Mark McCabe – A Good Way To Bury Bad News

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    One man with his acoustic guitar and a few endearing additives along the way to add to the potency of the emotive endeavour, A Good Way To Bury Bad News the new album from Mark McCabe is a thoroughly accomplished and often magnetic presence with the folk heart of a continual ballad and the occasional outbreak of restrained melodic rock. It is an easily engaging release which reinforces the potency and stature already earned by the Scottish singer songwriter and though it is hard to say it is offering anything dramatically new it has an individual presence and emotive strength which at times sets a stirring spark within the passions.

     The melancholic and often dramatically emotive lyrical thrust of his songs as on the album are said to come from the Aberdeen hailing McCabe’s lonely days at University where he first began writing songs with his acoustic guitar. He recorded debut album Is That Really How You Feel? in 2009 and spent plenty of time playing around mainland Europe, for which he relocated to Paris, in its support. Shows with the likes of Frank Turner, PJ Bond, Asptai, The Flatliners, Chris T-T and many more followed before he returned to Scotland in 2012. Sold out shows with again Turner came next as well as festival appearances and a tour with Oxygen Thief before undertaking a US tour down its East coast with After The Fall, Anchors, and Antillectual. Using 2013 to concentrate on writing and working on his second album, McCabe now unveils the Cats? Aye! Records released A Good Way To Bury Bad News and it is confident to say fans and many more will be elated with its craft and skilled temptation.

     Released January 20th with a European tour to support its arrival, the album opens with the thirty second or so Summer In Album ArtworkScotland Is But A Word. Plain and decent it sets the climate for the Scottish landscaped melancholy set to consume and inspire ahead before the following Doubts emerges from its closing to continue the emotional reflection. The track makes a coaxing start but soon elevates its pull with thumping beats and a stringed breath which is soon soaking the tale with magnetic shadows. A brewing intensity raises its call as the song progresses, the rhythms sturdier and military in combat to add greater tension and enticement the longer the song plays, whilst the vocals of McCabe are strong and expressively powerful to further the potency thought it is the seduction provided by the violin of Gillian Ramsay which steal the passions predominantly in what is an impressive and compelling song.

     Easy For Me To Say with its country twang and skittish rhythms makes an immediate impression rising to another absorbing incitement, the Scottish lilt of McCabe’s vocals enjoyable alongside the again violin provoked stroll which eagerly breaks out from within the emotional angst. For personal tastes when McCabe brings in extra flavours and sounds whilst lifting tempo and intensity simultaneously, the album catches fire but that appetite is never quite fulfilled, just individual teases brought to a solemn end by songs like Crutches. This is not to say that the skilfully crafted and presented track is carrying any real faults, just lacking the same spark but again it is down to personal wants and needs primarily.

    The lively Catch The Wind with a bordering on feisty element to everything from the drums of Sam Henley and electric guitar of Matthew Morris alongside McCabe’s acoustic prowess, scoops up the emotions and appetite in its refreshing melodrama soaked hands. It has an air of fellow Scottish artist Letters to it and provides one of the highlights of the album with its folk rock/pop excellence. The irresistible lure of the track is matched by its successor Welcome Party, a less rampant but still energetically enthused ramble through heart felt and shadowed doused thoughts and emotions. Both tracks draw the imagination and personal thoughts deeper into the album and thus into the same elements of McCabe, providing further reason to be fully enticed by the release.

    The trio of This City And I Have A Lot In Common, That Time I Almost Killed Martin, and Being Lost Presents You With A Better Chance Of Being Found lets the keen impetus of the release and reactions slip though not one of the three is a proposition to find any real faults with; again it is just that missing fuse and kindling for the same enthused responses as spawned by the previous pair of songs. It is clear though that each provides an emotionally coloured canvas that will find a hunger waiting within folk and melodic songwriter bred passions.

    The best song on the album is the irresistible My Disguise Is Better Than Yours though it has to be said, and surely by mere coincidence, the track is at times a very incestuous cousin to I Melt With You, the Modern English hit from the eighties. Nevertheless it is an infectious and captivating slice of rock pop which provides melodic bait and fiery energy which simply sets those awaiting passions ablaze. A definite single of the future, it is the perfect temptation for the album

   The closing Join The Crowd is a final piece which sounds like it was recorded on the local bar stage; a union of voice and nagging guitar bolstered by strong group vocals and harmonies including those of Grant George who often provides great backing vocals across A Good Way To Bury Bad News, leaving a lingering allurement on the ears. There is very little to put up against the album to temper all the positives and persuasions offered except those singular things to this reviewer, something not really relevant as you assess whether to take the plunge. Mark McCabe provides an engaging and personal view into his music and life, an invitation to be honest we can only recommend trying.

http://markmccabe.co.uk/

http://markandhisguitar.bandcamp.com/releases

7.5/10

RingMaster 17/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ethersens – Your Wandering Ghost

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    Thick in emotional tension and driven by a seemingly personal drama Your Wandering Ghost, the new album from French band Ethersens, is an enthralling and provocative encounter which strikingly sparks the imagination. The successor to acclaimed debut album Ordinary Days, the new release sees a shift in sound from the band and arguably brings a greater intensity than before and though it demands a focused attention to reap all of its depths and textures it rewards by providing the strongest satisfaction. Brought to our attention by French metallers Eryn Non Dae’s guitarist Franck Quintin, the album is an evolving emotive adventure which leaves thoughts deep in reflection and emotions hungry for band and release.

     The Toulouse hailing Ethersens was formed in 2002 by friends and guitarists Johan Bourrut and Mickael André (also bassist in Eryn Non Dae). The first year saw the band take shape with several line-up changes and it was not until the following year with the arrival of drummer Stéphane Nestiri, bassist Fred, and vocalist Stephane that Ethersens found its serious intent and presence emerging. The members experience working in bands such as Eryn Non Dae, Zubrowska, Talian, Disphoria, and Eradykate gave the band a focus and shaped the decision to work immediately towards an. Ordinary Days was unveiled in 2008 to strong critical and fan responses, its progressive and dark metal blend an impacting persuasion on a great many. The following year saw departures and the recruitment of vocalist Laurent Mora and bassist Rémy Boyer alongside the founding members and Nestiri. With their sound moving to a more progressive/alternative rock mix inspired by the likes of Porcupine Tree, Karnivool, Pearl Jam, and Alice In Chains; its touch lighter but atmospherically more empowering emotionally than ever before, Ethersens were soon creating Your Wandering Ghost, eventually recording it with Julien Soula at Antistatic Studios.

     Released like the first on Italian label Scarlet Records, Your Wandering Ghost is a concept album looking at ‘a relationship TP_125_2_(K2-TC).pdf between two people which takes a tragic turn, a story about a lost love which tends to be re-born into death, regrets and sorrow.’ It is a release which at times is as intrusive as it is seductive and persistently is an intensive incitement for senses and emotions. From the opener Two for One Mind, the album steers thoughts through an imposing and riveting landscape of varied emotions, at times sharing raw and caustic issues lyrically and sonically and in other moments soaring through atmospheric climes of ethereal and dynamic temptation. More often than not the extremes are merged into one enthralling narrative as with the potent opener. The song instantly has a melancholic air through the first rub of guitar chords, a shadowed ambience slowly immersing the senses as the equally darkly lit vocals and words also begin their narrative. It is a full seduction even with its heavy hearted breath and has intrigue alongside a keen appetite alert for the expanding provocation before them. Through its nine minutes of intensity sculpted suasion the track unleashes its emotional and physical muscle, rhythms unreserved in their dynamic buffeting across the expanse whilst bass and guitars craft a tempestuous and enthralling blaze of skilful invention to voraciously capture the imagination and offer a lingering contagion.

    The first track is an explosion of ingenious mergers and skilled enterprise which grips and shakes the senses from start to finish. A mighty towering entrance by the album it soon relinquishes some of its hold with the following Same Goodbye. To be fair attention is not lost or disappointed but with a smouldering exploration of emotional shadows and being a slow invasion of the passions placed right after the immense starter it is given a hard task to remain at the same plateau. Nevertheless with Mora continuing to show an excellent voice and delivery, emotion dripping from every syllable, and the guitar painting from Bourrut and André only adding the richest hues to song and ears it keeps the album firmly under an eager gaze before the similarly tension clad This is Where You and I Part Ways and the excellent Livin’ Memory provide their edgy and powerful presences. The first with the drums impressively framing another emotional maelstrom smothers and invigorates in simultaneous strength whilst its successor shapes peaks and intimidating climbs to high summits with abrasive riffs and sinew driven rhythms. With as ever strong vocals riding a stirring wind across the sonically rugged landscape, the track is a scintillating triumph, a mix of soaring beauty and mistrustful energy providing light and dark in a thrilling slice of rock invention.

     After the Mourning Light, a song like the second on the album which misses out on igniting a fire in the emotions but still provides an undeniable quality and impact with its presence, the album hits another pinnacle with Reflect. The track is a voracious assault which entwines its anger and spite with a melodic seduction and sonic expression which tempers yet coaxes the intimidating predation of the song. As happy nagging and riling the senses as it is caressing them with mouthwatering beauty, the fiery declaration is glorious and the best track on the album.

    Completed by the emotionally instigative Waking Disorder and the smooth yet tenaciously inciting To Live is to Forget, two tracks which undulate and entice the passions with infectious might and invention, Your Wandering Ghost is a rapaciously compelling experience that strongly impresses and richly pleases. The album needs time to show its strengths and rigorous depths as mentioned but proves Ethersens to be a band which leaves no creative stone unturned and emotion not wrung out. Wrapped in stunning artwork from French visionary artist Romain Barbot, this is a confrontation to wrap up within especially if fans of bands such as Karnivool, Katatonia, Opeth, and Tool…

Your Wandering Ghost is out on January the 20th via Scarlet Records.

http://www.ethersens.com

http://ethersens.bandcamp.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 16/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Last Ten Seconds Of Life – Invivo[Exvivo]

 

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    With more of a storm than a buzz brewing up around US metallers The Last Ten Seconds Of Life, the Mansfield, Pennsylvania quartet unleash their new album Invivo[Exvivo] to ravage not only their already seemingly submissive homeland but equally Europe and the UK. Ten tracks of virulently malicious and ridiculously compelling extreme provocation the album is a ferocious mix of filth clad aural brutality. A voracious maelstrom of everything from deathcore to grind, groove to nu metal and a flood of plenty more essences poisoning its vitriolic glory, the band’s sound takes no prisoners but neither does it leave the listener searching for rapacious imagination or feverishly rewarding adventure. Some of the tracks take longer to pull a submission than others from the passions but ultimately all succeed on one quite exhausting and riveting scourge.

     Formed in 2010 and consisting of guitarist and songwriter Wyatt McLaughlin, vocalist Storm Strope, bassist Anthony Madara, and drummer Christian Fisher, The Last Ten Seconds Of Life not only build on but stretch strenuously the seeds sown and bred on previous releases, the Justice EP of 2010, debut album Know Your Exits in 2011, and the Warpath EP of the following year. Invivo[Exvivo] takes everything to new impacting levels, its impressive savagery and inventiveness the band at a new vicious creative height. Released by Workhorse Music, it is fair to say that the album is not quite the perfect beast, at times missing a few opportunities in a torrent of successes to tantalise as it rips out the jugular, but there is never a moment or second offered which does not flare up the senses and passions into an excited state.

      Engineered by Grant McFarland and produced by Carson Slovak (August Burns Read, Texas in July), Invivo[Exvivo] last10seconds_infvivo_finalcoveruncages Fertile Steps first to leap upon and savage the senses. The opening breath of the song is an antagonistic brawl and things only intensify as rhythms punch and slap with merciless and spite whilst riffs grind out insidious grooves around the impressive varied venomous squalls of Strope. From the first minute of his appearance the vocalist impresses and leaves ears as hungry for his destructive narrative as the carnivorous sounds around him. The track itself has a definite Slipknot meets Carcass feel at times but also with an unrelenting drench of Pig Destroyer saliva soaking the results.

    The immense and thrilling start is soon taken up and further by False Awakening and the following A Dime A Dozen, both sonic carnivores which tear through the ears with an intensive heavyweight predation and rhythmic stalking. The first comes from the violent throes of demons, in tone and effect soaked vocals which mingle with the guttural spewing which spills bile with every outpouring. The track stomps as it comes to an early conclusion allowing a breath to be swallowed before its successor produces a pestilential fury of unpredictable and persistently shifting sounds and flavours. Grooves and carnal riffery are irresistible bait in the torrential contagion and malevolently cantankerous heart of the confrontation. It is the first major pinnacle of the album though not that many steps above what came before to be honest such the impressive start of the album.

     Numbskull is the nasty spawn of a hard core and grind union; a track which rampages over and slowly preys on its victim with a continually switching creative intent, again a Slipknot like prompting with Devildriver animosity and Brutal Truth hatred a suggestive texture. It is a downtuned sonic pestilence easy to be consumed by and drool over as is the next up tide of ferocity The Face, a track which scars and seduces simultaneously though both abilities come with an untamed rapacious corrosion.

    Morality emerges from a winding sonic enticement initially before placing itself intimidatingly around the ears to take rhythmic and melodically bred violent swipes. It is a striking entrance but soon losing a part of its compulsion as it employs spoken vocals/sample within a maze of guitar sculpted descriptive noise. The track is strong and constantly slipping in a prod at the appetite but is devoid of the spark which made the previous tracks so irresistible. Arguably the song is too adventurous for its own good and certainly there is not the same fluidity linking all its imagination as that impressive elsewhere on the release. Its ‘weakness’ is instantly amended by Haste Makes Waste and Deadfast though, the first a magnetic tsunami of intensity speared by a great and varied swinish vocal delivery from Strope yet again. The second of the two is another best track contender, niggling hypnotic grooves opening up the throat of the song before its roar and ferocity storms the barricades with a delicious part hardcore, part industrial metal, and all extreme metal esurience. Relentlessly twisting its body and potent resources around and within itself, it is an exceptional blitz of ideas and flavouring which just gets better and better with a great sludgy intensity to its closing incitement.

    To be honest Skeletal took more time than any of the songs to fully convince, though it’s impossibly black and malignant heart and lethal sonic emprise was swift in its captivation. Eventually it did prove itself to be one of the strongest hatefully impressive blessings on the release. Its triumph makes way for the closing Ego Death, a seven minute plus infestation of grooves and rancorous imagination which gnaws away at and suffocates the senses with the densest malevolence jaundiced assault on the album. It completes in Invivo[Exvivo] an outstanding , absorbing, and invigorating intrusion which without being the complete devil is a demon record to make The Last Ten Seconds Of Life your next best brutal friend.

www.facebook.com/thelasttensecondsoflife

9/10

RingMaster 16/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Magenta Harvest – Volatile Waters

 

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     Like its title suggestiveness Volatile Waters from Finnish death metallers Magenta Harvest is an invigorated rapacious confrontation with aggressive and spiteful currents adding antagonistic intent to the intriguing proceedings. Also like an expanse of overbearing water the release ebbs and flows in potency and impact but is never less than compelling and persistently magnetic in its destructive lures. Building on the promise set out by earlier releases, the album is a sizeable slab of metallic contempt and vitriolic temptation and easily extends and stretches the potential which has slowly been gripping attention to date.

    Formed in 2005 as a two man project by guitarist Timo Kontio (Havoc Unit, O, ex-…and Oceans) and drummer Janne Manninen, Magenta Harvest was a testing ground for the invention and ideas of the pair at first before second guitarist Timo Hanhikangas joined up with the band’s founders in 2009 alongside bassist Jonas Frilund (Chthonian). With vocalist Mathias Lillmåns (Finntroll, Chthonian) joining in 2010, first demo A Familiar Room was released in 2011 with the second Apparition of Ending arriving the following year. Focus was swiped from fans by both releases but it will be the Inverse Records released Volatile Waters which will make the strongest breakthrough for the band you suspect. It is not one to file amongst classic first albums but attention grabbing and satisfaction giving it undeniably is.

     End and No Remembrance is the first incitement presented on the album by the Pietarsaari/Helsinki based quintet, the covertrack emerging from a battle scene on some storm drenched shore with destructive rhythms driving on rugged riffing and a sonic tempest of sound. Settled into its stride with those same provocations taking a steadier but no less impacting aggression, the guttural malevolent growls and squalls of Lillmåns unleash their venom on proceedings. It is a formidable and maybe expected attack but certainly richly pleasing and one soon twisted by the blaze of clean vocals which break out intermittently across the rest of the song. It is a great mix hardly used at all on the rest of the album sadly and an inspiring additive to the tempestuous enterprise soaking the great opener.

   The excellent start is backed up with the same predation and success by One Walks Down, a virulently malicious rampage which tears at the ears and chews the senses from start to finish but also entwines evocative keys and a core groove which easily seduces the passions into its pestilential presence. Not quite the equal of its predecessor the song is still a masterful tempting to eagerly immerse within and have its fevered sonic rapaciousness eroding the senses. The next up Spawn of Neglect is less successful and commanding though it is hard to hold much against it apart from the lack of the creative and appealing spark found on the first two offerings. The bass of Frilund as elsewhere is an undoubted  draw within the song and the craft undeniably strong but as afflicts a few songs on the album there is something missing to incite the emotions into strong reactions.

     The following title track starts a two track pinnacle for the album, its unrelenting drive and addiction forging grooves, not forgetting clumping rhythms and carnivorous riffery, infectious as a base and epidemically taunting at their height. The stalking predatory nature of the song is the overriding enticement though, a trait thrillingly used by its successor, the outstanding Apparition of Ending. Torrential with cascading intensive beats from a hungry rhythmic battlement falling upon the senses whilst riffs furrow deep within the passions, the fury is unrelenting . That is until it suddenly expands a rich and mesmeric melodic blanket of beauty over the whole scene with keys especially magnetic. The returning savage rampancy of the track brings its glory full circle and back to voraciously transgressing on the listener, a violation welcomed and ultimately stealing to honours on the album.

   Through the likes of the bestially hunting Interrupted Fleshwork , rhythms preying on its quarry with contagion, and the senses hounding Limbo in Rime the album continues its weight and appeal , even if both tracks struggle to match their immediate predecessors whilst Spiteful Beings to Earth Were Bound ravages with a bone splintering rhythmic punishment and jagged riffs which tear the senses for the ever insidious and enjoyable vocal delivery to lay its poison. It provides a returning step up in the undulating but constantly strong flow of the album, an elevation taken further by the excellent A Symposium of Frost. A ferocious storm from its first hardcore bred grazing of vocals and sound, the track shares its presence with a stomp of prowling aggravation and rhythmic invention laid within primal bait.

   Completed by Carrion of Me, a more than decent final scourge of accomplished and vicious sonic fascination, Volatile Waters is an album with plenty to satisfy death metal appetites whether bred in old school or from a more hybrid nature. Magenta Harvest may not set fires raging in the belly with their release but certainly they leave no one devoid of satisfaction and enjoyment.

https://www.facebook.com/MagentaHarvest

8/10

RingMaster 15/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Queen Elephantine – Scarab

 

Photo by Erin Dynamic.

Photo by Erin Dynamic.

    Intensively provocative and demandingly challenging Scarab the new album from Queen Elephantine is a release which it is not too wide of the mark to say will not be for everyone. Consisting of four experimental and expansive landscapes of doom clad laments immersing the senses in darkness bred funereal breaths and captivations, the album is a testing evocation to avoid or embrace, with little in between one suspects. Meditative yet disturbing, seductive yet exacting, engaging yet overwhelming, the album is an uncompromising intrusive dirge but also persistently compelling.

     Scarab is the fourth album from Queen Elephantine, a project formed in Hong Kong in 2006 and now residing in Providence, Rhode Island. With several splits also under their belts including releases with Sons of Otis and Elder, the Indrayudh Shome led band has earned a strong reputation with their impacting explorations to which Scarab adds another epically cast uncompromisingly delivered landscape. With bassist Mat Becker, drummers Ian Sims and Nathanael Totushek, tanpura player Srinivas Reddy, and slide guitarist Brett Zweiman alongside Shome and his guitar skills, the band steer the listener into bleak psychedelic threnodies which never allow a breath to be taken in hope or made without an intense melancholic soak.

     Opener Veil coaxes the ears with a rhythmic and percussive persuasion initially, an intriguing tempting with slight tanpura a1459832747_2caresses and sonic whispers watching on. Once the bass and throaty guitar enters though a shadow clouds over the tempting to chill and inspire the imagination with stronger potency. Taunts of repetition begin laying down their riveting seeds from this point but through a weave which slowly shifts and evolves as the first of the long winding tracks emerges fully. The song like the album has to be taken and assessed over numerous traverses of its heavy presence, it inducing a stronger persuasion and convincing with each taken endeavour. The droning breath of the track which takes over until the equally dragging vocals steal their moment nag and entice, but equally provide an irritant to fear or crowd in with mentally and emotionally. Though the shortest track on the album at a mere eight minutes it makes the listener work for its rewards, or that may be endure for some, but nevertheless it offers plenty for most to feed eagerly upon.

   The following Crone as good as emerges from the trailing wash of its predecessor, bass and again dark toned guitar making the first bait of the song. It is a demand on ears and patience at times especially in the first four minute stretch of the eighteen minute submergence into the darkest corners of the soul and emotional depths but a constant lure on thoughts as they unveil their interpretation and feelings on the slow resonating probing. Vocals with a mutually effective monotony to the sounds clasping them add a warmer hue to the narrative if without sparking any change and intent from the labour intensive persuasion being woven around the psyche. There is no respite to the emotional turmoil and restrained but merciless evocative droning, and the track certainly outstays personal limits with its length and full on provocation though within that blanket of sonic murmuring and discord kissed humming little twists and additives spark attention and appetite for the perpetually engaging enthrallment.

     The bass sound conjured across the album is a strong tempting alongside the guitar imagination and within the final pair of tracks Snake and Clear Light of the Unborn both make no exceptions in their entangling of the emotions. The first of the two casts ten minutes of minimalistic and progressive searching of those prevailing contemplations of the abyss. Admittedly a surface look provides a similar canvas to the songs around it and it is only, as with all the tracks, an intensive dive into the swallowing tenebrous climate that individual nuances and provocations truly unveil themselves. The song is the hardest most unforgiving listen on the release and often difficult to remain in the grasp of but still provides plenty to be stimulated and gripped by. Its successor from a mesh of chants around a spitting heat leads into an invasive swamp of textures and sounds similar to those which marked the previous track but also stirs up new caustic winds and sonic rubs as it develops its thirteen minute incitement.

     Stronger in its first half and a constant depressive questioning, the Heart & Crossbone Records (CD)/Cosmic Eye Records (LP) released Scarab is undoubtedly for a certain appetite but before that kind of hunger is a formidable and impressive progressive doom exploit igniting a wealth of emotions and instincts. Queen Elephantine does not make it easy but they never leave you short on satisfaction and adventure.

http://queenelephantine.clfrecords.com

http://queenelephantine.bandcamp.com/album/scarab

7.5/10

RingMaster 15/01/2014

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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The Long Tall Texans – The Devil Made Us Do It

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     To create rock ‘n’ roll alchemy as scintillating and fresh as this you just have to suspect that the horned one did have a hand in its breeding as the title of this voracious riot suggests. The Devil Made Us Do It declare The Long Tall Texans on their return after eight years with a new album, but whatever part he had in its creation and the type of dues met all credit and ardour goes to the Brighton band who after two and a half decades still stand mighty in creating essential blistering rock n roll.

      Jammed to the rafters with predominantly Garry Castleman penned songs brought to insatiable life and realism by brother and guitarist Matt, drummer Theo, and vocalist/slap bassist Mark Carew ( also of The Hotknives), The Devil Made Us Do It rampages over and with the passions in a thoroughly captivating and enthrallingly expansive manner. It is a feisty merger of rockabilly, psychobilly, punk, and country twisted in one unique and impossibly contagious riot of rock ‘n’ roll. It has to be said that The Long Tall Texans has been doing this for ages, since day one to be fair, but their thirteen track stomp fest undoubtedly is their finest slab of devilry in a long time. Produced and engineered by Mark Roberts at Empora Recordings and mastered by Tim Rowkins, it is the first essential blaze of rock ‘n roll in 2014, a fire you suspect which will still be heading the field in this year’s twilight moments.

      The album turns the ignition for the ride ahead with the instrumental Taxi, a flaming climate of melodic heat in a western environment which is more sunset than sunrise and a wholly addictive start to the album. With a breath of surf rock to its smouldering temptation it makes way for the rascality of Girlfriend, a contagion clad stroll of sonic grooves and irrepressible hooks wrapped by a blend of rockabilly soaked in fifties irresistibility and just a little salacious enticement. The song requests rather than demands attention and the listener’s vocal assistance but the outcome is the same, full submission to its call.

   The cantering psychobilly charge of Kamikaze Killer is the band recalling its early days in many ways, a rapacious anthemic temptation of a song which again refuses to take no for an answer in its request on emotions and limbs. A glorious guitar sculpted blaze only adds thicker allurement to the track before the western swung Kill Me saunters in and seduces the ears all over again in its own individual enrapturing style. Four tracks in and every song on the album has been of unique character and presence to each other but uniformal in their efficiency in securing the fullest allegiance to their rock ‘n’ roll driven desires and nothing changes across the rest of the release.

    The stalking rabidity of Sex, Beer & Psychobilly chews on the senses next whilst simultaneously seducing them with grooves and riffs which demand a returning lust for their teasing. The guitar of Matt conjures a weave of addiction forging lures around flumes of melodic acidity; it is pure sonic manna and with the thumping beats of Theo caging recipient and song within the predatory sway of Carew’s irrepressible slapping, the song is another peak in the mountainous range of The Devil Made Us Do It.

     The pop lit Terry and the following riveting Let Me Go powers through the ears with a punkabilly urgency and growl which in the case of the first reminds of Australians Living End whilst the cowpunk spiced second of the pair offers an evolving roam through magnetically rich and varied flavours of rockabilly. For a great many the band deservedly is up there with the legends such as The Meteors, Demented Are Go, Batmobile, Stray Cats etc. and these songs alone prove to newcomers just why, whilst the album simply puts in stone the fact that The Long Tall Texans are masters now and then of raucous and mercilessly virulent rockabilly in all its off shooting guises.

     The excellent I Hate Myself again ventures into more punk based alchemy whilst its successors, the ridiculously addictive Covered In Sin and the country seeded What Part Of Fuck Off Don’t You Understand?, exploit the established rampant appetite for the whole release with their own epidemic of sonic inducements. The first of this pair is the stealer of top honours on the song, the dual vocal styling as potently compelling as the ravishing spree of musical toxicity led by riffs and hooks carrying more barbs than a jigsaw. Its companion is an argumentative encounter lyrically and a taunting slice of country rock musically veined with spices of country swing alongside tasty rhythm and blues additives, it and its predecessor continuing the extensive variation of the release and craft in songwriting impressively.

    The outstanding I Fell In Love With A Zombie and the simply exceptional I Used To Feel Funny provide more rigorously stimulating slabs of prime rockabilly and danger drenched psychobilly respectively, though as always it is just half of the story as numerous flavours stoke up the fires within the songs and the now over fed but still greedy emotions receiving them. The closing Feels Like Ice brings it all to a towering conclusion with a sensational heavily weighted brawl of intensive psychobilly scored with rockabilly lunacy and glam rock wantonness. If The Sweet were rockabilly you suspect they would have sounded like this hellacious bone rattling stamping provided by the album’s finale. Listening to it again as this is written maybe that best track decision is still under review after all.

     The Sunny Bastards released The Devil Made Us Do It is quite simply one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll albums of the past decade with little more to be added except to say that The Long Tall Texans still makes  the majority of bands, rockabilly or psychobilly sound like mere novices.

Check on https://www.facebook.com/groups/196671022357 to keep up with news of band and releases.

10/10

RingMaster 14/01/2014

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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We All Die (Laughing) – Thoughtscanning

 

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     A long epic track going well into double figures time wise is never the most immediate persuasion here to be honest so it is fair to say that the debut album from We All Die (Laughing) with its single thirty three minute track was not the most instant appetiser and top of the list to cover. The fact that Thoughtscanning was released by Kaotoxin Records, a label which had a glorious year in releasing impressive inventive propositions in 2013, did encourage a dive into the proposition offered, plus the fact that the band consists of multi-talented musician and composer Déhà (C.O.A.G., Maladi) and vocalist Arno Strobl of Carnival In Coal and site favourites 6:33. It will prove to be one of the wisest decisions made this year at The RR and by anyone who immerse within what is an extraordinary experience and towering creative tempest. The album is a masterful enticement and admittedly challenging encounter but one all should bravely embrace.

    Creating a continually expanding landscape of emotionally drenched progressive dark metal, but with so much more to its 760137614821_TOX030_We-All-Die-(laughing)_Artwork_1400x1400-300imaginative adventure, Thoughtscanning is a piece of work which leaves the richest satisfaction and experience in its wake. We All Die (Laughing) first emerged as guest musicians on Eye Of Solitude’s EP The Deceit, their offering now reissued as a bonus track on the band’s recently released excellent album Canto III. Now the French-Bulgarian link-up fully unveils itself as a creative force to be reckoned with and incited by with their debut.

      A long guitar casts the first coaxing, its melodramatic voice and resonance a lone figure in a barren atmosphere but as potently evocative and imagination sparking as you could wish for. It has an essence of early-The Cure to its call which is enhanced with a wash of minimalistic melodic enticement and great earthy throaty tones from the bass. It is a deliciously magnetic entrance which is so powerful that when flames of skilfully sculpted guitar light the air a tinge of disappointment washes over emotions just for a second or two.

     From here on in the song slowly but clearly expands with its every second, the ever appealing vocals of Strobl adding another provocative aspect to the already compelling persuasion. Stretching further into its dark shadow drenched heart, the clean melodically built vocals merge with sanity bruising squalls whilst an intensity coats and increases the urgency of the sounds even when they find new avenues to slowly and elegantly investigate within the at times bordering on psychotic expulsion of emotional toxicity. It is impossible to clearly represent all that is going on and unleashed within Thoughtscanning but sure to say musically the track evolves through webs and mixtures of progressive and black metal, avant-garde and melodic death metal, doom and jazz metal with more besides, every minute a new recipe and provocation impossible to tear away from.

    As suggested earlier vocally the track also is a vibrantly shifting temptation, smooth melodic tones moving into guttural torrents with ease and in other moments creating a dark shadow through intensive deliveries which simply shape the syllables into an impacting and thought provoking narrative. Not for the first time in his career Strobl brings moments which are pure Mike Patton like to the persistently evocative adventure and in union with Déhà creates a maelstrom of seduction and venom which is as thrilling and compelling as the music surrounding their bait.

     The down side to the album?…well it is so long that it will definitely not suit all but it would be amiss not to say that there is never a moment where it is predictable and does not have senses and attention on alert for more breath-taking insurgences by the album into emotions and to be honest the track simply flies by, never feeling as long as it obviously is. Thoughtscanning is a thoroughly enthralling and impressive release which is a must investigation for all fans of anyone from Faith No More to Opeth, Periphery to Dark Tranquility, Tool to of course 6:33, in fact every metal fan as We All Die (Laughing) has something for all within their opus. With a limited-edition first pressing also containing a cover of Amy Winehouse track Back to Black, this is a must.

www.facebook.com/wealldielaughing

9.5/10

RingMaster 14/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Slippertails – There’s A Disturbing Trend

 

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     US rock band Slippertails is a bit of a mystery you will find when looking for info on the creators of new album There’s A Disturbing Trend. Based in New Jersey and formed by its members in Bloomington, Indiana where they roomed together, the band is apparently a duo though the only name seemingly offered up is that of frontman Nick Casertano who recorded demos alone in his basement which would eventually become this album. Other than that it is pretty much left to the imagination to wonder what the band is about, but what is not a secret is the stirring addictive sound band and release persuades with. A merger of sludge bred tendencies within an alternative rock/garage punk narrative and steered by a hypnotic vocal drawl which at times embraces shoegaze mesmerism, Slippertails creates a presence which worms deep under the skin and into the psyche with irreverent contagion.

     The album is not a flawless affair if being critical but such its potency and potential it is hard not to be excited about the prospects and future creativity of the band whilst glossing over any small negatives. Varied in fuzz drenched sonic spice and caustic imagination which sears and scores the senses, There’s A Disturbing Trend has a nagging almost pestilential beauty which just empowers and improves over time and though a raw lo-fi proposition which maybe will grate on some, the nine track tempest of noise is a masterful slice of sonic alchemy. The immediate description of the band’s sound which comes to mind is Frank Black meets Everclear, the latter thanks to the vocal delivery and alternative rock/grunge tendencies of songs, with plenty of Melvins juices in the mix but that is only part of the story to be honest as the songs soon reveal.

     Opening with its first single Hip New Jerk, the album makes an energetic entrance with keen punchy rhythms puncturing the instantly compelling smog of scuzzy guitar. The vocals of Casertano soon seize control with a Frank Black like presence which infuses into the heavy garage punk sounds too. It is an irresistible lure of a starter with a very relaxed breath which fits in perfectly with the more boisterous and scowling aspects of the song. A great single and opener it makes an early strong plateau for the album to maintain which the following Failure matches with its different type of temptation. A slow almost stalking encounter for the ears, the track seduces and intimidates with equal efficiency, flames of guitar smouldering in the air whilst bass and rhythms scowl belligerently beneath them. Again there is a Frank Black like suasion which predominantly seems to guide the inspirations for the whole album but it is not so overpowering as to dismiss any of the uniqueness of Slippertails.

     Both Walk and Garden State Of Mind ignite the appetite into a hungrier state of eagerness; the first from a hypnotic drum coaxing evolving a garage punk tempting which latches on to the exceptional rhythmic bait whilst a sonic web of guitar toxicity and effect showered vocals play out their narratives. It is one of those songs which holds a virulence which the emotions unavoidably get infected by whilst its successor with another crawling sonic festering of an approach, wraps its fuzz sculpted arms acidically around the ears before serenading them with delicious vocal harmonies alongside the ever engaging core vocal causticity of Casertano. The pair only inflates the already buoyant pleasure spread by the album and though it at times takes time to fully recruit the passions There’s A Disturbing Trend by this point already has full command of thoughts and emotions.

   The following pair of Gold Tooth and I Will Peel You Open move into that Everclear side of things, the vocals very much reminding of Art Alexakis whilst the expressive emotive sonic casting is a close cousin to that created by the Oregon band. It is fair to say that both songs fall short of what comes before them, the second almost labouring in its persuasion, but still the two ultimately convince with a craft and infectiousness which can and does only enhance the presence of the album. Things are soon back on course though with the brilliant All Seeing Eye, a song which sounds like Jesus and Mary Chain in tandem with House Of Love as they seduce The Walker Brothers. It is a transfixing mesmerism which leaves imagination and senses lost in a fuzz drizzled evocation of an emotively crafted sunset.

     The brief punk surge of Altar Wine also has a sixties temperament to its aggressive outburst whilst closing song I Wanna Take Pills With You is a psyche addled piece of sultry enchantment, a shadowed soaked melodic psychedelic glow of danger and seduction. It is a slow burning conclusion which like the album just gets more potent and magnetically thrilling over time and plays. There’s A Disturbing Trend is a striking encounter which makes you work for its rapture but pays handsomely with some quite enchantingly abrasive treasures.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Slippertails/487759917932606

8.5/10

RingMaster 14/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Morgue Orgy – The Last Man On Earth

    We play in a bandThe Last Man On Earth is one of those malevolent pestilences which rather than run and hide from its toxic virulence you just have to dive head first into the exhaustingly inventive depths of melodic blackened death metal. The debut album from UK metallers Morgue Orgy, it is a toxic torrent of maliciousness fuelled by a rabid expanse of intensively magnetic flavours and styles from within a brutally predatory imagination. It is mischievously psychotic, rampantly schizophrenic, and masterfully vicious and one of the most tempting rages of extreme sonic violations to come from the British Isles in quite a long while.

     Exploding from the darkness in 2008, the sextet from Birmingham has emerged as a tour-de-force at combining a diversity of sound and ingenuity into a melodic death metal proposition as shown by the album which bewitches and savages with equal intensity. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Carcass, The Black Dahlia Murder, Abigail Williams, and Cradle Of Filth whilst sculpting their own unique acclaimed presence, the band has earned a fine and imposing reputation on stage. That encounter has taken Morgue Orgy to a slot at Bloodstock Open Air in 2010 as well as stages appearances alongside the likes of Anaal Nathrakh, Evile, The Rotted and many more. Debut EP, The River & I only enhanced their emergence as did its successor the Murders Most Foul EP which featured guest vocals from Dave Hunt of Anaal Nathrakh. A release just as ripe with riveting and grand neoclassical keyboard seduction and crippling technically sculpted grinds as it is with blackened venom and melodic death corrosion, The Last Man On Earth is the declaration of a band at its imaginative height and fullest merciless malevolence, and you still feel that there is so much more to come from the band ahead.

     Across the album not a moment is wasted, ideas and twists spearing every minute if not second of every song with an adventure TheLastManOnEarthCoveryou can suggest is barely alive in melodic death metal elsewhere. As soon as the opener They Came From Outer Space hits the ear senses and imagination are swiped into action by band and sound. Lively classically bred keys embrace the ears at first whilst a warning buzzer makes a call of impending menace. It is an instant coaxing which suggests numerous possible paths ahead which the album may take without revealing which initially. The gothic breath of the entrance is the predominate lure but one which offers an Adams Family meets Cradle Of Filth like tease before the track  reveals itself fully. That is does with thunder rich rhythms and rampaging riffs stalked by a female spoken narrative. Again it is mere hinting until the song settles into a delicious stomp of tantalising sonic revelry and urgent intensity which in turn soon evolves into a melodramatic gothic waltz. Barely two minutes in and a canvas of multiple textures and hues have been laid to intrigue and disorientate. This is the way of the song, and album from start to finish, and one reason why both are thoroughly riveting. Halfway in and the vocals of Gray, backed by those of keyboardist Carter, savage air and emotions with an expected but again varied and eventful poisonous attack. It is a mighty introduction to the album soon backed up and at times surpassed ahead.

     Both 4 Days and Phantasms of March rampage vehemently across the sense’s landscape, the first a fury of guitar enterprise from Prok and Pence which sears and soars with artistic rabidity and primal savagery whilst the keys pulsate and swoop around the aggressive tempest with melodic rapture and temptation. Like the first and album as a whole, the track is a voracious flow of imagination and hostility which you cannot take all in on one or two listens but rewards intensively for all the extensive time spent in its caustic wrap. The second of the two is a slower bestial incitement at first but cannot not hold back the rapacious energy boiling up within and soon unleashes a rabid assault with guitars creating grooves which finger the passions and a rhythmic barracking from the lethally crisp beats of drummer Tom and the predatory throaty tones of Uncle Holloway’s bass which is instinctively addictive.

     The Last of the Summer’s Wine steps forward next soon diminishing thoughts of old men in childlike escapades with a horde of ferocious riffs and rhythmic bitch slaps which are subsequently aligned with melodic suggestiveness from the keys alongside crazed grooves and a guitar solo which only ignites greater submission for the impressive storm. To be honest it is impossible to describe every dramatic turn and rich bait provided by each song as with this one such the constant imagination and ingenuity of the release but we can reassure that it is something at times bewildering and always scintillating.

     The likes of Barnum & 399 and Castle Freak continue the strong encounter with the same flocking of ideas and intensive rhythmic barbarism, if without quite matching those early pinnacles, whilst splitting their storms is the excellent ruinous swagger of the pestilential 70 Dead pt 2: The Scarecrow of Medan. The track caustically engages and impresses whilst the piano and keys designed instrumental Waiting for the End is a glorious grandiose neoclassical aural painting to take a breath over and allow imagination and thoughts to reflect before the album’s finest moment viciously thrusts its jaws around the jugular.

    The Last Man On Earth (Diary of George) simultaneously is cultured and barbaric, vocals and rhythms merciless predators upon the senses whilst the guitars and keys cast a mesmeric if vitriolic haze over the damage. With a brilliant discord kissed sax wailing over and taunting the carcass of your sanity, the song is a blackened fury with a melodic harpy on its shoulder but one constantly twisting and evolving as it moves towards an expulsion of a riled almost hardcore brawl of vocal scowls and shouts over a punk spurred ferociousness. It is a stunning track and almost leaves the remaining songs an impossible task to follow but IT LURKS BENEATH!!! and Paradise irrepressibly and cantankerously in the case of the first make light work of the challenge.

   Closing on the enjoyable and impressively presented but less commanding In the Smoke of the Green Ghost, though that is again down to the quality elsewhere, The Last Man On Earth is an exceptional album.  There is little to raise up against it, though you suspect some will find it just too intensive and unrelenting in its inventive maelstrom. Released as a free digital free on Christmas Day and getting its official retail release on 13th January, Morgue Orgy may just have delivered the best melodic death metal release of the coming year. It is a tall order to follow for sure for them and the genre.

http://www.morgueorgy.co.uk/

10/10

RingMaster 13/01/2014

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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Public Domain Resource – Dead Surface

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     Until the arrival of their debut album it is probably not too far-fetched to assume a great many like us were not aware of Public Domain Resource and their magnetically crafted contagious sound. The recently release of Dead Surface has certainly addressed that lapse and such the potency of the synth pop bred waltz marking this fifteen track temptation the only recommendation is for you to go immerse yourself in this band. It is an album which ebbs and flows at times to both intrigue the imagination and occasionally leave the appetite wanting a little more from particular moments but taken as one radiant proposition the album is a riveting and vibrantly refreshing slice of electronic adventure.

     The Bergamo based project consists of Pietro Oliveri (music, synths, programming, vocals) and Ugo Crescini (vocals) though founded in 2012 it was initially a solo venture for Oliveri before Crescini linked up with him in March of last year. The band’s first year saw the appearance of Under The Ground, a track which reached 3rd place in the Industrial Music chart on Soundclick.com. Its successor Nemesis-The Third Day and the following The Hang were no less eagerly received either with the two songs riding high in IBM charts and all three now appearing upon the Space Race Records released Dead Surface. Combining a weave of sounds and flavours from eighties synth pop to EBM and varied electronic spicery, it is an encounter which warrants plenty of encounters to discover all its little nuances and seductive essences but one which constantly rewards with those unveilings. Whether the album will rival your all-time favourites time will tell but certainly it will earn and deserve a regular feature on your adrenaline cast playlists.

   The album starts with its best track, a title Ideals never relinquishes despite the strong challenges to come. Opening with a Dead Surface Coverdelicious bassline right out of early songbook of The Cure, the track immediately has interest hungry and eager to learn more. Tantalising electronic strokes soon join the persuasion alongside energetic rhythms and roving synth temptation but it is the excellent vocals of assumedly Crescini which seal the deal. It is hard to know who provides vocals actually each voice clearly distinguishable but only if you know which belongs to whom, something we could not find out in time. A more than healthy Depeche Mode feel evolves to wash through the song as it expands its lures and enterprise as well as a sturdy rock element to the vocals especially, it all adding to a masterful infection clad synth pop triumph.

    The following Red Lines has a more tempered energy to its candescent electro glow aligned to shimmering enticements and also has little difficulty in seducing ears and thoughts. There is a rich emotive breath to the track from its opening note and first lyrical syllable and though as it progresses and builds a rich intensity in its melodic colouring and emotional depth the pervading shadows within never waiver or lessen their evocative call. Its successor Under the Ground is a similarly crafted blaze of melodically hued imagination, different in sound and delivery but as provocatively expressive and built with dark edges to provoke the imagination. Both tracks continue the impressive start to the album before passing over to another pair of pinnacles on the release.

    The title track from an arguably predictable opening dips enthrallingly into a darker climate of voice and sound which brings thoughts of New Order to the fore. It is when the song takes a breath and puffs out its melodic chest and rhythmic muscles around a pulsating nagging electro core that it ignites a virulent fascination of sound and shadowed seduction. The melodic groove which laps at the heart of the song alongside impassioned piano strokes only go to accentuate a Heaven 17 like bait fuelling the outstanding track, its success straight away matched by Fiat Lux. Admittedly the song took a little linger to fully convince but evolved into a strong favourite. Like those before, it has a unique character seeded in familiar yet fresh seeds. Once more thoughts drift to the eighties, this time from the chilled atmosphere which reminds at times of post punk band The Passage and a discord kissed vocal delivery which persuades like the haunted expression of that band’s creator Dick Witts crossed with the wily tones of Fatima Mansion’s frontman Cathal Coughlan. It is a ravenously addictive slice of electronic tempting adding further depth to the album.

    After such a strong passage maybe it was inevitable that the release would wander a little in potency which it does with the slightly predictable Negative Fields and the unsurprising Nemesis – The Third Day, though both are undeniably enjoyable and conjured by accomplished craft as they sandwich the arresting electronic landscape of Always Prey for Them – The Reich’s Station. Their enjoyable presences are soon lost to thought as the minimalistic beauty of Mishima San and the impossibly addictive Your Blood Is Mine combine to ignite the passions all over again; the first an elegant stimulation of melodic mesmerism and sultry synth pop engagement which is as epidemically contagious as any full on virus and its successor a multi-spiced electronic web which hustles and imposes its grandeur on the senses whilst holding them in a warm atmospheric embrace. Both tracks are irresistibly memorable, something you can say about the majority of the album as proven by The Hang. Heavy in texture and similarly weighty in infectiousness the song is a slow burning rousing of the imagination which needs longer than some to fully convince but does so without reservation before The Second Day takes its swipe at winning over emotions, its inevitable success going on what has gone before soon confirmed by its resourceful and skilful electronic maze of adventure.

    Completed by two more than decent remixes by Tourdeforce (Red Lines) and Retrogramme (Under the Ground) as well as the Magnetic Fields edit of Mishima San, the thrilling Dead Surface is an exhilarating incitement of a united dancefloor and individual passions. Increasingly more impressive with each romp through its insatiably addictive and inventive body the album marks Public Domain Resource out as a new protagonist in exploratory synth pop, a band draped in shadows for not much longer you suspect.

http://www.publicdomainresource.net/

http://ekproduct.bandcamp.com/album/dead-surface

8.5/10

RingMaster 10/01/2014

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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