CD review: Hoc Vitum Novum (Fungalpunk)

Erudite, cultured, thoughtful and without any heed paid to silly sub-generic orders and rhythmic realms. We have here a gathering of minstrels playing music they like to play and, I strongly feel, doing it darn bloody well. After approximately 3 years playing mostly local gigs the band are gradually stretching out and despite losing a member (not in the vulgar sense that is) there is still progress being made. The band currently comprises of Kaz Waye, Steve Malley, Steve Ward and Alec Marlow, each one bringing a unique brand of musical knowledge and insight thus offering enormous possibilities for the SBC future. Here’s the latest smattering of sonica and some reasons why you should take time to a check out and appreciate an intriguing band.

‘This Modern Life’ skips in with a tidy, gratifying vibe that promises something of melodic order that will be easily chewed by the musical chompers out there. Kaz at the fore kicks in with her documentary-style rawness and assured vocal range and what unravels is a tale of double standards, double meanings, double losses. Stuck in a rut, bleak as fuck – the narration of what is deemed perfect is nothing more than a reality lie that the Suicide By Cop brigade give a new outlet to. From open wound verses that pull no punches to harmonised choruses that wonderfully juxtapose what we have is a monochrome delivery coloured by a variation of greys only the most insightful can find. There is an unrelenting drive throughout, all components are unified and I just have to applaud the approach. A good start always calls for a good follow up and what we get is the delicious prime cut entitled ‘Tunnel Vision’. Opening with delicacy, roughed up with taut she-vocals that almost break before being nicely sliced up via great male gobs who supply extra spirit this is a bold commencement to a song that builds in sonic stature with each rotation of the silver circle. Away from the ‘boom-tit’ orthodox overused approach of the punk pit, outside of the polished and indulgent cock rock box this has idiosyncrasies of both arenas but is stirred up with the bands own cultured hands and then sprinkled with a personal touch thus being borne as something rather special. The wind ups in tension are not unnoticed and the general excitement they create transfers into the rest of the delivery. Great stuff.

‘One More Day’ is the most sobered piece and comes at ya with a casual essence with all hands on deck and ordered to make a highly eloquent and listenable voyage. Don’t read too much into this – it is simple tuneage, created for the sheer joy of it and done with such intuitive aplomb. The music is kept regular and without undue affect, the vocals as ‘genuine’ as you like and with a few sub-sections where the band offer new tangents this is yet another tune to clap to and just fuckin’ relish. I can see many a punk turning away from this and stating quite ignorantly that this is outside their ‘deemed’ listening box. Good riddance – if you don’t appreciate quality – kiss my arse and fuck off! The closure and ‘I Want To Be’ is a cute jaunt, rippled with texture and bubbling belief. The basic vibe pulsates before breaking out into a chorus that once more begins at one level and works up to a self-appointed zenith that embraces one of the many great facets of a solid band. My advice is to play and play again and throw off your restricting sonic shackles and accept this as sincerely good music with a zest, a vigour, a product of attentive ears – and then – thank the playing minstrels for their efforts.

Suicide By Cop are a particular favourite crew of mine and why the hell they have only played one gig for me is truly my error. I have many bands to deal with and sometimes the obvious get overlooked. I will be correcting my record and encouraging others to give em’ a gig or two as well. A must, a must and please – keep on dudes and dudette and drain yerselves dry – a pleasure and…thank you!