Thursday, January 29, 2009

Viking Skull - Doom, Gloom, Heartache and Whiskey


Viking Skull
Doom, Gloom, Heartache and Whiskey
Powerage

When the group is called Viking Skull and the album Doom, Gloom, Heartache and Whiskey, the review practically writes itself. I mean, really, whaddaya think you’re going to get here – Carpenters covers? These UK bastards play heads-down, bloody, testosteronic hard rock - no more, no less. Channeling an obviously thorough knowledge of 70s and 80s metal, warlord Roddy Stone (a dead ringer vocally for Antiseen’s Jeff Clayton) leads this biker gang of a band through nine rampaging fight-starters. In For the Kill, Hair of the Dog and Start a War have enough riffs, momentum and general antagonism to make Lemmy lose sleep. 19 Swords takes on the NWOBHM (a wave that never subsided, it seems to me) for a classic track to inspire the invading hordes. The album ends with a real oddity, the piano barroom singalong Drink, but since the chorus is Gonna drink ‘til I shit my pants, it still sits squarely in the middle of Stone’s metal god worldview. From bloody invasion to alcoholic oblivion, loudly – good times, good times.

- Michael Toland
Burndowns
Burndowns
Big Neck

From the Virginia label’s dirty-seamed cuffs and collars of scabrously unsettling skronk comes this short nine-track kneecap-scraping knuckle-fuck on a slab of plastic delectably thick enough to use as several manhole covers for all those street-punk bands that get so easily lost in their own woahs. Howling outta Pittsburgh this goofy grease-paper punk’n’growl isn’t quite so wound-salting as a lot of other Big Neck achilles tendon snappers but it revels suitably in it’s own filth of brutally short baseball bat beating boogie like Nothing Better To Do and Get It Right, stage diving off tables onto empty dance-floors and burning down those rambling grouches for grimacing good times amongst the stale beer, cider sediment and gloating at their own losing n’ self-loathing. Limited to 500 copies, get it down yer neck.
Stu Gibson
Henry Fiat's Open Sore
Mondo Blotto
Alien Snatch

‘Cocaine improves your tennis…’ - Cocaine

First album in five years from these entertainingly sceptic spastic ewok wank scene Swedes with delicious Devo absurdities, sublime suburban dork insights, ridiculous savant Dwarves-isms, subliminal Stupids-truisms and such a B-52’s rush you almost forget Cindy and Katie ain’t there, as they’re been seen to by The Dead Milkmen with the flight-path defying chaos and fortitude of Radio Birdman. Maybe it depends on how cute you think having Don Wanna, Frank E Male and Instead of a Hug alongside the eponymous Sir Henry Fiat is but if that tickles you then songs titled I Rock, I Love My Voice, Faster Phil Spector Kill Kill, Keep Your Unit Trim and Death To False Mongos will convince you of it’s gloriously erratic genius before it’s even out the sleeve. Idiotic but never inane. If ever a case were needed to burn down garages, send stifling skate punk shite crashing into a skip full of alligators like Iggy and Stiv in a scrum for speed-drilled sex whilst sicking up all over those pretentious social commentary slogan-sloppers, then here it is, like a seeping wound that you’ll keep scraping till it forms a big scar but not till you’ve let it slither over the soiled n’ sundry of your immediate circle... A gaping wound secreting songs for stinking and slovenly everyday termites that sure is one pretty gash. As they say Ask Me (I Know Everything). Raise your fist, smell and smile. Anyone for tennis?
Stu Gibson
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