Punk Rock Ain't Noise Pollution
Bones looks and listens...

FLATS – Better Living

I think it’s safe to say that Flats are an acquired taste. To many I can imagine they sound like a cacophony of noise with little sign of any tune, but I have to admit I love ‘em!

Formed in 2010, their current line up is Craig E. Pierce (Bass), Dan Djan (Guitar), Samir Eskanda (Drums) and (son of Creation Records Alan McGee) Daniel Devine on vocals. Naming bands as Crass, Chron Gen and Anthrax amongst their influences, they always remind me more closely of Stoke-On-Trent’s punk hardcore stalwarts, Discharge.

I first encountered them on the 2010 NME Radar tour when they made odd bed fellows with Chapel Club and Joy Formidable. However, they must have made a good impression as the bard of Manchester, one Stephen Patrick Morrissey, requested them as main support on his 2011 tour.

I’ve been looking forward to their first long player for a while and was wondering if they would stick to their previous tactics of all out aural assault. Or maybe take a quieter approach to increase their commercial success and throw in the odd Whitney Houston track? Do they f*ck! This is ear bleeding, cranium spitting punk, at its best.

Coming in at just under thirty five minutes, Flats provide twelve tracks that largely defy description. Thundering drums and bass lay down a sonic backdrop over which Devine angrily screams his vocals. Guitars whine and feedback rages in a maelstrom of discord that renders the words largely unintelligible. This should be a car crash of a record, but unbelievably it works on all levels. Tracks such as “Slam”, “Frostbite”, “Fast”, “Foxtrot” “Crucifixion” and “Macabre Unit” follow in rapid succession, giving the effect of being punched repeatedly in the solar plexus.

Not to everyone’s taste I agree, but if you’re willing to stick with it after what could be early repulsion, this is a truly great album.

Realistically it is open to question if there is any career longevity or commercial success in playing such hardcore music, but quite frankly I don’t think the Flats give a damn!

Music made to continually headbutt a wall to. Get a copy when released by Sweatshop Records on 30 April, you won’t be disappointed, or be able to hear for a month afterwards!


DIGITAL BY BIRTH – Noise Pollution

A 4 track release from a seemingly DIY band, who describe themselves largely as studio based. They play raw and low fi, both out of necessity and choice, and rather endearingly record everything onto cassette before converting it to digital.

Their main influence is Atari Teenage Riot, but have also tipped their hats at such diverse bands as Hatebreed, Beastie Bots and NIN, giving them a sound they describe as a punk System of a Down.

Consisting of Alan Gringo and Trent Water (great name!) to me they have a feel not dissimilar to an early Prodigy. They sit in the half way house between rock, punk and dance orientated house music. Using film samples and loops this is rather good, although not something I would normally listen to.

I can imagine a track such as “Love Close By” making a good impression in Manumission, whilst other numbers like “Fear Machine” and “Hold on be Strong” has a much rockier edge, similar to Apollo 440 or RATM.

Their Facebook page contains all these tracks, so give them a listen. If you like what you hear you can download the EP for only 4 of your earth pounds at http://www.cdbaby.com/, just enter their name in the search engine. Failing that e-mail the band at thekuzeeffect@fsmail.net and I’m sure they’ll sort you out.



Back in more familiar territory for me, this is a punk fanzine from of all places Exeter. Apparently their last edition was 6 years ago, which makes our own Rosey’s output of R*E*P*E*A*T seem positively prolific!

Back “when I were a lad” fanzines were one of the few ways of getting news on bands that didn’t warrant a mention in the more commercial musical publications. With the advent of the MTV, the internet and sundry other technological wonders most of the kids today suffer from information overload, if anything. So it was nice to get tactile again and have the feel of paper and ink on my fingers.

For the 12th issue of this esteemed organ, Positive Creed’s main man Rob Stone has some nice little articles. Kicking off with Dave Parsons of Sham 69, it’s refreshing to get the thoughts of a member of the band other than their normal mouth piece Jimmy Pursey. Questions range from thoughts on the latest reformation, their formative years and his take on the notorious violence that often engulfed their gigs.

This is followed with a review section that runs the gamut of the punk genre. So you have more recent bands such as Cerebral Ballzy and Dropkick Murphys rubbing shoulders with old timers like Gang of Four, Poly Styrene and Jello Biafra. There’s even a piece on the MSP’s “National Treasures” CD, to which they give a complimentary 8 out of 10.

An in depth interview with TV Smith sheds light on his excellent, but sadly often overlooked band, The Adverts. He reminisces on their controversial single “Gary Gilmore Eyes”, explains what it was like to perform on the Old Grey Whistle Test and gives his view of female punk icon Gay Advert.

A review follows of the End of the Road Festival that take place annually in rural Dorset. Apparently it specialises in acts that are mostly alternative music, folk, alt country or Americana. If truth be known, I had heard of few of them but rather liked the idea of a band being called Kurt Vile and the Violators.

GBH are given a good four and a half pages to talk about (amongst other things) working with Lars Frederiksen from Rancid, the comparison between the first and second wave of punk bands, their forage in heavy metal and the musical influence of their home town Birmingham.

Finally, there is another excellent interview, this time with Paul Slack, ex bass player of UK Subs. Again it charts his long and varied career and throws light on his new venture Monica and the Explosion. I particularly found interesting, and refreshing, his candid and intelligent comments regarding the current state of the punk and music scene in general.

Putting aside that Positive Creed allowed me indulge in middle aged reminiscing, I can vouch for the fact that it’s a bloody good read and hugely informative. Given that it comes for the princely sum of only 50p (plus A4 SAE) not only that its great vale for your hard earned money. Available from PO Box 777, Exeter, EX1 9TU