30 March 2009

Fungal Punk Review Lambination 3


FungalPunk - UK

Deadlamb Records are Ireland’s ultimate underdog label and sponsors of the Spit and Sawdust Tour and so get a fungal thumbs up for everything they do for this precious scene. They have a fire in their bellies and they wanna make a difference - not a bad ethos is it? They love their punk music and these CD's reflect that as well as showing their sense of melodic adventure in the fact that they are not afraid to mix and match noises from here, there and everywhere. The buggers send me these CD's to review and it does put me in a position. What if they are crap? How do you say to your own sponsors who you admire for all they do that their latest CD is shite. Luckily they know me and expect the truth and I am sure appreciate my honesty and critical evaluations - I bloody well hope so ha, ha. Anyway here goes another venture into the Deadlamb Records discography this time with a compilation of 21 tracks with, as per usual, many tastes catered for and all punk needs pleased.

With the previous 2 efforts I have noted that without several spins the CD's could very well easily be misjudged and classed as mundane, mediocre offerings with no adhesive qualities whatsoever. Like all good things, time enhances the beauty and that is again the theme with this very decent product. Mutiny hail from South Africa and get the ball rolling with an abrasive slam entitled 'Politician Bastards'. This is a solid commencement and despite the corrosive sonics there is enough funky guitar to make this a pleasing opener. The frontmans gob is hungry and thirsts for impact and for me seems satisfied on both counts. Danish band the Mighty Midgets offer similar pace but with a new school inflection and so have a chance of appealing to the young and old with the urgent 'Guilty Until Proven Innocent'. A firm track that hotfoots it to the finish line with tireless gusto and accomplished accuracy. Canada's Glamorous Maggots have essences of screwball punkology reminiscent of quirky US bands with an inkling to be zany. The opening drums and tinkling guitar of 'Ego's And Arrogance' do not forewarn of the ensuing noise and it really is a bizarre little offering. Similar to a few Alternative Tentacles outputs and a curio indeed to mull over, enjoy, debate and then reconsider. Do I like it or do I loathe it - well certainly not the latter so an uncertain nod goes the songs way.

Nomatrix offer their usual punky edge and are a band I do like. They have a diversity of delivery and are instantly recognisable, 2 qualities that count. There is a sneering edge to the vocals which appeals and this is a fair song. There is a swagger to the Nomatrix sound as well as an unsettled tetchiness thus creating further depths of interest - always a good addition to any compilation. California Redemption ask us to 'Screw' and is a modernised melody that despite being turbo-fuelled does seem to lack a complete adhesiveness and is one you have to play over and over again to get to grips with. It's gotta be played loud to have any impact and occasionally gets the head a little too far down and stays overly focused. Flat Back Four however 'Burn The Flag' with their renowned vigour and excellently delivered brilliance and once fully kicked-in the songs burns very brightly indeed. Los Langeros is the freak of the family with an insane sounding barnyard cluck-up called 'Killing Frogs'. It is pure idiocy and raps and craps along with a taut-stringed intercut that irritates the most tetchy of nerves. It is still listenable but occasionally it does send one fuckin' bananas with its waspy drone and hillbilly vocals. The Arguments sound completely revamped here and regardless of the hit and miss opening that seems under-produced the song operates well with a nice chorus that immediately catches the ear. 'Bomb Drop' thrives because the vocals are delivered with passion and so helps the muffled instrumentation that, if better produced, could have made a real stunner. The 'Last Round' is served up via Swivel foot and is a right good old knees up that I personally rate. A drunken slur seems apparent and the song foams with effervescent belief and some accomplished musicianship that appeals by the pintful.

Lucien and 'Freechild' is a rockin' piece of glam and one of the bands better efforts, Batteries Not Included bop and bang with a real good effort known as 'Before The Flame Dies' and Koncept bulldoze all in their path and deliver a track that is indeed 'Cuckoo' with rage. One thing to add at this point is the very fine example that this CD is of containing a wide diversity of tracks that need to be tasted individually rather than trying to assess as one whole product. The package itself can appear disjointed and thus the final assessment is very unworthy of the quality. Having reviewed many compilations I have learned that each one needs it's own analytical approach and this one is a definite sample of that methodology. Compilations with more familiar bands have, if one isn't careful, the advantage of making a greater initial impact and so sway judgement - luckily I have an underdog sniffing streak and that I hope comes across in my scribbling. No sway, no way - just as fair as I can be with what's rammed down my ear holes.

Derkovbois swing in with the previously unreleased 'Papp Laci' which has an opening sequence that doesn't reflect how the song eventually finishes but nonetheless is a decent output and steps nicely on board 'The Last Bus' by Semi Komoly. This song hints at skank, trifles with punk and gentle merges melodies and triumphs on all fronts. This lot are quite a Deadlamb favourite and on the back of this song it is no wonder why. The angst is restrained but apparent enough and the overall musical backdrop sweet enough without being sickly. Another previously unreleased track next called 'Countdown' by yank red lighters 'Haywire'. Hectic and just staying on the right side of coherence this is solid enough and has a good bass undercurrent that pads out the finished sound. It does seem to jerk and stutter occasionally which affects the end output but it gets by...just!

The Liberals from Malaysia mix nastiness and rusted inflection with typical punk passion as they burst lungs with 'Don't Need Your Revolution'. This shows just how far the Deadlamb arms are reaching to bring the ignorant some worldwide punkology - I for one appreciate it. It is all good stuff.. and the next band sound like a Spanish Cocksparrer in some respects as well as your usual overseas new style band. 'Vondonikens' deliver a likeable effort that has a chorus that is very familiar indeed - or am I mistaken? First Time Riot are taut to the extremes with class and quality and this is a very good song and reflects one of those UK underdog fuckers that is wasted on punters in these pathetic shores. 'Meminisse Sed Providere' is exact and cruises with punky edge and individuality - lovely! The Bullet Kings next and I am a genuine fan of this band but this is their worst song to date - I hate it. It never really gets going and the tune just grates and grates - sorry lads but the worst song of the CD and that’s fungally official. There goes my fan club membership but I hope they realise I still believe in the BK crew. Loads will disagree with these comments but come on I gotta be truthful now!

Von Boom from Sweden present us with the penultimate track entitled 'Annu En Dag', a frustrated seizure that never quite blacks out but just stays too shackled thus limiting a full all-out blitz. Not bad but the finale is impeccable as Oi noise merchants Mouthguard impress us from down under with the boozing 'Drink All Night'. A straightforward shindig and a fitting conclusion to a solid CD that gives a taste of many obscure modes of punk rock.

Deadlamb continue to plod in the murky depths where the underdog tries to swim and for me it is labels like this that we owe untold thanks to. They awake and feed our curiosity and help spread the message all over the fuckin' world. Compiling compilations is a hard task and the rewards can be frustratingly non-existent in as far as finances go but to know you are doing your bit and trying to get bands exposure is reward enough especially when it is of this standard. Like I said earlier don't judge this on one or two spins - settle into the music and then truly enjoy!



you'd be interested in seeing this V/A CD:

V/A - Lambination Vol. 3 CD $5.00

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