FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
The Wingnut Warriors have me delighted, intrigued and in support of their darn fine unprofessional escapades within a scene that is fractured many ways, most of which leave me a trifle more than unconvinced. More than ever I firmly believe that the 'Punk' scene and DIY ethos are different things and I am, as is the norm, always prone to the latter philosophy. More real, more scuzzy, more pimpled and warted and that is where I like to dwell and where, my good friend, you will find the best under-processed noise. Thus, despite being fucked, this humble enthusiast headed down to the Star and Garter to indulge in some good old rough and ready noise with a few old faves and a few new sonic splatterers. The weather forecast was wank, the festival fever had taken its toll on many an unwary soul and it was a sheer worry how this latest Wingnut venture would turn out.
A bottle of Rose wine was taken and nailed so as to take off a very acute edge that had been sending me haywire of late - of course a few tins duly followed. This was a long day (followed by a busy day out) and so I am altering the style a little and just grabbing the atmosphere and general gist of each band rather than fanny about too much (which I like to do). I have a heap of outstanding CD reviews to do, work and family always need my time (the latter are fully deserved of it) and the nature demands are many with the constant fight to highlight the destruction out there and the general struggle of the beasts, bugs and blooms. Anyway - no other bastards is gonna scribble anything so here goes more precious time taken by the claws of passion for something I fuckin' well believe in – think on and suck on it!
CSOD - Bang - the day begins with sizzled metal that was blasted with intent via 4 lovely bastards from Blackpool. The early jiggers and swiggers were up and ready for action and this crew got em' moving with the first number 'Born Victim' setting out a pulverising stall and going for it thereon in. The flashjack guitar powered and posed, the bass griped with glee, the drums were ravaged by a man on a mission and as per, the frontman tried is hardest to turn is tonsils to sickening sludge. This was powerhouse rape and the authorities needed calling but too many were hypnotised and song after song penetrated deeper - 'Burnt Bridges', 'Sick Of You' and 'Hate Things' being several resonant examples. The warzone had just witnessed its first all out attack and survivors needed urgent musical/medical attention - help, help, help! A swift set but utterly gargantuan and one of the best opening explosions for a long while - 'Day Ruiner' was a juggernaut finish - thwack.
The Surgeons - the key word here is obvious - 'tidy'. This 3-piece flourished their weapons (ooh missus), slashed deep with a hard driven sing-a-long rapidity that was bullet-proof, well presented, sonically sharp dressed and incessantly vibrating. The basic building blocks of this spillage was a bone jarring bass, austerely chorded guitar, whipped and whammed drums and lucid gobbage that harmonised only when a priority. There was an excess of poppage bouncing just beneath the more blatant radar with 'Wish I Was Young' backing up this thought but just having that extra flesh on the bone to stray away from total immersion within that sub-generic pool. Great stuff and 2 other songs that stuck out were 'Wise Up' and 'Don't Kiss Me' - quality ditties to toss around the palate and spit upwards in a gloried fountain of praise. Same again next time gents!
Dischord - this seemed the quickest racket of the day, way too short and despite my protestations and calls for a longer set things had transpired that all and sundry needed pushing along so I bloody well had to make do. Dischord came, blew out there arse, nailed their songs for which I highly rate them and left the punters in attendance with something to consider. I indulged in a ping about with a few grand 'erberts who appreciated this zealous rhythmic racket and so the full review is somewhat blurred (remember if I dance I cannot take all in, if I don't dance then I sometimes have to struggle to suppress that inner jigging beast - the lot of the reviewer I am afraid). I recommended this lot to the promoters, they listened and I think success was had - that is all we can do. The whole cacophony that drips forth is emphasised by a bold and blazing frontman who really does the business with many choice songs perfect for his style. Today I was gonna grab a set list to drool wordage over - I missed out, I shall have ye buggers next time. Every songs a winner for me, the band shall get my support - I make no apologies for being biased - one of 2 bands really exciting me at the mo.
Potential Victims - this lot are surely one of the most overlooked and under-estimated bands on the underdog circuit. Is this a fault of their own through being willing to play too many shows or perhaps a fault of the punters who are overfed pigs not realising what great glorious rhythmic food they have on their soiled laps? I reckon the answer is sussed but by heck this is a choice band with much going on within the whole melodic melee. I like the condensed mass of notes, the overhaul of the silence and the complete bomb blast of unprocessed punkage. There are many sub-flavours worthy of consideration and these come to the fore on the bands previous sonic releases. As ale kicked in so did the tempo and spirit with the vocal strummer setting a good pace that he knows only too well his crashing comrades can, and will, keep up with. Many maestros make good music - the zenith for me was 'Acting Dumb' and the power burst finale whose name has slipped my ragged mind – bah – was a peach. Overall verdict and advice - excellent and buy the new EP.
Brace for Impact - very much an 'in yer face' outfit who clatter and batter rather than smatter their sonica. The main underscore is reliant on brutality, big riffage and ceaseless sonic swashbuckling with only the most choicest moment taken to alter the artistry. The first song I missed - (blowing out verbal wind) but it was straight in to the harsh aggression that was ramming home a point to what was a fairly lowly crowd. The fuel was flowing nonetheless and the orthodox hammering of 'Screwed' took things up to new heavy, hammering highs. Really strong and sinewy but soon outstripped by the marvel that is 'Black Propaganda', a purist grind out, a veritable essential item to smash the convention of the bands old style - a number soon to be recorded - please do it justice lads. The set rose from here and despite a few distractions (again) I enjoyed what I saw. Punishing stuff.
Evil Eye - what a collection of musical maestros who really should know better. Today the frontman donned the vicar’s attire and set the place duly on fire with another raging bout of tunnelled terror liable to blow any bad vibes right off the track. This unit go about their business in the most squalid scene and always come out with a clean cut review and a hat full of praises. There ain't no reason to change that verdict - a big stinking bag of sonic shit this was with all players joyful to splatter the walls and beyond. I like Evil Eye and have seen em' a fair few times of late and still they impress. The double string onslaught is where the foundations are at and bass fills in any gaps as well as providing a deeper underlay whilst sticks give the end hammer gun attention and nail everything into place. Gobbage is livid, almost from a mental asylum, and is from a man with many a problem with this social shithouse. Go check this lot out - nasty, noxious and right up the unwashed, unprocessed punkers street.
Black Light Mutants - missed most of the set - gas-bagging happens at every gig and I try and see all but alas sometimes I get roped in and need to be polite...next time dudes! PS - I caught a brace of songs though and they were scorching with fake cash toss away as a protest to this capitalist shit heap. Can't fault it!
Black Lanterns - a new outfit for this fungal fruit and one who have talked a fuckin' good talk via the web waves. I can now see why. This was fast, furious, fizzing and filled with cute technicalities many may miss if not fully attentive. The guitar tweaked out good riffs, pace-induced chord switches and sensational surges whilst drums and bass executed their given roles with sincere style and that oh indefinable characteristic that gives many an extra 'oomph' to an already concrete set. I liked the frontmans low slung easy style and recognised the hard work that had gone into making this set what it is - fuckin' admirable. I need more dosings to do a more in depth review but this is tasty shit baby!
Vitriolic Response - straight off the battlefield draped in gloried colours we have all come across before and been beaten by - nothing new at all this way comes but the belief and crustified attention is what makes this racket making highly convincing. Of course this shuddering sonica divides opinion - the band aren't in it to please all. This crew of cacophoners have a constant itch it seems that needs scratching with something abrasive and very uncomfortable and so the noise comes and does that specialist job. The guitarists and drum boy know their style, know what accent they want their instruments to have and so smear it all over the skin of silence and let the enthusiastic front hollerer scream his lungs out. For connoisseurs this has got to be an arousing moment and there ain't nowt wrong with a bit of blistering hardcore in ya diet. As with the previous band I need another fix to fully grasp what's going on here but for now this will do quite nicely.
Bus Station Loonies - a varied concoction of discordance from a well worn, well travelled set of merry fiddlers who do what they do with sharp attention, fun based sub-text and some real convincing numbers that hit several sonic hotspots. The front guy puts in a good workout, the string merchants perform and shine if one only takes note and doesn't get drowned too quickly by the old shake, rattle and roll. There is an impetus here, an underlying fizz that arises from many shook up chords and whipped up words, thus the that resultant fucked up froth which spills from the stage is what we, as a crowd, feed upon and get sonically fat by. BSL are a regular outfit in this oversaturated scene who can be relied upon to produce decent show after decent show with their reputation surely speaking for itself as well as the puked up din. They will never be millionaires, they will never get the acclaim many more 'fortunate' bands have had but will that stop em' - I don't think so and on this evidence why the hell should it?
There ya go - Wingnut do it again, do it themselves and do it with a disordered flamboyance - the way it has gotta be. Rough, ready with many frayed edges and a few unpredictable moments that once more added proof to the curdled pudding that these 3 twats of tuneage are peace-loving, most charming, in it for the sincere crack and liable to just keep on going until they drop - I certainly hope so. They shovel shit, eat the noise, take the highs and lows and...they are off their arses and keeping it grimy and gritty and highly fuckin' enjoyable for sonic slaves like myself. From one promoter to 3 more - a doff of the hat, a wink of confidence, a Fungal thumbs up and a kick up the arse. More please...
review by Fungalpunk/OMD (28 May 2013)