FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 32
 
 

ZEITGEIST 77 - THE DREAMS OF HYACINTH THRASH

To advance with cultured endeavour and a slant towards creating scholarly music that strives to keep clear of the formulaic realms of 4 chord verse/chorus regularity is no mean feat and requires great exertion on behalf of the creators and the eavesdropping masses.  In this 4 minute fashion fuck up of a society music needs to have an instant hit factor to get notde and that which is more profound is somewhat left on the shelf and only appreciated by those willing to break sweat.  Zeitgeist 77 create erudite music on many levels and yet somehow hang on to street reality that may just keep things in noticeable fettle.  This is my 3rd attempt at tackling the bands tonal gifts, here I only have 4 to dabble with - wish me luck.

Airwaves vibrate and in moves track the first, namely 'The Jonestown Boogie'. Classic skips done with articulated sound levels greet and grow and a very erudite vine of vibration soon reaches outward and wraps its tonal tendrils around your throat and strangles out a veritable response that I would lay wager is more than a little positive.  The blend of all components is quite exact, in fact so precise as to make this a song that takes time to assess.  I take due time, pick up on the earthy street resonations and am embraced by the documentary style delivery that looks upon a moment of madness with stark reality.  The tonality is sober but melodic and built by a crew who have their own effective style that avoids fitting in to a certain mould - quite a clever cut.

'Sally' yearns with keen pulses and has a desire that drags in attention and relates to that 'gotta getaway' sensation many of us have had when suffocated by the urban pressures and mass mania.  Here the girl under the spotlight has played away and now wants to run away, away to who knows where!  The strings add an acidity, the outside the box sensation is punctuated home with sharp jabs and the cold light of day is revealed and our shoulder is turned and loses sympathy for the target of tuneage.  Musically the construction goes through many movements and takes us on what is an eclectic journey, a peregrination that takes some summing up.  For me it is a bold effort with many layers, many stop-off points to revisit and re-assess over and over.  The longevity factor is definitely grabbed here and that can only be a good thing.

'It's All About You' is a spartan track in part and  when examined closely, one stripped quite bare which is driven by a regular tympanic rustle and a bass weave that culminates in a greater saturation, and of course, contrast factor.  The development of the song is slow and steady, a quite unrushed and professional rise in sonic circumstance with all departments given room to showcase their exacting artistry.  I am wondering whether or not this is the pick of the pops and if here we are witnessing all the finest aspects of a band very much settled in their own well-oiled groove.  The poke at the egotistical is done with strait-jacketed irritation and the band never fail to lose control and follow a bog brush tear up - I like that, an individual sound is always a triumph that should be applauded.

'Go To Hell' is the last and the best (oh how fickle I am and how quickly my mind is altered) and is a keyed in, clued up bout of urban craftiness that sidles from beneath the rubble before wandering various hidden back alleys with authority and insightful pedigree.  The unwashed, matter of fact observations are tangible and one can almost smell the useless situation, feel the decay, taste the hopelessness and despair.  The beauty of this song is the combination of the hard-nailed vocals, the crunching and deliberate bass, the texturisation of the guitar and the marvellous rolling ebony and ivory cascades that breathe stunning oxygen into an already live and kicking beast.  Yes, certainly the tip top tune for me and one that has many, many miles on the playing clock - quite wonderful.

Zeitgeist 77 are a clever crew, their creations smack with sincere scholastic attention and are delivered with determined focus that will not be swayed by expectation of generic demands.  A good band I need to catch up with, one that I am certainly convinced can do it 'live' and bring together many sub-pit dwellers not usually found in the same room - fingers crossed for an 'in the flesh' experience soon!

   

THE BITTEN - IS IT SUPPOSED TO SOUND LIKE THAT

The Bitten chomp hard from the wanked dell of Wolverhampton and offer up a rambunctious dish backed by a record company who boil bunnies - and why not, pesky grass chomping bastards (I love rabbits really, tis the hares that grind my gears, especially those pubic ones - urggh).  The main drive of what we get is punk and roll with cacophonic carrots crunched and munched with good spirit and a persistent hop in the players undies that will surely put them in good stead in this much abused field of noise.  I am the assessing Elmer Fudd, I have my shotgun to scatter my text and each and every crack will try and have good aim and hit the tuned target of honesty - be warned I have had much practice.  Now all I can add is for you to be vewy vewy quiet, I'm hunting fuckin' whythmic wabbits don't ya know!

Kaboom - the first trigger-pull is at a focus frolic known as 'Thumbscrew', a song that really has a luring beat that forces a bopped response no matter how hard one pushes against the rhythm.  A relish for the task at hand and a propensity for driving home the snatching gist helps to add to the conviction factor and the slip from the more than adequate verses into the liberated chorus chucks is sweetly executed. The upshift in the swing-o-meter is gratifying and the energy generated works a treat.  Tis a good opener and gets the punk blood coursing! 'Rules Of The Game' bass gripes, power thrusts and then pumps acoustic iron with ease.  A less straining affair this with greater grease in the cogs and a more straight ahead sing-a-long chorus space creating an overall admixture that I would prescribe in general dosage that should cause no digestive problems.  It does lack a specific tang and adventure but it will just about do the job to those in need of a decent fix.  I think the band are playing within themselves here and like a well versed wanker this one is chucked off the wrist with little sweat broken. 

Third up and 'Tattoos and Bruises' is easy to grapple with as it comes forth on robust chords and wham wonder drummer explosions all creamed over by a raw-boned, rough and ready vocal blow out that is highly macho, blatantly unapologetic and quite fuckin' convincing. One for the pit dwellers who like a good tear up and don't mind a black and blue outcome.  The strength radiated is comprehensive, the direct rolling stone flattens all attentive moss, as well as your knackers, and the pulverising iron-fisted thirst is relentless - hefty man, hefty! 'Drinking To Remember' is a stout-hearted song with a steady-handed beat primarily bass driven and stick tickled with the guitar migraine twinging and skin scurrying when least expected. A rhythm evolves, a certain sweat on the brow is encouraged and the symptoms of a struggle increase in violence with a persistent tempo that nags one to their bleeding knees.  The gobwork used on top of the coruscating music is roaring and ablaze and it is this element that adds that extra flicker in the ticker.

Onwards, there ain't no let up bastards.  'Anywhere Better Than This' is initially under wraps and comes on a few hesitant tones of subdued shades.  The uncertainty is soon washed away as all is up-thrusted with the throb-heavy snatch of sonic goodness the band are so eager to thrash forth with a certain excellence.  It is strong gushing, infused with some balls-out gumption that is very difficult to resist (and why would you want to).  'Mile After Mile' swings and shakes, trembles the skeletal frame with high growl factor and pulse-pogo fascination.  A hearty song this that works-out with perspired stop-start effort and although in part the song gets too snagged and dragged for its own good there are still many facets and functioning episodes to applaud.  In brutal truth this is my least favourite but hey, one song has gotta be so get over it you pedantic gits.

Tub thumb, string chop, skid and 'Hey ho' - let's fuckin' have it.  'Jimmy Rocks' is molten lava advancing with boisterous burning brio that has a growing angle one is soon consumed by and seared along to plateaus that are considered quite rewarding.  There is nothing outrageously happening here, no icing on a fruity cake to salivate over.  No, what we get is a good gobful of nutritious noise that is easily swallowed and regurgitated with pleasure - barf!  '(Almost) The Perfect Husband' pounds with good force and has an opening riff roar that instantaneously grabs the listening goolies.  The story unfolds with sniping words, the stated slant is perhaps a trifle hindering and the lack of any distinct chorus is a bit of a deflation but the band crack on and although they leave ye olde Fungalpunk slightly unconvinced I am sure many will grasp this and bop along without too many cares in the wicked world (daft buggers).

Tight squelches, a holler and tub humps to encourage.  The wires tighten, the riffery imposes and the first verse bulldozes with great effect - such is the opening gambit of 'Snakes And Ladders'.  The song here is well scaffolded, given a compressed marble-ised spine around which all fore outputs can thrive and...duly fuck your head in.  The spirals, the pressures, the escalations all add to the muscularity of the musical mix and I am giving this one a firm nod of appreciation.  'Elvis' rocks in, comes across as a bit of a piss-take and so loses some credibility in my bloodshot eyes.  I am not so much of a cunt to believe my first impression and replay several times over. What I pick up on is a run of the mill tune that fails to elevate itself from the pack.  If taken out on its own it would gain more credit but I am judging a full CD here and this one is definitely a weaker member stuck within more erectile numbers.

Last 2 folks, are you still with me.  'The Man Comes Around' is spittle sizzled, moves in on ominous tonality before cooling down and sticking to a somewhat unconvoluted and rather relaxed methodology that is easy to pick up, play and nod along to.  The incessant level of intensity is reflective of an accomplished band who manage to maintain interest over 4 minutes 10 seconds without overly exerting themselves. A very reliable and sanguine slab.  We shut down with 'Call Of Wolves', a regular swinging tune that blows well, has a bold under-pulse and rides its own self-made waves with self-assured aplomb that remains uncongealed and runs down your attentive u-bend like discordant backdoor trots under severe pressure - oooh heck!  A healthy clear out this and a decent way to finish.

The kecks are hitched up and I have squatted on the assessing basin long enough. Before I leave I best daub a verdict on the cacophonic karsi walls.  My judgemental marker pen is out and I scribble as thus - 'strong, bold and reeking with good rhythm - this is burly music that bruises with care - kaboom'.  There ya go, over and out, oh and whilst I am here I put a steel-capped boot through the bog just to be consistent - why thank you!

   

THE HECK - WAITING IN LINE

The frontman of the marvellous De Keefman is dabbling again here in a new 60's style unit that combines many influences and obvious flavours into one punchy mix borne from the garage.  It is souped up, kept mightily real and done in a certain style, this is the band’s debut single - ooh me walnuts.  I expect a good listening experience, this is the Fungal take on matters.

'Waiting In Line' flops down, lands the right way up and surges with speed.  From the off the 3-piece under the spotlight blaze a lucid and happening trail with a hungry demeanour to be pondered.  The tonal grab is delicious and interspersed with palpitated drums that hungrily flicker for the next musical fix.  The animation and activity is coloured and high and the lead tonsil expulsions are borne from a bonse loaded with fervoured relish.  The man could be advised to ease up but the fever is out of control and hey, if it feels good let it flow.  A real off the cuff liberation and yeah, just enjoy it baby and let the sweat bag bleed.

Flip.

'Why' is built on a rustbed of scabby sound that is breezed over with sub-trouble-screams that are almost tantrumised and naggingly repetitive.  Here we have basic ingredients with no extra spices thrown in. The only artistic addition is the bands blatant desire to do it one way and one way only...their way!  This is a stripdown ramshackle vehicle of disturbance and is a definite B-side dish.  I am neither taken nor offended, it is in the strain of the grubby garaged genre and reaches climax levels that some may appreciate but, for me personally, I expected more and certainly believe the band under scrutiny have further levels to attain.

The Heck have much to offer, of that I have no doubt and my radar is erect and tingling - cor blimey missus!  It will be interesting to see what they throw our way but to be going on with have a bite here and take it for what it is.  I hope your curiosity is provoked.

   

PAPERTANK - PLAYGROUND

Intense power shoves come forth from nowhere and land on my electronic lap.  All I need do is open, download, save, play and...review - not a lot to ask is it?  Time is taken, seconds, minutes, hours and days whilst I mull over the music, make notes and then compile the end textual result.  The band dwell in Switzerland and France and they claim to play 'Loud and straight, with only drums, bass and voices, somewhere between 180 and 220 bpm.' - well what can I say.  They have gumption, they grind with belief, here are some Fungalised thoughts.

'Intro' is an intro, it lays the turf and in many respects kicks up a warning - the question is 'are you brave enough or indeed interested enough to continue' - I think you bloody well should be!  'Waiting For' segues in, is an immediate flickering fire that soon takes hold of the heedful sensors and gets them flashing with reactive animation that travels through an array of positive colours.  What can best be described as a grouchy melodic grind comes forth with an injection of pace that undoubtedly promotes keen life.  The mix survives a rough beating and has enough lucidity to transcend the more fussy boundaries some folk erect.  New school strains intertwine with obvious basics and yes mate, I am getting the gist of this one even though it does walk a precipice I may be wary of.  'Little Gun' is a safe song, a mere steady chaser to the opening tickle and as a consequence plays things on a somewhat linear line with blinkered focus and consistent rumbling.  The growl is effective with my inner alarm bells ringing ever so slightly at the suggestion of US sugarings.  No bad thing and the acute compression of the mix, the compact and drawn delivery and rigid rhythm will surely win more praise than critique.

Further into the vibrating jungle we tread and after scything through another shrub of silence we come across the explosion of 'Banshee'. A heavily rusted start soon gets sanded down and given a slightly smoother finisher and finding a chug chunk of verse efficiency that duly upheaves into a monster banishing bout of mouthy release.  This is a tidy song but doesn't burst from the pack like an acoustic nag with its chuff ablaze - just a regular galloper methinks.  'The Flower And The Earth' sneakily crawls under your listening doorframe before manifesting itself as a wired-up phantom of troubled aggravation that is intent in imposing a holler-graphic image of fiery proportions.  Amid the flaming incandescence there are under-flickers of decorative rationalism that indicates a band composing with care.  My thoughts are of a song with more acoustic profundity than first reasoned - take care and do not overlook.  'God Bless You, Wicked' radio-fuzz chugs alongside a lonesome throat lilt before a staccato stick slip offers the switch chance and the band go at it full throttle.  More modernised vibes come with certain trimmings from the late 90's when new-school invaded and US leanings created deeper strains within many UK units.  The band here combine all these facets, add much bluster and breezed angles before planing them all out and hurling them in a zoned-in direction.  There is more going on than I guessed at and like an eel on whizz this one takes some handling.  I grip firm, I make a decision - I go for two words - 'capable and middling' - the first objective, the second personalised.

Into the last and we are thrown forward with the hammer-heavy bludgeon beginning of 'Cold War Circus', a tireless thump-up of sound that fist-rattles, head fucks and toe-ends to oblivion with a water-tight kerfuffle that dishes out a breathless attack that takes some adjusting to.  All manner of weaponry is used by a frothing and foaming assailant who certainly has an irritation to be rid of - ouch!  'Run Away' is, initially at least, a more spasmodic affair that chops up the surface of sound and has one wondering!  No sooner are our thoughts roaming than they are dragged back and thrown into the expected melting pot although this mixture never settles and is a right old rambunctious rip up that spasms and sweats in equal dosage with an agitation effervescing over the lip of decency throughout - this is no bad thing and I walk away...tickled.  'Virus' flows through veins with vindictive focus, undistracted by outside elements that may cure the cacophonic curse thus causing the crew at the helm to be less effective.  No way Jose, the band will not be diluted, even at this late stage in proceedings and here they expose a veritable hunger that will only be sated by making restless rackets that make a few ear-drums burst.  I like the energy in this one and the liberation of the lilt that at time soars mighty high and...impresses.

We climax matters with 'Weather Guy', and yes, you guessed it, another volatile thresh-about of incendiary acoustic roaring that imposes an emboldened will through the trembling speakers onto your tympanic soul.  At this stage a certain immunity has been built up and I suggest during the next attack the band throw in some slower numbers of a different generic standing to keep the listeners more magnetised, more on the back-foot and...always guessing.  The CD signs off the same way as it clocked in...I leave you to decide if this is the way things should be.

Paper Tank have a wealth of power and a superfluity of skill that is well combined to make a solid quarrelsome disturbance that resonates deep in the listening framework and leaves a decent enough aftershock.  There is hard rocking reverberation occurring here and when the volume switch is flicked to level 'max' the bones jar in delight - it is what we all get off on I believe.

   

HOSPITAL FOOD - OBLIVION

By heck Hospital Food are still going, still keeping it mighty real and are on, what one would consider, a ruddy decent roll.  I have done bits and bobs with this lot since the early days and am more than a little chuffed that they are still chugging away.  An honest band, as down to earth as you can wish and clobbering out the vibrology for the love of it and to ease the inner demons that inrsist the punk rivers of noise must flow.  I have reviewed a few efforts by this bunch, today I take their name literally and avoid an off the plate tangent.

I recline in bed, awaiting a post HF operation during which I hope to be blown away and have my knackers frazzled.  Prior to the carve up I am presented with some vibrating victuals.  The slop of cacophonic cuisine in which I am requested to delve goes under the name of 'DIY Punk Band', an honest song that is borne from the kitchen sink of reality, warmed up on the oven of the trier and given herbs of resolute fervour. The blend here is cleaner and more progressive than what I expected and numerous spins are needed to acclimatise to the new found production.  The band are thinking on their musical feet but staying true to their roots and shouting the cause of the DIY gift we have been ultimately blessed with.  Extra trimmings of ornamentation are combined with a growing grit and taking into consideration all elements I gotta say this is a sweet and sturdy opener.  'Bully Boy' is street-wise and roughly cobble-stoned with a forthright kick-back that tramples and scuffles with an initial edgy nervousness that soon planes out and leads us into a track that is more liquid and flowing than first considered. The band have metamorphed and are finding time to explore noisy nooks and crannies that will see development increase and overall success levels rise.  I have considered this song over and over, there is an acoustic affirmation happening here with the band now creating songs that are not instantaneous and throw-away but instead cultivating musical growths that send out slow tendrils and squeeze out warm recognition.  I raise a flag of victory and yeah, fuck all bullies, never bow down to the fuckers.

'Benefit Street' warms up with a few skips and one two combo's before sub-snottily soaring along with accomplished gusto that has a real well-thought slant I am so happy to applaud.  This dig at the takers who gather even more due to a TV appearance and sub-celebrity status is fully justified as some are working their arses into the ground and are far worse off and really pissing in the wind.  The band control their rage, keep a clarity optimised and provide enough corrosion to keep that spiked appeal.  The song is more than just a verse/chorus assault with 'whoa hoa' sections, sub-layers and good harmonies all combining to give another multi-faceted listen.  'We Want Anarchy' is sharp song with a blatant message for the ones who don't want to think too deeply. Anarchy is an ideal, alas people couldn't handle it and I have reached a state where cerebral anarchy is the only thing I wish for.  I do try every day, it ain't easy in this media laden time.  The effort here shuffles with importance, pings about like a melodic marble in a hollowed out rectal space before shooting and spouting with fervour and desire.  In between gob offs the strings take command whilst all the time sticks are slapped around like a paedophilic priest in a prison.  The bass has a moment to support alone and the overall efficiency just needs a volume boost and I am sure you will be joining in with the final salvo for all your worth - I can see no other option.

'The Weekenders' next and a celebration of the escapist warriors who are tied down all week and look forward to the end of labour blow-out.  Such is the systematic routine we fall victim to, the wreckage of personal time that is made up for with many a good bender.  The thirst here is great, the desire to release much tension and I am sure many slaves to the regime will love this as an accompaniment to their valve opening excursion. The band stick to a passionate groove, applying the new lease of life and proving yet again they are on a definite upswing.  'Punk Rock Heart' is a sing-a-long back up number with good pace and embracing effect.  More 'Whoa hoa's' magnetise and the blatant tug at punk rock zealots is there for all to kick but, if you are spiked enough, and to join in with.  This is a simple wrap-around number with a skid and scuffle approach that is primarily aimed at the proud, passionate and...more than likely...pissed.  The inner break is played with tightness and avoids overly fussy flamboyance and I leave this one in a state of middling emotion - there are no opportunities to thump home a critique but the song is perhaps the most basic thus far. I reckon I will be joining in with it though, such is the way of the spiky soul.  'You're Dead'  follows a similar no-nonsense, one-way passage but has greater weight due to its heavyweight pounding and persistent head-peck style that delivers each thrust with a distinct driving determination.  A vindictive fucker this operating with a double-ended gob that, at times, harmonises and adds a variation to the violence.  Again this isn't rocket science and the main thread is uncomplicated but like I say, it is driven home with a convincing spirit and sometimes that is all you need.

'Thick Rick' regards one of those characters who bobs, weaves, takes the piss, looks after No 1 and comes up smelling of roses.  These swindling shits who attached themselves to the buttocks of society and duly feed until the generous posterior is drained dry are no use nor ornament and if all were exterminated tomorrow the world could only be described as 'a better place'.  Sad to say but there ya go, and the frustration exhibited by the band is very tangible indeed.  As a song goes this is another substantial chunk of noise-making with subtle adornments that enhance the clobber factor rather than detract from it.  Good work lads, well proud of ya!  The chasing track is equally effective and goes under the banner of 'Intimidating Man'.  A serious precipice is walked along here as motions are moved through and the band work out a song that, when examined carefully, seems a trifle stuttered and a touch awkward.  I say this as one or two of the instrumental moments seem to just have a hesitancy that lack fluidity and the alternation of textures just needs a trifle more oil in the cogs.  It isn't a duff number but still seems embryonic in certain ways and I feel needs  a few touches to finalise matters.  Personal thoughts and honest - the band would want nothing else and neither should you.

'Goodbye Harry Patch' tumble rolls forth before string pulsing in a kind of 'Warheaded' style.  The tale of a new recruit with hopes aplenty soon turns to anguish and the return voyage home is not had and another number, to the countless masses, is added.  The band play a cool hand here and rather than ram a rack of bullets on the table they go for a quiet flush that impresses more than you may suspect.  This is a sublime gem with a chorus cut maximising the bands brilliance.  A choice inclusion that rubber-stamps the fact that punk isn't always about boom, bang and twat - good work dudes.  'Small Man In A Big World' is another very cultured composition and combines all areas in the most exacting way so far and is played with a cool control and lucid authority that elevates the band onto the next plateau of gratification.  Influences are slightly 'Rancid-ised' and cross-cultured with both verse and chorus making this a definitive pinnacle that shows the true capabilities of this fine, ever-improving underdog band.

Last 3, 'I've Got A Gun' is a rushing number placed in a cute position after the two more stabilised and somewhat secured songs.  Pace-riddled and running with the rear in gear and making sure these acoustic athletes build up to a sprint finish.  A lung stretcher, a blood surger, hey, a sure-fire laxative for the dead-heads - the only gripe I have is in my tummy too, the shits of minor success are here - excuse me.  'World Of The Walking Dead' is a tight-fisted affair with a brisk impetus and a skip in the step as the band offer up survival tips when living in a realm of the zombified.  A healthy outburst that blows away any latter end cobwebs you may still be caught up in (hang your head in shame you swines).  No bad effort this, orthodox, unflustered and gets on with matters which sometimes is all that is needed when into the back end stretch.  'Oblivion' is a grim number, a finalisation to the CD and perhaps...more.  A deeply direct number with few adornments and just a head-down, full-focus grind out that does enough to punctuate proceedings.  It is one of the least effective numbers of the CD and stands out as such due to its end positioning.  It is a decent do but I would have liked more to finish - you see the bastards have raised my expectations and enthused my acoustic hunger, what am I to do?

There ya go folks, and yes truth regarding the tune dictates and I am hailing this, despite the odd minor critical blemish, as a fuckin' fine success for a band worthy of my time and support.  Go see Hospital Food, get some merch and give em’ a gig and, most importantly, you stay lot to those that deserve it.

   

SPUNK VOLCANO & THE ERUPTIONS - NOT WIRED UP RIGHT

Oh man wank me hard, rub it good now, oh yeah make that dome glow and gimme sensations baby, sensations spiked, sonic and slippery. That is all I ask of this band, a thrusting unit cracking off cacophonic wanks with increasing repetition and rather than self-molest I suggest they share the deviancy.  Jimmy Saville did his bit, Stuart Hall tried his best and I am sure there is enough pedigree here to dabble with the dirty regions before the ensuing court case and resultant prison sentence duly arrive.  All I ask for is penis pleasure and a vibrating ring to while away the hours - is it too fuckin' much to request?

The sonic circle is extracted (oooh feels good), whizzed up and rotated.  The assessing kecks are tugged around the arthritic ankles and with a pimpled arse on show and throbbing gonads twitching I plunge into the sex pillows of critique and tackle the first offering.  'Not Wired Up Right' is quick, without fuss and fuckin' happening.  Like a brief hump with a legless Sikh down the back alley of disease this one happens, is over in the twinkling of a bloodshot eye and leaves one bewildered but...satisfied.  As movement is made the turban of tonality is unwound and tied around the nobbing nuts of attention resulting is a swift climax of positive seeds.  I repeat the performance (much to the chagrin of my limbless lover) and feel the fuzz, admire the swift holler outs and react to the quick thrash of the toned carcass - lovely.  The used hanky waved is of success - think on, I am also incorrect in the head!

'Nobhead' beautifully blossoms from the underpants of silence and flashes the dome of discordance in the most blatant and vulgar way possible.  As long term voyeurs of volumed noise we should know better but alas we don't and we are drawn closer to examine the quivering shaft of sound and perhaps get duly impregnated by - ooh me duffel-bag!  I take the plunge (can you hear the rectal muscles tearing) and get screwed by a finely delivered up-heave of humping goodness that is riffed hard, melodic and right in yer mush.  Prick pulsing punk - simple hey and one to chant along to whilst pondering the problem of the ignoramus.  'Shutdown' generates, escalates...operates.  A tuneful yarn of the systematic beating many are freely submitting to even in this scene of spikes and studs - silly cunts.  The pressure is subtly applied, the warning lights come via oral hollers but will you take heed?  One day you think you are free, the next realisation tells you that all along you have been kept fat on the fodder of head-fucking routine.  In, out, switch off - repeat ad infinitum - die!  A sweet change this from the more boorish blow-outs!

Semi-squelched wires weave, skin whacks ascend, hollers come.  'Gatecrash' is more obvious manoeuvring typical of things semen-soaked. One for those pissed-up or with an IQ similar to that of an anally obsessed earwig (deviant buggers) this will be rocked along with and enjoyed for sure.  Those who like to disturb the peace, shit in a bed or take a leak in a cupboard will all love this powerchunk and, being of a scatological leaning myself, I play whilst curling one down in the bread bin during a neighbour’s house-warming party - tis gotta be done tha' knows!  'Fuck This For A Game Of Soldiers' bass grouses, really gets the juices flowing before skins are scattered and the guitar dive bombs into the threat pit.  The steady impression of the song is gently pushed homeward and my noggin absorbs over several plays before making an end judgement.  I dip my sticky fingers back in the sweetmeat of the pulsing pie (wow man what a sexpot) and come to the decision this is better than I idiotically presumed.  It rises well, lasts the course and leaves an aftertaste most satisfactory - a bit like the love sausage of Larry Grayson - ooh shut that anal door.

'Your The Bastard' is a careening car of noise driven by a savage-slanted nutjob hell-bent on mowing down any deadhead pedestrians or semi-interested crossers of the rhythmic road.  Accelerator down, eyes glaring straight ahead and targets found - locate, direct, flatten!  I need not dwell - the band have two choices, lock themselves in a dark room and have a ruddy good wank...or...carry on as they do - both options are liable to end up messy.  A change in style next, a more spacious blow-off with certain elements sneaking in from outside distractions and knitting themselves into the blend of  'Out Of The Blue'.  I have examined this one both internally, externally and hey...even rectally, and I am coming out with a dispassionate verdict that is neither here nor there.  I float on the waters of indifference and although the waves generated are tidy and concentrically accurate I am unbuoyed and sink alone in my own self-frothed effluence - it happens. 'Dementia Hurricane' is similar in part to its preceding neighbour and here has a lazy delivery that is no doubt intent on grabbing the idlers in the pit and encouraging them to unite with the chorus repetitions.  This isn't a bad song but far from a nipple-nobbing perker and I listen, applaud but primarily remain untitivated.  I am being overly picky here as the band raise themselves to levels so ruddy hard to maintain but hey,  I can only expose my feelings and not what you want me to feel. I do like the construction (both lyrically and musically) of these latter 2 efforts but am happy to nail them as the low slung testes in the bag of noisy nuts.

'Teeth' is a beautiful blitz that is wound up to fuckery and after giving numerous warnings is now ready to slam out some clickers with a good old well fuelled fist.  Some people know no other reasoning and to deliver a knuckle butty to the postal address of Hampstead Heath is sadly the only way to go.  Spunk roars, the electric excitement comes in huge waves and with much tension rising forth in the guts of all areas the final conviction to full tilt is finally realised.  A grand moment!  The follow-up thwack is equally glorious with 'Knuckledusters And Scars' a meat-filled affair that pounds away and punches out a solid response of positive passion.  The riffs ram home their point from the off, the drum skins are slapped to buggery and when the gob roars into the melee we have a fracas to be ignited by.  My pet dog gets a kick up the arse, the goldfish gets headbutted, the neighbour is rewarded with a good fist in the face and the local ice cream man issued with a beating of a lifetime - and all because noise such as this turns me on!

We fold the pack of sonic booms with the confessing explanation (or excuse if you ask me) entitled 'Purely Medicinal'.  A song that gives us all good reason to carry on boozing and pickling the carcass for as long as it is upright (and why not).  This cultured dealing is well-timed and kept as a compact cutlet to have you thinking - thinking what the future holds and where the hell this band may end up - no bad thing.  A quite surprising bonus!

The Volcanoes of Spunk erupt in many ways - sometimes coarse, sometimes simplistic, sometimes bare-arsed blatant.  Along the way inner chords are struck that feed on shizzle such as this and for that we need not apologise.  It is all noise don't ya know and this is decent fodder that I am more than happy to wallow in.  A pig in shit I be, oink fuckin' oink now get this and kiss my pork whiffing rear you cunts!

   

TITANS FALL HARDER - EVOLVE

Awash with sonic bombardments I fight for survival and run myself ragged amid the lightning storm.  From south-eastern France come this latest crew who upchuck 6 tracks of tempestuous noise described on their Facefuck page as extreme metal.  What comes is a rib-jarring combination of theatrical film score fuckology and power hungry drama shot through with accents of majestic ill-will.  This is for the dark-side deviant, the crooked cacophoneer who has slipped from the hell-kissed cunt with no hope of a life other than one bathed in sable suffering.  The fuckers love it.

We begin with an 'Emergence', an elaborate scene setter that slowly rises from the dirty ashes and uses nothing more than a monochrome metallic palette to daub a foundation on which to splatterfuck.  Giger wanks Mephistopheles, Mephistopheles wanks Giger and ultimately both ascend and plummet to graven depths where dissonance of death dances are a sickening must.  The panoramic backdrop falls with the molesting deviants, a nuclear emptiness is revealed from the emptied seeds across which come legions of cog-turning demons, steel-coated, malevolent and all in tune to a mechanoid beat.  An intense ant-like army are juddering and spluttering to a horror-goth blast delivered from the overseeing puppetmasters with computerised accuracy and intense focus.  'Alive' is a screaming bitch that wants, needs and...may I suggest...gets.  The warfare used by the advancing insectoids is unremitting, of laser light thermality and leaves me...scorched.  I re-invest my time and go back through the drama several times over...I class this as blitzkrieg hardcore of orchestrated excellence.  

'Ignite The Core' is trigger-switched into another damned and decadent sacrifice that sees nothing less than 1000 degree heat burn away resistance and make any attempts at critique...futile.  The larynx is blazed and blooded, the strings manipulated with devilish fervour whilst all the while the sticks make a spasmodic seizure of rhythm that all areas get infected by. When soaring and roaring I become dragged along, when pulverising and passionate I am taken but, those odd moments when impetus is hindered, irritates. This is hefty cacophonic kit though and all niggles are borne of personal taste and not caused by a leakage of musical expertise.  Digitise demonisation - prepare to blaspheme and have your soul blackened.

And breathe, and relax and...prepare!

Next and 'Beyond Self' is straight in, perpetual motion of a paradoxically spurtive kind that splutters forth spunk spirit of heavy bleakness and intoxicated perniciousness.  Damned and direct the whole computerised tumult is tonally multifarious and happening on many levels as to make for one severe head-rape.  The glow is blinding, the intricacy more convoluted than dreamed of and I enter and come out the other side a very tired, titillated but twisted man.  What the fuck just happened?  'The Omniscient' is of the same breed, is wired up in the same manner and feeds out an electro-offal to turn many unprepared guts.  Functioning at a sparked and narked manner to violate and masturbate this is counterpunching craziness that copulates many frictional aspects and Tasers them into fidget-fuck activity.  The creators are evil Frankensteinian offspring involving themselves in unhallowed experiments that can only end in episodes of darkened diabolic extremes.  I am thrown all ways, strangulated by another sonic monster on a rampage - once more I am beaten!

The last two and 'Extinction Level Event' and 'Erased' with the former sticking to the infernally fiendish avenues of exploration and nailing home hardcore investments without thought of ultimate result.  It exudes classical qualities and a relentless stubbornness to uphold the blazing rag of rhythm and is only quelled by the latter song which is merely a 54 second respite that rounds off a mighty listening experience in sedate style - there is nothing easily predicted here (thank goodness).  I think deeply, I acknowledge the quality, I move forth to finalise matters.

This is soundtrack sonica with hardcore blood gushing fast and all players totally immersed.  It isn't what I would listen to on a daily basis but is a style of sound I can take now and again and applaud the mastery.  Heavy duty stuff and not for those of a nervous disposition or with fragile genitalia - be warned, hitch your undies up and take in small amounts - the option of an overdose would be drastic.

   

VOICE OF ADDICTION - THE LOST ART OF EMPATHY

Chicago sonic shittery comes down in quick paced dollops from a crew who have been on the block for over 10 years and who have, in that lengthy period, clocked up over 1200  gigs.  The band have good contacts and a good reputation and despite this I go in unswayed and slap down the usual dose of honesty that is the only way to run.  Spins are taken, time invested and thoughts procured from the cerebral shop of sub-sanity - I end up scrawling thoughts that go like this.

'Rustbelt' coruscates, twinge-tests and then hits a spacious first oral holler before getting tensed up and letting fly with some gumption-induced output that comes from many angles and delivers thumping blow after thumping blow with much technical insight.  The band are self-propelling with each and every facet of a song that is loaded with weighted bluster and much belligerence.  The hot-roasted effect bowls me over at first and forces me to take several concentrated spins before even grasping the gist of the gyrations – a fast feisty fucker this but eventually I take a firm grip and say 'yeah, suck on this'.  A sturdy opener and shadowed by the chasing heel clipper known as 'Dead By Dawn'.  Here we get a frosted start soon thermally animated by a quick oral sear. A clobber about and then the hollering comes with disrupting assistance from other throats and sticks.  A very busy piece with perhaps a little too much going on under the sizzling sonic sun. Eventually space is given to all components and the song finds a more impressive modus operandi and so creates a deeper impression within the frazzled, noise drenched bonse.  The first half I grapple with, the second half I have no need to - I am split folks, split down the middle like a gutted haddock - I swim deeper into the rivers of rhythm.

'Unity' is a crisper and more stampeding song that gallops with resolute and uncompromising authority that sees the song burn bright and be stoked further by an effervescing bass line, a scouring guitar intent and some fine mouth ejections.  The song is compacted and happening and comes at you in one colossal slab of pronounced passion - and there ain't nowt wrong with that!  'Pretty Schemes' bass prepares, wire spirals before foaming over the lip of decency and jacking out a well-played tune of tantrumised effect that pulses along with a generous application of balls-out boom-bang. The band apply themselves with solid authority and will no doubt appeal to those modernistic molesters who like a decent degree of technicality thrown into their acoustic offal.  Not bad this and continuing the advancing trend.  'Corporate Pariah' begins with open-hearted vocals above a lightly sanded underlay of sound that provides barely touched foundations before a rush is taken and a dramatic but smooth shift into a quick skankoid section is ideally executed.  This moment is over too quickly and leaves me gagging for more and wondering how the band would obviously prosper if a full on ska-attack were to be carried out - something to bear in mind chaps.  The song here pops into the arena that is tattooed with two-tone wonder and then hops back out and gets its noggin down whilst running to the final finishing flag.  The anguish at throwing all away on a false-God is well put, the backing hollers are a sweet sugar to an acid fore-gob and I am rating this the best of the lot thus far!

A quartet of fleet-footed overviews next and 'Lockdown' electro-gripes, rises and pours itself into a swirled sonic effluence of happening activity.  The impetus is interminate with another quick slap of skankiness thrown in and piquing my intrigue.  Shuffled hard, multi-mixed with pace and a holler out for all to join in with - not bad but hey, fuck all heroes and up the zeroes.  'I Can't Breathe' perpetuates its own pressure and cultivates a growing feeling of claustrophobic tightness.  The moments of bass palpitating mania, the repeat yells that increase in effect with each rotation and the creeping statement of a breathless situation all add to the ambience of a song loaded with overpowering stress.  Feel the chest tighten, feel the testicular sac contract, let the perspiration pour. 'Everything Must Go' clobber tumbles like a twat fired from a catapult and from the off is one 'hard to handle' fucker that soon mellows out, has a word with itself and adopts a less troublesome stance.  We end up in a musical maelstrom that nicely sugar-coats a quick burst off head clearing and leads us into  terse tuneful toss off scabbed up as 'Ad Nauseum'.  This is a lengthy number that uses set formulae to uphold consistency and fly the flag as confidently as ever but, a personal but at that, I would have liked the band to throw a spanner in the works here and produced that much needed skank-out moment.  A time to take the foot off the gas and offer an alternative would have been well received and I reckon, if delivered well, a whole new contrast factor could have been achieved and thus a greater appreciation of the thuddery exposed.  This is as good as ever and has much flesh upon the sonic skeleton but...ah those ruddy darn buts!

3 left my dear scabistros of sound, hang in there peeps, I shall not dawdle.

'Eviction Notice' sets its foundations, takes a breather, runs and staggers and is formulated treat that the band are comfortable in creating.  For me a middling affair when placed in this highly compacted pack of heaving upsets.  'Alcorn Queen' is more of a complete package and pushes home its verse/chorus tactics via hard pushed affect and precision uniformity only embroidered with technicality when truly needed.  The solo section shows the band are still keen right up to the bitter last.  It is striking work and as we hit the tidy acoustic last stand known as 'Are We Even Human' our peckers are still quivering with rigidity.  This pleasant exit into the final thoughtful void is played with ease and rolls onto our lap without fuss.  A touch of emotion and a fireside pondering is had and my only gripe is that it is a song that goes on far too long and leaves little to the overspilling imagination - a shame.

There ya go, I have tackled the tunery and troubled my thinking turnip.  Along the way I hope I have grasped the flavour and enthused many of you to go out and dabble.  This is a CD with a very solid edge and exposes a band with a lot more to bring to the table, especially if they wander further outside their own safety box - the nudge has been given.

   

HEADSTICKS - UNDERDOGS LIVE

Headsticks are a band I have spouted about for quite a while now and they are bearing fruit from their tonal tree of promise in great abundance.  From the early seeds has come a verdant spread of productive noise and as a curious cacophonic naturalist you may understand that I am more than a little happy to be found mooching in their satisfying trembling acoustic undergrowth.  Words that spring to mind to describe this folked punkoid unit are 'cultured', 'erudite' and 'insightful' and when these elements are inter-planted with a political awareness, a social conscience and a tonal craftwork to create sweet spreading fragrances what you get is an end glory to wallow in.  Don't underestimate my desire to stay objective though and maintain an honesty that must stand firm in the face of swinging favour - I cannot be corrupted as it would certainly be unfair on all concerned.  My assessing secateurs are ready but so is my bag of appreciative fertilizer - let us spread some muck.

Seeing I have reviewed all of these tracks before allows me the freedom of being more caressing with my attention rather than give a needless massage of the rhythmic root system - so that is how I will dabble ya fuckers.  Inwards we go, the first classic comes and 'World Away' is honest, semi-gothic, sub-documentary and has an inner anguish that is appalled, disturbed and disgusted.  The crispness and liquidity is a wondrous copulation and gives birth to a fascinating lilt I am certainly magnetised by.  The vocals are real, thirsty and charming and inject further animation into a very kicking composite. The harmonica inclusion add poignancy, the final whip up exhibits the inner agitation and this, as expected, is an opening masterstroke.

With consummate and gratifying ease the first accomplishment is creamed over and outshone by a song I personally consider as the bands finest moment to date, namely 'Paper Flowers'.  This emotive ocean of swelling sensations heaves with gut-intention and is given muscularity and sincerity via a sagacious instinct and very professional application this scurfy underdog is certainly not polluted by. It is a welcome breath of sonic sea air that ruffles the attentive feathers and like any self-respecting punk rock gull of pecking passion I take to my wanked wings and soar with joy.  I am utterly convinced that the thermals radiated will keep me aloft for many a year and I hope the flock increases as time progresses and we all enjoy this thoughtful song as one.  'Cold, Grey English Skies' is a slow pondering construction that rises on bassed blessings before colouring up with cared for string persuasions and regulated stick work.  The oral orifice hungers and duly delivers and from verse to chorus we are taken on an observing journey that sees people in dire situations and a world slipping into self-obsession and neglect.  It is a thought-provoking piece and certainly flows with an assured belief - excellent stuff.

Upping the ante in terms of persuasion and 'Fanatics' is a frantic repeat shove that alters tempo and gets alternative juices flowing form somewhat neglected crevices.  The call to defy is resonated deep in the soul and the perpetual motion of the tumbling tune crescendos within a simplistic chorus demand that nails home the intentions.  The fiery roars from the lead are admirable, the flicker of the flames throughout keep things singed and I for one have my boiler stoked (oh aye), my orifice of passion poked (hot damn) and am moving with direction.  Lovely and hey man, what madness in the mouthwork - just the way it should be!

'What Do You Want' begins with the frontman hollering for a reaction and some genuine arse activity.  Tis all well and good being roused at a gig but take these rally calls forth and make sure you use your carcass to make a fuckin' difference you distracted and suppressed bastards - think on. The government loves it when you are happy with your gadgets and weekend blow-outs - you are never going to be a threat. This is an invigorating and energetic thrust to keep you on your tootsies and get you away from the systematic conformity and hopefully kicking some arse and ruffling a few controlling feathers,  Facebook exposes the idle heads, the ones in it for 'an experience', 'a laugh' and some social time.  Remember kids, a T-shirt and some hot talk changes nothing - do your fuckin' bit and when you are doing it play this classic - LOUD!

'Mississippi Burning' is masterminded erudition that is articulated through substantial care and pre-pondered excellence all portrayed on this 'live' basis with an expertise that grants the eavesdropper secure satisfaction.  The process creates a fathomable depth that increases the longevity and intrigue factors whilst not marring the ease of the listening experience.  The lucidity of all components and the bold embrace of the intonation is precise and yes, before you ask, I am smitten once more.  'Flatline Town' is a stunner, perhaps the first song that really snagged me onto this superb band and the blameworthy nugget that has made me a fan ever since.  It begins with jerky attraction, shifts and side-winds with fidgety brilliance before swinging into that capturing sub-chorus that has stuck in my bonse like a fly in a web - ooh what a choice do.  For me this song, that I have played many times over several years, stands the test of time and I have no doubts in 10, 20, 30 years this will still be as relevant as ever - says a lot don't ya think.

Cripes, the last 3 and 'Go, Move, Shift' is an insistent song that shoves with spirit and weaves this way, that way and any way you so desire.  The bass upholds the happening, encourages with simple punctuations and lets the rest of the players ping and ring out with zested accents that will re-activate anyone not paying full attention.  Not a bad do at all but the weakest so far and followed by a song I have been unsure of in the past but one which I am finding is a slow burner.  Like a rhythmic Boa Constrictor on grass this number slowly squeezes and gradually forces out an animated reaction akin to positivity - by heck, I must be weakening.  The greater part of the song is a slow syrup of goodness and the only fault I uncover (to my personal taste that is) is the final jammed out tail down.  It seems to mar a progressive song and for me the first slab of sound deserves something better than this jazz about finish.  I am getting to grips with this one though although as it appears, I am not thoroughly taken.

We send the CD to the final silence with the grandiosity of 'You're Killing Me America', a sure-fire stunner that has served the band well thus far and will continue to do so as old and new fans enjoy the generous wealth of worthwhile spillage.  The song is cultured, the delivery equal to the written down task and I leave you with one message as how to take this effort and all the bloody rest - respect the artistry, enjoy and support - how easy is that!

Headsticks are proven quality, continue to rise and along the way I will be doing my subtle bit.  Good on ya fellas - you bring me sunshine and for that I am grateful.  Now all you readers - go catch some rhythmic rays!

   

HATERS - CHRONIC

The pea-pods of punk rock are forever popping and many new units ping forth and bounce with noise-laden energy.  In 2014 the fertile vegetable patch of sonica saw one such creation arise, this one under the appellation of Haters.  Here they have finally got around to tempting the onlooker with radiated vibrations and I chomp down deep on the core of cacophony and tackle the quartet of sounds on offer. My spade of criticism is ready, my hoe of honesty prepared too and my green fingers plunge in and see what melodic manipulations I am granted with.

'Stomach Ache' begins with the grumblings of the 4-wired weapon and the regulation slaps of the tympanics.  Tender tones squeeze forth from feminine lips and add deep texture before crisp guitar strokes add sugar sunshine and extra shimmers thus gently enhancing the initial acoustic brushstrokes.  The true gist of the song is eventually grasped and many well-breezed occurrences come, many swells of sand-shifting gracefulness are manipulated and all the while a certain fragility and holistic tenderness pervades.  This is a fluffed up but well ruffled pop pillow of sound to lazily digest over many plays, preferably in a sun-kissed field or on a summer blessed beach - you know the score I am sure.  It is a solar kissed start and one to warm the cockles - how dare I have any complaints.

Next and the waft of 'Brave' is beautifully introduced on panoramic guitars of the most simplest style.  The initial verse is slow to attract a deep investment of attention but when the donation of the delicious chorus comes I reach far into my reserves and offer up confident praise.  Of course this is a gentle lilt of an unspiked and uncrumpled kind but the massaging comfort it induces and the exactitude of each and every component all converge and hit a hotspot of pleasurable sweetness.  The use of the word 'pleasant' is sometimes insulting, weak and a cop-out, not so here, this is a pleasant gift from a band not aiming to clobber but from a crew looking to drift and attract any curious hitchhikers.  I am now on-board!

'Drinkin' Beers With Phil' is more tender tonality, moving with considerate care and wafted along on the merest zephyrs.  This one is more of the same but for me a flaw is found in the fact that it is a trifle looser and lacks a little of the inner direction that gave its predecessors an easier rhythmic rope to grasp.  All areas are tidily applied, the culmination comes albeit briefly and the song eventually signs off in good style but along the way a true path is not followed and I trip and fall trying to keep up and remain balanced.  Again, these personal instincts that are piqued by the merest alteration of acoustic output are awkward to explain but honesty must dictate and this is how I feel. No bad song though, just not for me this time around.

'Chronic' is the closure and after the low point more often than not, comes the paradoxical highpoint.  Such is the case yet again!  What a wonderful thermal blast to stand in the face of, what a quite gratifying sirocco of sand-blown sonica this is to get duly cleansed by.  The swirl of the sound is smooth and serenading and funnels its warm beauty into the core of your listening framework.  The foamed meringue of intoxicating vocals float on a body of comforting tonality that is nothing less than a pure delight.  To get these kind of gems tidy enough and liquid enough to create a perfect balance is no mean task but here we have a mastering of the art form and with its sobered outlook on life's niggles and nuances we have a song to ruddy well bask in.

I am now outta here and am going to recommend that all and sundry dip in here and take a punt on something quite user-friendly and with a gentle articulation not to be under-valued.  The last track alone is worth the effort alone and I reckon this one could very well end up a Song of the Month on my very own website.  And why not indeed?

   
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