Friday, April 03, 2009

Suck 'n' Swallow
Boss Tuneage

Celebrating their quarter century of quart sucking, sick-touching under the rather restrained heading 25 years 25 songs, more like 25 songs about girls, sly gropes and impromptu groanings set to grisly, endearingly naff but deceptively uplifting (yeahhaha) surf-thrash of beer spray and bbq sauce smears, these Aussie purveyors of dork ogling nork songs and half-assed fizz-cum-psychocandy sugar pop are definitely a Hard-On to go home with. Insert any sneaky japes about staying power anywhere around but every home should have one. Or more. Leonard Cohen would disapprove sagely or otherwise from the corner, but with this in your greasy mitts you’ll do whatever it takes to sate your slavish fetish for thrill-seeking splutter-punk a la Ramones meets early Mudhoney before it got all streamlined into non-sticky Green Day, Blink 182 trite tripe. Stu Gibson


Though heading out down acoustic trails South Carolinian post-grungers Noxious here utilize the same streamlined approach as their earlier amplified clunking grunge-groaning groove-work (Broken and Fish Bowl feature from previous Revilutia) and it's difficult to see if this'll kick back any further stools at the bright, air-conditioned bar, or remain a curio in the hardcore's archives. It immediately springs images like Extreme swaying on chairs doing More Than Words and, slay me for cliche-whoring, but the fabled looseness of their native south has passed these boyos far by on some other bayous. At it’s best as on the western wail and radiator grill harmonica’s of Fresh Veins and the pensive Long Hard Road recall Bon Jovi’s Blaze Of Glory west-winning schlock, which may say all you need and more, and the Black Crowes tinges on Wake Up Call infer inviting new vistas, should they loosen up further and shimmy away from the hard rock stamp that remains the main constraint on this admirable, though overly earnest, endeavour. With Pearl Jam pretensions streaming to the fore alongside the much touted Alice In Chains and Soundgarden resemblances, this is too much of an altogether even flow affair, lacking truly inspiring overturning of rocks or rolling away of stones, no matter how it might seem to break the chains as on cinematic donkey-plod of brooding Destructist with it’s shimmery strings and triumphal trumpets, it’s all too redolent of a dream montage flashing vague signs that blurrily suggest inspiration but send the voyager down the same stretch of road of perspiration. Fans will disagree but it stays in the stodgy land of sub-standard grunge with non of the splendour Smashing Pumpkins, say, managed to sprinkle over the genre, and for all the apparent impassioned soul-searching they’re still screaming at the impassive skies. Stu Gibson

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