REVIEW BY FUNGAL PUNK (OMD)

INSANE SOCIETY - UPSIDE DOWN

     Hailing from the Brighton area, Insane Society are a band of four experienced, mature 'erberts who are obviously well versed in all areas of the punk rock genre. This debut CD reflects this opening statement and the true punk egghead will take double delight in not just enjoying the fine retro feel but in relating each individual track to one of its more than apparent influences.
     'Fat Chick' opens proceedings and is instantaneously catchy with a chorus set to thrill drunken audiences all over this beer-sodden land who understand the overlooked intricacies of postcard humour. The very British sound of this CD is blatant and in this instance it is a very welcome ingredient that makes this lot at once recognisable and comfortingly familiar. 'Send in the Troops' next and its a real 'Chronic Generation' affair which intensely drips with a moody, almost threatening atmosphere and leading perfectly into the more Oi based 'Bastard'. A right Skinbo track which displays Insane Society's versality to a tee. And so the tracks of everyday life both personal and global continue with 'Paranoia', 'Made In China', 'Johnny Holmes' and 'Evicted' being my personal pick.

     A very 'laddish' CD and this lot should go down well wherever they play as the simplicity of the immediate vibe and adhesive quality of each ditty will surely please the most awkward of punk listeners. I can thinks of loads of bands this lot could play with and compliment perfectly so no doubt big festival slots await. The commercial appeal is there and whether its a sell-out that awaits is dependant on the bands attitude but I for one hope thay stick to this real approach and continue the honest and well delivered standard they have set here. A very good debut indeed.

REVIEW BY PUNK4LIFE

INSANE SOCIETY - UPSIDE DOWN

Another band new to me but what a good band Insane Society are. These guys come from Brighton and play rough and ready old school punk. 'Upside Down' is their new 15 track album and with songs like 'Send In The Troops', 'Evicted' and 'Johnny Holmes',a comical song about the long lengthed, late 70s porno star, these guys mix humour with real issues. Best tracks for me were 'Bastard' which is pure aggression, 'Made In China', which is about China becoming a giant in the manufacturing industry and 'Seaford Town' which is an anthem to the non-league football club of the same name. it's nice to hear these guys paying homage to their local team in this catchy singalong song which hopefully gets played over the speakers on match days. Not a bad effort this album and I enjoyed it.

Horse & Groom, Brighton Friday 08/08/08

Insane Society Live On Stage

+ DJ Wag spinning old Vaultage tracks

 Punkdaddy reviews the proceedings,-

    I was hoping there would be some old faces at the House Of Doom on Friday night. There were just one or two but despite the low turnout, those who did attend were treated to DJ Wag playing Vaultage tracks before and after the performance of his band Insane Society, who dished up 100mph high energy, hard driving punk. It was kind of odd to hear those old tracks from the likes of the Dodgems, Devil’s Dykes, Golinskis, Ammonites, Nicky & the Dots, Parrots, Piranhas etc in the setting of the Awesome Groom. They still sounded fresh and alive. It struck me how much ska and Two-Tone had influenced these bands. Apart from the Depressions and very early Piranhas, there was precious little rock. So it was a joy to hear some authentic live punk rock 30 years on.

     Insane Society have some corking numbers, those that stood out were Bastard and Paranoia with it’s catchy hookline of ‘Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up!’ Great headbanging stuff. If I wasn’t so old myself I’d have been pogoing... The band gave their all, singer Sheldon leading from the front, twisting and turning and getting us all in the mood, striking up a lively rapport with the sparse crowd. On guitar, Wag was spot on, played some searing punk riffs and added his vocal back up in the appropriate places. Tight powerhouse drumming from Steve Dangerous and awesome bass from Stefan gave the band a cohesive overall sound and on a Friday night in Brighton this was music to an old punker’s ears. The mix was just right, the volume level allowing the audience to hear everything without making yer ears bleed. Top geezers. More power to yer elbows!

REVIEW BY FUNGAL PUNK (OMD)

INSANE SOCIETY - INEQUALITY STREET
It has been a fair while since I listened to anything by Insane Society due to the avalanche of noise that gets poured my way and my somewhat addled mind. When this one popped through the letterbox I was already overloaded with music to catch up on and so a surge of guilt swept through me as I imagined the inevitable delay to this review. Fuckin' hell I can only do so much and think I do well to turn out what I do but that doesn't stop me having a conscience. I still refuse however to rattle a CD review off over 1 spin and try to have at least five but preferably 7 to 10 spins per disc before I trundle out an appraisal. Difficult and getting more and more impossible but I am trying so please bear with me one and all. Anyway without too much dawdling allow me to crack on and get this one fairly assessed. 
'Two Minutes' adopts a simple stance and is easily picked up by the listener. Neatly played, no worries with the production and as easy as you like. The guitars chug along without unnecessary affectation, the lyrics are done with a repeat style and remain clear, the drums stay tidy. It doesn't blow you away, it doesn't raise the hairs on yer neck but it does get the CD rolling quite adequately - complaints to Insane Society at...! 'No One Needs To Know' is a crafty tune about local crackpots many of us may be familiar with especially if we come from those over-crowded council constructed ghettos where many a ‘character’ resides. The druggies, get rich quick geezers, whores, long term dole-ites and not forgetting the ones who live on a diet of beer and fags. A pure street-based tale with a typical scuttled sound, an approachable inflection and all round familiarity if you are more than a little aware of this bands outpourings! Nice enough chief and into the third track we go.

'Afraid Of The Dark' creeps along in the midnight hour with extra texture and a more thoughtful drive. Paranoia, fear and internal demons are all dealt with in this alternative style of sonica from a band who like to dabble with a few different modes of melody. Again this is a song that is easily picked up but I feel more emotion could have been drained and more terror added. The chorus doesn't do enough and is a trifle flat rather than being an all out plea for escape from the dreaded sable horror. Just my view but there you go - as always the Fungal fingers remain honest which you should all be aware of by now. Not bad but oozing the potential to be more - think on! 'The Prisoner' is all about being free. Free from the shackles of life in fact with a sub-yearning for death that assists this on being a full on suicidal note. Nicely constructed, stable penmanship, and with a musical inflection apt for the mood this one wanders and ponders and comes out as a triumphant episode of depressing noise. We all have darker moments and Insane Society capture the sensation with little fuss. Sombre, melancholic and in opposition to the usual crews fare this is a strong moment and worthy of praise. 'Stand Up' gets back in the usual cheeky groove and questions the wank political nature of this country and the ambiguity of all our parties. Left wing, right wing, chicken wing - wank - you should all know the score and enjoy this little shuffling ditty. Clarity is still maintained with all components oiled and given enough space to breathe - perhaps the most significant aspect of a decent CD.

'Mohammed ' is a wonderfully delivered controversial listen that clutches on to ambiguity and will have many thinking this and others thinking that. I love that aspect and the fact that the whole melody is sweet adds flavour to a dish many will deem sour. The message is clear with a yearning all round for peace, equality and an end to fuckin' all round stupidity. Well written, excellently delivered and full fuckin' marks for standing up and saying things how they are - a great moment and praise aplenty from Fungal. If you can't upset em' then fuck em' - hey and don't worry dudes I know exactly where you are at! 'Enemy Of The World' is a full on 'fuck off' to the stars and stripes brigade who want to see our country jump and become an extension of all that is yank wank. Rather than blow fuses the band swap a few wires around and rely on the surge of the current to arouse the listener. The thirst for noise isn't there and a desire to preach over-rules the output. Thank goodness it works - only just but it does!

'I Don't Wanna (Be A part of An Insane Society)' is real back to the basics and is a piece anyone could write. I am really not keen on this at all as I feel as though I've heard it all before and it comes over as rather a dated piece. It is tidy enough but bog standard punk puke that lacks certain colours. If the song were remixed with a full on violent backdrop of sound then yes, yes, yes but as it is it’s a no, no, no. Sorry dudes but I bet many will disagree. I would like to see this one 'live' though as I reckon the whole feel will be completely different. 'She Don't Understand' is the best yet and has a very 'bloke's bloke' feel where the oppression of womanhood and those relationship blues come to the fore. Fuckin' cutely written and one that will work very well in the 'live' arena. The Oi brigade will lap this up and it will be a sure fire hit in a working man's club near you. Another one to watch out for when this crew plug and play at your local. Good one!

The next piece, ‘Sticks And Stones’, is full of apprehension before the fight and when the punch-up does commence the lads restrain themselves and keep good order with an uncluttered chorus. An Edgar Wallace style guitar break cuts the song in half and one or too spacious moments raise an eyebrow and before we know it the effort is over. 'CCTV' is a good honest stroke of musicianship and comes in from various angles. It shows the crew can do the orthodox and then drift into unknown territory and still pull out a fair song. The build up to the chorus finale is measured and swiftly followed by some nifty guitar work. Again one to please the masses in the flesh so I better check my calendar sooner than I think!

Doing it your own way is a quintessential snip of criteria that all punky people must abide by. Avoid the predictable and stick to your guns as Insane Society do here and you may come up with an equally rewarding effort. ‘Anthem’ is tuneful, defiant and almost too friendly to be trustworthy but is a delightful gem that needs a few plays to capture the full taste. The closure is thoroughly awkward, unexpected and abrupt - what better way to finish a song of this style! Is 'No Surrender' drug induced or is the style of scrawl totally abstract? Make yer own fuckin' mind up on that one but the overall composition is another personal fave and offers questions, provides answers, takes them away and has you scratching your head in bewilderment? What the fuck! Take it for what it is and just enjoy!

Two to go with 'Another Soldier' a tale of pointless death in a conflict we wonder why it still rages on. A pawn in a political party is gunned down but Insane Society stand firm and pick up the flag of victory and stride forth. It is a stated rather than sung outpouring filled with emotive effect - the song will get ya and maybe have you hanging your head in shame or holding it high with pride - the stance commands so listen up dudes. The closing number is 'This Is What We Do' and is homage to all the travelling tunesters out there who get off their arses for little reward and give the few music fans their daily bread. It is 100% underdog excrement and anyone in that murky world should get down and sniff. It shows where the bands heads and hearts are at and that my jolly doubters will do for me. There is a hidden track which is a total moronic piece of excellence borne of a mind who should know better but doesn't - love it! 

 So it has been a fair while since Insane Society played an SAS shambles and after this little review I wouldn't mind doing it all again. A few tracks on here didn't particularly float my boat but a few filled the sails and blew the fucker along like magic. Respect though has to be given for a band sticking at it, doing it their way and popping out a few gems along the way. I would like to see a full-on slam dunk CD next but who are this lot to listen ha, ha - I wouldn't want them any other way anyway. Oisters have a peek, retro dudes please dabble, the rest - well it's your call - me - well roll on the next one is all I can say!