FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 80
EAST TOWN PIRATES - SEVEN SEAS OF SIN
And so, after a very long wait loaded with anticipation, the ETP crew throw up their latest CD and immediate thoughts are as to whether or not the wait has been worthwhile? The band have set a heady standard in the past and produced some absolute gems and this time around have the unenviable task of trying to raise their game and win a new army of followers. From the landlocked shores of Ipswich any headway the band have made has been slow and steady but they are getting there (wherever 'there' may be) and the vibes within the undercurrent are more often than not positive (about time too). So here is my latest take on proceedings and apologies in advance for the obvious slant taken on the review - it shouldn't be done but it has (to a restrained extent) - I hope all points and emotions are clear and not lost in a sea of descriptive dabbling.
'Glory Days' is the first flashing cutlass to be whipped from the finely laden scabbard of sonica and at once the lofted production values, the bands ever improving artistry and the natural theme of this CD grabs you and for the next 13 tracks never lets go. The general gist of this opening pearler is of liberation and the band duly make the 'big impact' so desperately needed. Massive drums, a shanty shindig, a rum ragged gob and of course an all consuming chorus - you will have to walk the plank if ye rate this as wank I'm afraid (them's the rules). A choice and expected start - the crew never fail to impress. 'The Curse Of Captain Blood' displays historical knowledge and hammers out to sea with the flag of sonic victory fluttering with glory. A tempered launch and then numerous big waves are sought and mastered as this melody soaked heave ho undulates with the shift of the self created whipped up waters. Ideally blended, wonderfully played and including a yarn to ponder - the journey looks to be a memorable one.
'The Revenge Of Emmy Tot' is a personal fave for many convincing reasons, let me elaborate please. The tale we have here is of a true story regarding an attractive fearless lass Emmaline Tot. In the days of piracy Emmy was taken to sea against her will by a Dutch vessel commander, namely Jan Van der Goot, whom was besotted by Emmy and would not take her initial refusals to his advances as a 'no'. Once on board Emmy was locked in Van der Goot's cabin where she was held captive until the Dutchman decided what to do with her. Returning to his cabin in an inebriated state Van der Goot went to sleep on his bunk after finding Emmy apparently asleep in a corner. Emmy was biding her time and no sooner had her captor dozed off than she got up and plunged a knife into his evil heart. Following this Emmy cut off the head of Van der Goot with his own sword, went up on deck and held it aloft thus forcing the crew to return her to the seaport of Irvine where our heroine was a lady in waiting. The Earl of Eglinton was hosting a banquet at Eglinton Castle, just outside Irvine (for any sea captain within the harbour at the time) and being impressed by Emmy's bravery he added the figure of a girl holding a sword and a severed head to the crest of his coat of arms as a tribute, There ends the history lesson now go check out this tune. The song is a gem, the lyrics exact and intriguing, the passion poured forth utterly absorbing - I will not piss about here - the whole explanation to a classic should be obvious.
'John Dobbs' Bones' is more reality and rhythmic pleasure hoisting this band to greater levels of appreciation from this respectful admirer. A good twist inward, the usual shantified melody, a fine controlled and salted chorus, a joyous crowd capturing snip that is harmonised and sweetly lilted. An inner rush of turbulence over ragged waters keeps us attentive and yet again a faultless golden nugget is bagged. 'Throw Your Arms Around Me Darlin'' is the soppy moment and still the crew maintain the chosen theme and make this a total time warp of preciseness that is an ‘on deck’ jig to delight in. A serenade, a lull to the loved, a reeling rise to many a crescendo where skirts will fly free, breeches will be hitched up and many a flagon of grog will be consumed. 'Prisoner's Lament' is a quality structure built in two opposing yet complimentary sections. The opening account is semi-spoken and reinforced by gentle acoustica whilst the rest of the song is a full on band expulsion - both parts unite in telling the tale of a captured villain who has no hope of escape. Both segments have clarity, coherence and parallel tones that blend together to make another finely executed piece.
Taut, twisted pulsation, a roll of the drums several times over - a definite foot slamming, thigh slapping burst that will even have the parrot on ya shoulder dancing. The initial stagger is injected with extra life with a lead to the chorus which itself develops finely as the sticks slam it home. I am trying to avoid the obvious theme again but am finding it hard - this one fires many cannons and does much damage to our challenging vessel of resistance - 'Avery (The Fall Of Henry) is more historical trivia but this song is far from trivial - if ya get my gist. 'One For M'Lady' starts with rushing rhythm before adopting a sub stop/start fashion and nailing yet another ‘pick up, play, enjoy’ cut of mild, easily digestible sound. The textures are sharp and silky, the intention to create simplistic quality captured - the awkward and challenging question I would like to throw in completely out of the blue is 'what is the longevity of these songs?' I ask because instantaneous winners such as these usually don't last as long as the slow growers we are all too aware of - worth a thought at this inappropriate time I should think (now that's punk)!
4 left and a quick rundown so as to avoid tedium setting in. 'Rumrunner' is a casual and gentle journey that is a completely safe smuggle, scrubbed up and without threat. In fact this CD isn't about threat but embracing your good nature and asking you to just enjoy the trip. This is the weakest song of the lot but even after a few bevvies you'll be loving it and will be up on yer tootsies. 'Another Day' is a ensnaring number that dips off deck and deals with the stresses and strains of gigging, swigging and frigging in the rhythmic riggin'. Again - quite a wholesome swish of the blade and cutting through my critical stance without a problem - yeah - I like this slick number. 'Seven Seas Of Sin' is strictly within theme and not even challenging my acoustic roots - a good thing, a severe error - you make up your own mind. For me over this 12 track range the band get away with it but I would suggest caution for the next effort. Again what can I add for this and the closing 'Powderkeg' - the band are going through easy motions, don't even seem to be breaking sweat and are rattling out casual quality verse and chorus sections with aplomb. Sometimes you get CD's that leave you with little to say - this latter bunch do just that which is complimentary in its own right.
A great album, a consistency well found and stuck to - if you weren't a fan before you will be after this. The problems will arise in due course when the band begin to write something new as I feel more of the same will be a critical overdose and they are going to have to work out something darn special to top this. So far though this is a ‘crest of a wave moment’ and I can only thank em' for asking me to type up a textual appraisal. Good stuff lads and remember next time I will be expecting something new, nasty and one step up - oh ye poor buggers - what heady suicidal standards have ye set? I await thy response!
MARK AYLING - MEMORIES AND GHOSTS
Spectral sonica here from a six-string merchant who plies his trade within a self created soundscape that is loaded with atmosphere and individualistic characterisation. A sombre offering with deep rivulets of emotion running along the grey toned landscape and thus creating a mood laden octet of acoustic shadows. The pill isn't sugared here, the desolation left uncovered, the bare boned reality there for all to see and so, after many spins, I try and get to textual grips with this testing gathering of noise.
The machined drone of the nagging and drilling 'Warzone' is the first stark and documentary styled delivery that comes from a bomb shelter where life has been lived and many unsavoury things have been seen. Everything is not all sweet and good and this driven along dirge captures an old school admission to the truth of many a situation where one will face a constant battle to keep afloat. The song is brief, the zombified horror noticeable, the residue left worthy of further inspection - I move on intrigued. The flames of ill temperament are stoked with a stand back and see approach that ponders the flowing populace. We are mere pawns in an overwhelming ocean of madness that we duly sink in without a fuckin' trace. You feel as though Ayling is fighting for air, striving to make his own restless ripple and he does it with such sincerity and submerged punk tones that the appeal will stretch further. The tone of the strings and the mellow and mundane option of gobbage compliment and there is a convincing wave building. Again the ditty 'By Those That Pass Before Me' is delivered in quick time which is never a bad thing as opposed the ones who get wrapped up in their own releases and go on for way too long.
'Spirit On The Horizon' is a ghostly drift that is led into swirling mists of a melodic moor land where a solitary sensation is had alongside an almost lost and mentally abandoned edge. Ayling opts for this stance and seems quite happy in the rhythmic remoteness summoning up his own special style of accursed acoustica. This is far from joyous music and with the funereal approach, sub-tortured inflection it takes a little adjusting to after dealing with so much more blatant racketology. The opinion is of creation you wouldn't handle and admire everyday but would certainly be appreciative of if the mood and setting were apt. 'The Ballad Of Logie Buchan' is a another dingy slab of eerie, spectral susurration that penetrates the miasma of disillusionment with scuttled notes and murmured drones of vocalisation. Again definitely a time and place offering that is hard to digest when not in the mood. I feel as though Mr Ayling needed to intercut these psychological episodes of melancholia with the odd upthrust of enthusiasm so as to emphasise both emotive edges but, alas we stick to the mundane and morose meandering and I find myself struggling to stick with it at this point. The ambience sought is caught, the iced textures fine but 'no' - a little too much point and not electrifying enough.
I take time out and now judge as individual tracks rather than as apart of an overall composite – well, I try!
'Perfect Raging Storm' is an isolated piece that emanates from rotten heaths where much time is given to contemplate. Ayling sets himself a hard essence to capture and goes at it with open hands, open lungs, open eyes. The melodic miasma he creates sends out tender tendrils of gut wrenching emotion and the man with the six-strung serpent works hard for is output. The intriguing edge is veiled in mystery, the underscore is still soothing - I am enchanted. 'Circle of Life' is a frustrated outburst that almost loses control. The rage spills with regards to greed, child labour, materialism, ultimately capitalism and the whole depressing shebang that the void of intellect indulge in. Our strum machine nearly blows a fuse and it is nice to see some bare arsed spirit within this complex offering. 'Tragically Shit' follows in the same ilk despite the pondered opening and the more restrained approach. The temper is rising though and disillusionment, with all the so called rebellion that goes on in the name of fakery, one-upmanship, convenience, desperation etc. is exposed as Ayling carefully vents his spleen without being too controversial. This and the aforementioned track bite deeply and rather than the equally effective nibblers they do go for it without looking back and considering the tempo. I like both styles to be honest but that track 5 gets the best out of this gut so far.
We close with '3597', another crawl that relies on ambience rather than aggressive acoustics. I find myself a little out of sorts with this last offering and I wonder if that is down to positioning or the fact it is not the most effective song. Within are the usual opposing waves that crash upon a monochrome shore and I can't help but feel that this dude spends too much time out of the full colour spectrum and way too many hours in the shade.
That is it and I am split down the middle to be honest. The atmospherical tracks appeal but in small doses, the more up front numbers appeal also but need a little more chomp. Again the key factor is not enough distinction and clarity between tones and I would suggest next time to really sharpen up the focus and make each shading more defined from its immediate neighbour. The main quality of this 8 tracker though is that Mr Ayling is doing it his own way and I will not fault that - the criticisms are humble and given tentatively although with full sincerity. Yes - I be still undecided but would like to hear the next offering if things are altered a little.
CHARLIE HARPER/CAPTAIN SENSIBLE - TOO MUCH REALITY EP
A collaboration from two long term cacophonic pirates who surely need no introduction. There is no harder working rocker than Mr Harper and no greater cretin than Mr Sensible (meant in the most charming way) and both have clocked up some reliable mileage on the old punkometer. I have long been a UK Subs fan (since 79 in fact) and can take or leave The Damned (although The Black Album is a masterpiece and they do have several gargantuan songs) and so I expected much from this 4 track effort. Will it be a case of continued quality, will it be a bout of nonsensical fiddling just for the sheer hell of it (with too much homage paid to the influences) or will it be the start of something new and very exciting? Who knows but we can at least try and find out!
THE SUPER HAPPY FUN CLUB - ALL FUNNED UP
It has been a while since I last reviewed anything by this band and I am just wondering why the delay and what route they are now on? The crew made a solid impression first time around with their highly polished and lively sound that encapsulated an essence that could go in many directions and win many differing fans. The preparation into each and every offering was obvious (and in fact still is) and another question to ponder is when these guys will actually make that shuddering breakthrough that must surely come? There are many commercialised aspects here (I grit my teeth) and many sunned and funned moments (well it does say it on the tin) and even this old scraggy sonic dog end has much to find favour with. Hailing from Chicago, created from 5 rival bands and with a convincing zest to do their thing this is far from crappy produce and will please many a music fanatic - but will Fungal be thrilled? Let us crack on and immerse ourselves in something hygienic for a change instead of wallowing in the glorious shit and let us see if my todge is tickled pinker than just plain old...pink.
'Who Drank My Beer' is a momentous beginning with a relished cymbal three tap and an immediately infectious bite to the bouncing party encouraging verse and chorus chunks. Superbly mixed, driven on keyed impetus, vitalised by grouped bursts and a thriving sing-a-long thrust this has all the trimmings of a band who want to make something very special happen. They have done so already and we move into track two with very ambitious thoughts. 'Move On' rises on large hollered thermals before emotively travelling on passioned words and uniformed pulsations of the band. The song progresses into a clever and insightful oceanic spread of clinical melody making with a sheer advancement had towards waters where hygiene and commercialism dictate the output. For such a lover of scuzz such as me I can feel my nose about to turn upward but the band have so much craft, so much talent to oust the garbage dominating the top of the twisted tree I can't help but find myself involved. This isn't punk and this isn't DIY purism from the gutter but it is clean cut cacophony of a very convincing standard where the production room has got it spot on (as well as the players themselves). 'Enemy' is almost boy band in stance and does little for me but shows the chaps can vary styles and move in certain scrubbed up arenas if they want to. Not really my bag of racket but surely if any band I come across will make a major breakthrough then these must be in for the running. Lucid and textured vocals, precise and accurate musicianship, sonic spices to please the most varied 'acceptable' sound lovers and many orchestrated moments to applaud - look lads - keep doing it your way and doing it well - I really can't criticise the quality found here.
'Okay, Okay' is a peach and gets me moving despite again being a spruced up poser loaded with genuine effect. The band move faster, involve themselves with greater urgency, crack on with varied and adhesive sections all in line and rush upward on a self whipped up hurricane of strongly harmonised acoustics. Just as I think the band has reached its zenith new echelons of artistic ability and output are attained - a real show stopper this one. 'Blinders' begins with controlled tones before erupting in a gloried kaleidoscope of sound that is almost orchestral and rapturous. The distinction between dins is momentous and the band exhibit capabilities far exceeding their current sonic situation. Again the word 'professional' comes to the fore along with descriptive extras such as 'erudite', 'accomplished', 'impeccable' and 'processed'. The same can be said of 'Fine Distraction' that is alive with precise notes, strong chords and gentle intricacies that keep to a pre-planned pattern. The end picture painted is by masters in their comfort zone and squeezing the best out of themselves albeit lacking in corrosion and rhythmic residue that I like to wallow in. The sub-sophistication rises this above gutter genres and into sonic streets where I barely tread - we can't all be of the same cut of cloth but we can give due respect. As a point of awkwardness and contradiction 'Good Year' is the song I find most trouble with and is a really corned turn off that makes me almost want to puke - bah. Way too sickly and reminiscent for this staggering cunt who keeps eyes forward as much as possible. Sorry chaps - poetic licence says I am at least allowed one gentle nudge in yer ribs and this is the moment. Beautifully played, sonically saturated, nicely alternated as regards the inner grain of the groove but I bloody well hate it. 6 - 1 to the SHFC - well all is fair in love and war.
'Way Back (The Conflict)' takes us into the last three with yet more advanced tones, it pulsates in, then rushes upward in a spiral of harmonised victory. The song settles, the dust is still swirling when tension grows again and the next hurricane is whipped up. The band do it so well and it gets on my tits! A great coordination ensues, switches from the high flown to the carefully trodden and wings out with victory rolls aplenty. 'Angels Cry' keys in with a classical mode, sub whispers with persuasion, has tinges of weariness, comes to the fore as a composite created to impress with minimalism. As good as anything in the charts of fakery and bullshit and just as squeaky clean which detonates a bomb as to the songs punk credentials but, in truth, that label can be a bitter point and an extremely nebulous one so fuck it. This again isn't for me, far too scrubbed up but, as per, I can see the gushing talent aching within - I just wish they would stick to offerings like the first one but hey, they seem to have a target and there is no reason why they can't attain it with material of this magnitude. 'Plus One' pronounces itself with power thrusts, moves with latent ability that is growing all the time. The grip of the acoustic hand is firmer, more demanding so of course we take greater note. What we find are crystal clear applications of varied instruments all standing separate so as to be appreciated but coming together to create quite a forceful noise. A firm and feisty finale for sure.
And there you have it - absolute quality, an entire advancement of an already convincing outfit but something that is just outside my sonic room of mess. The choice between the grimed and groomed is always going to result in the same decision for me, the stench of the puked or the polished will always find me sniffing around the former. I can't be any other way - DIY filth is in the blood, 48 years old and despite an eclectic taste that is what I prefer but, and a fine, erect but at that - some of these tracks entertain me, some shake the earth (especially that opener) and even the ones that don't rock my rafters still deserve my applause. The band are rising in skill and stature, they are walking their own path and who am I to argue? If you like noise all clean and correct with a nice slice of power thrown in then please check out this lot - you may be witnessing a real big band in the making – now go make a decision.
MONICA AND THE EXPLOSION - KEEP IT ALIVE
Swedish strummer Monica Welander puts her heart and soul into her music and that is reflected quite highly on this sub-acoustic journey of 12 tracks. Now based in Tunbridge Wells and having a bundle of experience under her belt it is quite rewarding to hear a lass with plenty of sass in the ass 'get up and go for it' dedicated passion and unbridled belief. Limiting yourself to 6 strings is no easy task and despite having a few extras in the mix the question remains as to how long this style can linger on for and still maintain it's clout - let us delve and try and answer this and a few other questions as well as squeezing the rhythmic rear of this eager lady and hopefully moving her forward and further 'out there'.
We commence with '5 Hour Ride', a real sonic scene setter that has much pluck and spunky effervescence which is ideal to grasp ones testes (or general under-carriage) of interest and keep one attentive. Our lady at the front has a charming youthful identifiability as well as a quirky lilt that works well with the quickly scuttled stringwork. This is a neat opener and the only concern I have is that if Ms Welander can maintain the intrigue and vary things enough to keep this a viable product (I think I already said that – oh bugger). So far so good - well it is only one track in after all - wink, wink! 'Franglehead' is a swift spurt and I know not what this lady is on about - what the fuck is a franglehead? No matter what, the song yet again bounces around you and insists on a high level of waggle butt participation with its bold and rapid-fire string work. Immediate thoughts are towards a young lady keen on living, spirited enough to energetically relate her rhythmic tale and of a personality that is loaded with joie de vivre - and that more than carries things along nicely.
'Secretly In Love' is a tale of surreptitious adoration concerning a target that is, I presume, unobtainable. We have all been there and had that inner syrupy crush that clouds the thinking, clogs the tubes of reasoning and utterly consumes the soul, it is a strong, sensuous and frustrating sensation that can only be dealt with by 'getting it off your chest'. You just wanna shout out 'I'm smitten, I am absorbed, I am in love' but alas in most situations - you can't. Ms Welander tackles the problem with a sweet ditty that may not embrace all of the emotional turmoil but gets the nervous excitement across as well as the heart palpitation restlessness it causes - nice one girl (ya silly soppy bugger ha, ha). 'Rock 'N' Roll Song About Life' is as it says on the tatty tin, a zestful upthrust of sanguine wrist flicking frivolity with an extra enthuso-factor added via the dripping gobbage that has little wordage to play with but does what it does quite nicely. This isn't my favourite track and seems to lack that killer attraction although it does have a rounded feel and much buskadoo flavour. 'I Just Wanna Dance' is more like it with the pre-gig feeling and chance to escape prospect all captured and frothed up with Monica's lust for life lip donations making this utterly sincere song writing. There is something quite cute, homely and approachable about these tracks and this is one of the best. The nerves are still jittery in a winning way - don't you relax now.
4 back to back quickies (oooh me nadgers are drained) and 'I'm Not A Crying Hound Dog' opens up, bares a beaten soul, accepts things for how they are and rises from despondent ashes and surges along into echelons of new hope. I like the relatable aspect of this one, the conviction of the reality and the inner belief. 'The Glow' has more swing in the sonic scrotal bag and once the rhythm is created it seems the song just goes with the general tempo. Now and again an extra flurry is given, followed by a momentary relapse - come on keep the pendulous bag of noise moving lass - kick harder. A somewhat inner switch off that many will enjoy but just leaves me out of kilter - it was worth including though. 'City Love' is a tribute to the concrete turmoil that stretches its malignant arms and takes over all that is natural. Personally I hate the city shit and all the fakery and small thinking tossology found therein but this song shows a side from someone who loves it. Even though I prefer grass beneath my feet I can appreciate the socialite’s stance and this swift effort has enough spirit to be understood. The six strings are rapidly strummed, the thread still woven well although at 8 tracks in I think we should be cutting things short anytime soon. 'I Wanna Go Home' shows that the city is not the place you wanna stay no matter how much you love it and this yearning yarn relates a sensation we all know - stuck out, had enough and just want to flee to some safe and silent comforts. I like this little tickler and no doubt will have it jumping around in my mind when the shit headline band hits the stage after a long all day gig (you know what I mean).
'My Jeans' has a song title for the lasses (with their fat, thin, pear shaped, uplifted, down shifted troublesome rears) and begins with a statement that avoids the clichéd 'Do I look good in this'. No, this lady has more confidence and rattles off a fine tune with the wires getting another good wanking via enthused eagerness. It is as you were; Monica twists her tonsils and hits a few vocal obscurities whilst immersed in her own cacophonic craziness - why not indeed? 'Shitty In The City' is an oddity with much to consider - fidgety, angular, spiky, rushing with relish, still pinging on the trampoline of tone and with a slight unpredictability - this is a latter end peach I can really dig and am quite happy with the overall well sprinkled delicacies the quirky lass emits. 'On The Road' closes with a slow, thoughtful mode with the player pondering life ‘out there gigging’. Escapist, relaxing, borne from the heart of a true touring entity this one is for the bands and general on the go musicians who just have that 'bug'. You can almost feel the relief from the artiste as she begins another journey into the known and 'unknown’ - nice. You get one hidden track that is a cute curio and that is it - the latter track you can mull over yourselves, come on I have done 12 tracks, all I ask of you is one.
So another acoustic artisan has requested an appraisal from the digits of Fungal, the result - a quite satisfactory sensation of a player in love with her trade and dripping with hunger to carry on. Whilst carrying on I suggest alterations must be made as the limitations of one man (or lady) and their weapon will undoubtedly show up if the same track is taken over and over. Personally I would like to see this keen as mustard cacophoneer front a full on band and also maybe try her hand at some skankiness and 'let it rip' aggression but, as always, the choice is up to the ones at the helm. For now this will do just fine but next time, well just watch your step young madam ha, ha!
SWINGIN' UTTERS - POORLY FORMED
Last time I saw this long term noise making unit I thought they one of the highlights of a quality year (2012 that is) and this latest release was anticipated as being a gem. The band hail from Califiornia and have done many a year on the circuit with the band members having considerable experience via this coming together and the various sideprojects. For me the crew have always been just under the radar this side of the pond and I wonder if that will ever change? The talent and quality are there, is it just a kind push from Lady Luck that is needed - who fuckin' knows? Anyway here is my two-penneth worth - will it help or hinder - explore the following honesty and find out!
A four thump, an injection of life, the gratifying glory of the fluid flow - 'Librarians Are Hiding Something' is a 'drag you along for the ride' trap that it is imperative to start a CD with. Sonically saturated, perfectly paced, mixed so as to get the best out of a great band, loaded with boosting harmonies, well oiled musicianship - I absolutely love this initial gush - is the bar already set too high - surely not! 'Brains' pursues and instantly opposes and causes one to ponder how much variation will this 14 track CD offer and how much will balance out and hit the acceptable standard? This second track is a choice change so early on (despite my loving the initial burst) and rather than free flow it pulses away with an overlay of radioed vocals that work and give a corrugated sensation rather than an overly smoothed out feeling. Not instantly appealing but a maturing sneaker that just tickles yer arse instead of booting it. 'Stuck In A Circle' is mellow drifting and far from what many consider to be punk - at first that is! A whip up, an increase in attitude and tempo creates the opposing values of tone and we have a two-tiered tune to consider. Once more a tidy track that gradually undulates the thematic thread. 'Pour Beans' is a fluffy number whisked along by a pulsation rammed with repetitive persuasion and overlain with a verbal bite - there is nothing here to offend or be overtly upset by, just totally digestible noise - it keeps things moving.
Pogue in vogue next with a dungaree dabbling jig as the acoustic finger jug is turned upward and a sickly sweet tonic is poured forth. 'I’m A Little Bit Country' is far from Wurzelised and hits the jackpot as regards the sub-generic style sought, the main problem I find is that this kind of harvested acoustica is not my thing and the only countrified cruising I like to get involved with is when I am chasing bugs and beasties in some flower laden meadow. Despite my semi repulsion I would be hard pushed to kick this well played ditty to pieces so will keep the noggin down and jump to the next track. 'In A Video' may just be the most basic track of the lot but with its red light flashing, wrap-around fashion, magnetic melody and sub-radioised lilt I find this a pleasurable quickie that gets me all upright and alert - this may be a reflection of my DIY bare bone tastes, it may be not. 'Poorly Formed' keeps tuned in to the same frequency with an airwave edge captured via a slightly off centre dial. It runs smoothly, has good bass sensations, contains a cutting string mode and breezes by with drums even and nicely rustled. It brings to a close a very interesting and rewarding first half.
Orchestrated caresses strengthened by firm acoustic strums open up the awaiting arms of 'Greener Grass'. The delicacy isn't ignored and isn't wasted as a fine song unfolds built on simple but precise positioning and production of each player and his din making weapon. A good skip along, middle of the road melody, a sweet accent to a yearning jaunt that nudges the spirit rather than tugs on the heartstrings. 'Temporary Contemporary' is a casual upchuck of unsettled snottiness. Charged with electric modulations that become more acute with each spin this highly strung inclusion knows its style, knows what it wants to achieve and does so quite swiftly. 'A Walk With The Postman' is the most catchy cutlet that drips with homemade notes built with intrinsically uncomplicated attention. Quite stripped down, quite mechanical, undoubtedly a song that will stick in your cerebral pubescence and not be shook free with any ease.
The final bunch and will it be a case of the fantastic four or the quartet of crapulence? Read on and find out!
'Military Barbara Billingsley' stutters, seems to consider many directions, never really gets going until peeling away a few layers and hitting the instrumental inclusion which leads to the wind down - mmm - an odd one that does little to perk me up. 'Dreadlock Dread Reggae' is far better with a good drive, a rapid breeze blowing through and a suggestion of experimentation. This and the chasing 'The Fake Rat Of Dave Navarro' make good bedfellows and lie side by side in a complimentary position. This latter track gets on with matters, has a clockwork underscore of pushing rhythm and throws forth the, by now, recognisable tones of the band.
We close with 'Sevita Sing' and right up until the last the crew are altering the output. Hippified, acousticised, country laden and sugared up with subtle melancholic flavour as well as a suggestive positivity. It is a both unexpected and welcome turn of tuneage and the utterised swingers tackle it well as they do with most of their efforts.
In encapsulating the essence of this CD I feel that besides the 3 or 4 instantaneous ball grabbing grippers that most of the songs are creeping subtleties that make an impact as a bunch rather than lone listens. The end feeling is of a fine and easily enjoyed CD that reinforces my thoughts of a sturdy band. Certainly the next time they swing into town I will be lapping up the sounds.
BORN TO DESTRUCT - SEEK AND DESTRUCT
I have done my fair whack with the BTD crew, from early on until the present day and have given them some fair and honest reviews over the years. They work hard, release much, put in their wholesome bit and are decent people to boot (I chat regularly with Woodcock and put the world of punk to rights) but what of their latest CD release. It is packaged well, comes with added extras and follows a set route the band are now on - much to the appreciation of many out there. Is it another mammoth mammory of riffage or a witches tit of flatlined sonica - one thing you can guarantee from this old reviewer you get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the cuntsistent truth (in my humble way).
We open with 'Shark Dog' and instant thoughts are of a song that is playing it safe and of a sound too familiar with what as gone before. The opportunity to make an impact with the initial blast is lost and we chug along in somewhat careful fashion - I be flummoxed. I recently scanned a review before writing this (which I normally never do although I am too wise to be swayed) and the whole textual concern was primarily drenched in appreciation - fuck, has my head gone, am I missing something? Replaying and a slight change in thoughts, tracks 2 and 3 seem to follow suit and perhaps there is more going on than first deemed. The first track does get better and has an earthy sound to grow accustomed to, 'Hug' is sickly sweet with a spiritless inflection that leaves me frosted and heavily frustrated as I prefer drink and drugs to hugging a deviant doll (unless its rubber of course) and 'Loozer' has a bit more passion but seems somewhat hung up on its own care and caution. Relax dudes, just fuckin' relax and I shall move on hoping for variation, lower slung sonica and a greater freedom. These first 3 have a construct that is too similar and even though the overlay is varied the underlying foundations are apparent and a little too much in the same old vein. The latter song does have a catchy snag but is just too darn austere with its own outpouring.
'Let's Go' is repetitive and initially niggles the titties but when cymbals splash and the band open up the success levels rise mightily - see, I told ya. Alas this fucker is too brief and the moment I speak of gone in the twinkling of a bloodshot eye - bastard. 'Ruby' tries to tell a tale, is rather clichéd but will be one many take to. Variations of pace, Woodstock growling a little less, some echoed gobbage, a minor red light insistence and yes - I am not that keen. 'Push The Button' offers darker tones, I am hoping for a change in emotion, it seems I may be pleased. A steady plod and the opening wraparound vocals banish my hopes. I hold on, guitars and drums chop, aaagghhh another repeat offender - surely this can't continue. The production is a hybrid of DIY and something processed and comes out in a nowhere land seemingly not knowing what to be - yet again I am out of sync with this one. 'Destruction Disco' has pep, fires brighter and then adopts a usual style which highlights an inkling I have that the reason I am having difficulty digesting these morsels is that, as said earlier, there is too much similarity between all mixed tones. Drums, guitar, bass, gob all seem to be borne from one mass globule of sonic phlegm and once entangled this reviewer finds it hard to disengage. The problem may also be I have reviewed so much and am expecting too much but hey, expect I do and continue with the squeeze still on. Remember though there is a review on the Studs and Punks website that counterpunches my remarks here which is quite choice as it proves what I always say - my textual assessments are honest, as true as I can make them and most importantly not fuckin' gospel. Think on!
'516369' dabbles at new depths, has Mr Serling uttering before the chug ensues and then...usual fare I am afraid with life truly injected toward the latter end where the song starts to break away from its embryonic shackles and flies with greater success. Spoken words are lost amid the 'nah, nah' attack but I like the effort - not a bad second half. 'Creepy Needle' has more impetus, more definition between players, starts with a sub-flourish. Lyrically pleasing, a decent verse and equally decent chorus with the song rising when the guitars are twisted taut. Of course they slip back into an infecting routine that takes off the end sheen but on this occasion I shall overlook it. 'Neverland' sharpens up, seems more corroded, yet again begins with the band seemingly wanting it and then they dawdle via a bass and drum segment that knocks the wind out of the sails. If found within a CD of greater variety this moment would have worked, here it is a lost snip. This cutlet does raise the point that if these songs indeed were individually amputated from this collective carcass they would indeed fair better stitched onto a more varied compilation - a very pertinent point to take into consideration before nailing this as a CD assassination. Back to the song and another 'no' as it pursues its predecessors down the same path which I am afraid disappoints me no end.
'Mr Bollocks' has a drum skip that gets me searching a few old metal albums for something similar - I do recognise this. Anyway the song punctuates with strings, statements are had via the forced gravelly tonsils, a mid pace is adopted which lasts a little too long. A stripped down piece in some respects with a good hop in the delivery but again the tones are not suiting my sonic stance. Sorry chaps. 3 left and a wham, bam, thank you ma'am - 'On The Loose' shuffles, cracks on and hits a flatline that I lose patience with, 'Dead Generation' has emotion, comes packed with generous words, holds a defiance, glides on a textured backdrop and hits near enough the spot it intends to. The gripe - Woodstock at the fore- calm it down fella, don't holler too much, believe in having more to your vocal arsenal than you do and if any song was deserved of a little female assistance this is it. Best song of the lot though and at a later date, if remixed more carefully and with thoughts to the suggestions given, then a veritable classic on a par with 'Sick, Scum and Apathy' is there for the taking. 'Moose' closes and is a bit of fun, travels on the usual tracks, pings a little more, has a good electric injection and tells a tale of victimisation. I don't mind a toss about at this late stage after so much deflating discordance - I will step out and leave em' to it.
So there you have it - a truthful account of an album that has left me cold and one that really does nothing for me which is an utter disappointment for one who has pushed, supported and been involved with this merry old gang for quite a while now. What can I do - offer lies to keep all things plastic and pleasurable or be honest and not patronise people I have respect for and suffer the consequences (as I eternally do) - not a fuckin' option? Sometimes when reviewing CD's you do get the feeling that it may be 'just you' who doesn't get it and you really are missing something but, I do strain and try and be both objective and subjective and do things the right way. Apologies for a review as such do not come as I believe in what I say and after having my two ladies stating loudly 'to turn that bloody CD off' whilst in the car I reckon I am not alone in my thoughts but...as per, many will disagree and so they should with the ones who agree saying nothing, offering no advice, option and just concentrating on keeping their own steady boats appealing (pathetic). Overall a fat and difficult 'no, no' from Fungal and I demand the crew throw caution to the wind and grab many flavours for their next offering. It may be a case of over enthusiasm and releasing too much but if that is what the band wanna do I will certainly not be the one to stop em' - we will just have to disagree on the quality mark attained.
MAKE THAT A TAKE RECORDS - DAE YER OWN SAMPLER
People off their arse, intolerant of prejudice, putting on shows, releasing CD's, helping bands, making no fuckin' profit and keeping it purely DIY. I really don't care if this CD is loaded with shit track after shit track (in my personal opinion) these Scottish bastards who go for it and get it done get my vote anyway and you can fuck doing it any other way. I believe in the bread and butter from the gutter approach and like what this lot do so without pouring on too much praise and becoming all sycophantic let us get stuck into this natural CD release and see what we can unearth.
The underbelly of silence is slashed open, the first visceral and violent slab of sonic meat to drop forth is 'The Trouble With Trying' by Uniforms, a well versed band indeed. A contemplative start, a rise and then a riff adopted - the tidy straight edged sub-US approach is had and suggestions of new-skool are obvious whilst a regular more basic construct thrives. The subtle rawness and the equally subtle poppage combine to make a very easy listen and the band get the CD off to a very honest start. The Walking Targets follow and after a 'live' viewing I was interested to see what this recorded track would bring. A Rancid-esque offering with the production just not quite there but with promise aplenty most blatant. The tempo is fair, the tightness of the band pleasing and the all round compatibility with the CD as a whole quite satisfactory. The bass is wobbled well, the arrangement consistent, the vocals give the feeling of being slightly used and worn which ultimately adds character - I move on failing to find any disappointment although that ending is a bit abrupt ya swines. Sink Alaska bring more urgency to the table with the excellently delivered surge of 'Dolphins Used To Live On Land' a song that thrives on a rapid fire approach with well placed harmonised moments amid a song offering varied vocal styles. The band have that capturing essence that drags you along and that alone is the element I find most appealing. Again a very talented crew and exposing the depth of the DIY dogs out there many of you simply overlook whilst satisfying your sycophantic, big band arse licking needs - think on, seek out quality not cacophonic kudos because in truth this latter myth only exists in the petty minds of those who have been conned.
'Maxwell's Dead' asks the question to all wannabe good time merchants 'Would You Go Out With Me?' A flurry of the acoustic weapons, a rockin' and rollin' encouragement and then a rally call to those on the outside, those who enjoy a good old blow out and wanna forget the restrictive boundaries. The band have good vibes out there, no wonder as they are certainly creating plenty here. Loaded 45 slap home their point with eager belief and convincing persistence. 'Church Bell's' is a feisty number and continues the strong thread set thus far. They have a generous helping of power beneath the most notable layers of noise and a good pride, grit and inner drive. This song is a powerful piece and again has flavours that can traverse a wide array of sub-scenes and circles.
5 down and all is looking good - Billy Liar - are ye going to create a cacophonic cock-up - the pressure be on! No chance - a charming snip of ghostly, questioning acoustica comes via the artistic soul of the insightful artist who certainly knows how to construct a six string ditty whilst packing a verbal punch. The guy at the helm desires the noise makers to vent their spleen, to spill their blood for the cause, to bring about a fuckin' change rather than go through the motions - so accurately put whilst creating a charmed melody - nice! The Murderburgers pursue - what can I say? A fave band since their first release these guys pour forth a darn classic with the perpetual sonic motion of 'Sickness In My Head'. A high flying thrust of pacey sonic poppage done in their wonderful style that is constantly winning new fan after new fan. There is no need to overload the praise - the band are great and so is this song - a veritable pinnacle of that there is no doubt!
More acoustica with Broken Stories asking us to examine their 'First Impressions' and come up with a verdict. I do and it is of a song artistic merit and soothing intent with a fine message to get over initial hurdles and take further consideration. The essence is clean, campfire styled and somewhat hippified (ooh I bet that's taken as an insult) but I like it and I like the change in stance it offers - variety is indeed a quality spice. The Kimberley Steaks offer a fuckin' belting bout of crummy punkage with high octane energy splashed all over the very punkily entitled 'Terminal Boredom'. Scuzzy guitars, sub-snot gobbage, a whizzing bass rhythm and alive and kicking drums - love it - the way the chorus and verse merge, the delivery of the title via a very seemingly fucked off chap and the electric surges that pulsate throughout - what a gem! 15 Minutes and more 6 strung galloping that bursts with a fiery passion you should all be able to relate to and one that should get yer idled arses in some sort of gear. A determined, fighting piece of natural heartfelt action that rouses itself into a controlled rage as well as reminding us to ‘Remember’ that some people out there actually fuckin' believe this shit! Nice! Question The Mark play a cute number entitled 'Tonight We're Going To Give It 80%' a song that is gristled, grimaced and questioning and a cutlet that chugs harshly and gets the job done - just like the closing outburst of angular violence from Joey Terrifying which goes by the name of 'What Treachery Is This'. These guys are good and combination punch with ska making within the bob and weave attack as well as some power cracks that smack the noggin hard. They busily fuck from here to there and in between showcase their talent for keeping things tight whilst that bass line really nails all notes and sets a great foundation. Fine, just mighty fine.
Old bands, new bands, faces familiar and unfamiliar - if you like to keep things mixed up, supportive of the few cunts in the trenches who get shot to bits by the bulleted propaganda of big band nonsense and get overlooked by the mindless marching masses who can't see beyond the next headline act then get a piece of this baby. DIY, off the cuff and fuckin' pure reality! My message to the creators - just never, ever stop!
THE DUSTAPHONICS - PARTY GIRL
'Vintage' is a word I have seen in relation to this bands sound and I can really get that - sounds absolutely spot on. This is well worn emotive surfy garage that more than suggests great talent waiting to erupt over and over again onto many a scene where things have gone a little stale. The influences poured in to this London based band are many from Aretha Franklin and Bo Diddley through to The Ramones and James Brown. It is butt shaking shizzle with trimmings aplenty of many textured tones. At first I was unsure, now this is my current verdict...
'Eat My Dust-A-Phonic' is a beautiful surfed up intro that is played with relish, rhythm and booty swinging enthusomania. Funky guitars, staggered snips that break for the spumed and hollowed drums, a distinct emphasis on technicoloured 60's lo-fi rocking and I fuckin' love it. No politics, no piss arse pretension, no inner circle slavery - freedom baby, freedom. 'Burlesque Queen' moves on slow, twisted heels with smoking deliberateness and high sexual captivation. The deep groove escorts, the sax snakes around the inner thighs of resistance, the slowly brewed utterances have deep conviction, hypnotic layers are many and so this slinking devil is a hard seductress to evade. We waver with uncertainty as to what will come next, don't you forget the initial quality that has just gone - a fine start.
'When You Gonna Learn' has a spunkiness, an attitude that wants to be heard, a lively melody that prods and pokes at the senses (be they jaded, attentive or dumbed down) and what we get is a naked and natural episode of seemingly spontaneous sonic shizzle that comes as a matter of course for a band right in their own groove. Tones are animated and gently vivacious, the general concoction busy and attainable for those with limited attention spans and overall this digestible pip of bluesy pop is a treat. Equally favoured is the pursuing 'Dearest Darling', a honeycomb of semi-bee bumbled celebration that really shakes the bones within and gets the muscles moving with a fine melody. The lady in the lead coughs up spirited sensations aplenty straight from the vaults of old time excellence. They take the song right down from the thriving heights to a cool, low down area where the band can only make us salivate at the prospect of the ensuing ascension - it comes, things become hypnotic, calypsotic, may I suggest wonderfully erotic. 'Party Girl' has more of that razzamatazz rhythm with a delicious verse leading into an equally savoury chorus section that gets shifted along by backing encouragement and ‘whipped into action’ instruments. The bass undulates with excitable adrenalin, the guitars shimmer with volted low brow gusto, drums inject the tempo with enthused action and the final shout out to the listener is to get up and party - what a great way to finish and surely makes this a 'live' blinder.
Cue serious midway bout of instrumentalised edginess.
'Showman Twang Tiki Gods' is from the realm of the epic, sand blown side of sonica with a sidewinding ripple effect leaving many Egyptianised sensations over the concerned listening lug. It has hands full of sinister magic, it radiates a grandiose celebration of mythical events - it certainly colours the imagination and is a fine tune to boot. 'Looking At You' is superb smooth and swinging sexiness with flourished sassiness and relaxed low shouldered incessance. The players twist out a charged erotica that excites the lady at the fore to such levels as to have her lost in the midst of a melodic overspill that is natural, constantly reinvigorating and perpetually arousing. The rise in sensation is sublime, done with artistic touches and begged outward with such unabashed innocence. A truly stupendous bout of emotion and sandwiched between two crafty instrumentals, the latter being entitled 'Shot Down Popcorn'. Nothing outrageous, nothing flamboyant just a simple piece of sonic sweetness to enjoy - nothing more to add.
3 quick ones now, a usual mode of the reviewing operation, it keeps things fluid!
'I Think I Had It', is a ground out drive of irresistible repetition that just badgers away at your soul and passionately insists you get into the persistent beat - at this point I ain't one to argue. 'Tura Faster Pussycat', sharpens talons on metalised wire, skips about with nervous excitement and seems a most minimalist piece that thrives on the adrenalin rather than the acoustics. It splashes around, switches off to contemplate, rattles the membranes - cool. 'Catwoman's Strut' is jazzed susurration that is occasionally tattooed with instrumental inks of varied tones. Atmospheric, almost predatory with its stealth and tiptoed care but liable to jump up and scratch out yer eyes at any given moment. This one reminds of the Pink Panther on Viagra - funny what visions sweet music can make. Slinky pinky man!
'Jinx' takes us into the last hat-trick with a strong feminine driven stomp wired up with crisp guitar licks, an ideal bassed up escort and nicely flicked and fucked drums. The vocals are more opened out, the gist very much awakening, the tempo encouraging of some inner rhythm based passion. Towards the latter end the band throw themselves inwards, the sonic layers soak up the creators - fine indulgence within a fine song. 'You Gonna Wreck My Life' is perhaps the most bluesed up number with its westernised sun soaked harmonica touches and overall roasted whiskey aroma that seems almost borne from a sun drenched porch where dust settles and many of the days thoughts are addressed. The guitar sequence is seemingly improvised, the bare essentials of the beat get that foot tapping - sincere dude, very sincere. 'Take It From Diddley' is a closing instrumental - what is there to say - precise, happening, invigorating and quite snazzy in a natural kind of way.
The table was bare, the dish offered was something different, I look at the menu and throw it away - I am happy to relax and re-digest this little delectable dish over and over again. The Dustaphonics have shook my booty, filled by noise hungry belly and given me a chance to break away from the usual flavours - and I always like that!
ROCK 'N' ROLL IS THE DEVIL'S MUSIC - PLYR COMPILATION
Fuckity fuck another compilation - these are spanners in the works for busy reviewers and really do throw one behind with having so much to take in. This one is released by German label People Like You Records who certainly know their stuff by the evidence of quality on this inexpensive 19 track sampler. On paper it all looks good, in reality it sounds like...
First up and The Bones offer you the 'Smile Of The Cobra', a song that is rhythmically ravenous from a band with an acoustic appetite and a lug for a solid tune. The impetus seems charged with impulse, there is a total unconstrained looseness to this effort with an authentic artistry that creates an impeccable opening salve. We need to get 'Serious' here and Deadline do just that with a song I know only too well and one that comes from, if I guess right, their 3rd album (correct me if I am wrong). The lead lady provides essential crisp and lucid vocals and thrives better when the tonsils are truly liberated and the musical weapons are flourished with intent. The almost spoken verses leave me a little cold but they are there for contrast and somehow Deadline pull out a decent song - and so they should as they have been on the block long enough. Mad Sin are a band that I have only seen once and they did sweet FA to win my appreciation - was I sozzled, did they have an off night, was it a case of one of those? This is horrified ghoulishness with textures of skeletal style and hair on ends intent aplenty and a general rolling rhythm very much borne from their chosen sub-genre. A good rib-prickler this and capturing the finer qualities of the band I missed out on during that 'in the flesh' encounter. Rogers offer up 'Alles Fur Nichts', a soul driven piece that bares its swollen chest and cuts open a strong pulsing vein with which to proffer the restrained rage. The song is crowd consuming and definitely a masses piece were all followers can unite and sing along to the almost sub-hallowed vibe. The Adicts are a curio some like, some don't, some can take or leave. I am in the latter option and find this cutlet a cute piece of family entertainment kept quite deliberately in the realms of safety. 'Reaky Deaky Boys And Girls' is a decent bout of simplistic fun with a light entertainment edge that offers access to all sonic areas. It ain't a classic or aggressive blaster but it does no harm at all.
Buster Shuffle donate one of the top notch tunes on this excellent collection with 'Elvis vs Wag' a quite impeccable number of pulsing guitar and streetwise shuffling. Condiments of Oi and skank are sprinkled around the peripheral edges of this crafty jaunt that swaggers along with pinstriped wink, wink know how and shifty post punk quirkiness. Another crystal clear offering with each note and turn of tuned foot perfectly in position. Broilers next and a 'live' anthem that is bordering on stadium rock but has more to it than mere self indulgent cockology. The keys drive the song and give the emotive edge, the vocalists operates with sanguinity and gives the crowd ample room to join as one whilst the band do just enough to make this a sincere song. I like it a lot despite the language barrier and it fits in quite superbly to this whole 19 track shoot-out!
A dip into some Slime next as 'Revoluzzer' does the business with its fast scuttled stringwork, slap happy drums and fully focus and rightly robust gobbage. Very typical Euro spillage with controlled venom and tempo restrained by exacting melody and prescribed routines. This and the following 2 songs are a very strange trio indeed with The Meteors donating the westernised doom laden sub-minimalism of 'Strange Times Are Coming', a song that isn't really my bag, just like the band, but whom will undoubtedly please many and then the twisting construct of 'What I Want' by The Peacocks, a band capable of so much more I feel. This latter effort leaves me slightly cold as I expected more of a well drilled unit who know their style and how to nail it but I suspect many will disagree. In truth moments ooze more life than others and the song does spark with an inner life but overall just something impedes a full on thumbs up. Back to The Meteors and just one of those bands that fail to raise my rhythmic ass but a crew who many gush over - the song is OK but nowt outrageous.
Bob Wayne pukes up a German version of 'Fuck The Law', a countrified shindig that is plucked up in many ways and spits its well chewed rhythmic baccy in the eye of the disbeliever. It is an unexpected turn of events and I find myself on the back foot before regaining composure and marking this down as a bout of prolapsed idiocy that is played well but doesn't get me hitching up my breeches and duly jigging. Demented Are Go offer up sheer class and shake textured booty with the cowboy psychobilly kafuffle of 'Gone'. Those who love the band will accept this without a flicker of the eye, those uncertain will still be so. Whiskey scorched gobbage, twinkling ready rubbed rhythms, an overall light episode of stickwork to keep things moving - you know what to expect with these dudes. The Creepshow are an impressive band in the flesh and here they back up their high standards with a marvellous cut known as 'Creatures Of The Night'. Rising from the graveyard on corrugated notes, charmed by the sultry tones of the lady at the fore, taken into a cute chorus that is back with convincing 'whoa hoa's' and further feminine excellence. The chill is retained throughout whilst power is exuded in a professional manner and surely this is one of the best outfits within their chosen sub-scene. Choice!
Phew - we are cutting a dash here - onwards and Pipes And Pints create a wonderful reeling segment of introductory tones before whispering out a verse that gradually ascends to a perfect sing-a-long treat. A fresh breeze blows through the whole song as this well flown chorus chant excels itself and gives us a moment to holler our lungs out. I haven't seen Roger Miret And The Disasters for many a year and last time I did I was left a trifle undecided. This is another track that has me questioning my indecision as it is a full on, well saturated ceaseless episode of good old US punkiness filled with variations and well crafted musicianship. Suggestions at times are had as to something heavily influenced by The Clash whilst others abandon these thoughts. Either way the song has a good bite to it and an inner rowdiness that wants you to move yer arse - hey do just that folks - it ain't no crime especially to a tune as good as this. P. Paul Fenech climbs up and down noted ladders before rockin' the Bilyl-ho with a ghoulish scuttlefest known as 'Legion's Song'. A sub-snake charm guitar snip, a guttural smoked, semi-choked vocal style, a rusted old plod of a delivery the slick Jim's will love to groove to - not me though! The Brains are a classy crew, 'Take What I Want (Souvenir Of Monte Cristo)' backs up the statement with the cool professionalistic retro singing style, the rolling train track clatter of the vibe and the simple mode delivered with accuracy. Having reviewed a CD by this lot recently the talent is blatant - it certainly gets reinforced here.
Last 2 and Face To Face spout off with 'Major Tom (Coming Home), a song that feigns a too similar stance and then opts for its own characteristic flavour and combines almost restrained spoken words with ascending free flown chorus episodes that ignite the whole construct. A few listens are needed to appreciate, volume given is a perfect compliment, the song just gets better. The Generators close and give out a fine acousticised nugget that is loaded with emotive sincerity, atmospheric precision and ballad-esque qualities (towards the latter end). When the song does open up and become a full on escapade of musical artistry we get a very polished product that even at the last offers something new. That's the way to do it!
19 tracks, another compilation done and another sweet journey offering many angles some of which maintain that an 'in-scene' target audience will be happy. Low priced, highly produced - the whole music scene is spoilt rotten - can we keep up? Judging by this we should bloody well try!