Recently I had an email from a chap named Scott asking if I could review his bands album. I said "yeah of course man, send the details other." I was in a for a little bit of a shock as it was a band I had actually seen before. It was a band named Fisti Kuffs. One of my best friends worked with the bass player in Fisti Kuffs a few years ago and we had gone to see them play live in Ipswich. I enjoyed them but hadn't really ever given them any of my attention since. I was now very much looking forward to hearing their album.
The first song is named Fanjita, which I believe is slang for a ladies personal private lady area place. This really sets the tone for the whole album, it's silly pop punk and ska music that will get you smiling and singing in equal measure. The next song is Panderize sees some keyboards added to the mix and brings new element to Fisti Kuffs sound. Panderize is a hook filled song that will get you tapping your toes. The third song is named Slut. No prizes for guessing what it's about. It starts out with a nice bass line from James Cooper before Graham Mann adds some guitar. Mann's vocals kick in as well as Scott Normans drums and the whole songs feel goes towards that off a 70s beach rock style. Throw in some na na na na's and you've got a crowd pleasing track.
After a brief electronic interlude where a love of donuts is confessed comes the song Donuts. This song is full of innuendo and isn't actually about donuts. I'm far too sweet and innocent to talk too much about the lyrical content but it's pretty filthy and very entertaining, just don't listen to this song with your mum. Track six is a song called Jedi and has more of a ska feel to it and makes want to break out in a skank. There's a story telling charm to the verses in the song that are very reminiscent of Madness and Blur before the chorus storms in with all its punk rock glory. Beach Song is the stand out song on Return To Taco Hell. It's a catchy pop song about a lovely day out at the beach. It's a laid back song that will get you singing along with your pals. I really love the harmonies towards the end of the track. An ode to the Beach Boys perhaps?
Sharks is one of the harder rocking songs on the album. It's a song about being afraid of sharks. I really laughed at the lyrics "I'd rather dance on Lego bricks than deal with these toothy pricks." Long Way Down is another of the slightly harder punk rock songs. It's about taking a risk knowing that there is nobody around to save you. The chorus gets pretty intense (for this album anyway) with some gang vocals screaming "JUMP, JUMP, JUMP, JUMP!" It's nice to hear Fisti Kuffs show they can write seriously as well as silly. The penultimate song is called If You Die. It's a song where Graham asks for all sorts of things if his friend dies. Back to the silliness it is then. A running theme for the album is silly, but it's a fantastic silly, a silly that makes you smile. Punk rock shouldn't just be about being serious, it's just as important for it to be fun which is what Fisti Kuffs are all about. The album finishes with a song named El Psycho. This song actually has a bit of a Latino feel to it, adding another string to their musical bow. A hugely danceable song that like the rest of the album will have you smiling like an idiot.
Stream and but Return To Taco Hell here: https://fistikuffs1.bandcamp.com/album/return-to-taco-hell
Like Fisti Kuffs on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/FistiKuffsUK
Now listening to Right Here Right Now by Rehasher