King Salami And The Cumberland 3: Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers

With an interview with the high octane bundle of energy that is King Salami in the offing it is only right we take a look at the recent album from King Salami And The Cumberland 3. To be honest it came out in the tail end of last year but having looked for an excuse to delve back a few months and share this simply brilliant explosion of irresistible and excitable sounds an interview seems a good enough reason. Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers is music at its best and what it was invented for, to ignite the deepest pleasure and thrills possible within each and every one of us.

Formed in 2006 the quartet of one Japanese, one French, one Caribbean and one Spanish conjurors of fun, draw influences and flavours from the fifties and sixties and spice them up with their own contagious blend of insatiable ingenuity and energy. Consisting of former members of the Ulcers, Chinese Lungs and Parkinsons, The Cumberland 3 led by the irrepressible King Salami leave one breathless and over excited with their album. Released on Dirty Water Records Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers is a wonderfully agitated swell of movement, its brief to unleash an unrelenting explosion of infection and hyperactive melodic pleasure.

King Salami And The Cumberland 3 has riled up hearts and emotions all across Europe with the sharing of stages with the likes of The Pretty Things, The Trashmen, The Standells, The Mummies, The Bellrays, and The Cynics to name a few. Renowned for their irresistible live performances and sweat drizzled excitement, the band have translated that energy and insistent mischief into their previous singles and now this album. It brings the essence of having the band there in front of you as it plays with your senses whilst firing up the need and urgency to catch them on stage.

The album explodes into the ear with Do The Wurst, an instantaneous assault of punk fuelled rhythm & blues/rockabilly. The beats and rhythms assume full control of limbs like a maniacal puppeteer instantly whilst the guitars fire up the aggression and attitude expected from a meeting of Screaming Jay Hawkins and The Meteors. The track has one joining in with movement and voice within mere seconds and even has the most composed and reserved of us flinging a few air guitar chords into the heated air. It is the perfect opening and sets the album up for greatness no matter what follows. To be honest the album only took a couple of songs to make a believer and adoring fan of us here so excuse the drool dripping from each and every word we place upon it.

The excellent I Smell A Rat with its raw and hungry breath searches for the ear next. With garage caked intensity to the guitars it leaves a big grin on the face though not as wide as from the following Mojo Workout. If you could have improper thoughts about a song this would be the one at the centre, a bristling irresistible slice of naughtiness. King is supreme leading the thoughts and emotions into trouble like a mischievous big brother ably assisted and egged on by the rest of the band.

Every song deserves close attention as not once does the manic party within the album lull or slip into a reserved moment, but those pleasures are for you to find out and feel. The more fiery highlights though include songs like the wanton sax pleasuring of They Don’t Know, the tribal contagion that is Pawnee Stomp, the Big Bopper/Screaming Lord Sutch glory of Watcha Gonna Do Tomorrow, and Sweet Love To You where Gene Vincent meets Ray Campi and The Blue Cats in a salacious love nest.

A twisting and energetic boiling brew of rockabilly, rhythm & blues, punk, and explosive rock n roll    Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers is simply magnificent and the surest fullest pleasure one can have within the ear. With spices and passion from the likes of James Brown, Sonny Burgress, The Sonics, and The Frantic Flintstones to name a mere few you can easily tell the vibrant and pulsating sounds within the album. King Salami And The Cumberland 3 are the match to fire up every day and heart; you just need to say hi.

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RingMaster 23/05/2012

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Maz Totterdell: Sweep

 

There is never a shortage of talent in music but sometimes someone comes along to leave mouths open within a wave of musical and creative magic. Such a person is Maz Totterdell, a singer/songwriter so immense in promise and already realised talent that it is frightening. At just fifteen years old she releases her debut album Sweep on May 28th through Series 8, a collection of songs and artistry to catapult her in to headier skies from the already acclaimed plateau she graces. It is not just the music and songs which impress but the remarkable maturity to it all that belies her years.  This is a life yet to truly live and as the album caresses and lights up emotions and thoughts the sense that once Totterdell has felt the experience of life in its full there will be nothing she will not be able to portray within or bring to her rich and deep creativity.

From aged nine Totterdell was performing at open mic nights in her home of Devon, the following year saw her in the final of UK Unsigned at the Hackney Empire. At eleven she turned to writing her own songs and teaching herself the guitar and within two years was playing her own compositions to eager audiences in local venues and festivals. First single came in the shape of the excellent Counting My Fingers, a song that found dedicated and persistent play on Radio 2 and 6 Music through the likes of Sir Terry Wogan, Steve Lamacq, and Radcliffe & Maconie. Now with Sweep it is hard to imagine anything but a full thrust of affection and praise flying her way and upon the album, the astonishingly striking and deeply pleasing.

      Counting My Fingers opens up the album to instantly light up the senses, its eager heart an immediate infection. The semi acoustic sway of the song has a mesmeric effect upon the ear drawing the warmest reaction and participation to its addictive chorus and energy. Musically it is uncomplicated and maybe unadventurous but that is its charm and the perfect canvas for the excellent vocals and teen angst Totterdell unveils.

New single Heart In Your Pocket steps up next to continue the great start. The song is a slower emotive piece of folk pop which wraps its almost pleading energy around the ear with a gentle yet firm intent. Predominantly the songs are Totterdell in voice, guitar and/or keys with the accompanying skills of a few aiding the realisation of her imaginative and passion drenched invention. On this song amongst those helping is Paul Bateman on bass, his delicious distant growled notes in the shadows of the song bringing an edge of disruptive peace and happiness and instils a resonance and depth to the track.

The likes of the excellent Delirious which sees Totterdell hypnotising thoughts with voice, harmonies and guitar alone, the sneaky Lazy Day and a song far more addictive then you initially realise, and Willow (Angel Child), all leave one immersed in pleasure and lingering satisfaction. The latter of these three is a folk gem as instinctive as they come with simply stirring emotive violin assistance from Sarana Verlin and the first song that Totterdell unveils her full potential, its glorious seeds of astounding promise ahead firmly planted.

As much as the whole album delights and impresses the final two songs seal the fullest captivation. The Leaver’s Song is a stunning piece of songwriting which leaves one glowing in respect, adoration, and anticipation for the years ahead. From its gentle guitar and voice intro the song beckons with a tenderness and enchantment that gives an irresistible platform for the melancholic breath that lies on every note and chord. As the song fills out into its full height the power of the song and Totterdell are astonishing. It is impossible not to feel it in every sense and emotion. She captures the same majestic mix of sound and passion that the Scottish band Letters conjure and it is the mightiest moment on the album.

The closing Little Puzzle, a cheeky little gem of a song with mischievous melodies and childish percussion, simply leaves one with sunshine in the heart and smile on the face as the album waves its goodbyes. It is an aural sunset that offers the promise of an even bright day ahead, something the whole album does in sound and promise.

Sweep is wonderful, a true pleasure. The scary thing is that Maz Totterdell is far from the finished article, many aspects of her skills and craft are open to improvement but one knows that will come with experience and dare one say age. To be so impressive and produce music like this already is staggering and yes frightening of what she should achieve in her future. Cannot wait!

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RingMaster 23/05/2012

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Enthrallment: People from the Lands of Vit

As it devours the senses and leaves heavy intense punctures upon the psyche the new album from Bulgarian death metal band Enthrallment has one eagerly succumbing to its immense power and oppressive presence. People from the Lands of Vit shares nothing but darkness, brutal energy, and a devastating consumption of the ear and beyond. It is not a pleasant experience but totally hypnotic and a trigger for the blackest thoughts to come out and play.

Enthrallment brings sounds borne from early nineties death metal with a technical skill and vindictive intent. It takes no prisoners and expects only submission before its mountainous riffs and crushing mass and receives it willingly. People from the Lands of Vit, the third album from the band lays colossal pummeling rhythms, stampeding heavyweight riffs, and incisive melodic violations upon the senses from the start and is unrelenting until it leaves a shattered shell behind with its final note. The release drives with a blistering energy and charging pace throughout, a blackened arm of sounds on the march. It is incessant and merciless but veins each track with grooves and spears of invention that light up the pit black presence surrounding them.  It is a glorious assault that from a nod of initial recognition becomes more magnetic and compulsive the more time and effort given its way.

To be honest the album lingers only in breath and is a mere shadow once it departs, no song or moment lingering beyond its aural intimidation of the ear but whilst in its company there is never less than intrigue and satisfying violent enjoyment. From the opening surging malefaction of Chronicle of Sorrow flesh is scarred and senses numbed, the scorched guitar invention scouring the wounds with incisive thought and skill. It lights up emotions and imagination as it ruptures veins and infests thoughts but once it passes its weaponry onto the following Devoted To Delusion, another rampaging infestation, memories of it are lost. In its company though, it is a breathless excursion into the malicious and corrosive dark.

Enthrallment leaves no part of the mind and feelings untouched as the songs continually rattle inner cages and rains explosive rhythms and thunderous riffs down on their recipients. Tracks such as the exhausting Psychological Storm, the uncompromising A Full Land Of Worms… From The River To The Void, and the excellent Obsessed By Just Anger with a driven energy any express train would find hard to keep pace with, leave welcome craters upon the body with an undeniable force and malevolent intention. Every second of the aggression as well as thoughtful play beneath is rewarding and pleasing if not lingering.

It is fair to say there is not anything openly new about the album but nor is it predictable and repetition of anything found elsewhere. The guitar work of Vasil Furnigv and Andrey Gegov is well crafted and instinctive whether pummeling or blistering the ear with scything melodies whilst the rhythms from bassist Rumen make an eager companion to the hungry drum attacks of Vo Ivanov. With the guttural crawls and prowling delivery of vocalist Plamen Bakardzhiev adding layers of intensity to the already formidable sounds the result is more than satisfactory.

Released through United Guttural Records, People From The Lands Of Vit is a worthy entrant into the mass of death metal albums already brutalising the year to date. It might not be the most startling and innovative album but Enthrallment ensure it is one of the most enjoyable.

RingMaster 23/05/2012

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Begrime Exemious: Visions Of The Scourge

Having just been chewed up, spat out and then violated eight brutal times the idea of saying good things about Visions Of The Scourge, the new album from Canadian black metal band Begrime Exemious is impossible. But as always bad is good and there is no hiding away from the fact that through all the crippling and intrusive infestation of the album the lack of enjoyment was never an issue.

     Visions Of The Scourge is one of the rawest cancerous releases to coat the ear in venom and filth in a long while. With sounds as caustic and nasty as a cheese grater on flesh the album offers no escape or relief from its malevolence and dehabilitating intensity. It is a bestial mass of thunderous riffs and senses scything melodies not to mention offering the foulest vehement vocals to escape the pit, the result a blend of hatred and dirt so immense it makes the silence after its departure scream just as loud.

Formed in 2005 the band has seemingly had a constant change in line-up over its years, circumstances seeing members leave and return, and new ones brought in and leave. Reading their bio it is quite confusing at times and hard to state exactly who all the members are who recorded Visions Of The Scourge. Despite this the band constantly impressed live and with their demos and releases. The 2008 EP Set Ablaze The Kingdom Of Abraham drew great attention and led to the band uniting with Dark Descent Records. The following year saw the recording of their debut album Impending Funeral Of Man with its well received release coming in 2010.

Again released with Dark Descent the new album is a ravenous bestial corruption which is as coarse and raw as it is intense and destructive. It is not devoid of production but the natural and instinctive malice and aural atrocity of the sound is allowed a free rein and it only adds to the release. With a cleaner more precise production the album would just not have the rabid bite it has and the result would be a limping beast instead of the monster that it is. You feel as if you are right there as they unleash the sounds live and hungry upon the ear, the violent storm assaulting every pore.

Opening on Incestuous Servitude the album grips hard from the start, the instant groove squeezing the ear until it is ready to pop. The track and the album as a whole drips old school black metal malevolence and sound. It whips the senses with scorched melodic swipes and barracks synapses with vindictive rhythms, whilst the vocals come from the darkest nightmare, bile and drool soaking the ear with every scowled spiteful word. The track sets the tone for the whole release, the consumptive assault unbridled.

The album is slightly inconsistent with some tracks bringing a greater pleasure and invention than others. Tracks like Oath Of Impiety with its addictive bass riffs and Chasm To Obscurity have more than their share of fine moments to fall under but they do not quite ignite the raging flames as others manage to do.

Highlights if you can have those in a release without light and mercy come in the shape of The Vault Of Ancient Bone And Poisoned Saliva with its poisoned hooks and insatiable groves, the punk blistered Perverted Decadence Churning, and Sacrament of Virgin Flesh with its salt in open wound effect on the senses. Beneath the unrelenting infernal violation of the ear Begrime Exemious conjure up some stunning acidic and spiteful melodic invention to distract the ear whilst the rest of the intensity rips through places it has no right to be in.

It is hard to say you can enjoy Visions Of The Scourge, the damage it causes too extensive and lingering but Begrime Exemious make sure you will not or want to forget the experience. And as to whether one would want to share time with it again….want has nothing to do with it as one will and welcomingly often.

RingMaster 23/05/2012

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