Spunk Volcano & the Eruptions – Barry Milner is Thick

As much as we always try to be objective when approaching a new encounter with Spunk Volcano & the Eruptions it is hard, and increasingly so, not to carry keen anticipation and excitement within our critical ears such the thick pleasure previous releases have given us. So the uncaging of fifth album, Barry Milner is Thick, this coming December is already ahead of the game but with much to live up to. A year after the double CD treat of Double Bastard came out with 25 tracks to grab ears and attention, its successor parades another 14 songs to tease and arouse both and a collection which again simply revel in the instinctive punk bred rock ‘n’ roll sound of one of the UK’s most potent and irresistible bands.

The pandemic grip upon the world as we all know has brought a major aspect of music to a standstill, leaving live encounters chained down or at the very best a distant online encounter but it has not dampened the fertility of creativity of so many as epitomised by the songwriting of Spunk Volcano and the devilish endeavours of the Eruptions alongside. Barry Milner is Thick is crammed with songs which are voraciously infectious and imposingly rousing, flourishing in another mix of looks at issues and people which bug our lives alongside nostalgic returns to pleasures and times which warmed the heart as well as simply everyday things, inner intimacies and broken romances with flirtations of better times to come. The sliver of a silver lining in the Covid invasion is that maybe it has given artists time to really burrow deep in their creativity, in the case of Spunk Volcano and drummer Maff Fazzo allowing them the space to more easily and calmly juggle the exploits of this band and their other outstanding escapades as part of Dirt Box Disco. Whether that is so or not, there is no denying that given the outstanding adventures of their previous albums and EPs, Barry Milner is Thick is the band’s most rounded and complete bundle of incitements yet.

With the guitars of Tom G Force and Scott Bones scorching air and the senses with their esurient riffs and hooks and the rapacious rhythms of bassist Joey Strange prowling amidst the bone rapping beats of Fazzo, the album is a punk hearted infestation of temptation but one hungrily devouring an array of rock flavours and textures to its earnest and honest roar. Straightaway opener Broken Hearts Make Better Songs epitomises this potent blend; the track forceful and invasive but as pop punk catchy as you could wish for. Volcano’s tones similarly strike with every syllable, mischief and reflection aligning in their intimate appraisal, which we can only echo in experience, as punk fuelled sounds crowd ears with their own choice enterprise. There was no escaping the urge to join in its virulent exploits, the song swiftly and easily under the skin with that familiar and unique Spunk Volcano & the Eruptions character and energy.

Just as deviously infectious is the following Football in the Sun (Ossie Ardiles); it one of the band’s lead singles and temptations leading up to the album’s impending release. Taking us back to the childhood days kicking balls with just as eager carefree friends, the addiction loaded song instantly gripped ears with the gnarly sizzle upon Strange’s bass, its lure continuing to entice as old school punk hooks conspire with fresh endeavour and Volcano’s ever manipulative tones and words. It too is rock ‘n’ roll which had us bouncing and roaring with ease before Soldier on echoed its persuasion and success with its own individually esurient stroll, one as much a trespass as it is pop infection.

Hard as Nails is next up and bangs through ears like a ball in a pinball machine, slamming off the sides with manipulative agility before accosting the senses with its feral hard rock bruised rock ‘n’ roll while the following Swiss Army Dick Head provides a minute and a half of punk rock belligerence dosed with glam pop hued harmonics. Both not just hit the spot but devoured it yet still are slightly eclipsed by the nagging exploits of I Should Have Seen it Coming, riffs and rhythms epitomising its inherent persistence in temptation as too the band’s united vocal enticement alongside Volcano’s just as captivating tones.

Though inescapably the sound which is recognisable to the Midland quintet, the array of flavours it further embraces is already eagerly open across the album with the outstanding Little Red Buggy adding to the mix with heavy rapacious hard rock dosed up on a tinge of Motorhead while Magic Manikin straight after is ripe with a blend of punk and raw power pop. In turn Council Pop erupts with adrenaline driven punk rock esurience, all three demanding and receiving unbridled attention, the last of the trio an aural battering leaving only an untethered greed for more.

Without quite finding the heights of those before it, Looking for Something only left pleasure and well used vocal chords in its wake with This is Fucking Shit bringing them to greater aggressive life with anthemic authority. The song is like a bulldog nagging at the trouser bottoms of attention, its jaws refusing to let go as it has its primal way and leaves another irresistible incitement on ears and appetite.

The band’s new single is next and followed by its predecessor, two songs which alone make the album a must explore. Only Got Eyes for You is first, the track a glorious slice of pop ‘n’ roll with hooks and grooves as seductive as the organic contagiousness which is its persuasive blood. There is no avoiding full participation in its melodic holler and plaintive heart and the same can be said of the second, Tomorrows Promises worming under the skin from its first breath with guitars and bass a wonderful creative itch as Volcano shares thick reflection. From deep within, anthemic passion erupts in song and listener, another union which is as natural as it is skilfully crafted.

Caving in brings the album to a fine close, the song a warts and all ballad from the heart bringing another alluring aspect to the songwriting and creativity of Spunk Volcano & the Eruptions. Increasingly more tempestuous and emotionally intense the track is a compelling conclusion to one seriously thrilling and addictive encounter. If Barry Milner is Thick, just who is this man, we can only say Spunk Volcano and his cohorts are creative geniuses, our breathless lungs and aching bodies evidence.

Barry Milner is Thick is released December 4th via Avenue Recordz on CD, Vinyl, Download, and Streaming.

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Pete RingMaster 05/11/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview



Categories: Music

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