With a name like Fat Janitor, you’d be forgiven for conjuring up all kinds of images. Perhaps a portly, off-ignored, creepy kinda guy seems the most likely one. And if he was indeed lurking, around a corner, a school locker, in the janitor’s cupboard, that image would only be multiplied.
Thankfully, we’re only talking about a Glaswegian band called Fat Janitor, and their mini-album ‘Lurk‘is quite simply brilliant. For starters, its hard to pigeonhole, containing plenty of noise rock elements without sounding like the Am Rep revival which seems to be gathering pace, whisked with hardcore riffs & rock grooves that they occasionally flit between. It’s not totally original and no doubt you’ll find your own comparisons, but ‘Lurk‘ is a lean machine that doesn’t so much as deserves attention as it does demand it.
At first glance the song titles imply a lack of seriousness – ‘French Winger’ could well be about Florent Malouda if you take its title as read (in reality its an instrumental). But its all business from the get go, and it happens to be one of those records that seemingly gets better as it progresses. The riffs vary between angular, groovy and chunky style, often fighting through a wall of noise. The screams from their vocalist are raw and piercing, like he’s drunk half of bottle of neat, cheap vodka full of rusty nails. Even when it threatens to slumber, Fat Janitor simply step up another gear with a wake-up riff, displayed most excellently on ‘Human Sandbags’, which halfway through hits a brilliant stop start groove like a slap to the face. The closer, ‘Two Nights in Hell’ sums up Fat Janitor’s style in one song, utilizing rock, noise, hardcore, punk and other alternative elements like a proverbial battering ram. The constant feedback from noise effects is occasionally overpowering but mostly serves the band well.
Once again, I’m left in awe by a Scottish band. How the hell do yous north of the border continue to do it? Seriously though, Fat Janitor have, in ‘Lurk’ a mini-album marking serious potential and reaffirming Scotland as one of the finest underground hardcore/metal scenes in the world right now.