Lukan - See You Dying.
Reviewed a single by this lot last time, and heres a new single. It sees the development of their sound, and I guess further solidifies whether I like it or not. And at the moment its veering towards the not. Its very clean. Its almost stadiumesque, and Im afraid I left most of that stuff behind a few years ago. If you like that sort of thing then fine. But, most importantly of all are the songs, and inspite of things being clever, and played well, nothing is sticking.
Freekspert - Majik Shoes EP
I believe this is a few months old, but I only recently purchased it from those people at Org Records. So time for a review.
First up is the title track, as you might expect, and its definitely an uptempo piece of work. You imagine itll work well in the live setting. Shame that the cack remixes spoil it, but then, you know that pretty much any remix gets the its cack treatment from me. Im trying to appreciate them, I really am, but when theyre shite, well, its difficult.
Little Green Man though redeems things, coming across with a touch of the Muthas Day Outs to me, a band from a few years back who released an album, toured, and then it seems, disappeared. Taken by the Little Green Men?
Then they spoil it with another bloody remix.
Contact: Freekspert PO Box 229, Sheffield S1 1LY
Psycore - I Go Solo.
Now I know that last issue I labelled this lot Psybore on the strength of their rather crap live displays. But Im always ready to give a chance (well, sometimes) Ok, so that I picked it up in the bargain bin may have something to do with it as well. But anyway, heres their chance to be not quite so bland and uninspiring in the studio as they are live. The first thing that struck me when I put in the CD, was that the 3 tracks clock in at under 8 minutes. So why do their songs seems so interminably long when they play live?
I Go Solo starts things off, a bass driven song, with vocalist Markus providing his spoken word style on top of it. Its not too bad, but doesnt really do much. Its certainly nothing thats getting me excited.
The final track features a guest appearance from Tarrie B of Tura Satana, but at about 1 minute 20 seconds, its not something that really has time to lodge itself in the brain.
Not quite as bad as the live gigs suggest, but really, I cant see that this is something to get overly excited about. There are much much better bands around.
Groovie Ghoulies - Re-Animation Festival.
The CD from the gig. This is the latest one that I picked up, though it was released in 97. Better late than never. So, what you gets for your money is 12 tracks of Ramones fixated rocknroll. Which is actually bloody good.
I think I was kind of expecting some really loose garage sound, even after seeing the gig, but the production is pretty smart. As are some of the songs. One of the highlights is the delightful Graveyard Girlfriend. Or the pure rocknroll of Graceland. Plus, its nice to see someone else capable of getting away with a title such as Zombie Crush
get out your needle and thread
I might as well be dead
My heart stops beating too
My brain it turns to mush,
Ive got a zombie crush
Go on and Shoot me, I beg you ...
Its all over in under half an hour, with nothing outstaying its welcome. Its a blast of fun, to be enjoyed for what it is. If you liked the Ramones, or fun, or Ghouls, then this may be worth checking out. There were 3 other CDs on sale, along with a bunch of 7 singles, so I think I may go in search of some more. Good live as well.
Available on Lookout Records
3 Colours Red - Paralyse EP
Once more brought to you courtesy of Vickies recording, the cheeky chappies return. And they dont really sound like the Wildhearts until the chorus. Oops, you shouldnt mention that W name Dave. Ok, last time. Anyway, as I never owned Pure, I cant say if this is much different or not. It has quite a heavy sound, but you get the feeling thats in the production rather than them suddenly trying to emulate Black Sabbath or something. Actually, I just listened again, and I thought I detected hints of the Almighty in there as well. Its one of those tracks, it straddles the line between rock and pop, which is obviously what their aiming at. Heavy enough production to appeal, but with enough pop sensibilities and singalong potential to prick the ears of the more chart knowledgeable crowd. Even if its not eligible for the charts. Though my tape would be, cos its only got the three tracks :)
Throwing The World Away actually sounds a better song to me than Paralyse. It just seems to have a better hook and melody running through it. But maybe thats good that they can include decent b-sides as well. Something those chart regulators never believed possible from bands. Which is why theyre a bunch of !$*& then isnt it.
After that, Say Something tries to, but ultimately doesnt. Not to me anyway.
One Minute Silence - Stuck Between A Rock And A White Face
Well, hopefully youve already got the album, so youll know what the title track is all about and like, with its stay back, stay back stay down refrain. The point of interest here, and reason for buying, are the two demo tracks which accompany it.
They show that even without the added sheen of a finished production, they still have the songs. They perhaps dont depart much from the OMS blueprint and only time will tell if this is good or not. And Counting is built around a simpler swaggering riff while Going Going Gone is perhaps the less impressive of the songs, though it does feature a ridiculously distorted vocal from YAP. Still, the new tracks aired on the recent tour seem to indicate theres still something fresh in the pool.
Available on Big Cat Records
SNUB - 360 Conviction
Well, I mentioned having this EP a few issues back, and then nothing. It slipped through the review net. Well, whatever passes for a review net here. So time to do it. So, what you get is 5 tracks of modern metal, backed with a hardcore/rap style vocal courtesy of Choff. Mondo Cain's highlight is a wonderful little time change which takes me back a few years, no pun intended or indeed delivered. It's a simple thing, but it makes you prick up your ears, look around, and go "yeah nice". Go on, you've done it yourself listening to something, don't lie to me.
Three on a Meathook is re-recorded from the Zero Tolerance demo, and is still one of, if not their best song. Blackout, which finishes the EP is a nice indication of maybe where the future can lead them, partly I guess for me, cos it features Choff trying something different vocally. It's simple again, but makes you take notice, and these days, that's what you need to do.
And Deadbeat has a section towards the end which makes me think back to Slayer's Angel of Death, when those drums start to do it. You know, those drums, that riff. Yeah, nice.
A good start, though the hardcore metal style hybrid sort of fans are probably the only ones that need apply.
Available on Copro Records.
Contact: Choff 60 Viscount Walk, Bearwood, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH11 4TB.
Flyscreen - Girls Cant Make Gun Noises
Ive got a feeling that this lot have already split up. Another Newport band, theyve released a few good EPs, had this album in the can for seemingly ages, and now its been released. Posthumously it would seem. Anyway, I thought that I had them tagged after hearing the EPs. Pop punk sort of thing, with vocalist Paul doing his best to sound anything like Welsh, and in fact everything like a Cockerney. And when you listen to those particular tracks, the wonderful Snowbunny, She Smokes She Drives and Writes Poetry, Choppersquad and Babysham is when Flyscreen are at their most accessible.
But then, you get to tracks such as Sugarstealers, (with its reference to sticklebrick toys) and theres a change of mood, a maturiry. String laden, but not in the uninspiring manner of some of the new Manics tracks.
Not quite as great though as the Dapbag EP. Now that was a classic,though She Smokes and the very wonderful Snowbunny have made the move nicely to album.
If they have called it a day, well, its a shame, as here were a band with potential waiting to be fulfilled. But increasingly it feels like potential is not enough, or not whats wanted. One day someone will perhaps realise that substance should come before image. Just hope its not too late for music when that day arrives.
Available on:BMG Records
Schema. Its Closer Than You Think.
Once more, I dont really know anything about this band. All I know is that is said it was a Leicestershire based band, post-hardcore sort of thing, and it was only a fiver in the shop for 15 tracks. So I took the chance. When you get it home and pop in the CD, look through the sleeve, you find out its a compilation of, I guess, EPs, maybe demos or something from the last few years. Aided and abetted by production from that man Sneap yet again, though not quite as wonderful as some of his work is. But that doesnt detract, because it still ultimately comes down to the music, and this is actually pretty good. Its good, but in the sense that I dont get the feeling that theres going to be a major breakthrough imminent for the band, but they more than hold their own. The post-hardcore tag? Well, yeah, I guess. Its one of those affairs where if you believe hardcore means shouty and in your face Noo Yoik style rantings, then youre way off the mark. Its not emo, but its closer to that style. Sometimes its quite slow, melodic and introspective.
If theres one thing that lets it down, its maybe the vocals. And thats in the sense that theyre nothing special or outstanding to grab the attention of most people. Theyre competent, and at times theyre raw. They dont have a spellbinding presence which you feel is maybe necessary. Overall though, I like this a lot. Though I have no idea if theyre still going. Maybe I should write and find out.
Contact: Schema, 26 Dalby Avenue, Bushby, Leicester, LE7 9RD.
Hard To Swallow - Protected By The Ejaculation Of Serpents.
Comprising over half of Iron Monkey, Hard To Swallow comes from such a similar perspective in music, yet is so different. Whereas IM adopt the plod to their music, and draw pieces out, HTS go straight for the jugular at speed. This is a compilation of their releases, offering 23 tracks and featuring 2 different line-ups. Well vocalists at least with Goy lending a helping er throat, to Bloody Kev on the second set of releases.
As you might expect, its not pretty or easy listening, but its still interesting, as on songs like Chainstitch, Barricade and Action On, though 65 minutes is a bit much for me in one listening, even if the track Hard To Swallow does feature 10 minutes of silence.. Its the sort of thing where live 35-40 minutes of it will leave you drained.
And you need a bloody mirror to read the lyrics!
A bunch of oiks that hail from Leeds or so it seems. They seem to be playing in a similar playground (hey, couldve said ballpark, but that wouldve sounded too American) as Iron Monkey, that sludgy sound, the vocals that you either admire or wince at, yet for some reason I can deal with this a bit better than da Monkey. Judging by the sleeve notes, the 10 tracks on offer here are a compilation of the material from the first couple of years of the band. Demos, EPs, unreleased stuff, that sort of thing.
This is brutal stuff, but the music carries it through. Always interesting, often uptempo (when bands really grind that can get to me a bit) and heavy. One for the lover of the extreme to sit back, pull up the sofa and relax to with a nice cup of hot chocolate!
Both are available from Household Name Records PO Box 12286, London, SW9 6FE.
Honeycrack - PS The Demos
Honeycrack are yet another example of the species known as UK bandus extincticus duos tous lackus supporticus. And this sadly, is their epitaph. A collection of demos for the never to be second album, and three live tracks, recorded in the crowd, and sounding like it in an oddly engaging manner, and, in the case of set closer, and career closer Animals, from the sound board. Were Honeycrack, hope to see you again soon. Goodnight comments Willie as the track comes to an end. Theres probably no more simple way to sum things up than that.
The seven demo tracks see a progression from the band, while still retaining that Honeycrack sound, a sound which a couple of years down the line has become a little too sickly for me I guess. But, whereas bands like Silver Sun and their ilk cant hold my attention, Honeycrack could. The opening combination of I Dont Know and Coming Up For Air proving it. Never Giving Up would be ironic if it wasnt so real, and Some Wouldnt Like It features the classic line of I should sing another lyric here, but that would mean writing one. And it ends abruptly, showing perhaps, that these were still only demos and would no doubt have been messed with somemore if theyd ever made it to the proper album stage. Maybe its a good job they didnt, as they remain polished but not as sugary as anything say The Jellys have done since. Somehow, Honeycrack managed to walk the tightrope and not fall off. Musically at least, if not commercially as far as that ever reliable fountain of knowledge that is the Record Company might have us believe.