This is a review of "Extended Play" recorded by Fungal Ashtray. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2003.
Halifax's Fungal Ashtray show both inklings of future potential and signs of still learning their craft. With a sound born out of Britpop roots they rest somewhere in the midway regions between the likes of Embrace and Hurricane #1 on the this four song offering.
Bright opener "Vehicle for hire" is the classic unfinished song: containing most of the right elements, some unnecessary ones and a chorus that dips the pace. A rather unexpected New FADs outro rescues matters but it's an escape to avoid the real ending. "Not Even Goodbye" is Fungal Ashtray's moment of glory and at 2 mins 44 is the classic finished song: simple & strong verse / chorus construction that sticks with you - fantastic! So having built a lofty platform it's only right the band plummet from it head first. A single moment of lyrical weakness can be enough to ruin a song, no one will remember those clever couplets you pulled off in the verse, particularly when the crime is committed in the chorus. Yer' honour I present exhibit A "I choke myself drinking molotov cocktails" as touted by felon Rick Hand. Not to worry though a reasonable jail break is carried out with "Shines on your soul" peeled from the pages of "How to write a live favourite in 3 easy steps".
If Fungal Ashtray can harness the heady heights they reach with the excellent "Not Even Goodbye", avoid the lazy tricks of "Molotov Cocktail" and change their name from something that sounds like a stall in the hippy zone of Glastonbury then they clearly have the ability to go places.