FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

DAS GHOUL - MORE SPECTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK

Das Ghoul are a sound outfit with a nifty sib-niche style that works every time.  They are slightly off kilter and yet play tunes that are well-structured, melodic and with that captivating horror essence.  I suppose they slip through many nets of noise, don't tick certain niched boxes for some and perhaps don't have enough of that shackled sonic style that sees them easily fall in line with generic restrictions - maybe, just maybe!  Anyway, I like em', good folk, good vibes, no delusions, here is my take on their latest tickling.

'La, La, La' is short poetical scene setting and should be played mighty loud as the band take to the stage, adopt their chosen instruments and get ready to roll.  They can stand motionless, let the opening cadences kiss the final silence and then they can make their music with great impact - simple hey?  The first song proper is 'Why Does Grandma Glow In The Dark' - a piece that starts with great pep and bounce before the keys tickle certain parts other pluckers fail to reach.  As expected, the blend of all components is most gratifying, the vocals rest upon the gently undulation oceans of sound with perfect poise.  We watch and listen, lucidity is the key as well as a trained knowledge of their own artform - a short dabbling that will meet the needs of the already converted and those yet to be perverted.

'I've Never Seen That Axe Before' key warbles and weaves, duly charms the inner core with the hypnotic melodic meandering of the ebony and ivory bearing beast.  The full drift of the ditty comes and is a self-denying tale of a deviant with a big chopper who refuses to recogniss the recent misdemeanour he has indulge in.  Pulsing, with a great swing and a smooth segue from verse to simplistic chorus and then... a tumble down end statement that throws a spanner in the works and destroys all previous claims.  A neat curio and one that may keep fans guessing.

Fourth in the queue of accursed crimes of cacophony comes under the tab of 'Pandora's Vinyl Curse' - a sinister tale of borrowing a record and being refused before acceptance is granted and a warning given.  A slight crackle, the curiosity is aroused, the keen and eager dabbler in discordance takes his prize and falls into the clutches of the nosey-parker neverland.  Messages are revealed, what madness is played out - all I know is that this is a really complete tune that really does hit the mark - this is a band with more potential than I think they realise - here is another Fungal kick up the arse - push yerselves my good peeps.

Track the Fifth 'Oh My What a Grisly Find' begins on cathedral keys with the quintessential gothic strains that make for something hauntingly hallowed.  Here we have a glimpse at where the band may end up, in to realms of great sonic wealth and extravagant shadowplay where an album of soundtrack-esque style may be attained.  I would like to see the band adopt this style, take a particular horror niche (say Frankenstein or Dracula) and release an unapologetic story that starts and ends with an orchestral snippet and in between unfolds a great passionate saga.  This is a beautiful yet unfulfilled snippet with great prowess and further potential - is the challenge proffered... accepted?

Closure comes via the copulated funfair fiend that sees a waltzer cum rollercoaster spunk splat parade itself crooked self under the tag of 'Morbid Curiosities'.  The open sonic undulations and sidewind psyche-strokings is perfection and followed by a delicious verse that hits all the noisy neurones of orgasmic delight.  Freshly baked serenading with a treacling investment of gothic suspicion and almost child-like fascination.  These are gems for the collector of such curios - I am enthralled.

Take my words as you will, they are designed to promote a darn good band and one who just need a slight kick in the cobblers to move them on to even greater zeniths.  As previously mentioned, there is massive scope here to up the ante and make a series of albums with a single theme.  Full-on theatrical escapades surely await - I am dropping hints but in the meantime shall wallow in the beauty already borne.

   

THE DIRT - AGITATOR

Who are The Dirt?  How did they fall within the realms of the shabby Fungal sphere?  Who fuckin' cares?  The fact is I don't care, I have had liaisons on-line with a player and the attitude seems spot on.  I was given a link, I decided to put a little bit back.  Here are some more spillings based on truth, passion and an idiot belief that it is better to selflessly do than do fuck all.

Track the fuckin' first - 'Reality V Normality' - a poetical cutlet of ranting and raving against the regime that drags you into line and has you... accepting.  The underlay of sound is sub-cosmic, tinged with psychedelic needs and is just waiting to overtake the verbals spillings... which it indeed eventually does.  There is a neat use of wordplay in this somewhat 'stage-setting' overspill - I take it, listen, move on and look forward to something more musical.  

'Power Junkie' picks up a thread, strolls along with it whilst spitting this way and that with a cute venom that I hope poisons those detached and dictating.  Again the verbal attack is neatly barbed and erudite with a good blend of the rhythmic and the rabid.  The current attracts and has a mesmerising quality that chips away at any resistance and gets one swimming along to the sub-trancey drift.  A good stranglehold applied, the pressure reminds us not to fall into line and to make sure those feeders on control are kept baffled.  Nice.

Third up and 'Crying Out Loud' scatter skins and crystallises before moving with a slow deliberateness that is considered and somewhat unstoppable.  The drift is highly saturated and again has many trance-like facets with the verbals shot through with acidic artistry and resisting rebellion.  A multitude of failings are contemplated and the peddler of cranial ponderings does what he does in a most disarming and effective way.  This ain't bad stuff but take it slow and steady folks - overdosing should not be an option, enjoy the trip and stay safe.

'Rant Two' is a nagging neighbour who won't give it a rest (and why should it).  A real bouncing magnet of moving sound that is indeed a rant.  The motif is repetitive with intrusive whip-cracks no doubt designed to make sure the listener pays good attention.  The moment the volume is increased is the moment when the mind is under threat of a full meltdown.  This is heavy duty stuff with the lyrical content maintaining a certain nebulous quality and, of course, sub-suggestive bombardments.  For me, these are short-dose episodes best listened too in the midst of varied vibes, that way the full extent of the quality can be digested.  

Cracking on with the cerebral shades swirling and the hands reaching out trying to grasp the full gist of the jingle-jangle jamboree.

Funky westernisation begins the next track before slow soothes caress and shapeshifting synths invade.  This is a mere poem read out with sub-sung effect atop a molten undergrowth that is forever animated.  'Outsider Insider' is a swirling adventure with many points to make, ideal music for a darkened room only illuminated by swirling lights and smoking side-lines.  One could suggest something hippy-trippy here but that would dilute matters and take away from the effort poured in.  I reckon a 30 minute set of this stuff would slot nicely in to a more obvious line-up.  Watch this space.  'Bury Believers' follows-up, comes from sabled recesses and upholds a horror-tinted stance that really changes the tack of the CD.  Perhaps we have the most academic and verbose onslaught here and, in truth, it may be a little too much for some.  I think this is a track that needs written assistance, maybe the sounds should be released with a book, a tonal treat with a tome, it will certainly give those interested a better chance to understand.  The short running time helps but this is my least favoured inclusion.

'What's The Story (Global Warming)' is a song close to my heart.  I am out there, trying to do my bit for nature whilst the majority are causing wreck and ruin and contributing to an end disaster.  Coin dictates, the experience is chased, people want, people get, people want more and then they die and leave a mess.  Some people think this global warming lark is a con, and yet they don't go forth and see the effect on nature and the general shebang.  As things stand this song is wasted breath, we have fallen over the brink, this is a mere reminder of how things are.  Fuckin' humanity hey?  A depressing piece neatly put across - if only things could be different.

'Ignorance Is Bliss' has a great beat, it ploughs in with a piercing intent and yet more space-age abuction-esque probing.  From the outsider come spillages borne from years of pain and exclusion.  A feisty dance-along arrangement for those who think too much and just want to be part of the vacuous smilers (then again).  Questions asked, statements made, all the while the fluidity of the song draws one in and has one singing along, all be it in a very sarcastic way - ignorance is piss methinks, this is a strong track and reminds me not to join the deadheads, however easy the option may be.  Lovely stuff.

'I See' is peeper wide observationism with an 80's sub-pop feel to the opening bursts that has me shrinking in withering violet horror.  Before I am banished into a never-world of rhythmic abhorrence the oral artist joins the fray and quashes any recollections of that farcical generic fiasco I was nearly stricken by.  This is another slow and sedate serenading done with emphasis placed on getting each and every worded creation across.  Each line is put before us, we are left to ponder and work out the overall ethos.  This is jigsaw experimentation that throws a curveball into the general 4-beat, 3 chord drift - it has its place and should be applauded.

2 left, 'Voting Booth' has a formidable opening sequence that oozes a sanguine authority and a knowledgeable musicianship.  The textures unfold, the warnings come, we are mere pawns and the candy stealers will win through because our cerebral idleness dictates.  This is a long affair that showcases the loquacity of the lip-wobbler who has much to say and fuckin' well says it.  Again, I am thinking this is ideal noise to slip in between the covers of the more cacophonic bedsheets - a place where one can wank off to the vibes and procrastinate or use ones todge of ill temper as a motivation to get up and fuck the hell out of the shitshow of a system.  Get off yer arse folks, to not let the end squelch get ya.

The closure is the title-piece. 'Agitator' sums up what has been and what will be.  A creeping horror pervades, the tendrils of tonality reach out, taste the current status quo and seemingly retract in abhorrence.  Time is needed to fully digest the tumble of textual twists and turns, this is not one play and piss off pop wank, one needs to get in a mood, spin and consider and then spin some more.  Again, the main gist I am getting is to get up and do and avoid the mass dilution that has killed so many.  A thought-provoking piece - alas will it be wasted on the ones who can't be arsed to think - ooh heck.

So in the ongoing deluge of discordant delights I am thrown another angle on which to dwell.  My final thoughts are appreciative towards an artist who is producing something with cerebral activity, intent and away from the suffocating norm. This will not be everyday playing material as, it is intense stuff and shouldn't be taken lightly but, we need these creations, it is ideal for keeping the mind piqued and the carcass moving and, as a dip in and dip out offering it does what it does mighty well.  Good thought and time as gone in here, it would be so easy to tick the gaping boxes and win easy praise - here the praise is well earned.  For the next release though I would like shorter tracks with some real pace injected - tis' always good to ask for more tha' knows.

   

LEGLESS CRABS - FULL LIFE

I am still caught within the pincers of these prolific crustaceans that reside on sonic seashores untrodden by those afraid to venture further out or indeed of slipping up on the barnacles of discomfort.  Fuck em' - I like to dip my snout (and other parts) in varied rhythmic rockpools and although I may get a few shocks, scrapes and niggling scathings, it is the only way to operate.  Just two tracks here - a double ended nip on the nadgers I suspect - well, I have no-one else to blame I suppose.

Strong and austere tympanic regimentation and emboldened words against the shitflow that is the current so-called happy society.  'Full Life' walks with deliberate strides, seems to be laden with an all-consuming loathing whilst the tension rises and things get slightly heated.  A certain suggestion of a pending frenzy is never far away whilst all the while verbals spill that are both observant and at times, ambiguous.  A misfiring bee bumbles beneath the main blow-out, the end comes and we are left pondering, slightly piqued, gently pleased.

'Killin Myself 2Nite' is a self-absorbed sludge suicide that will not be denied. A real apocalyptic advancement comes with the opening throes blatantly showing that all is beyond.  Nihilism, depression, a total abandonment of hope before a quick gallop to reiterate the point, a final pulsation and then the end silence.  As we listen we contemplate a mental state in peril, we become agitated, appalled perhaps and of course, concerned.  These constructors of pseudo-chaos and of moments on the cusp walk a fine line between the decent and the decadent - there is a certain charm and a distinct repulsion - it is a toxic combo.

I have once more dipped my dick in the liquid oasis where these nibblers wriggle and disturb the settled oasis - I am still in one piece and am all the better for being a nosey noise lover.  The crack is understood, the angles appreciated and the fact that many will be negated is greatly applauded - you gotta do what ya do and here is a sheer example of that ethos.

   

ZOO PARTY - NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY

Zoo Party are a darn good unit, they play songs with a good bounce and zest and having reviewed all of their releases to date I am very much a fan.  I have seen them strut their stuff in the 'live' arena, the songs carry the same snag factor and I came away smiling and pleased with the viewing.  If the album that is about to be assessed is more of the same, I would have no room to gripe, it would be nice to get a few surprises and get a few classics hitting the lug holes - here are my feelings on another fair effort.

'Fall Down' breezes along with great impetus and those joyous tonal traits that make me a fan.  Bouncing, honest and with a fresh and aerated feel that really embraces many pop punk elements and things slightly retrofied.  Do not misread these musings though - this is good modern day music with a sound skip in the sonic step and a relish that is there for all to be smitten by.  In many ways it is a simplistic formula but it is done with such precision and gusto one can't help but be taken.  'Sick Of It All' has a deeper groove, a meaner edge and a more focused drive whilst still retaining that snagging edge, upbeat tonality and rush-gush magnetism that gives Zoo Party that extra 'X-Factor'.  The adept delivery, sweet accoutrements that avoid self-indulgence and the spot on production mix all make for a second track that neatly upturns the tempo and quality.  I reach for the replay button and make sure I get a good dose of these opening efforts - I have no complaints with the second number tagged as the early leader.

The next brace comes with 'No Matter What You Say' leading the way.  The skin skip dictates that we stay on an ascended level and rise above the nigglers, doubters and general bad-mouthers.  Inserts of glasslight wire wankings, harmonising 'whoa hoas', crisp and embracing strums, well-enunciated vocals and a holistic feel-good positivity insists I spill words of praise and keep this review on the side of utter positivity - what a grand do so far.  The follow-up track  is the somewhat uncomplicated 'Oh Yeah' - an offering that kind of sums up the ZP zest and general approach.  Take a simplistic option, add the usual rock and roll joy, avoid the typical 'fuck this' and 'fuck that' punk route, make sure all areas are blown through with a belief and a sunshine smile inducing positivity.  From the opening cymbal kisses, through the joyous 'yeah, yeah' to the ongoing serenade, this is a real ear worm liable to cause a few pleasant blisterings - oh I am a happy victim to the acoustic annelid that is for sure.

'Timeless Overdrive' is a fuckin' pogo-tastic peach that stretches the acoustic elastic and lets it go twang in glorious style.  The two-stroke pronouncement, the four-stroke grip, the easily joined in with verbals and the ongoing barbs that will not let the listener go, are all superb elements on which to get high and fuckin' bounce.  The thermal content of the emitted noise grows by the second and as we warm to the beat we get challenged and duly rise. 'How much more can we take' - the answer is yours to make. I am loving this, it is a pinnacle, and the lads have kindly allowed me to promote it on my Bandcamp page - DIY all the way.

A clutch of 3 - 'Northern Vomit' is a fine title, and as explained by band member Erik Petterson 'The title is from the Facebook-page 'Gonna Hit You Like A Comet On A Wave Of Northern Vomit' with permission from Stephen Straughan who runs it. It is a song about mental issues, having problems getting things done and being too scared to seek help for it. It has a very free-flowing and somewhat casual and soothing cadence.  From the previous meat-laden bone we have a skinner affair that still is laden with noisy nutrients, albeit in a more subtle manner.  A lightweight song but one that is easily enjoyed and floated along with.  It is a gentle switch without compilation and one I very much enjoy although if there was an album all of this manner, I would up the critical ante.  'Elephants' is really typical Zoo Party produce and reminds me in many ways why I like this band.  The smooth flow, the everyday social situation that sees certain relationship elements examined and used to create a song that is a real grower.  From moments relaxed to sub-sections with controlled tension we have a snippet here that thrives on being inoffensive, melodic and an example of a crew who know their acoustic needs.  The opening pulses are soon overgrown with rhythmic verdancy and I am happy to be lost in the thriving foliage.  The third track in the latest three-way snatch is 'Boxing Day (In A True Sense)' - an encouraging skin skip, a feisty opening verse, and of course, a great overspill of joy de vivre and wise wordage to keep the soul determined and defiant.  The segue into the chorus is butter-smooth, the incessant hammering of all units is unified, complimentary and laden with an unquenchable desire to deliver good vibrations and unobtrusive tones.  A short snippet that travels with focus and waterproof intent that refuses to give this Fungalised bugger any room for critique.  For me this is splendid sonica to play when the sun shines or when the rain falls - either way, the spirits will be raised.

4 left and we are led by 'Monsters' down the final track.  This one deals with the self-created demons we are forever tormented by and the tune is played out in a sobered mid-paced way with the chorus just the winning factor that helps give the construct true life.  Perhaps the hardest song to quickly jump in line with but as time progresses we slowly adapt.  The problem is this one is surrounded by upbeat gems that win initial favour and maybe take all the plaudits - hang in there folks.

'Stand' is a sweet gem that sparkles brightly and brings with it a strong slab of positive defiance.  The opening swings have sanguinity, a fresh and honest-to-goodness feeling whilst packing a fairly sizeable wallop.  The verse is sound, the chorus a flourishing thriver with all harmonised areas ascending to levels both glorious and pleasing.  Again we have a typical example of Zoo Party produce and a showcase that proves to me at least, that the crew are always worthy of one's time.  'Stupid' is a cheeky imp that rises in stature as the song develops.  A gratifying grabber that gets better with each and every play.  The verse is terse, the chorus of equal length - both areas compliment and run into one another like the richest paints left to run across a considered canvas of creation.  The basic formula is plain to see, the success comes in the way the band apply the tonality and somewhat friendly acoustica.  A mid-break snippet of rock and roll flamboyance shows the band are enjoying what they do, and as a result, I am happy to join in the frolic-fest.

We finish the whole shebang with 'The Reverends' - a fine preaching piece with some sharp  alertness and a somewhat underscore of sobriety.  The tones are slightly controlled here, a subtle affirmation of the bands ethos is suggested and again we are taken on a sanguine soaked peregrination through the pleasure realms of Zoo Party Utopia.  It ain't no bad place to wander, I think this one is a gentle yet absorbing closure to another cracking CD - what a joy.

So Zoo Party have done it and kept me enthralled and upbeat.  The songs have a great lust for life and a certain talent for the relaxed, whilst all the while points are made without any 'crash, bang, wallop, a kick in the bollocks' aggression.  I like the approach, the end mix and the whole collection of inoffensive tunery - I am already wondering what they will come up with next - ah the wonder of being a DIY music fan.

   

URAGANO - LP1

5 Feet Under Records have their modus operandi and style of sonic spillage and I am always happy to dip in on randomised occasions and dabble with the odd release or two.  This latest offering by an Italian band who claim to be making 'Weird Lo-Fi Screamo since 2013' is an interesting dabble of many discordant angles.  It isn’t the easiest music to digest and has me on the back foot – I am not complaining though, reviewing should never be just about taking the easy route.

The first of the 9 capricious cacophonies to piss on my decencies comes under the slag-slap of 'Intro Emo' - I suspect there is a clue in the title here (snigger, snigger). Gentle caresses of the wires and highly scorched vocals please with their sub-texture of emotive content - a scene-setting snippet leading us into the more authoritative 'Capo Danno'.  Tumbles and tantrums, spasms and spittings and a vicious acoustic attack. We have a combined snarl and scatter-splatter spray gun outburst with interspersions of off-the cuff angularity.  Technically sound, acoustically intense and with a running time staying within the 2 minute boundaries, this one works well due to this trio of factors.  A tumultuous affair with great energy used, the weapons of war abused and the general mix complimentary to all players.

'Pinguino' comes next, is an unpredictable beast that takes numerous listens to fully grasp. The explosive content is impressive, the more controlled and commentary-like moments accentuating all but just hindering the end impact.  We have a copulation of several emotions with a certain confusion had, I find this one a really slippy and ambiguous eel of noise and am struggling to assess the full impression made.  An oddball is my verdict, one I can appreciate but not one I find myself in synch with.

'Indonesia' is too long for its own good and the opening throes are sluggish and testing and do little to prepare one for the ensuing extended indulgence.  Times contemplating, resting on laurels and making very little in the way of animated progress has me floundering and as I await something special to invade the aural cavities I find my patience wearing thin.  This is a song that is for those who are absorbed in the niche, the ones who are true connoisseurs of this kind of spillage.  When the activity levels rise I find myself magnetised but I do prefer this shizzle dealt forth in shorter more teasing tirades. 

I progress hoping the band keep their foot on the gas and get things nailed in double-quick time.

The next two are scrawled down as 'Djent' and 'Djent2' - we open the double-header with careful tappings on our cranial door before an invasive advance is taken.  The overspill of noise is reactive, malevolent, incoherent and raw-boned.  The passion is obvious, the ambiguity niggling, the all-consuming radioactive thermality searing. Too many switches in the overall flow are taken and so hinder the overall. The second segment comes with similar traits, successes and flaws.  There is too much time spent where the vocals are almost working against the sonic structures and so our attention span wanes and full appreciation of what is transpiring is lost.  There are some moments that concuss with their heavyweight intentions, these though are lightened by the aforementioned gripes.  We have in these two songs the good, the bad and the ugly - this could be a winning recipe but I am unconvinced.

'No Hype' spasm shits, explodes and then occasionally settles down.  A blazing lunatic attack, something almost orthodox and then we eventually hit a rhythmic respite that is both tepid and tranquil and shows the full capacity of the bands potential.  This is a real hint-dropper proving that provided the band parcel and package their multifarious themes into sectioned areas they could produce some real stunners.  This ain't bad though, with the latter acoustic emotions outweighing the furious eruptions.

The penultimate track is a good fireball and one that has a scorching opening approach only to be cooled by twitches, twangs and contemplations.  I would have liked to see 'Encore' manifest itself as a short 1 minute burst of full-on power violence without any added sequences or sonic trimmings - the opening promise was massive, when we hit areas sludged and sonically restrained I am left with several doubts.  As per, some will not be in accordance with my thoughts, all I can do is reel what I feel with the best of intent.

The final expression comes, it is known as, appropriately enough 'Finale'. This may be the best song of the lot, it is a paradoxical white-heat snow storm of punishing intention with the only flaw being the lengthy running time.  This extension of play room though may contribute to creating something of a cult classic with those much more at home in the hardcore groove able to shed further light on matters.  One thing is assured, the band apply themselves with great passion and adeptness and pull off a lengthy treat that has many fecund facets and applaudable nuances that all fall into one complimentary mush.  In all honesty this isn't my type of tonality but it is quite easy to recognise the inherent qualities that make for a real emboldened piece of work.

Uragano have their designs and ideas about how they want to deliver the dinnage and do so with great command.  I am not a convert but I hope I have made a decent review here and got a few folk intrigued.  The unit certainly know what they are doing and doing it mighty well.

   

PROUD CITY FATHERS - HUMAN ZOO

A very competent and outspoken band here whom have graced a couple of Fungalised stages and always done their bit.  They remain outside of the circus and the loop where many lesser bands get gigs aplenty just by knowing the right faces.  You know the score, of backslappers, players and 'yes' men only the shallow shall survive.  Anyway, I am a fan of this lot and appreciate the anger and the application.  This is a long awaited offering, I go in expecting and with balls braced and ready to be roused.

'Fake Toy Town' begins with sobered tones that have an underlying threat.  We expect this and after a brief verbal warning things unwind like a cacophonic cobra laden with disgust.  Venom is persistently spat with vicious fury with the verses ranted and raved, the choruses nailed to the door of your attention with sharpened nails of nasty intent.  Swift, aroused, passionate and with a raw edge - this one sets the scene.  The follow-up is a fine pulsating piece of irritation with great heave-ho and articulate kick-back.  'Human Zoo' is strong shit defecated from an active arsehole of hate.  The musicianship is taut, fidgety and far from the strum and slap orthodox route so many take - the gob work is, as per, delivered from a throat pushed to the max and torn asunder as a result.  The key here is the space given to each component so that the listener can take heed, dissect and then bring back together to appreciate - nice.

Onto the third track we go, a quick stutter and start, a vocal attack atop pulsing tensions before the message is battered home.  'Inadequate' is the universal message that is creating so much unhappiness, stress and ultimately… hate and division.  The message here is obvious, this fine track must be used as fuel to kick back against the bastards contributing to the whole damn piss-propaganda that is sending a populace to utter wretched Hell.  The guilty are found at the top, at the bottom and in-between as everyone plugs in, plays a game and gives an illusion of harmony - it is all a question of living in a falsehood and doing it so often as to actually believe the sham.  The band nail this one and do it with a commanding authority - I fuckin' love it.  

'Brands' wastes no time in getting on with matters and hammering home its point.  We live in a mush of labels and cons, here the band spit back with an orthodox tune that explores a few sonic side-streets and mental thoroughfares.  There is a good complete feel to the song with bass and guitar working in great harmony and the sticks pounding away and adding a very secure backbone.  The vocal style has a less gravelly feel but still exposes some solid anger - it is another concrete inclusion.  'Dancing On The Grave' is a blend of the explosive, the unshackled and the imbalanced madness in the world.  The believers, the unbelievers, those who obey one law, those who obey another - all celebrate idiot victories as everything turns to shit.  I love the passion here, the untrustworthy mix of mayhem and musical feistiness and of course, the fact the band are not cobbling together empty tunes and ticking boxes.  So far I am intrigued, PCF are a strong band and not to be taken lightly.

'Subliminal' is a no-nonsense bollock bruiser that clobbers away like Ben Grimm on a mission of defiant destruction.  The Thing smashes and saves, the song here does the same - smash your straight-line thinking and save your fuckin' ethics baby.  The execution of matters has Killing tones of yesterday from a band that were far from being a Joke - I hope you get my complimentary drift. The machine-like industrial essences and the open-wound sensations make this a sure-fire winner.  The follow-up to this fine moment is the quick sprint of 'Fighting A War' - a very toxic piece of alertness that recognises the on-going conflicts we are all involved in.  The opening display, the hammering approach and the blend of all components works mighty well and gets many DIY needs met - especially for a feisty fucker like me.

Sobered tones from a battlefield of discontent come next under the banner of 'Honour'.  A slow rise, a tumultuous attack, a case of contrasting approaches are used to accentuate all areas and make the impact more impressive.  The opening tempo prepares in a grand manner, the scatter-splatter savagery of the verse and chorus combination is a treat, the double-headed danger laden dinnage is nothing new but still arouses my passionate sensors.

One of the greatest assets to the masses that is lacking in these torrid times is 'Education'.  The blinkered are tied down at an early age, the cerebral potential is kept under lock and key as the everyday dictates damage all character and make sure another nodding dog is produced.  Here a famed quote is repeated, the child will only becoming an understanding man if the shackles are broken, it is a shame so many are too uncaring and too self-absorbed to help others.  This is another to-the-point episode that works well and does what it needs to do.  There may be too many in-scene folk who don't want to think anymore - this may be a trifle too much for them - bastards.

'Rebellious Youth' is a simple cry, a rally call, and, in many ways, a waste of good breath.  The old rebels never did anything and are too interested in nostalgia and beer, the younger masses are divided to utter fuckery and laden with too many wannabe gangsters, hardmen and sub-celebrity jerks.  I may be pessimistic but it is what I see and although this simple holler out has good intent I know of many similar songs and no difference is made.  Keeping quiet though should never be an option - please listen, go throw a fuckin' brick.

2 left, 'Enemy' is a cluster-clutter of rising ill-temper with the pounding given both unremitting, accurate and feisty.  You must know your enemy, it is an age old anarchist ethos - here we have reinforcements via the musical realm and the message is over and done with in less than 90 seconds which, is never a bad thing in this day and age of limited attention spans.  An obvious song that keeps matters rolling and into the finale we are sent tumbling.  The last song is slapped down as 'Social Engineering' - another observational piece that takes into consideration the psychological manipulation of the masses that sees them herded together, kept under control and performing actions they really shouldn't be even considering.  In a land of puppets claiming to be free this is a timely reminder to stay on your toes.  Pounding, saw-boning and carving into your eavesdropping flesh with a bewildered holler-out summing up the confusion out there. This encapsulates many good elements that the band always bring to the table and the irritation that they so wonderfully radiate.  The full-stopping tirade finishes off a CD on the same footing as it started - completion indeed.

PCF are what they are, a heavy-duty thinking machine not diluting matters to gain a 'like' or a fraudulent pat on the back from a deadhead onlooker.  We have seen massive dilution take place over many years and on it goes. What was viable is now a vulgar commodity, the threats have been snuffed out, the uprising few quelled and the wannabe rebels given many easy options to keep them quiet.  I like to hear bands who are sneering and seething, here is such a unit, I am taken as per, keep raging please!

   

THE SEE NO EVILS - SPRING TIME

I don't normally review 1 track releases but The See No Evils are a class band and offer up wonderful music that I for one utterly love.  It is 1960's influenced sub hippy/sub-pop daydream drifting that certainly has its place within my tonal collection.  Here the band play it cool and go at matters in a mid-paced way - here is my not so 'mid-paced' assessment.

The opening tickles are perfect, they sport a beautiful insouciance that is combined with a delightful observation of a time when new horizons beckon, life abounds and the opportunity to start afresh is upon us.  The players embrace all the sweet and innocent elements of this special season and with the sunshine strings, the swaying flowers of tonality and the overall aromatic charm that pervades all areas of the song, what we have here is a song filled with uplifting resonances, sound articulation and a youthful and unmolested honesty borne from times when things were simpler, less hurried and with a greater degree of naiveté.  That 60's lilt is superbly ensnared by a gently swung net that sees all players take aim, join hands and contribute to the final 'swoosh' - as you may have guessed, I am enchanted.

As an outdoors doofer and a man of the natural world this is a perfect soundtrack to start a day of natural contemplation.  All the seasonal elements are there, and I find that the band are still high up on my list of all-time faves.  I like many flavours, the 60’s had some good vibes, it is so satisfying that bands like this keep those tonal treats alive.  Let me tell ya, if The See No Evils were around back in the day, they would have been massive.

   

JEAN MIGNON - DIRTY, MEAN, FAST

Having reviewed many offerings from Metal Postcards Records and one previous delivery from Jean Mignon I was looking forward to this 7 track slam-dunk from a player who left me previously enthused.  I jump headlong into the 'fuck free flow' and make sure I get fully immersed in the rock and rough up vibes.  The initial speed freak fuckery is a joy - here are my thoughts on all matters.

'Cause I'm Scared' offers up a 'No Thanks' before belting along with a fuckin' dynamite dirt-fest that pounds, punishes and ultimately pleases.  The heavy beat and thumping accents all whizz  along whilst the muffled mouthwork adds the finishing touch to a beautifully bubble-bursting explosion of alive and kicking acoustica laden with a thirst to get the groove happening and pulsing through your veins - dirty man, dirty.

'Me No Happy' pounds, grunts, thumbscrews with ardent relish.  A lick, a super-sizzle focus and a great guitar break prior to the first gobbings is a real treat and the follow-on speed-rush of mania is the kind of shit that shoots me up and gets me fuzzing and buzzing.  The recklessness combined with the quick gear shifts and incessant turmoil all make for a car crash waiting to happen.  Thankfully the player at the wheel is in-tune and knows his own rhythmic roads - splendid' 'You Right Da Whole time Actually' is a supersonic head-melt of feisty fuckery with the pace set passionate and epileptic whilst any essence of sanity is lost in a gale-whipping maelstrom of cruel confusion.  This is the trickiest tune to stay with thus far but the life, the action and the spit-spray are worth the draining effort.

'Well Fed Hog (Me)' is a mush of self-pleasure that fun-fucks with a porno vulgarity not to be shied away from. The acoustic hips grind out a strong reactive pleasure trip whilst the inner organs of sound are screwed and vibrated with hard-on efficiency.  The song has a deep rhythm, the erogenous zones are slowly bruised, used and abused and all we can do is keep coming back for more.  The end result is a hurtful eruption.

'Unsending An Apology' is my favourite blister creator with its wild and unleashed properties wonderfully combined with an adherence to a mentalised methodology that just works a treat. Snotty and sub-arrogant mouth work salts matters up whilst the pepper is added via a spazz-jazz spray of unpredictable fortune.  To play this loud, to lose the mind and to end up in a raped and ravaged heap is a fuckin' pleasure - have it up yer arse fuckers.

The final two with 'Sweet Burning Hog' the most psychotically stable and almost resembling something almost acceptable.  This doesn't take away anything from the end result with the pseudo country-fied mock, and well wanked cacophonic cock, all adding elements to ponder further.  The condensed noise, the overall weight and the trimmings that offer further options all bring a certain change in tack although the glammy slag rock hints make sure we know who we are dealing with.  'Fat Kid Rope Swing' comes with a ruddy hot-assed groove without following its predecessors and going at matters in a suicidal style.  Bouts of composure are interspersed with temptations to veer off track and smash headlong into a sonic bollard just for the hell of it.  The song juices up, the accelerator is only lightly touched and we continue in an almost orthodox manner before a grunt, a strum and an abrupt skid into silence.

Having dealt with a previous EP by this dude I can honestly say that I reckon the formula used here is bang on and the general spirit and spunk exposed is all fine sonic fodder to chomp on over and over again.  The life imbuing properties, the ravaging scatter-clatter and the vigorous injections of pace all have me applauding a fine 7 track treat - tis unwashed, unprocessed and unapologetic.

   

PUNK 4 THE HOMELESS COMPILATION - VOLUME 7

Well, seeing I had reviewed the first 6 of these fine releases I thought that I may as well assess this latest offering from the DIY stalwarts at Punk 4th Homeless.  They do what they do, make great progress, mix and match and change a few lives – this is all good stuff.  What is a label without an ethos, what is an ethos without action, and what is the point of a label anyway? Crack on folks.

We open with the billowing abrasion that is 'Step Back' by the wound unit known as Shreds.  The clanky raw guitars, the machine rattle of the tympanics and the head down charge of the first verse welcome us to this latest collection of songs with an appreciable amount of wallop.  This opening gift has good fire in its belly, hollers with earnestness and has touches of something hardcore whilst holding on to the more orthodox aspects of the punky realm - tis a decent do man.  The quick follow-up is beautifully furious and is a fine kick back against much filth and disgruntling disaster.  Kick The Clown move with a dirty and unaffected prowess whilst delivering their upheaval known as 'Redacted'.  The inner switch down that exposes deep pain could be accused of hindering matters but it does indeed add to the overall emotive torture - the final primeval scream only accentuates these thoughts.

Thrash and smash mania comes next via Knife Crime who blaze a mean trail via their brutal assault known  as 'Beat Them'.  This is real sub-scene H/C hammering that certainly has its place and is always a choice addition to any CD.  This kind of music needs to be played well and nailed with passion to be of any value, here the band own the rights to their own victory with a concrete clout donated from bastards with a fine problem.

The Hate are a fuckin' good band, are effective on CD and in the 'live' pit and are decent fuckin' folk too.  A relatively new unit but one I am always happy to support.  Here they knock out their typical brand of tonal toxicity via ‘Tek Em To School’ with great forthright authority and a whipping zest to be caught up by.  Tis' rough and ready spiked noise that some will say offers nothing new, I on the other hand claim it to be fine bread and butter battering that I am always ready to chomp on.

'See You When I See You' contrasts with the previous song as it comes from the more melodic and new school side of things.  Hummer are of this ilk, it is an area I am happy to dip in now and again but not somewhere I would permanently rest my ass and wallow.  The trimmings here are reminiscent of the sub-genre and many similar offerings have crossed my lugholes over many years.  Hummer have great articulation, a smooth flow going on here and will meet the needs of many new-skool (old hat now I know) listeners.  Army Of Skanks pop up next with a well-crafted tonal titbit that begins with a sinister utterance, a solid drum beat and some quirky vocals that have me thinking of something highly Benthamised.  A very sanguine and bouncy track this with a deeper under-grumble to add to the overall depth.  The political intrigue of 'Mind Control' is as it suggests and the brief but aerated chorus adds a sweet contrast to matters but doesn't let us forget the head is the target zone for the bastards in power.

The remarkable Rites of Hadda swing into the fray next with the quite delicious '9 Of Swords' – a sensual blend of acidic music, sinuous sonica and something that has that elusive 'X' factor that makes this a force to be reckoned with.  The dark side is trespassed, the suggestion of things other worldly and the cohesive musicianship all make for a choice moment from a band who never fail to delight - a real pinnacle. Fyzz Wallace Band have the awkward position of following such an accomplished moment and do so with their offering known as 'The Week After I Bleed'.  This is a recognisable girly pop punk piece with some textures obvious, emotions well-posted and the general drift honest and open.  There is a great freshness here and a certain strength that pisses on the aforementioned 'girly' tag.  I hate the term, but the use I hope (and the following golden shower) all helps to accentuate what is going on here. A real good exposure of the trouble of being a victim to the 'cycle'.  Poorly Trained Radicals contribute a neat little snippet next with the trancey and testing 'Truth Decay'  This is a fine patchwork of sounds that seems to go with its own flow and react when and where necessary.  Some good 'off the cuff' thinking seems to be the outcome here with a whole heap of creative and unrestrictive goodness flowing through every vein of the vibrating beast - a real surprising winner.  The skanky essences are spot on too.

'The Dirt' by The Missing Persons List is a fuckin' first class episode of DIY noise that is raw, unwashed and fuckin' proud to be the grubby element in your oh so hygienic, processed and quite unnatural situation.  This is a celebration for all the outsiders, one's who don't want to play games, dress up and fall into each acceptable line of every niche - a smashing inclusion.  Bat Flattery come with something utterly honest and yet well disguised under a cloak of 'outside the circle' acoustica that does take a little adjusting too.  There is good value during 'Clap City' though and the effort to get into the drift is worth it - I like these growers and I like bands that don't opt for the routine rhythms that really are flogged to buggery - good work indeed methinks, the blend between the new, the old, the gentle and the more forceful, is effective.

A 'live' offering next via A Kick In The Bits (featuring The Waltham Forest Brass Band).  'Tory' is what it is, has a subtle anarcho suggestion and something more street-based with its politico kick back against the blue-clad thieves who have taken the piss for far too long. There is a certain cacophony here that gives a feeling of two clashing counterpunches coming together and making for something of a joyous fracas.  It is wholesome DIY spitting done in a primitive but cute way - and the message is quite clear - bastards hey!  Gestalt blow out some different valves via their persuasive sub-ambient/sub trancey mix of liquid cum space-age noise that deals with 'Another Love Song'. There is a self-assured manner with all areas well-throbbed and in cahoots.  The end result is an 'E' up mix with a potency not to be underestimated.  It may not be my everyday choice of tonal cha' but I am more than happy to take a sip here and there.

Steam Kittens take us into the final few flings with the highly saturated soundscape of 'Save The World'.  The underscore of noise gallops along, the verbal deliverer keeps pace, the zest is enhanced by some harmonica hard-ticklings and just a tympanic incessancy that refuses to let the flow meet any impediment.  A rousing piece to play when getting out of bed just to get one in the perfect frame of mind.  A real arse blower this and moving us into the more simplistic tune of 'Free Palestine (Occupation No More)' by the evergreen Rabies Babies.  This is perhaps the most basic tune of the lot but stamps its authority with a strong 'flag nailing' message that many will be in line with.  There are no rich textures here, no intricate qualities or subliminal extrovert touches - it is DIY music with a point to make and has some real reminiscences of old-school vibes that I pick out of my collection now and again and ruddy well enjoy.  The pompous may find areas to critique - they overlook that it is about people having a go and saying what they feel.

One of the best tracks on show here is the poetically articulate gem that is given a neat twist via the skilful creators known as The Star Botherers.  This tuneful folky bitter-kick against the parliamentary halfwits who cruelly piss on the plight of the many is a real loquacious lilt with great emotive control and wonderous word-smithery.  It covers the whole gamut of corruption that we have all witnessed over many years - how long this can go on is anyone's guess, I suspect no matter which fucker is in power it would be the same, but these Conservative fuckers need outing - listen, take heed, get on it.  We close with the mindless demon-kicking hell-shower known as 'Fayan (1000 Cigs)' by the mentally crippled Fetus Destruction.  This is a harsh acid-storm borne from a bunch of Birmingham-Based brutalists who have no reason to know any better. A complete saturation shut-down done with a keen razor eye and ear for such worthy discordance.  It signs off the CD in an unexpected, unorthodox and unapologetic way - what a way to go.

Volume 7 done, verbally vandalised by this honest bastard and I hope duly appreciated for what it is.  This is another example of how we are overrun with quality and beauty in the DIY scene and how, too many are side-tracked into matters more polished, more affected and more deliberately processed.  We need to keep these folks encouraged, doing and creating - I do my small humble bit, the question I leave you with is 'do you do yours'?

   

OCCULT CHARACTER - PROPAGANDA

More weird and warped angularity from the lo-fi electric folk forayer who isn't afraid to wander into territory forbidden.  We have 3 tickles here, once again on the Metal Postcard Records label, a label that likes to give people a journey into the unknown and hopefully stretch their sonic imaginations beyond the norm.  

'Propaganda' has a soft and tender dreamy soundscape whilst the sub-spoken/sub-sung verbals come, flow with Iggy-esque lilts and an ambiguous poetical drift I have yet to fully grasp.  Again, the OC creator does what is needed in a quite non-conformist and dis-musical way that has the ability to create a certain fascination.  We have a brief glimpse of a productive force that needs to declutter the cranium, banish a few niggling needs and just do - it is all very odd and disarming, it is for the awkward sod who likes things befuddling and charming.

50 seconds of decadence next with a sweet tune overlain with musings from a man with a beer, a seeming wannabe hard-on and a pressing need to expose one's inner passions.  Quick, off-the point, laden with with a deep-rooted frustration methinks and not the finished article.  Akin to half a wank, we want more, we want a final buzz, we get a tease that is a tickling torture.

'Health Risk' perhaps continues the theme set, it is a culmination of a triptych of angular artistry that may be best left unfolded.  Of course there are perverts who feel the need to examine and read into matters things that are just not there.  I listen several times over, I am only getting the usual sensations, there is talent, it is left untapped, is this a deliberate ploy? I am frazzled.

I may not be taken here, not fully swung over to the experimental, demon-banishing meddlings but I am in no way against this kind of shizzle.  We must have things outside the norm, on the cusp and leaving one think 'what the absolute fuck' - I am now wandering into opposing realms.

   
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