“EP” by Cuntroaches (cassette)

2017 has been a year of years for underground/experimental music. Seriously, it has been amazing. But I wanted to go back to a release that has been one of my constants throughout the year, the second cassette “EP” release by Cuntroaches. These wonderful denizens of Berlin unleashed this sharp jab of tape early this year, and it is a true marvel. Now, it has become common currency in extreme music to use the term ‘brutal’ to describe what you are listening to, and with more than enough actual brutality taking place in our flyblown world, I will leave that word alone for this review. What Cuntroaches have brought forth on this tape are slices of raw, unadulterated, beatified noise. “Fraud” scared the living devil out of me with its rough-hewn bass blasts from Suckles and Martina’s shattered vocals tailing out in drenching hails of feedback. Love it. The skull-popping drag of “Short Fuse” dials down the tempo but ratchets the tension, Martina’s flaying vocals still whipping through your nerve endings all the while. Drummer relentlessness is always something I can throw my full support behind, and the blessed Claire obliges repeatedly. The eruptive “Pig Woman” swings in blissful derangement, grinding away incisor-like. Sweet surrender never sounded so good. There are almost no words for the raging solar force at work on the climactic one-two shots of “Shit Show” and “Road Trip” suffice to say that after the 16 minutes and 34 seconds of this wholly righteous cassette have elapsed, you and your hearing will never be the same. That isn’t just hyperbole, that is just a fact of life.




Best of 2016


“Militant Modernism” and “Uncommon” by Owen Hatherley, “The Devils Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government” by David Talbot, Kate Evans: “Red Rosa”, “Trotskyism” by Alex Callinicos, “The Paris Commune: A Revolution in Democracy” by Donny Gluckstein, “Stone Male: Requiem for the Living Picture” by Joe Carducci, “1956: A World in Revolt” by Simon Hall, “Showa: 1926 to 1939” by Shigeru Mizuki, Vladimir Mayakovsky: “Volodya: Selected Works” (ed. Rosy Carrick), “Mayakovsky: A Biography” by Bengt Jangfeldt, “1966: The Year The Decade Exploded” by Jon Savage, “Lenin 1917 to 1923: The Revolution Besieged” by Tony Cliff, “Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan” by William Hjortsberg, “Critical Lives-Lenin” by Lars Lih, “Critical Lives – Alfred Jarry” by Jill Fell,


“The Beholder’s Share” by Hwyl Nofio, “Night Moves” by Adam Keay at Spelman’s Bookshop.

Films (Cinema)

“The Black Panthers’ Vanguard of the Revolution”, “The Neon Demon”, “Hard Stop”, “The Confession: Living the War on Terror”, “Jason Bourne”, “I, Daniel Blake”,

Films (DVDs)

Jacques Rivette: “Out:1”, “Love on The Ground”, “Gang of Four”, “Histoire de Marie et Julien”, “Le Pont du Nord”, “Paris Nous Appartient”, Abel Ferrara: “Pasolini”, Agnes Varda: L’Une Chant, L’Autre Pas”, Alan Clarke: “Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC”, Kevin Brownlow & Andrew Mollo: “Winstanley”, Georges Franju: “Judex”, “Nuits Rouges”, Miklos Jancso: “Elektra, My Love”, Dziga Vertov: “Man with the Movie Camera”,


Stand Up to Racism gig at the Crescent, York, February: Algiers at Headrow House, Leeds, 27th April, Common Eider King Eider/Gabriel Salomon/Earth Eater at Café Oto, London, 25th June,

Music (Old and New)

David Bowie: “Blackstar”, Savages: “Adore Life”, Tindersticks: “The Waiting Room”, Bernard Szajner: “Some Deaths Takes Forever”, Laddio Bolocko: “The Life and Times of Laddio Bolocko”, Deux Filles: “Silence & Wisdom”/” Double Happiness”, Steve Mason: “Meet the Humans”, Jenny Hval: “Blood Bitch”, Death Grips: “Bottomless Pit”, Common Eider King Eider: “Extinction”, Factory Floor: “25 25”, Scott Walker: “The Childhood of a Leader”, Emma Ruth Rundle: “Marked for Death”, Exploded View: “S/T”, Cuntroaches: “S/T” cassette, Leecher: “I’m All Wet”, HTRK: “Psychic 9-5 Club”, Adrian Belew: “Lone Rhino”, “Twang Bar King”, “Inner Revolution”, Anohni: “Hopelessness”, Bat For Lashes: “The Bride”, Halo of Flies: “Music for Insect Minds”, Helios Creed: “The Last Laugh”, Unsane: “Scattered, Smothered and Covered”, V/A: “Dope, Guns ‘N’ Fucking in the Streets volume 1 to 11”, Cows: “Daddy Has a Tail!”, “Cunning Stunts”,


“Deutschland 83”, “Flowers”, “Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle” series 4, “Drifters”, “John Berger: The Art of Looking”, “Rich Hall’s Presidential Grudge Match”,


Finally meeting Andee Connors after 15 years of email friendship and seeing Common Eider King Eider play at Cafe Oto in Hackey/meeting Garret Hamill at the same gig along with so many amazing people/meeting Ken Loach in the foyer of York City Screen before a screening of “The Spirit of ‘45” and sharing his popcorn with him/attending the Stand Up to Racism conference in London in October/Marxism 2016/Standing Rock protests/Durham TAs on strike/activism on the rise everywhere


Bryan Danielson forced to retire from professional wrestling/ROCK-A-ROLLA magazine goes under (2005-2106)/paroxysms on the left over Brexit, personal and professional relationships breaking down in the aftermath/lack of understanding/the entire audio-visual media failing us all in every possible way with regard to news this year (a failure sure to continue into 2017)


In the immortal words of Warren Oates, “too damn many” …

David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Dale Griffin, Jacques Rivette, Franco Citti, Axl Rotten, Trifon Ivanov, Andrzej Zulawski, Frank Kelly, Eiji Ezaki (Hayabusa), Barry Hines, Johan Cruyff, Zaha Hadid, Tony Conrad, Howard Marks, Balls Mahoney, Kris Travis, Prince, David King, Muhammad Ali, Dave Swarbrick, Peter Schaffer, Kimbo Slice, Peter Owen, Hector Babenco, Alan Vega, Davey Hopper, Gene Wilder, W P Kinsella, Andrzej Wajda, Steve Dillon, Tom Hayden, Raoul Coutard, Leonard Cohen, Robert Vaughn, Leon Russell, Dario Fo, Fidel Castro, Greg Lake

Cuntroaches interview

Cuntroaches are one of the best bands I have ever had the pleasure to discover in all my time as a music writer. Brutal, funny and fearless, their self-released cassette is my easily one of the best things I’ve heard in all of 2016. It was my eternal regret that I didn’t to get to see them on their recent UK tour, where by all accounts they terrorized and enthralled a new layer of fans in equal measure. As you will read in this excellent interview with the band, there is a lot more to come from this exceptional group in the very near future>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>ctrlive

When did you first get together as a band?

Last year?

Where did the band name come from?

Martina’s heavy drinking. Now we’re stuck with it.

What is Berlin like as a city for making and playing the type of music you do? Is there is a vibrant scene there?

Berlin is fine: we give 2 out of 4 farts!

How happy are you with your cassette release, and what has been the response to it from those who’ve bought/heard it?

Very happy. We ran out of cassettes a few times and had to produce more, which was totally expected. We were surprised that a lot of hardcore music magazines wanted to review it! The folks that don’t get us are super supportive. Great comments on our sound, such as “broken vacuum cleaner,” etc. Get your ears flushed and ready for the new EP, COMING SOON!

How has the tour you’re on currently been going? Is there a network of venues across Europe that you can rely on as an underground group or have things become more difficult?

The UK tour in May was great! It rained every single day. We’ve built up a network of dedicated promoters through intense touring in the last years under different projects. Seriously, big shout out to all the losers organizing shows for yahoos like us!

What bands have you been playing with and which ones have stood out the most so far?

Anxiety, Leecher, Mr. Marcaille, PISS, Baton, Commiserations, Virgin Dad, Kaspar Hauser, Lugubrious Children, Fetus Christ, Hyäne, G.A.U., Härda Ut, Orden Mundial to name a few!

Your four track cassette is one of the harshest and noisiest I’ve heard in a long time. How did you record the tracks?

Thanks. We used a 16-channel digital sound card and whatever $5 microphones we could find in our rehearsal space the size of a box and full of garbage. The demo was mixed in Reaper by Suckles and mastered by a handsome Goth named SARIN.

What is the song-writing process for your band?

Martina presents a riff she’s hummed and recorded on her phone and we work on translating this mess into something even worse. Otherwise, we group-poop a song out together diarrhea-style: hard to explain the magic.


“Confer” by Sever


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Electrically narrow and vogueish sectarian, explainingramme shad-turn around attendance, ideologing fruit.

Leecher: “I’m All Wet” (cassette)

Evolving out from the smouldering embers of the illustrious Glasgow band Divorce, Leecher are the new brutalist sound on the block. Their debut cassette “I’m All Wet” is a thorough, not to say ruthless introduction to their manifest strengths. The rib-shaking bass of VSO keeps the low-end fiends in check with “Bottomless Swamp”, propelling an inviolable wall of noise. “Night Sweats” is a febrile fever dream, compelling in its peak vs trough atavism. The gut-wrench vokills are a noxious touch of genius, spilling over the cassette’s content like an unshakeable virus. Vickie McDonald’s scything guitar wrenches and rejects rhythmic order, writhing over everything in defiant mood. The heavy-hitting continues with “Arboretum”, a grisly, growling blast of crawling ferocity. Its epic frame will put you out for the count like a punch to the temple. Finally, “Pubic Louse” brings this bilious collection to a close, a noise nugget comprised of pure viciousness and sweet stealth delivered with a manic grin. Limited to 100 copies. Avail yourself of one immediately – it is not be missed.

Cuntroaches: “S/T” (cassette)

In the sphere of underground music, there are many surprises lurking, awaiting your discovery. The very latest of them is Cuntroaches, a visceral trio from Berlin whose debut cassette is one of the best underground releases of the year so far. Cuntroaches are Claire, David and Martina, three musicals tearaways with talent to burn – David Hantelius has a previous pedigree from his former band, the immortal BATALJ, and Cuntroaches are fast approaching their levels of viciousness. Four full-blooded tracks explode from within its agreeably analogue casing, each of them bitten off and spat out with thunderous aplomb. The fulminating blasts of “Scum Patrol” and “I Tell Ya” are a grievous sensory assaults, with searing feedback grafted on, mutating in real time. The fiery vocals are almost divorced from human form, reverbed within an inch of their lives. “Lumber Jane” careers to an intimidating end, and the monstrous “Hard Stool” is as devastatingly putrid as the title suggests. Transgressive and delirious, Cuntroaches are on tour in a country near you soon. Get with it, and buy this utterly feral tape while you can.

cuntroaches.bandcamp.com cuntroaches.tumblr.com cntroaches@gmail.comCuntroaches


Best Of 2015

BEST OF 2015
Gary Webb: “Dark Alliance”, Judith Orr: “Marxism and Women’s Liberation”, Owen Hatherley: “Landscapes of Communism”, Tony Cliff: “Trotskyism After Trotsky”, “Lenin: All Power To The Soviets”, Bobby Seale: “Seize The Time”, Chris Hedges: “Days of Destruction, Days of Rage”, John Newsinger: “The Blood Never Dried”, Ian Birchall: “Tony Cliff – A Marxist For His Time”, Terry Eagleton: “Why Marx Was Right”, James Baldwin: “Giovanni’s Room”, Kim Gordon: “Girl In A Band”, George Breitman: “The Last Year of Malcolm X”, Mark Curtis: “Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World”, Richard Brautigan: “Sombrero Fallout”, Julian Petley, “Censorship”, Jeffrey Haas: “The Assassination of Fred Hampton, Kevin Ovenden: “Malcolm X – Socialism and Black Nationalism”, Peter Kennard: “Unofficial War Artist”, Tony Cliff and Donny Gluckstein: “The Labour Party: A Marxist History”, Emile Harsch: “Thomas Sankara: An African Revolutionary”, Stephen Tuck: “The Night That Malcolm X Spoke at the Oxford Union”, Curtis J. Austin: “Up Against The Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party”, Jean Patrick Manchette: “Fatale”.
Algiers at The Waiting Room, Stoke Newington, London, Bad Guys at the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, Acid Mothers Temple at The Fulford Arms, York, “With Banners Held High”, Unity Works, Wakefield, Stand Up to UKIP public meeting with key speaker Amal Azzudin, Shami Chakrabarti On Liberty at Friend’s Meeting House, Marxism 2015, supporting the National Gallery strikers during their successful action against victimization and privatization, the local and general election campaigns for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in York.
“The Duke of Burgundy”, “The Falling”, “Violette”, “Selma”, “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night”
Maria Metszaros: “Diary for My Children”, Goran Olsson: “Concerning Violence”, Milos Forman: “The Firemen’s Ball”, Barbara Kopple: “Harlan County U.S.A.”, Michael Cuesta: “Kill The Messenger”, Peter Strickland: “Katalin Varga”, “Hesher”, Andrzej Wajda: “The Promised Land”, Penelope Spheeris: “The Decline of Western Civilization” parts 1 2 and 3, Raymond Bernard: “Wooden Crosses”, Haskell Wexler: “Medium Cool”, Abel Ferrara: “Pasolini”, Kelly Reichert: “Night Moves”,
Algiers: “S/T”, Lonelady: “Hinterland”, Goatsnake: “Black Age Blues”, Zombi: “Shape Shift”, Torche: “Restarter”, With The Dead: “S/T”, SUNNO))): “Kannon”, Nile: “What Should Not Be Unearthed”, Corrections House: “How To Carry A Whip”, Grimes: “Art Angels”, The Clientele, “Unreal and Alone”, Leviathan: “Scar Sighted”, Black Breath: “Slaves Beyond Death”, Bad Guys: “Bad Guynaecology”, Luke Haines: “Adventures in Dementia”, Rolo Tomassi: “Grievances”, Bardo Pond: “Record Store Day Trilogy”, Workin’ Man Noise Unit: “Play Loud”, Rose McDowall: “Cut With A Cake Knife”, Pig Destroyer: “Prowler In The Yard”, Swans: “Filth” deluxe reissue, Punk 45: “Burn Rubber CityBurn!” and “Extermination Nights in the Sixth City”.
“Ted Hughes: Stronger Than Death”, “Broad City”, “Luther”

The Juice Rap News (RIP), Act Out!, The Stimulator/SubMedia TV, The Empire Files with Abby Martin,
Disovering the best band of 2015 by a country mile, Algiers, a band of such undeniable strength and invention that the sky is literally the limit for them. Their powerhouse performance at the Waiting Room Stoke Newington was a thing of wonder, transfixing everyone who was lucky enough to witness it. Their debut album, to quote Godard, is not the promise of something, but the thing itself; bristling with political articulation and aural sophistication, avowedly experimental yet completely immediate, theirs is a singular vision that brings together so many revolutionary elements that it truly is rebel music for the new century. It has been my privilege to write about them in my first pieces for “Socialist Worker” and “Socialist Review”.
The sad and untimely deaths of beloved friends. Being made redundant for the fourth time in ten years. Too many cultural events missed. Too little writing completed.
Steve Cox, Paul Van Linden, Francesco Rosi, Edgar Froese, Andre Brink, Robert Stone, Andy Fraser, Gunter Grass, Eduardo Galeano, Ornette Coleman, Morris Beckman, Dieter Moebius, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, Chantal Akerman, Steve Mackay, Corey Lander, Maureen O’Hara, Philip French, Gunnar Hansen, Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor.