FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 91
ANIMAL TRAIN - PREMATURE INCINERATION
Animal Train and DIY go hand in hand, I have followed this lot since their inception into this grimy pit of sub-noise, the progression is slow and steady with many pleasures had along the way, I am liking where this thing is going. Hailing from Austin, Texas this female fronted crew are certainly hanging in and that is deserved of anyone's support who believe in the get up and fuckin' do it yourself approach. This is my 6th assessment of the AT wares, I am sticking in too, I hope, in the short and long term it is worth it. Up the DIY dogs!
Immediately the crews strain of chosen sonica is upon us with the lead lasses vocals joining the mix and convincing me already that the band are still growing in stature. 'Age Of Authority' cruises on well timed riffs and careful construction of sound with the song having enough chomp due to the leads sub-gruff gobbage, the non-too dirty strings and the balanced drum work. Neat and tidy, tidy and neat (by heck I am quoting Mr Men books here). 'Don't Stop' is a simple procedure - state, holler, repeat, slip in the swift chorus and have a nice chunky bass line for all players to thrive along with. It isn't rocket science, it is oh so brief, reflects the bands style and as a fan I am OK with that but...just a little more at this stage is requested please...don't underestimate where you are at people...Fungal has faith.
'Intoxicated Overload' rolls in, grinds out a low roasted rhythm, coasts with the set pattern, is produced just perfectly for the band and highlights the advancement in the crews sound. The stripped out moments puts pressure on the lady at the fore, she rises, does her stuff and wins through...more, more, more please. Chasing fast is 'Cold Cream' a song in keeping with the theme set and not offering up enough variation for a long term, ever greedy fan. It is a steady old number, takes no chances and is nailed with ease but the caveat for the band to pay heed of is that Fungal doth want more, I want my belly fit to bursting and I am beginning to squeeze you hard my talented gems. A lively bass begins 'Enemy In The Mirror' and a dirtier semi-garage effluence pours down the discordant drainpipe - tastes good. The angst is more edgy, the overall feel of a mental torture, the cutting explosion getting to the core of the listener - the bass invades once more - we are done. 'Fight' radiates typical generic defiance and Animal Train deliver it with such gratifying conviction. The ill tempered lead lady growls, insist and commands whilst the unified gob bursts and subtle whoa hoa's all add to the overall flavour. Again a DIY burst done simply but so fuckin' effectively.
2 left, 'Wicked Games' is a lurking serpent, side-winding through the undergrowth at the command of the manipulated bass line and escorted by minimalistic strings and carefully trodden skins with the she utterances loaded with trepidation and sagacious warnings. A song that has much to be built around, the crew bail early, it feels good but they could turn this into a slightly longer showcase for their artistic abilities. We shut down with 'The Great Tax Cut', an ironic burst of embittered rawness with disgust and poisonous sub-text coursing through the veins of the band. Here they dabble outside the box, it works, they retain the meat of the melody but come in from a nice angle with opportunities there for further ventures. Articulate, spiteful and smack on the chosen mark of emotion - lush.
8 tracks, some safe, some stretching, nothing to find fault with - Animal Train are a fave unit of mine, they have that streak of sincerity I find such a rare commodity these days and they also have a tonality indicative of purist DIY - that is one aspect I'll never debate.
THE EXPLOITED - THE MASSACRE
An e-mail from a lass called Sophie (promo representative for Nuclear Blast Records UK) requested me to review 3 Exploited albums as part of a re-issue package - mmm - I had to ponder. I like The Exploited and the fact that they are led by a mouthy forthright bastard who sticks to his principals and really doesn't give a toss what others think. Over the years they have had the odd blip musically but have also released some storming material and, as a change in my usual direction, I decided to have a bash at assessing some of the bands later material. This, the first of the three albums to be put under the Fungalised spotlight was released in 1990 on the Rough House record label and according to Wikipedia is categorised as 'crossover thrash'. Not far off the mark I reckon and a real searing piece of unapologetic noise it is. So, unusually, Fungal dips backwards and brings something forwards with this honest low down in typical off the cuff fashion.
'The Massacre' does indeed open, a raging incessancy that winds itself up, around and into the ground with a furious guitar sizzle and skin stung repetitiveness all there for frontman Wattie to scream his bollocks off to. Chorus cuts are hollered bursts, so are the verses, metal edge strings cut a swathe through the output, at 3 minutes 5 seconds many may say this is too long and I duly agree but you can't help applaud the thermal energy and overall insanity. 'Sick Bastard' is an incontestable bout of further fury it seems, and that can be said before the song even starts. The content is to the point, deals with those grooming grubs that metamorph into predatory violent beasts the world could well do without. The razor edged guitar, bog standard chorus and inner burst of torturing string work is par for the course. It is what it is, like it, lump it, love it or loathe it. Intricacies are absent, a straight ahead hardcore headbutt is what you get - bleed or burn you twats.
'Porno Slut' pushes the style set a little too far and follows the route taken with lap dog obedience. Wattie tears his tonsils, the band keep it gratingly tight and as a stand alone piece the song works but due to it’s positioning here, and as part of this album, it is almost an expendable moment. This could be said about the earlier 2 tracks as well which emphasises the overload of too much similar screaming. I like all 3 tracks, this latter one is most probably the best but, well you know what I am saying (I hope).
So 3 down, all imbuing us with the generic spirit of the crew, what next...any guesses anyone? Well more of the same to be honest with track after track absolutely knocking any bullshit out of the soundscape and kicking it right into your face. To go through each and every track would be futile and pointless due to so much sonic similarity and the fact that this is not a brand new release from a band needing pointers. All I can do is offer up the general flavour emitted and pick out one or two highpoints.
The most striking aspect of this album is the unrelenting torrent of wild fury and straight ahead song structure that comes at you over and over again. Further tracks to provoke interest come thick and quick with 'Fuck Religion' a seething foul mouthed onslaught, the crawling pulsation of 'Blown Out Of The Sky' a solid alteration of tempo, the bleak under-processed dirge of 'Barry Prossit' and the final mind wash of 'Scale The Derry Wall' a fitting full stop to an album that never lets up.
Overall this is a powerhouse piece of passion that overdoes the same style and thus lessens the impact each grenade of sound undoubtedly has. Such is the way of The Exploited, unrelenting high pressure noise without remorse and deviation - you can't help but love it but you will do well to listen to these 16 tracks over and over again without getting bored. One of the bands less effective offerings for sure!
LEMLAESTET FOSTERBRAEK - PHANTOM PIMP
This crew do not fuck about, they have no intention of tagging along in the obedient shadows of hardcore tyrants, these sonic swines want to blaze their own trail and create something akin to evilness. Without having to explain too deeply this violent filth will separate all music lovers with the minority still being so but absolutely convinced they are clued in to a marvellous cacophonic treat - but are they justified in thinking so and I am of the same opinion and just as much hypnotised by the avalanche of power thrusting? Fuck it, hey ho, let's go...
The first fiery fuck you to flummox the prepared organised advancement of the assessing digits is labelled as (surprise, surprise) 'Phantom Pimp', a gnarled and noxious boil on the buttocks of the silent sound scene, a veritable vulgar invader from the other side of the decent fence. This is maniac hardcore with its genitals on show and it goes without saying that they are in a uncontrollable state of arousal. The curtain is drawn back (as is the foreskin), all the worlds a stage, step forth ye many demons who desire to clatterfuck yer cerebral gunk. Absolutely stunning and searing sincerity is ejaculated from each and every dynamite disturbance with rapid fire rage, controlled venom, pondering persuasion and abstract intrusion all thrown into a hellfire tosspot of bona fide violence - superb. 'Der er ik' noget at grinde af' is a brief insane burst that mechanically screws itself inside out bearing briefly the grisly gizzards and inner workings - madness still reigns supreme and so does the pleasure. 'Hytteost' is a shit splattering invasion into private areas best left to the professional hardcore deviants. Knickers down, cheeks spread, whizz bang, thrash ma'am - the taloned claws probe, the ice cold member with a dome of death hammers the erogenous zones - the final groan of untold pleasure tells you what you need to know - don't just take my word for it - strip off ya bastards.
'Der nede ved randers af...' hitches up, leaves, tears down the nursery door, commands the trinket box and the tin drummer to do their stuff - judgement comes - one all consuming blast of negating hatred turns every damn thing as black as night - done, nailed, destruction lives! 'Festival de la carne humana' is tumultuous tantrum throwing with all hands on, all emotions thrown in and the only victors being insanity and fury. Crippled mumblings come from a crazed clown-like character, a beating second to none is given via atrociously violent musical lunacy, the brain is scrambled, the resultant sounds arise from a bleeding and clotted mind - this is glorious and gratuitous and shows what can be done if horror, art and thrash trash are combined - almost pure beauty is achieved. We close this 6 track acoustic earthquake with the strata splitting 'Metal Is For Pussies', a riotous onslaught of satanic mania only interspersed with cockoid rockoid guitar twinges and finalised with an insulting parody of an all too predictable scene. These players have something to say - can you guess what it is yet?
Massive behemoth moments are aplenty here, utterly stupefying electric shockers abound and disabling grenades of noise forever fall on our disbelieving heads. I expected a stunner, I have got just that - as I said during the intro - this is brutality that will separate the crowds - who cares, keep at it chaps, the ones who appreciate will surely keep ya going. Don't rest on yer laurels though - I like the danger, the swift no-nonsense approach, the promise that a precipice is bound to be plummeted from - people, do not pass this by!
DIRTBOX DISCO - BLOONZ
DBD are back, many are salivating, many defecating in their own pants at this latest release and the potential joys it could bring. To date the band have released 2 albums, the first a wondrous peach that really made an impact with all and sundry and captured a vibe very much indicative of a band who wanna have fun, enjoy a rock and roll party and stick to a good toon or two, may I add it were a grand classic too. The second album wasn't half bad but found itself in the bold shadow of the first and had one or two moments that didn't thoroughly throttle my nob of noise. This release has had some good gushings poured over it, a feisty promotional kick given and much 'in-scene' hype created and tossed about - I remain unmoved, I'll say what I feel and do my humble and honest bit - many a gimcrack construction comes, some get uncovered, exposed and still found to contain elements of worth - I fly in neutral - here goes fuck all.
'Standing In A Queue' is straight in with unapologetic cheese waved around and the familiar stench of the bands style more than apparent. It is there to appeal to the fanbase and has the expected adornments and inside baubles of attraction. Instantaneously I can envision the ones whom will drink deeply from this opening jug of sugar soaked sonica and no doubt the band are off to a good start - crystal clear, cruising and almost without effort - I shall be in the minority here but this feels too familiar, has nothing new to offer and plays it way too safe for an opening track on that oh so tricky third album. 'We Are The Rejects' offers me hope of a tetchy tear up, a song for the sincere outsiders who find themselves fitting in nowhere and always pissing in the wind against niche conformity and the like - in some ways it fulfils my expectations. The electro metabolism of the verseage is functioning to a more than agreeable level of unsettled angst and is one of the bands finer moments with clichéd routine avoided and pushed aside for a tempestuous bout of ill at ease sub-aggression. The bastard verse that invades counteracts this aspect and goes back to sing-a-long a twattage mode and so niggles me no end and I find myself in a schizophrenic circle of yes and no bewilderment - bastards. My thumbs are raised, I am too kind I suspect.
'Rewind And Eject' is back to normality, an odd song this that seems to never really get going and with, perhaps deliberately, a stop start feel. It has pop punk essences but the mid tempo restrains it somewhat and the hails of the title seem a little awkward. The song overall is just not my thing and despite the exact production (I would expect nothing less) and the usual unpunk verbal meanderings I find myself flicking on and fucking it. 'Bullshit' glistens, stamps its feet, progresses with care - whoa hoas come, a vibe arises with sub-text observed, tempo kept in check and clarity at the helm. The ensnaring thorns will do the business and no doubt this will become a 'live' pit joy but I just wish they would push the accelerator peddle a little more - I love that lead bastards croons and when his back is against the wall he excels further - hey ho. 'King Of The Castle' is loaded up with an almost computerised nervous edge that thrives throughout and gives the song that excitable edge. Combine this fidgety aspect with the instantaneous demands of the repeated 'heys', the youthful desperation of refusing to accept the aging process and the band’s double punch of pace and zipping musical accuracy and we have on our a hands a fuckin' diamond number that cups its hands and holds on safely to that most persuasive element any musician can offer - innocence. '9 Lives' chugs, adopts some mid-riffery, gives birth to a cheese vomiting runt of rhythm that slops to the floor and squirms to the usual DBD vibe. I watch and listen, the writhing wanker is a harmless fanny spill, it means no harm as it stains the floor with glutinous florid familiarity - the lack of danger and general spasmodic injection of pace leaves me a little dry, I bend and scrutinise further, a twat tremble, I look up, the placenta that spills over my face leaves a better aftertaste but this is not impressing me - I move on and slip in the filth whilst doing so - mmm - that will teach me.
'Welcome To Hell' is a toothed arsehole that chatters and batters - a focused and thumb screwing number with a target in mind. It pokes out its conker coloured tongue to the previous effort and has more devilry, hard fought feistiness and may I say - more exposed faecal matter to get stained by. For me the band need to move from the softly, softly deliveries and push out more kicking bastards who appear via the rectal gullet rather than the typical uterus route. Throw shit take risks, get diseased - like a lass wiping her rear - front to back - clear the cack, back to front - infect the cunt - just a thought. 'I Swapped My Brain' is a pure pop song title, comes attired in the bands multi-coloured garb and could be labelled as another trip down the short and unsubtle memory lane but it gets beneath my skin and with its 'two dicks' gives untold pleasure. Nothing new under the sun, in this instance it doesn't have to be - a simple piece of idiot bubblegum nonsense that embraces the special ingredients of the chosen sub-scene. Cheap and cheerful - nowt wrong with that!
'Supreme And Gobshite' blue lights its own ass along the freeway of sound and roars in with a questioning demand emphasised by a brace of power pumps and unified gob offs. This one has a new found intensity, burns with an incandescent danger that flares up with regularity and offers convincing rage. The saturation levels go to the max, the band are on their game here and emanate a gushing life to throw yourself around to. Masterful. 'She's Goes Out' is intrinsically a simple thing to create, a bit like drawing a nob on a toilet wall to be honest - anyone can do it but there is always one fucker who has that little extra, the pubic bush, the oriental eye, the spouting love fluids, the prominence of the crown - not just a triangle, two circles and a straight line for the jap. This artistry draws ones attention to the mind behind the vandalism and so this song, with its something extra, sucks in (not off unfortunately) the listener. Nowt elaborate, just a sing-a-long tune that this lot throw off the wrist with musical masturbatory ease - splash.
2 left and 'Golden Frame' is a queer little bugger with a dreamy eyed slant that affects the overall 'ooomph' factor and so leaves a feeling of a purely give and take moment. More yodelled sections (come on now, pack it fuckin' in for a bit) and the safe and steady cruise mode switched on. One for the obsessed, the possessed, the idle headed soppy sweat arses who rotate in the rhythmic circles they feel secure in - a good song but too much for Fungal at this stage. We close with 'We're Going Out Tonight', a coruscated opening, a full on rock and roll tilt, a determination to thrash and smash and a song with a strain to please the genuine wreck heads. Nothing wrong with a good old fashioned tear up, in fact I fully condone all blow outs and to use this as a sound track I am sure will only fuel the ambition to get tatered. Crisp alive guitars, lucid vocals, encouraging shouts, unrelenting passion - a fine and fruity full stop.
That's it, no swaying, no playing - just how I see it against all I do, what I hear and where the band are at. First album was a crackjack, second album not bad but with a few moments to pass by and this one, well, despite initial reservations and in expectation of an average outpouring I reckon this is on a par with the second release. Some solid stingers, some too predictable moments that are beating the ass of the acoustic horse a little too much. The question is, if you had a winning formula would you risk it all or make sure you keep your fans on side and just dabble elsewhere in small doses? I for one surely would take the riskier option but not everybody is a restless, awkward and unpopular cunt so I can't really argue with what the band are doing. No band in history for me has ever released 3 scorching albums in a row and there is no change here but, DBD still do things very well thank you and long may their success continue.
THE TERRACES - THE SEASON SO FAR
Eloquence, insight and class are 3 wonderful ingredients rarely caught by a gathering of noise makers especially by bands who gob off about footy, street-life, the daily struggle and such everyday themes. If you throw into the mix a bit of honest passion, disobedient aggression, controlled angst and some ebullient attitude never to be trodden down then this may be the band you are looking for. The Terraces have high standards, so I have high expectations, all we need to find out is whether or not in the midst of the noisy mayhem can these 'Punks of Mother England' meet the needs of Father Fungal?
We kick off with my gustatory perception set at level maximum and I am on the look out for many a morsel loaded with savoury sonic aspects and cultured chorded spices. 'The International' commences and brings with it a cultured Oi-esque tribalism built of well clashed and smashed tympanics, careful guitar glistens, a solid foundation of underlying bassism and some great sub-snotted, glory insisting gob work that all come together to create a working mans eruption of the most rewarding style. Moving on and 'Care About Nothing' is the bands masterstroke with an old school guitar punctuation that gets to the marrow of the listener and generates inspired interest. A relationship out of sync, a bitter spiteful deluge of mouth labour, numerous exact textures in keeping with the theme, a deliberate thrust to get the emotive point rammed home to the targeted object of desire cum hatred. This effort reeks with crucial quality whilst keeping the streetwise essence so essential in this sub-pit.
'25 Years' is a deliberate march with football references (a common theme) and the usual well polished end finish. Crisp twinkled opening, an almost militaristic march is had, the sub-chorus continues the thread - not as effective as its previous neighbours but still shimmering with a glorious production level. 'The Hustler' tub thumps in, goes for a mid-paced shuffle, leaves the vocals to rise above the controlled mattress of melody. A tale of luck gone bad, an open and honest sound, over quicker than I thought it would be. Again the final mix is choice but this one seems as though it could have been so much more - good but not as good as it should have been.
'Short Back And Sides' is more working class restlessness with a creeping crawl to the acoustic rise that spills out its venom via a restrained approach. The plod in the sound is kept intriguing due to the sonic precision and the front guys passion. Likely Lads character and may it be said, regrets, a look over the shoulder and a damn free ascension - not bad chaps. The pride known as 'Britannia', the stomp attack labelled 'Who You Looking At' and the emotive edge of 'Billy have all been given a going over on this site before (like a few others I have been generous to dabble with again), and despite none being bad old ditties and doing the exact business you can find what I really think if you do a bit of homework yerselves ye idling swines. The band don't falter though and the least you can expect is polished produce of a very stable standard.
'Let's Go' scuttles and sparks with a more old skool feel that has a spartan soundscape and so lacks that overall grab and throttle muscle so regularly found in other songs. This also has a less stable construct and seems to get caught up in the midst of indecision and leaves me pondering if this effort could be further trimmed down, spruced up and injected with extra venom - a bit flat-footed and my least favourite effort for sure. 'Union' opens with crisp strums, dramatised vocals, followed by a string chop and a levelled out drift that reaches for something anthemic. The saturation levels are decent, the pace suitable for this style and the approach seemingly destined to be an end of set piece for the fans who have had too many doses of dancing and to many slugs of the ale glass. Ok, nowt special and a bit ponderous if I am honest - this may be a grower though so in 6 months time I may be fully absorbed - tha' never knows.
2 to go 'Complete Control', a cover, heard, it, reviewed it, applauded it - I hate covers but don't mind the odd one especially when knocked out to a standard such as this - quite choice and I certainly ain't the biggest Clash fan either. 'Perfect Company' closes with a grandiose and confident opening burst that dissolves from preparatory posing into the set drift with ambience high and tonality set to capture sonic sensation, heartfelt drive and ramming focus that reflects the bands knowledge of where they are going. The inner pulse of the song is further accentuated by 'Oi' chants and well smacked skins and I feel the band close in granite style and somehow show a slightly new angle to their output.
Organised, flash but not in an obnoxious way, well versed, painstakingly fastidious to their chosen output - this isn't your everyday boots and beer Oi, this is that extra showy forceful outpouring that has been given time and justice in the studio - it is worth your efforts and worth your time.
THE EXPLOITED - BEAT THE BASTARDS
The second in the re-issue series by Nuclear Blast records and a real barnstorming rib rattler that re-ignited The Exploited force as a powerhouse band never to be underestimated. Released in 1996, once again on the Rough Justice label with the usual deep rooted themes, the band increase the tempo here and wind up the thrash factor to the very limit with a new found life exuding from every thwack of the sticks and every spirited downward slash of the strings - this is hefty stuff and really put the crew right back on the punk rock map.
Opening the album is of course the title track, a real euphoric statement scaffolded with stunning spirit and further upheld by concrete hardcore foundations and livid punkage at its gratuitous best. Gut tearing violence is all over your carcass as the grinding machinery gives birth to a Frankensteinian beast, the question of 'Who the fuck are you' is iced, unsettling and in no way prepares for the following fist fuck of thriving passion that provokes you into a stance of standing your ground and kicking back against those omnipresent pricks. Wattie is on fire, the riffed and ripped guitars and the slam-dunked skins create a wall of fervid noise and The Exploited are, for me anyway, producing one of their all time classics. This one actually whistles with steaming angst and the overall push throughout leaves no room for doubt - this bunch of fuckers are on a mission to melt your mental matter. 'Affected By Them' is a quicker song, over it seems in a flash (despite lasting 3 minutes 4 seconds) and going at it full throttle from the first through to the last. Livid stuff, the band have no other weaponry in their armoury and if they can't blow you to smithereens then fuck it. Raw, intense, visceral and a good follow up to the previous beast.
Diseased bass crawls, stalls and then drives one up the walls with assistance from the fast fuck drum work and the searing guitar. Vocally this is as harsh as per with verse and chorus cuts roared out over and over. Usual spillage from a furious unit with the lunatic swiftness the result of troubled minds, tortured souls and tetchy twats. The flow is still rapid, can you keep up? Without unnecessarily delving too deep the next few songs continue the set theme with 'Law For The Rich' verbally basic and musically repetitive but still whacking yer bollocks hard enough to leave bruising, 'System Fucked Up' is a weightier affair with a grinding relentless approach that gets on with the dirty job at hand and refuses to add any flamboyance or finesse - just simply a beefy chug. 'They Lie' scuttles and scuffles with electro mania with the absolute madness spilling from the speakers, across the carpet, onto your manky feet, up your twitching legs, around your acoustic private zones and eventually into your hardcore soul that needs power violence set to maximum levels. Calling all apathetic idlers - take note! This stuff still has zest to admire!
'If You're Sad' has a more deliberate and firm structured approach with the drama rising via the build up and continuing to do so throughout this well stoked conflagration. The throbbing, mind twisting effect does the trick and highlights the fact that all heavy duty hardcore need not rely on all out aggression and crazed speed. This is one of my most relished tracks due to the drilling rhythm and unstoppable force the song seems to emit - a real stomper for sure with a swirling montage of emotive guitars within. A street scuffle 'come on then' and 'Fight Back' gets us straight back into the true smash and clash style of the band with muscles flexed, wires wanked to buggery and tympanic flesh beaten badly. The song goes at it hammer and tongue - a hammer to batter you with, a tongue to flick spittle on your wounds - this isn't apologetic dinnage, this is 'fuck you' forthright arrogance that says we won't lie down, we won't take your rank and debilitating shit anymore - just go for it!
5 to go and no hanging about here - quick, to the point and hopefully as accurate as fuck! The next concussive upheaval is known as 'Massacre Of Innocents', an abrasive molesting with the crew going through their own odious motions, duly producing a run of the mill song for this unit and then bailing out over the apt time. 'Police TV' is more usual flare with an expected break but this has a more violent streak running through it and a better melodic snare to get snagged by - nothing outlandish but usual fare for the connoisseur who loves nerve-ridden upchucks from a band in the know. 'Sea Of Blood' is orthodox hardcore and is my vote for worst track on the CD. Too routine, just a mad scuttle without any orgasmic sensations sought. Combine these points with the fact it comes so late in the CD and if any track is going to rankle your nerves and get the thumbs down treatment this will be the most likely candidate - a real tedious turnip in a plot of more glorious growths. '15 Years' is a mad rush and more fodder for the mindblown but the closing 'Serial Killer' does the business with its unremitting thumbscrew torture that moves steadily, forcefully and with pure focussed intent. The Exploited really don't need to thrash their arses off with each and every track and this final alteration of pace emphasises the band have more angles to their armoury than given credit for.
For a therapeutic assisting blow out this CD is an essential must, especially for those who are seriously disgruntled and just wanna let off some steam to some gristly noise done with serious sincerity. Once again all I can say is that you know what you will get with this lot but one thing is for sure, these fuckers have never sold out like many twats I could mention - good on em'.
MARK WYNN - LAST OF THE REAL ROCKSTARS
My mind is a blank canvas, I rely on the artist under Fungal fire to create a mental vignette that leaves a lasting impression of the musical moment assessed. I do so at my peril, he is a wayward vandal with that sonic brush of his and fractures any ideas of an end scene of orthodoxy. This is my 4th jaunt into the warped World of Wynn, I can't hang about, the tension is tremendous, goggles on, ear muffs donned, skin tight thong ready (why not) - and so we begin with....ah the accompanying magazine 'Dirty Work' - out of order, in a line, upside down, misplaced, defaced - an interview that I presume never existed, well not in the usual way. The work of a mirror cracked mind with numerous reflections and distracted light, some bits darkened, others glistening bright - DIY to the core!
'George Formby Breakdown' is musical murder done with a 6 strung weapon, in a boiler room of insane intent and awash with a residue of disabled sub-reality and of course, expected abstraction. The recalcitrant rhythm maker culpable of the cacophonic crime is unmoved by any accusations and carries on roughly regardless. A sheep call, a state of the olde entertainers name and then, wild wordage in a cold, almost disdainful manner but with a glint in the old disharmonious eye. Stemmed with the usual tinned and canned honesty and kept up with via off the cuff lyricology that mismatches in the main, creates cohesiveness in small doses. Mr Wynn finds me sick and tired of procedure and bullshit formula and so this unevenly rippled and reality based writing has me taken. The melody is a raw wound that many may find too tender, personally I gotta stick my finger in - nice. 'I'm Afraid' is a terse trundle with a underscore of dirty garage and almost organised rhythm. The usual DIY approach is taken, Wynn finds a thread on which to swing his ass and does so with an earthy, unmolested charm that comes from the corrupted core of the corroded crooner and so must surely win the appeal of those who like natural sonic soil awash with real and acting microbes rather than pre-treated cacophonic compost that is all parcelled and packaged and void of life. You know where I am at!
'Joanne I Am Sorry I Ate Your Pizza' is typical unrest from this chucker of tuneage with a mere triviality turned into a frustrating and wrenching apologetic outburst. It comes out as it is, a rambling explanation coated with harassed strings and skins as well as a mistuned radio fuzz seemingly present throughout - angular for sure. 'Problem' goes back to an almost doppelganger of decency with the methodology almost in keeping with traditional structures of verse and chorus. Of course the track taken is never the easy one and we are dragged along with nervous impatience and imminent stumbles aplenty. The way the words spill though and the thoroughly involved style of the player has me alert and intrigued and I feel that is all any creator of music can do. Why follow rules, agendas, sub-textual signals to do it that way or this - far better to crack all the eggs in a basket whilst striving for new sensations rather than to sit safe and hatch out numerous dead chicklets of egregious noise - cluck or fuck - the choice is there!
'She Liked His Hair Long' is rambling affair with the pocketful of mental tangents, that we all have, torn open and let fall to the melodic cobble-stoned floor. End of the day ponderings, put to music, ruffled up (along with the pillow where most of these thoughts seem best found) and spewed onto the silver disc. This stuff sounds easy, produce one would consider many players capable of - not so, it takes some doing I reckon as well as an ADHD loaded mind duly assisted with chemicals and everyday angst. It does work tha' know!
'Bank Holiday', a scrambled, short, acute burst of toxicity and worked up wordage - I don't like this one at all, it shaves off my receptive skin and leaves me all raw and uncomfortable - a nasty fuzz up - I stride onwards. 'Skin Complaint', is smooth, as compared to other tracks, but has a few tourette like outburst and tense relieving twinges. Again what is in the head is shovelled out and heaped up around our attentive head - stand still, get buried - move, miss out. This one is like a nettle sting - painful but in some way quite life affirming and, should I add, perversely pleasurable. 'Facetious' has a buried emotion with the strumming chap seeming in a down mood, prone to tetchiness and introverted worry. A clutterbucket of scrambled thoughts, a mish mash of observations - this has a saccharined charm and comes with almost Burrough'ed one-lined discipline. Odd, upturned, inside out, slightly damaged - can we ask for more? Should we ask for more?
Last song, 'the 'Double Doors' swing inward, are left to flap and slap someone in the face, is it you? This one is as per, in a hospital this time, waiting for a girl and being as observant and tangent based as ever. If, for any reason, you expect this dude to follow something resembling a predictable route then this is as close as you are likely to get. The song coasts, is from the ticker, ascends with feeling, has a pang and undiluted plea within the toneage and so of course, somewhat reels ones attention inward. It just can't be helped. The following witterings are unnecessary, what the hell, but it shows that we will just never ever know what will come next - and thank goodness for that!
He comes, he twings, twangs, winks and wanks, wobbles is wires, cleanses his soul and then...Mr Wynn fucks off with disregard for those who just have no time to get it. Keep at it man - keep the bastards guessing and keep doing it your own way. Listen people, if your turntable is tired of rotating the same old vibrations then go slap this one on and give it some escapism, just for the sake of breaking that sonic conveyer belt of 'your' normality.
THE DRINKHUNTERS - LURKING BEHIND THE WOODS
I shall take a liberty here and rather than do my own intro shall repeat the text the band sent me, why not 'The Drink Hunters were formed in Barcelona in 2008 when Pau (drums and vocals) and Aaron (bass and lead vocals) decided to start a celtic punk rock band. They talked about the idea with Raja (guitar and vocals) to establish the background of the project they had in mind. They contacted Nando (fiddle) and Rosa (accordion) to fill the gaps to achieve an upbeat punk rock band with an Irish folk twist. At the beginning of 2013 Isra (tin whistles and banjo) joined band'. How's that, sounds interesting, let me crack on, time waits for no man, especially ones with a Fungalised temperament - blah.
The first brush stroke of sound is made via the introductory 'Lurking Behind The Woods' a 47 second burst of preparatory noise exuding sensations of Leone, Cicada induced tranquillity, liberation and the oncoming essence. 'Speciecism' machine pounds before being lubricated with numerous freer acoustic oils whereupon the song slips into its fully functioning mode. A galloping beast foaming at the mouth with folked-up froth and upbeat angst that finds relief in nothing more than the surging pace set and the overall unison of each cacophonic component. Not the easiest mare to mount and ride along with but once in the saddle this runaway fucker will give you a fair old thrill.
'Breogan’s Descendents' and the chasing 'Paul’s House' are of a similar ilk, the first feisty fucker that rears up here is borne from a quiet mellow tinkle, a deceiving moment of tranquil toneage cast aside with frenetic hoof clatters and the usual fiddled spices that create the absorbing noise. The pursuing number has comparable qualities but a slightly rustier edge and with a few levelled out, smoother moments that enhance the individual segments of the song, something the band need to concentrate on with future jaunts. Not bad but just cluttering themselves up a little with nothing more than sincere enthusiasm and the input of a little too much spice.
'Speak More Than A Fucking Politician' and a busy opening burst that takes us into something that is too much of the same. The Drinkhunters are not allowing the obvious talent to fully shine due to an avalanche and overdose of too many similar qualities and this quick scuffled gem nestles into a tight pack of well played tunes and doesn't get its fair chance to fly free. Rapid bass, rattled strings of the guitar, skip happy drums, delicately seared vocals - nice, just give yer songs a chance dudes. 'Big Fella' and a repetitive thump, an ascension and into the free for all we go, a more accurate track with a greater fluidity between segments and a more personally appealing tune. All in good time, tumultuous at first, a nervously stuttering interlude highlighting the tight ass style of the crew and insistence on zippy tuneage. A further break is well breezed through and accentuates all around it - we close with a sombre tube blown with sullen lips it seems - chin up.
Onwards and no immediate change - 4 quick ones methinks. 'Kill The King' an alternating intro, a tumbling track ensues with the standard skip in the step - breathless stuff and at times quite overwhelming. The band are still as tight as buggery though and into 'The Hunter Song' with much cluck and fuck and, of course, plenty of pluck we are catapulted with this one bobbing about on fine clear well whipped waters that are sailed with superb traditional accuracy and pure sing-a-long fervour (provided you speak the lingo). My favourite track - a real spunky egg laying number - ooh me arse. 'Rolling Down', jazzed and jizzed guitar opens - way too brief, the flow - way to similar, the verdict - way too kind - good but lacking crucial variety - I skip on. The finishing flash from the fast four and 'Just Tomorrow' is a jerked rhythmic piece with numerous punchy aspects and fluid switches between modes. Not the easiest song to digest but still reeling away with the same gusto as found in the opening number.
3 left and in summing up, the tracks raise above their heads the victory cup of consistency, drink from the tankard of accomplished musicianship and come across as individual cutlets loaded with the bands belief and spirit. The flaw is nothing new arises from the acoustic ashes and we finish the CD with a blur of well played music with no defining moments and no stand out tracks. This is a tragedy as all components need to create clashing and constructive cacophonies that embolden all areas of gratifying music and wondrous rhythm, but instead all merge into one. I like the style and the songs but not the CD as a package - think on my merry fiddlers, variety is crucial.
3 STONE MONKEY - MEET AS STRANGERS, LEAVE AS FRIENDS
Miles and miles and years and years of experience under the belt this lot have and still the buggers trundle on striving to feed their addiction to noise, working hard to settle their own sonic demons. The band deliver a rough house sound built on DIY ethics with much rhythm and much fun had and many gigs gained along the way. The attitude, the ethos and the delivery do their thing, will this album reinforce my thoughts of a fine outfit.
So, we burst in and are immediately greeted by the prominent gust of 'Empty People', a song that sandpapers and finally staggers into the somewhat awkward direction sought. Many angles are instantly thrown in, we are kept on our toes and given a perpetually perplexed onslaught of wordage against a backdrop of challenging noise that really is a slippery eel to initially grasp or, perhaps a well lubed chopper if you are that way inclined. A strong aroma of something jammed, an experimental fumble in the knickers of discordance with the clitoral stimulus inconsistent and slightly frustrating. What a weird old moment, the band could be accused of drug abuse, mental mishaps but...the band have something here and that restless nature that is pushing out of a potentially suffocating membrane is purely applaudable. The second sonic incision to be made 'Sail Away' becomes more routine, more obviously structured and is a love soaked ditty that comes, gets on with it, leaves an average aftertaste and duly exits. It is what it is and I suppose after the opening awkwardness many will find some solace in this tidier affair.
'Pigeon John' is the best song thus far, a thoughtful piece screwed up with a cutting cheese wire string style and containing a crushed and overwhelmed emotion where everything seems too big to handle. The song has desperation, it has a steady crawling pace and it clings to the rhythmic receptors - lovely - but what comes next is the bands trump card. 'X-Box' is alive and bouncing and deals with the fact that too many people are hooked up on-line or fucking about with some techno shite rather than indulging in each other and rising above the warping web waves. The electro pulse comes, scatters, finds a mode and bops along whilst the disillusioned front gob deals out the verbage with remarkable effect and somehow finds a strain that incites further pleasure for the eavesdropper. There is no incertitude as regards the quality of this roborant sonic pill as I pop it into my mouth and swallow with all anticipatory senses keen to feel the reward and roll with the inescapable buzz - yeah.
'Indecision' begins with a dirty plume of scuffed strings before continuing with a drum clutter thrown into the mix. The opening verse is under-produced, still clouded by the diseased multitude of manky motes which pollute but add character. The slip into the chorus is grimy but gets on with the job and make sure you give this one a good old injection of volume before judging. It is one of those that takes time to grow on you, like a lichen on the old scrotal bag - nasty. 'The Road' travels on mid paced heels, never really has the desire to burn up the rhythmic rubber with any urgency and the question for you to decide is whether or not it really has to. My only gripe is that the distance travelled is a little too long but other than that I can fully applaud the cruising mode, the subdued exhaust release, the more thoughtful approach, the overall push for the final gear shift, the ultimate pull over. Steady as you go whereas 'Clear In The Air' contains a lot more atmosphere, a bundle of tensed knots and a greater degree of unpredictability. The song, at many junctures, threatens to erupt, looks likely to spill in an avalanche of wayward abuse but the 3SM troopers know better, stay in full control of their cacophonic creation and make sure they post it into our mental mailboxes with their own personal signature of approval. The songs finest assets are the consistency and general ambience that is radiated via the touched tones and irked gob bursts. Next and 'Return' crackles like a good old 78 rpm album, steers along with a roaming thoughtfulness, repeatedly dusts itself down and travels in isolation with the sought emotion grasped and dealt with. This one is a measured piece that leaves me little to add, it is more safety first output and I feel the band, at this stage, could waggle their arses a little harder. It is hard to criticise something so secure and equally so it is as difficult to gush over it - not bad, not great!
Talking off arse waggling, 4 quicky dickies I think - firstly and ''Pretty Boy', a face screwing number that resents the doors that open and the opportunities that arise due to looking the part and fitting the fuckin' bill. We all know these so called 'lookers' who talk the talk and play the game and the band here vent their spleen in wonderful style and get a real niggle off the pock marked, fine beating chests. 'Who Do You Think You Really Are' is a quality offering that pulses with life and yet more disgruntlement against certain powers that be and the state of various plays. The tweaked niggle, the choice pace and the overall effective aftertaste of this one leaves me little to add - a crackin' number for sure with the right application from each player. 'Tik Tik' is a mentally troubled song, a gathering sucked out from a mass of internal turmoil and a ditty that rises on ominous bass and shadowy gobbage. Pin prick guitar invades, expected scuzzage spills, the song produces many schizophrenic angles, you gotta stick with this, it will grow on you like a cancerous blemish hell-bent on destroying your resolve. 'What The Hell Is Wrong With Me' is a desperation soaked song with almost pleading verses and strong and demanding chorus foot stomps. The contrast between the two sections of the song is very nice thank you and 3SM move onto the last track with the reputation intact.
We close with the sexually deviant 'Baby Girl', a slow hip grinding number as the band relate a tale of the pleasure they get from the love of their life, a rubber woman. The lady in question, and of course the members involved (literally) all get inflated and although this is a trip down gutter lane the confessional song is quite enjoyable (in a non arousing way). Dirty buggers.
3 Stone Monkey ain't a bad band tha' knows, they have much to offer both 'live' and on CD and are in that gutter bracket where I find most pleasure. There are no airs and graces with this lot, just a motivated attitude to get up, play music, have fun and see what comes of it. Be quick, this is a limited edition 100 CD - miss out or piss off out - the decision is thine.
IRRATIONAL ACT - ERRATIC BEHAVIOUR
Based in Sheffield with an up to date sounding noise that has trimmings you may well recognise from distant shores, as well as numerous home-grown ingredients, Irrational Act upchuck their sound with fine gusto and keep options open in doing so. Vibes come, vibes go, the merry-go-round continues - I have abandoned looking for something new under the weary sun but you just never know. Let's bite the bullet, bare our arses and go into the musical mush...
First up 'Die To Regret', a crash, rumble, smash and stagger and then off we set with a bumpy sensation throughout before shouted mouth work explodes into action with regimented structure slightly avoided and a suggestion of danger never far away. I predict changes aplenty, pace switches, opposing chunks of dinnage and such like - they duly come - sometimes awkwardly, sometimes cohesively, I reach out to grasp and scrutinise more closely and suddenly the song closes - bastard. I replay over and over - verdict - a nice tumbling avalanche of youthful restlessness. 'Get Over It' deals with some of the prejudiced plankton in the waters of life and throws up a questioning stance. These fuckers seem insignificant but play a big role in the chain of morality and the IA team pass on their disgruntlement with the sexual ideas with fine noise laden spirit. This one chugs a lot more than the opener, clutches harder at the groin of organised tradition and pulls on the pecker of power with rapid fire acoustic wrist action. Confidently bustling in on excited skins, progressing with a safety belt certainty, containing a good level of irate itchiness within the veins of the song - yeah - short and does the job.
'Point Of View' has an early grim appeal before pounding out stated lines that are interrupted by rattle snake stick taps. Power urgency is stuffed into the veins with a raw energy cascading and duly splashing in several directions. Feet are stamped with twitchy tantrumised temper, the appeal is mainly down to the tight assed rage and thrashing body of the song that whips its tail, stings repeatedly and is spasmodically restless throughout. The production levels are DIY to a complimentary extent and the switches, cut backs and angles are all to the benefit of the bands style. I like the closing insubordination, the refusal to accept a given route - defy or die. 'Stedhead' is a hammer lashing explosion that stumbles and tumbles with the agitated application thrown in. A basic attack on the muscle-bound morons who have egos as big as their muscles and a mentality as small as their peckers. This is a nasty burst of anger, a kickback against macho obsession - the furrowed and well worked bursts of wild riffage work and of course the potential to stray from the given route is always there. Not bad.
We fuck off and out of the discordant door to the tune of 'All My Friends', a tale of time taking its toll on relationships and forcing things to change - sometimes disappointingly so. A repeat beat with cut and throb strings and mish mash, splish splash drum clatters and, of course, the usual fractured slants and toned tangents. The song is a good clip around the ears with an optimism winning through, backed up with good tonsil strains.
Irrational Act are a decent crew it seems, with a new edged slant that is there to create initial impact as well as leaving room for much to be built on. This isn't the finish article yet but given time, care to detail and an improved level of production and the band will shine further. Capturing that DIY essence and refusing to become too polished though is no mean achievement but the band are setting out on the right foot. A good earthy holler for sure!