The godspunk compilation CD series is a co-operative venture, in which all contributing bands / artistes share the cost of manufacture. Each contributor pays a fraction of the total CD manufacturing cost for each six minutes of audio contributed, gets one page
of artwork in the accompanying booklet and receives a number of copies of the finished CD album. For volume
eighteen, as an example, six minutes allocation cost £70 and the contributor received 40 copies of the CD. This is an effective way of working, as each band / artiste gets their music on 500 'proper' CDs (not CD-Rs) and has their music heard by the other bands' audiences without the hassle of distribution being the responsibility of one person. If you would like to be considered for inclusion on a future CD,
please contact Pumf.
1 Image is Everything - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Red Pick Up - Nil billy Nick
3 Nina On The Dance Floor - UNIT
4 Protocols - Howl in the Typewriter
5 That Scat! - No bum Nutella
6 Panzer - Dumb Robot Pilot
7 Little Lizard - Howl in the Typewriter
8 Rain Man (Electric Dub) - S. L. I.
9 Throat Drone - Nurturing bubbly Nodules
10 Miranda Passes The Audition - UNIT
11 A Strong Sense of Embarrassment - Howl in the Typewriter
12 Meat Balls - The Large Veiny Members
13 Metal Trap - Numouse byte Nutron
14 One-way Jigsaw - Howl in the Typewriter
15 Rise of the Sacrificial Goat (excerpt) - Flux of Yellow Daisies
16 My Babys Skin - Necromancy bilious Necromancy
17 Reginald - S. L. I.
18 Ampoule gaztete - Moineau Ecarlate
19 Look Ma! - Naughty boyd Narcissist
20 WeavyHeight - Howl in the Typewriter
21 A Song For Paul Novak - UNIT
22 Tidal - Dumb Robot Pilot
23 Teal Hair - Newly bought Nanook
24 The Eroder - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Andy
Martin (UNIT), 12th January 2018
Who actually reads these reviews? Presumably the contributors to each godspunk collection. It pleases me to imagine they are also scanned by people sufficiently intrigued by the presence of these compilations to consider purchasing them and require more information prior to reaching a decision. If this is so then it is futile for me to say how much I like or dislike a certain track. What help is that to a potential buyer? However, I invariably do include such statements because I endeavour (though not always with success) to be fair and provide accurate descriptions of the contents so if I really dislike a track then the reader can, in theory, compensate for my comments and assume (perhaps) it merits more praise than Iíve given to
it . . . and vice versa. My marks out of ten represent my personal response to a track (thus they refer only to my musical preference) and are therefore not an indication of its artistic merit.
- Nil By Nose (in their various incarnations)
- Red Pick Up
My only complaint about this splendid impertinence is its duration: it is far too brief. It is a clever and deliciously cruel satire on country and western songs. This obviously appeals to me because I loathe, detest and despise country and western. Whenever I hear it (which, fortunately, is very rarely and only ever by accident) I see black people hanging from trees while hooded numpties set fire to wooden crosses. However, I freely admit the performance of country and western music does require a level of technical proficiency not found in many pop groups so if one seeks to ridicule it, one has to be able to play instruments to a certain
standard . . . which is why this piece is so effective: it is played superbly. I would like the vocal a little louder in the mix but this is my only (minor) caveat other than its brevity. Note: the best country and western parodies I have ever heard can be found on one of the soundtrack CDs by The Simpsons. One of these includes a song about a pick-up truck, too. 8/10
- That Scat
Here we have another splendid slice of parody, this time in a 1970s jazz funk groove. Again, I would prefer it to be longer and, ideally, the bass guitar (or bass keyboard) should be slightly louder in the mix. What we have here is a drum machine, a bass and a keyboard emulating a brass section with a vocalist who gives it wellie on the cool scat singing vibe Iíve used in certain UNIT tracks except here thereís a hint of Elvis Presley, too. Come to think of it, the vocal ought to be louder, too. The performance is crisp, clean and finely executed but just as I begin to enjoy
it . . . it ends! 7/10
- Throat Drone
I wonder if the purveyors of this track have ever heard Motet by The Lemon Kittens? It appears on We Buy A Hammer For Daddy, their 1st album, released in 1979. That has unaccompanied male vocals, albeit of a more complex harmonic nature than what is given here. Basically the music does what the title suggests: drones on a single note for only a few seconds. It ought to be extremely tedious but actually it is highly effective, especially when placed between
Rain Man and Miranda Passes The Audition. Again, this piece would benefit from being slightly longer. Anyway, one fact is now apparent:
Red Pick Up, That Scat and Throat Drone could conceivably be written and recorded by totally different artists because they sound so radically different from each
other . . . an impressive achievement. 7/10
- Metal Trap
This reminds me of those atrocious poufy new romantic outfits of the 1980s which means I am destined to dislike this piece intensely even though it is evidently a satirical swipe at such ensembles. The lyric is also amusing yet I still find this excessively irritating! This is not an actual fault of the music or its performers but a property of the genre theyíve chosen to satirise. A drum machine, typical 1980s keyboard sounds and an impassioned vocal provide the primary musical presentation but the wordless vocalise (under heavy reverb) in the background adds an extra dollop of Depeche Modery if you like that kind of thing. 3/10
- My Babys Skin
An emotional vocal over a twanging guitar and a vague murky morass of synthesiser provide the primary ingredients of this strange little number and, for the first time, I am grateful it is under 30 seconds in duration. Christ, this is annoying! It might supply a useful bridge between
Goat and Reginald but I still find it irritating. However, it does provide yet another facet of the astonishing variety of which this bunch are capable. 2/10
- Look Ma
At nearly 2 minutes, this piece is 4 times the length of any of its predecessors. Right then, think Throbbing Gristle, The Nocturnal Emissions and Whitehouse. Now add more intricate (and thus interesting) synthesiser / electronic sounds plus occasional vocal interjections, the entire sonic slab blasted out
fortissimo . . . and you have this magnificent aural edifice that stands astride
Ampoule and WeavyHeight like a colossus. This is (in my no doubt biased opinion) absolutely brilliant and, for me, one of the best tracks on the collection. Hear it once and you will possibly grumble Ďugh
- bloody racketí. Well, yes, perhaps . . . but please listen to it again, this time through headphones (which is what I did). This piece is actually far more complex and intricately arranged than an initial encounter with it might suggest. On my 3rd listen I simply sat here and relished the crawling chaos of disparate sonic strands that weave an electronic tapestry which, despite its harsh and abrasive mien, merits repeated listens. Iíd like some of the bass frequencies to be a little more prominent in the mix but this is my only caveat. 9/10
- Teal Hair
An electronic beat, an electric organ, a synthesiser plus electronic noises off-stage over which male voices chant like monks from Hell, primarily in only 2 keys, lend this a strange aura, as if it is an avant garde response to
A Song For Paul Novak. The organ ought to be louder (but then I like organs) although the piece does sound clearer when heard on headphones. At nearly 2 minutes it is the longest of their contributions yet not (in my opinion) their most impressive. I find myself waiting for something to happen, some event to
occur . . . but it never arrives. That said, the playing is crisp and precise while the atmosphere evoked is suitably sepulchral for its subject matter. 6/10
Note: for virtuoso operators of CD players or computers, I recommend listeners play all these tracks in succession (in the same order they appear on the compilation). The experience is definitely worth the effort. How can they manage such variety, especially when each track is played with such conviction? There is a problem with tracks under 30 seconds duration: listeners can be tempted to dismiss them as insubstantial and disposable. This would be a severe error with most of these items. Their brevity is rarely an indication of their substance. Remember: a lack of seconds does not imply a lack of content. For me, Volume 18 displays Nil By Nose at their very best because the sheer range covered by these tracks, combined with the technical finesse of the performances, I find astonishing. Yes, this is all highly impressive.
- Dumb Robot Pilot
A rock steady drum pattern (rather 1970s - which is not a criticism) combines with a grumbling bass guitar and early 1980s guitar rifferama to create a typical rock instrumental one might hear used as background music to depict a club in a 1980s childrenís television drama. Now, thereís a problem here
- this is really not my kind of music so I must struggle to be fair to its exponents. Over the years, UNIT have received (correctly) praise for our technical ability even from people who donít particularly like our kind of music. Well, Dumb Robot Pilot prove they are equally proficient: this number is executed with consummate skill. Indeed, it rolls along in an arrogant swagger I find rather appealing. I think the problem (for me) is that it requires a lead melody somewhere, an additional Ďsomethingí to add lustre to what presently sounds rather like a backing track for a vocal or lead instrument. Nevertheless, when heard in the context of this compilation, it provides an unexpected dollop of hard
rock . . . which is excellent if you like hard rock. If, like me, you
donít . . . well, then you have to appreciate the variety its inclusion affords.
No, itís no good. I canít leave it like that. I played it again (through headphones) and I am forced to revise my previous opinion. This is actually a finely crafted example of rock music whose only fault is that the bass guitar needs to be slightly louder. To my surprise I found I was never actually bored
- I didnít experience a desire to fast forward (which is what I expected). If it changed key more often then Iíd find it easier to enjoy the piece. Anyway, Iím glad I played this work again because I enjoyed it more the second time around and it obliges me to increase my score to 8/10.
A rock steady drum pattern (rather 1970s - which is not a criticism) combines with a grumbling bass guitar and early 1980s guitar rifferama to create a typical rock instrumental one might hear used as background music to depict a club in a 1980s childrenís television drama. Just a minute
- isnít this how I described Panzer? Well, I know perfectly it is, of
course . . . and therein lies the problem. It sounds (to me) like a slower paced variant of
Panzer. However, the difference here is that the piece really does sound like a backing track in urgent need of a lead instrument or a vocalist. I tried it again through headphones but, alas, this time I really did feel the urgent need to press the fast forward
button . . . yet I managed to refrain from doing so . . .
. . . but this track features additional properties which generate criticism. First: thereís a reverb used on the guitar which sounds excessive and makes the general sound rather murky and muddy. Second: the slow tempo and repeated riffs emphasise the degree of repetition. Again, I think the bass guitar needs to be louder. The playing is exemplary; make no mistake, these cats are highly competent musicians
- itís just a pity they didnít add another guitar or a keyboard to play a lead melody line which, in my opinion (which I admit is probably not worth much) would raise this piece to a much higher level. 5/10
- Rain Man
A drum machine + 1980s keyboard sounds + a very intriguing lyric combine to provide one of the more interesting tracks on this compilation. Note: Ďweíre all fantastic nowí appears on the inner spine of the CD tray card. I donít like the mid Atlantic accent adopted by the singer but this is merely an example of my personal preference rather than a genuine criticism. The vocal melody is contagious and my only real problem is the absence of a bass guitar or bass melody instrument because this means the track sounds rather top heavy. That said, at no time did find myself bored by the track
- a significant achievement since I am notoriously impatient with any form of music that falls outside my narrow preferences. 4/10
This is pure pop: drums, bass guitar, guitar and keyboard in full effect with a vocal whose sound and diction I definitely prefer to that adopted for
Rain Man. Mein Gott, if this track was played on Radio 1 or any other commercial radio station, it would not sound incongruous. That, by the way, constitutes significant praise from me. There is a part of my mind (admittedly a small part) that really appreciates bright and breezy commercial pop music and this magnificent tracks meets every requirement: a strong vocal melody, a nice harmonic progression and a pristine performance that merits respect and approbation. Can this therefore constitute a fair review of it?
No . . . because I love this kind of music and therefore I am liable to heap praise upon it, some of which may not be
warranted . . .
. . . but I donít care, all right? All the same, in the interests of balance and fairness, letís give it another listen, this time through headphones. Could the vocal be just a tad more prominent in the mix? Possibly. The string synthesiser is also a bit too quiet for my taste although it sounds clearer through headphones. Thereís also an acoustic guitar here but it only appears at certain moments in the work. The guitar parts weave a gentle web through the sonic texture, too. No, itís no good: Iím going to listen to this a third time, purely because ITíS SO BLOODY GROOVY! This is (so far) my favourite track on the collection. This is The Hit Single, without a doubt. Have S.L.I. ever recorded any other tracks like this? Not to my knowledge. Anyway, yes, I was right: the vocal should be slightly louder in the
mix . . . but that doesnít stop me giving it 10/10.
- The Large Veiny Members
- Meat Balls
This is (by 1 second) the longest track on the collection. Late 1990s house and acid rave meets the more accessible (tuneful) elements of Throbbing Gristle and The Lemon Kittens in a kaleidoscope of disparate electronic fragments (interrupted by occasional vocal interjections) which do change but only gradually, almost imperceptibly, over an insistent beat underscored by a keyboard that suggests rather than insists upon a chord sequence. All this tomfoolery ought to place the piece firmly in Ibiza circa 1995 yet it doesnít sound Ďold fashionedí (whatever that might mean). It does give the impression of a 21st century ensemble who seek to create a memory of that decade with its shell suited exponents cavorting on dance floors high on ecstasy and low on artistic discernment. Actually, this piece is superior (technically and musically) to much of the robot noise that afflicted the 1990s and for one crucial reason: it never becomes tedious or
boring . . .
. . . but then as a child of the 1990s am I unfairly biased in its favour?
Probably . . . so letís see if I can listen to it again (on headphones) without becoming impatient. Yes, all right then: second time around I notice the absence of a bass guitar or bass keyboard. Does it really need this? Perhaps not but Iíd appreciate such an addition since most of the interesting fragments tend to happen in the mid range and treble regions of the work. Electronic manipulation of the sonic strands adds to the interest
- repeated phrases are often subjected to transformations as they mutate into other sounds or fall apart while new sounds take their place but this all happens gradually, organically. This is one of the more intriguing works on this disc and definitely my favourite LVM piece. 8/10
- Flux Of Yellow Daisies
- Rise Of The Sacrificial Goat
This is (by 1 second) the second longest track on the collection. It is also the least accessible. Now, I have to be careful here: I read their page in the booklet and fundamentally disagree with about 90% of its
contents . . . so I must not allow that to adversely influence my response to the track. (As a passionate, enthusiastic and informed student of physics and astronomy since the 1970s I cannot accept the assertions made in their
essay . . . but this is not the place to enter into a scientific debate.) So, what do the Daisies have for us? Over 6 minutes of a violin scratching away over a jumble of electronic
noises . . . apparently . . . or at least, thatís what it may sound like if you donít pay attention.
Look, this is not background music. To appreciate its intricacy, full attention is required although I do realise that is a formidable demand given the extreme avant garde idiom adopted here. For me this does not present a problem, of course, but for many people, I can imagine their responses: thereís no tune, no melody, no harmony, no
rhythm . . . itís just a load of noise. Ah, but thatís where they are wrong. It is not just a load of noise. On the contrary, much of this work is restrained and delicate with a disparate collection of sound sources that weave in and out of focus like minute organisms observed through a microscope or the movement of molecules suspended in solution. Usually a work sounds more effective either through speakers or
headphones . . . this piece sounds equally effective using either medium, although the incredible range of sounds and their quite formidable complexity does become more obviously apparent through headphones.
I played Reginald (S.L.I.) and Look Ma (Naughty Boyd Narcissist) 3 times each because I enjoyed them so much. This track Iíve played 3 times because it intrigues me
- indeed it fascinates me. Iím not even certain I Ďlikeí it that much
- by which I mean, I canít decide if I actually enjoy listening to it. I must do
- or else why would I wish to endure its 6 minute duration 3 times in succession? On my first encounter, the violin annoyed me because it sounds as if the player is not technically proficient. However, suppose thatís true
- does it matter? Not necessarily. What does matter (to me anyway) is this: does the performance serve a useful artistic function in the context of the piece as a whole? To my ears, yes, it
does . . . because its rough ineptitude (assuming it really is ineptitude) creates a stark contrast with (and opposition to) the mechanistic perfection of the electronic and industrial sounds. I equate it with a human being or an animal trapped inside a vast mechanistic environment from which it seeks (and fails) to escape.
(20 minutes later.) I have to hear this piece a 4th time. Iíve not been this intrigued with a
godspunk contribution since Hebetation and Stream Angel. There is a hi-hat there and a
cymbal . . . but among the other sound sources these are not instantly apparent. At certain moments during the piece, the machine music (as I choose to call it) alters its course, abruptly, yet it never actually ceases. A sonic strand stops to be replaced quickly by a different set of sounds yet while this occurs, other sound sources continue so one gains the impression of a vast leviathan whose component parts change course and alter momentum yet continue their relentless subjugation of the organic element: the violin. This is merely my interpretation, however, so perhaps ought not to be regarded as a definitive description of the work. If this piece was played on BBC Radio 3 amid other avant garde classical works, it would not sound incongruous. However, I find it impossible to decide on a
score . . . what do I think of it? I canít decide. What I do know, beyond any possible doubt, is that it is one of the most interesting contributions ever made to a
godspunk compilation and for this reason alone I shall award it 9/10.
Note: this outfit also released a 21 minute CD called Insecticide which - to my astonishment
- I actually enjoyed. I disagree profoundly with the essay they include in the
godspunk booklet, primarily because it is simply not factually correct. When the gigantic cyclotron was initially constructed at CERN in Switzerland there soon followed a plethora of anxious complaints from people with noble intentions but a lamentable absence of a basic knowledge of physics, convinced the scientists were about to create a miniature black hole that would envelope the world. Actually, the physics of black holes donít function like that
- to create such a monstrosity (which I agree would be an activity of monumental stupidity) requires a gargantuan mass, i.e. at least 1.4 times that of the Sun.
I also find the sleeve notes to this EP irritating (they primarily feature a long quote over 3 pages from H P Lovecraft together with a page that invites Satanist to contact the group) because surely the world does not need Satanism or any other kind of medieval superstitious balderdash. Instead we urgently require sanity, rational thought and hard scientific facts. When problems occur in the world, it seems to be de rigeuer to blame the scientists when in fact it is usually governments and their paymasters, the multi-national corporations, who are responsible for the mess in which we find ourselves. Scientists are generally ordered to clear up this mess. It was a group of scientists who first warned governments about the perils of a depleted ozone layer and the noxious effects of CHC emissions back in the 1960s. Is it their fault if governments ignore them? Hardly.
The EP reveals people clearly fascinated by the 1960s and all that H P Lovecraft, Charles Manson and Satanic bollocks so beloved by industrial outfits of the 1980s. It sounds impossibly dated and old fashioned now yet itís pleasant enough in its own way and quite amusing. Will there still be bands in 2118 who drone on about all this hoary old tat? Frankly I could not care 2 hoots about Charlie Manson
- what has he ever done for me or for society? Given hippies an even worse reputation than they had already, I suppose, but apart from that I can think of not a single useful contribution he made to the world. H P Lovecraft created some splendid stories but he was never a Satanist. He wanted to be an 18th century English aristocrat, a desire occasionally revealed in some of his earlier short stories.
Oddly, none of the tracks (which are played with technical precision and with a crisply clear production) sound remotely similar to their contribution to
godspunk, being rather guitar orientated grooves with the intrusion of taped voices and odd sounds. In fact, although the tracks are split into sections called Track 1, Track 2 et cetera, each separated by short largely spoken word pieces called Interludes, the whole set framed by a Prelude and a Postlude, I hear it as a continuous 21 minute work.
- Moineau Ecarlate
- Ampoule Gaz Tete
On more than one occasion I have complained about the absence of overtly avant garde contributions to more recent Gods Punk collections. Flux Of Yellow Daisies and Naughty Boyd Narcissist (with
Look Ma) compensate for this - yet this very strange piece adds a further inflection to the mix with its synthesiser driven repetition under / over which we hear various sonic strands: percussion, electronically treated voices and other sounds impossible to define. I canít hear this once and give it the attention it
merits . . . so letís spin it again. A car horn, disgruntled voices, odd stops and starts plus synthesisers in sonic disagreement with each other all contribute to the mess
- but this isnít a murky, untidy mess - itís a meticulously contrived array of sounds, noises and fragments of music that amount to indecision, confusion, a debate that is never concluded. I do find it slightly irritating but this is not a criticism of the piece itself, merely a comment on my own musical preferences. This definitely deserves
7/10 . . . probably more. I really hope they make future contributions to
godspunk because Iíd like to hear what else they have for us. Yes, an intriguing work. Iíll modify my score: 8/10.
- Nina On The Dance Floor
This is my musical depiction of Nina Bentley, one of the daughters of Dexter Bentley who presents the Hello Goodbye Show every Saturday at midday on Resonance 104.4 FM. It forms part of a series of purely instrumental works I composed in honour of various children
- the others are Mordecai Watson and Iris Watson (the children of Ben Watson who presents Late Lunch With Out To Lunch every Wednesday at 2 pm on Resonance 104.4 FM) and Dan and Mia (the children of
pStan Batcow) plus Chester Scores Another Goal (included on godspunk 17). Heís the son of Dexter Bentley. Nina particularly enjoys dancing so I present what appears to be a typical disco
number . . . until the metre changes and we are obliged to dance in 7/4 and 5/4. The harmonic clashes (with discords) are deliberate. They represent my aversion to dance music! That said, I wonder if this piece isnít slightly too long for its content. 7/10
- Miranda Passes The Audition
This is my musical depiction of Miranda Bentley, one of the daughters of Dexter Bentley who presents the Hello Goodbye Show every Saturday at midday on Resonance 104.4 FM. It forms part of a series of purely instrumental works I composed in honour of various children Ė the others are Mordecai Watson and Iris Watson (the children of Ben Watson who presents Late Lunch With Out To Lunch every Wednesday at 2 pm on Resonance 104.4 FM) and Dan and Mia (the children of
pStan Batcow) plus Chester Scores Another Goal (included on godspunk 17). Heís the son of Dexter Bentley. Miranda is interested in drama and acting so this presented me with a difficult challenge. I elected to write music dramatic in nature with as many 19th century classical chord progressions as I could contrive plus the obligatory jazz rhythms in the central section. In fact the outer sections are a fast 9/8 and 5/8 which can also be regarded as a slow 7/4 if youíre that way inclined. As with its predecessor, I think in retrospect this piece could benefit from being slightly shorter. 8/10
- A Song For Paul Novak
I do not enjoy repetition and I do not enjoy music that remains in only 1 or 2 keys for its entire duration. This piece is repetitive and utilises only 2
keys . . . yet it is one of my favourite UNIT tracks. It was selected for this compilation by Fritz, Colin and UJ since it provides (in their opinion) a dramatic contrast to our normal style.
Er . . . what then is our normal style? My prissy little pop songs, probably. It was never my intention to write a piece that is ostensibly derived from repetition and only requires 2 keys Ė it is not an exercise I would relish Ė but as I began to set my lyric to music it became obvious (to me at least) it required precisely this kind of musical setting because it provides an accurate portrayal of Paul Novak, the boy who introduced me to the work of Anthony Burgess and John Wyndham, peace be upon his name. Novak was in the year below me in school.
Have you ever read Animal Farm by George Orwell? I detest the man - heís one of the most irritating writers Iíve ever encountered and his political beliefs are vile. Anyway, think of that dreadful
donkey . . . then combine him with Marvin the paranoid android from the Hitchhikers Guide To The
Galaxy . . . and you have Novak. The difference is that he was also incredibly unstable emotionally, prone to bouts of sudden violence. I was besotted by him which probably did not assist our relationship. He insisted he did not want or need friends. Yes, Iíve rarely made life easy for myself. His father was amazing
- wrote novels and studied ancient Greece and classical Rome so I quickly developed a friendship with the man. As for the music
- it needs to be in 7/4 time. The unstable metre represents the personality of Paul Novak. The electronic sounds and birds represent my own incursion into his life. My vocals are usually abysmal yet for once they arenít too intolerable, perhaps inspired by the lyric. If I had to list my Ďtop tení tracks by UNIT, this would be among them. 10/10
- Howl In The Typewriter
- Image is Everything
Most godspunk sets commence with a power pop track by HitT. This time we have a track that owes much of its mien to grime and dub step. I generally expect nasty, vindictive lyrics from
pStan and thatís what we have here: a searing critique of contemporary numpties desperate to shove their vacuous personalities on social media. Is this one of the most powerful lyrics I have ever heard? Actually, it just might
be . . . but Iíd better check . . . so Iíll play it again. A sampled drum kit in a typical 2010s break beat + jackplug hum transmuted into an almost musical pattern + an angry bass guitar figure with a distortion pedal + a couple of multi-tracked vocals whose restraint (they barely narrate above a whisper apart from a couple of brief shouts during the chorus sections) + violently aggressive electronic interjections create an astonishingly hostile sonic environment that contains more anger and disgust than any amount of mere punk rock or heavy metal.
Myself, Lawrence Burton and pStan Batcow share one specific (and laudable) quality: we each possess an innate ability to inflict upon victims quite vituperative sonic assaults upon individuals or groups of people. I can match
pStanís ability when it comes to lyrics but musically, I acknowledge his superiority. When I write vindictive attacks upon people, the music is usually Ďtoo niceí. I canít help writing luscious harmonies and memorable melodies.
pStan (with commendable self discipline) is able to relinquish these attributes and strip his track down to the bare essentials required to rend his victims limb from limb. Consider the elements that comprise this piece: none of them are pleasant, musical (in the conventional sense) or designed to appease listeners. These are nasty, brutal, aggressive sounds. This is napalm as music. The track oozes contempt for its recipients
- splendid. 8/10
Acoustic guitar, bass guitar and harmony vocals suggest a folk song but there are distractions: a distorted electric guitar and occasional electronic interjections presage what happens half way through: we are flung into a 21st century recreation of a 1960s groove until the track suddenly collapses in on itself and begins to fragment into avant gardery before the original song reasserts itself but at a faster tempo
- then slows down and returns to its quiet opening although the lyric has reached a different conclusion
- magical. In terms of style, this is not my kind of music. The lyric, conversely, is utterly superb. Indeed I maintain it to be one of the most powerful he has ever written but what do I know about it? 6/10
- Little Lizard
Distorted electric guitars and bass guitar in a prominently 1970s mien accompany a strangely impassioned pair of vocals which relate the experience of a lizard but (typically) with the imposition of strangely incongruous electronic sounds which grumble and squeak underneath the number until the vocals and guitars stop suddenly
- now the electronics take centre stage and the music drops dramatically in volume and we are flung (without prior warning) into avant garde territory. However (again without warning) the original song returns yet still those oddly disturbing electronic sounds refuse to be placated. All right, this isnít my type of music
- I really only enjoy the quiet middle section - but as a composition this is high quality stuff. 5/10
- A Strong Sense Of Embarrassment
pStan frequently employs pre-recorded voices in his works and this is a typical example of the genre. A busy drum beat with bass and keyboards suggest a pop song yet the sampled voices allude to self immolation and death by fire. In one section a child intones a recitation to which Stan adds a drum rhythm in perfect time to it
- splendid. ĎHow can people do things like that?í asks a female voice. To appreciate just how much work has gone into this track you really need to hear it
again . . . and again. I admit itís not what I would normally choose to listen to but thatís not relevant here. Pay attention to the sampled voices and notice how one speaker makes a statement which is apparently answered by a different speaker even though the 2 voices are separated geographically and temporally by huge distances. This is clever stuff. 5/10
- One-way Jigsaw
A drum machine plus various electronic sounds (in isolated fragments) are combined with 2 voices (one quietly insistent, the other passionately intoned) in a work which sounds to me like a 21st century variant of The Lemon Kittens. The tempo changes and the lyric refers to Ďdisjointedí and
Ďdisassembledí . . . which provides an appropriate description of the music as it increases velocity and alters its component parts. What on Earth is this lyric about? The track is nearly 4 minutes long yet it seems to complete its course in half that time. Very odd. 4/10
Presumably a pun on Heavy Weight, here we have more sampled voices (but cut up into isolated fragments) together with a couple of keyboards to create an incredibly irritating collocation of moments like a reel of tape with parts missing from it. Thereís an almost John Cage quality to this that creates a hypnotic quality akin to the mental state endured when one suffers from influenza and lounges on a bed or sofa in a state of semi-consciousness. Oddly, the track seems to become less annoying and irritating as it proceeds
- which suggests my tolerance for it improves as I become inured to its sound
world . . . perhaps. 5/10
- The Eroder
A drum and bass groove underpins a funky synthesiser figure with sampled voices and a blistering vocal from Stan which perplex me entirely. I admit Iíve no idea what this is about (assuming it has to be Ďaboutí anything) but I particularly enjoy the odd juxtaposition of 1990s beat and 1970s groove with vocals strictly from 2017. I canít be objective about this track because I enjoy it so much! Musically (perhaps even lyrically) it is one of the simplest tracks on the disc and it is certainly the most accessible of all the
HitT contributions. This cries out to be given airplay on a radio station! 8/10
Conclusion: the degree of variety on this collection is impressive given the low number of contributors. At first glance this appears to be a split album by Nil By Nose and Howl
in the Typewriter with a few extra tracks included by other artists. Personally I mourn the absence of Dataís Cat and
the taurus board because even a single track by each of these contributors would enhance the collection
considerably. However, the presence of other tracks (Reginald, Sacrificial Goat and
Look Ma in particular) adequately compensates for these omissions and certainly this is one of the most impressive collections in the relentless march of
godspunk which bestrides the 21st century like a colossus. There are now 18 volumes of
godspunk . If I had to select what I consider to be the 3 best godspunk collections so far
- this would definitely be one of them. Is there anything missing from it? Actually, yes: a couple of acoustic numbers from John Tree would add further
variety . . . but now Iím just being absurdly pernickety.
In virtually all my previous reviews of godspunk collections I rarely mention the artwork. This is because the only visual art that interests me are films and television dramas. I prefer pictures that move. However, certain pages of this CD booklet are extremely impressive. What I refer to as the 1964 page
(HitT) is especially effective but almost every contribution on offer here provides a riot of colours and shapes designed to intrigue, perplex and please the eyes. In fact, this sentiment applies to most of the other
godspunk volumes from around No.7 onwards but for me to actually notice the artwork and deem it worthy of comment means everyone must have made a special effort on this
occasion . . . either that or some cunt has spiked my tea with acid (again).
Now, if I had to pick just 5 tracks to advertise this collection to a potential purchaser, hereís what Iíd choose.
- Howl in the Typewriter - Image is Everything
- S.L.I. - Reginald
- Flux Of Yellow Daisies - Rise Of The Sacrificial Goat
- Nil By Nose - Look Ma!
- UNIT - A Song For Paul Novak
This does not imply this quintet of tracks is Ďsuperiorí in some arcane manner to their companions or that they merit more attention; they merely provide an impressive introduction to the wealth of invention and originality contained on this disc. Now
then . . . after such a successful compilation, how do you follow it? Well, hereís one suggestion
- no, itís not a suggestion, itís a plea: Dataís Cat and the taurus
board: please please please come out of retirement and make a couple of contributions to Volume 19. Moineau Ecarlate and Flux Of Yellow Daisies: please submit tracks to the next volume. Nil By Nose: er, well, just continue to do what youíre doing, please.
1 Little Punk Kid - Howl in the Typewriter
2 The Grange Hill Theme - UNIT
3 Auburn Hair - S. L. I.
4 Brindhuft Spocmeg - Howl in the Typewriter
5 A Song For Lee Perkins - UNIT
6 Creeping Clowns - The Large Veiny Members
7 Failure to Thrive (Zygfryd) - Howl in the Typewriter
8 Tie the Captain to the Mast - New born Nihilist
9 Chester Scores Another Goal - UNIT
10 Heavy Water - Heavy Water
11 We don't think that the Weatherman's dumb - Howl in the Typewriter
12 A Song For Billy Harper - UNIT
13 Limbo Nimbus - The Large Veiny Members
14 The Leaves - Howl in the Typewriter
15 Take Me On A Journey - S. L. I.
16 Terry Cashmore - UNIT
17 Seven Women - Howl in the Typewriter
18 Thinking Bread - Nil by Nose
19 A Song For Terry Cashmore - UNIT
20 Pumping & Racing - The Large Veiny Members
21 Corpse Van - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Node
Pajomo 2.2, Summer 2017
I'm sure I've used the term Twisted Pop or some variation of the same when attempting to describe the Sound of Pumf's Blackpool and this compilation is further evidence of the aptness of that definition. A full one third of the tracks are from
Howl in the Typewriter and they vary stylistically from the aforementioned fractured pop to avant poetry to amusing sample heavy electronica to the difficult to categorize. I always dig the uberstereo vocals in
their / his tracks. UNIT rocks the living hell out of that vibraphone and has very awkward lyrics about school chums in the early 80's but their
'Chester Scores Another Goal' is an epic instrumental fusion work out that would undoubtedly burn the house down in a live setting.
The Large Veiny Members
do a few instrumental tracks that utilize a semi-cheesy organ sound and I swear one track has chattering teeth.
New born Nihilist splays out some heavy dark instrumental action that feels like an Intro to Something Greater.
Heavy Water do a hard rock instrumental,
Nil by Nose play a short carnival instrumental, and
S.L.I. stand out by being the most conventional alt.bar.rock band I've heard in ages. I cannot think of a way to emphasize the overall sense of 'oddness' that permeates this disc, so you'd better just send pStan your monies. Always a Keeper.
- Review by Ear of
Corn #41, 2017
More greatness from Howl in the Typewriter and pals.
HitT's 'Little Punk Kid' and 'We Don't Think that the Weatherman's
Dumb' (chock full of Weatherman samples) are my favorites on this one, without a doubt. Some more cool songs for various people by UNIT and an unbelievably catchy and upbeat
'Take Me On a Journey' by S.L.I, are other favorites of mine on this volume. 21 cool tracks. Another winner!
"Yeah, great stuff that - that was Howl in the Typewriter there featuring pStan Batcow . . . that was called
Corpse Van on the brand new compilation godspunk volume seventeen. Richard text in [during the show] saying 'liking this, it's awkward and cool' - it is, yes, it was bleeding all over the speakers in here as well. I actually turned it down, but it was still [. . . muffled . . .] recorded at high volume. Great stuff!"
- Neil Crud, DJ, after playing 'Corpse Van' on Tudno FM radio show,
29 / 5 / 2017
- Review by Andy
Martin (UNIT), 31st March 2017
Many previous issues of godspunk tend to feature a large number of different contributors, many of whom provide tracks of brief duration. This edition features a smaller number of contributors who generally give us rather longer pieces. Does this represent an improvement? Not necessarily
- although it does provide a contrast to some of those earlier compilations. The range of styles and idioms remains, of course, since this has nearly always been a constant feature of these collections, although it isnít quite so dramatic or impressive as on previous volumes.
My marks out of 10 have become such a familiar feature associated with my reviews that I continue to include them but please remember they do not provide any indication of quality, technical ability or production
- they refer only to my personal response to the music or soundscape with reference to my musical preferences. As my current UNIT associates are quick to remind me, since I am an Oasis fan, my musical opinions must instantly be suspect and treated with extreme caution. Damned cheek!
However, shortly after I completed this review, 2 previous members of UNIT listened to the collection and they insist the tracks by New Born Nihilist and Heavy Water are among the most intriguing and impressive on display here, awarding each of them 9/10 . . . which proves what happens when you let an Oasis fan review a godspunk compilation. This prompted me to listen to the entire CD again (this time through headphones) and this is reflected in my notes below.
- The Large Veiny Members Creeping Clowns - like Nil By Nose and others, this bunch are regular contributors to the godspunk franchise. Hier ist 1980s trommel maschine mit burbling keyboard und not much else except for a couple of fellows having a conversation in the next room. Come on, chaps, what the devil are you playing at? 3/10 Limbo Nimbus - like the previous number this is only a minute and a half in duration with more 1980s drum machine and keyboard sounds babbling away merrily . . . which irritates me intensely! 2/10 Pumping & Racing - the return of the babbling keyboard and those 2 fellows are still having a debate in the room next door. This track is nearly twice as long as either of the other 2 and it feels like it. Most of this is really quiet, too. It intrigues me even though I donít like it much. At least thereís hardly any drum machinery here. 3/10
Note: on a previous collection there was a group of very short pieces I disliked intensely yet when I played them together in succession rather than in the order they appeared on the album, I preferred them. Iíve just adopted the same practise with these 3 tracks and lo and behold
- it works! They sound much better when played as a trio of linked pieces . . . but why? Iíve no idea. My 2 ex-band members insist these tracks each merit 5/10 each . . . but 7/10 if played together as a continuous work.
- S.L.I. Auburn Hair - this proves the spirit of indie pop is alive and thrives with a groovy little song that reminds me (slightly) of The Charlatans, alas without the Hammond Organ. I wish the bass guitar was slightly higher in the mix. Who else does this remind me of now? Oh yes
- The Monochrome Set and The Lines, both of whom produced mutated pop pieces like this. 8/10 Take Me On A Journey - the sound of an acoustic guitar makes a nice change after so much electrickery on many of the other tracks. This is certainly different to their other contribution. Iím not so keen on this one even though it features a wider range of instrumental sounds. Iíd prefer the vocal to be slightly higher in the mix. The final 40 seconds are superb. Both these tracks are barely more than 2 and a half minutes long yet they provide enjoyable moments of tuneful whimsicality among the more strident avant garde works here (or, for that matter, my own histrionics). 7/10
Note: I reviewed this CD on 29th March and gave these pieces 7/10 and 6/10 respectively. The marks given above indicate my opinion based on my second listen to the CD.
- New Born Nihilist Tie The Captain To The Mast - more guitars, all doom and gloom with distant reverb drenched voices. Bloody Christ in a pink leotard but this is repetitive! It grinds on and on with relentless misery for over 4 minutes. It might help if we could hear what the vocalist is saying / speaking but presumably this is not intended thus we have to take the work as find it. Perhaps if the sound was beefed up a bit (more bass maybe) it might work as an effective form of crowd control but I really canít tolerate this. Itís torture, pet, sheer torture! 0/10
- All right, I admit I dreaded hearing this a second time. I even considered skipping it
- but that would be excessively rude and godspunk contributors deserve more respect. Sigh . . . but this is still the most annoying track on here . . . an opinion not shared by a couple of ex-members of UNIT who prefer to remain anonymous.
- Nil By Nose Thinking Bread - a brief, single contribution this time from a bunch who normally give us a few samples of their wares on each edition. Indistinct voices mutter over a repetitive babble of keyboard minimalism that reminds me of Dome or one of those other projects by solo members of Wire. 2/10
On second exposure to this piece Iím reminded of numerous other contributions made by this character, many of which I either enjoyed or found intriguing. I suspect if I heard all these tracks in succession, the full wealth of ideas and range of styles would be revealed, a quality not apparent when a single track is heard in isolation like this.
- Heavy Water Heavy Water - Malcolm ĎScruffí Lewty of Hellbastard formed a band called Heavy Water who played a few concerts and released a couple of CDs in 2004 and 2005 . . . but this is a different group. Here we have a (sort of) rock group with crunchy guitars, bass guitar and drums plus a synthesiser . . . whose burbles and warbling provide (for me) the only moments of interest in music that is easily as repetitive and tedious as the track by New Born Nihilist. Itís all based on just 2 notes! Dear God, it just goes on and on, playing those same 2 notes over and over again. Normally when a group plays a boring, repetitive piece based on only 2 or 3 chords itís because theyíre a punk band and theyíre too technically inept to do anything better. This bunch, by contrast, sound to me as if they can actually play rather well . . . so why oh why do they limit themselves to this dreary dirge? Argh! Mummy, take me away to some other place (where perhaps itís worse). 1/10
Yes, on a repeated listen their technical efficiency is even more apparent, especially through headphones
- so why do they avoid playing more than 2 chords? Itís obviously intentional but I admit this piece has me bewildered! My 2 pals assure me if I had any musical taste at all, I would be able to appreciate this music is clearly an exploration of trance inducement through repetition and my error is to listen to it as I would to a pop song. Maybe theyíre correct . . . but I still find it really, really boring!
- UNIT Grange Hill - how can I review / describe our own contributions? Can my opinions be trusted when Iím the writer of these pieces and one of the performers? Probably not. This is our arrangement of the second (and in my view vastly superior) signature tune used for The Greatest Television Series Ever Broadcast Anywhere In The World & Anyone Who Disagrees With Me Is Simply Wrong. Itís written by Pete Moss and we play a faithful rendition of it although we opt for a live drum kit rather than the drum machine featured on the original number and I lowered the key from C to Bb just for jolly, wouldnít you? I am (I believe) justifiably proud of this piece. Iím not alone in this opinion: it is the 2nd most played / viewed track of the 460 UNIT works now available on our You Tube site. 10/10 A Song For Lee Perkins - oh how I wish I could sing properly and had a decent sounding voice. This is a biographically accurate (though possibly rather cruel) description of a lad who went to Anstey Junior School then Amery Hill School with me from 1976 to 1980. This would sound much more effective sung by a girl or a woman. 7/10 Chester Scores Another Goal - this is our tribute to Chester Bentley, son of Dexter Bentley who hosts Hello Goodbye, an alternative pop music programme broadcast every Saturday afternoon on Resonance 104.4 fm. We recorded musical tributes to his 2 young daughters, too (Nina and Miranda) although God only knows what they think of the music. The Match Of The Day quote I could not resist. Chester is crazy about football
- daft I call it. As for the music, well, itís all a bit fragmented . . . lots of nice chords in search of a decent melody. My saxophone playing hasnít improved either. 6/10 A Song For Billy Harper - Harper is another lad I knew from my school days although he attended a different school to ours. His passion for fighting and ornithology I found impossible to resist. The strident performances given by Fritz and Colin are not able to disguise a salient fact: this is not one of my more inspired musical pieces although Iím quite chuffed with the lyric. 7/10 Terry Cashmore - this piece included quotes from The Hellraisers by Syd Dale because Cashmoresí parents were both groovy hippie types who ran the Rendezvous Cafť in Alton High Street during the 1970s. He didnít go to our school (which in the circumstances is probably fortunate for me) but attended the same school as Harper. The sound effects are appropriate: he did boxing 3 times a week as I can attest: I met him on just 3 occasions and each encounter resulted in a fight . . . in which he battered the crap out of me. As with Chester, this piece sounds like a succession of interesting chord progressions in search of a decent melody . . . which it is never able to locate. 6/10 A Song For Terry Cashmore - the music is based on a far older piece I wrote when I was in The Apostles but we never recorded it at the time. I resurrected it for this tribute to Cashmore and added a 7/4 passage (which is almost obligatory in my pop songs these days
- cf A Song For Lee Perkins) plus some nice harmonies for the vocals. For once my singing isnít too wretched. Yes, there are some rather lewd and lurid aspects to the lyric but at my age, Iíve nothing to lose by expressions of honesty. 8/10
I skipped all our pieces - Iím far too familiar with them already.
- Howl in the Typewriter Little Punk Kid - Mark Perry meets The Lemon Kittens in Paul Wellersí bedroom. This joins a brace of tracks written by people with reference to their dads complaining about the behaviour and attitude of their sons (Jethro Tull, Motorhead, Cyanide, Oasis and Skrewdriver come to mind . . . which probably reveals more about me than is healthy) yet it provides an unusually restrained opening for a godspunk album. The guitar and drum work are strongly redolent of Gertrude (if anyone is familiar with their work). 6/10 Brindhuft Spocmeg - hey oop - trouble at tímill. HitT indulge in a spot of avant gardening but with one of their spiteful lyrics that bristles with aggression. I really appreciate this side of their work. Parts of this remind me of John Cooper Clarke
- which, from me, is a high compliment indeed. The words dance on a soundscape that constantly shifts territory, an uneasy, malevolent collage of electronics and musique concrete
- absolutely superb! 10/10 Failure To Thrive (Zygfryd) - what? Christ but this is irritating. Itís far too close to punk rock for my tastes. The bass guitar part is what salvages it (for me) with its chorus effect and strident playing. There is a contrasting middle section in which an elderly chap asks us why we donít go to hell . . . but why should we? Weíre already there
- itís called Britain in 2017. 3/10 We Donít Think That The Weathermanís Dumb - this issue of godspunk is virtually a HitT mini-album with 7 tracks. This 12 minute epic features a plethora of pre-recorded voices, often cut up and rearranged to force new meanings from their speakers, supported by generally minimal musical blips, bleeps and squeaks. After a while (6 minutes in my case) this becomes tedious, despite the diligent work and obvious effort involved in preparing all these different voices. The main subjects discussed appear to be various household cleaning agents . . . hair . . . and God. 5/10 The Leaves - this sounds rather like one of those early 1980s electro-pop outfits from Europe. The prodigious use of sampled voices is a frequent feature of HitT pieces but listening to this I realise I prefer those more pop orientated tracks on which pStan sings but thatís probably because Iím a boring bugger. When a break beat enters over half way through, the track sounds more 21st century but I still find myself waiting for something to happen. 4/10 Seven Women - the shortest HitT track here features more sampled voices set to minimalist guitar and electronic sounds. All right, Iíve had enough of all this sundry kerfuffle now
- I want to go home, daddy. 2/10 Corpse Van - the first 30 seconds of this sound like King Crimson circa 2003 (no, seriously, it really does). Even after pStan enters with his very distinctive voice, the music still loiters dangerously close to Robert Fripp and his chums . . . but this is not the hippie noodling 1970s KC. No, itís a relative of those 21st century albums where great slabs of metallic guitars and clinically clean drums batter us to oblivion. None of this is remotely intended as a criticism, incidentally
- far from it. For those of you with patience, after the track finishes at around 4 minutes, there follows umpteen minutes of silence before we are given a recapitulation of the Weatherman track
- how much grease is there? This is a device pStan has used on previous godspunk albums although Iíve never quite understood why! 8/10
Repeated plays of these tracks havenít caused me to revise my scores although I did hear aspects in them I didnít notice first time around. HitT tracks definitely benefit from being heard through headphones as well as speakers. My 2 pals take issue with me over some of my scores and statements, in particular
Corpse Van which they insist sounds nothing like King Crimson although they agree it merits 8/10. They give
Failure To Thrive and Seven Women 6/10 and 8/10 respectively and accuse me of not being able to discern the difference between musical inventiveness and a poached egg.
Summary: if ever an edition of godspunk required contributions from Dataís Cat and the taurus board, this is it. For me the real discovery here is S.L.I. about whom I know nothing. I hope they contribute to the next volume. Also, if you, like me, donít like The Large Veiny Members works this time around, donít dismiss them
- instead, check out their contributions to previous volumes and youíll discover thereís more range and variety to their oeuvre than is immediately apparent here. However, this begins to sound just slightly like a godspunk album with too few contributors which might account for the slight diminution of contrasts and variety compared to many (indeed most) earlier godspunk editions. Also: I notice after I dismiss certain contributors with excessively low marks out of 10 I then have the arrogance to award our group 10/10 for Grange Hill . . . which is surely the epitome of conceit.
Note to radio stations and people new to godspunk compilations: before you form an opinion on (for example) Nil By Nose or The Large Veiny Members, I strongly recommend you check out their contributions to previous volumes
- because the sheer range and wealth of styles reveals the sum of their work is more significant than their component parts. So, for me (and my absurdly biased and probably limited musical tastes
- Iím an Oasis fan, after all) the 3 tracks which most impress this time around are:
- Howl in the Typewriter - Brindhuft Spocmeg
- UNIT - Grange Hill
- S.L.I. - Auburn Hair
Iím pleased pStan included a dedication to Robert Dellar on the tray card, too. Itís a crying shame Robert didnít live long enough to hear this CD. He supported our work (but always with intelligent criticism) from 1982
1 FF - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Who - UNIT
3 Ghetto Scum - Spam Javelin
4 Let's Talk About It - Nil By Nose
5 Mia Borowy Buys A Drum Kit - UNIT
6 80s Buddy Cop - The Large Veiny Members
7 Cryptosporidium - Howl in the Typewriter
8 Fuck Off - Spam Javelin
9 1 rotten westernoTe manipulated (Howl in the Typewriter remix) - Catholic Overspill Blame dJohn
10 A Song For Imogen Boorman - UNIT
11 Horrid Beastliness/Beastly Horridness - seven eves
12 Fucking Jerk - Spam Javelin
13 Battered Crawfish - Nil By Nose
14 How Does it Feel? - Howl in the Typewriter
15 Dan Borowy Buys A Bass Guitar - UNIT
16 Friends of Mine - Higgins++
17 Blackhole - The Large Veiny Members
18 How Can You Die When You're Already Dead? - Spam Javelin
19 And He Ran - Howl in the Typewriter
20 Snail Party (Wah!) - Tirikilatops
21 Look Into The Sky - UNIT
22 Life's A Bastard And Then You're Dead - Spam Javelin
23 20 Gold Pieces - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Node
Pajomo, Winter 2016
Do yourself a favor and send pStan some monies right now. The Tirikilatops track
'Snail Party (Wah!)' is PRICELESS, so you are getting more than your money's worth with this song alone! While most if not all of the artists on the CD are from the UK, this big bouncy and squishy track is from South Korea! Adorable nonsensical lyrics, a driving glitchy dance beat, a clean poppy synth tone, and this weird squishy bounciness
that I cannot resist. "Boom Jiggy - Pow Jiggy - Jiggy Jiggy Jiggy" indeed.
I need this on a 12" and there needs to be an extended disco remix AND a classic 70's dub version on the B- side. And my pal Eons One is going to want TWO
copies . . . There are 22 other tracks on here varying from a little punk rock to a lot of warped weirdo pop to quite a few atmospherically psychedelic numbers that makes me think there has been a nice influx of hashish to
Blackpool . . . or am I just projecting? I enjoyed almost every single one of this CD's 4380 odd seconds, emphasis on the odd. "Damn that sorcerer! Twenty gold pieces and I'm
wankered on Rohypnol".
- Review by Ear of
Corn #40, 2017
A good dose of weirdness here with such acts as Howl in the Typewriter, UNIT, Spam Javelin,
Nil by Nose and plenty more, 23 tracks in a variety of styles. The biting social commentary of
'Fuck Facebook' by Howl in the Typewriter is a perfect kick-off to this disc with the punk anger of Spam Javelin being another highlight for me on this particular volume. A great bunch
of music from a long-running underground label.
20 Gold Pieces by Howl in the Typewriter was played on Resonance 104.4FM on 30th June 2016, on Pull The Plug. I received this message by e-mail shortly afterwards from the show's
"When I was first playing the latest godspunk CD, I sort-of fell asleep listening to it on the sofa. When the
'20 Gold Pieces' track started, I was dozing & half-dreaming, and that track incorporated itself into my dream. What a fucking weird dream that was. And when the track suddenly ended there was silence, and my dream continued on (something about a postman leaving a package in my kitchen?) Anyway when I woke up I had to play it again to make sure it was as fucked up as it seemed in my dream . It was."
- Johnny Seven, Pull The Plug radio show, July 2016
- Review by Andy
Martin (UNIT), April 2016
When I first held godspunk volume sixteen in my hands on Friday 29th April 2016, a thought occurred to me: it was a Friday when I first received copies of godspunk volume one back in 2003. I remember I thought to myself: I wonder if we can persuade pStan to allow us to appear on godspunk volume
two? This series of compilations has managed to continue to titillate, irritate, intrigue, fascinate and annoy recipients of its odd mixture of music for 13 years. Ee, lad, thatís real champion. I never liked the front covers or labels very much, despite the glorious colours
- I detest clowns, you see? Iíve always found 2 or 3 tracks Iíve really enjoyed, usually by people utterly unknown to me. Then there were those contributions from LDB and the taurus board which I loved . . . whatever happened to them? Well, LDB now lives in America and is a successful author so thatís grand. As for the taurus board, their strange fate remains shrouded in mystery . . . yet while I regret their disappearance from the godspunk canon, there are plenty of new artists and groups to interest me . . . but I still detest clowns.
- Howl In The Typewriter - FF
Itís the guitarist from Yes - Steve Howe - over there in the background with an acoustic guitar
- Howe In The Typewriter perhaps. What an absolutely superb lyric! pStan always does this
- hits us with a grim, bleak lyric set to mutant pop music that stays in your head for many hours afterwards. Oh, all right, so Iím biased. I, too, hate, loathe, detest and despise that big fat nothing Facebook. It fades out! I have to deduct a point for such impertinence
- or do I? No, because it suddenly blasts back again at the end! Oddly, this is over 5 minutes long yet it seems more like 3 at the most . . . which is generally the sign of a vibrant track. 8/10
- UNIT - Who
I wrote this for The Apostles in 1988. (I used to be in this woefully inept and very silly little pop group called The Apostles from 1983 to 1989.) We finally recorded a decent version of this in 2015 which we thought might be the definitive rendition . . . but then we recorded it again barely 6 months later in January 2016 for our 31st album. The tempo is slightly too fast and my singing is still abysmal. Well, tough. The lyric is one of my best and the music does it justice, too. It sounds absurdly smooth and commercial compared to the tracks either side of it . . . which amuses me for some reason. Perhaps Iím finally going gaga. 8/10
- Spam Javelin - Ghetto Scum
Christ, this heavy going - sort of punk rock / heavy metal - definitely not my kind of music . . . not at all. Ugh. Mind you, thereís plenty of power here and thereís nothing wrong with the performance. I canít give a fair comment on this because I absolutely loathe this musical idiom so it would hardly be fair for me to try. The lyric is damned fine, though
- when you can discern the words. Pity they didnít print the lyric in the booklet because they deserve to be heard . . . related to FF above. 3/10
- Nil By Nose - Letís Talk About It
Now regular contributors to godspunk and generally able to submit tracks of considerable variety, often difficult to predict, which is generally a sign of quality. I find this very tedious but this is probably because Iíve never been a fan of taped voices and 1980s drum machines. There is a curious early 1980s audio cassette mien to the work despite its 21st century production which is crisp and clear with plenty of bass. Purveyors and exponents of this genre will probably enjoy it immensely . . . and I hope they do because clearly considerable work has gone into the production of this strange collage. 3/10
- UNIT - Mia Borowy Buys A Drum Kit
When I was 12 or 13 I never listened to pop pap. I was strictly a fan of classical music
- baroque or avant garde. I couldnít tolerate any of that 19th century romantic pish. I became aware of the existence of Mia and Dan then I thought . . . it might be fun to write a couple of musical tributes to them because weíd already performed this gesture for the 2 children of Ben Watson (who presents Late Lunch With Out To Lunch on Resonance 104.4 fm) Iris and Mordecai (on Rock In Opposition: Phase 6). Recently we completed 3 more tracks
- instrumental tributes to Nina, Miranda and Chester, the children of Richard Bentley who presents Hello Goodbye on Resonance every Saturday at midday. Does this track work? Not totally
- it needs a more prominent lead melody. To my ears this sounds slightly like a backing track in need of a saxophone, flute or keyboard. Whoís to blame for that then? Well, me, because I wrote it! 7/10
- The Large Veiny Members - 80s Buddy Cop
Here we go then . . . excellent artwork in the booklet but this track really doesnít do it for me
- basically because Iím not a fan of music that sounds computerised or electronic. Yes, I know, I plunged into that 1990s acid rave nonsense and enjoyed myself like a total feckiní eejit but despite this thoroughly deplorable aberration in my already flawed personality, I canít summon any enthusiasm for this although, like the Nil By Nose track, the performance and production are excellent. 3/10
- Howl In The Typewriter - Cryptosporidium
Distant music heard blowing across a rainy street by a gloomy character stuck in a crypt
- me, probably. Odd fragments of music in different idioms drift past in a slow succession of blurred, indistinct moments like dream images
- slightly disturbing but highly effective and oddly rather plangent. 7/10 On a second hearing Iíve changed my mind. 8/10
- Spam Javelin - Fuck Off
Christ, howís this for a contrast? This is bloody horrible! Sorry, but it really is . . . although for pure aggression and white hot hostility, I doubt it can be superseded . . . except perhaps by another of their own tracks! 4/10
- Catholic Overspill Blame dJohn - 1 Rotten Westernote Manipulated
How on Earth is anyone expected to remember the name of this outfit or its bizarre title? Still, itís better than, say. ĎOoh Baby by The Creeping Nobodiesí. This comes on like mid 1970s acoustic guitar valium rock after itís been assaulted by a couple of 1990s geeks high on LSD 25 after theyíve had their stash confiscated by the local police. This is extremely stereo
- 2 totally different mixes in left and right which create a fragmented yet effective mien. The music itself isnít especially inspired in terms of harmony or rhythm but this only exaggerates the bizarre production given to it. It needs a bass guitar! 6/10
- UNIT - A Song For Imogen Boorman
In the same key as the previous piece, this follows most effectively but again, we now sound like a commercial pop group someone has secretly shoved onto godspunk while pStan was having a bath. The numerous puns and televisual allusions create a ballad intended to be humorous and self deprecating yet it disguises a genuinely serious issue
- a brief period during the early 1990s when I thought I might finally have begun to cure my dreadful affliction . . . but then I realised the reason I fancied Imogen Boorman is because she looks like a female version of Lee Simpson, this Scottish lad who worked in Edinburgh Botanical Gardens . . . so I was still a horrible little queer. Wretched, isnít it? My singing isnít too atrocious this time . . . which makes a bloody change. 8/10
- seven eves - Horrid Beastliness/Beastly Horridness
This comes on like Cryptosporidium Part 2 . . . son of Cryptosporidium . . . quite effective although Iíd like more bass frequencies in there but this is merely a matter of personal taste. 5/10
- Spam Javelin - Fucking Jerk
Iím starting to appreciate this bunch . . . well, slightly. They really are a curmudgeonly bunch of spite spitting angry louts who probably sound just like I will when Iím made redundant at the end of June. Their presence on this compilation sounds as incongruous as our own contributions . . . which, oddly, seems to work, once youíve recovered from the initial shock. 4/10
- Nil By Nose - Battered Crawfish
I have a track called Crawfish by The Streetwalkers (the group formed by Roger Chapman and John Whitney after they disbanded The Family in 1974) and I can almost recognise elements of it underneath all the reverb and strange sounds on offer here. Well, I canít complain about the bass instruments this time. It grumbles along nicely although I find myself waiting for the main event to happen yet it never arrives . . . which presumably reveals a defect in my own response to the music rather than any fault in the performers / writers. 4/10
- Howl In The Typewriter - How Does It Feel
Ah, can we expect a cover of How Does It Feel by The Squires (1967) or How Does It Feel by Slade (1975)? Of course not: pStan doesnít need to waste his talent on covers of ancient pop pap by other people. BIRDS! Heís used BIRDS! For this reason alone, pStan will go to heaven. I shall supervise his canonisation personally. Thereís a slight chorus effect on the vocals which I find annoying. I like vocals to be crisp, clear and in your face, especially when the singer has a decent voice (like pStan) rather than a feeble squawk (like me). My God but parts of this lyric are grim . . . yet painfully truthful. The music verges on progressive rock in terms of its structure and the frequent changes in tempo and metre. This is actually a really complex piece which sounds even more effective on headphones. 8/10
- UNIT - Dan Borowy Buys A Bass Guitar
Of course, the other reason I wrote these 2 pieces is to give Fritz and Colin a chance to show their skills and have a bit of a bash, especially because theyíre technically more competent musicians than myself. Yes, I know
- this sounds like it was written in 1974. Well, I didnít discover pop music until 1980 and by then it was too late: I soon realised the 1980s meant crap fashions, crap music and crap politics. The 1990s meant nothing at all. By the 21st century the only group whose music interested me was my own . . . so only when I began to investigate pop and rock music of the 1970s (in the early 2000s) did I discover what Iíd missed. Odd: these 2 tracks (Mia and Dan) were written in 2016. Who and Look Into The Sky date from the 1980s. Our Imogen was written in 1994 yet there is a slightly 1970s aspect to all of them. Well, fair enough. Anyway, this sounds (to me) more complete and satisfying than its companion, Mia. 9/10
- Higgins++ - Friends Of Mine
Because our tracks are all keyboard dominated while many of the others (with the exception of Spam Javelin, obviously) tend to rely on synthesisers and electronics, the presence of distorted guitars on this creates a nice contrast. All right, this is absolutely not my kind of music so I probably shouldnít comment on it since I can hardly be fair to it but the playing is crisp, tight and spot on while the production is heavy, powerful and yet still clear. If you like this idiom then hereís an excellent example of it. 4/10
- The Large Veiny Members - Black Hole
If Hawkwind had a couple of members (though not necessarily large veiny ones) of Throbbing Gristle in the group, perhaps theyíd have recorded a track very much like this. I definitely prefer it to their other opus, thatís for sure. That said, Iíd still prefer the addition of a bass guitar or synthesiser playing in the bass register underneath all these intriguing sounds. 6/10
- Spam Javelin - How Can You Die When Youíre Already Dead?
No, I donít like this at all, despite the presence of yet more vitriolic, vengeful sentiments which make me smile, possibly because I can empathise with the reason someone would wish to write such a lyric. I can think of plenty of rat bags to whom this applies! It fades out! Ah, this is a sin for which no pardon exists . . . music should never fade out. See me. As usual, the performance and the production are excellent, however. 2/10
- Howl In The Typewriter - And He Ran
Oo-er, Missus - this is a bit of a bloody mess, isnít it? Despite the intriguing lyric, the music sounds like a band trying to play while being shoved down a flight of stairs. 3/10
- Tirikilatops - Snail Party (Wah!)
Suppose The Lemon Kittens had stayed together and recorded tracks during the 1990s . . . they would sound (I contend) very much like this . . . which from me is high praise indeed. What this needs is a funky bass guitar and (perhaps) the vocals more prominent in the mix. It sounds south east Asian . . . Japanese or Korean . . . which is also commendable. Itís gloriously pretentious nonsense, of course, which is probably why itís so enjoyable. 7/10
- UNIT - Look Into The Sky
A golden oldie from 1984 although we recorded this in 2015, this features (shock, horror) an electric guitar in it
- a rarity. I am especially proud of this lyric - a legitimate response. The music could be more adventurous but I decided not to tinker with it as Iíd received numerous requests from people to make a modern recording of this piece previously wrecked by The Apostles although in those days the music had a different lyric. Yes, this is definitely one of our superior works although itís a shame my singing voice is so weak and weedy. 9/10
- Spam Javelin - Lifeís A Bastard And Then Youíre Dead
Finally, just to prove they really donít intend to allow any respite, we have . . . what? Oh, I see . . . itís finished already. God almighty, give me a chance. Letís hear it again then. Right, as I was saying . . . the 5 tracks by this mob give us 2 Fucks, 2 Deads and a Scum. Is there a theme developing here?
- Howl In The Typewriter - 20 Gold Pieces
From the shortest track to the longest one. Och, come on, pStan, stop faffing about. What are you playing at? This is beyond doubt the most annoying, irritating and ineffably infuriating mess on the entire collection . . . which reveals just how rich and varied the work of Howl in the Typewriter can be. In fact it would be interesting (and rewarding) to hear every Howl in the Typewriter track from every godspunk collection perhaps issued as a double disc set . . . including this one, despite my adverse reaction to its atrocious
Note: you will realise Iíve been rather cruel to certain outfits here, particularly Spam Javelin and Nil By Nose. However, virtuoso manipulators of computers or CD players might care to programme their machines to play each of the tracks by these artists in succession. The effect is interesting: they then sound (to my ears) far more effective in this new context. Iíve no idea why. Try it if you donít believe me! In response to the complete disc, I notice not once was I ever bored
- except during the final 3 or 4 minutes of 20 Gold Pieces - which is significant. True, most of the pieces here are fairly short but that alone doesnít ensure the absence of tedium. Certain tracks sound better when heard through headphones (Nil By Nose, UNIT, Howl in the Typewriter) while others (Spam Javelin, Higgins++) require large speakers to blast out their sonic deluge for full effect. In summary, this collection requires the presence of our flute playing friend (sorry, pStan, I can never remember what he calls his outfit
- insert the name here.......) ["that would be Data's Cat, Mr Martin", said pStan] plus a couple of really mental, off the wall avant garde pieces to complete the picture. That said, it is still a fine body of
1 Woodchip of the Mind - Howl in the Typewriter
2 A Song For Barbara Jackson - UNIT
3 Grass Skirt No Pineapple - Nil By Nose
4 Ringmaster - Dumb Robot Pilot
5 The Tragedy Of The Lampost Gullivers - The Lampost Gullivers
6 A Song For Danny Wentworth - UNIT
7 Jacob Swift - Howl in the Typewriter
8 ALIEN CARNAGE - The Atom Furnace
9 Danny Wentworth - UNIT
10 Little Ball of Badness - Howl in the Typewriter
11 Happy Smashing Fun Time - Dumb Robot Pilot
12 A Covenant - The Large Veiny Members
13 A Song For Wayne Johnson - UNIT
14 The Toaster - Howl in the Typewriter
15 Namaste - Shaun Robert
16 French Disco Punks - The Lampost Gullivers
17 EVIL-UTION - The Atom Furnace
18 Pipebomb - Nightclub in a Volcano
19 A Song For Wayne Gibson - UNIT
20 Doreen - Dumb Robot Pilot
21 Three Zero Five - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Rebert
Dellar, Southwark Mental Health News #130, April 2016
UNIT, along with Stan Batcow's Howl in the Typewriter the most consistent contributors to Stan's long-running
'godspunk' compilation series, also provide the highlights to this album.
UNIT's tracks here are nothing like those on their out-takes CD, and consist largely of catchy pop numbers detailing the eccentricities of specific children Andy went to school with, decades ago. The funniest of these is
A Song for Danny Wentworth, concerning a 14-year old whose disinhibited behaviour, which includes random surrealist vandalism and waving his cock about in class, earns Andy's admiration: "I'd rather spend a day with him than half an hour with you," he comments, and the joyful feel of this song is enhanced by a fairground-style horn section. It's followed on this album by Stan's
Jacob Swift which sounds like a conscious attempt to compete with Andy in the praising outrageous behavior stakes, but without the pop hook-lines. Also of note on this edition of
godspunk are Lampost Gullivers, an artful bass / drums / guitar trio in a kind of Captain Beefheart mode, let down somewhat by poor vocals. Overall, I would recommend this album to fans of bloops, loops, analogue keyboards and
- Review by Ear of
Corn #40, 2017
Another clown on the cover and more great music! A little theme almost begins to emerge on this one, with a good number of songs that are written for or about specific individuals.
'A Song for Danny Wentworth' is the best of that batch. A swell collection of strange things here. Plenty to keep it interesting.
- Review by Andy
Martin (UNIT), July
Because I invariably listen to godspunk compilation in order of artist / group, not in their actual running order (I prefer to listen to various contributions by the same artist / group since I find this makes my review easier to compile) a curious quality of this particular collection arises: the continual (one might say incessant) plethora of tracks imbued with a mechanistic, robotic, harshly electronic mien has an unfortunate consequence. Where these tracks when heard in isolation (or, say, after a Coldplay track
- assuming anyone out there is daft enough to possess any Coldplay tracks) sound big, bold, powerful and impressive, when clustered together on a single disc, their impact is severely diminished. This is unfortunate. I listened to the album again
- this time with the tracks in the order compiled by pStan - and there is a marginal improvement but not enough to obviate my complaint: this collection, though abundant in quality, is deficient in variety
- a comment I never believed it would ever be necessary to issue with reference to an edition of godspunk.
- Nil By Nose - Grass Skirt, No Pineapple
Early 1980s industrial / electronic soundscape (cf Lustmord - The Nocturnal Emissions Ė SPK) given a contemporary digital workout and then some. Very robotic / mechanical / insistent
- a thundering sonic bludgeon without armour piercing volume - pop music written and performed by Cybermen. Problem: I really like this . . . which means a whole host of other people wonít. You know the type: thereís no bloody tune, you canít hear the words, why in my day they used to play real songs et cetera. I say
- stuff 'em. This would really cause mass mental breakdowns among ecstasy ridden chavs if it was played in a club in Ibiza circa 1995. 8/10
- The Large Veiny Members - A Covenant
Aargh - death by drum machine - killed by a Casio. How many Gameboy keyboard sounds can you squeeze into a 6 minute track? This many. I donít dig repetition so this was never destined to be top of my playlist but it does change and evolve in a minimalist manner although Iíd like more bass frequency stuff grumbling away underneath all those Gameboys. Technical note: this sounds far more exciting and effective when heard through headphones. 6/10
- Shaun Robert - Namaste
Youíre watching an obscure French film - psychological thriller with a supernatural or science fiction element, all muted colours and metallic sheen
- but the soundtrackís faulty and most of the dialogue is inaudible - well, then, that means youíre listening to this. Definitely not my kind of music BUT definitely interesting and probably merits repeated listens. This, too, sounds more effective through headphones. 4/10
- Nightclub In A Volcano - Pipebomb
Thereís an electronic / synthesised / machine driven groove to many of the tracks featured on this compilation which imbues the collection with a kind of post-techno ethos I find tedious after a while (a short while, too). Heard in isolation, works such as this are quite effective. This is profoundly unpleasant
- all the wrong sounds played in all the right places - I know this is so because, despite my aversion to techno and repetition, I never find this boring or tedious. Then again, maybe Iím simply turning into a Cyberman. Note: this piece should be played after youíve listened to a track by (for example) Rammstein (at one end of the spectrum) or Coldplay (at the other) for full effect. The repeated loop Ďteenagersí sounds strangely disturbing, too. 6/10
- The Lampost Gullivers - The Tragedy Of The Lampost Gullivers
Big Up The Bass! What an absolutely superb bass guitar sound complete with grime drums and distant TG / A Certain Ratio trumpet + Rammstein guitars. Black Sabbath (without the big hair mindless macho postures) as performed by The Pop Group
- which canít be bad, can it? Well, provided you donít enjoy Black Sabbath (like me) and do enjoy The Pop Group (like me). This does become too repetitive after a while
- well, after 3 minutes in my case but you know what a difficult bugger I can be these days so donít take too much notice of my feeble complaints. 5/10
- The Lampost Gullivers - French Disco Punks
Everything I said about their first contribution applies here but now with New Improved up-tempo feature and a hint of a tune BUT if youíre going to have a vocalist then turn his voice up in the mix and letís all hear what heís singing about, chaps, no? No? Oh, all right then, have it your own way. Here, Iíll tell you what: this is one hell of a bloody racket, pal. You could demolish Victorian houses with this track. 7/10
- The Atom Furnace - Alien Carnage
Well, I did say (elsewhere) I wanted more bass frequencies . . . and here they are
- in spades . . . and shovels. If ever a track merited the appellation Ďindustrialí in its most literal sense then this is it. SPK + Whitehouse + 1990s acid rave gone horribly (i.e. wonderfully) awry. Oh if only that vocal was louder / clearer in the mix so we could all savour it. 8/10
- The Atom Furnace - Evilution
Suppose Throbbing Gristle had decided to adopt a change in their musical direction and become a heavy metal outfit. Then it would sound very much like this except (sigh) this time the vocal is too loud and the music too . . . well, not quiet exactly
- thereís nothing quiet about this track - but too distant, as if itís being played in the next warehouse while the vocalist crouches on the doorstep and growls in your ear. 5/10
- Dumb Robot Pilot - Ringmaster
Think: late 1980s mutant disco meets Brit pop outfit in a very, very bad mood
- turn up the bass and let this do your demolition jobs for you. Personally Iíd like less distortion effects on the guitar and the bass guitar slightly louder but this piece, as they say (ahem) kicks arse, baby. When the keyboard enters around 2 minutes in, the work suddenly enters a 1990s TV theme tune vibe which I really like
- an alternative theme tune for Grange Hill perhaps. This is large, chunky, technically proficient post-punk with a glorious production
- the Ďaí side of the single. 9/10
- Dumb Robot Pilot - Happy Smashing Fun Time
Old skool pop song inna pop punk vibe innit? Mindless lyric (for a valid reason) observes mindless numpties desperate to have a happy smashing fun time . . . until the cash is exhausted
- then itís back to the bedsit and the misery. Underneath the machine driven will-be-happy-at-all-costs desperation is a profoundly bleak mien highly appropriate in a nation whose population have been stripped of most of the liberties and freedoms for which our fathers and mothers fought so valiantly during the previous decades. Oo-er missus. 5/10
- Dumb Robot Pilot - Doreen
BIG keyboards already - but thatís all. A largely monophonic theme with, er, not much else to support it other than the BIG production and BIG keyboard sound . . . well, I hope Doreen appreciates it
- because I donít. (Ooh, that was a bit catty, wasnít it? No need for that attitude, old bean. Well, honestly, after their magnificent Ringmaster, I expected something with more wellie.) 2/10
- Howl in the Typewriter - Woodchip Of The Mind
Right then - letís see what these cunts have to say for themselves. Yes, just as I thought
- what quality does this track possess that is absent from any of those by the other outfits reviewed so far? This: when any one of those tracks commence, they continue in their selected genre / idiomatic language until their conclusion. This starts with prominent voice and bass guitar coupled with distant fractured guitar / keyboard sounds in one tempo then the music transmutes into a faster tempo with a mutant pop flavour before it slides into a groove that is almost (but not quite) a ballad. In other words, I could not predict how the next 2 thirds of the track would proceed based upon hearing its initial third. Imagine Alternative TV had interesting ideas (for a change) and had finally learned to play their instruments . . . they might sound like this. Not one of my favourites but still an impressive opus. 7/10
- Howl in the Typewriter - Jacob Swift
Rap / grime meets a Disney filmscore soundtrack with a quite bizarre - even surreal
- lyric. This is a fast and frenetic burst of spitting bars until 2 minutes in when the tempo slows suddenly and the music becomes slightly more malevolent. Comment: these words sound to me as if they are important . . . so if I had access to his tapes / files then Iíd lower the volume of the backing track and raise the volume of the vocal so we could all hear the text clearly. 6/10
- Howl in the Typewriter - Little Ball Of Badness
You what? Sorry, I coughed and missed it. Letís hear it again, please. Oh, right, I see
- 1234, a power chord implies the start of a slice of punk rock but it dies away as pStan says thereís no man living can shit in the skip of God. You what? Daft I call it. 4/10
- Howl in the Typewriter - The Toaster
First - weíre in the 1990s and it sounds as if the taurus board have returned but then the tempo changes and pStan searches through his drawer to search for his freedom . . . because heís sure it was there a minute ago. This is an immensely sad, plangent lyric set to profoundly inappropriate music. It ought not to work . . . but it does! My God but his mercurial mind emanates some curious soundscapes now and then. Nevertheless the music is (slightly) irritating to me because . . . actually Iím really not sure why. Still, at least it is never predictable. 6/10
- Howl in the Typewriter - Three Zero Five
Slide guitar, bongos and bass guitar provide a curiously 1970s flavoured folk-pop track which is really not my kind of music but
- apart from the sound of pStansí voice - could easily be by a different outfit entirely. In fact, because I chose to listen to these Howl in the Typewriter tracks in succession, what strikes me instantly is that they all sound as if theyíre created by different contributors, each of whom feature pStan as a guest vocalist . . . then, at 3'43'' it stops . . . and we wait . . . and we wait. Suddenly, pStan tells about Jacob Swift and a couple of outcasts he encountered on the street. To be brutally honest, this 2 minutes of speech (which sounds as if it is recorded outside in a street) is more immediately arresting than anything else on this entire compilation. How odd! 4/10
- UNIT - A Song For Barbara Jackson
How can I write about our own group and be objective? I canít. Compared to (almost) every other track by every other contributor this piece exudes harmonic invention I find absent elsewhere. The bass guitar ought to be louder. My singing ought to be in tune and in time. Well, we ought to have a decent singer in our group, full stop. There, thatís soon said. Itís still one of the most inventive pop anthems Iíve ever written which is partly why weíve included it here. Note: this is not the version included on our album The Workshop. Barbara was one of 5 people who befriended me when I was an inmate of Amery Hill School (1976-1980). The others were Susan Wilkins, Eric Cooper, Wayne Gibson and Wayne Johnson. 9/10
- UNIT - A Song For Danny Wentworth
I donít know why I keep returning to the blues, albeit usually in its urban electric form. I think the music is appropriate for the personality of Danny Wentworth who was (well, besides rather physically appealing) a total hedonist with regard to sex and drugs yet he revealed a razor sharp intelligence and social awareness generally hidden under a facile persona cultivated as a means of survival. Amery Hill School was one of the most brutal and despicable educational establishments in the country during the 1960s and 1970s. No wonder Danny took drugs. Every incident described in the lyric actually happened! My vocal (sigh, whinge) just isnít good enough, though, is it? No, Sir, it most decidedly is not. 7/10
- UNIT - Danny Wentworth
Well, at least I canít complain about my vocals here because itís a purely instrumental track. This is a depiction of Danny which is entirely successful but youíd need to meet the lad to appreciate
it . . . which means its efficacy is lost on 99% of the listeners. The bass guitar playing by Fritz is superb and Colin gives it wellie on the drums. My keyboard playing is acceptable, too. The harmonic sequence on keyboard at the start and in the middle are direct quotations from the 1st movement of the Symphony No.6 by Franz Schubert. Danny often complained about my love of classical music so this is my belated revenge. 8/10
- UNIT - A Song For Wayne Johnson
This is a new recording of the piece, not the version recorded for The Workshop in 2012. If my vocal sounds ragged (which I suspect it probably does) this is because it took me 15 attempts before I was able to sing this ballad from start to finish without breaking down in tears. Even now, I find it unbearable to listen to this. Oh, itís played excellently by all 3 of us although the bass drum and bass guitar should be more prominent. The 5/4 metre lends an unsettling aspect to the piece appropriate for poor Wayne who did indeed 'take one tab of LSD too many' but when he left the school and was placed under psychiatric care for a few months, the primarily culprit was that despicable school rather than the drug. My love of nature, wildlife and ornithology are completely due to his magnificent influence upon me, for which I will forever be grateful. 9/10
- UNIT - A Song For Wayne Gibson
In 1978 Brother Nicholas and Brother Andrew, 2 monks from the Abbey on Kings Hill, Beech, near Alton in Hampshire, decided I was intensely lonely (which I was) and urgently required a friend (which I did) so they put me in contact with Wayne Gibson, a boy shunned and despised by almost every boy and girl in our class at school. They dismissed him as a glue sniffer
- in fact, the reason he often stank of glue was because he was addicted to Airfix world war two model aircraft. He collected the entire set (with my assistance) and constructed them (without my assistance) in his bedroom. He was obsessed with commercial vehicles, too
- vans, trucks, lorries, coaches and buses. The 3 instrumental breaks (in 5/4, 7/4 and an alternating 9/8
- 5/8 figure) provide a respite from my frenetic rap which features actual events and incidents from our lives. I provide full accounts of these in 2 of my books: Faded Fragments Of Distant Dreams (DNA BOOK 003) and I Wish I Was Dead (DNA BOOK 006) the latter of which has yet to be printed but is due to be published before the end of the year. The musicís pretty groovy, too! 8/10
So who provides the most immediately impressive contribution this time around? Dumb Robot Pilot, obviously! I note very few tracks score less than 5/10 on this occasion where usually I grind my teeth and fulminate vengefully upon this or that contributor before I dismiss them with a paltry 1 or 2 out of 10. Technically this is possibly the most accomplished and proficiently performed / produced edition of godspunk in its history . . . but it is most definitely not the most varied. Is this important? Not necessarily
- but the inclusion of Mr Tree (for example) and our flute playing genius [that's Data's Cat - Ed] would have been most
1 The Girl on the Pink Bicycle - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Sniffled In World Body Bag - UNIT
3 Hannom - Tirikilatops
4 Golden Age - Dumb Robot Pilot
5 Greetings From Ceausescu - Bartles
6 Scraps and Peawet - Scraps and Peawet
7 Transmitting from Earth - Howl in the Typewriter
8 Iris Watson - UNIT
9 Swangin' (we're) - Babobo
10 Another Lizard is Born - The Large Veiny Members
11 mythology - Shaun Robert
12 Rock N Roll is Never Die - Ddong
13 Chinese Fantasy - UNIT
14 Callin'all Humans - Bartles
15 Bomiya - Cow
16 Bikini Atoll Beach Party - Nil By Nose
17 Ten Years - Sil Pid
18 Mekanika - Dumb Robot Pilot
19 Theo's Lullaby - Dimm D3ciple
20 Cowboy Song - Baby Shit Pad
21 Atrophy - Howl in the Typewriter
22 Final Fantasy - UNIT
23 Epistle to the Bottle - Benny Fitfraughd
24 Sambucca Revisions - The Large Veiny Members
25 Iccccc - Kimchi
26 Mordecai Watson - UNIT
27 U.N.IT. - Royal Spud Hair
28 Spider Respects Nothing - Howl in the Typewriter
29 Space Bug - Dumb Robot Pilot
30 National Anthem - The Revolutionary Army of the Nation State of Dave
31 False Face Society Blues / I Cut A Mask - Bartles
32 Horibochi fkr - Tirikilatops
33 Deutschland Du Warst Als Kind Schon Scheisse - UNIT
34 Ants in me House - Scraps and Peawet
35 One-eyed God - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Richard Foster, Incendiary, January 2015
The seasons trundle on their inexorable course, fads, haircuts and styles of trouser come and go, but one thing is steadfast in its surety. At some point in the calendar year there will be another marvellous godspunk compilation. What do they put in their tea in West Lancs? As ever Howl in the Typewriter keeps up his one man crusade for intelligently deranged pop; the creepy
Transmitting from Earth, (with its Idiot Joy Showland casio line),
Atrophy and Spider Respects Nothing will, in time, be pillars of the rock canon and will get him that in-depth Radio 4 interview with Melvin Bragg. The other godspunk stalwarts, UNIT, give us a whole set of different ideas from instrumentals like
Final Fantasy that seem very ghostly and 'not here', as if the band has somehow a hologram that they can wheel out, to THUMPING bedroom dance tracks like
Deutschland Du Warst Als Kiond Schon Scheisse. The two tracks, Iris Watson and
Mordecai Watson, however, are gloriously messy, difficult UNIT excursions, and the most itchy of their tracks.
This new comp is a dancey bugger, and MUCH more loose than some of the earlier releases. Somehow, through tracks like Dumb Robot Pilot's
Golden Age and The Large Veiny Members' Sambucca ReVisions and
Another Lizard is Born, godspunk records have made this battery powered spaceship and they're going on a journey to an out of town garden centre. Maybe they'll resuscitate the old tramlines that are long hidden round the UK, and make them glow in this glorious acid-fried technicolour. Or not. You see, as well as thumping and bleeping dance/trance tracks like Nil By Nose's
Bikini Atoll Beach Party there are lots of frazzled excursions leading nowhere in particular, with more loose threads than a worn carpet. We can point to a truckload of strange things offered up by the bunch of loons in Scraps and Peawet, Dimm D3ciple, Shaun Robert, Bartles, and Royal Spud Hair. In fact the mid-section of this record can have you flat on your back. It's utterly rudderless. This is of course a GOOD THING.
If you'd get one godspunk comp to get out of your box to, I'd get this one, it's perfect trippe material, C17th stylee. The soundtrack to digging up Silbury
- Review by Rebert
Dellar, Southwark Mental Health News #127, March 2015
This is the latest in a long series of compilation CDs released by Blackpool's Stan Batcow. Each volume has a picture of a clown on the front of its sleeve, and this volume's clown is bald and looks miserable. As ever the record features a few tracks by Stan's own solo venture Howl in the Typewriter, and these cover a range of musical styles veering from the droning electro-jazz of
Atrophy, to the wacky psychedelia morphing into more conventional pop of opening track
The Girl on the Pink Bicycle, and several bases between. As a project, Howl in the Typewriter presents itself here as a jack of all trades, with all that that implies. Reclusive, mysterious American artist Bartles contributes some interesting short pieces that could loosely be described as avant-garde rap, and on a previous volume of this series he provided a song advocating the beheading of psychiatrists. Andy Martin's cult-rockers-with-twists
UNIT present tracks whose styles range from gentle piano composition, to free-improvised jazz, to industrial soundscapes with lyrics at times trying a little too hard to be clever. Some of
UNIT's numbers here also featured on the two most recent of their own albums and it's significant that, although these selections weren't the stand-out tracks on these, they're easily of a higher standard than the rest of the material on
godspunk volume fourteen. Several other acts are also featured. This compilation isn't bad by any means, but it leaves the impression of ostentatious wackiness foregrounded over genuine invention.
- Review by Andy
Martin (UNIT), 12th October 2014
"The Obligatory Review or How To Make Oneself Extremely Unpopular"
Perhaps it is the presence of all those really short tracks with their humorous voices and sundry sound effects but in total, this disc does offer one salient property: it is never pompous or pretentious. The mixture of more conventional pieces (songs, ballads and instrumentals with recognisable melodies, harmonies and rhythms) with surreal scraps of sound, strangely haunting works and all those really short snippets conspire to create one of the more eclectic godspunk collections which I suspect will not please many radio stations but I hope Iím wrong. Note: the sound quality and the production of every work on this collection is very high
- I mean, compare the pieces on this disc to, say, godspunk volume one, two or three. Perhaps technology has advanced significantly since then to enable more people to create professional quality recordings without the necessity of recording studios.
- Babobo - Swanging (Weíre)
This sounds very similar in style to Tirikilatops except now weíre in a reggae groove and (apparently) weíre swanging . . . sorry, I know itís originally written as swanginí but I dislike apocapations intensely. 4/10
- Shaun Robert - Mythology
Odd, fragmented noises behind what might be an acoustic guitar accompanied by squeaks prove our attempts at the avant garde pale into insignificance by comparison. Lost the thread of what Iím doing, he says. You said it, pal . . . but then this suddenly becomes a commentary on recording a piece of sound collage while itís being recorded . . . mirrors against mirrors, wheels within wheels, eclipse over eclipse . . . if you see what I mean. Most of this is extremely quiet, which makes a pleasant change but . . . (sigh) . . . I quickly lose patience with it. 5/10 . . . or is it? It sounds as if a fair amount of time, energy and effort was involved so Iíll play it again . . . now isnít that odd? It wasnít nearly so tedious the second time around. Iíll tell you this as well: it works much better on headphones. 7/10
- Ddong - Rock & Roll Is Never Die
Itís those flaming Japanese cockroaches again! I think Babobo, Tirikilli-whatsit and Ddong are all the same person / people / insects. Right . . . whereís my can of fly spray? 3/10
- Cow - Bomiya
Itís those flaming Japanese cockroaches yet again! I think Babobo, Tirikilli-whatsit, Ddong and Cow are all the same person / people / insects . . . again. I need another can of fly spray, quick. 2/10
- Nil By Nose - Bikini Atoll Beach Party
This is the longest track on here so letís see what they have for us. A recording of a news reporter informing his audience of the events surrounding the nuclear test on Bikini Atoll . . . which sounded really bleak and effective until that flipping drum machine blundered in and utterly ruined the atmosphere. Thatís it, mate, youíve completely spoiled it now
- me perceptive auraís gone for a burton. Christ, doesnít it go on . . . and on? Normally I find this bunch quite interesting but not this time
- sorry, chaps. 2/10
- Sil Pid - Ten Years
I mean, why? Whatís the point? Am I a miserable old git because this irritates me intensely? Probably. I played it again just to make sure . . . no, I was right the first time Ė sorry, chaps. 1/10
- Dimm D3ciple - Theoís Lullaby
This outfit are frequent contributors to godspunk and itís easy to see why: they are rarely bereft of intriguing ideas, not all of which work (in my opinion) but that doesnít matter. Thereís a gentle, whimsical and almost plangent aura to this piece that makes me think of Home Time by Throbbing Gristle . . . which from me is high praise indeed. For my taste this continues for too long without any change to the basic acoustic guitar riff. 5/10. No, itís no good, Iíll have to play this again because I donít think Iím being fair . . . I was right to do so. This, like the piece by Shaun Robert, works better the second time around, especially on headphones. 7/10
- Baby S*** Pad - Cowboy Song
Iím just old enough to remember when the first cassette recorders became commercially available. Drunken dads would record any old bollocks onto the machine theyíd bought for their daughterís 12th birthday to check the machine worked . . . which is what this piece sounds like. 5/10
- Benny Fitfraughd - Epistle To The Bottle
This actually made me laugh out loud - itís so ridiculous yet also highly evocative
- and it proves Iím not always a miserable, grumpy old git . . . just most of the time. 7/10
- Kimchi - Iccccc
Well, sorry if I donít sound very sympathetic, dear, but if you will strip naked and then plant your arse on a plateful of drawing pins, what do you expect? 6/10
- Royal Spud Hair - U.N.I.T.
I will most certainly not say this song is s*** because I dislike swearing and I suspect the other members of the group would disagree with me anyway, Colin Murrell especially. He tends to enjoy many of the tracks I find excessively irritating . . . which leads me to believe it ought to be he who reviews these compilations rather than me since, to be fair, Iím probably not the most appropriate person so to so. ĎAlong with the other songí he sings . . . what other song? Thereís only one piece by Royal Spud Hair on here. Is telling me Iíll Ďsay this song is s***í likely to make me change my mind about it? Actually, I donít believe I have ever dismissed any piece of music on a godspunk album as rubbish simply because I donít happen to like listening to it. Just because I donít like a piece of music, I do not say it is rubbish
- conversely, if I enjoy a piece of music, I donít automatically claim it to be Ďgoodí. I am aware I occasionally enjoy pieces of music (certain avant garde classical works) which I suspect constitute nothing more than wretched examples of sonic doodles risen above their station while I cannot stand Mozart or Wagner even though technically I am aware the music itself is superb. Advice: ignore my comments if they offend you. You canít expect me to like everything, can you? Compensation: some of my comments about certain UNIT tracks weíve contributed over the years have occasionally made the other group members angry so this just proves I really am a grumpy git who spends far too many hours listening to Gentle Giant and Colosseum . . . probably. 1/10
- The Revolutionary Army Of The Nation State Of Dave - National Anthem
It almost takes longer to speak the name of the artist and the track title than it does to play the track which is more muffled voice over sundry percussion . . . with a vaguely African feel. 4/10
- Tirikilatops - Hannom
You what? At 12 seconds this is finished before Iíve even had time to . . . just a minute (or, if you prefer, just 12 seconds) letís listen to this daft stuff again. It sounds like a school girl rapping in Japanese with a kind of hip hop beat underneath
- rather bonkers but strangely appealing. 6/10
- Tirikilatops - Horibochi Fkr.
One of those insects lays on its back while someone tickles it . . . thoroughly daft. Iíve just realised: imagine a whole album of this stuff! Actually, come to think it, no, the more I consider it, the more I realise such a project would be deeply disturbing. 5/10
- Scraps & Peawet - Scraps & Peawet
Psychotic country and western for insects, thatís what this is: a couple of cockroaches decide to give it the Nashville routine. 14 seconds it may be but itís still sufficiently long to irritate this progressive rocker. 4/10
- Scraps & Peawet - Ants In Me House
This reminds me of The Lemon Kittens only . . . er . . . more so. A querulous voice over a sort of fuzzy synthesiser (possibly). Maybe a whole album of this kind of stuff wouldnít be so bad after all. 5/10
- The Large Veiny Members - Another Lizard Is Born
Oh yes, I remember this bunch from previous godspunk collections . . . I preferred their contributions then. This is all too mechanical, machine driven and electronic for my taste but then Iím a Gentle Giant fan so how can you possibly expect an informed opinion from such a sad old bugger? Ugh . . . itís horrible. 3/10
- The Large Veiny Members - Sambucca Revisions
More electronic, mechanical, computerised robot music from a group whose name Tim Jones refused to say on his radio programme although I canít see why. It obviously refers to muscular forearms. Anyway, this drones on and on and makes me want to kill something
- which either proves Iím crap at being a vegetarian or else it means this is music to play to prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. 2/10
- Dumb Robot Pilot - Golden Age
Thereís a definite 1980s vibe to these cats - the mechanical drums and fearful keyboards remind me of the reason I stopped listening to 95% of pop music during the decade when Grange Hill was God. However, thereís part of me that really likes New Order and thatís the part that enjoys this splendid groove. Itís clean, crisp and grinds along nicely such that it is impossible not to dance to it. I wish there were more than just 2 chords though. 8/10
- Dumb Robot Pilot - Mekanika
Again, while this is clean, crisp and dance friendly, it stays in the same key all the time and quickly becomes tediously repetitive . . . which is a shame because with more chord changes this would be a kicking tune. 5/10
- Dumb Robot Pilot - Space Bug
What? You what? Letís check the track list again . . . no, according to the tray card, this really is Dumb Robot Pilot. Okay then
- guitars, bass guitar and drums - maybe this is what DRP sound like in 1976 whereas the other 2 tracks are DRP recorded circa 1985. Anyway, suddenly, I have far more respect for this bunch because I could never have predicted the creators of
Golden Age and Mekanika could also have produced this slab of rock riffery. I am mightily impressed. I still prefer
Golden Age but only just - this rocks! 7/10
- Bartles - Greetings From Ceausescu
Iím going to assume this grumbling synthesiser shocker is an all out assault on communism because then I can really enjoy it. Musically minimalist, this concentrates on the lyric and it provides a welcome blast of realism amongst all this other stuff, delightful though it may be
- grim, malevolent, sarcastic and strangely haunting. 8/10
- Bartles - Calling All Humans
All right, here we go - if this isnít the very best track on the whole album, Iím a red necked phalarope. Minimal percussion and a truly demented vocal read the riot act to the human race. I imagine a dingo, a
llama or some other lesser known mammal giving humanity their marching orders . . . a mammal in mushroom cloud laying mood, simple, direct and extremely powerful. 10/10
- Bartles - False Face Society Blues / I Cut A Mask
Now, unfortunately, while the vocal is splendid (I wish I had a voice like that) and the lyric is superb
- wildlife and nature takes its revenge on cheap and nasty tourists - the music is almost moronically repetitive, all guitars, bass guitar and drums playing the same riff over and over again. 2/10
- UNIT - Sniffled In World Body Bag
The drums are a bit muffled, arenít they? Also, sorry chaps, but your time keeping is somewhat elastic in places . . . the drums are in time, the bass guitar is in time and the piano is in time . . . but not necessarily with each other . . . yet then, with Colinsí stuff, itís equally possible itís meant to be like that. This is the first time weíve sent a brace of tracks for inclusion on a godspunk in which I am not featured on any of the pieces. This makes it far easier for me to review and, for that matter, listen to . . . because I donít have to endure my feeble wittering scrawny voice or my clumsy keyboard playing . . . so there. 7/10
- UNIT - Iris Watson
Although I wrote the bass guitar and drum parts, Fritz and Colin interpret these in their own manner while Adrian was given a choice: play my charts or invent his own. Iím pleased he invented his own
- theyíre more interesting and inventive than the notes I gave him to play. Note for that bloody Dutch reviewer: the middle section does not go Ďout of timeí
- itís in 5/4 you berk. Still, what can you expect from people who think The Pixies are the best band in the world? 8/10
- UNIT - Chinese Fantasy
Thereís an almost outrageously commercial aspect to Michaelsí music which makes it (to me) highly appealing. This was supposed to be supported by bass guitar and drums but the rest of us persuaded Michael to leave the piece as a piano solo and we were right to do so. However, Michael did ask me to add the birds which, in retrospect, should have been mixed further back so they donít dominate. Sorry
- my fault. You should never leave me unsupervised in charge of bird sounds
- theyíll always be louder than everything else. 7/10
- UNIT - Final Fantasy
I can see why pStan chose to place this after Atrophy - like emerging from a tunnel
- the birds (nightingale, song thrush) were added by me at the request of Michael. I donít like acoustic guitars much but this piece is so Ďnot UNITí that I rather enjoy it. 6/10
- UNIT - Mordecai Watson
Mordecai and Iris are the son and daughter of Ben Watson who presents a regular programme called Late Lunch With Out To Lunch every Wednesday afternoon at 2 pm on Resonance 104.4 FM or, if you have broadband, resonancefm.com. The middle section (in 7/4) just grooves along and it actually sounds like a group enjoying themselves . . . which, with UNIT, is not always the case. Anyway, this and its sister are 2 of my favourite tracks, partly because I donít appear on them! 8/10
- UNIT - Deutschland Du Warst Als Kind Schon Scheisse
Although credited as being by UNIT this is actually a solo performance by Fritz and it is quite simply the best piece we have recorded for many years. There is no programming and there are no computers used here
- the whole piece was played manually on various analogue keyboards. The rhythm track was derived from a bass drum beat put through a fuzz box and played manually on a sampler. The lyric attacks all those German industries owned and run by successful capitalists who were involved in the Hitler Youth or other Nazi groups during world war two. 9/10
- Howl In The Typewriter - The Girl On The Pink Bicycle
This is one of those 1970s influenced rockers which starts in a certain groove then unexpectedly changes course a third of the way in
- which is one of the many reasons why I often enjoy HitT works. Yet again, pStan gives us an almost painfully acerbic lyric: ĎIím ashamed to share this town with youí. 8/10
- Howl In The Typewriter - Transmitting To Earth
HitT generally start with a pop song or a rock anthem and later on, you can be fairly certain thereíll be an avant garde soundscape or (as is the case here) a piece which incorporates voice overs from disparate sources. This (to my mind) is related to
Calling All Humans (lyrically) but reminds me of late period Sun Ra (musically) even though it doesnít actually sound like any Arkestra piece Iíve ever heard. That said, I find the music rather dreary and repetitive even though it is entirely appropriate for the text. 5/10
- Howl In The Typewriter - Atrophy
Throbbing Gristle without all the boring bits - Lustmord and The Nocturnal Emissions as they ought to sound. However, thereís nothing old fashioned or retrospective about this (not that thereís anything wrong with music which possesses these qualities) but, like Dumb Robot Pilot,
HitT prove they can rock out with a pop anthem then enter into pure Lemon Kittens / Nurse With Wound territory when required. This is generally quiet and yet contains more menace and malevolence than any amount of Whitehouse tracks you care to name. 9/10
- Howl In The Typewriter - Spider Respects Nothing
This is almost film music - soundtrack to a Japanese art film or an anime perhaps. Parts of it are virtually atonal and certainly if you played this to me and asked me to guess the name of the group responsible, I wouldnít have realised it was
HitT. pStan doesnít often write / record purely instrumental tracks which makes this and
Atrophy even more welcome, purely for variety. 7/10
- Howl In The Typewriter - One Eyed God
Christ, weíre into Doctor Who territory until the bass guitar kicks in and then pStan returns with a blistering assault on that chewing gum for eyes known as television. The music ranges from late 1970s rock to 1990s acid rave and God knows where else in between. Because the lyric is relentless in its aggression and the music plays smoothly its complexity is not immediately apparent
- this is usually a sign of quality - after all, we want to appreciate the performance of the machine, not marvel at the diodes and circuitry of which it is comprised. I think the reason some of pStansí lyrics are so effective is because they combine anger and humour
- a potent mixture. 8/10
So there we have it: for me the top 3 tracks are:
- Bartles: Calling All Humans.
- Howl in the Typewriter: Atrophy.
- UNIT: Deutschland Du Warst Als Kind Schon Scheisse.
Now for the revelation. I noted my generally very low marks for nearly all those really short snippets and realised often this represented a reaction to the works based on their presence between longer pieces on the album (I erroneously came to regard them as interruptions rather than works in their own right) rather than for their intrinsic merits and I am aware this reveals a most unfair review . . . so I programmed my computer to play each of these pieces in succession. I recommend virtuoso players of CDs do the same. It works! At least, I didnít find any of these pieces remotely irritating or annoying although I did find the experience somewhat dada! For me the major discovery of the set was Dumb Robot Pilot. I hope they make contributions to future godspunk collections. The work of Shaun Robert also intrigues me. Request: please can the main colour on the next godspunk be a shade of blue, green or purple? Iím hacked off with all these reds and
1 Memory - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Anthrax - UNIT
3 Dancing Ants - The Large Veiny Members
4 the things that may or may not be true - Howl in the Typewriter
5 White Trash - UNIT
6 Not Any More (feat. The KBC) - John Tree's blissed-up rework
7 Glass Heart - Howl in the Typewriter
9 Eric Cooper - UNIT
11 Contacting Hassocks - Nil By Nose
12 (traditional) - Howl in the Typewriter
13 The Ritualistic Mating Dance of the West Highland Terrier and the Fluorescent Floating Human Eyeball (Eggnog Variant #4) - The Melodramatic Monkey
14 Graveyard Love - The Flesheaters
15 Your Brain is aJah - Howl in the Typewriter
16 Discotheque Repetition - The Large Veiny Members
17 Shells & Stars - UNIT
18 The RooHniverse - Howl in the Typewriter
19 The Prozac Song - Dimm D3ciple
20 Portal - Shaun Robert
21 Friends - UNIT
22 Howl in the Typewriter in Derek's Briefcase
- Review by Richard Foster, Incendiary, January
In the booklet that accompanies the new godspunk record we see a picture of multiple schoolgirl pStans (aka Howl in the Typewriter) hanging out with Sir Margaret of Thatcher. Somehow this ďobviously doctoredĒ image brings to light the Oz trial of 1971 especially Neville and coís jolly, consciousness raising japes. With a little reflection on our side we can see that somehow this image is a blast from another time, a sort of memento mori of how ďindie/alternative shitĒ used to be. Not busy with trying to make everything into some platform-friendly unit of production.
The opening track, Memory and Howl cuts such as The
RooHniverse, In Derek's Briefcase, and the things that may or may not be
true, somehow picks up on these vibes (as well as the hippy feel in the image described above) and steer this record through a frayed world of long forgotten raves, the bellybutton fluff of squat gigs and miserable, comedown, Aldi-bakery breakfasts. So hippy that
Your Brain is aJah is very much like Robyn Hitchcockís acapella stuff on I Often Dream of Trains. We could be watching the Pink Fairies under an underpass off the Portobello Road, so thick is the fug down in this ur-provincial netherworld.
The other (dare we say) house band, UNIT come on like Marvin the Robot from
Hitchhikerís . . . with the anti-love song Anthrax, (somehow sounding like a scuzzy version of the Ex too). Beaming in from planet UNIT takes a lot of courage and determination, just to keep on beaming in the way they do. Which is one of the reasons why Iíd probably say - just because of their sheer bloody-mindedness - they are up there with the Biscuits in being one of the countryís greatest groups of all time. UNIT throw in a few more crackers with
White Trash (the ultimate in open wound pathos; basically this digs a big hole for coiffeured dudes like Walker & Gainsbourg, hoys them in, and leaves no bouquet. ďHe says youíre a bloody nuisanceĒ, indeed . . .), a daft, falling apart at the seams instrumental break called
Eric Cooper, an insane rap featuring some rooks, (Shells &
Stars) and Friends, a spit in the eye of history itself.
Old Pumf compilations often had a fair bit of punk sand in the Vaseline. And while we get some Dr John psycho schlock with The Flesheatersí
Graveyard Love, and some psyched out growling and scraping in Shaun Robertís
Portal, this compilation is more like some Gong fag end, a snot rag retrieved from the chilled-out, ephedra-popping, arse-end of Rave, probably in its most anal incarnation, the Amsterdam squat scene from about 1999 . . . Well, thatís what listening to
Dancing Ants or Discotheque Repetition (courtesy of Large Veiny Members), Nil by Noseís
Contacting Hassocks, or John Treeís remix of the KBCís Not Any More does to my memory anyway. Mention should be made of The Melodramatic Monkeyís increasingly fried song titles too. Every compilation seems to throw up a new verbal construct; this time we have
The Ritualistic Mating Dance of the West Highland Terrier and the Fluorescent Floating Human Eyeball (Eggnog Variant
#4). And it sounds like? Well, the usual, reassuring jazz-off using Soft Machine offcuts. The morning after is well documented by Dimm D3cipleís
The Prozac Song, a massacre of Marley, and rightly so.
Just remember fellow wizards; you canít beat your brain for
- Review (of godspunk
volume twelve and thirteen) by Node Pajomo, Spring 2014
While I love compilations, I consider a 25% agreeability rating (or AR) to be the norm. Once I accept the synthesizer dominance among these blokes, the AR on these discs is absurdly high. Without actually getting out a calculator I am going to speculate that the AR on these discs must be approaching 80%. Prog rock, fractured pop, bedroom punk, ambient atmospherics,
musiqe concrete, even surf and rap are all represented in a warped and unique way. Some of the synthesizer sounds are on the cheesy side as is one of the drum machines, but I am able to get past it. One of the
bands / artists is called Data's Cat which pleases the Star Trek part of my brain. They are one of the more rocking
units on the older disc. The band UNIT does an interesting version of Gand
of Four's 'Anthrax' which makes up for their mutilation of Wire's 'Go
- Review by Ear of
Corn #41, 2017
A swell 22 track, 9 band compilation from Pumf. Of course, you get a healthy dose of Howl in the Typewriter and UNIT, which is pretty much the norm for this compilation series. Quite a bit of the music is synth driven,
but certainly not all. Upbeat punk to experimental with even a rap track tossed in for good measure. Very entertaining stuff, which is pretty much standard for this label. Also includes
a track by The Flesheaters (not the legendary L.A. punk band). Great comp.
- Review by Andy Martin
(UNIT), October 2013
- John Tree - Not Any More
Regular readers may recall how I frequently acknowledge the technical facility of this chap then damn him to perdition for boring me to distraction with music that is absolutely not the kind of stuff Iíd ever wish to hear. We clearly have very divergent and probably incompatible tastes. However, finally, after all this time, heís created a piece I actually like; I even played it through a second time before I listened to any of the other tracks on this collection. Take Five Or Six, Eyeless In Gaza and a hint of The Shock Headed Peters, when each of these groups are at their most restrained and subtle . . . oh yes, thatís how highly I rate this track . . . which is strange because generally I dislike slow, gentle music and I detest works that stay glued in one key throughout their duration so I really ought to find this tedious - yet I most certainly do not. My one caveat is that it does possess a slight late 1990s droning groove now and then but this may be deliberate - The Chemical Brothers without the dance beat. 8/10
- The Flesheaters - Graveyard Love
The bass guitar is a little too prominent and the vocals are far too quiet - which is a shame because, in the latter instance, much of the humour and impact of this delightful little pastiche of bad taste 1960s pop songs is diminished. I admit I loathe this, not because thereís anything wrong with the music or lyrics but because I simply dislike this kind of idiom. Still, for enthusiasts of this genre, if the vocals were louder in the mix I expect theyíd rate this highly and why not? The performance is crisp and well executed; thereís a hint (perhaps not intentional) of The Fall in the drums and guitar lines but thatís hardly a cause for complaint, is it? 2/10
- Dimm D3ciple - The Prozac Song
I find this slow, dreary, almost moronic dirge with its half speed vocal absolutely horrible. Even at 2 minutes I sat here and suffered! Now, I remember I praised and lauded a goodly number of their previous works which indicates an ability on their behalf to produce pieces which reveal variety and originality - fair enough - but I still detest this - sorry, chaps. Mind you, to be fair: this piece doesnít sound like anything else Iíve ever heard. 1/10
- Shaun Robert - Portal
Thereís a curiously Lemon Kittens mien about this which is high praise indeed - but the first time I played it I found it boring, irritating and tedious, apart from a few seconds here and there where sounds sparkled and glittered among the sonic morass. Intrigued I played it a second time; Iím glad I did. On my second encounter, it reminded me very much of Dome and I wondered how I could possibly have formulated my previous opinion. I can imagine listeners virtually ignoring this as just so much indistinct faffing about before they move onto the next track but believe me, it does merit a second and third hearing. Oh all right, donít believe me then . . . itís your loss. 7/10
- Nil By Nose - Contacting Hassocks
When Whitehouse, Ramleh and Lustmord make their electronic industrial racket, I find them intensely tedious. When The Nocturnal Emissions and Konstruktivists do the same, I find them intriguing and enjoyable. This work suggests the creators have been listening to The Nocturnal Emissions and Konstruktivists. Look, letís not faff about with subtle hints in order to be polite - this work is a bloody racket - but itís an interesting bloody racket. I listened to this again on headphones and here you experience the full impact - this piece is extremely dense with plenty of different sounds and noises quite carefully combined (or at least thatís how it sounds) but it is a more extreme example of the genre and I doubt many other people will find it as diverting as did I. Radio play - hardly - which is a shame because I could respect a DJ brave enough to launch this baby onto the airwaves. 9/10
- The Melodramatic Monkey - The Ritualistic Mating Dance Of The West Highland Terrier & The Fluorescent Floating Human Eyeball
With a Hammond organ, a baritone saxophone, a deep growling bass guitar and a funky drum beat, how could I not immediately turn up the volume and jive around to this groove? Then, 90 seconds in, a flute enters - straight out of a Stax record from 1975. An abrupt change of mood and mode introduces strangely disjointed vocals and a Glaswegian lost soul asking questions in the firmament. When the bass guitar and sampled brass enter underneath this vocalise, the work enters magickal territory. Thereís even a smattering of wah wah guitar for those of you who like that kind of show. However, these apparently retrogressive references to historical idioms fail to impede the ability of this work to sound contemporary and vibrant in an utterly 21st century manner. THIS PIECE IS ABSOLUTELY BLOODY BRILLIANT AND ANYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH ME IS A BUFFOON. 10/10
- The Large Veiny Members - Dancing Ants
With its strangely ethereal electronic sounds and lilting vocal I ought to enjoy this but I donít - I wonder why that should be then? I think the continual drone in one key is the primary reason this aggravates me so much. Certainly the vocal is the main reason Iím able to listen to this while only becoming slightly homicidal. 3/10
- The Large Veiny Members - Discotheque Repetition
Initially it would be difficult to believe this track was produced by the same creators as those
responsible for Dancing Ants - which in my opinion is a cause for commendation. Unfortunately the constant robotic sampled drum beat, fragmented keyboard and murky vocal, occasionally spiced up with odd metallic percussive effects later in the piece, only irritate me intensely, probably because I dislike repetition of any kind (usually). The sound is clear and crystalline. Perhaps this track might be more effective played in a nightclub or even (ahem) a discotheque. 4/10
- Howl in the Typewriter - Memory
After a strangely uncertain 6/8 prelude flavoured with 1980s keyboards we launch into one of those marvellously mutated pop songs with which Howl in the Typewriter have become justifiably associated over the years. Although this is not one of my favourites, one facet of the work generates a question: pStan has contributed 4 or 5 tracks per disc on each collection since 2005 and yet still manages to surprise, intrigue, enrapture, confound, confuse and (occasionally) infuriate me. I suspect it is not possible for this chap to exhaust his store of ideas and creativity. Maybe by godspunk volume twenty-seven heíll start to repeat himself. 7/10
- Howl in the Typewriter - The Things That May Or May Not Be True Sampled Americans engage in a silly dialogue while pStan plink plonks away on a banjo in the next room . . . until a minute has passed when suddenly weíre flung into 1990s disco mode with utterly no mercy. Then, after 2 and a half minutes, weíre back to that flipping banjo again and weíre treated to a voice which sounds like that chap who spoke over early Psychic TV tracks . . . Christ, this is tedious! 2/10
- Howl in the Typewriter - Glass Heart You know what I said earlier about repetition and pieces which stay in 1 or 2 keys for their entire duration? Well, hereís a slow, plodding dirge which alternates in 4/4 between 2 chords a tone apart . . . again and again for interminable length (or so it seems). The feedback sounds and the bitter, mournful vocal / lyric raise this above total monotony, however. 5/10
- Howl in the Typewriter - (traditional) Often Iíll mention the names of other groups in my descriptions in order to aid readers who have yet to purchase the disc and thus give them a few musical signposts although these only serve a useful function if those same readers have actually heard of the groups I mention - most of which are rather obscure so I suspect Iíve not succeeded in my attempt. Well, I defy anyone anywhere to name a single group who have produced a work similar to or which sounds like this. The keyboard lines are superb. Nursery rhymes and old fashioned playground tunes and chants are incorporated into a strangely disturbing piece which might be a study of the manner in which the minds of very young children perceive the world - then again I may simply be writing pretentious bollocks. 6/10
- Howl in the Typewriter - Your Brain Is aJah Each Howl in the Typewriter track is separated by only 2 tracks from other groups so pStan is in full effect here, hitting us with a new work every 3 tracks. Unaccompanied vocals in a vaguely 1970s soul funk vibe are occasionally treated with electronic effects but their presence is subtle. Nearly 4 minutes of unaccompanied vocals could be tedious but instead pStan gives us his most effective and impressive work yet (so far as this disc is concerned). You see, this is why so much conventional pop music is so ineffably onerous: how many of them would consider recording a track scored only for solo vocals and manage to do so in a manner that is dramatic, funky and enjoyable? 8/10
- Howl in the Typewriter - The RooHniverse Someone finds an old reel to reel tape of a third rate hippie combo circa 1972 and tries to reconstruct it without knowing how the music is supposed to sound . . . result: this infernal mess! I like the bass guitar sound but thatís all I like about it. Hawkwind gone horribly wrong . . . or something. Bah, sod it, I give up. 3/10
- Howl in the Typewriter - Howl in the Typewriter in Dereksí Briefcase At 7 tracks, this just may be the most number of tracks pStan has ever contributed to one of these collections (if you discount the disc on which one of his pieces was split into umpteen short sections). If I had to depict a sonic interpretation of a kaleidoscope then this would be similar to how I would imagine it to sound. That doesnít mean I actually enjoy the experience, of course. Oh, I like the concept - assuming I comprehend it correctly - but somehow the net result induces in me an impression of a track which fails to realise its potential. 4/10
- UNIT - Anthrax
Over the past few years weíve recorded far too many versions of works by other groups. That we should record a new rendition of this is annoying, to say the least. I can appreciate why the others felt it necessary to do so - this certainly reveals more clarity, precision and impact than the previous attempt (on our double album Civil Disobedience issued in early 2012 but recorded late in 2011). However, in my opinion, The Gang Of Four did it better . . . so there. 5/10
- UNIT - White Trash
This is a major remix of another track from Civil Disobedience which I made because it deserves to be heard and heard in its proper glory. It is one of the best ballads Iíve ever written (despite - or perhaps because - of the 1970s groove) but (sigh) why do I so often achieve such attainments only when Iím being thoroughly nasty about other people? In case any of the recipients (Garlen Lo, Thanh Trung Nguyen, Wong Yit Sinh, Luc Tran or UJ) wish to come round to our houses to beat us up, I admit (after 2 years) that this is not really a proper UNIT piece since every instrument and vocal is performed by me - no other member of the group appears on this piece. 10/10
- UNIT - Eric Cooper
This is the same track which appears on our album The Workshop from 2012. Weíve included it here because Ben Watson of Late Lunch With Out To Lunch (Resonance 104.4 fm) featured it on his programme and we were intrigued not only by his comments but also by the strange remix that occurred as a result of being converted into an mp3 file and then broadcast from a minidisc or some other modern technological gubbins beyond my comprehension. Cooper was the lad who adopted me into his gang when I was 13 at school; he taught me to respect myself, to believe in my abilities and to apply my brain to the discipline of self education and body to the rigours of unarmed combat lessons (which usually simply meant he battered me every Saturday). If I had not met him, if he had never bothered to take an interest in me then it is absolutely no exaggeration to state that I would never have become a writer or a musician and nobody would read my books or listen to my music. I owe him virtually everything and it is beyond my ability to repay him for what he did for me. This instrumental is my musical depiction of his character. That said, he deserves a superior work to this 1970s rifferama but then his favourite bands were The Stranglers and Judas Priest so Iím allowed to be somewhat insulting, arenít I? 6/10
- UNIT - Shells & Stars
In December 2012 we performed a live session for Resonance and we were absolutely abysmal. It ranks as the very worst live performance we have ever given. A group of teenage grime rappers were meant to perform with us but we were asked to play earlier than planned and they were slightly late so the collaboration was postponed. After they arrived, they recorded 3 numbers with us for use on their own programme called Sick Notes. To date, Iíve not been able to obtain the other 2 tracks. Evan Scherer plays the bass guitar on this because Fritz wasnít able to leave Germany in time for the performance. This is the weakest of the trio of tracks we recorded with the lads (in my opinion) but at least it displays our ability (limited by unfamiliarity with the genre involved) to engage with an idiom previously unexplored by the group. I retained the Resonance jingle at the end because I like it. 4/10
- UNIT - Friends
We recorded an account of this way back in 2010 for the album Facta Non Verba but it was a bit of a mess so we revisited the ballad to see if we could improve it. Well, yes, we did although the tempo is a little too fast. That said, I am justifiably proud of this piece with its memorable melody, adventurous harmonic progressions and crisp playing. My singing is a little ragged (no change there then) but I found this almost impossible to sing without crying. I find this almost unbearable to hear now, primarily because the lyric is agonisingly honest. 9/10
Postscript: when I went to the studio in October to record a few more tracks with Fritz and Colin for the next album, I looked at the collection of godspunk albums Fred Baggs (the engineer and owner of Redchurch Studio where we record nearly all our works) keeps on his shelf and as I looked through them all I realised just how many different groups and individuals have appeared on these collections since 2005. I definitely mourn the absence of LDB and the taurus board from the discs. However, their departure has been compensated by new arrivals of equal (if rather different) content and quality. The later editions seem to veer slightly away from the more aggressively avant garde soundscapes I tended to enjoy so perhaps our next contributions will venture into that territory for the next edition . . . then again maybe Iíll just write another brace of miserable depressing pop songs and Hammond organ driven instrumentals in 7/4 time et cetera. However, look at what these compilations do: they serve as an excellent advertisement for truly independent pop music and alternative sonic creativity in a nation drenched in corporate mediocrity. For this reason alone, anyone who hasnít purchased any volumes of godspunk yet should surely do
1 Sanitised - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Martinís Gone - UNIT
3 Samba Savarah ft Veronneau (John Treeís Full Brazilian Remix)
4 Male Slag - UNIT
5 Squid Bullets - Dataís Cat
6 These Sounds - Nil By Nose
7 Subhuman Debris - UNIT
8 A Short Unprepared Speech - Howl in the Typewriter
9 The Wiring - Dimm D3ciple
10 Why Russians Rarely Smile - UNIT
11 Loss - XxiiJ
12 For Nick Wong - UNIT
13 Derekís Briefcase - Howl in the Typewriter
14 Take it easy Guys Oomba Goomba - Nil By Nose
15 Vita Odiosa - UNIT
16 Pipe, Slippers & A Basket Of Flute - Dataís Cat
17 The Fishman - Howl in the Typewriter
18 Nimbis Tonantibus - UNIT
19 Sans Moi - The Large Veiny Members featuring 90 [Noventa]
20 BBC Bastards - UNIT
21 Letís Eat Rotting Flesh - The Flesheaters
22 Conspiracy - UNIT
23 The Nightmare of Childhood - Howl in the Typewriter
24 F You - Stevan Barnes
25 Go Ahead - UNIT
26 Balloc - (Nil By Nose Remixed By 1001101000)
27 A Song For Eric Cooper - UNIT
28 The Fishman in Derekís Briefcase - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Richard Foster, Incendiary,
Yet more from the institution that is Pumf Records: volume twelve of the long running godspunk series no less, though sad to report an LP that charts the breakup of what constituted UNITís line up since 2005, which is sad because I have a particular soft spot for the records theyíve knocked out since then Ė hopefully a phoenix of sorts will soon rise out of the ashes.
Typically we get 11 tracks from UNIT (there are 28 tracks in total). And of course what we have is fabulous: messy, idiosyncratic, thought forms and off the cuff instrumentals that sound like car crashes, polemics delivered with conviction. Some of these, such as
BBC Bastards and Luc Has Gone document the eventually irretrievable band tensions. Ho hum. Of course we get some cracking Howl in the Typewriter tracks too:
Sanitised being a particularly breezy opener what with talk of snails and (doubtless sardonic) impersonations of Jimmy Savile.
Outside these stalwarts the compilation is often quiet, concerned with abstract work outs like Dimm D3cipleís
The Wiring, that have a flavour of the Orb or Coldcut or even the Nutty Professor. Some are whacky in a coy way:
Squid Bullets turns from some sort of cod-90s groove to an expostulation of the Spanish guitar amidships, before piloting a course through teen metal territory. I canít really work out. Others catch you out because they just float by until, a few listens later, they decide to let you into their secret. Examples are
Loss by XxiiJ, Nil By Noseís These Sounds, Samba Savarah (whatís that about?) or
Pipe Slippers & A Basket of Flute by Dataís Cat . . . Iím guessing that Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld must have been a big hit on the Fylde coast. When Howl in the Typewriter start joining in with tracks like
Derekís Briefcase, you begin to note that this is the most psychedelic, most cinematic of godspunks yet.
Things canít be all abstract can they? Well, no. As well as UNITís growls and Howl in The Typewriterís
The Fishman In Derekís Briefcase (which is a sound recording of bunch of kids yelling over who is the fictitious superhero The Fishman), we get
Sans Moi which is a brooding soliloquy in French (and damned good too), and
Letís Eat Rotting Flesh by The Flesheaters, a zombie work out which sounds just like its title.
One day these LPs will become collectorsí items.
- Review by Ear of
Corn #41, 2017
A heaping 28 track compilation, with Howl in the Typewriter, UNIT and Nil By Nose accounting for 20 of those tracks. Clown art, as
always. If you are disturbed by clowns, I wouldn't let that keep you away from checking out some of the volumes of this comp series. Always entertaining things to be heard. Really dig a lot of UNIT'S shorter tracks, many of which were not originally intended to be released according to the booklet. Howl in the Typewriter, as usual, is responsible for most of the rest of my favorite tracks
('The Nightmare of Childhood' is my favorite track of the whole thing, by the way) on the compilation. Just really a ton of great stuff to listen to.
- Review by Andy Martin
(UNIT), February 2013
- Howl In The Typewriter
BUGGERY BOLLOCKS but this is so groovy, so superbly performed and so deftly produced that I know itís going to make our track sound messy and miserably mediocre by comparison. Crystal clarity in the production, dexterous finesse in the playing, a funky break-beat rhythm, a memorable tune and an extremely clever lyric make this beyond all possible doubt the very best track HitT have ever done
- it is utterly brilliant. So much for that tedious old maxim that claims a pop group generally exhaust all their best ideas within the first 3 years of their career. I also enjoy the topical Jimmy Savile reference! 10/10.
- UNIT - Martinís Gone
In the same key as Sanitised which helps - possibly. See? Although this track sparkles, itís still murky compared with the pristine production of the previous track which glitters whereas this just glares. God knows who Sector 27 were but Luc Tran found this single in a junk shop and played it to me. It had a picture of a teenage boy in brief shorts on the front so he thought Iíd be interested in it
- bah, sod that - but, without realising it, he provided me with ammunition for a lyric directed at what he and Richard would do to me barely 3 months later. I could have written new music but it seemed appropriate to cover the song fairly faithfully since we were technically able to do so. Iíve not altered any of the words except for the names although the song title is actually called Martinís Gone. 7/10.
- John Tree - Samba Savarah Ft Veronneau
Hello, itís Xavier Cougat without his orchestra together with an arrangement by Edmundo Ross of a traditional Brazilian folk song
- or else itís Mr Tree proving once again that heís a master of pastiche while still able to present music that bears a highly distinctive voice of its own. Yes, I do enjoy this
- itís Latin exotica gone wrong in all the right ways. 7/10.
- UNIT - Male Slag
Well, itís certainly a contrast to Mr Tree but thatís not necessarily a compliment. Decent lyric, shame about the music. Why ever did we record this hoary old tosh? At least we used a Hammond organ and no guitars which is probably its only saving grace other than clarity of the production and decent performance. 5/10.
- Datasí Cat - Squid Bullets
Ah - a flute - any track that uses a flute (or indeed any woodwind instrument) is liable to receive commendation from me. Although this has an excellent break beat, it desperately cries out for a bass guitar and a chord change or two. The combination of marimba and wah wah guitar shouldnít work
- but they do. Oh, right, so there is a bass guitar after all - now thatís more like it. Aye, this is pretty damned fine or at least it promises to be so. The sudden interruption of a flamenco style guitar is groovy even though I donít like guitars. Mind you, ultimately I still find myself waiting for the main event to happen even when it goes all heavy metal and Rammstein on us. Itís a fairly groovy instrumental all the same
- Iíd just like a little something extra . . .God knows what. 7/10.
- Nil By Nose - These Sounds
Christ, this is irritating - or is it? Letís listen to it again. No, I was right the first time
- it IS irritating but Iím not certain why. Perhaps itís because the track sounds like an introduction to a piece that never appears. Thatís how it sounds to me at least but then Iíve been listening to classical music for the past 5 months so what the hell do I know about anything? The production is superb, clear and precise. 4/10.
- UNIT - Subhuman Debris
Look, we recorded this because it was requested by a pal of ours but honestly, this sounds so woefully old fashioned and outdated now. The lyric is trite and the music is simply silly. Why waste time playing punk rock when there are punk bands who do this kind of crap all day and probably better than we do? 3/10.
- Howl In The Typewriter - A Short Unprepared Speech
Oh right, here we go - Death In June meets Hawkwind. I reckon HitT are the only outfit who are even more bonkers than we are. A creepy taped voice doesnít help proceedings either. Ugh. 3/10.
- Dimm D3ciple - The Wiring
Well, this is bloody boring as well - a crisply smooth, slow drum beat that needs a decent musical companion but all it receives is some grotty synthesiser and a tape of Stephen Hawking wittering over the top. I have always maintained that Hawking is an arse-hole and this gives me no reason to alter my opinion. I reckon Iím just peeved because normally this bunch provide tracks I tend to enjoy
- but this time unfortunately. 3/10.
- UNIT - Why Russians Rarely Smile
One of my cleverest lyrics - the facts about Russian are all correct, by the way
- set to ridiculously 1980s music that should have been cremated and promptly forgotten. Instead we go into a studio in 2012 and record it. I have managed to subvert the original arrangement and remove most of the punk elements but it isnít convincing. My feeble vocal doesnít help either. 4/10.
- XxiiJ - Loss
Top marks for the most enigmatic name for a band / artist ever. This reminds me very strongly of Dome (the outfit created by Graham and Lewis of Wire) combined with Five Or Six plus an element of Throbbing Gristle during one of their more restrained moments
- yet it doesnít sound 1980s - on the contrary it brings industrial music firmly into the 21st century
- but do we want industrial music in the 21st century? Yes, when itís like this. The entrance of the piano is highly disturbing. Minor caveat: once the rhythmic pulse commences
- staying in the same key for far too long - some of the dramatic impact is diminished but this is still highly effective . . . until the final 40 seconds or so when we a curiously contrived cut-up reggae music intervenes and ruins the atmosphere! That said, this is still one of the most exciting contributions to godspunk in quite a while. 8/10.
- UNIT - For Nick Wong
Now this is 1 of 3 tracks written by Evan Scherer, our American guest so perhaps I shouldnít be too unkind and, after all, it was my idea for us to record his pieces. The trouble is, we are not a punk band
- as you can hear. 4/10.
- Howl In The Typewriter - Dereksí Briefcase
This is so Nurse With Wound itís almost surreal. A curiously contrived collage of words, taped speech from various sources plus occasional musical interludes
- more flamenco guitar - comprise a piece that is occasionally irritating, often inspired but never boring. A lot of work and effort has gone into this. 6/10.
- Nil By Nose - Take It Easy Guys
I canít comprehend what this outfit are trying to do - well, maybe Iím too concerned with musical structures and a recognisable idiomatic language to appreciate these whimsical interlude (which may not be intended as a whimsical interlude at all, of course) but indistinct sampled voices and synthesiser sounds rarely impress me. 2/10.
- UNIT - Vita Odiosa
So, after being viciously unkind about Nil By Nose, we ought to provide music that justifies such dismissal of somebody elsesí work
- you know, I can be rude about other peoplesí tracks because hereís what WE can do. The trouble is, this sounds like an experiment which failed
- probably because itís an experiment which failed. 3/10.
- Datasí Cat - Pipe, Slippers & A Basket Of Flute
What a superb title! I find this a little repetitive at first but then the flute enters and I can forgive almost any impertinence. Iíd love to do some recording with the chap who plays the flute on this
- since UJ left UNIT I do miss his flute playing but this is a more jazz inflected style that I find extremely satisfying. Once the bass guitar and drums kick in properly, this piece really rocks but in a strangely funk influenced manner
- Ian Anderson goes to Stax. 8/10. Just a moment, letís hear this track all over again. No, itís much better than that. 10/10.
- Howl In The Typewriter - The Fishman
Oh come on, Stan, get it together, pal, what are you playing at? Youíve gone all folk on our arses and Iím not impressed. This does reveal one aspect: anyone who tries to predict what HitT will do next is on a hiding to nothing. The production is clear and precise but Iíve never liked acoustic guitars. This is compensated by the inclusion of childrensí voices now and then. When I hear this I think of Ringo Starr which probably isnít too healthy either. 5/10.
- UNIT - Nimbis Tonantibus
All these Latin titles are by Evan, incidentally - he speaks fluent Latin and Greek, you see. Well heís an archaeology student, after all. So itís a pity what Iíve done to his music isnít as effective as I intended it to be. No, Iíve certainly not done him any favours on these tracks. Sorry, Evan. 3/10.
- The Large Veiny Members - Sans Moi
Drum machine + synthesiser bleeps + vocal en Francaise = unavoidable comparison with Mťtal Urbain. If the music itself was more interesting, i.e. it didnít stay in the same wretched key all the way through, I could begin to enjoy this far more than is actually the case. That said, it is highly memorable and it does possess a kind of relentless aggression I find appealing. 6/10.
- UNIT - BBC Bastards
Isnít it rather churlish to write a track called British Born Chinese Bastards which is obviously directed at Luc and Richard and then place it in a public forum? Yes it is. Do I care? Not at all. Does that mean Iím a nasty little cunt? Yes it does. Do I care? Not at all. Is this music a profoundly failed attempt to turn hardcore punk rock into something more interesting? Yes it is. Do I care? Well, er, yes actually
- because godspunk compilations merit better tracks than this. 4/10.
- The Flesheaters - Letís Eat Rotting Flesh
Why do I find sampled voices so annoying? I donít know - but I do. However, the other components of this strangely unpleasant track are rather enjoyable in a 1960s Mondo soundtrack manner. Thereís more beefy (groan) power here than is to be found in our previous 5 tracks
- a lesson to be learned maybe. Complaint: if youíre going to include a vocal then turn it up so we can hear it properly! This needs a Hammond organ. 7/10.
- UNIT - Conspiracy
My only vaguely successful attempt at hardcore punk rock which I wrote for Pete Williams shortly after the Earthsí crust cooled. We recorded this because we were asked to do so. Itís okay I suppose but it sounds so old fashioned and out dated now. 5/10.
- Howl In The Typewriter - The Nightmare Of Childhood
I can definitely relate to the title of this piece. The metal percussion is effective but that sampled voice can bugger off for a start. What a miserable old cow! Okay so sheís right but I demand the luxury of being able to live in my deluded fantasy in which I retain the youthful ability to rock and roll until I die, thanks. 4/10.
- Stevan Barnes - F You
If XxiiJ provides the most enigmatic name for a person or group on godspunk then Stevan Barnes provides the most prosaic. What we have here is an example of musical minimalism that serves to exaggerate the vicious brutality of the lyric
- harmony backing vocals, a sneering lead vocal (that ought to be a little louder) over the most basic percussion of bass drum and tambourine doesnít sound as if it promises much but actually this has more power and intensity than any of our feeble attempts at raucous noise. 8/10.
- UNIT - Go Ahead
Colin Murrell and Fabian Fritze each possess virtually the entire recorded works of Wire. Even I possess all the studio works from 1977 to 2002 and many of the live tracks
- so maybe it was only a matter of time before we recorded a cover of one of their works. This was originally the Ďbí side of Map Ref 41įN 93įW but Iíve wanted to record a rendition of this for many years and finally I was able to do so, with assistance from my pals and Evan taking the part of the record company executive. This is one of our better efforts although itís a pity the piece continually speeds up all the way through. The viola playing is a little rough but it makes a pleasant change from tedious old electric guitars at least. 7/10.
- Nil By Nose - Balloc
Easily their best contribution on here as far as Iím concerned. This is deeply disturbing and reminds me of Ampnoise by Dome
- a grumbling, malevolent, nightmare noise that has all the best elements of a science fiction soundtrack minus the histrionics associated with the genre
- actually, this is so good Iím going to play it again. Yes, I was right to do so. 9/10.
- UNIT - A Song For Eric Cooper
Yes, all right, I KNOW there are 5 verses included in the CD booklet but only 4 are sung on this version, well, thatís because this was an early rendition of it
- I considered it complete at the time but on subsequent plays I realised it required a central verse to add strength to the lyric. We recorded it again and included it on our album, The Workshop. However, this version is too good to go to waste so we submitted it here. Anyway, this is easily the best UNIT track on the collection and it is only marginally spoiled by my weak, feeble voice. I wish I had one of those powerful, full bodied voices that sound good when recorded
- but I donít. I sound like a homosexual crow with influenza. Buggery
- Howl In The Typewriter - The Fishman In Dereksí Briefcase
Remember ĎHometimeí by Throbbing Gristle? Thatís what this reminds me of
- only this is far more interesting. The conversation between Stan and that child is utterly superb. The very subtle, minimal accompaniment (primarily disjointed sounds) provides the most appropriate context for the almost painful innocence of the conversation. The piece is apparently only 2 minutes long but itís followed by a long tribute to John Cage
- I cheated and moved the cursor forward because I know what silence sounds like
- then we have some Yankee chap telling us how much he loves godspunk volume eleven
- quite right too. 8/10.
These are the best 7 tracks on the compilation in my biased and thoroughly unreliable
- Howl In The Typewriter Ė Sanitised
- XxiiJ Ė Loss
- Datasí Cat Ė Pipe, Slippers & A Basket Of Flute
- Stevan Barnes Ė F You
- Nil By Nose Ė Balloc
- UNIT Ė A Song For Eric Cooper
- Howl In The Typewriter Ė The Fishman In Dereksí Briefcase
If I had to pick just 3 from that set Ė itíd be Sanitised, A Basket Of Flute and
Balloc Ė so there. Meanwhile, whatís the significance of the warning Ďtheyíre coming to get you, Barbaraí hidden on the inner spine of the tray
- Review by John Tree, February 2013
Right, well I've decided to put pen to paper . . . or to be more exact, finger to keyboard, write a review of godspunk volume twelve. This review has been re-written six times, I keep listening to the tunes and reassessing them each time. I've taken a leaf out of UNIT's book, going to rate each contribution. Each score is a combination of subjective reaction moderated by how close I think they got to their objectives.
The godspunk series is a collaborative effort, each contributor paying towards the CDs manufacture, getting a full page in the booklet, and receiving a number of copies back. It's a bit of an open-door policy so it is strong on community, perhaps patchier on quality control, but it is a great vehicle for people nonetheless. It could be argued that in these days of online self-publishing it is becoming less important to have physical product out there, but it still feels more real when on a proper CD . . . vinyl more so.
There is such a dizzying array of styles on these comps, there is always something for everyone to both love, hate, and be indifferent about . . . although there does seem to be a lot of ambient noise stuff this time round. The main challenge is adjusting your viewpoint to embrace such different approaches on the one album. Not an easy thing to do. Anyone who feels misunderstood, feel free to put the record straight!
Firstly, it's good to see the comp creator and major contributor pStan Batcow has found another Blackpool-based clown for the cover, and my own particular macabre favourite from the Pleasure Beach.
HOWL IN THE TYPEWRITER
I've known and worked with pStan for over a decade now. I have much respect for him, but still have no idea where he is coming from musically, but I can usually spot his style instantly. This is a compliment.
- Sanitised ****
Blimey, he's gone pop. I do like the silliness of this, ebullient, uplifting, but he can't resist peppering it with punk sensibilities in the lyrics. 'I know how to appreciate a fine sunrise / and how to put a bullet right between your eyes'. Hmmmm. It's a densely packed tune with many twists, turns, and surprises. Absurd, silly, intricately constructed, and quite fun.
- A Short Unprepared Speech ***
An exercise in noise. Slightly dissonant synth washes, obtuse plodding percussion, claustrophobic atmospheres. Sinister spoken word. huh? Hnnnnng very Howl
- Derek's Briefcase ***
More Howlisms here, and touches of Negativland. A collage of apparently unrelated sounds. Voice sound bytes looped. Spoken phrases pasted cheek by jowl. Bits of fractured acoustic guitar. Reverse loops. Stereo pans. Shades of White Album Number 9. Do I like it? Biting my face off.
- The Fishman ****
A song. Acoustic guitar, animal skin percussion. Another dose of surrealism in the lyrics. Kids brighten up the proceedings. I AM THE FISHMAN! Memorable.
- The Nightmare of Childhood ***
Blimey, where to start here? Squelchy synth and junk percussion. A sardonic ode to turning old. Gulp, nearly there! Sign me up for euthanasia.
- The Fishman in Derek's Briefcase **
Kid talk. Cut and paste stuff from before. Amusing for the live interactions but will it stand repeat listens?
UNIT have been major contributors to godspunk from very early on. In many ways, their approach is so far over the other end of the spectrum from myself that I personally find them difficult to access. Their sound is initially awkward and jarring, but they have an endearing quality somehow, like a post-punk Bonzo's. I guess it's something to do with being honest. There is something very 'in your face' about UNIT, hard to ignore. They talk of many changes in the band, but it's probably to Andy Martin's credit that they still sound very much the same . . . although the drums seem to have tightened up considerably, which I personally find a big plus.
- Martin's Gone ***
Tuned percussion, punk drums, growling bass. Very quirky post-punk but with a traditional construction, verse/chorus/verse etc. . . . but it seems to me the lyrics are main purpose to their tunes, which in this case, seems to be all about the changes in the band.
- Male Slag ***1/2
As I said, the main purpose to these tunes seems to be about the meaning.
- Subhuman Debris **
Sore Throat territory. Revenge tune on an enemy. I'm not keen on this, but that ain't the point.
- Why Russians Rarely Smile **
Silly xenophobic lyrics. Fuzzed guitars, galloping tempo, chaotic morse code.
- For Nick Wong **1/2
Similar instrumentation and feel to previous tune Why Russians Rarely Smile, but with the benefit of no lyrics.
- Vita Odiosa **
More post punk scratchings. Mine's a pint.
- Nimbis Tonantibus **
More post punk scratchings. Another pint please.
- BBC Bastards ***
Is that really Tony Iommi on guitar? Blimey, I'm impressed . . . add a star, in spite of the fact that I could quite happily live the rest of my life never having to sit through another guitar solo.
- Conspiracy ***
More grungy songs of bitterness and revenge. Grunge, screech. Add a star for the excellent line 'well I prefer mathematics to sex any day, baby'.
- Go Ahead ***
A blunt attack on the music biz. Kind of hits the target.
- A Song For Eric Cooper ****
A touching ode to a school friend. Again, I was more impressed with this once I realised the confessional nature of the lyrics.
- Samba Savarah ft Veronneau (John Tree's Full Brazilian Remix) ****
I had a mess with the stem tracks from this tune from the second album of US bossa/jazz band Veronneau. Wanted to see if I could transform a bossa nova, which was basically an acoustic guitar led song to something more attuned to samba, which is closer to home for me. Quite pleased with the result although others, including the target audience for this CD, may find it bland.
Another regular contributor to godspunk under various aliases, he usually hits the mark for me.
- Squid Bullets ****
This has a really good feel, can't quite work out if it's samples mixed with live playing, but it's right up my street. It's a style butterfly that flits from a funky lick, bringing in tuned percussion before changing to a flamencoish section, before entering Grunge St. Disorienting.
- Pipe, Slippers, and a Basket of Flute ****
Still life parody for the title. Nice and funky . . . percussive scraped guitar, piano stabs, and taut gritty flute leads into darabouka and breathy melody line. Groovy!
NIL BY NOSE
Dull Bedsit Blogger's alter ego has had varied output, always interesting in a sparky, intelligent, occasionally sarcastic kinda way. Here, his output turns its back on amusingly edgy tunes for the murky realm of ambient noise. YouTube parody graphic is cool.
- These Sounds****
Takes a leaf out of Howl in the Typewriter's book from the previous godspunk volume eleven, and samples the redneck YouTube blogger 'Wakey420' to reflect back at him in abstract form. Added a star for this nice concept.
- Take it Easy Guys Oomba Goomba**
Short dreamy atmospheric ping pong non-event.
- Balloc (Remixed by 1001101000)**1/2
Longer dreamy atmospheric ping pong semi-event.
LARGE VEINY MEMBERS
- Sans Moi ***
Nil By Nose's other hat. Droning backing of synths and drums squelchy synth overlays . . . and a frenchman talking . . . about? If I could understand the words I might not say it overstayed it's five and a half minute duration, as it stands, the sound of his voice begins to annoy after a bit.
DD is now a familiar contributor to godspunk, and to his credit, his varied output is never predictable.
- Fear Nothing **1/2
Keyboard sounds have promise, but needs more treatment to escape the slightly plodding clinical feel. Interesting text-to-speech Steven Hawking style shaman monologue adds metaphysical interest. Judging from his previous contributions, could have been better, but a laudable stab.
- Loss ****1/2
Wow, where do I start here? This one caught me completely by surprise. Another dreamy noisescape, there do seem to be a fair few on this album, but this one has real beauty to these ears. Totally unhurried throughout it's unnervingly exact six minutes, a haunting backdrop with glitchy sounds in sharp relief. Muted and breathy monotonic flute [plumber's pipe?], rhythmic elements lumber in . . . bass, piano stabs . . . a real and tangible soundscape. Mournful and slightly menacing. I suspect this beautifully produced piece will withstand many listens. Nice graphic too.
- Let's Eat Rotting Flesh ***1/2
The drummer, Ging, I've known for some years. Don't think I know Wakey.
We are in Cramps territory for this ghoulish romp. Low-slung bass and Link Wray style guitar, trashy drums. Heavily processed vocals are hard to discern . . . very Lux Interior, but I like it.
- F You ****1/2
Sparse percussion and harmonies form the backdrop for this claustrophobic, sexually charged vocal delivery. Creepy, yes, but that's exactly what it intends to
1 2012 - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Le Treizieme - Laszlo Klemke
3 Giving It Large (For Phil Tufnell) - UNIT
4 Game Over (Live on Venus) - Dataís Cat
5 Boogie Monster - Dimm D3ciple
6 The East Is Red - UNIT
7 Cheeseburger-eating American - Howl in the Typewriter
8 Narwhal - The Large Veiny Members featuring Vag
9 Industrial Espionage - Spycore
10 Brighter Than Light - Kunzysteem
11 The Chinese Boy - UNIT
12 Burning Bright - Englandz Glory
13 Douchebag - Nil By Nose
14 Shameless Love - The Johnny Lieberbaum Pops Orchestra
15 Chewed by Badgers - Howl in the Typewriter
16 The Sword Of Erin - UNIT
17 Yeti - The Large Veiny Members featuring Vag
18 Positive - The Glue Machine
19 Howliní in the Canyon - The Earls Of Monte Cristo
20 So Long Thanks For All The Masks - Nil By Nose
21 My Parents Are Dead But I Wish It Was Me Who Had Killed Them - UNIT
22 when I was a little boy - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Richard Foster, Incendiary, June 2012
Where to begin? Well this, the eleventh godspunk compilation has UNITís eloquent and remarkably insightful ode to Middlesex and Englandís Phil Tufnell, which is as good an excuse as any to buy this record. In fact we could stop the review there; such is the power of that image, but we wonít. godspunk compilations always throw up things that just couldnít be heard anywhere else. This is a stage for the forgotten, the unwashed, the bunker dwellers and the slightly deranged and as such Incendiary embraces it. No scrubbed up types here begging for your attention. If you donít believe me listen to another of UNITís offerings on the LP,
My Parents Are Dead But I Wish It Was Me Who Had Killed Them.
Howl in the Typewriter has a bunch of new tracks including the downbeat and somewhat psychedelic campfire ditty,
2012. As ever (with 2012 and when I was a little boy) Howl in the Typewriter sets a whole range of personal reminiscences and ruminations to tape. Balancing extreme navel gazing against intelligent arrangements doesnít always work (and it can very easily fall into the musical bear trap known as ďwhackyĒ) but when it does it creates a message that you canít really hear anywhere else.
This compilation seems a bit more laid back than previous, Laszlo Klemkeís
Le Treizieme and Kunzysteemís Brighter Than Light are maudlin and unobtrusive instrumentals and the Dataís Catís normally splurgy and organic soundscape is very well ordered. The Johnny Lieberbaum Pops Orchestra give us one of the straightest tracks ever on a godspunk record (it is good, mind), and even Dimm D3ciple seems that bit more spaced out than previous. Tuffers aside, our first signs of some naughtiness and joie de vivre come with Howl in the Typewriterís
Cheesebuger-eating American and the daft collage Chewed by
Badgers. The dippy and cod-innocent brace from The Large Veiny Members and featuring Vag
- namely Narwhal and Yeti hit the spot too. Englandís Glory, UNITís
The Chinese Boy and Nil By Noseís Douchebag are all a bit of cheeky fun as well. Best is the ode to Beefheart in Nil By Noseís
So Long and Thanks for All The Masks.
godspunk: daft as you can imagine but essential nonetheless.
- Review by Robin
Duke, Evening Gazette, May 2012
Blackpool's indie label has come up with another intriguing compilation of
bands you may never see and tracks you are unlikely to hear elasewhere.
UNIT come dangerously close to being commercial, Howl in the Typewriter
rarely take that chance. Some pearls, some peanuts.
"Many thanks for the wonderful godspunk volume eleven - I listened to it all weekend whilst doing mundane tasks like stripping layers of old wallpaper and it was stunning, nothing sounded like anything I had heard before which is a rare thing these days. 23 out of 10, go to the top of the class and fall off (an old Spike Milligan joke)."
- Dr. Adolf Steg, April 2012
- Review by Node
Pajomo, Winter 2012
A 22 track CD compilation curated by Pumf records earlier this year featuring a dozen or so artists. It strikes me as very British, which makes sense as is from England. It goes from friendly psychedelia to French circus music to some sort of fractured skiffle to a prog rock instrumental to distorted electronica to an off the meds number tided
'My Parents Are Dead But I Wish It Was Me Who Had Killed Them'. A fascinating cast of characters that might be able to get a discount on group therapy.
- Review by Ear of
Corn #41, 2017
Another heaping platter of electronic and other various bizarre bits of joy, including the usual suspects and plenty more. As always, loads of enjoyment to be had while this flat piece of plastic spins in the player. Capped off in lovely fashion by the final track where Howl in the Typewriter assembles a sampler's delight of a track in homage to his youth (judging by the track's title). A great deal of fun to be
- Review by Andy Martin
More bloody clowns - I hate clowns! No, the real reason Iím irritated is because the taurus board are absent from this edition
- YOU ROTTEN BASTARDS! Come on, own up, whatíve you done with them?
- Laszlo Klemke - Le Treizieme
Weíre in that basement cafe again somewhere in eastern Europe, circa 1965. Harmonica, guitar, bass and subtle percussion while we sip Pernod and swap military secrets under the table. Highly evocative stuff. 7/10
- Dataís Cat - Game Over (Life On Venus)
What an absolutely SUPERB BASS GUITAR sound and what absolutely SUPERB BASS GUITAR PLAYING! This is what weíve been trying to do in UNIT for about 3 years and these cats show us how it should be done. My God, I wasnít prepared for this. The slight rave inflections combined with acoustic instrument interludes shouldnít work but they do. I could do without that hippie 1960s lead guitar twiddly dee but perhaps Iím just being obnoxious? Well, it wouldnít be the first time, would it? This piece contains stylistic elements from the 1960s, 1970s and 1990s (yes, well they can be forgiven for by-passing the 1980s after all) and is very clever indeed. Iím going to try hard to have this played on Resonance FM because it deserves wider recognition. 9/10
- Dimm D3ciple - Boogie Monster
Jazz Funk Greats era Throbbing Gristle inflect this strange piece. The trouble is, unlike TG, this begins to irritate me really soon after it starts. Itís only a matter of musical preference
- in fact this is a subtle hybrid of horrorshow soundtrack and humour whose emptiness and only occasional loud moments paint a sonic picture that does conjure up how a honey monster would look if youíd taken an industrial dose of LSD25. Hmm . . . 5/10
- Spycore - Industrial Espionage
One of the customers from that eastern European cafe suddenly dashes for the door, perhaps to reach the 21st century before the CIA or KGB catch him. Er, at 11 seconds long, maybe itís a little too brief? 7/10
- Kunzysteem - Brighter Than Light
This is a track by Five Or Six that was lost in the archives - early 1980s feel to this and thatís not a criticism. The vocal sound is murky when it should be sharp and in your face, i.e. brighter than light, especially since it is sung very well indeed. The subtle keyboard / synthesiser warbling is sufficiently disciplined to prevent it being the sonic mess that can often result from such tomfoolery
- here it works. Quietly mysterious and highly effective. 8/10
- Englandz Glory - Burning Bright
Itís about time someone did the reggae routine - I thought it was going to be us but this bunch have beaten us to it. Personally Iíd have that bass a little louder but my main criticism is the murky, indistinct sound of the vocal line. This is unfortunate because in every other respect this is a mighty fine track, mutant reggae that hurls an early 1980s sensibility into a 2000s era sound-world
- sorry, that sounds rather NME pretentious pen pushing piffle but you know what I mean. 6/10
- The Johnny Lieberbaum Pops Orchestra - Shameless Love
The Radio 2 track title and group name provide only a partial clue to the gentle (pleasantly naive) simplicity of this splendid track. Itís easy listening, certainly, but heard in the context of this collection, it is superb. It reminds me of Ronald Binge or the kind of music you might have heard while the test card was on the television (so of course most people reading this wonít be old enough to remember when television programmes never started until the early afternoon or have any idea what a test card actually is). Thereís nothing pretentious about this
- it quite shamelessly says Ďhereís a gentle, pleasant piece of music for youí and if I failed to hear the secret, subliminal vocal underneath that urges us all to tear out the livers of prepubescent children while we invoke Satan then I do apologise. The artwork in the booklet is clever too. 8/10
- The Glue Machine - Positive
My God, itís 1981 again! I didnít think people still recorded music like this. This is strongly reminiscent of Exhibit A or the superior examples of bedroom recorded cassette albums that people used to send to each other at that time. The recording quality is crisp and clear which means we can hear that delightfully cynical lyric. 6/10
- The Earls Of Monte Cristo - Howling In The Canyon
I really donít like music of this genre - which is a pity because itís performed superbly. Actually this seems to me like a cattle ranching deep south of America Budweiser and Marlboro variant of the Laszlo Klemke experience. Why? Iíve no idea
- maybe after reviewing 10 previous editions of these bizarre compilations, Iíve finally started to go bonkers. 4/10
- The Large Veiny Members - Narwhal
Oh Christ, this is HORRIBLE! Bloody hell, itís so IRRITATING! I do like the plaintively sung vocal but it should be much louder in the mix. Dear God, doesnít this go ON and ON and ON? Squeaky synths burble away in fractured fragments way over there somewhere. This is why I have probably begun to go a bit bonkers, you see? 2/10
- The Large Veiny Members - Yeti
So after theyíve trashed that poor narwhal, letís see what they inflict upon a yeti. Well, this is a damned sight better than the previous track. Iíd like that really deep synth line to be a little louder but this does come on like a pop song that someone has pulled to pieces before selecting a few scraps which theyíve reconstructed wrongly: in other words itís quite interesting and enjoyable. 6/10
- Nil By Nose Ė Douchebag
Look, will someone please tell me, what exactly IS a douchebag? On the other hand, no, perhaps Iíd rather you didnít
- Iím still drinking my tea and only just finished my salad. Oh, right, I see what a douchebag is now thanks to that taped voice. This is really unpleasant, it simply oozes out of the speakers and drips all over your laptop. Thereís a distinct Throbbing Gristle element to this which can only ever be regarded as a compliment coming from me of course. Very synthesiser driven but whatís wrong with that? Nothing! 7/10
- Nil By Nose - So Long, Thanks For All The Masks
Cabaret Voltaire on mescaline - more American taped voices - very strange, rhythm machine and synth driven dance track that I find slightly tedious after a couple of minutes. Yes, it really does go on far too long for its content which is a pity because the actual track is decent enough. 5/10
- Howl In The Typewriter - 2012
What an oddly plangent start to the disc - acoustic guitar, gentle percussion and plaintive voices. I didnít realise Howl in the Typewriter played music like this. There are at least 4 different musical elements here jigsawed together into a composite whole. This is definitely not my kind of music but the sheer energy and effort required to produce a five minute work that contains this many changes in this many styles on this many instruments must have been formidable. Iíd prefer the vocals to have mixed a little louder since pStansí lyrics are usually worth hearing. 5/10
- Howl In The Typewriter - Cheeseburger Eating American
It is a really strange experience to hear my drum machine programme used on a track by a different outfit and in a totally different context. The music is fairly low-key and repetitive but this is fully justified because it enables you to concentrate your rapt attention on this fat greasy moron of a radio presenter who you just know genuinely believes Aerosmith and Bon Jovi represent the zenith of western pop music. He advises pStan to listen to The Beatles, John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, The Pink Floyd and The Kinks
- er, excuse me, but didnít something happen in music around 1976 sometime? Wasnít there some sort of cultural revolution during the 1990s as well? I can understand why someone who likes the groups mentioned above would not enjoy most of the music on a godspunk disc BUT he then suggests it couldnít have taken much time or effort to create and compile the disc. Not only is this deeply offensive to every contributor but it also reveals the crass ignorance of the speaker
- you see (for example) I detest most country and western music but I accept that it requires a high level of musical ability and that it takes considerable time and effort to produce a top of the range C&W album. This chap is saying that because he doesnít personally enjoy the kind of music on the disc that therefore it canít have taken much time and effort to produce. How is it possible for such people to exist in a world that has discovered penicillin? 6/10
- Howl In The Typewriter - Chewed By Badgers
Any track with BADGERS in the title is going to be awarded one point immediately. This is another jigsaw track only here its disparate elements are shoved up against each other whether they like it or not
- usually they do not. This is a rave track designed to break the legs and fracture the ankles of everyone on the dancefloor. Mozart receives a right bashing, too, which is always a good sign. Just as this begins to become irritating it slams to a swift conclusion. It should be placed on a loop and played to that cheeseburger eating American ALL DAY EVERY DAY until he finally does the world a favour and DIES. 7/10
- Howl In The Typewriter - When I Was A Little Boy
Drums - lots of drums - and then some - plus a Slade sample. Of course, the fact I recognise the sample shows what a severely sad bastard I am, doesnít it? Oh I see now
- various old songs sampled from the 1970s as sonic snapshots of childhood, all set to a drum machine. Iím not sure how much of this I can take
- especially since I recognise far too many of them - Gary Glitter was always good fun of course
- well, unless you were a little girl I suppose. This all reminds me why so much of the 1970s was sheer hell for people of my generation (I was born in 1966 in case you wonder). The section where Captain Pugwash, Monty Python and Tiger Feet by Suzi Quatro are all superimposed on each other is easily the most effective. The Sweet
- yes and what a bunch of bastards they were as well. Creeps. Splink and Smash, yes I remember those adverts, too. Trumpton, Camberwick Green and The Magic Roundabout all appear, too
- childrensí programmes underneath Gary Glitter - naughty naughty! Oh God, bloody T Rex
- Marc Bolan: the best thing that sod ever did was die. His greatest hit was a tree. 4/10
- UNIT - Giving It Large
Yes, I was right to send this as a contribution. It fits the compilation superbly and provides a slice of pristine pop subverted by its ridiculous lyric. Now both Luc Tran and Richard Wong have left UNIT I shudder at the prospect of trying to maintain the high musical standards they set, especially with my feeble technical ability. The only problem with this piece is that my singing isnít as good as the musicians who accompany it. If this was sung by a man or woman with a really clear, smooth yet powerful voice, itíd be brilliant
- but it isnít so itís not. 8/10
- UNIT - The East Is Red
What a superb (but far too short) rendition of this Maoist tune! As you can tell, I had nothing to do with this which is presumably why it sounds so grand. The bass guitar sound is slightly odd but that caveat aside, I still find this highly enjoyable. 8/10
- UNIT - The Chinese Boy
I know what the original pieces of music sound like so to hear what Luc has done is slightly bizarre. It is effective since heís managed to include a couple of studio sound-checks not intended to be kept. It features the work of new member Fabian Fritze most effectively as well. The trouble is, now Luc and Richard have gone, I find this piece with the youthful vitality of those Chinese melodies almost unbearably sad. The playing is a little ragged here and there but again, I had nothing to do with this
- it would no doubt have been worse had I been involved! 7/10
- UNIT - The Sword Of Erin
This is preposterous and yet I really like it - Luc on no less than 7 overdubbed vibraphones. Daft I call it. Again, I struggle even to listen to this
- Iíve known Luc since 2003, heís been on every album since Rock In Opposition Phase 1 (2005) and this is one of the last pieces he recorded for us. Obviously other listeners will be able to enjoy this work (hopefully) as he intended it to be heard. 9/10
- UNIT - My Parents . . .
I realise that in the booklet Richard Wong forgot to credit the chap who played the viola
- namely himself! He omitted to mention that Luc plays a Casio VL Tone toward the end, too. Such a magnificent slab of 1980s technology must never be forgotten! I also realise why I rarely play guitar on our records
- because Iím so woefully inept. No wonder UJ suggested the prodigious use of flange and delay pedals to disguise my technical limitations. As for the content
- sorry, thereís nothing I can say about it. If the vocal sounds ragged, well, for once I have an excuse: it took seven attempts before I could complete one without breaking down in tears. To follow this harrowing account with
When I Was A Little Boy was a nice touch. That said, I suspect
godspunk is perhaps not the place for such a deeply personal number as this
- then again, maybe it is. 7/10
Summary - for the first time since (I canít remember) there isnít an all out mind blowing pure pop anthem by Howl In The Typewriter and the absence of the taurus board doesnít assist matters either. However, the almost continuously high quality in both musical ability and production from every contributor marks this as another largely successful venture into the realms of independent music with which Pumf is
1 TMI - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Universal Soldier - UNIT
3 Explosive #1 (Trip Hop But Drips mix) - Nil By Nose
4 Pissing in the Coffee - The Melodramatic Monkey
5 Lurking - Howl in the Typewriter
6 Crow Crested Cobra - Seven Footsteps to Satan
7 b600 - tbd
8 Death To R & R - UNIT
9 Moon Star Tail Lights - John Tree
10 Frederick - Howl in the Typewriter
11 Mao Tse Tung - The Red Guards
12 Itís Lovely Today! - The Shend
13 Dragon Ninja (A Ninjas Lament) - Nil By Nose
14 The Stolen Carrot - Howl in the Typewriter
15 Ming Hai - UNIT
16 The Danube Affair - Laszlo Klemke
17 Politics of Punk - Foxhole UK
18 Hello . . ? - Howl in the Typewriter
19 Lava Surf - Seven Footsteps to Satan
20 Second Desert - UNIT
21 To the Beat of the Drum (Touch mix) - Dimm D3ciple
22 ďput it on top of the setteeĒ - Howl in the Typewriter
23 Explosive #2 (Gabber Gut Bust mix) - Nil By Nose
24 Dem Olí Llamas (the dastardly godspunk version) - Cyril Bagels & the Alpaca 5
25 Nazi Scum - UNIT
26 Sciatica Blues - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Richard Foster,
Time for more godspunk, how can we mere mortals resist? And resistance should be futile, because there are some crackers on here. I may be guessing but this is possibly the best of the 10 thus far, what is missing in eclectic acts is made up for in the consistently high level in terms of quality and intent. Itís as if the bands are really going for it this time.
There seems to be a more psychological bent to a lot of the material as well. We have dreams explained
(The Stolen Carrot) and UNITís monologue on Second Desert is almost Thespian. Lord knows what The Shend want to convey in
Itís Lovely Today but it ainít on the level. And what has happened to Howl in the Typewriter? One minute heís railing against vaginal discharge and the sexual connotations that faeces could have and the next heís ranting about Sciatica, whilst telling Lionel Richie to piss off. Oofph.
A number of stompers are here to ensure you canít with Seven Footsteps to Satanís,
Lava Surf (a hairy, straggly stomp if ever there was one) the gloopy and weird nonsense (otherwise known as
Dem Olí Llamas) served up by Cyril Bagels and the Alpaca 5. The techno and drumnbass bastardisation that is tbdís
b600 is pretty hot too.
UNIT carry on their war against the ills of humanity; possibly their strongest set of tracks on any of the godspunk compilations:
Ming Hai is a great track (about a Chinese takeaway), Universal Soldier and
Nazi Scum are powerful tracks and Death to R & R is really something else, a shambolically bad but heroically, epically dismissive declamation against the entire genre of Popular Music. And Laslo Klemkeís weird 60ís Iron Curtain vibe surfaces again; the pastoral Slavic workout that we are given on
The Danube Affair apparently is a take on 60ís spy themes. Damned if I can see it but it doesnít really matter.
Marvellous and invigorating stuff.
- Review by Biscuit Psychosis, July 2011
"Rock & Roll meant something once . . ."
I was tempted to start this review with a few stanzas detailing the time I met Russ Abbott at a school fete in Blackpool but let's not go there shall we? I'm sure nobody reviews a godspunk album with a lot of shite about them hanging with the stars do they? :-)
A new godspunk CD means many things to many people but to this particular twat it means I'm likely to be introduced to some strange types I've never heard before and it also always means new stuff from UNIT and Howl in the Typewriter. Howl weigh in with a marvellous eclectic set of tunes of which
"Hello . .?" caused unadulterated gales of laughter through Biscuit Towers and is the natural successor to volume six's
Shitbomb. TMI is pure classic Howl pop and surely it's about time for a new Howl full-length? (I said that last time didn't I?)
Of the usual godspunk mainstays Dimm D3ciple and John Tree don't disappoint neither do Nil By Nose and The Shend. The Shend track is particularly impressive and reminded me just how much of my misspent youth I spent listening to the DCL flexis.
But the annual godspunk best track trophy goes to UNIT this year. I admit I'm a fan but this year they've contributed a superb set of tracks and
Ming Hai is instantly in the best 5 UNIT tracks of all time. Besides, any song that begins with the line "Rock & Roll meant something once, but now it's only played by
cunts" and then goes on to sound like Zappa's Brown Shoes Don't Make It on a budget has also got to be genius right? Fuck, yeah!
So there you have it. As ever a godspunk album is a mixed bag and some of it you'll like and some of it you won't but there isn't anything on here that isn't worth at least a couple of listens and for me that's what sets the godspunk albums apart from most other compilations CDs. Roll on volume
- Review by Robin
Duke, Evening Gazette, July 2011
If you are looking for the strangest version of Buffy St Marie's classic
folkie Universal Soldier, step no further then UNIT on this latest
esoteric compilation on the enterprising but sometimes hard to find Pumf
Records. Founder pStan Batcow pops up everywhere but lend an ear also to
The Red Guards.
- Review by Ear of
Corn #41, 2017
26 tracks of oddball experimentalism. I'd say this volume, more than the others I've listened to up 'til this point, delves into weirdness. Electronics still abound but don't take as prominent a role in this volume. Some sample-heavy experimental pieces, even some spoken word along with a great deconstruction of
Lionel Richie's 'Hello' by Howl in the Typewriter. UNIT'S cover of Oi Polloi is also quite excellent. One of my favorites of this comp series so far.
- Review by Wong Yit Sinh & Andy Martin
Okay then - me (thatís Richard Wong) & Andy Martin sat here, Saturday afternoon, 2nd July, to review godspunk volume ten. UJ never reviews these things coz he reckons heíd be too rude about the stuff and Luc hasnít spoken to Andy since December last year so who knows whatís going on? I reckon itís coz Andy started to collect the complete recorded works of The Lemon Kittens in January and now Iíve heard nearly all of it as well, I reckon Luc has a bloody good reason to feel murderous. Is that really what people used to listen to in the 1980s? Anyway, here goes . . .
- Howl In The Typewriter Ė TMI
Wong: They always start these things with a pop song, donít they?
Martin: Another potential pop song subverted into fragments of spite - the spoken vocals are a little quiet in the mix
- mind you, if you reckon this is a pop song then your mind really has been frazzled and bamboozled by being in UNIT.
Wong: No, but it is a pop song - a pop song thatís been put through a mangle and then someoneís tried to iron it into shape again only theyíve spilt acid on parts of it and itís all gone a bit wonky.
Martin: Only Howl In The Typewriter could generate words like Ďbamboozledí and Ďwonkyí from us. I like those plaintive cries of ĎT M Ií every now and then.
- Howl In The Typewriter - Lurking
Wong: Here we go again - he likes all those funny noises, doesnít he?
Martin: Interesting rhythms though - what metre is that in?
Wong: Probably a gas meter. Itís a bit over the top for me - the lyricís bare sarcastic though.
Martin: You think so? I thought it was about those occasions when you look into a clear blue sky and you can see squiggly lines in front of you because a hair or speck of dust has attached itself to your eyeball.
Wong: Heís playing on Lucís organ near the end.
Martin: I think there are plenty of people whoíd like to play on Lucís organ and not only at the end, either.
Wong: Youíre a sick brother, man.
- Howl In The Typewriter - Frederick
Wong: Itís that guitar sound again so you know who it is - that vocal soundís strictly from ELO.
Martin: Jesus, youíve heard of ELO?
Wong: Yeah man, all big hair, flares and cellos, terrible band. This is a bit better than ELO though.
Martin: Only a bit better?
Wong: Yeah, well, that vocal effect is f****** terrible.
Martin: Actually, yes, it is now I come to think of it. Thatís a shame because the musical accompaniment is excellent
- mutated funk turned inside out. Yes, a less electronically treated vocal would be an improvement.
Wong: The drum sample and low synth are groovy, though.
- Howl In The Typewriter - The Stolen Carrot
Wong: What? Stan being happy? I donít believe it.
Martin: Donít worry - heíll start ranting in a rage any second now.
Wong: This music is excellent - not by itself but under this lyric it works perfectly
- it really makes you pay attention to the words.
Martin: Heís just said he wants to paint himself blue.
Wong: Yeah, I know the feeling, weíve all been there. I usually go for a shade of turquoise myself. But seriously, this might just be a contender for best track so far. As heís speaking youíre there with him, youíre in the scene.
Martin: Yes, a remarkable track; itís certainly up there with b600.
- Howl In The Typewriter - Hello
Wong: Hello, itís Phil Collins . . . or maybe Robbie Williams . . . one of those c**** anyway.
Martin: What a superb ending! Just when Iím about to scream with indignation, Stan saves the day.
Wong: S*** man, letís play this again, itís really funny.
- Howl In The Typewriter - Put It On Top Of The Settee
Wong: Christ, this is dreadful.
Martin: For once we agree - oh Stan, what have you done?
Wong: Heís completely lost the plot - this is boring, man, it just goes on and on with lots of silly voices and stuff.
- Howl In The Typewriter - Sciatica Blues
Martin: Heís used a vibraphone or at least a vibraphone sample.
Wong: Those vocals need more treble, more edge to them, theyíre too muddy.
Martin: Well spotted Ė letís turn up the treble on these speakers
Ė there! Thatís better.
Wong: So what? Shoulda been recorded properly in the first place.
Martin: Coming from a member of UNIT thatís somewhat ironic - the words Ďkettleí, Ďpotí and Ďblackí come unbidden to mind.
Wong: Yeah, true, but normally Stan produces his stuff really well. Hold on, itís only 4í 26Ē long; then silence . . . whatís going on. Bet thereís something else near the end of the track.
Martin: So are we going to sit here like a couple of c**** waiting for it?
Wong: May as well. Pass us that lighter - time for another fag and a cuppa.
Martin: Why donít you just skip forward?
Wong: Nah man - thatís cheating. Oh here we go - synths and keyboard stuff with some old bastard nattering over the top.
Martin: Stan likes his backing tapes - some of the text sounds quite intriguing but Iím not able to discern what heís saying. Something about the working classes is it?
Wong: Iím not sure, itís all too muffled - actually thisíd be better without that silly voice.
Martin: Yes, especially since itís so badly recorded you canít tell what heís saying anyway.
- Nil By Nose - Explosive No.1
Wong: What on Earth is going wrong here? Daft, I call it.
Martin: Well, it does display an unusual use of how to record voices - they sound almost inhuman
- actually this is quite effective.
Wong: No, man, itís daft.
Martin: Oh all right then, itís daft - but I like it anyway.
- Nil By Nose - Dragon Ninja
Wong: Another great lyric - this is really funny! It shoulda been called Pity The Poor Ninja or something like that.
Martin: The music isnít up to much.
Wong: Well, maybe not but it has a kinda sad, sentimental, Cantopop feel to it that really suits those words. Youíre in a mood today, aintcha?
Martin: Iím mourning the absence of the taurus board.
Wong: Yeah but be fair, you canít take it out on all the other bands on here. The only track youíve been kind about so far is
Martin: Quite right too. Everyone else ought to shape up or ship out. We need some discipline here!
Wong: Okay, well, there havenít been many out and out pop songs yet, true, but thereís not been a single track that I hate or find unlistenable so far.
Martin: Actually, yes, thatís a good point. The overall quality of the contributions so far has been fairly good, apart from a couple of amateur moments in our tracks.
- Nil By Nose - Explosive No.2
Wong: I prefer this to the first explosion. Thereís more going on here, more interesting stuff happening.
Martin: Itíd be a lot better without that infernal drum machine.
Wong: You reckon? No, itíd sound incomplete without that. Itís a bit mechanical, a bit like music made by machines but I still quite like it.
- The Melodramatic Monkey - Pissing In The Coffee
Wong: This is a bit of a mess, innit?
Martin: Sounds as if Stan has sneaked onto someone elsesí track again. Heís a bugger like that isnít he? 1970s jazz funk as it would sound if performed by a group of cybermen. Anyone reading this who doesnít know what cybermen are really shouldnít be listening to godspunk discs, at least not without psychiatric supervision.
Wong: Oh right - I thought this was ĎLurkingí - as soon as Stan appears on a track it sounds like Howl In The Typewriter anyway. Well, I suppose if he sang or rapped over a Lee Perry reggae dub or a hip hop instrumental by The Newham Generals then it wouldnít.
- Seven Footsteps To Satan - Crow Crested Cobra
Wong: This is just some geezer messing about on a guitar.
Martin: Well, why shouldnít Ďsome geezerí - or some bird, for that matter
- mess around on a guitar?
Wong: I knew youíd say something like that.
- Seven Footsteps To Satan - Lava Surf
Wong: Oh right, well this is much more like it - kinda 1980s synthipop meets early 1960s guitar instrumental after Throbbing Gristle have been at it.
Martin: Thatís a remarkably apposite description.
Wong: Iíll take your word for it. No but this is good, man, itís sorta . . . dunno, like listening to 3 tracks at once that just happen to be in the same tempo and key. He (or she) likes that distorted fuzzy guitar
- but it works though. Yeah, this oneís a winner. What díyou reckon?
Martin: I can take it or leave it - but I think Iíll leave it.
Wong: Ah, youíre such a sap, man.
- tbd - b600
Wong: b600 - sounds like a type of analogue keyboard and tbd sounds like a disease you get treated in a clap clinic.
Martin: Well, youíve evidently revealed your cultural starting points for all to witness.
Wong: Donít worry Iím not knocking it - this is the best thing on here so far.
Martin: You mean, itís even better than UNIT?
Wong: Yeah, at least itís better than some of that crazy s*** you write. This kind of almost compensates for the absence of the taurus board on here.
Martin: The absence of . . . oh I see what you mean. Yes, it is a bit 1990s
- but it has that curious amalgam of 1990s rave track mutated into a 21st century sound; but if you ask me why it manages to sound 21st
Wong: Whyís it manage to sound 21st century?
Martin: You had to do that, didnít you? Well, I donít know. Maybe itís the use of broken rhythms or the keyboard sample sounds . . . but yes, itís a barry track, I agree with you. In fact, yes, I think it is my favourite so far.
Wong: Look, here in the booklet - itís from 2000, even older than that track by The Red Guards. It says here that our pal HeF is one of the people involved
- no wonder itís so good!
Martin: We really are stuck in the 1990s, you and I, arenít we?
Wong: Yeah, weíll have to learn to live with the 2010s soon!
- John Tree - Moon Star Tail Lights
Wong: Here we go: a car engine and windscreen wipers - only I reckon itís instruments made to sound like a car engine and windscreen wipers. Yeah, this is way cool, man.
Martin: It glitters, doesnít it? It sparkles, as if from a distance - oh bollocks, theyíve added a drum machine and spoiled it all.
Wong: Yeah, I have to agree - when that beat box comes in the whole effect it ruined. He shoulda left that sound alone and gone with what he had already. Other than, this is pretty good stuff I reckon.
Martin: Yes, certainly in the top five or six.
- The Red Guards - Mao Tse Tung
Wong: This is superb. Itís the best thing on here so far. Where the hell did Luc find this?
Martin: Well, he was briefly in contact with Kwan Siu Lung, who used to play guitar for UNIT back in the day. Weíve lost contact with him since then. This outfit apparently recorded 2 or 3 numbers before being sent to prison.
Wong: Why were they sent to prison? Was their hair too long or the wrong colour?
Martin: Iím not certain. Luc mentioned one e-mail about the group being attacked by audience members in 2000 or 2001, hatchets drawn at dawn etc. You have to be careful about political statements in China. Itís odd though, youíd think singing a song in praise of Chairman Mao was fairly safe territory.
Wong: Maybe to praise Mao Tse Tung in the 21st century is not a clever exercise, even in China. Well itís still a superb song, bare hard. The use of a Chinese shawm and saxophone together especially and you can hear every word he sings. Pity the lyric is so, you know-
Martin: - embarrassing?
Wong: Yeah man, big up the red flags and follow you to the end of the world. S*** man, following Mao anywhere, that IS the end of the world, sheer disaster. How can a bunch of Chinese people my age support that crap? I knew communism was evil and stupid even when I was in junior school.
Martin: Yes but you were born in Malaysia where capitalism is virtually a religion and where there are literally people begging for food on streets lined by huge tower blocks where businessmen shift millions of
Wong: Thatís Singapore, you dick.
Martin: Oh. Sorry.
- The Shend - Itís Lovely Today!
Wong: I tell you what - this is definitely the best lyric on here so far. This is one of those lyrics that makes me smile and cheers me up.
Martin: I could do without that bloody megaphone effect through which he speaks. The music is already strange enough so it doesnít require even further weirdness.
Wong: You mean like over-egging the pudding? Yeah, maybe, but I think it fits somehow. A normal vocal sound wouldnít work either, I reckon
- you have to have some kind of effect to make it sound like it belongs to the backing track. Anyway, 10/10 for that lyric.
- Lazlo Klemke - The Danube Affair
Wong: Here we go, weíre in that Greek restaurant on Mare Street, eating kebabs and kerfuffle.
Martin: Kerfuffle? Donít you mean cous-cous?
Wong: I donít know, whatís that crap they serve up, looks like brown cement? Anyway, this is just bloody terrible, itís boring Radio 2 stuff.
Martin: Itís played well enough though - thereís nothing wrong with the technical ability and the recording is really crisp and clear.
Wong: But itís so . . . sounds like a film soundtrack but one thatís taken from a film Iíd never want to watch.
Martin: You really donít like this, do you?
Wong: Nah man, itís really irritating. Itís too normal, too middle of the road. I donít like plink plonk mandolins and stuff, sounds like an advert for ice cream.
- Foxhole UK - Politics Of Punk
Wong: This really needs a bass guitar on it - as it is, it sounds too weak and top heavy. It sounds like a track they discovered on one of those horrible 1980s cassettes they used to have back then.
Martin: Itís wretched. Come back Lazlo Klemke, all is forgiven. This is the worst track on here by a mile.
Wong: Nah man, whatís the matter with you? Itís okay, it has power and passion
- it just needs a bass guitar on it coz it sounds unfinished as it is. The vocal sound is a bit muffled, too, needs more top edge on it. But as a song itís okay, it has potential.
Martin: Potential? It has the potential to appeal only to the homicidal side of my nature. It needs to be subjected to extreme verbal abuse, have its parentage called into question and then hurled into a furnace and destroyed forever.
Wong: You really donít like punk rock, do you?
Martin: No I bloody donít!
- Dimm D3ciple - To The Beat Of The Drum
Wong: This follows Second Desert really well, too, cuz it has a kind of Arabic feel to it. Itís really subtle
- it makes something out of nothing - see how that keyboard snakes around now and then in the background? I donít normally go much on their stuff, at least not the tracks I heard on previous godspunks but this is bare hard, the best track Iíve heard by them.
Martin: Itís rather too repetitive for my tastes.
Wong: Yeah but it needs to be - this kind of music calls for it - this is really convincing, yeah, itís up there with
b600 and The Stolen Carrot as one of the best tracks on here.
Martin: Iím not convinced yet - click on Ďpreviousí and letís hear it again.
Wong: So? What do you reckon then?
Martin: Actually, yes, I see what you mean now. It does work - yes, I think I agree with you. I donít quite share your unbridled enthusiasm but certainly I agree itís one of the more memorable tracks on here.
Wong: Right then, well, thereís hope for you yet. See what happens when you stop listening to UJís Jethro Tull albums? You start to develop some musical taste!
- Cyril Bagels & The Alpaca 5 - Dem Olí Llamas
Wong: Right - this starts brilliantly! Could be good . . . when something eventually happens.
Martin: But listen to that saxophone! This is James Brown for the 21st century.
Martin: No, come on, surely not - you mean youíve never heard of James Brown?
Wong: No - look Iím 19 for crying out loud.
Martin: All right - heís the godfather of soul. Heís The Man. Look him up on google after this. Anyway, this is probably one of the best tracks on here.
Wong: Yeah, itís okay but the mix is all wonky.
Martin: Ah, you mean the bass up front and all the interesting stuff shoved way back in the distance?
Wong: Yeah, exactly. I wanna hear whatís happening.
Martin: Itís obviously deliberate since itís so self evident but I agree with you, Iíd like to hear that organ louder
- Iíd prefer this without those sampled voices, too.
Wong: I agree with you there - shoulda had more organ and more saxophone.
Martin: Richard, in my next life you may have my babies. Weíre definitely in agreement on this. But is it up there with the top three?
Wong: No, not quite - top five though definitely.
- UNIT - Universal Soldier
Martin: This is why UNIT needs a proper singer. The timing is all over the place.
Wong: Maybe youíd find it easier to sing in time if my f****** drumming was in time.
Martin: Perhaps - in any case, we should never have recorded this. Iím sick of UNIT being turned into a tribute band
- all we do these days is works written by other bands.
Wong: Yeah but heís done a good job on this arrangement - Luc played me the original and I much prefer our version.
Martin: Well, so would I if it had someone who could actually sing properly.
- UNIT - Death To Rock & Roll
Wong: Hey, this sounds really good after b600.
Martin: Thatís because you wrote it.
Wong: Donít knock it - itís a cracking good idea - itís just a pity we werenít able to pull it off effectively. We should have used more different instruments.
Martin: Hím . . . yes, that and someone who can actually sing. Itís a real shame because I love the idea, the concept
- itís so splendidly arrogant - you dismiss the whole 50 year history of pop music and insist that UNIT are the only way forward
- real champion. Itís that kind of conceit that I find so entertaining about a lot of rap and grime. The trouble is, arrogance is only really effective if you have the technical ability to support it. To me, this track sounds . . . I donít know . . .
Wong: Itís a bit budget in places, yeah. My drumming isnít really up to some of the beats. Isnít that you doing one of the crazy saxophones?
Martin: Yes, the lower pitched shabby one. UJ isnít a saxophone player but heís more of a saxophone player than I am, thatís for sure.
- UNIT - Ming Hai
Wong: S*** man, I donít remember this track being so good - it kicks serious a***.
Martin: Oh beyond doubt, itís one of the best tracks weíve ever recorded.
Wong: Well, yeah, you say Ďweí but isnít that Luc doing everything?
Martin: Almost - UJ is on bass guitar.
Wong: This embarrassing - heís our keyboard player yet heís a better drummer than me!
Martin: Yes, I sympathise. Itís rotten being the two crap musicians in UNIT, isnít it?
Wong: Yeah and when I hear this I realise UJ and Luc could easily do UNIT by themselves if they didnít want any vocal tracks.
Martin: I think thatís one of the other reasons I enjoy this track so much
- it doesnít have what Ben Watson refers to as my Ďabysmal vocalsí on it. The constant changes from 4/4 to 7/4, the fairly complex and unexpected harmonic turns-
Wong: So whatís Ming Hai again?
Martin: Richard, where have you been since 2005? Itís the name of his parentsí take-away in Sandringham Road.
Wong: Oh yeah! I forgot, totally lost it there for a moment. But why is this on here when itís already been used on that Class War album?
Martin: He remixed it slightly and gave a deeper, bigger, wider sound. He also cleaned up the ending. Iím glad he and UJ elected to submit this track to godspunk volume ten anyway because it really is superb.
Wong: Probably coz we arenít on it!
- UNIT - Second Desert
Martin: This is an effective piece of programming by Stan - this track follows
Lava Surf really well - but why did you choose this for inclusion, Richard?
Wong: Well, I definitely prefer your reading of this poem to Andy Nunn, the guy who wrote it. I know you, UJ and Luc all wanted his version to go on Facta Non Verba but the way he reads it is so dry and deadpan whereas your one has emotion, fear and nervousness in it
- thereís a kind of . . . it sounds like youíre dreading something all the way through
- thereís a real sense of horror there thatís missing in his version of it. I prefer the lack of instruments, too
- just birds in the background, thatís all it needs.
Martin: To be honest, Andy Nunnís poetry is often so visceral and with such visual imagery, that any music added to it seems superfluous.
- UNIT - Nazi Scum
Wong: I reckon I agree with you about UNIT doing cover versions. This is like a jazz band trying to play punk rock. Itís only Luc on that Hammond organ that saves this from being budget.
Martin: UJ wanted us to do it in response to that dreadful attack on the Warzone Community Centre in Belfast by Nazi skinheads last year. The sentiments are
Wong: - so we shoulda written our own anti-nazi anthem instead of dredging up this old thing. The bass guitar partís good though.
Martin: Yes, UJ really has improved as a bass guitarist recently. But the whole sound is wrong
- light jazz drums donít work on this - which is a pity because you played this really well.
Wong: Another varied collection then. You know, one of the best things about these albums is the artwork. Some of it is really staggering. Look at the back cover
- thatís bare hard, man. Thereís a sort of vicious humour that runs through a lot of this.
Martin: Yes, I know just what you mean - humour that bites. The only aspect I dislike and have always disliked is those horrible clowns. Otherwise I agree with you, visually these compilations are highly attractive. But as for the musical contributions, no, for me it suffers from the same property as the previous set
- there need to be one or two out there avant garde tracks and there need to be two or three pristine pop songs to extend the sheer range of material on here.
Wong: Yeah, maybe youíre right. Wonder why most contributors never write much stuff but rely only on visuals?
Martin: Iím not sure - perhaps they believe words superfluous and that the music ought to speak for itself? Personally, I like all those comments Luc makes when he sends our tracks in. Itís as if heís having a conversation with the recipients of the disc. Anyway, name your 3 favourite tracks!
Wong: Okay then - the best 3 tracks are b600 by tbd and To The Beat Of The Drum by Dimm D3ciple, while
The Stolen Carrot by Howl In The Typewriter and Ming Hai by UNIT tie for 3rd place.
Martin: Thatís cheating - youíve chosen 4!
Wong: Thereís no way out, man, I had to do it.
Martin: Oh very well. For me the choice is both obvious and easy: b600 by tbd,
The Stolen Carrot by Howl In The Typewriter and Ming Hai by UNIT.
Wong: So b600 by tbd, The Stolen Carrot by Howl In The Typewriter and
Ming Hai by UNIT win the gold, silver and bronze medals! While weíre on colours
- the next key colour for godspunk volume eleven should be green - maybe a lime green or yellowish green so it contrasts with godspunk volume six. Purple hasnít been used yet either.
Martin: Yes, too many reds and oranges - keep it cool, keep it blue - and be rid of those bloody clowns.
Wong: No, you have to keep the clowns - theyíre iconic now - as soon as you see those clowns, you know itís another godspunk
1 The Edge of the World - Howl in the Typewriter
2 the hod cloppers: the first rehearsal - the taurus board
3 The Dream (millions of people mix) - Dimm D3ciple
4 Employment Enjoyment - UNIT
5 tree peva kozol - Balkaníoliks
6 Turf The Roads (feat. Mr. Parsley) - Leninís Virulent Muscle
7 Iblis (extract) - The Death of the Enlightenment Project
8 The W*y You Look Ton*ght (solvent abuse mix) - John Tree
9 Minh, Binh & Vinh - UNIT
10 Whales - Howl in the Typewriter
11 The Spyral Suitcase - Laszlo Klemke
12 Static and Silence - Boxhead
13 The Devilís Janitor - Seven Footsteps to Satan
14 Dopamine Dream - The Shi-ites
15 Labor Callum Obducit Dolori - UNIT
16 Giraffe and Egg (Sgt. Panic edit) - The Melodramatic Monkey
17 Spider Crabs (feat. Diken Marshall) - Leninís Virulent Muscle
18 Summer Baby - Howl in the Typewriter
19 dicky dicky dick boom - Balkaníoliks
20 Stranded - Dimm D3ciple
21 Eagle - UNIT
22 Ram Raiding - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Richard Foster,
Ah godspunk, what would we musical procrastinators do without you? And whatís more, volume nine is possibly the best of all the godspunk compilations. Some inspiring and challenging stuff is encased within (as per normal), but where this compilation wins out is the sheer consistency of the material and the compilationís pace and sonic direction throughout. As seems to be the norm, Howl in the Typewriter kicks proceedings off in lugubrious style: this time with the paranoid stomp of
Edge of the World: (outside of John Shuttleworthís celebrated number, is this the only popular song with repeated mention of Dandelion & Burdock?).
Following this we have take-off towards an underground Nirvana of sorts, beginning with an old fashioned rave up with a funny ending from the taurus board:
(the hod cloppers: the first rehearsal) and something nice but all too quick from Dimm D3sciple. UNITís
Employment Enjoyment then combines po-faced tweeness, a hilarious instrumental middle section and blasts of intemperate language that needs to be heard to be believed. At this point you really do wonder what on earth is coming next. (As an aside Iíd probably say UNITís four tracks on volume nine are the strongest I have heard from them:
Labor Callum Obducit Dolori is a beauty and Eagle is an affecting tale of social care industry & one unfortunate ladís fight against it).
Moments of beauty are also found with John Treeís floating fancy The W*y You Look T*night (solvent abuse mix) and Howl in the Typewriterís
Whales is another. We get cod spy themes, courtesy of Laszlo Klemke, cod-Balkan knees ups courtesy of the Balkaníoliks and a take on the dreamy instrumentals Paul Simpson used to turn out, courtesy of Boxhead. There are the usual uncompromising sound collages too: The Death of the Enlightenment Projectís
Iblis is one such and Melodramatic Monkeyís soliloquy, Giraffe and
Egg, is another. And we have a welcome return from the Shi-ites, whose
Dopamine Dream is a messy dole-queue ballad of the highest quality.
A brilliant & singular record in a remarkable series, what more can I
- Review by Biscuit Psychosis
Pumf Records' never ending godspunk series is now at number nine, and for that we should all be cock-a-hoop. Showcasing the mad-bollocked bastards of the underground is an essential job and here are another 22 tracks of questionable sanity. A new godspunk is always a cause for celebration even before the CD hits the tray for two reasons. Firstly, it means new Howl in the Typewriter tracks. To this warped mind, and aside from the legendary Dandelion Adventure, Howl is the very best of all pStan's musical projects and things he's been involved in: not always brilliant but always interesting, likely to challenge but often extending melodic tendrils into your brain and the tracks here are no exception.
The Edge of the World is prime Typewriter, nice scattershot beats and farting synth noises evoking an alien invasion of South Pier, vocals are in pStan's "slightly more hysterical John Cooper Clarke" delivery. Ace! The other tracks are of a similar quality,
Whales even recalls Joy Division's Atmosphere and words can't really describe
Summer Baby. Surely it's time for a new Howl album?
Secondly, a new godspunk means new UNIT stuff. I've become quite a UNIT fanboy over the last few years so much so that I made a 2 disc compilation of all their godspunk tracks and even made my own cover for it. Makes a great listen too. The tracks here are even more wonderful and eclectic than usual, at times there's a Bonzo Dog Band sense of mischief and
Minh, Binh & Vinh sounds like a demented Bill Hayley & The Comets. Awesome!
So to the rest of godspunk volume nine, mainstays the taurus board weigh in with a chemical brothers on cheap cider vibe. While maybe not a taurus classic it's fiercely great. John Tree's contribution is mildly disturbing and wouldn't have sounded out of place on Chris Morris' Blue Jam (and yes that is a compliment). Dimm D3ciple's opener is a tantilisingly brief welding of Tubular Bells and Stephen Hawking. If this hasn't whetted your appetite then you are probably dead. Or a cunt. There's much more genius on display such as The Balkan'oliks and Lenin's Virulent Muscle and this could well be the best and most varied godspunk yet (modesty forbids me mentioning a couple of tracks). So clasp hands, wave your intestines above your head and prepare for the earthworm
- Review by Robin
Duke, Evening Gazette, September 2010
Blackpool-based Pumf Records has ploughed a lonely furrow of independence and adventure for years and this latest bargain-basement compilation continues its tradition of shining equal light on the gloriously self-indulgent and the accidentally nearly commercial. Run the gamut from John Tree's inspired take on
The W*y You Look T*night to Boxhead's Static and Silence.
- Review by Ear of
Corn #41, 2017
Another swell collection of all kinds of musical experimentation, electronic and otherwise. A pretty good range of styles, including even a noise track this time. Some very interesting underground material here from the likes of Howl in the Typewriter, UNIT (two of the standards on this compilation series), Balkan'oiks, Lenin's Virulent Muscle, and loads more. 22 tracks in all. A healthy portion of weirdness here. A label that consistently delivers highly
- Review by Mark Wharton, Idwal Fisher, September 2010
Thereís no getting away from the fact that Blackpool manages to house more than its fair share of nutters, and I guess we can call Stan Batcow [or pStan as I think he likes to be known] one of them - but in a nice self deprecating way of course, and not a dangerous ring you up at 6am on a Sunday morning wanting to kill you kind of way. pStan has been steadily ejecting Pumf release from Pumf HQ for donkeys years, and every now and then our courses collide and I actually get off on one of them. The godspunks are welcome and hidden within their myriad depths there usually lies the odd gem waiting to be discovered.
A cursory glance down the twenty two tracks of godspunk volume nine, though, finds me face to face once more with UNIT, a band that I seem to have some difficulty with. I thought Iíd turned a corner with UNIT as in a previous godspunk I vaguely remember burying the hatchet and coming out all in favour of their wonky jazz pop punk pap but once again that jarring mix of vibraphone, keyboard, sax, crap drummer with crap singer has returned to haunt me. I imagine them setting up their gear in a pub in Hendon on a wet Sunday afternoon in February, a pub peopled with disinterested punters deep into their cups brooding over a final pint before going home to a damp flat and an angry missus. Arguing over whose turn it is to get the drinks in and whoís having the best amp UNIT eventually announce their presence, skittle through ten numbers to desultory applause before piling into the back of their rusty N reg Transit only to get lost on the way home. I dare say that theyíre a decent group of upstanding human beings with all the attributes that combine to make talking to them a positive social experience [their info page on the insert mentions the Angry Brigade and one of them is a spin bowler so allís not lost] but as ever, I struggle with their music. Let us not dwell on such matters for too long though for merriment is to be had.
godspunks are co-operative affairs whereby each contributor chips in a set amount of money which guarantees them a set number of tracks and a set number of copies in return. Its a win win situation as artists who may find the expense of releasing their own work on CD prohibitive are given exposure whilst finding themselves shoulder to shoulder with like minded musicians. You do get the odd sore thumb though and past comps have seen the inclusion of noise based artists who stick out like pervs in a playground but on the whole they work.
This issues outsider is The Death of the Enlightenment Project whose sub four minute ansaphone cum noise tilt sits easy on these ears but may not be as welcome to UNIT or Boxhead whose lounge ethnic ambience appears from nowhere like the offspring of The Penguin Cafe Orchestra meets The Art of Noise. John Treeís
The W*y You Look Ton*ght is equally beguiling; a forties gas lamp crooner ballad that he somehow manages to manipulate into one of Satieís Gymnopodieís before morphing it back to its origins - eerie, unexpected and most welcome. Stanís own project Howl in the Typewriter bookends things as is custom and then there's the usual suspects including the taurus board, Dimm D3ciple, The Shi-ites, Leninís Virulent Muscle and the Balkan'oliks amongst a handful of batty others. Its all harmless fun of course and Iím loathed to cast any of it in a bad light seeing as they all seem to be having such a good time but most of it is passes me by leaving nothing on the ears but a vague sense of having heard something wacky and amusing but not entirely lasting. godspunk volume nine is in need of a stand out track and the nearest it gets is John Tree. Where are the Las Vegas Mermaids when you need them? As ever, comes with a full colour booklet and lots of contact
- Review by Luc Tran & Andy
Martin (UNIT), 1st August 2010
Sunday August 1st 2010 Ė I (Luc Tran) went to UNIT HQ for a rehearsal and also to do the regular review of the latest installment in the godspunk franchise (with Andy Martin). I had to wait until the end of the Test Match between England and Pakistan (I still canít understand what Andy sees in this ridiculous sport)
- unfortunately Pakistan lost. To compensate, I discovered that godspunk volume nine is up there with the very best of the collections
- it doesnít quite match the glory of No.5 but it must rank among the top 3.
- Howl In The Typewriter - The Edge Of The World
LT - This is a bit of mess, innit? Nice organ sound tho.
AM - The backing tapes -
LT - You mean Ďsamplesí - get with the century.
AM - As I was saying, the backing tapes are most inventive but the music is too fragmented, the changes lack logic
- the result is too much like a sonic jigsaw.
LT - That dance-y bit later on is good tho. The lyrics are totally Rob Simone territory.
AM - Youíd best explain that for people who arenít familiar with him.
LT - Oh yeah, thereís still some people who havenít heard of Resonance 104.4 FM.
AM - There are still some people, not there is still some people - plural clause.
LT - Oh shut your face. Anyway, Rob Simone presents a programme called Head Room every Monday evening on Resonance 104.4 FM. Heís been doing it since 2004 at least. Check out his website
- www.robsimone.org - he interviews all these wild and wacky people like David Icke, Uri Geller and some American pensioner who spent 3 weeks living in an underground city on Venus. He also does shows that are highly critical of American foreign policy, too. Right, advert over. So what díya give this then? I reckon 7/10 coz it promises lots but, unusually for HITT, never quite hits the spot.
AM - Yes, 7/10 seems fair enough.
- Howl In The Typewriter - Whales
AM - If youíre so concerned about being Ďwith the centuryí then why donít you ask Stan to change the name of the group to Howl In The Laptop?
LT - No, it doesnít have the same romantic ring to it. Famous authors used typewriters
- any old cunt can use a laptop.
AM - But I use a laptop.
LT - Exactly. Anyway, this is all a bit wishy-washy, innit? Maybe it needs more analogue keyboards on it rather than
AM - Oh come on, Luc, get with the century.
LT - Shut up, man, youíre not qualified.
AM - Not qua l-
LT - Youíve been listening to Black Sabbath all week. Can you honestly say youíre qualified to give any opinion on anything now?
AM - Well, if you put it like that, no, I suppose not.
LT - So Iíll give this 8/10 - itís catchy and grows on you.
AM - No, itís too dreary - 6/10 at the most.
LT - Youíre just a sad sap. Go back to your Ozzy Osbourne then.
- Howl In The Typewriter - Summer Baby
LT - The vocals are mixed way too low on this - makes the piece sound clumsy and unfinished. That bass guitar sound is groovy tho.
AM - Yes, thatís similar to the sound UJ has adopted for most of our recent material.
LT - This sounds sharper and clearer than our stuff.
AM - Yes, the production on Howl tracks is generally highly professional -
but I agree with you about the low volume vocals. This really irritates me, actually, despite the nice bass guitar playing. Iíll give it 4/10.
LT - You keep doing that and he wonít let us be on godspunk volume ten. But I agree, itís a bit of a platypus this piece
- Iíll give it 6/10.
AM - A platypus?
LT - Yeah - sounds as if its made up from bits and pieces that donít quite mix properly.
- Howl In The Typewriter - Ram Raiding
LT - Whatís that French punk band from the 1970s that Achoi raved about?
AM - Oh yes, odd little bunch werenít they? Mind you, so was Achoi. What the devil were they called? Paris Maquis
- no, that was their single - Metal Urbain-
LT - Thatís it, Metal Urbain - well, donít you think this sounds like them? Imagine if Stan sung in French instead.
AM - Oh I see what you mean - yes, youíre quite right.
LT - I usually am these days. Thatís coz I donít listen to Black Sabbath.
AM - Look, be fair, I was under direct orders from UJ. Thereís no need to be so ineffably otiose.
LT - So in-elephantine what? Oh hold on, the Whales have come back. You know, I can imagine this sung by Liam Gallagher.
AM - Liam Gallagher? You have to be . . . mind you though, now you mention it, yes, I see what you mean
- my dear old thing, you really are on sparkling form tonight.
LT - Thatís coz I havenít had my IQ lowered by listening to Black Sabbath CDs. Anyway, what díya reckon? Iíll give this 8/10 coz its cool.
AM - No, not for me it isnít. Iíll give it 5/10.
LT - Ozzy fan.
AM - Ha! Thatís rich coming from someone who listens to punk rock.
- Dimm D3ciple - The Dream
LT - Theyíre using my vibraphone! Right, they gain points for that straight away. Wish those vocals were clearer
- I really donít like that weird effect thatís on them. Mind you, when that dance beat comes in and it goes all 1990s on us, thatís really effective
- oh bugger it, itís over.
AM - Yes, it doesnít hang about, does it? Iíll give it 4/10 and most of thatís for the vibraphone.
LT - No, they deserve more than that - 7/10 at least - itís a nice, crisp sound and that dance bit in the middle kicks arse.
- Dimm D3ciple - Stranded
LT - This is brilliant - punk rock lyric over Brian Eno music - this is really odd. I like it, especially those backward bits.
AM - Thereís really no need for the swearing though.
LT - What? This coming from the man who wrote Employment Enjoyment.
AM - No, there was a reason for that - I attacked the gratuitous use of swearing by Channel 4 whereas
LT - This is an angry response to parts of our society, thereís a justification for it. Ah, thereís that rave-y type beat again
- oh, itís stopped now, just when I was enjoying it, too.
AM - Well, this doesnít do it for me at all, musically anyway. The lyric is the best aspect of it. Iíll award it 3/10.
LT - Christ, youíve really lost the plot. There, the beatís returned and it grooves along nicely. It deserves 8/10 at least.
- The Balkan'oliks - Tree Peva Kozol
LT - The bass guitar and the percussion are crisp and punchy - plus thatís a mighty fine strong vocal, too
- this lot were good on the last godspunk as well, werenít they?
AM - I think so but, to be honest, this piece suffers from being in the same bloody key all the way through. It needs more harmonic variety. The chap has a fine set of lungs though and the mix between vocals and instruments is excellent. Iíll give it 5/10.
LT - Only 5/10? No, it deserves more than that - I know the musicís a bit repetitive but itís only 2 and a half minutes. No, I like this enough to give it 7/10.
- The Balkan'oliks - dicky dicky dick boom
LT - Do you know, this sounds like - well, it has the same kinda feel as those reggae tracks Resonance plays every Wednesday night. Can you imagine this as a dub reggae thing?
AM - Yes, I see what you mean; it does possess that atmosphere. I tell you what, these people can certainly play
- I mean, itís rather simple but the music is crisp, clear and punchy as you said earlier. Itís a strong production but the music isnít going anywhere is it?
LT - Well, where díya want it to go - Manchester?
AM - Oh come on, my little piranha fish, be reasonable. I mean, Iím waiting for something to happen but it never does. 4/10.
LT - But with that fiddle and everything, it makes the piece more interesting. No, it deserves more than that
- 6/10 at least. I reckon this bunch could put together a really interesting album
- maybe with a few more chords and different instruments used tho.
- Leninís Virulent Muscle - Turf The Roads
LT - This is excellent! UJ would love this lyric. Itís really funny if you picture Vladimir Lenin singing it, too.
AM - Yes, full marks for the words . . . pity about the music. Iíll give it 4/10.
LT - But the music sort of growls quietly along in a controlled rage, itís really effective, especially with the contrast between the high female and low male voices. This warrants 8/10.
- Leninís Virulent Muscle - Spider Crabs
LT - Ooer - this is a bit drippy, innit?
AM - Acoustic guitar valium rock - itís dreadful.
LT - Oh come on, be fair - the words are good and the playingís nice and clear. At least he or she can play that acoustic guitar well.
AM - Itís still dreary to the point of being morbid - itís horrible.
LT - Bah! May all your pies be filled with quorn for ever more!
AM - Fair enough - Iím a vegetarian anyway, have been since 1983.
LT - Really? I didnít know that.
AM - You didnít know I was a veg . . . how long have you known me? Since 2002, wasnít it?
LT - Well, what about the track then?
AM - Well it is, itís horrible. I canít stand this kind of stuff. 2/10 and thatís for the lyric.
LT - They donít deserve to be dismissed so easily. Mind you, the music is a bit much after a while. Iíll give it 5/10.
- The Death Of The Enlightenment Project - Iblis
LT - So whatís going on here then? Ansaphone message . . . someone eating crisps down a telephone line . . . oh shit, itís one of those tracks, all grim and grisly noises
- bloody hell, the speakers are rattling.
AM - Quite right too - if our speakers are to be destroyed then let them be destroyed by something exciting, something vibrant, something that kicks serious arse
- so far this is the most impressive track yet.
LT - What? You have to be joking. Itís just a repetitive noise.
AM - Just a . . ? Look, this is the first really impressive track Iíve heard so far
- itís the first piece to display any passion or originality.
LT - Thatís being really unfair to Dimm, Lenin, The Balkan'oliks and -
AM - Iím simply being honest. I know The Balkan'oliks have a distinct sound of their own, granted, but their tracks tend to sound similar, to my ears anyway, whereas this
LT - . . . is a repetitive noise.
AM - Jesus Christ in a tutu.
LT - Well it is, listen to it.
AM - There! They heard you - itís suddenly changed, cut to a slaughterhouse
- now weíre in Jacques Cousteau territory - camera pan to a 1920s salon!
LT - Idiot - thatís the next track. Thatís what happens when you listen to a racket that deserves 1/10 and thatís just for the ansaphone message
- your brainís gone for a burton.
AM - My God, thatís an old phrase - Iíve not heard that for years!
LT - Thatís probably coz this horrible noise is sending me back to the womb.
AM - I wonder what the derivation is of that term, Ďgone for a burtoní
- itís most odd.
LT - So was that bloody racket.
AM - Oh youíre a hard bastard at times - Iím giving it 8/10 at the very least, itís menacing and merely needs a little more variety in the central section to merit full marks.
- John Tree - The W*y You Look Ton*ght
LT - What the bloody hell is this all about then?
AM - No idea - Resonance would love this - bits and pieces - that bloody Eric Satie again.
LT - Eric Satie?
AM - Yes, hear that dreadful piano? Itís his most famous piece. Satie is the most stupid, tedious and boring composer France ever produced. The 1920s gear sounds positively ecstatic by comparison. I wonder if this is an original 1920s piece modified by 21st century computer technology or a contemporary person doing a pastiche or a homage to that era?
LT - I dunno but itís really irritating. 2/10.
AM - You think so? Well, it is a bit ponderous but itís also rather unusual
- Iíll give it 5/10.
- Boxhead - Static & Silence
LT - Whatís this in - 6/4 isnít it?
AM - Probably. Jesus, why does this have to be so repetitive? Itís a shame because this is a really nice, cool groove
- it needs a vibraphone or a saxophone playing a lead melody or improvising over the top.
LT - Yeah, I agree, it sounds like a backing track to something. The drums are too loud, as well.
AM - Yes I think so, too. There, they heard us - itís changed now.
LT - Itís still in that same key tho - I wish itíd do something different
- itís started to annoy me now.
AM - The electric piano does that to most people - I do like it even though it is a bit 1970s.
LT - Yeah, thatís what it is - film music Ė
AM - Absolutely! Imagine this played in the background as an angst ridden young detective in side-burns and flares searches for the missing body somewhere in the backstreets of Paris. Iíll give it 7/10.
LT - No, I canít be that generous - 6/10.
- Seven Footsteps To Satan - The Devilís Janitor
LT - Oh yeah! All right - this is more like it. Yeah, this is the best one yet.
AM - Bedroom rave - the Chemical Brothers without the technology - but I agree with you, it is rather gear. It merits 8/10.
LT - Yeah, it has energy, a wonderful Hammer horror laugh in the middle and
- what? Is that it? Itís over already? Right, well, I deduct 2 points because itís far too short
- I was really enjoying that, too. 8/10.
- The Shi-ites - Dopamine Dream
LT - More acoustic guitars -
AM - Yes, acoustic guitar valium rock again - bah, this is miserable,
LT - Shut up, man, you donít know nothing about anything. Thereís a nice folky type of thing going on here.
AM - Itís perfectly horrid.
LT - That coming from the man who owns every recording Gentle Giant ever made.
AM - Your point being?
LT - Well, it proves your opinion on anything musical simply canít be trusted at all . . . not at all.
AM - What, so youíd like to hear this again, would you?
LT - Yeah, I wouldnít mind - itís all right, I mean itís nothing special but itís a bloody sight better than that
Iblis racket you raved about.
AM - I donít care - I give it 0/10 because itís the most irritating track Iíve heard so far and also because I know theyíre capable of much better material
- they recorded some far superior tracks on previous godspunks.
LT - You better hope theyíre not real Shi-ites or youíll go to work and find your office has been blown up. No, they should have 4/10 at least.
AM - See? Even after all that ingratiating waffle, you only give them 4/10.
LT - Oh shut up, man, youíre just a pussy. Worse, youíre a pussy who likes prog rock. Worse still, youíre a pussy who not only likes prog rock but you donít even have the decency to be ashamed of it.
- The Melodramatic Monkey - Giraffe & Egg
LT - Hello, itís Stan again. Not content with sneaking onto one of our tracks, heís crept into this one as well. He has a very distinctive voice, doesnít he?
AM - Yes . . .
LT - Whyíre ya chuckling?
AM - Because he always sounds so spiteful and feisty - always sounds as if heís ready to insult someone
- itís a most endearing characteristic.
LT - Here, listen to this - itís gone into a rolling juggernaut groove. This is pretty bloody good.
AM - Yes it is - an excellent bass guitar or bass keyboard sound - and thereís a xylophone!
LT - A reggae grooveís crept in now - this is brilliant!
AM - Luc, I think weíve discovered the best track on here!
LT - Yeah, there always seems to be one, doesnít there? I mean, one track on these compilations thatís obviously and clearly superior to all the others.
AM - Yes . . . pity itís never one of our own works.
LT - But thatís different - we canít judge that, can we? Weíre too close to our own stuff to be able to offer a proper comment on it.
AM - No, itís the curse of the creative artist ever to be denied the luxury of objectivity.
LT - Fair enough, I couldnít put it better myself.
AM - No you couldnít, because you never read books and you always have that damned I-pod stuffed in your ear like so much plastic
LT - Oh shut up, man, and get back to your Gentle Giant records. Anyway, Iím giving this 10/10. What díya reckon?
AM - Yes, certainly 9/10 - I think Iíd prefer it to last a little longer.
- Lazlo Klemke - The Spyral Suitcase
LT - Now, is this really some undiscovered soundtrack from the 1960s or is it Dan Whaley pretending? I reckon itís him pretending.
AM - Why?
LT - Coz the musicís all too well produced - the bass guitar is deep, punchy and clear. The only 1960s recordings where bass guitars ever sound like that are those on Japanese pop Ďgroups soundsí records. No, this is all too clear and precise
- it even sounds digital. This is someone doing a very clever recreation of 1960s spy thriller soundtracks.
AM - Well, you can always check on the net - type Lazlo Klemke into Google.
LT - Okay then, when I go home I will - of course, if you werenít such a bloody retro-head luddite, youíd be on the internet here and we could check it out and give a more intelligent review of the piece.
AM - It has nothing to do with my hostility toward technology - I simply donít want the authorities and the advertisers to know where to find me. I intend to remain below the radar for as long as possible.
LT - Oh well, yeah, thatís fair enough; I can understand that.
AM - Anyway, here we are again with that French detective still searching for the
LT - No, heís found it from the sound of this.
AM - Good - now maybe heíll bugger off and make his racket somewhere else.
LT - You what? Díya mean to tell me, in all seriousness, that you donít like this?
AM - No I donít - I mean to say, hang it all, this kind of stuff has been done and dusted decades ago and it really wasnít any good at the time so itís hopelessly out of step with the contemporary scene now. Itís not relevant to whatís happening now.
LT - But does that matter? Is Bach relevant to whatís happening now?
AM - No, you can hardly make that comparison because Bach serves an entirely different function. Itís music
LT - But itís still ancient music - it might be really good, I dunno, I find Bach and all that baroque and 18th century stuff boring but if a piece of music was really good in 1966 then isnít it just as good now? Besides, you could say UNIT is retro
- if we were that 21st century then weíd be doing slow jams, R&B and grime.
AM - Oh yes, certainly, but you see I donít believe most 1960s film music was anywhere near as exciting or dramatic as modern listeners would have us believe. Look at all those trendy Camden types who rave about The Kinks, The Small Faces and 1960s pop groups
- most of it is utter drivel. What theyíre doing is trying to resurrect what they perceive to be a magical era because theyíre too young to have lived during it. Well, I was born in 1966 and my only abiding memory of that period is intense bigotry, ridiculous attitudes and desperate poverty. The sixties were only swinging and fab if you were one of the elite minority of trendy young things whose parents were sufficiently wealthy and indulgent to support your decadent lifestyle. If you were an ethnic minority in Britain, the 1960s were definitely not swinging, fab and groovy.
LT - Well, I canít say much about that, can I? I was born in 1989.
AM - Good - that means you missed the 1980s, the decade that decency forget
- crap fashions, crap politics and crap music. This is irritating as well. 3/10.
LT - Oh come on, it deserves far more than that. Iíll give it 7/10. Actually, if it really is an original 1960s soundtrack then it deserves 7/10 but if its people recreating that sound in the 21st century then it merits 8/10 for being so clever.
- the taurus board - the hod cloppers: the first rehearsal
LT - Here we go - you can nearly always rely on Hef to deliver the goods.
AM - Yes, usually itís worth saving the taurus board until last because his tracks generally form the one contribution to any godspunk album on which we agree.
LT - Pity about that voice toward the end tho.
AM - Really? I rather enjoy that about his pieces, those strange, daft people nattering on about this and that.
LT - But they interfere with the music - like when you try to listen to a programme on an FM radio and some other foreign station starts to butt in
- thatís what itís like. I wanna hear this without that voice.
AM - Thatís a fair point actually. Itís a kicking groove though.
LT - Yeah, itís one of his stronger efforts. Letís play it again.
AM - Fair enough. Do you realise that when people read these reviews, we come across as real taurus board fans? ĎOh, itís those lads from UNIT again
- well, I suppose theyíll do what they always do, save the taurus board till last and rave about it as usual.í
LT - Tough! We canít help it if his stuff is always so good.
AM - UJ doesnít like the taurus board much.
LT - UJ likes Metallica so his opinion is absolutely worthless. Christ, heís even more far gone than you are.
AM - Oh, thank you very much. So does that mean you accept my love of Ornette Coleman, The Sun Ra Arkestra and Peter BrŲtzmann?
LT - Oh shit, yeah, I forgot about all that crap - no, I take it back - no-oneís as far gone as you are. Anyway, Iím giving this only 9/10 because of that silly voice at the end.
AM - Fair enough - but Iíll award it 10/10 despite the silly voice!
- UNIT - Employment Enjoyment
LT - You know this could be a really good pop song with an excellent lyric but you had to go and spoil it with all that silly saxophone squealing in the middle.
AM - But Luc, I put that in to make the piece more adventurous and less like a normal, conventional pop song.
LT - No, youíve already achieved that with the lyric and the splendid harmonic progression you asked me to write for the keyboards. It sounds like a bit of one of your avant garde jazz records has gate-crashed itself into our pop song.
AM - Well, yes, I see what you mean. You know, what really annoys me about this?
LT - Your vocals.
AM - Yes! How did you know?
LT - Because you always complain about your vocals - honestly, they arenít nearly as awful as you think they are. Okay, you donít have a very powerful voice but at least you can sing in time and in tune.
AM - I still sing like a strangled parrot.
LT - Anyway, I like this version because I prefer pStanís voice to Richardís in the spoken bits. Iíll only give it 7/10 because that saxophone and piano string scratching in the middle spoils it.
AM - Well, Iíll give it 8/10 because those aspects improve it!
- UNIT - Minh, Binh & Vinh
LT - God, this is boring. I much prefer the version on Sons Of The Dragon.
AM - Whatís the matter with this one then?
LT - Itís too much like heavy metal and itís repetitive, all that daft twiddly lead guitar. Iím glad UJ wanted the Hammond B3 to be used, tho, that makes a big difference.
AM - Yes, your playing has definitely improved over the years - not that it was ever bad.
LT - No but sometimes I went out of time - my time-keeping was dreadful when I first joined the group. This rocks along nicely but it needs something more to make it interesting and less like some 1970s rock thing. Iíll give it 5/10 and even then Iím being generous.
AM - Well, I quite like it, especially since Iím not on it, so Iíll give it 7/10.
- UNIT - Labor Callum Obducit Dolori
LT - Here we go again - this could be a really catchy instrumental like Ming Hai but Richard has to put in a bloody drum solo and itís not even that well played.
AM - You really are dicing with death here, Luc.
LT - No, seriously, if youíre going to shove in a drum solo then you have to be able to use the drums in an interesting and inventive manner
- he just bashes away like a maniac.
AM - Quietly bonkers is what you wrote.
LT - Well, I was being polite because he was in the room at the time.
AM - Whoís that on the vibraslap?
LT - Thatís Richard as well. He had 5 bloody cymbals and 2 floor toms but it just sounds messy. The aeroplanes are good, tho!
AM - My favourite is your additional melody on that Casio VL Tone when the main music returns after Richard has done his Ginger Baker bit. I missed most of this when you 3 did it.
LT - Well you were reading that crazy book by Frank Key. Iíve never understood what you see in that stuff.
AM - Have you never heard his programme Hooting Yard on Resonace?
LT - A coupla times, yeah, but itís too silly, I canít get into it at all. I can get into this, tho. Yeah, Iím actually enjoying this now. Maybe the drum solo isnít so bad after all. Iíll give it 7/10.
AM - This is the first time Iíve really listened to this since it was first mixed
- yes, it really is one of our better tracks - 8/10.
- UNIT - Eagle
LT - Iím glad we included this version of this track. It really is one of the best things youíve ever written. That said, I still prefer the version with your singing.
AM - Really? My dear old thing - but UJ has a mournful, restrained character that really suits this piece. It also means that out of the 4 pieces on this album, Iím only on 1 of them!
LT - Yeah, he sings really clearly, Iíll give him that - you can hear all the words
- I really enjoyed playing this - all those unconventional chord progressions. Who is McKenna anyway?
AM - He doesnít really exist - well, no, he does exist but heís actually an amalgam of 3 different people Iíve known over the years. The name derives from Joseph McKenna, a young Glaswegian actor who appeared in Coronation Street, the play The Slab Boys by Johnny Byrne and the episode A Little Learning by Ian McCulloch from the 1970s science fiction series Survivors. It was that latter appearance that inspired the piece
- he plays Eagle, the leader of a group of children forced to fend for themselves in a post-apocalyptic society, Britain after its population has been decimated by a global plague.
LT - Well, Iím glad you watched it then since this ballad was the result. Is that the same series UJ has been watching for weeks?
AM - Yes - I showed him a couple of episodes in 2009 and he was so inspired he asked me to buy him the complete box set of all 3 series. In fact, I only vaguely remember it from when I was a boy but Andy Nunn sent me the first few episodes in 2008 and I was so amazed and impressed that I ordered the original box set of DVDs from e-bay.
LT - Well anyway, Iím giving this 10/10 because now Iíve removed that horrible saxophone and flute section, itís perfect.
AM - Indeed? Iíll give it only 9/10 because now youíve surgically removed the saxophone and flute section it isnít quite so impressive or interesting! Mind you, it does work as a more conventional ballad like this and youíve done the remix really well.
LT - Okay then - so how does godspunk volume nine compare with all the others?
AM - Well, I still havenít heard a collection that matches the almost continual excellence of godspunk volume five but there are a few fine moments on this set.
LT - I reckon itís one of the best yet. Congratulations and respect due to Stan &
1 Rainbow Footsteps - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Sebok Goes To The Shops - Boxhead
3 One Of The Lads - UNIT
4 In Der Teestube - the taurus board
5 Eaten By A Giant Razz - The Melodramatic Monkey
6 Sabaka Casa - Balkaníoliks
7 Shameless - UNIT
8 ďthe whole of the cosmos is a mindless chaotic phantasmagoria intent only on filling eternity and infinity with every possible and imaginable crazy situationĒ - Howl in the Typewriter
9 The Sunglassíd Eye - Evil Jack McDeath
10 Ixx Perra Mental - D.I.M.M.
11 Spatial - The Shi-ites
12 Buckingham Palace Burns Down - UNIT
13 RagZilla vs Octopus Episode 10 - The Melodramatic Monkey
14 Seven Men - Howl in the Typewriter
15 Bus Shelter - Heffalump Trap
16 Mr Arsehole - UNIT
17 On The Hook - The Cockfield Two
18 Murderer - Boxhead
19 The Circuit - Howl in the Typewriter
20 Syrnyj Poezd - Balkaníoliks
21 Nipples - The Melodramatic Monkey
22 I Heard Him Call My Name - UNIT
23 Beach Bum - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Mark Wharton, Idwal Fisher
Stan Batcowís continued mapping of Englandís underground lunatic fringe reaches volume eight and brings with it the usual bunch of anti-establishment, off their heads, jokey named, lets-hope-they-donít-move-in-next-door oddities. And very good it is too.
I enjoyed huge swathes of volume seven and even found it within myself to start liking UNIT and their Chas Ďní Dave angst Londoner poppets of verite rap but maybe Iím tiring of them, or life. Its hard to tell.
Lots of new faces on volume eight with some Orb-like ethnic trance via the Balkan'oliks and some experimental wanderings on a track called
Ixx Perra Mental by D.I.M.M. in which D.I.M.M. go for the unashamed Andrew Liles/Nurse With Wound dollar with five minutes worth of treated vocals and loops. Maybe Stan puts these on just for me? Iíd like to think he does. Nothing hangs around for long so you have to be on your toes: sampled mania in the style of Mixed Band Philanthropist and The Broken Penis Orchestra are the preserve of The Melodramatic Monkey, The Cockfield Two are Bob Log III with a synth instead of a slide guitar, Boxhead play around with the kind of crap you hear blaring out of the windows of a souped up Saxoís driven by open mouthed 17 year olds with socks tucked into their kecks but maybe Iím being unkind, maybe this is The Art of Noise brought back to life and then again maybe no. Evil Jack McDeath pull into the car park of an all night American diner order two cups of Joe, everything over easy and greasy and then write a song about it. the taurus board, one of the few surviving outfits from volume seven, float about in some kind of drum n synth heaven and Stanís own Howl in the Typewriter book end things, as is custom, with his own take on pumped up bass driven 80ís pop anthems washed up on Blackpool beach with one hand holding a day-glo head band and the other Carter USMís Surfin USM single which is apt as the last track is called
Beach Bum. Iím saving the best for last though, Heffalump Trapís
Bus Shelter is six minutes of Boris meets a six string Ramleh. A slow melting, slack rimmed beat that comes with squally guitars and a series of slow chord changes designed to make driving with one arm out of the window whilst slowly nodding your head compulsory.
Stanís godspunk comps contain the coloured drawing pins that litter the UK map of musical oddity. Theyíre the home for those who react to psychiatrists as much a vampire would garlic. This one has 23 tracks on it, runs to well over an hour and has music by 11 bands on it and I bet you your last fiver it still costs less than a back street blow job by a Blackpool
- Review by Andy Martin
(UNIT), Nov 2009
- Evil Jack McDeath - The Sunglassed Eye
Far too long and repetitive - definitely 1981 cassette bedroom feel to this. 5/10.
- DIMM - Ixx Perra Mental
Dear God but this is bloody irritating and there are 6 minutes of it, too. I definitely prefer the tracks on the previous CD because this is intolerable. However, one thing is obvious: this has the most professional sound of all the tracks here and since it is evident that plenty of work and thought went into it, I have to award it at least 6/10.
- The Shi-ites - Spatial
Bloody hell, itís Oasis . . . oh no, my mistake, itís actually The Sh-iites. OK, so whereís the hammond organ then? Sorry lads, but this is horrible. The vocals are too quiet as well. 3/10.
- Heffalump Trap - Bus Shelter
Over 6 minutes of this - hey oop - for that amount of time I want progressive rock, free jazz or decent heavy metal - but this is none of those. Christ itís repetitive. DO SOMETHING! Change that bloody riff, go somewhere interesting, yes yes yes, youíve done that same thing for 3 solid minutes now do something else . . . no? Oh. Are you sure you wonít go to another key, a different sonic background or a different time signature? No? Oh. Well, sorry, but you leave me no alternative. I did warn you. 2/10.
- The Cockfield Two - On The Hook
The booklet image and text are excellent - but the music is, er, less so. Keyboard too loud, vocals too quiet & I absolutely loathe drum machines (as Stan now knows, having read my review of The Def-A-Kators CD). 3/10.
- Boxhead - Sebok Goes To The Shops
This is what those baggy trousered I-pod bedecked Chavs deserve to have done to them! 8/10.
- Boxhead - Murderer
More Resonance material; theyíd love this. Highly amusing but way too long. 7/10.
- The Melodramatic Monkey - Eaten By A Giant Razz
Related to Boxhead perchance? This is from a similar stable. A bit too silly even for me but it could start a new genre: avant garde hip hop. 6/10.
- The Melodramatic Monkey - Ragzilla Vs Octopus
The various bizarre sections prevent this from being a Ďskip forwardí job but itís still bloody tedious after a while. There are interesting moments where it is by turns intriguing and amusing but it still only rates 5/10.
- The Melodramatic Monkey - Nipples
This is better, more effective and unpredictable. All 3 of these should be sent to Resonance as Iím sure theyíd be played on air. Certainly they deserve to be heard by a broader audience - and no, I donít just mean fat people. There is something delightfully unpretentious about these 3 pieces as if they are saying Ďitís okay to have fun with technologyí. 7/10.
- The Balkan'oliks - Sabaka Casa
More fun with technology but inna gypsy east European stylee. Romany folk songs versus drum Ďní bass and why not? A bit tedious after a while but still enjoyable. 6/10.
- The Balkan'oliks - Syrnyj Poezd
Christ knows how you pronounce that. Again, itís too repetitive for my ears but still interesting and highly unusual. 7/10.
- Howl In The Typewriter - Rainbow Footsteps
Typically nasty lyric backed by mutated pop music; it all sounds unusually murky and muddy but thereís a nice guitar sound. 6/10.
- Howl In The Typewriter: (The Very Long Title)
Bloody hell, Iím not typing all that out. Itís a superb sentiment anyway. Actually, the cosmos is mainly just empty space where nothing happens at all. I think it was designed by Samuel Beckett. Turn up the vocals, for crying out loud, so we can all hear them, what are you playing at down there? Superb end quote. 4/10.
- Howl In The Typewriter - Seven Men
Highly disturbing taped voice set to totally inappropriate and extremely irritating music so the whole effect is ruined. Youíre a cruel man, Stan. 3/10.
- Howl In The Typewriter - The Circuit
Harp glissandi (The Beach Boys come to mind) plus sampled church bells that are totally in tune with the music - blimey, Stan Batcow joins New Order. This is absolutely brilliant, mutant pop at its best. Superb. One of the very best tracks Howl In The Typewriter have ever recorded; should be on Radio 1 and X FM on a daily basis. 10/10.
- Howl In The Typewriter - Beach Bum
Ah, I mentioned the Beach Boys just now and look what happens. I have a CD on which I have collected all my favourite Beach Boys
tracks . . . so I suppose you donít want a copy, do you, Stan? No, I thought not. 7/10.
- UNIT - One Of The Lads
Can yellow men play the blues? Based on this excursion, apparently not. Why did they ask me to resurrect this ancient Apostles number? Itís ridiculous. My singing is even worse. 2/10.
- UNIT - Shameless
I try to be Karl Blake and fail but UJ enjoys himself on guitars and Luc drags his Casio VL Tone all the way from 1983. So that little instrument was manufactured 6 years before he was born. Some of my sax notes are actually in tune - sell out! 7/10.
- UNIT - Buckingham Palace Burns Down
The bass guitar is too quiet. Probably the best drumming Luc has ever done for UNIT so far. UJ excels himself on guitar - or knackers himself trying - ee but itís reet champion all the same. 9/10.
- UNIT - Mr Arsehole
Lovely chord sequence by Luc and excellent bass guitar by UJ with his sarcastic vocals that just emphasise what a crap voice I have by comparison. The drumming is only just in time though! 8/10.
- UNIT - I Heard Him Call My Name
They insisted we record this and what a waste of time it was, too. The original song is crap and the recording and performance is a mess. Backing vocals too loud, Luc on drums is too quiet. Despite some frantic guitar from UJ, this is still dire. 1/10.
- the taurus board - In Der Teestube
- The first 2í35Ē constitute the most boring, tediously repetitive nonsense Iíve ever heard; itís absolutely abysmal. Iíd never have thought it possible from the taurus board. Then at 2í36Ē, normal service is resumed and we have a kick ass groove straight from the Ministry Of Sound. The first half: 0/10. The second half: 9/10.
Summary: more humour and fun filled frolics on this issue but it requires a few more conventional pop or rock songs plus one or two more Ďtraditional avant gardeí pieces (a la Hebetation or Stream Angel) for an ideal balance of genres. Major discovery this time around: The Balkan'oliks - make sure theyíre on godspunk 9
1 Planet Head - Howl in the Typewriter
2 thoughtless - A - RooHmania
3 Starfish - the taurus board
4 The Dogs / Fording Principle - Arkon Daraul
5 Snow on the Sea - The Richwoods
6 Uke Crazy Mother - The Richwoods
7 Chinned - The Richwoods
8 Bruce Willis (2 Young 2 Die) - Las Vegas Mermaids
9 La La La - SAASSS
10 Dopamine - Ray Reagan and the RayGuns
11 The Hairline Crack - HRT
12 Take a Day - Dimm D3ciple
13 Scoop Six Place Pot - UNIT
14 Better Dead Than Red - UNIT
15 Michaelís Brothel - UNIT
16 Eagle - UNIT
17 Water Wings - The Cheeky Buddhas
18 thoughtless - B - RooHmania
19 Dandelion - Howl in the Typewriter
20 Sound Effects - Maybe Alaska
21 My life as a supermodel - Richard
22 SmokeScreen - Dimm D3ciple
23 Clareís Noodle - Upwey-hey
24 The Fetishist - John Tree
25 Deal Ear - Chelsea From Essex
26 thoughtless - C - RooHmania
27 Garden of Eden - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Richard Foster, Incendiary
Blackpoolís greatest set of avant garde music poets compile yet another brilliant CD choc-full of punk & outrť tunes to satisfy every taste. I fucking love Pumf, they canít fail. While the rock world blethers on and on, seemingly forever driving at 3mph round that drearily existential musical roundabout named underachievement, Pumf churn out committed, funny, intelligent and affordable releases by the bucket-load.
Volume seven of the godspunk canon has a number of old friends; Howl in the Typewriterís demented
Planet Head (replete with ďadviceĒ & bagpipes) kicks things off in style. And UNIT do a passionate mini set amidships, with Better Dead than Red the highlight.
Picking up on Howlís occasional screams of ďtechnoĒ on Planet
Head, it seems as if a dye has been partially struck for volume seven. Thereís a lot more dancey and droney stuff. RooHmania take us back to 1991 with
thoughtless whereas HRT take us into outer space (with a nod to the likes of Coldcut on the way) with
The Hairline Crack. And Las Vegas Mermaidsí Bruce Willis can be called a dance track of sorts: (for me itís like an oddly appealing mix of Long Blondes chanteuse-isms and a spazzcore take on a Euro beat not heard since Jive Bunny). There are the usual oddities too. The
Richwoodsí brilliant ukulele tracks Snow on the Sea, Chinned and
Uke Crazy Mother, a sonic impression of swimming (courtesy of The Cheeky
Buddhas) and a school choir give a welcome levity at just the right times.
Taken all in all, a most enlivening and stimulating listen.
- Review by Mark Wharton, Idwal Fisher
Stan Batcow has been collating the godspunk series for quite a few years now but with volume seven heís finally pulled together a selection of people and music that bears repeated listening and may go someway to providing a finger post for people travelling in new directions here in credit crunch Britain 2009.
These 18 artists are a varied bunch of mongrels whose Englishness reminds me of Morris men, the M1, wet Sundays and abandoned car boot sales. The miserable clown on the cover is the giveaway as is Stan himself singing ĎTechno techno techno noticeí on the opening track
Planet Head. American listeners may need some help here but they can still sit down with volume 7, beef tea in hand and listen to as fine a selection of Ďnew musicí as there is flying around these lands today.
Take HRT, heís Tony Conrad, Howl in the Typewriter heís end of the pier techno pop a la Fruitbat Bob and his Carter USM crossed with Paul Hardcastle and the birdy song. I even liked the contributions from UNIT. UNIT being an outfit who, not liking the way I took exception to their piss poor cockney agit punk on previous godspunk comps, decided to write a song about it, Iíve still to hear it. Here theyíve found a xylophone player to augment their angst and it works wonders. Their four tracks run together:
Better Dead Than Red is an angry letter to Gordon sung in a dithering falsetto,
Michaelís Brothel is a touching lament that seems to be their nod to Elton Johnís Song for Guy and
Eagle is Patrick Fitzgerald meets Tortoise. Thereís nothing better than being proved wrong and enjoying it. Water Wings by the Cheeky Buddhas is a field recording of bathers filled with water sounds, ukuleleís [?] and spoons [?]. Its nothing short of a sheer delight.
Last time around the Las Vegas Mermaids sang about bus drivers, here itís
Bruce Willis. The Richwoods three tracks are not that far removed from what The Penguin Cafe Orchestra got up to. Maybe Alaskaís
Sound Effects is just that, seven minutes of obliterated mouth organ, 20ís dance hall music, John Carpenter doom and a voice that says Ďsound effectsí in a scary manner. pStan has three contributions but theyíre all under different monikers; Richard is straight forward punk, SAASSS is a recording of a French infant class singing a nursery rhyme and Upwey-hey is but 19 seconds of nonsense. John Treeís track is a piece of film music flummery. RooHmaniaís three tracks of soporific ambience are spread at intervals acting as cleansing sorbets. I know Iíve missed some people out but to be honest its hard to find fault with volume 7 so youíll just have to take my word for it and buy it and enjoy it for what it is - the glorious sound of an inventive island providing a positive alternative to the vast oceans of mundane pop pap that passes for mainstream entertainment
- Review by Andy Martin
Myself and Luc Tran listened to this CD in the order in which these tracks are reviewed here. Most tracks we played twice before committing ourselves to any opinions. In general, I favour avant garde and experimental soundscapes whereas Luc is more interested in rock and pop pieces. In this manner, perhaps the resultant review will be more balanced and indicative of the contents
- or perhaps our views will still be a load of bollocks. You decide.
- SAASSS - La La La (6/10)
Horrible song title, dreadful name - but this field recording of a primary school music session is strangely attractive
- taken out of context by appearing on this compilation, the music has a slightly plangent quality. Luc gives this 1/10
- he says its boring - I told you he was a sap.
- Ray Reagan And The RayGuns - Dopamine (4/10)
This grunge infected pop song veers too close to punk rock for my tastes -
the quiet section works best - the vocalist has precise diction so the disturbing words can be heard clearly as theyíre spat out over the distorted guitar noise
- Luc gives this 8/10 but then he would.
- HRT - The Hairline Crack (5/10)
If Five Or Six were alive and active today, they might just record music like this
- guitars like humpback whales - drenched in reverb and digital delay - my one complaint is that this is far too long for its content
- after about 3 minutes I become bored with it. Luc, being perhaps more patient, awards this 7/10.
- Arkon Daraul - The Dogs / Fording Principle (9/10)
This is the kind of sonic weirdness Cherry Red used to release circa 1981
- so it should sound old fashioned and dated - but it doesnít! Why? I donít know yet
- perhaps it doesnít matter - this works because it creates an interesting and slightly disturbing atmosphere (and boasts an intriguing title, too). Luc also gives this 9/10 because heís a genius.
- Las Vegas Mermaids - Bruce Willis (9/10)
In our brief experience, this outfit are generally much more satisfying in live concerts than in their studio recorded work. However, they have a hit here: theyíve managed to create a wonderfully spiteful assault on Hollywood action heroes set to a pastiche of 1980s synthi-pop that positively oozes sarcasm with its combination of satirical text and smooth, sexy female vocal delivery. Luc goes further and awards this 10/10 so this is definitely the hit single from the compilation.
- Dimm D3ciple - Take A Day (1/10)
So come on chaps, just how do you pronounce ĎD3cipleí? Christ, I canít stand this, it really irritates me! Luc gives it 7/10 because, unlike me, he isnít allergic to acoustic guitars. He reckons this would sound even better if thereíd been a vocal harmony going with 2 singers.
- Dimm D3ciple - Smoke Screen (2/10)
Bloody hell, what an excellent introduction - then it goes tits up and enters Mike Oldfield territory
- bah! Luc, who says this would be excellent if that Ďnoiseí at the start was removed, still gives it 8/10.
- The Cheeky Buddhas - Water Wings (7/10)
This is from very similar territory to La La La - manipulated field recordings
- but that insistent marimba rhythm becomes irritating after a while. On the other hand . . . I canít make my mind up about this. As more instruments are added, it becomes more interesting
- an African sound- then the clarinet enters and Iím hooked! Even Luc is prepared to give this the benefit of the doubt with a generous 8/10.
- Maybe Alaska - Sound Effects (6/10)
Is that Little Walter on amplified harmonica? Is that Brian Eno on synthesiser? Is this Ďa tedious self indulgent seven minute sonic messí (Luc) or Ďan intriguing exploration of distortion on disparate juxtaposed musical genresí (me)? The 5/4 rhythm that kicks in around 6í heralds the section that convinces me: Ďif you donít stop (garbled) down the stairs while Iím recording, Iíll f****** explodeí! Luc shamelessly awards this a mere 1/10.
- Richard - My Life As A Supermodel (1/10)
Christ, is this a mess or what? Itís horrible! Sounds like the singerís stood next to me while the band is in the basement. Luc likes the lyric so he gives it 4/10.
- Upwey-hey - Clareís Noodle (1/10)
What on earth is this all about then? Luc mutters Ďtoo sillyí but still gives it 3/10.
- John Tree - The Fetishist (8/10)
My God, this is so cool itís straight out of the fridge. It needs a saxophone instead of that irritating banjo, though. The keyboard lends an aura of menace. The pizzicato string section is effective. The title really suits this mood music. Now look at Luc, heís given it 4/10, says it goes on too long, what a pussy.
- Chelsea From Essex - Deal Ear (1/10)
This hurts my ears - if Whitehouse wrote pop tunes, theyíd sound like this. I donít mind telling you this is driving me quietly bonkers. Mind you, itís obvious a fair amount of thought and effort has gone into this. Luc says it makes him laugh
- maybe itís driven him psychotic? He gives it 2/10.
- RooHmania - Thoughtless A (4/10)
Vangelis meets Tangerine Dream, God help us. Luc gives this 2/10 - well, really!
- RooHmania - Thoughtless B (6/10)
Vangelis meets The Tomorrow People - this is a definite improvement - an apparently gentle new age electronic wallpaper piece but thereís an unhealthy threat of violence in the background. Luc gives this 2/10 as well
- thereís no pleasing some people.
- RooHmania - Thoughtless C (7/10)
Vangelis meets Tangerine Dream in the Tomorrow People laboratory - probably the best of the three
- but these are at their most effective when the trio are joined together to make a continuous work. Luc gives this 6/10.
- The Richwoods - Snow On The Sea, Uke Crazy Mother, Chinned (6/10)
All 3 of these otherwise delightful ukelele pieces are seriously spoiled by the O.T.T. reverb that has been plastered over them
- the final piece works best, perhaps because the effects actually become part of the music
- but it sounds unfinished - still, it makes a change from the electric guitars and cheesy keyboards favoured by most other groups. Luc gives this 4/10 which is bit cruel, surely?
- Howl in the Typewriter - Planet Head (8/10)
It hovered between 7/10 and 8/10 - then the bagpipes kicked in - that did it! Luc only gives this 6/10 because heís a sap.
- Howl in the Typewriter - Dandelion (3/10)
Sorry, Stan, but this falls way below your normal standard - we wait for something to happen but it never does. Even Luc, who normally enjoys
HitT, can only go as far as 4/10.
- Howl in the Typewriter - Garden Of Eden (7/10)
Nice use of choir sample and drum track in related rhythm - closely recorded spoken vocal is oddly disturbing
- on second hearing this is really rather good - especially the sentiment spoken clearly at the end with which we both agree totally. For that reason alone it deserves the 8/10 Luc awards it.
- the taurus board - Starfish (8/10)
The best aspect of godspunk CDs is that there is always a taurus board track. This is the one outfit that both Luc and I agree on, i.e. we reckon theyíre bloody brilliant and that anyone who disagrees with us is simply wrong. I was a raver in the 1990s so I have an excuse
- Luc missed it all (he was born in 1989) so with him thereís no possible accusation of nostalgia kicking in. However, this (like all their contributions so far) is not retro
- itís rave music for the 21st century. Once again, Luc starts jiving and dancing and I have to stand up and join in. Thatís the effect this outfit has on cool, groovy people. As a piece of music to hear through speakers in my home, it loses some of its effectiveness, being rather repetitive: in a club with the right vibe this would be a kicking tune! Luc awards it 9/10.
Finally, itís over to Luc for our own group.
- UNIT - Scoop Six Place Pot (6/10)
I wrote this to give UJ a hard time on bass guitar. I find punk rock really funny
- itís silly but enjoyable. The drum sound is crap, mainly because I canít really play drums, I just fake it. The title is by Birmingham poet Andy Nunn and is something to do with betting on horse racing. I enjoyed this at the time but hearing it now, itís a bit moronic. Andy gives it 3/10.
- UNIT - Better Dead Than Red (7/10)
The music to ĎF*** Off Gordon Browní is used for a new lyric by Andy which I think is a bit worrying because it veers too close to the BNP manifesto for my liking. This music is brilliant, one of his best pop tunes, but those words make me cringe. Andy gives it 9/10 because heís a right wing nutter.
- UNIT - Michaelís Brothel (6/10)
The title is by UJ - weíve been trying to persuade Michael to join UNIT for nearly 2 years
- heís a better keyboard player than Iíll ever be - and he rattled this off in one take then asked me to add electronic keyboards and a bass guitar part. UJ does okay on bass but Iím not sure this actually needs the vibes
- the time keeping is a bit suspect in places too. Andy gives it 7/10.
- UNIT - Eagle (10/10)
This is easily one of the very best pop songs Andy has ever written - itís bare hard
- excellent words and strange, haunting music - I like the interesting harmonies, the Wire guitar and the vocals by UJ
- a version of this without the guitar and with Andy singing instead of UJ is on our latest album ĎClass War' but both Andy and I prefer this version. UJ insisted what he considered the Ďbetterí version (with Andy singing) be included on the album
- well, he was wrong - this is the definitive one! Andy only gives it 8/10 because he reckons the central saxophone section spoils it.
In conclusion: far more purely instrumental works on this compilation than previously
- which makes a pleasant change - but this needs a couple more out and out pop or rock pieces for variety. On the whole this is still one of the best godspunks
1 Weigh How - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Interference - Evil Jack McDeath
3 Let íem Dance - Jaw-D
4 Fountain Of Blood - The Style Pigs
5 Shitbomb - Howl in the Typewriter
6 Fen Rap (Zen Radio Version) - John Tree
7 Rock & Pop volume one backslash The Rise and Fall of Western Capitalism - Turn Leathers
8 Swirlygig - The Shi-ites
9 Iodine Twat - Howl in the Typewriter
10 The Psychiatristís Head - Bartles
11 All Right Me Lads - Elwyn Temple Meads
12 Hog II - The Style Pigs
13 Eco Warrior Blues - UNIT
14 °Miercoles! - Evil Jack McDeath
15 Nation of Two - Howl in the Typewriter
16 timorous - The Haddenham One ft. John Tree
17 Story Time - Jaw-D
18 Angel One - the taurus board
19 Isle of St. Claire - Elwyn Temple Meads
20 Left Channel: Never Killed Anyone - Howl in the Typewriter
Right Channel: This Way Down - Howl in the Typewriter
21 Saw You Again_Edit - DimM D3ciPLe
22 Mr Hatchet Dead Man - The Style Pigs
23 Hijo de Puta - Vance Palmier & Evil Jack McDeath
24 Three Chrome Hooks - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Richard Foster, Incendiary
Ye Gods! How good is this compilation? Pumfís collation of all that is weird, wonderful and uncompromising continues with godspunk volume six. As usual there is a plethora of sounds and attitudes ranging from the thumpingly assertive to the downright mad. Howl in the Typewriterís
Weigh How is a fabulous indicator of things to come. The weird synths couple with an oddly charming melody and increasingly demented vocals. Itís poppy, amateurish and lots of fun but itís not normal lad, I can tell you.
A number of acts are highlighted on godspunk; Jaw-D make high energy lo-fi pop songs to die for,
(Let Ďem Dance); Evil Jack McDeath creates short, snappy sampled guitar growls
(Interference, Hijo de Puta) and Howl in the Typewriter continue to make warped pop throughout the length of the record;
(Shitbomb being their affecting take on Sexbomb). The Style Pigs make an eclectic and refreshing racket with stuff like
Hog II and the brilliant Mr Hatchet Dead Man.
My favourites come late on; the magnificent Elwyn Temple Meads somehow contrive to keep kitsch out of their affecting tales of the
Isle of St Claire (if it is a piss-take itís still a very charming one, la) and UNITís shambolic but utterly riveting
Eco Warrior Blues is great. The Haddenham One ft. John Treeís timorous is a menacing collage of samples that opens out into a dance track of sorts.
If youíre on the look out for something different, then this is your release, itís a brilliant
- Review by Mark Wharton, Idwal Fisher
Stan Batcowís steady trickle of lunacy continues with Pumfís sixth volume of godspunkyness. After four attempts and varying degrees of success [in my opinion anyway] Stan finally hit pay-dirt with a cracking volume five. Juxtaposing a single noise track around the usual bunch of non-conformist popsters like the Las Vegas Mermaids, Needle Park, Stanís own Howl in the Typewriter and the implausibly named Satan The Jesus Infektíd Needles and Blood [amongst a host of others] he managed to harness all that ribald lunacy into a single cohesive unit that was both listenable and for once, repeatable. If dotty pop songs coupled with the fringes of mental health are your bag you missed out.
So to volume six. I see UNIT are still there. Last I heard, London Ďpunkí agitators UNIT had taken time out to pen a song deriding yours truly. Not content with hating multinationals and loving trees they seem to have taken a dislike to Idwal Fisher. I can only assume they have more time on their hands than they know what to do with. Here they chip in with a song called
Eco Warrior Blues which if I was in charitable mood would suggest was a cocky, cheery pub rock Greenpeace anthem but Iím not - think sub Chas Ďní Dave penning an anarchist anthem after too many ales dahn the Elephant and Castle.
The Haddenham Oneís sampled voice repeating the line ďthey spilt my medicineíí over rumbling dubious hip hop cheers had me in its thrall. Characters like Evil Jack McDeath, The Style Pigs, The Shi-ites, Bartles and Elwyn Temple Meads populate godspunk releases like tramps on a park bench on a warm day. When not knocking out witty sideways-on songs about mental elf and stuff they build up dreamy techno-y worlds like DimM D3ciPLe [yes that is how its spelt]. So thereís something for everybody yísee. Top trumps on volume six tho is Stanís own Howl In The Typewriter outpourings. The man comes at you like a demented Stock Aitken and Waterman production and because its his label he can have six goes - the best of which is a split channel affair; one channel sounding like someone putting on an anorak in a gale and the other a lonesome industrial drone. godspunk discs are little pieces of creation that every dysfunctional, tee-total, alcoholic, tree hugging, London b-boy, mental health sectioned largactyl numbed person should have. Keep em coming
"A compilation CD full of real Alternative & Underground music, they
don't come finer than this! Pumf Records put a whole new meaning to the word 'Art'. Their musicians being given the freedom to produce interesting, amusing and avant-garde music, at a level you'll be pushed to find elsewhere. The CD includes Howl In The Typewriter, Elwyn Temple Meads & Evil Jack McDeath but to name a few."
- album of the week, April 4th 2008, StarshipOverflow.com
- Review by Andy Martin
- Howl in the Typewriter - Weigh How
It is due to tracks like this that I much prefer Howl in the Typewriter to the Ceramic Hobs. There is a slightly 1980s synthipop aspect to this is highly effective, not unlike Exhibit A or Twelve Cubic Feet. Luc says it oozes with suggestions of menace but I reckon heís just quoting a review by someone else of a different piece entirely. 8/10.
- Evil Jack McDeath - Interference
A bizarre instrumental that threatens to break into something interesting but never quite manages it. If it was a little longer perhaps Iíd prefer it more. Still, itís worth 7/10.
- Jaw-D - Let 'Em Dance
Boring monotonous tedium recorded in a biscuit tin - which is probably rather a cruel thing to say but then itís rather a cruel number. I did enjoy the occasional electronic noises that shoot across the piece. 2/10.
- The Style Pigs - Fountain Of Blood
This is another of those songs that irritate me because it uses one of those old clichť chord progressions
- although the brazenly vitriolic words do provide a highly bizarre contrast. 5/10.
- Howl in the Typewriter - Shit Bomb
Well, this is related to the previous number really - less than interesting music plastered with raucous invective that is too violently cynical even for me to be in total agreement with it but by Ďeck, what a mushroom cloud laying lyric! 6/10. NOTE: So itís a crying shame that, after trying 11 different copies of the CD at random, this 1 track will not play properly all the way through on any of them
- this is hardly deliberate since the skips and crackles are not identical on each of them but similar, i.e. they appear at around about the same time and continue, off and on, throughout most of the song. NOTE: Oh all right, so it IS deliberate you awkward sod.
- John Tree - Fen Rap
A Ďnothingí number - I had to play it a second time because the first time it made so little impression on me. No, sorry but itís no better the second time around either. 2/10.
- Turn Leathers - Rock & Pop Volume 1 \ The Rise & Fall Of Western Capitalism
This starts in Henry Cow mode then comes on like a northern answer to Derek & Clive
- although the music is far more interesting! The first time I played this it irritated me but parts of it amused me so I played it again and it improves on second hearing
- a kind of avant garde approach to humour while still, possibly, making a serious point
- or maybe not. Who cares? Itís stuff like this that reminds me how incredibly pompous I can be at times. We need tracks like this to remind us weíre still just animals with I-pods and a neat line in designer sportswear. 8/10.
- The Shi-ites - Swirlygig
Nice bass guitar sound - nice guitar sound - nice keyboard sound - pity about the music. (Ooh we are in a crabby mood this evening, arenít we?) Sorry lads, I want to like this but thereís something missing from what should be a groovy instrumental. Itís vaguely 154-period Wire in sound
- thatís certainly a compliment from me. I like the way this submerges itself underwater towards the end. 6/10. Now weíve just gone back and played this again
- yes, on second listen it merits 7/10.
- Howl in the Typewriter - Iodine Twat
Oh itís these miserable bastards again. Backwards doesnít cut it, folks - it still sounds like an unfinished backing track. 3/10.
- Bartles - The Psychiatrists Head
Thank Christ this bunch returned for another stab at godspunk - their previous 2 contributions were superb so I was prepared to be disappointed this time around
- but no, this also makes the grade albeit in a very different (cool jazz) musical mode. The kind of incisive lyric weíve come to expect from this lot with that ever reliable combination: fury and
humour. It rarely fails. 8/10.
- Elwyn Temple Meads - All Right Me Lads
Lyric: excellent assault on folk music clichťs. Music: bloody terrible, ruins the whole effect. This extremely amusing text deserves much better music than this. 4/10.
Intermission: as an aside, I notice that there are many short tracks this time around as opposed to a few longer works. This means few tracks are ever long and tedious (apart from our contribution) but some do sound like disposable filler material. From here on I listen to the tracks in a slightly different order from how they appear on the disc.
- Elwyn Temple Meads - Isle Of St Claire
Lyric: excellent assault on folk music clichťs. Music: bloody terrible, ruins the whole effect. An extra point because these words are even better! The music, like its companion All Right Me Lads, is simply too normal, too restrained, to do adequate justice to these wonderful words. 5/10.
- Howl in the Typewriter - Never Killed Anyone / This Way Down
Ah well you see I cheated - after I played this, I listened to it again but this time with both tracks re-mastered as mono tracks in both channels. This Way Down is one of the worst things Iíve ever heard; itís dreadful. 0/10. Never Killed Anyone is superb and probably the best thing on here. 9/10. As a Ďsingleí number, it doesnít work when combined
- one interferes with the other and spoils the effect. 3/10.
- DimM D3ciPLe - Saw You Again
Dreadful folk suddenly gives way to electronica - I absolutely loathe this but it has to be said this is well put together and finely crafted, very professional in performance and arrangement
- pity I canít stand it! 1/10.
- The Style Pigs - Mr Hatchet Dead Man
Much too punk rock for me to enjoy, not my cup of tea at all and I detest vocals when theyíre put through that megaphone effect. So there. Itís even more annoying when this lot write lyrics that are generally interesting, too. 4/10.
- Vance Palmier & Evil Jack McDeath - Hijo De Puta
Again, itís too short - just when I start to enjoy it, it fades out. You tight fisted buggers! Come back here aní play dat banjo, boy. 6/10.
- Howl in the Typewriter - Three Chrome Hooks
More marvellous lyrics - one thing that Volume 6 has in spades is a far higher quality of texts this time around which make the brief instrumental contributions even more worthwhile. Anyway, this is another winner although the bass is far too quiet. 7/10.
- The Style Pigs - Hog II
Too much punk rockery for me here, far too much in fact. Oh, see? They heard me
- itís gone all 1980s synthi-funk - which is even worse! 1/10.
- UNIT - Eco Warrior Blues
Now, compare the actual sound of this to most of the other tracks on here . . . and I had the nerve to accuse Jaw-D of sounding like theyíd recorded their piece inside a biscuit tin. Well, whatís this, then, Tupperware? Also, here are six and a half minutes why I should not be encouraged to play saxophone on any of our recordings. Technically this is probably the worst contribution we have ever submitted for godspunk, at least since Volume 1, and apart from some of the keyboard playing by Luc, most of this sounds spastic, amateur and woefully inept. Itís painfully obvious here that I canít sing for peanuts either. Worthy lyrics, yes, but those poor departed extinct species deserve a better send off than this clumsy sonic mess. 3/10.
- Evil Jack McDeath - Miercoles
You see? A big professional sound with people who actually sound like they can play their instruments and enjoy doing so. Oh, thatís it, finished
- another one thatís at least a minute shorter than it should be. 7/10.
- Howl in the Typewriter - Nation Of Two
A curious deliberate use of atonality which sets off the plaintive text nicely
- although this whimsy soon descends into brutality before too long, naturally! One of those almost unbearably intimate songs that make Howl in the Typewriter one of the more unpredictable outfits to parade their wares on godspunk. 8/10.
- The Haddenham One - timorous
You know what I said about the pleasant absence of long tedious tracks apart our own messy affair? Well, I spoke too soon. Unlike our track, however, this doesnít sound like it was cobbled together in a biscuit tin by a bunch of amateurs. This reminds me of early period Nocturnal Emissions although Iím not sure why. 5/10.
- Jaw-D - Story Time
Remember those late 1980s computer games? Failing that, think of the Sega or some of the music used on early Playstation 1 games
- thatís what this is - after itís been filtered through life experienced in the 1990s. I absolutely hate this; it actually hurts my ears! But at least it has personality and character. 2/10.
- the taurus board - Angel One
Luc is actually up and dancing! Oh sod it, thatís it, Iím joining in. Why should these teenagers have all the fun?
Yo, gonna bust me some moves here! Right, letís play this bugger all over again
- yes, another winner from this dynamic duo. Their Bus Stop things on the previous collection were a little disappointing but with this cracker theyíre back on track. It could do with a bass guitar or bass sample of some kind, though, says Luc
- and as usual heís right. But it still deserves 8/10.
1 The Last Crumb - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Harmonium In My Head - Evil Jack McDeath
3 Iran & Iraq - Bartles
4 Preliminary Mash Up - Howl in the Typewriter
5 Rave íUn - The Haddenham One
6 Night Of The Sambadrummer (night bus to RooHmania mix) - John Tree
7 Thingsíve Changed Round Here - The Charles Napiers
8 Bus Driver - Las Vegas Mermaids
10 Bus Driver (On The Road) - the taurus board
11 Ivor Kullin Goes To Denmark Street - UNIT
12 The Buddhist Response To Western Aggression - UNIT
13 No Matter, Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better - UNIT
14 Penultimate Mash Up - Howl in the Typewriter
15 Thank You For Being Insane Pervert Human Being - Try Getting A Hearing Aid On The N.H.S., Shithead (Sorry If This Is Printed Upside Down) - Satan The Jesus Infektíd Needles And Blood
16 Oh Kerim Bey - Big Ron Turner
17 Amateur Dub (learner bus driver mix) - The Haddenham One
18 I Seen Man (Hanging Door) - Howl in the Typewriter
19 The Fifth Letter - Mrs Edna Watley
20 Skateboard Park - Jaw-D (featuring the Half-Pipers)
21 She Comes In The Storm (Ging Shi-ite instrumental remix) - Needle Park (featuring RooHmania)
22 Concluding Mash Up - Howl in the Typewriter
23 Bus Driver (Iím Going Home) - the taurus board
24 Pumpkin Dump - Bartles
25 Bus Driver - Howl in the Typewriter
Why Arenít You Listening? Ė The
- Review by Richard Foster, Incendiary
Not so long ago I gave godspunk volume six a deservedly positive review in this Organ. And lo! There soon came through the post volumes 1-5, each bearing the distinctive (nay, trademark?) cover artwork; that of a slightly out of focus clown face, and each boasting titles that just scream out for recognition. I canít resist sharing the title of this track that nestles on Volume 5 with you: Thank You For Being Insane Pervert Human Being Ė Try Getting A Hearing Aid On The N.H.S., Shithead (Sorry If This Is Printed Upside Down).
Thatís by Satan The Jesus Infekíd Needles And Blood. And it sounds like five minutes of screaming bloody madness.
Thereís only one thing to do when faced with this sort of challenge, (or that sort of song title) and thatís listen to the entire 5 volume set; which I did. I can say I enjoyed it thoroughly. This is music with a grand, profound agenda; even if, (as with Howl in the Typewriter or Norman) it sets out to take the piss at times.
The music mostly consists of cut ups: lo-fi, sometimes wildly sloppy punk, bedroom rave and Ďdarkí techno; or fabulous bitter singer-songwriter rants. Howl in The Typewriter (with his scuzzy acidic agit-pop) is an ever-present, as is the fuzzy righteousness of UNIT. Acts to look out for are the brilliant Litterbug on volumes 3 and 4; their thrashy tales of suburban underachievement,
(Who am I? and Looking Back Then) are fucking out there and should be dance-floor staples. Things veer from straight forward song-writing, like Las Vegas Mermaidsí tremendous
Bus Driver (which graces volume 5), to obtuse ideas; a great run of found sounds and acoustic balladry from pinkeye can be found on volume 2.
Thereís far too much to describe, really. But itíll keep you off the streets for hours.
To be honest this is a series that really deserves a place in your collection. Just like those beaten-up small town classics that make up the Pebbles and Rubble compilations, these LPs offer a flip side view to whatís going on. It is also highly intelligent, contrarian, raucous music and genuinely looking out for a chance to expand your mind. Itís all way too honest with itself to play any pop-star games, this in a sense is true punk; no star trips, no entertainment schmaltz, just perverse, searching musical enquiries. Great sleeve notes for each volume,
- Review by Mark Wharton, Idwal Fisher, 2007
At the fifth attempt Pumf finally manage to put together a godspunk comp that is not only eminently listenable but worth returning to not just once but several times over your lifetime.
I'd almost given up on Pumf supremo Stan Batcow to deliver a more than cursory listen godspunk but with number five he's not only given me something to treasure, it also contains three UNIT tracks that I didn't hate and and and get this kids A POWER ELECTRONICS track. Yessirreebob surenuffandyeshedoes knock me over with a feva lawks a mussey etc etc etc there it is track nine
Wound. Whether that's the artist or title track I dunno but the refrain of 'fucked if you do fucked if you don't' over prime Con-Dom like ear batter had me all weak at the knees and ready to dash out and buy Stan a drink and then I remembered, he doesn't drink. But then I search on the incredibly well put together booklet that makes up the cover and there's no contact info for
Wound so I begin to wonder if this is some kind of wind up but what the fuck it's a good track let it be for what it is.
So, godspunk five. Some of the names may be familiar. UNIT for one. But here they ditch that lame punk crap for some mighty parping. It suits them better. The 25 tracks kick off in fine style though with some Carter USM like pop brightness from Howl In The Typewriter. Three minute perfect pop don't you know. The man is massively underrated. There seems to be some Hobs involvement in the shape of The Haddenham One who sneaks in a few lines of Milovan's Raven [I'm gonna fuck you up the ass tonite!] in
Rave 'Un and some Hobs lines from Amateur Cops in Amateur Dub then again in Satan Jesus and the Infekt'd Needles and Blood who play destroy everything Hijo like on the ridiculously named
Thank You For Being Insane Pervert Human Being - Try A Hearing Aid On The NHS Shithead [Sorry If This Is Printed Upside
Down]. Needle Park sound like an instrumental shoegazing band, which may not be a bad thing seeing as there seems to be some kind of revival in such matters if my reading of the runes is correct. There are but a few low-lights this being mainly some kind of techno babble from the taurus board whose version of
Bus Driver [I'm Going Home] sounds like the crap that emanates from the open windows of badly customized Peugeot 106's driven by young men wearing baseball caps. There's a 40 second track that sounds like a warm up to a whirling dervish session from Big Ron Turner that seems to be chucked in for the fun of it. Enough of these trifles though for track 8 sees The Las Vegas Mermaids encapsulate everything that is bad about getting on a bus in this country with a syncopated bopping bass version of
Bus Driver that is quite possibly one of my favourite tracks of the year. After hearing the bus set off and a quick tinkling of the bus bell female Vegas vox Fay Greenhaigh tears into her bus driver with a resigned familiarity; 'No I don't have change I have a note though it is legal tender' before looking out of the window and realizing she's lost and being kidnapped [I only wanted to go on an 18-30 holiday - where is the station?]. Sheer pop perfection that deserves to get The Las Vegas Mermaids on Top of the Pops or failing that
Richard and Judy.
There's probably some folks I've missed out here but that's all the more reason for you to get your hand in your pocket and buy it.
For once I'm looking forward to the next godspunk installment.
- Review by Phil Smith (The Haddenham One)
godspunk is a series of compilation CDs my friend & longtime Hob Stan Batcow's Pumf label puts out. Released by pooling money from the contributors, its an easy & relatively cheap way to make available stuff you've done to lots of people who just might like it, on shiny little discs & with the luxury of a nice package. Natty.
Erm . . . I should also mention that I'm on it. Ah well, why not. Its certainly not a Philfest, with a mere six minutes of my addled ideas being wrestled into shape by said Batcow at his homestead studio (on this occasion in the form of some Hobs remixes). This is more like an excuse to talk a bit about the other people on it. Last Sunday afternoon was spent reviewing it alongside some of the other contributors, as we snapped jewel cases together, inserted booklets & got ready to receive our allotted copies. I'm listening again now & feeling it settle nicely, like all the other ones before it.
As usual, Stan provides material himself. His long-running Howl In the Typewriter project offers both brief musical conceits & longer, considered pop of a beguiling nature. Howl completists have a rich history to work on, as he revisits the feel of warped tunesmiths from the Beatles to
My Bloody Valentine. Bartles is one of the sporadic foreign joes slipped in amongst the Sandgrown'uns & other UK postal addressees. A songsmith of the curious kind Stan loves to encourage & promote. Another long history of quirkiness & myth pops its head above the parapet. Elsewhere, top man John reappears in yet another incarnation (John Tree), this time to lay down upon us some jive-talkin' sambafied wiggle-gear. His output is illustrious but sadly still relatively small. The Las Vegas Mermaids get better & better with their crafted nu-age music hall tuneage & Heffey's taurus board is a game of two halves, with the second of the two contributions providing the smile-inducing acidic trance follow-on from the bubbling ambience of the first.
The mystery track is just entitled Wound, & apparently came unaccompanied by information or address, only money. Stan relayed this story with a slightly proud air (is a Batcow hand at play
here?). It certainly doesn't sound Stan-stylee. A full-on power electronics track, it kinda falls somewhere between Whitehouse & something Dave Walklett might do. I'm not sure if PE experts will be tracking down the comp for this one, but they should be. As edgy to listen to as PE should be, it is in some ways my favourite track on the CD. Sounds a bit odd amongst the rest, but then we were talking about how this volume is a return to the experimentalism featured right back on volume one (with Hebetation & Stream Angel). It is an interesting aspect of the series. Instead of being a state of the union address from Stan, its a procession of the thoughts recently found bouncing around the heads of his contacts. A veritable Affleck's Palace of sound! It is disparate, but there's some sort of connection created by the very fact that everyone has chosen to come together in the same place.
Moving on, there are, as usual, some tracks from London's UNIT. They are an intriguing group, which you should really check out if you haven't already. I'll leave out their very individual biog & just say that the make-up of the group always seems to inform their truly adventurous music. Sounding different every time, here they have an experimental jazz angle to add to the Gaelic-Chinese rock guitar sound & odd timings of previous efforts. Referencing Denmark Street and Buddhism, they are as different as ever & hence sit very well on this strangest of series. Wouldn't be a bad Termite Club booking as stands
here . . . And then there's the return of Satan the Jesus, Simon Hobs' late eighties project. I was too late to see these live, but they always sound excitingly mangled on tape. This is a new Satan the Jesus piece, a cut-up of previous efforts that takes on the effect of a noise collage. It wasn't my favourite on the CD, but maybe should constitute the beginning of a somehow appropriate updated incarnation of the band, the start of a revival even. More mangled even than the originals, it gives Simon the chance to flex his text-scrambling muscles. What it all means . . . I'm at a loss, old bean. Jaw-D & Needle Park are amongst the most conventionally tuneful cards on the table. Jaw-D has appeared in the series before under another name & is an ex-Blackpool Stan-pal. Needle Park is the brainchild of Hobs stalwart drummer, Ging. Melodic but still quirky, Pumfers to the core, lovers of pre-Britpop guitarness who have developed in a different direction to the posterboys & fashionistas. Finally, there are a number of tracks under various names including Mrs Edna Whatley, which I haven't truly got my head round yet but which all come from the same source. John Fahey pops into my head once or twice, but doesn't really sum it up. Blues fed through a teastrainer & an old tape-deck.
All in all, then, another godspunk that in some way, you do kinda need to hear. Much more entertaining to me than some dull genre-specific effort. Stancore in effect once again! The only missing link is LDB, the highly entertaining highlight of volumes one to three, a rapper in some ways able to stand his ground amongst the great, so good are his lyrics. LDB, we miss you. It should also be mentioned that RooHmania of the Hobs sticks his head in more than once, operating the desk. Kinda hitting the point of being in-house Pumf producer number two, the lad RooH has got it! He is also one of those people with little out & available but hundreds of things on the computer waiting to be unleashed. Get on it,
- Review by Andy Martin (UNIT), May 2007
This is just about the best godspunk yet.
1 hour later: this is definitely the best godspunk yet. If only LDB was on here, too (sigh).
Whitehouse . . . Lustmord . . . Nocturnal Emissions . . . Konstruktivists . . . The Grey Wolves . . . but mainly Whitehouse . . . I didnít realise people still made rackets like this . . . itís still disturbing and powerful though in 2007 it does seem a bit, you know, letís make a horrible noise and shock Auntie Mavis when she comes round for cucumber sandwiches. Still, all power to them for doing it regardless. 8/10
John Tree - Night Of The Samba Drummer
Despite the not inconsiderable technical ability on display here, I find this really tedious and boring which probably shows what a philistine Iíve become these days. 20 years ago Iíd have loved this Iím sure. 4/10
Las Vegas Mermaids - Bus Driver
The musicís absolutely horrible and boring but the words are most amusing and certainly accurately describe 95% of bus drivers in Edinburgh where they are trained to be as rude, abusive and incessantly miserable as possible at all times. 5/10
- Jaw-D - Skateboard Park
This hurts my ears and thatís all there is to it. 0/10
- Bartles - Iran & Iraq
By Christ, this bunch kick serious ass (so to speak). Very clever puns on place names . . .but whatís going on? Thereís a band who are more political sounding than UNIT on a godspunk album
- shock horror! What a voice, too. I wish I could growl like that. 9/10
- Bartles - Pumpkin Dump
My God this is so creepy itís frightening. Those deliberately out of sync voices + distant loud guitars are strictly from RIO 2 only better! Now this is what punk bands should sound like . . . innovative, powerful, interesting and shit-kicking with intelligence. 9/10
The Haddenham One - Rave 'Un
Yawn . . . sorry but this is just The Residents only worse. 2/10
The Haddenham One - Amateur Dub
. . . and so is this. The bass playing is good, though. 3/10
Evil Jack McDeath - Harmonium In My Head
Toothache . . . laying in a sweat stained bed with influenza and a migraine . . . ugh! Effective though grim. 4/10
The Charles Napiers - Things've Changed Round Here
Ennio Morricone on LSD only better . . .6/10
Satan The Jesus Infekt'd Needles And Blood - Insane Pervert Human Being
Jesus Christ, where do you find these people? Otomo Yoshihide when he was 15. This is almost as painful as Star Gate by UNIT. 3/10. Second listen: no, I was wrong . . . this is actually more like Faust without their hippy crap influences. Itís much better 2nd time round. 8/10
Big Ron Turner - Oh Kerim Bey
Acoustic guitar valium rock. Ugh! 2/10
Mrs Edna Watley - The Fifth Letter
More drones . . . okay, I know itís short but . . . ugh! 2/10
Needle Park - She Comes In The Storm
This is what happens when a 21st century band has never heard any music from 1967 (nothing before 1976 in fact) but they have it described to them in words and they then try to recreate what they think it sounded like. Well, 1960s crap was never as good as this! 9/10
Howl in the Typewriter - The Last Crumb
Such restraint is unusual for HITT - you lot really should write more out and out pop songs, youíre so good at it. The words are interesting, quite powerful in fact
- music duzny move me much at all although when the bass comes in at about 1í50 the whole thing lifts and changes it from a mere 5/10 to a creditable 7/10.
Howl in the Typewriter - I Seen Man
I bet you all had real fun putting this together . . . sounds like you all chose your own Radio 2 music and played multiple layer samples to see what it would sound like . . . occasionally itís effective. 6/10
Howl in the Typewriter - Preliminary Mash Up
No and I donít like it either. 1/10
Howl in the Typewriter - Penultimate Mash Up
Silence would indeed be preferable to this. 1/10
Howl in the Typewriter - Concluding Mash Up
Bob The Builder is not the way to win friends and influence people, Stan . . .
really, it isnít. 1/10
Howl in the Typewriter - Bus Driver
Well, again, parts of this are really gear . . . while others just irritate me . . . but taken en masse, for the intricate arrangement and the constant changes of mood and tempo (plus occasional downright nastiness), it deserves at least 7/10.
the taurus board - Bus Driver On The Road
Not one of their best . . . too much poncy rhythms and not enough interesting stuff happening . . . it barely makes the grade. 5/10
the taurus board - Bus Driver Iím Going Home
This is more like . . . early evening in Ibiza, one of the warm up tracks to start people moving and bust some moves on the floor.
- UNIT - Ivor Kallin Goes To Denmark Street
Hardly a classic but itís good to hear U-J (on drums) try to keep in time with Luc (also on drums) while Trung (on bass, right) is clearly out-classed and a little over-awed by Dave (on bass, left). Achoi gives it large on his little keyboard and the vibraphone that has now become the most defining sound by which UNIT are identified. Ivor Kallin (correct spelling) presents Ambrosia Rasputin on Resonance.
- UNIT - The Buddhist Response To Western Aggression
Eastern civilised boy teaches western barbarian how to behave . . . so stereotypical itís almost condescending but it still works, just, although it would be better had I been able to play a little more in tune! 7/10
- UNIT - No Matter, Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better
U-J on flute (through wah-wah, octaver and flanger) and drums and Trung (on sax and one of the 2 bass guitars) are the stars of this piece although Luc (drums and piano strings) and Achoi (relentless piano) are not far behind. Dave is rather restrained on his bass guitar but this isnít really his kind of music. All the same, this is quite simply one of the best pieces of improvised music UNIT has ever done. 9/10
Itís a pity U-J didnít include the list of who plays what - this is the first time UNIT tracks have been included on which I donít appear at all! Oh, no, apart from my abysmal sax blowing on Buddhist Response . . . but it has a reason for being there as you can understand.
All in all, this is probably the most consistently avant garde and inaccessible godspunk yet which is probably why it is also the most original, inventive, innovative and interesting. Even UNIT sound (almost) as adventurous as some of the other acts on here. Bartles are the major discovery here, of course although the rag-head contributions (tracks 2, 7, 15, 16, 19, 21) do much to make this one of the most intriguing compilations anyone has put out for
1 Girl - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Peter's Back (1988) - Yximalloo
3 Speak to the Hand - the taurus board
4 Alice Floats Away - Pilzin Sox
5 40 Miles of Dickson Road - The Haddenham One
6 In A Nutshell - The Haddenham One
7 Respectabollocks - Howl in the Typewriter
8 Jenny Sparkles - Litterbug
9 Subhuman Scum - Litterbug
10 nine and a half minutes - RooHmania
11 Some Strange Fabric (excerpt) - Stream Angel
12 Mummy - Lenin's Virulent Muscle
13 Plastic Bags - Lenin's Virulent Muscle
14 Walter & Frank & Tom (and guests) - Howl in the Typewriter
15 Resonance Roadshow - UNIT
16 Circle Of Sevens - UNIT
17 Why I Am Not Everyone - UNIT
18 High Fives-UNIT
19 Rocket No.9 - UNIT
20 Peter is Back (2005) - Yximalloo
21 The Payoff - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Liam, Modern Dance
A collection of 21 tracks from a variety of sources, combining electronica, experimental and some poetry and talking. Samples abound on a number of the tracks and the vast majority have strong bass and rhythm. A few are discordant and quite disturbing and, to me anyway, grate after a while. There are several quite dreamy tracks, and
Alice Floats Away by Pilzin Sox stands out of the crowd. In a Nutshell combines the simple sweet tinkles of ĎThe Hills are Alive with the
Sound of Musicí with samples and industrial clanging. Litterbug has a couple of great tracks, reminding me of the alternative noises that came out of the early 80s.
Nine and a half minutes has a fantastic guitar hook and strong bass, combined with ecstatic moanings and breathing throughout and yes it does last 9.5 minutes and does come to a conclusion! A finer collection of group names youíll not find Ė how about Leninís Virulent Muscle or Howl in the Typewriter. For sheer variety from one track to the next, UNIT canít be matched Ė spoken words, vocal juggling, ethereal sounds and ear-ripping noises over 5 tracks. As usual I could go on and on here when Iím writing about godspunk stuff, but naturally everyone is going to have their own favourite style and sound. Again just
1 Affairs of the Heart - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Buttercup - The 3 Ages of Elvis
3 Dishwash - The 3 Ages of Elvis
4 Asylum - Pissed Off
5 Paranoia - Norman
6 Who am I? - Litterbug
7 Looking Back Then - Litterbug
8 Green and Neon - the taurus board
9 Gonna Catch Up - Razor Dog
10 This Loveís Absurd - Razor Dog
11 Walter & Frank - Howl in the Typewriter
12 The Trial - LDB
13 World of Cricket - The Reverends
14 Make Believe - UNIT
15 Intlatol in Tlamacazquime - UNIT
16 In a Chinese Youth Club - UNIT
17 Breaking Barriers - UNIT
18 Little Bird - Kate Fear & Nigel Joseph
19 Mr. Jeffrey Martin Lichtmann - The Time Flies!
20 Spiritual Fornication - The Time Flies!
21 Personal Ads - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Hiroshima Yeah! (issue 8, October 2005)
Whether itís Ďgodís punkí or Ďgod spunkí Iím not entirely sure, but this 21 track comp contains music by the likes of The 3 Ages of Elvis, Razor Dog, The Time Flies!, UNIT, Pissed Off, etc, etc. Names to make even the BIGGEST indie snob scratch their head and say ĎWho?í
There are only a couple of names that ARE familiar to me here. Howl in the Typewriter (who have been going for YEARS and who kick the CD off in fine style with some English hip-hop track called
Affairs of the Heart and end it with a brilliant spoken piece called
Personal Ads) and Litterbug (a couple of whose CDs have been reviewed in past issues of this very zine. His two tracks here Ė
Who Am I? and Looking Back Then Ė are good old confessional, guitar-driven rockers, although the latter descends into instrumental techno with samples, for some reason). Kate Fear and Nigel Joseph (Kateís in Ceramic Hobs and I think Nigel is some sort of big boy on the noise scene or something) contribute something called
Little Bird, which is eerie spoken-word poetry over ambient spookiness. Elsewhere, thereís dirty be-quiffed rawk Ďní roll (The 3 Ages of Elvis; their
Dishwash reminds me of that brilliant/annoying song covered by The 5,6,7,8ís ĎWoo Hooí thatís in ĎKill Billí), electro-blasphemy
(Asylum by Pissed Off), cheap keyboard techno strangeness with indecipherable shoutings
(Paranoia by Norman, which has more changes than ĎBohemian Rhapsodyí), fist-in-the-air pub rock (the two tracks by Razor Dog), amusing Streets-like spoken-word rap/poetry
(The Trial by LDB), lo-fi odd-bodness (World of Cricket by The Reverends), wimpy indie-rock with flutes and shit and out-of-tune singing and strange Japanese spoken bits one word of which sounds like Ďwankingí (the FOUR tracks credited to UNIT) and gentle electronica (courtesy of The Time Flies!) It all comes in Pumfís usual lush, colour packaging too, with some barmy sleeve-notes.
- Review by Andy Martin (UNIT), August 2oo5
(Note: Dave has already listened to the CD but was not that interested in much of the contributors. I've relayed his comments, however. I have already listened to the disc through once but since I'm sat here with Achoi, who also wants to give his review, I have the benefit of a second listen before I allow my opinionated, biased comments to insult 75% of the bands and artists involved).
- Howl In The Typewriter - Affairs Of The Heart
Gangsta rap now is it - oho - howling typewriters check out the LDB flAava - bossman Burton definitely up in yo 'hood. Enough: to date, this is beyond doubt 1) the most interesting lyric you have ever written (that I have heard), 2) the most proficiently performed work you have ever recorded (that I have heard) and 3) easily my favourite Howl In The Typewriter
track of all. Even the brief punk excerpts are forgivable . . . but I find it extremely difficult to believe this is not either a deliberate homage to Lawrence or an intentional pastiche of his style. It surely cannot be a coincidence. 10/10 (Achoi somehow contrives to award this masterpiece a mere 8/10. Bah - youngsters, what do they know?)
- The 3 Ages Of Elvis - Buttercup
No, no, no . . . this sounds like late 70s / early 80s pop punk - it's horrible. 1/10
- The 3 Ages Of Elvis - Dishwash
Oh God, save me from hearing any more punk rock of any kind ever! Yes, I know they can play well and all that but this is just horrible. It's even more out of place on godspunk than our stuff. It's so conservative . . . well, too much for me. Nice band name though. 1/10 (Dave says these tracks are a gas but he's probably biased because he loves the band name! Achoi awards both these 0/10).
- Pissed Off - Asylum
What the devil is this supposed to represent? Poor Eve Libertine now set to a bad dance track? This was one of the very few good tracks the otherwise odious / boring / tedious Crass ever released - so this bunch decide to ruin it. I see what they've tried to do and it's a brave attempt but the power of the lyric is obliterated. 3/10 (Achoi gives this 9/10 . . . but then he's never heard the Crass version which is perhaps an advantage in order to appreciate this. Dave, who used to like Crass, largely agrees with my sentiments).
- Norman - Paranoia
Resonance FM would love this. Pity, really, because I can't stand it. I ought to like it, really . . . it's not so far removed from some UNIT material . . . the middle section is more intriguing, of course, until he goes punque roque and then I switch off entirely. It's also far too bloody long for my no doubt Simpsons addled attention span. 2/10 (Note: please tell Norman that Mr Dave Fanning reckons this is the best track on the whole CD! Achoi says it has possibilities and awards it 5/10 but he says if the punk section was removed it'd rise to 7/10!)
- Litterbug - Who Am I?
Why do I like this band? The guitar sound is wretched, the vocals are horrible . . . yet there's something . . . something I can't quite define . . . bits of punk, Joy Division, Oasis and The Swell Maps all rolled into one decidedly curious mix. It doesn't quite match the excellence of their godspunk 1 tracks but it still makes the grade. 6/10
- Litterbug - Looking Back Then
Well, after the above, this is not so good . . . musically, at least . . . but as with the previous number, the lyrics are actually very odd - without being abstract or pretentious. I like these lyrics; bizarre holiday and television references that I don't understand, probably because I don't have a TV. I'd still prefer a clearer production and the vocals to have been sung in a more definite pitch. 6/10 (Achoi gives these pieces 2/10 - I don't know what drugs he's on but they're doing him no good at all).
- the taurus board - Green & Neon
Each time you release a godspunk CD, Achoi and I await the next instalment of the taurus board. This lot prove that all those nights and days spent during the 1990s at raves and in warehouses were not misspent youth after all but merely preparation for this - no, really they reveal there is still plenty of life in the old dance / techno dog yet. This track is a little too chill-out for me. I prefer my dance style more hardcore (drum'n'bass / jungle is my preferred genre). Still, it deserves 8/10. (Dave says he simply cannot comprehend what Achoi and I appreciate in this stuff. Bah - oldsters, what do they know? Achoi gives it 10/10, but then he'd give this lot 10/10 if they came round his house and blew fog horns into his ears at 4 in the morning).
- Razor Dog - Gonna Catch Up
The bass playing is solid. That's it. I managed to say something positive about this horrible late 70s noise. 1/10
- Razor Dog - This Love's Absurd
Not that hoary old riff yet again . . . this sounds so 1979! It's abysmal even though it's played very well. 1/10 (Note: there is far too much pub-punk rock on this
installment of godspunk. Don't do it again. Achoi (true to form) gives these pieces 0/10. Dave reckons he'd have really liked these tracks had he heard them 20 years ago. Talk about damning with faint praise! He still likes them both, especially the second track).
- Howl In The Typewriter - Walter & Frank
Not one of your best, Mr Batcow . . . strange tape of strange northern gents notwithstanding. 5/10 (Achoi likes this one, too - an 8/10 no less. Have you acquired a new fan or is he just a crawler?)
- LDB - The Trial
Can this man do no wrong? I have the fortune to have heard all his rap numbers - all of them - the double album Mind Of A Postman is the most criminally neglected gangsta rap classic ever recorded this side of the Atlantic. Being primarily a writer of texts I can appreciate how he hammers his couplets into shape and forces rhymes out of virtually nowhere . . . but this one escaped my trawl of his works. Just as it begins to become a little repetitive, the music fades and this courtroom skit reveals why he is not a bad ass black rapper from the Bronx - then we're back into the music as he comes across with pure honesty, no clichťs, no pretence, no fake gangsta rap image . . . this is that rare bird: a humorous rap that also contains a serious message to all poseurs everywhere. 9/10 because it's a little murky in sound quality, the only fault I can find in it. (Achoi only gives this 7/10 because he's a punk ass muthafukkin bitch brained ho').
- The Reverends - World Of Cricket
Marvellous title . . . interesting structure . . . but the 'production' is like some Apostles crap from 1983, which is a pity because this piece is better than most of what The Apostles ever did - although it needs a more forceful or interesting vocalist. It then fails to develop any of the initially interesting ideas - to my satisfaction at least. It's one of the more adventurous pieces on this CD and would be improved with more work done on it. 6/10
- UNIT - Make Believe
I didn't realise just how commercial Garlens' stuff was until I hear it in this new context. We do sound professional and even quite slick here - nice pop song but, I don't know . . . it's still old fashioned somehow. Is that Garlens' fault? Then again, does it matter anyway? I still like this track. 7/10 (Achoi gives this 9/10 but then he likes Garlen and tends to be too generous in his opinions of the lads' musical abilities / limitations. Still, this is one of his more inspired works. Dave and U-J can't listen to anything Garlen wrote - they hate it all with a vengeance!)
- UNIT - Intlatol In Tiamacazquime
Ha! How to ensure LDB appears twice on godspunk 3. No, I can see why U-J remixed this as a purely instrumental track with the bass and guitars louder. In being kind to Lawrence I made the music backing indistinct and murky so it loses 80% of its power and majesty. As a result, this now sounds as if Lawrence is reciting this tract in a big empty hall while some band is playing in the next room. 5/10
- UNIT - In A Chinese Youth Club
Poor Garlen - tries hard to sing a vocal designed for me originally. Still, with the third person tense, the text has more intense power somehow, less self pity than the version on which I sing. Musically this is the most adventurous of the quartet we sent you and it shows. 8/10
- UNIT - Breaking Barriers
Well, despite my weak singing, this remains my own favourite despite being over 10 years old (mainly). The winning combination of U-J on two flutes, Achoi on vibraphone (and drums, obviously) and stealing the bass and guitar riff from Incandescence for the middle section (as I'm sure you noticed - such conservationists, we always recycle riffs and melodies) has definitely breathed new life into this old standard. Pity about my voice, though. 9/10
- Kate Fear & Nigel Joseph - Little Bird
A bit of a mess, this, but an interesting mess nonetheless with some intriguing texts. Unfortunately, once it starts, it stays in that groove and goes nowhere - the vocals have been recorded with way too much bass and no treble so after 30 seconds the whole thing becomes little more than a drone. Like The Reverends, this track has possibilities and potential that aren't realised. 4/10
- The Time Flies - Mr Jeffrey Martin Lichtmann
The pun in the band name is cool . . . the music less so, although the keyboard bass groove is nice. The trouble with this stuff is it's too well mannered, too polite - techno should be in your face and kick ass - this is too ambient for my taste although it's still a damn sight better than many of the tracks on this CD but then I would say that, wouldn't I? Mr Hippodrome Ibiza here with his friggin' Chemical Brothers and Andy C collection! 7/10 (Achoi also gives this 7/10 although unlike me, he's only heard all these tracks once so far, whereas I'm hearing them the second time around (and it was a bloody pain enduring Elvis and Razor Dog again I can tell you).
- The Time Flies - Spiritual Fornication
Now we diverge - this track reminds me of Out Of Afrika by the Chemical Brothers but without the kicking hardcore references which make that track so good. Again, this has potential - with a different mix and some extra samples, this could be a dance-floor killa. That's it, I've just cracked it: both these tracks sound unfinished. Still, on the strength of these two tracks, I really hope they are included in godspunk 4. 7/10 (Achoi gives this 9/10 although I can't see why this is so much better than Mr JML).
- Howl In The Typewriter - Personal Ads
A howl . . . followed by a minute of silence . . . followed by a rant that, if read in a Scottish accent, could so easily be The Apostles circa 1989 a couple of weeks prior to my departure when I loathed and despised everything and everyone, including myself. What a way to end a CD! For that reason alone - 10/10! (Even Achoi gives it 9/10, mainly because he finds it really amusing - as if you're telling everyone to 'fuck off' after they've had the decency to purchase and listen to the CD! I know your ire is directed at those grim personal advertisements such as one finds in Private Eye but I prefer to imagine you're directing your comments at your record buying public.
In conclusion, I have to say this is the godspunk edition I enjoy least, primarily because there is a surfeit of pub punk gear, early 80s sounding cassette pet type tracks, not enough avant garderie and only 1 LDB track. Achoi says the Howl In The Typewriter contributions were far more adventurous and interesting on volume 2 although we both agree that
Affairs Of The Heart is an absolute classic. He asked me to play it again and he's revised his initial score to 9/10 - he says the brief punk interludes spoil it or it'd be 10/10. Fair
1 Llamas - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Last Days Of Rome - LDB
3 Stadium R Ďní B - LDB
4 Warrior - LDB
5 Here Comes The Butterfly - Howl in the Typewriter
6 When We Were The AIDS Team - Gays in the Military
7 Here Comes The Butterfly - Howl in the Typewriter
8 Rich Mans BallBag - Las Vegas Mermaids
9 Weevils - Las Vegas Mermaids
10 Here Comes The Butterfly - Howl in the Typewriter
11 the one - pinkeye
12 outside - pinkeye
13 the swan - pinkeye
14 lucy bird - pinkeye
15 field 1 - pinkeye
16 field 2 - pinkeye
17 wolf - pinkeye
18 Here Comes The Butterfly - Howl in the Typewriter
19 Rivers Of Baby Lon - Pissed Off
20 Here Comes The Butterfly - Howl in the Typewriter
21 Silent Weapons for a Quiet War - Higgins++
22 A New England - Higgins++
23 Here Comes The Butterfly - Howl in the Typewriter
24 Shulavon7 - RooHmania
25 J.I.G. - RooHmania
26 Here Comes The Butterfly - Howl in the Typewriter
27 Bright & Beautiful - UNIT
28 Made In Hong Kong - UNIT
29 Out To Lunch - UNIT
30 The Letter - UNIT31 Two Weeks In Malaysia - UNIT
32 Here Comes The Butterfly - Howl in the Typewriter
33 King of Denial - the taurus board
34 Jesus, Buddha & Allah - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by John Eden, Uncarved, 2004
That old post-punk 'cassette culture' is still going strong, you just have to look for it . . . godspunk vol. 1 was one of my favourites of last year, so I was well chuffed to be sent the latest instalment by the man like LDB. It's a bit of a gargantuan effort this time round, with a whopping 34* tracks by 10 bands.
(*Or perhaps, 27 tracks - confusing? Yes!).
Label owners Howl in the Typewriter inhabit low-tech techno & post-punk territory with a nod to Wire, 70s Eno, and a whole truckload of other
influences - it's definitely post-punk in 'never went away' modus operandi way, rather than a revival cash-in. (Although hopefully they will do alright now that the stars are correctly aligned again for this sort of stuff!) Some good poppy tunes + cynical lyrics = HIT! 'I'm not going to see the mormons again / I don't think the mormons are my friends.' Innit. [It's
'llamas', not 'mormons'! Ed].
Some more standout tracks from LDB: hip hop stylings which work precisely because he is too white, too old and too grumpy. This set builds on the innovation with the beats etc we saw glimpses of last time - samples of Candi Stanton's You Got The Love, the Pixies, etc. It's incredible that he does all of this without the aid of a sequencer. Basically I reckon this is just as good as The Streets (but in another direction to them/him), but I am biased.
Stadium R 'n' B is the HIT! here. Last Days of Rome is the head-nodder for walking those mean streets.
Warrior, is the, uh, stooped rawk number. (I really hope this is a one off!)
'Have you ever been porked? Ever had a man smoke your pole?' Gays In The Military contribute serious homo-swamp-rock topped & tailed with some great campsploitation film samples. Lyrically it's a voyage into the underworld of yesteryear (?) 'the yellow hankie boys/ they don't like to kiss / they just want to get down on their knees and drink your piss!" HIT!
Las Vegas Mermaids don't seem to live in Las Vegas, but I reckon they really are mermaids. Their first track here is a tender, yet upbeat number - a touching daughter's tribute to her father 'you're just a rich old man with his ball bag hanging out / please put it away / I'm going to join a commune in France / and get fisted on stage every night' HIT! Track two is
Weevils - deeply twisted sub trip hop 'weevils - insects of the night'. Errrrrrr?!
RooHmania's remix of Howl in the Typewriter (one of their catchiest tracks from volume 1) is a bootleg mashup charting the history of UK pop. It covers Strawberry Fields, Satisfaction, Pretty Vacant, Blue Monday - all killer no filler! Their other track here is a rather fine skittery folk number, like a punkier Beta Band.
UNIT storm in at the last minute to deliver four tracks which average about 2 minutes each. As you would expect they cover quite a lot of ground in that time - a humanist version of
All Things Bright and Beautiful and a couple of anti-bigotry rants (one of which is the latest instalment in a long line of autobiographical incidents).
Two Weeks in Malaysia is another classic UNIT pop ditty, tailor made for Andy Martin's delivery; 'I know this song isn't very deep / and maybe it'll send you fast asleep / but it's better than pills / or counting sheep' - HIT!
Other tracks veer from experimental field recordings to politicised EBM.
I think it's safe to say that you won't find godspunk vol.2 in the shops, but you can order it via the Pumf Records website - while you're there check out their other
- Review by Andy Martin (UNIT), May 2004
- Gays In The Military - The Aids Team
You fuckin' what, John? Atonal faggot road rock - this I do not like. The lyrics do not sense make and the music, while unusual and nicely recorded (especially the bass guitar) is not really my cup of tea .. . all this handkerchief stuff and nonsense . . . my God, this is why I have being queer! Bizarre structure - horrible vocals. (4/10)
- Las Vegas Mermaids - Rich Man's Ball Bag
Now this is more like it (vocals) although the music is a bit of a dirge, isn't it? Excellent lyrics, though. Pity the music is so grim. Superb ending! (7/10)
- Las Vegas Mermaids - Weevils
The music here is much better - techno with style and more marvellous vocals. The keyboard sounds are much more interesting and effective here. Disturbing lyrics to create a most effective atmosphere. Real techno done properly! (9/10)
- Pissed Off - Rivers Of Baby Lon
My God, this is excellent too! Where do you find all this stuff? Sampled machine guns in time with the drum machine, too. Industrial techno - superb tape montage. It's perhaps a little polemical but it's none the worse for that . . . a little too long but. (8/10)
- Higgins++ - Silent Weapons For A Quiet War
Polemic? This virtually preaches at me, I mean, lighten up! No, I shouldn't complain because 99% of pop music these days says nothing and supports the corporate mind numbing machine . . . but (groan) this goes on and on until it irritates me but then I know all this . . . I'd like to play this to the HCYC lads though. (5/10)
- Higgins++ - A New England
By the way, their page in the booklet is brilliant! Techno punk rock? Sounds like a track from Bullshit Detector that failed to make the grade, no doubt because there's no swearing, you can hear the words and it's quite tuneful. I still don't like it, even though I sympathise with his sentiments and stance. (4/10)
- RooHmania - Shulavon7
What's he/they done to your song, Stan? I prefer your version although this is quite interesting - punk rock segues into techno segues into New Order: very clever! Howl in the Blue Monday already. Yes, this is very smart indeed. (8/10)
- RooHmania - J.I.G.
Fairport Connection and Steeleye Span played by New Order circa 1991. This lot are beyond doubt the most technically accomplished artists on the CD by far. It's nice to hear a purely instrumental work, too. (9/10)
- Howl in the Typewriter - Llamas
I remember this from that CD-R you sent to me. Pity the production is a little, er, bass and middle biased. Nice tune, strange words - actually, 'nice tune, strange words' applies to many of your pieces. (6/10)
- Howl in the Typewriter - Here Comes The Butterfly
You must now be called a MOST ANNOYING CUNT for writing the best thing I've heard you create with the best lyrics I've ever heard you sing . . . and then split / shred it to pieces, shortened shards of 10 second fragments oh BLOODY HELL buggering bollocks, why did you have to do this? The concept is fine, innovative, but not on this number, Stan, not on what is beyond doubt the best thing you've ever written! Of course, that's a silly statement - only you know what is the best thing you've ever written, but . . . all the same. If you release godspunk volume three, can you put the unabridged version on it so we can all enjoy and savour it? The lyrics are simply superb - brilliant - excellent. What more can I say? (10/10)
- Howl in the Typewriter - Jesus, Buddha and Allah
As for this - it's a bloody racket! (1/10)
- Pinkeye - The One
. . . er . . . well . . . (2/10)
- Pinkeye - Outside
. . . (sigh) . . . frankly . . . maybe I'm more conservative than I'd like to admit but . . . (0/10)
- Pinkeye - The Swan
. . . what's the matter with Capital Letters anyway? This is the best one yet . . . (7/10)
- Pinkeye - Lucy Bird
. . . mutated folk meets Syd Barret lyrics in hell . . . (1/10)
- Pinkeye - Field1
. . . and talking of hell . . . (1/10)
- Pinkeye - Field2
. . . despite being mercifully short . . . (1/10)
- the taurus board - King Of Denial
More lower case weirdness - no, this lot deserve to be reprised from volume one. I'm glad to see they made it here along with us, you and LDB. Repetitive, yes, but still there's that renegade non-commercial techno sound that would do well in he clubs. My problem is: it's too long. Of course, it's not designed for one man alone in a bedroom in a chair. It's a dance groove for a club but with a subversive tape insert in the middle. This lot fascinate me. Thinking man's techno! (7/10)
- LDB - Last Days Of Rome
Gangsta rap in a midlands accent - I'm convinced even if I didn't know LDB I'd still think his stuff was superb. What anger, vitriol and invective + intelligence in a 5Ĺ minute slice of bitter fulmination against everything I detest in UK post modernism. There's more aggression in this than all that 1980's anarcho punk combined. This kicks serious ass! My bloody hell, this stuff really is as hard as hell! (9/10)
- LDB - Stadium R&B
Musically this is more advanced than a dozen Three Six Mafia clones. Why does this work so well? LDB has taken his experience of industrial music and pop groups, married that to American hip-hop and gangsta rap; result: ART, mate, pure art. No bullshit, no fuss, no mess just pure impact. Excellent singalong chorus, too! (9/10)
- LDB - Warrior
This should be done by Manowar or Celtic Frost - but not LDB! A rare example of one of his tirades that doesn't quite make the grade. (3/10)
- UNIT - Bright And Beautiful
Bizarre: mutant punk rock. This still sounds as if it was recorded in 1986. (6/10)
- UNIT - Made In Hong Kong
Oh dear . . . I mean, it's all very enjoyable but I really don't have the right kind of voice for this kind of stuff and this music sounds so old fashioned now, especially in the context of this CD's contents. (5/10)
- UNIT - Out To Lunch
Well, it's amusing but so 1980's! That guitar sounds horrible, too. (6/10)
- UNIT - The Letter
At last: a track that sounds as if it should be on this compilation and also sounds as if it was recorded recently! Most disturbing - it brings tears of rage to my eyes even now. (10/10)
- UNIT- Two Weeks In Malaysia
I'm glad you decided to include this after all. Actually we should have just sent you
The Letter and this wonderful little pop song. (8/10 - rotten guitar sound
1 Jesus! - Howl in the Typewriter
2 Death Wish - LDB
3 Never Go Back Again - LDB
4 Ode To Some People That No Fucker Has Heard Of - LDB
5 Faction Paradox - LDB
6 Mirrorshades - Howl in the Typewriter
7 extract from a live performance at London Klinker, 10 /10 / 2002 - Hebetation
8 Ripple Effect - the taurus board
9 Codeine - Litterbug
10 Delmario - Litterbug
11 The Body - Howl in the Typewriter
12 Day That Will (excerpt) - Stream Angel
13 Incandescence - UNIT
14 God Of Grumblers - UNIT
15 God Of Nothing - UNIT
16 A Head Wound & A Fracture - UNIT
17 Love Camp #7 - Howl in the Typewriter
- Review by Modern Dance #47, 2004
Seventeen track compilation from Pumf featuring artists such as LDB, Howl in the Typewriter, Stream Angel, UNIT, and Litterbug. Now, Howl in the Typewriter took my breath away earlier this year, so I was eager to hear what else Pumf were prepared to put their name to. LDB, whilst inherently sounding uniquely home made, is, ultimately, honest. A few years ago, several poets began to put their words to music, be it simple beat box or cut ups, or whatever. LDB reminds me of this, where the words become meatier. They're not songs, as such, but poems with musical backing, if you know what I mean. the taurus board's
Ripple Effect is simply brilliant, nuff said. Litterbug sound like early demos of The Cure! Not overly keen on UNIT, the reason, I think, is because they're just not experimental enough. In and amongst the likes of Stream Angel, Hebetation, LDB, Howl and taurus, they sound relatively 'normal'! A cracking introduction to Pumf, and to the individual acts on the label. Love to hear more taurus, though,
Ripple Effect really stands out.
- Review by Steve Rudd, Juxta Online, 2003
The first in hopefully a long-running series of releases, godspunk yields some nutty bands presenting yet nuttier songs.
The Pumf label is run by Blackpool dude Stan Batcow who has here surpassed himself in collating a collection of tracks that all defy categorization and are united by - if anything - an obsession with sounding as original as possible. To say there are 17 tracks spread over 71 generous minutes, there are just 7 artists involved with Howl
in the Typewriter's tracks being launched by 'Jesus!' and its crazy dance beat bludgeoning raving good vibes; imagine The Polyphonic Spree on sanity-bending drugs and you'll still be nowhere
near . . . the Typewriter also contributes 'Mirrorshades', which is a much briefer,
synth-based affair of atmospherics. Most of the tracks are anchored by strong dance beats. LDB and their
'Deathwish' comes forth as sinister, coolly dark R & B with a distinctly original twist in their steps, reminiscent of The Streets' music and stance on the industry.
the taurus board are the only outfit to contribute just the one track to this compilation,
entitled 'Ripple Effect', its hip and uppity beat is one of the album's highlights, as is Litterbug's wicked beat-&-guitar fusion on
Serving as a benchmark for largely unknown underground talent, if only money-hoarders The National Lottery would generously fund more and more small labels and help them release more and more compilations of this inspirational
nature . . . woe to supporting so much sport, because music is far more important when it comes to helping to further humanitarian causes, and literally changing people's lives & their attitudes.
UNIT realise that 'The media sends us all to sleep' through 'Gods of
Nothing', following straight on from their 'God of Grumblers'. Just like you should realise that some of the music here is genuinely some of the most original music you will have most likely heard in a very long time indeed. 5/5.
- Review by Idwal
Fisher #4, January 2004
Howl in the Typewriter kicks things off in fine style with a rasping steam driven uber pop rant that shouts 'Jesus in your heart, revolution in your life'.
I will pay good money to whoever it is that runs that rancid chart show 'Top Of The Pops'
(my hands feel dirty typing out the words) to get Stan on there in his day-glo DMs' and Deirdre Barlow specs to see him betting his little heart out to this poppy little number.
LDB gives us four tracks of what appears to be (what I think is commonly know these days
as) rapping. A strange one this. LDB raps with a rolling non-descript English accent over pre-programmed synth beats and exotic wash. LDB must be nearly forty - he name checks old episodes of Dr Who
(in black and white) and people who fawn over their Throbbing Gristle posters. He has a go at Adverse Effect for giving him a bad review
(which states that he's a frustrated Eminem or somesuch). Which is easy to see. But if you don't like the genre then your not going to like these four tracks anyway. I think I do like them, mainly because LDB has a great deadpan delivery and he sings, sorry raps, about things I can relate to. Imagine a slouch talking
(rapping, sorry) over a Human League instrumental . . . maybe.
With the taurus board, if I was 20 years younger I'd probably be reaching for my pill box by now. The one that contains my E and whizz. Mindst you, if I was 20 years younger I would probably be doing that on a regular basis anyhoo.
Electro bleep pulse stammer the likes of which fills the heads of those nodding dogs you see on buses in baseball caps. Put it in a bucket and drown it nurse.
Litterbug is a proper band with real guitars and chords and stuff and its not a million miles away from the Velvets. First track is called
Codeine and the singer sings Codeine in a drawly Gen P.O. Box type style over a twin guitar strum and psych thrash. Next up is a track called
Delmario which is a Jesus and Mary Chain / Cramps instrumental.
Howl In The Typewriter's The Body kicks off with a voice telling us how 16th and 17th century celebs would pay good money to watch anatomy lessons with background music. A see saw stomp pans either speaker and the mans 'fascination with the interior' rolls round and round.
I'll stick my neck out here and say that Stream Angel's is probably the best track of the lot.
Day That Will is but an excerpt. A sample amalgam of shear snips. Short wave voices oscillate out of the ether. A woman says 'once I heard the sounds of the wind and the tree'. Snip snip go the shears. Sine waves come and go, flitting around the insides of a B Movie soundtrack. Reverberation. Give me reverberation or give me death. Reverse tape manipulation. Its Dada, its Russolo. Out of the melee appears a crystal clear voice intoning a POEM.
Howl in the Typewriter round things up with a 90 second instrumental sample hound and the end is nigh.
- Review by Andy Martin
(UNIT), March 2003
- Howl in the
Typewriter - Jesus! (9/10)
The 5'40" extended disco remix inna big up The Man anthem . . . it's worth being a God Botherer jus so you can singalongatypewriter to this marvellous piece. I would give it 10/10 if it ended at about 5'00" when the instruments fade out leaving the voices - that was the ideal place to leave it.
- Howl in the Typewriter - Mirrorshades (6/10)
The 0'42" edit . . . God nose. I'd give this 7 or 8 out of 10 if it was 2'00" but it's too damn short. A song or instrumental should be like a boy's shorts or girl's dress: brief enough to be interesting and long enough to cover the subject.
- Howl in the Typewriter - The Body (8/10)
The Nocturnal Emmissions meets Tubeway Army in Throbbing Gristle's recording studio. This is one of the better works on the CD . . . reminds me of 'Donor', a track we did in 1990 although you [Howl] use rhythms more effectively. Who said industrial noise can't be commercial? Well done, sir!
- Howl in the Typewriter - Love Camp No 7 (7/10)
Well, I'm glad there are four works by
HitT because this stuff is superb, really. It is also nice to have a gentle, melodic (but still challenging) contrast to LDB and UNIT. There's something almost Abba about the use of keyboards and that's high praise indeed. The words / voice-over part is not so interesting as
Jesus! and The Body.
- Hebetation - 10/10/02 (5/10)
If Iannis Xenakis had been a pop musician instead of an avant garde composer . . . Dome meets the Door and the Window . . . I'm glad people still do soundscapes like this but it's still not my kind of music. Note: they have good control of their instruments and effects, especially in a live context . . . this sort of stuff can so easily dissolve into chaos but this is cleverly structured. I wish I liked this . . . but I don't!
- the taurus board - Ripple Effect (4/10)
Techno marries funk in the church of TOPY. If this was only 2 minutes long or if it changed key and / or rhythm, it would be pretty gear . . . as it stands, it goes on far too long without doing much else. Pity because it's cool and funky and has potential. LDB should do a mean rap over some of this!
- Litterbug - Codeine (6/10)
It's a bit bloody morbid, ain't it, guv? Still, it shows you what can be done with conventional instruments in a non-conventional manner that is still interesting. Not mad on those high vocals but they do suit the words.
- Litterbug - Delmario (10/10)
Fuck me sideways, this is brilliant! These people have put together that chunky Joy Division / New Order instrumental that we've tried to do in the past and never managed. Cunts! Seriously, on the strength of these two
songs, I'd like to hear more. It makes a change to hear a band who do instrumentals. (I wish we'd done one, now - I grow sick of the sound of my own reedy, tinny vocals).
- Stream Angel - Day That Will (3/10)
. . . and this is only an excerpt? Christ, this is really irritating. Pity because I know this chap and he's always so generous, intelligent and perceptive about our work . . . but I can't cope with this at all. Sorry, Stream!
- LDB - Death Wish (10/10)
Now the heavy stuff - and by hell, this is mean motherfucking murderation - I know who this is about but that's irrelevant. What matters is that this proves White Men Can Rap! This kicks arse and knocks So Solid Crew into the middle of last month. I can't fault this.
- LDB - Never Go Back Again (9/10)
Yes, I know Puff Daddy can write gentle, powerful, perceptive lyrics but this shows how it really should be done. I've heard this before but I couldn't have paid attention the first time because I thought it was OK then but now - my God this is so nostalgic, sad and yet never morbid. Some of these words are so nice (in the best sense of that maligned word) and generous. Rap doesn't just have to be about violence and revenge.
- LDB - Ode To Some People . . . (8/10)
Now we're back in more familiar territory. Note: LDB and UNIT independently choose to attack trendy commercial underground scne types / fanzines. Go with the flow, these words are so powerful that I can ignore the occasionally repetitive music. This is no nonsense, no pretence, no fuss pure honesty that cuts through all the bullshit.
- LDB - Faction Paradox (10/10)
Up tempo sci-fi influenced fun complete with that most potent of mixes: anger combined with humour. It usually works and it certainly does here. Note: all these instruments are played, not sampled. This is a rollercoaster of revenge, a delightful frolic that completes the most enjoyable, entertaining and effective quartet of works on the CD.
- UNIT - Incandescence (8/10)
Adapted from a Tony Hancock episode that ridicules avant garde art movements, this is an affectionate parody set to simple yet powerful music only slightly spoiled by the rather inept singing. The structure is excellent with the unaccompanied vocal central section framed by heavy rock outer segments. With a decent singer this would be 10/10 easily.
- UNIT - God Of Grumblers (8/10)
This starts promising . . . but devolves into a laborious funk rap with the vocals too low in the mix. A bird's voice would sound better on this. The funk chorus is good but 5 minutes of lead guitar and bass guitar twittering becomes very tedious after a while. The drumming is actually very good - which is most unusual for our band! Unusual lyrics which accounts for the higher score.
- UNIT - God Of Nothing (2/10)
Jesus Christ, this is bloody awful. The words aren't bad (if a little sloganeering) but it just goes on and on - nowhere. The bass playing is good but it has no real melody to play worth remembering. It deserves 2 for the words (some of them) but that's all.
- UNIT - A Head Wound And A Fracture (8/10)
This is more like it: punk rap! It's just a little on the long side but otherwise this is white hot rage with articulate anger matched to occasionally amusing rhymes. The music is a little basic but it matches the subject matter. The revenge against racial abuse and homophobic bigotry does need this quietly simmering rage rather than bawling screams so I'm glad I resisted the temptation to shout the words. In retrospect I wish I hadn't resorted to swearing - it sounds immature. I'm not why it works when LDB does it but when I do it, I do sound a bit like a boy who's older brother has just broken his
Playstation 2 . . .which would be a perfectly justifiable reason for breaking out into military language, of
In the Beginning there was Shite
(PUMF 280, 1997 - click to buy)
Pumf released albums by A-void (1984), Of Sound Mind (1984), The Howl in the Typewriter
(the original incarnation of a duo - 1985), Sign Language (1985), The Peopleís Temple (1985), Henryís Farm and Henry
(1987). These albums were all deleted in 1997, but they gave their best bits for inclusion on this
compilation. Warning - questionable sound quality!
1 A-void - Love to You (Take 1)
2 The Howl in the Typewriter - Within
3 The People's Temple - More Lies
4 Of Sound Mind - Him
5 Henry's Farm - Evil Clouds
6 The Howl in the Typewriter - Unrequented Love
7 Sign language - From Dream to Dream
8 A-void - The Gardener
9 The Howl in the Typewriter - Mirror
10 The People's Temple - Journey
11 Henry - Goodnight's Rest
12 The Howl in the Typewriter - Waiting
13 Sign language - Love and Glory
14 A-void - Love to You (Take 2)
15 The People's Temple - Dik
16 The Howl in the Typewriter - Never
17 Henry's Farm - Henry's Farm
18 Of Sound Mind - Lilleth
19 Sign Language - I'm Going to Zurich
20 The Howl in the Typewriter - Discontention
21 Henry - I've got a Gun
22 The People's Temple - Interlude 1
23 The Howl in the Typewriter - Pride
24 Henry's Farm - Evil Clouds (version)
25 A-void - God is Dead
26 The Howl in the Typewriter - God is Dead
27 The People's Temple - Tuition
28 Henry - Love Pangs
29 Sign Language - Warchant
30 The Howl in the Typewriter - Dark
31 A-void - Love to You (Take 3, cut and print)
32 Henry's Farm - Steam Engine
33 The Howl in the Typewriter - Relief
34 Of Sound Mind - Au Revoir
- Review by War Arrow, The Sound
Projector #8, 2000
In 1997 Stan Batcow stepped back and noticed that the first few releases on his Pumf label were far below the standard of more recent works, reflected perhaps in the fact that people had stopped ordering them. Thus he decided to remove these tapes from the catalogue and, in case anyone was still curious, compile this 'best of' collection featuring the highlights from those early works by A-void, Of Sound Mind, The Howl
in the Typewriter, and others. Perhaps with a certain sense of shame, he christened the release in a way that might at least inform the unwary of what they were getting.
Actually, I wouldn't call any of it shite, or at least not by my own definition of the term. It's certainly a step back in time, being from the mid '80s, a period which is now receiving the demonisation that was meted out to the 70s by a fickle public only fifteen years ago, when of course any fool knows that the real enemy is the '60s. Stan seems to have been in most of the bands here in one capacity or another, and despite a few metal bashing oddities, there's a certain uniformity of sound. Most of the tracks are fairly respectable recordings of the sort of groups I always ended up seeing in pubs around the time: Joy Division basslines and a fine array of effects pedals being stamped upon randomly by a spiky guitarist, before the
word 'gothic' came into wide usage and took up its rightful place as an insult of a strength which placed it somewhere between 'slack-jawed arsehole' and 'Chelsea supporter'. This was when there seemed to be bands in pubs everywhere, none of which were
covers-orientated, and most of which had some ambition beyond just sounding like a fusion of their favourite records. A lot of that stuff was great, so it's nice that Stan's chosen to preserve a few snapshots of his own little corner of that universe in this fashion. Being a compilation, there are ups and downs, but generally speaking, it's good to hear this sort of thing again reaching out from beyond the great airbrush of history. Give it another ten years and a new generation of tediously ironic little turds will probably be bending over backwards to breathe new commercially viable life into this
sort of stuff. Therefore a more appropriate title would probably be, In The End There Will Be Shite, because there's nothing wrong with this lot.
1 Howl in the Typewriter - Dead Men
2 Cabbage Head - Cabbage Head
3 Dandelion Adventure - Chickenfeed
4 Judge Mental and the Heavy Dread Beat - Double of Dutch
5 Satan the Jesus Barmy Army - Sex and Violence
6 Raw Veg - Dumb Dumb Diddle
7 Jah Rizlafoureye and the Heady Bread Beast - Oral Death Camp
8 Howl in the Typewriter - Journey of Minds
9 Dandelion Adventure - Death is a Beautiful Carpark
10 SWANC - Me 163 Komet
11 Salty Grouse Castration Squad - Atomic Clock
12 Def-A-kators - Satan's in my Telly
13 Cabbage Head - A Less than Straightforward Afternoon
14 Orange Sunshine - I am the Walrus
15 Judge Mental and the Heavy Dread Beat - Gracious!
16 Howl in the Typewriter - Family
17 Dandelion Adventure - Sooper Trouper
18 Ceramic Hobs - A Thing of Beauty
19 Salty Grouse Castration Squad - Some Kids did Airfix Kits, Some just did the Glue
20 Orange Sunshine - Money for Nothing
21 Jah Rizlafoureye and the Heady Bread Beast - Shooting Guns (What a Crap Title)
22 Dandelion Adventure - King Burger Autopsy
23 Raw Veg - Dumb Dumb Diddle (a capella version)
24 Howl in the Typewriter - The Sea of Teths
25 SWANC - When I Fall in Love
26 Judge Mental and the Heavy Dread Beat - Brainfuck
27 Cabbage Head - The View from Nowhere
28 Salty Grouse Castration Squad - Pits of Hell
29 Def-A-kators - Theme
30 Jah Rizlafoureye and the Heady Bread Beast - The Old Cheb went Futt (and did what you know)
31 Howl in the Typewriter - The Return of Ptath
32 Orange Sunshine - Astronomy Domine
33 Dandelion Adventure - Speed Trials
34 Ceramic Hobs - Failed Attempts at Louie Louie Bleriot and Subsequent Arguments
"Pumf up the Volume is weird and wonderful. A perfect introduction to the musical world of (Pumf) . . . I'm very impressed with the Cabbage Head tracks, and the Heavy Dread Beat tracks are killers too . . . in fact,
Brainfuck is my favourite track on the whole tape . . . from the stripped-down minimalism to the Northern cynicism, even to the strange track titles and the structure of the lyrics and the fact that they're enigmatic and don't really show which side of the fence the writer's on, (the album) reminds me of The Fall."
- Stream Angel