FUNGALPUNK - CD REVIEWS Page 1
ILL GOTTEN GAINS - STOLEN GOODS EP
Skanky dubbo punkage sprouting for the armpit of Basingstoke the Ill Gotten Gains crew are constructed of 5 members and although only arising during 2013 they really do have a really progressive and well rehearsed sound on their hands. Bordering on ska core with a slighter lighter edge this is convincing music and as long as the band don't get too caught up in their sub-generic undies and therefore rupture a teste of rhythm I reckon the future is rosy! Anyway, the kind buggers have asked me to review a 3 tracker and so I will, with the tried and tested Fungalised approach.
TEAR THEM DOWN - THEIR FAULT, OUR PROBLEM
I have had a dry patch, the textual torrent I so enthusiastically pour forth has failed and I therefore have had to take stock, flush the head, blow out the clogging cobwebs. It happens and when coming back to the assessing table it is always nice to be greeted by some lively tuneage to tantalise the sonic receptors - enter Tear Them Down. These Swedish tearaways requested a review, I pondered (during the arid spell) and thought why not - I do stupid - which is part and parcel of passion it seems.
Rapid stuff this with blue light emergency rush throughout - I shall run along in the slipstream and be equally as fast and effective (I hope). 'Bomb City' first, a chanted intro, a fizzed up first blast of the chorus and then into the verse that brings into play the breeze blown rush of rhythm that drags one along. The song has much inner activity but when stripped down is a simplistic affair - that can work as it does here. 'Over The Sea' tinkle toes in on fired up notes before a brief pause and then the headlong plunge into more swift sonica. More Americanise din inflection with an encouraging vibe pulsating within - the band are obviously hungry, on their own musical ball and like things souped up and effervescing with life. Up-tempo and tight, like a midgets electrified anus - so I hear!
'Modern Times' initially thumps with a deliberate action and thus sets out the stall of sonic gratification. A shakedown with strings and skins well injected and then all the usual trimmings come into play and give you some exact modern day noise that is fresh, approachable and may it be said - sub-commercialised. This is clean and hygienic music for both well worn and newly weaned racket lovers and as a result should win a diverse army of followers. The odd cared for moment is thrown in to kind of assure us this isn't throw away expertise flicked off the wrist without thought - nifty sods.
'Fight' rolls up, rocks, out, mean rumbles with a hollering escort before hay making with numerous chorded fists that contain considerable power. Strings are struck with purpose, tonsils torn with intent, gusto blows the bands flag hard - concrete stuff with a flourishing finish. '1986' flashes up next and follows the same course of dramatic discordance with more control and more regularity. When the throat is opened the song comes into its own with a new lease of life gushing through the veins of the din. The chorus is all consuming and the crew rise to their highest levels yet and offer a warning for us all to take heed of - fight for your rights folk! 'Election' cools down the heated zephyr with a more tepid offering that suggests a greater commercialism that will undoubtedly attract fans of more approachable punkage. The latter label though means hardly fuck all to the ones outside the circle due to the ones inside shredding it to fuck and splitting it more ways than a whore’s anus. For me the weight and prosperity of the noise is what matters and this is yet another scrubbed up and sonically fresh song with an abundance of chomp. 'Small Town' is a pertinent effort with lyrics many, in sonic sub-circles, should pay heed of and get off their arses and do something about. The vibe is feisty, the lucid message encouraging, the zest absorbing and the overall tightness to the tuneage most impressive. Again the outpouring is ram-packed with passion and high impact accuracy - I can't fuckin' fault it - annoying I know but all I can do is be straight and unwavering!
'Oh The Irony' alters the thread, stitches up the energy bursts for the time being and gives a sub-acoustic meander built of sanguine musicianship and well prepared tones cooked by sonic chefs on a very accomplished roll. The change in impetus and effect is choice and this song enhances the whole listening experience 100% and more. The harmonised areas, the keyed touches, the overall fragility and yet underlying strength all make for a very worthy listen. The long woven theme is unbroken and fully appreciated by this Fungal swine for sure - a veritable classic. To keep things beautifully unbalanced 'I'm Dead' power surges in electrifying ecstasy with a brutal thump out laden with modernised mayhem to keep thee enthralled. A full CD of this deliberate dinnage would be too much to swallow but one chunky morsel thrown in like this and delivered with such expertise is mouth wateringly wonderful - keep the nutrients of noise coming. 'Punk Rock Love' is a tale of a journey we should all be able to relate to with this song plucking at our spiked heartstrings and bringing noisy memories flooding back. The pride exuded is apt, the mode in which it is delivered most accomplished - can Tear Them Down do no wrong?
Last 4 prove much, I shall whizz through, it is more of the same with 'Violence' a smart forward roll with a distinct lack of brutality but with much provocation to make ya swing your fist to - in a dancey kind of way. 'Not Listening' is a whirring effort loaded with gumption, likeable well chorded threads and a pushing persuasion that sees all players contribute to the saturation of the soundscape. 'Take It Out On Me' is the penultimate track and is a catchy gem I particularly enjoy. At so late a stage in the CD it is nice to have something easy to join in with and with still so much joy de vivre. 'Our Time' is a glorious blow out with the band having supreme confidence in the here and now and what they do and how they do it - an irresistible full stop despite the hidden piss about (ya tinkering buggers).
Convincing material to say the least and played with such relish and invigorating joy. This is a must for new-skool lovers, those who like it fresh and bouncy and those who like to keep positive and upbeat about the whole musical arena. Where can the band go from here without replicating themselves - at this stage who fuckin' cares?
FOREIGN LEGION - LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
Foreign Legion have been around the block, stopped on several corners, emptied their acoustic bowels and pissed up a few lethargic lamp posts and...still they wander on. Formed initially in 1984 these Welsh Warriors have played with a few better known bands over the years and in some ways have become something of a reliable bread and butter group that many punkers have heard of but know little about. Now the band are chomping again and with a working class slant to this latest album one wonders where things will end this time around. Here is my take on things thus far.
'Jenny' pulses in, stays clam and gently emerges from the silent undergrowth and reveals itself as a distinct mule of old and new with a narrated tale given of a young town based lass who fell for a shaven headed valley lad. Well written and with a steady chug this understated piece plays its cacophonic cards close to its chest and so sonically stays within certain restraining boundaries. The essence though is solid, the harmonised moments enhancing and the general musicianship appealing. Without producing a royal flush the band win the open hand and serve up a solid ace without too much fuss. 'What A Place To be' is dealt up next and is a scuzzier affair with that extra 'ooomph' factor, initially at least. The first verse is mellow and drifts casually into a simplistic chorus that maintains the fluid flow Foreign Legion are so adept at creating. Again a safe number with the strength only obvious if volume is cranked up and you are on yer spiked and studded toes. Don't overlook the depth, the detail and the casual aplomb that this is ploughed forth with.
'Regeneration (Council List)' drum rolls and plods, the first verse is as dreary as the rain that falls in the first few lines, dreary but not dead - take note doubters. The chorus is more like it with a well pushed desire driving home the intent and showing the band can alternate the thermal energy levels. Nostalgic in parts and a pleasant old listen but my favour is destined for the next song, a real repetitive grind out with a tuned in appeal and going by the name of 'My Radio'. A slightly scuffed surface and real insistent lick that has the vibe well and truly captured and just an example of one of those basic affairs you just can't shake free from your noggin - excellento!
5 quick ones as is a common theme. 'Hey Girl' shuffles its arse, rouses, has a nice shout out title to join in with and trundles with fair consistency whereas 'George Best' has a bouncy aspect with a streak of defiance and longing for the past. Not bad but lacking a true punch this and along with the the following 'Stalker' just disappear into the pack with what I deem to be an insipid approach and quite dumbed down production. Harsh - of course, but Foreign Legion have good form and I don't think this is reflective of that reputation. Come on lads - go for it. 'Market Trader' seems as though I have hit the repeat button and goes through the usual motions and I can't help but feel disappointed. The same chuggery, buggery and nothing more. The crew stay in the same gear, play for consistency, knock out a solid but usual break and then fold to the finish. No - I wanted more now I am demanding it. The last of the fast five is 'Three Years' the strongest song of the lot due to the subject matter which has the band raising the anger stakes, the tempo and the general attitude and of course it goes without saying the effect is greater. Compare this to the previous 4 and make up your own minds but the FL squad need that essential chomp in the tuneage and thrive as a result - take care, I shall argue the point on the evidence shown here!
The finishing three and 'Miners' next - is the cavernous production edge deliberate? A rough house song sung from dusted lungs in a hollow where all is black and loaded with danger. A tribute it seems to the grafting vampires who worked their sable asses off in the dark and surface...yes you guessed it...in the dark. A gutsy drive, the most crummy number in the pack with strings strummed and skidded, drums kept in strict order - I shan't grumble. 'Drunken Heroes' claws its way upward, slips and finger scrapes downwards, manages to knock out a typical generic effort I can take or leave. Too many loaded idiosyncrasies of a saturated scene lessen the impact of this well played song and I do wonder at times if I am getting to a stage where I have heard too much of the same thing. Put this song back thirty years and its a good un' due to win fine praise, in today's upcharged environment it is part of a wealthy pack. 'Phoenix From The Flames' is a resurgence, a self rally call, a romp to revive - I like the effect, I like the attitude, but is the rhythm not erupting enough and do the band have more in reserve? I am convinced they certainly do and am only giving a judgement of undecided here.
Look here and listen, Foreign Legion are a good reliable unit but I am not here to make a review based on that criteria alone, my task, as per, is to scrutinise the sonica at hand, push the band onto better things and give a fair end opinion. I think that has been the case throughout, if you don't concur then write yer own review but make sure you do it with the bands progression at heart!
OWLS - TWO
Active for 2 years early in the decade and now back again after a lengthy break Owls are an indie rock band hailing from Chicago. The style has emotive slants, the usual alternative accents and much to consider for my Fungalised self. The band rose from the ashes of Cap n Jazz and have much musical nouse - but does it melt together and form an end composite to tantalise my acoustic taste buds? I be a fussy bugger at times. Without further digression I plunge into these untested waters with balls bared and flippers of neutrality working away.
The CD begins in a semi-submerged style, floating between that which is obvious and that which is hidden. The dispersing ripples that come from 'Four Works Of Art' are vague and need watching very, very carefully. The effect is semi-psychedelia with a hint of 60's doped out mellowness and hippified spaciousness. The delicate chuggery has deliberate positioning of each note, the repeated chant style is Krishnafied in the main and this commune/tribal chill out leaves a quite unsettling aftertaste. 'I’m Surprised' picks up the impetus and further fascinations are unearthed within the machinations of this more eager song. The initial theme of switched off serenity still dictates and seems set for the rest of the tuned collection despite the band soaring high with this natural glide of steady tranquillity. Strikes of the strings are clashing, disharmonious at times and occasionally melt in to a most ruffled rhythm. Owls cough up numerous angular pellets so early in this offering - I inspect further.
'The Lion' next, I expect a roar, I could be accused of a foolish thinking faux pas, what I get is a well constructed piece that initially pounds within the twilight before settling down to the first sub-verse. The mellowed utterances offer a detachment from the more restless moments and as a result we get an opposing essence that benefits from the competitive components. In certain parts we are tossed into the air and fly hard on soaring surges, in other areas we are grounded and walk with the most deliberate stride - it all makes for a slightly complex mix that I find delightful. 'Why Oh Why' has too much drifting and underhand fiddling and twiddling to make anything resembling a comfort listen. The bass, drums and guitar all seem to suggest unity but appear, in the main, to work as a sole entity. We then turn from the contented dreaminess to the anxiously awake and a veritable disturbance arises that cannot be shook. A bit of a let down for me personally after such a quality high point - it happens!
Acoustic adrenalin rush, I think so, the perusers are as important as the players!
'This Must Be How' is marginally angled toneage with another disquiet drain flushing out many opposing notes. The bass palpitates, the drums invade spasmodically, the guitar shimmers and scares, the gob maintains a detachment that disturbs - haunting in some underhand way. 'Ancient Stars Seed' glistens randomly from varied facets, each one suggesting prize gold albeit in different pastel shades and not the vulgarised way deemed. Unorthodox in structure, quite wondrous when breaking away from the self stitched up sonic strait jacket, this curious number has many angles to admire and numerous touches to be tantalised by. 'It Collects Itself' follows in similar style but with a greater corruption in the routine and a greater roaming rhythm that seems to be always searching for a set groove in which to slot. The light slightly fluffed lyrics seem to gets tossed about on the uneven ocean of awkward acoustica and yet somehow something captivating this way comes. It is a real melting pot of on the cusp vibes that get stirred around leaving me quite sure that with each rotation of the silver disc the individual chords and notes get changed around. Fiendish!
3 left and a rapid round-up methinks, gotta be fair on all parties concerned! 'I'll Never Be' continues to warp the metal of melody with solar rays that are searing from all sides and contain a grabbing tonality that disturbs and disrupts the senses. The legs buckle several times most notably at the last hurdle - a real trail this one. 'Oh No, Don't' is an intentionally grim and grimy slab of nerve jangled sound that fails to get the positive reactants bouncing from within this assessing Fungal frame. Hippified in a bombed out kind of way with a dabbling disquietude born from mauling anxious mitts hands with too much time to fanny. Courtesy requests I bow out before I say things unnecessary due to this not being my chosen bag of racketology - ooh I must be going soft in me old age. 'A Drop Of Blood' finishes things with a more acousticised feel and a greater management of the melody had and so leading to a far easier listen. It isn't all about keeping things digestible and I am all for bending boundaries but sometimes, after a real clog up, it is nice to drift along in an easy manner. This is tepid, chilled music - take it as it is, at such a late stage let us not get so picky.
Sp, out of the pool, into the neighbour’s sink and a swill down in new noise laden water. Uncomfortable, of course, challenging, you bet - but I am not complaining - it keeps me alert. Overall I am not brandishing this CD as the greatest find of my musical life, I am not spouting about it as a great addition to thy collection - No, all I can do is say for the majority of punters I know this will be a curio to dabble with, an outside oddity to at least check out and then, after all that, you still find nothing of elevating worth then so be it. Personally I am convinced in part, saturated in ennui in others, undecided with other areas - and that is honesty for ya.
ELECTROPUNX - DOOM WITH A VIEW
Numerous soundbites, umpteen sonic snake bites, the toxins surge within the walls of your flesh and after the first few seizured spins you will be left bewildered and wondering what the hell has just transpired. As stated on the tin of tuneage this punk montage is electrified and significant of DIY dabblings which cross numerous boundaries (I like that) and tread on various well clipped toes (I like that too). The boundaries set are moveable, the overall output suggestive of Metropolis-like machinations loaded with niggling terror. Hopefully through this assessment you will get the gist and overall flavour of what is happening. Like the CD you need to bear with it - think on!
The initial intrusion is tattooed with the title of 'I'm A Legend', a tune that starts with ray gun spirals and then a fully functioning operation ground out with perspired muscularity and blistered labour. The gristled gobwork adds to the overworked outpouring and also gives reason to believe the rhythm is punishing for both the player and the listener - it seems that way! The edge is pounding, repetitive and difficult to digest if not taken with a side dish of consideration - only when pondered and placed in position against the ensuing melodic mush does one truly appreciate this starter. 'In Unity' grumbles, gripes, mood changes whilst a piston-heart pushes all along. A rage against hate, with hate, as the weapon collaborates with sinewy sonica and beefy bollock busting strums of the strings. The song is fractured and at one point almost collapses but repeats itself and comes out as a very provoking piece of listening matter. 'Get Mad' coz its bad man - the punks are running wild. A commentary informs, a futuristic rise comes, a ubiquitous omniscient voice churns out the state of things, we are overwhelmed by the whip cracking commands that demand we pay heed and act. We are given time to contemplate via a plugged in hum that circles us, awaits our decision - this is a neat piece with a Killing Joke sub-hint and its own industrial identity.
Onwards and a change in tack - 'Time Bomb (Mortal Terror Remix)', a montage of many modes and a carousel ride that blurs into a whirlpool of garish colours and ends up as a puke flash. I suspect if I performed an autopsy on this shape-shifting creature a kaleidoscope of multi-faceted influences would spill out at my feet and wriggle in epileptic confusion. Where to label this, how to capture the feel? Well fuck the label, they don't matter but this cacophony does remind me of a fairground ride gone wrong with numerous automated constructs being flung into oblivion by the unpredictability of the construction. Do I like it - I just don't fuckin' know and the discordant dyspepsia that ascends from this indecisive state is rotten - bah! 'Hell On earth' sees a plodding, unstoppable manifestation of grimaced evil stampede all over the hygienic acoustic playing field and kick up numerous sonic sods with deliberate destruction at heart. The drive is slowly pulverising and ponderously gets the job done through nothing more than detailed determination. A thick glutinous sludge that eventually shakes free from its restraining gloop and fires along with a twisted slant that is in complete contrast to what has transpired. A 2 songs in 1 mule of malevolence - Heee Hawww! 'Resist' is foul mood marching with a distinct underscore of surging passion that will not be tempered down or controlled. The electro vibe reminds me of certain Human League essence from those earlier days when wires barely crossed and things were still in the experimental stage. The gobbage is more raged and that changes the whole countenance of cacophony and gives a believability that this music is not to be taken lightly. Pulsations, chuggery and buggery, feisty fuck you passion - I shall add no more only this ain't bad fodder for the enthusiasts.
'Facefeck' is marvellous danceoid synthesoidic mesmerism that tells you to get a life and stop fuckin' idling over the cancerous keyboard. Repetitive and so increasing the hypnotic effectiveness. A Beatle break, oh those poor lonely people - we continue, take heed - get a life! 'Fight Night' is nastier and rushes along with slapped urgency and piss stained spikiness - awkward, seizured in parts, free flowing with an occasional limp - not the best this one despite its more obvious characteristics of a certain sub-genre. I move on because up until this point I have been intrigued. 'Disease Or The Breeze' sways, fumbles, eventually spits out a sub-metal vibe. The theme is very close to my heart with the decision asked to be made as regards the countryside or concrete - you know where my vote is going! And so, without even spinning, my heart is won over but, I gotta be neutral and come in all objective as regards the noise. It begins with an earthy tranquillity, away from man's vandalising touch and corrupt money making ideals, with a perceptible monastic touch. The infection comes via some grim black wind that blows harshly across the set landscape of innocence. The gale builds and within is a stark reality that is blown right into our faces - we get brief respite several times over with the ensuing reinforcement of the noise even more provocative. Decisions are there to be made and only can be made if shackles are shaken free and clarity is had! An interruption from the graveyard gob of one Mr George Formby - hopes rise, he his a chipper chap and we are told 'It's the end of the world' as the title track 'Doom With A view' bulldozes in. Again the subject matter is choice with destruction taking place all around and the end in sight but yet more and more people adopting the blinkered stance and enjoying their inbred ignorance. Quite scary and the repeat beat we get consumed by is ultimately necessary to arouse all those who are brain-dead, and all those who aren't, to get up and do a little bit more. Anger is pushed inward to the aching angst ridden veins and outward comes the resulting perspired grind which I fuckin' enjoy.
The closure is a gruelling slog and is appropriately entitled 'Pain'. Not one for the pleasure dome, not one for the ones who desire an endorphin rush - this slow climb crawls on bended knees with all components wearied and shattered by the seemingly unending agony. We get tortuous bouts where escape seems impossible and the song almost spills its own blood over the turntable as it gets more and more drawn in to its suffering. It ain't fun, it ain't one to play when your head is down but it is realistic, the words and noise compliment each other perfectly, the composition is well cooked - its just that I would have preferred something by the aforementioned Mr Formby instead - I need perking up a bit - can ya hear me Mother.
Not a bad haul of sonica this and testing itself as well as many listeners, for me that is all noise can do. Messages are there, the thought behind the expulsion obvious – nice indeed. If ya want to vary the cacophonic canaries in your acoustic aviary then throw this fluttering electro bird into the melee - its cheap, pecks yer noggin and flaps with an intent - go and try some sonic seeds!
REVENGE OF THE PSYCHOTRONIC MAN - 10 YEARS OF REVENGE 7"
A 10th anniversary release - 10 years of ROPM pecking our sonic souls. A decade of noisy deviancy that has gradually become harder edged and particularly more swifter. The line up has altered here and whilst rattling out their rambunctious rhythms along the way many new fans have been won. Me, well I think they are shit and only in it for the men but hey, even I can be wrong at times - winky wanky! Can't fault em' to be honest and before I delve into another review all I can say is...here's to the next ten - big up, well done and if you are in it for the botty make sure you always use a love membrane!
'Get Pissed, Talk Shit, Dance Like An Idiot' is a thunderbolt up the jacksie, a veritable spastic bowel twinge that makes one cringe with perverse delight as it rattles shit soaked neurones we never knew existed. As a sensible intellect who prefers abstinence I find it hard to relate to this wayward and roguish song (as if) but recognise it as one helluva rectum stretching blow out. The band have gradually turned up the nobs of temperament and pace and over the years and have got to a stage where they are fuckin' nailing it. To prove the point, I challenge anybody out there to take any one of these players onto a plane, to soar to well over 40,000 feet and to ask them to hang their pimpled posteriors out of one of the planes windows. Inform the crapulent prepared musician that you are about to circle a very small field in the centre of which will be a dartboard. Once understood request the player to curl one down from the conker coloured whizzway so as to see where the projected turd doth land - the result will be a reflection of the bands current tightness. My money is on a bull’s-eye every stinking time - turdtastic!
'Rita, Sue And Bob Too' ascends via flashlight emergency and controlled bass. Drums tribally rumble, the six strung weapon of sexual sonica chugs before…a tumult of madness fractures all sense of decency and vulgarly swings the testes of discordance in more ways than you care to imagine. Try to keep pace with some ball swinging of your own - I have - the result is that I am now sterile and the proud owner of a black scrotal sack full of mush - thanks guys. These dudes like to pelt it hard, they scatterbomb your senses with wild, unstoppable noise borne from listening to too many bands in this crazed groove. If this offering were flustered fuckology for the sake of it I would certainly say so but, it ain't, and the band wank off their acoustic weapons with such aplomb. Fast man, fuckin' fast and yet...all in cohesion - lovely.
And now for a new approach, techno twattage with a psychotic slant that has me reaching for the Black Microdots and Strawberries. 'Beer For Breakast' is another old effort but this time done via the combo of ROPM and Tim G - engineer extraordinaire. Fruited up with computer energy rushes and electrified impulses this danced, chanced bout of A-head music is done so fuckin' convincingly that I insist the band don't leave it here. As per, whenever I nag bands to push themselves into new nooks and crannies, the result is usually profitable and leaves many new doors open with umpteen opportunities there to be had. This is a case in point and as I reel around the kitchen in a LSD haze many dishes get flung this way and that - I care fuckin' not. The head zap prowess, the visual disturbances, the aural epilepsy - bring it all to my door and I will duly grab, play and jig.
We close with the breezed gush of 'Things I Have Learned From My Life So Far', a ROPM/Cradle To The Grave unison that has lyrics very close to the TNS heart and of a sound ethos. The band breathlessly gallop in the straightest line thus far with the electro essences kept nicely in check and used as a vital accompaniment to this new, raging rhythm making. The last bout of gobbage sums up what we have on our hands here 'So if we get something done, along way, That’s a way we can make a change, So if we get something done, the hard way, That’s a way we can make a change' - sounds good doesn't it and hence the reason all we sonic scummers are doing what we do. I like this blast as I do all the other 4 songs - what more can I add? Oh yes – Matt Woods is a clitoris!
So ROPM do it and do it well and create new avenues to explore. I am sure whilst wandering down these thoroughfares they will tread in the odd dog turd, meet the occasional stray whore or even indulge in a spot of self molestation but, as long as they don't get caught from the Fungal Police, all will be well. Remember PC Shroom is watching you and advising the public to make a purchase here or face a strict caution and 6 points on their sexual dog licence.
SMALL TOWN DIORAMA - COMPILATION
I know a few artists on this CD and so jumped at the chance to review. One of the most impressive things I have read in a long time and something many scene soaked idiots need to take note of is the beautiful textual honesty that came with the initial e-mail that led to this review, I quote:- 'Aalborg is a small city, but somehow there always seems to be punk bands around. And most of the punk bands are often fun to watch and/or listen to. The bands on the record are the embodiment of our city as a whole; it's diverse, vibrant, harsh, exciting, loud, and most important of all: the bands don't care what you think! They don't have to please a certain kind of sub-scene of the punk culture. Because we are the scene! We are influenced by our city, and our city is small, and we can't afford to be or to like a certain type of music. We try to blend genres together and break down the conventions of how music should be written and performed. We hope you like the record'. Utterly and convincingly bang on the sonic skidmark and I march into the assessment with no need to add fuck all else and determined to go as Fungalised as before (in the strictest sense) and, due to a technical glitch when burning the songs to disk, I will do the CD in reverse (keeps it awkward don't ya think).
We begin (or close that is) with the cruel brutality of 'Father' by the terrifying Kollapse, a band I reviewed before, as I have this song. What this hardcorian gathering toss onto the table is searing noise that will take the flesh off the palm of your hand if you try to handle it for too long. Inspiring melodic mush from a catacomb of sable thought this freshly sporulating stinkhorn of rage is etched with perfervid passion and a black outlined desire to destroy the sound system. I was impressed when I first heard this, on this occasion I am still loving it. As if you weren't already galvanised then Terex Titan spit out the blinding white heat of 'Aalborg Sleepwalk Massacre' another song I am more than familiar with. Invasive, aggressive, screwing, this eruption of sickening putridity is exact darkened noise with the crushing style played with much wondrous passion. The throats explode in a shower of slashed sinew and the strings and tympanic tirades insist that the levels of violence continue. Pretty intense, slightly immense - be warned this is power incarnate. Political Spit cough up the DIY under produced globule known as 'By af beton', a song that disregards its shabby studio garb and struts around with a genuine spirit and honest belief. Compared to its neighbours it just suffers due to the aforementioned production values but as ye all know I have a tendency to like the scrag ends - no change here then.
Don't forget we are travelling in reverse here - hang in for the ride ye rockin' warriors.
Still Around slam out a fuckin' gem known as 'Leave Hardcore, Join the Police', a sheer blur of bombarding ill will and angst driven desperation all condensed into 54 seconds of bubbling energy and surface scathed sonica. The band take a moment to pose, pressure build and state the sanguine case before a last tumult shuts the discordant door in our disbelieving faces - beauty! Claymore next and the detritus from the bottom of the well swirled acoustic ocean is sprayed into our faces as 'To Succeed' thrives in its own polluted environment and offers much, short lived intrigue. A dirty, low down dog of a song that stinks to fuck with 'couldn't care less' authority - it all keeps me smiling and fully enthralled. 'Phantom Pimp by Lemlæstet fosterbræk tranquilly shimmers and then floats before slapping yer attentive muscles into action. A slam, a ping and then... absolutely hammergun horror totally drilled with a 100mph stutter speed that blisters every cell in your body. Blitzkrieg showers of sonic mesmerism fall from shattered skies and each liquid note is beyond thermal registration and burns right through your entire frame. Absolute madness caged, controlled, shook up and thrown with wicked malevolence - a masterpiece in its own generic right.
We open Side B, or close if you still like it backwards (ye dirty devils) with Dust Bugs and the flaming ' Rejected At The High School Dance', a real connoisseurs number that harks back to US dives where this kind of slaggish corrosion was slopped onto the laps of the listeners with utter naturalness and 'do it dog' belief. Like a crazy machine falling apart at the seams this alteration of style works and shows that even though all components are on the cusp of a breakdown the job can still get done and done quite well indeed. A real jerky ramshackle shithouse of sound but ya gotta love it.
Side A, the last track no less...The Dröns billow out the raw brutality of 'Dumme Kælling', a washed out wank off filled with nightmare visions of an asylum gone haywire - somehow a semblance of tuned sanity is maintained with a garaged inflection straight out of the nuthouse dustbin. Essences of futurised head zaps surge through and I carry on into the entire bowels of this CD - shit soaked and more importantly...convinced. Såås spark up with 'Hash', a fuckin' tremendous breathless upchuck of gravelled mania that jumps onto very untrustable tracks and, after an initial crazed wind up, moves off with hard pushed focus and unrelenting grit. A free head melt, a gratis grind out to just get right involved with – whoosh. A change in route, a poppy cutlet with all the light and breeze blown trimmings that come with it - Løsladt mod kaution and the sub-Blondie-esque rawness called 'Opsiger mig selv', a delightful bout of under nourished noise that shows bones beneath the flesh and is all the better for it. Transparency of tuneage and stripped down outpourings create a believability for the listener if played exactly - I am finding that here - and with its sweet solo and other layers to love why shouldn't I give it a thumbs up? Nitty Gritty next and the frothed up beauty of 'Gonna Get Mine'. a girl driven surge of slightly sugared spunkiness built on well whisked tympanic splatters and fizzed string work that creates a humming and honed in rush of adrenalin. Throw in some saxy smoothness, some flashjack touches and the buzz comes as a matter of course.
We crack on and the genius that is Stoj Snak and the absolute stunner that is 'Fuck'. I have reviewed this on this site here and sung this guys praises quite a few times to be honest - all is well deserved. Just sit back and listen to the textures here, the composition that makes this rise above most acoustic mediocrity and the darn effort flushed through the hollered throat and you will know why I am a keen fan of this guy. A superb talent that can only grow and grow as time progresses. Wondrous! Möwe wear away our resistance with the readily applied 'Sandpapir', an abrasive song for sure with a total unpredictability and an assortment of sub-generic characteristics thrown into the mix. One moment we seem to be in the swirling midst of sub-hardcore the next we seem to teeter on the brink of something poppage. In between the alternating moments we get thrown numerous ways and from the jumbled jigsaw disorder comes an end picture to admire. Odd at first, becoming more familiar with each spin - stick with it dudes. Next up and a lo-fi gem via The Jerknerds, an unadulterated dustbowl of roused rhythm and natural musicianship known as 'Got No Money'. Under produced, under the ragged radar I suspect but never fear -Fungal has tuned in to the clattered and battered sound and the scuzzy sheen it emits - I love this one. And so to close - a masterclass of technical speedo sensationalism - The Mighty Midgets thrust it hard and fast up yer discordance listening tube (aural shitter to the less learned) and absolutely nail an abundance of crippled and rippled tones without breaking a bead of sweat. The hectic drama, the whacked and smacked catchiness, the amazing tightness of delivery and the stunning accuracy that is dealt over and over again - The MM masters full stop in big style.
What a fine collection, what a showcase for an area that seems to just let it flow. I absolutely love this snapshot from Aalborg and my advice is - well you should know, keep bashing, crashing, smashing and never let the doubters and negating shouters drag you fuckin' down because believe me, they will try. Unify and defy!
SHAMELESS - GUILTY
Bog standard Oi here with this Lyon based band sticking to a tried and tested sub-scene formula and refusing to let any real ripsnorters invade the reliability factor. I know little of Shameless and here is my attempt at finding out how they operate whilst assessing their produce and coming up with an end opinion. It's all fuckin' go for nosey Fungal Fruits.
Sirens ring and we slam right in with the driving force of 'Guilty', a clod-hopping cut of Euro skin music that finds an immediate riff and refuses to let go. Straight ahead and typical of the sub-genre with very few frills, spills and may it be said, thrills. It is a consistent, unflustered track that just gets on with it - I am 50/50 on this one as I hear too much that sounds the same. 'Friday Night Losers' has more vitality and more liquidity in the acoustic hips and slips from verse to chorus with greater impacting success. It is deliberate Oi and when done in such a style has to have the ensnaring underscore of magnetism or the song can be liable to dissolve into an ever increasing pack of sonic runts. I like the gist here, the slightly more streetwise manoeuvres and overall bigger bollocks.
'30 Years Tomorrow' has an initial vibe I have yet again heard here and there over the years especially within this sub-generic pool. It is steady, easily picked up on and grinds onward with a mid-paced speed. A heart proud sensation emanates, a sing-a-long accent comes via the chorus - it is infallible but for me overly cautious and I suspect if the band fuckin' go for it full throttle the levels of appreciation would rise (certainly from me anyway). 'Bastard' just ups the ante a little with bass commanding the direction and the shouted and well clouted chorus causing the most obvious sonic bruises thus far. As soon as the band move with pace and furrow that brow a little harder the better the end results. A stress busting song with the 'join in and punch the air' aspect not lost. 'Oi For My Nation' drills tightly via a taut riff before a swift bout of gobbage joins in. The ensuing chanted title is simple enough and equally effective and at 5 tracks in I am grasping the CD, what it aims to be and also what it aims not to be. Not a bad effort this although I am still wanting more.
'We Are The Boys' is cruise mode, join in and holler noise with a distinct lack of raw, rough house brutality which in my forthright opinion is very much needed. A very capable track with that 4 wired weapon weaving a merry dance but toughen this up, scuff the surface, heighten the sandpapered gob work and give it a real football terrace kicking and the song will generate bigger bombs of applause. 'Men With Ties' opts for equal tempo as heard so much already and I find this one a slightly cold cunt in a pack of decently delivered twats. This one just disappears into the mass of melodic muffage and no matter how hard I try to rummage through the undergrowth (ooh er watch them cold hands) I find myself resurfacing without much thrill. Again it is so restrained that it makes it too watertight for its own good. I demand some relaxants so more natural acoustic piss can flow - golden shower me or at least stain yer own underwear straining.
The last 4 come, namely 'Vote For Shameless', 'Disappointing Friend', 'Fashion Week' and 'Virage Nord', all slotting in nicely and stubbornly refusing to explode and offer any variance. Many may say I am being picky, many in fact insult me and say I don't like this CD which would indeed be ludicrous. The CD is consistent and well played but my job isn't just about applauding the obvious. Here we have a band not fulfilling their potential and that gets my hackles rising. What is needed is a violent surge injected into the end production and perhaps a less professional end sheen. More speed and a real 'fuck it' attitude and Shameless will not only blow their own balls off but the listeners too. So there ya go, honest, as it is and,with the bands progression at heart. I take stick, I get nods of respect, I can't like everything, I can't gush when the occasion doesn't provoke it - take heed and to all those Oi aficionados - have a listen and let me know thy thoughts.
NO DECORUM - BOOTS, BEER AND BAD HABITS
This lot are local to me and are a fine bunch of friendly folk I have a lot of time for. They have gradually grabbed the sonic bull by the knackers and squeezed out an ever improving sound that has took some time arriving. The wait has been pleasing and to see the slow and steady upswing is what it is all about. From nowhere to nowhere in ten easy steps with no fuss, no ego and no bullshit - now that is the way to do it. I always hold my breath when hearing this lot because they are still far from the finished article (no insult intended because most bands are at this stage but it doesn't mean they are shit) but that can lead to the most beautiful noises around. So, in I shall delve, with the breeches of honesty pulled high, the underpants of respect even higher and the testicles of respect bursting from each side of the straining melodic material. Oh baby (add own high pitched voice).
Fuck this, kecks off, undies off, the anus shall be used as a vase, I need some flowers to fill it, so how shall we combine these tunes and some botanical specimens I wonder - well, a little bit like this.
I dash out from the undergrowth with a rear end void of blooms, what blossoms do these songs bring to mind. Title track, a short stubby growth with thorns to offend. A quick growing Bramble with puke coloured blooms that I for one won't be stuffing up me jacksie. I dash on, with care not to snag the dangling goolies, and seek out a bloom to admire. 'Brutal Conspiracy' emerges from the undergrowth with a sturdy sonic stem with all juices audibly racing and preparing for the forthcoming explosion of colour. We a thrown off course as a skanky vibe is taken with the over-spilling gobbage at it with intent. The band mix the styles well and show sincere progression with a cleaner edge and more startling attraction with the main burst of pollen coming via a fine guitar break that is only marred by unnecessary shouts (oh so close). The acoustic insects will still feed on this though and flap their wings with glee. Buzzy!
'No Pride' is a multi-leafed growth that moves the sonic soil with a determination and hard worked energy. This is a familiar song from the 'live' set and one that they have easily got to grips with. The textures of the upper and under layers are well blended and the combination of all components works. The root system feeds the desire, the stem provides nutrients of noxious noise to the leafy areas where the main energy giving labour takes places. As a result the colourful end eruption is a joy and I pluck and duly fuck my duffel with it and....enjoy the sensation. 'Such A Waste' intrudes next with a wonderful initial flourish that leads into some precocious noise advancement that I really appreciate. As I type I smile because I have seen where several members of this group have come from and watching that progression is a fuckin' joy. I can type words of praise here and know they will be believed and taken as truth because over the years when a kick up the jacksie as been needed it has been given and the crew know I will not palm off decent people with a fraudulent word. This latter song is like a verdant patch of nettle - plenty of life, plenty of sting - I love nettle beds - I have to delve and see what I can find and more often than not come away pleased - just like here.
'Unity' delicately emerges with tender vascular tissue awaiting the feeding reviewer. Small white petals of sincerity open and I make comparisons to the overlooked honesty of Sweet Woodruff, a subtle plant with a fine aroma and a growing style that is communal. The band don't over elaborate but give something very reliable and believable - I think that about sums this one up. 'Scum' next and yet another 'in the flesh' fave. The front chap here relishes the task at hand and thrives amid the twisting and grinding stringwork and nagging tympanic torture. Interspersed are skanky sections that create the...yes you guessed it...contrast factor, an essential component. Production wise the band do well, we are dealing with a song that reminds me of Marsh Woundwort - a fascinating plant I always enjoy finding but due to its hybridising ability is not always easy to fully pigeonhole. Also when the leaves are crumpled it emits an aroma I find pleasant but at the same time sickly. Well that's my take on things anyway - another good un' if you ask me.
Mr rear is now positively alive with a thriving floral spectrum with many scents to please your hooter. I move on, still room for a few more additions I think.
'Dim City' is a bleak number with a grim under-pulse, a weather worn appearance and a somewhat ragged rhythm. It contains the most atmospherical acoustics thus far and alters its style quite subtly. It is dark coloured piece to ponder and as I stick to my vegetative comparisons I shall go for Butterbur here - a strange plant with robust leaves and bog brush type flowers that appear before any other growth. Usually found in wooded areas alongside rivers - that slow switched off piece reminds me of the tranquillity of such a place with the soft babbling water the only companion - nifty work. 'Pissing In The Rain' chases and is a repetitive piece that staggers along in parts before surging in others. You know the pattern, patchy shoots of sonica and then abundant explosions that display an underlying strength of substrate. The bands green fingers accomplish another good effort here and this one is best likened to a combo of Goldilocks Buttercup and Goosegrass. Unpredictable in appearance and liable to snag its fruits onto your attentive materials. 'Hooligans' is a cute gem and relies in part to the most fragile touches and thought out positionings. Suddenly a thrust will come and although seeming in stark contrast to the thread set this opposing option works. Thick stalks, thin stalks - both doing the business and this Buddleia Bush of sound will certainly be attracting many applauding hoverflies and appreciative flutterbys. This latter effort is almost a signature tune for the band and blends some of their sub-generic characteristics. The emotive value is mixed with a serenity blown away by an eagerness - it works well and I join the clapping pack and cheer for more.
'What Ya Gonna Do' blows well in the breeze of noise and sways with initial smoothness like a field of Ox-Eye Daisy being attending to by struggling bumblies. The first verse calms things down a bit and gets on with the job at hand without over complicating itself whilst the chorus is strong enough with a basic scaffolding holding things together. The fluidity between segments is slightly hiccupped and needs further scrutiny but let us overlook this minor niggle - the pedantic pollen of criticism can go pollinate a distant discordance for once. Next up and 'Chainsaw Love', guess what this one is about then? A chance to become all nasty, to indulge in hidden desires and diseased needs. A routine affair that could have been so much more obscene, ultimately more brutal and may it be said, loaded with extra violence. A chance missed and this account of masochistic tendencies needs souping up and given a bruising or two. I suggest a 'Brutal Remix' version with the band going at it full tilt. The only disappointment so far, A Giant Hogweed that fails to blister the skin - boo, hiss.
We close with the lightly sprinkled 'Don't Care', a familiar song that I am particularly fond of. Fragile verse strokes, harder chorus riffs, nifty bassism, flittering drums, identifiable gob work - not bad at all and the botanical theme shall continue up until the last - this one is surely a Dandelion - they seem not to care where they grow either and take in our fucked fumes and disregard appropriately.
That's it, splendid progression shown and if this keeps on who knows where the band will be in a years time - my money is on a mental institution or a compost heap but tha' never knows. I like No Decorum, have a lot of time for them as people - I recommend you support our future because without it...a desolate wasteland awaits.
NO THRILLS - PUNK ROCK TIL I DIE
A band who play locally more often than not and who have quite a following on their home turf. I have still to catch them due to lack of opportunity and hope one day our paths will cross and I can have a good delve into their 'live' output. Hailing from Penrith the band are soaked through with the more traditional elements of punk and play it without design to be any other way - is that advisable I hear you ask? I hear on the grapevine they are a decent act and now and again get a bit of feedback that opposes this but that is the same with most bands so why the fuck I mentioned it is anyone’s guess - harrumph! So as per these days, with these lengthier expulsions, I will try and capture the flavour, be critical and fair, offer a prod and a poke and avoid dissecting every track just for the hell of it. So I draw back the bow, aim for exceedingly high levels of accuracy and...'twang' - you decide where the fuck I have hit.
The initial batch of songs have some stylish swing and good old fashioned chordage with the opening burst of 'Punk Rock Till I Die' a credible crack of spikiness and certainly stating where the CD is at - why not indeed? The ebullience and sprightly spring in the sonica gets me aroused and with the cutely forceful zest I am keen to plunge deeper into the CD. 'Have You Seen Him', 'Little Billy', I Don't Wanna Be With You' all maintain the excellent start with the hat-trick opener a coolly flown number with a more spacious feel and slower drive, the middle number is a vigorous shake up that gets the job done and includes a switch off cruise that adds necessary contrast and the latter number is an episode of paced punkage that just stays on the right side of coherence and desperately grabs on to the rails of rhythm - phew. So that's the first 4 and all kicking the doubting door off its hinges and hailing the bands arrival - why fuck about?
'Us Against Em' All' next, football war and all that tribal tomfoolery is the subject matter with the band igniting the kick off and flying through proceedings without any obvious fouls. It is in keeping with the course of things but 'Panic In The Air' is a better track with its unsettled sensation, more hungry approach and complete fluidity that comes after a start that doesn't reflect what is about to happen. Well versed, well rehearsed punkage without slippages into areas unknown - if you like what you do, are happy with it then why change for assessing swine’s like me? This is so consistent and so familiar I am struggling to find fault which in a roundabout way is a criticism in itself. 'Midnight Riot' and 'Nothings Forever' are a brace of songs that become victims of consistency, they fall short and blend into the well balanced set of sonic structures due to similar design and inflection. Now if all songs thus far were shit then these would be similar garbage but due to the levels attained being highly effective it goes without saying these 2 efforts are par for the course. Again, and I repeat, this is a positive and negative thing and over such a long offering the band are losing the impact of each song which is a shame. There are at least 3 short albums here which would have been far more productive and ear catching. Just my thoughts.
We continue through the CD and receive the same quality and so I play in sections to create my own sense of effect and to pick up on the more choicest moments. 'Fake I. D.' has a nice Crassite inclusion and reggae switch, 'Loser' labours a point, 'It's What’s Inside' has a fine spiky stance against prejudice and upholds a good rhythm throughout and 'Backstabber Baby' is an absolute nasty peach with a grabbing chorus and incessant flow of controlled rage against some poor bugger on the wrong side of the NT crew.
Over half way through - I switch off, move to other compositions and return with a clear head. Still crackin' the whip. 'Better Off Dead' is a fine track with a feeling of having its arse on fire and having a distinct fear within the thread. The verses are fluent, the 'Heyed' up chorus cuts very complimentary and so we have a track to start the wind down to home with much to admire. One of the best this one and aids the overall impetus the band have built up thus far whereas 'Rise 'n' Fall' seems to not follow suit and just falls into the songs shadows. It happens quite a lot this secondary suffering with the ditty always chasing a crackerjack never getting a fair judgement. The song is OK but nothing more - a shame really. 'Dead To The Core' rises with bass and drums working in fine unity before a 'Pretty Vacant' style guitar lick comes. The song that ensues is nothing like the Pistolian number and is a stated, straight ahead tune with a few soilings here and there and the expected scuzz alongside the usual NT output. The length of this CD highlights the talent but dilutes the impact - too much of a good thing and all that - I hope ye get the drift. I don't want to go through the same old textual appraisals here so am bailing - consistently good.
'Drunken Generation' is as per, '3 Minute Warning' a fine effort with a countdown cut to just fuckin' enjoy, 'D. I. S. C. O.' has a Sham-esque sensation and a great loosely hung approach the band maybe should throw in to future efforts and 'Jimmy' once again suggesting many influences with an essential thread of joy and ‘in the zone’ enthusiasm running throughout. With 4 to go I may as well round up matters as swiftly as possible and not give each and every songs game away and leave you idling buggers nothing left to do. 'She's Leavin' has a scything approach, cuts deeper than most other numbers and thrives as a result of the clobber happy injection. The clear vocal style rises out of the sonic spume made by the raped and rogered instruments and so we have a beltin' blast to bop with. 'Stand Up For Yourself' is a peach with a fine message and sturdy backbone of noise all coming together to give one a heel digging belief and fight back stance.
So the penultimate track, a crackin' offering known as 'My Life', a real inner joy emanates and radiates - a simple enough verse and a wrap-around chorus that won't be resisted - the guitars buzz away, the drums splash with zeal - it ain't rocket science but it does get the job done. 'That Ain't For Me' wraps things up, please assist me in what I can say here without being repetitive - in fact one word best sums up this finale - 'ditto' - are you with me?
So, with so many tracks on offer of such considerable similarity and consistency it would be just vulgar to dissect each one for the sake of it and come up with a prolonged review that would be less discerning and less convincing. This is a lengthy offering and if taken apart in bite size chunks of 5 or 6 then will undoubtedly uncover much to please. Playing all tracks in one go over and over though will be a hard task. For me it is a snapshot of what the band do and highlights the lack of pretension - but does it highlight a lack of ambition, and if so is that a bad thing? I like this effort and am happy to give it a massive thumbs up but...yes you guessed it...how about going off track next time and throwing in a few angular toons - it will do all concerned the world of good. As for No Thrills - bollocks, there are plenty here!