Fungal Punk: The Scaners "The Scaners II"
Miscreants from times advanced come back and scuzz-fuck like mad and deliver a synthed up shithouse of sound to rattle the bones of those stuck in one time, one place! I reviewed the bands previous CD, I was in a state of indecision and thought there was more to come - here is what I believe to be an upshift in sound and a better attempt at fulfilling potential tapped. These French adrenalin travellers test my mettle; I sit back, get transported and spit back with an overview that goes like this.
'Please Abduct Me' instantaneously displays the environment from which these dabbling untrustables voluntarily emanate their vibes. A quick 4 counts brings in a star-travelling rush of sound that immediately shows a band hitting sought asteroids of achievement and blowing any hindering detritus of doubt out of the cranial galaxy. The song has pep, runs with fine pace, holds enough quirky essence to get many screwballs and fantasy-seeking music lovers aroused - this take-over wastes no time, no sooner has the boost button been hit and we are catapulted along at the speed of sound - and what a good sound it is! 'Catch Up With A UFO' skin bounces in, switches to cruise control and glides through the asteroid belt of problematic critique with resonating rhythm and fantastic wired in energy. The song is one long complete mush of sparking electro-pushing. The pulse rushes are plentiful, contain zoned in unity all heading for Destination X and along the way contributing to a flavour borne of tomorrow, best played...today!
Skies turn ultra-violet, a strange emanation is buzzed, we look around and a realise 'Random City' is before us. A shimmer of the vision, a different shade hits the optical nerves, a colour from realms beyond. The escorting soundtrack is nipping, has convincing 'outta space' tremulations, seems focused and determined to use a straight forward drive that will not be shaken – I think they make their point and do it well! 'Mars Attacks' clanks and clatters, is a hit and miss assault of invasive noise that comes from many angles with a suggestion of psyched skank never far away from the receptive assessors. The song is played over and over, the nag of the rhythm, the stop-start rhythm, the general fruit-loop uncertainty make this one is a wormhole one can easily get lost in and misplace one's verdict - oops!
'Space Exploration' next, the start stalls, slips into bass mode, penetrates awaiting galaxies and perpetually rotates like a UFO intent on adventure. The spaceship of sound trembles the sonic airwaves, undulates as the peregrination into lands obscure is taken. The band keep a tight rein on matters, the odd awkward collision is had but overall this is an easy offering to get to grips with, move on and enter the pending 'Galactic Race' juiced up and ready to fire photons of critical praise. The flag is waved, the angled and piercing keys molest the cranial membranes, the race is run and the finishing tape hit, perhaps too soon. The opening sequence promises much, what we get is a repeat pull of the toned trigger that is all well and good but after the sci-fi energy of the start, the quick flick sub-skankiness that follows, I really expected so much more. The band had hit a zenith and let it slip through their robotic fingers - ooh the silly sods.
And 2 more rhythmic ray-gun blasts hit me in the mush, the first 'X-Ray Glasses' is a jerky number that avoids a flat-line with a regular beat in the meat, a nicely woven bass thread on which to ornament and musically posture and some automated utterances to bow down to and...obey. The construction is in keeping with the scenario set, ideal for android dancing, conveyor belt repetition that sees the eavesdropper spasm to the sonica. 'Spin Like A Record' follows up, is a similar song but has greater pep, higher animation and so receives...greater praise. I switch on, jig to the rotating silver circle, the tremulations of the electric parts so far unreached. There is a spark coming from my jacksie, the stop-start affect is causing great friction, a friction that is a catalyst for much bopping. The mix of elements may be a trifle over blended if one wanted to offer harsh critique but in truth, I have no complaints.
The last 4, 'Don’t Run We're Your Friends' (now where have I heard that before) is straight out of the 1950's B-movie blitz that saw many a creature come from distant globes, offer up a signal of peace and end up in a war. The attack here comes over a course of 1 minute 30 seconds, sticks to a continual loop and encapsulates what the band do - there is nothing different here, we are still being propelled on the same collision course - hold on tight. 'No Panic, No Stress' is a more complex song although retains the strains we now know so well. The opening indications are of something restricted, shackled and on programme setting 'loop' - again. The blend between verse and chorus though is slick, complimentary and efficiently functioning with the vocals getting the most out of another fuse-box situation. Something snags me here - I play over and over and act like an Invader from Mars - it pisses off my family! 'Pesticide Kids' gets the head down, gives the acceleration button a slight nudge, chugs and channels its energy, has a rewarding verse and drops into a stagger segment with ease. The middle break turns up the voltage, is almost frenzied, takes the band into the final throes and gives them enough vim and vigour to finish this one all aglow. We shut down the receptors with 'Run DD Run', a montage of fucked up fiddling that sees the band plough in with all their techno wizardry, experiment, create sub-chaos, insult with angles and come up with a creation that is a pleasure to explore. There is a certain chaos yet a certain careful arrangement and as we dash for cover to avoid the last hail storm of photon fuckery we do so with a spring in the step. One for the end of the night when liquid have been sloshed, pills popped and heads are truly melted - let the cacophonic colours collide.
The Scaners are on an upward curve, at the moment I feel from the nadir to the zenith they are sitting at the halfway point - there is still more to come. They have a style, are not moving from it and for me, just need to create a few orthodox numbers and then layer over with the screwball space age bangles to make for an intriguing mix. Pop things up a little more, add one or two 100mph speedbursts and wham my man, you'll have a stunner. This one though is a nice advancement and has many fine moments but a reviewers job is to be honest and push - so that is what I have done (I hope).