Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Clusterfuck of Bands - A Fistful Of Rock N Roll Vol 13, Part 2 & 3
Steel Cage

My band/house budstar Kurt Dirt mentioned the other day about being disillusioned with punk. Fair enough (or maybe he'd heard me blasting The Dangerous Aces album next door too often) but it transpires it put a spark in my itinerant subconscious p'raps to test that theory, especially as it coincided with me digging out rekkids from bygone days & danger ways in a long delayed spurt of hypermanic activity. I discovered this beast grimacing at me from the 'to do' piles that Steel Cage sent me ages ago (apologies, guys) and did stick it in my ailing stereotonic system, initially with the intention of giving it a desultory spin before shovelling it on a passing shelf in a great quest for tidiness through sobriety, but the grin as the grit ground out the speakers meant that anyhoop hop pop it's been on pretty much constantly the last few days, for it surely is a treat of sonic splutterings to make putrid soup of the secret service disinformation campaign that sees Dead Weather, The Black Keys & numberless nameless pop-punk whimperers keeping the sleeveless Knievel, evil colonel & whiskey wimmins stuff like this in the trenches. But it's always thus, huh? With an all seeing eye searching out the incandescent from the seething swamps of trashtowns for your glistening pleasure, there's almost no trace of any misfirings, blanks or non-starters & a voracious amount of rippling energy & drooling, drawling door splintering raw power & Runaway Radio Birdman influenced rawk is here just about ready to explode in your face - much of which seems to be shared between the charred larynxes of Aussie The Dead Set, Dutch devils on toxic detours Peter Pan Speedrock and New Yorkers The Compulsions - while waiting for you to plug in then turn on ya baby. Alongside notables of the calibre of Japan's sake-crazed Thee Michelle Gun Elephant* (Smokin Billy which their accents render cutely as 'Biwwrweee'), The Makers with Too Many Fuckers On The Street (from ROCK STAR GOD, one of the greatest slabs of rock muscles flexing ever), Therapy? (the list of demands from an alien landing on Rock You Monkeys), PPSR** and Danko Jones there's arcane classics from Midnight Rapture, The Kamikazes, (whose respective turns Deliver Me & Time For Rock N Roll are two stand-outs you should volunteer to have secreted indiscreetly 'pon your soul) Firestone (awe-slaking disembowelling stoner sludge with ultra-slut stripping bass), the jump-for-joy Joan Jett Joan Jett on a Lydia Lunch flinging pants-blaster of Patti Rhodes & The Mystery Kids, The Coma-Tones slack-jawed sleaze, Lofreq's evil 'DC, and hellbilly stoner skronk of Chapstick, recalling the glories of Cretin 66. High voltage, Hi-watt, High octane & so on all day & all night this'll really get ya good & gone. CD1 outwieghs its pardner, though punching through the ceiling comes the Amps 11 Eleven's broiling in a bullpen cowboy ruck of Sabbath's Hole In The Sky & Overkill & the ever mighty-monikered Crank County Daredevils and Secret Squirrel Society. All in all it's still a resolutely star-toasting Sunday slut service.
Stu Gibson
*Thee Michelle Gun Elephant
**Peter Pan Speedrock
Dead Brothers - 5th Sin-Phonie
Voodoo Rhythm

A more than welcome return to the frayed edges of menace and decadence with no refrain for the disembodied eternal wake of Matthias Lincke and Alain Croubalian. They themselves call it Delinquent Jazz, which is an adequate enticement to decant this Pandora's frock full of enchantments. Exotic Odyssey contains a line about 'toxic rhumba' - both terms which also may suffice and let little slivers of light into their open-plan big store of secret charms, cobwebs, grimoires, cookbooks for crackpots, dissections and anatomical defects too drastic even for the Hunterian Museum*. Whatever it is this is a macabre descent into fantastical grotesque fields of fancy like stepping over a crack in the pavement and finding yourself navigating winding hilltop passes where you sense you're being watched and wisps of these songs are carried on the breeze. Or are they voices from the ridge beyond you luring you perilously close to crevices that may be the end of the path or a gap in your mind you have a strange desire to plummet down like some sacred fruit of instinct? This is cross-continental music of the mountains fusing pilgrim gospel, gypsy jigs and grimly gripping and uplifting death dirges with snake-charm waltzes, chamber-group orchestrations and sinister Deutsche language incantations (Langenthal) that will resurrect shadows in your complacency when least expected. Oh and surreptitious covers of Bela Lugosi's Dead and Teenage Kicks that go beyond any insinuations of novelty by benefitting greatly from the cello-led cortege supplied by these waiters of the wastelands.
Stu Gibson
*Hunterian Museum
Th Legendary Shack Shakers - Agri . dustrial
Colonel Knowledge / Thirty Tigers

'It's a full-time gig eatin' sin-on-the-cob' - Sin Eater

'Nothing here grows but grey hairs in our coffins' - The Lost Cause

Fittingly entitled little number as this new state of the damned nation from glowering inferno Colonel J.D. Wilkes and crew immerse their already incendiary slurry of haunted Southern hillbilly cow'n'tree barrage into pricklier hedges and sledgehammer it with heavier, darker broadsides courtesy of two-pronged scheme of new git-tar heister Duane Denison of Jesus Lizard and Tomahawk and their sampling of scrapyard desecration (well, a blacksmith's yard) to use as per(con?)cussion. Tis a combination spawning a worthy harvest, despite its claustrophobic aura and tendency to merge into one morass as it hurtles around the edges of a stricken society. LAND OF RAPE AND HONEY it ain't, nor does it surpass the bazookabilly glee and system shock of debut COCKADOODLEDON'T, but tracks such as, Sin Eater, Two Tickets, Dixie Iron Fist, the spoken word recounting of murders hot off the press The Hills Of Hell and glorious church service waltz of The Lost Cause all serve to construct a short, stark, scathing testament to darkening times. Ploughing history and allegory more than say Dead Kennedy's direct political swipes and satire it nevertheless stands as a staunch express courier service of provocation with the likes of Steve Earle, Henry Rollins and fan Jello Biaffra.

'Well, the Law is like sausage; they both are great
But nobody wants to see how either get made' - Nightride

Stu Gibson
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