Monday, August 10, 2009

Beat Motel Issue #9 Reviews

Buy Beat Motel at www.beatmotel.co.uk

Applecore #12.5
NOWT for 10 Copied A6 pages
This is one of Henry’s inbetweeny editions of Applecore, and the entirety of this issue is taken up with a tour diary, nice one! If you’ve toured you’ll comiserate, if you’ve never toured then you’ll probably be put off for life!
Henry, PO BOX 2647, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 3LF

Barbies Dead #25
50p for 14 A4 copied pages
Alex is back, and he’s mildly miffed! It seems some zines with large page counts have been picking on him because if the size of his zine. Well there’s no pleasing some people, in fact here at Beat Motel we gave up entirely on trying to please anyone, in fact I’m not sure we ever gave a fuck! In this issue zinester Alex has written notes in the margins, which gives the zine the air of a punk rock crib sheet! I love the rants as always, the rant about shite furniture made me laugh out loud! The tale of Alex mashing up another Post Office van is pure class. There seems to be more football related stuff in here which means nowt to me, but then (as the joke goes) I’m from Ipswich so I don’t understand football!
Alex, The Woodhouse, Gunnislake, Cornwall, PL18 9BW

Call & Response #3/ orga{ni}sm #3
$4 for 42 Printed A5 pages
A kinda split with itself, both sides of this zine are created by the same zinester, one Gianni Simone. As is often the way with great zines the zinester is in fact something of an interesting enigma himself, an Italian living in Japan putting out a zine with an American cover price, written in better English than most English people I know! Both zines are focussed very much on Japan and its culture/ traditions/ downright oddness in the eyes of Westerners. My favourite side was orga{ni}sm, which in the words of Gianni himself is, “cheerful huh?!?”. orga{ni}sm examines the Japanese ‘justice’ system, which is remarkable in itself, taking punitive punishment and discipline to a level totally unheard of in the UK. The snide slightly bitter toned critique of city centre police stations is worth the cover price alone. I found both sides of this zine (both with a prison theme) utterly gripping, whether you’re interested in Japan or not this stands up as a ‘must have’ zine in it’s own right. If nothing else it’s inspired me to use quotation marks more than I ever have before! Er, that last bit made more sense in my head!
Gianni Simone, 3-3-23 Nagatsuta Midori-ku Yokohama-shi, 226-0027 Kanagawa-ken, JAPAN

Candy or Medicine #3
$1 for 18 A6 Printed Pages
Itty bitty illustration showcase type zine from the US of A. I also got send an even smaller edition that was made of ‘free comic day’, which has a particularly freaky strip about the very comic itself being given away on ‘Free Comic Day’, er, you’d probably have to read this zine for this to make sense! As with all illustration/ comic zines there’s something for all tastes. If you like comic strips that don’t make a lick of sense then there’s something here for you, if you like obvious child-like humour then there’s something for you. If you like comic strips about aliens giving Elves enemas then maybe you ought to look elsewhere. If a big comic is like having a Cappuccino, then ‘Candy or Medicine’ is very much an Espresso.
www.candyormedicine.com

Cascade #5
50p for 6 copied A4 pages
Now I’m going to have to start this review with a slight caveat, this zine makes me laugh, and I mean really laugh, but I’m very much laughing with the zinester and not at her! I’m also laughing my ass off because I get a great deal of purile enjoyment out of toilet humour, and Cascade is basically a zine about the author taking great (and oh boy, do I ever mean GREAT) pleasure in pissing herself. There’s always something in this zine that makes me laugh out loud, and this time zinester Caz has outdone herself. Top tales this time include Caz going into shops, trying on new clothes in the changing rooms, pissing in them then putting them back on the rack and the tale of doing much the same thing in bed shops! Oh, and if Caz knocks on your door asking to use your loo for the love of god don’t let her in! The whole zine is packed with brilliant little limericks that had me howling with laughter! Frankly astounding stuff, the very essence of why zines need to exist, keep it Caroline, you fucking rock, you urine soaked hussy! Oh I nearly forgot, in the readers letters bits there’s a confession from none other than Luke from Ont Road/ Waterintobeer, as for what he confesses to, well you’ll have to get a copy of Cascade to find out!
Caz M-W, 54 The Avenue, Wivenhoe, Colchester, Essex, CO7 9AH
(I can’t believe she doesn’t have a P.O Box!)

Flat Four Zine #8
10p for a nicely folder A4 sheet
Itty bitty zine from one of the most creatively active flats in the UK. Itty bitty articles include beatboxing, coverage of the ‘Stitch ‘n’ Bitch’ day in London, stuff about charity shop finds and an indispensible guide to swearing at people in Icelandic.
Flat four, 14 Torrington Park, London, N12 9SS

Go.Get.Fucked/ Work Work
£1.50 for 48 A5 copied pages
The last time I reviewed this zine I wasn’t too sure about it, but the more I read of it the more I ‘get it’. Go.Get.Fucked is a selection of shorts bits of observational humorous prose. There’s no particular theme, but it also kinda ties in and makes sense is a very fucked up kinda way. The titles in this issue are genius, some of my favourites include ‘shit about planes, Slut is just a nice way of saying irresponsible, Bums for Oil and The Consise guide to god’. The last is of course followed up by ‘The Consise Guide to Humans! This issue of Go.Get.Fucked is worth buying just for the intro pages, they are the most piss and vinegar and hillarious I’ve ever seen!
The Work Work side of the split is much the same thing, albeit appearing to be a lot more fiction based. This is a keeper.
In stock at CornDog Publishing

Gran Peligro #5/ Chaotiks Revenge #5
£? for 30 A5 copied pages
Proving that things in zineworld move at a pretty relaxed pace, this issue of Gran Peligro has a review of Beat Motel #2 in it! I’m really pleased to see this zine from the far East is still going, the zinester’s passion for zines is nothing short of remarkable, in fact the majority of this issue is taken up with zine reviews, great!
Chaotiks Revenge is a cheery southern USA crust/ street punk zine that could quite easily have been put together in London in 1979. Considering just how international this split zine is it’s great to see an interview with our favourite zinester from the Isle of Skye Roddy Ploppy Pants interviewed. In fact they appear to be such big fans of Mr Pants that they interview him twice in this issue!
www.myspace.com/granpeligrozine

Issue #39
50p for 16 A4 copied pages
Wa-hoo! Neil’s perfected his art! There’s just something about this edition of the local zine for the local scene (Baskingstoke) that lifts it above previous issues. Not that there was every anything wrong with the live reviews, trillions of photos and cheery well informed chat in previous issues, it’s just he’s really nailed his art in this one. Well recommended!
Neil Duncan, 25 Sarum Hill, Basingstoke, Hants, RG21 8SS

Morgenmuffel #17
80p for 32 Printed A5 pages
Yay, getting a new issue of Morgenmuffel is a little like winning on the premium bonds, just when you’re expecting the postman to deliver another slew of bills and boring crap, totally out of the blue comes another little bundle of papery toon joy! I think it’s zinester Isy’s comprehensive rejection of tinterweb communications that adds to this joy, with most other zines by the time they arrive I’ve had a FaceBook poke from them, an newsletter email, a personal email, a MySpace bulletin, a MySpace comment on my profile, a MySpace personal message and maybe even a text message about it, with Morgenmuffel there’s nothing for months then BOOF, there it is! Actually I’m regretting the premium bonds comparison now, it’s a bit vauge, but then I am writing this very early morning (11.23am). If you’ve never read this zine then quite frankly where the fuck have you been? But if you happen to have just landed from another planet or ten years solitary confinement here’s Morgenmuffel in five words; sassy, illustrated, angry, cute, explorative.
As I leaf through older copies of this zine I can really see how Isy’s style has been developing over the years. I hope it’s not a patronising thing for me to say, but in this new issue she’s suddenly really looking like she does in real life! Her grasp of perspective is remarkable, both in retelling tales, and in a more literal sense with her artwork. This issue covers further adventures of the Anarchist Teapot, an American travelog (chucking up on a plane, poor lass) and some random lists, in fact there’s even some lists from me that I have no recollection of writing! Indulge me for a moment as I revel in some very deep zine-geekery, on page 22 Shawn from Portland is wearing a tee-shirt made by Carrie of ‘You Don’t Get There From Here’ zine! There’s also an illustrated guide to the menstrual cycle and a handy picture dictionary on the back page sharing with us some cool German words like ‘Schamgegend’, which is a German word for your lady-garden, literally meaning ‘shame lips!’ Another corker of an issue and a definite keeper, this issue is written with so much gusto I can’t see Isy ever quitting this zine, well hopefully that’s the case!
Isy, PO BOX 74, Brighton, BN1 4ZQ
www.morgenmuffel.co.uk (brand new, you can download free zines and read back issues online!).

My Friend Simon #1
£1 for 34 A5 copied pages
It’s quite clear that I dearly love zines, in fact I love zines like Giant Haystsacks loved the smell of Big Daddy’s armpits but it’s not often a zine comes along that totally floors me. ‘My Friend Simon’ is written by my mate Linz, the lass from oop North that designed the CornDog Publishing logo. She’s been threatening to put out her own zine for ages, and I’ve been looking forward to it for ages! I don’t think this is her main zine, that’s a paranormal jobby she flogs at gigs, this is more a collection of sketches and toons drawn at gigs and on tour. Humourwise it’s definitely along the lines of Morgenmuffel, nicely spliced with the cheery good nature of zines like ‘Drink The Sunshine’ and ‘Foffle’. It’s undoubtedly about our common friend Simon, but there’s also bits about other characters in Linz’s life, including the Daihatsu Hi-jet her and her lad Ed live in! I dearly love this zine, when I read the work of illustrators like Steve Larder of ‘Rum Lad’ I always found myself staring into space wishing someone in Ipswich would document their life in a similar way, and Linz has more than filled that whole in my life! You’ll laugh, you’ll frown, you’ll make the mistake of looking up ‘Yiffing’ on YouTube. By god, you need this zine!
Linz lives in a van, if you are desperate to get in touch email me at Beat Motel and I’ll pass on your details!

Now or Never #13
£2.50 for 48 A4 Printed Pages
Recently making the swtich from newsprint to magazine format localish (Narrridge) zine Now Or Never fills a void left by the demise of ‘Reason to Believe’, only it’s ok to be something other than 100% right-on and not feel like a cunt reading this zine. I’ve never read such a full on anarcho zine and actually laughed out loud before! It’s basically a newspaper full of interesting and well written articles, with HUMOUR! Plenty of useful tips too, I love it!
PO Box 487, Norwich, Norfolk, NR5 8WE
www.nowornever.org.uk

On’T Road #11
£1 for 40 A5 Footprinted Pages
I’m going to debunk something about this zine right away, this is in fact issue #1 but zinester Luke was involved in putting out TEN issues of the great ‘Waterintobeer’, and as his strong style is still very much evident in this new title it seems only fair to name it number 11! So now that ramble is done with let’s get on with the review. I’ve been meaning to put out a zine like this for a long time, quite often my favourite part of a zine is a tour diary and this is like one huge tour diary! I’ve always relished the travel writing Marv did in Gadgie. On’t Road is a fine mix of both styles, as someone who loves travel writing, reading this Zine was like gorging on a huge cake! I’m actually writing this bit of the review half way through reading the zine, I wanted to get my thoughts down while they were still fresh! This zine has a really strong personality, right down to the reviews section (they only review vinyl). There are no zine reviews, but in the intro Luke gives us a pretty neat rundown of what’s about at the moment.

*Goes off to read rest of zine while missus is watching gardeners world on iPlayer*

The real meat of this zine (to use a football analogy, which is rare for me) comes in the second half. Luke’s explorations around Europe are quite frankly fucking remarkable. He has the confidence to do things in foreign countries that I wouldn’t have the guts to do on my own doorstep! If travel broadens the mind this zinester must have a cerebellum broader than the Grand Canyon! If I had to make a criticism, I’d say Luke skips along at a bit of a hasty pace; his writing is more on ‘The Hobbit’ side of things rather then ‘The Silmarillion’ side of things, my reading tastes sit somewhere in the middle, like ‘Lord of the Rings’, my god, where the fuck did that analogy come from? What I’m trying to say is that sometimes the travel reports come across as a bit of a tease, you’ll be reading something cheery then he’ll let slip that he’s on the run from the police through a Budapest forest, my god, I had to pause the film my wife was watching to drag her into the excitement! But BOOM, he just sits about a bit and then goes to visit a mate, surely there’s more mileage to be had here? But then what the fuck do I know, I already look up to this guy as if he’s a thousand feet tall and I’m a flea just for his adventurous spirit, I might even go so far as to blush a little and declare him as something of a role model! If my future planned travel writings are 10% as fascinating as the ones contained in this zine I’ll die a happy man. I’m known to gush about zines I really love and this is no exception! Right, fuck sitting here writing a long review, I want to get back to reading, this is a definite keeper! If you want to get in touch with Luke do it through his MySpace as he’s always on the go!
www.myspace.com/positivebastard


R*E*P*E*A*T #29
NOWT For one folded A4 sheet
Showing us all that size isn’t everything zinester Rosey has gone from the biggest zine in the UK to probably the smallest. But my god does he ever cram a ton ‘o’ stuff into each tiny issue, and the font isn’t even that small, there’s some sort of black magic at work here if you ask me! I loved reading a NEW list of rules for being in a band, I especially ‘LOLed’ at “The committee couldn’t care less if you are working class so you should probably stop twatting on about it before you are forced to include ‘Doing the Lambeth Walk’ on every album you ever make!’
Rosey, PO BOX 438, Cambridge, CB4 1FX
www.repeatfanzine.co.uk

SKULLCRUSHERHENDERSON The Zine formally known as: “my friend Simon”.
£1 for 40 A5 copied pages
Quite often the back story behind a zine can be a big part of what makes it so great, so here’s a little back story about SKULLCRUSHERHENDERSON for you; I really loved zinester Linz’s last ‘My Friend Simon’ zine so I was really keen to get hold of ten copies of her new zine for my zine distro. I was dead chuffed when I got a text from Linz to let me know she was down at staples copying her new issue, so I decided to meet her and her fella Ed down there as I had a present for them. One of my clients was chucking out something that has inestimable value to DIY zinesters, a saddleback stapler! Sadly in the real world these awesome devices very much have a value, and cost between forty and fifty quid, I guess that’s why so many zines arrive at Beat Motel HQ unstapled! I drove down to staples in our itty bitty Daihatsu Hi-Jet, if you don’t know what a Hi-Jet is then cast your mind back to the wee van Matthew Corbet drove for Sooty, yup it’s one of them, a slightly modernised version of the Bedford Rascal! It just so happens Ed and Linz have the exact same van, and I derived a surprisingly giddy amount of pleasure from seeing them side by side in the Staples car parked up like a couple of dirty white sore thumbs! I decided to treat Ed and Linz to some staples and was dead chuffed to find some pink ones, perfect! I then joined Ed and Linz in their tiny little van as they laid out this issue, I was in the back of the van stapling together my ten copies, it really was one of the coolest zine things I’ve ever done! If you’ve never seen any of Linz’s work before think along the lines of comic, with angular characters with far less than angular personalities and pastimes. I can’t rave enough about this zine, mainly because it’s time for my tea and I have to go now!
Linz and her chap kinda live in their Hi-Jet so if you want to get in touch best email her – mybrains@hotmail.co.uk


Space Times
50p for 12 A6 printed pages
From the creative supernova that is Flat Four Zine, this zine focusses very much on the cut and paste aspect of er, cut and paste zines. It will make sense when you read it for yourself! This zine is space themed and nicely showcases the zinester’s sense of humour with things like a list of what’s hot and what’s not for aliens!
Flat four, 14 Torrington Park, London, N12 9SS

Poor But Happy; a guide to low budget living #2
NOWT for a folded A4 copied sheet
Holy fuck I love this zine! I’ve read a whole shite load of zines about being poor and saving cash by bin diving and whatnot but this is maybe the first that doesn’t feel like I’m preached to, and also doesn’t make me feel like the worst and most evil man alive for daring to rape the environment by using bog roll! There’s a healthy slice of humour to this newsletter/ zine, as well as some genuinely new information. Much like ‘You Can’t Say No To Hope’ zine there’s also a practical side to ‘Poor but Happy’, this issue gives us a recipe for flapjacks among many other hints. There’s also some socio-political commentary, this time about the fucking scum that run Starbu**s. Wa-hoo, I love writing reviews after a glass of wine!
20 Rochdale Way, London, SE8 4LY
thriftnerd@yahoo.co.uk

Wrong Way Round Punk Zine
£1 for 50 A5 Printed Pages + DVD
If pritt stick cut and paste zines symbolise the old order of zine style, then Wrong Way Round may well symbolise a new breed of zine design. Each interview or column has it’s own writer, but also it’s own designer! The result is a shit hot looking zine, that has a genuinely original layout. What’s more, the content is damn good too, but sadly sometimes the words can get a little tricky to read, possibly style over substance. It’s a minor niggle though, for what is a fucking great zine. Interviews in this issue include The Draft, The Slackers (surly) and Lagwagon (who sound more jaded than normal). There’s also a ‘sellout’ section listing some odd band merch, although I couldn’t tell if it was a genuine feature or taking the piss in some way!
www.myspace.com/wrongwayroundradio

Xerox #2 & #3
NOWT for a cleverly folded sheet of paper with tons on it
Before reading the letters page in MMR a few days ago I’d never heard of the phrase ‘art fag’, and now here I find a zine dedicated to ‘art fags’, art fags of Guernsey to be precise. Turns out there’s a fair bit going happening on that tiny Isle, I would tell you what but you’re far better off getting it from the source, this zine! Each issue is individually numbered, which is nice.
xerox.zine@googlemail.com

You Don’t Get There From Here #9
£1 for 36 printed A6 pages
Huzzah for Carrie and her daily comic strip diary! Issue 9 is another wodge of juicy slices of Carrie’s daily life, including all the ups and inevitable downs. Carries seems a lot more focused in this issue and takes great delights in the wildlife of her native Los Angeles, although she does let the spectre of winter pull her down occasionally. This is a zine that I read as soon as I can get my grubby mits on it
www.myspace.com/carriemcninch

You Don’t Get There From Here goes to Oaxaca
£1 for 36 printed A6 pages
Homer Simpson spends some of his time dreaming up mad combinations of foodstuffs he’d love to eat, like SkittleBraú, with this issue of ‘YDGTFH’ zinester Carrie has melded two of my favourite types of zine into one sexy hybrid, the TravellogCartoonDiaryPerzine. Ooh and ahhh as Carrie shows around Mexico, nod with appreciation as she shares her historical knowledge with us, smile as she eats more chocolate and explores the local ales. Fuggen Great zine!
www.myspace.com/carriemcninch










The 241ers
Murderers
CDLP – Household Name Records
HHN appears to becoming the home of a new breed of punk supergroups, the 241ers are made up from members of Stockyard Stoics, the Filaments, Criminal Class USA and MDC amongst others. Giving this album the flavour of a super group made of members of another super groups we also have members of Suicide Bid involved! The music is tight as fuck and sounds far more like a band that has been playing for years. The overall sound is like Rancid playing Pouges songs, with a heavy dose of Los Salvadores. It’s clearly a formula that works well.
Andrew Culture

Anti Virus
The Alliance
E.P (BOSR)
A band I didn’t get to see at Rose & Crown (Ippo) as it was past closing time before they started. Were on bill with fellow North Wales band Global Parasite. Again anti establishment Hardcore stuff, again isn’t all noise and shouting I can hear the lyrics. Favourite track the title one ‘The Alliance’, highlighting the evils of the current system, with lines send babies against the evil nation enermy. Cheers lads for something this ageing punk rebel can relate to.
Trainman

Big Business
Here come the waterworks
CDLP – HYDRA HEAD
My mate Sam loves this album, but to me a band made up of just a bassist and a drummer sounds like two people arsing around before the rest of the band turn up! That being said, they do get a big ole sound, and the singer has a great voice. To me it seems a bit like choosing a wank over ‘taters deep sex.
Andrew Culture

BLEUAAARRG!!!/ State of Urgency ‘Split’
CDLP - Urgent Freedom Records
Well to be honest the Hardcore/Grindcore is not my style. Saying that did see State of Urgency at Rose & Crown. But as this a split with Borneo band BLEUAAARRGH and guys were local I gave it a listen, Ed was pleased when I admitted it wasn’t style I like to hear and understand my lyrics. But seeing them live, there is power and listen again can make out some of the words. Both bands made onto the mp3 player ‘Shoplifter of the World unite’ from BLEUAAARRG and ‘Plastic Wrapped’ from State of Urgency.
Trainman

Ceremony
Still Nothing Moves You
CDLP – Bridge9
The start of this albums sounds like the bassist of the band tried to start recording before any other members of the band turned up to inconvenience him with small details like playing the right notes in the right order, I know I’ve tried that trick enough times. Ceremony are quite probably the fastest band I’ve ever heard, and I mean really really fast, and with proper drumming instead of the double bass drum TINKA TINKA high hat bollocks! Apart from the occasional slow down (which I assume is to grab breath) everything flies along quite pleasantly, it’s a bit like a guitar driven caffeine rush. The vocals sounds wickedly 80s UK retro, gruff and a little distant, along the lines of Heresy, or even early Beecher. I’m not really into this kind of flat out ‘SpeedyCore’ but it’s accessible enough that I could maybe grow to love it, in much the same way as how I have come to love roast beetroot, and judging from the ferocity of this band they could have much the same effect on my bowels as that particular root vedgetable!
Andrew Culture

Civit
Hell hath no fury
CDLP – Hellcat Records
Oh you’ll like this, it’s like Brody from the Distillers has trained as a cage fighter, had a makeover and returned to tear your soul to pieces you sorry arsed piece of shit!
Andrew Culture

Clouds
We are above you
CDLP – Hydra Head Industries
I’m starting to wonder if the former members of Cave In know some sort of dark secret about (Aaron Turner) the owner of Hydra Head, between them they have put out a raft of new stuff over the last couple of years. Mind you, this prolific output might just be a result of how much the label loves the band, and if I could sign a band I really loved then I’m sure I’d do the same! This second Clouds album is nowhere near as unhinged as the first, but still gives off the strong vibe that there was something of a party atmosphere in the recording studio! Soundwise, this is the first of the ‘solo’ albums Cave In members have out that will probably directly appeal to the fans of Cave In that weren’t sold on Stephen Brodsky’s light sided Octave Museum, or the dark sided Zozobra (Caleb Scofield’s band). ‘We are above you’ definitely has it’s moments but I can’t help but feel that Clouds will do a Led Zep and reach critical perfection with their third album, which at this rate will probably be out in a few weeks, followed by the four a few weeks after that, then the fifth a few days after that, and then, well, you get the idea!
Andrew Culture

Defeater
Travels
CDLP – TOP SHELF RECORDS
It’s cool when a band actually backs up the beliefs they yell about with positive actions. Boston’s Defeater (previously called Sluts) hire out tour vans that run on vegetable oil, run eco-companies and all sorts. They knock out some pretty reasonable hardcore too! If you’ve read Beat Motel before you’ll know by now I have no fucking idea about music at all, so I’m going to say Defeater are like an angrier version of Fucked Up. Yeah I know, but it’s mine zine not yours.
Andrew Culture

Diamond Drive
The Infidel’s EP
Undeniable likeable Danish metal, undenyably surfing the crest of the bow wave forged by the good ship SOAD. It’s all a bit earnest for me, I liked the kookyness of aforementioned Beruit born band. I can see teenagers spaffing off to this band by this time next year though.
Andrew Culture

Dig For Fire
Sorry
CDLP - SELF RELEASE
Oops, I really did mean to review this in this issue, but now I’ve run out space!
Andrew Culture

Earthless
Live at Roadburn
DCDLP – TEE PEE RECORDS
Two whole cds of a man masturbating a guitar in public, sonically lubricated by two friends with drums and bass forming a psychedelic riffing ménage a trios. I was going to write more, but from what I’ve written above you should be able to figure if this is your kind of thing or not. For me it’s the musical equivalent of seeing two horses fucking at a gymkhana; whilst I enjoy and pursue fucking whenever possible, I’m not too keen on watching strangers do it, especially not in front of large audiences, and especially not when they’re doing it far better than I ever could. Sigh, I wish I was a guitar playing horse, then I’d rule the fucking world.
Andrew Culture

Earthless
Live At Roadburn
DCDLP - TEE PEE RECORDS
I expected to enjoy this ‘heavily psychedelic trio’, the opening atmospherically leading to promising stoner rock riffs, laying a solid foundation for what I hoped would shortly include some great vocals, “Hang on…” I thought, “a guitar solo before the first verse?”
After 44 more minutes of what transpired to be (basically) the longest guitar solo ever, I’m left incredulous; ok, he’s a pretty amazing guitarist, but come on, I’m a guitar nut and I lost interest 43 minutes ago. CD2 is much the same, and again comes over as self-indulgent. The overly dominant solo guitar work, clearly a case of too much of a good thing, is generally in the progressive blues style, displaying undeniable virtuosity reminiscent of Clapton (‘God’ period) with a couple of snazzy modal sections and good use of delay effects thrown in (think Ozric Tentacles).
With the atmosphere of the day I can imagine this festival performance working live, but as proven by ‘Guitar’ by Zappa, even an edited genius struggles to hold the listeners attention throughout a widdle-only double album. The music presented here by Earthless lacks the expected invention of the Psychedelic genre, and the limited use of dynamics, instrumental texture, arrangement technique, and of course no vocals, quickly result in monotony.
Annoyingly the performance is apparently of four parts however each CD is indexed as a single track, so prepare to skip 30 minutes to get the point where you stopped it for dinner.
Ian Crow

Faintest idea
Put your mouth where the money is
CDLP – SELF RELEASED
Debut album here from Norfolk based ska-core punkers Faintest Idea, and it’s not a bad effort at all. They sound a lot like The filaments or Manchester’s kamakaze sperm to these ears; fast, angry blasts of hardcore punk with a brass section tooting away on the side. If that’s the sort of thing you’re into then this is definitely well worth a listen, the production is impressive for a self released disc and there is definitely a hell of a lot of worse stuff around in the same genre. All in all this is nothing amazing though and is unlikely to win over any listeners who aren’t already into this kind of sound.
www.myspace.com/faintestidea
Briggs

Global Parasite
‘Album Sampler’
CDLP - (BOSR)
Here’s a sample of North Wales band that appeared on bill at with Dead Batteries at and State of Urgency at Rose & Crown. Full album is due next year 2009. Great track is ‘Seven Seven’ which directly questions the Seven Seven bombs as a government conspiracy to keep us in fear rather than a terrorist act. Check out Global Parasite My Space for relevant links. Even got played on Radio 1 not a pep from Daily Malel or Scum, as it wasn’t Ross or Bland ha ha. Can’t wait for Brigg’s to please book them to play Ipswich again.
Trainman

GuanaBatz
Electra Glide in Blue
CDLP – ANAGRAM
I know I’ve heard this band before, and as this is number 71 in the Anagram classic Psychobilly series then I probably have, but I don’t remember them sounding this restrained. The production is ‘alright’, but overall it’s got a sad air of background music about it, there’s just no fire. I’m amazed Anagram have got as far as number 71 with their ‘classics’ series, I didn’t think there had ever been more than a handful of decent Psychobilly bands, so where are they finding all these archives? Maybe I’ll have a look down the back of my settee and see if I can’t find a Psycho band!
Andrew Culture

Hardons
Most people are nicer than us
CDLP – Boss Tuneage
The Hardons have done a very cool thing, their last album (on HHN) was called ‘Most people are a waste of time’ and was a very summery LoveJunk/ Lemonheads slice of loveliness. This album has the same artwork concept, only a lot more fucked up, and with caustic punk metal is very much the ying to the previous album’s yang. I don’t like this type of Hardons nearly so much, but I’ve got to say the two album trick is cool as fuck!
Andrew Culture

Henry Homesweet
Palm Trance
CDLP – antigen records
I’ve seen this chap live, and believe it or not he plays all his songs on game boy! I was expecting something horribly trill and irritating, but that lad can get a lot of sounds of his wee handhelds! Admittedly this ain’t punk rock in sound, but it is in attitude, the liner notes make it clear that making music isn’t about how much fancy equipment you’ve got, it’s about what you do with what surrounds you. With nearly a million hits on his MySpace you’ll probably be hearing more from this sixteen year old before long! Oh, and he has really cool hair!
www.myspace.com/henryhomesweet
Andrew Culture

I.C.H
You Won’t Like It
CDLP – Self Released
Sometimes we hear a band that is just great, it’s a challenge to say exactly why it’s great, it just is by it’s very nature. This applies wholeheartedly to I.C.H. They’re fast tuneful punk, which of course we love. They’re lyrically dextrous and clever, which we like a lot. They’re cheery but have plenty to say for themselves, which we admire greatly. Live they engage with the room in a very matey way, and not with that heinous ‘them and us’ siege mentality that almost every band in the planet seems to give off as some sort of gnarly self defence against being disliked. The majority of truly great punk bands don’t form to be liked, they form because they have to, if they didn’t have a musical outlet they’d paint, or write, or take photos, I.C.H are very much one of these bands. If you love I.C.H they’ll be chuffed, if you hate them then I very much doubt they’ll hold it against you! Hell this review is getting tough, I want to just tell you this album is GREAT, but that word has become so overused in reviews that it’s almost lost meaning, clear your head for a moment, meditate on the true meaning of the word GREAT, now listen to I.C.H. This album took bloody ages to put together, and I think it’s all the better for it. The time and care put into this album is symbolised by the foldout artwork, the lyrics are printed in the shape of the band’s logo, which is big enough that you could cut out said shape and make a stencil with it! How fucken cool is that! Also, a band with a proper logo rather than just a font or unintelligible scribble, remember when bands gave enough of a shit to actually have a cool logo? Bands like fucking I.C.H! I told myself I wouldn’t mention the astounding amount of hair this band has, but hell, there are so many dreadlocks in this band it would be a shame not to mention it! Hair everywhere, in fact I think it’s kinda adds to the live show! It must make singer Ed Ache a bit weak when reviews mention that the bulk of this band is formed by members of The Newtown Kings, but it gives you an idea of the calibre we’re dealing with here! Ed Ache also wanders around the country like a dreadlocked minstrel playing shows with his Ukulele, and I’m sure he was doing it before every fucker thought it would be cool! It’s worth checking out Ed’s (I hesitate to call it ‘solo’) stuff, it swerves between being absolutely fucking hilarious and elbow grabbingly thought provoking, a true showman!
www.myspace.com/
ichcolchesterpunx
Andrew Culture

Just Add Monsters
Discontent
1 track demo
New band including a couple of members of the much missed Second In Line. A coarse voice backed by pummellingly interesting guitars. I wish this had a arrived before I got jaded by reviewing the rest of the shite I was sent, this sounds great and I look forward to hearing more!
www.myspace.com/justaddmonsters
Andrew Culture

Killazilla
Manfight
CDLP – Self Released
Just the maddest and most fun drunk people can have with detuned guitars, a fine mix of Fu-Manchu and Fucked up! No idea how you can get hold of this, but get in touch with me and I’ll put you in touch with Lee Culture from the band!
Andrew Culture

Langhorne Slim
Self Titled
CDLP – Kemado Slim
I seem to remember this lad sounding quite smooth, maybe a sort of Jack Johnson for alternative types? I say maybe as my wife nicked the CD and promised to write a review. She hasn’t written the review, but I don’t feel I have much ground for bugging her about it as she spends most of her time growing vegetables for me to eat, cooking me dinner, and generally making me feel like a king. She’s a very special woman, although not in a Joey Deacon special sort of way. She’s great!
Andrew Culture

Levellers
Letters from the Underground
CDLP -
Having been into the Levellers on and off for the past 20 years, although my re-introduction was largely as a result of meeting my wife, it was with great anticipation that I pre-ordered the new album. Considering this band has been written off as nothing more than “old crustys” followed by travellers with dogs on string to still be producing such vibrant music for such a long time is quite an achievement.
3 of the tracks on ‘Letters from the Underground’ have been available as downloads from the dedicated album site for a few months and were a good indication of what the rest of the songs would be like. Opening with ‘The Cholera Well’ (one of the aforementioned freebies) it’s clear the Levellers are still plagued by a social and political conscience. They’ve been accused of being too worthy or always having a cause but if you feel strongly about a subject why not use whatever platform you have available to you to express an opinion. In doing so if you can inform others or at the very least cause them to think surely that’s reason enough?
Fortunately their strong opinions and lyrics are allied to exhilarating music and when all of the musicians are on form, as is the case for the majority of the album then the combination can prove lethal. Songs such as ‘Eyes Wide’, ‘Before the End’ and ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ touch on more personal topics which proves all the bands subject matter is heartfelt and from a broad perspective. Recent single ‘Burn America Burn’, which even garnered air time on Radio 2, is a typical anti-US rant but in the hands of the Levellers doesn’t come across as hackneyed or trite which is impressive considering what an easy target it is for most bands these days.
‘Accidental Anarchist’ aches for the bygone days of a freer, less repressed England railing against the establishment and what it stands for. Traditional themes for the Levellers but clearly themes still relevant to both them and their audience. ‘Duty’ is a paean to the financial corruption that exists around all of us today with album closer ‘Fight or Flight’ begging the question of whether it is more stupid than brave to stand your ground against life’s oppressors.
While many of these songs may sound like hard work the uplifting nature of the music belies the serious subject matter and is a real pleasure to listen to repeatedly, which we did on our way to the Levellers festival (Beautiful Days) this summer. I suppose you could call us hardcore fans as in 2008 alone we will have seen the band live 5 times but it is to their credit that while the set list will always rely on the classic songs there will still be space for numerous tracks from this album which harks back to the halcyon days of ‘Weapon Called the Word’ and ‘Levelling the Land’. A 3 year hiatus from the recording studio has not blunted either their lyrical or musical creativity and this is reflected in a new set of songs that are destined to become live favourites with old and new fans alike, and one can only hope with sufficient publicity and air play ‘Letters from the Underground’ will attract new listeners to what is an already very popular band.
Wast

Los Salvadores
Excerpt from a ward
CDEP – SELF RELEASED
Well I was bound to like this wasn’t I, after all I was so impressed when I first heard this band I put their debut album out, available in all good (and some shit) record shops! They’ve upped their game on this EP and really invested in their sound, production is really great and compliments their new bouncier sound very well! Musically this E.P is packed full of surprises, the band is really carving out their own niche, and it’s a good place to be! Whilst Los Salvadores use banjos, mandolins and whatnot I don’t think they could really be classed as folk punk any more, they’re something much more pounding and intense than that in one breath, only to smooth out and give us some love in the next. Well if I’m talking about Los Salvadores giving my loving it’s clearly time to stop the review.
www.lossalvadores.co.uk
Andrew Culture
Minus
The Great Northern Whalekill
CDLP – One Little Indian
It would be very lazy of me to describe this as strongly QOTSA influenced but with a strong English musical accent, but hey, that’s the kind of mood I’m in. Seriously though, this is pretty fucking great.
Andrew Culture


My London
Missing Andy
CDLP - Dead Rock Records
Here the EP from Braintree Missing Andy saw them at Ipswich Music Day 08. A mixture of Hip Hop & Indie and even Grime think Mick Skinner, Dizzel Rascal and Hard –Fi a modern day Clash mixing the different urban components with social comment. Pounding bass lines and samples, dance hip hop lyrics. Standout tracks, ‘Night Train’ reminds The Jam Down at ‘Tube Station at Midnight’ and ‘Under Pressure’ about domestic violence or title track ‘My London’. Even the boy who is into more modern indie and Hip Hop likes this.
Trainman

Mum Locked in Castle
Vulture
CDLP – Self Released
I was really excited when this plopped through my door, the guitarist of this band is a local Ipswich legend, a lad called Whinney. We asked Whinney to join Junk Culture many years ago, we didn’t realise he was only fifteen years old! This chap must have started playing guitar when he was about one day old, and I wager he’s never been further than a few centremetres from a guitar ever since! His last band was the astounding (and hilarious) POWER, a glorious pastiche of everything we all loved about proper old metal. Then he left us and went to Scarborough University to study being a rock star, and this is the band he formed with fellow students. When you have such an obviously gifted guitarist in a band it’s hard to resist the urge to use his talents unsparingly, which is why there are so many useless guitar wank bands in this world! In ‘Mum Locked in Castle’ our lad Whinney has found band members of comparable talent and reined in a lot of his more extravagant shredding. The singing is fucking spot on, easily one of the best voices I’ve ever heard committed to disc. The flavour of the music is decidedly rawk, but done with such personality it’s going to feel like you’re listening to a mate’s band even if you’ve never met these guys, and I mean that in a good way! There’s slices of American college rock, nuggets of hard riffing, sprinkled with a dusting of the lighter side of Faith No More, in fact there might be even be a surprisingly placed small dollop of Extreme! I think I’ve lost my way with this review, probably because it’s nearly lunchtime and I’m really hungry, which I guess is why I’m going on about dollops and sprinkles. One fly is this rocking ointment is the use of samples from films at the start of tracks, that always bugs me!
mumlockedincastle.com
Andrew Culture

Nightshade
The Beginning of Eradication
CDLP – Rising Records
Albums that start with nice piano then slap into death metal are like those pornos where two gorgeous girls are getting it on, then some fat hairy fucker enters the room and shits on a glass coffee table. Er, I imagine.
Andrew Culture

NoFx
They’ve actually gotten worse live
CDLP – Fat Wreck Chords
Well I can’t comment if they’ve got any worse as barring seeing NoFx at Reading 2006 I’ve never heard them live. It’s ok I guess, the banter is funny but gets old fast. They play a bunch of old slow acoustic songs all fast and electric, which is pretty cool. They end the set fading out the intro of ‘The Decline’ which a lot of people tell me is NoFx’s best song ever, well I guess I’ll have to wait a while longer to find out if that’s true or not!
Andrew Culture

Orange Goblin
Healing through fire
CDLP – Sanctuary Records
Oh shit, this came out about two years ago but has been sat in my car and on the pile of cds on my desk for so long I assumed I had already reviewed it! Better make it quick then! If you like seventies metal fused with nineties stoner rock, and big meaty vocals you’ll love Orange Goblin. I could go into detail, but that would spoilt what is a great flat out rifforama of an album. My band supported Orange Goblin at Colchester Arts centre so I can confirm that they are also bloody nice blokes!
Andrew Culture

The Pietasters
All Day
CDLP – Rockers Revolt
Proving that Sean from Pama International is the pied-piper of reggae he’s only gone and snapped up the Pietasters for his fancy new ‘Rockers Revolt’ label! Mind you, Pietasters aren’t strictly reggae, on this album they follow the same pattern as bands like The BiG by chucking in a curveball like a garage punk track, funk, or some Mowtown sounding soul, and this album has more soul than the fish counter at Morrisons. The Pietasters may not be breaking any new ground with ‘All Day’ but then I think with this kinda band it’s more about formulating the perfect groove than anything else, and they’ve got more groove than a record pressing plant. Ok, I’ll stop now.
Andrew Culture

The Pine Hill Haints
Ghost Dance Sampler
CDEP - SELF RELEASED
I’m troubled, and confused, and more than normal. This band is billed as country and they are clearly dutty ole Psychobilly, there’s thumpy dumpty drumming, bouncing twanging bass and vaugely derranged vocals, so surely this is good ole ‘billy? I’m sticking with that otherwise it means I like Cuntry Music, and I’m just not ready to come to terms with that yet. These recordings are rough as a bats arse, I’m not sure if that’s for Hillbilly authenticity or whether they’ve actually found the rubbish four-track I used when I was a teenager, if so (and if the band is reading this) please can you find my old copies of Razzle and TitBits?
www.myspace.com/pinehillhaints
Andrew Culture

Ruiner
I heard these dudes are arseholes
CDLP – Bridge9
The closest thing I’ve heard to a hardcore party committed to CD I’ve ever heard, backed up by a booklet crammed full of fucking great photos of the band in suitably rockin’ poses. Couldn’t tell you what it sounds like though, I mean, it’s probably what you’d expect from a Bridge9 band but with a pinch of something very different, if I had to try and describe it (which I guess I do, I’m writing a review after all) then I’d say what makes the difference is the healthy dose of ‘PartyCore’. I might see if I can review each Bridge9 release in this issue by inventing a new ‘Core’, but to be honest I’ll probably forget.
Andrew Culture

Shiema
Make them swing till it hurts
CDEP - SELF RELEASE
Oooh nice, this is smart bouncing intelligent music, definately modern Fat style punk but utterly Anglecised with more than a little nod to stuff like The Small Faces and The Kinks, via Can or something else fucked up, there’s even a hint of Saosin to keep it real for da kidz. Really fucking reminds me of the first KneeHigh album, it’s the stunning right vocals. The production on the first track bugged me a bit, I think it’s been overcompressed so each time the bass drum hits it cuts out some of the other instruments, minor niggle though. Overall if you like bands like the awesome Hiding From Shadows you’ll dig this.
www.myspace.com/shiemamusic
Andrew Culture

The Slackers
The Boss Harmony Sessions
CDLP – ROCKERS REVOLT
I’m guessing Boss Harmony is some sort of reggae superstar producer, being new to this type of music I’m a bit confused as when he speaks he sounds like one of those shit keyboards that you are forced to use in high school music lessons! This is a blinder of an album though, I think it’s mostly covers, done in the smooth Slackers style that we’ve all come to know and love. There are a few surprises on here, but you’ll have to buy it to find out what they are.
Andrew Culture

The Slackers
Self Medication
CDLP – ROCKERS REVOLT
I knew my immersion into the world of new reggae was complete when I started enjoying listening to the Slackers when hungover. They play a beautifully calm and reassuring flavour of reggae that puts a hand on your shoulder and assures you that everything is going to be ok. This album is a lot more laid back than their previous ‘Boss Harmony Sessions’, which was more Saturday night, than Sunday morning.
Andrew Culture

These Arms Are Snakes
Tail Swallower and Dove
CDLP – Suicide Squeeze Records
I really couldn’t get my head around this band’s last album; it seemed like a bunch of awkward and randomly spliced together half formed ideas. But in a word, this album is fucking immense! It’s fresh, it’s hard, it’s harsh, it’s got swing, verve, movement, yer know, all that kind of stuff. This is one of the most electrifying albums I’ve heard in a long time, and I had to make a a real effort to remove it from my stereo before I listened to it so much I started to hate it! If you like agitated explosive guitar music then get this album. Oh my, I’m quite out of puff!
Andrew Culture

Two Car Garage
III
CDLP – HouseHold Name Records
One thing that can be said about the output of UK punk labels at the moment is that it’s all very cheery! It feels a bit like (as punks) our time has come, the world is financially fucked, everyone is being brought down to our level of poverty! Two Car Garage are uplifting in a Showaddywaddy foot stomping fist in the air kinda way. There’s an undeniable air of country about this band, but they’re still pretty good! Some parts of this album aren’t a million miles away from later HardOns, or even LoveJunk! Oh gawd, I’m going to have to add ‘Showaddywaddy’ to my spell checker now!
Andrew Culture

TV SMITH
In the Arms of my Enemy
CDLP - Boss Tuneage
This is TV Smith latest album, having seen him acoustic at Flag Day this is my style of protest music. I think this is one of the elements of punk I love the best. Simple yet powerful, it’s up alongside greats like Neil Young and Billy Bragg. Personal standout tracks are ‘Get it Now’, ‘In the Arms of my Enemy’ and ‘Together Alone’. Powerful yet simple songs with a clean unfussy style. After 30 years TV Smith still has take something special I only wish I could be a musician instead of a face in the crowd.
Trainman

The Violent Fuckwits
Ignore the pain
CDEP - SELF RELEASED
I hate reviewing my mates bands, I feel like a real shithead if I slate them and a real suck if I big them up. So it’s with this no win trepidation I shove the disc Billy from ‘Riot on Your Own’ zine into my cd player. Thankfully what came piping out was some pretty cool street punk/ ska/ early 80s anarcho tunes. Yer man Billy has a Northern Ireland accent that’s thick as fuck, and sounds amazingly great in this band. I’m sure if you live in NI you might disagree, but the thick accent makes this sound pretty unique. Not sure what the sound effect is supposed to be on the second track though, it sounds like someone stiffling laughter!
www.myspace.com/
theviolentfuckwits
Andrew Culture

The Waxing Captors
Some sort of new EP
I’m not really sure what’s happening with this, or even if I should be writing about the fact I’ve heard it, but this is the first time the Waxing Captors have been in a real studio and it sounds great! I’ll write about this properly when I know what’s happening with it, in the meantime I’ll inform you that The Waxing Captors are the Stooges for the MySpace generation!
www.thewaxingcaptors.co.uk
Andrew Culture

Fancy a quickie?
These are CDs I didn’t have space/ time to review properly.

5ive - Hesperus
These guitars could well have caused that very shipwreck!

Ace Cafe London - Rockin’ at the Ace
70th birthday greaser party

Anal Thunder - 4am illusion
Holy shit this is great! If you like (or are in) I.C.H then you need to hear this album, stonking!

Anti-Social Burnouts - Holdfast
Hmm, CD doesn’t work, that seems to be happening a lot today, maybe I really should take my stereo to the repair place!

Argetti - Flags of Karma
Crime in Stereo?

Bastion - Circa 1882
Competant fast punk, till the CD conked out after a few seconds

The Boss - Lay down your firearms
And pick up guitars, and yell!

The Boys - Anthology
They never really left town

Ceremony - Still nothing moves you
Oh hang on, I reviewed this on page 26 already!

The Computers - You can’t hide from the computers
Original, but being on a mainstream label people will accuse them off ripping off Gallows, most unfair, they are more RnR

The Dammed - Who’s paranoid?
Them for bringing it up?

Demented are go - Live and Rockin’
The dead are live, but dead drunk

Destructors 666 - Bah Humbug
Yeah, they’re still pumping them out!

Display Team - Drones
Clever JazzPunkSkaFunkers

D.O.A - The Black Spot
Bootleg my arse!

Doom - Rush hour of the gods
Classic crust, new re-release

Energy - Invasions of the mind
Ok, maybe I was wrong abour there being a Bridge9 sound!

Eyelash - Recession
The Bellrays and X-ray Specs have had a child, and it rocks!

Fake Problems - It’s great to be alive
Punk has grown a soul

For those lost - This is our fight
CD didn’t work

Ghostfire - Demo
They call themselves Steampunk, which I really like the sound of! They’re like a slightly more ska version of Los Salvadores, crossed with some sort of weird music hall lovelyness! They also get credit for taking the trouble to write a nice letter!

Gusto Mastivo - s/t
New noise from ex-filthpact, featuring PG Wodehouse creation Jeeves on drums, good to see he’s still keeping busy.

Have Heart - Songs to scream at the sun
Proof there is now a ‘Bridge9’ sound emerging!

Hyperjax - The wildest card
PsychoPunkerRockerSwag

Kinky Retro - Demons & Angels
A lass in a wonderbra on your cover does not maketh the band, and if you pull stupid faces for the CD booklet then I’m afraid you might just look a twat and put me off even listening to your band, holy crap I’ve had a long day of writing reviews and I’m sorry you had to bear the brunt of it, but fuck me I’m starting to hate writing reviews so much I might not even include them in the next issue!

The Living Daylights - Ways to Escape
They knew what they’re doing, and you’re going to like them

Long Tall Texans - Saturnalia
What you would expect from classic psychobillypoppers

Lostown Legion - Live studio demo
Sound better live than most people do with weeks of studio time!

Man in Formaldehyde - Copper Sulphate Crystals
If I was angry I’d be calmed, as I’m alread calm I think this is causing a mild stroke

Nine days to no one - Disrecordings
Ok, if you won’t punish my ears with your music I won’t shit in your eyes, deal?

One:Day:Life - Heroes, Hoods and Headphones
Sorry lads, I’ve been owing you a review for a while, this mention brings you a step closer!

Pama Intl - Love Filled Dub Band
Dub be VERY good to me!

Pennywise - Reason to believe
Surely you’ve heard of this band? I’ve never got it myself.

Raw Poo Sings Christmas
Guess I’m a bit late then...

The Resistance - Stevie Nicks
Fizzy psycadelica punkers

Rose Kemp - Unholy Majesty
Fairground Attraction crossed with Effervescence and Fairport Convention, oooh, creepy!

The Sketch - Best kid in town
Thought it was ‘no quarter’ by Led Zep when it started! Well played cheery pop with a slice of lemon and a dash of lime

Skids - The Absolute Game
You probably know this already

Six Second Hero - Recent History
My god, I’m sure I’m heard this before, or does it just feel that way? Like the duel vocals.

Striving Higher - S/T
Basically it’s reasonable hardcore, but I’ve heard SO MUCH hardcore today I just can’t take any more!

This is a standoff - Be Excited
Calgary Fat flavoured punk with some sweet tricks up their kecks

Tortuga - Kings of Albany
Unhappy and unafraid to shout

The Turnpike Cruisers - Rockin’ Possessed 1984-1986
Reasonable, but dull as arse Psycho

The Psychotic Reaction - Genre music is the enemy
More brilliant oddness from a band I want to interview

Second In Line - Fonzi (live)
CD wouldn’t play

Ten City Nation - S/T
There are no other bands that sound like this, nice originality and musical weirdness

Verse - Aggression
Fast hardcore with At The Drive In type vocals, great stuff

Right, from the next issue I swear I’m only going to review something if I REALLY like it, doing so many reviews has given me a fucking headache. I won’t feel guilty if I don’t write about your band, you’ll just have to accept that it’s luck of the draw!


Baba Luck
@ PJ McGintys, Ipswich
Thursday 04/09/08
I must admit to being a little wary of going to see Babar Luck. Every clip I’ve seen of the man has him wheeling and almost fitting as he stares wild eyed at the room. When I saw the ‘intimate’ size of venue I prepared myself for what might be a bit of a scary evening. But as I stood nursing my pint I suddenly recognised the chap stood next to me,
“Hello Mr Luck”
The next few minutes were taking up chatting to one of the most approachable and incredibly friendly (and somehow oddly peaceful) people I’ve ever met! After a few minutes he apologised for ceasing the conversation informing me that it was time to play. His use of the word ‘play’ could not have been a more perfect description of his performance. Babar Luck treats his performance as a game, the role of entertainer is clearly something he relishes and it really shines through and draws the audience into his world. The music swings without warning from an almost narrated soothing melody to trashy reggae encouraging the crowd to dance. I’ve never seen anyone dancing at an acoustic show before! In what seemed like no time at all this bald headed bearded shoeless man was telling us he only had time for one more song. It’s hard to tell exactly what was so funny about the performance this man gave, we were very much laughing with him and not at him but I don’t think I can remember a single joke. That’s quite a talent!
It’s a very special thing when someone in this town takes a chance to convert a part of their pub to a dedicated venue; it’s even more special when the proprietors put in as much thought and effort as they obviously have at PJ McGintys. When you add someone like Babar Luck to that equation you can’t really go wrong. The room could have been made just for him, and he performed with so much charisma and confidence that all gathered were very much at ease with him occasionally wandering off the stage and mingling with the audience, forgoing the luxury of a microphone and just belting out his songs. Babar Luck is part musician, part activist and indeed part comedian but never strays into the territory of being a rhetorician. Babar does not preach, he just enjoys chatting with very large groups of friends!
Andrew Culture

Pelican
Torche
@ Engine Rooms, Brighton
Friday 12/09/08
Torche have kinda exploded into my world recently, originally thanks to Lee Culture for lending me their E.P then due to Hydra-Head picking them up. I reviewed their latest album ‘Meanderthal’ in the last issue of Beat Motel so I won’t go into too much detail regards their sound, suffice to say they have what (much like No Use For A Name) are really smart pop songs, just played in a different style. For all their crushing heaviness Torche are utterly accessible and ear friendly on record, live they lean more on the side of crushing heaviness rather than melody. The more tuneful tracks on their album were largely left out tonight in favour of some sort of competition to be the loudest, lowest, most demolishing band ever to play Brighton. It was a bit of a shame in my opinion, the hordes of Pelican fans here tonight will have only gotten a very one sided view of a very clever, diverse and memorable band. That being said, fuck me they were heavy! This is the first gig I’ve been to with earplugs and without them I probably would have been retching from my vantage point next to the whopping base bins of the PA!
Pelican never disappoint me, I’ve seen them many times and it’s the tiny ‘intimate’ gigs that really thrill me. They’re still great on the huge stages I’ve seen them in, but in somewhere as dingy and stifling as the Engine Rooms their sound booms and swirls around the room in an almost visible way. Pelican create enough of a soundscape (sic) on stage that vocals just aren’t needed; the duel guitars singing more complex layered tunes than a mere human voice could ever manage. Tonight was something of a greatest hits show, with three albums and a slew of E.Ps under their belts this is a band with a lot of material to choose from, each album a progression from it’s a predecessor, and yet there were still plums yelling for first album grindfest tracks. What amused me (in the most horribly elitist way) is that when Pelican played an obscure track from their oft unheard first E.P these fucking scene jockeys just looked at each other blankly, hah! Suck on that fuckers, you got out-obscured by the band! One odd thing I noticed tonight was the sheer number of people using flash on digital SLRs, I don’t go to many Brighton gigs so I have no idea if this is normal or not. I had a photo pass so grabbed some shots sticking near enough to a self imposed ‘three song rule’ so as not to irritate either the band or the crowd with flash work, but everyone else flash flash flashed their way through the entire set, often muscling their way to the front of the crowd using elbows and standing right in the fucking way. In my opinion photographers should be pretty much invisible, the majority of the crowd is there to see the band, not you showing off your birthday present! Get what you want in the first three songs then fuck off and let the band and the audience get on with the show unhindered! In the case of Pelican three songs is TONS of time!
Andrew Culture

ICH
The Tagnuts
Dead Batteries
7 Day Conspiracy
@ Rose and Crown, Ipswich
Thursday 25/09/08
When I turned up at this gig and made my way up to the ‘loft’ at the rear of the Rose and Crown I wondered for a moment if I’d found the right place. I had gone along tonight to see Dead Batteries play the Ipswich leg of their current tour, but what I found was a bunch of people milling about a half empty room. There was half a PA set up but nobody seemed to be taking responsibility for it, and if the bands hadn’t of laid out their tour merch on the bar in the loft I probably would have wandered off. What I should have remembered was that this is was a ‘Random Camel Collective’ gig, and they are so laid back they’re almost comatose. Eventually a group of lads that had been standing furtively in the corner of the room shuffled to the far end of the room and defined the rough area that was to be used as the stage. 7 Day Conspiracy had driven up from Sittingbourne in Kent for this gig and made every second on stage count. There are no bands in Ipswich playing their brand of slightly American ska-pop-hardcore-dance-punk (with harmonies) and it was a total breath of fresh air. Shame about the equipment failures but hey, even U2 suffer them, they just get to fire someone after the show to sate their egos! In the spirit of DIY punk other band members and even punters didn’t hesitate to dive in and help get the problems sorted. There’s something about the lack of stage, the shared equipment and the total lack of any lighting that breaks down the barriers at Random Camel shows. Members of the audience thought nothing of walking around the bands while they were playing, and the bands thought nothing of wandering around the crowd during their sets. This mingling was a pheonomen that would resurface almost constantly all night, at times it was hard to tell who was actually in a band and who was ‘helping out’. 7 Day Conspiracy were great, and I hope they come back to Ipswich soon. Dead Batteries wasted no time in setting up and launching at break-neck speed into their tight set of early 80s influenced punk. Considering how quietly spoken their drummer Simon is off-stage, I’m still amazed each time he starts bellowing down the mica on stage! Tagnuts (from Cambridge) were total fun; they played tight fast thrashy punk with an element of ska, and a big dose of catchiness. I’ve been trying to think of other ways to describe their set, but ‘fun’ sums it up perfectly. Finally to a small (but rabidly appreciative) crowd ICH sonically pounded into life. With a stage presence the size of a sumo wrestler these dreadlocked punkers drew the ground into their world within seconds. I watched with a huge grin as everyone in the crowd seemed to know all the words, and tussled with each other for a chance to grab a mic to prove it! ICH are great, much as I’m lost for words to describe Tagnuts so I fail with ICH. Sometimes a band is great for no particular reason you can put a pin in, they’re quite simply just marvellous. Random Camel gigs really are something special, a slice of true DIY and proof that if you want something to happen it’s best not to sit around waiting for someone else to get it done, get out there and do it yourself! In fact to put my money where my mouth is I helped return the PA to the hire company the next morning!
Andrew Culture

THE PHANTOM PLAYERS
@ THE SWAN – 6/11/08
The phantom players represent all that’s wrong with indie these days; from the way they look to the way they move, and of course the way they sound, this is every bit the jerky guitar driven, hi-hat crazy NME endorsed drivel that has all but rendered the genre unbearable. If that’s the kind of shite you’re into though, these guys are impressively competent for a young band and will no doubt be playing to the trendies at the swan every other week before long. I came to this gig to see JAMES SEVERY but after having to wait until quarter to ten to see this I cut my losses and left early.
Briggs

BEEBA
@ MCGINTY’S BLUE ROOM - 7/11/08
Drum n bass/rock crossover solo artist BEEBA has been quietly working away in the background of the Ipswich music scene for ages now, building up a following gig by gig, and it seems to have paid off. The guy was on exceptionally good form at the blue room, engaging the lively crowd with ease and getting people moving with his fairly original mix of poppy drum n bass beats and alt.rock guitars. The vaguely American tint in the vocals still irritates me slightly but it doesn’t alter the fact that BEEBA has an ear for a catchy melody and a healthy amount of stage presence. Definitely one of the more worthwhile acts on the local scene.
Briggs

RED FLAG 77
@ THE ROYAL OAK - 14/11/08
The chance to see the flag for free usually only comes around once a year so I was expecting to see a good crowd when I arrived at the Royal Oak. I was not disappointed. The pub was pretty much packed out and most of the usual punk scene faces were present. Blasting their way through fan favourites like ‘as I fall’, ‘how low’ and ‘football crazy’ and looking like they were having a great time on stage, the band were on top form and the on stage energy transferred itself to the crowd resulting in a great night for all concerned. Coming just a week before London’s INNER TERRESTRIALS hit the steamboat and not long after STIFF LITTLE FINGERS and THE ADICTS were in town, it would seem any accusations of Ipswich’s punk scene dying are quite unfounded.
Briggs

New Found Glory
Set Your Goals
Four Years Strong
Crime in Stereo
@ Norwich U.E.A
20th November 2008
After working for the day in London and spending the entire journey home hoping the train wouldn’t crap out like it normally does I managed to jump in my Sooty van and bomb down the A140 to Norwich. Our van is a Daihatsu Hi-Jet so admittedly ‘bombing it’ entails travelling at around 40mph, but boy does that feel fast when you’re travelling in a tin can the size of a baked bean tin! We were pretty confident that the band we were there to see (Crime in Stereo) would be main support so we sat about outside the U.E.A pointing and giggling at the huge queue of over-hirsute yoofs. I’ve never understood the point of queuing when you’ve got a ticket for a gig, it’s not like they’re not going to let you in. Back to the hair, my god, kids have so much these days. Quick bit of advice to all teenage boys, if you spend more time on your hair than do you masturbating over the underwear section in yer mum’s catalogue you’re going about things very wrong indeed. Unless (I guess) you’re doing one to facilitate the other, er, but let’s not dwell on that. After discussing one particularly mad boy-head that made the owner look like he’d done fifteen laps backwards in a Hadron Collider I heard something that made me prick my ears up like a Meer Kat in a wildebeest stampede. There was familiar thunder of drums coming from inside the venue, the bewilderingly large PA at the U.E.A filtered through the building, somewhat muffled by the wall of pubescent hair before it and my gig buddy Dom and I stopped our chuckling and looked at each other in horror,
“FUCK, it’s Crime in Stereo!”
There should be a lesson in here somewhere about not mocking kids that you might need to befriend to cut in line with but ah fuck it, Dom and I were far larger than these little pishers anyway! Only joking, Dom and I legged it to the back of the queue and stepped from one foot to another in an agitated fashioned muttering,
“We’re missing them, we’re missing them!”
To anyone else in the queue it probably looked much like we had both managed to sleepwalk into our 30s without perfecting the ability to control our bladders! Once inside I nodded politely as I was told the usual rules dictating that I could only take photos for the first three songs. I may have been a little distracted when the security staff were relaying this information as by my calculations the only band I really wanted to watch (Crime in Stereo) were already nearing the end of their second song! After getting my ‘don’t beat me up security dudes’ pass I dived into the photo pit damn near head first and held down the shutter without break for the remainder of the third song. One thing I like about the ‘three song rule’ that most big venues have is that once you’ve hurriedly fired off five or six hundred frames right at the start of the set you can then relax and enjoy the rest of the band’s performance without worrying about standing on a fellow photographer, braining a scene kid with your camera at the barriers or worse of all, accidently kneeing a security guard in the bollocks! It’s the first time I’ve seen Crime in Stereo on a big stage, in fact this is only the second time I’ve seen them and the first was in a London basement with only about thirty other people! This is the first night of Crime in Stereo supporting New Found Glory so I guess they’re still getting into the swing of things, which may explain their slightly restrained performance. It was great to hear the songs we loved really loud, albeit utterly bass ridden and bombastic! This is a band that appears to be on the verge of something really huge, teetering on the edge of greatness and I very much look forward to their next move in this huge chess game we call punk rock. I managed to wander back stage and give bassist Matt the copies of Beat Motel I promised him outside that tiny London gig I mentioned early. I may have spoken a little fast when explaining what the hell I was shoving in his hands as I didn’t actually have a backstage pass and felt on borrowed time, so Matt, if you’re reading this I hope I didn’t freak you out too much!
Four Years Strong looks like they’d be interesting, from what I could see there was an ever increasing number of vocalists leaping about on stage like the floor was on fire. There was also an impressive show of facial hair. I’ve noticed more and more American bands sporting huge beards recently, as the USA scene is always a bit ahead of the UK scene maybe this heralds the replacement for the scourge that is ‘scene hair’? Wow, that would be pretty weird. Fuck knows what Four Years Strong sound like though; I think the sound guys were having some sort of bet to see if they could find the ‘brown note’. I couldn’t make out a thing, just BOOM BOOM BOOM and the occasional uncomfortable look on some scene kids face and they clutched the back of their kecks hoping none of their mates had noticed. Yeah, our bowels are tougher than that ya fuckers!
I dived back in the pit for Set Your Goals and was alarmed to see what looked like my mate Mushroom on vocals. Again, I couldn’t make much out but what I did hear sounded like some sort of positive life affirming cheery hardcore. Mushroom was a big gruff lad but there was also a skinny wee squeaky New Yoik sounding chap bouncing around the stage. I kinda liked what I heard, but this probably wasn’t the best introduction to the band.
Then before long it was time for New Found Glory. When they came on the place erupted, it was quite something to behold. The UEA has a fairly deep sunken dance floor and from our viewpoint on the edge it looked like someone was boiling a fucking huge saucepan full of coiffured hair and acne! I’ve got to confess New Found Glory kinda passed me by when they first emerged. I always thought they were a joke band, I don’t mean I thought they were a joke, more a band that didn’t take anything seriously. At the time that was the antithesis of what I felt punk should be, these days I’m in a band that takes that doesn’t even take tuning up seriously so I should love this band. After a couple of songs I was starting to feel a little like I might watching ‘yiffing’ porn, everyone loves sex but sometimes it’s just not the right sort! Three songs in and we decided to hit the road and leave the party to those that really wanted it!
Andrew Culture


INNER TERRESTRIALS
ED ACHE
STATE OF URGENCY
@ STEAMBOAT TAVERN
21/11/08
Having not got the chance to see reggae-punk legends inner terrestrials all year I was seriously looking forward to this gig but was seriously pissed off when an instrumental prog-rock band was penned in for support. Luckily the promoters came to their senses and replaced them with the much more appropriate anarcho/crust punk stylings of state of urgency. SOU’s recent tour of Poland and Germany seems to have paid off heaps as they blast through their super-fast set with an assured confidence missing from earlier local outings. If you’re into anarcho and crust definitely check these out. Ed Ache, front man of possibly the best punk band in east anglia, I.C.H, was up next with his solo acoustic set. As ever a lively, engaging affair with plenty of crowd participation and even a surprise dead batteries cover! If you havn’t seen Ed or I.C.H live yet you suck and I have nothing to say to you. I.T were up next after getting to the venue at the last minute, but not to worry as they went down a storm. The band always seem happier when I see them play at smaller scale gigs like this and I’d struggle to think of a better way to see them than in the intimate surroundings of the steamboat. All the best I.T tunes were played, ‘enter the dragon’, ‘x’,’off with their heads’ and ‘guns of brixton’ featuring red flags rikki on vocals were all highlights. A fucking great night was had by all.
Briggs

Levellers
Divokej Bill
Frank Turner
@ Norwich UEA
7th December 2008
Having spent the afternoon interviewing Jeremy from the Levellers and being able to watch the band sound check we were back in the venue in plenty of time to see all the bands on the bill.
Frank Turner sauntered on stage in very low key fashion and quickly set up his sole acoustic guitar. Starting by announcing he had a raging hangover and commenting on the loyal fans at the front he proceeded to thrill the growing crowd with a set of impassioned songs drawn from his broad catalogue. I understand he impressed during a stint at the Beautiful Days festival during the summer (?). Before long everyone was watching and listening intently as his cleverly worked lyrics told stories of friends and relationships all wrapped up in powerful songs. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing him previously but will certainly check him out again based on this performance.
I doubt Divokej Bill could have been more fun. This 8 piece from the Czech Republic proceeded to really warm up the crowd. Although they struggled noticeably communicating in English this didn’t hamper their performance in the slightest. An interesting mix of fiddle, banjo, accordion and guitars enchanted and entertained for the duration of their set. While no-one was going to understand the lyrics of each song the feeling came across well via their music which was never less than electric. I would struggle to name any of the songs played as I am not familiar with the band but by the time they got to the end of their set an adrenaline fuelled atmosphere for the rest of the night was well and truly in place.
All support band gear was cleared and it left quite a spartan stage with only the usual backline on view, although the ‘chicken wire fence’ backdrop was visually very striking. The Levellers ambled onstage to a huge roar and leapt straight into opening number Belarus which seemed to fly by. There were smiles aplenty between all the band members who seemed to be basking in the freedom this tour has brought. By that I mean 2008 has been largely dedicated to the 20th anniversary celebrations and this has meant most live sets have been based around the ‘classics’. Finally, as the year end approaches, an opportunity has arisen to mix up the set list and incorporate plenty of new songs from recently released album ‘Letters From The Underground’. Rumours were that earlier on in the tour as many as 10 new tracks were included but tonight fewer were aired but all very well received by the capacity crowd. With this renewed enthusiasm the band played a musically tight set, exchanging plenty of banter with the crowd some of whom they seemed to know. That in itself wasn’t surprising as Levellers fans are a dedicated bunch despite the abuse you tend to get as a result!
Lead vocalist Mark Chadwick was on top form, goading the crowd for being stuffed full of Sunday lunch and therefore being a little lethargic but this just served to incite the audience to fever pitch. Fiddle player Jon was non-stop; constantly moving about the stage, dancing and jumping whenever possible obviously enjoying the fact his broken leg has healed which restricted any onstage movement to nothing last time we saw them. Considering the last 20 years have been based on hard touring it’s amazing how much fun this lot still have but it’s clear that’s exactly what’s happening, so animated are they. Even with the plethora of new songs there’s still space for plenty of tunes from their extensive back catalogue. Although there’s often complaints that the same favourites are played this isn’t a problem as it’s the setting of the gig which makes them special so to hear ‘The Road’, ‘Carry Me’, ‘100 Years Of Solitude’ and ‘Riverflow’ all played with such passion is always great.
As ever at the UEA on a Sunday night it was early curfew so after a 90 minute set including 2 encores it was time to depart but not without looking back on another excellent show from what is one of our favourite bands.
Set List - Norwich UEA 7.12.08
1. Belarus
2. The Fear
3. Burn America Burn
4. The Road
5. Before The End
6. Fight or Flight
7. Together All The Way
8. Death Loves Youth
9. Sell Out
10. Behold A Pale Rider
11. Carry Me
12. Eyes Wide (+ didge)
13. One Way (+ didge)
14. 100 Years of Solitude
15. A Life less Ordinary
16. The Cholera Well
17. The Riverflow
Encore
18. Another Man’s Cause
19. Far From Home
20. Dirty Davey
Encore
21. Liberty Song
Wast

Vanilla Pod
The Waxing Captors
Damn This Town
The Washouts
@ Ipswich, Royal Oak
09/01/09
Ah, the first gig of the New Year, and a gig in a relatively new venue for this town. The Royal Oak has hosted gigs for years now but the current landlord (Andy) really appears to have grabbed the musical bull by the horns and has given plenty of encouragement to local promoters to use his pub. The layout is pretty good as pubs go, with the band playing at one end of the room you can easily see what’s going on with the minstrels from several raised vantage points. You can even get a clear view of the band from the bar whilst ordering a pint, now that’s class! First up tonight was The Washouts, they play a covers set of what I think is 1980’s American hardcore punk. To be honest I don’t know the songs they’re covering and as I’ve now seen them several times it’s starting to feel like the songs they thrash out in their friendly slightly haphazard style really are of their own creation. Damn This Town is a band I’ve been looking forward to seeing since I heard they had formed. This was based entirely on the bands the players had been in before, on one guitar there’s Lee from Tales Told in the Dark/ Killazilla and (ahem) Junk Culture, on the other guitar there’s Luke from Power/ Ghosts in the Audio. Bass duties are carried out with aplomb by Wibby from Cambridge hardcore legends The Volunteers, he was also the one time bassist of Ipswich aural violators This Mourning After. Tub thumping in the background is Steve from Power, Tales Told In The Dark and old Ippo pop punk monkeys Minority. Sound wise I could reel off a long reference list of obscure bands, but that wouldn’t really help you get a feel for their theme, so I won’t. Instead I’ll describe them as complex but accessible power punk, with a sprinkle of metal garnished with harmonious fighting talk vocals. I was very impressed indeed, not least with Wibby’s America Depression 1930’s style government agent look. Having seen each of these band members in many different bands I’ve got to say it was clear they have each arrived at place where it all makes sense, and that’s something that was clear (and entertaining) as an onlooker. The Waxing Captors have long held a fascination for me, from their insanely energetic beginnings as the young kids of the Ipswich scene (they were about 15 when I first saw them if memory serves) through to bona-fide agitated pop masters they’ve always impressed, and never stood still either musically of physically. Tonight was no exception, from the first chord they were all bouncing around like they were still the accidently destructive teens they used to be. Having taken a break for several years for University it was going to be interesting to see if they still gelled as a band or whether they would be lazily plodding through the ‘hits’. The good news is that they’re unafraid to trounce the crowd with some of their older tracks, the even better news is that the new material (which made up the bulk of their set) is every bit as urgent, inventive and invasive as anything I’ve seen them come up with in the past. I believe they’ve got a 7” record coming out on a label from Bury St.Edmunds, so Google them to find out more! Vanilla Pod could comfortably be described as a stalwart of the UK punk scene, and tonight showed everyone why. This band plays with phenomenal confidence, whilst never veering into uncomfortable snotty or arrogant territory. It’s not so much that they know they’re good and aren’t shy about it, it’s more that they know their formula so well they can spend a bit of time endearing you to their sound with their group personality. The banter was cheeky and friendly and everyone in room was on the same musical page throughout. A great end to what felt like a gig that will go down in local folklore as reminding us just how great this town can be.
Andrew Culture