If songwriters really do think of their songs as being like their children Spunk Volcano must have to keep a beady one eyed watch over every song he writes for the Eruptions, simply because they are the type of tunes that would hang around the shops looking to nick your XR3 whilst flicking you the vees out the back window as they speed off into the night looking for a little road rage.


Hot on heels of 2019’s expansive and belligerent ‘Double Bastard’ set, the wonderfully monikered ‘Barry Milner Is Thick’ is a collection of fourteen of Spunk’s new children that not only continue with his wry life observations but also in places sees the masked menace move the Eruptions sound into (dare I say it?) what some might call a more commercial direction.


From the opening “woah ohs” of the hook-laden ‘Broken Hearts Make Better Songs You See’ through the thunderous bass driven lead single ‘Football In The Sun (Ossie Ardiles)’ to the chugging ‘Soldier On’, the opening 1-2-3 are perhaps the most melodic tracks Spunk has ever penned for the Eruptions, and in doing so I think he’s going to perhaps draw more than just the odd comparison with his other band – Dirt Box Disco. I really do not mean that as any form of criticism, especially as that band’s last album (‘TV Sex Show’) is easily one of their strongest in years, but when you have the same singer in both bands these things are perhaps going to be inevitable.


‘Hard As Nails’ quickly brings things very much back onto more familiar Eruptions turf though and as a song it does exactly what it says on the tin, leaving me feeling like I just received a sonic boot in the bollocks from the masked man and his Eruptions.  Likewise, ‘Swiss Army Dick Head’ continues the sideways look at local bellends whilst ‘Little Red Buggy’ perfectly criss-crosses the metal/punk tightrope the band have always chosen to traverse.


‘Magic Manakin’ and ‘I Should Have Seen It Coming’ once again move proceedings into singalong territory with the former containing one of the most infectious opening riffs the band have ever written. ‘Council Pop’ miraculously turns water into a 1 minute 43 second thrasher and in current single ‘Only Got Eyes For You’ Spunk and the boys might have written their greatest song yet. However, when you also add into the mix the anthemic ‘Looking For Something’ (which reminds me of Argy Bargy jamming with Misfits!) and the brutal ‘It’s Fucking Shit’ (a song I would love to think has been influenced in some way by The Hip Priests’ Austin Rocket’s infamous online music reviews) it feels kind of wrong to pick out single tracks for a special mention.


A new Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions album wouldn’t be complete without a couple of musical curveballs and here it’s the album’s second single ‘Tomorrows Promises’ that has a pounding later day Living End kind of vibe to it plus the emotionally charged album closer ‘Caving In’ which really do push the Eruptions sound into a whole new dimension.


Written and recorded by the ‘Double Bastard’ line up of Spunk on vocals, Maff on drums, Joey on bass, and Tom and Scott on guitars a long time before the current Covid-19 pandemic, whilst ‘Barry Milner Is Thick’ once again dabbles in the darker sides of life it’s still guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face and for me  it once again reaffirms the fact that if degrees were awarded for songwriting social commentary, Spunk Volcano would have a masters in it.


Released on vinyl and CD on 4th December 2020 via Avenue Recordz, you can pre-order your copy of ‘Barry Milner Is Thick’ now by clicking the link below.

Buy ‘Barry Milner Is Thick’ –   Here


Author: Johnny Hayward