Raised Emotionally Dead – Memo

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     When we say that the sounds you hear on Memo are nothing you have not really heard before do not take this as a slight or criticism as the debut from Canadian hard rockers Raised Emotionally Dead is one of the most enjoyable releases to come along this year. It is pure metallic rioting, with songs and music to turn any occasion or hour into an adrenaline soaked, sonically sculpted thrilling storm. There is also a distinctive breath and tone to the album which does go against our opening line but simply if you are already seduced by the sounds of say early Marilyn Mansion, Murderdolls, Rob Zombie, and Dope you are going to have a ball with this Toronto quintet.

    Raised Emotionally Dead was born from the earlier project of vocalist Jezla and guitarist ZeeDee called The Hellz Kitchen Show. 2011 saw the pair build their own recording studio and start Red Channel Records as they sought to discover and perfect their own unique sound. Now you could happily argue that uniqueness is one of the less immediate attributes of Memo but to be fair it is hard to think of anyone who presents the familiarity in the same breath-taking way that these gentlemen do. With a line-up completed by ex-Zeroscape guitarist Specializt, ex- Papa’s Delicate Condition bassist Nibz, and drummer Naz, the band has opened for the likes of Marilyn Manson, L.A.Guns, John Corabi, Vince Neil, Gilby Clark, The Birthday Massacre, DOPE, Faster Pussycat, Dog Fashion Disco, Trash Light Vision, Carnival Diablo, Nash the Slash and many more. Memo is the next major step and one with luck which will open them up to the hunger of the metal/rock world.

     The release opens with one of the most contagious songs heard in a long time. Channel Radio stomps all over the senses the moment it leaps from the initial sample, drums thumping with antagonistic provocation whilst the guitars eagerly grind through the ear with compelling riffs and vigorously seductive grooves. With the throaty bass adding its devilry to the mix and the vocals of Jezla scowling over it all like an expressive tempest,  the track takes mere seconds to tempt thoughts and passions into joining its bruising cause. Every second and atom of the song is pure contagion, a wicked device to have the limbs, voice, and energy of its recipients expelling their enthused participation. Ok it has that call of recognition to it but the likes of Dope, Mansion, and Wednesday 13, whom the song reminds most of, have not had this effect and persuasiveness about them in a long time, if at all for some.

   The outstanding start is soon complemented by the equally hungry and tempting sounds of Shed It, guitars carving up the air with muscle clad riffs alongside an infectious rhythmic menace. The hard rock voice of the song is a clear call which suggest elements of G ‘N’ R whilst vocally again that confrontational squalling tone of Jezla assisted by great group calls, rides the torrent of aggressive energy like a sinewy surfer, syllables and words caught in the appealing wake. As the song and its successor Selfish Inc. rampage with varied intent and enterprise it is hard not to be wrapped up in the fun and energy of it all, whilst that openness of resources just makes it easier to engage and participate with the lure of each track.

     Whilst the previous two songs slip slightly below the immense opener both Resistance and Code Red have little trouble in staking their claim for top honours on the release. The first of the pair has a slight industrial lilt to its enticement which makes for a NIN/Pitchshifter like incitement with an extra unintended nod to Italian band Houston! which only adds to the imaginative craft and adventure of the song. The track also continues to push the diversity within the album beneath that surface recognition, something the second of the two equally reinforces with creative ease. There is a feel of Gruntruck at times here as the guitars shape the body of the song and rhythms cast their cage over the senses to appease further the greedy appetite slavering now over every song.

     The underlying mystique of Faceless makes an enthralling temptress next, even if the song falls short of the pinnacles set, whilst the likes of Out Of Control with its Jane’s Addiction like groove and the slow burning Messenger captivate with a virulent toxin that leaves nothing less than rich satisfaction.

   Closing on the fiery and reflective Applaud, a song which arguably is the weakest on the album yet still enlists full union with its badgering rock sounds, Memo is an album that leaves you exhausted but enriched in pleasure. Yes the band probably need to explore for a distinct voice ahead but right now they have delivered one undeniable treat.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Raised-Emotionally-Dead/191217410892909

http://www.raisedemotionallydead.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Faster Pussycat: The Power & The Glory Hole

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    The Power & The Glory Hole is the first release of new material from Hollywood sleaze rockers Faster Pussycat since its return in 2001, and a release which despite its flaws just leads to mischievous satisfaction. The band is one which for many is a love or hate relationship whilst for others like us their earlier presence largely was ignored due to a lack of connection with their glam/sleaze flavoured hard rock. The new album though finds the band evolved into a heavily spiced industrial rock n roll which points to the likes of Dope and Marilyn Manson, and on certain points on the album, Jane’s Addiction.

Formed in 1985 and taking its name from the Russ Meyer cult film Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, the quintet of Taime Downe (vocals), Greg Steele, (guitar), Brent Muscat (guitar), Kelly Nickels (bass), and Mark Michaels (drums), soon grabbed attention with their self-titled album of 1987 and two years later gold album, Wake Me When It’s Over. The band subsequently split in 1992 with Downe forming the Newlydeads. In 2001 though he resurrected Faster Pussycat with a more rock driven sound and the band soon released Between The Valley Of The Ultra Pussy, a collection of industrial remixes of the  early songs produced by Downe, and spent the next years touring and thrilling audiences. With a line-up now of Downe, Xristian Simon (guitar), Ace Von Johnson (guitar), and ex- L.A. Guns members Danny Nordahl (bass) and Chad Stewart (drums, percussion), the band has stepped forward with further evolved material and sound and it has to be said it is quite a blast.

Released via Full Effect Records in the US and City Of Lights Records in Europe, The Power & The Glory Hole takes no time in FasterPussycat_cover20making a convincing persuasion with opener Number 1 with a Bullet. The track introduces itself with bulging rhythms and scything sonics from the guitars which immediately lures an interest in its offering. Settling into a sinewy gait and fiery energy, the vocals of Downe dance over the ear with a gruff devilment whilst riffs and basslines tease and incite boisterous responses. Wholly infectious with its acidic groove and undemanding chorus, the song is easy meat for the ear to revel in, recognisable rascality which is irresistible. That also about sums up the album, there is nothing new or adventurous to it just sounds and ideas plenty of others have exploited but Faster Pussycat make it an aural shenanigan you do not want to avoid.

From the terrific start the equally addictive Gotta Love It with its repetitive pawing riffs and cyclonic grooves continues to excite the senses, the tempting chorus and unbound flurry of hooks virulent and again impossible to resist adding voice and agitated limbs to. Two songs in and there is not much more convincing needed to make the album one which will make many returns before the ear and even though it does ebb and flow in success across its twelve tracks, there are no actual disasters waiting to loom into view. The following slowly strolling Useless is one of the moments though where things hit a lull, the admittedly easily assessable and enjoyable track failing to hold or ignite any fire with its presence. It is arguably the most industrial toned track on the album and wins on variety and intent but just does not spark like some of the other tracks.

Something the songs Sex Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll and Hey You do not have a problem with achieving.  The first is one which brings rich essences of Jane’s Addiction to a hard rock swagger for another transmittable aural contagion whilst the second rampages with a grinding abrasion and snarl to its energy, riffs, and baselines whilst the drums create a frame of jabs and crisp uppercuts any middleweight would be proud of. The guitar flames add extra heat and transfixing persuasion to the song and again it is hard to tear oneself away from its eager and easily satisfying clutches. Splitting the pair Disintegrate and a cover of These Boots Were Made for Walking play nice without again raising any temperatures but are still decent enough songs to catch a lingering stay.

Completed by the wanton blistered seduction of Porn Star, the biting title track, a fiery cover of the Betty Blowtorch song Shut Up & Fuck, and a closing tribute to the late Bianca Butthole, a close friend of Downe, called Bye Bye Bianca, the album makes for a dirty brawl of a party, a sonic binge you are welcome and will want to gate-crash. For sure The Power & The Glory Hole takes easy familiar routes in songs for the main and lacks uniqueness but it still makes a more than appetising encounter which gives voice, feet, and mischief an excuse to riot.

www.fasterpussycat.com

7/10

Ringmaster 26/02/2013

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KLANK: Urban Warfare

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    With a new release waiting on every click of a button each and every day, it is easy for some impressive music to slip by the attention of far too many unsuspecting ears. Urban Warfare from US metallers KLANK is one prime example, a mighty incendiary album which has yet to surface on the radar of a great many though it was unleashed last year. Consisting of fourteen slabs of irresistible industrial metal veined by magnetic electronic lures and even more seductive delicious grooves, the release stops you dead in your tracks and recruits the passions in a brawling riot of enterprise and intensive energy.

Since forming in 1995, the band has earned a rich position within the metal underground constantly breaking into wider recognition and acclaim through their immense live performances and vigorously compelling releases. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Daren KLANK Diolosa (ex-Circle Of Dust), guitarist Danny Owsley, bassist Charlie Parker, drummer Eric Wilkins, and Pat Servedio on guitar, keys, programming and production, KLANK first smacked music in the face with debut album Still Suffering via Tooth & Nail Records in 1997. It brought muscular groove metal, industrial, and dance music together with a vengeance and brought plenty of intrigued and enthused ears their way as well as strong radio play. Its successor Numb two years later elevated the band further especially with its immense and successful single Blind, and its re-issue the following year only added to the brewing rise of the band. KLANK also made plenty of compilation appearances over this period but arguably their real dawn of recognition came through the In Memory Of… EP in 2007 and the fifteen track release Numb…Reborn three years later which included guest appearances by Jim Chaffin, Larry Farkas and Mike Phillips. Urban Warfare though is the band at its finest moment yet and the album to place them in the higher echelons of grooved/industrial metal.

The best way to describe the album is a fusion of the previously mentioned musical spicery in a richer and more potent flavour.Urban Warfare Cover Imagine an aggressive offspring of Pitchshifter and Pitbull Daycare incited to further devilment by Dope and Powerman 5000 and you get wind of the tremendous energy and invention going on. Opening on the intro A Call To Arms with its infectious beckoning and full incitement the album takes no time in offering the fullest persuasion with Unamused. Its initial caress is an electronic sway which is soon ruptured by towering riffs and thumping rhythms whilst still delivering its own warm dazzle. Into its stride the track rampages with real hunger from the bass and guitar riffs to consume the senses whilst the drums of Wilkins prey on the ear like a middleweight boxer. The vocals of Diolosa are a stirring blend of clean with enough growl to intimidate which match the stance of the song, its combative gait entwined with the melodic heat of the keys.

The title track has a Toxic Grind Machine feel to its darker shadowed intensity and malice whilst still unleashing a contagious melodic inducement to bring feet and passions to energetic life. Its sturdiness and suggested violence makes a great contrast and variation to its predecessor and the following Bigger Man, though neither of these songs lacks feistiness or a burning passion to bruise. Bigger Man is a tempest of tumultuous riffs and rhythms tempered by a virally contagious chorus and the mesmeric sultry dance of the keys. Certainly one of the biggest highlights in an album which is one big pinnacle, the song is the final piece of suasion to ignite a real ardour for the release.

Songs like the squalling and impressively abrasive Alive in Me, the quarrelsome Built to Survive with its wonderful avalanche of explosive rhythms and prowling riffs within an equally intensive and raptorial atmosphere, and the excellent Stomp You Out, continue to drive the album deeper into the heart with accomplished invention and even headier passion. The third of the trio is another disputatious encounter with a thicker industrial metal oppression and heat playing like a mix of The Browning and Ghost In The Static.

As further tracks such as the less intense but greedily imposing Blow It All Away and the malevolent Disdain with its outstanding primal predatory caustic breath work on the passions, Urban Warfare stands without any notable flaws or deficencies…that is until the final pair of songs. Now to put this into context if Eraser and Something About You was on another release they would earn strong applause for their straight forward metal and raw ‘live’ state, they certainly stand as strong songs but against what has come before they feel out of place in time and situation, simply they are pale against the rest of the album.

Despite that minor niggle, Urban Warfare is outstanding, an album all metal fans should take time to immerse themselves within. KLANK stand on the edge of the widest recognition and deserve every ounce they get.

http://KlankNation.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 15/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Velvet Star: All Or Nothing

If All Or Nothing the new EP from UK rockers Velvet Star is like for us your first introduction to the band then hold tight for one high energy heart bursting ride of pure rock n roll. It is an adrenaline rush to leave one breathless and exhilarated. Whether the release offers anything openly new is arguable but it really does not matter when the songs making up the EP are so deeply satisfying and invigorating.

The quartet from Yorkshire began in 2007 with brothers Danny (vocals) and Corey(bass) Jones. The following years saw plenty of line-up changes as well as their well received debut album In The Face Of Vanity through Rocksector Records. Featuring on the cover CD of Classic Rock as well as playing across the UK alongside the likes of Faster Pussycat, The Treatment, Star Rats, GUN, and Vains of Jenna to name a few, has also marked the rise of the band to date, something the new release will surely take to greater places.

Spring of this year saw another change with the addition of guitarists Mewsy (Ex SilverJet) and Robbie G (Ex Slash Vegas) to the band alongside the brothers and drummer Ginna, as Velvet Star set in motion the beginning of All or Nothing. Recorded alongside Matt Elliss (Black Spiders), the EP finds the band returning bigger, mightier, and with an increased determination and passion, the songs themselves the open proof.

The release opens the riotous fun with Bring It On, a thumping attitude driven feast of snarling bass riffs and scything guitar strikes. An immediate bruising friend to take on all comers, the track has the pulse racing and militancy flaring from its combative energy and fiery melodic guitar streaks of sound. With muscles bulging and chest fully extended, the infectious rampage just ignites the passions in a storm of insatiable and rewarding pure rock n roll, something the very best releases always manage to do.

From such an impressive and triumphant start things actually get even better, the release finding elevated plateaus track after track. The following Crash & Burn is a greedy heavy footed gem, a blistering stomp sounding like a mix of Buckcherry, Dope, and Marilyn Mansion wrapped in a healthy piece of Trucker Diablo aggressive energy.  It has a slower swagger than the opener but a scorching groove which captivates the imagination with wanton ease. If listening to the time bomb of contagion your toes, feet, limbs, and heart are not in motion with its stroll… then call the paramedics, you may be at deaths door, such its irresistible lure.

It is hard to find any flaw with the songs or release, nor the inventive songwriting and skilled delivery, other than there is only four songs, greed taking over as the EP boils the senses persistently. Glad You’ve Gone is a great blues soaked slab of rock majesty, the over catchy chorus and magnificent guitar work from Mewsy and Robbie G manna from rock heaven whilst the vocals just glow and the rhythms seize and lift passions higher .

The closing Overrated without doubt takes top honours, the punk n roll rampage an unstoppable juggernaut of feisty intent and breathtaking energy. Impossibly infectious, the track takes full control of voice and body let alone passion as it refuses to leave until you are joining in with its unbridled enthusiasm and siren heart. Midway through a totally unexpected break into a quite quirky moment which one would expect from a Faith No More, bursts free. It appears from nowhere and departs just as simply but works wonderfully as the mischief of the band leaves a final wink.

All Or Nothing is simply brilliant and Velvet Star one of the great new pleasures for The RingMaster Review this year, make them one of yours too is our only advice.

www.facebook.com/velvetstarband

RingMaster 25/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Zeroking: Kings Of Self Destruction

Enthusiastic and unfussy yet openly addictive is the only way to describe the latest album from US hard rock band Zeroking.  With an obvious intent to have and give the fullest of best times Kings Of Self Destruction simply leads the ear and emotions on a boisterous and mischievous rampage through insatiable riffs and fully loaded melodic enterprise. It is not the most inventive or ground shaking of releases but it sure is one of the more eagerly enjoyable.

Formed in 2005, the Huntington West Virginia quartet of vocalist Andy Haught, guitarist Shane Day, alongside Paul First and Chris Webb on bass and drums respectively, took no time in garnering strong attention and growing acclaimed from their debut EP Sweet Sale Of Excess in 2006 and the sharing of stages with the likes of Anthrax, Twisted Sister, Bobaflex, Jackyl, Dope, Black Stone Cherry, and Airbourne, as well as impressive appearance at various festivals. Listening to their album it is no surprise, the impossible to ignore songs a feast of infectious melodic imagination and feisty addictive riffs and honest rock sounds. As mentioned there is not anything particularly startling or unique to the release but do not mistake that for it being flat or boring. Kings Of Self Destruction is a thrilling ride from first song to last, a familiar but inventive party to fully engage with from beginning to end.

The recording of the album began with producer and engineer Steve Riley mid 2009 and last year saw Zeroking release the EP A Taste Of Self Destruction which featured three tracks from the album as a teaser and followed previous single Stone Cold Bitch/Girls of California, the pair of songs also appearing on the release. Both garnered impressive acclaim and marked the album, as one to eagerly or impatiently wait for.

From the opening Dead Rock Star the band unleash a riot of sounds and songs which recall a brew of flavours from the likes of Guns N’ Roses Motley Crue, Saliva, Seether, and Buckcherry to name a few. Anthemic and rife with the best rock/metal tendencies, the album pulls you to your feet from the off and leaves it breathing heavily and sweating satisfaction. The opener incites only enthused responses to its familiar and compulsive sounds. It might play like an old friend but it is a fresh and vibrant returning buddy which lights up the senses and invites full union, something you can tag the whole release as.

The following Forget Vegas with its breezy swagger and flashy horns immediately is evidence to the diversity across the album soon backed by She Said with its twisting riffs and brooding bass sounds of First. It is a more reserved saunter through the ear than previous songs though still has the impetuosity which endears across Kings Of Self Destruction.

Showtime Revolution is an immediate highlight as soon as it entraps the ear with addictive hooks and a melodic infection to ignite inner fires. The guitar of Day is an electrified bristling delight whilst the rhythms of Webb jab and punch with the precision of a middleweight to drive the song home wonderfully. Vocalist Haught as on every song is an impressive focal point without distracting from the quality the rest of the band offer every time.

Songs like the sexy blues bar room joy Southern Lady, Ex-Godiva, the mesmeric Love Is Dead featuring the fine emotive voice of Stacee Laswson, and the aural contagion that is the title track, lead the senses into more devilment with a varied and wicked glint in their individual eyes. Again the music is uncomplicated, immediately your best friend, and completely infectious. To be honest hard rock has never been our favourite flavour at the RR but when it comes with such vitality and pleasure as that brought by Zeroking there is not a whisper of complaint to be heard.

The excitable metal veined treat which is Girls Of California leads the climax of the album to be ably supported by songs such as the teasing and incendiary stomp Black Friday and the majestic emotive ballad Valentine, the release continuing the strong and open diversity it started and persisted with.

    Kings Of Self Destruction is an excellent riot of rock n roll sure to find a home in every rock and metal heart. Honest and without pretensions the release is nothing but enjoyment and Zeroking a band who deserves more than a minute of any ones time.

https://www.facebook.com/Zerokingfans

Ringmaster 04/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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