FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
MING CITY ROCKERS - SELF TITLED
The MCR crew hail from Imminghan, all together now - 'where the fuck is that'. Apparently this place is near Grimsby and proclamations have been made that this is the best rock and roll band ever to hail from there - incredible ain't it. The style is garaged bluesed up punk with the traditional R n R style blatant and the intent on riffing the melodies equally obvious. The band look the part and initial spins of the CD also suggests they can back up the looks with some quality episodes of scintillating tuneage liable to arouse those who like bare arsed noise without too many anal adornments - will the racket still stand up after several more rotations of the silver circle - only one way to answer this question, Fungal jumps in with assessing pecker swinging - ouch.
The first foreskin tearing ripper to shake my tuned in shaft salivates with the name of 'I Wanna Get Out Of Here But I Can't Take You Anywhere', a basically uncomplicated episode of repeat beat lo-fi garage with primitive rock and roll licks and a thirst in the vocals that sells this product and makes it an easy arse wanking vibrator to enjoy. The mix is sharp, gets the best from a blend of he/she harmonies and maintains the scratched surface many aficionados are in love with. The B-movie style naturalness continues into another wrap-around episode tattooed with the appellation of 'I Don't Like You'. Again, rocket science is avoided, intricacies cast aside and we get a repetitive rhythm soaked bout of simplistic spillage that, when given an injection of volume, appeals top the most caveman cacophonic senses. A tribal opening, a beautiful rumbled bass, sweet unwashed strings and a mouth immersed in the delivered throat induced shit - mucky melody to roll around in ye filthy pigs of noise - yeah! 'Twist It' turns down the pace, maintains the scrubbed and scratched upper surface, plays the usual cards with frontal throat work intersected by harmonised jaw wags and deeply screwing guitar work. The first 3 tracks work a treat but there is a similarity there, a womb from which all the rhythmic runts have been squeezed from which is a good thing but, is one of those aspects of album creation that needs keeping an ear on so as to not limit the longevity for the listener. This slower track is not as effective as the previous 2 tear ups but has enough weighted merit and well processed activity to uphold its presence.
'You Ain't No Friend Of Mine' is slightly more chanted and accented with a routine guitar motif hammered at with industrious concentration, a lyrical spite prevalent in the regurgitated words and a full circle roll. Not the most intricate track in the world, almost suggestive of a band in its embryonic stages and a ditty that is reliant on its raw melody. Half decent but falling into the shadows of the superb shout and scream electro excitement of 'She's A Wrong Un', a song fizzing with life and energy, slutty to the core and spitting up a real knee trembling fucker that will, if blasted out at full volume throttle, blow your fuckin' brains out. The tension at the beginning is stretched to the max, the four count a necessary release - in we go to the wild melee that is guaranteed to grind out your most dirty dancing desires with all pulverising aspects alight with passion - ooh I salivate with spirit whilst pinging to this beauty - a real head through the window song!
'Chic And The Motherfuckers'' and a freeway freewheeling dust kickin' chunk of noise that travels on secure wheels and goes form A to B with scurfy and squarrose affect, thus leaving the riders pleasurably uncomfortable. An insistent piece that gets extra blue treatment and one filled with a crummy oil on which the 4 stoke engine runs. The lack of adornments and the stubbornness to stick to the basics pays off but I am wondering whether or not this, and a few other deliveries, will stand the test of time - we can only wait and see. Next and 'Rosetta', a brief fumble in the undergrowth, an emergence with a verdant arrangement, an accompanying breeze to rustle all areas, safe and slightly slag-shackled with a head hypnotising lick that won't let you free. The strings scurf, surf and shine, the drums plod out a beat and the gob snots itself off - attractive dinnage.
'Crossroads' is, in many ways, another road rattling number, with the radiator steaming, the roof folded back and with a regular hair-whipping breeze flowing. There is a clap happy feel good factor within the liquid rhythm which, however flat-lined, still aggravates interest. 'You're Always Trying Too Hard' isn't a song that turns me on and with so much stark imitation going on within this 11 track teaser I find myself way out of sync with this somewhat arid and over familiar track that whips the ass of the acoustic horse a little too much. The swift surging approach at the start promises much but we get a constant electro assault that doesn't really undulate enough for my personal desires. 'Get Out Of Your Head' is more like it with the contrasting elements of subdued intro and verse becoming emboldened in glorious outline by a stamping explosion of sonica via the stunning chorus. The band delay the full exposure of the song, show patience, build up the levels of anticipation and put their necks on the line - ooh I like the risk. The band must deliver and deliver they do with a lively chorus explosion of rewarding magnitude - a very exciting moment to lead the vulnerable astray and to convince the dabblers in escapism to search even harder. The song has an almost hedonistic 'fuck that' excellence - yeah, I like that!
'Sex Audio' begins with high-heeled drum strides, an interspersed shake of the rear and a pout of the posing lips. Hips grind, sleazoid vocals spurt, this 'Palmer-esque' tinted jaunt is almost aching for a video with weapon caressing ladies doing their sexy stuff. A snippet of desperate lust, sweated bed sheets and wayward fuck meat arousal - hey if that's your thing then go get infected. It is a short screw, in out, shake it all about and done - I expected a more unifying liaison that would prolong the sonic sensations – greedy bastard I be!
The Ming City Rockers come, go and leave behind a smear on the aural receptors that many have taken a liking to. This isn't a bad do but I am unconvinced. For me the band are still in the growing stage and there is a whole lot more to come with a few more acoustic instars to go through before becoming an utterly convincing insect of noise. Some of the songs nail it, some play it too safe and hop along on the more successful shirt tails, one or two just go through the motions - harsh perhaps but there is enough potential here to deserve a quality squeeze - think on, grooming lies are pointless, heartfelt encouragement and a passion to provoke development are what matter.
SKANK AGENDA - UNLUCKY FOR SOME
Another Skank Agenda CD, another 4 tracks to chew over and assess, another chance to get to know this band better. Leeds based, multi-coloured cacophony, I can't keep doing the same old intro's, into the flesh of the music we must delve.
We make an incision, the first tune revealed is scarred with the name of 'Alarm Clock', one to rouse yer aural peepers perhaps? Delicate ripples tick the time, are moved with a trifle more urgency before a desirous diatribe is given within a web of well whisked wire moves and ready rolled skins that encourage the rhythm to progress with good pace. The band intersperse the stripped out rushes with almost abandoned moments that dissect segments with marker pen boldness. The hammer down to the final strum out makes sure this is a swift snip to play over and over to fully digest - not a bad do in all fairness. The next track and 'Ruined Education' has a streetwise old school two-toned/sparsely boned, slightly encrusted patchwork essence that scrawls a bleak message across the piss soaked walls of resentment with the learning system getting the brunt of the steaming golden liquid flow. What Skank Agenda bring to the table is a DIY flavour that is highly soiled and stained with stubborn musicianship that refuses to over-elaborate and stretch out a point. The subject matter is approachable and easily related to and from somewhere within the spartan delivery an attractive tune usually arises. Strictly unorthodox, containing seeming carefree snippets amidst more determined and directed episodes this one is typical of the crew and I have no real complaints.
A song about that old fat arsed parasite next, you know the one, the Nazi yellow toothed thief known as the 'Queen Mum'. This is a scathing attack on the tax dodging shithawk done in straight ahead fashion with venom soaked lyrics throughout the verses and a simplified chorus section that hollers the title with disgust. Tinkle twinkle snippets come after bass and drum pulses give time to prepare for the ensuing nasty avalanche that nails the royal rogue with spiked ardour. Nowt special but needs must sometimes - have that yer blue blooded twat. We close with 'Sunglasses' a loosely constructed piece with flickering strings, undulating bassism and tin can alley stickery avoiding unnecessary trickery. The ditty leans towards a well-washed piece but just can’t help falling into the Skank Agenda trap and soon finds itself bathing in a pool of swirling scum – the darn buggers. Not bad and rescued by a terse running time I feel – anything longer would have taken off the layer of scabbing and made the review a very tender spot indeed.
There ya go, real music for fans who like it off the pedestal and down at their very own level. Steptoe and Son noise done with earthy honesty and spiky disgruntlement - come and delve into these rhythm rags.
THE EXPLOITED - FUCK THE SYSTEM
The last of the 3 Exploited albums to review as requested by Nuclear Blast Promotions - and in truth it is the usual gob off shizzle you would expect from this lot but with some very rewarding highs that make this some of the bands best work to date. As per, I shall not dabble around on things from the past too long, but will give a typical review usually found elsewhere on the world wide wank off. You all should know what this crew are about and here is my humble take on a violent, riffed to fuck CD that has no pretension about being anything other than an ear-bleeding bout of sincere hardcore.
The opening primeval scream grabs the listeners scrotum and squeezes forth bloodied seeds of attention before a machine-gun pump peppers the carcass and pounds one rigid with high power noise. 'Fuck The System' is straight from the genital area to the vulnerable jugular and goes for it with possessed insanity. Lyrically things are basic, it is what the Exploited do, musically this well controlled brutality that says on the tin what the utter intent is. Unapologetic upsurges coming in blinding flash after blinding flash and if its the instantaneous wham factor the band are after then this is it - a fuckin' peach dripping with citric venom. 'Fuckin' Liar' is raging anger, a blistering attack done in no uncertain terms with tonsils raped, strings stretched to utter fuckery, and drums beaten with a somewhat perverse joy, 'Holidays In The Sun' is a grim reality based pustule splatter punking and gunking the whole acoustic shithole with more bewildering venom and unrestrained ferocity - the crew are led by a maniac on a mission, the output is brash and bold, the segments where raw basic riffs are taken and all out gob offs are thrust in your dead eyed face thrill no end and The Exploited, for me at least, are reaching new personal punk zeniths for sure. 'You're A Fuckin' Bastard' is bog brush crudity with a foul mouthed primitiveness that is almost embarrassing. The powerhouse surges and overall violence do grasp at a few threads of salvation but overall this is a song to get hammered to and jump about to with a disregard for noisy intricacies.
I am speeding on, flavour is the name of the game, I hope I am tickling thy taste buds just enough. 'Lie To Me' and 'There Is No Point' are two more structures basically built on pace, ill temper and roaring energy levels ready to burst many an indifferent dam. For me the latter of the 2 tracks is the pick due to a more direct acuteness and an overall despondency many a spiked cunt should pick up on. Both tracks however turn on my prehistoric inner passions and for that I make no apology. The pinnacle of the album comes, leaves a solid impression and has me thoroughly delighted. 'Never Sell Out' is an anthem, a fuckin' shout out all lovers of racket should yell and believe in! The opening riffs and skin splats menace, rise to a verse that rolls with controlled fury before twisting into a chorus done in simple terms but delivered with magnetic accuracy. The lyrics are far from complex but have an honesty and belief and with that incessant bass grumble pushing all areas to the max this is a fuckin' massive high I have found myself playing many times over the years, especially when the inner flame needs stoking and the battered and bruised muscles of determination need a little extra re-conditioning - have it, scream your bastard lungs out, you know the rest.
'Noize Annoys' is a schizophrenic dog snapping at your complacent heels with infected jaws and sharp flesh tearing teeth - a real diseased runt of raped rhythm on the look out for eardrums to destroy, stomachs to turn and minds to melt - if your mood is tender prepare to be upset. If your outlook is thriving and in need of some therapeutic musical mischief then come forth and go rabid. 'I Never Changed' gets its noggin down, burrows away with fist pumping idiocy, has a bassed up break and flashlights to the finish line - we know what we are getting now, it may be too much for some, The Exploited seem not to care and why the fuck should they? 'Why Are You Doing This To Me' scuzz fucks, pours burning spittle in the face of a hated soul, rips up the whole lung system and ruptures many a circulatory procedure with its disarming din and overall questioning wildness. Some things are not even worth trying to stop and when the band are in this mood you may as well get dragged along kicking and screaming with joy.
The last 3 with 'Chaos Is My Life' and 'Violent Society' sickening thrash outs on a one way mission to turn their innards to liquid. Nothing new, I didn't expect there to be, just full tilt hardcore with anger the main enthusing factor - fuckin' hell hey? We piss off towards the silence with the billowing control of 'Was It Me' a song moving with more emotive stealth than heard before and offering up many new feisty thoroughfares for the band to run down which I am sure they will stubbornly refuse to take - awkward bastards. A fine finish this one, the creeping tension, the restraint within the simmering sonica is applaudable and closes the CD on an unexpected note.
Loud, crude, spirited and a CD to please the old and young lovers of electrified riffed up hardcore. The band seem set in their ways, they have a good following and this, for me at least, is the best release to date despite the one way formula that has been flogged to buggery!
FREE PUSSY RIOT - COMPILATION VOLUME 1
The name should say it all, the raison d’etre for this rhythmic collection is plain to see, if it isn't then kiss my arse as I have 25 tracks to get through and need to deal with those rather than fart about with an intro that will explain the obvious - are ye with me? But to add...and quote '100% of the profits from this compilation will go directly to the Free Pussy Riot cause via The Voice Project until such time Masha and Nadja are free. All proceeds will then go to Amnesty International and their fight for prisoners of conscience everywhere'. Now to press on, rapid, to the point evaluation and tasty teasers to hopefully highlight what the fuck is on offer here.
Skank Agenda open with the rough tumbling tune called, unsurprisingly 'Free Pussy Riot', a dirty crippled dog from vaults of yesteryear with all components threadbare and joined together by the most flimsiest of sonic strands. The vocals are almost inaudible amidst the dustbin kicking that takes places and the resultant plumes of ill tempered dust are blown by the hands of some real eager beavers. Not the SA's best tune but certainly waking one up to this 25 track trek. Barbecued solo shizzle next with Louise Distras offering her commune-style ravings that are etched with androgyny, varied tonal essences and well perspired gushes. 'The Hand You Hold' sees the acoustic operator rise and fall, whisper and roar and at the end of the entire donation we find ourselves reaching for the replay button and reconsidering the initial judgement - it comes out as a very decent effort. Sounds of Swami throw any semblance of routine and predictability out of the fragile window with their usual crash, bang, wank off and wallop diversity, this time thrashing a ditty around that goes under the name of 'Clandestine Movements'. From the utterly raped and ravaged to the groomed and garnered this fine unit torment, tease and ultimately trash your senses with a remarkable burst of modernised melodic molestation.
The CD moves up a notch as regards riotousness and then we are flipped upside down with a scratch and sniff, dub synth, patchwork sample that gobs off, nervously flutters and throws in a multitude of snippets, Unholy Union create contrast, kick the scrawny cat amongst the complacent pigeons - 'Rasputin's Cornflakes' does the intended business - I have a soft spot for angular intrusions. The Infested skank with speed, 'Keep Droppin' their pills and pants rather than notes thus creating a scurfy, low-fi lump of irate upstroking with the band eventually rolling in a dust creating ball and kicking up one helluva stink. The colours emitted are black and white, the encrusted melee liable to be lapped up in certain sub-genres, and beyond, with the level of squabbling spirit thrown in the most arousing element.
An injection of polished class next with the accomplished Random Hand blowing from many directions with the sincerely accurate and thought provoking 'Tales Of Intervention'. Cleaner shaven than its predecessors, moving with fluidity and precision the switch abouts, the flip overs, the complete alterations are all done by the hands of professionals and no matter how much I abhor that term I have got to bow down and rate this as a real tip top bout of current clued in cacophony. Il Sogno Del Marinaio' next featuring Mike Watt on a number called 'Partisan Song'. A kaleidoscope of multitudinous tones all coffee cup swirling into a slow steaming orchestration that refuses to rise up and rush headlong into a perilous error. This tableau of considered tuneage is an angular effort on a CD of this ilk and with its almost jazzy improv waywardness it somehow works within the overall mush - just! Chumbawumba next and the anarchic patchwork account known as 'Liberation' with an ominous underscore working away whilst the lead gobbers coolly rant and rave about injustice and the overall crushing systemised factory chain. A mechanical plod, a free flowing segment that repeat beats, a poetical almost choirboy invasion, more scuzziness and one final call to arms and we are done - you should get the gist.
Onwards, jive ass street tympanics, cool slinked brass writhings, synthoid shocks, upbeat funk reminiscences that never quite nail the genre - we have an intriguing listen with Melt Yourself Down keeping me alert via the expulsion 'We Are Enough'. Tuning in with vitality, Brazilian carnival-esque in flavour - this is booty bouncing vigour to shake yer stress away. Jump, feel the life, enjoy another feisty tangent. Next up and the jaunty class of Citizen Fish, a band who slope in with their usual skanky punkiness that is naked to the waist and sonically jerked with an avalanche of erudite, insightful wordage from a band who have a high pedigree of nouse. The idle arsed, the apathetic, the TV/computer absorbed generation filled with self created flatulation get cornered, criticised and questioned. A solid account from a reliable crew - need I delve any deeper? Foxes Faux chase this rhythmic rabbit with a sweet acousticised lilt that is a million miles away from the harder edge some of these 'erberts dabble with. 'Isabella' is a wonderful drift of cheesy panging that drips with lucid vocal roaming and strung delicacies that really fuckin' does it for me. Of all the tracks thus far this is surely the most unpunk, most unexpected and is in fact my utter favourite - see, I told ya those labels were a load of shite.
Sexed string wanks, off the cuff throat hollers with outside circle essences from realms more alternative coming to the fore as The Red Pills claim they are 'Not A Number'. The regime resisting throb along we have here copulates the sonic siblings of punk and metal thus serving up a fairly rich treat of grinding noise. Not bad and followed by the complimentary 'Vocation' by Indigo Crow, a more modernised piece with new school suggestions and independent aromas that have a slight metallic underlay which causes the assessing feet to remain unsteady. The verdict like the plates of meat is unsure - I move on and leave this one to you. The Smears bitch it up with delightful squawking spite and duly spittle soak your senses with a bombarding racket built on a fiery throat fuck that sucks your rigid resistance dry. 'Wrath' is indeed an ire filled slammer that makes its point and jabs it right in your disbelieving eye. The Smears are a band I can take or leave, here I am impaled with a desire for more. Counting Coins jump in next, with the strutting skankiness 'What Gives You The Right', an accomplished track that intertwines smooth upstroked sensations with ill tempered upheavals that act as a sugar and spice combo just keeping the tastebuds tantalised. It is played with confidence and controlled talent all making for a fine inclusion into what is fast becoming a very pleasing compilation. The Swindells chase with bog standard punkage and the song scratched as 'Smoke And Mirrors'. No technical marvels, no overwhelming cutlets of crashing, banging and walloping - no, just straight ahead generic noise with inherent values of a scene full of spikes - it has its place even though it is one of the most basic tracks on display. Mike Park offers up a gentle divergence from the previous pelt out via a soft acoustic lullaby snipe called 'Terror Is A Very Special Thing'. A choice inclusion of sweetness done in a sub-hippified style with the mouth at the fore relaxed, unflustered and getting his pertinent point across. The flip over of contradictory flavours is impressive and this mix of restful and restless spillages is a neat trick that works splendidly well. From here we go all madcap with the pop punk puke of The Hairlips raising the bar of positivity and carefree idiocy via the toon called 'Shut Up', an effort straight out of the squeaky, cheeky scene where restraint is hit and miss but the chordage is pretty on the ball and hits an inner vein that can't help but vibrate to the melody fest. This is usual fare for the productive popped pit and with its terse and inoffensive mode I tap my feet without fear of stupid sub-text.
I am getting there - stick with me, it ain't easy trying to assess these devilish collections and give everyone a fair crack of the Fungal whip. Sludgy girl persuasion next with Grim Dylan offering up the grimed and syrupy thick 'Escape', a song that moves with grunged ill-health and has a non-too complimentary edge that doesn't do the band full justice. I have seen this outfit 'live' and they have an abundance of more 'ooomph' than on show here - a shame and just a very average track is had. The Drastics appear with a familiar song known as 'Checkin' Out' - honest, bare earth punkage done with a crisp acuteness and a simple 'punked' mode that appeals to the primitive spiky senses and gets one pinging with pleasure - why the hell shouldn't it? The Human Project however take a different approach and splatter shit the decent realms of discordance with a rewarding articulate expulsion absolutely bursting at the seams with agitation and youthful flamboyant ADHD laden sonica. 'The Best Form Of Defence' is a multi-faceted conglomerate of colliding tuneage that takes some time to swallow but...boy do these bastards know their stuff. Acid Drop turn in with 'Times Of Apathy', a tidy cutlet from the bone of hybridised UK/US excellence that has a bubbling bass drift, a gratifying guitar lick, some fidgety stick work and of course the delicately sandpapered gob upchucks. Reliable as fuck, worthy of your time and one of those bands that keep within the melodic boundaries and have a whole bombardment of robust tunes to tickle your senses with. Well worked and equally well drilled with the production values all meeting the needs of the players and emphasising a pertinent theme to take heed of.
Down to the last stretch, a trio to go with the skanky vibes donated via the tubby tuned hands of Wobbly Bob most delightfully lapped up. Light, upbeat, blended with traditional ska elements and with a free and freshened accent to compliment the harder edged and somewhat stodgier tracks on here. When brass and strings get pumped harder due to the stick insistence we get further involved - well I do anyway! Zounderkite have an excellent song on their hands that is delivered 'live' with a Strummer-esque chomp in the choppers, a collision of strings and sticks, a political questioning that is pumped from a gut on fire - this is a definite Roxyfied sensation that the lovers of the old vibes will adore. We finalise proceedings with a crystal slow-mo waterfall of lucid purity that is sun kissed by femaled oral caresses and enhanced by tender string ripples. Emily Levy offers a punctuating angle with 'Passing Clouds' and shows that this whole collection of songs has something for everyone - a pleasant finale indeed.
So an overview of 25 artistes and their wares all contributing to a worthy cause that kicks back against idiot constraints and governmental bullying. I can't like every song I hear (no one can) but I do appreciate a whole lot on here and in truth, find this a CD you should take time to check out. Compilations are brilliant things to get new listening matter down ya lugs, I wish they were bloody easy to review - bah, bugger, bum. I hope I have done a decent job here and enthused a couple of ya to delve deeper - it is the least I can wish for you lazy set of twats - nudge, nudge!
COMRADES - WE GOT THIS
Taken from bandcamp - a bold and heart warming slab of wordage - 'NYC's only punk band wrote this in a maelstrom of angst for the friends who died this year'. Now that's sweet and upfront. Comrades contacted me, spoke with zeal and honesty, requested a CD review and after one spin I thought it was worth my time of day. The band seemed to be stoked rather than choked and spill out the fast fuck noise with much gumption. Here, as per, is the Fungalised viewpoint with unbiased words and unwavering belief.
After an intake of breath we first get a slap, and then a good old kick with an alarm call disturbance absolutely awash with youthful hunger and such beautiful untamed joy de vivre. Immediately the lads and lasses flush out any cobwebbed uncertainty and welcome you with a 'happening and having it' song built on nothing more than spirit. The overflow of street ass lyricology makes me smile no end and the utter belief thrown in to the discordant excellence vibrates my sonic soul more than a little pleasurably. This is a hardcore wank off to make you squirt, a superbly shoddy spell to hypnotise your dirtier side, a joyous moment to throw off the shackles of age - get in there dudes and dudettes. The sharp acoustic tools drill deep, we get mind warped, this opening gambit is mouth-wateringly irresistible. 'In Circles' begins with old timer drunken witterings, before striding rather than scampering and with all areas of pace held in strict check. This one takes some adjusting to and isn’t as effective as the first tear up but I understand the need to alternate tempo so as to avoid a repetitive rhythm that will turn the listener to an apathetic ennui created zombie. I listen carefully and flip back and forth on the player - this isn't a bad stroll forth with an honest bass threat and cluttered vocal overlay competing for your main attentive glands - dirty buggers. More pronounced, more thoughtful - yeah, why the hell not.
Next up and 'Cats Not Cops' sounds like a great idea although I have a distinct hatred for cats as they ain't an indigenous species and do untold damage to the great wild world - bastards. Saying that the robots of the government have many unsavoury elements in their midst who do equal damage to the fabric of trust in society - a tough one but no cats equals more birds, mice etc, no cops equals more crime, more piss-takers putting one over on their neighbours etc. what a shitty world hey? Anyway, I digress - the song is a rip-roaring, arse tearing stunner with all elements at full tilt and throwing in their entire sonic souls with discordant delight and a thrashing thirst. Fast baby, fast - with the multiple acoustic orgasms achieved along the way due to nothing more than the sweated pounding given and the underfed desire poured forth. At one point the savagery and spirit hurtled at us via a whipped up rhythm is a blinding delight - my goodness my aural privates are blazing - pass the cream please. 'Tompkin's Lullaby' is more tumultuous titivation with a machine-gun mow down the order of the day with the drum whizzed to fuck and all the other roused fuckers dragged along for the ride. Exhausting stuff and done with a big hearted camaraderie that pisses all over the more distant and commercialised dish rag garbage that gets thrown our way. One thing you need when delivering such ramshackle brutality as this is spirit - we have it in delightful abundance - I am convinced, are you?
'Lice Bingo' rattles along in the slipstream with more 200mph mania with that opening verse a wanked sub-skanked female foaming masterclass in how to let ya tuned tits out and swing em' with howling, fuck you distinction and...most importantly...unaffected naturalness. There is a beauty in a roarer who holds nothing back and pushes her/himself to the maximum - this is such an escapade and despite the collapse of performers on the edge this is a screwdriving, jackhammering, spine-breaking, head bursting bout of distress to sweat with? 'Walmart Liberation Front' is a free for all with parts liquid, parts rucked, parts livid, parts fucked - the song is a disjointed runt of rhythm but finds itself winding outward on a very exciting riff up. All components clamber hard over the corpse of silence and rouse with bad assed focused intention that emanates a total disregard for external needs - this crew do it one way - their way - listen up and suck on their exposed sonica - they ain't gonna cater for the delicate! The swift and subtle swap arounds within this intoxicating weave snatch at your excitable senses and pound em' to utter buggery - I like that, pervert I be.
'The Party's Over' is a deliberate raving moment that kicks back at the brainwashing regime and the greed and materialism it undoubtedly encourages. Moving like a stealthy cat ready to pounce on the unaware and scratch the fuck out of the blasted and overwhelmed senses the plan here is to create a wake up call which, hopefully, will expose the stink out there! A fine alteration of pace the CD needed and done in such a menacing way and with a straightforward dig in the ribs of the complacent fuckers wallowing in a mire of money and me, me, me power trips. This is fine idealism I am convinced by and very much in tune with - for me the extra push of the flaming anger that coarsely interrupts are added bonus balls in a raged piece of unsettled pleading. 'Rich Assholes On TV' speaks for itself and fuck fumbles, shit tumbles, threatens to crumble and yet somehow holds itself together to appear something remotely resembling a tune. A torrid epileptic affair that doesn't have that initial riff and roll snatch but which still pulls you in and shakes your entire being with unwashed ardour. If you have a little patience, a little care for the cacophoneers out there who are trying their best, then you may find some sonic salvation here. Almost straight from the jamming room, with an inbuilt unprocessed flow, an ad-lib spillage comes our way with harsh oral bursts greeted and given a nod of acceptance - you gotta be fair and even though this is far from the best track of the lot I am happy to give a positive verdict. 'Once Upon A Crime' is the most polished piece of the lot and takes a careful decision to keep the thermals steady throughout, the approach organised and the style sub-acousticised with occasional thrills to uphold the interest levels. The sincerity in the delivery is still as impressive, the self conviction in what the band are doing blatantly apparent and this, perhaps, is the song that exhibits what talent we have on our hands and how the belief that hardcore is easy to deliver is of course, complete bullshit. We close with the semi piss about, DIY live shenanigans entitled 'Tompkin's Lullaby' - yes you heard me right and this is a folked and fucked up version of the previous blisterer and done in a totally off the cuff way and no doubt fuelled by desire and, I reckon, a few beers. It is what it is, nothing special but reflective of a band of comrades who love making a racket and refusing to do fuck all. I still find this a most heart-warming attitude despite me being a long term swimmer in the noisy pool and I hope the crew don't get jaded and disillusioned too soon and that they do maintain their obvious innocent love and passion for dinnage.
The Comrades do it for me, simply because their hearts and souls are in the music, the output is loaded with excitement and they have much potential to shake up a few old, and young, arseholes. The growing apathetic and comfort zone zeros in the scene need a good rousing blast to remind them of what it is like to be chomping at the bit and full of bouncing resistance - this will do em' a world of good, I just hope that they get off their fat rears and get tuned in.
HOOGERLAND - DROWN IN THIS SEA
Hoogerland played a gig for my Myco-self in Wombwell, an all dayer showcasing many fruity flavours from this beloved underdog pit. I was more than happy with the sonic shizzle thrown forth and so this CD was greedily lapped up and spun to buggery - I do get enthused. The band sprout from York, label the output as 'Noisy Britpop' and do things ultimately their own way. I like noisy things, I thought Britpop was a load of overhyped wank, it seems I may be torn down the middle here - not for the first time I'll have ye all know. Needless to say I will go in unconcerned by labels, do my bit with unbiased sincerity and sleep well despite many who think I am a wayward wanker who spouts his gob off a little too much - fuck ya. Now to the tuneage at hand...
A collision of feedback puke, promise of something vibrantly vile is suggested, a hint at grimed scuzz that may flip the innards upside down and inside out...but no, Hoogerland get in control and deliver a fine pulsed pillow fluffed tune that is in keeping with my foaming expectations. Popped and honey streaked with chilled and love aching vibrology this charming drift of inoffensive fragility has that magnetic honesty and careful lo-fi innocence to draw in even the most rough edged rhythm lout. 'Amber' is sun kissed, played with intentional loose-wristed appliance and warmed throughout by vocal tones that soothed. As many know, I like a good rough up, a good thrash attack but I equally love things well breezed, poppy and unsleazed - this is a crackin' opening spillage. 'Everything About You' is flimsy gauze caressed by oral utterances, fluttered by heartfelt pangs and so continues the set style with a spaciousness and emotive ambience. Again we are given a delicate piece that is awash with unaffected harmony and melody thus creating a sweet listening experience with more layers than at first deemed possible. Again the gob work is choice, the backing application acoustically exact and this DIY produce is utterly admirable and slots in to the whole shebang of underground noise with ease. I find myself making comparisons to more mainstream bilge water that takes the attention of the moronic masses and am utterly convinced that noise like we have here far outweighs the validity and success levels of the mass marketed dross. Stick at it lads, any fucker with any sense realises these are genuine sonic creations with high merit - that is true triumph.
'Drown In This Sea' contemplates, sicks up a saccharined froth that effervesces with passion and zoned in sub-generic accuracy. The band keep it wonderfully wishy washy (in the most positive sense), uphold the pastelised shading rather than opt for a garish splash here and there and so complete a massaging hat-trick to thoroughly throw yourself into in between bouts of harder edged cacophonies. This number rubber stamps the fact that Hoogerland know their intentions and refuse to get distracted by nearby noise neighbours chomping for the same old, same old. The clarity of each component, the gelled security, the drifting mode - all combine to convince this assessing crustacean that the sea of sound the band are washing my way is teeming with life - ooh me perky pincers. 'Something Going On' peps things up, jacks up the juice level and gushes with extra whisked up vitality. The stripped out effect isn't abandoned though and that distinct lo-radar rockin' is located and with extra featherlight 'whoo ee ooh's' counterbalancing the sturdier crispness of the 6 strung serpent and savoury quadro-cabled weaver bird inclusions we get a most excellent mix to chirp along with - I remain enthused.
‘Let It Go’ is vaulted rock and roll etched with a grainy retro footage that embraces the monochrome feel and makes this a real 60’s burst that salivates with garaged goodness and slow waltzing wonderment. The harsh string crushes, the soaring vocal emotions and the fractured glass sensation make this a surprisingly easy number to praise despite its intrinsically simplified style. ‘Stay Out Late’ follows up with a zippier zest, a fluttering gut excitement that spills over the eavesdropper and enthuses one to ping and pump to the sugary pop tones. Far from ingenious rocket science, in no way a nominee for groundbreaking discordance but...this type of titillating ditty doesn’t have to be – just noise to take as it is and utterly devour. The charming hooks, the running juices and the faithfulness to the thread all make this another contribution to a fine 9 track pip.
Suburban clashed strings, a 60's underscrubbed bout of melody tinged with streaks of melancholia that soaks up the listeners attention even further, that is the first sensation I get from 'Did You See', a very routine song given believability by 'in zone' hands. There is no rush here, no pretension and if a song more polished than this would have been thrown my way I think the favour shown would have been to a lesser degree. The scratched and scathed edge make this more streetwise dinnage, give it a certain underwashed pedigree and that is why I am still loving this CD as an entire product. Clattering in next comes 'Talk To Me', a fast pedalled number full of seaside chirpiness and feel good bouncing bassism and needy emotion - it lasts 48 seconds, a little bit longer than the time it takes to read this account of a sweet quickie. From the shortest to the longest with the closing grandeur and theatrical drama of 'Do You Sleep' a rolling ocean of powerful sonic waves crashing against the cerebral rocks and knocking one off one's feet with its impressive tonal tidal surge. A real weighted number that finds the band surging with their own self made current and punctuating this CD in absolutely convincing style. The octane’s flourish, the grinding, abrasive relentless is unstoppable, it may not be the most preened and puffed up tune of this collection but for some reason it is my pick of the donated pops. A moment to consider further.
I like Hoogerland! I have seen the band, got the CD and now just need to book em' another gig and get the T-shirt too. A real fine outfit filled with decent chaps who can throw a good tune our way without being reliant of anger, whipped chordage and fat arsed riffage - needs must!
EMPIRE, EMPIRE - YOU WILL EVENTUALLY BE FORGOTTEN
Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) is the full name of the band and is one helluva weird band name with this lot from Fenton, Michigan comprising of a self-appointed dynamic husband and wife duo back up this feeling of oddness with a monochrome mix of gentle tiredness that holds no threat, breaks no sweat but forces itself along on frosted emotions and thoughtful wrenches. I get requested to review many styles which keeps me on my toes and aids me in swimming in many mucky pools of noise but sometimes I find myself totally out of the expected waters and working hard to stay afloat - there is no better way but it doesn't mean I always find it pleasing. Anyway, here I am again, flapping away and trying to make something of a CD that I wouldn't usually give the time of day (busy bugger I be).
The first trickling trinket of tonality to cascade down the listening flesh is a dreary offering that is polished throughout but barely catches the light of attraction. It is a sparse void that is hardly touched by acoustic intention and lurches forward with suffocating strain and heavily leaden feet. A feeble and somewhat muted moment that targets emotions not normally encountered in my spiked wanderings. I don't mind this aspect and the song (known as 'Ribbon' by the way) is played with recognisable care and attentive delicacy that needs a certain frame of mind to fully appreciate. 'I Was Somewhere Cold, Dark...And Lonely' almost speaks for itself and is another suffering song filled with murked melancholia and draining desolation that once more dictates when and where you will listen to this sonic sludgery. The vocal lilt seems borne of constipated agonies, straining shit house efforts where the wind from the sails is blown out and all that is left is an exhaustive pusher who lacks any real zest to carry on. The players do rise higher and with volume further heightened we achieve something close to a rhythmic reward but alas, this isn't to my palates desires.
4 browse overs, a quartet of quicker low-down’s. 'We Are People Here. We Are Not Numbers' bass beats with strawberry tart inklings before forcing the main body of the composite to move its lazed arse a little harder. The pulses are accompanied with almost squashed guitar twitches whilst skins are seen to in a most opposing fashion. The lyrical content lacks uniformity, is poured forth with a flowing spontaneity and is the final ingredient in a discordant dish that needs much time and much patience. If, at the end of the numerous rotations, you feel you have any grip on proceedings then please let me know. 'A Keepsake' is over the shoulder look back panging with another crawling pace had and more grim grey vocal tones smeared over the entire sonic landscape. A tale is told, I lose interest almost immediately and find this a nagging whelp whinging away in a self-made mire we may just get sucked in by and duly receive no pleasure from. The brassed drift massages the niggled noise slightly but I am happy to flip by this mood mincing piece and seek solace in something more upbeat. Alas I don’t find anything to raise my spirits and the chasing episode known as You Have To be So Much Better Than You Ever Thought', is a song that initially adopts the previous humdrum intent and monotonous pattern that at this early stage, is all a little too commonplace. The song rises in part and gives fresh air breath but these acoustically oxygenated moments are too few and far between and the sonic suffocation that comes (again) is a matter of course. 'Stay Divided' closes this swift quadro-assessment and is a strain in itself with a floating cloud flickering with sun-kissed droplets just awaiting the signal to go and create a mesmerising downpour. Predictably the sign is not given and we are destined to float with the weight of threat on our downbeat brow and the unexciting musical methodology nudging our heels. Again I remain transfixed for all the wrong reasons and am highly turned off by this dismal dinnage that is woeful wandering done in monochrome shades of the most haunting and accursed style. Suicidal music for the emotive cripple who finds escapism in sadness. I am now on a very tired back foot.
5 to go and no further fuckin' about I am afraid as praise is short, the appreciation levels low. Despite the precise and thoughtful nature each and every song that follows is diseased with the same dreamy draining and glutinous tempo that will really separate the eavesdroppers into the mass that switches off never to return and the tuned in who will lap up the mush delivered on this aching wavelength. 'Foxfire', 'Things Not Worth Fixing' and 'If Its Bad News, It Can Wait' are all grinding going with the first of the trio a whinging episode that if left on 'repeat' just merges into one long uneven and uncomfortable listening experience with the artiste getting too absorbed in the set sonic shizzle. The second offering is absolutely tedious tripe that at a stage such of this just leaves one feeling blank and at a loss as to what to say. The tones and choked mode would be more welcome in the midst of some riotous rock and roll but here is dreadfully uninspiring and a million miles away from my favoured discordance. The latter song is almost a non-event as my patience has run dry and I am afraid the comments have to be cut short too - it would be vulgar to insult this CD anymore as clearly I am repulsed.
You have 2 songs left, you can do what you want with em', I am done here and this for me is an ultimate no, no and in truth will never be played again by this eclectic music nut - yes you heard right. As I have stated many times no one can like everything and some noise just rankles the soul and this, despite my best efforts at giving it a chance, simply bores me to buggery - fuck it, see what you think yourselves and if you disagree then, as usual, write a view to counterbalance this shit account. Sometimes being a reviewer is a wank task!
MURDABALL - TWISTED
Scant and stark inhospitality here done via a skin/punk hybrid that growls along on ill temper and high incendiary agitation. Sprouting from the sweated armpit of Newcastle Upon Tyne this forthright 4-piece was first witnessed by my Fungalised self at a local gig where they received a good kicking at the hands of the PA system. Still, a good holler our shone through and beneath the hindering trousers of toneage a pair of big vibrating bollocks were there to behold. I duly came about a CD after the event, after passing on my supportive sincerities, and so now set about capturing the essence of the dinnage puked. I shall deal with all songs in clutches of 4, a slightly different approach, it keeps me on my toes and hopefully, you the peruser, captivated.
Batch one and we pound in first with a signature called, 'Murdaball' (oh these creative bastards). The first abrasive cobble-stoned cough up is hob-nailed, rusted and very traditional. It is immediately apparent that Murdaball are setting out a stall that threatens to be nothing original and intent on sticking to good old, Oi-esque structures that could hinder in the long term. This is an opening gobby assault that prepares the path and introduces our no-nonsense ball kicking bovver boys who move into oily and sleazed 'Johnny X' with bass rumbling DIY affect and hungry hollering that intrigues. The character under the spotlight sounds as though his nuts need removing with rusted shears as his irresponsible ways screw around with many a life as he carries on regardless. The band get to grips with the theme and add a sweet vicious streak and extra flamboyance amid the grinding factory chuggage and grimaced tuneage. Again salted and well-grounded noise that is what it is - rough, ready and in yer mug. Like it or loathe it - there is an honesty there and a complete lack of affectation - don't try to read anything more into it. 'In Violent Times' rumples the bed linen of decency and after a rippling verse the chorus stands up and bounces on the mattress of melody with utter maniacal, crash-bang,-wallop spring and string shattering fervour. The pillows of ease are tossed away, the framework bent with belly jigging weight - whooomph. I shall not be fannying about here, these songs need a terse application of textual acknowledgement - it seems the most apt way to operate. 'Dead Swans' pulsates with class war resistance and kick back resolution, twinges with rotted guitar licks before getting its head down and pummelling away with bloodied fists of at the abdomen of indifference. Nowt frilled, nowt overly skilled - just foaming gobbing from an Urbanised pit destined to struggle. 4 down. all very much of the same sub-generic mould, all kickin' away in the most booted style.
Batch 2. 'Bag Of Bones', grumbles and gripes, uses the same old dirty overalls to do the job at hand and tenderises the meat of silence with another bout of crummy sub-Oi. A fair song but already a problem arises, the problem that many a reviewer may face - the fact that all the songs are decent enough, have clout but are so similar and so routine that they leave very little to say. Now as an assessor of sound and seeker of tangents what really turns me on are noises with spikes, uncomfortable edges and overloads of variation but, here what we get is one of those episodes where the music is inspired but the tapping digit is uninspired - aagghh! Anyway, I digress but the point is worth making so, as a result, speed and tersity will be the modus operandi for the remainder of the overview - I hope it suits and gets the job done. 'Over The Top' is a gruffer number, a forthright grind out with countenance gurning intention and hard whipped political wordage that bites the apathy and gets one moving. My preference however is won by the absolutely blistering 'You Have The Right', a really basic kick arse belt out with the band exhibiting a granite venom and uplifting spirit that will not be doused by slack jawed ignorance. Irritation aplenty pours through the encrusted speakers as this one gets gorged upon by my ravenous lugholes. 'Bullingdon Boys' chases, is way too traditional to create a pondering moment and ticks all boxes of routine but never leaves a certain safety net that thus contributes to a song that loses all threat. A shame because once more we have a song that as a stand alone is far better than when it is in a pack of identical uproars - I move on with pace.
Next and 'The New Generation' raises the bar and that certain 'oomph' factor level very much needed within this mire of merging music. The snatch at the attention is bolder, much more aggressive and the players respond in unison to a harsh pace set as soon as the militarised tub thump intro is over. The riffage is once more raw but increasingly cutting and has a few careening moments to maintain a certain peril that aids our appreciation - a good old effort indeed! 'Twisted' does indeed twist in, before hob-nailing with old school predictability and bog brush wordage, par for the course produce as is 'One Is Legion', a subterranean sounding number gruff rumbling and rough tumbling with all frills detached and abandoned and focus on a no-nonsense dust up - average indeed and even more so when part of the pack, come on lads, push it harder. 'My Grandad Didn't Vote For Fascists' is a better number all round with a crisper effect, a greater menace in-built and a message we should take heed of. The approach is bullish, outspoken, somewhat overpowering and makes sure it makes the set impression and draws in your lugholes. The political stance is made, a few will find this not to their liking - darn nutcases everywhere. Full marks here for a putting the arse on the line and not being afraid to say their piece.
Last bunch, 'Class War' is a rapido roll out that hammers along with tongue lolling and nadgers tucked in tight. It is a quick episode of hard nailed warfare with tempering 'whoa hoa's' and a sharp heeled scuffling - it gets the job done. 'Mice & Men' bass wobbles, surges and finds its zenith coming in the form of a fluid chorus section that throws its punches in hefty bunches but does so with a swinging liquidity that helps the end power have weight and a sting - nice work I'd say. 'Fascist State' corrodes things a little more, brandishes a dirtier blade with a lowbrow infection ready to invade your bloodstream. Sub-Exploited in musical drive, Oi'ed over and boiled adequately to make this a solid listen with inescapable essences of a raw-boned Special Duties coming to the fore and other antique flavours many will love tasting - get chewing! We finalise proceedings with 'Utopia' a mucky pup of flea scratching urbanity that wags its tail in uniformity with all that has transpired and with a demo-like accent to thrill the rhythm hunters beneath the more obvious rock and roll radar. I wanted a big explosion to cap off those lengthy CD, it just doesn’t happen, I piss off and consider my closing lines.
So 16 tracks and too much indeed, basically down to there not being enough variation, enough production clout and enough contrasting flavours. Murdaball are good but here they prolong the impact and make a poorer impression. There are some stomping highs though and this will keep them in good stead within the 'live' pit but next time I think a better produced 4 song split with a band to keep em' on their toes will up the output quality -there ya go, personal, humble and honest Fungal thoughts - you get nowt more, and nowt less.
BITE THE SHARK - FIRST BLOOD
A self released triple track product from 3 chaps in Manc land who have plunged into the vast melodic waters with mouth agape, intent to make an impression and teeth to tear your nadgers off with. Of Bite The Shark I knew nothing, now I am a little wiser and hopefully after this review your virginal opinion maybe a little more aroused (or dried up) depending on where I swing from. The crew seem to be hungry, they have desires on chomping on a few meaty arses out there, let us just hope they don’t choke on the apathetic gristle so prevalent in many idle scenesters rear ends. Right, let’s crack on...
The first song I shall pick to review is a nifty number with much jawbone strength entitled ‘Burn’, a very professionalistic piece with hefty riggage, big loping skin damage, snagging hook-lines, a flourishing gusto and an all round stomping and considered ‘blow out’ effect that convinces in many ways, especially with the clear cut end finish and highly impressive unified gob offs that assist in elevating this number to being a sure-fire triumph. Vocally lucid and powerful, musically wealthy and in no way lacking impact this is a bold effort that will undoubtedly rock the rafters in the ‘live’ pit - I look forward to an up close and personal encounter soon.
‘Gas And Air’ next methinks, a song that stokes its own fire with a twisting initial groove that is ‘ooomphed’ with well-slapped drums and a firm bass wobble that adds convincing weight. The scurfy strings make way for the cruise, the verse and chorus chunks torn off and thrown our way are cohesive, complimentary and oozing quality with the band pronouncing each note and acoustic detail with having rugged authority. Very rocked up in parts, quite flamboyant in the most controlled manner and with a swagger in the step this is another fulfilling number you would do well to criticise. The winding out ‘nah, nah’ assault shows the band are definitely unsettled which always bodes well for future upchucks.
The last of the trio that Fungal needs to assess is an acousticised strip out known as ‘Ms Ratshit’, a skipping construct with swift brushstroke stringwork and yet more lucid throat emissions that contain much tonal variation and inflective undulations which pinpoint a confident crooner happy to run solo or as part of the pack. Thrumming and humming with accuracy, entirely liquid in its approach and not fannying about with unnecessary tossology - it is a fine acoustic affair and throws a spanner in your works if you was expecting something predictable - ya twats.
This band have it all at their feet, there are many avenues on many layers to walk down but, how many times have I said that and believed a band to have the utmost potential only to be let down by the fickle fuck arsed punters, the wayward dice of Lady Luck and the general mistimed opportunities of chance. Look, get your appetite up, get hungry and get out and taste some of this stuff - too many bands are getting a raw deal because of you not being passionate and eager enough - here's another we gotta look after, don't screw it, do it!
THE 4130's - ONE FOR THE ROAD
The 4130's are a relatively new band on the block and their first CD blew me a new acoustic arsehole with its joyous relish, unbridled passion and attentive artistry that oozed youthful hunger and new breed desire. They have a US style tattooed throughout the upper sonic skin of the songs but provide their own chomp by being remarkably insightful in the ways of making a darn good tune. With baited breath I have awaited this second offering but know only too well it is always a difficult thing to follow a solid opening blast and to keep those initial applauders clapping. The style is still being searched for, the growth is not yet complete (nor should it ever be) so I go forward into this review holding no favours, no promises and no expectations. You should all know the way I operate by now!
The boozing rabble natter, in walks the gunman, rat-a tat, you all fall down. If that onslaught isn't enough then 'Curtains Up' goes for your jugular with a harsh relish and highly passionate sonic salivation. Immediately, it seems the band want to up the ante from the first CD and abandon some of the early innocence and tuneful melodica for a more abrasive slant that fights hard to blend the previous and the present into one high impacting noise. The quick tumble affect takes a little adjusting to after the first prized CD's blendings but have patience and the full weight of this opening attack will hit you right up the shitter. Accurate, paced with spicy spirit and raucously rolling up hill, it is a granite start that whets my willy and tingles my testes - noise is sex, sex is noise - ooh, oww, yeah, ahhh!
'Outsider' next, a highly appealing title, will the racket back up the expectation. Robust drums, pronounced strings, a careen to the side and into another tumultuous affair. The tale relates to those feeling on the outside, the ones looking in and seemingly pissing in the wind - ooh I can relate to that and what a wonderful feeling it is. The thought of slotting in to comfy confines to please the pricks ain't the way, remember all you angular bastards, keep it flowing. The words convince me, the chopping and charging electro dynamite thrusts invoke the same sensations and this is a definite underdog anthem for all those up against the odds. Unify, cry out loud, do your bit and fling back their stinking shit with belief in your hearts - great track and one to inspire yer arse into action, if not, then you may just need an undertaker. 'Thank God Its Not 1977' screws up is cacophonic countenance, grimaces with fist fuck pain, quivers with nervous agitation before galloping along in the face of the nostalgia nut and tedious tuned out twat with many irrelevant tale to tell. Move on, suck on the sonic shaft of the new generation, mix and match the vibes, dip back but stop dwelling on it - the message is clear, are you listening. The band bare their guts, give no room for ifs and buts and say what they are thinking with a drilled number compacted with sonic spirit and big hearted desire to move things forward - it will do for me.
'Regaining Pride' grits its gnashers, cools down the steam rising from the hard pushed engine, pushes along with irrefusable persuasion and creates that earthy UK/US hybridisation so often enjoyed on the first CD. The harmonies, overall sub-terraced chant, the scowled vocal slant and the overall efficiency of the four digit machine is all impressive shit. We keep on at these heady levels with 'Treading Water' creating a decent splash with the more bristled and boiled discharge that creates the most elementary and undeveloped song of the lot, thank goodness for the inner sub-skank squelch that adds a glistening moment and saves this from being a routine blast out. 'The Fight Or Flight Response' is the kissing (or pissing) cousin of its predecessor with a similar urgency and unshaven element thriving throughout. What we have here is an almost identikit sampling constructed from many elements already found in the previous tracks. The bare bass moments excite the most and have a good electro feel and frothing zest that aids all around it and upholds the tempo. I am a bit wary here as the songs are seeming to be all borne from the same vaginal vault and for me it is always better to drop rhythmic runts from varied fannies of noise rather than rely on the same old labial producer - squeeze them thighs we are on the cusp here.
I take a break, re-assess, dabble elsewhere then delve back in refreshed.
'But It's Home' clobbers like the Banner borne green monster who lets nothing stand in his way. Relentless tumble fists baboom their way against walls of resistance, catapulting acoustic athleticism maintains a frothy pace and the final destruction of your indifference is had - the inner sub-military knock about gives us time to focus. Hulk fuckin' smash. '1 Second 2 Break' splashes and screws with zeal, shortens the output, travels without any distinct chorus, adopts a pose often found on this collection and leaves me split down the middle with my convictions. The band are nailing it, the band though are re-hashing one formula, I desire more from a unit held in high esteem and will push like a fucker to keep em' thrashing. This one does get better with each spin and of course, if assessed as a lone track, contains an abundance of the impact factor. The expectation levels go through the roof as I anticipate the title track next. 'One For The Road' and get more enthused as the initial hybridised old/new school riffage washes over me. Cymbals add extra tidiness, the mouth work is fully released and given big lung assisted gushes to keep a fine impetus flowing. The band find a pathway, strip it clear and run with elegance down the entire distance. Accomplished and executed with well-rehearsed application the song is given a flourishing belt out closure that will pleasure the jigging masses. 'What Do We Need' follows in a more cagey way with the initial high menace soon scratched out by a scatterbomb rib rattler and much ado about something. This is the best song thus far because of this high impact intensity and the exciting way in which the harmonised holler outs are backed by a tonsil expulsion that is left to fly in clearer airspace than found previously - a fuckin' excellent track. I do wonder about that opening bout of ominous noise and wonder how the CD would have fared if they would have included a midway crawler of such style with emphasis on unnerving the listener and fracturing the overall set mode - just a thought!
Last 2, and 'The Escape' - a stripped out intro offers a peep into new areas but work is needed as the backing vocals mar the spillage in my soiled opinion. The flow that follows is more restrained and more deliberate than what has been previously uncovered with knife-edge swifter sections counterbalancing the perceived affect. A grower this one, one that lacks immediate impact but with time reveals itself to be a better looking runt that first designated. There are moments that excel, especially when the band seem to go for a more commercialised and clichéd style - mmmm - I still reckon this band, if given the right prods and pokes, have something outrageously excellent up their sleeves. We close with 'The Villains Of The Piece', a nice robust rough up with sagacious wordage intertwined with a regular tuned blow-out. The feisty spirit of the band rises, a stubborn attitude and belief exposed (as well as a kick in the ribs at the keyboard cunts - sweet) - I'll sign off and let the band say the rest.
Overall the band have moved forward, have moved up the tight and fist pumping action and have once again displayed a superfluity of talent but...and a very pertinent but at that...the crew need to watch they don't overcook the formula, make sure they take their time and be self critical and question every darn ditty they create and fully understand that creating a CD is like painting a work of art - many colours are needed, many swirls of the applying brush necessary, many reconsiderations of tones and textures vital...I hope they understand where I am coming from. Other than that, I prefer the first album (a fuckin' stunner) but I would easily recommend you buy both releases to date and enjoy them at your leisure - I know I have.