The band under scrutiny here are a collective eclectic bunch of 'erberts all swinging in from different sonic angles and offering up an overall discharge that avoids any distinct categorisation.  We have an ex Black Light Mutant in the mix (a ruddy good band that) and an old buddy from a band back in the early 80's (stand up 'Eddy' and take a bow) plus two other dabblers one of whom opened a Fungal gig under the guise of The Speed of Sound.  There is a range of sound on show and all I am requested to do is dissect two tracks and cast forth my Fungalised thoughts - here goes the usual honest scribbling.

'Curse The Songs' is a lengthy delivery laden with alternative sounding, indie labelled essences that traverse the substrate of time and bring to the fore something reliable, easily acquainted with and yet utterly fresh.  The opening sequence is tentative, seeking and almost bashful.  A sanguinity is found, the light skipped fore wires work a treat against a beavering substrate of bass work and some primarily cymbally nervous tympanics.  All throughout the energy is wonderfully fluttery, finds increased levels of prowess whilst emanating an inner disgust and a musical insight for us to revel in.  There is a DIY aspect that heightens the honesty, the song, despite over-running the 5-minute mark is easily devoured by this overfed git and after playing over and over I am seriously considering offering them a gig slot just on the back of this one song - I hope that speaks volumes.

'John Doe' is the flip track, it combines touches of countrified croonings, folk ramblings, more independent hints of sub-times of yore.   The overall approach is uncluttered, every individual contributor is afforded space to do their thing whilst contributing to a somewhat lo-blow-out of intrinsically unflustered music.  The tempo is middling, the flow unhindered, the delivery subtly appealing without being too vulgar.  Perhaps in some places things are a little too exact, perhaps there should be a few more frayed edges for the more lowly dogs but speaking from the gutter with long term scars, I find this easily digestible fodder and a ruddy good change to things more crudely spiked.

So a brace of tasters, one thoroughly convincing, the other enjoyed but having a less obvious impact.  If the band are going into the studio anytime soon the only things to be considered are the inclusion of a few speedier tracks, a couple of short additions and perhaps a good old instrumental to start and close the offering.  There is a whole lot of potential here and to me it seems like music being played by people who just have it in their blood and let's be honest, if these guys weren't making music there would be some serious masturbation going on that's for sure .  Yes, stick at it chaps, tis far better for one's mental health than playing the purple tipped trumpet all day.



A 4 piece from Northampton/Milton Keynes who formed in 2009 as a cover band (ooh the silly sods).  Thankfully the band decided to create their own constructions and played their first set of original material in October 2017.  They have moved on, played some gigs and are now asking ye olde Fungalpunk for a review (they are even sillier sods than I first imagined).  Of course I said yes, the band have a certain colour scheme right up my street but that doesn't mean the review will be glowing, in fact, as I wrote this intro I have no idea what my thoughts will be - fingers crossed hey folks!

First up, 'Pharaoh’s Curse' comes and is a jaunty little jingle filled with DIY accents and a certain cheerful application that is easy to digest.  The seaside is the place where the tune is pitched, the first verse is comedic and simple and tells a tale of a sun-seeking 'erbert who comes unstuck and ends up with a dose of the shits.  The string work is chipper, the drums skip and roll without intricacy, the verbals are scribbled onto a stained sheet of toilet-paper and sang with 'bloke down the pub' reality.  One can almost envision the crapping sufferer with trousers down, sanguine grimace and kiss me quick hat having a real duff time - ha, ha - serves him right!  'I've Been Banned' is a basic punk splurge of sonic tomfoolery regarding an inebriate with puked on tootsies making an arse of himself in the local retailer of booze.  The product is bog-brush noise complete with stinking shittery and undigested fragments that add to the overall acoustic excreta.  This one plays things too simple, it fuzzes along and despite a perky guitar wank it never really elevates itself beyond the level of 'simple'.  I think in the 'live' pit it will go down a whole lot better, watch this space.

'Ladyshave' is my favourite thus far, a good lick (cripes), a trembling pleasure and one done with idiotic comedy at the fore regarding a lush bush of pubic undergrowth that has become something of a problem.   The aim of the shaving is rather out of sync with my approach but the song is a nice sensation down below and appeals to some tucked away part of me that should know better.   Nothing overcomplicated, nothing too profound and plenty of vulgar phrases - ooh me loins are ablaze.    'You're A Dickhead' is a bumbling bee with a sting in the chuff that is brandished via a song of the most basic construction.  The chorus is a bare-bollocked offering and readily undercooked showing a greenness borne from germinal DIY realms many will forget they were ever involved with.  I like the raw side of noise, I like things bordering on the shabby, here though a little bit more 'oomph' would have been so apt, a bit more fuzz in the buzz readily needed.   The song has promise, for me this is unfinished business.

'Cross Dresser' continues a comedic theme that leaves me in fear of the band getting dragged into a mire that duly detracts.  Each to their own and many just want to have a crack and just enjoy - this can be no bad thing, in small doses that is.  This is an uncomplicated song, an open wound of straight ahead punkery from the depths of the DIY underpants.  Hairy conkers, ready-rubbed shafts and scratched arses are all exposed, along with a few tickles like this!  'Spoon In The Knife Drawer' rust-buckets in and asks the eternal question that can ultimately lead to those with cerebral difficulties to get rather upset.  This is a wrap-around, warp the sound number to get easily involved with and not take too seriously - so I do and I don't - sometimes it is just what a reviewer needs.  'Posted It On Facebook' bass rumbles in, spurts along and deals with the madness of the on-line world and people’s insane desire to justify their existence and every move.  'Look at me, look at me - I am having a good time aren't I' - is the thinking behind the fuckery and in truth, it needs to stop.   Crash Induction go about dealing with the lunacy in their usual uncomplicated forthright way and tickle the senses no end.

3 quick flicks to keep the impetus rolling.   'All Hail Barry Scott' regards that fictional fuck-wit and seller of drain clearing poison.  It is a piss-taking bout of pseudo-adulation that dissects the myth of Cillit Bang and shouts the joys of the cleaning fluid that is second to none.  There is an unhinged madness deeply exposed, the band seem immersed - I am frightened.  'Homophobic Girlfriend' is old-school tomfoolery with a pre-punk affect and a lengthy tale told concerning a lass with leanings tilted perhaps a little too much the wrong way.  If the truth be known I am not keen on this, it needs a good kick up the arse during the chorus cuts and a real injection of pace to give it the crucial 'oomph' factor.   The running time is too long and it just leaves me as cold as Adolf Hitler's nob during his final days in the bunker - bah.  'Under Attack' bass bumbles, skids, ups the ante with some good honest to fuck scuzzery.  The output is dirty, full of regulated music and sticks to the basics without fucking about off track.  I have little to add - just get a few beers, play loud and pogo!

I fall into the back stretch, 'Travolta' is a song I don't like, it goes on too long, never raises itself from the flat-line and is too much of the same.   Sometimes you can like one song, hate another and there is very little in it - here is such a case - this one does absolutely nothing for me although it is in keeping with what has transpired - an odd moment and one I flick quickly on from.  'Number 1 Fan' is an ego-riddled piss-take that could apply to many self-obsessed fuckers in the music scene - let's face it, the scene is riddled with this shit.  Over the years I have come across some right old tossers who try and play it humble and then let slip a few remarks that expose the narcissistic idiocy running through their veins.  I like the abrasive accents of this one, the cutting direction of the verbals and the convincing way one feels that a mind has been overtaken by a maniacal inner belief.  The opening string cuts, the forthright lunacy - I think it may rub up a few people the wrong way this one - here's hoping.

Next and the sprinting energy of the confessional known as 'Stacy Bushes Car Park'.  This is a good street burst dealing with a moment in time when a dick was dipped, another fanny fouled and two pimpled arses humped in unison.  There is nothing romantic in these liaisons, the band say it how it is without much emotion or to fair, importance.  In many respects here is one of life's regulated blips exposed, I like the tune, the content still makes me shudder as I seek some semblance of sanity in this mad, mad world.  The closure is a bonus ball stuffed up the attentive rear via a sub-live setting and concerning some dubious sexual behaviour the band seem too familiar with for their own good.  It is an acoustic peck on the closing arse cheeks and ends with the synthetic crowd verbally advising the band to get off out of it - I say no more.

Look, this is hit and miss stuff, some will love it (the pissheads, the foolish), some will hate it (the feminists, the Cleaning Fluid Liberation Front) some will even go so far as to listen in and offer the guys a gig (the mentally disturbed, the perverted oh, and me).  I have had an aural pootle and I like some, I don't like a few but I appreciate the effort of having a go.  Now the band are booked on a gig and I expect things to be even better in the 'flesh' - it could be a quite sexual experience - ooh mother!



6 bands on the Dirty Water Label have been gathered together to showcase 2 songs apiece over the course of a CD that, on paper, looks incredibly tantalising.  The bands chosen are all of a certain ilk to make the ingredients varied but at the same time of one ethos and passion.  They come from far, wide and outer space, several of which I am very familiar with.  Here goes something I hope lives up to the pre-spin excitement.

The Black Mambas coil and strike from the pilled up shores of the U, S of A and spill out a great fruity poppoid tickle known as 'Up All Night'.  This highly melodic and slick moving piece of thrashing noise is played with pep and pizzazz and makes the first impression of the compilation a ruddy well good one.   The close-up and personal action reeks of pub-rock and the enthused overspilling of all components come together to procure a sensation borne of eras quite special.  The guitars are full of zest, the chorus is a crowd pleaser for sure and one can envision the fired up mob bouncing and singing along with genuine glee.    'My Baby Knows' by The Cavemen immediately skewers with speed, confesses to being wired up all wrong and traverses the second spatial area on the CD with the expected lunatic fringe gusto this band so readily cough up onto the cacophonic carpet.  This is a sizzler, one to play very loud whilst on a bender - sometimes we all need to melt our minds, this noisy eruption will do the job with ease.

The Scaners cut inwards next with their recognisable dashing spaced out sound that comes at you with relentless drive and a somewhat rewired mania.  'No Place In Space' is a swift cutlet that swishes and swirls with self-generating energy on a head on repeat clash with those in the know.  The opening chops belie the zipping zest of the song that follows - the general cut is a sound inclusion here, fasten your seatbelts folks.  'I'm Useless' is the next track, by The Fadeaways.  The double-flicked strums, the easy sticks, the ground geared mouth work all make for a strutting cacophonic cat that has much prowess and general pizzazz.  A spunky number this that believes in the thread set and sticks with it - it leaves me with little else to add, this is never a bad thing!  Les Lullies push the starter button next, they claim 'You're Doing Wrong', and do so with an opening salutation of strung promise before gushing forth a well-juiced number that pulls out many sonic stops, spits forth the spirit whilst clattering along with a glorious impetus borne of slag rock shenanigans and quick-fire temperaments.  This is a good surging effort and followed by the wild spurt of 'Destruyete' a  creation offered by the urgent noise whores Nave Nodriza.  This cruddy sprint is played with quick and accurate application and frosted over with a manky dog desperateness, permanently scratching at the sonic fleas and scraping its own arse along a dusty substrate of pluming noxiousness.  The time was ripe for a pacey thrust, the band here meet the criteria silently requested.

Half one done, let us do it all again.

This time around Les Lullies open proceedings and ask 'What You're Doing', with a crashing and careering skid along sound hepped up from the start via nerve-riddled tremulations.  This eavesdropping scrag-end of laps it up whilst rolling in the dust and kicking up a noxious plume to get duly choked by.  The band rock matters up during the middle break via some traditional fuckery before headed to the last shit out - nice.  Nave Nodrista jump back into the fray with the electrically charged spew out of 'Muerete'.   A crummy effort once again relying on much speed to keep the animation high and the clogging cacophonic bugs at bay.   This is the kind of manky slaggery that gets my boat up on the turbulent waters and floating to Islands of Invigoration.  Bordering on the lunatic fringe, played with reactive naturalness and as underwashed as you could wish for - oh aye!

Into the final flings, The Fadeaways ‘Have Nowhere To Hide’, pump inwards, swing in with a fine uplifting riff, groove and grind with fluent relish, slobber away with a musical joy that is kept on its toes by a very deliberate rear tub thump.  Good competence is maintained as the song progresses and jacks-off this way and that with increasing abandonment.  The sleazy touch is kept under control so as to not expose too much obvious vulgarity - sometimes it is the way to do it!  The Scaners go about their business next with the usual screwball space age nonsense that is really very easy to get into and in truth, needs little dissection.  After the forthright tub thumps the surge through the warped weave is done with little fuss and laserlight direction - they do it simply, they do it well, I think if the band go full tilt with a 'live' light show it would make for quite an event – yeah, watch that ‘UFO Crash’.

For the penultimate blow-up things get sexed up and fuck with a Chuck (Berrified of course) groove that gathers up an armful of typical R 'n' R riffery thus giving a repetitive promise of something hot.   'Baby I'll Give It To You' by The Black Mambas is a bass-urged bollock release that takes an old-school route and never lets up.  Don't expect nothing new, don't expect to be deflated either - just drop in line with the fruity mania and jig man, jig!   We close with 'Too High To Die' by the ever hepped up band known as The Cavemen.   This is off-the-leash hollering that takes a real snagging option and strangles out a solid response from the listener.  The application is highly relished, the operators throw in their all, the gumption and reckless pursuit of things beautifully snotty and glammed is done with such intensity that even the most extreme outsider will be drawn into the shebang - yes, this is a fine way to close a captivating showcase of all things 'Dirty'.

12 tracks from 6 bands and a format that I utterly believe needs replicating with more bands from the same label strutting their stuff, working together and hopefully turning a few heads.  For anyone not aware of this fine label this is a quality introduction, there is a whole world of fine noise to discover, I hope another similar offering comes our way very soon.



From something solo a gathering was borne, a gathering known as a 'band'.  The band here come from London, offer up a 4 track EP of sub-sludgy pop done with lo-fi application and with a certain organic sound carefully kept away from areas overly processed and, as a result, plastic.  I go in cold, expect nothing and as a result get...well, you will have to read on to find out.

'Clearly You Do' emerges from the substrate of silence, offers a touch of almost Eastern-promise, rolls forward into a heavily waved riffings that, rather than get too grunged or punked, maintain a popped element that duly gives the track charm.  This latter element primarily comes from the she utterances that ride over the sonic spume and add a dreamy drift that is very much needed.  The rolling and frothy underscore provides great buoyancy, is nicely kicked up by splashing cymbals and the inner respite is a mere preparation for the end swirl.  Something very appealing rises, the question now is whether or not the band can maintain interest and vary the overall essence.  'Community Theatre' mechanically chops in, offers a sweet melodic serenade offered in alternative lo-fi gushes that are encouraged by some good acoustic gusts of incessant wind.   The cacophony has a complete feel and with strong suggestions of 'garaged' accents that is always destined to appeal to this grub-seeking bugger.  The swishes and swirls are plentiful, the band just need to make sure though that the defining lines between all components and alterations are sharp and a little more pronounced so as to get the best out of their dabblings.  This gets by as it is but more emboldening lines between the colours would be no bad addition.

'Who Throws A Shoe' is a trifle too tepid for me and spends a little too long with its head on the pillows rather than jumping up and tearing the sheets to buggery.  It is a gracile piece, almost transparent in its aural appearance and of a barely touched nature.  I try and stick with the tune and grasp something appealing via a quick repeat play sequence but fail to be inspired - tis a little too languorous and without any kinetic sparks to generate my eavesdropping soul.   The end stutter to the silence is expected - hey ho, I can't like everything!  We close this 4 tracker with the initially bashful 'Fancy Trolley'.  From distance the tonality eventually arrives, all the while being timid and tentative with the early rises coming with noted care and wariness.   The rolling sway of sound adopts the sonic stance of an incantation with phantoms seemingly beckoned from aural areas somewhat overly misted.  The application of the players is unified and from the spartan to the saturated is neatly executed and the suggestion of saccharined strains is adequate but...this is definitely not for me and I find the overall arrangement a little too insipid - it happens.

An interesting 4 tracker I think but one that needs a little more obvious treatment with some orthodox licks thrown in and a few hefty contrasts added to emphasise all areas.  Just personal thoughts of course but, in many respects,  that is reviewing.  For a 4 track release this just gets by but over a longer course I reckon I would be 'bored shitless' - there are many who would disagree of course, and so they should.  If another EP is in the pipeline it would be interesting to see which route is taken!



At the time of writing I have had this several weeks, have seen the band under the grubby spotlight play a gig for me (and leave me mighty impressed) and have been pulled many ways, doing many things and seemingly making no progress (sounds about right).  The disc to be dealt with contains 5 covers by The Stooges, 1 original, the Men from Merseyside have me on the back foot and after the initial shock I got stuck in and shat out some scribbling that left a pattern as thus:-

'You Don't Want My Name' is a low down sloucher reliant on a griping grind of heavily vibrated guitar and accented vocals almost sneering with the relaxed and loose way in which they are delivered.  The sound of yore, the almost sloppy application and the cruddy flow of the musical waters all slip from the arse of acoustica with sub-diarrhea dirtiness leaving we, the gagging listeners, to appropriately scratch and sniff.  The aroma isn't initially offensive or impacting but, with time the fragrance affects and one grows rather fond of the overall emanation.  Tis a good opening number with the only critical point to make being the lack of finalising 'oomph' in the end mix - a factor to remember when producing the next offering methinks - let the fuckers have it.  'Fresh Rag' starts with subdued strums, lays on a thick spread of glutinous sound before settling into a mid-paced groove of reclining affect that still power-punches with a desiring pang.  The approach at times is almost ad-hoc, the lustful intent kept under wraps with the vibrating erection always in the minds-eye despite not being thrust with any blatant vulgarity.  The sludginess of the spunkery is kept active, has a consistency that may make a few retch, may impregnate a few with deep rooted curiosity - it is what this kind of music does. When the band get down and fuck they do it mighty well.

'Dead Body' crumples inwards with scuzzy self-indulgence, spasmodically writhing in its own stained sonic sheets before billowing all with a nasty fart of extended malevolence that for me, overstays its welcome and offers too much pollution for the assessing hooter.  The whole grind is akin to a heavy bout of pre-shittery griping with the end evacuation of relief never really manifesting itself.  It is heavy duty stuff and has its place, it rolls on and takes no prisoners and makes no apology but this is dense stoner material and just lacks a certain pep within the mix that would transform it into something more pleasurable.  'Big Time Bum' is more like it with the ingredients set so far maintained but given greater effect and life due to the injection of pace and overall sensation of a job needing doing.  The style is still sprawling, the essence somewhat crude, the mix down in the gutter where all the scabby mutts seek nutrients of noise but the band wallop out with intent, rise up to a latter blow out that finalises a very gratifying cacophony and shivers ones timbers in no uncertain terms.  

'Do You Want My Love' is a clobbered effort with the sticks persistently pulverising and dictating the direction and delivery of this hormone-riddled ditty.  The acoustic blood is surging, a restless hunger is chomping at the well-chewed bit, the flames are lapping at the genitals of the creators and bubbling the inner seeds quite nicely thank you.  The thumbscrew pressure applied never lets up, the more one plays the more one feels bruising breakout on the delicate cranial mush - is this a bad thing?

'Soviet Girls' is another snippet guilty of labouring its point and swirls and sloshes like a bowl of shit-laden gravy of the most glutinous kind.  The lyrical content is spartan and deals with some obviously unclean hairy arm-pitted lasses from behind the curtain of iron.  The montage of heaving sound works better in the 'live’ pit but, in truth, this is music that is easily picked up on and ideally used as an accompaniment to things more intricate.  It is, as expected, unfurrowed discordance that strangles out a slow response of positivity - it makes a change from the usual smash and grab material I get clattered with.

So the outcome, a CD with a slant that in many ways has been lost in the eons of musical time and one that offers a refreshing angle to my ever-diverse listening range.  A few moments leave me standing and cold, a few squeeze out good thermal radiations of rhythmic pleasure, overall I think the fact that I will be booking these guys again reflects my opinion.  Remember folks, sonic shite has many shades and stenches, we should be happy with that and sniff with ardor - get yer hooters ready ya mire wallowing beauties!



A bit 'o' this, a bit 'o' that and Bob is presumably, your Uncle.  Alvin and the Angry Barrels make a good sound, nothing too offensive, nothing too dirty - just a variety of pleasing tunes that I am always up for reviewing.  Of course, just because things are nice and sweet could be an error in itself and if the band are not stretching their foreskin of potential it is my solemn duty to pass a humble circumcising judgement and hopeful get the buggers inspired instead of resting on their scrotum.  In fact, if things are not to my liking I will give the aforementioned relative a ring and have him pay them a visit - he isn't called Bob the Nob for nothing you know.  So, in the hope of denying any genital damage I dip in and dissect some dinnage, 5 tracks, 5 chances the lads have to stay in on piece!

A soundbite, the tag of 'punk rock' is said to be everywhere and yet, in these diluted times, I do fuckin' wonder.  Anyway the song here (whatever genre you feel the need to give it) is a ruddy gushing torrent of attractive goodness that picks up on a wrap-around loop and just fuckin' runs with it.  'Three Songs For A Quid' seems a trifle fed up with the 'same old, same old', duly revs up with high voltage urgency and cruises along with a real kicking pertinent point made.  The trumpet blowing brigade are pissed on, the sabre of sound is swished with relentless energy, the running time used is ideal for the acoustic assault.  There is nothing complicated going on, there doesn't need to be.  'Club Stamp Hand' billows in with great prominence leaving one in a place wondering what will come next.  The chasing sound is a quite individualistic noise reliant on a spunky skank pulses layered beneath the main drive of the song that once more works with ample pace.   The vocals are placed carefully over the substrate of fuzz-fucking sound and given room to remain lucid and increase the 'involved' levels.  Again, complication is avoided, good reliable earthy noise is opted for and the band deliver without unnecessary nonsense - I think these guys would go down well on a Fungalised gig (nudge, nudge).

The next song is the best thus far, a strong muscle-flexing bout of music dealing with a shabby sub-culture where dead heads run around an eternal loop with no hope, no success, no fuckin' progress.  The band dish out a forthright sound about the 'club culture' cunts with no creativity following a procedure because there is simply nothing else to do.  'Is That What You Like' asks a perpetual question with disbelief, hammers it out with solid authority and weight, it is a great piece to pogo along with - get yer dancing shoes ready folks.

'4am Behind The Jump' is a snaking roam that takes things nice and slowly before working up a lather and then repeating the formula set.  The slow serpentine waltzes are bass driven and laden with casual assuredness, the speed bursts are drum and guitar dictated and filled with cerebral uncertainty as the situation under the spotlight falls apart.   An instrumental piece closes the offering and does so  with unflustered aplomb and with an unexpected abruptness - I expected a final flourish, I suppose it will keep me asking for more.  The last blast is entitled 'Miller' a quick hammer-tongue of thriving scuzzery that nails an undesirable and let’s fuckin' rip.  The song follows a certain punk formula that sets out to spit out its point with raging passion and get the job done in double quick time - in some respects this makes it the weakest wank of the lot but it is a needed inclusion and shows the band can offer a varied approach whilst dishing the dirt.  It will do well in the midst of a set where the craftier numbers enchant.

And that is that, the enraged Barrels and Alvin have come, nailed it and proven to me they are worthy of mixing it on many stages.  They have their own distinct sound, they sweetly mix up the melodies and vibrations and leave one with a good aftertaste.  I suggest you dip in here and if you like what you hear - well you know what to do!



A 13 track CD of acoustic goodness tattooed throughout with a deep-thinking strain that transcends many sub-niches of the scene.  The folk/punk arrangement is a generic option very much on the up at the moment with genuine recognition donated to many a minstrel trying to create a certain cerebral state.  Initially explorations of the disc delighted, one or two tracks were deemed exemplary, so I travelled some more just to be sure.  As rotations develop sometimes viewpoints change, sometimes they don't - as reviewers we have to be darn careful, the artists deserve wholesome honesty rather than a kiss on the arse and time is required to fully tackle the flavours - here's another effort from yours truly!

'Grandpa Still Hates The Tories' is a piercing piece that indicates anger is always an anger and age should never be a barrier to venting one's spleen.  The mellowing process is a disease, those around you will try and douse your raging flames and before you know it - you become one of the used, abused and fuckin' sold down the river.  This neat opening trick is a real ingratiating snippet of inspiring music that will help me to keep the frisky, angry flame alive.  As the gentle cadences and liquid rhythm river flows over my eavesdropping framework I feel the need to grow old - irritated.  Sometimes in life one listens to a song and recognises a moment of subtle and sadly overlooked genius, take for instance 'The Seagull And The Skinhead'.   This second instalment of thinking man’s music combines elements of comedy, idiot fashion following and a stupid indifference the natural things that matter more than belonging to a flock of fuckwits.  The bullies and boneheads need to take heed here - love and consideration is the winning formula, it is posted through your unthinking mailbox with each and every note and hits home with greater effect than a lot of bellowed belt-outs that follow a diluting 'norm'.  The scenario is that festival fiasco, the dig at the peacocks apparent, the nudge up the arse of the donkeys of death nicely delivered but the manipulation and copulation of the melody, message and modus operandi is sublime, the ultimate winning formula and I fuckin' love it.

'Strike' is a slow meandering bout of weary muscularity that is disillusioned, void of hope, laden with a heavy heart.  The uniformed controllers who overstep their boundaries and show little respect for the working forces that keep the country ticking is the core of the drift, the finger is slowly raised and picks out the 'guilty as charged'.  There is a time encapsulated here, a moment in a soiled decade that saw those who believed get beaten by those who didn't.  There was a shit-stain left, a blemish of mistrust that has never really gone away - I think many young un's may not fully get the gist here - that would be a shame.  'The Worst Teeth In Showbiz' asks for attention and then relates a tale about our designed and plastic lives seeking a situation built on bullshit and insincere appraisal.  Mr Butler uses his own worded manipulations atop, what is a times, the barest wire-touched moments thus increasing the intention and belief behind what is being spilled.  In these times of high-end hyperbole and off-course thinking these snippets of genuine thought and cooled musical messages are very much needed.  It is the gossamer donation with hidden grit that wins the day for me and makes an apposite point against much prejudiced crud - wake up, listen, enjoy and react!

'The Times They Are a Short Changin' is a beautifully scripted observational stroll along thoroughfares diluted, town centres trashed.  The malignant messages relayed from bastards detached are examined via a softly explorative jaunt that may at first seem overly casual but with a little effort on behalf of the listener is easily exposed as a piece of work utterly disgruntled and enraged by a situation laden with imbalance.  The pressure comes on the families at financial war, the companies turn the screw, the advertisements ram home what you must do, what you must have.  All is dealt with by a sublime artistic twist that calls for comradeship, resistance and embracing unity - a unity against the oppressors, the eternal depressors - we are left with a feeling of 'all is not lost' - masterful!  'Let's Misbehave' is an impish inclusion that wants to provoke action and speak out against the main drain damning many!  Too many are dumbing down, too many call for you to know your place and question nothing - here is a chance to question once more and then be inspired to get out and make a ripple or two.  The creation is simplistic enough, the attitude exact and the drift appealing - the combination of that which is comfortably easy used to create something problematic for the idlers is once more nicely delivered and the consistency of theme is lapped up by this forever tetchy git.

I take 3 brief surveys of sound next with 'Fitzwilliam' a tale of lives destroyed, times altered forever, dreariness created as well as many voids.  A labouring tale that provokes visions of blackened caverns left cold, without life and never to provide honest work again.  Not my favourite this one but 'The Uncollected' is a trickling beauty that trips along a fine acoustic avenue dappled with folky hues of easy ambience that bounce back and forth and come up with an patternation that duly surprises.  It is a cute effort that plays its cards close to its chest with the final twist saying more than you think.  'Parliament Pays Tribute To Baroness Thatcher' is an acid bite that goes through many false words spilled and then turns into a story of unashamed love as fond memories are had of a certain 70's actress who stood up and kicked back against the fraudulent bullshit.  Our artiste was smitten, the opposing truth was the winning aspect of his adoration rather than the dubious films made where buff and breasts were duly thrown in.  This rather simple but smart song completes a ruddy fine hat-trick that doesn't overcook the methodology, keeps things political without being overly stuffy and uses many a sugar sweet accent to magnetise the musical soul - lovely.

'Drink Up (We'll Have The Same Again)' is a sombre, reflective mix of bleary eyed melancholia that has trace elements of hope.  The blues have taken hold, a comfort within a wallowing is chosen, a certain pull at the ticker threads is had.  We have all had these semi-sozzled moments that throw us off kilter and set the thoughtful juices flowing and this is a fine tune to throw us back into the paradoxically pleasurable doldrums and keep us swaying along to the rhythm.  'The Ballad Of Dylan And Jack' shows a persistent strength and creeping prowess as it deals with two activists who take the law into their own hands and set about dealing with the constructors of cruelty.  The animals are freed, the lab is razed, a victory dance is had, the two cool cats are praised, Mr Butler creates a minor poetical provocation that gets us all thinking with a little more concern - I call that success.

The last 2 come.  Firstly is the somewhat oceanic turbulence and unsureness of 'Dreaming' - a song that slightly changes tack and reacts to its own tidal flow with smooth channels suddenly frothed up and causing extra consideration and care on behalf of the assessor.   I play several times over and fail to fully grasp the gist or appreciate the uneven ride yet all the while consider the slight upheaval most necessary.  To bullshit would be abysmal here, I hold up my hands and label this with a rating of 'unsure'.  The closure is tagged as 'Goodnight And Good Luck', a song that goes back to the simplistic but effective formula used thus far and keeps things pastelised instead of garish.  There are no complications here, no gripes, no troubling angles to throw the CD in the shitter - we are safely led into the final silence and it is now time to sum up.

I have taken my time with this CD for several reasons - I am rushed off my feet, skimming over reviews is not the thing to do and acoustic music is better taken in small doses.  I have reviewed many solo projects over the years as one man gets up and clears his chest and eases his music making demons.  Mr Butler is up there with the best, is a talent still not fully tapped and has many a song here that will stand the test of time – how’s that?  



Bolton Punx Picnic is coming round as I scribble this review - to keep things moving we have a mixed CD to expose the band's sounds further.  It ain't anything new, it keeps the ball rolling though and just doing that is better than doing fuck all.  We have a mix on here of many familiar vibes and some new to my lugs, just like any compilation should be.  Punkboot Promotions are the peddlers, I hear one of them has been in prison for selling pregnancy porn - personally I can't fault him.  I go in here as you would expect - I'll try and be terse (honest).

4 Past Midnight piss class, they have long been a band who have tickled my senses but have been sorely neglected.  A change in the 'live' delivery has made them more appealing to the party pigs and so the noise, as a result, is getting better recognition, we live in a funny old world.  For me the quality of produce just gets better and along the way we have been treated to some real peaches - here is one such mouth-watering beauty - 'On Tour'.  The song enters on big glasslight statements, cruises into a melody to wank over, hits all the sonic hot-spots through verse and chorus and is a crisp, coarse and reality sodden masterclass that closes with all flags flying in great celebratory style.  A complete offering and getting the CD off on a footing barely equaled.  Bastard Face rattle out 'Durham City R. K' and leave one with a mighty flea-riddled sensation as the unhygienic swarm of sonic filth crawls over the attentive carcass and...soils.  A heavy duty pile-driver that repeatedly pummels the weak-spots of the listener and leaves great bruising.  The earthquake created within the core is violent but all the while, controlled, the band certainly know how to kick arse.  Personally I would have preferred a shorter running time - it is a constant request of mine, it may be an 'age' thing.

'The Greatest Story' by Blacklist is a funny old song and seemingly starts rather weakly and leaves little in the way of aural gratification but, as the song progresses, it seems to grow in stature and wins over solid favour from the listener.  The kick-back against the accepted, the grinding style of the delivery and the thoroughly insistent way in which the band crack on and question the norm is done with a conviction I kind of get won over by.  It is a creation, in many ways, orthodox music that hints at many similar offerings but who gives a fuck, nothing is new anyway.  Born To Destruct are a band I have done a fair bit with over the years and who are now on something of a roll as a few heads have been turned and the band have finally found their true groove.  'Meltdown' is a fighting back tune that rises from the doldrums and spirals in before stating its case and moving with the usual fiery tension.  Another ascension with a solid snagging sing-a-long snippet comes, the followers of the BTD crew will love it.  The song is tight, steamrolling and captures what the band do - no complaints at all.  Force Fed Lies bombard the senses with the resisting self-titled shit out that rolls in on heavy bass and deliberate sticks before chugging with passion and jack-hammering with forthright authority.   The roaring application of the vocals is a significant factor in the weight of the song with the musical underscore equally hefty and crushing.  A usual political punk bout the essence of which we have heard a million times before but...if the cunts are the to keep on with their corrupting ways then let the music keep on coming (and some action).

Kill The Masters opt for a tidier route with 'Slave To The Grind' an episode of sharp practice that cuts a swathe through what has been and what will come and makes its own worthy mark.   The chopping execution of the stop/start opening works a treat, cools down and then jumps into the satisfying chorus burst with great accomplished ease.  A few exhibitionist touches invade, the billowing punches come in angled bunches, the mix is spot on, this is a good band for sure.  Next up and Knock Off do what they do with straightforward correctness and relate a tale of a crooked cunt just tempted to have one farewell dabble.  'One Last Job' is orthodox material but moves with heavily-loaded wire work and an incessant structure that self-perpetuates the fluidity and focused drive that sees the song progress as one hefty chunk of worthwhile noise many already converted will fuckin' love.  The band are building quite a following, create a noise that has an inoffensive accent and holds an approachable street-borne quality not to be underestimated.

I snatch at the next batch of 4 and try and nail them without fuss.  Pizzatramp are another 'flavour of the month' band, they don't hang about and get their work done in double-quick time.  Over the years I have seen many adopt the same approach and when exposed over a short period it works mighty well.  This song doesn't do the band true justice and in the 'flesh' they are far more impressive.  Section 5 hop into the fray next, 'Stand Up' is a song I am not keen on at all, it doesn't grab me and no matter how many times I play I just can't get into the gist of the matter.  The shimmering roll in, the pronouncements, the somewhat disjointed verse all throw me on the back foot although the chorus cuts and instrumental do the business.  Tear Up hang around the misted confines of 'Jimmy Saville's Greenhouse'.  The deviant of the dongler (be it alive, dead, underage, overage etc. etc) welcomes and then the plodding song comes along and goes through a slow sing-a-long rant that goes roams the motions.  This will no doubt please the pissed-up and those who want nothing more than a vent of the spleen.  I personally would have liked a lot more spunk thrown in (sonic based that is, not Savillian of course) and a bit of pace but there ya go.  Tis OK this one but the best of this quartet by a country mile is 'Down In The Garden' by the simplistically effective and 'oomph' laden louts The Awkwards.  A simple situation is taken, disgruntlement used and a full-on cylinder explosion had - I fuckin' love this one, it is a peach, it cracks on and gives me a certain punky tingle in areas best not mentioned (unless money exchanges hands).  A belter and one to really fuckin' get into - ooh my noggin!

I decide to grab another fistful - I am striving to keep the motions moving with some laxative text!  The Feckin Ejits are the first of the batch, 'Riot' is the song proffered.  A song that starts off severely unwashed before cutting a dash, scrubbing with ardor and grinding out an old school grimace of quick pulsating street noise.  There is a suggestion of clobbering Oi, a dash of some urgent punkism, a strict adhesion to the heart of the genre - these songs are either in the blood or not!  Kill The Masters slam back in with the youthful spleen rupturing beauty known as 'No Apologies'.  A wonderful burst of acne'd angst spitting and spurting with thriving zeal, striving to get arses moving and the dumbed down ashes of many idlers sparked with life and leading to a conflagration of high animation.  The song is played well, has much ferocity, the community should love this one, I may have to check out a 'live' delivery.   The Warriors swagger in next on self-assured mid-paced tones, primarily driven on a focused bass line, a strict regimented stick application and some careful guitar chuggery.  The gob is forthright, straight out of the cobblestoned backstreet of a very sub-generic style (as is the whole song).  Unashamed Oi dealing with blatant footballing thuggery and loving it - hey, there is a place for this stuff - get over it!  Last of the second mittful of melodies is the progressive charm of 'Ordinary People' by The Tokyo Rankers.  A cool verse is overly understated with cute touches just not saving its ass but the chorus is comfortable salvation and gets the song swinging from a situation unexpected.  No rush, no bluster, a song relying on inner artistry and a pseudo reggae cum skank feel that blossoms into echelons higher.  The band are a decent unit, this sing-a-long offering will go down a treat in the flesh - have it.

A 'live' track next and one not doing the band under the spotlight true justice.  Urban Blitzz get swallowed in a mire of tin-drum acoustics but somehow manage to get the gist of their tune across in typical 'garage'd' style.  The intention may have been purposeful or not but this dinky tune is mucked over by the sub-sound mix and therefore 'Dead Boys Party' doesn't get a fair crack of the whip.  Not bad but not making the impression worthy of the band.  'Withered Roses' is at the opposite end of the scale and stands out like a freshly pricked thumb throbbing via the thorns of accomplished musicianship that showcases a band with greater depth than many give credit for.  4 Past Midnight have always been quality, have had to undergo a make-over to convince the masses of that but are still rattling out severe gem after severe gem.  This track is cultured, switched from the gently cared for to the more forthright and does so with such consummate ease so as to fracture many a fuckwits blinkered thinking.  Quite a moment and one, that over time, has just got more and more impressive with its keyed beauty, bass riddled strength and just genuine magnetic conviction - a minor classic perhaps!

Looking down the barrel of the final run in and Bastard Face contribute a concrete piece of noise via the disturbing 'Maniac'.  This is a no-nonsense driller killer that bores into the inner attentive mush and whips matters up into one responsive soup.   The swirling sonic soul is shit-stained, bloody and highly receptive of an effort that gets the crust down and hammers away.  No fuss, no frills, no bullshit!  Blacklist drop into a mid-80's punk mode with an earthiness rising from the ashes with the diluted 'Up The Anti'.  The song has good potential, the mix doesn't give it the greatest chance but one can easily recognise a very retro-fied snip of earthiness with the crew controlling the course and keeping things liquid and listenable - you just need to tweak that volume button to fully appreciate.

Born To Destruct fuck one off the vibrating wrist and ejaculate the gruff and gruesome 'Mongrel'.  Throb twinges spasm, cymbal and skin fleas irritate the senses with great effect and then the straight-forward grind out comes.  For me the song stays on one level too long, fails to distemperise my carcass with its wallowing rhythm although the effort is sweetly compressed and leaks no water.  As per - BTD hit and miss with me, it doesn't mean I am not a fan.  Force Fed Lies again, 'Parasites' is a grubby affair, latches on like a genital leech and feeds on your lifeblood spunk with great passion.  Thankfully my balls are steeled, I am not easily persuaded by a good old sucking and take my time with the opinion.   The outcome is of a decent dish of direct punkery that may lack originality and the final finishing clout but it gets its head down and extracts a sensation of agreeable gutter gushing - the bands previous track is a whole lot better though.

Knock Off take us into the last 3 with the usual accented honesty and simplistic tune making that just has that extra little ingredient to give it weight.  'This Ain't No Love Song' exudes a sub-quality, a sanguine style and comes across with a solid honesty that accepts things fucked up and just gets on with it.   The band call upon many usual trimmings, pour out their all and nail a song that is done with little fuss but with much authority.  Tear Up next and 'Not Big, Not Clever' is a dirty dick dipped in the rear end of the CD's orifice and pounds away with deliberate and bruising style.  No foreplay, so sweet caresses, no caring touches that accentuate the listening experience - no - just rough dog humping with the tail wagging, the balls bouncing and a general stink emanating.  Par for the course material - you will hear better, you will hear worse, you will hear stuff that is less proud of being in the mire.   We close with the bootlaced, uncomplicated Oi of The Warriors with what I regard as a tame tune known as 'Riot In Progress'.   This band are better than this, the song is too obvious in its generic style and follows too many well trodden paths for its own good.  The pace is middling, the mix equally so and as a result my verdict is indifferent.  Like I say, The Warriors are way better than this, for a compilation CD they should be showcasing their best stuff - just an opinion don't ya know.

So, a heap of goods, a few duds, several solid thuds and some very special tunes indeed.   As I say, no one can like everything, yet many seem to claim that they do - well, not me.  I give my good time, I try and play it straight, I get a few hugs, many snipes - I carry on with the best of intention.   The bands on show will be rocking into ye olde Bolton Town very soon, make up your own mind why don't ya but in the meantime, spin this and get prepared.



Rites of Hadda deliver the goods, they create a noise of hefty authority and having fallen from the vaginal lips of old Mother Squat have writhed and wriggled here and there, each time leaving remains of an acoustic afterbirth for us, the mere listening mortals, to squabble over, nibble at and enjoy.   The mystical delivery and varied generic essences thrown into the melting pot produce a potion to entrance, enslave and duly, convince.   In the flesh the band nail it with all areas contributing to a sound that is obscurely cultured, imaginative, ultimately DIY and blindingly effective.  I have been convinced so far, can this 7 track offering uphold the levels if intrigue and belief.

'From The Blow' jumps in with a slapping and pummelling bass, works away with wonderful industry before letting fly with a rip-roaring tune that questions authority and puts under the spotlight unnecessary brutalisation always built on some idiotic deep-rooted prejudice.  This is a delicious piece of music making coughing up a blinding globule of poisonous punkery that lands right in your docile mush and gets the senses buzzing.   The lead gobber is up for the job, rises above the reactive music with lucid authority and convincing spirit.  That underlay of noise is darn exciting and surely I am listening to one of the best tracks I have heard in a long time - yes it is that good.  I slam up the volume, a play to utter fuckery and am assured of a thriving under the radar classic that trembles and tonally gratifies with natural creativity - what a standard to set, what a fuckin' good do.  'Raven' swoops in next, pecks at my indulged carcass with yet more bassed up beak work liable to cause glorious discomfort.  The six-stringed shithawk joins the feeding, twinges with acute rapier effect and the skins flutter from the heart of the matter indicating a nervous scenario set - I am a willing victim.  The march of the vocals is irresistible, the whole sable sensation achieved is liable to get one E. A. Poe thrashing with delight in his catacomb of fear, the cloying intensity is a moment to masturbate over.  The band set out to create an atmosphere, they achieve it with flying shades of black, a black all-consuming and borne of wings destined to corrupt and turn heads, I certainly hope so!

'Keep Buying Things' is an episode of perpetual puking over the greedy 'grab it all masses' who 'want, want, want' just to hide some inner sadness that will never be dealt with via materialistic snatching.  The consumer craze is borne from big companies who rule and dictate to the many who claim to be 'free' - oh the silly sucker fuckers.  Starting with a fine DK guitar wank, thrusting at double quick pace with the wire work utterly marvellous, the tympanics relentless and the oral offering remarkably 'on it'.  This is an utter beauty that deals with a real disease in society - feel that breathless passion, move to that fast flowing groove, stop spending just for the fuckin' sake of it!

'Queen Wasp' is a molten brew harkening from peripheral pastures where outsiders are borne and where a particular fantastical being looms large and threatens to sting.  The vision-inducing creation creeps in on tentative bass heels and cavernous frosts from subterranean realms.  The emanations are all-consuming, all protective.  The chanting essence rises, a summoning seems to be taking place whilst in awe of something on the side of the suffering and the banished.  What we have here is a mystical moment perfectly captured and throwing the CD down a totally alternative route.   The songs embraces, power hugs, donates an opportunity to consider and reveal - wonderful.

'Drag Me From The Lake' is deep woven magic, a strange happening that cries out from depressive realms where the spirits are low and in need of severe resurrection.  The emotive value of the song is strong, the layers ideally positioned and from sombre introspection and a call to things beyond we are given...hope.  The poetical majesty of the lyrics, the resonating textures, the inner desire for respite all come to the fore with granite glory whist the sonic spoon slowly stirs the ingredients and creates one credible piece of muscular and moving noise.  The penultimate product is entitled 'The Revolution And My Love', a tails up and taut-assed tantrum of incessant pushing against a flow that is all consuming, all controlling, all crippling.  A tumbling session of desire, a desire for liberation that is played out on one ruffled plane where the chest is eased and the fuelling flame burns with a static consistent glow.  Not bad, my least favourite but it works well within this mix and is played with real tight attention.

The final blossom is borne under the name of  'Paths Of Orchids', it casts its attractive pollen unto the critical wind, I am caught in the heady zephyr, take stock and spill out my thoughts.  Lyrically artistic and in some ways ambiguous with a journey unto the final death silence dramatically feared.  The players behind the oral sufferer wind matters up with subtle intensity creating an anxiety-riddled scenario that causes emotional discombobulation.  The awaiting wasteland void of sound eventually consumes but I have no doubt that like myself, many will be replaying this song and the preceding 6 over and fuckin' over again.

Rites of Hadda are a band that encapsulate many punk elements, do things with their own slant and in such a convincing way that surely more heads are destined to be turned their way.  In days of formula, imitation and easily predicted noise it is always refreshing to see a band eke out their own style and play it with such appealing relish.  I am convinced, are you?



The Bordellos are once again under the spotlight and if you have been keeping up with my reviews you will be well aware of what they are about and the many sonic angles they swing in from.  If you are not up to speed then the titties are tough and you will need to do your own investigations as I hate to plough over the same old ground and keep starting reviews with the same old formula.  Here we have 5 tracks from a crew dabbling, a crew who will never be at the top of the commercialised playlist or fit into to any of the many sub-generic gigs that are an eternal curse - thanks goodness for that, there are many shitty realms best avoided.

The opening instrumental piece is a slowly rotating clockwork manifestation seemingly borne from the darkened corners of a retro shop where wind-up toys of yesteryear are given life and Gabriel of Bagpuss fame plucks his strings and provides a haunting musical accompaniment (ooh the drugs).  The drums are akin to a Duracell Rabbit given free-reign, the overall style of the song is soothing, a design used to play when in a state of bonged out absorption with swirling hazes taking many pastelised phases and ending in a state of utter soporific serenity - I think it works a treat.  'Moving Sideways' shoulder pushes inward with strong resonations that eventually get carved up via a sonic screwdriver of bee-hum acuteness thus keeping the listener on the hop.  Whisperings come, further cerebral winged tormentors zip in and out of range, all the while the pluckers carry on relentless and with great immersion.  Tweaks and twistings arrive, the band slowly screw out a sound that is at times wonderfully harsh, exotically invasive and completely DIY.  The Bordellos are not doing this for popularity, are not doing this to top any 'hit parades' but are doing it to settle the creative urges and hopefully get folk thinking.  If by any chance you like the output, so much the better.  I like the strangeness and capricious suggestions here - it won't be forever on the turntable but I will be dipping in now and again.

Having mentioned 'Bagpuss' earlier on I must have had, in some way, a premonition because I was unaware a track of the same name was coming.  The tickle here is made up of sandpaper scrapings, undercover mutterings and minimal tinkles that barely reach the tympanic membranes.  The slow shifting sands fall back into retro-times, sketchy video transmissions flicker inward, images of dying animations arrive, the big old cloth cat that Emily loved is on his last legs.  This is a death dirge, nothing more, nothing less - there is something tired and yet tasteful within the weft - I may have to come back to this one.

'Spirals' comes in on cathedral surges, rises like a glorious sun on a morning of eternal hope.  The resplendent glow is all consuming, from the death of night comes the life of day, this marvellous wake up moment is there to celebrate the eternal joy we are blessed with each and every 24 hour cycle.  The keyed touches are tenderly in awe, respectful of something rather special.  I think the band nail matters here, it is a perfect tune to use when opening a 'live' donation, a perfect tune to also seal the set - I am quite taken with it.

The closure 'Whistling Through The Corpses' is haunting madness cutting a swathe through thoroughfares of comfort and creating great distress.  A journey into the unknown is corrupted by abrading perniciousness that claws at the upper layers of decency and creates an open listening wound that is salted with aggravating micaceous granules liable to not only cause pain but…infect.  I struggle with this one, in fact it raises very little in the way of pleasure but...oh those fuckin' buts!

So The Bordellos take no prisoners, ask for nothing less than a humble opinion based on honesty and effort and I hope, that is what I have delivered.  I like what this lot do, even when I have an offering that I don't like, it is how it should be.  There is something unsettling about those that claim to love a band and gush over every track and forever blow trumpets of support on line.  No, this lot come, make music I really get into, make music that I find unappealing - but I am very much a fan - there is no reason to change that stance with this intriguing 5 tracker.

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