FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 

LUCY AND THE DRILL HOLES - IT'S NOT MY WAR

Metal Postcard Records deal in the peculiar, the provocative and the divergently eccentric - I am fuckin' glad they do.  Here we have a debut single from a band I know bugger all about - again, this makes me glad.  The 3 tracks offered are all based around one construction, namely 'It’s Not My War'.  Firstly we get the 'Single Mix', then the 'Neon Kittens Mix' and finally the 'Alternative Mix'.  All three are of a similar reclined and rhythmically relaxed leaning with no urgency whatsoever to get the job done.  I listen once over and then delve some more.

What I reveal is a hat-trick of gossamer recurrences that flow from the speakers in a kind of smoke-haze fashion with aromas of things both experimental, embryonic and may I add, hesitant.  The distinct idiosyncratic bizarreness of all three tracks is alarming as is the quite obvious similarity.  The alterations in each number are almost indiscernible if one is not paying concentrated attention and I do wonder what is the point of a three-way delivery without any major variation in the attack.  Despite the music being soulful and soothing with a haunting undercurrent the whole hat-trick is too much of a set theme with no snagging hook had or no untoward angles thrown in.  There is a panging desire here for something explosive and dynamic to invade the slow-swaying cadence and sadly, for we the listening mush, it never manifests itself.   I listen through several times over and contemplate the effect, the end aims and of course my navel.  I find myself unconvinced on many fronts although there is a niggle at the back of the noggin just wondering what is going on here and what the future holds.  I just play once more to check on my thoughts - nah, I ain't getting this at all.

There ya go, a different sound sensation, a different review, Fungalpunk is befuddled - it happens. I do wonder what will come next from this creative force though, you see, all is not lost!

   

PIT PONY - WORLD TO ME

A power surging band from the North East that just rely on big riffs and grubby vibrations to get their point across.  Emotions aplenty, consideration of the output and a certain wealth of angles all come to the fore as I explore this 12 track montage of musical meddling.  I play over the course of a couple of weeks, admire, assess and dissect and finally bounce the digits of the awaiting keys with thoughts going something like this. 

'Tide Of Doubt' is urgent, beautifully unwashed and scurfy.  The initial tones are subdued, borne from the oily smelling closets of garaged hell-holes before a breakaway blossoming of all forceful factors sizzles the listeners senses.  The opening verse is soon upon us with the lady at the helm cool, calculated and very unsettling.  As matters develop I am drawn in to a fascinating explosion of impacting noise played out by a band with a wealth of focus and know-how.  An opening number always needs the 'oomph' factor, this is a fine example of how to get things rolling with purpose.  Neatly mixed, tidily orchestrated and keeping that crucial element of 'listenability' - result.  'Black Tar' spills next with purpose and a flourishing impetus.  All hands are working in unison with the furrow found and travelled along with utter focus.  The first verse lacks a full on slap and slaughter saturation but does enough to segue into a string and skin surge and a somewhat drifting chorus.  The musicianship remains tight and organised. As I listen over I find the verse moments a little too naked for their own good but that is a mere personal point of view and shouldn't detract from a well-made track.

'Sinking' slaps in and has a certain 80's rock chick feel (ooh how I hate that term).  The pace is middling, a switch off from the main heave ho quite deflating and a distraction from the clobber of the cacophony.  As a lover of things more unwashed and less clustered I lose my grip here even though the band apply themselves with admirable ring-craft and punch with a certain accuracy aimed at the mushes of those more in tune with what is transpiring.  I am unconvinced by the song as a regular listening piece, each to their own I say.

A fistful of three and the groovy drift of 'See Me Be' appeals from the off and as a certain seductive enchantment that grooms, mesmerises and digests. The sexy groove gets the hips gyrating and the cranial juices flowing.  A smouldering number that curls a finger and beckons with a certain uncertainty by the seductress adding to the appeal.  A solid inclusion and leading into the barely touched hope flicker of 'World To Me', a song that overstays its Fungalised invite and just doesn't do anything to raise the goosebumps of intrigue or pecker of persuasion.  This is purely a personal viewpoint and yet I can still recognise a band pouring in a certain amount of effort to try and attain an emotive essence that may be just right for some tuned in noggin, this is just not my thing at all.  A fine shadow-cavern groove opens 'Wish You Would' before depths are plunged and the band create a semi-garaged soundscape that has many facets.  The rocked elements strive to take centre stage with the lead lass doing her thing and making matters par for the course set.  From bare verses to ascensions and then to chorus cuts with greater fluidity and gumption.  I like it when the band open up and fire on all cylinders - this started as a 50/50 song and is now a 70/30 effort - I am wondering with time will it impress me more - such are the ambiguities and uncertainties of reviewing. 'Cold' completes the latest hat-trick and despite being a song that travels beyond the 4 minute mark, in the main, it holds my attention.  I am unsure of the inner wind-down, but I do like matters when they kick on and bounce with a certain joy de vivre.  If you have loved what you have heard so far you will have no gripes here - the band are proving their presence.

I grab the next trio, squeeze hard and spurt forth the following seeds of assessment.  'Supermarket' burrows, pulses, persuades.  The opening verse is chillingly effective and the follow-on strains rise in sanguinity whilst the verbals give insight into a situation laden with trepidation and uncertainty.  The sonic advancement is deliberate and done with a growing power accent with the all-consuming cacophony finally winning the day.  I find this a quite complete escapade.  'Best Is Yet' is a brooding effort of what is ambition unfulfilled.  I find the whole track a shadow-dweller that falls into the background of the previous number and never makes a place for itself.  There is a suggestion of 'Twin-Peakian' nebularity and the drift is too morose and unexciting for my personal tastes.  I re-listen and recognise a certain subdued stature and a growing majesty but I do prefer it when the band add pace.  The closure of the latest trio is 'Just That', a song that doesn't hang about and from the initial tin can suggestions to a furrowed,  head down drive that hits an impetus, pushes along with a certain controlled forcefulness and never lets up.  The terse running time helps matters no end.

'Underwater' has a charming opening accent with the rippling rhythms dragging one down into the waters of the tune and making for a somewhat holistic refreshment that has me pondering if this is one of the best songs on the CD.  I contemplate, dive the depths, come up for air and reckon with a chorus of more splashing and crashing exhibitionism and a upsurge in the holler vitality this would have been a massive moment - instead it falls into the pack with the slow and easy strokings found within the movement just impeding the flow.   Aaagghhh.   We close with 'Profit'.  An ascension from the ashes, a somewhat stated verse with questions asked and answers waited for.  Slow and steady with a backdrop of grumblings and pronouncements this is a sinewy number that refuses to be rushed to the final silence.  There is meat on the bone and a clarity in the production, I am sure many will like this one.

Pit Pony are a decent band it seems, they know what they want to do and do it well.  I am not a fan and am far happier to let others more clued in enjoy the output.  As an outsider though, and an honest assessor, I think the band would do well to add some extra pace here and there and concentrate on the contrast element in each and every song.  As I always say, these are personal thoughts and only aired with the best of intentions to try and get the best out of a very effective unit. Hey ho, one can try. 

   

SALEM TRIALS - ARE WE THE BADDIES

Another Salem Trials 2 tracker - yeah get over it ya bastards.  I delve, I dissect, I deliver the discourse of the discordance - this is not the place to hang around like a prostitute of sound looking for a pick-me-up. 

'Are We The Baddies' comes without preparation, poses a question and trundles along in a sort of grotesque derailed way with the aim unimaginable.  Initial dreams of making a difference are banished, the focus and general motif of the movement are not to be dislodged and in the thrutching of a sonic shrews anus, we are done.  Of course I have to replay several times over as hearing is believing and my end thoughts are of a number that has potential but seemingly remains unfinished.  The creation is in-keeping with previous bizarre and almost anarchic manifestions, I just feel here orchestration is too minimal and something is lacking.

'Cast Out Kids' is a scrawl-drawl across the bog walls of your mind with the scribbling medium used as reeking as you could only imagine.  Here I find myself racing ahead of the flow and losing a little patience with the general flat-line feel of matters.  I want the message of the outsider rammed home in double quick time with great gusto in the lick and much expression of emotion used.  I find this one a trifle subdued, mundane and, if it may be said, lifeless. I listen several times over, strive to trawl out something positive - I fail.

I am not at all keen on this double-header, a situation which was always going to arise when dealing with a band on the cusp.  I am hoping this lot throw out a curve-ball next, a real unbalancing piece that throws everything they have done so far, upside down - we shall have to wait and see for now. 

   

THE PUNCTURISTS - THE PUNK TOURISTS

Top man Pat Crawford (System of Hate) is dabbling with a  side-project and here are 6 tracks I have been asked to put under the Fungalised musical microscope.  The release is on Dead Swan Records, a constructed label for the band and any other DIY outfit who want to crack on.  It all sounds good to me.  After many spins of the sounds I have the following thoughts, please forgive me if you disagree, honesty is more important than trying to fall into line.

Track one, 'Jackanory Johnson' is a clutter-bucket of old school noise done with a low-brow finger-pointing at yet another politician proven to be a slack-wristed wankpot of utter fibbery.  Over the years there have been many similar songs, they do nothing only give the listener's a chance to spout against the flow - is this a good thing without any action?  I listen to this over and over and consider it a primitive song that is easily joined in with but one that lacks any serious depth.  I am not convinced by this opening track, a situation that I hate to be in, especially when dealing with a new band.  'Let's Get Wankered At The Weekend' hints at another journey into the generically obvious but after an uplifting tympanic skip I find the first verse easy to digest and pick up on the working week frustration and the need to have a blow-out at the weekend.  The flow is mid-paced, the content of the non-too corrosive tune relatable and the drift far from difficult to digest.  We have all been in the loop of work and go on the piss, it is quite depressing if one thinks about it but this song does have me considering a piss-up - the job is a good un’ methinks.

'A Swan Can Break Your Arm (Did You Know)' is a slow creeper, an inclusion that begins with a certain insidious threat, a threat that comes via the immortal uttered lunacy borne from the mouths of many misdirected parents.  An urban mythical falsehood is given a run out via a strange song that shows a band with perhaps too much time on their hands and dabbling with things off-kilter.  I suspect this will be a better 'live' song than it is here and I hope gets a few folks wary of the Cygnus brigade and paying them a little more respect.  'So Very Bored' has a good lick with a groove easily picked up on and nodded along to.  Again the band stick to old-school bog-brush principles with a certain conspicuous orchestration and many obvious tonal touches.  This is an uncomplicated song, a mere knock-about with no pretentions or flash-fuck nonsense - therein the secret lies to this ditties minor success.  I think the final mix compliments the arrangement too!

The song with the greatest swing and therefore, initial magnetism is 'I Hate Living In A Town Like This', a ditty that shows a disgruntlement with yet another concrete shithole. It does reinforce my belief that living further away from the natural world and being penned in with the hordes is not the way.  The simple fact of the matter is where there are people there are problems and where the people are mushed together the problems increase.  I like the unsettled and rather pissed-off feeling to this one, the impetus suits me and the slightly raw and unwashed edge to the output works.  Again unfussy produce spilled forth with good, uncomplicated intent.

The penultimate song, 'I Just Want To Die Of Death In My Sleep' is a paradoxically miserable song that has a contrasting hope of popping one's clogs in one's sleep after a life of admitted successes and mistakes.  It is a bittersweet, smooth flowing song that accepts fate and gets on with matters.  If ever there was a grower in the pack this is it - a sonic seed is planted and a tonal tree grows and entwines around the listeners senses.  All areas are clear, in no rush and certainly in no need to make an exhibition of themselves.  I like it!

We shut down with 'Politicians Lie' - a kick-back against the suited and booted tongue-knotting spinners of falsehoods who continue to rule the roost as long as the populace, in the main, is kept comfortable and of course, conned.  This is a song designed for the political piss-pots in the pit, many of which will shout loud and do little but a few of which will use this as fuel to stoke the flames of activity and get out there and do something positive.  I think an 'in the flesh' viewing would increase the impact of this one, it feels like a song destined to close a set (just like it has done with this CD).

So The Puncturists have left me tantalised but feeling that this CD is merely a foundation and there is more to come.  This is an OK start to proceedings but I would suggest a more skanky approach would help matters with one of two real zipping songs thrown into the mix next time around.  The sound looks ideal for something upstroked with moments of upsurge and I feel the true potential is far from tapped here.  A couple of numbers though please me and are laden with promise, I sit back as honest as ever and hope the band understand where I am coming from and the well-intended nudge I am giving them - my arthritic fingers are crossed. 

   

SALEM TRIALS - ANOTHER FRIPP WORLD

I have reviewed a few smatterings by Salem Trials, I am not telling you anything else.  Go seek out the other reviews after you have read this one and get to grips with something contrary, different and perhaps not what you would expect.  I am happy to indulge once more and even if the brace of the bizarre is not to my taste I am happy in the fact that a band is willing to do what they do, avoid the generic parameters and come up with something delightfully discomforting.

The first song 'Fall's' with a certain ad hoc, unfucked peculiarity that indicates a lack of concern for all things orthodox.  This is a creation bathed in tunes from 'neath the radar' and my ears are pricked.  With Salem Trails one has to shake off the shit of commercialised head-slamming and sniff out the essence of things more natural and naked.  'Another Fripp World' invades my senses and throws any thoughts of an 'easy listening experience' out of the window.  Here I am instantly thrown into the quirked and cripple-ripple staggerings that have a fluidity and a somewhat snotty suggestion. A metropolistopian flavour is dished whilst the rewiring is deliberately awry and making for something awkward and perhaps too unruly for the lugs of the more tamed and, may it be said, more delicate. A cosmic cacophony if ever I heard one this. A certain majesty draped in a style of red would be pleased.

'Taints On You' is a country-fried peregrination into reclined rhythms and quirked cadences where square-deal wares are crapped on and dust is kicked into the face of the flatliner.  I am a recipient of some of the initial mote mess as I get to grips with the crawling craftwork and sloping accents of the acoustic spillage.  I find this second offering a little disappointing after the opening number - it lacks that 'other worldly feel' and angularity although the closing moments do take one on a slight tangent and have one gagging for an untoward bout of explosive noise - the eruption never comes - bastards.

I am still intrigued by Salem Trials, know only too well that I , like many others, will never like everything the band produce which, in itself, is both refreshing and exciting.  These 2 track samplings are just enough and keep me on the edge of my seat... albeit off balance.

   

THE CONSPIRACY - ESCAPE EP

For a touch of cultured quality and some poetical weavings I would look no farther than The Conspiracy to get my fix.  This duo do what they do with great consideration and yet with a definite homemade accent that gives the whole process and end product something highly believable and tangible.  I have 5 tracks here, a perfect amount as I am an eternal fan of EP's and love the fact they can say so much without going overboard.  Once more I am requested to put thought to paper... 

Chocks away and 'Caged' is a slow trickle of calculated and measured creativity with the thermal radiance sombre and mellow.  The poetical angle of the delivery has one calling upon a decipher and perhaps coming up with answers similar and dissimilar to many other listeners - this could be a good thing.  The rise from the semi-whispered verses to the almost gothic chorus is smooth and the moody and melancholy tones are retained.  As I consider over several spins I deem this a long-term listening experience that will slowly peel away its own acoustic epidermal layers and answer many posers - a grower for sure.  'St Columba' begins with pseudo voodoo tympanics before an anguished wail seduces and thermally reclined words slowly fall in a kind of semi-haze/ considered laze kind of way.  The full content is not revealed as I find the lyrics partly submerged within the tricklings and serious concentration is needed to uncover the true meaning of the music.  I find this hard work and so screw the sentiment and judge on the flow alone - tis decent enough but just lacks that all important snag factor - this one is not for me. 

The middle song and yet another episode of slow, thoughtful and reflective music.  'Nature's Metaphor' constantly views, ponders and questions with an acceptance and a relentless hope neatly entwined within the drift of a ditty with more to it than first suspected.  Delicacy reigns supreme in this winter's day internal/external exploration with soft-focus snapshots borne from the mind as the explorer delves deep into the inner machinations of true reality.  I am both nudged and comforted by this song and given a desire to get out there and do something positive.  It is that kind of construction. 

A certain 80's synth feel pervades the driftings of 'Motives' with an incessant poser placed and asking the ultimate question of 'why'.  I have long considered what would happen if everyone questioned the reasoning behind every move they make and the egotistical needs that may well be uncovered.  The answers always seem quite depressing.  This is a cool and almost detached number with a certain creeping persuasion that gets stronger and more emboldened by the rotation.  Distinct care has been taken in the processing of this one it seems,  a certain naturalness is still retained, the end may be somewhat abrupt, but this song still works. 

The closure comes via a strange Texas Chainsaw intrusion and then a cool opposing meander.  This strange start is perhaps in keeping with the peculiarity of 'Old Wives Tales' - a marriage of gnawing tones and ponderings of outlandish cures and antidotes that were based, in the main, on pure head-mush fantasy.  This a plain and simple contemplative song, nothing more and nothing less.  A punch is lacking, a certain final pick-me-up is what I expected and didn't get - from a 5 track CD, this is my personal low point and I am not keen, these things happen. 

Yes, no, yes, yes, and no - therein is a summing up.  I should start doing these reviews in such a simple fashion, but then again, I always feel the artistes deserve more time - darn buggers.  In fact, spare a little time yourselves and see what you think, if you do just that I will be more than happy. 

   

THE PAPA SHANGOS - AIN'T GONNA WANK NO MORE

I have only seen this lot twice, the first time I enjoyed them the second time I was left unimpressed.  The band do what they do and put in a good stint but does comedy over-ride the content?  Is this a mere entertainment band rather than something spiked?  I reckon so but sometimes one needs to take a step back and take things for what they are and piss upon the silly labels people put on things - I do just that (as per).

Expecting little and I am quietly surprised by an opening number that has good musicianship, a solid blend of flavours and a mix that brings out the best of all components.  'Ex-Masturbator’ sees the light, croons inward before denouncing the world of pork pulling and duly bouncing along with high vitality and, may it be said, great spunkery.  The shift in styles and the general mix are all spot on the mark with a delightful sing-a-long snag had. The opening rise is built on semen denying sincerity with the pace soon injected and a skanky smattering had.  All todge-twangers and clit flickers may have to take note here and join the frustrated flock - after listening to this I may even join them - ooh err, me gonads.

'Bitchslap' is a raucous and no-nonsense surge of fiery zeal with an irresistible sonic force that just kicks up a dust-storm and drags one in.  From the opening holler the heads are down and zoned-in with all areas unified and hammering away with unapologetic zeal.  I like the pace, the cacophonic hunger and the foaming bass-work that shows a band thriving and jiving with a quite ensnaring desire - this one follows on from the opener with effective gumption.

Following a quite impressive opening couplet we fall into the viciously named 'My Boss Is A Cunt'.  This is another zipping number with something obvious to say and done in a quite forthright and highly melodic way.  Despite the impetus the individual players can be deciphered, the vocals enjoyed and the catchy angle joined in with.  This is a nice follow-up crack to the first two fiascos and indicates a band very much recharged and on the up.  They seemed to have progressed a long way since my initial viewings, I may have to witness these tracks 'live'.  This song is a delicious thrust and perfectly blended - a real zipper to pick up the soul - unless of course your boss it ruddy wonderful.

Finally and 'Keep Calm' resists, defies and hollers with a worked up excitement and unstoppable force of highly animated action. At times the band overstretch the chaotic edge and just lose direction but thankfully get back on track with a simplistic skank and state segment.  A drum spurt comes and gets the impetus rolling with a fiery edge, and of course energetic desire.  This strikes me as a great 'air-punching' offering with a chance for the two-tone buggers to have a quick jig and the hammered to let off some steam. The job is a decent one.

So, the PS pirates have come, battered forth a quartet of alive and kicking tunes and left me more than a little pleased.  Alas fate has recently delivered the band a cruel, untimely and quite crushing blow, where they go from this point onwards is anyone's guess, sometimes music pales into insignificance when compared to the realities of life.  I sign of hoping for the best for all confirmed and offering thanks for a decent EP. 

   

OMEGA TRIBE - NEW PEACE MOVEMENT

Formed in 1981 the Omega Tribe came, went, briefly reappeared, buggered off again and now are back with us to stay. Everyone knows the name, does everyone realise what culture has been created and what wonder the band are now bringing to the crooked tonal table. Having recently booked them to headline a gig I was left both impressed by the bands presence both on and off stage - nice people, nice sounds and with something to say, that will do for me. I picked up a CD, I have spun to buggery and have been totally smitten. Here are my thoughts:- 

'New Peace Movement' is a glorious sing-a-long title track. It opens proceedings with a good upbeat defiance that, rather than yelled forth, is delivered with embracing encouragement and a certain degree of determined will. The bounce in the tune is matched by an equal positivity fed your way via the lyrical content - lyrics against bias, prejudice and just downright insensitivity. There is something inescapable about this song, something both off-the-street and educated. I am bowled over with enthusiasm and a feel-good hope - nice. 'Better Man' is a clever song that twists a scenario and an emotion that is always viewed as something negative when it can actually be totally opposite and... valid. It is a song that has minimal ska pulsations, something akin to a Tom Robinson number and something low-key but subtly effective. The tonal orchestration is almost crepuscular in its inflection and as a coolness that invades every pore. I listen to the sharp-witted content, admire the simplicity and the craftwork - this song just gets better and better with every rotation - I am mightily impressed.

'Sorry' comes next and captures a breaking point in time when love has fluttered away on silken but shredded wings and a time of emotive realisation hits home. The beauty and gentility of the delivery is both tangible and accurate and surely borne from someone scarred, shattered and perhaps... regretful. The hurt and the desperation are emboldened with a wonderful vocal delivery ideally shadowed by a partner in passion and a bass weaver of careful intent - wow. 'Betrayal' is a barely touched piece that is laden with the admission of mistakes and regret. A victim to the games, the procedures and the masses, this piece would be fully justified in being a fiery rant but instead plays matters minimal with an almost beaten aspect that is quite tough to get to grips with. Late wishes are had, the account drifts into oblivion, this is the palest song of the lot but it seems utterly necessary.

As a counter-flip to the preceding drift we have a more forceful thrust of unapologetic up-front gobbery that raises a fist against the boneheads, haters and general halfwits who want to drag one into a world of prejudice, imbalance and bigotry. A state and chant modus operandi is the name of the game for 'Ain't Gonna Let 'Em' and if you are ever feeling downtrodden, please play this poppet loud, recharge and go resist. 'Tomorrow' is tiptoe poetry that ponders all the easy things in life, the things that matter most, the essences of a sound heart and a reality-tattooed framework. The tranquil waters of tonality are rippled, we are left to decipher - I am delighted and then plunged into the utter magnificence of 'Jewel' - a work of acoustic art, a inscription of adoration and love pasted forth on easy rhythms and swayings that work their way inter the nucleus of one's ticker beat and force one to swoon in admiration. Something very honest and uncomplicated hammers home a homage to a force to be reckoned with - I am taken hook, line and sinker by this beauty - Omega Tribe, thank you.

From a pinnacle to some rust-bucket old-school punk of natural frothing with 'Shit' a seething slap of disgruntlement with the religious maniacs who threaten, conspire and condemn you to the fire. Sharp and acidic this is a smash and grab number from yesteryear propelled forth into the here and now with as much frustration as you could wish for. The corroded edge and ill-temper make for an obvious winner. 'Sometimes' swaggers with sanguinity and moves with an initial prowess that prepares one for the easy-peasy stroll that falls into the aural cavities with featherlight gentleness but with much pertinacity. The essence glows, has its says and states its case as regards matters that should be simple, holistic and obvious but which, in this dubious world, are not. The key is to hang in, be patient and believe - and of course, always be willing to do and help.

'The Streets' has a certain quirkiness and an utter seductive charm that creeps, embraces and squeezes out great applause. A need to move but with a smattering of regret seems to be the order of play with both emotive angles making for something of a conflicting scenario that paradoxically has a carefree salting as well as a certain needful pang. The arrangement is exact and highly appealing, the CD grows in stature. 'Lies' has pep in the tank with an enslavement to online bullshit the situation. Spin and falsehoods palmed off as fact are gobbled up by the ogling masses with no one any the wiser and no chance of positive progress being made. Again we adopt an old-skool inflection, a strong defiance and a very catchy lick that will draw in those listening on CD or seeing the band strut their stuff 'in the flesh'. I have done both, I can vouch for this effective song.

We finalise matters with 'Revolution', a song that has me immediately thinking along the lines of Thunderclap Newman and the song that felt 'Something In The Air'. This has similar tones and flavours with a no-rush approach and a constant 'join us' strain that calls to arms the doofers, the defiant and those that will not open wide and swallow the easy way bullshit that seems to be all the rage. At level zero great nourishing creators and active arsed reactors are found, yes, the pure salt, the untainted, the too often overlooked - a bit like the Omega Tribe - let us stop this nonsense now.

So, what a ruddy solid, multi-layered and quite magnificent CD that showcases adept players with good hearts, a humble leaning and ability to make some really absorbing music. I fuckin' love this one, next payday I am buying another OT disc, I may just well coin a review.

   

NOMATRIX - ASSEMBLAGE

The guys who run Deadlamb Records have been stout supporters of what I do and I am always happy to do my bit in return.  The chaps are in a band that I have followed since day dot and I have reviewed many of their outpourings - I am rarely disappointed.  Here we have a good blend of noises familiar and a few new explosions - I am keen to get stuck in so here I go.

'Myopia Uniform' thrashes in with scuttled urgency.  A development comes and a quick stop and start shuffle leads us into the damning verse that nails the fashion and those dressing up to the cross of disbelief.  More electric writhing action comes with a disgust laden globule of seething spit launched into those diluting rebellion and just creating another social club.  I am excited by the wired up intro, it has the bands essences tattooed throughout and is laden with defiant spirit and good scuzzy-fuck noise.  Short, loud and fuckin' havin' it - yes.  'We Are Fallen' sways in before hammering along with great purpose.  The pace and precision is a joy and the elements of things local and from beyond works mighty well.  As I listen I am bewildered by the fact that Nomatrix have not done bigger and better things, this song would fit ideally on a US big band compilation and if the song was labelled under another name many would be lapping it up.  I care not for who are the creators and if a big name backs up an output - if the racket is good then it is good, if not for me then it never will be - this is a cracker. 

A bass line, a preparation and then an onslaught.  'Vanity' is a pertinent piece in a world of self-absorbed madness.  The song initially looks in control, the topic chosen becomes all too much for the players and emotional overspill comes via a 1 minute 6 second defecation that leaves a nice shit-stain on the walls of your eavesdropping areas.  Short and sonically aggravating is the way I like things - kaboom. 'Weekend Life' is a quick follow-up punch, it wastes no time in doing what it needs to do before fuckin' off into the great realms of 'job done, fuck you'.  Sharp, regular and rapid this is one of the more primitive songs on the CD and one taken for what it is, enjoyed and tossed to one side.  I enjoy the chasing swing of 'Music Of Merchandise' more, a waltzing number that packs a meaty punch and leaves one doubled-over.  There is much meat on the bone here, great dripping shreds of flesh waiting for the hungry tonal chompers to snap at.  An irritated edge, a scuffled and skanked hybrid, a toxic spill of energised music played in the bands very own style - what is not to like?  And once again, terse and impacting - smashing.

'Fool' has a fuckin' mean and spiteful edge with an opening throb stutter not to be trifled with.  I know this song well, it is a real ear-worm and drills home its intolerant vibe with unapologetic intent.  A bewilderment at the low-level intelligence this searing incident showcases the bands spirit, reactive approach and all round ability.  I love the gear shifts, the aggression and the general orchestration - it is a very invigorating number.  From the sand-bag thumping to the more fluent we go with the excellence of 'Fight' absolutely lapped up by my Fungalised self.  A fast-rolling routine with all components as tight as fuck supporting the overall encouraging vibe.  There is no reason to lay back and take a kicking, no excuse for letting the bastards walk over you and get away with their shittery. Get up you gits, play this loud, recharge your batteries and get out there and stand your ground.  This is wonderful moment backed up by the runaway train of 'Throughput Will Be Down' - a muscular number charging with unstoppable force and just reminding me why I asked the band if I could add it to my Fungalised Bandcamp page so as to help showcase what this lot do.  Acute, unsettled and happening but all the while totally focussed and nailing the noise.  I listen to this song quite regularly. it is one of those that blows away any cranial cobwebbery.  Tis' fuckin' choice racket making don't ya know.

Charging on with the key-tapping digits ablaze and 'Struggle With Momentum' comes next.  A bag of clutter-buggering cacophony, it batters the belfry in a fine fashion with the following onslaught foaming and thrashing in the ocean of turbulent tonality.  From nowhere a brief moment of respite is found before the violence continues and we are kicked to fucked and left to wallow in the wonder of some solid passion.  'Clown Parade' follows, has a bubbling bassline with a good lick that dictates the modus operandi of the track.  Initially more subdued before a fracture of the mental and musical restraint is had and all words are spilt in a bubbling blood spit of eager necessity.  A track that needs more time this one and one that doesn't grab any dangling and loose foot-tapping strings - it comes and goes and no matter how much I play it leaves little impression - the rhythmic runt in the thriving pack no less.

'God's Not Here' is a demo but nonetheless it is a ruddy good song with a feet on the ground approach and a wake-up and realise stance many may be offended by.  A general anti-religion outpouring, a finger poke at those with heads in the Heavens rather than at level tangible.  The desperation in the delivery is borne from a disbelief and it works mighty well.  'I Don't Care', in some ways, conveniently backs up its predecessor with a grinding primaeval release of 'fuck-free' passion that coughs, splutters and staggers along in a satisfyingly disjointed and unorthodox style.  Almost free-hand fuckwittery with a jammed edge that is in keeping with my hammered lugs and wayward approach - from the mush a manky melody comes.

'What Are You For' may be a question to aim at 99% of the idle headed population, the ones who talk and yet never walk, who encourage but never do, who take it and fake it but never, ever make it.  Look in the mirror and ask the question, see what answers you get.  This is a real wake-up racket with a wind-blown junkyard feel back-shadowed with a dynamo of angst that keeps matters moving and on the edge.  Just below the upper surface of racketology is a sub-epidermal layer of great control - it gives the song presence.  We close with 'The Scene' - another song that sets a few posers and rips up the overlay of 'everything’s all right Jack'.  A cosy veneer doesn't tell the whole story, we must tighten up below and recognise the need for solidarity.  The band gravel kick their way through this closing number with the now recognisable flavour and much lo-fi gumption.  There is an obvious passion here, a deep-rooted system of faith in something real and so easy to keep alive - the key, as ever, is to just get off yer arse and do without thought of self-gain - simples!

I like Nomatrix, I like what they do and this CD would be an ideal introduction for anyone not aware of the band and their style.  By support folk like this we have a chance at keeping things varied, exciting and challenging – the choice is yours!

   

LAMBPAIGN - ENGLAND

With Deadlamb Records there is no profit, no pomposity and no hidden agenda.  The label is a pure stalwart of supporting underdog noise and does it in a fine and unassuming way.  Since day dot I have been on their side, I will continue to be so, labels like this are the lifeblood of music - the art is in the doing and doing for the utter love of it.  This latest spilling is a mere 12 tracks, I invest good time as per and produce the usual honest, and hopefully, encouraging review.

We begin and 'No Choice' by Attestor is an affair that begins with crummy guitar grumblings and much agitation.  The development takes us into a nasty tumble-fuck affair that has a fine ethos and kicks back at the fascists bastards and downright idiotic.  The violence of this opening thrust is both obvious and controlled although when one comes out at the other end, one feels nicely roughed up.  A decent start to a CD with much promise. 'Piece Of Meat' by Backstreet Abortions is wonderful action filled rabidity with a real snarling shit spew that has a delicious chorus desire that is neatly broken by some highly appealing guitar work – it sets my soul aflame.  From the opening bee-fuzz frenzy through the marvellous counterpunches the song works a treat and I fuckin' love it.  Foaming, fiery and not fuckin' having any of your shit, this is a minor zenith. Proud City Fathers follow, they are a solid unit and have a vicious edge that once more comes to the fore.  'Summer Of Hate' is a seething molten mass rolling your way with control and intensity before exploding into a gratuitous fountain of searing rage and hatred.  The band play it remarkably tight, have me on the edge of my seat and ready to go throw a brick, shake someone until they wake the fuck up or indeed holler for all I am worth with utter disgust at a planet turning to rancid bilge.  A fine band completing a fuckin' fine hat-trick.

Bass bumble, string statements, a skid and then into the hollering.  In Evil Hour have a good reputation, 'Build It Up' proves why with a feisty and highly organised slap of sonic power-mongering.   The lady at the helm may be petite in stature but she doesn't half let it gush forth with good gumption and is backed by a concrete unit of noise-makers who all contribute to a highly convincing eruption.  This latest explosion shows why Deadlamb Records do what they do and how they have their lugs tuned in to many flavours - on we go - salivating.  'This Hating Nation' by Diaz Brothers has a more euro-feel to matters and a more technical edge with my only gripe that the vocals are too submerged for their own good and so lose some of their clarity and effectiveness.  I hang on in there and put in some perspired effort - the outcome of my ponderings is of a song with sharp and sweeping guitar work and some rigid stick stabilisation but with a lack of snagging melody that grabs my personal receptors - these things happen and I am sure many will disagree with my verdict (I hope so).

Eastfield come next, a band that never fail to delight my sensors and once again, they do just that. What a fuckin' beautiful song this is and oh how it sums up the DIY spirit, belief and downright tenacious attitude of many folks out there.  I love the light and breezy delivery, the transparency and the understanding of something that matters.  The song is an immediate foot-tapper, a real joy - what a good band these lot are.  Kicked In The Teeth come next and provide a nice tensed up counter-punch to the previous song. 'Dead Air' snarls and seethes whilst bashing away at a world of apathy and head-wanking idiocy.  The strait-jacketed sensation is given a brief respite via shimmery nebularity that eases the pressure.  A fair offering, reminiscent of many things I have heard before, but who cares as long as the bollocks are bared.

5 songs left, Zero Again stampede and rampage in that recognisable mad-as-fuck hardcorian way so many love to indulge in.  'Husk' is a shatter-clatter splat-fuck of unleashed mania and is the quintessential 'acquired taste' music.  Like a dish of many flavours served, my hungry salivating senses need a peppering of spice to enhance the whole feast.  This, if part of a slumgullion of similar spillage, would be too much to bear but here fits in just right and makes the overall meal taste mighty fine.  Knife Club join the fray next with a positive product that encourages one to never give in and just keep on trying. 'You Can Only Try Your Best' has a good feel to it with a fair melody and some good vibes.  The song may lack the true welly-wanking 'oomph' factor but the vocals work well in unison and there are many who will love this.  Knife Club do what they do, they are certainly not out of place on this CD.  The Hoors donate a strange and quite obvious song next with the swirling montage of filth and fuckery making 'Dirty Old Man' a difficult song to take to.  Simple in many ways, crass in others, short and scurfy with a distinct completeness lacking.  I don't like this one, it needs work but I suspect after a few beers, in the pit, I would be joining in with the spillings - daft ain't it.

The Sentence are a band I know well, they started off their journey in fine style and were lapped up by many faces.  They have many good songs to their name, I am finding though (like I do with quite a few bands) the early stuff is outweighing later releases.  There are many reasons for this which I have no time to go into here and I stick to the song under the spotlight.  The guitars have a roughened edges, the bass provides meat on the bone and the drums splash with good muscle.  The vocals are utterly raw and honest and the mode is perhaps typical of the genre but still does what it does with magnetising belief - you can't ask for anything more (or could you).   We close with a feisty kicker that I love.  'Pink Bits' by Last Reserves takes a situation that has gone on for far too long, grabs the knackers of the patronising perpetrators and squeezes real hard whilst hollering out a sure-fire reaction.  A gentle and deceiving start, a young girl watches, tries to get involved and gets labelled.  The explosive action that comes is unruly, natural and laden with a frustration at a state of shittery all too rife in this so called 'normal' society.  For me the song says 'piss on their expectations, defy their judgements, put a fist through their grooming guidebooks' and a make a fuckin' noise whilst doing so.  A smashing full stop.

And once more Deadlamb delve, dabble and deliver an assortment of ditties that showcases the goodness found beneath the more blatant radars and where good life breeds good sounds. I hope this lot, as well as the bands, just continue on and on and keep pushing the boundaries - it needs doing don't ya know.

   
Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,
21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40
41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50
51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60
61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70
71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80