The latest T&M release from A-M-I gets the Fungal Punk treatment - and they live to fight another day!
Read the full review here
A-M-I - ANTI-MEATHEAD
A new band, a bloody young band, a band looking to be the future of punk rock - by heck what a task! There are connections here, you should know about them but I will leave it at that, these things hold no sway or influence and I shall not patronise these buggers by giving them a sweet review due to the said attachments, floating propaganda and lack of years on the clock of ages. It is music, to help one has to be honest and judge it as part of the whole rather than as part of a favoured niche, the upshot being that a reviewer can never have many friends, will always be on the outside looking in - sorry chaps and this Fungal can, and is determined to, do it only the truthful way. One thing though, if its grand it will be praised, if its shite it will be constructively criticised, if its average it will be stated as such - hold yer scrotums, tense yer buttocks, the myco man's assessment goes a something like this.
The first cacophony to be confronted by goes by the basic name of 'Stuff', an effort that begins with a neat rhythmic push before stripping down to the acoustic waist and keeping things minimal. During the first exposure of the chorus the song gets down to its duds before scrubbing down and showcasing a little more of the 'ooomph' factor. We eventually progress to a flashy guitar sequence, a string shudder and final holler out that is a repeater beater accompanied by that taut guitar work - the song gradually fades, not bad at all. A synthoid rotor turns, hypnotises, gets joined by radioed mouth work before ill temper bursts from the chests of the rocking protagonists and only then does the song bear raucous wings and truly flies. A spite filled number, an underscore of youthful angst, a grinding sludge that is constantly whipped along by the bands determined spirit. 'Billy No Mates' is a nagging whelp that goes on but has a good spunkiness about it and a fair fiery underbelly. A blip during the verses where an uncomfortable stagger niggles this listener but other than that, decent enough.
'Implode' counterpunches with saturated bursts and more hollowed out moments thus creating a two-faced twat of tuneage that maintains intrigue. The band come into their own at this point with both countenances of tuneage portrayed well and giving the band numerous options and exhibiting the fact the crew are happy to push themselves and not stay safe with easy 3 chord upchucks that do little to flex musicians muscles. I like this one a lot, the clout within the tuneage when the band rip it up, the overall tight delivery and the thirst to unload their personal disgruntlement appeals - it has an incendiary feel, it has much vitality - rum buggers! 'The Beach' shakes its arse, kicks up the sand, strolls with subdued steps, adopts a style similar to its predecessor but is less certain, less clear, the sonic sun is hindered by versed clouds that just miss the target. The chorus cutlets are simple but effective but the spoken moody segments just need that extra preparation - lacking a touch of emotive iciness, just falling short of the atmospheric levels - shame. I can see where the attempt was destined to be but from my humble and fungalised perspective I feel this one just strays from that end bulls-eye.
Up steps 'Meathead' next, a sinister swine with its snout snuffling along and spraying shit this way and that. The stringwork is scuzzy, the unified hollers highly rewarding, the orchestration of the song pleasingly applaud able and with another overlay of guitar work doing the chanted explosions this could have been an ear-bleeding burst. I shouldn't complain though, perhaps the most basic song of the lot but one of the most butt kicking numbers that reverberates around the assessing buttocks - ooh mother! 'R. A. T. S.' has a grim approach, ploughs out a harder edge with an encrusting filth within the machinations of the outpouring that gradually festers and adds to the relentless disease. The band have their heads down here, hit some tidy riffs, chop up the waters with many excitable shifts and spasmodic twitches. The roars come, the H/C influences pour in, testicles of tonality are hung out, waggled and backed up with a 'fuck off and have it' attitude - there ain't nowt wrong with that chaps. 'Worm' next, ok I hate the intro, it deflects from the gist of the song, the exposure of frauds. When the band go for it the effect is far weightier, more worthy of your attention but the chorus is an empty inclusion, void of any 'ooomph' and so deflates my end verdict of a ditty I just don't like. We close with 'Svengali' a turf kicking rumble that points a finger at the poser punks, is it meant or not? The attitude is we'll be who we wanna be which is all we can ask of anyone but after years of prodding and poking in this melodic mush I can guarantee there ain't many who are holding up to the grade of 'genuine'. Sorry to smash your illusions lads. Anyway, the song is a routine burst with well versed wordage but the dudes keep it all in check and create a tidy effort. Not my personal fave but nothing to handle too roughly - the promise is there.
So A-M-I have been examined, listened to and judged on who they are, what they throw out and their potential. Not bad in truth but still work to be done and I feel personally, they just need to make that collision between the surging moments and the prominent switched off moments more powerful, more definite. You get two bonus tracks which are single versions of 'Meathead' and 'Billy No Mates' which shows the bands can alter the approach and have their own flavour to work with - interesting. If the band keep motivated, avoid all the clap trap and kudos cock shit then this could be an interesting journey but if they get suck into the circle were false praise is dished out, ego is at the helm and people aren't sincere in their advice then the buggers are doomed - be warned, Fungal is upfront, straight and on yer side.