The Objex – Reservations for Debauchery

Rattled, battered and thoroughly yet pleasingly wasted is how one feels after sweltering in the full blistering punk rock force of Reservations for Debauchery from Las Vegas based band The Objex. If you thought punk rock had seen better days then get your eager mitts on this unapologetic orgasm of uncontrollable punk intensity and attitude thrust through the ear via vital and eager riffs wrapped in pulsating sexual energy. 2011 saw original punk show its heart is still beating loudly with the likes of UK’s The Duel and US band Cute Lepers releasing albums of stunning quality and enjoyment, to which we can add Reservations for Debauchery. Whereas the British band came from the safety pin cutting edge of the likes of X-Ray Spex and Vice Squad, The Objex take pop hook laden sounds reminiscent of the likes of Generation X and Vibrators and forge them with a rock powered intensity. They are an irresistible blend of The Plasmatics, Mongrel, and The Distillers yet completely distinctive and totally exhilarating.

Formed around 2006, The Objex was the creation of drummer Joe Perv and front woman Felony Melony whom he had enlisted to front his band The Pervs on the remaining dates of a tour it was on. After the tour the duo decided to carry on working together forming The Objex, the name coming from a conversation about Melony’s breasts involving The Briefs member Daniel J. Travanti. April of the same year saw the joining of guitarist Jim Nasty and the element that really completed the band as a force, his style a perfect fit. A 5 song demo Bound And Gagged followed alongside a bounty of shows and tours as the band built an eager and rapidly growing fan base with their dynamic sounds.

Preceding the unleashing of debut album Attack Of The Objex in 2007 to ever increasing acclaim and demand, the band added the bass skills of Aly 2X, a musician who self proclaimed she was the “best damn bass player with a vagina that you will ever see”. The album’s response led a year of highlights including notable appearances at the SXSW music festival, The Afro Punk music festival in Brooklyn, NY, plus support slots touring with Demob, Gold Blade and The UK Subs in the UK. The following year the band began working on new material though it too saw the departure of Joe Perv due to creative differences. Taking months finding the right replacement the twilight months saw the addition of drummer Chile and the band ready to use 2009 for writing and working on preparation for follow-up album Reservations for Debauchery and shows. The band entered the studio in 2010 with producer Jason Tanzer of Dust Tree Production Studios and work on the album began, boosted by the winning of the Vegas Rocks Award for Best Punk Rock Band and signing a contract with European based independent label, Crownn Recording Group for the global release of the album, which was unveiled early the next year.

Obviously concerned for the moral welfare of the vulnerable amongst us, The Objex start the album with a public warning of the corruption ahead in the brief song ‘Fingered’. Once out of the way the band go hell for leather to assault, violate and most of all pleasure the senses. ‘RSVP’ swaggers in on a rock riff that squeezes the ear before exploding into a combative declaration and defiance. The guitars whip up a frenzy whilst a deep poking bassline veins throughout. Melony instantly shows she is one formidable vocalist, an eager extrovert without losing the anger and intensity all punk should come with, nothing lightweight about her or the band. Sounding like a cross between Brody Dalle and Wendy O Williams with a touch of Joan Jett she commands songs and attention with the openness to allow everyone in the band to shine.

Every song is deeply impressive and beyond satisfaction though there are some tracks that just edge others though it really is by slim margins. ‘Social Disease’ attacks with bitterness and venom leading one to know you would not piss off this lady intentionally. With a siren like riff the track leaps upon and dances within the ear leaving no response possible but to physically respond in kind. This is matched by the equally addictive ‘Toxic Waste Girl’, again linchpinned by a mesmeric hook it has a slightly more melodic wrap though still as excitable and relentless as anywhere on the album.

Getn Back’ grabs hold with mischievous intent to do damage whilst exciting at the same time. Complete with a riff that chips away at the senses incessantly the song just epitomises what the album and band is about and the quality of all its parts. The rhythms of Chile demand attention and the array of riffs that probe tease and linger from Jim Nasty fight for the same piece of the listener. All elements of the band want and deserve focus but it is all in a unity with the others, the production showing all off without threatening the unity of band and songs, and for the record Aly 2X certainly supports her claim with some of the most delicious basslines anywhere, male or female.

If pushed best song on the album is probably ‘Squeeze’, favourite anyway. As the album is as a whole, the track is relentless high octane punk flowing with acidic melodies and pulse racing energy. Melony stamps herself as one of the most exciting and accomplished vocalist, though as the album pushes its charms into the face the Mohican clad new Queen of Punk proves that everywhere.

It is rare to come across an album where you cannot find any real fault but it truly is the case with Reservations for Debauchery, tracks like the glorious ‘Retribution’ and ‘Criminal State’ just as worthy of the words and impressive reaction given elsewhere. The Objex has given one punk album you definitely should not be without; this is a release the word ‘essential’ was created for.

https://www.facebook.com/objexlv

RingMaster 12/01/2012

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Fourth Autumn – Mock The Weak

The debut album Mock The Weak from Welsh metalers Fourth Autumn is like a stick of dynamite. The first listen maybe even the second is like a fuse, the album slowly burning giving glimpses and indications of intriguing things within without full revelation. Then all of a sudden another venture through it and the release explodes upon the senses, the understanding and discovery of the wealth of quality within steps forth from within the already satisfying aural devastation. Sometimes releases that take their time to work upon and form a connection are some of the most satisfying and this is certainly the case with Mock The Weak. It may not become an album destined to top favourite of the year lists but it is destined to be one that will receive frequent ongoing returns.

From Newport the quartet of Julian Cousins (vocals and guitar), Daniel Cousins (vocals and drums), Chris Phillips (bass), and Jason Robinson (guitar) have appeared from nowhere with this debut the first knowledge of their existence let alone how they sound. With Mock The Weak the band make up for lost time with a release that  blisters and violates the senses, chewing up the ear with heavy insistent riffs, demanding rhythms, and an intrusive dual attack of scorched rasps and darker bestial guttural vocals from the two Cousins. Take a deliberate excursion beneath the self termed“… blackened death metal…” intensity the band conjures and there is a vein of creativity and varied ideas that almost too easily blend in and are veiled by the power they challenge the ear with. Once given the extra attention and focus the album shows the band to be stylish skilful musicians well crafted in their instruments and songwriting. With some bands a lightening of the bombardment to allow the melodic or creative elements to shine would be a positive but Fourth Autumn’s sound is a package, both elements as they currently are integral to the overall sound and it is up to us to make the extra effort not the band, and how rewarding that effort is.

Released via Rising Records on January 23rd Mock The Weak takes no prisoners as it tests and confronts far beyond the ear. From the opening collective blows from riffs and drums of opener ‘Rotting Hill’ the album demands and takes. The black metal type vocals are venomous and the pit spawn grunts brutal, the almost insidious impact taking a while to be freely let inside. This black/death metal approach though maybe not new is brought in a more impactful way than heard before. The track also reveals the imagination of the guitarists, the constant riffs added to by incisive rock inspired solos and offshoot directions that intrigue.

There is strong variety to the release too that keeps it more than interesting and as on ‘Mourning Wood’ where the harsh attack evolves into a progressive spiced display of emotive guitars and atmosphere it is not always veiled by the intense sonic assault. The band state the likes of Behemoth, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Cradle Of Filth as main influences and it is not hard to find obvious touches within tracks like the excellent ‘Don’t Stop Bereaving’ and ‘Divinity Defiled’ though the band use these flavours as strings to their own muscular bow.

There really is nothing about Mock The Weak that one could justifiably suggest needs changing or is a slight negative, with tracks like the crushing ‘A Door, A Table, A Fist’ and the rampaging ‘Son Of Apollyon’ leaving welcome deep marks long after their departure. Two tracks really capture the senses though to increase anticipation of future releases from the band even higher. ‘Rigor Mortis (Makes Me Stiff)’, yes who can hold back a chuckle as the bands obvious humour openly breaks free. The song strides boldly with unbridled belligerent riffs and chorus that is almost sing-a-long in its catchiness and addictive hook like delivery. As often glimpsed elsewhere there is a teasing lightness to it suggesting as serious as the band are musically and creatively they do not carry it to extremes about themselves. The song is the definite favourite though closely challenged by closing track ‘Sultans Of Swing’ and it’s stirring almost vibrant hostility veined by more hypnotic guitar play.

    Fourth Autumn may be new to you but after listening to their excellent debut they will be long time friends.

RingMaster 12/01/2011

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Sport of Kings – Logic House EP

Released the tail end of 2011 The Logic House EP from Sport Of Kings is an unassuming release that captivates without truly leaving a lasting impression. Maybe not strictly true as at times melodies of lead track ‘Free Jazz’ can make unannounced appearances in the head though not always with the recognition of their source. The EP is a release that whilst it graces and pleases the ear with its subdued energy and expressive melodies it leaves little lingering taste to tease one to return to it as often as maybe it deserves.

The Brooklyn, New York based band in many ways began when songwriter /guitarist Richard Kelly moved to Brooklyn from Dublin. In Ireland he was part of the acclaimed Capratone who found some success with an EP and album in their homeland. Taking a break from music Kelly set up in Brooklyn ‘Scientific Laboratories Music Studios’ which has attracted the likes of Yeasayer, The Ravonettes and Au Revoir Simone to make use of its facilities. He returned to playing his songs in a four piece indie band with bassist Ben Haberland, from which the departure of their guitarist led to the band taking the decision of replacing him with a keyboard player ,which they found in Matt Beckemeyer, and deciding the specific instrument had to be a Fender Rhodes electric piano. This move reflected their love of Steely Dan and the smooth rock of the 70’s of which this instrument played a major part. The choice led the band aside rather than away from the indie rock sound they were playing into a new direction as they fused their own music with this gentler 70’s flavoured rock sound. The band then proceeded to add a three piece horn section of trombone player Mac Walton, his brother tenor sax player Jas Walton, and trumpeter Billy Aukstik, and in addition to that recruit NYU Jazz School prodigy and Body Language drummer Ian Chang and Chris Hembree on Moog, the band unveiling itself in 2010 to much feverish acclaim.

Free Jazz’ opens the release with an almost self indulgent fanfare which can be forgiven with the engaging easy flowing joyful sound that follow. With a laidback confidence the track sways and washes over the ear with gentle tones and a summery warmth. The track is actually quite visual or inspiring of them, a stroll along a sun kissed river side or a caress in the departing dusk of a summer’s day filling thoughts. The track is quite lively despite the imagery expressed with the brass lifting the track in a pleasant blend with the smoother less urgent sounds. They have captured the Steely Dan type feel perfectly but still kept it as their own song.

1964’ follows with a slightly more robust intent, though again it saunters with the mellow undemanding flow of the band with a smile on its face. As with the first track, though the songs are well crafted endearing tunes it is the horns that spring board them to an elevated height that engages the senses fully. Kelly’s guitar features more strongly here but stays as part of the overall song rather than leading as in most bands. Haberland’s bass is a vibrant feature throughout the release and adds the bite alongside drummer Chang the songs need.

Preface’ and ‘Some Histories’, apart from a summer single mix of the opener, complete the EP. Both are less urgent pleasant tracks that please whilst playing but despite again their great craft do not ignite beyond the instant. To be fair this will vary in personal taste from person to person and one can easily see these being favourites for others, especially with again a lovely blend of brass and emotive almost reserved flow from the rest of the band and Kelly’s vocals. In some ways the two tracks remind of latter XTC, around the time of Skylarking to Nonsuch and that can never be a bad thing.

If you are looking for pulse racing sounds then Logic House is not for you but anyone with a love of modest but generous songs and melodies will find much enjoyment from Sport of Kings’ debut.

RingMaster 12/01/2012

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Interview with Stay Ok!

January 16th sees the release of the debut EP from fast rising Irish rock band Stay Okay! Bursting with well crafted melodies, eager hooks, and an infectious rock energy Time To Grow shows a band on the rise as they spread beyond their already enthusiastic homeland. We had the pleasure to talk to and find out about Stay Ok! and their exciting new release.

Hi and thanks for talking to The Ringmaster Review.

Thank you!

Firstly could you introduce the band members and tell us where and when you met and how Stay Ok! began?

Well there are four of us in the band: Timmy sings, Irtiza plays guitar, Alan plays bass and Kev plays drums. We all met in school just through some mutual friends and stuff, except for Irtiza. We had already started the band before we knew him, and after what seemed to be a hopeless search for a decent guitarist we were lucky enough to have a friend introduce us to him!

What were the inspirations that led you to have that need to make music?

I think it began as just a normal hobby kinda thing I guess. Playing music is a lot of fun so that’s obviously why we all started, but when it came around to us writing music to release and have people other than us to hear it became more of an outlet for us to express ourselves through.

You come from Dublin where there seems to be a vibrant music scene with some great bands emerging, is that the reality?

The scenes pretty good alright! Lately there’s been a good few bands branching out and touring the UK and even moving on to the rest of Europe too which is awesome to see. The standard is set pretty high here so it shouldn’t be long before a lot more local bands start making a name for themselves I’m sure.

How easy was it to spread outside to the rest of Ireland with your sounds?

It was pretty easy actually. We made some really great friends in bands in different places around Ireland so we were all able to help each other out with shows which let us reach out to new people. It’s definitely easier to do these things when you’ve got people helping you out!

January 16th sees the release of your debut EP Time To Grow. Does it feels like the accumulation of the past 2 years in that it is an introduction of this is us and this is what we can do as well as being a starting point for a new venture for the band?

We definitely see it as an introduction to who we want to be as a band, and hopefully that comes across in it! I mean it is just the starting point for us, so from here on in everything we do will hopefully progress more and more… and hopefully sound better too.

Please give some insight into the creation and recording of the EP.

As much as we wanted a killer sound quality and be able to take our time recording it we just didn’t have the money at all! But we were lucky enough to come across a reasonably priced studio with an awesome producer.

Did you go into the studio with the finished sound already in your heads or did it evolve during the process?

Since we were sticking to a pretty limited budget we had to make sure we were as prepared as we could be before going in to the studio! So we didn’t have much time in there to change much, but having the input of a producer listening to the songs with fresh ears helped us put the finishing touches.

How do you write songs? As a band or it is mainly an individual input?

The songs on Time To Grow were mainly written by Kev and Timmy. Kev would record the music at home and send it on to Timmy to put lyrics too and then we’d play them over and over like a million times as a band to finish them off. Now we kinda write more as a band though in the few songs we’ve been working on since.

What inspires the songwriting?

Timmy really just writes from experience. I think that the most important thing is that the songs we write are relatable. That’s when Timmy put pen to paper when it comes to growing up, friendships and family.

I am assuming you have a fair repertoire of tracks now how did you choose the four that make up Time To Grow?

To be honest we didn’t have that much tracks to choose from in the first place! And whatever other songs we did have sucked so it was literally just those four songs that were really worth recording. We really just wrote the four new songs that made up Time to Grow. They came at a really good period in our time as a band.

Towards the Finishline’ is our favourite track here can you give some background to the song?

Glad ya like it! We love playing this live. The crowd really seem to get into it! It’s one of those songs that is easy to listen to. The message is clear behind we feel. Nothing is impossible, sure look at where we are now. Bit of positivity for ya there!

Getting back to Dublin, do you think coming from there has shaped your sound in any way?

I wouldn’t say it has that much. Like we kind of tried to make the effort to not sound like anyone else from the Dublin scene so we’d stand out more, whether that worked or not I don’t know though! Because it’s such a small place, we have had to work harder to try and impress the listeners.

You are planning dates for a tour of the UK to promote the EP, any news on that?

We’re working so so hard on that at the minute. Right now the plan is to get over for a bunch of shows in the summer. Also if anyone reading this wants to help us make this happen, get in touch.

What can UK audiences expect from a Stay Ok! gig?

Expect us to try charm you into liking us with our Irishness and funny accents… But really we’d play our hearts out. First impressions mean a lot especially with new bands, so every time we’re playing somewhere new we really don’t hold anything bank.

If just one big thing comes from the EP and tour what would you hope for?

We’re not really expecting anything that big to come from the EP to be honest. All we want is for people to listen and maybe get a friend to listen too. That is the most important thing to us right now! We just want people to listen to what we have to say because what it really comes down to is the passion we have in our songs.

What are your current personal listening pleasures?

The Dangerous Summer and Deaf Havana are favourites for most of us at the minute. But as individuals we kinda have a crazy mix, it’s a common thing to go straight from a Taylor Swift song to an Asking Alexandria track if one of our iPods is on shuffle…

Big thanks for sharing your time and about the band with us.  Can we get you to leave with firstly any words for your existing and sure to be new UK fans?

Thank you for wanting to talk to us in the first place! Pleeeeeeeease keep listening and please keep spreading the word about us and introducing people to our music. That’s literally the only thing that makes playing shows for us possible and it’s so cool that people do it! Also come talk to us on Facebook and all those other sites too, we’re nice!

And any dark secrets about each other we should be told about?

Alan is bald and has to wear a wig until he gets a hair transplant.

 

https://www.facebook.com/stayokay

Check out the Time To Grow EP @ http://www.stayokay.bandcamp.com/

Read the EP review@ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/stay-okay-time-to-grow-ep/

RingMaster 06/01/2012

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