'Direct Action Animal Rights'
(?) CD Autumn 2001
JJ has done himself proud here collecting a massive 21 bands from all over the shop. 'Direct Action Animal Rights' gives us a broad selection and interesting mix to drive this Animal Rights benefit CD home. Veteran ranters Riot/Clone kick off the proceedings in true Anarcho tradition with their by now familiar rants, that are given an extra edge with duel vocals. A band alright in small doses. Kismet HC are getting better each time I hear em! They've really improved on this track 'A Storm In Paradise' which is protest with tunes. Something that's always gonna further the cause, great duel vocals too. JJ plays guitar in the next outfit Active Slaughter. They're the newest North London protest band (about 4 months old) and they hold their own with the Conflict inspired foot n mouth rant 'My Foot In Your Mouth'. Should hear a lot more from these soon! Thank god this ain't all Anarcho by death polemics coz there is some comic input by Cabbage core pioneers Chineapple Punks. They steam in with a cheeky riffy track made good with a clever whistling 'Streets of London' pastiche. Big guns Conflict make their presence felt next with their eagerly awaited 21st century 45 'Now You Put Your Foot In Your Mouth'. They've still got that well thought out trashy guitar riff with a piss taking sneer by Colin applied with lots of clever editing and completed with a choir. Colin's vocals are still angry but not quite so convincing these days, still pretty good though. Crucified Venus have an early 80's feel done from an American perspective on 'Blood Pervert', and comes with a suprisingly good guitar solo. Brilliant Sins come from a totally different angle to any band on this compilation. They literally blew me away here in Wolfenstein. They're without a shadow of doubt the best band on here with their laid back, r'n'b standout track 'Fur Is Dead'. Instead of taking the angry approach that the majority of bands on here have, they come at the animal rights question via a very clever addictive way. They use some very, very smart lyrics all topped off by a singer and guitarist who can really give em a potentially wide screen audience. It's bands like this that could really reach the straight world and charts with their message. Back to reality with a bump, Somebody And The Somethings have a great name but an atrocious out of tune singer on their tinny effort. Great to hear Vice Squad again if only to satisfy my curiosity about their new rock sound. Well all the rumours are true but I gotta admit this is a lot better than I expected. Although Beki's screechy strangled rock vocals ain't half as captivating as her earlier style, she still gives good head as far as animals are concerned. Their track 'Breeders' has a sinister riff and is another highlight. Chester seem fucking lost without their rolly poly ex-singer and come over really fucking wank in comparison. Red Flag 77 seem in strange company on this album but diversity is punks biggest factor, or it should be. Well they give us a good effort on the questioning 'Why Do You Do It'. Dunno?...better ask...Dog On A Rope who sound a lot more lively on 'Let's Get Ronnie' as our favorite child molester gets strung up by his yellow boot laces and kicked in the goolies no doubt! Feedback is one of my punk rock turn on's, so when it ushers in Stress I was all gooey eyed and cooing. But that soon stopped coz all I got was stressed out as that strangled horrible vocal kicked in. No wonder the cunts "screaming bloody murder" coz I'd be committing murder if I had to sit through an album of Stress. Sons Of Liberty come out the traps with the angriest vocals on here, done with an Irish brogue to give it extra panache. However it was all to no avail coz this track suffers from an inferior low-fi production. More Paddies on the tray next, this time from Brum. Dogshit Sandwich' who ain't half as exciting on record as they are on stage go for the jugular on 'Unfit For Human consumption'. Ruidoactivo all the way from the exotic sounding Miranda De Ebro in sunny Spain, give us a manic paced hardcore attack with hilarious duel vocals one of whom reminds me of Speedy Gonzalez "ribaa ribaa!". A Collectiv own a great distorted guitar sound pity the plodding rhythm section ain't too together coz a tighter sound and a less drunk vocal would've give em a lot more impact. Old Scarborough recluses Active Minds introduce us to a promising textbook anarchist intro. I was just about to refrain from some putdown when they go and spoil it all with a late 90's muddy thrashout...get back in ya fucking penthouse scum! Mundomatadero are more Spaniards, all the way from the Basque country (wolf whistle). They are called in from the mountains by a chiming bell as dinners is served on their scary but atmospheric 'Slaughterhouse World' track. However the stylish intro is soon lost as they burst into a basic street punk run-around broadcast with Latino female vocals. 17 Stitches from London sound a lot better in a studio than in a live setting, but still a band who've never really lived up to the name. They do give us well played powerful hardcore with a big American influence on their anti-Blair song 'Thorn In Your Side'. And finally bringing up the rear on this monster collection is Ostracized from South London who spare us any death throes with a 20 second blast of 'McMurder King' tee hee. 'Direct Action Animal Rights' comes with some impressive artwork by Laura Norder and Jake from Active Slaughter plus a sheet telling you some valid reasons why animal testing is bang outta order. The only 2 things missing from this collection was Bug Central and a lyric sheet to really soak up the hate. Still definitely WORTH A LISTEN and your attention! So e-email JJ@londonpunks.co.uk to order a copy or see www.londonpunks.co.uk
MORE REVIEWS ADDED SOON
VOICE OF A GENERATION
(053-2) CD November 2001
Voice Of A Generation from Sweden, are named after Blitz, the early 80's UK mobs debut album, but sadly this eclectic collection of covers, counter covers, perversions and schitzophrenia ain't nothing like Blitz. First of the 7 tracks is the Antiseen cover of 'People Like You' giving a nod to the record label. I liked it's laid-back, sleazy sounding swagger, with the oddly alluring gruff vocal that conjures up visions of a Jim Henderson puppet doing life, and was about the best track of the bunch.. They then change tempo and sound completely with a couple of high energy Dropkick Murphy's inspired rockers, but without the tunes. 'Baseball bat' was well in your face. The Discharge cover of State Violence/ State Control' was pretty pointless as the vocals are never gonna get close to the original with a Jack Russell in the recording booth instead of Stokes number one personficiation of dread, and the amplification on a low setting is always a no no. How come no-one ever covers 'De-control' by far their best song and a more tempting offer for us all? 'Twentyfourseven' was more like it, but again those strangled vocals and dumbo gang choruses don't really fill me with glee. 'Get Some More' was probably the best original track with lots of raw energy, but with yet another style to contend with I got bored very easily. I think this band needs to see a shrink and sort out it's personality crisis coz I was REALLY lost and confused by the time Johnny Cash came on?
'Unorganised Chaos' (disc00) CD 2001
A lot of the bands on here were either brand new to me or didn't look too exciting on paper. So it was good to be introduced and proved wrong on some tracks. 'Unorganised Chaos' kicks off with the hilarious sound bite - "My friend what are you doing?...You wanna know, I'm gonna kill ya bastard!!!!!"! 'Intro' by Mafia Vs Ninja. The actual track is a fucking funny piss-take too. Aimed at I suspect all those hard knuckled gangsta rappers and skanksters. It swoops in with an addictive sinister skanking organ and those spooky wailing sounds you hear on Scooby Doo cartoons. First time I'd actually heard Kismet HC from Stoke, who are fast in your face duel vocaled hardcore done in an angry, ranty energetic kinda way. The tracks called 'Consume' by the way. Lightyear are also new to the Wolf's Lair sound system and now I know why. They play calypso styled Ska punk that I have absolutely nothin in common with now or then, but they manage to riff it up on the chorus and the crazy ending was funny. Dun2Def are your more traditional punk rock and this track 'Earnest Endeavour' shows em in a better light than on their pedestrian debut EP. I like the subterranean riffy production. Late 90's 'right on' kings of the UK punk polemics, Dog On A Rope give us their 'What Are We Waiting For' which isn't their best track off their debut LP. And I gotta admit this band seem stuck way back in the 90's which ain't a good sign. W.O.R.M. sound just like Dog On A Rope on the opening guitar intro but power into a rant about 'Shitty Scenes'. I always feel their vocals are too restricted, they just rattle off the lyrics which gives em a 'going through the motions' feel. Homebrew pour us their best track to date with 'Vic's Alright' . It's an every day tale of subterfuge, romance, greed and parasitic values straight from the streets of Harrogate.... streetpunk lives on Ha! Four Letter Word are another band who I've never heard before on record. They spit out a good, no messin attack on 'Unsung'. The angry vocals are direct to the point with a fierce tight guitar sound. Dogwalker scurry in with a jangling indie guitar sound and a big (dare I say it?) Phil Spector drum beat. Pretty novel move and it's a track that powers into a good riffing monster. Pity the weak vocals don't give it more depth, coz if they had more impact this would've been really good. Autonomists sound like early 80's protest punk in their snappy guitar riffing, but again the weak vocals (especially on the higher notes) let it down. FDK were a big surprise for me. Their slow unique skanking track 'Steven' has some great cheesy American vocals. But I suspect this is more of a piss-taker than an influence. The funny lyrics all about identity were great. I especially loved the addictive play school kinda guitar sound. This is followed by more good Ska!!! God!!!!!....am I slowly turning into Aaron Beatup!!! Well whatever, this time it's done in a more traditional way by the exceptional Mighty Snorting Powder Rangers. They are totally new to me but won me over care of the outstanding female vocalist who displayed enough raunch and character to punk it up in all the right places and give the backing track some clout. The songs called 'Shit Happens' and it's true! Joe Ninety who are a name well known on the UK hardcore scene bring to us pretty much what I was expecting from a million other outfits playing this sort of stuff. Strait forward pop punk done with emotional vocals that don't do much for me emotionally at all. Fucking hell whats this? Didn't expect my old mate Rob Filth to turn up on here with his other band the thrashy Ostracized. Not quite as extreme as T.B.A.C. and nowhere near as nasty to catch your attention, seems pretty fucking tame to me. So what the fucks wrong Rob?....I told ya not to compromise!!! Vehicle Derek have an absolutely fucking dire name and they seem to have an unhealthy fascination with Kenneth William's et all, giving the 'Carry On' films a nod, but that was about it. The Jones, keeping up the boring names style are more Americanized bullshit with emo lyrics and a sound that's done a million times by a million bands, comes also with a third rate dubby Rut feel. Annalise all the way from Exeter are another band I ain't too familiar with on record, but every time I've heard em they give a good show. On 'Too Much Music Too Many Bands' they supply some interesting views on the different scenes, delivered with a powerful mid-paced punk sound that threatened impact. Dog On A Rope close things with a cloned cover of the Pogues 'Dirty Old Town'. Do I smell a tribute in the Leeds air? On the whole 'Unorganized Chaos' shines a spotlight on a good slice of the UK punk scene covering most corners and with 18 tracks is worth a listen and anyone's £3.00. WORTH A LISTEN Disclocate Records
(prank045) CD 2001
Now here's a band on the verge of rock theatre. I can imagine Burst who come from...yeah you guessed it Sweden playing in torch lit dungeons, armed in leather and chain mail tunics with long haired bearded conquistadors sword fighting to this soundtrack. Burst are a million miles away from the punk I was dragged up on and they belong in a metal mag like Kerrang! To really justify this 10 tracker I need to grow me hair, discover air guitar, flog my punk and get me Iron Maiden's back catalogue! Coz to me this just ain't punk and is outta place for sure on my grimy phlegm covered old fashioned PUNK ROCK site. I'm sure Ken Prank would've sussed this when he sent it for review, but oh well you can't blame the geezer for trying to open my blinkered double vision. I've read the reviews of 'punk' in metal mags and they nearly always get it wrong so I'll see what damage I can do here. I like the powerful guitars but hate the acoustic dabblings. And that lead vocalist HUH! He even roars when he's supposed to be whispering in that 'heard it all before' manner. So that's basically what this album is all about from my ignorant (but to be frank I'm very glad I am!) perspective. If the roars were adapted to a more snarly, snottier attack then this could be a lot better, but for now this is metal pirouetting on a grand fucking scale and is pretty fuckin 'grim' listening to my tattooed ear. You gotta give Ken Prank his due though, coz he's gone for different genres on his releases but I need something a lot more real to get me jumping around the room. PLASTIC
'The Glamour Of Backwardness'
(diS001) Autumn 2001
The first Antibodies release of the millennium and despite the phoenix like rise from their inevitable '99 ashes and the none 'Abbey Road' quality that a 4 track porta studio allows (particularly on the vocals), 'The Glamour Of Backwardness' is still reason enough to check out this highly recommended punk band. For what's lacking in production sheen, they more than make up for in gut feeling and rabid angst. The Antibodies were never ones to hide from the truth and on here they throw it in our faces without time to take a breather. They embody frustration and the empty promises of 21st century English life to the max. This 18 track CD is a warts 'n' all back to basics 'take us as you find us' defiant, jagged outcrop of guitar, bass and drums. Which is especially scathing on songs like 'Spastilkkk' and it's no holds barred attack on the plastic society. I particularly like the way this song slows down into the resigned "no I don't believe in you" refrain before heading off back into a guitar frenzy. Antibodies own a very raw, dry sensa yuma, which is put over effectively by Pete Doff's gunpowder dry, course vocals. A style which has enough snotty spite in it to give you the feeling he's half taking the piss, which he probably is. But if your ever in doubt you can always take a gander at the fold out lyric poster to point you exactly to what's pissin em off in Harlow these days. Drummer and long serving collaborator Ian 'Warlock Murray, supply's the flexible drum beats and backing vocals that propel Pete's 'peeeeeeed-off' cut 'n' paste rants. Rants that are fueled by guitar flange and bass bombing. They excel best in their full out attacks or pointing things out like on the tongue in cheek 'Wot Happen'.... "Wot happen to - Barbarella" indeed? They create a very English sound which is original and rare in today's UK/Americanised punk scene. The Antibodies are totally homegrown from the overspill of London and it comes across no more so than in one of their best tracks 'England's Attocities' with that PIL bass intro and those sneering putdowns. The English are still the best at slagging ourselves off! These Harlow heretics seem to have an unhealthy interest in the handicapped if their song titles are a dip stick. But songs like 'Special Needs' are a play on words. And this ones really good in a bad sort of way. It's got doses of feedback and atmospheric backing vocals ready to smother ya with obscure lines like 'I go off just like a car bomb, I don't know where I went wrong...I've got, I've got special needs". Another favourite whipping post gets covered on probably their most commercial track 'Concrete Cancer', which is all about their hometown hamlet called Harlow. They take great glee as they shoot it down in flames..... it's terminal!. 'Viva Shoplifter' is another track to check out with some good moody guitar riffs which slice open the credit card debauchery. You can really smell the Epileptics influences with the subject matter and with hindsight is no bad thing. Coz like nearby neighbours the Antibodies, the Epileptics were (before transforming into Flux) another great band that never seemed to get the breaks..."don't forget the breaks!!!!" (snigger) We get a couple of diverse covers to end this glamour ride round the dingy world of UK Satellite towns. And Jimmy Cliffs - 'Harder They Come' and the Small Faces - 'Lazy Sunday' are systematically infected by the Antibodies. At the end of the day I'm always left wondering what if these ever got themselves into a 24 track studio and let leash these songs to full impact? Then I think we'd be seeing and hearing a lot more from the concrete shopping malls of Harlow. WORTH A LISTEN £5.00 from 74 Little Grove Field, Harlow, Essex, CM19 4BX, England or Antibodies