Cruor by Dave Cullern and James Domestic

Music devours our time and attention, orchestrates and commands where our explorations generally go but sometimes we take a detour, find a different road to ignite emotions and spark the imagination.

Cruor is one such turn in our path, a split poetry book from two artists who have plenty of times disturbed and excited the senses with their musical ventures within the DIY UK punk scene. The book is the creation of DAVE CULLERN (Haest/The Dead Anyways) and JAMES DOMESTIC (The Domestics/PI$$ER/Botched Toe/Tokyo Lungs…), a tome of emotive incitement, wicked humour and raw confrontation which even in the few days since we opened its digital cover has with every reading increasingly courted and stoked the fires of inner thought and contemplation whilst coaxing a unique flush of pleasure. It is a read which seems to have every time opened new doorways of thought and emotion too, like certain songs each outing revealing new aspects and incitement to enjoy and reflect.

We are not going to take you through the book page by page, an adventure and certain pleasure for you to discover, but just pluck out moments from both authors which exampled why we were hooked straight away. They might not even be our favourite pieces ultimately such the ever fluid nature of our involvement and enjoyment with the collection but poems to offer a rich clue to what lies within.

Offering a poignant incite to creativity, Dave’s Survival Mantras immediately tapped into inner experience and instinct. It is a piece which observes and contemplates, often with a smile and a touch of mischief but equally with an eye upon a world insular from unity with those paths and moments. It is a journey in each aspect which Dave shares, a creative travel which echoes anyone’s own journey to realisation of a hope or achievement, personal or creative with its final breath of that eureka moment sparking an eagerly audible chuckle.

It is an alignment of worldly and social observation with real intimacy which both authors share and that we can all relate to across the book. Dave’s Futility Rising another example and a real spark first time delving, though as we read we were frustratingly waiting for a well overdue Amazon delivery whilst governing motions interrupted by commercial temptation were pulling the wool over ears and eye; a moment seeming to echo and highlight the poem’s dispute at life trespassing deceit on many levels.

It is a prowess which James is just as dextrous in, as with his co-author his lyrical songwriting proof alone as fans would testify to. Indeed intimacy is at the heart of most of his writing we would suggest but aligned to keen observation of others. You get the sense he does not suffer fools and is unafraid to call them out yet also acknowledges that “We are all fools if we live long enough.”

His humour is voracious in his work but it can be as cutting as it is lively, or deeply poignant and emotionally impacting; again qualities shared by both writers in their unique styles. The consecutively placed A Flash On The Pan and Hastings epitomise James’ range in that incitement, Pack Up Your Troubles almost embracing it all in its declaration; all three drawing out self-deprecating recognition, experience and moments to relate to with cheek, accusation and intuition, traits just as open and potent within his recent solo album.

Across 59 poems you get to explore author, their insight, personal thought and simply the intimate world around us through their eyes and experience with greater landscapes also ventured. Both Dave Cullern and James Domestic also lead you to look at your own experiences and thoughts in many ways. You may share their anger, disappointment, joy and laughter with life and as we found will definitely find the richest enjoyment within Cruor.  

Cruor is self- released on 19th September and limited to a first print run of just 100 copies; available through KIBOU RECORDS / FUCK BALLADS. Pre-ordering is available now @  and

Check Dave Cullern and James Domestic out further @  

 Pete RingMaster 10/09/2022

Copyright: The RingMaster Review

Categories: Music

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