Two-tone tuneage from the TNS stable comes this time via two comrades familiar on the Manchester carousel and who both regularly dish up excellent performances. Harijan are currently turning heads wherever they play (local usually - aaaggghhh) as are JPS, and if both bands grow wings, fill their arses with rocket fuel on different far flung gaffs some justly deserved progress and appreciation may be had. Although being both ska bands the mode of delivery is quite different with Harijan draped in moody veils and awash with alcho-hazy utterances and with JPS more melodically hopeful and delicately simplistic. Both insinuate brilliance but one has many strata to delve through to totally get to grips with the true aromatic audio that is given off.

Harijan open with 3 gritty escapades that has assisted them in climbing to the upper echelons of the local scene and in the process building a fairly sizeable fan base. 'Live' they execute all numbers perfectly and the volume aspect does increase each ditty's presence, a factor restricted by these CD deliveries although the production is still spot on.

'Portland Street' may give initial impressions of a carefree attitude but for me there is a co-ordinated seriousness etched deep within the songs very marrow. The beverage edge to the lyrical content at first promises to be a tribute to boozing and the pleasures found therein yet we are soon immersed into a more sinister poetical pool with a startling helplessness and a somewhat pub-junkie confessional. Couple this with some smoothly poured skank melody and you have an opening effort liable to please all and sundry. 'Halux Valgus' is disgruntled and disillusioned and crawls from the disk into the eardrum with weary defeat. A veritable reflection constructed on cruising thoughtfulness rather than rage. Harijan somehow pull of the mundane approach and pinpoint why they are such a musically accomplished and educated band.

The 3rd song from these 'erberts is 'Bees 'n' E's' and again comes from a blurry haze of profound prose which just gets by albeit tending to be slightly uncertain of itself. The entire song seems ready to explode but never gets there instead relying on passion and soul-searching inflection. Harijan pull off these 3 emotive tracks with skill and forethought but over a longer distance would certainly need to vary pace, outlook and ambience, however, this is a very good glimpse into the potential of a very good band.

The John Player Specials oppose Harijan's rainy sonic streets with rambling country lanes brimming with light scented melodies borne from hope and meandering feelings. A vibrancy pervades from first to last even though the subject matter is far from gushing with positivity. 'Weak In Your Eyes' is a somewhat anti-macho tune and trickles out with an unadulterated charm and clarity one just can't help but admire. The whole composition has a youthful defiance which upholds its own argument and reaps success by the bucketload. 'When All Is Said And Done' is music that can be both a back and foreground tinkling dependant on nothing more than your situation and mood. It does have a repetitive edge and the regretful pleas regarding what I deem to be a dick-dipping episode grate and paradoxically gratify. Not bad but not brilliant but tomorrow I may say something different! 'Renegade' however is JPS at their most effective and is just one helluva track that pleases with every rotation. A great finale to a ska CD capable of holding its own with more established company. The only gripe is that the velocity is similar throughout but the fact that this is only a 7 tracker negates this minor quibble somewhat.



Having played on a couple of SAS gigs and produced the goods I am, in all truth, a Faintest Idea fan.  I make no apologies for this and am not swayed in the slightest when composing this review of the debut 15 track album.  The CD was placed in the player with a total neutral stance adopted and shining or shitty you know the hand of OMD is always on the heart and the truth will be scrawled.  So it's into the breach with the verbal pistons pumping hard!
The main thrust of this offering comes via the double injection of turbulent punk vocals and the stunningly delightful boost of bouncing retro skank.  It's a cocky mix and Faintest Idea pull the rabbit out of the hat with plenty of room to spare to just about whet the appetite.  'Shinebox' cracks a keen whip and reddens the arse with swift enthusing strokes and whizzed up goose honks via the somewhat loquacious sax.  'Acceptance' follows a similar blue light rush and weaves through the sonic congestion with footdown determination and changes lanes with the improving overdrive of 'United Kingdom' that is pure well oiled precision to say the least.  3 high revolution tracks with each one getting better and better but all eclipsed by the behemoth that is 'Easy Now Rude Boy'.  Another speedlimit is crushed but what puts rubber on the road here is several incredible snippets of cultured chorus that travel back in time to a scene where skank wanked the charts and chilled and thrilled with superfluous fun.  Chequerboard monochrome with surely a Walt Jabsco seal of timeless approval is had here!
'Here We Are' commences in looming mode yet soon dashes around in now traditional FI style with a punk/skank/Oi smattering all tumbled together to make another honest explosion.  A change of pace is needed and as if by magic 'Not Tonight' does just that and is in fact the albums towering presence that flourishes with guile, insight and sanguine execution.  In fact the sonic sagacity shown exceeds expectation and Faintest Idea should take satisfactory pride in this career milestone.  Let's be bold and double this compliment and repeat all (with bells on) for the fuckin' magnificent 'Stand Tall'.  Wow!  What a brace of brilliance and both nobs of noise are perfectly masturbated to dome tingling ecstasy.  Thrust, push, gush, enjoy - simple as!
'Daylight Robbery' is found on the recent Fungalskapunka CD so I suppose proof is abundant as to what I think about this track - modesty blazes!
'See You In The Gutter' is the first of 2 songs that immediately spring to mind when I hear the name of this band.  'Chasing Out The Scum' is the other and both are readily regarded as good tracks with these souped up versions doing the business and bullet pointing the bands overall improvement.  'Unite' builds swiftly and carries a deeper resonance than other tracks and is by far a denser thud as opposed to the sharp stinging jab.  Damage is still done so the verdict remains high.  'Why Don't Rich Kids Go To War' is a good solid song that has an impressive skanko inflection and sing-a-long chorus structured on happy beat rhythm yet retaining a spiteful sniping edge to just adore.
This is high calibre stuff and embraces a sound too rare to comprehend.  'Dirty Democracy' has a more unwashed feel but hey I am loving this so ain't knocking this grimier brother.  It does lack the instantaneous fondness so easily picked up by other outpourings but it still moves with fluidity as does 'Chasing Out The Scum' the track I mentioned earlier - come on now keep up!
The penultimate pasty in this pie shop of meat filled aural edibles is 'Rivers Of Red', a song opening with a barely discernible drawl about who knows what.  A staccato moment and the gritty gravy is poured and a good bellyful is had.  'Survivors' gives a solid 'never say die' full-stop to a 15 page musical narration worthy of reading over and over again. 
The fact is Faintest Idea are growing fast and on the back of this CD should be gaining more recognition by the bucketload.  A classic example of why the underdog band should be given a chance and the reason why keeping your punk spirit real and curious pays dividends - see you in the gutter - too fuckin' right!



Blitzkrieg are an old, old band that have come back and reinvented the whole package without one single original member (unless of course you count Chris Hind who replaced a one Tony 'Toe' Fowler in the very early days). Started in 1979 this lot split in 1984 after making a few waves then reformed in 1991 only to immediately split again until they are at the current stage which started in 2007. It's a fairly different noise from the original stuff as you would expect but there is still a rawness about the outpourings which I suppose has some similarity to the old material.

'What Is Truth' screeches in and sets an acquired tone that will split favour straight down the middle. The songs are not typical punk and not orthodox either and so remain trapped in a sonic wasteland somewhere in between which may or not be the thinking behind the whole output. The bastard hybrid will be accepted and rejected in equal measure and I feel many a debate will be had over the noise here. Personally I don't give two hoots about who it will please and who it won't as long as the music is played with passion, belief and know how. This strikes me as such a delivery and although not my usual order from the punk rock cafe of discordance it is surely good enough to sample now and again. The initial listens left an insipid taste but with an adoption of extra earhole scrutiny the songs do show a certain spiciness and peppered punching power and thus begin to tickle the tastebuds. Back from the wanderings and the track ain't too bad of a kickstart and although being resonantly fuzzed it provides the foundations for the better spillage of '21st Century Punx'. Quicker, more pressing and with an intrinsically basic chorus this effort gets airborne with its tireless energy if nothing else. 'Bleed And Bleed' grooves in with a cracking opening verse and surges on before breaking with looming posture and then screaming to the finale. A fair do and 'This Is Not America' piston pumps in and is marred slightly by the cheesy predictable yankee anthem guitar whine. The song recovers and carries on in good old 'US Go Away' style before ending rather poorly with a deliberately misplaced repeat of the intro.

'I Don't Want' jars the bone with a vibrant bass commencement that is infected with tortuous taut guitar before the initial yell is had and the song grinds on. Defying and lacking any crutch to lean on the inflection and intent is as solid as the musical backdrop that also discharges spirit aplenty. 'TNT (In Yer Face Bitch)' dawdles and poses too much so becoming a middle of the road rock ditty rather than an upright hard driven snippet of viciousness worthy of the cutting lyrics.

Having fuckin' typed up and saved the reviews for the final tracks only to realise the damn text had gone missing I now add this with angry digits. Bloody computers! I did at this point make room for a pause in proceedings as I can't listen to this CD in one sitting so - diddly dum, diddly dum, 1, 2, 3, 4 - scratch of bollocks, yawn - ready, steady - back to the review...

'Wolf' pushes the boundaries and keeps up a good rate of action with some nifty moves throughout and 'Scream It' grows with each rotation and ain't a bad number at all and seems like some kind of fuzzed up countrified call to arms which embraces all components and makes for a decent final delivery. 'Murder' ain't half bad either with its all-vocal shout of 'innocent'. The drums tumble in and out of the chorus quite smartly and the track falls into place on this flavoured CD.

The final trio continue the metal/punk hybridisation with 'We Fight' hurtling lunacy extreme, 'We Die Alone' that has a certain Pike-ish commencement before breaking into a tumultuous riot then regains it's footing and produces the goods and 'Destruction 08' a track that is far from a fitting finale to a fair album. It's OK but there are better efforts although it is improving with each listen so the review in several weeks would look slightly different I feel.

Like I earlier stated this will seperate the listeners with it's overtones of metalised screeches and thumbscrew solo's but there is scope for improvement and this sets a sturdy stall out for the initial steps of this revitalised band.



Commune capers with considered crust here as a blast of anarcho defiance is delivered via the gob of the stencilled terrorist, who I deem as casual with a circle around the A's. The usual anti-system, pro-freedom, non-conformist agenda is spewed forth with pebble-dashed discontent that arouses memories of the old Crassite culture that should have made a longer lasting impact than it actually did (silly fuckin' punkers). This acoustic tirade is definitely a barbed wire brazier burst that some will say is outdated and the arguments hold no reason but for me still have a simplistic force we are all guilty of overlooking. The guitar work is consistent and this guy can indeed play and the lyrics have enough poison top carry the intent, although in parts the recording does seem to waver. Nonetheless this is DIY so if one can't accept it as such then that's their problem.

As this is an anarcho piece then there is no reason why I should adopt a routine review so I will pick the songs out in order that I bloody well feel like - ahhh refreshing. Lets start with the pick of the 9 on offer and the winner of the golden house-brick to smash the window of complacency goes to (trumpet fanfare) - 'What A Fucker'. The dreamy drift is nicely done as the lyrical paddle cuts the serene waters with a sharp combination of excellent wordage and anti-macho/thick prick businessman. It's delivered with soothing tones that compliment the deep-rooted hatred of big man bullshitters perfectly. The fact that it lacks the blatant rust rage of some of it's musical counterparts helps this effort to stand out but it is a very sturdy song nonetheless and proves the point that hatred and disgruntlement can be delivered in all ways and still get the point across, sometimes more accurately than first expected.

From the best to a track at random - eeeny, meeny, miny, mo - 'Good Friends' (track 6) it is then. Not bad at all and varies pace with the slower bits more appealing than the the venomous quicker cuts. It is a right old mixed bag of emotion which I suppose personifies the song and makes the whole piece easier to become involved with. A roll of the dice and onto track 1 'Closest Thing To A Love Song' opens the CD in a quite mellow fashion but the subterranean gurgle of lyrical puke-action is given. Not bad but not the greatest start as the production seems to break up with the end result marred. An average verdict and onto 'Chelsea Hotel' the eighth track to taste. More of a narrative than a song this is hardly a point to start to pogo but the basicness and clear ambience works and it leads nicely into the final track (of the CD not the review) with 'We're Born For The Sea' chomping along on upbeat tempo and posing the question of whether one fits in or not as the case may be. The song is persistent and stays static at mid-pace but the lyrical content is easily captured and surely fans will be seen singing along to this at most 'live' gigs.

'The Decay' follows the opener and is again optimistic in sound but realistically gritty in verbage and the subject matter is dealt with excellently as regards the destruction of the environment and community by the planning damning machine, we with any sense, loathe so well! A nice piece and next to track 4 'Anarchists Make Better Lovers' which is one that is let down by a few lewd blips but one which has a message lost on many I presume. The whole effort should have relied more on the subtle approach and kept the questioning style more surreptitious rather than be so blatant. I like the insinuation although not totally convinced it rings true but I'll get back to that in a few ticks.

Lets finish then with 'We're Already Dead' and 'Kill The Policeman In Your Head' outpourings 5 and 7 respectively (come on are you following this or what?). The former is a slow classy piece that twangs strings and soul in equal proportion with a depressive overtone that really asks questions about the social divisions and inequalities found therein. Quality indeed. The latter track is anti-big brother incarnate and deals with, some would say, a relevant matter and some would say, paranoia. Take your pick but the song will go down well in some circles and provoke responses from others - either way it ain't nothing new but then what is!

This is a decent offering that lacks originality but makes up for this with an abundance of spirit and disillusionment plus some pretty good tunes. Personally I can take it or leave it but some of the issues still have relevance whereas as some seem wayward to my punky old nut. I ain't knocking this guy though - each to their own and I am sure this will be greeted fondly in the crusty zones and overlooked in other sub-generic pools. My moral is fuck system and tradition but be good and keep things free and easy - yeah anarchy is ideal but the anarchists I have known seem to miss it's true point which degrades it's essence and opens up the doors for abuse. A shame but still good to see flag flyers like this who I hope are on the right track. See what you think!



Italy and the USA combine melodic punk forces to create this 12 track (4 songs each) splash of surfing punk, liable to please the younger audience than the grumpy old bastards - well except one or two ha, ha. Even though we have 3 bands the fundamental nature of the songs is the same - popping punkology seasoned with melodic cinnamon.

Italian dudes The Killdaddies open the 3 cornered showcase with the efficient 'Eyes Of Ice'. It sways along with an underlying melody that bears a vein of succeeding ease and as a result the ditty can hardly be anything but enjoyable. Truly pop-skater/surfer punk that has been done over and over and will no doubt be duplicated aplenty but it still hits a nerve and wins the day. 'Just Another Stupid Song' is typically entitled for this punk genre and the whole effort is again unflustered and moves in steady rhythm without really breaking up and testing unchartered waters. I don't mind when it's this effective but it is just worth pointing out due to the fact that if this band start a song on the wrong footing then more than likely the rest that follows will suffer. Luckily or skilfully they get away with it here and the following 'My Cats' is terse and slips in almost unnoticed despite a similar format and yet which is far more colourful in all areas and has an overall quicker buzz that makes it one of the best and somewhat quirkiest sounding tracks of the whole CD. The closure comes with the hit and miss effort of 'Not A Saint, Not A Whore'. This song starts so well with really uplifting guitar tuneage that is maintained throughout the verse before remarkably fracturing with a stale chorus-esque snippet that for me, just doesn't work. This is the only real stain on the Killdaddies underpants of sound and although the duds of discordance are hardly revealing there is enough evidence to show a well-built band with more upright ejaculations to come.

The Underhills from San Diego, USA, swing into action next with the lengthy, light and likeable 'Empty Promises', a song lacking hardedge angst but made up for with smoothly played commercialised pop punk. The paradoxical statement of 'commercialised pop punk' is a reflection of the many fractures the scene has suffered over the years that some will say is a natural progression for any music form. The jury is still out as to whether this is a good or bad thing! Anyway I'm here to review from the standpoint of punkiness and as music as a whole and will do so forthwith. The song isn't bad at all and seems a trifle too long for my personal tastes although it weighs in at only just above 3 minutes which could reflect my ever decreasing attention span - aaagghhh! Maybe a more direct break in proceedings would have helped matters as the song does retain a consistent tone which here I feel is a minor flaw. 'Get To Me' oozes in with confident professionalism and is a good premeditated effort that takes no risks and sets about keeping the tune focussed and not overly fussy. The brief mix works and the production is quite excellent. 'I Wanna Know' upholds previous positivity and perhaps is the song newcomers to this band will pick up on as the chorus is quite adhesive and is nicely delivered. The final portion from The Underhill's quartered risotto of rhythm comes by the name of 'Lesson Learned' - Whoa hoa! It's easy listening and rounds off a gang of four that will meet the needs of the ones who don't like their noise too polluted.

Hailing from Portsmouth in the US come Way To Go who continue where the other two outfits left off and if one gives a little thought to all contributions it could very well be imagined that they are all from the same band at different stages in their career. Strange but true and thus keeping it safe in so much as that if you like one band you will most likely enjoy all three - invert and a similar answer is had too. So 'Another City Another Day' is the initial serve from this final band and is a vacuous track that starts at point A goes to point B and has very little adventure in between. I am not keen at all and 'Just Me And The Cat' is almost an identical twin and so leaves another insipid taste which is a real shame as the songs are played well but lack any spice whatsoever. It's as though the band are bereft of any vigour and are going through the motions which is a poor state of affairs. The culprit here is the production and during the laying down of these tracks some basic errors have been made as there is not enough distinction between instruments thus flat-lining the whole effort. 'Don't Turn Around' uplifts this dreary ambience and although similar to the previous duo there is a cool, laid back approach with some nice guitar work overlapping onto the backdrop of regular sound that makes the song win the day. It seems what Way To Go are trying to do is crucially a hit or miss noise that is so easily delivered off target and yet can just as simply hit the mark. 'Bottom Of The Wave' is just short of a direct goal but certainly isn't a million miles away. It builds to a finish that should have really splashed into a thousand droplets of sonic water but drifts out on less effective ripples instead.

3 bands and all capable and all of a very similar aspect with the fungal thumbs up going to The Killdaddies. I'd like to hear more some from these outfits preferably with a spunked up sound to match their skills and to do justice to 3 decent crews. Cruising pop punkers and modern surf lovers will like this in their droves and is a recommended risk to take for all the rest.



We take the first step with 'One By One' a masterpiece in pace ridden optimism that defies the slip into mediocre middle-age and oozes a fun-filled juice which drips from each and every crevice within the very framework of the song. Nicely written and a fine boozing jollity where foaming tankards can be swayed in unison with a merry faced accompaniment. Just as one suspects the theme has already been set for this quintet of sounds the darker and subtly sinister resonance of 'The Bogeyman' neatly slips in and awakes fear and trepidation with its questioning lyrical matter. It's a great tune and the segment in the middle that seems to be yelled through the hollow husk of a dead man's skull is perfectly delivered, produced and beautifully written. It is a great turn of foot that gives this track a gleaming finish to stand back and admire.

The track of the CD comes next with its instantaneous likeability and simple pick-up and play excellence. 'All One Riff' is one of those songs all bands aspire to and one which will stick with the band throughout its entire career. This is a classic and the band must hear praise aplenty for this song from fans and outsiders alike. I can't offer any criticism and this effort wouldn't look out of place on any CD of - oooops now for the nebulous comparison - Green Day. There said it and although not obvious if you listen carefully you may get my drift. Polished, formulated and very commercialised this has all the aspects of being taken to the bigger stage. As a punked up fucker one would think this kind of terminology would be awash with negative connotations but in this instance they would be wrong. You see, some tunes are destined to become a commercialised success because they are processed bullshit for the masses to feed their fat-fuck idle brains with, but some tunes are destined for the great open market because they are just darn fine efforts with an overall winning ambience one can't help but enjoy - this is a sure fire example - so there!

'March Left' is the least adhesive output on the CD and although is a comfortable track it always stays overshadowed by its overwhelming counterparts. The vocals are neatly delivered, the guitar work choice and the drumming nifty therefore we have another select piece despite its smaller stature. The finale is a cruising boozing end of party pleasure that inebriated slurpers will sing along to forever and ever. Again it is a sure fire winner and a Christmas jukebox beckons a tune like this and hey - 'Will this years 'Top of the Pops' festive special feature this outstanding crowd pleaser'. Perhaps not and that indeed is the shows, the publics and the scenes loss. A cracker to finish a great CD that surprised even this miserable bastard.

Look this ain't gutterpunk, it ain't political diatribe, it ain't retro pogo and puke, and it ain't skank. It is though fuckin' spot on, perfectly presented and hopefully destined to topple some shit from the top of the heap and make way for some of the remarkable quality just waiting beneath the surface.



The first few spins of this CD were played in the car much too my frustration. Adequate levels of sound couldn't be reached to do this CD justice and the silver spinning disc jumped in unison with every speed-bump and pothole in the road - damn those boy racers and council pen pushers. So, as a result, I thought I had a DIY no, no that was marred with under-production, bland attitude and dehydrated output. Being one not to judge on initial listens more spins were given whilst at home with a bit of volume and more attention to detail rather than being distracted with throwing house-bricks at passers-by (one needs to keep occupied you know). Anyway little did I realise that after a few more listens that I would be peeling spuds and sprouts at home (in a non-sexual way of course) and singing merrily along to this quite charming 6 song effort. There are a few comparative sub-layers here that need exposing and this can only be done with numerous spins but when revealed the whole mix comes together to give a unique sound that does indeed please. Essences of The Jam I feel are very discrete as are overtones of The Specials and other such skars.

'Mr Jones' is a fuckin' treat with weaving sax, two-tone guitar and an obscure vocal inflection that at first comes across as crap and then convinces that it is quite cultured. A funny old song this and I do like it a lot. The almost flatline approach of the smoky singing works well against the seemingly overlooked musical backdrop. Excellent tempo that builds slowly and ends perfectly with a totally convincing approach throughout. I am still at a loss how I originally deemed this as dire but I guess we are all guilty of hasty judgements and experience has learned me that outputs initially classed as poor are the ones that tend to have a greater longevity of listen.

'Pretty Girls' is pacey and continues the upbeat quality of sound with a superb sudden surge at approximately 2 minutes 10 seconds in, that revitalises the song before the end does come. A choice death rattle to a brief musical escapade that glowed bright before the final bow was taken. The experienced 'Idiot Box' gives rise to a depth of sonic spillage and cements the status of this band as a more than efficient crew who know their stuff. A few experimental moments are had and are unnecessary but show a willingness to tamper, which, is no bad thing at all. The track regains its footing and closes nicely thus opening the gates for the succinct guitar of 'Rat Life'. This is more of what I diagnose as 'coffee table ska', the type that gives rise to visions of frothy beverages being swilled within the haze of a hashish dazed crowd who like to recline rather than riot. In small doses it works but I would advise this lot not to ponder or wander too much in this over-cleansed arena and rely on the adeptness at creating works of more solid melody and emotive edginess. Nevertheless this is still good as is the authentically orthodox skank of 'Rudy's Redemption' - a definite canabanoid cruise to say the least. This song meanders it's way on grey clouds of unruffled ease into ones soul, wherein it massages the angst into a state of tranquillity and unpressurised bliss. Ideal for breaking the eternal buzz of brain-damaging bombs that I like to overdose on oh so much.

'Victims' is the closure and adopts a straightforward approach with sharp punchy upstrokes and triumphant cries that send the CD home in solid style.



Old sounds from young guns with a smattering of individuality that ends up making this CD an example of nothing new under the sun but which convinces me that there is a youthful army out there who still like their punk raw, orthodox and political. This 10 track cut is a back-to-basics affair that occasionally drifts into more technical moments thus teasing the listener with glimpses of a future direction where the band may find greater success. Judgement is of an initial step into the punky realms with trepidation dictating the final output rather than a commitment to an individual noise. The hardcore/skank mix is attempted and not fully mastered but respect has to go to the players for a sense of adventure. For a first outpouring it does the job but in truth there is a whole lot of scope here to create an absolute stunner providing genuine attention to production, composition and instrumental layering is heeded. No matter, The Parodies have got the door ajar and many rooms in the punk rock mansion will hold many possibilities with the end options the bands decision and no-one elses. With caring criticism and punk-fuelled pointers I write on and hopefully will go some way into squeezing a little more out of this band for future efforts.

'Freedoms Reserved' opens with recorded wordage before cymbals skip an intro which are joined by disgruntled vocals and engine guitars. The headway made is level and takes no chances which would indeed be fine if the song was a powerhouse affair that ripped the rafters apart. Sadly it's a slippy start but 'Oi Oi Brutality' gets things more on the right footing with an orthodox noise that stays balanced with incessant zest and safety embracing formula.

'George W. Hitler' is a great name for a song and we have another segment of high fuelled punk rage which goes down quite well if I must say so but the following 'Punk 'n' Ska' is where The Parodies shine bright with the skankier side of things merging wonderfully with a heavier punk chorus thus giving a multicoloured layering to a fine simplistic song.  The whole CD takes on a new persona and the Jekyll tinkle of guitar soon turns Hydeish with a rasping burst of evil intent.  The composition just lacks the finishing production yet still can be claimed as a minor success for this embryonic band.  More skank as the comically entitled 'Get Rich Or Claim Benefits' cruises along and comes across as an offering from an entirely different band.  No bad thing at all and encouragement should always be given to bands willing to chance the arms with a diversity of noise pollution.  At various points during this song (especially the chorus) the vocals become somewhat detached which adds another aspect to the bands output and listenability.
Halfway through and things are looking pretty good after that faltering start and 'Accessory To Murder' keeps the upshift burning with a bit of added anger which creates a thumping song that becomes void of strings during the verse but grinds out a fairly good chorus with highlights upon volume and energy.  'Stan' twinkle toes its way to the soul with a tale of an alcoholic who has no future.  The arrangement is somewhat fractured as the ska based verse works and the punk encrusted chorus doesn't.  A nice try but no winning ticket this time. Not to worry and on to 'State Of Things' a rattling number that starts well, crumbles into a jerky, quirky mish-mash and never recovers.  The worst of the lot and an unexpected dip in proceedings that knocks the album for six.  Experimentation can result in burnt fingers and here we have such a digit singeing moment.  A real shame!

'Ban The Bomb' buzzsaws its way along with a clear lyrical escort and although distracting in parts there is ample ability to uncover here. Its a real mix and match affair but the song just manages to survive (the slower inclusion helps no end). The finale is a cover of The Exploited's 'Dead Cities'. A fuckin' fair effort this and just rubber-stamping what I have hinted at all through this review that the fact is we have a good band who have sold themselves short with this initial ten tracker. More attention to detail and I think that to start slowly and add pace in small doses rather than the other way around is the advice of the day. Overall though my curiosity is aroused and it's another one for Fungal to track down.



For sheer effort, toil and insistence the 2 Sick Monkey's put most bands to shame.  This dynamic duo are up there with the best double acts around.  Batman and Robin, Little and Large, Cannon and Ball, Morecambe and Wise, Peters and Lee ha, ha - ok not much competition but whenever you hear the name 2SM you know you are dealing with quality, dedication and 100% belief.  More than likely when confronted with a CD to review you can expect a good old kick-arse outpouring and this little gem doesn't disappoint.  In fact this is the bands best stuff to date and the disk that it comes on is a replica of an old 45 vinyl and is as cute as you like.  Nice touch but nothing whatsoever to do with the musical puke that I shall commence to!
The eternal punk question 'Why' opens the show with a tumbling 4 string assault reinforced with rattling drums and flavoured with a despondant vocal resonance that hits the mark and hits it very deep indeed.  The swaggering bass is halted about 3 quarters of the way through as the sound takes a slower mode of approach and gives out a heartbeat rhythm poised to hit a cacophonous coronary endline with almost soul shattering exactness.   The musical precipice is teetered on with such teasing brilliance before the death knell is sounded and the whole effort folds with fervour and a last blast of defiance.  'Big Words' tunnels in with a simplicity that puts to rest any need for unnecessary complications and another solid song is had.  6 lines and a chorus make up a song that carries more weight than wordage and the Monkeys come up stinking of peanuts yet again.  A nice strum, strum, strum and roll sequence is well included with a few other modes of operation taken that add a final interest to a meaty song.
'Walk A Fine Line' is a massive instrumental moment and does what it intends to do with a superb showcase given of just how talented this twinned terror is.  Bass and drums - don't foget that - just bass and drums and yet this slice of melodic hard-baked puke is so damn textured and contains a kaliedoscope of rockin' rhythm and catchy riffs.  It's fuckin' classy stuff and if this band has any doubters (which I very much doubt) then this will shut their mouths and put them right back in their place.  Quality extremo!
'Retro Age' sees front urchin Pete offer the poser of why people seem obsessed with looking back rather than appreciating the reality and diversity we have today.  A disease gone wild and one costing the scene dearly this output is well timed and hopefully it gets a few noodles asking questions of themselves instead of nobbing nostalgia rigid!  A nifty track indeed.
'Me, Me, Me' is a bold as brass burst of 'who fuckin' cares' punk that dabbles in shock, cock and rock and really ruptures the ringpiece of sanity something rotten with its deviant saturated lyrics and somewhat comedic slant.  The opening verse sets the tone - 'Who's been smoking all your fags, And licking your birds saddle bags, Who kicked all your windows out?' - interesting to say the least and I am sure a psychotic examination of the one who penned this tirade would have some very revealing results ha, ha.  A granite song to savour and one to end the primary five tracks with sheer class.
A 'Why' reprise folds the studio matter with temper and insanity fused in a hailing snatch of nuthouse frustration before we are dealt 3 rough recordings from the band in 'live' mode.  A bit of a collectors treat and the finale of that crowd pleasing diamond 'Fuck Off' puts a full stop to this short chapter in 2SM's persistant career.
Yes this is the best so far from this stunning outfit who for me are being sorely neglected by this fucked up scene.  I rate these guys highly, very highly indeed and get really depressed when they seem to struggle for adulation alongside more corporate, 'in the clique' bands who are just going through the motions with an obvious lack of passion.  For reality, sincerity and commitment these two twats of tuneage should be the top of the pile but with the current financial climate, the scenes lethargy and over-saturation of scenesters an extended struggle seems probable.  They will get there though and if nothing else they can both take pride in their spirit, output and ethos - truly admirable.  Everyone should get this who is involved in the scene - yeah everyone - so come on contact the band, buy and support the true!



Having been fairly impressed by a recent 'live' performance from this lot a CD was chased up and received in order to review.  This 13 track effort, in all honesty, doesn't do the band justice and the inadequate production does indeed give off a garage-esque reverberation which I feel, in the main, doesn't suit this bands style.  There are a few choice moments that do reflect the quality of this band but this overall outpouring does smack of experimentation and of a band in need of focus and direction.
'I Listen To Bands' commences and is a hollow track that has a spaciousness which does in actual fact work here but lets down several ensuing outpourings.  I like this a lot and the winning indie chorus puts meat on the tone and so the start is a good un’.  'Crowded Room' is a 1 minute 22 second spurt that has the ingredients to be a winning recipe but is so undercooked the end result lacks any subtlety of flavour which I deem a very careless mistake.  The potential is superfluous but without the necessary final application the dish doth dip. 'She's A Paradox' gets closer to the winning mark but fuzzes and froths a little too much thus overspills into discordance whereas a crackin' song should have been had. 
The main niggle for me at the moment is that this doesn't seem to have any resemblance to the band I saw a few months ago strutting some decent stuff.  Strange, and hence the importance of only releasing stuff you are totally happy with especially when tackling this precarious sub-genre.  Crazily enough 'Demoralised' has some of the most unhinged moments on the CD and the song is a fuckin' success.  I can't for the life of me understand why this is but the fact of the matter is that this is a real dishevelled gem succeeding with hard-driven focus and a briefness of both chorus and verse that compliment one another quite remarkably.  The psychedelic sonic thrash that drips from the speakers is both  disorientating and appealing - similar somewhat to a few bottles of QC - hence the appreciation on my part.  'In Your Dream' stabilises the riot and ain't half bad with the now identifiable automaton inflection combining with static frenetic guitar to a quite appreciable level.  There is room to fail here and nosedive into chaos but the reins are held firm and the fundamental bog brush basicness of the guitar solo is ideal for this noxious noise.
The creeping vine of melody grows greedily and seems to have me drawn in but the weakling 'One Day' gives respite and saves me from a full blown commitment into the Litterbug garden of grunge.  Not bad but unconvincing and again the haphazard approach has charm but just lacks a little structure in all the right places.  A bit like a fat slag with her whalebone corset and gusset scaffold - too much spilling out to make appealing.  Nonetheless potential is aplenty and this is nowhere more apparent than on the enchanting 'Laugh Out Loud'.  A brave attempt that aches for a million dollar fur coat recording but will have to do with a DIY dingy overcoat that still does credit to a really encouraging track.  I love it when bands veer off in a totally unexpected direction so full marks to Litterbug for throwing this tangent into the mix.  'A Simple Contradiction' smacks of 80's Manc-indie with a druggy overtone and swaggering cockiness that carries the track to a certain level of clarity and attitude thus winning favour from this ragged reviewer.
At this point it strikes me with force that I do need to check out this crew several more times to appreciate the full flavour and essence of what is actually going on.  Motivations, ambitions and influences as well as a realisation of where the Litterbug comfort zone lies would help towards a clearer view of what this CD is trying to achieve but such are the drawbacks of assessing an offering.  Curiosity though is tickled and a few gigs should be offered on the back of this.
Back into the mix and 'Subhuman Scum' labours its way along and sounds like the Happy Monday's on yet more experimental druggage.  The main query is 'will the punk populace like it'?  In general I suggest not but there are quite a few punters within the scene that like a diversity of noise and so will take to this.  Me, well I think it's a bit to slow and there are better tracks to get to grips with on this CD - talking of which.  'Looking Back Then' dabbles with nostalgia and smoothly croons along with a few u-turns taken before the main highway is taken.  There is a dreamy radio control quality that ensnares a Peel-esque vibe somehow lost in the annals (or anals) of processed, plasticized time and I for one yearn for more.  The intention lacks the execution but there is no reason to abandon ship here as a few tweaks and twangs will make all a worthy vessel to sail on, and I think SS Litterbug have a real chance to float afar.

'OCD' clatters in, then is halted by a DK cambodian guitar scrawl before adopting an emotive 'oh oh oh' and a staccato strum and drum that builds nicely into solid verse and cracking chorus.   I like this one a lot too and the more one pays heed the bigger are the aural rewards.  The penultimate jingle, namely 'Conspiracy Theory' has cardboard box vocals again and sets off with a banshee spiral that eventually combine with a decent riff that holds the track together.  The song loses out due to the less than accomplished finish which mars the clarity of songs and clouds the vocals to an annoying degree. We end with 'Delmario' a song which has an industrial Joy Division opening and instrumentalises its way to the CD's closure with an effective swagger.  This would make a good opening to a set and would have set the CD off to a nice start here but that's personal preference for you.
Overall I feel this CD is not as good as it should have been but it does get the Litterbug foot off the ground and the ball rolling.  I'd like to hear more from these guys in the future and hope they take a step back and analyse this one and hopefully make the crucial improvements that are aching to be made.  Worth a peek for the odd gem and anyone who likes it rough should get their ears screwed by this.

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