SNOTTYNESS... Punk Rock Classic - World Contender - Worth A Listen - Average - Plastic - No Future
The Face Of England (cd001) CD 2002
This is the follow up to 1999''s impressive 'Introducing...The Pits' debut! So they had a hard act to follow and it's been a long time coming. The band still have an American 45 in the pipeline, but managerial apathy seen em disappear out of view for way too long before taking full advantage of their first major foray into the punk scene. So with the band gigging and itching to release new product, they were understandably in the Pits of despair (sorry lads couldn't resist that one) and rightly so. If you wanna job doing well, do it yerself so they say! And they certainly have took matters into their own hands and released this slick 12 tracker on their own Government Records label. 'The Face Of England' is a very professional package in ultra minimal sleeve design, but comes with that much sort after compressed production, that gives it edge! This band has musical pedigree in every department, powerful drumming, booming bass work and a guitarist with power chords on tap! Although singer Jerome Dagg don't seem to be in his usual snidey top form this session, there ain't really an obvious weak link amongst em! But that really smooth sound or the fact that the songs are a lot more polished than the last output has it's moments. The Pits have well and truly grown up in sound and delivery on this album, and for some this might be a bit too tame? They kick off on a high though, with the mid paced 'Nauseaville', that comes complete with sickening trimmings and enough rolling "R's" from Mr Dagg to satisfy the rotters crowd a treat. 'Belief In Ruins' maintains the momentum as they swap the swagger for a fully compressed riff, and a big chorus. 'Future shock' despite some clever guitar work from Ian Jackson, relies way too much on a phony sounding chanty chorus to move the song along. Backing vocals on this album either work great or sound alarmingly fake!!! It's surprising how such a suppossedly non-priority sound such as back-ups can effect a song. But believe me it does. Coz lets face it the best yobbo chorus masters like Cook 'n' Jones, who had the 'yob' and swagger in equal amounts, give the Pistols songs that extra something when Rotten took a break or got the push. Typically the Pits make me put my foot back in my mouth as 'Marxman' follows up next which is still as poppy as they come but straight on target, with it's big beefy chorus, that boasts some very decent backup vocals this time. If this is a track that signals the bands progression then it's a very good sign! 'Human Beings' slinks in with a great sinister guitar riff straight outta Mr Jones repertoire. It comes coated with those by now familiar cryptic spitting Dagg'isms, and probably his best snotty effort on here. The rock 'n' roll rifferama of 'I'm A Slum' is another great ballsy track that was let down badly yet again by those piss weak backing vocals. It's positively criminal to make a word like 'Slum' sound like a Thomas Cook holiday in the Sun. 'Your Violence Is Sinister' gives us a sneaky Stranglers influence on Jacko's cheeky, but well timed 'Goodbye Toulouse' licks. A song which made me search out 'Rattus' for the millionth time. 'It's Not OK UK' goes off into new unexplored territory for these Sunderland vets, as it's heartfelt vocal intro that sounds like a rhyming contest (snigger) ushers in it's arrival. This song comes with a lot of ideas put into practice which actually work well and gives this band an edge on their more mundane comptemporaries hanging around punks circle line. Talking of which their anti-London track 'London Kills me' brings us a grimy, gritty tale of street life in the metropolis, and was one of my faves with it's bleak realistic lyrics like "girl you just turned 15, and you've never been kissed, you know it's far from pleasant, and now your just a peasant in the piss!" And if that ain't all, the addictive chorus complete with (this time) very well used backing vocals "Yeah, yeah, yeah London Kills Me!", has gotta be heard as it drags yer down to the underground, faster than the pickpockets and drug dealers in Kings Cross, during a Vine St. swoop! Finally the epic title track 'The Face Of England' brings the band into the realm of soundtracks with it's big atmospheric vibe. And it also contains one of the best bass solos I've heard in a long while from Pits resident barracuda, Tony Lindstedt. He plays this track out accompanied with chiming guitars and that even bigger drum sound supplied by Craig Casson. The Pits have recently completed a 15 date UK tour of these British isles to promote this, and I hear they got a good reception. So it's working in a live context and this is definitely a good follow up and well WORTH A LISTEN! But for me just not quite as memorable as their highly recommended debut. THE PITS
'In My Bedroom'
(Mp3.com) CD May 2002
One the great unsung outfits based in the current LA punk scene. The Brilliant Sins made an impressive impact last year with the animal rights anthem, 'Fur Is Dead' on the 'Direct Action Animal Rights' CD. And I'm sure they won over some new fans with their token putdown and a sound so different to all the other bands on that compilation. This band are fresh, uncompromising and above all...addictive to fuck! It's that lasting impression which made me wanna check em out further. However when this 9 track CD arrived last month, and I eagerly put it in the slot, first impressions wasn't too good! Indeed the knockout punch hadn't happened so feeling let down, I thought maybe I'd missed something? Glad I perservered coz after a few more plays slowly but surely this set of songs creeps up on you like some ill gotten temptation you know you shouldn't commit!!! Yeah it's that bad maaaan! 'In My Bedroom' is now on constant rotation for the foreseeable future, or until I go to confession. So once you do get into this (and you will) you'll hear what I'm on about ha! This debut thankfully don't point to one hit wonders, although a few tracks just don't have the seductive feel of 'Fur Is Dead', but this is a cleverly produced and very sly piece of work. These West Hollywood Sinners slowly seduce you with creative songs and smart ideas. By the 13th roll of the dice you'll be sucked into the sexy dynamic world of the Brilliant Sins for sure, unless your totally devout! The main moral benders in this band are Kim Andrew, the platinum blonde Welsh seductress, who has enough poison in her vocal delivery to keep any man on his toes. She plots and schemes the downfall of lovers, abusers and weirdo's with not one ounce of mercy. Kim is backed to the hilt by her co-conspirator and fellow Welshman, Darren Edwards, the guitar wizard. This geezer must've sold his soul to the devil on numerous occasions, coz he's one hell of a musician. How many miscreants do you know who play bass, drums and guitar with ease without it sounding out of step or clumsy? He provides the sulphur burning in the veins of the Brilliant Sins music (for live soirees friends are drafted in). They state they don't like computers or high tech toys and deploy real sounds! They also give off a snotty air of conceit for us lesser mortals, which is OK by me coz they put their money where their mouth is by producing good punk rock. This album is a great testament to Kim's panache and Darren's dexterity, but I somehow think it may hinder him for future recordings, coz outside input however minor is always good in a live band. But who knows, this deadly duo's done alright so far. 'Sucker'...."My honeys dead two minutes silence if you please!" is a mid paced attack on everything phony and contrived that the media darlings desire us to see or be. As Kim's vocals reach a climax, she goes off into high pitched vengeance as guitars crash against each other, good opener. 'Fur Is Dead' their 2001 classic comes next, and I detect a slightly less powerful mix this time around? But whatever raunch it lacks from it's original, you still have got to hear it, as it's the best animal rights protest song I've heard since the days of Crass. And to eradicate confusion, It's performed in a totally different way to most of the Anarcho set who spew rhetoric at us. The Sins clever use of observant, snotty lyrics bite deep. I like the way the lyrics are put over on this album. They're extremely sarcy, sometimes cryptic, but done with enough spite and black humour to keep the most radical punker enthralled. The next two tracks were pretty average by the Sinners standards, but still have a load more going for em than yer average punk rock combo on the streets today. 'Everyone's a Winner' is a rhythmic stroll through the world of cryptic, seedy relationships. Miss Andrews is like a purring cat but with her claws out, as the semi spoken intro opens up and dismembers 'Headcase'. It's a good song but some of those melodramatic lyrics were a bit too overblown for me..."I'll steal your heart and tear it asunder"...but they make up for it with lines like..."I'm a teenage desire and I smell like the gutter"...yeahhhh!. They return to their rampant sinning ways with another humorous stunner... 'Id Rather Be A Porn Star', which was written about Kim's friend...god help her enemies!!! This slashing guitar based tune that lists everything that's wrong with the young Hollywood manufactured babes and more is good. So good it's been picked up for the soundtrack of a new movie called appropriately 'Nudity Acquired'. So they're reaching a wider audience already. 'She's A killer' boasts a murderous chorus with crashing guitars, and the atmosphere is heightened as the riffs duck 'n' dive on through. This is followed by my current favourite track of the album the 4.45 minute epic of 'Wishing You Dead'. A great slice of love 'n' hate 'n' revenge 'n' death!!! Kim's haunting rustic vocals are at their best on this one as it comes pistol packed by that great guitar riff which builds up into a massive crescendo that bores a hole in your brain and will stick in your mind till the priest or the police arrives. This is the kinda track that keeps you dangling right up till the very end, till we get what we've all been waiting for, yeah those highly addictive vocal/guitar duels 'la la la...yeah yeah'. I just wish she'd have given us one more run through before she holds that lonnnnnggg last note. But that's what's good about this band, they leave you wanting more which can only mean greater things. 'Wishing You Dead' could be a James Bond movie intro, it's another slow brooding classic! Once we've recovered and Kim's got her breath back we get 'Lets Get Together' which gives us some of the bands other influences, as we go into dream sequence with more guitar workouts. I couldn't see the iffy Zeppelin or Who influences I read about in the press release, just good rock 'n' roll. Last track 'Weirdo' is the longest song on here, and is a no holds barred piss take of all the pierced, tattooed, dressed in black clowns who seem to make up the more blacker part of the MTV scene. "Think I'm cool wearing black, but the truth is I'm fat....I'm a weirdo"..comes with some scary vocal distortions too. Morrisey fans won't be Amused. Summing up...a fucking good debut and highly recommended! If your punk rock tastes require more than just pedestrian 3 chord screams about beer 'n' anarchy then check these out. US CONTENDER!
'A Tribute To Clichés'
(promo002-2) CD February 2002
The Revolvers are in keeping with the current Deutschland penchant for powerful, raw Dollsy inspired punk rock 'n' roll. And as the CD title says, this is definitely a tribute to clichés. Can't say I've heard these German glamsters before, and this is their second full length. The Revolvers have managed to harness a compressed production here, which I like a lot, and the sound is definitely good quality. Although this posey, 'glam punk' thaang might tempt some punks out the bar, I found it hard to take without a smirk on my face. They come across as a bit fake, you can tell it's all an act if you know what I mean? And bands in eyeliner with Dogs D'Amour fixations just don't do it for me. They do have ex- Public Toy members in the lineup which was my only punk hint, so all is not lost. And like the Brilliant Sins, this 13 song album needs further investigation to really let the songs sink in. 'A Tribute To Clichés' don't really kick off till the second track, 'Yesterdays Fools'. Whih bears a distinctive Ramonesque riff and complete with those backing vocals that sound hilarious.This is a band who use the duel vocal swap over well, but they ain't by any means the Clash. One singers butch 'n' average and the other one has a distinctive quivering girlie vocal, that besides a snigger, gives em a bit of character, like on their catchy 'Realize' track. The guitars on this album are up in the air and kicking big style, just a pity the structures ain't more memorable. I bet they can create a good racket on the live front though? I noticed a Buzzcocks influence creeping in on some of the guitar workouts, but with added power gives em edge. 'A Tribute To Clichés' has all the ammo to shoot down an anthem in it's tracks, but it just don't wanna happen till track 11 - 'Ain't Got No Sense'. This is one of the few tunes that stands out. It's got a happy go lucky feel, with those snotty lyrics..."a time to communicate, a time to be shrewd, a time to liberate, a time to be rude", which really ups the anti towards the end of the song. I was a bit disappointed in the slow-mo intro of 'I sent You A Rock star Postcard from LA', which was branded on the promo sheet as "one great adrenalised blast!" which was definitely pushing it. Just how any bunch of punks can brag about meeting Marilyn Manson and Slash is beyond me?!! However despite it's wayward start it really did turn into a good rowdy riff. They close their makeup case with the acoustically challenging, violin soaked, piano tinged 'Rock N Roll Is Dead', which really shows us their glammy boots are well and truly entrenched in rock ballads. AVERAGE!
'This Time For Real...' 45 March 2002
Now this is what you call Punk Rock in the 21st century....passion, tunes, atmosphere and above all songs that are fresh and memorable. The Bips have risen from the ashes of Love Kills and reformed from their earlier existence back in the 80's/90s. Lead singer and original member Jozzy says the band never went away, but with only sporadic appearances in their Native Netherlands over the last decade and unstable lineups left em very quiet indeed! So for all our sakes I'm glad they're back and this EP 'This Time For Real' couldn't have been better worded. With it's 4 energetic realistic punk tunes that grab you by the neck and chuck you round the squat, this attractive punk package is 100% adrenaline soaked punk done by a band that are hungry....you can tell!!! Jozzy lead singer/guitar reminds me of a dutch Big Al from the highly underrated Cult Maniax in his vocal style. And anyone who's heard Cult Maniax will know what I mean. Every punk band needs a singer with style and originality and Jozzy is definitely the dynamo behind the Bips new lease of life. And that ain't all, coz he's backed with a band who know their stuff with just as much commitment coming particularly from the great young guitarist called Buz who's put the fuzz back into punk. Jozzy's long time girlfriend the outspoken Barbie (read her columns) sure plays a mean bass driven rhythm section accompanied by the Nijmegen giant on drums and original member of the Squats, Bock. He's bought some of the punk rock 'n' roll back into the band which is dominant of their sound. The Bips bring us that classic chant inspired punk rock in all the right places like on the passionate "Your Only Real, when you show what you feel" along with a juicy punk riff. I love the production on this EP too, is got a transistorized feel, but with enough clarity to add that much needed power to the tracks. It also gives us that special atmosphere that only certain bands manage to capture in a studio. 100 cans of beer and two days recording show us exactly what this dutch mob are capable of. They're tight, they're smart and they give us songs very cleverly constructed, that'll leave you with the remnants running through your head for days. An angry yell of "Mother fuckers the Victory is mine' hollers in the arrival of 'The Victory is mine' which is slightly less impressive than it's predecessor, but more upbeat. All the lyrics are delivered in English which makes life so much easier for us lazy uncultured cunts. Flip it over and 'Never Understand' kicks off side two with it's chugging guitar intro but the song don't really kick in till that brilliantly addictive chorus comes sailing through the speakers and you get a tingle down the back of your neck!!! Not many songs do that these days!!! They end proceedings with a cover of fellow Dutch punk pioneers The Squats, and their 1981 hit 'Chaos in Nijmegen' which I'd personally never heard before but it's a fucking great introduction.You can see why bands like the Casualties etc. formed in the first place with it's brilliant simplistic chaotic gang chorus's that'll have mass singing in the cellars at the gigs in no time at all. This band take all the best influences of the past 25 years of punk and deliver it with their own brand and score a hit, big time!!!! The Bips show us how punk should be played and with the threat of tours I can't wait to check these out in a live situation. Comes in a great cover with a band biog. America hold your breath coz these are worth more than all the stale regroupings and sideshow acts that are currently trying fool ya!!!! Yeah 'this time for real'...real punk for the real punks!!!!
(Demo Tape January 2002)
Just had this 5-track demo tape in from one of my favourite Scottish punk bands of the 90's...Sad Society. I thought they'd hung up their tartan sporrans for the duration, but apparently not, and they're back with a vengeance after a lengthy silence. A handful of blistering punk jumps out the speakers and straight away the energy hits ya, this sounds their best stuff to date. The 'Spacegun' fiasco is first down the ramp and is a full throttle attack on the senses, with an obscenely clean production in the 'Bollocks' tradition. Whoever produced this has done his job. The strong anti-American theme continues with "Hello Mr Bush!!" and 'No More US Laws', which is a mid paced anthemic snidey attack on the USA war policy and probably their most powerful track amongst many. It's even got an Exploited "Fuck the USA" chorus, but done with a lot more style than their near neighbours. How come Edinburgh punks hate the USA so much? Must be a Scottish thing??? Well bang goes the Epitaph contract! So sentiments aside, this is a band who leave the music to do the talking. They've captured their unique big sound with powerful slashing power chords at the ready, a strong drummer (ala Paul Cook style) and a bass sound which adds that humming prowling undercurrent that so many bands miss in the final mix. Deek's classically trained (as in punk rock) vocals are still here, which wraps up this bands sound perfectly. The sinister 'Suits' is a sonic attack on the "super human beings" who run big business with a great addictive chorus. As you'll have guessed by now, Deek (the singer) is the only original member I can identify for certain, as he sent the demo with no band info. Pity, coz good guitarists are hard to come by and this band has one at their disposable. And along with that wall of sound production shows that classic punk rock can be produced on a shoestring budget if you got enough suss. 'Horror show' comes at us with a chanting chorus followed up with a great riff, but loses it's way somewhat on the verse which was the only minor glitch on this demo session. If you like yer punk with power and tunes and enough snot not be become too aqainted for the easily pleased, you'll fucking love this. Think of US Chaos rolled into the Pistols via Edinburgh and you'll be close. Suprisingly even Sad Society are partial to some yanks as the final track and subject matter 'Ed Wood' is given genius status by Deek, which I suspect is a secret hero of the singer. One thing this demo proves beyond doubt that there's still potentially classic punk rock lurking out there today, just waiting to spit in your eye. Worthy of your attention? defnitely and a great intro to the newer curious punks out there who wanna taste good punk rock like momma used make. Alas without no label backing they're destined to lie unheard of in their Clermiston ghettos so c'mon labels do your fucking job and get this out to a decent audience now. SCOTTISH CONTENDER. Write to Deek Wilson 29 Durar Drive, Clermiston, Edinburgh, EH4 7HW, Scotland UK
'UNDERGROUND....' CD Spring 2002
I got this at a gig in Brum during one of my more drunken episodes? It comes in a thick, glossy black 'n' white wrap around sleeve poster. And features info and lyrics on all of the 7 international noise merchants on show. It's kindly bought to us via FCR Records which is Steve of Ripping Thrash fanzines label, and 2 more local labels from the Stoke area, namely Chincave and the amusingly named Fek Records. First out the furnace are Eggraid, who are a 'Fek' band and bring us that all too familiar thrashy death knell. It arrives in the form of raspy vocals above a pseudo Discharge, stop/start guitar riff. They sing about the 'New Deal' and poisonous gas emissions on our planet, which is applaudable, but totally wasted by the moronic, bland method in which they deploy it. Next up is Existench all the way from Halifax, Nova Scotia in the Canadian wasteland no doubt. So this crew don't need an excuse to sound demented, as they dish out much of the same, except this time the guttural grunts are from a lower decibel and secreted from the bowls instead of intestine. They too have some pretty good lyrics, but even with a lyric sheet you need a satellite tracking system to translate what's being regurgitated. Melee hail from Boston, USA and are actually the first band for 12 tracks to attempt a bit of singing, all be it in a less exasperated whooooaarrggh fashion. They even have song structures too...shock horror! Sadly they're the only band who ain't got lyrics present, but they got a good sound and can create some big riffs when they wanna. As they chant merrily 'Melee Thrash Attack' my favourite had to be 'Our Legacy Is A Load Of Crap' tee hee, I love the song titles on here. Kakistocracy are up next, and I've heard nothing but majestic praise on these crusties from the impressive Old School Or No School webzine. Alas I was disappointed big time with the transistorized sound. They do provide 3 angry memorable songs with 'Slogans' being the best and they got their fair share of notable riffs to cough up, but a lot of these bands on here lack power in the final production. This THRASHY branch of punk needs power badly to achieve that monster sound, otherwise it sounds fuckin lame. Nabla reign in Serbia,Yougolsavia. They sing in their native Draconian tongue and luckily for us it does have an English translation sheet. Nabla are the only band on here so far without a registered thrash inc. equity card, which was a welcome diversion. I've heard a lot better and a lot worse, but being different didn't hide the fact they were lightweight in comparison and pretty bland. Selkkaus from Finland were a big surprise, they come across as a good time punk outfit with the infectious 'Prole Power' sung in English as their best number. They do have optimistic feel and no overtly political axe to grind, but I could be very wrong as they sing the rest of their set in Finnish. I like these best coz they've got tunes and a bit more power in the production than their more demonic comptemporaries. They end with the impressive 'Marx, Kristus, Saatana' which has some great lead breaks that needed more exposure. Lastly Acao Direta who come all the way from Sao Paola, Brazil. They tempt us with more tunes, but are let down with another tinny production and low guitar volume.They cover Doom's 'Phobia For Change' which sounds impressive in print and has a good riff on record. Well this ain't the best collection but turned out a lot better than I first anticipated, still too hit or miss for my poppy tastes though. AVERAGE Available for £2.00 from PO Box 152, Burton On Trent, DE14 1XX, England or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rippingthrash.com
'Mulletstation' EP 45 January 2002
In total contrast to Active Slaughter I can really see this being on playlist rotation for the Profane Existence feminist collective. 'Child Mulletstation' (snigger) has gotta be a massive in-joke amongst the Redwood City, CA shopping malls and local high school punkeroos. Coz that's where the anonymous Wifebeaters reside. I was looking forward to this EP, not coz I brandish a baseball bat to my bitch of a wife or black my girlfriends eye coz she won't gimme beer money. No the real draw is coz the whole photostated package looks bad enough to be good. And blood red vinyl is always an alluring colour, although Black 'n' Blue (geddit?) wax is also on offer, if your that way inclined. Along with a blatantly offensive (if you ain't gotta sensa yuma) lyric insert and the humourous artwork, you even get your very own Wifebeaters temporary tattoo and sticker ha! So ten outta ten for novelty value boys. But all the clever innuendo and marketing of these Wifebeating misogynist's falls flat on it's rat arsed face once the music staggers in. Fackin 'ell the god damn music!!!! The Wifebeaters make the kind of noize that straights playing at being punk would conjure up! It's that bad. Even the piss taking song titles like 'Make me a Sandwich' or 'Red Neck Militia' weren't enough to save em from a slap around the bar. As soon as the funny intros are dispatched, all we are left with is 4 tracks of really badly recorded, ham fisted, transistorized interpretations of what the local Sheriff probably thinks is punk rock. I mean even the drums 'n' bass are so nonexistent in the mix it's like someone's stuck a tape recorder in front of two gorilla's with all of one chord and an unconvincing gruff vocal between em fighting for our attention, and the volume control. However at a push and by some massive divine intervention they actually do manage to play one song together on the last track called 'Rent-A-C.O.P.S.' Which is a skanking parody on some US TV cop Show, but that was really giving em credit!!! This is probably the sort of record MRR would warn us about in their letters pages, but you know what?, MRR would be right for once, coz the plodding, moronic music is the only threat to our well being, not the message. If only the obvious black humour was matched by decent song structures, then these women hating, Schlitz drinking rednecks (which I doubt they really are?) would've been worth your attention, instead of their select few Homo's and UK reviewers like me. On final analysis this EP seems such a waste, with other more worthy bands out there like Sad Society, who'd take these to the cleaners. So maybe a Wifebeating record label is your destiny lads? coz your good at presenting a record...so next time try and get some rehearsals in before pressing the 'record' button.
Packaging: WORTH A LOOK....
Product: NO FUTURE.
$3.00 (US) $5.00 (Outside US)
The Wifebeaters, PO BOX 5192, Redwood City, CA, 94063,USA.
'Smash H.L.S.' (Advance)
CD-EP January 2002
The chilling intro of Animals screaming in agony really rams home the debut from this new Tottenham punk band....it coldly straps you down as their best song to date bounds out via the ultra catchy 'Smash H.L.S.'. This is the kinda song punks and A.L.F. saboteurs alike will be chanting all round the country no doubt. It's their Animal Rights call to arms, and you can understand their fury at the Human Life Sciences establishment that this song is aimed at, especially if the previous heinous intro is anything to by. Active Slaughter certainly ain't here to hold our sweaty hands or pet the spotty dweebs on the head as they go through another teenage crisis. No way, this band is here strictly to show you the devious sideshow of our loverly corrupt government and shove our faces in the shit that they create. And what's so good about em is they don't produce the usual ranty, transistorized punk you'd expect from their almost familiar band name. No, these angry bastards have a lot of influences in their non-cosmetic make-up, which is good for all our sakes and ultimately theirs. Their brand of Street protest is activated via a singer who sounds like he means business in that classic pissed off North London delivery. And he's backed up with petrol bombs ablazing by a powerfully competent rhythm section who supply the rhythmic sulphur, as Hans Solo our axe wielding merchant lets rip a beefy (whoops a daisy) sounding guitar riff that chucks the profanities around the speaker. And guess what...not one 'solo' in sight!!! Next up is 'Phase' which has a snifter of Rancid in it's semi-spoken opening as Princess Liar (the singer) spits out the "going down the punk rock show..." They then shine a spotlight in the faces of the rich middle class punks that only seem to converge on the London scene these days. The sneaky bass driven 'Big A Little a' pastiche of "too many arseholes in the punk rock scene" was a nice move too. 'Fuck Off M.O.D.' is a Clash City Rocker with a skanking guitar attack on Britain's Ministry of Defence which was good, but could've been even better with a more streamlined lyrical delivery. Coz if anything, Active Slaughters biggest disadvantage to date is they got so much to say, they lose it big time with way too much dialogue in the songs. Some clever edits in rehearsal would make these songs so much more tight and direct. Errr did someone say Direct Action?... 'Section 60' is a full steam ahead jump around the police barricades. It signals time for the 'Mets' retribution squad to be put through the gauntlet, but was probably the weakest track on here, with just a predictable typical yobbo attack. They finish off on a high with their debut recording from last year that is still one their best songs...'My Foot in Your Mouth'. A song written about last years Foot and Mouth crisis which pokes holes through the Governments fuck ups at every given turn. On the whole 'Smash H.L.S.' ain't quite the classic the band led me to believe, but it's definitely a good debut and from a band whose grown up in the public eye shows they can only get better at what they do so well....attack! WORTH A LISTEN. The official release comes with a generous foldout lyric poster, sticker, badge and a fucking zine too!!! So say no more guvnor....see Active Slaughter
(Advanced EP) CD March 2002
Having heard Hotwired's earlier diabolical demo 'Friday Night' I was expecting another joke. And to be quite honest was wondering why Sado the bassplayer keeps sending me stuff to slag off? But against all the odds they've actually got themselves into a proper studio with a decent engineer who ain't totally deaf or wasted on the draw. And despite initial fears come up with 4 newly recorded tracks for their soon come EP. Although Hotwired have still gotta long way to go before they come close to creating classic punk rock, this advanced set is a major leap forwards for this bunch of piss heads. They at least manage to grab some pride back for themselves in the Norfuck punk quadrant with some reasonable tunes to show their mates. 'It's Only Punk Rock' gets the ball rolling with a mid paced guitar riff that is sold to the natives by their elder statesman of the local punk scene, Smeg! Smeg definitely ain't the best singer in the world, but if you've gotta sensa yuma (and believe me with these cunts you need one) you'll see why they got him in the hot seat. The bass driven 'Scum' is where Hotwired get all serious and caring as it attacks nonces, lowlife and any other dirty cunt who breaks the rules of the street. Not exactly Crass or Dead Kennedy's in the venom stakes and delivery, but the sentiments are admirable. There's still that stench of 'demo' emanatting from this offering, but they're at least having a go and can only get better with more studio time, rehearsals and gigs instead of bar time, we hope! 'Friday Night' gets another outing and is actually listenable this time around, even though Smegs monotone vocals take some serious bribary to take on board. We even get a guitar solo which has a Buzzcocks (circa Boredom) feel.And last but by no means least is?....oh so that's what the last track 'Thassa Rumun' is all about! They had me scratching my Wolvo cranium for a few seconds as I tried to figure out what that title track actually meant? Norfuck slang is nearly as cryptic as Lower Gornal, and it's spoken accoustic intro sounds like Worzel Gummidge in the potting shed knocking a round off Aunt Sally..."have you gotta light boy?" This quaint track will no doubt delight the Americans tourists amongst us before speeding off into the police cells where it truly belongs. On the whole this was a lot more like it, so If you like yer punk done in a typical early 80's UK mould then you'll go for these more than i would maybe? I doubt very much Hotwired are all that bothered who likes em, just as long as they can still hit the bars. And even though this is yer AVERAGE! punk, it's a massive improvement, believe me. www.hotwired.btinternet.co.uk