Backyard Babies / Famous Monsters / Fungus
Nottingham Rock City - March 27 1999
Morning. Could you do me a favour and read this review quietly as I'm playing host to a really lousy hangover and a bit of a bruised ego. The hangover I put down to too many Newkie Browns last night, and the bruised ego due to my body deciding to fall over after the gig. And it didn't even consult the rest of me. Bastard.
Fungus really didn't do anything for me. Well, apart from make me visit the bar on a few occassions. Insipid and just uninspiring. As it's happening I was remembering nothing about them. Some jangly guitar and that was it really. Maybe it's unfair to judge on a first appearance, but well, I don't know that there'll be a subsequent appearance unless they are once again as a support band.
Famous Monsters were next, which Mr & Mrs T managed to miss. Anyway, for what they do, it's not bad. Entertaining surf music which is Ramones inspired, 1 2 3 4, or 4 3 2 1 or 1 2 3 4 in Italian (sorry, can't spell those). She-zilla, the drummer stands for the entire duration, there's lots of very twee banter as they giggle and joke their way through things, and mugs and matches are thrown as gifts to the crowd. However, it doesn't exactly set the crowd alight, most of whom if they know the band are here because of Devil Doll, aka as Sean ex White Zombie. And there lies the problem. While the association is there, they're going to attract a crowd totally unsuited to what they do. There is absolutely nothing in common, and if it wasn't for the link, you wonder how and why they would've got a support tour.
Backyard Babies I only know one song by, the one on the Strangelands soundtrack. And despite the hype of them being the new G'n'R or Hanoi Rocks or whatever, they were also totally uninspiring. Though the bassist has to be admired, or shot, for keeping that hat on for the duration and some wonderful guitar hero posing. A real disappointment, but maybe that's because they are the sleaze and I'm just the drunk. Glamour was out in force tonight, or should that be pout in force, and I'm not one of those beautiful people. So I don't understand it. Instead I just get drunk and talk utter shite by the end of the night and subsequently fall over. Still trying to figure out how I did that one. I really must remember that I can't handle 8 bottles of Newkie. Especially on a near empty stomach. Wuss.
So, the Famous Monsters were the best of a pretty average fair really. I came, I drank, I fell. I stumbled home and my head really ought to stop thumping if it knows what's good for it. Phew, rock'n'roll. It's a dangerous beast.
Defíer Than Ever zine #3
Well, this one continues to improve with each issue, which is a good thing. The Deftones fixation is still there (as you'd expect as it started as a 'tones 'zine), with some "latest" news from the 'net. But there's more variety in here now, with an in-depth interview with the Seps, and smaller interviews with the likes of Psycore (who I STILL don't get), Pulkas, and more. A nice chaotic cut and paste layout. Like I said, it's getting better each time, and a nice little style is emerging. And yep, the questions are getting more intimate and sexual in their nature. Improving each time.
£1.50 per issue (inc postage) from: The Brow, Wilmslow Rd, Mottram St Andrew, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 4QT.
This is frustrating. Received this, and open it up, and itís all in Belgian. Which is a shame, cos it looks like an excellent read. Itís a double issue containing 124 A4 pages, interviews with Offspring, Cause For Alarm, Agnostic Front, Dropkick Murphys, All Out War, and more. Alongside that thereís dozens of album review and 10 TEN! pages of demo reviews. Which makes it kinda annoying to know whether "Als goede punkband deed THL alles 100% zelf, maar de muziek is van dergelijk hoog niveau dat dit van Oost-Vlaanderen komt ..." is good or bad for Topless Helicopter Lessons. Though with a name like that, youíve got to think it can only be good. So, if you understand Belgian, or like to look at what is quite possibly a great zine, then check this one out. This issue is 120Belgian Francs. Normal issues are 80Bf.
Contact: Funtime c/o J Quinten, Dutselhoek 12, 3220 Holsbeek, Belgium.
Cay - Nature Creates Freaks
Woohooo, in spite of my slightly lukewarm reception to this band, I still received the album. So, let's see if things have changed then shall we? Ok Dave, let's roooock.
Yeah, hmmmm. Itís not bad, itís actually pretty good, but thatís it. A number of the tracks have been previously available through their various single releases, so you begin to wonder as itís all over in about 37 minutes.
But the music. On this showing, thereís 2 sides. Thereís the punky scrawny, screamy side, and thereís the laid back mellow side. I prefer the later on this release. By a mile. The hype has centered around the former, which I tend to find highly irritating after a few tracks and it just doesnít stand out from the pack for me. Go figure.
The opening salvo of Better Than Myself and Princes and Princesses from the original Org single highlight that perceived strengths of the band, that fast punky up and at you vitriol kind of thing. Itís also the weakness, because itís what theyíve become renowned for, and will continue to do so, and it makes you wonder if the more restrained and in some ways interesting moments such as Nature Creates Freaks itself where the N band influence seems to shine, will be allowed to flourish. Dragonfly continues the trend, feeling slightly off kilter in its structure and showcasing a side that wasnít really covered on the singles. Nice. Skool is the highlight. They pull back totally on the rails, Anet doesnít screech, and itís sleazy almost jazzy. Smoky in the club. Standout track before Neurons Like Brandy lifts the pace again to the standard Cay style. Come Out and Speed 13 though slide it down that notch. If only they stay there.
I could see me getting more excited if I persevere with this. If that restrained side had been the one initially presented, then yeah, Iíd be ready to proclaim them worthy. But it wasnít, and Iíve now got my preconceptions based on that hype to overcome. I hope they follow the more restrained moments in the future. Though that may alienate many who are lauding them at the moment, and it does seem most people are creaming their pants over this band, so I guess you should maybe take a listen and then judge for yourself.
Available on EastWest Records.