Witching Waves – Fear Of Falling Down

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Having been hooked by the band with their limited edition cassette single Concrete/Chain Of Command earlier this year, there was a fair few tingles running through anticipation with the announcement of the debut album from Witching Waves. Those urges have grown to lustful proportions now that Fear Of Falling Down has infested ears and psyche, the release confirming all the promise and thrills experienced before whilst showing a broader adventure and creative resourcefulness in songwriting and sound.

Hailing from London and formed in 2013 as the brainchild of duo Emma Wigham and Mark Jasper (Sound Savers Recording Studio), Witching Waves through their unrelenting appetite for performing live and songs swiftly drew keen attention their way. Fusing as many essences of punk as you can imagine in a noise and discord sculpted garage pop incitement, the band bridges the DIY essence of the late seventies and the voracious causticity of modern invention; kind of like Swell Maps meets The White Stripes but for a truly unique and tenaciously addictive proposition.

Released via Soft Power Records, Fear Of Falling Down sees the duo now a threesome with the addition of a bassist, though we cannot tell you the name. The band’s fourth release, after Witching Waves LP Cover Artthree cassette singles, is a master class in raw sonic temptation and primal rhythmic slavery; each song united by a certain anthemic swing and creative tenacity yet alone in warped character and discordant agitation. Recorded on to 8 track tape, the album is a minimalistic yet inventively involved incitement, a cavernously toned but intimately delivered protagonist to excite ears and imagination with ease.

The album’s title track is the first to get the juices flowing, the opening jangle of guitar just the prelude to a rhythmically driven slice of agitated pop. The excellent vocals of Wigham soon join the rampancy of drums and the scrub of guitar before Jasper takes over with his equally captivating tones. Virulently catchy with a bounce to match, the track dances with ears and emotions from start to finish; every note, beat, and vocal enterprise simple but expertly creative seduction.

The post punk kissed Cold Out comes next, the contrast of the harmonic elegance and rawer expression of Wigham and Jasper respectively, alone a gripping enticement. In some ways there is an early Siouxsie and the Banshees feel to the song but also the flowing melodic quaintness of a Morningwood, the combination an addictive proposition, though soon surpassed by the poppy endeavour of Better Run. A slight spring of surf rock runs through the garage rock bred song whilst again vocals are as broadly bewitching as the slim but pungent sounds around them. As most tracks on the album, it is hard for feet taps and vocal participation to restrain from joining the band during the progress of its gently cacophonous croon before it makes way for the post punk infused stroll of Counterpoint. With repetitious riffs and infectious rhythmic bait, the song is a more challenging persuasion with its soaking of acidic discord and off key dynamics, but another to leave ears and passions basking.

The raw charm of Concrete comes next, its opening Buzzcocks spiced hook an instant attention grabber whilst a courting stride of rhythms draw their own submissive response. The plain almost disillusioned monotone vocals of Jasper contrast perfectly with the fluid melodies of Wigham, whilst the throaty melancholic bass prowl simply adds an addictive icing to the enthralling coaxing of body and mind. Like an unhinged blend of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Cramps, the song is an aurally dishevelled but controlled temptress, and the perfect appetiser for the brilliance of the following Creeping. Stalking ears with rhythmic eagerness, the song stomps with muscular and concussive beats as riffs and basslines flirt with their own rowdy enterprise. There is for not the first or last time, a similarity to Scottish duo The Creeping Ivies about the band’s sound across the album, here being a potent comparison though again Witching Waves emerge as individual and original in every sonic aspect.

Both the outstanding News, with its hypnotic rhythmic baiting and spicy garage rock keys around a creative drama, and the intrigue drenched Wait Around keeps the adventure of Fear Of Falling Down on its highest plateau. The first of the two is a web of colour rich discordance and imaginative confrontation honed into a ridiculously infectious trap which simply leaves ears, thoughts, and emotions grinning whilst its successor juggles sonic abrasion with warm pop harmonies for another song which takes longer to reach the peaks of others, but only adds to the unpredictable and captivating climate of the release.

Fear Of Falling Down closes with the excellent Barber where garage punk and eighties post punk meet for a contagion filled stamp of punchy beats and wiry hooks aligned to velvety heavy bass lures. It all of course infused with the wonderfully clashing and superbly united vocal attack of Wigham and Jasper.

If Witching Waves have impressed before with their early appetisers then the album offers a fuller and more flavoursome meal of dissonant and melody bred noise. For those new to one of the UK’s most thrilling propositions, Fear Of Falling Down is a sonic lust in the making.

Fear Of Falling Down is available via Soft Power Records as a Limited Edition Vinyl LP (250 Copies) and digital download @ http://softpowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/fear-of-falling-down

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RingMaster 08/12/2014

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Sleep of Monsters – Produces Reason

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pic: Niklas Kapanen / Nakkertton Photography

With dark beauty and compelling drama oozing from every note and syllable, Produces Reason is one of those creative emprises which almost deviously seduce ears and imagination. It is a proposition stocked to the rim with rapturous melodies and harmonies but of often within a frame of predatory rhythms and voracious intensity which intimidate as they entrance. Released by Finnish metallers Sleep of Monsters, the album is gothic rock in its most accessible and fiercely inventive incitement. Already available and greedily devoured in the band’s homeland, the album recently had its worldwide release through Svart Records and it is fair to say that already passions are submitting and appetites becoming greedy for album and its creators.

To be honest it is no surprise, Produces Reason is a riveting collection of individual dark dances united in the creative theatre cast by the Helsinki band. Equally there is maybe no shock due to Sleep of Monsters being the brainchild of ex- Babylon Whores vocalist Ike Vil. Other than his startlingly distinctive tones there is no real similarity between the two bands though, the former a raw and voracious death rock confrontation and Sleep Of Monsters a blazing seduction of melodic grandeur and tenacious gothic temptation, but experience and adventure never loses its potency. Alongside Vil, the band sees the equally skilled invention of guitarists Sami Hassinen (formerly of Blake) and Uula Korhonen, bassist Mäihä, drummer Pätkä Rantala (who played on HIM’s acclaimed debut album), and Janne Immonen on keys. It is a creative powerhouse but to that there are also The Furies, a trio of vocal sirens going under the names Hanna Wendelin, Nelli Saarikoski, and Tarja Leskinen, who soar across and spice songs with a part angelic part devilish seduction. As evidenced by the Pekka Laine (LAB, 45 Degree Woman) produced album, it is a combination blurring lines between the darkest romances and the brightest emotional consumptions in enthralling songs which have little problem igniting the imagination.

Produces Reason begins with the brief ethereal harmonic lure of Holy Holy Holy, thirty five seconds where The Furies seduce ears and thoughts into the arms of the album and the following Nihil Nihil Nihil. A mesmeric guitar sculpted melody opens up the song before the bulging sinews of rhythms and imposing riffs join its coaxing. As ears swiftly come to realise, every moment is just that in a passage of a song, a breath in a continual evolution which here sees a mellow yet fiery stroll with infectious arms surrounding the impressing tones of Vil. At its darkest twists and especially the chorus, Sisters Of Mercy come to mind and in its most charming mellower moments the song is simply fresh and spicy ingenuity. With pungent beats and the haunting harmonies of the ladies as potent as the fiery guitar endeavour and lead vocals, the track is an immense start to the release swiftly matched by Abomination Street.10689922_618393148275006_5434782575254450074_n

The third track is another unafraid to show its sinews but also explores a flavoursome eighties synth pop adventure, keys and vocals combining at numerous points to brings thoughts of Blancmange to mind. The accompanying press release describes the album as bulging with “radio-friendly” songs and as much as that term annoys, it is easy to see where they are coming from with this and its predecessor alone. Every moment is an anthemic and ridiculously catchy proposal yet not to the detriment of venomous shadows, dark places and thoughts explored as swiftly shown again by Murder She Wrote. There is a Victoriana air of danger and dankness to the opening bass resonance, the suggestiveness soon joined by the expressive tones and narrative of Vil within the emotional embrace of darkly dramatic keys. As the song expands and grows so does the tension and sinister theatre of the track, as well as noir lit adventure in the imagination. It is a glorious proposal, guitars adding mesmeric flames whilst vocals croon with depth and elegance.

The tense atmosphere of Christsonday comes next, its classic metal colouring a rich flame within the gothic breath of the song. Again, and it is fair to say it pleasingly toys with most songs, there is an eighties tinge to essences within the imposing and descriptive ambience of the track. It provides a canvas for thoughts to colour and an aural painting for ears to immerse in, before making way for the sweltering heat of Our Savage God. Striding resourcefully within a sultry climate with contagious enterprise, the track is irresistibly sensational. Think Chris Isaak and Helldorado meets Pete Wylie and equipped with one of the most ridiculously catchy and inescapable choruses possible, the track puts its head above the rest of the peaks filling the album.

Horses Of The Sun grips body and mind next, its opening tribal coaxing as shamanic as it is satanic, The Furies’ enticing aligned to an intimidating rhythmic baiting as menacing as it is hypnotic. The song evolves from here into an intensive impassioned croon with vocals and keys a prominent seduction, the track like a merger of Walker Brothers and Poets of the Fall as it unveils another beauteous aspect to the landscape of the album.

The engrossing adventure and drama of Through A Mirror Darkly is next, the song infusing Eastern mystique in a fiery melodic flight with has a loud whisper of The Mission to it. Its triumph is followed by the fascinating melodic and vocal evocation of Cobwebs Of Your Mind, another song also recalling elements of Wayne Hussey and co. It should be stated though that for all the references offered every song emerges as something unique to Sleep of Monsters, just they come with excitingly familiar whispers.

The album closes with the magnetic smouldering of Magick Without Tears, a track which ebbs and flows like waves lapping the senses, every strong wash of sound and emotions bringing thick resonance and virulent drama. Produces Reason does have an additional bonus track not on its Finnish release, the song being I Am The Night Color Me Black which continues keeping the appetite contented though it has yet to convince as successfully as the other songs on the album.

Babylon Whores was an underrated and for many an undiscovered confrontation but it is hard to imagine Sleep Of Monsters slipping under the broadest radar, especially after releasing easily one of the year’s best debuts in the transfixing shape of Produces Reason.

Produces Reason is available now via Svart Records @ http://svartrecords.com/shoppe/home/2735-sleep-of-monsters-produces-reason-cd.html

www.sleepofmonsters.com

RingMaster 05/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Deathtrip – Deep Drone Master

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Deep Drone Master is a fascination proposition whose tracks either has ears and emotions in rapture or certainly seriously contemplating what they have undergone and wanting more. That is how it ignited our personal reactions; at times the debut album from The Deathtrip sparking lustful ardour and in other moments simply has thoughts and emotions deliberating eagerly, with occasionally undecided results, the undeniably impressive provocations. Ultimately though the Svart Records released ravaging is an inescapable lure emerging as one of the more compelling black metal encounters heard recent times and very easy to recommend to all genre fans.

The Deathtrip goes right back to 2003, its seeds sown with British guitarist Host and his early compositions. Raw in atmosphere and sound with a badgering heart of hypnotic and repetitious structures, perfectly evidenced upon the album, Host’s sounds came to the attention of Aldrahn (Dødheimsgard /Thorns) who offered any assistance to the project, subsequently becoming the vocalist and chief lyricist. An early demo led to Snorre Ruch of Thorns showing interest in helping on a full-length album which he eventually produced. Recorded, re-recorded, and mixed over several years, with bassist Jon Wesseltoft and drummer Storm completing the line-up for the recording, Deep Drone Master finally had its worldwide unleashing via Svart a few weeks back and it is easy to feel it will be leaving lingering scars for black metal to exalt over.

The album’s Intro is a sinister cinematic incitement, danger leering from the shadows as life goes on seemingly unaware. Its portentous suggestiveness is soon lost in the tsunami of caustic riffs and battering rhythms which descend on the senses through Flag of Betrayal, their ferocity bound in spicy sonic acidity. It is fiercely alluring entrance, building further threat and fury as the distinctive tones of Aldrahn roar and brawl with ears. First listen suggested a clash between his bear like delivery and the scorched sonic and dour melodic flow of the sounds but it was a conflict soon winning thoughts and igniting tracks to greater effect. The unrelenting tempest of the track is a gripping onslaught but it is the acidic drone which most ignites the passions, a serpentine seduction which makes certain tracks elevate far above others, as shown by the next up Dynamic Underworld. As potent and impressive as its predecessor was, it instantly has ears and imagination lost in rapturous bliss as the guitar of Host winds a searing tendril of melodic causticity around the senses. Its nags ears with a glazed expression; mesmerising as it expels a monotonous seduction to irresistible effect. Around it this though the song has plenty to flirt with too, slow footed beats thumping with predatory intent as Aldrahn expels the narrative with mischief and drama whilst bass and further guitar enterprise roam with merciless persuasion. The song is exceptional; the best on the album and for personal tastes the moment the album truly taps into the psyche.

Both Sewer Heart and Cocoons seize attention with voracious onslaughts, the first almost scavenging emotions with its furnace of erosive sonic designs again bound in coarse textures and gutturally rasping vocals. Its successor is similar in many ways, its core a barbarous incessant torrent of malicious intent and creative fury but arguably even darker and hungrier than the previous aural ravishment. Both tracks have a swing to their bleak landscapes and enthralling repetition driven grooves which, without matching the pure toxic manna of Dynamic Underworld, keep imagination and emotions intrigued and hungry. Something Making Me has no problem with either, its rhythmic rampancy and sonic teasing perfectly aligned to a tangy groove which simply worms under the skin. The track is another which simply festers in dark majesty and relentless persuasion, almost insidious in its addictiveness and infectious fluidity which sees even the vocals of Aldrahn develop a bruising swagger to match the insatiable magnetism of Host’s invention.

Cosmic Verdict taps another vein of lustful submission, the unfaltering drone of its sonic grooving a venomous temptress in a maelstrom of spite, so much so that even when it relents and lets the heavier savage terrain of the song have its moment, it is still a lingering seducing that ears are impatient to have back scorching their flesh. Its tempestuous alchemy is followed by the rapacious climate of Something Growing in the Trees, the sublimely evil and deliciously toxic song a crawling beast fingering ears and psyche with salacious predation as a flavoursome southern twang veins its corrosive haunting.

From the corrosive turbulence and fury of A Foot In Each Hell, a track impressing without leaving a deep mark though it has moments which spark extra satisfaction to be fair, the album closes with Syndebukken. The final track is an evolving adventure of sonic niggling and atmospheric exploration, its body cavernous and soul Cimmerian, but as everywhere with plenty of enthralling discordant sculpted expressive under an emotionally brooding ambience.

That pretty much sums up Deep Drone Master, a nightmarish emprise which can devour the light of the soul or inflame primal cravings, very often at the same time. Despite certain aspects of the album spellbinding the passions far more than others, The Deathtrip and first album makes for one seriously exciting black metal corruption which can only be heartily recommended.

Deep Drone Master is available now via Svart Records @ http://svartrecords.com/shoppe/home/2739-the-deathtrip-deep-drone-master-cd.html

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Deathtrip/1454994818117379

RingMaster 05/12/2014

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Lord Lav – Lord Of The Dead

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If the uprising of lifeless flesh ever does come to pass instead of looking towards a Rick Grimes or Ash Williams, Britain has the answer in the shape of Lord Lav. To be honest he may not save your life but on the evidence of debut album Lord Of The Dead, he will send you to your demise smiling with content.

Lord Lav is British rapper, producer, and DJ Martin Lavender and Lord Of The Dead a concept rap album about life in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. With a tongue firmly in its cheek, the release is a fun and mischievous adventure, but also a fluid merger of cinematic sounds and electronic colours with the rapping and lyrical uniqueness of Lavender, a mix littered with numerous skits which only add to the revelry. The self-released Lord Of The Dead may not be the best rap album you are likely to hear and yes it is no War of the Worlds, but the Night of the Living Dead meets Shaun of the Dead like encounter is definitely going to be one of the most enjoyable and accomplished propositions to play with your ears and imagination.

Hailing from Southampton Lavender combines his passion for hip hop and zombies for his first album, creating a hungry decay filled landscape of tantalising drama which equally reflects aspects of modern life, in the words of Lavender “In a nutshell, it is about living amongst the ‘brain dead’ people of society and trying not to ‘catch’ the same attitudes to life. It’s about always pursuing your dreams whatever they are, despite the loneliness and dangers that come with doing so.

The opening Dead Rising sets the scene, the tale’s two protagonists, Lord Lav and Gaz, discussing the weirdness going on outside their four walls as a sinister ambience wraps the intrusion of the dead. The skit leads into first proper song They’re Taking Over where the atmosphere of the first piece instantly builds in tension and intimidation as the dead flood the scenery whilst the rapping potency of Lavender narrates and paints with an effect glazed delivery their expanding lust. With haunting theremin lures swarming around words and imagination as keys and violin cast their own distressed hues, the song swiftly has thoughts fully involved in its drama, a deadly theatre which flows into the following Vacate the Doom. Its shimmering sounds seduce and caress the raps falling from Lavender’s lips, keys a musty yet elegant oppression immersing senses and emotions as moments of visceral savagery intersperse the sonic picture.

The Door Won’t Shut sees the two friends start to make their escape one with a knife, the other a rolling pin. Yes smiles are never far from the face as Lord of the Dead continues, the piece emerging as Kill the Brain and the stressful fleeing of the pair. The track is an agitated jumble of aural emotions, Lavender punchy with his spits and expression whilst the music ebbs and flows in its pressure as a persistent and imposing ambience with an almost Hammer Films like hue to its incitement clouds the scene.

Another skit takes the listener into the brilliance of the almost vaudeville like The Mystery of Death. With a ridiculously catchy chorus flirting with ears and the pulsating and heavy also funky sounds around it, the track offers a delicious dramatic emprise with a mischief and lyrical prowess to match. Imagine Insane Clown Posse sings Ian Dury or vice versa and you have the album’s greatest moment. The next proper song Local Zombie Offy sees Lord Lav alone in an off licence quenching his thirst and reflecting on his needs and wants as dark throated pulses and sultrily smouldering sounds flicker and dance around his internal discussion. Vocals are just as bouncy in delivery as the reverb caressed atmosphere and intrigue surrounding his drift into unconsciousness, his awakening coming in the outstanding Way Through the Trees. The gorgeous velvety dark tones of maybe an upright bass or cello provide the first enticing in the imposing passage of the song whilst keys add an ethereal air to the further provocative reflection of Lord Lav. What emerges is a physical and mental jazz noir flight clad in immersive shadows and dark thoughts providing further shade and diversity to the album.

The dreamy mesmeric presence of the song is contrasted by the quintessential British air of the album’s title track, Lord of the Dead strolling with bold gait and aural nostalgia as Lord Lav becomes the lord of the manor with zombies his staff. The ever appealing and unfussy tones of Lavender contrasts perfectly with the sepia coloured and constantly shifting adventure of the music where twenties and thirties sounds collude with jazz and theatrical devilry within another imposingly throbbing bait of beats. Its surreal fantasy makes way for the melancholic When Loneliness Attacks where emotions overwhelm the Lord as beat box and keys embrace the verging on monotone delivery of Lavender’s rap. His slips into song within the fiery and bracing flames of sax add to the fascination whilst again lyrically Lavender has ears enthralled and thoughts broadening the text.

     Wake Up and Break Free! is reality coming back to consume Lord Lav, the skit introducing Set Me Free, the characters ascent to a better place in a sonic haze combined with the theme of breaking free from life’s daily easy to consume monotony. It is a potent close to the album if without offering a final wanted snap to the adventure, but it is an epilogue to the apocalyptic journey leaving an already greedy appetite sufficed and emotions keen for more. They get that with bonus track Wake The Dead, a scuzz driven eruption of sound featuring guitarist Jude from Southampton band Hybrid 6.0 who provides raw riffs and licks to the vocal provocation of Lavender.

Lord of the Dead is one of those encounters which will either light a flame in your imagination or not, but one which certainly has hordes of great snarling reasons for rap and hip hop fans to give it a go. It definitely thrilled us with its persistently enjoyable and creative escapade and is an eager recommendation for anyone with a penchant for zombies, descriptive lyrical invention, and simply devilish fun.

Lord of the Dead is available now @ http://lordlav.com/topspin-store/lord-lavs-store/

http://lordlav.com/

RingMaster 04/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Cardboard Crowns – Global Citizen

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There are treats, there are triumphs, and there is undiluted devilry, and in the case of Global Citizen there are irrepressible riots of combining all three. The album comes from Canadian rockers The Cardboard Crowns, a band creating a mischievous maelstrom of adventure from the raw tenacity of punk, the majestic swagger of ska, and the sultry charm of reggae, not forgetting a very healthy dose of pop. Formed in 2009, the band has been a relative secret outside of their home borders but it is easy with a little bit of luck to see that changing thanks to the thrilling stomp of Global Citizen.

Hailing from Aylmer, Quebec and now Ottawa based, The Cardboard Crowns’ seeds begin in high school with Joel “Rat” Kuehn (vocals/guitar), David “Tokyo” Speirs (drums), and Matthew “Googles” Megannety (lead guitar), the first two already strong friends before meeting the third in that place of learning. They formed a trio of garage bands, The Madd Fizz, The Fog Pilots, and The Rocket-Propelled Space-Fish along the way of their musical journey, potent steps which have laid the seeds for what they offer today. It was with the link-up with bassist Franks “Mystery Skunk” Cuningham around five years ago though that the spark for Cardboard Crowns was ignited, and from that point it has been full steam ahead for the band and its insatiable revelry.

It does not take long to realise the eclectic and inventive expanse of sound and imagination which fuels the album, the first three songs enough to reveal the wonderfully unpredictable and infectious variety at play. Opener Pulling Teeth sets things off, its opening and immediately engaging acoustic caress and alluring vocals folk like with a summery breeze to their relaxed temptation. It is just the gentle coaxing to bigger and bolder things though, energy building towards a rampant stride of punchy rhythms and tangy grooves driven by equally tenacious vocals from Kuehn and band. The song reminds of British band Knots, its emerging instinctive and anthemic stomp inescapable flirtation for feet and passions. The track is exceptional, fiery blazes of raw guitar only adding to the drama and power of the brilliant encounter.

Its might is soon backed up as the album’s title track and the following Hats Off unveil their distinctive and diverse designs. The first of the two strolls in on a smiling stride of reggae seeded Album Cover (Small)riffs and a rhythmic swing which soon has body and imagination swaying in unison. There is a just as vibrant pop punk enterprise to the song, bands like Smashmouth and Reel Big Fish coming to mind as it swerves and entices with vivacious melodies and bubbly chords, though the track ultimately evolves a unique identity. It’s smiling gait and devilry is matched by its successor, ska bred stabs igniting ears within seconds as a punkish air sets in motion another contagious persuasion. The song though not flawless, the band shouts not working for personal tastes, manages to smoulder and bounce simultaneously, like an exotic temptress with seductive curves and voracious appetite.

Sun And The Stars winds around ears next; its tone equipped with a country twang aligned to smoky keys and Southern kissed sonic flaming. Again sound and vocals provides a seriously catchy and excitable devilry and even though it lacks the final persuasive spark which ignited its predecessors, the track leaves appetite hungrier and satisfaction fuller. It is a level of pleasure straight away thrust to new levels by the outstanding Shut My Mouth, another incendiary romp of piercing hooks and devilish enterprise allowing pop punk and ska to collude in a virulently infectious rascality which might even have the power to bring the feet of the lifeless to dance.

The thrilling adventures and diversity just keeps coming as Olé brings its Latin ska tempting to tease and excite ears and imagination. The cosmopolitan shuffle is a festival of swarthy rhythms and rosy faced melodies, a lively footed canter merging the rebellious charm of Mano Negra with the seductive zeal of Les Négresses Vertes. At the song’s end its gentle hug allows a breather to be taken before the rugged brilliance of Your Son has body and emotions leaping again. Adding new causticity to vocals and chords, the track switches its roars and croons for the album’s most ferociously captivating offering. Pop and punk collide, virtually brawling throughout as they breed some of the sharpest appetising hooks and rhythmic provocation you are likely to devour this year.

The release is brought to an end by firstly the seriously magnetic Bounty On His Head, a part punk and part folk romp, and lastly through the carnival-esque tempting of Generations. The final song is a mix of gypsy punk and folk vaudeville, like a mix of Tankus The Henge and Flogging Molly, and a sensational end to one scintillating tapestry of sound and invention.

It is hard to imagine The Cardboard Crowns remaining a relatively unknown proposition once Global Citizen works its alchemy around the world. The album offering music just as it should be; imaginative, passionate, and pure fun.

Global Citizen is available now @ http://thecardboardcrowns.bandcamp.com/

http://www.thecardboardcrowns.com/

RingMaster 04/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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In A Nutshell – Quandary

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Hailing from Rennes, French alternative rock band In A Nutshell gives little away it seems about their background, certainly in English text for us linguistically challenged individuals, but what we can certainly tell you is that the band has just sculpted and released one highly appetising album. Created by the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Yannick Dilly, guitarist Alexis Bouvier, bassist Gaëtan Costard, and drummer Camille Carte, Quandary is a thoroughly captivating slab of alternative and melodic rock bred from nineties grunge. At times it roars with brilliance and at other times merely boldly simmers whilst persistently grips ears and appetite, but from start to finish the album is a potential flooded and increasingly impressive encounter.

The album’s title track is the first persuasion on ears, the instrumental a slowly dawning piece with an immediate sonic portentousness and atmospheric shadow. It is a drama drenched offering, every riff and swiping chord heavy in effect and attitude matched by just as heftily swung rhythms. It is an imposing and slightly deceptive lead into the album where not until it’s fiery and energetically driven finale does the true flavour of the band’s sound break-through. Eventually a spicy scent of grunge makes its statement of intent increasing its hold further with the following Again & Again. From the start guitars expel flames of melodic enticing as rhythms crisply frame their endeavour. That alone makes a vibrant lure but with the throaty invention of a thick bassline and the sandy vocal tones of Dilly, the track becomes a fascinating roar with a forceful nod to Foo Fighters.

The More I Learn is next and digs into Nirvana essences for its certainly vocal and sonic expression. Riffs and beats again make a sinew driven bait whilst Costard’s bass holds a more gnarly INTREPID FOX oct[1] copyvoice this time, everything courting the imagination as potently as the subsequent slips into mellow melodies and emotive reflection. Cupping this invention though, the song is a constant turbulent tempest of passion and energy which whets the appetite perfectly for the outstanding How & Why which follows. From the first breath Carte hungrily swings his sticks to cast a web of anthemic rhythms which in turn seems to incite a similar contagion in riffs and hooks. There feels like a Josh Homme whisper is inspiring the passage of the song, every beat and chord offering a sonic and creative mischief which grips ears ease, whilst the sonic adventure of the song is certainly Queens of the Stone Age seeded. It only adds to making the mouth-watering encounter even tastier as it romps with an emotional snarl and energetic tenacity.

Both the heavy weight and emotional shadows of Can’t Wait and the raucous Go Ahead keep senses and emotions inescapably engrossed, the first of the two once more favouring the recognisable canvas of Nirvana for its own unique and evocative portrait of sound and passion. The track is another major peak in the album, every melancholic expulsion of angst and vocal intensity as dramatically alluring as the searing melodic hues colouring the song. Its successor is a predacious blaze of sonic causticity and tangy melodies ridden by a punk bred vocal raging. In this tempest though the band explore intriguing twists of varied styles and atmospheric flavours, an almost raw Muse like hue seeping into the evolving landscape of the song.

A breath is allowed as the emotively elegant and restrained Ask comes next, the song a pleasing embrace of the senses if lacking the spark to truly light the passions as its predecessors. It is still a magnetic slice of emotion fuelled balladry but soon forgotten as the excellent Out of the Rules prowls ears with a mischievous lilt to its opening tones. Once rhythms explode in an addictive rumble it is only a matter of time before the song erupts in another Foo Fighters brawl, not that they have created a song as invigorating and anthemic as this for a fair while. With a great flame of spicy keys, the track is pure passion driven rock ‘n’ roll infesting ears and feet.

Great tracks keep rolling through with firstly I Don’t Care lurking and lingering in thoughts and emotions with its bluesy swagger and sonic twang before the virulent contagion of From Words stomps with belligerent rhythms and scarring riffs around an anthem of Cobain seeded vocals. Punk and grunge in one ferocious explosion, the song is the pinnacle of the album with Costard wringing the best sound and presence out of his bass yet.

The bewitching rock pop of Today with its grunge snarl keeps senses and hunger aflame next before the album’s final offering Afaune leaves the listener with a slow burning but thoroughly intriguing and sweltering climate of imaginative individual and united enterprise. It is honed into a soundscape of voraciously woven and diverse styles and flavours for a climactic end to a fine album which rarely leaves expectations fed, even with its openly worn inspirations, and provides the real potential to a new level of acclaim and awareness of the band. Quandary may not be breaking down barriers with its triumphant presence but it is destined to light fires within a great many.

Quandary is available now @ http://inanutshell.bandcamp.com/

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RingMaster 04/12/2014

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Strange Nocturnal – Best Of Strange Nocturnal

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Listening to the sounds of UK goth rock band Strange Nocturnal is like aurally exploring the pages of classic visual incitements like The Haunt of Fear, The Vault of Horror, Tales from the Crypt, and House of Mystery. As shown by their new release though, their sound and drama comes with a just as rich industrial, metal, and horror punk flavouring to produce dark tales with a voracious snarl and ferocity bred from the visceral climate of the modern world. A collection of tracks released between 2009 and 2011, Best Of Strange Nocturnal is a full adventure for the senses and imagination, and it gives ears a pretty good time too.

Strange Nocturnal is the brainchild and originally solo project of Cumbrian musician/composer/producer Strange Nocturnal. From 2011 the band become full line-up wise and swiftly unleashed their debut album Party With The Dead. A host of varied releases have haunted the psyche since, the acoustically driven Halloween Is Never Really Over, the cinematic and dark ambient instrumental exploits of Undead Decadence, and the abrasing exploration of Cumbrian Gothic some open examples of the diversity within the world of Strange Nocturnal. Released via Undead Artists, Best of… teases and seduces, haunts and violates senses and thoughts to provide a macabre blood strewn soundscape.

This Halloween starts the adventure off, its immediately sinister air drawing the listener into a melodically gothic embrace wrapped in lurking and menacing shadows. Extending its intimidating arms soon after, the track grows into a light exhausting stalking of the senses, its hungry presence at ease whether prowling or charging through ears. There is a Tim Burton meets Rob Zombie meets Godflesh feel to the track, its crunchy textures offset by the siren-esque tones of female crafted harmonies.

The captivating start is continued by There Are Ghouls and Ghost’s, a sample of Vincent Price the gateway into an infectious stroll which in turn builds into a fiery turbulence. The vocals of Strange Nocturnal as in the first and subsequent tracks, come clad in smoggy effect but with plenty of room for a variation to show its lures. White Zombie like in many ways but also holding a great essence of Fad Gadget to its bracing charm, the song swings with a rhythmic revelry which infects grooves and melodies. The increasingly contagious blaze is followed by the addictive stalking of Curse of the Werewolf. Again there is an infectious bait at the heart of the song which makes its rhythmic and spicy hooks irresistible whilst around them the air is tempestuous and coarsely hazy, a fuzzy causticity which at times also ignites the potent vocals. Thoughts of The Shanklin Freak Show emerge as the song radiates its temptation and proceeds to prowl with diversely flavoured mystical spicery.

The Undead March instantly has ears and emotions hooked next, its great repetitive striding the first lure in an addictive predation. Vocals are once more wrapped in an insidious effect but undiluted in the virulence of their lead to and part of the full seduction of the song. Holding a whiff of Ministry to its irrepressible persuasion, the track is ridiculously compelling, something the musty metallic tones of The Bitch Was a Witch cannot quite match but with its serpentine breath and smoggy textures, the song makes the most of its moment to tantalise ears. For personal tastes the vocals are over immersed in the oppressive intensity of the music, a small thing which could be raised a few times across the band’s sound in general, but it easily has appetite keen and ready for the next up Fancy Death Party. Fuelled with a great blues winery with southern rock kissed harmonica, the song is another with a devilish swagger to its gait and magnetic toxicity to its sound.

The dark crawl and insidious temptation of She’s My Graveyard Ghoul-Friend has the imagination walking a toxic romance whilst Without Your Head provides a deranged maelstrom of emotion and voices within industrial filtered gothic metal corrosiveness. Though neither lives up to the biggest pinnacles of the collection, each with an underlying catchiness and adventurous climate has ears and thoughts fully engaged before the tempestuous slow waltz of Party With the Dead takes over. The song is a temptress with mercury running through its veins and demonic elegance soaking every melody and harmony on a bed of dark rhythms and imposing intensity lorded over by Strange Nocturnal’s satanic vocals.

The album is completed by the rasping Luciferian tones of Loving You From Beyond This Grave, the track Poe-esque in its dark radiance and fiendish in its industrial/noise sculpted causticity, and lastly The Crow’s Are Calling. The closing track has a devilry and mischievous tempting to its frequently shifting enterprise, an enslaving devilment which could be described as Doctors of Madness and Zombina And The Skeletones being violated by the raw ferocity of Young Gods.

Though there are understandably favourites which stand out and an ebbing and flowing of potency across songs, all tracks across Best Of…provide an enthralling and dramatic glimpse into the creative tempest of Strange Nocturnal, band and artist. The thoroughly enjoyable album is inspired by the darkest corners and emotions with the potential and a black seduction which could ignite the brightest fires in the imagination or spark the worst rapacity in your nightmares.

Best Of Strange Nocturnal is available now via Undead Artists @ http://strangenocturnal.bandcamp.com/album/the-best-of-strange-nocturnal

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RingMaster 03/12/2014

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/