FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

SALEM TRIALS - HERE'S YOUR NOISE

More Metal Postcard magic to melt the routine, warp the expectations and shove a finger up the jacksie of the orthodox.  Salem Trials have been under the Fungalised spotlight before, this is my latest take, 'Here's Your Noise' ya fuckers.

'Data Leak' is industrial corruption splatted forth from the groins of invested automatons with no hope of salvation.  The machinations of Metropolis mayhem have borne fruit, the fruit is natural but maggot-molested, here is such an example of things that are left to rot and the sonic bacterial growth duly appreciated.  This is a right groovy grovel dog with a weighted rhythm that takes one along the crest of a sewage based wave.  Ride the shit or sink deep within the effluence  - your call, I like this one. 'Alternative VU' deals with a unenviable situation that  an almost forgotten musician found himself in and how he became the brunt of jibes by know-it-all precious fans and ego-screwed pluckers and fuckers who really did need a reality check.  This is a mid-paced look at what was a sour state of play and one laden with selfish shittery.  The band here take the subject matter, knock out their own style of 'against the grain' music and make for a rather intriguing hypno-crawl.  The overall ambience is of a saturated soundscape with all contributors absorbed and eternally caught up in the considered flow - of course this isn’t for everyone - and by heck, so it shouldn't be.

'Nineteen 93' has two opposing textures - one that is slightly encrusted and scurfy, the other that is smooth and embracing.  There is a warmth generated from the gentle clash of the styles, a thermal radiation that I find more than a little gratifying.  There are many elements of underground scenes and may I add, 60's experimentation with garaged overtones.  The blend should struggle to win any true appreciation from your everyday musos and assessors, I am happy to be outside those circles and give a thumbs up here.  The deep-rooted sadness and open-hearted confessional has strong emotive value and a solid, unwrapped rhythm - it is a pleasurable pain.

The closing tri-fuck of sound begins with 'House Of God (Part 3)' - a peephole perversion that many may deem bordering on the blasphemous with considerations had, questions proffered and no answers the outcome.  This is the most jazz-fucked piece with the ghostly verbals detached from reality and the general drift it seems. The general ballyhoo is a rather uncivilised assault of dis-arrangement to test the mettle of the most ardent, angle-laden music lover - there is something horrid happening here - the acoustically unstable may be intrigued.

'Another Lonely Night In Colne' is the outcome of an ennui attack in a Northern grey grind where grim sensations copulate with sobering mental mis-fires and all manner of thoughts arise.  Of course, when the thumbs are twiddled and time is there to assassinate it goes without say thing that considerations towards streaking arise.  And why not?  This is a moment in time that does not apologise for being a miserable and dour bastard that will not skip around for the sake of appearance.  A very fucked off sounding piece that I am not taken with when on a bit of a downer myself.  When chipper though I can applaud the creative process and the need to banish the demons of the drag.

The closure - 'No Job For A Man' - a rebellious little whinging wanker of noise that slops down its gripes in a low-slung, slaggy manner that has me pondering times of yore and sounds emanated from NY backstreets and other such wallow-holes.  This one threatens to fall-inwards into its own destructive designs but somehow manages to crawl onwards with a sub-tune forever nipping at the eavesdroppers heels.  The arrangement is, as per, awkward, unorthodox and toxic - just take your medication before pondering too deeply.

A mush of mishaps and mayhem that still has me wondering and still has me willing to dabble further with the ST overspill.  Here I am still split down the middle - sometimes I join in with the jangle, at others I am jarred and duly run in the opposite direction.  Is it perverse of me to say that it is better to operate this way rather than just tick all the boxes of expectation and then fall into the almanacs of 'average' - ooh heck, what am I saying?

   

THE SYSTEM/VIRUS/BUG CENTRAL - SPLIT EP

Take 3 reliable bands from a defiant sub-scene with always a message to be delivered, give them space enough for one track each and throw the release out there with DIY hopes.  For me, split singles are always the way to operate, it builds unity, gets bands working together and spreads the vibrating word farther and wider.  I was intrigued by this 3 tracker when it came through vie with wanky web waves. Here is my take on matters, all done in the usual Fungalised way with honesty at the fore, kiss arsing not an option and appreciation of folks having a go always prevalent. Oh, the bands are well versed in what they do so Fungal expects - pressure on.

The System I first saw back in 1981, nowadays they have a different line-up but after playing a Fungalised gig I was very much delighted with what I got.  Here the song is well produced, has a solid flow and a certain grim and grimy edge that counterbalances the general fluidity.  In fact this is a fuckin' good piece of forthright music with a authoritative kickback against the over-indulgent shitfest that keeps the masses distracted whilst the power mongers rake it in.  The cover of the EP reflects the point made here, it ain't controversial, it ain't shocking, it is stating the obvious - it is a shame so many are sucked in to a systematic draining that ultimately leads to unhappiness and suffering.  There song has a basic construct but carries great weight, some tight musicianship and some acoustic horror accoutrements that add to the noisy nightmare - it is a solid track for sure.

Virus follow up this hefty opener with some forceful turnery that is enhanced with brass attacks and space-age surges as well as a great incessancy that magnetises the punky instincts and makes sure they get ensnared.  Again the blend of all components is spot on, the extra switches in tack and trinkets of tonality work a treat and the general drift of the discordance is highly attractive.  The opening throbs grab the attention, the first verse has great urgency whilst the general hunger to deliver the message is done with undying gusto.  We are strangled victims in a great orchestration of malevolence - things may seem 'Futile' but you still gotta keep on being that awkward bastard who walks against the grain methinks.

The finale comes via Bug Central and their claustrophobic 'Four Walls' which has a real fine opening sequence that certainly molests the mind and makes its mark.  The soundbite hits home, the sonic follow-on is in no rush and has good muscularity and a certain old-skool monochrome feel that really does work a treat and has some political comfort for the born-to-be agitator cum agitated.  When all weapons of melodic war are brandished the effect is resounding, the whole concoctions shows a band thinking on their feet and not willing to follow the overly cooked routine formula.  This one rounds off a quite captivating anarcho-tinted CD - smashing.

So three good bands, three good songs, an honest label doing its thing - by heck you spiky bastards are spoiled rotten at times. Grow Your Own Records do what they do and do it well - keep em’ motivated and alive and kicking folks – DIY is the only way. 

   

THE DESTROID - DO IT YOURSELF

3 doofers, one of whom is a plucking frontman with a delicious attitude and a DIY approach - what can go wrong? Well, in truth, everything but being of the same leaning one has to give these folk a chance tha' knows. I have a lot of time for the front lout (Paul Carter), recognise a few of the tunes, and having worked with the stickman in the past (who is a delightful and well-mannered doofer) I was hoping for something rather invigorating - this is what I got.

'Do It Yourself' is a minor pip that states the ethos of many DIY dogs who won't play ball, will shake off the generic rules and get the arse in gear to get something done. The song has a distinct coruscated edge, the grime and sandpaper naturalness gives character whilst the gruff rough throat warblings of the front lout are ideal. The rhythm is smooth, the drums are clattered and give some beef whilst the chorus is simple sing-a-long stuff the most moronic spiky top can join in with. Do not underestimate the dirty goodness and the message here.

'Eco Warrior' is the pick of the CD because it is a fuckin' darn good tune, has the most pertinent message one could make in this world of selfish and destructive madness. The words are rebellious, the spirit warming and the facts spilled need taking heed of and some arses need to be put in gear. The incessant gushing, the call to wake up and fight, the fast flow and the sincere punk joy de vivre is all sweet sugar to my feisty soul and rather than be a complacent old fart and listen, jump about and do fuck all, I will use this as some fuel for the undying fire. Punk is all well and good but is nothing more than a fashion label without some action that makes for a better future - fuck hobbyists, up the doofers. What a great song.

'Family Man' is a tale of a bloke who has got bogged down with things deemed damning. For me, if you dip the dick and indulge in the way of the family then you have to be committed - no moaning or regrets, if so, cut yer cock off. The buzzing attack on the many who are snared is sweet poison and note should be duly taken. Too many opt for procedure without thinking and then feel trapped - oh the stupid bastards. There is good relish here, the sticks are alive and kicking, the wire work frisky and forceful whilst the maniac at the helm is loving every minute of it. For me, the message is obvious, if ye be a loving family man then do it with 100% conviction and keep life varied, vibrant and against the cloying grain. I like this one - it has me thinking.

'I Hate Work' is a classic from the set of Paul Carter, here the yearner of the relaxation sets a new standard with a really neat, fully-plugged in piece of annoyance that many of us will be able to relate to. This is a real uplifting piece of corrugated cacophony to play in the early morn before the day of toil begins or afterwards, when the carcass is tired and the frustration levels are at an all time high. Thankfully I avoided work for a long while, when I started I had a stint as a teacher and then joined a charity - it ain't a bad do and it helps folks, I pity those who have been trapped in a warehouse or on a production line and suggest they get out as soon as. Anyway - no matter what, we all get days when work gets on the tits, this is a wonderful eruption to ease the niggles.

2 left, 'Make Your Own Rules' is what I always do, this is a fine soundtrack to keep me focused. The opening bars remind of a tune by Corrosive Machine, the following snarl-fest that is laden with a two-fingered defiance is etched with the Destroids brand of spiky sonica. Simple lyrics, a simple ethos, an uncomplicated delivery - and very catchy too. My summing up is quite unembellished and straightforward as well  - what a good track for sure!

The closure and 'Shellshock' is a very archetypal, run-of-the-mill episode of spikiness with a stick slap, a preparing, a quick shuffle and some smash and grab fuzzery with orthodox hollering enlivened by the inner spark that will not be doused. A head is hammered by war, the inner cerebral wires disconnect and the nerves become frayed - no more can be taken as the brain kicks back against numerous horrors and explosions. The song rattles away, all players are absorbed in the artform and this is one of those that is in the punky blood, an example of why we fuckers are in this sonic shebang - ooh err.

Yes - this is good to honest sound shovelling of the most DIY kind. The peeps do, do it well and are not afraid to avoid idiot trimmings, over-production and all manner of arty-farty accoutrements - the key is - get up, let it flow and let it go - it will certainly do for me.

   

THE MISPELT - THREE CHICKENS, ONE GUN

5 tracks from a band who are still hanging in there despite being outside the general circles and suffering a major blow. They have played several Fungal gigs in their former guise and I do need to get em' back on a fiasco and thrown out there - tis all about juggling time and getting myself organised. 

And one - 'Revelations' begins with a lo-fi sober bass, a grumble, a tribal war beat before tension ascends and a good clatter-batter unfolds. The first cutlet  is agitated, stated and strummed with a move into the chorus slick and without hindrance. The band plough away with a solid heartniness and certain grind in the melodic grime. All the trimmings of a band I have not seen for while are there, the impetus is sprightly and spunky and there is a good flourish to round matters off. Kaboom.

'Ready Steady War' is a groovy bastard that swings its tonal hips, grinds out a head nod and foot-tap whilst maintaining a heavyweight underscore built on hefty bass, firmly thwacked sticks and a sweet and sour manipulation of the sextet of wires. A relish is apparent, a relish tempered with an acidic disgust and disillusionment may it be said. This is a fruity number with a good aftertaste, one that I am sure will force many a punter to ping, one or two to stand back and grimace - I may do both just for the Hell of it.

'Panic Buy' starts with a false dawn, has one thinking that something sedate is coming but instead matters unfold in manic style, just like the fuckers who go into a frenzy and selfishly stockpile as soon as any misinformation hits the airwaves. We have witnessed this idiocy quite recently, the tumultuous tonal twat attack is quite apposite for the theme under the spotlight with mania the leading radiated essence. The band nail a thrashing beauty with tight affect and tonal ill-temper. When the Mispelt put their foot down on the accelerator they test themselves and usually come up smelling of glorious gasoline - burn it baby, burn it. 'No One Cares' has a subtle screw within the sonica, a slightly above mid-pace incessance, an abandoned hopelessness and a somewhat scramble-head realisation of a very frightening situation. Who gives a fuck? No-one! Who is on yer side? No-one? What are we to do? The cacophony has a very troubled core and a bubbling overspill with the band going at it in unbridled fashion and getting the job done with relative ease - the final noggin crash is only to be expected.

'Let Me Go' is my choice for the pick of the pimple-popping pops. It is a real pus-squirting fiasco of good tunery, snagging intent and general bounce-inducing goodness. I like the fluster and bluster within the lunatic-fringe chorus, a chorus that is both simple but joyously productive in grabbing the idiot attention. The band are on the fringe of collapse here, are playing with loaded  dice of discordance but are somehow avoiding to roll out a dreaded snake-eyed duffer. A kick-up the arse is never a bad thing, to round off a CD with a good rear bruiser is always welcome - ouch.

Pacey, precise, under-produced and promising much for the next 'in the flesh' fiasco. The Mispelt are a good EP band with a long-term pedigree - I am still keen, are you?

   

TICNOTIC - SUM OF THE PEOPLE, SUM OF THE TIME

A five-piece band from Warrington in the North-West of England, with an expressive and emotive slant to the outflow that deals with various themes in a quite charming and unobtrusive way.  There is something natural here and something that strays away from the punk rock tick-boxes which is always a winning way to operate.  My initial dabblings with the music on offer was via a replay-fest of the first three tracks, from here I delved deeper, my overall thoughts are as thus:-

'Aargh' is a simply ideal opener - it has an uplifting sensation, flows with liquid precision, has a perfect blend of all components and really reflects a band that are thinking on their feet, applying themselves with knowledgeable precision and considered forethought.  Emotions spill as a need to be honest is had, the verse bounds along with good gusto and an on-the-cusp essence.  Frustration rises, a beautiful chorus cut offers some form of escape and really banishes any cloying drag-demons that hiding within the already bopping carcass.  A quite joyous number built on many basics and a few extras, an inner break is well-timed, the winddown spot on - the band certainly know their musical onions.  

'Peterloo' looks back on a mindless massacre where a slump, a protest and great disagreement resulted in death - all down to ruddy people hey?  The opening textures are sublime, the windblown throes and bittersweet string strokes work a treat and the narrative is both observant, well-versed and touched with tones of disgust.  Matters become harmonised, once again the chorus is a work of excellence and continues a folked and emotive bout of remembrance that we should all take heed of.  Do not let the masters dictate, stand firm and let us banish this bullying society built on imbalance.  I am both touched and enchanted.  

'Foot Off My Head' is lush, angelic, beautiful and a fine example of how to blend he/she oral offerings whilst relating a tale that is one of control, suffocation and feeling trapped.  The development of matters is like the blossoming of a flower, melodic petals gradually unfurl under a self-made solar goodness with a delectable likeability that defies the content. I, as a passer-by, am attracted, inhale the purity and ponder - I am witness to a natural wonder and I appreciate it with every ounce of my sonic soul - outstanding.  The follow-up to this moment of excellence needs to be something with its own in-built sanguinity and with its own identity.  'Fake News' is a contrasting bout of brilliance with a look at the confounding world of misinformation done in an upbeat old-school skanky style that almost accepts the idiocy and says 'fuck it all, let us all dance instead'.  We are in crazed times, as long as the masses are bickering and blinded then the ruling powers can do what the Hell they like - a perfect situation for the deviants, dime-chasers and those void of compassion.  I love this mocking celebration of a really toxic situation, I adore the honest and again, the musical exactness and the combo of the lucid he/she vocals is a pure, unadulterated delight - this is special stuff folks.

'Raining Again In Manchester' is an emotive, textured and ticker-touched example of thinking.  A song that promotes love, gently resists the ongoing tidal waves of hate, anger, violence and life-destroying lunacy.  The misery is self-inflicted, too many have been side-tracked and sold a universal con, the ongoing brain bombardment of 'it’s all about you' has crippled compassion, diluted love and created a 'get what you can' me-fest - it is all very poor.  I am absorbed yet again by a very convincing song that captures the pencil-shaded misery and low-hanging crowds that helps the tears flow - the inner misery is exposed and a question asked - love is the way folks, always.

At this point, in my pessimistic way, I am expectant of a dip but I am thrown another beauty as a local gossip/cum grass/cum nosey parker falls under the TNT spotlight via the sweet flowing 'Suburban Witch'.  The opening verse is spartan, reliant on minimal strings whilst the oral offerings fly with gratifying liberation. The slip into the easy and most pleasing chorus is a joy, the cream-dream elevation of the floating tones keeps one flying high on the back of the sinuous persuasions.  This is another classic example of why it is important for some bands to place emphasis on tonal clarity and consideration of the listener's needs - smashing stuff.

We gently recline into the final four with 'Bathsheba' beginning on tiptoed, semi-gothic keys before waltzing along in a quiet and somewhat insipid manner.  As matters progress my initial thoughts are banished and a little more promise charms the fungal sensors.  This is not the most impacting track of the lot and if found as a standalone would have nothing out of the ordinary to attract deeper investigation. Time and patience do assist though in making a fair judgement of a song that is neatly played, has a sad and annoying content with a gentle upcurve in magnetism.  The weakest song of the lot 'yes', a poor track 'no' - make of that what ya will.

'Sycophant' is a pertinent song and may very well be aimed at all the back-slappers and nodding slagwankers within the music scene who, instead of being honest and helping folk along, are too busy saying all the right things and currying favour.  The lack of sincerity is appalling to see and yet those who step out of the bounds and try and be fair are duly crucified.  This is an altered approach and takes a little adjusting to but when the swing is fully embraced and understood the job, it must be said, is a good un'.  The squelch and sear keys, the general futuristic sound and the undulations of the orchestration keeps one swinging - nifty.  

A liquid lick with a gentle skew, decisive words and a decision reached - 'Goodbye Forever Friend' is a bittersweet song that sees a long-term friendship go under the analytical eye and a finale reached.  I know this feeling well, sometimes one goes with a flow that is turning sour and mere loyalty blinds the fact that things have turned to shit.  A very sad song with an inner need that must be met - once again the deliverers of the ditty do so with tender hands and an erudite articulation of the vibe created.  With all areas comprehensible, the drift lacking any snagging barbs and the ongoing consistency upheld, this is a quite sublime penultimate poppet.

We shut down with a tangent, an invasion of interstellar accoutrements that are delivered by a seeming automaton caught in a web of pulsations and light ray scarrings.  'Learning To Say Know' is the oddball in the company of cacophony and with it arriving at such a late juncture, it really does throw me back on my heels.  I play over and over, recognise it as a track that keeps one guessing, as not being the stand-out moment and yet as one that offers many options for future jaunts.  A cold assassin of a tune, one that takes no nonsense - I would be lying to say I was 'convinced', I would be equally fraudulent to say 'I don't like it' - I am left unsure.

And despite the odd niggle I am happy to slap down a verdict of this CD as, in Northern terms 'a reet good do'.  In fact the whole shebang has been a joy, a song has been specifically chosen for my Bandcamp page (only the best will do) and this whole package will surely raise TicNoToc on to greater things.  I need to catch this lot real soon, the diary is rammed, I shall reach for my sonic crowbar and see what I can lever in to the great annual overload - it may well be worth it.

   

ERYX LONDON - BLAGGER

Nah then, I have seen the band under the Fungal spotlight only once, I was not distressed or depressed, I was not impressed, I was what one would call 'indifferent'.  These things happen, one viewing can never capture what a band is doing and it certainly can be a hit and miss occasion when passing off one's opinion.  I do need to see them again but I am a busy bod, I am sure it will happen though. The crew are based in the Midlands, the lead singer prowls and the back players have a certain control over matters which maybe the root of the success they find with so many onlookers - maybe I am too awkward for my own good.  Despite my reservations I accepted the request to review this 10 track assault - going in cold is never a bad thing.

Track one comes under the banner of 'Broken' - a malevolent sounding track spewing contrasting values of emotion with the restrained and pseudo-contained working in clashing tandem with the more unshackled and eruptive.  The opening skip and grimy bass welcomes the whispering siren with time needed to fully appreciated the smouldering brew that is about to overflow.  There is good texture added, a consistent tonal threat held just in check and although I have heard many similar arrangements this is a good moody piece to play when the head is prepared.  'I Am' creeps in, mutters with focus and with heavy lidded eyes laden with intent.  Again we creep amidst a slowly simmering stew that bubbles with increasing thermality.  The swing increases, I await an outburst of tantrumised turmoil but what I get is a thumbscrew guitar twist and a repeat of the format set.  The mid-pace, the sultry glow, the sub-gothic accents will appeal, the rise to a seeming crescendo is cut short - it leaves one on a precipice.

'U Don't Like Your Girlfriend' has some grubby elements (now that appeals), has a dubious undercurrent (nowt wrong with that) but the drift is too similar to what has been and this time, lacking a distinct hook that I can get my aural mitts upon.  Things are a trifle stuttered in part and leave the listener a little uncertain.  The tribal drums offer some consistency and again we have moments of contrast but I am not as convinced as the previous two tracks and just feel something is missing with this one.  The danger of over-doing the general design is now apparent, I tread forward with wariness.  

A trio grabbed and assessed next with 'Blagger' throbbing with great threat and holding the attention whilst one awaits a volcanic eruption that will clear the senses.  The lyrical and tonal lava releases a subdued glow, radiates thermal prowess but never reaches a full on climactic situation that will leave the listener burnt to a crisp.  The aim here I think is to rely on the brooding sensations and the suggestion of things to come - we expect and are left wanting (similar in fact to the vocal vixen).  'Just A Boy' has a fine rhythm that is interspersed with utterances and prowling words.  The band seem more relaxed here and let matters flow and, as a result, get the luggite more intrigued.  The contrast of styles, the usual moodiness and the sable hints and reactive musical touches all make for a difficult song to instantaneously grasp but which is a number that grows in appeal as familiarity builds.   This is a strong track that is followed by an equally sinewy number known as  'Cult'.  This is a sinister spill of sublimely glowing musical magma that threatens to turn the eavesdropping lugs to utter cinders.  The fire eventually begins, the chorus blaze is vicious and gets the point across - I am seared and will trust no-one as a result.  The loop continues, a switch up of the sizzle factor ensues before the final silence - take yer time folks and keep the brow wiped - this is hot stuff.

'Parasite- pummels away with the head down and buried in the midriff whilst the tonal fists soften matters up before the highpoint of the CD is released.  The explosion of ill-temper is a joy and shows why the band need to stray away from overdosing on the contrast factor and throw in a few tracks that are full-on fury and hard-driven angst.  The blend of the restrained and the unleashed need not be all condensed into each and every track, matters can be done with varied success if the odd creation is of one style and sits in juxtaposition to its opposing partner.  These are just personal thoughts (what every reviewer should offer) and shouldn't detract from the best track on the CD.  'Black Snow' is sheer atmosphere - at times naked, at others, semi clad.  The drift is a mood piece - it should only be prescribed to those in the right frame of mind and taken in very careful doses.  With concentration the aim and angles of the product can be grasped and there are moments when the lead lasses throat opens and greater oral success is achieved.  I love it when matters loosen up and matters are sung rather than sub-spoken.  The climactic conditions explode which comes as no surprise - I am finding this one an unearthly stranger I cannot trust - this may be a good thing.

The penultimate track has perhaps the greatest clash and twat factor so far. 'Grin' seethes and splats, considers and careens, assesses and explodes - the outcome, a solid song that has an edge  to be sliced by and a violent threat to be seduced by.  The tympanics provide the inescapable metronomic beat that bewitches, the strings wait, prepare and punish, the gob at the fore does the usual - evaluates, erupts and spits venom.  The style is as witnessed several times already, this is a more impacting track due to the linking skin work and the full on thrash out moments.  We finalise the whole shebang with 'Last Song For A' - a closure that begins with patience, unwinds at its own set pace and strains to capture a malevolence.  I listen with a cool understanding, appreciate the modus operandi and recline with leisure whilst absorbing the acoustic ambience.  The haunting edges are reminiscent of more classical operations and the slow wind down is not what I would have preferred as a closing piece so I sign off slightly deflated rather than ecstatic and elated - such is the musical lottery.

Overall this is a CD that is of an acquired taste methinks and I am still not fully swung as to call myself a fan.  As a long term reviewer my aim is to be always honest, consider all points and do what I can with the textual spillage.  This lot have a good reputation, do what they do well but are a musical unit I can take or leave.  There is massive potential to up the ante, throw curveballs and win new fans but, if the band are happy with what they do and are loving the vibe I suggest they carry on doing just what they do.  I can't like everything, I can't pass faux-comments to stay in favour - as long as I am true to myself and the band are true to themselves the job shall always be a good un' (hopefully).

   

APOCALYPSE BABYS - LAST ORDERS

The AB lads have been many. The band have somehow clung on by the skin of their scrotums and the few survivors have cobbled together this latest release.  30 years in the pit, the outcome, many overlooked CD's, a few pot bellies, some ringing ears and a liver the size of a peanut.  The band have entertained my lugs for many years, I have done a few CD reviews, and seen them 'live' quite a number of times - here is another Fungal take on the vulgar, the vibromatic and the last vestiges of good noise done in an old school manner.

'Sweet Meat' is crass and not my cup of genital tickling cha' and as soon as the opening todge-tingling groans come I know what to expect. A melody for the muff, a tune for the twat, nay a jingle for the juicy bits done with an unapologetic approach and with typical AB thrusting.  As soon as the nob deflates after the opening arousals the tune that comes is fair, catchy and as crude as fuck. The relish shown by the singer is borne from a bloke with a boner with serious needs, this is top-shelf tomfoolery many will be offended by, I can take it or leave it.  'Full Artistic Control' is a better song and has a good gumption, a justifiable frustration and a great lyrical and tonal lick.  The need to get matters back into the hands of creators and away from the fat wank users who want to dumb down, censor and ultimately dilute, is a theme worthy of disk space and the band do it in their own fine rock and roll way.  The signature sound certainly is wasted on me and I swing along with a thumbs up to the band and a V-sign to the musical predators out there - take note - do it your-fuckin'-self.

'Dumbing Down' has a good Ramone's riff, the usual vocal escort and the observational aspect the band take on.  The song deals with the mass consumption of TV trash, the way the heads are screwed on the wrong way round and the lack of depth to the celluloid puke that flows our way.  Many seem happy with the state of plugged-in-play, but rest assured, some are utterly fuckin' disgusted.  This is a neat tune that catches the attention due to the content and gentle cacophony - nifty.

A couple of tunes caught in the mitt as one come next, 'Mr 9-5' has been given many goings over by the scene and beyond, it is a typical song and given the usual orthodox treatment here with a breezy tune dealing with a stressed out automaton who is trapped in a societal snare and has no escape.  The crooner refuses to join the fold of those in a routine - a wise decision methinks. An average tune but no bad do at all.  'All I Want Is You' pronounces, is a tale of temptation and a weak-kneed willy waggler who strays and lusts.  The feeling again is one of someone trapped, someone who needs to break the role but is scared to make the decisive severance - ooh the silly blighter. This is a sweet and sour pop punk tune that the band dish out with utter ease - a minor delight.

'Armchair Guitarist' pops and punches with fine gusto as all hands fiddle and fuck and produce a sniping tune to those with no ambition or willingness to shift the arse and share the sonic goodness. A simple approach, an acidic verbal edge and the job is a good one. The tonality is spot on, the gob work always a fresh treat and from A to B I find myself with no gripes or grumbles.  'Clint Eastwood' (no not the DIY pornstar Clit Eastwood) is a gruff and punked up thrash out that pays homage to the film star who played some of the greatest characters on celluloid.  The words bring visions of fine scenes from films I have watched over and over, especially the ones where a name wasn't needed and the others where a big fuck off gun dealt with all the scum of the earth.  I like this one a lot - it comes, doesn't fuck about and gets said what needs to be said - the musicianship is, as spot on as ever.

I crack on, 'Happily Married' is a dead-eyed delivery done with a poisonous slant that doesn't ring true.  The claim to be involved in wedded bliss is exposed as a lie here as a victim to the ring and the vows strives with all his might to defy an inner misery. The band tackle the bitter content in their usual way with a good contrast had between the half-convinced and the defeated.  It all becomes too much, the finale is almost a mockery - lovely.  'I Wanna Play The Guitar Like Johnny Ramone' is what you would expect - a school-kid-like eruption of rock and roll relish played by old farts who should know better but thankfully don't. The song flourishes, ticks a few cliches, showcases an unashamed Ramonesy love and gets the job done without flaw.  Ramp up the volume, fuckin' pogo baby and fuck everything.

'Daddy' is a smart number with a pang in the product that sees a bloke accept the absence of a father with a final statement that sees a strong soul saved and a punk rock bugger thankful for having his racket. Nicely worded and done in a way that is highly relatable and with a solid vibe, this is a nasty and hard-hitting piece with a quality the band produce over and over again.  There is something earthy and honest about the AB output, I am reminded of this during moments as found here, perhaps more than when the band are in full comedic mode, it makes a difference.

The last 3, 'Summertime Blues' is a cover, it sticks to the Cochran formula and that is just as well, why dabble with a classic and make a mockery.  This is OK, it pays homage, has a good groove, as per though, the original is unsurpassable. The next is a tribute to that grubby looking frontman of Thin Lizzy.  In truth I thought the band were average, Mr Lynott OK at what he did but nowt special - hey ho, I must admit I have no heroes so that may sober my stance a little. I can see why folks like the band, but 'Mr Rock n Roll Star' also warns of making idols and follow in their steps as drugs and booze really can take away much promise.  The cliche of being a true RnR stalwart though is followed by many who should be more rebellious perhaps - who knows. Anyway this is a well-played tune I am out of sync with and one which is too corny for me - boo, what a misery!

We fuck off with the perky postcard vulgarity of 'If I Had A Face Like Yours...' - a pure throw-back joy that bounds along without apology and comes out with some cracking verbals concerning a right old horror of a lass.  Many may take offence at this, many need to go flush their head down the shitter and have a word with themselves - it is pure idiocy and nothing more. I am a great respecter of women and would never take this stuff seriously... well, you gotta laugh tha' knows. Comic, cacophonically appealing - a good way to sign off and pure AB spillage it is.

Well, I recieve, the band achieve, I write what I feel with no plans to deceive - what do ya think?  Yes, I am a fan, I don't apologise for that because my radar is tuned in to earthy punkery rather than some of the more pretentious and showy shit that has less depth.  I remain honest though and I hope the band sort themselves soon, there be another Fungalised gig waiting - in the meantime, I shall play some more.

   

EAMON THE DESTROYER - WE'LL BE PIRANHAS

What on earth have I got on my hands here?  Who the Hell is Eamon The Destroyer?  Are we indeed Piranhas or just useless sprats swimming in a polluted river of hopelessness?  These are the questions that bounced around the belfry of this cranially buggered assessing blighter who does more than his fair share for the acoustic world.   

'The Choirmaster' begins with discomforting misfires, bonce jarring assaults on the tonal decencies and all manner of clashing cacophonies. Like the warming up of a deviant orchestra my ears are insulted before the initial drift comes, albeit in an off kilter and unexpected way.  I stick with matters and find many sounds to soothe, a few to unsettle and an overall atmosphere of sci-fi experimentation gone AWOL.  The fiddler at the helm is searching personal sonic stratospheres and dragging me along for the ride - my thoughts regarding this one is that there is much potential tapped and much potential untapped but, there is plenty to be intrigued by.  Track the second is 'Rope' - a more classically tinted foray into the world of the uncertain with some quite dreamy-creamy cruisings that really hit the mark.  The opening throes are wary, peeping and creeping before a whispering comes, observations made and then a disrobing drifts arrives, a drift that has rage, emotion and something I just can't quite pin down.  I don't mind being thrown into a nebulous state - it happens and so it should.  Anyway, I like this one, I can see the spiky tops cringing - wonderful it is. 

The next two 'Sonny Said' offers, is refused, crawls along with a slow burning frustration and a ponderous accent.  The lackadaisical approach of the song is perhaps borne from a feeling of uselessness and futility although the follow-on white fuzzery is indicative of an overspill of tension.  This is a definite mood piece that moves with a persuasive grace only when the listening temperament is welcoming.  I find myself split in my end verdict here and move on hopeful of something more certain.  'Underscoring The Blues' has more appeal, the opening bars soothe and suggest positivity.  The embrace of things deemed simple and not over-elaborate is the way to meet this song and to embrace its subtle charms.  Again, time must be spent to fully digest the angles, the gentle clashing tones and the somewhat capricious tangents thrown in - at one point I feel I am in a supermarket dreamscape where consumers are conveyor belted to check-out Heaven and the background music is all a flutter - strange indeed.  The fact remains though, the creator is doing his thing and avoiding the orthodox route - I just hope the finished album comes with explanatory notes. 

'We'll Be Piranhas' sidles in on comfort tones with no rush had.  The strength of the sonica is multi-layered and although not to everyone's liking, it is worth taking time out to appreciate the experimental value and the multi-faceted potential that could be used to create a multitude of acoustic offspring.  The orchestration is exact (perhaps overly so in certain parts) but floats with a casual ease, the subject matter is ambiguous unless one is enlightened. 'A Pewter Wolf' unfolds, looks back, smiles with remembrances of happier times and hints at taking time to enjoy the here and now.  Lukewarm lilts and placid persuasions are the aim of the game in a creation that has manifold moments to ponder further.  I am way out of my comfort zone here and I like it - applause must be given yet again, to a designer of dinnage not following any set generic dictates.  As I further scrutinise matters I begin to understand the process and appreciate the end product - this is far from a turntable must, but it is worth ones time. 

Compassionate pulses come via 'A Call Coming' - a trickling of thought that reflects on a call of unsettling connotations that brings news of a passing and leaves one reeling.  Time heals, therein salvation is had.  The way in which matters are dealt with here is sobering, the material is terrifying and a stark reminder we are just pins in a game of idiot bagatelle - we can be upright on minute, the next knocked down.  This is a song of emotive torment with the grip of matters difficult to understand - therein is a suggestion of a winning format. 

We finish the disc with 'My Stars' a song I have been kindly informed that is about a man on a hospital gurney who reflects on life as the anaesthetic begins to reach out with its soporific tendrils.  This is very thought provoking subject matter and having had many operations I know the feeling of profound pondering only too well.  I am finding this a close-to-the-bone horror show that just needs a finale where the soporific shackles are snapped and life is ready to explode into action - ready for a new, and contrasting, CD perhaps. 

So, my final thoughts are 'yes' and 'no' - 'yes' - if you are in the mood, of a reclined attitude and need a break from harder, faster and rougher material, 'no' if you want rousing, feel a need to pogo and party.  This is a slow brew that can be stifling if taken in huge gulps, my advice, take one track now and again, swallow after angrier outbursts and compare.  Rest assured though - there is talent a plenty, a knowledge of what needs to be done and a fine end execution. 

 

EAGLE SPITS/RICH GULAG - SHOES ARE THE OPIUM OF THE MASSES

Eagle Spits & Rich Gulag join forces on a new release and bring all manner of shape-shifting shittery to the fore in a classic DIY escapade that may be to some peoples liking and then again may be poison to some poor fuckers soul. I am merely a go-between, an honest assessor asked to do my bit that will hopefully pre-warn folk of what to expect.  I suppose I am in many ways, the 'in flesh foreplay' of the sonic sex world - once again, I hope to tickle thy undercarriage with more grooming text.

A groovy kind of grime begins matters with '4DV', it is political ranting overlaying a dance-sub-trance dabbling of electro confusion.  The blend is highly catchy, the vocals a little too distorted for their own good and the drift ends in a rather abrupt manner.  The soundbite verbals and the pops and pulses though do save matters and make for an intriguing opening gambit with much texture and wired up defiance.  The tones of the front lout are highly recognisable, the religious suggestions understood - this is interesting stuff to say the least.  Track two and 'The Chosen Ones' is a vicious dig at the people who apparently have it all when, in truth, they have fuck all.  Wankers with so much show, no substance but a willingness to cause division and let people suffer - it goes without saying to anyone with an ounce of intelligence that these are the vilest scum-fuckers imaginable and will undoubtedly get theirs.  This is a treacly tune that drips from the speakers and falls into the lugs with a deceptive persuasion.  Anyone disgruntled by the imbalance and disreputable filth going on out there and those who like sounds off kilter, should find reward here.

'Shoes (Are The Opium Of The Masses)' is a pertinent raving against the commercial madness so many are intoxicated by.  The big business brainwashing designs tell you to buy this and be a better person and be happier - the weak-kneed, gaping goons listen, register and duly purchase - a complete reciprocal cycle that only helps use up resources and create a pseudo-happy situation - what a crock.  This song is one I like, primarily due to the content but the drift of the discordance ain't bad either.  'Jackanory' is a beautiful snippet of modernised sub-rap and rave keyed up and shuffling sonica that pinpoints the fantasy soaked arena, the fibbers and fuck-wits and the drama queens who are contributing to, and feeding on, a real false and fucked state of play. There is a personal trauma amid the weave, a hurt and a disgust at those skipping around thinking everything is happy when reality and family life is far from picture book perfect.  This is a brutal, harsh and honest bout of exposure and it must be applauded just for that if nothing else. Splendid.

'Cave' is a moving monster of deliberate steps with a persistent grind and sub-orgasm groan that really forces its way into ones inner core and duly grips ones attention and insists serious note is taken.  The word is to take heed, defy the acceptance and progress with things more natural and unprocessed.  I feel that what many would slag down as 'regression' would actually be the only true form of 'progression'.  We are galloping to doomsday, ears and eyes are stuffed shut with trinkets, misinformation and 'grab and go' greed - listen here, we must do better.

'Stoicism' has a lovely tickle and a rather sobering shadow surround - the message is to rise up and defy, the fact of the matter is the fuckers want us to keep schtum, accept the shit and sport a stiff upper lip.  The broken and battered need to hug more, be transparent and have trust in sincere words.  Personal scars are shown with an appreciated openness, the words do not shy away and outweigh much of the oral spillage from the spiked scene that spouts one thing and does fuck all about it.  This is a delightful blend of noise with great intent - I love it.

Into the back 4, 'Dehumanise To Brutalise' has a gentle undercoat overlain by an acidic sheen of poetical ranting.  Pulsations come, pitter-patter skin skips and overloaded headboxes are apparent - the end result - more fuckin disgust, acoustic kickback and factual soundbites that show the useless behaviour that is on the increase and creating for a real hell-hole of hate.  The constant narrative, the rinse through of clear minds and the dominance of the greedy is really not good enough - this neatly packaged offering of techno tetchiness must be heeded.  'Aluminium Foil' is suspicious, perhaps paranoid and one that many doubters will poke fun at and say it is the work of people who are thinking a little too much.  Therein a serious problem is found - think and be damned, accept and be part of the piss-pack dribbling to nowhere!  I listen here, find myself on par with the oral spillage, the cabal is closing in, the claimers, the deniers, the ones in between are all condemned, is there any escape - think about it!

'The Eagle Flies' is a tale of the outsider - one who dares to question, upset the applecart, to shake up the shittery - and the consequences. Tick, tock, tick, tock, the metronomically systematic beat is in contrast to the liberated free-flyer under the cloying clouds.  This and the chasing tune have all the recognisable trinkets of tonality I would expect from the creators and that DIY flavour only found with those who do with great love and passion and see beyond the idiot restraints that deconstructs many areas of great potential.  The key - fuckin' do it folks.

'The American Nightmare' is a final horror yarn regarding a creeping presence that is invading many areas beyond the shores of the murky U. S. of A.  Prejudice, big bigoted self-belief and ultimately, unrest.  There is an ongoing resurgence of hate and spite and this song comes, states its stance and fucks off.  It is a flatline, sub-poetical techno tirade that stays on a certain par and avoids any risk or mis-swings - a stable finale.

So there you have it, these two cacophonists keep breezing along, making their political statements and not being put off by a realm of indifference in a sonic mire of apathy and grinning goonery.  In the main it is a 'hit' from me with the odd 'miss' thrown in just because I can and to keep these two fuckers on their toes.  I like stalwarts of the sub-scene, people who will not stay schtum and who keep pushing the boundaries - I hope things keep on rolling. Keep flying on the thermals chaps.

   

NEON KITTENS - TV AS EYES/BANANA SLPIT

Again I splash into the sonic pools of the incandescent pussies and take on two tracks that are perhaps more orthodox than anything I previously dealt with.  This is my sixth examination of the NK noise, this time the two tracks are covers of creations concocted by the mid-70's experimental unit known as Chrome - it is all intriguing stuff. Tickle number one comes under the tag of 'TV As Eyes', a rumble grumble with a strong lower epidermal layer of vibrating scum spillage and the seductive verbals all combining to make a real dirty dog rock and roll decadence that is really something I can admire.  The hung-low, relaxed riffery, the clashing adornments and the off-the-rail abandonment create something dangerous, frustrating and fresh.  The opening gambit of things almost routine really is a winning format and the final collapse is almost half expected from a creative force who will not be shackled by in-scene/out-scene regulations.  This one would be improved by a touch of pace and some really snotty/slaggy hollering but... this will do just fine for now.

'Banana Split' has a groovy corruption with a parasitizing vocal invasion infiltrating the regulated stick clatter and the off-the-cuff string manipulations.  This one is not as immediately magnetising as the previous offering and has a focused drive that one has to get in line with or choke on.  Time is needed yet again, the band don't make anything easy but with patience the development of the dinnage unfolds and has a counter-scene contribution that hits a few inner hotspots.  If this was part of a regular music compilation it would throw the cacophonic cat amongst the overfed pigeons - that is lovely to know.

This little 2 tracker is a free Christmas present from Metal Postcards Records and the players - I am a trifle late with the review but better late than never.  I presume Father Christmas has had a sneak preview, hence his need for extra sherry to ease his shattered baubles - ooh the delicate bugger.

   
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