Review – ‘Pesticide.’ by Eleanor Burns
Building on the strengths of their eclectic first album ‘Dear Mortal,’ Clusterfuck’s new album covers both familiar and new ground while simultaneously feeling like a more unified offering. The opening track ‘Reach Out’ – almost an overture – starts us off on a powerful, Pink Floyd-esque note and sets the mood that will prevail through most of the album, pseudo-Gothic but with surreal, techno, progressive overtones. The second track, ‘Paranoia’ features a welcome return by guest vocalist Efa Supertramp and is one of the album’s highlights, with a sinister, driving techno beat accompanying the eerie lyrics and the whispering ‘inner voices’ chorus. The Gothic mood continues in tracks such as ‘Death Begins’ and the instrumental ‘We Are the Void,’ the latter in particular being another highlight, its dark electronic rhythms being varied by haunting harmonica fills that seem to echo out of the void (appropriately). Also in this mood – and another of the album’s finest offerings – is the cover version of T.Rex’s ‘Get It On.’ It somehow fits seamlessly into the group’s musical and vocal style, carried along by some beautifully haunting guitar work.
Other tracks set a lighter mood, especially the infectiously catchy ‘Besties’ and the wickedly satirical (yet outrage-inducing) ‘Trumped,’ which consists mostly of ‘lyrics’ culled from the 45th US President himself, along with well-chosen mocking, comically-timed samples. One would love to imagine him hearing it … The satirical mood becomes darker towards the end, with ‘Money’ and ‘Tazer’ commenting darkly on prostitution and police brutality, but concludes on a mercifully upbeat track with ‘Death Race.’
One track – ‘Pretty Shitty City’ – is particularly self-referential and feels more designed for live performance and acting out the lyrics, though insofar as it gives the home listener some idea of what it might be to see the band perform live, it is a worthwhile inclusion.
Overall, a very strong offering with many stand-out tracks, great versatility yet a distinct style, and well worth repeat listenings.
You can get a promo copy of this album by joining Tantrum’s Mailing List HERE
An article from Owen Adams for The Guardian newspaper:
Getting off at the wrong bus stop led me to an otherworld of free festivals and brilliant bands. Just don’t expect to read about Tragic Roundabout or the Tofu Love Frogs in the music press
And the award for hardest-working artist on the festival circuit goes to … Florence and the Machine? Hot Chip? Dizzee Rascal? Not likely. It’s the DIY stars who really deserve the props – relished by veterans of the free festival scene, but never appearing in critics’ reviews.
For hardcore festivalgoers, Glastonbury isn’t the next fixture, it’s this weekend’s Solstice. The People’s Free festival at Stonehenge no longer exists, so where to go? Watch Tragic Roundabout fire up their chaotic klezmer cauldron in a field somewhere in Worcestershire, join the Hawklords on a retro-space trip on a Welsh farm, or swoon as Eat Static hit the acid-alien-techno button at the Willowman festival on the North Yorkshire moors.
Yet no matter how big, brilliant and groundbreaking the Solstice gathering, you can be fairly certain no national media outlet will bother covering the event – a photo of druids at Stonehenge will suffice – and the only publicity it will get in the local press is if there’s been any trouble.
This cultural otherworld has flourished for more than 40 years (and the bands regularly whip large crowds into a frenzy), but aside from the tireless chronicles of Festival Eye, the nomadic troubadours of the summer festival circuit are resolutely ignored by the mainstream. Why? Do some people just dismiss everything not on Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage as “crusty”?
Logic doesn’t always play a part. Gogol Bordello are feted by Madonna and the mainstream while a dozen British-based bands on the gypsy punk tip are met with complete indifference. Wicked Squad are respected in the dance underground for gypsy techno, and Stenchman for gypsy dubstep, but the free-festival culture that produced much of this remains a music-press taboo. Critics rightly celebrate Tinariwen and nomadic Tuareg sounds, but don’t give British traveller music a second thought.
Crass, who sprang from free-festival culture in the mid 1970s, are one of the few revered acts, applauded for their year-zero edge. But there are many more bands deserving similar respect, such as the proto-punk Pink Fairies (long gone but poorly remembered), the nihilist dub poetry of RDF, the furious ceilidh-punk of the Tofu Love Frogs, not to mention recently reformed anarcho funk-punks Zounds and techno-punks, Sicknote.
Much of what’s happening on the fringes of the UK festival scene is important. I’ve been familiar with it ever since, as a teenager in the mid 1980s, I got off at the wrong bus stop and wandered into a free festival in Milton Keynes. Positioned on a flatbed lorry was a one-chord thrash guitarist and a trio of Bacchae-like women taking turns to scream down the mic. Screech Rock and the Mutoid Waste Company’s spontaneous collaboration, witnessed by hundreds, documented by no one (until now) was just the start. When NME was fixated on the Blur v Oasis grudge match, I was likely to be found Messed Up with Culture Shock, stuck in a Daydream with Back to the Planet, spun out on Ozrics or tuned into Radio Mongolia.
And the free party continues somewhere each weekend (if not thwarted by draconian laws and riot police) with a host of new ingredients, new generations, but with the same Do It approach exemplified by the Pink Fairies at the People’s Free festivals in the 1970s. If you’re not a part of it, then you’re missing out.
SickNote: a shaven-headed, even more dilapidated
version of the Prodigy, who played their own brand of drum’n’bass and breakbeat electro. An
eager crowd less than half their age manically threw shapes.
according to Damon Albarn
and DEAD SILENCE
Unofficial fan review of GIG. (planet steve)
much laid back location and everyone is not only friendly they all say they are related. Really good sense of humor and can drink till sunrise.
The sign in the blokes cubicle states that if more than one person is seen in it, it will be presumed they are having GAY sex. AS they wouldn’t be doing drugs and drugs are not allowed in the pub. A bucket of water will be thrown over them.
The smoking garden had to seen to be believed (back garden sauna needs some work), be better when he gets some water and coals.
Gig was a good laugh and by my count had at least 70% of the pub attempting some form of dancing.
The CRISP munching many all decided that instead of just watching the outsides jump round like chickens, they would show us how it is done, round these parts. Totally bonkers laugh on the dance floor all gig. Young Raves, Goths, Punks and Pensioners all moving there bits to sicknote.
Even caught a few of them old men brigade tapping the feet near the bar. Nowt short of a nuclear attack was gonna make up stand up and give them seats up.
After gig, the locals informed me of a party that was happening in an ambulance parked just over the road. I smiled more than a little as that was my van. We invited two friends (sorry sisters) over for a drink. It turned into a mini party and it got moved to a local’s house.
Picked up the sambuka and cider , party , party. Drink until sunrise.
When dressed in a PINK DBE t-shirt and being pissed out of mind, I didn’t noticed the way to the house party from the pub, coz I was chatting.
Left the house party around 7:00am, headed off back to the VAN. Went the wrong way on the main road and walked about a mile in the wrong direction. DOW!
It was a nice morning and a few road cleaners were out and about, they set me straight and back I walked in the right direction. Not one MacDonald’s to be seen, was great. I managed to stave out my unnatural urges for a breakfast macmuffin. Due to the fact that I couldn’t find a Mac’s to buy one in.
I asked the road crew if they had seen a MacDonald’s anywhere, They laughed and recognized the pink sicknote t-shirt, they remembered talking to me in the house party earlier that nite. Said you walked the wrong way. So pink sicknote t-shirts : can be used to get directions! fact!
This village and the gig was a total blast!
top one nice one, got sorted! No fires were lit over the course of the whole event!
What i don’t understand is how the new album can be causing such a stir… can anybody fill me in?
I have tried, but the VERY title of the fucking thing sets me off. i mean decent work for decent pay?! work and pay? is that how he views his profession. Looking back into the origins of dance music, and the emergence of acid house and club culture, one of the most exciting movements in recent history and here we have this plum, chucking out lame, half-arsed, uninspired remixes of other people’s music and claiming it decent work and sitting back and collecting his decent pay… pffft.
Then i look on Hype Machine and every fucking day he;s up there, getting blogged about and loved and played, i click the PLAY button thinking maybe this one will be a gem, but it’s just always the same…
Sorry Diplo if you’re reading mate, but i need more convincing.
I see the fucking album ads EVERYWHERE! does it need that much pushing onto us? Surely it will be massive without the ads?
Anyways i’ll calm the fuck down, but in homage to Diplo i have retitled my debut album:
Tidy Work for Shit Pay: Selected Works Vol. 1
this will be released as a limited FREE download at a SURPRISE date, you can get yout filthy mitts on a copy by joining the TANTRUM mailing list.
So Diplo, sorry mate, i’ve listened and i’ve tried and i am extremely bored.
If you disagree then please leave me some comments to help convince me otherwsie.. or even better a link to a song that’s ‘DECENT’?
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