Here at New Hellfire Club, we generally have an informal rule that if we can't say anything nice, we shouldn't say anything at all. And we genuinely want to support new music and up and coming acts. But, every now and then, there comes a band that forces you to take off the gloves and get serious…
THE PAPASHANGOS are one such outfit.
Picture this: an email pops up in the inbox at NHC International Headquarters. It describes a band who classify their ethos as ‘punk rock mayhem’ and invites you to review their sophomore EP.
The EP’s cover art depicts a butt plug, embossed with the band's name, with the release title - Just The Tip - emblazoned across it in faux cut out ‘kidnap note’ letters.
First impressions? Not good. The band clearly think they're funny and provocative, but instead come across as puerile and prurient.
But, is that so important? How's the music?
We are a bloody shambles
Our review copy starts with a faint voice whispering ‘It's just the tip…’. Then the band crashes in with their ‘intro’ song We are THE PAPASHANGOS. This is my favourite track of the EP because it's only 30 seconds long, goes nowhere and is, mercifully, over before you've noticed it began.
Next up is...Well, that's anyone’s guess. It turns out that each CD copy of the EP has the songs in a different order. And there's no track listing on the cover. The songs are listed, but not in any order.
However, I'll review NHC’s copy of the thing.
Wasting My Life Away
The next aural ‘treat’ is a scratchy recording of a random, angry American voice yelling about the lack of human intelligence. Then the song starts, and you understand what he means. You get two minutes of fast, vaguely bluesy, punk rock trash. Sort of like Johnny Thunders inexpertly mashed with The Stooges, sung by someone with an unfortunate Bon Scott fetish. If that sounds appealing to you, I don't know what to say.
Eating People is Wrong
Next, another two minute banger, this time prefaced by a pointless quote from postmodern horror film Cabin in the Woods.
The sound is more garage rock this time, demonstrating the band's signature inability to stick to one easily identifiable genre. The lead singer alternates between Rocky Horror style camp in the verse and full on breathless shouting in the chorus. Noisy and stupid.
The Poncho Song
A sample of Rick Moranis from the Young Ones introduces the next song, which turns out to be an indie sounding musical hagiography of the joy-bringing properties of the poncho. Just to emphasise the level of blinkered cultural appropriation this band will embrace, the lyric includes a reference to sombreros as a kind of booster drug. Disappointing. The only bright spot is that the lead vocals on this track are delivered by Dessie Shango, the rhythm guitarist, and he doesn't shout them.
I Wanna Get Fucked Up
The last song on the EP starts with a terrible recording of a drunk PAPASHANGOS fan complaining about something at one of their gigs, and goes rapidly downhill. The lyric outlines a night of debauchery and alcohol abuse, seeming to revel in bad behaviour and overindulgence. The song degenerates into tuneless thrashing and screaming, then stops abruptly. Thank God.
But wait… just when you think it's over, Just the Tip has one more surprise. There's a hidden track that attempts to hack into your home audio set up…
To sum up: the whole EP is a disgrace. Noisy, disrespectful, cheeky, and annoying.
Friends don't let friends listen to THE PAPASHANGOS.
If you don't believe me, you can buy it here:
You can find the band on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Thepapashangos/
Feel free to tell them how much you hate them.
- The Big Bad Wolf