SPIT & SAWDUST
This compilation gives a good glimpse at the current (mostly British) punk scene. Compilations always kinda suck, because out of 20 bands you always have 15 excellent ones and 5 that spoil everything. Honestly, there's no track on this Cd that knocked me down, but, and more importantly, there is absolutely no shitty track on it, which is quite remarkable. Some of the bands sound a bit more melodic or garage, but punk-rock remains the king. The sound quality is good, the sad thing is no information on the bands is provided ! No lyrics, no photos, not even the bands' contact addresses ! Only a couple words by the labels co producing it. At a time when people download all of their music, the least the labels should do to encourage them to buy records is to make them the old way : with big booklets and at least one page per band. Anyway, I'm not gonna name all of the 23 bands, check it out for yourself you shouldn't be disappointed. (Yann)
(French) Ben voilà une
compile qui donne un bon aperçu de la scène punk – principalement
anglaise – actuelle. Les compiles, c’est toujours un peu chiant,
parce que sur 20 groupes t’en a toujours 15 très bons et 5 qui
gâchent l’ensemble. Sur celle-là, franchement, y’a aucun titre qui
m’a renversé, mais surtout, il n’y a aucune merde et c’est quand
même assez exceptionnel. Certains groupes sonnent un peu plus
mélodique ou un peu plus garage, mais le punk/punk-rock est roi. Le
son est bon. Ce qui est vraiment dommage, c’est qu’il n’y a aucune
information sur les groupes ! Ni textes, ni photos, même pas les
adresses !! Juste un petit speech des deux labels qui coproduisent.
A une heure où les gens téléchargent à tout va, la moindre des
choses pour les inciter à acheter des disques, ça serait de les
faire à l’ancienne ; avec un gros livret et une page par groupe
minimum. Enfin bref, je vais pas citer les 23 groupes, jetez-y
un œil ça m’étonnerait que vous soyez déçus. www.deadlambrecords.com (Yann)"
(DL18) - SPIT & SAWDUST
Sitting here on my holidays, thinking of how to start this review of my first compilation, and having read the inspirational "fungals having his say" piece on the inner sleeve, have decided that there is no need to say too much, as anyone who knows Dave knows what him and this cd are about, and anyone who doesn’t and is anything within the modern day punk scene, needs to.
Spit and Sawdust is a collective of bands that have been touched by the hand of Fungal Dave / Dead Lamb Records, in their determined mission to promote the underdog scene, and some of the unrecognised decent folk out there, who work relentlessly to bring us the music and keeping the music and ethics both marked in history and having a place through the future generations.
The cd itself is well presented, in a jewel case with a professionally imprinted cd label and black and white folded sleeve with the above fungal rant dressing the inside and a full track listing to the outer.
As founder of the Studs and Punks website, there are a bundle of 23 names here, some of which I have worked with myself, and others which I have seen but not had the pleasure in hearing in these early days, although all are familiar to me, which shows that they have somehow been noticed by myself, and no-doubt the same reason that this determination and effort is what gave them the recognition from Fungal Dave.
A thumping bubbling bass gets the first short sharp fix underway with a good upbeat old style punk sound from The Murderburgers that somehow reminded me of the Jags, at 1:08 a good teaser to get things underway and raise curiosity.
Arthritic Foot Soldier follows closely with a much more rocky heavy metal strumming pace. I’m really liking the great use of the strumming bass and guitar effects, and just as I am about to comment in the nicest way that they vocals are not working for me, two thirds of the way in a much more aggressive punk style vocal takes over and lifts this track. These are another band that I have "seen and not heard" and would definitely like to hear more.
Track 3 is a track from First Time Riot, Agenda 21, and returning back to the old school sound, with this sing-along chant.
Pandaz, Don’t like - One at a time a thrashing guitar, bass drum, bubble bass bring this track in, firmly residing in the Disorder / GBH type genre giving this the most hardcore track so far. This could easily have appeared on one of the older Punk and Disorderly albums. The hardcore scene does not really do it too much for me, but I do like this particular track
Track 5 brings Prairie Dugz and Lockdown, and the foots firmly tapping to this, more of a metal meets new style punk feel, with some nifty guitar work - and good, very good with the volume wound loud.
Freedom Faction are a firm favourite of Studs and Punks, and I was pleased to see this track firmly placed, with Rhiannas exclusive vocals bringing the first female front into this cd. FF have a good blend of a modern sound with an old school female finely tuned female vocal - not my favourite track from the band, but certainly one that deserves acknowledgement.
I have heard a lot of noise about 2 Sick Monkeys and seen their name all over the place, and they are a little more hardcore than I imagined with the catchy "why" although not over the top hardcore and with a lovely touch slow-down half way down, makes this the stand out as one of the best of the album, certainly for a first time listen, will definitely be chasing these guys to hear some more, as they somehow have bought a hardcore sound with something new to the arena with this political statement questioning the crazy world we currently live in - although I fear sadly no one can give a common sense answer.
The Distrakted much the same hardcore type with a shouty vocal over a GBH style solid rock type sound, a good guitar break mid-drift, a very powerful track, again picking up the thrashy metal meets hardcore punk sound, not usually my type of style, but Dave does it again and identifies the talent.
Something different with The Adjusters starting with a Johnny B Goode style riff, kicking into an aerosmith very tight professional sounding outfit, showing that at only track 9 the vast variation in styles that is "Punk"
Flat back Four, a good slow intro offering another excellent slightly longer track at 3:43. Plenty of variation in this track, again offering a metal feel with the nifty guitar work, and the catchy "If I Die Tonight" that you will definitely be singing along too, concluding with an excellent flat liner and heartbeat finale.
51st State cuts in with a twanging bass line bringing in a real catchy hardcore track leading to a bass and drum solo throughout accompanying the vocals to Hoodies.
Citizen Keyne, and Saturdays heroes, comes in nicely midway to bring this truly class band that everyone knows and loves, and a great choice of track too, offering the most catchy guitar breaks I have heard - I love this track over and over again as I did with he entire album - solid catchy sound, and this one in particular I would imagine sounds great live.
So on to The Scabs, and a screeching feedback starts things underway taking things hardcore again, not particularly anything different or that stands out but a gravel voice rambles another catchy song, and at this point I think the whole cd order has been carefully planned, throwing a nice balance of old and new skool, hardcore, modern day punk, metal - throwing everything in and scrambling it.
Churchill comes in with a more melodic sin along oi type tune the streets of fear. Again a nice slow down mid-drift much more for the sham69 type of following, a good track fairly upbeat with some good guitar work in the background, another band I feel there is a lot more to be found out about.
I have to say I was particularly looking forward to hearing the Mispelt 2.0, as these are another band I have featured on our site, and have heard such good things about from Dave and Woodstock, and know how dedicated Dunc and the band are - and I am embarrassed to say that I have not heard any of their output. But Fuck me, this is by far the best track so far, full-on from the start and a perfect blend of male / female vocals providing over a well written powerful track, as far a tracks that my ears are virginal to, this one rips the membrane wide open - Dunc watch out your are about to be heavily featured on my own site as I steal you from the fungal hands!
The Kingcrows, the subject of the first fungal underdog spotlight, and another band that no effort has been spared in trying to gain these guys recognition, and Sex Oui is a good choice from these fuckers. In my opinion these are very much in the same corner as the Damned and have quite an original sound - great bunch of guys too.
Ill Fated Riot in at 17 with Fire the Guns, and again back to the old school punk and disorderly sound, a change in pace half way into the track offers a lifeline to this one before speeding back up, a varied track that I’m not quite sure of.
Senton Bombs back in with a heavy guitar riff, and much more my scene - think up-tempo with some great guitar work, and a lovely bass line slowdown with real catchy throaty vocals - the sudden ending on this one definitely left me wanting more and hits the spot big time for the second track so far.
OK - On with the "mean" daddy of Punk (Well he is a soft twat really) - who happens to also be the nicest guy in the scene. Born to destruct and a great choice of Take, from the great album, and a track where Kat Destruct does her different style and does it well - hopefully the BTD sound will gain some more attention and will show why we work so hard to get this great band noticed - A good solid different type of punk that’s very addictive.
Most Likely to Fail, another quality offering outside of the old skool and hardcore genre, and bringing some quality music to this new scene that is developing.
Rising Strike in at 21, a much heavier track to start of, before slowing into a slipknot type track thrown into a ska jam, a very weird mix, and definitely an acquired taste - bit of a strange selection this one.
Now the 3 Black Dwarves, again a name like a few of these others, that seem to be gigging hard, and getting noticed. A heavy sound although more rock with a punk feel, again very distinctive vocals, would like to see these guys live to hear this raw sound in the flesh - definitely at the half way point change one to wind the volume up.
The cd is concluded with a track than both Fungal and Studs and Punks nominated as the record of 2009 - Stand Proud - not only for being an absolutely superb track in itself, but for being the best "rally-call" for what we as promoters and the bands as artists are working so hard for. CK are a band that to be truthful, scared me on first listen being out of my usual comfort zone - but since giving the album stand proud a chance, it has not been out of the player since.
For an album with 23 tracks I have so far enjoyed every minute, and believe me if there is one thing I have learned from Fungal is “say it like it is” - and if this was a collective of shite in my opinion - I would have to say my piece, although as it is I would probably included many of the selected tracks had I put my own compilation together, purely for the great mixture of styles, all demonstrating the vast mixture of talent that exists in our own little world, perhaps substituting a few with some work from Dun2def and One Man Stand.
The track order is carefully planned for maximum impact with the fast hard start from the Murderburgers and the Perfect end of the modern day punk anthem sandwiching a wonderful mix of what is going on out there, highlighted for me with the introduction to The Senton Bombs, Mispelt 2.0, 2 Sick Monkeys along with those that I have already discovered. Another fucking fungal finger in the air - support this cd and all that Dave represents and trust his word - you will not be disappointed!
Oi Oi Vincey Boy
SPIT & SAWDUST
There are, unfortunately, those people who profess to be as punk as fuck and yet only ever turn up to gigs in time to see the "names" from "back in the day" play.
One can't help feeling sorry for these poor souls, who, if they only stopped long enough to take their heads out of their arses and smell the real world for once they might actually realise what the fuck they have been missing all these years.
UNDER DOG PUNK is
(a) the life blood of the punk movement
(b) here, now, and happening
(c) where all these big names once started.
So! Man Up! BUY A COPY of this fine CD which showcases 23 bloody good reasons why under dog punk is worth bothering with - turn the volume to loud and feast your ears on this lot!
Glasgow based 3 piece THE MURDERBURGERS' - YOU'RE A PRICK kicks things off and it arrives a bit like opening a window on a hot summers afternoon, when in flies an angry wasp that buzzes around your head, really getting on your tits, but by the time you find a newspaper to deal with this little 'prick' its flown back out the window. 1 minute and 8 seconds that goes a long way to define the essence of punk. Excellent!
ARTHRITIC FOOT SOLDIERS from the North West, are next with ATTITUDE. The heavy bass and scratch intro set the song up nicely as it leads in to a nice simple chanty verse and then seems add a touch of harmony that wouldn't be out of place on a US TV SITCOM THEME TUNE before reverting back to the chanty verse, but wait, and then, BANG!, in comes the demonic metal sheering vocals that the opening of the song promises. I defy anyone not to at least tap your foot to this one.
FIRST TIME RIOT - AGENDA 21. This outfit from the midlands bring a touch of street to the mix with this slice of political' punk. Simple but effective drum and bass drive this song forward with a vocal delivery that hardly stops to draw breath. Honest and decent!
Proving it not just the Brits that can do this under dog stuff Belgium Hardcore Punksters PANDAZ, donate DON'T LIKE to the party. If the Murderburgers were like a single wasp, then this friends, is the WHOLE fucking nest come to seek revenge! Rasping rumbling bass, sits a top some frantic yet basic drums, distorted guitar adds the texture for the maniacal vocal to gnash and grind over.
Then it back over Hadrians Wall as the PRAIRE DUGZ give us LOCKDOWN. Pure Punk Perfection. Definitely my track of the CD so far (OK I know I am only 5 tracks in). Made from 100% pure ingredients and boy, you can taste the difference!
To prove its not just the north, or in fact the boys, that have all the fun Cambridge based FREEDOM FACTION are female fronted quartet that mixes youth with vast experience as they invite you to COME UP AND GET IT. One of the bands more 'pop' punk numbers but still a worthy addition to this already impressive collection of under dog finery. The chorus gives you a glimpse of their angstier side.
Hold the phone! 2 SICK MONKEYS - WHY. Dispelling that myth that only Honda cars come from ..Swindon.. these 2 very diseased primates grab you by the throat and give you a swift knee in the bollocks to get your attention. Heavy Metal Punk Drum n Bass style. A song that asks the eternal question WHY? ANIMAL MAGIC!(is there a track on here better than this one, more than likely so lets press on).
THE DISTRAKTED are responsible for the next musical mugging with MONSTER EATS THE PILOT. Don't worry about the title just enjoy some rather tasty full hardcore metallic punk served up by these Mancunian herberts. The singer must gargle razor blades and grit for two hours each day to keep his voice in such fine fettle.
In a move probably designed to protect us from complete aural overload we are served up some good ol' rock n roll punkiness with CAN'T SEE by THE ADJUSTERS who are 5 piece from ..Wigan.. whose sound belies their tender years.
With young bands of this quality doing the rounds, the under dog scene is safe for a year or two yet on the talent front at least. This is why its so important that we stop apathy in its tracks!
The thought provoking IF I DIE TONIGHT from Lancastrian thinking mans punk outfit FLAT BACK FOUR is next and deals with the thorny issue of depression, and does it honestly, with sensitivity and it’s a damn good song too! The bands line up may change more frequently than Beckham’s hairstyle more but the quality of their product never does.
51st STATE - HOODIES The second drum and bass punk outfit on the CD and also from the south west. This is a 100 meter sprint of a tune. From the B of Bang to the finish line it’s one breath, eyes out, arm pumping mayhem and answer to the question just how many words can you fit in to a song lasting 1:20.
We've reached the halfway stage and providing the half time entertainment are Milton Keynes finest sons CITIZEN KEYNE with SATURDAYS HEROES a song about the sport of the masses for the masses. Terrace chant chorus lines delivered to perfection. In fact the whole song is a master class of street punk with oi pretentions. It is also the first of two tracks by the band on this compilation. If you thought this was good, wait 'til you hear the other one. NO!! WAIT!!!
THE SCABS a Cumbrian Hard Core Punk 4 piece bring us the light and fluffy (not) SEXUAL DEVIANT as it tells its tale of unpleasantness. Nuthin fancy,nuthin flash, just solid, first rate punk.
Flyin’ the Flag for the Oi Boyz, CHURCHILL - STREETS OF FEAR. When something is as good as this, the product can stand by itself and needs no help from the likes of me. Enjoy!
The second of three female fronted bands on this CD MISPELT 2.0 are a phenomenal band. I say female fronted its almost dual vocals between that hyperactive vixen GEN, and DUNC (bass). FOXTROT OSCAR is an absolute treasure of a song and gives a decent glimpse of what this band are all about. It’s almost as tiring listening to them as watching them play live!
Intro of the album has got to go THE KINGCROWS - SEX OUI with its waltz time fair ground sounding beginning and then the band launch in to a very catchy piece of rock n roll based punk. This ..Leeds.. based GLAM PUNK ROCK have a few miles on the clock between them and that experience shows in this highly polished jewel of a track.
ILL FATED RIOT brings us
FIRE THE GUNS. Full on, balls out, hardcore, garage, punk neatly sums up what the band are about but that is to gloss over the rest of it, take a listen to this track and listen to the changes in style and tempo and how expertly they knit together. This isn't a case of,’oh lets stick a bit of ska in the bridge’, it’s there because it works and needs to be there. Listen a few times and you'll find something new each time. Clever!
Blackpool may be famous for its Tower, Ballroom and scabby donkeys, but ladies and gentlemen please be upstanding for THE SENTON BOMBS. One of those bands that cross the divide between metal and punk with ease and can delight both audiences. JERSEY DOLLS is a demonstration of some fine grungy rock n roll with driving drum beats, thumping bass line, fret melting guitar and awesome (note the first use of this word in this review) vocal delivery.
The last of our trio of our female fronted punk bands BORN TO DESTRUCT present us with TAKE, as we enter the final furlong on this fine release. An excellent example of pop punk and one that proves having a female 'singer' can work. Fun, catchy, and definitely worth TAK(E)ing home!
MOST LIKELY TO FAIL is the one thing this ..Doncaster.. based band will never do. One of the finest bands on the punk circuit and this offering KILLING TIME (ALT VERSION) backs this up. Another song that needs little help from me! Just listen!
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE DARK AGES is the request from metal punk ska-sters RISING STRIKE. Switches between full on metal and more laid back ska rhythms intelligently and the vocal delivery is full on and in your face. Nice!
3 BLACK DWARFS are a youthful and rather talented quartet and FIGHT BACK is a good representation of what the boys can produce. Plenty of the angst of the ‘angry young men’ of their generation is on display in this song. A dark roasted, bitter, nugget of angst filled punk! Magic!
I don't care how hackneyed the phrase SAVE THE BEST TIL LAST is because although the 22 songs before it can stand on their own two feet and are excellent examples of the breadth and depth of this genre called punk, the SAS BONUS PICK and the second CITIZEN KEYNE offering STAND PROUD is 24 KARAT PUNK. The ultimate anthem of the under dog punk scene. The tenet of the song is timeless and it could have been written in any of the four decades spanned by punk. Magnificent! (If you think this is good on CD you have to hear it live as that’s when the song really comes to life!)
So my lord’s, ladies and gentleman, there you have it, my review of one of the best compilation albums I have ever listened to. A CD that celebrates the fantastic wealth of talent the under dog scene has to offer and full explanation of why you need to get of your arse and get yourself to gig and support bands like these!
Fungal Dave and the team at Deadlamb records, I reckon you've got a winner here!
Respectfully Submitted By
A Man Called Moose