When Akuma Kin, the debut of the Australian band Lucifungus, was released in 2019, I was literally blown away. Heavy riffs, sparse with vocals, raw and unpolished. For a moment I had the feeling that my favorite band The Melvins had cloned their selves and moved to Australia. After inquiring with the band itself, this turned out not to be the case.
April 2020 finally, for me, the long-awaited second was released, entitled Derek. Released on vinyl by Black Farm Records. A label that always succeeds in making something special out of it. The album has seven heavy and raw songs that are played in just over thirty minutes. It seems the two band members have called themselves Derek and Derrick because of the album’s title. The two immediately start to blow you away with the first track Ball Shaker. It feels a bit like that: by a way of warming up, flapping the balls (the ladies can shake their lips for a moment, I think). You get almost four minutes of instrumental pounding and riffing. The duo clearly shows that they get their mustard from Melvins’ King Buzzo. The second track, Burn the World, sounds more Sabbathian, iboth in riff usage and melody, without losing the aforementioned rudeness. Burn the World is also the first song with vocals. Albeit limited and in the background. It does makes it complete.
What Lucifungu’s lyrics are about is a mystery to me. When I asked one of them for it via FaceBook Messenger, I got the answer: “I don’t have them, then I would have to write them down.” (The lyrics are now on their Bandcamp page, ed.).
Transpyramid, the third song, sounds a bit more bare and quiet than the previous two. The fourth song with the expectant title, Take the potion (a tribute to Lee Dorrian and Tom G. Warrior) is lyrically not a highlight (“Ooohh. Well hey”, that’s all), but it hits the nail very hard: it indeed sounds like a tribute without sounding too much like a Celtic Frost song. Except for the lyrics then. Lucifungus, the sixth and longest song starts funky and with a bit of imagination it does sound a bit like Cathedral (with Take the Potion still in mind). It sounds unwieldy and heavy with vocals that sound more like talking. After a few minutes the song has a short break where the guitar and drum sounds are reduced to a minimum. Then the duo rumbles on again. The closing track Manicanimals is just the right one to end Derek nicely.
Although Derek sounds a lot less raw than its predecessor, the album is not inferior to Akuma Kin in terms of sound: it still sounds just as rude, raw, unwieldy and loud. I’ve seen the sludge duo Mantar live a few times. They produce a huge amount of volume. I wonder if these two Aussies can do that live as well. I bet they do. In fact, how great would it be to be able to see both bands in one evening, or at a festival of two-man (m / f) formations?