Wow! So many good bands around putting out so much good stuff. If anyone ever tries to point you to some golden age of music (normally when they were young), you know that 'back in the day' type stuff, don't believe them! There is an extraordinary amount of great music being made at any point, including now!
A while ago someone sent me a copy of Prepare Yourself for an Emergency a split CD of eight tracks; two each from The Fleas, Geezapunx, Brash Bullets and Le Snags. The two tracks by Le Snags (who seemed to have (had) some connection to The Snuggle Bugs) were excellent all distorted vocals over fuzzy guitar, slightly psyched out stuff, with a vaguely Hawkwindish vibe. Changing their name again to Night Kayakers Kill Again and with a new album Work Hard, Be A Good Citizen coming out next year, the band have picked 10 tracks from the back catalogue of Le Snags' stuff putting it out under the new band name, thus both creating a sense of continuity and marking the end of a chapter simultaneously. Clever.
So what is Monstrous Machines like? Initially confusing, especially in summer, as it starts off with the sound of one of those really loud, annoying flies that won't shut up! First track containing human sounds is 'We are the Enemy', which gets the album off to a flyer (see what I did there...), big drums with half heard vocals down in the mix, "You are the enemy, we are the enemy" before edgy guitar comes in, vocals exploring the mutually hostile class interests inherent in capitalism and the corrupting effects of living in a society based around competition, alienation and violence.
Next track 'Big Money' is all big chunky guitar sound and rapid fire vocals, Track 4 is 'Oi! Wot I Said', I remember this from Prepare Yourself for an Emergency and it sounds ace! Distorted vocals and a noticeable change of style, exploring feelings of social/political disempowerment and being ignored (as a means of control?)
"You're up there shoutin' down at me
I'm down here but you can't hear me
You took away our voice
You took away our voice
It's not like you left us no choice we ain't free
I wanna know have you heard a word that I said I want you to tell me have you listened to a word I said".
A fuzzed out gem but some where in there is a pop song musicality, reminded me a bit of The Fleas in that way.
Track 5 is 'Hard Stop', the sound of a wild night encounter with the cops, intense. Great thing about Le Snags/Night Kayakers Kill Again, and a retrospective makes this clearer, is the sense of a band that can't quite stay still, that are too interested to stay in one place for long, which keeps them interesting!
'Assassins' slows things down a bit before 'Carpathian Warlord Pt.2/Enemy', I absolutely love the first part of this before it segues into 'Enemy', they need to rerecord this track and make 'Carpathian Warlord Pt.2' at least three times longer! Megaphone vocals come at you over fuzzed up guitar and sonic attack bursts, Bob Calvert would have loved this!
'Parliament Ltd' is an incisive analysis of career politicians, of the establishment. " dirty, crooked...you're in it for the money...lord it up with your OBE...look after each other...oh what a show"
'Last Refuge For A Scoundrel' is, I guess, a reference to the Samuel Johnson comment about patriotism (1).
"You tell me I'm the problem
You tell me I'm to blame
Saw you talkin' to me neighbour 'n' you were tellin' him the same
Now I hate everyone
And everyone hates me
But some people get hated more there's no equality
Lets blame the weak Lets hunt the weak"
Last track up is 'Nuclear Device (Bleak Outlook)', a concern newly relevant in the opinion of Noam Chomsky,
"Surrounded by hypocrisy
To you we're pawns to abuse
The situation's out of hand
It's a vicious circle it just goes round and round
Are you gonna press the button
For your own self destruction"
If you like your punk angry and psych tinged this would be well worth a try, I think they're selling the CD at gigs, but I guess they would send you a copy out. However if you are living in the South somewhere Night Kayakers Kill Again are hooking up with The White Skull Death Snakes of Death for a couple of gigs soon, definitely worth getting along to! Although how big is the poster going to have to be to get both those bands' names on?!
Lyrics courtesy of https://thesnags.bandcamp.com