Tuesday, 30 November 2010



Clockcleaner steep themselves in controversy. They dine with it. They throw their arms around it as if greeting an old friend. Nirvana were apparently 'dogshit' according to lead singer John Sharkey, so they recorded an album whilst Sharkey was suffering from 'bi-lateral amnesia' and named it Nevermind.

Having this pious, Kurt Cobain is holier than thou devotion to Nirvana should, I thought, cause me to react in a spray of venom towards this bullshit merchantry. However, my inner critical opinion has tranquilised any and all war mongering - for Clockcleaner are ridiculously impressive. Listen to their 2007 full length 'Babylon Rules' and let the dark swagger of the opening track 'New In Town' web you in it's physically repulsive sonic air. I don't think I've ever heard a track #1 quite so fucking animalistic. It sounds like a 7 minute stalk through a trip you'd experience after smoking one of Buzz Osbourne's greying ringlets.

The rest of this record sounds like it could have come about after the splicing of a thousand or more influences went terribly wrong, but what I feel this soup-pot of noise rock boils down to is an intense love for Melvins interbreeding with a sexual preoccupation towards Pixies, all further hybridized until each member believes he or she is a functioning member of The Jesus Lizard.

I see contemporaries in Pissed Jeans, another viscerally bent out of shape punk troupe that has left the rule book at the front door to parade nakedly at the party. Of the records I've heard up to now; 'The Hassler', 'Nevermind' and 'Babylon Rules', I'd have to push 'Babylon Rules' as my opus of choice. It is unrelenting, cocky as all hell and quite frankly nauseating to the point where you need to listen to some Minutemen just to calm yourself down.

I thoroughly recommend this band. They've got just about enough old school in them for the 'punker than thee' council to perhaps enjoy them, and the right measure of 21st century clamour to be topical.

Babylon Rules (mediafire)
Nevermind (mediafire)

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The World According To VICE


Allow your eyes to trace their way through any one copy of Vice magazine. Half of your brain will start to cloud over as articles concerning counter culture lifestyles and drug trafficking pockmark your psyche, leaving you a demoralised wreck, murmuring "is this really how things are?" whilst drooling an unnoticed goo onto your fervently tapping foot. Meanwhile, the other half of your mind tank has exploded into a vibrant nebula of sexual enlightenment and spiritual meaning. Think Alexander Shulgin on dropping his first tab of acid.

Since it's inception way back in 1994, Vice has steered itself through a sea of 90's silt in buoyant fashion. The first ten years of the new millennium has seen them propping up independent art and general cultural deviancy with the same unwavering happy-go-fuck-yourself resolution that made their publication great in the first place. This latest book, 'The World According To Vice' is in essence, a pastiche of celebrated British incongruity from the years gone by. If Vice set out each month with a strict mission objective, they would not be the tower of senseless sensibility that they are now. This book's exquisiteness owes everything to the way that indulgent irony and cultural pervasiveness have been allowed to partner each other organically - delivering more than enough socio-political weight to perhaps beckon a great awakening in the minds of all you finger paintin', tory - votin' nerf herders out there. All the while each delicately written article or chiseled into place, ham fisted front line report serves up enough satire and visual humour to laugh that beer gut into an eight-pack.

'The World According To Vice' is a whole notch of fun. Learning about a football hooligan from Southampton having an eye knocked out by one good crack to the skull and finally finding clarity over which sex deals the greatest blowjob are interesting enough, but this book noodles away at your inner apathy in ways you can't imagine. Pretty soon after reading you'll be protesting over tuition fees, smoking 'snowcaps' and wearing a Das Oath shirt. That might however, be a little hasty, at the very least you'll sympathise with the dirty student oiks, come to realise that drugs 'aren't all that bad' and perhaps flirt with the idea of listening to Negative Approach.


Another great value I see in this book, is the way in which it never fails to remind me just how close we all are to reverting back to flinging our own shit at each other and scrapping on the floor for berries and nuts. Sure, we've not really come that far along anyway, instead of heaving excrement at each other, we glass each other to within an inch of looking like Jared Leto's character from Fight Club. And instead of warring for morsels of sustenance like rabid mongrels still reeling from the evolutionary hangover of once being amphibian, we fight, as Vice puts it, 'to claim the rights to finger the slapper around the back of the butchers.' An apt description of bleeding Britain, awash in a sea of our own bodily fluids and nervous dispositions.

If you'd allow me to be pensive for a moment, I'm keen to impress on you just how magnificent a document this book is. In a world of all things instantaneous; easy drugs, dirty urban luminescence and cheapened fame - Vice are here to tuck your shirt into your trousers, do up your collar button and kick you out the door. You'll have to wipe the snot from your own nose and make up your own mind on a few things, but at least you'll be halfway to forming your own understanding. The care and pride that has gone into creating this book is awe inspiring. Thousands of man hours, artistic illustration, enthused reporting and all sorts of literary & photographic sleight of hand have congealed together to produce this tablet, this bedrock of thinking. History is written by those who were there, and this release announces that Vice are very much here in 2010.

You can purchase a copy from the UK Vice Store

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Poems for my Father

Forty Years

When you freeze over,
You will be pristine
and glacial.
A slope of marble purity.
A cake of white frost.

You will be chops
and slivers,
Of winsome snow floes.
The collective applauding
Your regal death throes.

Saltless from the tap
And safe by the broil.
Waxing ecstatic
At the thought of
No colour.

Crisper than iced rose-skin,
But fractured the same.
Oil for bile and no
Blood in your veins.

When that solid state
Becomes my own form
And nature,
I'll taste like miasma,
Like effluviant splatter.

I quake at the thought
Of a future sap-self.
I will be pockets
In a soup pot
Of melting ill health.

Stretched like Vitruvius
'Cross a pan of dense humming,
Mouth wide open
At the thought of more colour.

Rest your silky head
On silk, down and grey hue,
And watch me cross the river
On this tough wooden sinew

Covered in pits
And pocks on my face
(All easily attained)
I'll eat whole the bud
Of the life I have gained.

Dash Snow Complex

I am a spew of muddied water,
Luke-warm from your mouth.
Like vicious smokey inhalate,
Nipping at your health.

I enjoy the slobbery,
Of picking up each leg.
I slept a sleep in,
Hollow logs,
As mould bejewelled my head.

Thoughts as foul as cooking gas,
As bleach, as lice, as me,
Ravish my brain and,
Stew me up.
So swallow me in greed.

One day i’ll plant my foot to earth,
And let safety vine my toes,
‘Til then I am the toxic son of,
Mind, of body,
And soul.

Clipped. Or Love's Ruminating Eye

She loves it in the summer time,
When the smoke would last forever.

Those times when the dull and jaded eyes,
Of a normal man’s intent,
Would usurp to form her focal point,
And minus me from them.

She choked upon her princess rule,
We blamed my own collapse.

She shared a kiss with Artisans,
And flew with luminescence,
Then bit my hands to bring about,
My bloodless,

My Swan Neck.

My swan neck arcs for the other one,
Hunkered down with beaten brow,
As a tumult of grey tasting clouds,
Shower down,
The vibrating matter,
Which I can’t evade.
And an end of filth reign,
Blunts precipitate.

So there stands I,
Washed through with decay,
A little bitch whelp,
With no limbs left to stave.

Lilted crooked organs,
Condensed with me on my cross,
My manhood placated,
And stripped of all cloth.

My swan neck bends towards the other one,
Unstitching seams, mourning dreams,
A triplicated wealth of means,
Follows me.

So here Lies I,
Cradled by the news,
That the best way out,
Was only ever through

Night Growth

I try to break each day,
Against my back,
As a latch snaps shut,
On my mindful tact.

Each morning is romance,
And long thought out pleas,
Each dusk is like daybreak,
Enveloping me.

My words are a drool,
Of self indulged nothing,
They fall under a canopy,
Of my own weightless truth.

I feel quite as free,
As doves tied to Earth,
So I’m sewing my eyes shut,
For our collective rebirth

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

'Yo Born Against, you better be extremely fucking cautious about who you talk shit about'


'Yo Born Against, you better be extremely fucking cautious about who you talk shit about' - voicemail excert from the track 'Born Against Are Fucking Dead'

Sam McPheeters once of 'punk' band Born Against, has done just about as much for Hardcore as Richard Dawkins has done for the confused, hopefully agnostic non believers of the world. Except Sam's forceful imprint on punk culture birthed a following who's pregnant minds of violence waxed ecstatic over Born Against's confrontational, take no prisoners, cut all ties approach to carving a path through the scene.

My favourite Born Against record is probably 'Battle Hymns of The Race War' - despite it's older brother 'Nine Patriotic Hymns For Children' being the standard against which many future Hardcore records have been measured. Each track is a railroad to concussion, as unabashed leftist pursuits manage to deliver themselves both brutally and thoughtfully at the same time. Oxymoronic no?

Perhaps Born Against's greatest gift to the world was the confidence to collide unapologetic idealism with dynamic, ahead of it's time hardcore - without over simplifying age old philosophies for the masses to swallow like snack-sized kid's treats. When you listen to Born Against, you're listening to a band that could quite easily be misconstrued as a group of guys who simply do not give a shit, yet nothing could be further from the truth. They poked fun and aggravated a whole host of bands and scene luminaries, however behind the shroud of impish humour, an intelligent hub of ideology wrote songs in a fervour.

Download Battle Hymns of The Race War