DRAG – Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind

Drag Online Promo Shot

With greater potential in its body than maybe actually exposed in its fiery riot, Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind the new album from UK punks DRAG, is nevertheless a rather compelling and increasingly enjoyable provocation to get teeth and thoughts into. Nine tracks of old school seeded punk with as much of a nineties twist to its predation as modern inventions, the release is an attention grabbing and imagination stirring entrance by the Midlands quartet.

Since forming, the Birmingham four-piece has earned a strong reputation through their live presence which has seen them play alongside the likes of Toyah Wilcox, SPiT LiKE THiS, Eureka Machines, Fuzzbox, Mister Joe Black, The Sex Pistols Experience, The Ramonas, and Amanda Palmer, as well as a couple of earlier EPs. Their sound as evidenced on the crowd funded Neurotica, is like a raw and antagonistic merger of Au-Pairs and L7 with just as healthy essences of In Evil Hour and Penetration. It is a mix which you expect to be explosive and for the main is within the potent album, though it does miss that key spark to set the promise openly surging through its creativity and sound truly ablaze.

With songs which look at uncompromising themes ranging from self-harm, mental health, to sexuality, Neurotica takes little time in awakening attention and appetite with the opening title track. From the initial scrub of acidic guitar punctuated by thumping beats, the song takes a swift hold and even more so when the band expel a raw and flame of attitude and sonic causticity led by vocalist Heather. The track snarls and rumbles enticingly with the bass of Matt and abrasing guitar craft of Velma crafting an infectious web framed by the punchy rhythms of drummer Andy. Littered with resourcefully catchy hooks around the appealing vocals, it is a formidable and convincing start to entwine thoughts and emotions easily.

The following Fine with its opening moody bass tempting also needs little effort to engage ears and imagination, its strong initial lure expanding into a more reserved but no less potent expanse of rapacious enterprise and contagious DRAG - Neurotica Cover Artworkprovocation. It is not a song to startle but certainly keeps the initial impact of the album high before the mighty Axewound preys on the senses. Lyrically and musically it takes no prisoners, with that earlier Au Pairs reference at its most open on both aspects, the raw and honest approach very similar to that offered a few decades ago by those fellow Brummie protagonists. The track is alive with agitated rhythms, intrigue spiced hooks, and a ferocious breath which all combines for one of the major highlights of the album pushing forward the exciting potential of the band.

Next up The Ugly romps with rhythmic bait which inspires another wash of greed to an already hungry appetite whilst the grizzled bass tone found by Matt grumbles potently within the weave of sonic and defiant endeavour. The song keeps things roaring nicely but does lack the stature and persuasion of its predecessors as does in some ways Dandy Boy, though in other aspects it stands out pleasingly. A union of acoustic guitar and the melodic tones of Heather, her voice revealing more of its strength here than at any other point of the release, the song gently caresses and provokes, keeping its poise and lure as the rest of the band bring their evocative touches to the increasingly intensive track. Keys add good expression to the song too though it also feels like there is a spark missing to really exploit its creative strength, something which applies to Neurotica as a whole.

Shock & Bad Taste with its more defined L7 lures comes next to set feet and reactions on eager edge, its riling riffs and jabbing rolling beats as inviting as the vocal belligerence and sonic entrapment colouring the richly satisfying track. It is soon left sounding a little pale though by Hell 7 (American Mary), the track a ferocious scorching of corrosive riffs and merciless rhythms from the first second which settles into a less threatening gait for a few breaths before unleashing a chorus which gnaws at the senses with anthemic mastery. Again it is fair to say that there is not much to challenge the boundaries of punk rock but plenty to give it an invigorating incitement.

The album is brought to a close by firstly the pleasing Wet with its scowling sound and challenging premise, and lastly through the predatory stalking of Dead Zebra. Both tracks ignite another wave of satisfaction if again failing to match previous heights upon the album; the forced vocal growls offered by Heather in the last of the two an element which defuses the potency of the song and leaves thoughts feeling unconvinced for the only time. Each song still leaves Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind on a high with that rich promise flooding both, as it does the album, to leave pleasure high and excited anticipation over DRAG ahead.

Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind is available now on the band’s own Sleazy Punk Records @ http://dragbirmingham.bandcamp.com/album/neurotica-a-compendium-of-tales-regarding-body-mind-2

http://www.sleazypunk.com/

8/10

RingMaster 28/07/2014

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The Old-timers – Be Reconciled

THe Old Timers cover

Hailing from South Africa, punk band The Old-timers has forged themselves a quite potent spotlight not only in Christian punk but the punk underground as a whole with their releases. Now the trio return with their finest moment yet, the Be Reconciled EP. With a broader sound and inventive nature, the release catches the imagination with infectious slices of raw and organic punk rock and a premise which asks questions of thoughts. The band’s fourth release, the EP is simply another open step forward in the presence and sound of The Old-timers.

The band was formed in 2011 by Cape Town vocalist Dave Emerson and Port Elizabeth guitarist/bassist Donovan de Necker, its seeds first sown when they met whilst the latter visited the home town of the former whilst on holiday. From the pair’s unplanned meeting they found plenty to connect over, punk rock being one big love for both. Writing and sharing songs over the vast distances between them through technology, the band emerged with a demo Punk’s Not Dead! Nor Are We!, which brought them to the attention of Christian Punk label Thumper Punk Records. Soon after its release the duo recruited Californian drummer Matt Lagusis whilst Thumper Records released the band’s following impressive releases, the 2012 album Soli Deo Gloria and the Spiritus Sanctus at the end of last year. Both releases showed the continuing growth in sound and songwriting, an evolution pushed again by Be Reconciled.

The new EP is a concept release, its premise following the story of a life finding the light from a dark destructive place, “from sinner to repentance to reconciliation through Jesus.” That journey can be translated into a search we all embrace at some point in our lives within or outside of religion, and in its infusing of keys, a capella harmonies, and spoken poetry within old school fuelled punk rampages, Be Reconciled is a masterfully riveting encounter which works on ears and emotions. It starts with Hole in My Heart, a track which instantly lights ears with its rising persistence of riffs and stomping rhythms. The song, as the vocals, roars with a rapacious intensity and air as the guitar of de Necker expels caustic riffs and enticing hooks whilst his bass prowls the song with a devilish intent. It is an outstanding start to the release, the song’s NOFX like raucousness and Exploited like intensity bound in grooves and hooks which simply infests the imagination, whilst the inventive pounding from Lagusis and vocal demand of Emerson round off the potent lure of the song.

The spoken poetry of Blessings Out of Buffetings is next, voice and haunting keys the protagonist accompanied by percussive taunting. It is a track which alone you would say is for those of faith but within the narrative of the EP and linking the opener and the following Hope for the Rejected, it works well in the context of the story and unimposingly. The third track flies at ears with a raw scrub of riffs and bass driven by rabid beats. With group vocals which works a treat the track at times reminds of early Shelter, its grazing breath veined by a contagious groove which simply entices the appetite further and without reserve. Another highlight of the release, the track provokes, incites, and thrills in equal urgency and strength.

The bruising sounds of Father God I Wonder excites and challenges senses next, the track recruiting the incendiary essences which grabbed attention within previous releases and loading them with a richer infectious bait and instinctive ferocity. It is one minute of prime punk rock which thrusts its sound and narrative irresistibly through ears into thoughts and emotions. Its triumph is matched by the riveting The Joy of Reconciliation. The song starts with that a capella offering mentioned before, a striking union of the band’s voices which works so well you almost throw a sigh of disappointment when the song erupts into its punk rapacity. It soon has those thoughts forgotten though as it squalls and stomps aggressively across the senses for another hunger feeding slab of punk passion.

The closing Ambassadors as the second track is a spoken word within a keys embrace, a conclusion to the narrative which also like the earlier song links in well when taken as part of the journey but for those without a feeling for the religious side of things you sense it may not get the chance too often to make its suasion in being the final track. It has to be reinforced though that as all their releases, The Old-timers presents an encounter which is for all punk fans, just this time it is the band at its most adventurous and dynamic sounding to date which is reason enough to spend plenty of time with Be Reconciled.

The Be Reconciled EP is available now through Thumper Punk Records and Veritas Vinyl as well as @ http://theold-timers.bandcamp.com/album/be-reconciled

https://www.facebook.com/theoldtimers

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/07/2014

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That Massive Bereavement – Sugar for the Masses

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The last time we heard from That Massive Bereavement it was with their raw and dirty Eat The Rich EP, a release which grated upon and pleasured ears in equal fashion. It was caustic and uncompromising but suggested a healthy future for the UK band which has been more than reinforced by its successor, the outstanding Sugar for the Masses. The new seven track release finds the band strapping on a maturity and creative mischief which was merely hinted at on the previous encounter. It is a brawling proposition which again fuses grunge, punk rock, garage rock and plenty of other filthy essences, but the band and release has become a whole new proposition now. The EP not only realises their early promise but has nurtured it into a thoroughly captivating and incendiary riot of thankfully still unpolished but feverishly riveting rock ‘n’ roll.

Hailing from the Medway, That Massive Bereavement draw on inspirations which include the likes of The Fall, Therapy?, The Replacements, Wire, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Pavement, Swell Maps, and Joy Division. Plenty of those are often open spices in songs but only as colouring to their striking abrasive sound and enterprise. Eat The Rich was a release which you could see rubbing as many people up the wrong way as it recruited ardour clad fans such its uncompromising and in comparison to Sugar for the Masses, naïve presence. Sugar for the Masses though is an incitement you can only see recruiting eager attention and hunger for the band, the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Aidan Hehir, lead guitarist James Feist, bassist Peter Bevan, and Colin Antilife Jervis on drums breeding all the qualities of their debut into a broader contagious and skilfully delivered bait.

The release sets off after the passions with Colin Farmer (Will Have His Revenge On Lancashire), a grisly bass riff bringing the opener instant attention. Its lure is soon added to by a feisty rhythmic provocation and a sonic wash of a1016014884_2acidic enticement. The track already has senses and appetite in its fiery hands, its emerging rapacious stroll antagonistic rock ‘n’ roll with a flush of The Stooges, Rocket from the Crypt, and even a touch of Lemmy. Hooks litter the thrilling confrontation as well as jagged riffs and lust searching grooves, it all combining for an insatiable tempest of attitude with persistent spills of sonic secretions and punk irreverence.

The outstanding start is followed by the brief endeavour of Jellied Eels. A track which reminds straight away of the seventies and bands like Swell Maps and Television Personalities, it strides with a big grin on its chords and rhythms whilst the lyrical tempting is loose in its seriousness but just as magnetic as the roar of an explosive intensity and aggression which also spears the excellent slice of revelry.

The imposingly impressive start to the EP is kept up with Bullet, its body a stalking prowl of caustic submission and seemingly defeatist passion. It is only a suggestive shade to a track which is unrelentingly defiant in sound and confrontational in its aggressive provocation. Guitars spill venom and rhythms swing unchecked punches to explode in the ears, but it is the raw reflection of the vocals and a sonic enterprise which sears the senses that loads the song with a vibrancy its premise defies. It is a compelling slab of incitement which is weighty in sound and presence and a total contrast to the punk devilment of Rupert Murdoch’s Death Wank. The track strides with adrenaline fuelled ferocious riffs and stabbing rhythms led by the individually brawling tones of Aiden, but interrupts that charge with staccato sculpted breaks in its gait and sonically swirling guitar imagination. It is two minutes of garage punk addictiveness to lay further enthused emotions upon.

Nine Toed Woman again has a broad smile and lustful appetite given in return for its hook laden punk temptation and lyrical ‘insight’. Thoughts of early Damned and The Adicts spring to mind but again it is a song with a presence which carries familiar traits without definition ensuring it is a fresh and ridiculously infectious slavery for ears and passions. There is no doubting that That Massive Bereavement has also honed their ability to sculpt hooks and lures which instinctively find a home in the listener and probably on Sugar For The Masses in no more potent way than right here, though the following title track might differ. One minute of sheer hostile punk rock with another hook which lends to addictive behaviour whilst merely two lines lyrically help cast an irresistible anthemic bait, the track is punk/roll in raw and gripping form.

The release closes with the post punk brilliance of Desolate, a track unmistakeably bred from a Joy Division influence but bound in a rich melodic ribboning which seduces the imagination. It is merely one aspect of the almost seven minute treat though as within its repetitive minimalistic coaxing it explodes with the rawest grunge infused explosions of sound. Coldly and hauntingly seductive in one breath and bordering on corrosive in another, the track is a fascinating and enthralling proposition which makes powerful suggestions about the direction the band is heading.

High hopes for Sugar for the Masses were left looking lightweight by the end of its incitement of ears, the release nothing but evidence showing That Massive Bereavement has grown from a promising band into a dramatically impressive protagonist with still plenty of potential to be realised you feel.

Sugar For The Masses is available now @ http://thatmassive-bereavement.bandcamp.com/album/sugar-for-the-masses

https://www.facebook.com/MassiveBereavement

9/10

RingMaster 23/07/2014

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Versus You – Moving On

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Since forming in 2005, Luxembourg’s Versus You has become one of Europe’s most captivating and hard- working pop punk bands, as well as the source of much anticipation when news of a new release comes to light. The release of new album Moving On has been no different in raising a keen appetite and equally does not detour from the band’s knack at providing a thoroughly enjoyable romp of punk rock at its most accessible and infectious. The album does not set a new trail for the genre or band come to that, instead it simply parades twelve songs which just do what Versus You does best, capture the imagination with virulent hooks and melodies whilst thrilling thoughts and emotions with superbly crafted and lyrically insightful songs.

With a decade of stirring up audiences and fans on the impending horizon, Versus You has kept the energy and passion of their presence and intent alone impressively high over the years. Renowned for their hunger to tour and take their sound to fans, the band has been a regular attack of gigs and tours across their homeland, as well as East and Western Europe, sharing stages with the likes of NOFX, Alkaline Trio, Rise Against, White Flag, The Casualties, Bayside, Jimmy Eat World and many more. Equally their previous trio of albums as well as EPs and an outstanding split release with White Flag, has thrilled and helped thrust the band to the fore of Europe’s punk scene, even with a spate of line-up changes especially in the sticks swinging department. Fourth full-length Moving on is another commanding and deeply satisfying proposition, as said not one to change the face of pop punk but easily reinforcing Versus You as one of the leading lights.

Produced by Chips Kiesbye, the album opens with the immediately rigorously coaxing When It All Goes Down, its initial scrub of guitar an intriguing irritant to awaken attention and appetite alike. The song is soon into a feisty stroll Versus You Moving On Packshot 960x960with the rhythms of drummer Jerry Kirpach punctuating the mesh of caustic riffs conjured by Eric Rosenfeld and Dario Bruno. It is not an unrelenting attack though, the song respectful in its aggression and open in its web of easily snagging hooks with the bass of Giordano Bruno adding its own throaty lure to add extra bait to the first easily addictive blaze of sound from the album. Lyrically the song is one of many looking at band life, whilst other Rosenfeld penned themes include traveling, making friends, relationships, and life’s issues, songs never afraid to deal with unexpected things directly.

The following If The Camels Die, We Die makes the strong start look like a mere appetiser, its eager energy and urgent enticement of catchy melodies and deeply hooking snares impressively catchy. The bass finds an extra snarl to its tone which hits the spot perfectly whilst the slightly grizzled vocals of Rosenfeld only add to the raw and honest edge of the encounter. The guitar designs also standout with their imagination within the narrow but full flight of the track, a success emulated and more by the next up A Way With Words. The song is a real pop song, its compelling power pop radiance irresistible to feet and voice. Essences of its sound remind of Good Charlotte and Smashmouth, these spices teasing thoughts pleasingly whilst around them riffs and rhythms cast a more sinew tempting to the potent revelry.

Both On The Town and Be Better Than Me gets the fire in the belly raging, the first a terrific stomp of grazing riffs cut across by flames of acidic melodies as the excellent vocals explore relationships. Its successor is a mellower enticement but no less riveting in its punchy beats and rock ‘n’ roll bred suasion which brings a touch of Pinhead Gunpowder as well as irresistible unpredictable twists and excellent additional female vocals to its glory. The pair push the rising stature of the album up another step, the first especially a highlight of the album with its dramatic air and ridiculously contagious incitement musically and lyrically. Their success is matched easily by Skinny And Distracted, roguish rhythms and stabbing hooks uniting for a Boxcar Racer like treat. At ease persistently changing its urgency and sinew built gait, the track is another anthemic coaxing impossible to resist joining in with but just as strongly brings new thought provoking adventure and imagination to its body.

One That Can See is a resourceful and adventurous romp for ears and emotions, though not finding the same heights as previous songs even with its appealing sonic endeavour, whilst Stay Down, Stay Strong also lacks that same passions igniting spark though it provides a fiery rock song which is as infectiously binding as it is evocatively coloured by a melodic rock intensity. Both tracks leave appetite and reactions well fed nevertheless before Kitchen-sink Drama leaves them bloated and blissful from its insatiably contagious and bruising stomp. There is an antagonistic and defiant edge to the song which emulates from the vocals and lyrics to inspire a strong drama and depth to its presence, whilst hooks and melodies complete the enslavement with masterful and instinctive invention.

30 Pills unveils another big highlight within the album, the provocative song themed around somebody being HIV positive. Hard hitting lyrically and musically, Rosenfeld alone bringing a deeper growl to his narrative, the track roars and incites yet still employs some of the juiciest hooks and melodically drenched chords to persistently inflame ears and emotions. It is a glorious strike leaving the final pair of Still I Persist and You Are My Friend a hard task to follow. They make valiant attempts though, the first a vigorously solid slab of muscle driven punk rock with passion fuelled intensity and the closing song a slower slice of punk balladry which with Green Day like melodic potency, brings a smouldering and evocative finale to greedily embrace. It is a fine end to a great album.

Moving On is arguably a release which delivers what you expect from Versus You without the band making great strides forward but with songs that simply fill every need and want of a pop punk enticement, and with plenty of extra thrills included, it is a release which simply leaves pleasure and contentment the overriding result and that is more than good enough to unreservedly recommend the album.

Moving On is available now on Bomber Music @ http://bombermusic.limitedrun.com/products/528789-versus-you-moving-on-cd-and-vinyl-lp-and-dl in download, CD, black vinyl, and Ltd Ed vinyl versions.

https://www.facebook.com/vsyou

8.5/10

RingMaster 21/07/2014

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Call It Off – Liars

by Nastassia Winge

Liars is not going to set new standards for punk rock but with its proudly romping pop punk veined with spicy essences of power pop, the latest EP from Dutch rockers Call It Off is certainly a refreshingly enjoyable encounter. It brings five easily accessible tracks to the ears, songs giving feet and voices an invigorated work out through anthemic urgency and melodic infectiousness. Liars may not drive you to a rooftop to roar about its creators, besides you will be too busy dancing, but it easily ignites an eager appetite and attention for the Eindhoven quartet.

Barely a year old, Call It Off are four musicians who unite with plenty of experience earned playing in different bands over previous years. Pulled together by a mutual love of punk rock, chatting leading to actually writing music together and subsequently the birth of the band last September, the foursome of vocalists/guitarists Maurice Bolier and Adrian DeLange, bassist Lesley Klaverdijk, and drummer Sergei Christian made their first mark with debut EP Lovers late 2013. A clean strike across the bows of attention, the release made a good base from which Liars has confidently moved the band’s songwriting and sound on. Its songs are short and punchy but come with a fluidity and swagger which capture ears and imagination like returning friends, the band’s influences an open colour across the release it is fair to say.

Those inspirations are unavoidable from the first moments of opener Famous Last Words, potent spicery of Green Day and Blink 182 a clear flavouring though there is plenty more to the songs than a cloning of past protagonists. callitoff_liarsFrom its first swipe of rhythms and riffs, from which a teasing melodic tendril wakes ears potently, the song strolls with melodies swinging from sturdy rhythms and jangling riffs aligned to appealing vocals. The first song also holds a rawer edge like a mix of Story Of The Year and NOFX, though this only glances over the rich melodic and sonic enterprise rippling within the highly pleasing opener.

The strong start is soon shown a pair of heels by the excellent Burning Bridges. From its first roar the song roams the awakened appetite with again jangle clad riffs and a great coaxing of power pop harmonies, the track potently contagious from its first breath. The dual vocals work even better on the second track whilst the moody bass tone delivered by Klaverdijk comes with a shadowed mischief to alone entrance the imagination. That Green Day reference is even stronger here but adds to the instant connection of the song, its simple but expressive invitation impossible to resist adding your own personal attributes, or in some of our cases, disasters to.

     Stuck With You has a slightly more reserved urgency yet still rocks like a hound in heat with infection soaked hooks and melodies. That strong whiff of Billie Joe Armstrong and co continues to brew a strong yet captivating smell whilst there are moments where the song offers small tinges of Hagfish to its sharp hooks and underlying rhythmic antagonism. As all the songs it is like an old returning friend more than a new encounter, a feeling which stops the track leaving thoughts awe struck but undoubtedly has them riveted and fully involved in its raucous revelry, a lure just as addictive in the stomp that is I Don’t Wanna. As anthemic as you can get, the track simply provokes the passions and body from start to finish, providing a punk bred festival of adrenaline and passion.

The EP closes with Call Me, a track with wandering melodic adventure and emotive textures. Driven by a spine of firm rhythms aligned to a throaty bassline, the song flirts with ears through evocative enterprise from the guitars and the fine blend of vocals as it sways and rolls across the ears with arguably a more adventurous seduction than found of the other tracks. It makes for a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable encounter.

As mentioned, Liars is not quite a release to set punk rock on fire but it definitely nudges it firmly to the presence and rich potential of Call It Off.

The Liars EP is available now via White Russian Records @ http://callitoff.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/callitoffNL

http://www.callitoff.nl/

8/10

RingMaster 18/07/2014

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The Objex – Super Charged Little Nova

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Just like its title suggests, Super Charged Little Nova the new album from The Objex, is a lean, mean punk machine. A fireball of antagonism and in your face passion which explodes with incendiary intensity and belligerence across its magnetic canvas, the third album from the Sin City dwelling band confirms the raw and insatiable might of one of the genre’s most colourful protagonists aurally and visually. It is a tougher more aggressive provocation than before from the quartet, one with a hostile punch to match its breath-taking toxicity. Quite simply the eight-track release is The Objex’s finest and dirtiest rock ‘n’ roll rebellion yet.

Formed in 2006, the Felony Melony (real name Melanie Troxler) and Jim Nasty led band has provided a forceful and virulently contagious proposition since day one, their first demo Bound And Gagged waking up the local scene before debut album Attack Of The Objex in 2007 gripped further afield as it led the band to acclaimed appearances at events such as the SXSW music festival and The Afro Punk music festival as well as subsequently support slots with Demob, Goldblade, and The UK Subs on UK tours. Second album Reservation For Debauchery hit the world in 2009 earning the band even greater attention around the globe as well as awards and nominations respectively at the Vegas Rocks Award for Best Punk Rock Band 2010 and Hollywood Music Award for best alternative song 2011 and best rock song 2012.Across the years as well as sharing stages with others such as The Dwarves, The Addicts, Agent Orange, Sham 69,The Vibrators, and Guttermouth, line-up changes have crossed the band but now with a stable team of drummer Chili (Joaquin Espinosa) and bassist Ivan Del Real alongside vocalist Felony and guitarist Nasty, The Objex unleash their most aggressive and virulently demanding release yet. It is a dive into their most hostile depths though the primal rhythms and deeply barbarous hooks which marked their previous releases still seduce and rile up imagination with their toxic infections. The album is nothing less than a brawling treat for punk rock.

Super Charged Lil Nova hits hard and potently with opener Burn, its opening sonic bait the trigger for a heavy stride of intensive rhythms and scarring riffs within a metal seeded intensity. Instantly the song grips attention like a Super-Charged covermix of UK’s The Duel and Mongrel from the US, plundering ears with a throaty bass line aligned to increasingly rapier like beats as Felony roams their frame with her ever fiery and magnetic vocals. The track continues to antagonise and flirt with thoughts and passions, reinforcing their swift allegiance as the guitar of Nasty conjures wicked hooks amongst the abrasive sonic avenging to ensure even deeper satisfaction.

The excellent start is straight away matched by the predatory Crush, again a muscular urgency and a carnivorous metal based temperament leaking into the voracious punk heart of the song’s fire. Felony and Nasty cast a web of ridiculously riveting temptation with their individual assaults across the song, enticements impressively stalked by the rhythms of Chili and the bass grouchiness of Del Real. As its predecessor, the track is an eye balling aggressor which inflames and incites the emotions with sublime ease.

A spice of salaciousness hits next through the equally tempting and irritable Queen Cobra, its instant scrub of guitar the gateway to a barrage of bone shuddering beats and caustic riffs, one again lorded over by the irrepressible vocal roar of Felony. A devil bred temptress with intimately devious designs to its sound and intent, the track is a furnace of vicious sonic enslavement and merciless melodic seduction, each extreme uniting for a ridiculously addictive and rapacious trap.

The band uncage their latest single GG (Get It Done) next, an ode to punk provocateur GG Allin which maybe does not thrust as big a pair of shock loaded balls into the face as expected but provides an old school punk rabidity and motivation to greedily devour before the ferocious blaze of Grrr steams at break neck pace across the senses. As with all the songs, there is an unpolished beauty to the core and thrust of the tempest but just as irresistibly a spine of inventive barbs and melody kissed underlining grooves poison the imagination and passions with the fullest rabid charm leading to a subsequent lustful submission from the listener.

Both Milk Man with its torrential flood of senses blasting rhythms and guitar sculpted predation, and the spiteful seducing of Thanx 4 Cumming keep album and its recipient raging with unrelenting energy. Each in their individual way light a match to old school nostalgia and modern animosity, the first oozing with discord charmed harmonies within the twisted seduction of its uncompromising musical and lyrical revelry whilst its successor does not pull its forceful jabs either as it boldly stands up and bitch slaps senses and emotions. The pair are pure punk rock and prime The Objex, reaffirming that Super Charged Little Nova is at a new pinnacle of invention and sound.

The album closes with Trainwreck Suicide, a sensational pop punk predation which if you imagine a mix of Sweet and Penetration led by the hybrid of a cloned union between Suzy Quatro and Wendy O.Williams, you would not be far from guessing the quality of the glorious closing triumph.

The Objex has never been a band which has left a bland or uneventful mark on rock ‘n’ roll but without doubt with a greater maturity and stronger antagonism to their craft and open alchemy in their sound, Super Charged Little Nova places the band on a new genre inspiring plateau.

Super Charged Little Nova is available now at http://theobjex.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/objexlv

9/10

RingMaster 03/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Immoral Discipline / Dead On The Streets Split EP

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This week Rebel Sound unleash the 7” Split between Immoral Discipline and Dead On The Streets, two US bands raging with Oi punk voracity joining for one raw and enjoyable fury. Uniting a band born in the heyday of the genre with a new protagonist for an uncompromising rapacious front, the release makes a proposition which does not push boundaries or hold startling surprises but certainly brings forward another thoroughly satisfying and invigorating slab of street punk to stomp along with.

First of the antagonists Immoral Discipline is a quintet from Washington D.C. which formed in 1986.From their first days the band was making a strong imprint on the Oi punk scene with their presence and sound, one which has still lingered over the years since their break up in 1989. Their demo Boots and Braces, Stars and Stripes in 1987 set a marker for the band and following genre bred bands, which in the following year the EPs Battlefield and a self-titled successor replicated. Live the band also earned a formidable reputation as they played with the likes of Agnostic Front, Half Life, The Adolescents, Leeway, Biohazard, Forced Reality, Best Defense, Uniform Choice, Warzone, Black Market Baby, Youth of Today, The Exploited and many more. Several line-up changes occurred across the years before the band called it a day, that was until founding member Shawn Garard Leahy brought Immoral Discipline back in 2011 as attention and a potent buzz around the release of a retrospective CD continued to grow. With past members placed in different parts of the country, Leahy with their blessing recruited a new line-up going on to play festivals and shows with band such as Stormwatch, Steel Toe Solution, Broken Heroes, Hub City Stompers, Pharmacists, Unit Six, The Traditionals, Iron City Hooligans, Warrior Kids, and Offensive Weapon. Currently working on a new album, the band uncages a couple of new tracks for this release, two shots of caustic might which shows they have returned harder and fiercer than ever.

     Riff RAF hits ears first, the bleating of sheep within a sonic swarm the key to a belligerent stride of snarling riffs and thumping rhythms. It is prime punk rock, the vocals of Leahy a raging protagonist which rile against thoughts whilst inciting great anthemic lures of group shouts. Production wise it could have been kinder to the frontman’s attack, it lacking the depth of bite expected, but it does not prevent his incitement hitting as hard as the irresistible hooks and the perfectly stirring basslines which course through the tempest. The song feeds expectations yet opens up a freshness and voracity in sound which makes their forthcoming album something to keenly anticipate, something the following Stay at Home Skinhead adds to. Once again the guitars surround ears with a sonic breeze before striking the flint to a stomping rampage of rabid beats and scarring riffs speared occasionally by searing melodic enterprise. It is a full-on punk anthem taking no prisoners as it ignites the passions. Listening to the two songs it is easy to understand that though they did not get the full recognition at the time how Immoral Discipline has inspired future Oi sounds and bands since, Dead On The Streets we would suggest one example.

Hailing out of Pittsburgh, Dead On The Streets emerged with their animosity last year, thus a band as fresh as newly baked bread and just as flavoursome. They also enrich their invention with the origins of the genre, creating honest and straightforward contagiously potent incitements. Early Grave is their first offering, a track which beats out a rhythmic coaxing before spreading out a bruising of coarse riffs aligned with catchy hooks. Walking with a more punk rock fuelled gait, the track merges old school simplicity and again raw snarling vocals to dirty rock ‘n’ roll revelry. It also is not a surprising encounter but a thrillingly magnetic one left in the shade a little by America Today. Stabbing riffs and a delicious almost psychobilly like bass bait opens up song and eager attention initially, before the song casts a masterful blaze of grazing persuasion and virulent hooks. The bass constantly seduces across the song, its charm and growl irresistible, but equally the guitars flirt and enthral ears with an adventurous flame of enterprise. Whereas its predecessor was pleasingly yet predictably sculpted the second of their songs is a thrilling intrigue and imaginative fired riot showing more of the diversity and strength of the band’s sound.

Dead on the Streets is a band to keep a close excited eye upon and Immoral Discipline an inspiration which has returned to more than likely set new seeds down for future emerging artists. Together they make for a highly enjoyable and enthralling encounter with their split, of which more of the same would be very welcome.

Immoral Discipline / Dead On The Streets Split EP is available now via http://www.rebelsoundrecords.com/ on 7” vinyl (300 Black vinyl, 100 Red vinyl, 100 Milky Clear vinyl with Blood Red Splatter) and digitally (including an extra track from each band).

https://www.facebook.com/ImmoralDiscipline

https://www.facebook.com/DeadOnTheStreetsOi

8.5/10

RingMaster 01/07/2014

 

Anti Nowhere League/The Damn Garrison – Split EP

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As criticised as they were praised in many quarters from their first days for their true DIY punk simplicity and unpolished confrontational often salacious musical craft and attitude, UK punk legends Anti Nowhere League soon outrode their critics to become one of the most loved antagonists. A new split through Rebel Sound release sees the band at their adversarial inhospitable best alongside New Hampshire Oi punks The Damn Garrison, a union made in middle finger heaven. The link up makes for four tracks of punk rock which are as soaked in aggression and mischief as in anthemic provocation, and on the Anti Nowhere League side unbridled irreverence. They are a quartet of tracks which unreservedly feed the base desires of all punk fans.

The first pair of songs provided by Anti Nowhere League are a couple which previously could only be found on their Pig Iron CD and tracks which Captain Oi refused to release. Day The World Turned Gay pulls no punches as it uncages potent hooks and insatiable grooves into a mesh of punk rock causticity lyrically and sonically straight away. The Tunbridge Wells quartet of vocalist Animal, guitarist Tommy, bassist Shady, and drummer Nato, cast a riff and rhythmic slavery which is simply prime punk rock. Certainly the song is not touching new plateaus in originality of band or scene but equally it is virulent choice ANL which stands apart wantonly and excitingly from the rest. Its might is replicated and increased by the following The Adventures Of Peter Vile, of course another song with no regard and blinkers to ‘boundaries’, going places where most fear even contemplating. Once again a weave of intrusive hooks and riling riffs create a web of ridiculously catchy bait to which vocals unfurl an equally riveting, irreverent, and forcibly honest narrative. Again it is what you expect an ANL track to be and stand up as, and again a wholly invigorating provocation reminding just how important and rigorously rewarding the band has been and still is to a great many of us.

Hailing from Dover, N.H. and formed in the summer of 2012, The Damn Garrison has swiftly made their presence a potent and thrilling one OB-GD17D.pdfon stage where they have played with the likes of Murphys Law, Infa Riot, The Warriors, Bishops Green, Evil Conduct and many more and through their four track 7” release through Arrest Records, Unsung Heroes. Consisting of vocalist Mike Day, guitarists Ritchie and Sammy Plante, bassist James Morin, and drummer Chad Lafrance, the quintet instantly unleash a thick infectious anthem of a bruising on the split with The Real Ones. An intensely coaxing bassline and crisp beats sets things in motion, their strong bait scythed through with thrusts of guitar. It is an immediately enticing affair which increases its call with a raw scowl of vocals which enter the fray as the track settles into a voracious charge, group shouts and juicy hooks adding extra spice to the temptation. As with the ANL tracks, the band is not forging new avenues but certainly lying fresh addictive and thrilling designs on to an established template.

The band’s second track Pride & Honor again leads with a great bass enticement which is soon smothered with irritable beats and rowdy riffs matched by excellent vocal squalls, singularly and as a group. As great as both songs are it must be admitted, as suckers for toxic basslines with as much groove and infectiousness to them as contagious spite, that Morin steals the passions in what are wonderfully fiery and contentiously evocative songs. Again stacked to the gills with hooks and raging riffs, the track rampages into the passions with merciless efficiency matching its partner track, and the incitements of their cohorts in crime upon the release, in exhausting punk bred appetites.

Two great bands birthed in different eras but united in sculpting strenuously exciting punk revelry across four outstanding tracks, the split is a mouthwatering stomp confirming the lingering adversarial might of Anti Nowhere League and announcing an emerging force in The Damn Garrison; another slice of evidence that world punk is possibly heading to another major heyday.

Anti Nowhere League/The Damn Garrison Split EP is available @ http://www.rebelsoundrecords.com on vinyl (200 Black vinyl, 200 Halloween Orange vinyl, 100 Lime Green vinyl).

https://www.facebook.com/antinowhereleague

https://www.facebook.com/TheDamnGarrisonoi

9/10

RingMaster 30/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Rubella Ballet – Planet Punk

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It is probably fair to say that most punks know the history of, impact, and importance to the genre UK’s Rubella Ballet has made since forming at a Crass gig in 1979. Built around the nucleus of Sid Truelove and Zillah Minx the band brought intensive colour musically and visually to an anarcho/gothic punk scene. Their subsequent course saw the band perform two John Peel sessions and release from the first dramatic Ballet Bag cassette only unleashing of 1981, a trio of albums, and a mass of singles and 12” encounters as well as numerous collections. Live the band toured and supported the likes of Crass, Death Cult, and the Poison Girls amongst a great many whilst helping upcoming bands such as Ritual, Sex Gang Children, Ausgang, and Skeletal Family. As said most know the background to Rubella Ballet and their presence, the band summed up recently as, “They were the band who bridged the gaps between The Sex Pistols, X Ray Spex, and Crass.”

That is history though, important but belongs to the past. What is relevant to the now is the release of their new album Planet Punk, the first release of new material since 1986’s album If, an album declared by the majority as their finest moment. That was until the uncaging of Planet Punk, a quite extraordinary and fascinating provocation which sits boldly on the frontline of the pinnacle of punk releases in recent years. A release which provokes thought, passions, and feet like an ingenious puppeteer; a sonic devil which sits on the shoulder inciting and teasing until it has wormed under the skin and is riding the psyche in an irrepressibly diverse punk rodeo. Sid Truelove and Zillah Minx have conjured one of the most riveting and invigorating rebellions to sit alongside the likes of the recent Steve Ignorant with Paranoid Visions album When…? and the new Waging War full-length from The Duel as important propositions within punk rock.

From the opening title track the London band and release strikes at the heart of world and social wrongs, the like of banks, the illuminate, RB coverand the Hillsborough Stadium disaster amongst many things under a spotlight in the fifteen track creative tempest. The songs never preach and shove opinions down the throat though, just inform, inspire, and give their own premise. The first song instantly takes the listener and imagination back to the band’s early days, its old school stomp and breath a pervading suasion entwined with middle finger bred grooves and combative vocals which have a modern day eyeballing maturity. With sharp hooks and fiery dynamics, the song is a glorious spark to set Planet Punk off, its title track an instant trigger to the agonist dormant in us all.

The excellent start is swiftly matched and pushed to a new plateau by both All Potential Terrorists and Run Run. The first, spawned by 9/11, thrusts angry riffs and rapacious rhythms at the ear as the magnetic tones of Minx ripple with intensity and antagonism. Clad in contagious resourceful sounds, the track rampages irresistibly but then twists the scenery into a delicious darker incitement as Truelove adds his vocal suasion into a mix now coursing with warnings and sirens as well as startling enterprise. It is hard uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll at its best, guitars flaming with a reserved yet bright flame within the imposing scenario. Its successor stalks and prowls around its victims, the banks. Again samples as in the previous pair colour the landscape, their information courted by throaty basslines and predatory riffs which Minx manipulates further with her vocal confrontations. There is a raw air to the song; every aspect ablaze with a caustic glaze which only adds to the narrative whilst within the unrelenting menace the essences of bands like Fatal Microbes and The Molesters only enhances the pleasure.

The album continues to get stronger and more dramatically thrilling as each track infests senses and imagination, the next up Killuminati climbing another step with its voracious heavily weighted riffs which ooze ravenous hunger. The rhythms are just as full of rabidity but as ears succumb to their pressure the band suddenly explodes with a kaleidoscope of invention and ingenuity, the imposing Truelove vocal lead joined by soaring flumes of Minx’s symphonic seduction. At its core the track is an antagonistic brawl but with all the riveting twists of invention now at play equally soaked in the predation which drives the song from the start, the encounter is one of those moments you can only use the word classic for.

The bewitching Pandora’s Box has its designs on that mantel too, and achieves it with a sirenesque portentous hymn. It is a song which seduces and slowly swarms all over senses and passions, a mix of Siouxsie and The Banshees and The Duel, but as in all cases any references are just a hint to the startling originality. The album’s greatest offering, the track is as sinister and compelling as the science it is prowling, Minx at her glorious whilst the songwriting and invention of the band could be best described in literary terms as Frankenstein meets Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Both the equally chilling and ominously glazed Anonymous and the insatiable Hellbilly Heroin fire up body and emotions next, the first a captivating slice of bleak cyber punk and its successor, a track seemingly looking at Truelove’s own health problems and issues with drugs, their effect and ownership, is a honest and uncomplicated punk rock roar which pulls no punches. Both songs without matching the previous tracks, a level always going to be hard to maintain, easily ignite another wave of hunger in the appetite for the album which Bio Hazard instantly reinforces with its accusing web of sonic enterprise aligned to the temptress tones of Minx, its bait and lyrical canvas enthralling.

Through the absorbing stark infectious lure of Silver Or Lead, a song with aspects of calling All Astronauts to its presence, and the heavy rock smog of Wonderful Life, the album continues to find new impressive ways to light the passions, the second of the pair an incitement thick in intensity and robustly smothering sound which is speared and lit with the oppression tempering croon of Minx. It is a mouthwatering intimidating mix which is equalled in success by the coarse pop punk vivacity of You’ll Be Sorry and then the crunchy charred sound of Sedition. Both tracks in their unique ways embroil sounds of the late seventies and modern multi-flavoured punk into an irresistible uncompromising proposition. It is fair to say that the album is not as strong in its latter stages as its blisteringly inventive start, the songs at this point, more direct and straightforward then strikingly dramatic but still wholly addictive.

The final trio of songs are a mixed bag starting off with the outstanding Victory For The Victims. The imposing heavy bass within seconds flicks the switch to return the imagination to the heights which opened the album, quickly contradicting our just mentioned thought at that point. It is a minimalistic song in many ways looking at Hillsborough, but stunningly effective as it enslaves and invigorates thoughts and emotions. Its triumph is then matched by the brilliant Vampire Wedding, a dark gothic waltz equipped with Sister Of Mercy like rhythmic seduction and Sunglasses After Dark shadows which is then transformed further with bloodlusting angelic charm and vocal imagination.

The album concludes with Starship Transporter, a spatial flight of acidic colour and celestial sonic weaves narrated by Minx. It is a decent enough song but fails to come anywhere near the other tracks on the album though admittedly it still makes a provocative and skilfully sculpted end to an exceptionally tantalising and thrilling release. There may be a vast amount of time between new material but Rubella Ballet has not been resting on laurels instead designing and honing an evolution of presence and sound which in so many ways sets a new template for punk bands and fans to been inspired by. Planet Punk is the band’s best release with ease and a definite album of the year contender.

Planet Punk is available via Overground Records on all formats now!

https://www.facebook.com/rubellaballet

9.5/10

RingMaster 26/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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The Duel – Waging War

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On the back of their previous impressive album alone, the new full-length from UK now wave punks The Duel has been one of the most highly anticipated releases in the genre this year and the last to be honest. Its impending arrival has sparked an almost feverish excitement and on the ‘eve ‘ of its unleashing it can be revealed that all your hopes and wishes for the band’s fifth album will have fallen short of what it magnificently uncages on the ears and passions. Consisting of nineteen mentally and physically impacting and inspiring tracks, Waging War is a glorious new and inventive adventure from a band which is no stranger to pushing itself, the listener, and punk into new potent grounds. The London quintet on the evidence of their album has quite simply found a new maturity and mouthwatering enterprise to songwriting and sound which only makes the future even more exciting.

The Duel has come a long way from that first meeting between vocalist Tara Rez and keyboardist Andy Thierum, after Tara applied to an ad in Melody Maker. From the joining up creatively and the founding of the band, The Duel has unleashed a quartet of albums which have one by one increased its stature and reputation whilst forging a status as one of the most inventive, passionate, and socially vocal emerging bands in UK punk. Debut album Let’s Finish What We Started in 2007 instantly drew strong attention which Childish Behavior two years later pushed to another level, but it was the 2011 All Aboard The Crazy Train which brought a more intensive spotlight upon the band. A year later the boldly experimental but still rigorously enthralling Soundtrack To The End Of The World (Story Of Zak Splash) revealed the eagerness to really push themselves and expectations. The acclaimed release set a new benchmark for the band whilst challenging fans to evolve with their sound, which they did with rapturous passion for the main. Waging War takes those seeds planted in its predecessor to a far loftier template for band and modern punk whilst simultaneously also embracing decades of punk and its origins. The result is an album which is as addictive and infectious as anything from the seventies with barbed hooks a plenty and as melodically seductive as any pop punk /new wave triumph release from the following decade. It also simultaneously provides a scintillatingly new and experimental adventure bred in the now. It is a richly stimulating encounter which puts The Duel on the frontline of punk rock.

The first striking impact from the album is the use of poetry and prose in between many of the songs. It is a potent and highly provocative ideation which wakes and stirs up thoughts and emotions time and time again. It is not just words though as each piece is wrapped in an embrace of diverse music which colours the dramatic and enthralling canvas set by the voices. Provided by Tara and guests Angie Bowie, Segs Jennings (The Ruts/Ruts DC), Ginger Coyote, and Dennis Just Dennis, those particular tracks slip easily and perfectly between songs which add depth to the spoken narratives and vice versa. The pieces share the same titles as the songs they precede, with Breakaway starting off the album. Keys elegantly court the poetry of Tara as a portentous atmosphere spills its breath around them. As with them all it is a proposition in itself, not an intro but a companion to the song itself which emerges from a great scuzzy electro mist from Andy with rigid rhythms from Pumpy and guitar grazes from Thanos Oscar Pap. It is a less than forceful start but one soaked in dark oppressive drama caressed by the croon of Tara which captures the imagination and an immediate appetite. As the song settles in thoughts a switch is flicked and urgency and energy accelerates to an eager stride which only reinforces the exciting start to the album.

From another piano led skirting this time to an Angie Bowie brewed narrative, Feel The Same dances with raw sonic flames and agitated the duelrhythms around the throaty tones of Chris McDougall’s bass and Tara’s potent vocals. It is an absorbing slice of anthemic rock pop, keys teasing and kissing throughout as energies romp with feisty appetites. An essence of old school punk breathes across the encounter but not as loudly as in the following Gotta Hold To Love. There is a sterner rough edge to riffs and rhythms from the start which the vocals and subsequent quaint twang of keys soothe though at times certainly Tara roars as potently as the guitars. The song is in many ways epitomises The Duel, the band able to produce the most virulently addictive and contagious propositions without the blatant and obvious use of candied hooks and predictable lures.

Things continue to grow in strength and pleasure as Under The Thumb next swaggers into ears. Once more the grouchy sound of seventies punk spices up the exceptional track, a X-Ray Spex toxicity igniting imagination and passions whilst guitars sculpt a web of virulently persuasive textures and simply irresistible bait. Its glory is swiftly matched by Brotherhood which comes after another deeply registering piece of word and sound. Opening on a rich earthy bassline, the song soon wraps the senses in an epidemically alluring groove which is then itself coated in the vibrant vocals of Tara. Atmosphere and sound intensifies as the song spreads its intent, riffs and hooks as an enthralling trap within a blazing web of creative suasion which equally nets everything from ears to emotions.

The first part of Light At The End is an instrumental with gloriously orchestrated structures which proves music itself can be as poetic as words. There is drama, mischief, and expressive endeavour to the piece which in some ways makes the song itself slightly underwhelming initially but with punchy beats and bass prods, the coaxing vocals of Tara and Andy, and the latter’s glassy keys invention the song is soon riding thoughts with relish and mesmeric enterprise. As with most tracks, its body is impressive and gripping but it is the small twists and slithers of ingenious imagination which means things evolve into something truly special, the unpredictable breaks and turns in the direction of the song and the unexpected vocal detours adding delicious extra spice as the song reaches its peak.

Colours next explores with keys which are almost Stranglers like at times as a rosy psychedelic glaze soaking the senses. With a gritty persistence from vocals and rhythms aligned to scorching sonic flames, the song is a riveting protagonist if not quite at the heights of certainly the previous pair of tracks. Both Salesman and Gimmi Your Thing are similar, the pair insatiable with strains of vintage punk simplicity courted by raw hunger of dirty rock ‘n’ roll but lacking the spark to light a major fire in the belly, though each still leaves a vigorously satisfying and compelling presence lingering in memory and emotions.

The album is back on its highest pinnacle with Urgency, an incredible anthem which lures total allegiance through a smouldering coaxing rather than all out lines of hooks and riotous bait but still achieves the same highly successful results. It is a masterful recruitment emulated to the same degree by Love Me Or You Don’t. Merging a reggae swagger with electronic discord and dub teasing, the track is a constantly twisting weave which never relaxes or lets the listener’s senses rest into one inviting premise, instead offering a magnetic and thrilling off kilter waltz which adds another inventive exciting turn in the call of the album.

Closing on the challenging incitement of War, it coming in two equally imposing and vigorously pleasing parts, Waging War is a dynamic fusion of passion induced imagination and bold invention scaling new inspirational heights for the band. The production of the release comes as its predecessor with a hollow essence which ensures everything resonates in touch as well as premise, meaning intensive cloudy essences thicken and flames find a chilled starkness and it works a treat. The Duel has been to the fore of European punk for many a year but with Waging War they are taking on the world and we for one would not bet against them after this triumph.

http://theduel.co.uk

http://www.ffruk.com

9.5/10

RingMaster 21/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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