FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
 
 
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WOLF BITES BOY - THE STORY SO FAR...

As soon as Wolf Bites Boy were ready to gig they played a Fungal fiasco, it was their first or second showing in the 'live' pit, it was a revelation and convinced me of a band of street-wise sonic nouse that were destined to make a good mark in the OI sub-scene as well as in pastures punked.   The crew are well-versed, decent chaps for sure and seem to have a knack for producing good hard-hitting, heartfelt cacophonies from the cobblestones.  The produce is obviously laden with skinhead lilts, contains much formulated fodder but is delivered with such variation and 'oomph' as to be utterly loved by those booted up and braced for some good impacting noise. 

The opening 10 hole lacer arrives up the awaiting jacksie with much force and under the pride-saturated name of 'Oi Running Through Our Veins'.  The song begins with glass-light promise, roars in, rattles through the first fist-flinging chorus with an unstoppable verisimilitude to other vocal violences that aroused many a shaved barnet.  The execution of this initial pyretic punch leaves a good welt and with the underlying riffery and stick molestation provides a firm foundation for the barbecued vocals to sizzle -  I think I can safely say this is a minor beauty.  'Bang To Rights' is a well woven skank moment that brings together many choice and cultured touches from a further sub-pool that has served many music fans well.   The sweetly fluent bass work and lightly flicked skins and cymbals allow the guitar to upstroke its way with cool positive grooviness.  The whiskey scorched vocals provided an ideal intensity to the overall tickle with the construction utterly well-versed and borne from heads who have spent many a long year soaked in the sonic arena - spot on chaps.

'I Stand Alone' struts in on cocky tones, puts in a quick flurry and away we go.  The travelling shout out to a one-man defiance regards a situation of entrapment delivered with the outcast in mind.  The song brings good vigour, keeps the sharp flow coursing with relished raving, the step back from the accelerator is a nice touch that leads into the instrumental insert prior to the last push for the finishing line - a necessary thrust this one.  'To The Hilt' is a cruising fucker with old school lyrics abrasively scorched over a languid underscore of sound that provides a most gratifying contrast factor.  The players barely break sweat whilst donating the cool drift with the oral offerer, as per, bursting a bollock and making sure those tonsil tendons are left blistered.  The song has a certain street-wise sass, has a controlled direction and yet is utterly natural - I am in the zone here and loving it.

'Rubble And Decay' is a cry for help, a last blast holler to grab something positive from a dissolving situation.  The verse is delivered with a very subtle rise that crescendos with a chorus destined to get all those disillusioned bastards invigorated.  The problem is that the heap is so dumbed down they need a real rocket up the arse beyond music but, in the meantime, this will have to suffice.  For me it is a smooth gem that keeps me on my toes and kicking back.  The band are focused and spitting creative juices with applaudable consequences - if you like your Oi with a touch of class this is what you are getting here.  'She's Not There Anymore' is a considered spoken touch of personal emotion, it gives the CD a new angle, a poignant moment, an insight into a band are who are not just about the boom, bang and bollocks approach - they have something more and I find this a crucial inclusion.  The fact that this heart-touching arrangement avoids pointless poetical adornments and precisely encapsulates a sad situation is testament to the thought behind the piece - well done chaps. The chaser is perfectly positioned and follows the set theme of 'loss'.  Here the initial upset is overcome, the entwining threads of unsettling horror are cast aside and the inner spirit is renewed with tragedy turned into triumph, an agony transformed into a homage.  The song has all the elements to pull the ticker strings of many in a similar situation and for me it is time to wipe away the tears and 'Raise A Glass' is smiling appreciation - solid work as per.
'This Is England' takes bare facts, ploughs through the shittery, tosses all the confounded problems that stink to high Heaven into the air and comes up with a response straight off the anthemic shelf.  This song is a beauty, even those hard of heart, with a nose for things suggestive of 'corn', or plain old awkward cunts like my stinking self will fail to find fault with this momentous mover that really does tick all the obvious boxes...and some.  I needn't add much more, the song is a sing-a-long delight, the changing face of the shit-hole is nailed - have it!

'Gotta Getaway' shouts from the rooftops, takes up a clattering awkwardness before sputtering along and finally finding true oil in the motions and kicking up a plume of needy emotion to escape a situation all too problematical.   The guitars skid, skewer and skank, the oral opening is heated, the drum work marshals all melody and keeps the crew on track - just.  A song on the cusp of a disaster but thankfully scraping by!  'Family Isn't Always Blood' is one for the cacophonic community, an end of night treat to bring  a soppy tear to a sozzled eye and to get the embracing staggerers singing along and then waking up next day forgetting all the throwaway meaning.  I am a great believer in community, see too much that is based on what folk can get out of things, I hope this semi-corned offering gets a few buggers thinking and being more sincere.  The song sets out its stall, does what it needs to - I am 50/50 on this one - I think it is something to do with being a cantankerous and sceptical twat!

'One Of Us' is a neatly executed number with a simple orchestration and chanting style that doesn't take too much effort to get in line with.   The crew keep things rough around edges, start with suggestive anthemic tones before marching in militarised style and then hitting home with a routine tickle that once more will have the working outsiders singing in unison.  This song is outstripped by the superbly Rancid-esque tickle known as 'Big Man In A Small Town' - a song that shows the bands true pedigree and the ability to turn up the quality, slip into complimentary genres and yet stay within parameters that work mighty well together.  From that slick skank opening, the snagging rawness and the wonderful chorus that highlights those real minor men of no consequence that are found here there and everywhere – you know the fuckers, with chests out, invisible carpets under the arms and strut in the step had.  I like the whole movement here, the scurfy DIY nastiness that is glossed up by darn good application and a real unaffected streetpunk reality - sometimes we gotta tip our titfers for tune done by the likes of me, you and not them - lovely.

'Next Generation' deals with the modern day weaklings, the griping shits with no spine and shows them what real living is like.  The sweet twinged intro soon dissolves into a scuzzy, raw-boned routine with the underfuzz and back hollers overlain with the roaring abrasiveness that gives the band a certain recognisable edge.  All the while, the band dish the dirty facts, keep the acoustic wound open and apply their own brand of spiky salt to keep one intrigued.  'Rise Again' pronounces on bold tones, briefly rattles the ribs and then digs in some feisty heels and promises that the punk resurgence will come and all will be well.   Tis ruddy wishful thinking but one can hope and maybe, if a few more get their arses in gear, we can get somewhere effective.  The punk revolution is given credit, it did make a change, it still carries on today but the diluted format needs a kick up the rear and a change of gear for a scene has become too uniformed and blunted.  The fact remains though the arena is a great way to focus some stray minds and keep people out of trouble - that is a good thing for sure and let us be honest, the music brings untold pleasure and helps ease the troubled soul.  I like this one but 'Wear Your Heart With Pride' speaks greater volumes, is an ethos I thoroughly believe in and when combined with the chasing 'Fighting On' - is a duo to be certainly reckoned with and used as ammunition to keep you kicking and screaming with self-belief and utter passion.  The first song demands you take heed of your inner soul, do not doubt yourself and stand very, very proud.  The chaser uses the old anarcho slogan of 'Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down' and rams it home with sanguine and sincere affect.  Both of these latter end efforts need playing loud, need concentrating on and should be used to perhaps rekindle fires neglected.  I am always well stoked, come on folks - get fuckin' blazing'.

We piss off into the end silence with 'Streets That I Call Home', a tense affair, blistering with life and not ashamed to be born and bred in the true avenues and alleyways of the working class world.   Sung with chest expanded, with eyes wide and without a regret this one is another moment built upon strutting confidence, hot arsed defiance and that 'this is me' attitude - I have no complaints.   There is a swagger, a nonchalance, an easy rhythm all thrown into the melting pot and I take a cup of the resultant broth and swallow with a rising smile on my mush - come and share the vibes.

So, Wolf Bites Boy are on it, doing it well and have a good CD on their hands here with many memorable tunes.   I do think there is more to come, I reckon just a little bit of extra polish here and there, a heavier whack in the end mix and some more concentrated work on the skank cum reggae routine and I reckon we will be in for an even bigger treat next time around.  Here, there is much fuel to be used and many tunes that will serve them well - for a good bunch like this, it makes me very happy to fly their flag and suggest you listen in.

   
 

TEAR THEM DOWN - NO SLEEP TIL' AROD

There is a bounty of bands out there, I consider myself well-versed in much music but trying to keep abreast of the comings and goings, the new, the old, the relevant and the irrelevant is utterly impossible so, I just carry on regardless.  The band here hail from Sweden, they set out in 2010 and had a passion to play high-voltage music with a kick-back against the great political mess and their reactive beliefs.  I am in a rush as per but have taken my time here - all it does is add to the backlog - I think I am starting to hate music.

First up 'What A Waste', erupts from initial muck with an emboldened upsurge of straight-ahead hardcore-esque driving that somehow metamorphs into a catchy poppoid chorus thus, quite cleverly, combining two opposing sub-generic slants into one impacting mix.  The content is a vicious anal finger fuck up the rears of those who have been born and bred into a position of comfort built on the suffering of others - you know the one's - the fat-headed fucks contributing to the eternal downward spiral.   The song does not fuck about (I like that), holds much anger (I like that too) and is played with a real tight-assed affect (ooh three out of three).  It sets a foundation on which the band must build - here we go then.  'The Nihilist Tone' is a realistically looking beauty based on a belief system that doesn't believe.  The application is with accelerator pushed, tonsils pulled taut and animation levels lofted.   The band set a searing pace, ride the bull of rhythm with ardour, hold onto the bouncing balls for all their might and come out the other end intact.   There is no time to deliberate here, there are many similar expulsion in this sodden scene, all the band have to do is nail it - and they do just that.

Twilight skank adorned with wire warpings and carefully stated vocals advance into a well- whipped up chorus turmoil before going back to the sonic square marked as 'one'.  'A Thousand More..' is a well-crafted moment, skanked and star-lighted before cruising along with precise pulsations and then falling without flaw into a billowed chorus that exemplifies the artistry of the band under the magnifier.   A repeat route has slightly more pep, the result is still as impressive and as we fly to the final whack out I find myself void of complaint - ooh the rotten bastards.  'Redeem' is not my favourite expulsion and reminds me of an era where too much of this stuff was being brandished about.  The song has that clatter batter straight ahead annoyance that I can take or leave but is given salvation by another sub-chorus burst of well-whipped effect and much hamonised beauty.  As a result I fall into the crack of indecision but even so can't find it within myself to put in a critical steel-capped boot.  The band roar to glory in their own way and although this Fungalised git isn't fully charmed I must admit the band know how to play it tight.

We close with 'No Sleep Til Arod', a worked up thresher that creates a good surface spume whilst scurfily working away with great industry and hollering intent.   The throat is blistered during this highly animated escapade, the verse and chorus cuts are almost indistinguishable as the whole delivery powers  on with continuous levelled bursts of desire and complete unity - I know many who may just well have a sexual tingle to this kind of stuff.

There ya go, despite being snowed under I am making headway (albeit sideways) and am finding, as per, many good things to scribble about.  Tear Them Down are tidy, tight and totally effective.   The band are of a sub-generic ilk that is always popular and for the old, the new and Mr Magoo, there is plenty of promise here to discover and promote.

   

PUNKBOOT PROMOTIONS - PUNK AIN'T NO PICNIC 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

RITES OF HADDA - WITCHPUNK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

THE BORDELLOS - CRABS EP

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

CHRIS BUTLER - IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

ALVIN & THE ANGRY BARRELS - SELF-TITLED

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

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

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

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

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

   

THE DRY RETCH - A KICK IN THE GULAGS

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

DIRTY WATER RECORDS - THE LAST TESTAMENT -

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

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

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

Half one done, let us do it all again.

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

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

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

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

   

SCHANDE - PEDIGREE

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

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

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

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

   
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