Liquid Meat – In Meat We Trust

LM

Want a slab of rock ‘n’ roll just to lose yourself in and let inhibitions slip away with, then try out In Meat We Trust the new album from German rockers Liquid Meat. The thirteen track riot is from start to finish an honest and mischievous fusion of heavy rock, metal, and punk rock with extras, which simply leads passions astray and body into an unbridled stomp of instinctive devilry.

The creation of German born Rocker Freddie Mack, Liquid Meat was formed in Los Angeles in 2004 and was soon playing a horde of gigs around Hollywood. Two albums followed before in 2011, Mack returned to his hometown of Munich which meant a new line-up was needed. This led to the recruiting of drummer Manu Holmer and bassist Max Horch, and unsurprisingly soon after the trio was back into the swing of playing shows, drawing attention, acclaim, and notoriety musically all over again. Earlier this year the band began recording the Indiegogo crowd funded In Meat We Trust with legendary producer Reinhold Mack (Queen, ELO, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, etc.), the result one mouth-watering rock ‘n’ roll party which enjoyably wears its warts and influences like a badge.

The album opens with Liquid Meat Anthem, an uncomplicated bruising of choice riffs and crisp rhythms aligned to a great bass sound which probably grabs attention most of all on the track. The growling vocals of Mack instantly reveal the grin in his delivery and the song, whilst the backing calls of the rest of the band lays swift anthemic bait. It is hard to ignore the Motorhead like causticity and charm of the track as it provides one strong and inviting entrance into the album.

The following song right away shows the unpredictable and diverse flavouring to come across the release. They Lied sways in front of the ears with a sultry blues haze to its sonic enticement before prowling around the imagination with a IMWT Cover_1funk bred swagger which has the markings of Infectious Grooves. Equally there is a punk air to the blend which only increases the persuasion, especially when provides urgency through the chorus which brings another tasty spice, this time a Rage Against The Machine colour. It is an infectiously flavoursome track with twists of drama and an increasingly addictive groove. Its triumph is immediately matched by the outstanding Punch The Clock. Its opening intimidation of bass and predatory rhythms makes for an intense affair though that is soon lost to a big smile as the track starts flirting with what can be best described as Macho Man does Pantera. Mack does his best wrestler vocal impression as a groove certainly related to the one in Walk binds attention and appetite. It is insatiable in its luring and delicious in its devilment with Holmer providing her most magnetic rhythms yet alongside the throaty bounce of Horch’s bass.

The best song on the album is followed by the smouldering blues revelry of Double Standard Blues and then the punk joy of Black Out. The first also has a swagger which grips imagination as well as ears, whilst as with most songs lyrically it brings a devilish tone to climb on board with. Though not at the same heights of the first songs, it still provides a pleasing proposition which its successor soon over runs. Teasing and exciting ears with a riff stolen from The Ramones songbook, so much so that you just are waiting for the “Hey Ho! Let’s Go!” chant, the song is punk ‘n’ roll at its most contagious; hooks and beats as potent and greedily devoured as the driving riffs and bursts of caustic intensity. The track is another which makes claims on that best track title.

Both There Is No God and Guilty As Charged keep things strolling along nicely, the first with a dark blues whisper to its almost psychobilly kissed blues breath, which reminds of Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre, whilst the second puts a lighter shade of the first to a raw and incendiary classic metal canvas. Each song leaves a dose of keen pleasure behind whilst the next up Rock N Roll Will Never Die from a reserved but alluring opening melodic flame, breaks into a virulently catchy stomp of old school rock toxicity with a fevered rhythmic energy. There are no surprises with the song but a flood of hooks and inescapable trappings which leaves ears and emotions on a high as lofty as that forged by the groupie salaciousness of Up Against The Wall, never has rock ‘n’ roll romance been so aurally addictive.

The decent enough fiery rock sounds of classic/blues rocker Road House comes next before another pinnacle of the album arrives in the shape of Fuck That. The track is a return to a more punk led rampage, its jabbing rhythms and scything riffs again offering a slight rockabilly flirtation whilst the bass roams around like an adulterous predator. Revealing a parade of impossible addictive hooks and grooves blessed with a Dead Kennedys temperament, it is another glorious encounter which leaves the remaining pair of songs a task to match and leave the album on a high. That they do with consummate ease though, Smoke ‘Em a grizzled protest and confrontation of bruising raw rock ‘n’ roll and final song, The Devils Music is a noir cloaked stroll with sinister intent and psychobilly/blues intrigue. As all songs the tongue in cheek honesty is as infectious as the great sounds and adventure it rides in upon.

It is fair to say that In Meat We Trust is not going to be the greatest album you are going to hear but it will be one of the most fun and irresistible.

In Meat We Trust is available now @ www.liquidmeatlocker.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 25/07/2014

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The Males – Her Golden Blood EP

MALES BAND PHOTO

Dirty, fuzz lit, and pungently unfussy, the sound of UK noise rock band The Males is a proposition which just crawls under the skin and gets feet right through to passions dancing to its feverish tune. The band’s new EP Her Golden Blood tells you all you need to know about the emerging band. Consisting of three songs which are just as grunge/stoner fuelled as they are noise spawned, it is an encounter which does not make massive waves but ripples and smoulders very nicely to leave a lingering and raucously reminding indent in thoughts and emotions.

The Males was spawned from the creative coming together of guitarist Will Goldstone and vocalist/drummer Lewis Young at Bournemouth University during the mid-2000s. Eventually joined by bassist Ben Smith, the trio set forth as The Males and were soon drawing attention and eager ears towards their noise bred rock ‘n’ roll. With inspirations from the likes of Shellac, Black Sabbath, Jesus Lizard, Fugazi, The Melvins, the Misfits, Refused, Queens of the Stone Age and AC/DC spicing up their invention, the London based trio uncaged a self-titled demo in 2012, a raw and unruly incitement of sound sparking the imagination and a growing spread of fans. The single Wolves followed in the October of 2013 with a teaser from their debut EP, Golden Gates touching ears earlier this year. All has helped inspire keen anticipation for the new EP, an appetite easily and potently fed by Her Golden Blood and its potential drenched roar.

Opening track Cut Her Off from its first breath leads ears and feet into its immediate inescapable bait, punchy rhythms and raw riffing leading to addictive behaviour upon which sonic designs and the strong vocals add extra tempting. THE MALES EP MASTERThe song flirts with hints of bands, though the ones which most spring to mind and certainly not influences on The Males being as new as they, is Feud and The St Pierre Snake Invasion. There is an expectations feeding aspect to the song in some ways but also a more prominent refreshing energy and coarse rabidity. It is a tenacious encounter with caustic melodies, increasingly dramatic rhythms, and a glaze of sonic enticement simply luring the listener in further.

The track is a strong and masterful start to the EP which the following Golden Gates backs up solidly. It wraps tendrils of sonic coaxing around ears first, an acidic scuzz lined lure which is soon joined by weighty rhythms and an even bigger bass incitement, its tones bulging with devilish intent. The vocals again bring an expressive and eager revelry to the highly satisfying encounter though ultimately there is not quite the same spark of imagination to the body of the song as its predecessor. It certainly offers enough to intrigue and keep thoughts on their toes though, especially to the latter stroll of the track where it seems to find a more virulent persuasion with an irresistible groove.

The final song Hot Blood has an old school punk flavouring to its fiery waltz of moody basslines, agitated rhythms, and squalling riffs. It is hard to define who it reminds of but there is definitely a nostalgic tang to the track which colours its impressive enticing even more potently. The best track on the release, it is a compelling protagonist to imagination and ears, a track which hints at riots and brawls with its energy yet resorts to primal seduction for the main to ignite once again an already greedy appetite.

Her Golden Blood is not going to lead to declarations of The Males being the next big thing but it undoubtedly has the potential and weight to earn the band a stronger spotlight and reputation in their continuing ascent.

The Her Golden Blood EP is available now @ http://males.bandcamp.com/

http://themal.es/

8/10

RingMaster 21/07/2014

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Monolith – Dystopia

MONOLITH2 Photo by Fabian Sauer

It is very easy to have mixed feelings about Dystopia, the debut album from German doom rockers Monolith. On one hand it is so close to Black Sabbath in its sounding, with even vocalist/bassist Ralf Brummerloh offering a clone like Ozzy delivery as he unveils the individual narratives, that you struggle to pick out too much which makes a distinct and unique impact. Against that though, the release and songs are so magnetic and superbly presented that it is hard not to be compelled to indulge in its seventies seeded and sounding flight time and time again. It is an encounter which is sure to divide opinions but you suspect will persuade more than it disappoints.

Based in Bremen and formed in 2010, Monolith creates an atmospheric and sultry old school doom rock atmosphere which wears its heart and origins on every note and syllable expelled by the trio of guitarist Ron Osenbrück and drummer/backing vocalist Andre Dittmann alongside Brummerloh. Inspirations it is easy to assume include the likes of Electric Wizard and Pentagram but it is that Sabbath well where the heart and breath of the band’s first offering seems to be spawned from overall. With lumbering intensity and imposing predatory rhythms aligned to tightly binding grooves and searing psychedelic temptation, the predominantly live recorded Dystopia is a thick oppressive charm to easily enjoy, if probably not to be inspired by.

The album immediately engulfs ears with deep pulsating riffs, gripping rhythms, and a growling almost carnivorous bass sound, the latter persistently pleasing bait across the whole of the release. Won’t Come Down is an immediate Cover Artwork by Rocket & Winkand sizeable tempting to start things off, not a particularly dramatic offering against subsequent tracks but a clear hint of what is in store. The song strolls with a heavy yet eager gait, grooves and caustic sonic flames holding a creative grin as they smart against the senses and imagination. The vocals of Brummerloh as mentioned also show their influence boldly, whether by choice or coincidence, but still make an enjoyable colour in the sultry scenery of the song and its swagger fuelled, contagious chorus.

The strong start is matched and pushed a tad further by the following Cosmic Fairy. From a delicious throaty bass coaxing and a swiftly joining blaze of seventies washed acidic guitar, the track holds a steady and even stride framed by similarly gaited rhythms. Though the song does not have the infectious lure of its predecessor, it burns and sizzles with striking designs of sonic venture from Osenbrück to certainly grip attention and awaken a keen appetite for the unfurling proposition.

The next up Hole roughly caresses ears with an initial hot scrub of fuzz filtered guitar and a dark bass tone with an almost demonic tremolo resonance to its malevolence. Smouldering in breath and citric in flavour, the track winds around thoughts and emotions with potent melodic and hazy hues, easily recruiting intrigue and enjoyment. Again though there is no escaping the comparison to the Birmingham legends which dilutes any chance of passions raging before its undeniable skilled and appetising incitement, something applying across the whole of Dystopia to be honest.

The dark uncompromising title track slowly wraps its heated climate around senses next, it’s slowly imposing doom sourced evocation a thick engaging swamp of ebbing and flowing enticement which pleases without sparking real fire in the belly. Its successor Acid Rain employs similar intrusive textures amidst entwining spirals of sonic tempting and a great incendiary flame of funk infused adventure, to explore a successful but barely lingering path.

The album concludes with two highly satisfying encounters, firstly the infectious hip swinging Sleepless Eye. With its transfixing addictive lures and expressively charismatic melodic web of invention, it is the best track on the album; a richly enterprising treat of a song which is unafraid to glide through energetic festivity to suffocating doom crafted shadows, every twist lit by scorching guitar play. The closing Rainbow provides an epic journey of seismic intensity and rhythms within virulent psychedelic smog of imposing weight and heavy metal structures. It is a predator of a track, stalking and preying on the psyche whilst unleashing a contagion packed net of rapacious endeavour. Monolith saved the best encounters to the rear of the album, a closing packed with potential and more originality than shown before but still within well-trodden avenues.

There is no getting away from the core recognisable sound of Dystopia and its inspiration but even with that Monolith provides a strongly enjoyable and easy to return to release which has to be classed as a success.

Dystopia is available now via Finalgate Records @ http://finalgaterecords.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Monolith.doomrock

7.5/10

RingMaster 09/07/2014

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WRAITHS are ‘Hollow’, in 14th July‏

Wraiths Online Promo Shot

THE STUNNING NEW WRAITHS EP RELEASED IN JULY

 

Highly rated Northern Hell Metal crew ‘Wraiths’ release their blistering new EP ‘Hollow’ through all national stores on Monday 14th July.

Forged and fertilized in the putrid cesspool that is Middlesbrough, Wraiths have emerged from a swampy pit of sadness and despair, wielding their self described ‘Hell Metal’ to portray the darkest imaginings of the human conscience. With influences oozing from The Acacia Strain to Black Sabbath, and for fans of heavy, relentless and torturous riffs, they have spawned a unique and hellish sound echoing the dying shriek of a banshee.

 

Wraiths were conceived in 2012 by friends Daniel Charlton (Guitar), Rick Baker (Drums), Rae Robinson (Vocals) and Dale Husband (Bass) who wanted to chisel out a sound that ripped apart the standard formulae of deathcore, yet remained true to the band’s influences and beliefs. The North East riff-slingers have certainly fulfilled their manifesto. When the four piece hit the road, it wasn’t long before they had a cluster of successful shows under their belts, as well as sharing stages with Demoraliser, Brutality Will Prevail, Madball, End Reign, Iced Out, Pay No Respect, Odessa and Destroyer BC. Wraiths are now set to span their reach even further with European touring penned for the remainder of the year.

 

Word is now starting to spread like wildfire about the northern riff beasts; Metal Hammer Magazine lifted a track from their previous EP for their February 2014 issue and the band will soon be lighting up TV screens with their explosive new video single ‘Gravelord’. This summer also sees the nationwide release of the quartet’s new EP entitled ‘Hollow’. With five ferocious slabs of inventive deathcore, from the viciously snarling riffery of the opener ‘Godslayer’ that hammers deep into your cranium, to the throbbing and earth shattering assault of ‘Malignation’ and the earnest brutality and pounding groove of their new single ’Gravelord’, the EP is a hell of a ride. ‘Devoured’ continues to take the record to deeper depths with its cutting riff attack and full frontal vocal battering of closer ‘Belial’, confirming the band’s place as a true new force to be reckoned with on the deathcore scene.

 Wraiths Cover Artwork

-WRAITHS RELEASE ‘HOLLOW’ ON MONDAY 14th JULY THROUGH ALL STORES-

www.facebook.com/wraithshc

Electric Taurus/Prehistoric Pigs – 12″ split

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Split releases are invariably a gateway into new striking adventures and intrigue drenched propositions, the awakening of attention to artists seemingly more often than not lying in shadows away from attention. They can be the beginnings of great sonic friendships and in the case of the Electric Taurus/Prehistoric Pigs split from Go Down Records, the announcement of important emerging forces. Consisting of three tenaciously imaginative and vivaciously inventive soakings of stoner/hard/psychedelic rock, the release is a mouthwatering encounter to invigorate the senses and stoke up the passions.

 

First up is Irish band Electric Taurus with their sixteen minute epic Behind The Sun, a glorious exploration through a space rock landscape with ever shifting and expanding scenery. Formed in 2010 as a recording project by guitarist/vocalist Matt Casciani, the Dublin trio went through numerous line-up changes before finding stability with the addition of bassist James Lynch, and drummer Mauro Frison. 2012 saw the band sign with Moonlight Records for the release of debut album Veneralia, a well-received encounter bristling with the inspirations of heavyweight like Black Sabbath, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple with those of underground bands from the same era such as Buffalo, Leaf Hound, Iron Claw, Primevil, and Captain Beyond. It is only one shade of their sound though as evidenced by Behind The Sun, the sultry sizzling flavouring from bands such as Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Electric Wizard, and Orange Goblin, adding to what is a refreshingly distinct conjuring from Electric Taurus.

Their contribution to the split embraces ears in a sonic web, a spatial entanglement which teases and stimulates the imagination and senses. It is also an intimidating enticement but one with charm and bait to inspire a hunger to dive in deeper, especially when a flirty stride of rhythms burst out of the thick mist with mystique wrapped, fuzz kissed melodies riding their lure. Now within an evocative premise still revealing its intent with unpredictable twists and diversions, the track steadies its pace and experiment to slip into a potent blaze of stoner fuelled sonic endeavour and melodic blues acidity. Binding the ears in rich grooves, provocative rhythms, and a great doom groan, the song paints an emotive journey, which finds its strongest trap for the passions with the entry of guest vocalist Barbara “Babz” Allen of Irish blues rock titans Crafty Fuzz. With a delicious growl to her riveting tones, air and thoughts are brought into a sirenesque harem of syllables and melodic incitement. Her presence also sparks a stronger flame to the sonic thrust and tenacity constantly weaving through the track, resulting in one searing blaze. Again though it is just one turn in the emprise, the song continuing to colour and bewitch ears for a voraciously creative and thrilling escapade sculpted by the skilled and magnetic exploits of each band member. It is a stunning track setting a formidable task for its release companion to match.

Italians Prehistoric Pigs more than put up an enjoyment equalling effort with their two tracks, even if personal tastes does just plump for the previous track as the pinnacle of the impressive release. Hailing from Mortegliano, the trio of guitarist Juri Tirelli, drummer Mattia Pi, and bassist Jacopo Tirelli employ inspirations from the likes of Kyuss, Jimi Hendrix, Sleep, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin into their instrumental incitements. Their sound is a sludge rock rich mix of bracing doom soaked psychedelic alchemy, an earthy mix which paints the imagination and strokes the emotions for individual sonic paintings, as presented on Wormhole Generator, their excellent album of 2012. The Perfection Of Wisdom presents the perfect evidence of their potent weave of sound. Starting with a lone bass lure beneath whispered calls of the song title, the track shapes a compelling ambience with precise melodic hues of guitar, their presence gentle and unhurried as they colour the increasingly smouldering breath of the emerging track. It is a seductive unveiling of the full weight and terrain of the ever impressing piece, rhythms gaining intensity as the sonic enterprise ebbs and flows in insistence before unleashing a voracious flame of imagination and ingenious texture.

It is an enthralling provocative flight of sound and creativity swiftly backed by 79360 Sila-Nunam. Its entrance is subdued and slightly muffled in comparison it its companion but ready and eager from its reserved poise to escape into a climactic burst of intensive sonic wind and rhythmic demands. Grainy in its air and scorching in its touch, the track sizzles with the heat of a Karma To Burn upon Kyuss like desert rock, every note and riff igniting thoughts and emotions for a thoroughly captivating and somewhat corrosive treat.

Electric Taurus and Prehistoric Pigs come together for one of the best split releases in recent years and one of the most exciting psyche/stoner heavy rock releases in recent times. It is an essential doorway into the worlds of two extremely talented and imagination inspiring bands which deserve the fullest attention possible.

The Electric Taurus/Prehistoric Pigs Split is available now on 12″ vinyl format through Go Down Records @ http://www.godownrecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/electrictaurus

https://www.facebook.com/PrehistoricPigs

9/10

RingMaster 20/06/2014

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Return from the Grave – Gates of Nowhere

Return From The Grave - Band

Seeded and drenched in the thick atmospheres of seventies metal aligned to the oppressive textures and persistence of doom metal and blistering stoner designs, Gates of Nowhere the new album from Italian metallers Return from the Grave is a wide wake-up call to a band with rich potential and exhausting intensity. Its seven tracks consume and suffocate the senses relentlessly yet bring them and the imagination alive with compelling resourceful enterprise. It is a proposition which ebbs and flows a little in holding the tightest grip on attention but never lets it wander or enjoyment of its often spellbinding and predacious incitement falter.

Hailing out of Venezia, the quartet of vocalist Semenz, guitarist Sparta, bassist Kilo, and drummer Jack came together in 2011 and soon unveiled their self-titled debut EP. It was followed the following year by first album The Rebirth from the Last Breath, its heavy tsunami like provocations earning comparisons to bands such as Black Sabbath, Orange Goblin, and Orchid in the acclaim. Casting themes bred from ‘Horror stories and the hidden meanings of Life and Death’ within Gates of Nowhere, the debut release for the band on Argonauta Records, Return From The Grave are entering through a doorway to a wider recognition with its release. A one way trip you feel such the richness and depth not forgetting rigorous seduction oozing from within the Richard Whittaker (Saint Vitus, The Who, Black Sabbath and Rolling Stones) mastered release.

The first thing hitting senses and appreciative thoughts is the production. As thick and cavernous as the sounds it surrounds, it brings the Return From The Grave - Coverlistener into the dark origins of the ingredients the band infuses into their propositions. It gives, as evidenced superbly in the ravenous Intro which starts the journey off, a sinister foreboding air and seemingly analogue breath to the release, a portentous oppressiveness which really suits the music and intensive energy of the tracks. The opening piece is dark and ravenous, a dangerous swamp of sound and intimidatingly emotive textures which seduces as it infests the psyche. It has a heavy poetry to its funereal stance which captivates thoughts as it leads the listener into the last strikes of its storm and subsequently the following Words In Words. The start of the second track is deceptive, its welcoming strands of sonic coaxing almost jovial after the sufferance before. It is bait which persists as rugged rhythms and swipes of guitar and bass enter the narrative but eventually swamped as the vocals blaze away within a now burning cauldron of energy and sound. There is still a swagger and melodic temptation which steals attention from the weighty substance around them though but in turn it loses out to the excellent resonance effected vocals. Ultimately all combined it is a storming stomp of a song, a dramatically magnetic slab of voracious metal.

Center Of The Will opens up next with a bewitching crawl of gnarly bass and teasing percussion before being joined by the entwining tendrils of guitar, its lure acidic and searing as it crosses the senses. Finding a potent stride with rhythmic muscles swiping through every beat, the track becomes a furnace of melodic rabidity and sonic tenacity which flares and seduces with incendiary potency from within the lumbering yet keen gait of the song. Twists and turns bring intrigue to the generally singular course of the incitement, adding along with the scorched vocals, rich distractions to the compelling burdensome weight of the encounter. Leaning into its finale the track explodes into a rabid charge of riffs and rhythms, a thrash like urgency and hunger taking over the driving seat for an exceptional climax.

The intensive intimidation of The Rage Of Rays steps in next to push the listener into an even deeper wash of seventies nurtured metal, again a Sabbath like predation and enticement leading the way, though that bait is never far from the surface of any song within the album. The impressively sculpted and layered beast smoulders and burns with an even tempered intensity and appeal compared to the previous tracks but it lacks the indefinable something which left its predecessors so persuasive and gripping. It is still an appetising meal for the ears but soon forgotten as the rolling menacing rhythms of Uncovered Fate burst into life. The drums hypnotise senses and imagination instantly before sharing time with another excellent animalistic snarl from the bass and cutting scythes of guitar. Snatches of melodic seducing and glazes of sultry suasion almost dance within the devilish portrait unfurling within the imagination whilst the vocals, which were not as effective on the last song, are back on form here as they join the creative maze spun by the guitars within the expanding rapacious enthralling adventure.

The release closes with firstly the mesmeric River In The Sky, a fascinating flight which reveals more about the band in many ways than the other songs, its sirenesque use of atmospheres and ambient beauty within dramatic aural structures sheer captivation, and lastly Inside Human’s Soul. The final song is an alternative version of a track which appeared on the band’s debut album, a more of a straightforward charge within more predictable walls which reveals the growth between the band’s two albums.

Gates of Nowhere is an engrossing encounter from a band evolving potently and it is easy to feel has a big future on the larger stoner/doom metal stage waiting.

Gates of Nowhere is available via Argonauta Records and @ http://returnfromthegrave.bandcamp.com/album/gates-of-nowhere now!

https://www.facebook.com/returnfromthegrave

8/10

RingMaster 03/06/2014

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Tweak Bird – Any Ol’ Way

pic BryanRichardMartin

pic BryanRichardMartin

Having been seduced and exhilarated by the band’s previous EP Undercover Crops, it is fair to say anticipation of getting the senses into Any Ol’ Way the new album from Tweak Bird, was acute and swiftly more than satisfied as the eleven track exotic haze of psychedelically enhanced rock unveiled its acidic and generous charms. Whereas the previous release could be said to be more stoner bred at its core, the duo of brothers Caleb Benjamin and Ashton Leech seed their new full-length more in the seventies psychedelic rock side of their creativity which in turn breeds their finest, most potent hour yet. It is a glorious evocative aural summer of fresh melodic weaves and sonic winds all caught in the inventively unpredictable psych pop kissed adventure that is Tweak Bird.

Formed in 2006, the Los Angeles based brother’s musical cv together goes back years before, as kids writing and recording music after growing up on a diet of Black Sabbath, King Crimson, and Pink Floyd. Jumping forward to 2005 with Ashton putting together his own drum kit and Caleb experimenting on the way to purchasing his first baritone guitar, the pair made their live debut as Tweak Bird within a year which led them to the attention of Melvins whose drummer Dale Crover subsequently passed a drum kit down to the duo. The bigbonesnakebite 7” came next followed by the Reservations EP in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Their acclaimed Crover produced self-titled debut album two years later was the spark to greater attention and spotlight upon the band, which Undercover Crops pushed on yet again in sound and responses, a success matched by their live shows which has seen the band stand alongside the likes of Tool, Melvins, Big Business, Black Mountain, Best Coast, and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists whilst driving their own headline tours in the US and across Europe. As stated though Any Ol’ Way is another kettle of fish thrusting Tweak Bird to the highest captivating perch within imagination reeking sonic rock ‘n’ roll.

As soon as the throaty voice of the guitar embraces and resonates through the ears as opener Weird Oasis sets joy in motion there is a AOW5x5sense of something seduction lurking, a feeling soon realised as the guitar expands its slow coaxing alongside similarly urgent and gripping rhythms. It is an immediately captivating enticement which the vocals soon climb all over with strained melodic hues and irresistible expression as small hooks and hinted grooves entwine their welcome fingers around thoughts and a rapidly emerging appetite. It is hard not to think of Melvins with the song but to that slithers of Hot Hot Heat and The Mai Shi offers their suggestions also but as mere spices in something primarily belonging to Tweak Bird.

The enthralling start is soon lifted up a level by Greens, the warm soak of seventies psychedelic sun of its predecessor seamlessly given an injection of gnarly riffs and heavy stoner-esque virulence speared by Sabbath-esque rhythmic stabs and sonic groans. The gait of the song is a prowl and its air an oppressive breath but with harmonious vocals and sonic flames carving out searing grooves, the track is an invigorating fascination whose bruising is only welcomed wholeheartedly.

The first major pinnacle on the album comes next in the aural temptress that is She Preach, a song which from a seducing mist of sound launches into a ravenous almost wanton persuasion of melodically teased grooves and crisply jabbing beats reined by the again impressive individual vocals. The song SOON adds catchy claws to its salacious dance of sound and lyrical enticing, hooks and infectious bait almost deviously infesting the senses and passions as the song spreads its erotic charms, wiles enhanced by the excellent discordant blessed sax croons which brings thoughts of eighties UK band Essential Logic to the fore. It is a magnificent provocation which leaves the following A Sign of Badness a little pale in comparison, but with its wispy vocals and muscular beats the track glides resourcefully across senses and imagination to add another twinge of hunger for the release.

The great alignment of raw aggression and melodic elegance makes Peace Walker a riveting encounter next, its sixties pop lure within a slightly cantankerous punk spawned sonic voracity insatiably magnetic. If you wondered what a mix of The Doors, The Beach Boys, and Corrosion of Conformity might sound like then this song is a good hint. It is another potent entrapment for thoughts and emotions but soon passed over for the ridiculously addictive Builder with is post punk repetition and gentle but imposing sonic nagging. The instrumental seeks out and consumes every pore and synapse with delicious chilled toxicity before flowing into the vibrantly smouldering arms of A Sign of Positivity. With almost griping deep toned grooves and a rhythmic shuffle which defies feet not to join its dance, the song as the vocals soars majestically and almost melancholically evolving into a thoroughly riveting and thrilling sway of aural hypnosis.

Both the niggling contagion of the brilliant Mild Manor and the summer soirée of Inspiration Point keep album and listener entwined, the first providing five minutes plus of the kind of rhythmic and sonic transfixing bands such as Gang Of Four and Joy Division conjured so decisively. Complete with short but deeply penetrating hooks and spatial toxins, the track works its way towards a rich and fully packed stoner rock fuelled fire as a finale. Its successor is a narrative locking intrigue and surf party suasion into a psychedelic rock sculpted sway of melodies and shadows, a song not as potent as the last but full of drama and invention to enslave attention and satisfaction.

The album is completed by the outstanding Burn On, a feisty and raw surfaced rock pop proposition which simply chains and romances with the passions like a high school teenager, even if one clad in stalker like intent, and a humid reprise on the bewitching opener called Sunshine (slight return). The pair makes a mesmeric conclusion to a spellbinding adventure and pleasure.

The David Allen produced Any Ol’ Way according to the Bird brothers “…voice our opinions and feel comfortable. We hired our dear old friend, to engineer and co-produce, which helped us explore new sounds and develop unfinished ideas. We believe in peace, marijuana, individual freedoms and not taking ourselves too seriously. This just happened to be what came out.” It is all there to be heard within the album where freedom seeps from every note and syllable.

Any Ol’ Way is available now from http://tweakbird.bandcamp.com/releases and on vinyl via Let’s Pretend Records now!

http://www.tweakbird.com

9/10

RingMaster 22/05/2014

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Vestal Claret – The Cult of Vestal Claret

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Brewing up a dark and increasingly compelling mix of heavy and doom metal with occult metal bred toxins, US death rock/metal project Vestal Claret unleash their first release since recently signing with Cruz del Sur Music. The Cult of Vestal Claret is a deviously addictive encounter which revisits older songs alongside new and leaves the imagination blissfully corrupted and appetite alive for the band’s subsequent conjurations.

The album brings recorded tracks from the band’s split with Ungod in 2012, a reworking epic encounter which made up the band’s split with The Kissing Flies in the same year, and four new songs including a Black Sabbath cover. It is a mixed bag but one which leaves appetite hungry and pleasure invigorated as the release casts its intensive and imposing weighty design over the senses. Released as a nine track CD or a six song vinyl, each offering one encounter exclusive to itself, The Cult of Vestal Claret is a potent entrance into the dark spawning of the band for newcomers and a pleasingly rewarding addition to the passions of existing fans.

Vestal Claret is the creation of vocalist Philip Swanson (Hour Of 13/Seamount) who met Simon Tuozzoli (bass, guitar, organ, vocals) CRUZ66_COVER_300DPI_RGBwhen recording his occult heavy metal ideas at the studio the latter ran; linking up the duo emerged as Vestal Claret. A couple of demos in 2007 led to a split with Atlantean Kodex the same year which itself was followed by a couple of EPs, Worship and Lost Loved Ones in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Debut album Bloodbath two years later drew stronger and eager attention the way of the band with its CD release last year raising extra appetite for this, Vestal Claret’s first offering since signing with their new label. As ever theming their songs with the dark side of the human psyche employing references to Occultism, Satanism and other uncompromising imagery, you would understandably suspect that The Cult of Vestal Claret coming with a multitude of old already released songs would have a disappointing edge to it but it is fair to say that the pair, with Michael Petrucci providing the drum work, infuse plenty of refreshing aspects to the songs to make them it a sizeable reward.

Looking at the CD version, the album opens with the immediately captivating Never Say No. Its initial touch is a drizzling melodic haze veined by distant whispers but is soon smothered by a rigorously coaxing wave of sinewed riffs, crisp rhythms, and enticing sonic endeavour. Into its feisty stride the vocals of Swanson bring appealing expression to the emerging narrative, the restrained chorus with both artists united in voice, especially potent anthemic bait. The track is a nagging proposition across the bulk of its magnetic body with irresistible grooves and flares of melodic enterprise infesting ears and thoughts for a thoroughly contagious start to the album. One of the new songs on the album it alone reveals the potential and maturing invention of the band ensuring future horizons are as keenly anticipated as this release was.

The following Three and Three Are Six is a touch of an anti-climax, though the great throaty bass tones and seductively gifted hooks soon have emotions on board with the infectiousness of the track. The song continues to swagger and stomp purposefully with its metallic lures and muscular intent but the dramatic spark which lit its predecessor is a more dormant fuse within the cloudier presence of the track. All the same it is an excellently crafted and catchy blaze of intensive metal endeavour leaving a hunger for more, which the title track next tries to offer. The Cult of the Vestal has a raw and darker essence to its rapacious prowling of the senses, lyrically and musically reaping malevolence for its invasive premise. Again there is a niggling repetition to the focus of the track which only increases its temptation though it is the heavily breathing intensity which awakes the imagination with its provocative smothering most forcibly.

The exclusive song to the CD comes next and steals the honours within the release. Great Goat God is a thrilling incitement with a reined in rampancy which threatens to slip its chain throughout and a bewitching venomous coating to grooves and deeply scything hooks which insidiously worm under the skin. From the excellent vocals to the stalking riffs skirted by antagonistic beats, the track seduces and enslaves the passions; its blues soaked imagination flirting with the inventive sculpting of the guitar whilst adding to the insatiable and impossible to refuse toxicity of the song. It is the pinnacle of the album and almost alone the reason to grab the album.

Both The Demon and the Deceiver and Piece of Meat which were originally on the previously mentioned EP with Ungod, keep ears and appetite contented though neither can step up to the same plateau as the previous track. The dramatic air and emotive shadows in the first of the two makes for a mouthwatering proposition which leads the imagination into exploring its depths to the excellent acoustic accompaniment of the guitars within a threatening squall of ambience. The track is a real grower and really benefits from the fresh brushing up for the album whilst the second of the pair rampages with addictive jagged grooves and fiery sonics as it spreads a heavy metal fuelled smog over ears. Again it is a song which takes time to fully grip but with the great incessant groove which cores its flare it was never really in doubt, especially with the distant but alluring keys adding extra tempting.

The sixteen minute plus Black Priest is masterful and epic journey through the skills, songwriting, and creative vision of the band. The track is an intensive journey in itself, a perpetual evolution through dramatic sceneries amidst sonically coloured landscapes with psychedelically kissed melodies and stirring intensive hues hinting at intimidation and danger. The track is simply enthralling, if a little too long so that intrigue for the following songs before their time shows its face at times, and just adds more depth to the promises of richer things ahead.

The closing pair of Who Are You, that Black Sabbath track and new song The Stranger are decent enough but to be honest after the last epic encounter and the other impressive moments of the release are a bit of a damp if enjoyable squib. That may be a touch harsh but certainly they lack the wares to light up the room and emotions as shown on other tracks though still give the album a skilfully presented and appealing conclusion.

The Cult of Vestal Claret is a very solid and at times scintillating encounter which can only drew a new hungry crowd into the arms of the band’s potent sound.

The Cult of Vestal Claret is available via Cruz del Sur Music now!

Vinyl album listing

Never Say No Again

Three and Three Are Six

The Cult of the Vestal

The Stranger

So Mote it Be

Black Priest

https://www.facebook.com/VestalClaret

8/10

RingMaster 07/05/2014

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King Goat – Self Titled EP

     King Goat Online Promo Picture

     King Goat is an intimidating provocation, heavy in intent and in weight, and as evidenced by their new self-titled EP, mightily compelling. Consisting of three immensely imposing tracks stretched by tempestuous riffs and impossibly alluring grooves, the release pushes King Goat into a new intensive spotlight. Its riveting weave of stoner and doom metal with psychedelic and progressive flames is a raw and thorough captivation of ears and imagination, a proposition sure to arouse a wealth of new allegiances.

Hailing from Brighton, King Goat emerged at the start of 2012 and was soon stirring up attention locally. Their debut EP, Atom was released early 2013 to good responses but soon followed by a change of frontmen. Once back into its stride the quintet began working on their second release and unleashing again their powerful live performances across London and the South coast to stronger responses whilst garnering an ever increasing legion of fans. The new EP is the next potent step in the rise of a band which you sense has the potential to eventually impact intensively on European psychedelically fuelled doom metal.

The EP starts with an epic track in length and presence. The Final Decline is a towering and thoroughly absorbing journey for senses and King Goat Cover Artworkimagination which breeds from an opening suggestive ambience. It is a stark and chilled atmosphere which initially caresses ears, a portentous breath in climate with a lone emotive guitar coaxing which stands engagingly within the cold wind and barren landscape unfolding around it. The song slowly emerges with dark weighty tones of the bass and resonating beats prowling the senses matched by the equally shadowed vocal calls. It is an intensive proposition but lit by enthralling guitar design which without being flashy or dramatically startling simply seduces the imagination with its eastern temptation and repetitive virulence. The song gradually increases into a stroll, all the time brewing and accelerating its rapacious energy and rhythmic enticement until from a moment of catching breath it erupts into a primal swagger with equally bestial growls before an excellent melodic roar of vocals soar across the incendiary scenic maelstrom now smothering the senses. It is an exhaustive and alluring encounter which only enhances its bewitching grip with every taking of its dramatic journey.

The following Cult Obscene is swifter in its emergence but like its predecessor is bred by a provocative and imagination sparking scenery soaked in a sinister ambience. It is not long though before hypnotic rhythms enslave attention, soon sharing that entrapment with scorching melodic flames of adventure from the guitars and again a bass tone which simply resounds within ears and the narrative of the track. The track shows a mix of Cathedral and Ten Foot Wizard to its enveloping shadows and blazing melody defined drama whilst the caging sinews and rabidity of the rhythms has a certain Mastodon predation to their intent. As its predecessor, the song simply consumes the body, feet and senses wrapped up in the riff driven stomp of the track and imagination through to passions enslaved by the sonic invention of guitars and grooves.

Already the release has a hungry appetite alive and greedy for itself which is only driven to stronger urgency by final track Melian’s Trance. The closer is inescapable, every aspect of its sculpting working like an epidemic on the listener. It is a blazing tempest of adventure and metallic devilry employed by dark ravenous emotions and deeply rooted shadows lying in the heart of the songwriting and unrelenting imaginative sounds of the band. With riffs, rhythms, and grooves an overwhelming horde of insatiable predators submission is inevitable, the song a thunderous end to an equally massive release.

With Sabbath essences permeating the whole EP as rigorously as those already mentioned, King Goat has announced themselves to the whole country with a metallic bellow which is hard to ignore or resist.

The self-released King Goat EP is available from Monday 28th April @ http://kinggoat.bandcamp.com/

www.facebook.com/kinggoatbri

8.5/10

RingMaster 27/04/2014

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Holy Mountain – Ancient Astronauts

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Binding the senses in grooves which show no restrain or mercy in their insatiable temptation and plying that slavery with riffs which voraciously gnaw and smother all before them, Ancient Astronauts the new album from Scottish metallers Holy Mountain, is an unstoppable juggernaut of sound and intensity. It is a heavyweight antagonist merging stoner and doom metal into a suffocating tsunami of intense and exhaustive sounds, but one which veins and sears it all with at times corrosive but always incendiary magnetic grooves and melodic causticity. It is quite simply an encounter which lovers of the riff will devour with greed.

Holy Mountain, its name taken from the Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 movie La Montana Sagrada, was formed in 2009 as an improvisational duo by guitarist/vocalist Andy McGlone and drummer Pete Flett. Two years after emerging, the Glasgow band enlisted bassist Allan Stewart and went almost straight into the creation of debut release Earth Measures. The mini album found its release in the May of 2012 welcomed by strong responses and acclaim, a reaction sure to be replicated and taken to greater levels by its impressive successor. Recorded with producer Paul Savage (Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand), Ancient Astronauts is a giant leap if not for mankind certainly for Holy Mountain as they explore all the qualities unveiled on their previous release far more intensively and inventively whilst casting new wild and expansive endeavours.

LV-42666 brings the journey into view, cruising in on a sonic breeze before stroking the imagination rigorously with thrashing rhythms, Holy-Mountain-Ancient-Astronauts-300x288rapacious riffs, and addictive grooves; rogue vocals adding to the celestial mystery and adventure. As urgent as it is heavy, the track strides boldly as sinews bare their muscular appetite and melodies seduce ears with the guile and irresistible lures of a wanton temptress. There is also an unmistakable psychedelic pop romp to the encounter which only accelerates its submission of the senses and passions.

The following Luftwizard instantly brings a darker and heavier suasion but again it is lit by scorching melodies and also this time vocal harmonies which flirt and tempt the imagination as potently as the sounds. The voice of McGlone is fed through a Roland Space Chorus across the album bringing a spatial quality to his tones and the general air of songs, something equally inspired by the majestic pungency of accompanying keys. The thick imposing riffs of the song provide a deep texture to the affair which almost groans in its intensity and rapacious wrapping of the sonic maelstrom within. It is a masterful adventure guiding the listener through a union of dark and light, a mutual rather than combative merger but one with plenty of imposing shadows to its exultant fire.

The title track comes up next exploring cavernous sceneries with doom bred prowling riffery and rhythmic provocation whilst short but virulent grooves lance the thick smothering air, their strikes beacons through the appealing murkiness as the song heads into an explosive contagion which bursts out with urgency and sonic radiance. The track touches the darkest depths and brightest highs in tone leaving the senses exhausted and rewarded by the riveting ascent, their recovery given no respite as Star Kings from a rhythmic draw swiftly courted by a highly tempting bass stroll, feeds another strenuous passage of ravenous riffs and fuzz surfaced enterprise. The vocals are a little further forward and carry stronger clarity within the tempest of sound, though they still feel pleasingly immersed in the overall flood of the experience rather than being an overlying presence riding the waves. It is an aspect which is as potent and important as the riffs and rhythms in making the album the immense proposition it is, they and the ridiculously contagious toxins which the band also casts into the creative rabidity.

Not necessarily the best track, so hard to choose one, but a definite favourite here is Tokyo which comes next. A bestial vicious voice and growl to the riffs drives the track initially whilst the bass with its throaty appeal makes the good guy in the confrontation, its smiling grooves the temper to the predacious guitar grizzle and the trigger to the flirtatious sonic temptation and boisterous vocals which revel in the overwhelming devilry of the track. It is a siren of a song which is matched by Gift Giver, the danger which usually accompanies such a tempting and arguably missing in its predecessor, an open stalking at the start of the song. Its slow pacing is soon ignited as riffs escape their shackles, a punkish urgency taking over whilst the drums hold a little restraint in attack if not power. It continues to switch between extremes bringing a scintillating and unpredictable soundscape to play with and explore, a post punk severity adding its taunts from time to time in the lulls between unbridled sonic blazes. The instrumental is riff heaven and groove manna thrown into an aural alchemy and corruption to bask in.

The album is completed by firstly the seventies seeded psychedelically enhanced 100 Years A Day and lastly the smouldering expanse of Hollow Hill which alone encapsulates all you need to know about Holy Mountain in sound, skill, and imagination, as well as influences with a range of twists and enterprise which pull up references to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Electric Wizard, ones you can apply to the whole of the album even with its distinct presence. Ancient Astronauts is a magisterial slab of psychedelic rock/metal and Holy Mountain a band poised to stake their claim for a seat on the top table of the genre we suggest.

Ancient Astronauts is available now through Chemikal Underground digitally and on limited edition vinyl.

http://www.holymountainband.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 17/04/2014

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