Band: Mad Spanner
Album: Life Absurd
Label: Self released
Review by John
One look at the tracklisting for the full length debut from Shropshire’s Mad Spanner leaves you wondering what exactly you are letting yourself in for.
Featuring such classics as ‘I Was Caught Shitting In A Plastic Bag’ and ‘Seagulls Haunt Me In My Sleep’, this promises to be, if nothing else, an interesting listen.
But it delivers so much more than that.
Heavy, punky and in your face, ‘Life Absurd’ is 14 tracks of sheer joy, from the non stop pace of opener ‘Wrongshade’, right through to the doomy, almost Sabbath-esque sound of closer ‘Escape Into Reality’.
In between, the quality of the songs more than lives up to the unbridled lunacy of their titles.
‘Alektorophobic Nosebleed’ is a gloriously shouty punk anthem concerning an irrational fear of chickens, while ‘Massacre Of The Flies’ (featuring guest vocals from Ashen Crown’s Kieran Scott) throws a hefty chunk of death metal growls into the mix.
‘I Was Caught Shitting In A Plastic Bag’ is a hardcore punk epic, and hard hitting social issues are brought to the fore with ‘Get Off Your Bastard Phone (You Antisocial Dickhead)’.
Highlights include ‘Duck Faced Selfie’ (a glorious punk offering about brainless vanity culture), the bizarre spoken word ravings of ‘Seagulls Haunt Me In My Sleep’ and the short but sweetly obscene ‘Anal Sex’, which starts out as a kind of proto-ballad before seemingly consuming copious quantities of acid and exploding into an all out mindfuck.
Then you have the double whammy of ‘Avocado Piano’ and ‘Avocado Commando’. The former, presented almost as a statement to a court, does a good job of outlining the theme (which basically concerns a man “blessed” with extremely large love spuds who likes to show them off) before all hell breaks loose on the latter.
Coming across like the alien love child of Discharge and Oaf, Mad Spanner are a breath of fresh air, bringing a dementedly absurd genius to the table. Their unique blend of sheer compulsive lunacy won’t be to everybody’s taste, but if you like heavily metallic punk with a huge dollop of surreal humour, then this is going to be right up your alley.
8 out of 10
02. Forced To Use A Shitty Drum Machine
03. Alekrorophobic Nosebleed
04. Massacre Of The Flies
05. I Was Caught Shitting In A Plastic Bag
06. Get Off Your Bastard Phone (You Antisocial Dickhead)
07. Anal Sex
08. Drinking The Drunk Away
09. Duck Faced Selfie
10. Avocado Piano
11. Avocado Commando
12. Seagulls Haunt Me In My Sleep
13. Feeling Nothing, Thinking Nothing
14. Escape Into Reality