keen on this one at all - a bit unrhythmic and a bit too bent out of kilter but...hey it's what Detox too and my nipples of noise have been delighted too often to be overly griping about having one snipped off by a cacophonic nail-clipper of discordance. Ouch!
'Monkey Man' gets us back in the unwiped arse groove with a good old ram-rodding viper attack that injects a toxic serum into our awaiting veins. From a clattered tirade to a primate ooh ooh of a chorus before electrified insanity twists its own guts inside out - we scuttle onward, hit a level of consistency then skew all over the sonic platter. 'Death To The People' is more systematic, more overpowering, more dominating. The acoustic automaton is fed on harsh acoustic touches and off the cuff turn arounds with many crooked corners. Initially an organised route is opted for, we of course take a few tangents and then the main thrust of the song is had with the title shoved home with a certain doom laden intensity and hollered aggression. The lead lass showcases her bolder sinewy side and the players in the rear respond with hepped up anxiety - nice touch people! 'Domtaka' is lunacy, sparked from ill heads loaded with insect mayhem and critter nervousness. A real jerky quirky event in a catalogues of cacophonic crime - fuckin' nutcases and obviously having fun. This is almost like Cleo Laine on amphetamines - you'll do well to stick it out and not have a crack up. Having said all this you can see several potential songs erupt from the mire here - think about it!
'People Tell Me' is seaside keyed, muttered and electrocuted. Munchkin ravings pursue and then a fine high wire string piece backed up with she-hate bowls us over and emphasises the bands hardcore capabilities. No sooner has the abrasion been had and yes you guessed it - back to the oddball wanderings. More scathing eventually comes - you know these buggers - walk one way, turn off, turn back, stop for a dump, continue, twist round and round and eventually reach their destination - you gotta love em' and I find this one quite enthralling. 'I'm Hated' is undoubtedly a signature tune for those who feel on the outside of the 'normality' slipstream that carries many an unthinking turd on the crest of a brown and stinky wave. Slapping the butt of the bass this is a funky flag waving assault for the excluded. Sticks prowl around the skins of the kit, guitar skids and screeches, throats are torn with a repeat beat that creates much heat. A whole hectic, eclectic bashing follows with this lot once more masturbating their potential and showing that what they do is by design not by failure - the more I listen the more I consider these to be abstract artisans committed to flinging anarchic grenades wherever they wish...and fuckin' good on em' for doing so.
'We Hate Other Bands' is a right old controversial title - why not? A chopping scathing approach welcomes us, the forthright vocal style is questioning, the pursuing tumult an overspill of reaction. The choppy waters continues, a maelstrom is found and a gushing whirl enjoyed - the final wreckage has order - nice one. 'Frying Some French Spies' is subdued approach in many respects and still manages to wander off the course of sanity. It is a different aspect yet again and I find myself wondering how this fits in with the whole CD - quite a challenging moment and opening up more avenues of acoustica to be followed. The lead lady again tests her vocal range and even though I am not fully convinced of this one I am convinced of the gobbage. 'Social Birth' splashes in, brutally growls, rumbles with palpitating intent, stamps its feet in damning fashion - the screw is tightened. Once more there is a suggestion of a possible breakdown but the band are fully capable of holding on in there and do so with a grimly determined effort that wraps up a haywire CD bursting with many flavoursome moments.
As a bonus you get 6 live/improv outbursts that captures a few familiar songs and a few I need to get more comfortable with. As on CD the approach is mix and match, interviews, dabblings, eruptions, etc. you have no rules to grasp. So what is my verdict - well, it will upset many, bypass an equal number of twats and get quite a few intrigued - that is all to the credit of the crew. I won't say I like everything Detox do, coz I don't but, isn't that the point. However I like the ethos, the stance, the style and that matters more than anything. If you like good old anarchic music then you'll like this - if you like routine, safety nets and predictability you better run like fuck.
MARK WYNN - GOOD GRIEF YOU'RE BORING
Who the fuck is Mark Wynn? What the fuck is this going to be all about? Best get some research done and clear me lugs out then! Hailing from York what we have here is a loose-lipped, tangent saturated twiddler of the 6 strung serpent who has a sharp insight in word manipulation and relaxed rhythm making. Mooching the electronic mire shows that this guy is quite quick to release new material and get his toonage out there - can't fault that. So, out of the blue Fungal gets a message, it concerns reviewing 2 CD releases - the enthusiastic answer is obvious - here is the first one.
'843' is overly radioed garage scuzz that is whingey and whiney in effect and is pure discordant fruitloop filth that is hard to wash down and get to the core of. I don't just get the point of this one having listened to some of Wynn's other work - maybe just a work out for the tonsils, maybe an experimental moment gone wrong - either way - it just whizzes past me without much arousal. 'Blah Noise' has an equally caustic edge that has the vocals too wired up, the guitar rhythm too drowned out and the drum slap too dominated. I can grasp this one though and the more low-fi appeal, abstract gobbage and DIY essence is blatant but does it work as a piece of listenable music - of course not - way too harsh and just too offensive in the most primitive way. I hate knocking songs and try and be positive and although this has a fair vibe it really does give a spiteful twinge in the lugholes.
'More Blues For Henry (Miller That Is)' is yet more abrasive droppings coming from an acoustic arsehole that is way too taut. The whole sharp tension, lack of clarity and grinding effect mars each and every note and what we get is an outrageous mistake that doesn't work. 'You At The Back (Sit Down)' is horse and pony trekking weirdness that is yet again too brutally mixed and just left to cause grievous earhole pain. This dude is missing is own point here and this is similar to one of those early 80's errors so many bands were guilty of mis-creating - just a real let down in truth.
I had two CD offerings from this dude to review - one was sweet and testing, this one is an annoyance to avoid. I hate totally being negative about any CD but here is one that you will be lucky to get any arousal from at all. Go check out the 'Get Off The Fridge' review on this site and you will get more of an awareness of Mr Wynn's potential. Be interesting to see what comes next!
THE FITS - LEAD ON E.P.
By heck The Fits are back - now that has been a while. Originally an early 80's unit from the Blackpool area and just one of those names you came across whilst mooching about here and there. The highest success was the ‘Tears Of A Nation’ EP which peaked at number 15 in the independent charts but as is the way with these punky outfits the end was in sight. A few more releases, some decent support slots and in 1985 - kaboom - they were no more. 2011 has seen them rise again, this is my first taste of the melodic muck to be flung my way, here is the usual open and honest assessment.
Chopping in is the grooved up westernised saloon bar drawl of 'Son Of A Gun', a hard fought effort that has the rhythm wrestled out of it and stripped down for all of us to ponder. The functioning components create a targeted flavour, the gobbage reaches out for a sleazy slant, the guitars scuffle, the drums keep it precise without much ado - the overall essence is reactoid in style. It is a fair smoked style that has a US inflection and the only real criticism I can make is that the acoustic holster needs lowering a little more so the sonic bullets fired are more from the hip than this orchestrated position. Loosen it up, swagger just a touch more, add that extra sanguinity - other than that - not a bad upchuck. 'He's Not Ready Yet' has a more deliberate and foot stamping approach with double string strikes backing up the vocal statements before the chorus is more easy with drums rolling around, strings relaxing a little more and the vocals restating the title of the track with hot roasted tonsils. This slow and carefully constructed number suits the bands currently adopted style and the sub-sexual build up that asks you to 'Come on and take me' spills over nicely with a speed burst that is fully controlled. We seem to be heading for a swift closure but the band go back to the songs roots and waltz out in a confident manner - job fuckin' done.
'Chances' takes none and steadily and safely steps to the fore with a little wink of the eye that knows things are moving in the right direction. The strategic pace is apt at this point and the band place emphasis on tight, secure noteage and another hot roasted simmer that doesn't stampede all over your resistance but gradually disarms it. Another tip of the hat goes to the production values and the general arrangement and although this won't get you pinging about with rhythmic glee it is a fine groove to nod along to. The closure comes via the more spicy 'The Visitor', now this the upturn I was expecting - funny when pace is injected victory is more easily attained and somewhat forces the application to be delivered in the required 'low slung' way. A fresh and feisty guitar follows a quick drum spurt before the gob jumps at the chance of working against a more hollowed out background mainly assisted by a sweetly throbbed bassline. The chorus slips in and slips out like an eel up a lubed arsehole and we move on with a greater prowess and gratifying liquidity. Strings are left to expose some flash manoeuvres, the soundscape is stripped bare and the mouth is left to move alone and then...we rattle to the finale with a glorious farewell wave.
The Fits have a decent quartet of tunes here with room to offer a little more. The positive aspects for the band is that they have a reputation, nostalgia dictates and many will nosey into their noise because it ticks a few boxes. Add to this a progressive edge, a non-too punk slant (which is ultimately necessary) and many foundations on which to build and you can see these dudes making merry waves. The drawback is that they could get stuck in a style that may not work over a full length jaunt (which I detect here) and so they must be prepared to take risks and mix it up a little. Other than that - there are 4 tracks waiting to be tossed about on yer tastebuds - will ye spit or swallow, wank or wallow - take time anyhow and feedback to all concerned.
WARSAW PAKT - MMXII
Foul, unwashed DIY noise from several long term addicts to the punk rock racket. These guys have done the business over many years and although not as productive as many other bands the fact is they are still out there and knocking out a good old rib rattling set here and there. Don't expect any super duper technicalities here or any mainstream production values - this is straight of the good to honest bargain basement and slapped in yer face without apology.
'Abuse Of Power' is spat forth, takes its time with machine-like regularity, tells us immediately that this is very grimy goods to handle. The rise is steady, bass encourages further, drums aid the intro and into the unwashed chug we go. The gob, when it comes, is 100% unprofessional and totally wound up and natural - a real incoherent spillage of delightful ripped and torn punk passion from a soul who has surely done too many rounds. This kind of sweet bilge water separates the punk from the piss-taker, the true from the toss and is straight off the cuff with that hidden element that duly intrigues the lover of all things unrehearsed. Of course the scene has progressed, of course the talent out there is more abundant than it has ever been, for sure there are many bands outstripping this as regards the end polished product but...how many are keeping it this unwashed, under-processed, totally scuzzed? If I had any credibility I should hammer this and come across as a pompous connoisseur and rip open the core of the song and look for many failings - fuck that and fuck credibility - I like this no matter how bog brush basic. 'Animal Instincts' is similarly tuned in, trashed with balls bared and duly molested via a seething maul that once more grinds out understated glory. The strings are buzzed, fuzzed, scuzzed - the drums measured to the style, the voice a shit-soaked release of venom, frustration and anger. The plod within is drilling and changes tempo to a more casual approach (only just though) about halfway through - we are soon back to the usual nerve jangling twist though and I wouldn't expect anything less. The fact that the voice almost collapses at the latter end emphasises the sincerity - think on!
'Genocide' is mucky matter dripping from a rhythmic ringpiece weighted down with haemorrhoids of stubbornness and grinding danglers of discordance. Again we are greeted with a heavily grimaced affair that minces each toned turd and let’s slip with agonised effect. The frontman sounds in serious pain and this is gruelling stuff only the few in the quagmire of shite will find solace in. Basic, unkempt, of its day, unstoppable, considerably dense - what is your verdict? 'No More Wars' sets a stage, the bellow of the title comes, the impetus builds, something is lost amid a pure production however the lowbrow tribal-ness and easy wrap-around 'anyone can do it' overflow makes this the easiest material to slam yer nut too. A rant lets loose the obvious stresses and emotions of the band and we wind up to an predictable finale. The band will not be budged and the last 'fuck off' is well meant.
'Sacrilege' offers nothing new under the blood red sun but another wasteland blow out that takes the incoherence levels to a new high. Very nasty this one with the similar repetitive riff rolling on through. I feel that 5 tracks has overdone it a little due to styles being so similar and the temperament levels now almost spilling into lunatic disarray. I shall pass on this one.
What you see is what you get here - old rockers playing old riffage but...there is a place for this toxicity and I will be certainly delving into this disc now and again when the noggin desires it. Many will hate this now, some will embrace it...take what you will! This however doesn't do the band justice as regards their 'live' offerings and before you pick this offering up go check em' in the pit - then make up yer ragged mind.
MARK WYNNE - GET OFF THE FRIDGE EP
Mark Wynne - ah yes - that chap from York who is quite productive and is a bit of a wordsmith too, and it seems, is quite unpredictable - keeps one interested I suppose. The last offering was almost countrified garage in inflection with an extra rawness that could sometimes be almost offensive - what we have here was a total surprise.
We begin with 'Bill Burroughs Was My Baby', a real acute episode of acoustic song construction that pays a warped homage to a free thinking, angular gent who wrote in a cut up and fuck up style, pushed numerous boundaries of decency, wrote many essays, spoke in public and had a dabble at painting. This captures a semi-snip and paste style, overlays an obvious tickling melody with seemingly ad-libbed wordage as well as offering general crispness and clarity that rescues all areas and duly captivates. Front gob and back gob intertwine at times to create a fascinating 'on the precipice' product which never falls down but stays on sure feet and keeps a good old tempo. The reviewing decision is of a cute song that is off the cuff, easy and yet challenging on the ears and over and done with in good time rather than fuckin' pissing in too many directions for too long - a swollen thumbs up! In fact I am listening to this one over and over again - ensnared - you bet! 'Day Trip To Leeds' is an everyday tale of life with a routine lilt to the vocals and rattles off just random thread after random thread from a mind pondering many moments of a life going through the motions. The merest insignificance is brought to prominence via relatable descriptions and nicely manipulated cutlets of nostalgia. The crisp guitar confronts the matter of fact gobbage and a sweet opposing output is had. There is something familiar and utterly charming about this number and these fat digits are still swung upward.
'Flammable Me (The 'I'm So Hot' Song), is an adequately flowing number with Wynnes vocal style working well amid sombre strums and semi-wretched tones. At one moment the vocalist seems liable to sneak off into the woodlands of the less predictable but thankfully he keeps to the right rhythmic track on this one and pulls out a safe and steady song. There isn't a lot going on, the end borders on collapse, he pulls it off (just) - a close and likeable scrape. 'I'm Mint Man Me Man Yeah Yeah' is a crackin' little piss take of the chav culture (well that's how I am reading it) and the modern oral slang that has me wondering where communication is going. The cold stated style of delivery, the rhythmic undulations that are slight and rising from an ocean of 'that’s how it is' acceptance and the just oh so charm of the whole concoction proves beyond doubt that this fiddler and wanderer of wordage has much potential to whip ragged and bleed the best from - think on sir!
We close with 'The Kid, Emotional Blues Part 2', again packing in oodles of relaxed, spare of the moment impetus and somewhat simplistic tale telling. The yarn has elements of unpredictability hence the midway scream and the abrupt ending but if this is neatly done and not overly so (as here) it makes for a more succeeding slant rather than a slip into shoddy slapstick waters. I am liking this again and the slightly breeze-blown aspect works - nice job you young strung strummer chap.
So, another acoustic 'erbert flexing his wings and going up into the airspace and flapping away in his own unique style. There are many out there doing this one man wanking and many are jacking up good jaunty stuff. It is indeed the hardest place in which to make an impression and all I can do is try and point out the worthy or the wayward. This dude has the potential to be both but here keeps it fine and soaring and this is definitely stuff to dabble with. Unlike...well if you keep up to date with these textual assessments you will know where I am coming from.
THE DROP OUT WIVES - SELF TITLED E.P.
The band concerned here describe themselves as 'Fuzzy low budget slopabilly from Bispham' - now I like that - anything hinting at the unpretentious and erring towards the side of low-fi - that will do for me although this is a certain area where nothing can be taken for granted - many dip in their toes, many make great noise, some fall apart at the joints - you gotta be wary. What the band do here is adopt a slow and steady style and splash in a sauce of garagey flavour as well as adorn themselves with clothes of scuzzed cacophonic honesty - it is an interesting approach but - does it appeal? Well read on and find out you idling perusers.
The first shot in the neck is entitled 'Fearless Dog', a groaning whelp of a number that is being pummelled rotten by a rabid underscore of wiry scuzz that is souped up on snarling spite and sexualised desire. The whole nasty shebang is sexualised with the nail gun raping inducing many a needy groan from the whore at the fore. When the intensity increases the full submission to the warehouse wank is had and this is unadulterated deviancy simply getting off on a self made vibe - and I love it. Sub-sweet-iness next with a familiar plod given the garage make-over and thus grinding out a drawn out episode of incessant fumeage. 'Cartoon' is a dirty hound with a tail that wags low, an inner confidence to the walk that at first is easily overlook and a semi-snarl cum leer that focuses the attention. The persistence of the crummy guitars and drawling gobbage as well as the incessant drum driven tempo shouldn't be as effective as it is but the DOW gang apply a persuasiveness you can't shake free of the noggin. It isn't a classic but it isn’t the cold turd you may immediately rate it as. Don't scrape it off your shoe too hastily - this one hangs in there.
'Justine' bounds in with great biting gusto - a really sprung step bounces on the dance floor of crummy intent with a gruff and gravelled gob style operating via wolfish menace within the autumnal undergrowth. All is shaded with dead browns, washed out golds, jaded pastels of sonic intent but within the retreating verdancy life springs and this is where the value of the instrumentalists play their most significant role - almost a graveyard sound with zombies of reaction rising - think about it. 'Straight On Through' is in fact an individual zombie that has clawed through cold, dank and dark earth of acoustica and risen to yell and bitch bellow in a smog of pervading noise that gives a surreptitious life. This seems horror filled puke and indeed it is - with all trimmings flesh torn and soaked through with spilled blood - there is something unsettling here but very perversely pleasing. Odd I know but this latter effort is the best of the lot!
'Friend Of Mine' has a submissive eroticism that sharpens talons and in some almost sexualised way creates an antagonistic feel that...arouses. The paradox of sensations, the awkwardness of two opposing facets donates to an end din that once again appeals and I am at loss to explain why other than the almost seemingly nonsensical aforementioned comparisons. Some of the reasons so many don't review CD's is that they can't be arsed, they have no interest in putting anything back at the expense of their time and...in a few small cases the fuckers realise it ain't that easy - this song emboldens those facts. The end verdict of this latter track is another of those that I shouldn't like but do and so will many other DIY deviants. 'God Of Rock N Roll' is meandering schnuffle (seems an apt word) that is almost cartoonish in a Hannah Barbara kind of way - get that hound dog gob work. It is a composted construction that is given extra nutrients via brassage and unhinged hollers but the question remains - when added around the bases of your prize petunias of interest will the said tuned plants grow any quicker and encourage further attentive verdure. Personally, as the running time progresses beyond the 3 minute mark, I feel the leafage and potential praising blooms shrivel and I end up with a struggling patch of unappreciative opinion. A shame because the DOW dudes had a vibe going but have just lost it at this rear end junction - ye can't win em' all.
So despite the final fling not rocking my root system I am still taken by this lot and the output I have witnessed in the pit and on the silver circle wins my vote. I need to see and hear a little more before I pronounce these as acoustic artistes but I have a feeling that positivity and high entertainment may just be around the ever piss soaked corner.