Para Elite/Total Annihilation – Battle On

Para Elite-Total Annihialtion - Battle On - Artwork

One of those releases you lick your lips in anticipation over, Battle On is the coming together of two of America’s finest oi provocations for one invigorating spilt. Uniting Para Elite and Total Annihilation for a choice slab of Patriotic Oi, the Skinflint Music released album is ten tracks of eighties seeded, invention fuelled punk rock to fire up the senses and passions.

The first half of the album is provided by LA band Para Elite. Consisting of drummer Cliff Warby (formerly of UK Oi band Condemned 84), vocalist Coop (of White Flag Down who only recently came to an end), guitarist Jason (Lone PESoldier), bassist Rob, and Tony (Rhythm Collision), the band, as indeed their companions on the album, stand eye to eye, toe to toe with the listener and abrase ears and emotions with prime Oi punk antagonism.

First track Battle Cry immediately stirs senses and thoughts as Coop stands alone pressing ears. This is instantly reinforced as a spicy tendril of guitar opens up alongside him, swiftly followed by a pulsating bassline and jabbing beats. Offering a juicy metal bred groove to its rhythmic tempting and great raw vocals, the song instantly defies expectations already gathered for the Oi punk fuelled release with its flavoursome variety. As proven across the whole release, both bands musically and lyrically challenge as with punk bred antagonism but do it in their own compromising way which people can take or leave. The opener makes a potent start to the release but is only an appetiser to the excellent lure of Don’t Wanna Hear It. Gripping the imagination with its opening flame of old school punk soaked guitar, the encounter settles into a provocative stroll with group vocal calls and a fiery texture to hooks and riffs performing aural slavery. The track is in swift control of body and emotions, its anthemic lure and potency an instant protagonist not demanding but certainly provoking reaction.

Hang The Banker is the same, a song which does not bully but definitely has inescapable and immediately riveting steel to its fury. With a chorus which enlists listener participation within the call of only its first line and barbed hooks to bait the passions of any kind of punk rock fan, the track is an addictive ‘call to arms’ igniting thoughts and views as easily as feet and the passions. It is a success matched by next up Patriot, its opening rally of seductive and contagious drumming alone binding bait. Broadening its enticing with similar riveting flames of acidic guitar and the ever inflammatory tones of Coop, it is simply incendiary rock ‘n’ roll with everything slimline but of the richest potency and persuasion.

Finishing their participation with Skinheads, an outstanding cover of the Condemned 84 track which thrills like a mix of Sham 69 Angelic Upstarts, and The 4-Skins but is still all Para Elite, the band leaves a blissful grin on the emotions, their old school yet fresh Oi tenacity and invention lighting nostalgic and new fires. Something which Denver quartet Total TAAnnihilation also easily inspire with their striking sound, an encounter merging Oi, punk, and heavy rock for an easy to greedily devour incitement. Starting with the raw assault of In Bed with the Reds, the band unleashes a distinctive and flavoursome dirty rock ‘n’ roll encounter. The song is a cauldron of spicy grooves and caustic riffs over seen by the great grizzled hostility lined vocals of Jimi (Working Class Heroes). It is also ridiculously contagious as is the following Death of a Nation, a track forging another rock stomp of punk and venomous rock ‘n’ roll for a belligerent and sonically inflamed brawl for ears and emotions. Guitarist Alex (Justice Blocc) colours the provocation with gripping riffs and sonic flames whilst the menacing basslines of Chris (ex-Outta Controllers(Working Class Heroes, Working Class Heroes) flirt forcibly as they align to the intimidation clad swings of drummer James (Archnemesis).

     Puttin in the Boot continues the spicy mixture, the song as its predecessor as much seeded in a Motorhead as it is in a Skrewdriver or indeed a Condemned 84. With a great blues tang to the guitar and incendiary riffery, the track is another tub thumping incitement though soon left looking paler by the brilliant Scene Slut. Part blues, part psychobilly and plenty punk, maybe we should call it Oi-billy; the track is an infectious stomp with more virulence to its tempting than the Playboy mansion.

Closing with the uncompromising inciting of Criminal Invasion, punk rock as raw and unpolished as it is always meant to be, the band leaves ears and passions on a high as the song brings the outstanding release to an impressive conclusion. Battle On is easily one of the best splits heard not only within punk but rock music in general this year. Oi fuelled but simply rock ‘n’ roll at its primal and instinctive best, the album is an easy recommendation for all punk fans.

Battle On is available from November 25th via Skinflint Music @ http://shop.skinflintmusic.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=755 , the first pressing of 300 coming in a gatefold jacket and the second pressing with a standard jacket available on white/yellow split vinyl (125 copies) and black (175 copies) vinyl.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/PARA-ELITE/769232079773053

https://www.facebook.com/Total.Annihilationoi

RingMaster 20/11/2014

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When Cities Sleep – What Lies Lay Between Us

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Unleashing a striking mix of metalcore and post hardcore with a volatile infusion of EDM, US band When Cities Sleep uncage their new album What Lies Lay Between Us this week and a tempestuous roar of sound and enterprise it is too. Coming with fierce hunger and intensity, as well as its own sonic wind chill, the band’s sound and release is a biting bluster of confrontation and intimidation spiced with a melodic endeavour which ignites the imagination. It is an encounter which is unpredictable and uncompromising but equally a proposition unafraid to seduce and enthral with hostility tempering elegance and beauty. It has flaws and at times is less convincing than in other moments, but given time it emerges as a rigorously appetising and riveting incitement.

Released through Indianola Records, the Maryland hailing band and What Lies Lay Between Us straight away impose themselves on ears and thoughts with opening track Dead Tires. From the first taunt of electro coaxing intrigue sets in to be swiftly joined by full attention as ferocious riffs and jabbing rhythms collide with the raw vocal squalls of Mike Garrow and the rest of the band. Instantly it is a voracious incitement lying somewhere between August Burns Red and The Browning but already with a whisper of contrasting endeavour as varied vocals and spicy grooves start littering the sonic tempest. This lure is fully realised with the appearance of excellent clean vocals, Garrow revealing his wide vocal prowess as the song twists and flirts with ravenous ingenuity. Who provides the electronic infestation we cannot say but with the searing creative rabidity of Justin Hein and Dario Eusantos’ guitars scorching the predatory rhythmic threat of bassist Robbie King and drummer Johnathan Melton, it all adds up to one hellacious and exciting trespass of the senses.

The exhausting start is continued by Two Faced and So Here’s To This, the first an antagonistic fury coursing with savage riffs and violent rhythms but bringing forth an exploration of rich melodies and binding elegance. It is a Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetsimultaneously combative and seductive union, rivals which seamlessly entwine around each other for an impressive portrait of craft and passion. In some bands’ hands it would be a clunky union but When Cities Sleep handle the contrasting elements with invention and technical understanding. The third song on the album initially dances with ears through a mellower electronic tempting but is soon smothered by the thick assault and animosity of riffs and rhythms, their combined malice oppressive smog. Within that though, the electro beckoning continues to ebb and flow, colouring the storm with its expressive textures to match the same diversity of vocals.

As Life And Lies ravages senses and air with startling maliciousness and resourceful enterprise, one of the album’s issues is reinforced. It is not exactly a major problem to be fair, but a similarity between tracks in sound and structure does often require a greater concentration and focus to escape. That time and attention given certainly brings potent rewards as every song offers its own identity of imagination and united individual prowess from the band but you wonder if enough people will offer that effort to give the release the spotlight it deserves. It would be their loss, as proven by the cantankerous intent and fierce examination of Six Zero Two, a barbarous violation with some of the best intensive and gripping riffery, not forgetting acutely thrilling grooves, on the release. Aligned to another healthy variety of vocal attack and tantalising electronic hues, the song is a memorable landmark on the landscape of the album, something else which is a little rare. Certain moments within the album, many twists in its adventure linger long past departure but far fewer whole songs achieve the same success.

It is something which does not detract from its impressive company though, a presence richly satisfying again through the album’s title track which features Shawn Spann of I The Breather. With melodies and harmonies as gripping and fiery as the stormy sounds around them, the song is an enthralling and vehemently steamy encounter, raising more hunger in the appetite which is fed by the excellent Daydreamer. The song is a tangy tapestry of sonic and melodically fuelled turbulence leaving ears and imagination ablaze and passions at their greediest and most blissful. It is the pinnacle of the album, edging out the first couple for top honours.

Concluded by the accomplished and mellow melodic croon of Letters For You, a track which does little wrong but just does not spark the passions without the same lethal persuasion of previous tracks, What Lies Lay Between Us is an impressing marker for When Cities Sleep. It is soaked in raw and thrilling potential ensuring it is an album leaving a want for more which is only a positive as the band continues its striking emergence.

What Lies Lay Between Us is available now through Indianola Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/what-lies-lay-between-us/id934466242

https://www.facebook.com/WhenCitiesSleep

RingMaster 19/11/2014

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The Dead – Deathsteps to Oblivion

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Unleashing their third album, Australian death metallers The Dead confront the senses with an energy sapping, senses consuming slavering beast and that is just the first track upon Deathsteps to Oblivion. The title perfectly sums up the corrosive and emotionally damaging journey the band drags the listener upon. It is an intensive examination of thoughts and emotions traversing a quintet of excruciatingly heavy and intensive soundscapes soaked in a pestilential fusion of death and sludge metal filtered through the darkest doom laded climate imaginable. It is a sound which belongs to all three styles yet is uneasy settling in any, creating its own domain of raw originality which is familiar but more so innovative. It is a harsh and demanding proposition but also one unafraid to melodically and sonically explore its imagination and providing potent evidence as to why the band is so revered in many quarters.

Formed in 2005 with a line-up which included members of Obfuscate Mass and Misery, the Brisbane band swiftly released a demo followed by the Armoured Assassin single in 2006. Following a second demo the band’s self-titled debut album was unveiled the following year, an encounter making an instant and imposing impression on the underground scene. With the Nocturnal Funeral EP subsequently under their belt, as well as increasing their live reputation with shows over the years alongside bands such as Behemoth, Obituary, Kataklysm, Psycroptic, and Ulcerate, The Dead gripped greater attention with second full-length Ritual Executions. Widely acclaimed through its independent release and a reboot through Diabolical Conquest Webzine which evolved into Transcending Obscurity and release the new ravenous exploit from the band, the album lured the broadest attention and spotlights, yet as Deathsteps to Oblivion infests the psyche you sense it was nothing compared to the response the new encounter has the potential to trigger. The line-up of vocalist Mike Yee, guitarist/bassist Adam Keleher, and drummer Chris Morse consume and immerse the listener with an aural suffocation which is as inhospitable as it is inescapably captivating, an incitement stirring up shadows and intimidations which seduce as they savage the senses.

Opener Maze of Fire immediately confronts and surrounds ears with a web of threatening sinister voices, their demonic roars the lure into a wall of debilitating heavy handed riffs and equally destructive rhythms. Within that trap though there is a melodic coaxing from the guitar which sparks the imagination as still varied and intimidating vocals prowl over thoughts with their intrusive narrative and tones. It is a fascinating entanglement to be lost in, especially with the slip into haunting melodic scenery which is as visually potent as the visceral sounds and vocals which soon share its passage in time threatening. It is a track which inspires different feelings and explorations in the imagination with every listen, something apply to all songs on the album, but a perpetually gripping and challenging persuasion.

The following Disturbing the Dead is just as carnivorous in presence and tone, arguably even more predatory as it crawls with torment laden intent over the senses. Its first half is an unrelenting scourge of doom empowered angst and intensity, a thoroughly appetising violation but from there it without losing funereal despair and malevolence, a sonic and creative enterprise is agitated to lure like a beacon in the thick sludgy tar of the song’s insatiable heart. It is an intriguing and suggestive offering which as its last note lingers in the ear, seems like another world to the one dawning on a rally of gunfire and with destructive and blackened voracity, emerges as The God Beyond. It is the rawest assault imaginable, a caustic sonic haze frequented by hate and fury, but temporary as the battle field returns to provoke a richer and clearer, but no less torturous tempest of sound and exploration. A constant test and provocation, the track is a maelstrom which is uneasy on the ear but wholly seductive upon thoughts and emotions. It is a song which it is hard to get a full handle on in sound and narrative but one inspiring a hunger to find the answers within its cavernous despair.

Terminus swerves in on a rhythmic seduction next, tribal and suggestive beats from Morse transfixing with exotic persuasion whilst bass and guitar flirt with their own sonic teasing. This is again just the doorway into the harshest shadows and challenging depths of the band’s creative rabidity, a serpentine breath accompanying the emerging vocal scarring and ruinous air of the track. Of course it is only part of the picture, melodic intrigue and clean vocal tenacity adding their twists to the sonic mystique and imagination which evolves within the black fog of sound. The track sends shivers down the spine as it seduces and gnaws on the psyche, taking best track award though the closing title track seriously challenges there. It too is a smothering tapestry of threat and invitational suggestion, extremes colluding and toying with each other within a cavern of uncompromising and ravenous aural profanation.

The five years between albums has only seen The Dead find new fears to exploit and nuances to discover in listener and their music respectively. Deathsteps to Oblivion is not for the faint hearted or emotionally sensitive, but to challenge and reward the corners of mind and soul it is maybe the most essential must investigate release of the year.

Deathsteps to Oblivion is available digitally or on limited edition CD now via Transcending Obscurity @ Transcending Obscurity https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/deathsteps-to-oblivion-death-metal-sludge

https://www.facebook.com/lordofthelivingdead

RingMaster 19/11/2014

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Soldierfield – Catharsis

 

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It has been a long timing coming, well it feels that way since the release of their acclaimed and outstanding EP Bury The Ones We Love in 2012, but now UK melodic metallers Soldierfield return with their highly anticipated debut album, Catharsis. It is a release which like so many others we had high expectations of and fierce hunger for, and it is fair to say that the tempestuous rampage suffices all wants and much more. Simultaneously continuing where the previous release left off and forging new expansive landscapes for their songwriting and feverishly flavoured sound, the quintet has created an incendiary device of enterprise and raw force to set the British metal scene ablaze.

Soldierfield was formed in late 2011 when guitarist Andy Trott linked up with bassist Simon Priestland to work on and unleash songs the former had been working on. Deciding to put out some demos the pair pulled in vocalist Leigh Oates (Order Of Voices, Rise To Addiction) who expelled his lyrical and vocal prowess upon the tracks. The first song unveiled instantly sparked a buzz in the underground scene and within the industry which led to the band signing up with Metalbox Recordings. Subsequently the Bury The Ones We Love EP was uncaged with the line-up completed by guitarist Steve Wray (Rise To Addiction, BLAZE), who produced the EP and now the album, and drummer Jeff Singer (Paradise Lost, Kill II This, China Beach, BLAZE). Continuing to reap the richest essences of numerous styles and flavours to infuse into their own invention, Soldierfield, with Wayne Banks (Joe Lynn Turner, Sabbat, BLAZE, Messiah’s Kiss) now on bass, raise their and British metal’s bar again with the impatiently waited for Catharsis.

The album is an aural emprise which immediately ignites a fire in ears and emotions, but proceeds to unveil more depths and potency over time to perpetually seduce the imagination. From their first offering, The Light, band and album enthrals and trespasses through ears into the passions with virulent and creative ferocity. Theirs is a sound which sounds deceptively familiar but equally wholly fresh and distinctive, no more so epitomised than the opening track. Seemingly entering from where final track The Path on the EP left off, The Light is a bridge between and gateway into a new chapter and realm of adventure. Its dawning presence is a restrained and melodic tempest which draws near with every sonic agitation before exploding into a predacious and rhythmically intensive stride. Riffs flame and flirt with their enticing whilst bass and drums provide an enslaving bait, it all capped by the outstanding sandy toned vocals of Oates. As potent and expressive as ever, straight away there seems a thicker impassioned drive to his tones which is matched by the carnivorous riffery and colourful designs cast by the guitars. As rampant as it is resourceful, the track is a stunning start which with moments of Manic Street Preachers like persuasion has the appetite drooling.Soldierfield - Catharsis - Artwork

The following Beautiful Lie rigorously strides the same plateau, sonic intrigue seeping from every guitar spawned note as intimidation drives every swinging beat. There is an instant drama to the song which is ushered in through the throaty basslines of Banks and stretched by the vocal tenacity of Oates and the acidic invention sculpted superbly by Trott and Wray. As its predecessor, the song offers for no definable reason a familiar face but is soon twisting its character and presence with riveting craft to leave ears and thoughts engrossed before both The Only War and Burn Bright ignite their impressive persuasions. The first of the two opens with melodic elegance and beauty across a peaceful atmosphere, the guitars painting an enthralling picture before the more rugged landscape of the song is revealed and painted by the impassioned vocals of Oates. Flirting with thrash and groove metal, the song is soon aflame with gripping enterprise from the guitars and prowling rhythmic tempting from Banks and Singer, a mix emulated by its successor within a far more savage and inhospitable atmosphere. The track merges extremes of texture and attack with fluidity and thrilling resourcefulness, raging and seducing within a just as agitated and varied sonic climate.

The pair of Monochrome, an exceptional track which exploits a horde of fierce and inflammatory styles to create another major pinnacle on the album, and the bewitching Ghosts sublimely spark hungry waves of pleasure and satisfaction through ears and emotions. The first truly encapsulates the band’s invention, a tempestuous fusion of varied sounds and flavours which is as adept and majestic brawling with or seducing the listener, whilst the second is an unpredictably transfixing offering which needs more time than others to reveal all its qualities but emerges just as handsomely accepted and devoured. This can also be applied to the dramatic presence and evolving creative narrative of New Religion and the enchanting gentle croon of the album’s title track where Oates again reinforces his vocal prowess.

The next up Nothing Left springs with the same melody fuelled lure as the last song but is soon shrugging of restraints to emerge as a voracious and turbulently volatile storm which only feeds the greed surrounding the release, especially when it still shares its fury with moments of unbridled beauty. The ferocious treat is replaced by the album’s closing track, the mesmeric Cut the Ties, a song blending wiry and seductive melodies with sinister basslines and breath-taking vocals; the track a stunning finale to a superb album.

Catharsis confirms all the early thoughts and assumptions about the potential of Soldierfield and much more, with only the fact that some songs do not linger in memory and thoughts as potently as they should and deserve a slight puzzle. Nevertheless the album is still one of the year’s major highlights and company very hard to tear oneself away from.

Catharsis is available now digitally and on CD via Metalbox Recordings @ http://metalboxrecordings.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=57

www.soldierfieldband.co.uk

RingMaster 18/11/2014

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Idol of Fear – All Sights Affixed, Ablaze

 Photo -Jamie Morton

Photo -Jamie Morton

Idol of Fear’s sound is like the black shadow or light limited passage way which manages to be simultaneously inviting and threatening whilst offering the possibility of safety or the darkest outcome. Hailing from the Barrie/Toronto area of Canada, the band creates an imposing and immersive soundscape of extreme metal which comes with a blackened heart and experimentally fuelled provocation. It is a fiercely challenging and rewarding confrontation as evidenced by the band’s debut album All Sights Affixed, Ablaze, eight individual torments which align for one grievous and pestilential seduction of ears and imagination.

Formed in 2011 with a name inspired by the quote from Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 movie Det Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal), “We must make an idol of our fear and that idol we shall call God”, Idol of Fear made an imposing statement with their 2013 EP Scavenger. It awoke attention but you suspect nothing to that which All Sights Affixed, Ablaze has the potential to ignite. Recorded across 11 months of “fiery personal turbulence and development, musically and otherwise”, the Tore Stjerna (Watain, Corpus Christi) mastered and Jeff Wardell mixed album is a unsettling maelstrom of fierce flavours and expressive invention, merging everything from black and death metal to progressive, occult, and avant-garde experimentation. It is not always an easy listen, and often a test of stamina and the senses, but always All Sights Affixed, Ablaze is a gripping and epic fall into the depths of the band’s raw imagination and sonic voracity.

Opener Vanquish instantly smothers ears in an intriguing and imposing web of enterprise and sound, the guitars of Dave Bach and Austin Myers an immediate blaze of caustic provocation with melodic seducing. This is soon joined by the raw vocal rage of Myers and the rhythmic intimidation unleashed by drummer Doug Belcourt and bassist Johnny. The song instantly allows no escape from its oppressive yet magnetic tenacity, grooves and melodies searing the senses as rhythms bruise and vocals scar. As eventually discovered on all tracks, there is also a fascinating drama to the lyrical and sonic side of the track, as well as a skilled investigation of distinct flavours amidst constant twists. The song also proves that this is an album which needs time to explore, often its real and undoubted treasures lying well beyond its surface storm and violation.

The following Morningstar makes a more merciful entrance but is soon immersing ears in a persistently shifting and ravenous tapestry of corrosive riffery and radiant sonic endeavour. Swiftly cover1an even greater variety of spices are at work on the imagination alongside an inventiveness which manages to assault, stalk, and seduce with sublime efficiency and temptation, the track’s scenic passage of atmospheric resonance and melodic caressing within a rhythmic enslavement quite delicious. Its fluid cold causticity and enthralling beauty makes way for the darker and harsher Circle of Vortices, a scathing and consuming piece of music inflamed by the malevolent tones of Myers. Again though there is radiance to its persuasion and invention, its soundscape harsh but haunting, cold rather than bitter. The track also slips into bewitching melodic scenery, its calm stroking of the senses a hopeful snatch of light before the song again savages emotions.

The album’s title track is a lively jungle of rhythms and fascinating inventiveness within smog of crushing intensity and smothering dark emotion. There is nevertheless a flirtatious element to the song and an unmissable swing which makes it almost joyful and mischievous, certainly in comparison to previous tracks, whilst the following It Demands brings its own addictive predation to the expansive dark of the album. It also prowls with an enticing lure, guitars scything and taunting across a heavy bassline and provocative beats with venomous yet invitational potency. The bordering on picturesque craft and colours sculpted by Bach and Myers transfix throughout but as mentioned time given reveals the full strength and depth of their and the whole band’s ingenuity.

This period of the album ignites the passions most fervently, the next up It Militates with its hunting riffery, anthemic rhythms, and captivating sonic intrusiveness adding another peak to the increasingly impressing album. The song is a real predator, one luring with sinister beauty and ravishing with coarse hunger. Its triumph is followed by the even more hellacious body and soul of It Tyrannizes, a tsunami of erosive intensity and creative barbarity with engrossing melodic tendrils and sonic rapacity across the tempestuous consumption. These are enticing hues harkening the longer calm and elegant reflection which emerge, though all is eventually swallowed by a new twist in the furnace of the narrative’s animosity.

The closing Carrion provides a blackened exploration of raw ambiences and dark forces, its crawling serpentine temptation and sonic resonance a colluding suffocation and primal seduction. It is an absorbing instrumental bringing the fascinating trespass of senses and emotions to an evocative and climactic close.

All Sights Affixed, Ablaze is a testing and demanding proposition but one with lingering and intensive rewards for body and mind. It is an album which no one should judge or rest upon over just one or two listens, but an incitement from Idol of Fear which warrants and deserves numerous dives into its unrelenting sufferance for the most compelling and unique experience.

The self-released All Sights Affixed, Ablaze is available from November 18th via http://idoloffear.bandcamp.com/album/all-sights-affixed-ablaze

http://www.idoloffear.com/

RingMaster 18/11/2014

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Duncan Reid and The Big Heads – The Difficult Second Album

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If it was as problematic as its title might allude to, The Difficult Second Album from Duncan Reid and The Big Heads has no intentions of showing it within its fluid and mischievous power pop revelry. The trickiness of following an impressing debut is one of those issues which is arguably more imagined and supposed than generally realised, and certainly there is no hint of anything but an equally thrilling and potent encounter from Reid for his second solo offering. Spawned from the same punk and pop rock devilry which marked its predecessor and its creator’s career, The Difficult Second Album is a contagious romp which explores more power pop essences this time around but still provides an instinctive and inescapable incitement of hook laden rock ‘n’ roll.

Reid’s impact and inspiration on punk rock came as bassist/vocalist of melodic punks The Boys, an outfit which Joey Ramone declared his favourite band in the eighties, and indeed that decade saw Reid alongside fellow Boys member Casino Steel provide backing vocals for the live version of The Ramones hit, Baby I Love You. Alongside band founders Matt Dangerfield and Steel, as well as Honest John Plain and Jack Black, Reid and The Boys released four albums and a host of singles before splitting in 1981.Eighteen years later the band reformed for a couple of shows in Tokyo, which in turn eventually led to a full comeback and tours across varied areas of the world. Leaving the band in 2011, Reid set about recording his debut solo album Little Big Head which gripped attention and appetites upon its release in 2012. Now he returns with its successor and another excursion into majestic power and punk pop.

With multi-instrumentalist Alexander Gold, guitarist Sophie Lynch, and drummer Ciara Lavers alongside him, Reid and the band swiftly light up ears and appetite with opener Another City. Within a breath melodies are teasing and captivating whilst crisp beats and a dark bass seducing are adding their potent coaxing to the songs immediately catchy invitation. It is not long before the tones of Reid bring their distinctive hues, his voice somewhere between Ste McCabe, Pete Shelly, and Ian Broudie, and fuelling the track with even greater temptation. With suggestive melodies dancing on the senses, the song is a lively croon setting the release off in fine and magnetic style.

The strong start is instantly surpassed by the outstanding Baby Doll, its entrance a flight of Devo-esque keys bred persuasion which has the imagination in the palms of their colourful hands. duncan_album_2Nestling into a minimalistic stroll with a tangy bassline escorting Reid’s compelling narrative, the song lyrically as intriguing and enthralling as the sounds it casts, it is in no time a devilish treat. With an even pace even through its mini crescendos, the track persistently inflames and ignites ears with spicy enterprise and Pixies like imagination across its singular rhythmic direction. The song is an early pinnacle for the album backed strongly by C’est La Vie, a juicy pop infused blaze of bracing riffs and glowing harmonies. Admittedly at its strongest in the verses rather than the hazy choruses, the track is a magnet for the passions and vocal participation, raising an eager smile at every turn of its mischief.

Both End of the World and Joe keep things bubbling vivaciously, the first of the two a weave of incendiary rhythms and flavoursome chords which at times are early Undertones like and in others more like The Briefs, whilst the second is a riveting drama of Beatle-esque melodrama and melodic rock colouring with a gorgeous breeze of melancholic strings matched by keys. Though neither can quite match those before them, each adds a rich new shade to the character of the album and a treat for ears to devour before Just As Good As I Used To Be unveils its quaint balladry. It is a slow embrace and admittedly persuasion until it suddenly erupts into a fevered pop punk stomp which in turn ignites the already appealing vocal lures with extra spice and energy. From its appealing but underwhelming start the track turns into the life of the party and feeds the greedy appetite now in place for the album with its exciting The Freshies like revelry.

Little Fingers and Toes steps up next and straight away is flinging spicy riffs and hooks which spark in the imagination with Rezillos like radiance. It should be stated that for all the references and reminders moments in songs inspire they more often than not are fleeting or simple essences which only spice up the unique propositions. The song itself has a curled lip to its presence, a belligerence which is all punk rock and lingering attitude, even as contagious hooks and vocal harmonies steal attention. As across the album, the excellent encounter is unfussy and to the point but still a masterful web of textures and sounds dragging feet and emotions into its persuasion with sublime ease.

The initially folk lilted Long Long Gone is next and strides with a blues flame to its accomplished design and air before making way for Not The Kind of Guy Girls Hug, another song with an open whisper of Lennon and McCartney to its charm. Adding another enjoyable twist to the album, the song still lacks the spark of its predecessors though admittedly that is more personal taste driven than any shortcoming in its skilled persuasion, though it is soon forgotten as One Night in Rio uncages its rock ‘n’ roll rampage. An out and out punk stomp with a blues rock underbelly, the track is the kind of song Reid has become renowned for which is hungry punk rock at its melodic and insatiable best, this track offering a great Ramones meets Eddie and the Hot Rods tasting.

The thrilling success of the song is instantly emulated by Wasting Time, this showing distinct and sultry personality with its first flame of blues and surf rock enriched glaze of guitar. It is a tempting which never leaves the rigorous lure of the song, only lays in wait during moments of predatory riffing for the chance to again soak subsequent melodies and harmonies. A radiant gem of a suasion for body and emotions, the song leaves for closer When We were Young to bring the infectious shindig to a close. Toying with synth rock and indie pop within its alluring body, the track is a tenaciously satisfying end to a release which makes you groan in disappointment once its last note is cast.

The Difficult Second Album hits the sweet spot time and time again across its nostalgia and modern infused body, and even when it misses the target for individual tastes, it still leaves a feverish and lingering wake which only leads to a hunger for more.

The Difficult Second Album is available now via LBH Records @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00MPNSP9I/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B00MPNSP9I&linkCode=as2&tag=uberoc-21&linkId=N5K5ZLSPALFB6SUJ

http://web.little-big-head.de/

RingMaster 17/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

RxGF – Any Other Way

RxGF Angeline_John_

Not exactly an album of two halves but one with a certain shift in its manner well into its body, Any Other Way from US electronic explorers RxGF, is an exhilarating and transfixing adventure for ears and imagination. Consisting of thirteen tracks which bind the listener in flirtatious and provocative dark wave intrigue, the album is a creative emprise of rhythmic and electronic ingenuity honed into individual provocations which ignite thoughts and emotions as forcibly as they seduce ears. The third album from the band and the first with vocalist Angeline Schaaf, Any Other Way is one of those glorious inventive blazes you unknowingly hanker all year for.

The Seattle bred RxGF is the brainchild of and driven by multi-instrumentalist John Morgan Reilly who linked up in 2005 with producer Jonathan Plum who had worked with one of Reilly’s previous bands, to experiment on fresh songs and sounds. Under the name Radioactive X Girlfriend, this revamped in reflection of the band’s new twist of sound for the new album, the pair uncaged the albums, The Art of Splitting in 2011 and the following year All Blade No Handle. Enlisting contributions from the likes of Daniel Bedingfield, Dave Rosser (Twilight Singers, Afghan Whigs), Matthew Burgess, and Davey Brozowski (Cathaters), the acclaimed releases explored guitar-heavy indie rock and electro-folk respectively, each offering a dramatic departure in sound to the other, a diverse shift which is again emulated by Any Other Way.

The new album thrusts the listener into a dark wave terrain bulging with rhythmic incitement and electronic tenacity. Equally there are thick essences of techno, trip hop, and industrial trespasses which infuse and colour the shadows with greater experimentation and expression. It all makes for a wonderfully imposing and unpredictable proposition, one given even greater drama and imaginative espionage by the gorgeous sultry tones of Schaaf. There is a futuristic bordering on dystopian edge to many songs and with the broody noir lit beauty and tonal majesty of her voice, as instantly evidenced on the first two songs, it makes for dark times presented with compelling seduction.

The album’s title track opens up the theatre of creative operations, the encounter an immediate wall of sonic and electro baiting lit by the voice of Schaaf. It is not long before punchy and gripping rhythms are knocking on the door of the passions, their insatiable baiting potent within the expanding warmth and melodic expression of the synths. As lively and electronically radiant as the track is there is an intimidating shadow to its presence, a dark breath which also lies on the syllables flowing from the throat of Schaaf, the lady from track one revealing the depth and rich expression of her tones. It is a striking flame to start things off but soon surpassed by the brilliant How To Make It. With the opening intimidating rumble of rhythms and subsequent designs which emerge, the band shares a comparable skill and imagination to The Creatures, Schaaf herself finding that gothic elegance and exploration which makes Siouxsie Sioux so distinct and revered. The track from its hypnotic start continues to prowl the dark corners of its depths and the senses, its honest appraisal of music a defiance to the doom laded climate presented.

From one pinnacle another is soon caressing ears, the melodic guitar crafted entrance of We Will Not Be Denied the gateway into fiery and caustic scenery. Again Siouxsie comes to mind butRxGF - Any Other Way cover with more Banshees bred essences merging with the lighter melodic revelry of a Morningwood this time though the song is soon establishing its own identity and unique persuasion as it ebbs and flows in voracious enterprise, a trait raging in all songs as shown by the funkier electro dance of Flesh And Bone. Breathtakingly vivacious in energy and bubbling sounds, the track is a smouldering riot which almost explodes when it breaks from the dance floor for a punkish challenge led by the vocal challenge of Reilly. It soon returns into its hot summer of festivity though, leaving feet and emotions exhausted.

Antidote looks back into the shadows next, from its first second the song soaked in a menacing sizzle of sound amidst sinister colouring. This is tempered by the increasingly impressive vocal hues of Schaaf and again eagerly simmering melodies as another dark tale for the imagination is cast before the outstanding Tombstone Soirée takes over. A rhythmic and vocal swagger lurks from the first beat and mischievous syllable cast, fiery electronics again the lead protagonist before Schaaf unveils a compelling temptress posing as her voice. She flirts and seduces with every dramatic note, matched along the way by the maelstrom of adventure around her where sounds are as salaciously predatory as they are diversely magnetic. The track is an inescapable tempting providing another major peak which is matched by the ridiculously tantalising Never Felt So Good. As celestial as it is darkly beckoning, song and climate is another which intrigues and hints without revealing its full intent, dark and light colluding for a delicious mystery for thoughts and ears to immerse in.

It is at this point where the album seems to make another shift of direction, The Dying Grace Of Machines diving into a heavy industrial landscape with Reilly taking lead vocals where every word and tone expelled seems to have an axe to grind. It is an unexpected twist but one which soon grips with compelling weight and drama, its EBM lures pungent suggestiveness to match the potency of the weave of samples and creative enterprise fuelling the track. The following provocation of The Hit is spawned from the same mix, its dark but less threatening body equally enthralling and unexpected and warmly welcomed before making way for the False Flag Mix of Things That Go Bang, the fall of liberty and the beckoning of 1984 in one unrelenting and mouth-watering slab of electro/industrial predation. As the two before it, the track is exceptional but whether they fit with the previous fiery romance of the earlier songs is a still running mental debate. The following ears and thoughts stalking of Kontrollier Die Kontrollierenden is another which slips into that uncertainly, though the song with a great Bowie-esque lilt to Reilly’s vocals certainly continues the immense pleasure gained from the album.

The album closes with firstly Flow, an electro shuffle which delights and has feet subservient but lacks the spark of other songs and lastly the Verax Mix of Belladonna Dream which sees Schaaf returning to seduce the senses. The song is a delicious croon to leave a lingering kiss on ears and emotions and bring Any Other Way to a mystique coated and bewitching end.

     Any Other Way is an engrossing and virulently thrilling encounter which teases, seduces, and challenges throughout for all the right reasons. It rivals all other electronic releases this year for the right to be called the best whilst RxGF shows again their extraordinary ability to explore new realms with every release.

Any Other Way is available now @ https://rxgf.bandcamp.com/album/any-other-way

http://www.rxgf.co.uk/

RingMaster 16/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/