Top Sounds - F

FAZ WALTZ - Julie {Spaghetty Town} Smart little two-track 7" (on black, red or white vinyl) from this oddly named trio outta Cantu, Italy. Apparently they’ve already released five albums and have been going over ten years - but this is the first time I’ve come across them. Think a Glam Rock collision of THE BOYS Pop-Punk style anthems and CHEAP TRICK Power-Pop rockisms with a big injection of T-REX’s Top Ten singles sound and you’ll be there. Main track, ‘Julie’ is certainly the most evident of THE BOYS vibe, laden with energy, great melodies and a Rock ‘n’ Roll sneer. Flip it and you get ‘I’m Bleedin’’ that’s got a bit more of a swagger about it; you can imagine low-slung guitars and cigarettes hanging out of the corners of mouths while ‘Heaven Tonight’ provides the soundtrack. Another cracking 7" from this Atlanta, GA label that is pretty much nailing it when it comes to Garage Punk and noxious Rock ‘n’ Roll. (03.06.18)

FEED HER TO THE SHARKS - Fortitude {Victory} Oh gawd... Metalcore with those horrible fucking garbled vocals, irritating double bass beats, melodic breakdowns and what sounds like keyboards (ye-gads!!!) in places too. Yawn... fucking... Yawn. Life’s too short to pay too much attention to blustering bollocks like this but for those who maybe interested... FEED HER TO THE SHARKS are from one of the best cities on the planet - Melbourne, Australia. They’re a five piece and while this is as unappealing as the thought (let alone image) of ex-London Mayor Boris Johnson actually mating, I have to confess it’s produced stunningly well - clear, huge and incisive. Still shit though. (17.03.19)

FIRKIN - Into The Night EP {DIY} Three track EP of Folk-Punk from this band outta Hungary. They certainly know their Folk as the lead track, ‘Flowers’, proves with a sedate opening verse that highlights the traditional sound of Ireland before expanding into a wonderful song complete with flute and fiddle. The remaining two tracks up the Punk ante with the title track again featuring those traditional instruments to the fore while closer ‘Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye’ is another take on the ‘Johnny Comes Marching Home’/ ’English Civil War’ song. It’s also the weakest of the three here as it's a tad clichéd. Comparisons? The energy of BLOOD OR WHISKEY played with the class of OYSTER BAND via a hint of WORLD/INFERNO FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY. If you thought Folk-Punk meant shite like REAL MCKENZIES or the risible FLOGGING MOLLY, then check this out. Full album imminent. Quality without being slick, raucous without being sloppy... There is a narrow line between being cool, or being cheesy. For now, it’s most definitely the former. (25.03.18)

FOX FACE - Spoil + Destroy {Dirtnap} PODCAST PLAYED Bit of a departure from the ‘recognised’ Dirtnap sound here - but still a thrilling listen which is itself another trademark of Dirtnap. This is a 12-track album from this femme fronted four-piece outta Milwaukee, WI that fuses the brazen attack of BIKINI KILL (see ‘Girl Hater’ in particular) with a 60s Nuggets vibe complete with a Hammond Organ and the disjointed Punk feel of SLEATER KINNEY playing GUN CLUB. Plenty of highlights here be it the sedate, rolling ‘Hiawatha’, the strutting MUFFS-esque coolness of ‘Standing There’ and the wonderful, fuzzed garage stomp of ‘Boogie Man’ that has a lead guitar line that coulda been stolen straight outta Poison Ivy’s left over CRAMPS leads. It’s the infectious opener however, ‘(What You’re) Good For’ that takes the album highlight title as it blends everything together to make a stunning opening salvo. Most of the tracks are relatively short two-minute blasts, although closer ‘The Moon And The Tide’ nearly hits four minutes. The Hammond Organ certainly gives the album in general a unique sound and when fused with the Punkoid Blues that’s going on, it makes for a genuinely interesting album. (29.05.18)

FUCK! (IT’S PRONOUNCED SHIT) - It’s Pronounced The First Three EPs {Brassneck} 20 track compilation of, apparently, the first three EPs from this side project of Fraser from THE MURDERBURGERS. Most of the songs are under one minute long and fuse SCREECHING WEASEL snotty Punk with WONK UNIT’s knack for sarcasm, particularly when directed towards themselves. Titles like ‘You Look Like I Need A Wank’, ‘Deliberately Stepping In Dog Shit Is My Favourite Hobby’ and ‘My Attitude May Stink But I Smell Fuckin’ Amazing’ should suggest where this is heading. The songs snarl and sneer with guitars that could be on par with early SNUFF and vocally Fraser delivers a clear vocal which is kinda essential given the scathing wit behind the words. Highlights? Obviously this blurs into one a bit too often but ‘Tuesday Morning Staring Match With A Dog’, ‘It’s Not The Size Of Your Penis That Matters, It’s How Big It Is’ and the closing ‘Wank Florida Wank’ all stood out, with the latter two being two of the long tracks on the record. Not a band for wedding receptions! (21.10.18)

FUTURE VIRGINS - Doomsday Raga {Recess} PODCAST PLAYED Now here is a record I like - a lot!! Imagine a fusion between some of Recess Records’ best movers and shakers - OFF WITH THEIR HEADS, THE ARRIVALS and TOYS THAT KILL and you’re close. The band’s a four-piece outta Chattanoga, Tennessee and this is their third album. Plenty of cracking tracks be it ‘Book Of Balance’ that motors along with a barbed vocal and great guitar run, the slightly menacing ‘Biblical Weather’, the melancholic, acoustic ‘Love Is All You Need’ that’s good enough to be an Alex Chilton/ BIG STAR out-take or the instantly likeable urgency of opener ‘Ex-Pats’. Best track however is a battle between ‘Gilded Youth’ that’s laden with splintered guitars a’la OBSERVERS meets a STIFF LITTLE FINGERS circa ‘Nobody’s Heroes’ feel and ‘The Mutuals’ that fuses all of those three Recess bands to jaw-dropping effect and throws in a sublimely effective 60s-style middle-eight that’s brief but takes the song to a whole different level. The occasional use of clean guitar riffs lends a surf-esque vibe, while the vocals are a perfect mix of snotty arrogance and tune-carrying clarity. Production is spot on, allowing everything room and clarity and at 14 songs, just about the perfect length without a single duffer among them. Yeah, hugely recommended! (10.07.18)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2018 including: