Monday, October 8, 2012

Reviews: Flying Donkey Punch "Lumps To The Head"

By: Garviel Loken

Eschewing fancy arrangements and all the frills, Flying Donkey Punch comes at you with both crusty fists clenched and ready to swing. Grind, punk, and a little bit of death-tinged thrash metal make up the potent mixture that is "Lumps To The Head", a twelve track audio brickbat that honors the days of real punk rock, when it was dangerous, dirty, and completely raw. Those with faint hearts or think that hardcore started out 10 years ago, please go away.

A tad under seventeen minutes in length, the listening experience of this record is like holding a lit stick of dynamite that is just moments away from detonating, but you don't dare drop it and run. You can't help but listen to the whole thing in one sitting. This is not due to the shortness of the songs, but for the simple fact that the tracks are furious and powerful, with catchy old school hardcore choruses and pummeling beats that never learned the meaning of the word slow.

From opener Army of None to tracks like Whore Mom and Ballad of a Dumb Fuck, Flying Donkey Punch deliver very consistent results that don't sound forced like a lot of bands that try to play this type of music. These guys clearly appreciate, listen to, and understand the style. Authenticity is very important in music, especially in an era populated by many copycat bands that couldn't form a single new idea even if they tried for ten years. Does FDP reinvent the wheel here? By no means, but they are building on what came before and keeping the original spirit of hardcore alive while giving it new color by applying a fresh coat of grind madness.

Big accolades for the musicianship are due, especially the top notch and very nimble drumming that holds the songs together with precise accents and excellent fills. This band is tight and natural, there are no nasty modern production warts to be found. It seems that just enough polish has been applied to highlight their overall skill. Besides all of this, the mix of vocal performances are pretty cool to hear instead of just some one dimensional tough guy hardcore vocalist who adds nothing to the sound.

That, as they say, is that. There is no mystery or conjecture, Flying Donkey Punch is straight up, in your face music that is honest in attitude and genuine in execution. If you enjoy original hardcore punk, crust, or grindcore, you should probably be listening to this band, especially if you live down in Tucson, as it is hard to recall a band from recent memory that has represented this genre so well as FDP do. Catch them live in that same city on Saturday, October 20th as they are performing on the second day of the Southwest Terror Fest, which takes place at The Rock.

Final Score: 8/10

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