Review: Charkoal

Never trust people who insist on spelling their names wrongly. A few months ago, Umbro decided to misspell the word “cyclone” as “zyklon” as the name of their new trainer and had to apologise to the Jewish community for inadvertantly using the name of a poison gas used in the Holocaust. And although Charkoal’s blunder may be minimal by comparison, they still need to apologise: their songs really aren’t that good.

“Voyeurism” is a classic example how not that good their songs are. Fuelled by the sort of artificial anger that only Papa Roach would be proud of (at least Charkoal don’t blame their sorry state on the loss of their mother), they sing – as much as someone with a permanent throat infection can sing – of……..something. It’s a bit difficult to make out. Something about on the “first night” watching “you kiss” and on the “second night”, hearing “you speak”. We brace ourselves for an amazing account of what happened on the third, fourth and fifth nights, but we never find out. It might be that, along with their inability to spell, they just can’t count past two.

Perhaps I am paying too much attention to the lyrics. After all, it would be foolish to argue that Charkoal were guilty of such an indulgence – particularly when one considers the lines: “And when you come round/you make me feel proud”. Proud? Proud? What? They can’t even use the excuse that it rhymes!

But the problem is that there is very little else to pay attention to: just pointlessly noisy guitars and a drummer whose repertoire switches from beating a drum every beat to beating the same drum every other beat (even Oasis’ Tony McCarroll could do better than that). And to top it all, I think they’ve nicked a bass line from The Shadows.

5 November 2002

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