Demented Are Go / Helvis
October 22 1999
Nottingham Old Angel
Wasn't entirely sure what to expect for this one. The name was familiar, but never heard the music.
First were Helvis who come across as the punk bastard offspring of Iron Monkey. Well in the vocals that is, where the hardcore yaaaay is replaced by a more punky yaaaay. Bit irritating, but there you go. If they know they irritated a bit, then I'm sure they'd be happy. The music was ok, though nothing stuck for me. Well apart from one riff which really did sound like an early Metallica riff. Ok, so that just means it was a chugathon, but hey, I could've just pissed them off there. Most people, well apart from being sat on their arses, thought the drummer should be sacked. Methinks they know the man.
Demented. What to say. Well, the newkie brown is taking hold, which means somewhat silly thoughts go through the mind. The first was the spotting of the upright bass. Not a silly thought, a stark reality. So all you people who thought The Living End were the first and only "rock'n'roll" band to do that thing are wrong. Second thought as the band troops out is that "my God, it's a rawwwwk'n'roll Misfits. Shades adorn the vocalist in his tight leather. Then I spot it. Ah, that's better. Makes me feel better. The one thing worse than have a bald spot with long hair (which I'm working on rather faster than I'd like to), is having the bald spot on a bonce sporting a mohicanised quiff. Ah, thankyou lord. The music starts. It's rockabilly. Rockabilly Misfits. It does little for me, at the end of a over long set (3 encore songs - I don't think so) I still can't recall one song. Mind you, that doesn't stop some. It's funny, we've got some real old hardcore looking punks dancing around. Suddenly so many links that seem to be always denied spring to mind. Like there's these old school punks dancing to rocakbilly style punk. Not anarchistic. Not dangerous. Fairly old fashioned in a way. Struck me as a contradiction anyway. Well at least if you believe punk is purely about anarchy. Then there was the "rock star" image of this guy. I thought punk disliked the "rock star" thing. But some people lap it up. Then there's the two nu-metal / skatecore punky girls who dance the entire set, get on stage, and you get the impression know sod all about the band but are oh so desperate to be seen. So you've got your old school punk dance going on together with yer nu-metal "point to the sky oh lordy rejoice" dance going on. Ok, so maybe I have a different sense of humour and logic to some people. Or maybe it was that newkie brown again. Does strange things to you so I'm told.
Heard loads about this lot from Birmingham, but never seen or heard them. And suddenly this album arrived, and I didnít even know theyíd signed or were recording an album. Ooh the scariness of it all. Anyway, lets forget the bollocks biography (really, trying to create a link between these and Sabbath, Priest and Zeppelin just because of the Brum connection is overstepping the mark by about ooo, an entire continent donít you think?)
And I just donít know what new to say about this. Itís doomy stuff. Straight from the Sabbath stable. What more can you say. Take a guess as to what the whole thing sounds like? The production courtesy of Dave Chang gives it an authentic sound, and itís good. But is there anything that leaps out and throttles you around the neck? No, itís there. If youíre an afficianado then thereís another CD to add to the collection. If not, well dunno.
And who decided on the end? Huh. 20 odd tracks of something approaching ambient sounds that rise and fall. Clever? Inovative? Interesting? Make it more value for money? Bollocks. It sent me to sleep. Which was nice as I was tired, but, well utter utter waste of time.
Mr Bungleeeeeeeee.Yeah, more on the Bungle album. See, that review was written a couple of months ago, not long after getting the album. As I was checking this issue as it neared completion, I re-read the review. Iíve been playing the album a hell of a lot since it was written, and I just wanted to say what a great album it is, and there was a bit of space here, so thatís what Iím going to do. Itís a greeeeeat album. Theyíre doing a New Years Eve gig in LA, Bungle, Fantomas, Melvins and another band whose name Iíve conveniantly forgotten at the moment. God Iíd luuuurve to be there for that one. Ignore that Metal Hammer review. This is awesome. But I realised Iíd not mentioned Ares Moriendi. I guess it was a song that on initial listens didnít register, but now itís an absolute fave. Kind of weird, yodelling Romanian gypsy style intro, gets hard. Noisy. Awesome. Strange. Focussed. One of the albums of the year without doubt. Ignore that Metal Hammer review. Get some California in yer life.
SNUB- will be releasing their new album Memories In Richter through Copro sometime in February or March. Some people that have heard the album have described it as "awesome". Guess weíll have to wait to find out, but you can get a taster by visiting the Snub website at www.snub.co.uk where you can hear an MP3 of one of the tracks. It sounds like theyíve upped the ante all round. Better song, better production. This time they sound like they mean it.
Speaking of Copro, Medulla Nocte have now signed with the label. Which when you line them up with earthtone9 and Snub makes for a pretty formidable UK line-up.