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

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The Welcome Matt – POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE

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Without one of our favourite albums of last year was The Panhandle Years from The Welcome Matt, an album which compiled a wealth of tracks taken from the project’s previous seven albums to introduce a very talented sound and presence to the wider world. It was a refreshing and exciting introduction for us to the band and San Francisco based musician Matt Langlois who is The Welcome Matt. Following up its impressive persuasion, comes new album POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE, a release which quite simply carries on where its predecessor left off, inflaming the passions and creating some quite irresistible and enterprising rock pop.

Finding success and acclaim with his work with Members Of Sound from 2009 through to 2011, a musical project which released a new song every month for two years and resulted in two major CD releases from this work with an array of Bay Area musicians and producers, Langlois in many ways brought his solo project into its strongest limelight, certainly in respect of an emerging world awareness with The Panhandle Years. It was a kind of summing up of his adventure and creative journey to that point which POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE now extends with its own delicious stomp of imaginative infection.

The Welcome Back opens up the ‘return’, lightly jagged guitars coaxing attention as the distinctive expressive vocals of Langlois wait for a moment before beginning their narrative. Into its full stride the song unveils a bluesy melodic embrace aligned to sixties tinted harmonies and melodic temptation. Lifting its knees the track eventually moves from an inviting walk into a feisty stomp, one weaving tendrils of contagious seventies pop rock and sixties charm into a gait which never truly explodes into riotousness but leaves the senses energised as the sounds toy with them. It is a mesmeric start which awakens a healthy appetite for the release and immediately feeds the anticipation bred by the album’s predecessor.

The following Key of G opens with Bolanesque strumming and vocal harmonies, the influence unmistakable and a pleasing lure into a song which evolves the inspiration into a compelling striding of inventive persuasion, guitars and keys almost wanton in their temptation whilst a throaty bass sounds has their back, it bringing shadows into the equation. It is impossible to resist its enticement; it like many of the songs breeding a familiarity within a fresh and magnetic wash of imagination. Its successor Let It Lead You, the new single from the album, is very much the same, its presence and teasing that of a recognisable friend but in a brand new enterprising suit. The rhythmic beckoning at the start instantly has feet and hunger on alert whilst the keys and vocals alongside, not for the first time upon the album, a virulently addictive groove littered with potent hooks seduces with every note and touch. It is a deviously effective pop song and catchy doorway into the album and The Welcome Matt for newcomers.

Pop Junk Fluff and Hype steps up next, a funk fed introduction taking little time in recruiting thoughts and emotions as it romps eagerly around the ears. Fiery rock guitars flame over the pop canvas whilst vocals and keys leap with energetic rigour and enterprise. It is a spellbinding mix of styles and flavours, electro and alternative rock adding to the insatiable and outstanding toxicity. Just as epidemically enthralling is Mode Of Transportation, a fusion of power pop and indie/electro rock which plays like a mix of The Motors meets Cockney Rebel with a splash of Cheap Trick. The song almost prowls around the senses and imagination even in its radiantly hued stance leading the listener into yet another impossible to ignore or resist piece of excellent rock ‘n’ roll.

A Hail Mary mischievously teases from the outset with a discord bleeding caress of chords and electronic nagging, its suasion early XTC like with a little Hot Hot Heat festivity to its riveting coaxing whilst Get Shameless is a foot stomping dance of hypnotic rhythms and frisky melodies. Keys and bass add their individual textures to the electric dance as Langlois immerses the listener in a skilled and adventurous addiction.

Both Mind Control and Lets Really Go continue the impressive exploits within the album, the first with a seemingly Sparks bred form of pop punk with hooks and a bass pulse which stick welcome barbs in deeply and the second through a devilishly compelling transfixing slice of country rock sing-a-long with slithers of punk and rock ‘n‘ roll adding their teasing.

Cast A Line brings POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE to a Bolan/Kinks tasting and enjoyable end to conclude a thoroughly thrilling and incredible contagious encounter. It is a storming blaze of pop rock which feeds every want and need with accomplished infectious ease, and an album all should pay attention to.

http://www.welcomemattsf.com

9/10

RingMaster 18/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Allusondrugs – MyCat/Fruit

Allusondrugs

Providing a sultry tease which toys with and triggers the passions, UK alternative rock band Allusondrugs confirm and build upon the promise set by their debut release with the thrilling new double A-side single MyCat/Fruit. Two tracks of riveting fuzz lined vibrancy with a sinewy bass to hang it all upon the release is a further impressive step in the emergence of one refreshingly exciting band.

Hailing from Castleford in West Yorkshire, Allusondrugs formed in the autumn of 2012 and took little time in honing a sound which drew potent attention and acclaim through the quintet’s live performances locally.  Constantly spreading their presence especially through debut single Plasters, the band now stands poised to work upon the rest of the country with the new release and a tour across the north of the UK. Released as its predecessor via Clue Records, MyCat/Fruit is a magnetic feast of mischievous sound, one with a seductive embrace and a steely temptation.

    MyCat opens with a scuzz coated hand on the shoulder of the senses, an almost industrial caress rubbing attention into action a0975362780_2before thumping beats and electronic strikes punctuate its lure. It is a powerful invitation taken into irresistible climes when the track explodes with a stoneresque acidic groove and a heated intense vibrant energy. The harmonic vocals soon after instantly complete the virulent bait of the song as does the brief caustic explosions which equally grip the arisen appetite for the sounds offered; it is a riveting persuasion which has feet and emotions dancing and the imagination soaring. Across its impressive body the song sparks thoughts of Queen Of The Stone Age, The Pixies, and Hot Hot Heat, though there is something wholly distinct to Allusondrugs, a core which sets the song and them enjoyably apart.

The song also holds a shoegaze quality, if one with a want to devilishly bruise simultaneously and that essence makes a stronger tempting on Fruit. The song from a discord kissed single guitar beckoning stretches its arms with a grunge spiced stomp, riffs and rhythms a hungry recruiter of the passions. Settling into a compelling stride the track then taunts assumptions by smoothly slipping into a gentle melodic flight, a candescent passage bringing a mix of My Bloody Valentine and Felt into view before switching back and forth with the previous Foo Fighters like charge. It is a glorious slice of imagination, its persistently twisting and engaging adventure addiction sparking beauty and contagious feistiness united for a thoroughly scintillating encounter.

As the brilliant combination of MyCat and Fruit massages and riles up the passions it is hard not to anticipate Allusondrugs growing into and creating one of the more exciting and spellbinding presences within British rock over the upcoming horizons. We for one cannot wait…

MyCat/Fruit is released as a 100 strong limited edition CD and download

https://www.facebook.com/Allusondrugs

10/10

RingMaster 14/11/2013

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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James Younger – Feelin’ American

james younger

Hailing from Manchester in the UK, James Younger is an artist which on the evidence of his debut album Feelin’ American we will be hearing a lot more of over the next few years. The eleven track release is a vibrant blend of pop and rock with a healthy smile and energetic swagger to its enterprise. There is also a familiarity to it which helps it offer an instant connection with thoughts and emotions but equally there is a distinct voice to the songs that sets them and the album apart from the rest.

According to info accompanying the release Younger grew up telling friends that he was descended from the outlaws of the American West so really it was no surprise aged 21 that he headed to the States. Hitchhiking across America he collated stories and experiences from all he met, the adventures and tales influencing his songs and lyrical narratives to come. Eventually the musician moved further north and set up ‘home’ in Canada, becoming part of the Vancouver music scene playing in locals bands such as The Zolas and Sun Wizard. Released via Light Organ Records, Feelin’ American is his introduction to the world and one which makes you want to hear and know more.

The bio of Younger’s Facebook profile simply lists artists who have influenced him across the years, the likes of Any Trouble, XTC,1044494_518684871519498_937416621_n Tom Petty, and The Cars, and as the Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat) produced release toys with and excites the emotions certainly the last two of that quartet from many inspirations to him, are apparent especially vocally and how the songs lay eagerly on the ear. Their loud whispers soak numerous songs in their melodic and raw rock embrace to add extra spice to what are already flavoursome encounters, and immediately evident in the scintillating opener Monday Morning. From its first beat and note the song dances on the ear inspiring feet to replicate their keenness to move and stomp across the floor. There is a swing to the rhythmic gait of the track which is quite irresistible whilst Younger colours its surface with a jangly guitar enterprise and equally boisterous vocal and lyrical rock ‘n’ roll romp. With an infectious melodic hook which is epidemically tempting the track is the perfect start and announcement of Younger and his stylish sound.

The following Sleeping Alone drops into an even paced stroll of fresh and again catchy persuasion, this time with an Arctic Monkeys like lilt to the vocals and descriptive heart of the song. Once more the guitars have a great jangle to their sound whilst the rhythms thump along to raise the temperature of the sultry air already permeating another impressive song. It does not quite match its predecessor but easily unveils more of the varied enchanting songwriting and imagination of Younger to seduce the passions, as do the likes of the soon up Running Wild, a great blaze of addiction causing pop with an Elvis Costello feel to its potency and The Attractions spice to the bold colourful sound, especially the keys, and the country rock twanged Two of a Kind which also has a Costello scent to its smouldering heart and sizzling tones, though more from his Trust era.

Four songs in and to be honest Feelin’ American would be earning strong acclaim for its offering no matter what followed but as tracks like the Petty lilted We Are Lovers, the compelling Never Easy with its imaginative and sirenesque melodic caresses behind the roaming enterprise, and the quickstep shuffling Do It Again unload their epidemic of inventive and fascinating ideas and irresistible hooks only stronger ardour for the album is sparked. The last of the three has a Joe Jackson like charm to its vulnerability and refreshing hue which like many other songs is recognisable but only adding to the wealth of variety and pull from the release.

Every song on the album is instantly impressive, those mentioned and not, all leading the listener into a summer waltz of pop and rock mergence, which the closing What Comes After The Weekend ensures ends on another striking high just as the whole thing began. With a tropical saunter to its sultry fascination the song leaps and bounds over the emotions, grabbing them by the hand for an almost riotous party along the chorus and an evocative walk through the lyrical picture of the verse. It is a tremendous end to an equally pleasing album.

Throughout Feelin’ American the guitars play with the ear with skilled revelry whilst the bass is a deep inspiration alongside the punchy rhythms. Vocally Younger at times recalls others such as Joe Jacksonbut it adds to the picturesque fun and lure of the release. James Younger will make a strong mark ahead and it all starts with this treat.

https://www.facebook.com/jamesyoungermusic

8.5/10

RingMaster 05/07/2013

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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Tweak Bird – Undercover Crops

Going into this review the term stoner pop crossed our gaze and it has to be said an audible groan escaped. Not having been introduced to US rockers Tweak Bird before this, the worst was feared to be honest but it took no time for their new EP, Undercover Crops to dispel all worries. The seven track release is delicious, a gnarly scoop of sonic bubblegum ice cream which burns as equally as it leaves one drizzled in sweet pleasure. Though the term does kind of sum up the creations of the Los Angeles based duo it also trivialises what is going on, the intricacies and subtleties at work beneath the astringent embrace dismissed by its reference. The best way to describe the release is imagine Hot Hot Heat in a feisty embrace with Torche with extra mischievous encouragement from Red Fang and Morningwood. Yes, it is that unique.

Undercover Crops is the second EP from brothers Ashton and Caleb Bird and follows their self titled album of 2010. Recorded over a long weekend in June with Toshi Kasai, who alongside Dale Crover produced and recorded both debut EP Reservations and album, the new EP brings something new to the genre, year and to those like us who had never met the band before, the heart, something  just unexpectedly thrilling.

The first track, Moans, immediately throws things into confusion. Having expected stoner, pop, actually both, the track offers up a repetitive electro rubbing. Its industrial dusted atmosphere is openly provocative and its aural voice, like the unrelenting repeating of words, droning but also the ignition of a maelstrom of thoughts in the brain. It is undeniably magnetic and easily ensures the stay for the whole and admittedly pretty brief journey of the release will be full and intent, eagerly awaiting the unpredictability on offer.

The following track People soon has the heart leaping, its scuzzy baritone guitar riffs and sonic blistering an abrasive extreme to the flowing falsetto vocals of Caleb. The darker though still mesmeric and far from heavy tones of Ashton, bridges the two opposites whilst within the music itself the track twists and swerves with finesse and infectious charm. To those earlier comparisons regarding the sound of the band, this song certainly vocally, springs forth thoughts of B52s just as strongly.

The hypnotic bluesy breath of Psychorain just sizzles on the ear and emotions, its again mesmeric pull from within what is an acidic and caustic presence is just irresistible. The track is like being encased in electrified bubble wrap, the highly charged sonic cage of sound and enveloping whispers leaving the senses tingling whilst being hit by exploding rhythms and popping riffs, and just as devilishly addictive.

All the tracks are brief, only one managing to worry the three minute mark, and that is the only complaint. By the time you have managed to grab a first proper breath since the start, you realise it is actually over and feel quite disappointed. During its engagement though time is a concept lost, the likes of the excellent Weight with its heavy slightly schizo energy and synapse manipulation alongside Pigeons ensuring nothing else exists whilst they are at play. The second of the pair has a breeze of surf rock permeating its melodic elegance and near corrosive guitar strokes across flesh and thought. Like on all the tracks, the raw air which everything within the song is immersed by is inciteful and intrusive, not to mention insatiable though so is the eagerness to devour it in return.

The release finishes with the sensational Bunch ‘O Brains, a track which leaves you in the same state as the subject of the song by its end, and Know It All, another slice of contagious psych and noise rock brought with a sludge blues driven rich heart. It is an impossibly addictive close to a quite brilliant release. As with all the songs, lyrically the band do not stretch literary circles but the repetitive lines and uncomplicated structures just completes the songs, ensuring nothing is too intense or demanding and perpetually absorbing.

Released via Volcom Entertainment, Undercover Crops is brilliant, simple as, and Tweak Bird the immediate focus of a retrospective investigation followed by the swallowing up of their earlier works. We defy you to try and resist not doing the same once they take over your ears and heart.

Grab a free download of the track People below

http://www.tweakbird.com/

RingMaster 01/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dope Body: Natural History

Baltimore band Dope Body is predominantly tagged as noise rock but they should just be under the category eclectically unique. They are likely to be alone in the list which is as it should be as despite the band drawing on a flourishing feast of influences and suggestions no one truly sounds like or comes near to Dope Body. With the release of their new album Natural History they have widened further that divide between themselves and the rest. There are plenty of exciting and discord driven noise rock artists out there but none use the tools with an imagination and skill to create songs which are maybe raw and jagged in their surface but have a rounded balance, an instinctive and rich life, and are near abhorrently senses disassembling.

Natural History is the second album from the band and named after the The Museum of Natural History in their home town where they played their first and meant to be one off show. Formed in 2008 the band felt and knew from the destructively chaotic sounds they were creating and success of the night this all felt right so they continued gigging and creating. Released via Drag City, Natural History is pure sanity bending air fragmenting sonic poetry and possibly the best aural treat since the big bang. It is a release and sound which will work for you or not but if it does its genius in its simplicity and complicated inventiveness.

How to describe the band? Well it is impossible as you will see when we mention some of the tracks but imagine a primal mix of At The Drive In, Hot Hot Heat, Morkobot, The Three Johns, World Domination Enterprise, and most definitely early Wire. Oh you can add a slither of your favourite sludge, stoner, and grunge band too for good measure…and still not really come close. It is an individual sound to the band which will bring different references from each individual who hears it, something one wishes all bands would give the problem of.

Dope Body makes initial contact through the disorientating Shook. At first it drops falling essences of sonics through the air before a bass pulse begins its bruise of the atmosphere and the vocals of Andrew Laumann score the ear with caustic and disentangled melodies. Air ripping and blistering the song is a sludge/doom driven intensity littered with inquisitive and ultimately challenging pokes and disturbances, a mighty corruptive start to check if one is up for the fun ahead.

The following Road Dog is quite simply wonderful and the first of an unrelenting feast of brilliance to leave one breathless and with the biggest smile possible. Stirring up the ear with prickly guitar strokes and near smooth melodies alongside perfect infectious hooks, the song explores the senses with acidic enterprise around the prowling bass of John Jones and the eager vocals of Laumann. It has that primal early Gang Of Four rhythmic core with a Clash/Rocket From The Crypt punk sound especially with the additional mid reggae additive. The garage feel of the song is strong too and all in all is simply magnificent.

Beat and Twice The Life manipulate and ignite the passions further. The first is a striding beast of discord, its bulk rippling and pulsating with sonic guitar from Zach Utz and ear splicing melodics which spear the air with predatory menace and venomous intent. The track circles like a ravenous wolf its sounds gnawing on bone and synapses to leave one floundering in pure bliss. The second takes a lighter approach with the unpredictable rhythms of David Jacober puncturing its distressed yet mesmeric warm breath, again that reggae/punk air lights up the senses. Of course the song is wonderfully as disturbed as ever.

Arguably the best track on the album Powder is pure infection and just as dangerous as any illicit contagion. Insatiably eager and disturbingly joyful, the track with a grin as sinister as the hook is impossibly irresistible, easily and willingly draws one into the riot of senses fragmenting ingenuity.

Every song is immense; the snarling caged manic Out Of My Mind and the twisted rock n roller Weird Mirror just two delicious slices of further brilliance. That is the most apt word for the whole of Natural History and when a release ends on a bonus track like Alpha Punk, a near one minute pure Wire homage with the song sounding like the bastard cousin of Mr Suit or 1.2.X.U., you know it has been something special.

Dope Body is without doubt one of the most exciting bands in music right now if not the most and Natural History quite possibly album of the year, it will take something truly outstanding to match it.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/DOPE-BODY/310914069790

Ringmaster 13/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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