A quite lovely fellow called John Jacko Smith requested me to give his latest dabblings a listen as he is now part of a unit called The Undead Conspiracy - and of course I said I would indulge, review and give the usual honest feedback.  A response of 'bring it on' came, and I knew full well no matter what verdict I gave John would take it one the chin like a trooper and not send me packages of razorblade filled dogshit to pay me back for any critique I cared to proffer.  As for the rest of the band - ooh heck, such is the dangerous game I play.  The noise donated was horror-based, a genre I adore and one I really can't get enough of.  So, with 15 tracks delivered in admirable, quality-soaked DIY packaging, I delved and delivered and came up with the following:-

The opening batch of three commences with the warning of 'Dance With The Devil'.  A tale of taking the cloven one by the hand and taking a chance - cripes.  A good skin skip, fair fuzzery and some active bass are all helped along by an eager shout of 'come on' and a solid first verse and easy chorus.  This opening track sets a solid standard without going overboard.  The players are in unison, the vocal style is slightly shadowy with a gentle tint of something gothic whilst the inner guitar splat is nicely timed and of impacting resonance.  More gushings come and a final electro showcase that gives the whole cacophony a great final flush of life is had.  Having listened several times over the whole effort feels more and more accomplished - I like it.  'House Of The Dead' is a place we enter with great careless sanguinity and are greeted by an equally confident noise that is just a breeze to ride along with.  From recesses and niches many dubious eyes may be peeping but this aspect fails to disturb my joy in being surrounding by such easy and embracing vibrations.  Strings are in cahoots, the sticks are reactive and flow with lucid and regulating certainty whilst extra wire-work from the six-strung victim adorns all and adds a certain special something.  A maelstrom is uncovered within the mix as skids and scratches haunt whilst we are repetitively beckoned to enter the abode of the deceased - beware the offer of stepping across the threshold, you have been warned! 'N. W. O' completes the opening threesome and is perhaps the most spiky song of the lot with a straight forward verse/chorus route taken.  Good power and pace combine to make this 2.29 minute song a rapid-fire effort that comes, goes and leaves one with no gripes.  All components have space to operate and exhibit, the mix has been done with plenty of TLC and I reckon this first flush of three has set a mean standard for the rest of the CD to live up to - ooh what silly gits these musicians can be!

The chasing trio begins with 'Scarecrow', a liquid inclusion that moves along with slick precision and a somewhat spartan first verse .  From here the moves between compartments are as liquid as ever, the rise and fall of the tonal packaging is perfectly complimentary and the chiaroscuro content is balanced and making for an end sonic portrait that works mighty well.  After listening over and over I find myself with deep-rooted trepidations and dare not walk through a moonlight kissed cornfield - the murdering mockery of man is not just there to scare the birds it seems.  Note must be made here of some neat bass cement that holds the whole orchestration together and the end flickerlight pulsations – nice work indeed.  'Padded Cell' comes next, places a platform, eagerly insists we join the fold and then flies along with fluid impetus that is easy to digest and fall in line with.  The appointed madman is wired up and locked away with this kick-back tune doing the business in a quite tidy fashion.  An early sneaker that should not be overlooked - take note people, this gets better by the spin.

'I'll Wear Your Skin' stick stumbles and gains order before a neat twist of the cabling comes.  The initial ponderings have me considering a song simply tuneful without being overly ornate and unnecessarily flash.  Efficiency is the key as we investigate the mind of a flesh wearing fiend who likes to cavort in the skin of the slaughtered.  The morbid delight in this situation is delivered well and I am easily persuaded into having a jig myself.  Not a bad do at all - I wonder if any of Ed Gein's relatives are interested?  'Into The Light' comes from a different rhythmic recess, shakes of the angle of conspiracy and pays homage to a sister loved and lost.  There is an anger and a frustration running through the main vein of the song with a heart-wrenching essence held in check.... just!  The song is worthy of its place here and rises above all for the simple reason in that it is done for truly touching reasons.

The next brace and 'The Beast' skips in, skids and fucks around in the mire.  The tale unfolds, graveyard desecrations occur and a relish in evil molestation is taken.  The verses of the song leave me corpse-like cold but as matters progress the listener's attention is piqued and the extra flamboyance and eagerness poured in by the band starts to warm the framework.  Visions of prowling perverts with a taste for brains and bowels come to the fore, the immersion into the dabblings catches on and as mere listener's we become infected.   'Population Control' begins with a bog-standard chant and continues in a style perhaps best described as 'most punky'.  It is orthodox hammering concerning another conspiracy, another angle on the way things are dealt out.  The crew clatter on and I ponder the worth of this song - my opinion is that it alters the course of things nicely and will be a 'live' treat for those with regular spiky tastes.

'Don't Take Me' and 'The Darkness' come next with the former a personal song from a man on the precipice and pleading for all his worth.  The scythe bearing phantom with a desire to extinguish all hope and positivity appears, the fear strikes a chord and a tune is borne - a tune of value and one to take heed of methinks.  Don't be a cocky prick, don't be dishonest and a timewaster, just be good, get on and do something positive.  I think the message here overrides the tuneage, that is never a bad thing.  The latter song wastes no time in getting going and soon adopts the strain set, this time dealing with the omnipresent sable shroud that is looking to drive one off-track and make one commit deeds against decency.  The stability and solidity of the construct is not to be questioned here but I do get the feeling the band are overdoing a certain style and are in need of a severe capricious outburst.  The inner stagger only hinders matters and having listened to this several times over I rate it as an average offering.

'The Grove' has an early punky feel, bounces along and exudes a good zip.  Something almost Ramone-esque nibbles at my senses with tints of pop-punk never far away.  The ditty slips in to the CD's route of rhythm without flaw and the band do what they do with concentrated focus.  The content matter deals with things abhorrent and underhand with a secret society highlighted along with all manner of untoward goings on.  Despite the dubious leanings the song distracts us with eager pep and a ping-inducing reliability - thank goodness.  The chasing track known as 'Punk Rock And Severed Heads' is a straight ahead delving into honest din making - without ornaments and tassels, and of course, affect.  There are no reasons to pick fault here, no reasons to jump up and have a eureka moment and certainly no reasons to scrape away profound layers and find something outrageous - what you have is a very stable song that is cemented in place and does what it has to do.  At this late stage do we need anything more?

Two left - 'The Axeman' has a fine flashing blade of emergency that takes us forth with great anticipation.  The opening verse falls back into the routine of that which has been and I feel a trifle deflated. The chorus is heightened by the blue-light resonations and acute string tones, I am picked up again.  Again we delve into darkened recesses where thoughts dwell on the deviant - the band keep it tight and well-rehearsed, I would be a fool to expect anything less.   We bring down the closing curtain via 'Gillette Baby' - a tonal tale of a goth girl with a penchant to seduce and slash.  The content brings goosebumps to certain areas best left tucked away and The Undead Conspiracy sign off in the now expected and somewhat safe style.  I would have like a full-on blow-out, I am the eternal nagger of noise agents I suppose, but this is a fair finish and very much par for the bloodstained course.

And so to the final thoughts.  This is an above average release, well planned out, laden with decent ditties and done with an adhesion to what the guys like to do.  I think the crew have offered too much in one go though and not thrown in any curveballs of acoustically testing challenges for both the players and the listeners.  I hope the band release an EP next with the same thoughts used and a few surprises had, it would be reet grand to see them 'live' too - we shall have to see what transpires. In the meantime - turn down the lights, light a candle or two, play loud and... shiver! 



Hailing from Plymouth we have a band who deal with reality and don't shy away from the shitty side of things.  The music is thought out, delivered without belonging to any sub-niches and comes as natural as one could wish for.  I spin several times (it is what I do) and carve out thoughts that go like this:-

'Soylent Green' deals with a dystopian nightmare, a society gone wrong, a step taken too far by the human mush.  A holler from the famed film comes, a solid guitar invasion follows before sticks and bass add weight and warnings and comparisons are issued.  The opening verse is naked, stark and utterly portentous and is quickly reinforced by a rigorous and impacting chorus that gives proceedings a certain completeness.  All the while, my ears are entertained by some resonating rhythm and quality music making with the band setting a ruddy high standard here.  When the strings are off the leash and allowed to express themselves, the movement is elevated and extra bollocks are bared. This is an opening pearler of considered cacophony - the message, fuck slavery, get yer heads screwed on and rethink your situation. 

'Skaigh Valley Booze' slowly generates its own impetus without being in any great rush and unfolds into a creeping creation that slowly nibbles at the resistance and gets one thinking.  All areas are balanced and room is given for each component to expose the worthy contribution that it is making.  A boa-constricting piece this, not one that is instantly pleasurable but as the squeeze continues the response that is shat forth has a certain smell of something positive.  I indulge my time and rotate over and over, a troubled soul rises from the burning dinnage, the emotive know-how works - it is music for the waster to use as a tool to run free.

Track 3 and 'Magnificent' pounds away, hollers and then metallically grooves like a self-indulgent cock rooster on pluck and fuck acid.  The bumbling verse that comes is uncomfortable at first but with a bit of patience a certain accustomed stance can be had and one can relate to the groove, grind and hard-gritted clobber out.  A precipice is being walked, bleak thoughts and recklessness are just about kept in check as the heavy music bounds along with bass-driven funk and hunk that finally breaks down into a scatter-gun finish - I reckon the job is decent enough. The follow-up of 'Safe Words' is a semi-exotic sidewind of striving sonica, a straining nagger that refuses to up the ante or lessen the grip.  This is one of those tunes that persists in the cranial gunk long after the disc has stop turning and really refuses to piss off out of it.  After many spins and many cerebral echoes I find this mechanical song assesses, leaves one pondering and worryingly - reaching for the replay button.

'Dust And Bones' contemplates this idiotic existence and the futility of much behaviour out there, behaviours that ultimately lead... nowhere.  I love this tepid and yet tangible touch of consideration that sums up life and the lunacy involved.  As I eavesdrop to this lullaby caress I concur with the drift and see so many out there who learn nothing and progress only one way... backwards.  The head in the sand moments, the drive along a pre-destined route from which there is no respite all unfolds with warning signs aplenty, and turn-offs sometimes taken, many times avoided.  The poetical slant, the pleasing tonality and the just general beauty make for a real treat.  'Why' has a sense of despondency and hopelessness with the opening verse nakedly transparent and acceptant of a situation just getting worse.  There is no answer, things are the way they are simply 'because' - like it or lump it.  The drift of this tune is uplifting despite the matter-of-fact reality of the thinking and the musicianship is neatly timed and is made up of clashing and complimentary facets.  There seems to be a real ease to the output, a certain 'professionalism' which is a word I usually use as an insult (I hope though you get my drift).

'My Enemy' appears from storybook time-scapes and worlds beyond.  A groove is adopted, a drive forced.  Much muscle is flexed, flashlights glare and gritty intrusions come.  Semi-schizo problems arise from the malevolent self-destruct situation with one half pulling the right way, the other half pulling in the opposite direction.  The brooding accents and the acceptance of states of play leads to an inner turmoil displayed by a midway tumbling.  A recovery is made, the split personality is exposed and the finale explodes with great untamed emotion making for a quite complete song.

Next two and 'Granite Club' ploughs in with a mean furrowed brow focus and something akin to a brief holiday in Cambodia. A superb bumble-bass drive takes us into the affray proper with a fine tympanic skip helping us travel deeper into the depths of death dealing.  The six-strung serpent of sonica dribbles venom whilst the acidic gobwork rounds off a very impacting song with varied angles and a resonating impetus.  A threat, a promise, a guarantee - a good fuckin' song.  Quick pulses, quirked wire wanks and a sinister underflow brings 'Crimson Rain' to the fore of my attention next.  What develops is an analysis of disaster with observations aplenty and subtle irritation abundant.  The weather beaten world disappears beneath concrete and footfall as all the while, the end gets closer.  There is a cool draught blowing through this thermally heated number with a persistent cymbalised rainfall helping to chill matters further. The temperature throughout remains consistent but one can't help feeling a trifle scorched by the activity of the output - this is a good thing!

The final brace and 'Pandora' and 'Never Mind' come and leave one with yet more diversity to deal with.  'Pandora' starts out as an acoustic drift that has many 'Beatle-ised' touches to throw a semi-curveball into the mix.  A man unable to cope with demands and desires opens up his personal confessional box and lets us all peer inside.  Hope is just hanging on in there but this is by a mere thread it seems.  The sparse commencement works mighty well and the move into things more weighted is done with aplomb.  My only gripe here is the song lasts too long and has a lack of immediate bite but other than these personal (and perhaps pedantic) gripes all is still good.  'Never Mind' reggaefies, requests one 'fucks off' and delivers a smooth treat that I am thoroughly in tune with.  Impending danger looms, a sword is brandished and the CD leaves us on a precipice.  I like this closure, it has depth, makes one consider the lunatic world and moves with a certain luxurious coolness that draws one in, embraces and strangleholds.  The job here is solid, I sign off sanguine with my assumptions and assessments.

Little Bohemia are sliding beneath many radars and that is another pending tragedy that needs halting.  I have listened in, hopefully made a case for checking this band out further, all I can do now is hope a few curious cats are provoked into taking a chance (they do have nine lives after all).



Bedroom punk laden with scuzziness were the initial descriptions to fall upon my peepers when receiving a request to do another review.  I am not one to shy away from much (well except jazz and racist noise and of course country and western - ooh heck) so in for a penny, in for a pound I go dealing with a new project by Kyle Handley (ex-White Fang).  We are in the bargain basement again, it is a place I love and am always happy to peruse - I best get cracking here, I have 18 tracks to digest - cor blimey, me guts!

'That's Life' is a crisply glistened cascade escapade that carefully greets the listener and welcomes them to this initial release.  Lo-fi, wound down, reality sodden pop punkery done in a style that is deliberately undercooked and understated.  As a result a certain character is given as well as a melancholic edge that is lifted by the merest encouragement.  I find the shimmery touches and the clean, unprocessed guitar manipulations both relatable and within touching distance of a DIY dabbler - this matters and gives the song a material relevance.  'Your Reality' starts and continues like a tired old steam train looking for destination 'Snooze'.  The languid chuff, the easy peregrination along lazy meandering tracks and the general feeling of wanting to trundle away all make for an unflustered sojourn into pastures limitless and lounging.  The way to take this one is in a position of 'reclined' - a chance to switch off and at the same time, absorb something lovely.

The next couplet with 'Fast Times and 'New Day' a very complimentary musical marriage.  The former is scuffed in, has an almost independent alternativeness as well as something gently rocked and rolled.  Subsonic-esque persuasions come while a certain minimalism vies for attention.  The lick in the gist holds fort though and what we end up with is short tonal trinket not to be deterred by.  The latter is an ideal soundtrack for summertime cavorting through pastures free and liberating.  The idling strums, the somewhat sun-sozzled serenading and the unflustered stickwork all make for something semi-soporific but at the same time... encouraging.  A sweet mix indeed.

The third duo and a snippet of instrumentalisation via 'Super Hit' that has me initially thinking of something 'Elvis-ised' before the soothing pop tones take the helm and simplicity is the order of the day.  The easy lick and orchestration has sunshine touches but an eclipsing shadow is never far away and so makes for something a little deeper than first thought.  Short, to the point and so easy to pick up and swallow, I love these under-the-radar trinkets that drop my way - it is a shame so many receive so little acknowledgement.  'Lately Baby' is a beautiful droplet of sound that falls onto my attentive antennae and proves itself to be a real gratifying acoustic cascade of refreshing goodness that allows me to soak up something rather invigorating.  Petal-flimsy artistry with a resilience almost indescribable - I am in a good place here.

'Hold on' is fresh but too composed and so rather than add a perk in the step it kind of just drags one along in a suspension of emotions without any excessive sensations.  A somewhat soporific effort reliant on minimalist touches that somehow just doesn’t cut it with my attentive earholes.  It is a tender application of acoustic dabbling but fails to meet its potential.  'It Ain't Easy' drops down to another level of slumbering spillage with an utterly lackadaisical and lethargic pseudo-dirge that just flows outward into a slumberland ocean of switched-off casualness that at times, teeters on the brink of being lost forever.  The application of such delicacy is a dangerous game to play and I feel here the player just scrapes by due to making sure the drift and melody are in unison - it is a close shave nonetheless. 

Another coupling and 'Cut Loose' keeps it nifty whilst combining the slightly frisky with the more serious.  The verse and chorus cuts are melded together but have enough individuality to make their own individual mark.  I class this as another example of moody poppism borne from a thoughtful minds and a hazy outlook.  The conundrum of life brings uncertainty, the artiste finds a way through and make his own ripples.  'You Know?' hesitantly moves in, slots into a smooth and fuss-free groove and is merely a hammock-swinging respite where one can almost disappear into one's own mulling meditations.  This style of daydream detachment is perhaps where the plucker finds his true niche in the noisy ghettos and to be fair, away from much clatter that doth batter, it is an appreciated intrusion.

I crack on along the back stretch and grab another brace.  'Lose My Mind' has a delicious repeat-wavelet rippling away whilst all extra tonal additions are kept spartan and tepid.  The comfort of the song is ideal, the refusal to over-elaborate is greeted with applause - perhaps I am listening to the best track of the lot here.  'Song To Play' combines the chipper with the morose and comes across as a quite confused song.  The creator sticks to the methodology and I reckon this one is ideal for an early wake-up call done in the tenderest way imaginable.  I play early doors to test my theory and it works mighty well, a nudge into the forthcoming day is had and this tune is thoroughly enjoyed.

Down into the closing sextet with the dreary meander of 'Waiting For You' really not being my thing.  I find this too close to being a bastardised country and western failure and the whole shebang a trifle testing on the 'happy neurones'.  The limp and lazy lilt of the song may appeal to those in need of a full-on switch off, at this late stage I find it too dawdling for its own good.  For 'Babu' I could apply the previous text or even just go for a terse 'Ditto' but the lack of C&W elements, the pseudo-garage aspect and the utter float away into lands of slumber defy a double-up nailing of negativity and so I label this a purist dozer that those in a reclined state will absorb and use as an excuse to stay prostrate - lazy bastards.

Darkened tones begin 'Close To Me' before chinks of light invade, albeit in the most timid way possible.  An instrumental seems to be about to unfold until the vocalist intrudes and caresses the soundscape with his familiar sub-warblings.  The set-scene is too lackadaisical and overly languid and with the repetitive motif I find myself losing interest.  'Mr Tough Guy' drops back to the dungaree-wearing contemplation borne from sun-kissed verandas were a meathead and his problems are mulled over.  At 1 minute 20 seconds the song is hardly worth the inclusion and yet, I can't help thinking if all offerings on this CD were trimmed to such a terse level the impact may have been better - now that is a paradox.

The last two and no change is had.  'Take A Look At Me' relies on glitter wire gratifications whilst the sombre oral tones do what they do.  A subtext of feeling good pervades, a positivity counteracts against the slow drift and strait-jacketed gobwork, I kinda like this without getting too excited.  I feel as though this is good background music best left to slowly creep beneath the skin, the gentle way is the only way.  We close this 18 track offering with the kiss goodbye of 'The Tunes' - a pseudo-spaced piece that remains lost in a reverie of absorbing comfort.  For a closure, to that which has been, this is perfect, as a stand-alone track I find this fluffy fuck drifting not to my taste.  I sign off disappointed by this punctuation mark and in need of something more raucous.

Well I have done my bit, have come out of the other end of the tuneful tunnel with my assessing titfer askew and my opinions divided.  Small snippets work in part and at times something genuinely pleasing resonates within my receptors but, as a full album, I find this way too much of the same thing and by the latter end feel my patience waning.  Some may love it, I know a few who will and if I could pick out the best 7 tracks I reckon a fine EP could be produced.  Alas I sign off a trifle frustrated.



One man plucking whilst too many are fucking (about).  Mark Ayling is a lone wolf here and doing what needs to be done with quite convincing authority. I always have time to spare for people like this.

'Why Do We Put Up With This' is what I would expect - great throw backward, throw forward poetical weaving done with a natural outpouring of genuine emotion and consideration.  No formula is used, just the chance taken to strum and sing whilst striving to get a message across both personal and universal. The inflamed anger rises, borne it seems, since day dot, a rage that has led to no answers and no change as apathy dictates and the world rolls downhill.  The rich get richer, the poor get conned and irritation rises within those observant.  A cracking fiery upchuck this with clarity within the rage being a crucial component.

The second track and the melancholic honesty of 'Death Of The High Street' has a certain Banshee-esque wire manipulation with the artistes familiar oral work providing an ideal contrast.  There is good pep in the opening sequence here as the words reveal the state of play in the barren wastelands of retail. Shopping is now a form of slavery with shit shovelled in heaps and swallowed up by the sucked in masses.  The same old resonations get the victims spirit raised with a disgust apparent at the holistic takeover of big business devastation.  The open-hearted passion, the fine cable work and the general flow all keep one intrigued to the observant docu-style commentary tune that hits a certain spot in our aging carcasses.

'From The Outside (Looking In)' quietly enters, strides with purpose and deliberately states its verbal case and loses all hope in the process.  An external peek witnesses a disaster, a situation that can never be changed.  The emotive way the player delivers the ditty is both consummate, sharp and of opposing styles that come together and bring about a quite admirable level of success.  From the nailed to the flowing, the stamped to the caressed the song works with a steady persuasion and the more I play the more I feel in tune with the tonal activity.

'Black Dog' creeps up on the blind side, shadows our every move and rides along with certainty.  An escape is had into the night, a motorway excursion into a world lit by falsehoods and synthetic promises.  Phantoms appear, head worry visions are forever in the rear-view mirror.  The player exposes an inner turmoil and a seeming need to flee into the awaiting night yet all the while is haunted and in need of comfort.  The atmosphere created is exact, the pictures summoned within the listener's belfry are tangible, I rate this as another specimen of sonic one-man excellence.  'Walls Come Closing In' begins with perky skin skips, strums and unfolds into another insightful piece of a world that is utterly self-absorbed and zoned it to utter meaningless shittery. Slaves switched on and yet so switched off the big squeeze continues and many already suffocated are joined everyday by more and more beaten deadheads.  The irritation puked our way reeks of thoughtfulness and a true horror at the way the masters take control and the targeted so easily submit.  The emotion rises as the walls close in and the chance to escape is no longer an option.  The song is driven primarily by fear and this is what gives the whole construction its true and unforgettable source of life.    

Into the final four we go with 'The Last Visit' a glimpse into a place shrouded and lost, a place banished to the midst of time with all hope of a return to how things were... gone.  Sadness and a certain weariness pervade, the panging need to be somewhere unattainable seems to be all-consuming and the admittance that change and loss is just a fact of life is a bitter-pill to swallow.  The music is spartan, almost too tired to make the effort, too beaten to offer any resistance.  I find this concoction accomplished but not a style of sonica that I want to overdose on - it is moody music that needs to be listened to when in a positive frame of mind.  'Fake' is a very acidic song that deals with the many fraudsters out there who wanna play a role and be one of the so called 'in crowd'.  I have many sussed but many more crawl from the woodwork and weave their devious route.  One cunt with a front and then another with tolerance and patience wearing thin, an anger rising at a shit-stain playing class games. Again Mr Ayling wastes no time and gets the point across in his own gratifying and eagle-eyed way with a certain transparency and earthiness to the wire weavings that keeps things grounded and relatable.  

'Again And Again' has good pep and inner grumble rumble before whisperings come with an almost bated-breath threat and bewildered words flow.  The aim seems to be at the sell-outs and the shapeshifters (I may be wrong) who change tack when chance comes and all ethics are sold down the stinking, overflowing river.  The bandwagon jumpers dilute the flow and what we get is imbalance and utter laughable fuckwittery.  Here, the poetical gobbage is spat forth with the greatest level of disgust and has a certain off-the-cuff feel - is this a good thing, I think it could well be!

Closure and we get the very apt and utterly relevant 'Why Is Nobody Angry Anymore'.  A number that concurs with a question that I have asked numerous times over the years, a question tossed into an ocean of cerebrally apathetic and overfed idlers.  The rise rumbles, a situation stated and the inactive nailed.  This is a brave statement that may cut a few ties and upset those guilty of being drained of spirit and are now mere husks just out to party, get what they can and take the easy route.  The rulers are winning, those given plenty will not rebel, those sold the shit by the media who have all the trimmings and follow the guidelines will cause little fuss, complacency it seems is a dish the masses can't get enough of.  I love the attitude and stance taken here, a fine way to sign off.

What we have here is a guy doing what he does with thought, style and a sanguinity to not shy away from observations that need sharing.  I am hoping I can showcase this gent once more, get him 'out there' and get the word spread - oh and keep him enthused.



A time of reflection and utter fuckin' madness has past, many noise-making units are moving their arses again, from the creaking woodwork of warped time a couple of sonic spiders emerge and brandish their spinnerets.  They wander and weave and I await the final construction.  The cast forth cables are trembled - the resultant vibrations that come my way sound something like this (well, according to the Fungalised DIY bastard that is).

Matters open with 'Murder On C. C. T. V.' an escapade that begins with a defragmented horror clap from skeletal hands that soon makes way for a rather cold and distant opening verse that does indeed leave me a trifle frosted.  Things seem a little too stated for their own good and rather overly arranged but salvation comes with a techno-breeze that blows things open and gives the construction a feeling of something more relaxed.  The duo do what they do without apology, but they just need to watch their step and not get bogged down with their own trappings.  Here I am left a tad disappointed but the meritorious points are many with a clean and futuristic sound captured and a dystopian atmosphere exact.  Those highly zested moments do raise a few goosebumps too.

'Fucked Up' has more texture and a more warped musical mode that is enhanced by the joys of celebrating the brilliance of not being right.  The opening 4 count is completely out of place and throws me off kilter but thankfully the creamy, dreamy pantomime of crazed music making takes the reins and leads me down a labyrinthine rabbit hole of inescapable mesmerism.  Something both disturbing and soothing exudes from this blemish of orchestration. I find myself drawn further in than I like to be, the sensation of being escorted into a realm of the untrustworthy is rather charming, the band do this kind of sonic shizzle mighty well.  I replay over and over - I may be some time.

'You're The Reason' tip-taps in with space age shooting stars and palpitating intergalactic pulses before a melancholic doomsday delivery unfolds and takes us by the hand into realms of mausoleum meandering.  The examination of an inner soul self-absorbed is revealing. We are shown that too many are culpable and not making a difference.  A creeping disease of decadent disquiet I consider this song, one that sidles in, grooms and shiftily moves back into the recesses of your mind - now where is the freedom now?

'Negativity City' opens with a good impetus before becoming a song of multifaceted electro angles and a persistent warning.  Icy in parts, pulsed and thermally heated in others with a certain unpredictability this is a curio to contemplate over several rotations.  The gothic and cavernous vocal work is backed by shadow suggestions and animated key work with a flow and fidget composite working well and taking us to the end warning from a resident of Skaro.  A growing tune this if ever I heard one, bring it on 'live' I say. 'Alien Invasion' is chaos incarnate, a hotch-potch of protrusions and tangents all thrown into a snowstorm of bewildering tonality borne from an attack of the vapours perhaps.  Madness, panic and upheaval all strive to dictate the direction of the dinnage thus leaving the listener both tossed about and tossed off.  This is not one for the nerve-riddled, not one for those seeking regularity of rhythm or something quite orthodox.  This is a mere techno twatting of zoned-in experimentalisation created by noggins immersed and loving it.  I suggest this is another track for an 'in the flesh' encounter, but one that very much needs laser-show assistance - it could be quite a sensation.

The final trio and 'Don't Trust You' electro-horrifies like a phantom with a plugged in posterior before a regulated and highly stated sonic instalment comes with great emphasis on each verbal utterance and keyed manipulation.  The tilted tonality of wire-wanked gothika is both strange, shady and quite typical of what these two dabbling imps get up to.  There is great comfort in  the familiarity of tones and I find The Webb as appealing as ever but, a bit of pace injection always seems to emphasis and improve the impression they make - well, according to my personal lugs anyway.  I move on though pleased with events so far and uncover the unexpectedly entitled 'Dead Cities (Love Song)' - a rehash of a cover and this time done with a tenderness in the tonality.  There is no way on earth that this should work but, it is a quirky treat that operates with great success and just when you are getting used to the capricious cacophony the two tampering tinkers veer off into realms of The Damned and play out an inner burst with appealing and smile-inducing joy.  We soon go back to all things Exploited and the song wraps itself up - what a lovely surprise, akin almost to a jack-plugged Jive Bunny having gone over to the dark side - and why the Hell not?  I reckon another double-ended cover would be a delight on the next offering too - challenge set.

We flick the final switch and sign off with 'In A Darker Place' - a sickly sweet fun-fair toss-about in a Frankensteinian lab left in the hands of a  twisted hunchback.  We are strapped in, strapped down in fact, the levers are pulled and the sparks fly as a we thrown all ways during a musical jaunt that is the most joyous of the lot.  Pertinent points are made, sad sac members of a dullard society are told to wake up and the energy, buoyancy and all-consuming impact fill me with eager enthusiasm to check this band out again very soon.  This is the way to sign off a CD, splashing spirited sparks and functioning with fizzing fervour - smashing stuff.

So - what could any DIY enthusiast ever ask for except decent people, cracking on and making tunes their way and not falling into the trap of generic dictates and all that codswallop.  Here we get just that and I am ruddy thankful for it.  I still don't think The Webb have tapped their true potential, they are trespassing within a real sonic forest of bewildering fuckery here, laden with tangents and offshoots to explore further and to duly disentangle.  I am pushing for more, it is what I do. 



A good uplifting band here who I have seen only once but have reviewed a many a time. Decent people making a good din and without delusions or subtext - what more can you ask for?  Well how's about 4 good tracks?  I gather the quartet of songs here, play over a few weeks and consider. This EP, by the way, is named after a factory in Linköping, Sweden where this lot used to rehearse - so now you know.  I best crack on.

'I Miss Me' opens with an honest riff and a very spacious and approachable first verse. This is a reflective song, looking back with a weary eye and wishing to get to a better place.  I like the combo that is bittersweet, and both melancholic and hopeful - the group do this stuff mighty well and with good bass foundations, strict and stabilising stick work and the usual clear and effective string strums there is an utter dew glow clarity to the whole orchestrated piece and as per, it will do for me. 'Bad To The Bone' is an unashamed pop song, a song with good zip, recognisable tones and a well-breezed delivery that captures the essence of simple noise making with a feelgood vibe.  After a quick tap the band surge in, stop, press on and repeat.  The strings are strummed with zeal, the vocal arrangement is clear and well-shadowed with the simplicity of the construct making for an opening titbit to enjoy.  Nothing too deep to consider, no unnecessary flamboyances are needed - we have wholesomeness incarnate and it is good to hear.


'Fortune Teller' twists and jives and does so with the usual joy de vivre and utter zest in the application.  The methodology is not typically orthodox and just seems to develop as the need dictates with the players keeping things neatly natural and as honest as the day is long.  Anyone looking to dissect and duly disparage the band and what they have to offer will be further confounded here as sweet vibes are played out without pretensions or posing pomposity.  What the band do is accurate and sharp - and I fuckin' like it.

Last one and 'Frontline' is an absolute peach that encapsulates everything good about this ditty designing crew of artistes who just wanna make some fine noise.  From the off we have a simple creation enhanced by careful placement of words and tones with a question asked and a decision made - don't lag behind folks, get down the front and lead the way.  The utter alacrity, sprightliness and just restorative rhythmic essences make this a must on CD and surely a must in the pit.  Hopefully, when I catch this lot again, I can witness this beauty being played out to a welcoming crowd who all get involved and lap up some good tuneful decency - let's have it.

So done and dusted. My Zoo Party T-shirt may have rotted due to wear and tear but my hopes and joys are still alive and kicking thanks to a band who do something just right.  I never listen to this bands produce and come away fed up, there is something very uplifting about what transpires and I am appreciative of it and hope they just keep on rolling.  It ain't a lot to ask is it?


Mr Gulag's latest release, one man dabbling, stepping outside the ‘punk’ boundaries and just creating in his own DIY way.  I have spent my time with this one (nowt new there then) and my jottings on the janglings are as thus:- 

'Everything Is Fallen' is verbal roaming interwoven with a versed pulse of liver trembling magnitude.  From realms outside niches and nob-rot nooks comes a whispery offering that is disgusted with the hate and falling out within a society on its knees.  Opinions and voices are divided and a toxic fuck-up is the end result.  The song mixes emotions with the controlled interspersed with episodes of irritated anger.  The creation is both cool and thermally heated with the man at the helm laying down solid foundations and a modus operandi on which to progress.   

From darkened recesses and moribund passageways comes the prowling discomfort of 'There Is No Release', a misfit shitshow of observational experimentations that flows, fucks and feeds on the negativity that is ubiquitous and all-consuming.  A spasticated electro pulse seizures and swings in between moments of placid contemplation with the only gripe had being that the song just loiters around for too long and leaves one waiting a little too eagerly for the end.  The composition is far from upbeat, it is dystopian dribbling from wired up vaults where a mind has been left to fester - I am not a fan of this one if I am honest (which is what I always am).  'This Septic Isle' has tones reminiscent of 70's b-grade sci-fi movies.  The style here is paradoxically futuristic and stated with a disgust and downright damning accent that only adds to the force of the factuality.  The authority of the consuming verbals holds centre stage with a finger pointed at the heads addled and the one's kept underfoot.  I recognise a certain oral artiste here, a fine gent with a good beating heart and always willing to throw in his thoughts and fuckwittery.  The message is that love is the key and we can make a difference - the fact is many will continue to wallow in their own motions and blindly let the shit hit the fan.  Fuckin' wake up you bastards and stop swallowing the bullshit. 

'Fallacy' grinds and grips with a considered operating routine laden with technical misfires and sparking spasms before something akin to a chorus invades.  This is the grooviest number so far with a great mechanised strength that, when in the midst of the versed vibrology, really hits a pleasure zone.  The creator is unsettled, in disagreement with many opinions and power thrusts, I am in line with the feeling.  As matters progress I have gotta rate this one has the best of the lot so far, a mush of emotion calmly played out with impacting effect.  Next and 'Sheeple' jangles and fizzes without any rush or any strain.  The conspiracy crew are nailed to the cross and duly sacrificed to the mighty powers of insanity as the world turns on a skewed fulcrum and the unhinged viewpoints of the masses collide and create... division.  The orchestration of the piece is based around the stroll and surge motif that works well whilst the oral donator pours out his own thoughts and theories. 

The next 3, 'Trouble With Humans' opens and is the pick of the seething sonic lot thus far.  Disgust, pertinent facts and a thriving riffery gives this one a wealth of poisonous spirit that is splashed right into the mush of those looking out for themselves and really just being self-serving, obnoxious bastards.  I love the impact of this one, agree with the viewpoints and am happy to ramp up the volume and fuckin' bop with passion.  The pest species needs to get itself sorted - fuck the bullying, the hate and the prejudice – come on you shitbags.  'The Worms And Dirt' is a sombre episode of loneliness and a one man journey from the womb to the soil with the journey along the way both unapologetic, cruel and utterly unpredictable.  Life is madness, madness is life, the bleak thoroughfares are tackled and our artiste is in no mood to dilute matters and add conning ornamentation and hippy-skippy sheens. The job is tidy and true, a solid piece of cement on a fascinating brickwork of noise. 

'Terror' is a strong contender for the pick of the wired up pick of the pops with an insistent electro resistance against the eternally gnawing bastard of anxiety, a state of play not helped by the rules and regulations of society and their cloying clockwork idiocy.  Honest, confessional and striking, this snarled and gnarled overspill of therapeutic poison is a sub-anthem for those on the edge, struggling with the systematic shit and the bilge poured forth by the beaten and of course, the bastards.  Terror breeds terror and the end result is either a dumbed down dog or a defiant git determined to not fit in.  Up the rejects. 

'After Party Thoughts' welcomes to the fray a doofing imp who orally contributes to a fused up and fizzing escapade of multi-mush meddling.  From a controlled fidget fuck and buzzed up situation comes a spillage of thoughts both sobered and reflective.  A love of making and playing music comes with the territory as well as a distinct focus on doing things one's own way - ooh the punx won't like that ha, ha.  This for me is spliff up, switch off and shit on it music moment that is multi-textured, street poetical and off kilter - and so it should be.  Onto 'Shaken' we go, a very tense and wound up instalment of ravery that follows the theme set so far and doesn't give a fuck about it (nice).  Mid-paced, sparking with emotion and opting for a motif of underlying repetition this resisting and persisting piece digs heels deep and strives to halt an overdose of emotion that can only lead to a situation of self-destruct.  The key is to stand firm, use this tonal moment to reinforce the spirit and use your anger as a positive force rather than a debilitating fuck-up.   

The last two 'Dronez' leads the way with an offering on the brink of a cheesed up US 'improve yourself advert' that in its own cornball style, wants to make you a better person.  For those one dimensional tits of tedium there is a lesson here - stop droning on, stop spilling your tiresome bullshit and get yourself sorted.  Too many folks waffle on with no reason, no point and are just regurgitating the same old shit - aagghhh.  This song plugs the lugs, has had enough and closes the doors on the bores.  Not a bad track but not the best, it comes and goes and leaves me little to say - which is just as well I reckon.

We close with the 'Book Of The Dead' - a switch in attack with a dream drift into Lovecraftian nightmares where shamblers and shapeshifting horrors prowl and prey upon those unwittingly meddling in things beyond reason.  The corpse is no longer without life, the chance to pass from this world through a gateway into realms unhinged awaits, the embrace of the ultimate horror is there to enjoy.  Mr Gulag trespasses into toned terror and maintains a modicum of sanity whilst creating an atmospheric jaunt that could lead to the next release being a full-on immersion into the byways of the sinister - I hope so.

A very intriguing CD and breaking away from the 2 guitars, drums and gob routine I get showered by over and over again.  I like to mix the musical movements and this donation to my damaged lugs has been worth the effort.  My advice  - to the creator - carry on and fuck em' all with their rules and regulations, to the peruser of this review - have a listen, book the plucker and keep it varied. 



An EP on Metal Postcards Records is always something to be tantalised by, and here I am drooling once more.  7 songs come from a creative force that keeps it simple, dainty and somewhat innocent.  I like my tones to come from different angles and be of different weights, here is something light and fluffy from areas bathed in a somewhat paradoxical shaded sun-glade.

'Forget It' twinkle toes in and duly mutters and murmurs along in a languid fashion that is best taken in small doses.  The vibes here are familiar after reviewing a lengthy offering that I duly overdosed on.  My reviewing style here is to pass on by, pluck down a tune, listen, assess and take a break - reward is had due to this careful approach. This initial falling leaf from a sparse and slowly swaying tonal tree has consideration tattooed deep and a heavy lidded feel that soothes the soul with an encased ray of hope that occasionally shines through.  The more I listen the more that hope is appreciated and this is an ideal tune to play in the sun and duly get warmed by.  Next and a tepid ripple, a shimmering and a quite lovely twinkle leads us along into the first verse.  Crisp interjections come amid the needy verbal’s and the delightfully dumbed down dabbling.  I find this a rewarding undertone of supressed sonic vitality with a youthful daydream feel that gives rise to an option that is both naive and innocent.  The more I play this pastel shaded pop piece the more impressed I become and reckon this is the best number the creator has offered thus far - it is quite a shy and retiring glimpse of something utterly sweet and unaffected.

From a genuine high I move on to 'Make It So' - a song with the usual mirror reflections, semi-morose contemplations and mid-paced affects that instantly signify who the creator is and where the product is going.  The shadow cast by the previous ditty is inescapable and as a result we get an opinion of just a 'middling' song here.  The vibes are pleasant, the opening flickers sugar-coated and perhaps a trifle let down by the ensuing emanations that I would have loved to have been a bit more frisky.  Again a small critique though and in truth, if you have liked what has transpired thus far, I suspect you will like this.

Almost antique tones from a creaking rocking chair come next, a chair were time is whiled away, the rush is avoided and time to just compose is had.  'From A Dream' ambles along with the head in a zone of snooze but with a certain alertness that dissects all mental miasmas and brings to the fore a face familiar.  This is an entirely simple and unobtrusive donation that is another fine companion on a solar-blessed day, a day when the body is given time to rest and the noggin is banished of all negativity.  It may not be rocket science but it works and works in its own style - have it.

'Let It Flow' reminds me of offerings I have tampered with before, I don't know why or when these dabblings took place but an inner bell is rung.  The twang and tweak guitar repeats, the vocal style is a trifle more digitised and seems to arises from a closeted retro radio and so bring a certain comfort.  The flow is as natural as you could ask for and I like the fact that the artiste is keeping things unsoiled, off the cuff and somewhat sweetened.  I am finding a good level of satisfaction here and feel a trifle more upbeat as a result of this one-man tinkle - nifty!

The penultimate piece is a barely touched delivery under the self-pitying tab of 'Better Off Alone'.  The tones are greyed over with a wash of self-pitying moribund indulgence whilst the underscore of sound follows an echoed patternisation that nags away at any resisting resolve. This isn't a favoured flavour of mine but the minimalism and consistency do strike a nebulous chord of semi-appreciation.  I find this one almost 'emo-esque' in content, bleak and mournful - I suppose it is a song to play if you are in one of those moods.

The closure comes via 'Happily Ever After' - a confident tune that rolls along with a chipper aspect that is still shaded through with a certain doubt and humbleness.  The paradox of the product is enough to keep one intrigued and wondering, whilst the tune goes about its business and tickles along in its own way.  I think this one rounds things off nicely and adds a quite consistent full stop.  I would have like a full sunshine flavoured popsicle of sound to finalise matters but this will do for now.

A perfectly bite-sized chuck of individualistic dabbling via a player almost entrenched in his own mode of melody and seemingly not willing to move any time soon.  There are moments here that shine bright, others that reside behind the clouds and some that just need an injection of obvious melody to bring out the fullest flavours but, I think this is a tidy listen and breaks up my own personal head clattering voyage - that ain't no bad thing.



A new band to my lugs, one that harks back to 70's dabblings done by people on the fringe.  These are offerings outside the realms of the commercialised, affected and downright obvious and what we get is a trip back, a tiptoe forward and something in between.  Is this a bad thing?  Who the fuck knows? 

'We Are The Wot Nots' is ultimately old-school casualness built on an easy drum skip and some trusted, semi-rusted wire bending.  The sound is soon assisted by a regular bass bumble and some off-the-street 'erbert-ising.  The verse is semi-stated and reminiscent of many old school weavings that rose from back street pubs and dens of sing-a-long serenades.  This song is merely an intro to the band, waltzing along in a care-free style, stating what they are about and emanating their style.  For me there is a feel of a unit who would be a delight to see in and small up-close and personal gaff with sots and soniceers all swaying along to the honest vibrations.  I best get a pint ordered. 

'The Best Place' begins with an almost disco beat, a semi-splashed drum regulation that has me reaching for the platforms, flares and hair glitter.  The tale that follows is of a willy-waggling struggler who has been abroad and never been back.  It is a fuckin' crackpot jaunt, indicative of players mentally warped, musically fuck-free and just in it for the love of it.  I bundle around looking for a point to the spillage, I wonder if this is a creation based on deviancy, caring or cerebral stupidity - I have no answers.  It is what it is - not rocket science, nothing new, nothing elaborate - there is always a time and place for such pottering. 

So a mere snifter of acoustic ale to partake of, toss around the old taste-cavern and spit out.  Does it taste good? I think so?  Would one prefer another tipple?  Why the Hell not?  Are the band going to be the next big thing?  No chance, but then, who wants to be. 



I know fuck all about this unit but know the label well. Metal Postcards deal in things off kilter and highly satisfying, it is the only way to go.  After a quick bumble on the waves of web wankery I find out the band are from Plymouth - and that is that!  I have 4 tracks to tackle and as per, find it refreshing to go in untainted by propaganda, bias and music press meddlings - it is a joyous state of play. 

'Trials' is a throbbing groove of molten music that states, undulates, contemplates and... sets a scene.  Observational, defiant and insightful - this is a mere intro moment that constructs a sonic stall and lays a foundation for the CD to build upon.  The band have a manifesto to create, resist and perhaps confound - I am keen to see what transpires. 

'Snakes And Ladders' is a football homage to an ambassador and a club.  The Argyle lads that parade in green are highlighted with a good rocking tune that starts with an orthodox groove before the lead warbler sings away about the highs and lows of club football and the characters involved.  Paul Mariner gets a mention amid the terraced and tuneful escapade that is easy to get into and easy to throw-away.  The motif has reminiscent undercurrents of chanting fans whilst the upper layers weave away and add a depth.  Like I say, for me this is both enjoyable and easily disposable noise - nothing too complex or profound but doing the job it intends to do - all I can add is 'Up the Pilgrims'. 

Track 3 and 'Knights' begins with tribal drums, a 70's nightclub cymbal splash and then some heave-ho sonic stamps that develop into a forthright trampling of historical cum modern observations that peels away the layers of the so-called conquerors.  The weight and drift of the song work hand in hand and with a meaty bass line, a relaxed overlay and finger point at the pillagers, this is a sound moment to roll along with and enjoy.  Haunting touches, war crime madness and a final surge of emotion - the job is a good un'.

The closure of this appealing 4 tracker is named 'Spirit'.  From the miasmas of misted silence gentle tones arise as a scenario is set and then...banished.  Cacophonic clouds clash and fracture before the opening verse comes with a pure dreaming essence displayed as the curse of the carcass is highlighted.  We are slaves to the flesh, within the weft of this tuneful tapestry there is a certain degree of abandoned acceptance coupled with a fine modicum of hope - I like this.  The tone and orchestration is inoffensive and escapist - it closes a quite digestible CD.

4 track offerings are always my favoured things - they tease, tantalise and leave one, in many instances... wondering.  If things go to plan then they me even leave one wanting - if the band here are planning another quartet of tunes I would be only too happy to assess - I think that sums matters up quite nicely.

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