FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 83
UNDERDOGZ RECORDS - SUMMER COMPILATION
I have a whole lot of time for the compiler of this 20 track delight, he is a dude who likes it underdog, underfed and under your fuckin' skin. He plays in a band, he does a fanzine, he releases these collective gems and he puts gigs on - now that’s getting off your arse and walking the walk - take a bow Mr Jamie Sirman. Saying all this I still won't cast any unnecessary praise if this collection is shite - I shall applaud the effort but will be my usual honest self - he wouldn't expect nothing less. So let us delve in, let us not flap the fanny of sycophancy, let us keep away from those sickening back slapping realms we trip across too much - let us have a gander and see what Fungal thinks!
Ooops - nearly forget - bands get 2 sentences each - it keeps me terse, hopefully accurate and on the punctured punk ball.
Countrified cuntiness opens the song by Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man which is soon snarled, gnarled and fuckin' temperamental in a hardcorian kind of way. 'Is This Cool' rallies rhythmic against timewasters and key tappers (and the like) and slams home a full blooded discordant dome into the awaiting ring of the listener - big, painful start - lovely. 13 Scars level things out with some sugared rustiness that mixes mid tempo, sub-Oi, DIY and melody laden aspects and comes up with a dirty old jaunt of a song. The screwed up force of the gob, the scummed layers of all operational units and the general punkiness make this easy listening matter for the ones in the sonic swill. The Fuckwits next and a streetpunk sounding effort that is played with zeal, given a saturation that shows the band know their productive onions and is driven by a regular bass rumble to hold all parts together. 'Fun Police' is a bold number with good nip, fine Clashy elements and has me thinking of a quality band known as Gimp Fist - all complimentary aspects.
'Fuck Them All' next and a song built on Scotch aggression, irresistible urgency and fiery punk rock attitude by a band who do it and do it so fuckin' well - namely 4 Past Midnight. Burning, uncompromising lyrics, singeing riffage, a few cute touches that hint at a band on the ball and an overall fine 'get off yer arse and do something' spirit throughout - I told ya they do it well. Hostages For Smack next and anything is possible with this lot who duly cut and paste many flavours into their armoury - 'Tonight' is one of the bands more rapid-fire numbers. Totally sizzling, vocals sweat blood, strings are turned to ash, skins are flayed with zoned in intent - before ya know it the band have been and gone - ouch my arse is burnt. 'Turbo Fuck' by Petrol Bastard is a foul bout of sonica that really screws inside, outside, every which way is necessary with a spittle soaked viciousness that drips disease. Acidised, sub-psychedelic, nauseous and just on the right side of mentally tortured this is a bang on switch in styles and the band leave a merry old stink in their wake.
Cold, almost apocalyptic late 70's sub-noise here with Semtex getting right back to basics with the sawing and gnawing political grind called 'Victim Of The Law'. A sound from out of the almost forgotten dustbin and one that wraps around over and over again, finds its finishing point and travels to it regardless of criticism - by the way - I think it is quite alright tha’ knows! Eye Licker arouse me and are one of the most improving bands out there with 'Broken Promises' proving what an energetic hardcore outfit this lot are. 'Live' they work hard, on CD they are now producing goods, this pecking piece of angry screamoid mania is a forced along by all components doing their bit and doing it in unison - a real believable underdog unit if ever I heard one. Wasted Life bring to the table a bout of classy cobblestone noise with 'Better Off Dead' laying waste to any doubts and travelling along on well meated, undefeated tones that showcase a band on a significant roll. Each and every angle is packed with power and intent and moulds into one muscular end construction to be overawed by - a very bold band for sure. The Krayons strip it down, bare their underdog balls, have no pretensions and rattle out the uncultured rage of 'Plastic Piggy'. There is a charm to the refuse tip vulgarity that The Krayons spill forth and having seen them 'live' I can tell you they mean their shit and have more in their tank than can be deemed by this boisterous affair - not a bad crack though. Murdaball deliver a gruesomely warped bout of noise that is entitled, appropriately enough, 'Twisted'. It ploughs away, pulses with focus, has a very raw and natural edge and is straight ahead punk whereas the chasing bleakness of 'Am I Evil' by System Of Hate, contains many gothic trimmings and is much more sable in its sonic tones. System Of Hate are regular punkers trying something new with a deliberate metal-edged slant throwing things a little off-line - it drills away at the resistance and has many merits to praise.
No Decorum are a bunch of local yokels who are amiable, enthusiastic and ever-improving, the latter of which is reflected in this viciously forthright cut entitled 'Scum'. Twinged in, deliberately setting a scene before one word put-downs kindle initial flames prior to a sub-skank section and a fluid chorus of inflamed anger this a neat effort with a few non-too smooth moments but with some over-riding rage that seals the deal. 'Spitfire' by Spitfire Bullets is impulsive rustiness from hollowed vaults of yore where underground vibes were constructed by 'have a go' 'erberts and spirited strummers. War-torn, bullet riddled, torn from a fabric of frustration this one is yet more intrinsically basic fodder that people like myself and others will feed upon until the moon turns to cheese - what can I add? Back to the modern age and one of the best bands out there sees me thoroughly absorbed as the angular hardcore and artistic splatter clatter of 'Animals In The Palace' by Dischord truly entertains my ever hungry sonic soul and fills me with hope for the underdog future. Built on many foundations, maintaining a good consistent rhythm throughout despite the multifaceted foundations this is a fuckin' pearler taken from a jewellery box of sounds - check em' out, check out the CD - simple ain't it!
Battery Humans next and 'Self Preservation' chaotically fuzzes in before finding its foul and acutely clawed feet and then scratches out your eyes with hardcore brutality of the dirtiest kind. Hammering away on chainsaw guitars, slap happy drums and pushed to the max tonsil torture this is painful, brief and of a quality mark I very much appreciate. Creoleian tampering, a lucid surge of all operating parts, a magnetic tempt and 'Jobless' by The Crash Mats offers a sweet change and gets the task at hand dealt with in precise terms. Another band from the open palms of honesty this lot are on an upward swing and do the business here with a short attack of enjoyable sonic energy. 'Words Still Mean Nothing' comes at you with dual vocalised battle cries and deeply plunged guitars pushed to the limits - typical in fact of the Dead Subverts. A quality unit, loaded with unrest, punk angst and much musical nouse this lot play it hard and nail it more often than not - a harsh lesson in noise. Italian garage-based dirtmongers Nightshame are a real prime cut from the bowels of cacophony and 'Tigerdog' is low-slung shit that stinks to buggery and really turns on the primitive acoustic buttons. Slagged, ragged and delivered with snotty lunatic fringe effect this unit have a style that they master and a mode of delivery very few bands dare attempt - I am loving this as I did their recent CD I reviewed on here - have a gander dudes and dudettes. We close the whole collection with the solid classiness of 'New Riot', a complete song arranged and donated by the chomping and highly regarded Acid Drop. I have said it numerous times before but why the hell this band are not further up the stratosphere is beyond me and the crossover quality of this song is surely testament to what they are all about and what they can achieve - a peach of a closure.
That is it, I don't fuck about when I put my shroomed mind to it. 20 songs, almost faultless and compiled by a fruit in the know. These priceless gems are routine offerings for the DIY scene but why do so many turn up their noses and simply ignore - madness and a sign of the idiocy out there. Get this, spin it over and over, chase up yer favourite bands, go see a few and keep all around you encouraged that the best vibes are the new vibes - a total treat this one - cheers!
THE OUTBURSTS - DEEPLY SUPERFICIAL
Stripped down to below the waistline, genital jiggling vulgarity at paradoxical levels of decency, relaxed rhythms of bare arsed garaged mode and lucid deliveries aplenty that tickle the punk perineum this lot are doused in war torn, been there and done that shit attitude and yet are still pulling out of their collective rears a bundle of tunes to enjoy. Formed in 2007, with plenty of gigs under their slackened belts and with a downright refusal to 'know any better' I take this CD in my stride and do the usual breakdown - enjoy the flavours, hold no favours, be up front, try to avoid being a cunt - the usual stuff as thy should all know.
We are greeted by 'T. M. O. D.', with its tinned out strumminess and then gruffier edge. The mouth that soon invades is all natural, delightfully shoddy and sub-sanguine with a desperation and frustrated edge that embraces the essence of this opening burst. 'Teenage, Middle Age, Old Age, Dead' - is a quite a realistic and cold offering that is backed up by the frontman’s total disillusionment thus creating a streetpunk episode straight from the urinals of the acoustic home for knackered punkers. I like the stark side of this, the immediately approachable and unwashed embrace it offers - totally uninfected by processed piss for sure. 'Filthy Nina' keeps things nastier this time with lyrical assistance and bad-mouthing ideals. An ex-wife is slated in public as a dirty old bitch and nothing more - ooh thy naughty nobs. Straight into the catchier side of things with the sing-a-long chorus cut getting the jiggle going and the song off on an intriguing high. The following concoction is regular and goes through the dirty linen with a cheeky twinkle in the bloodshot eye, an inner guitar sequence is sweet and brief and then we head onwards to the finale. Nowt special, nowt shite - just bare arsed and being what it is - crude and semi-melodic.
With a low level hit the dudes plunge deeper with all sonic spades shifting loads of dirt and finding themselves in a burial place where true delight may be found by many a sonic soaked deviant who likes all things loud and lifeless. 'Dig Em' Up' is a necrophiliacs delight as numerous dead women and animals are named and drooled over via a song that is straight out of the irresponsible shock pit and up your acceptant shithole. Creeping in like a pervert in a cemetery this one has a sinister edge with no holds barred as regards the lyrical filth. If ever a band were on the cusp of court proceedings via a song of ill repute then The Outbursts will be before the judge at once. The song is a solid bout of evil and the thought that has gone behind this highlights a very disturbed mind at work ha, ha - (with too much time on his wank blistered hand may I suggest). It ain't bad but it is one of those 5 minute eye openers we see quite a few bands dabbling in - although not at this depth of depravity. A few beers followed by a bad day at the office and you'll be swinging along to this one. 'Bangkok' is a far catchier tune with its looned vocal edge, stop start effect and general patchwork order. The structure states, is embroidered with a back drop of unified gobbage and screwed along with zeal - a certain up front reality pervades, a quintessential pub soaked perverseness emanates from the players - I may be wrong but I doubt it. 'In '77' is pure nostalgia, a trait I abhor due to its tidal wave of saturating mania that takes all and sundry by the scruff of the neck and duly drowns. The scene is stretched all ways due to many obsessed with yesteryear and following bands that have had their hey day rather than encouraging today's minstrels who have much to say. Nevertheless I don't mind small doses of glancing backwards as long as it is done in an open and lucid way with no attempt to be anything else. This song is the best of the lot due to these meritorious points and the fact that it is a stonking ditty and captures a lost abandon, a colourful era and many a moment that we punked pigs can relate to. The song has impetus, insistence, low-slung desire and a somewhat proud inflection that shows some of that initial flame still exists. Fuckin' the rules, being who you want to be, cocky as buggery and enjoying the general spiked sensation - yeah I remember it well and I am still enjoying it to this day.
'Law And Order' is more garaged in style and has a hollowed out edge that adds a new angle to view this band at. Similar in many ways to its predecessors there is still some good sub-snot being snorted, a definite old-skool touch and some fine rhythmic touches that do just as is required. A blue light warning is ignored and the band do it at their own pace and in their own way - it is just as well - this one is easily consumed and joined in with and is basic tuneage that has that certain punk rock X factor. Those in the know will know what I mean - wink, wink! 'Dead To Me' is a vicious cold hearted shadow that breaks away from its creator and steps forth with sable tones all rhythmed and made up so as to be distinctly approachable. A resonant piece and dowsed in cavernous acoustics this is an ensnaring cracker that has acute aspects and an all consuming spite that lets the vitriol pour heavily over your convinced noggin - very nice. The opening rumbles, the solid verses, the ease of the chorus and the spittle soaked mocking 'nah nah's' make for a choice composite - have some. 'Whatever Happened To Me' opens with tranquil tones before cutting in and setting on a trail of routine rhythm with all sequences in usual and expected order but with the band providing their usual spunk and overall sonically sexualised hang-ups. It is no great achievement to write songs like this but the art comes in the spirit behind the delivery. Again quite easy to grab and enjoy, bop along to and to be taken along with - the crew know their target, hit it with vulgar aplomb and move on regardless - why fuckin' not?
3 to the close and 'Done Thru' is more sub-nasty pasty pottering with a more restrained cut to the cloth of cacophony and yet a greater rigid approach to the whole racket. Straight forward at first glance, slightly curved via some David Watts-esque back gob, perhaps the effort with the least immediate charm, this one has its places and is a steady stroll you won't find anything special within but you won't find much to moan about either - ye get the drift! 'It's Not You' is built on a lovely harmonised chorus and the rest of the song is a matter of course. From the opening bounced bass, the reliable string and drum deliveries through to the opening spurt of gobbage it is all brought to head via the aforementioned snippet of sonic delight where the band hit a new high and offer a glimpse into their potential. Again tattooed heavily with colours of yore but making a relevance that will have the young and old enjoying it for what it is - natural noise without sub-agenda. I love this one.
We wrap it all up with 'Chinese Eyes' a real scuzzy shitter that jacks off in a murky way and one that really doesn't set the old dome alight. A tingle is had but nothing else arises and so we end up with a final flopper rather than a good old splash of success from a firm and rigid rhythm bound member. It happens and up until now all looked set to leave a nice silvery slug stain on the acoustic blanket of punk - hey ho, zip up, make the bed and get back to what you do so well.
This lot are crude, rude and cheeky and that will appeal to many. I have seen this kind of sexual tomfoolery too much over the years to be taken in by that alone but the fact is there are many good tunes on here that show the band do not have to rely on the flimsy methodology and can, if they so choose, create a serious cut of unwashed noise to be reckoned with. I'd be a fool to deter anyone from this, especially those around the 50 years of age mark, where I am sure much pleasure will be found. The Outbursts have no pretensions, this is an example of that ethos - listen to it and have none too.
ONLY STRANGERS - 2013 EP
Have a poke around Stoke, get a little bent on the Trent and give yer stick a wiggle - oooh missus out pop several members of the band Only Strangers - gee whizz. I gave this unit their first gig if I remember rightly and they weren't a bad old crew (only a couple of year ago it was). Since then they played for me on their home patch and upped the ante somewhat leaving me wondering where they would duly end up. This CD has been received and in truth I expect much - much melody, much chomp, much elaboration (but not vulgarly so). I keep my personal stick handy so any flaw may be pointed out or any great sensation may be pinpointed - and why the hell shouldn't it be?
'Closing Doors' enters on subdued tones before ascending and beginning the gruff first verse that is ideally corrugated and composed. A rough edge done in a polished way which although paradoxical is actually the case uneven and smooth in the same instance. The earthy and well composted cacophony comes from lugs laden with noise and the chorus seals the sub-style that this crew are aiming for. Very articulate and with a deep rooted sense of new-school essences that rises upward on well whipped instruments and none too fussy rhythms. The mouth at the fore is well worn, they attain a saturation level that is up there with the best of em' and the midway guitar thrash out pulsates with passion - a real worthwhile opener. Chasing along is 'Baxter Mine' (what the fuck is this about) and is a track that starts with cluttered intensity before settling down and adopting a sub-spoken/sub-sung stance that is stoked up with invading stringwork and energetic drum spurts - I am unsure until the chorus blossoms which gives the track a whole new appearance and draws me in. Like a short story - read a page it makes no sense, read every bit of text and the tale becomes a treat - the opposing flames that warm and sear in equal measure make for an intriguing listen with the band really flourishing their skills when the bar of effort is pushed to the hilt. Choice!
'After Dark' is my least favourite song due to the lengthy running time and rather tepid tones throughout. I know, I know - variance is the key and I totally agree but the band had me inspired with those opening bursts and my expectations have duly risen. The song has much density, really attains the style it wants to embrace but is not my regular choice of racketology. Guitars shimmer, drums move with regularity in between briefs rolls, the verses and choruses almost become one such is the levelled out mode. Production values are concrete, each players application is exact - I should like it, I don't - oooh I hate reviewing at times. Gotta be straight though - bent reviewers are no good to anyone. Verdict - solid song, not for me - balls to it!
More creeping music at first with 'Fail To Notice' doing so with a firmer stamp and a greater authority. What better way to highlight this than to have a complimentary opposing speedburst - you know it brother. The accelerator is pushed down, the band maintain the clarity and tightness and glisten with many textured tones - they create a somewhat nebulous chiaroscuro soaked picture with the contrast not supremely blatant and thus avoiding a somewhat tenebric effect which may be too garish and vulgar for some. The undulations are low in frequency but come regularly and effectively - a very pleasing song - yes, that is the word - pleasing and...reliable.
We close with 'We Never Wanted This', a song built on hopeful string sensations and disillusioned oral work that climbs from many ash heaps and promotes a determination to dig in. This is in keeping with the flow set, maximises the bands potential and has all facets twinkling with tapped potential and a potentially positive future provided the band plays the right gigs.
That's it, 5 tracks, 4 fine tip top testicular bags, one skanky sonic scrotum, in my personal opinion. I like this crew, they have depth, a certain X-Ray vision to see through the murky layers of bullshit and a talent that could take many directions. There are still many levels the band can move up to - how exciting is that?
STOJ SNAK - PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE
By heck this Stoj Snak is getting some textual time out of me. This is more protesting and disgruntled musical matter - he does it well, why should I fuck about with an intro - you should be up to speed and know the score by now ye naughty slackers. Kerplunk - in we go...
'How Much Tear Gas Does It Take Before You Start Seeing Red' is one of the artistes greatest moments for me and combines frustration, determination, defiance, hope and utter DIY belief in all things that could be better and will be better. Strummed with flared nostrils, up for the fight and slightly tinkled to, added melodic necessity this is scrap yard reality where all rust, dust and that which has been crushed will be noted and brushed down with wise words and positive vibes aplenty. A one word summing up - invigorating! 'Past Destinations And Dreams' has insouciant emotion via the uplifting strings and rattled tambourine and sticks. The vocals are roasted once more but this time are gently injected with a positivity and attractive magnetism that asks one to approach and be blessed. The authors skill in applying the appropriate sensations to the requesting words is remarkable and smoked aromas emitted like this are not easy to create no matter how swiftly and attentively the souled fires are fanned. The harmonica snip is brief but only needs be but the natural delivery is a constant theme - thank goodness. Once more we uncover a minor gem!
'Hoops And Safety Nets' is harsh reality, tells you how it is and is really borne from a get up and fuckin' do it nature where indolence and safety is not the way. The strums and tonsil flares are more emboldened here and the twanger certainly has a desire to enthuse, encourage, to shift idle arses. He does so with avalanches of string work and scorched lyrics with gentle moments deliberately placed so as to get the point pondered upon - neat. If you are going to do it then do it full tilt (provided you do your bit for others too) and stop wasting away and trying to make a name for yourself by playing it oh so safe and routine. The closure is roused up even more, Stoj fades into the wilderness, he has left his mark behind - well played sir. 'Float' is textured and laden with fear, phantoms and mist enshrouded desolateness. It is another woodland path of sound that our artiste wanders along and although not a short cut one would normally take this look at life is delivered with such sincerity, precocious thought and insightful passion you would have to be an ultimate dullard of dinnage to not appreciate the heartfelt energy flowing through the leaves of this swaying structure. The wind is called for, we get a force 10 gale amid moments of serene tranquillity - the contrasts work, our heads are asked many questions, the change in styles is noteworthy - a force 10 song.
For me a pinnacle is reached for this chap with the absolutely fucking inspiring blast entitled ''Something To Drink About', a truly stupendous bout of exhilarating acoustica that throws off all shackles, shakes its arse free and goes for it with all consuming beauty. It is one of those songs that immediately grabs your nuts of attention and squeezes em' dry right from the first - in fact that opening blast is quite magnificent and just won't leave my ever noise needful head - brilliance captured for sure. We close with the title track 'Planned Obsolescence' - well if there is any justice whatsoever in this murky pit these songs will never become obsolete. A highland mist rolls across the eerie sonic landscape, our fine artist paints with his individualistic brushwork that has to be admired on both a close up and stand back basis. Stoj lets his careful cadences fall upon the babbling brook of string work thus creating a scene where natural ability is at the fore. This is far from a get up and go number but blows assuredly like the most forceful winter wind. The rise to the closure promises more lyrically loaded donations - we finish in a somewhat abrupt manner - I will not complain.
And again I am bowled over by such fine musical skill and such varied forethought that upchucks many sensations to ponder. All tracks tickle various receptors and that 5th track is right off the scale of joy - thank you indeed oh strummer man ye be. My suggestion to all - go get this immediately.
TWELVE CLAY FEET - MORE NAKED THAN OBSCENE
Many flavours from across the spectrum cross this Fungalised path and on I plod and do my bit with many just happy to look on, claim much and do fuck all about it. This Cambridge outfit have a good promotional campaign behind them, hit some good highs with their first album (apparently) and now have this second offering to help continue the impetus. I consider myself a complete outsider to this kind of sonic shit and find it better that way. This is a band that are away from the gutter and so one I have not come across...until now that is...it will do them no harm at all to get the opinion of a DIY deviant with many tastes and high levels of unbiased truth to spill (in the best possible taste of course). I read through the usual press release, tossed it to one side and formed my own opinion which goes as thus:-
Char-grilled and steamed the initial US influenced drawl of 'By The Station Light' is definite muso stuff with all elements fine tuned and placed with deep consideration. An underlying ripple is created by articulate bassism and scuffling stick work whilst the 6 strung sword is forced to shimmer as and when required. The oral outpouring is bourbon soaked and reminiscent of many roadhouse rhythms where the harshness is toned down by the polished production. The song contains enough threat and artistry to cultivate further interest. 'You Can't Stop' is the chasing tune and is somewhat of a let down with its uneven approach and nervous waywardness. No real destiny is aimed for and what we get is an episode of overly intricate sub-acoustica that has far too many adornments for its own good. A real overly fussed snip of commercialised ease that will appeal to those who avoid discordant danger and angst driven upheavals - really not my thing and a thousand miles away from where my sonic spirit is at.
'Hailstones' continues the theme and whispers inwardly before thankfully raising the tempo. The merge between the measured and softly gradual and to the more liberated and slightly swifter is delicate and barely noticeable but the shift is there and silky smooth at that. Again precision is high, pre-construct ideas prevalent throughout, middle of the road, coffee table rock essences at the fore - it isn't for me, it is from another sonic galaxy but I can appreciate the effort. 'Cities On Fire' is a drab and dreary affair many may just get off on - some people like to mull over and be caressed by precise emotive tones that strive hard to get the senses reacting. Very clean and overly produced and in my humble spiked opinion lacking any earthy character. An almost suited and booted effort for the average infected wanker who thinks he his a rock merchant when really an epitome of blank eyed conformity. Just real poison to my soul and equally uninspiring - I hate this kind of stuff - apologies I have none - it is well played though - bah! 'Rags And Bones' initially pulsates, throws itself about on a rippled rug of rhythm, seems to almost have a sub-seizure and loses something regarding routine control – the crew combat this aspect (that could be deemed a flaw) by incessantly pounding at the senses with strong acoustic application and the usual high fire vocals. The band have a very technical style and I am wondering if it is at all that necessary for such lengthy periods - surely some simplistic riff and run sections would be most welcome - mmm - worth considering. Not bad this one though but time now for...
A Fungal four song blast...
'Bigger Lungs' starts with a lethargic mode that could almost be accused of being too sleepy eyed and therefore becoming somewhat indolent. The tempo and temperature barely rise - this one sneaks under the radar. 'Wrecking Ball' is a sound number that is highly charged and has a nucleus of noise that promotes good impetus and action. From the initial rotations this one pushes itself along to become a bolder beast and has good stature and an hungrier desire thus making one of the pick of the pops. 'The Debutante' is tranquil tuneage that will be tossed around the hygienic vessels from which the connoisseurs of straight-line sonica will drink. Too clean, too processed, lacking in any spikes and so not my thing again but still well put together and with an inoffensive nature (which to me is a bad thing but which to many will be a good thing). 'Electric Pulse' bites the bit harder, ups the passion and as is always the case with most bands, the quality rises. A stronger song perhaps emphasised by its weaker predecessor but a good song nonetheless that gets the band thriving better and forced to work that little bit harder. All efforts though seem to be built on arousing interest by caressed care rather than getting a reaction via more blatantly snatching sonica - just another thought that has sprung to mind.
'Last Rat In Hamelin' is a more upbeat tinkle with a promising opening beat and encouraging essence. The slips between verse and chorus are well oiled and the overall feeling is of a band in their groove and letting things tumble in a more natural manner. A couple of brief moments have me worrying things will unravel but they rein themselves back in and close with quality.
Totally, utterly, absolutely not my thing and maybe that reflects in the review that isn't glowing, isn't that alert to all that is happening and perhaps misses finer details some people who like this stuff will obviously pick up on. Al I can do is my bit, from my humble standpoint and be as objective as buggery. If I fail it ain't through want of trying and I would be the first to hold my hands up. End verdict for the lovers of the lo-fi, the hardcore, the frustrated, the angst ridden, the blazing, the dirty - a real no, no. End verdict for those who like MFP tinklings - who knows?
THE POOR GEEZERS - PATCHWORK PUNK
This lot produced stuff over and over again with many omnifarious aspects thrown in and a varied amount of lilted, sometimes wilted styles that promotes their honest and patchwork style that should get more praise than it does. Just because every song doesn't appeal doesn't mean it lacks credibility, in fact I have some songs I adore that are useless throw away articles with no consistency to the scene in which they are spilled forth whereas there are some songs I find quite outside my ear based appreciation but which have much weight and pertinence - that is how it should always go if you have any faith and confidence in your own honesty and opinions. So The Poor Geezers snowball me again with various shaped chillers to make me shudder and shiver with an assortment of emotions - bugger it, let us crack on.
Subdued tones that are almost wretched in aspect begin the first offering and yet considerable tones of clashing emotion come to the fore when one furrows the brow and concentrates on the acoustic upchuck given. Drifting and harmonious in true Poor Geezers style 'Blind Mans Buff' is DIY dabbling from the underbelly of the scene and will cause irritation and delight in balanced effect that is of course what all fiddlers should be striving for. Relaxed yet subtly restless with the control of the coin, this is escapism that wants to be somewhere other than where it is at - I have no initial complaints and if money does indeed make the world go round let us keep throwing our shit in the all consuming cog! 'Mother Never Made It To London' is a bold therapeutic piece of ghostly significance seeing this was wrote during a painful time of Eagle's (vocalist) life. Cold and stark, regretful and yet convinced that missing out on life's certain self-created necessities are best avoided - that is the drift I get anyway. I feel a celebration of a life entwining around a spire of hope that spits on the idiocy of life and clutches at the offerings beyond. Certain beliefs and ethics will upset the masses and again that is all credit to players doing it how they want to and how their ethics dictate - a pity many sub-genres don’t now follow this method. A touching piece, a disturbing trickle but one that glimpses light - neat work.
'ATOS Death Squad' sees a usual style adopted by this crew - stated not sedated gobbage, a chilled wind blowing throughout, nagging noise borne from gits with a gripe - again the question is posed as to why should all raped formulas be followed. Add to this numerous other questions, a twinged string interruption, a flawed finished and an obvious anarchic frustration and you should get the gist. 'Colour Blind' is far more effective albeit with pastel shades from a limited palette where varied greys are all that are on offer with which to create a sonic scene. Hatred is pinpointed, labelled as pointless and dowsed in waters of murky disillusionment - a strange old mix that now and again injects a burst of lurid red via the blood of the deliverers - it is what this crowd constructs. On to '4DV' and after the initial confusion a machine-like grind is had that brings visions of constipated cacophoneers sat around a commune campfire trying their best to squeeze out a valid and stinking sonic turd to duly smoke and pollute the surrounding atmosphere. It is very hard work for all concerned and a few haemorrhoidal acoustics are ruptured (despite the encouraging initial utterances of 'Let's be having ya). A slip up for me, just when the laxatives were working and all was flowing so freely - never underestimate the awkward powers of this bunch - bah.
Brisk up-tune, mouth work that questions, 'Mr 9-5' is put on the back foot. A repeat beat done in PG tones and splashed against the punk piss stones and onto the boots of the blinkered. Folked and fucked, under-produced, malnourished and DIY this embraces the general produce of the gang - they win me over tha' knows and I really think they shouldn't - a tug of war between the shit people tell you what you should expect and listen to and the truth that it really doesn't matter - deep down I know best. Up the hard up, up the chaps who do it their way! 'These Boots Are Made For Walking' is dabble-do-mania and covers an old classic by Nancy Sinatra. I love the original, really get the simplistic gist of a pop song but this effort - no not for me. Space age shoot throughs, roughshod gobbage, not enough height between the trough and crest of tone, a lack of productive quality hinders - just how I see it. I reckon on a 'live' basis the song will take on a different character - worth a thought!
'Poor Geezers Blues' is crazed outback crooning via a female who is proud to be, proud to believe - despite the rain - be it from clouds in the sky or in the heart. The back scuttle of sound is primarily acousticised in the dirtiest fashion with laser gun zips persistently butting in. I have reviewed this bugger before - I refuse to look at my verdict - this time I am 60/40 to the negative side but appreciate and respect the ethos and the song for the praise it offers. There should never be any rules! 'Used To be A Time When The Kids Got Fed' is a song I like - smooth, sub-grumbling, cool, pertinent and loaded with that reliable controlled passion. We drift back to a song of yore (minutes ago - literally) and then we get Eagle going on about things close to his swollen heart. Not a duff do at all and then we are into the space age, futurised cover of 'Bloody Revolutions'. Crassed, made over, made under, relentless as regards the bombardment of lyrical statements, minimalistic and embracing the qualities the song initially had. A rally against the wrongs, a call to all who feel rejected, dejected and pretty pissed off. The interjection of Ms Eagles anti-war mouth work is charmed and invades the grey slab of back sound quite effectively. We trundle on, reliant on the weight of the wordage and the stripped out sonics - this isn't a bad cover, this is quite decent in fact - result. I still hate covers in general though - the odd one is fine but do too many and you sell your nut browns short!
'ATOS (Instrumental)' is malevolent horror from the loins of a deteriorating cyborg fist fucked by a system well versed in corruption. The fritzed feeling is prevalent throughout, the subversive sinisterism underlying all - dreary dregs but it is what this lot do - they don't make it easy. We seal things up with 'Mother' another tribute to a departed lady and done in a beautiful emotive way - it is a repeat treat with Eagle in a solitary position and left to exorcise his inner thoughts. The basic stripped down affect is ideal and the theme of death turned to life is as genuine and pure as the driven snow - Eagle has his beliefs, gets abused for them but hey punk has never been liberal or free thinking anyway. Good on ya chap - a lovely piece.
So that is it - The Poor Geezers throw it at ya, from any which way they can and - give no apology. The whole acoustic aggregation is a montage of human emotion and mood and you just never know what you will get next. The fact that it avoids the rules and regulations of punk (laughable isn’t it) makes it more punk than many could dream of. You will either get it and be fair or contemptuously toss it aside because it doesn't conform to your idiot expectations. Look drop the bollocks, just fuckin' accept it!
LUCIFER STAR MACHINE - ROCK N ROLL MARTYRS
Loaded up, fucked up and ready to roll out onto the battlefield with a sure-fire blast of heavy, unapologetic artillery this brutal machine of blasting noise want to grab your attention anyway they can and set about going for yer guts with grenades, bombs and bullets of mindless violence. The problem with this kind of brutality is that it can get carried away on its own sea of torn flesh and blood soaked shrapnel and thus end up an initially exciting attack that becomes a draining lesson of tedium. Do Lucifer Star Machine have more about them than just a one way battering ram of sound or are they war ponies with just one trick up their dung laden arses.
Brutality kicks in immediately with the fizzing guitars at yer throat and 'Hold Me Down' going for it straight from the off. Paced, sinewed, taut with a feeling of temperatures rising - this initial hot bastard spits fire and consumes interest as it ploughs, pummels and cruises with all aspects priming the senses for an overcoat of glossy, grimaced aggression. The inner pulse holds a threat and nowhere is this felt more as when the song settles to a crouching position, loaded with intent and ready to jump. Jump it does and rattles away to the closure bursting with muscles strained and teeth clenched. 'Sulphur And Speed' goes for a more undulating melody but still packs raw power. The verses are controlled and are forbid from running too wild and after a staggered episode of sticks the chorus that comes is far from what is expected. Clarity levels are high, the vocals are borne from an almost pleading stance that refuses to growl and snarl as one would have predicted. A guitar burst amidst the bass driven sound is almost metallic and it isn't just here I get this feeling - throughout the CD I am hearing various hybrids of punk/metal/hardcore and wondering if this is a destination where the band feel comfortable - it is certainly working so far. Red lights spiral, all urgency is with the tune at hand, we screech in, rumble through the first section before one punching to the clattering pre-chorus cut that lets fist fly over the carcass of the indifferent listener (you should already know better). 'Hammer Me Dead' is concrete harshness that constructs itself on gut fire passion, grim determination and an irresistible necessity to make noise. The drums are knocked about with arrogant attention, the strings wanked many ways, the tonsils forced to bleed, the whole concoction is whipped up and ready to riot. Hammer slamming moments precede the main smoothed out chorus but all moments work and work well with good groundwork beneath the more showy areas.
'Death Or Jail' ups the violent ante and initially tumbles around like a gymnast on amphetamines before sledge hammering home its point via a punctuated beat where yet more grit and determination lead the charge. Swift, rib-rattling, rocked but not cocked and with a perspired persuasiveness the fist can be raised to and the gob can be shot off to - convincing to say the least - this one kicks fuck out of your resolve. 'For Reasons Unknown' has a real processed and melodic chorus which in truth is a ball bursting shock due to the fact that the first verse is loaded with lyrical horror that deals with matters in the most abrupt and upfront way. The opposing sensations proffered come from a schizophrenic song that has myself also split many ways. I like the contrast, I like the grim and honest verses but that over melodied chorus just seems too out of kilter and really doesn't float any of my assessing turds. It is an odd song that has plenty of meritorious weight but when played several times over becomes less effective. A real niggler this bugger and despite my reservations I will always applaud the mix and match method.
Yeah you guessed it a rapid attack of reviews - 4 slam dunkers nailed in good time. 'Poison Arrows' first and a billowing blast of rugged vibrology that has tempered verse work, pursuing skids and gunshot threats before exposing more of its guts and grime - not bad but not my favourite whereas 'Dead And Gone' is more like it with a juddering attack that begins after the initial shout out and never lets up. Some large riffage, well slapped skins and an underpinning bass that fills out any spare space this one heave ho's and grabs yer lethargic balls with both meaty hands - ouch. 'Dark Water' is ram-raiding regularity with a persistent smash and grab hardcore edge that pummels rather than pings - I would have liked a full on throat ripper but this is far from mild - not too bad. The last of the well bowled trio is the scorched 'Cancer Daddy', a real tempestuous affair with the aural senses getting the biggest fuckin' of all. Wild, unleashed, at yer collar and ripping through the gullet, demanding you listen up, pogo like a pig on whizz and to put yer head through the nearest window and holler loud 'fuck everything'. A teeming blast of frustrated restlessness that needs to vent a spleen - big time!
'The Curse' prepares, flows, mellows it out with a subliminal touch of venom - thumbscrews turn, the pain is felt albeit in a thoughtful kind of way. The heat is kept at medium, a simmer remains, spirits free float around, the band are easy on their own sonic gas and we get left with a track that is not as singeing as the rest but still can blister the skin. 'Rotten To The Core' projects and infects to a greater degree with its blazing trail of toxic anger and sharp angled rage. The nasty noise is 100 per cent unapologetic and 100 miles per hour urgency - not much to add to be honest - oh yes, nearly forget - a crackin' burst. We close with the politely titled (heavy sarcasm used) 'Rotten To The Core', a song that starts with the demanding line 'Wake up cunt' and never looks back. High fuelled, piston pumping, fluctuating from controlled violence to in yer face bullying this is once more a power blast hard to ignore despite the band refusing to become too hardcorian. It embraces what the band are about and caps a robust and rabid 12 track eruption in concrete fashion.
It is more than a little blatant that this outfit have designs on causing the listeners severe discomfort whilst intriguing with bouts of bombarding sonic brutalism - they do this with much success. Also, the band have many other levels of style within their repertoire and throw in quite a few unexpected turns that gets one all confounded - I like that. Lucifer Star Machine have many fine facets to appreciate and offer a bridge between the metallic and the punktastic many may fail to cross - go have a gander.
GASH - UNDER A DIFFERENT BANNER
Gash elude me, there ain't much stuff on the World Wide Web and even when booking em' for a gig the band can't make it so I get a lone strummer doing his stuff which I duly miss because on the way to the gig out car blows up - bastard. The band are new to the fray, they are initially finding their feet, have much to build on but have obvious potential. These opening bursts have their own appeal and some highly likeable aspects - fuck this, let me get in and mooch around the sonic room a little more.
'That Girl' has post punk overtones with its somewhat grinding vibe that seems straight out of showdown with a flash in the pan genre turned sour. Struggling from the washed up wastes this dusted down episode of independent rhythm burrows deep and goes at the senses with a drilling repetition that should, in all respects, irritate but, quite honestly, appeals to the lo-fi minimalistic side of my nature. The key to such constructs is keeping the whole delivery well oiled and somewhat liquid - that is done here and with a catchy underscore the opening burst ain't half bad. The chasing 'Angels And Hell' is similar in stance with just an extra shading of sombre grey and added ground down inflection. A negative outlook with a touch of matter of fact reality all heighten the sonic escapade even though excitement and variation are kept trampled underfoot. This is quick and passes by without much ado - it is just as well. Not bad.
'Then And Now' trickles in, is ideal for such an acoustic style and perhaps is the best song of the lot. Gentle persuasion, wise advice, kissed and caressed wires, bare bone sticks and steady as she goes melody - there is nothing outrageous within this one but sometimes there doesn't need to be. A song to slip in a compilation between two noisy, slam dunk affairs where greater emphasis for all will be had. 'Left For Dead' taps in, flows with chosen regularity, adopts the basic style but somehow scrapes out an interest - I can't help thinking what would happen if the band gambled and threw in a more determined approach. This is OK for now though and takes no chances with all players finding their feet and bailing out in double quick time.
'No Reply' slowly spirals, offers initial promises and then gets down on its bended acoustic knees and makes a meal of things with a struggling crawl of sub-jittery noise that lacks any liquidity whatsoever. The guitars are too nervous in a hindering kind of way and seem unable to let themselves truly relax and find their own well strung path. The vocals here fail to inspire and encourage and the overall grind does nothing for me at all - definitely one of those moments that highlight the danger of hesitancy within your convictions. 'On A Different Plain' has me reaching for the 'ditto' key and once again just doesn't flow easily enough and has that withdrawn aspect I detected in the previous track. I reckon I can see what the band are trying and where they want to go but with vibes such as this a full on commitment has to be made and the odd bomb blast of contrast needs throwing in. The grinding effect needs more drama, sprinkled theatrics, a light tattooing of colourful exhibitionism and then, and only then, will the song show its true essence. It will take time but there are foundations here on which to build.
'Drown In Shame' lets things loosen up a little, just a little mind and is it me but can you detect the upswing in success. Minor but obvious and as a result all components find themselves slightly reaching and of course pushing harder. Mistakes will come, so they should but drifting in a safety zone with all parts strapped down is no good to anyone. I kinda like this one even though it is, on the surface, more of the same. 'R N R' is initially bass twiddled and steadily sticked before a rhythm is screwed out with a honest zest. We have a jiggle going, a relaxed sensation coursing through the veins and again success levels creep upwards. More emphasis on each strum is needed, more sharpness between each section but hey we are talking about an embryonic unit and even I know when critical advice is enough - just enjoy this short burst.
The closure and with increased tempo, a brisker whisking of the melodic mush and 'F. O' contends for the title of top track in the rack. Meaningful, focussed and rusted to a nice degree - it ain't bad at all and with a few frayed edges that adds character this is yet another tuned turd that, with a little bit of extra DIY polish, can become an improved stinker. Think on.
There ya go, a bout of fair and honest wordage from Fungal - it is what I do and hopefully things can only improve from here (like I ask of all bands and players). This is a steady start but 4 tracks would have been preferred rather than a bloated 9. Nevertheless these songs are there to be built on, nailed and made into more intricate spillages that will show the crews progression. Maybe a few EP releases and then a rehash of all on here to embolden the advancement and ram it down the doubters throats - I reckon it is a must (squeeze, squeeze, niggle, nudge). Anyway I am in the gutter, I am here to help bands like this, this is a middling start, the joy will truly come when they leave this release standing - watch this space and hop on board the Gash train early - it could be an interesting ride!
MENS REA - NO MENS LAND
I came across this lot whilst reviewing an excellent compilation CD courtesy of the Deadlamb crew. The band duly read their terse assessment and contacted me asking whether I would be interested in reviewing their debut album. Of course I said 'yes' (despite being overloaded with noise) and the CD was sent all the way from sunny Isreal. Having done further research I am liking the bands attitude - breathing the rock and roll rhythms, against the processed bilge out there and very much passionate about what they do. I have reviewed CD's from all the world over but reckon Isreal is a new one for me - be interesting what the end result will be. Ooh I be all intrigued, time to delve deeper methinks.
A nagging wind upwards several times over, production values immediately leaning towards the rock end of the spectrum, the vocals end in a one line rubber stamp and seal the fact that this is far from punked puke. I plod on regardless. The vocal range is purely stadium based and after each firmly structured verse a nerve-riddled chorus comes that throws any orthodox predictability out of the window. ‘Single’ is a clichéd cock rock burst of six-string showmanship backed by vibrant bass and knocked about skins. Wwe enter the run down to the final - what a strange number and one that has me reeling back towards the ropes of safety where I can reassess what the fuck I am dealing with. Not bad but 'I Ran Away' has more substance, more depth and with an initial chug and ascension in the bass tones, the burst that follows is pure highway acoustica where the open miles lay ahead and one is thoughtful and introspective. The composite is kissed by professionalistic touches, created in such a way as to make all contributors audible and of a tempo very much suited to the bands overall inflection. The fluidity levels are excellent throughout, the undulations of intensity slight but noticeable and the complete tightness of the players applaudable. Nifty and we segue into the delicate lilt of 'Dogs Before Friends' without fuss. A fragile piece this that needs careful handling throughout especially when the meatier moments sneak inwards. Gradually and most assuredly we rise with the band, step back and give appreciation even though I find myself outside of the circle. The mouthwork is sanguine, the sonics artistic and highly capable with the flamboyant touches there for a niche market that love all things frilled and thrilled. Extra chomp is given with a few regular riffs and the song, as a whole, works.
3 done, way out of my zone but I like that, my toes are there to be kept on.
More soft utterances, barely touched strings, heartbeat skin work - 'Dysthymia' threatens to topple into ill temper but is held in check by players who know their target. This and the other tracks so far would be fair suited to the middle of the road rock and roll arena that can give big rewards to those who do it right and are willing to avoid any major risks. Mens Rea fall into both categories and although my outlook is to fuck all expectations, fuck all procedures and to stamp on all tradition I will hold up my hands and simply state that this is as good as anything I have heard in the sub-generic pool where this should swim mightily well. I may of course be talking out of my arse but I don't think so - very convincing and very processed noise for the masses this - they may just get lucky. 'Abandoned' pangs, poses, orchestrates a sound similar to something by those rocked up twats Bon Jovi - is that a good thing - I think not but many thousands would disagree. Once more impetus coupled with rapidity is avoided and the band prefer to try and persuade with taut emotive vibes loaded with commitment and strained spirit. The ascensions in sonic stature are accurately composed and the consuming conflagration of controlled noise is worthy of a band receiving far greater adulation. I am getting essences of late 70's early 80's metalised resurgences which says a lot about the talent on show. 'Talentless' is perhaps the best example of the bands skill and as they move with more deliberate muscularity the point they try to get across is done so with more authority. The opening sequence is preparatory for the ensuing high class tirade of well drilled rock that reaches a pinnacle during the controlled viciousness of the chorus. Given that the song chases along after a more calmed number the whole concoction is emboldened but believe me, this is a very strong track that fires back at the washed up airwaves and the wankers found therein. All players do a sterling job (which they have thus far) and I reckon if the band ever want to convince people of their standard then this and one of the slower tracks should be sent forth to potential promoters. The predictable guitar sequence is solid, given extra bite with the frontman's venom - excellent chaps, quite fuckin' excellent.
'Don't Wanna Hear You Now' throbs thickened cables, escalates the leaner metallic threads - swings its rhythmic ass and finds instant pleasure in its own upbeat swirl of sonic colour. A good jaunt and skip in the step, another full bloodied delivery mounted on a firm base of melody and with a flying flag of victory for all things rocked and rolled.
A triple time quick burst 'Nothing More Than It Should Be' is stomping showmanship, clichéd but believable and very macho in a poseur-ish kind of way. All balls bared, caressed and drained with an He-Man strut of spunked sanguinity. 'Cold Hell' is traditional and as smooth as you like with a few tidy switches and acoustic extras but 'Student Strike' is my pick of the hat-trick with its riff it up and rouse it drive, electrified bass line and radiofied gobbage - the pace impels, it creates stress on the players which forces out beads of perspiration loaded with effort - within that effort, if all functions are smooth, is where success lies. Think on!
The penultimate track, 'She Ain't Here Anymore' is acousticised ballad-esque thoughtfulness and done in such a fashion as to be worthy of a place in any commercialised Top 40 - I kid thee not. I have heard much like this, I reckon this has many complimentary and competitive qualities but the problem is you got to have the dice roll your way or kiss the rears of numerous self-inflated ass-wipes. The strings are lucid and crisp, the lone vocal work is exemplary, the concoction sweetly composed - one for the lasses perhaps? We walk out of the CD with the departure tune called 'Naive' yet another slow trickle of sound that is gently stoked with intermittent guitar work and the smoothed out gobbology. As we progress deeper the song unfolds and produces many different fragrances that will have varied opinions from different sonic sniffers. One thing that will be agreed upon is the bands ability to compose and play well thought out tuneage - it is a common theme throughout and as the heat is turned up during this one the band respond competently - this final flourish just rubber stamps the bands finer attributes.
There you have it, a CD out of my range but one which I can appreciate and one which the long haired rockers who like it clean should love. If luck rolls some good Mens Rea numbers the band could do well but I suggest rather than rely on luck I they should just get out there, work hard and enjoy the ride.
51ST STATE - THE WILD WOODS
Dabblers of discordance, wee tamperers of the old tonal bag, this is my 3rd assessment of this crews spillage and I have to admit they are on a very admirable upswing. They hail from Somerset, have been in existence since 2007, are only a 2 piece but are thoughtful and prepared to dig in and test themselves to the hilt which is worth more than its weight in sausages (sausages are better than tacky gold). Anarchic overtones flutter through, they seem to be up for the general crack and if they stick at it who knows what heady heights they will attain. So a new batch of sonic shit, my shovel is grabbed, heave ho, let us fling some thoughts.
Documentary delivery, stark reality lying beneath a rolling thunder drum line where people are in a state of confusion, panic, ultimately...horror. We are seemingly on the outside and yet we are very much on the inside, this is a dark, ominous opening gambit - the end result is not rhythmic, not musically appealing but mightily effective - 'Operation Solstice' sets the stall for a band on their true destiny. 'Fat Catz' is frosted anarcho offal dripping shitted spite in an off the cuff naturalised manner that attracts my political side. Big bassism grumbles, a machine-gun rattle forces us forth - we are met by more of the same but with the drums whipping us along and the bass taking a step back so that the lucid and lively vocals can be heard rather than lost in a musical maelstrom - nice fuckin’ move so many miss out on. If you have a message you must get it heard and if, whilst doing so, you can maintain an intriguing bite to the vibes it is a win, win scenario. I am utterly won over by this and the potential the band had is coming to definite fruition - unorthodox, thoughtful and well produced - top marks. '1984/War' ups the temperamental edge and rattles along with the 4 wired weapon and well slapped skins doing the business whilst the throat at the fore rips out fast and effective lyrical content. The outcry of effluence has tension and a tempestuous angst with all areas seemingly ready to self destruct - enter a well-drilled and efficient regime of structured sonica and well stated gobbage - we wind out, victory is sealed. A pulsed intro, more cold statements tickled with melody, we may be getting sold short here - not a chance of it.
'Roots Of The Plant' is a masterclass example of what a band can achieve if they stick at it and push themselves hard. After the first verse we wind around and then go into a decent chorus that combines one word from the front man and a finishing harmony from the back boys - sweetly done. We continue, wraparound, echo out, bass it up with reggaefied accuracy whilst subtle bombs hit home and the clock counts down to the next sonic surge - it doesn't come but what we do get is some erudite words and rhythms that is pseudo-propaganda with an underlying truth. The procedure is analysed, the cultural brainwash we all get subjected to is questioned, many already try to remain free, many are disappointingly fucked and are totally unaware - tune in, tune out, tear up the book of acceptance. The band take us on a quality voyage - this is a minor classic for where the band are currently situated. Oh remember the surge I said that doesn't come - wrong - we are taken back to where we began, it sounds even better than it did first time around - a complete circle rolled well into your awaiting lugs. Sub King Rocker drums, a strung nerve twanged and '4 Legs' is galloping along with the arse well whipped (not literally of course - that would be wrong) and the tail swishing hard at the rear. Capitalism is under the spotlight, that corrupt system is dealt with - are you listening? This song doesn't drift along and takes note of its predecessor and offers a different style. Terse, to the point, without baubles of indifference and in consequence - it works.
'Flesh & Blood/Butchered Bodies' is tempered down and a cold affair with the inner warning splitting the two similar sides of the track. It is a middling track that falls short of all songs around it whereas 'Viva Eve' is a skipping ditty thrust along on well wobbled bass and dashing drums. The gobbage is lucid, the content apt for the arena, the chorus a jolly old jaunt. The stop and start cuts add an element of awkwardness and a decent ditty is got through. 'Boring, Boring' is more of the same (and we shouldn't complain) with all parts adopting the mastered routine and keeping these fine melodies cool, pertinent, enjoyable and somewhat minimalistic - a nice combination.
'Oyster' is a crisp session of noise that cruises, punctuates, ruffles its feathers and catches the anarcho edge in a clean cut way that is a refreshing change. Too many fly through these political lands charged up to make a murky racket - this is a different style and it pays dividends. 'Poem' follows, it is a poem, it is well written and a monologue to ponder - these dudes have much to say. 'Acid Words' is vicious and more snarled and closes the CD with a nice infecting chomp. We seem to border on something skarred at times but that is a mere suggestion and maybe something the band want to try out in future. The song cracks on and is over in good time, nice way to end.
It seems the band can take the basic ingredients and cook up a pleasing fare full of questioning assets and vitriolic fervour. The smoothed and well thought out end delivery works wonders and I truly believe if they keep improving at the rate shown over 3 CD's this lot will be a top draw band within a tight knit sub-scene - keep yer eyes on em' folks as it could be a long and rewarding ride for all concerned.