Honningbarna – Verden Er Enkel

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There has been a buzz about Norwegian band Honningbarna which has been hard to avoid going in to this review with their PR Company alone fervidly enthusiastic far beyond their paid agenda in the presentation of the band’s new album for coverage. Could they really be as impressive and exciting as admittedly a great many are claiming? Yes they are and then some. Their new album Verden En Enkel is a scintillating excuse for passions to riot and limbs to brawl, its unique and insatiable punk rock fire rich in potency and impossibly virulent contagiousness.  With dramatic flames of melodic fervour and hooks as barbed and addictive as any sexual favour, the thirteen track release thrusts the band into the heady heights of being the future of melodic punk and possibly the core elements of punk itself.

As fresh faced teens the quintet from Kristiansand took no time in grabbing intense attention with their debut self-titled EP of 2010 which was followed within three months by the band winning the Norwegian broadcasting’s annual unsigned band competition, Årets Urørt. The following year their first album La Alarmane Gå (Sound The Alarm) won Best Rock Album at Spellemannsprisen, the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammys as well as Honningbarna gaining a Best Newcomer nomination. Their rise has been strong and energetic to match their renowned live performances which have also marked the band as one of the most explosive and unmissable treats. The likes of Rage Against the Machine, Gallows, and The Hives have been slapped upon the band as comparisons and it is easy to see why but really they stand alone from the rest with only for us Russian punks Biting Elbows bred from the same distinctive imaginative well though you could probably also add The Fat Dukes Of Fuck too.

Produced by Swedish producer Pelle Gunnerfeldt, the Republic Of Music released Verden Er Enkel meaning The World Is Simple, 551283_10151283210191924_2033457083_nis the first album to have a wider release infiltrating further afield within Europe and the UK, something which can only trigger a mass euphoria one suspects if our reactions are any gauge. It is a record which fuses every aspect of punk old and new with melodic garage rock ferocity and breath-taking energy. It is also as is the band, loaded with political confrontation at times though with them welcomingly only using their native tongue its content is lost on limited linguists like us but the snarl and bite in the delivery and sound does offers plenty to be provoked and inspired by. Honningbarna is poised to ignite rock music to a level which will take the name around the world, well certainly if quality and invention is any benchmark.

The album opens on the sensational lure of Dodtid, the twisted guitar beckoning a sonic lasso around the ear gripping with the intensity of a hornet. Exploding into a barrage of rapacious grooves all sonically sculpted within enticing rhythms, the track then steps into a slow breath of vocals and drum framing before unleashing the turmoil of sound once again. The vocals of Edvard Valberg squall and challenge whilst being ably accompanied by the group gang locked harmonies to post an anthemic hook within the brooding maelstrom at play upon the senses. Harshly metallic with a hardcore abrasive edge the song is a deliberate entrapment for which there is no escape or hiding from, especially its final lingering sonic lancing of flesh as it evolves into the fire of the following Ikke La Deg Rive Med. It is a bruising encounter with muscular energy and scything guitar sinews from Christoffer Trædal and Fredrik Justnes working their caustic charms whilst the beats of drummer Nils Jørgen Nilsen cage and enslave with skill and mischievous purpose. With elements of The Bronx and Red Tape to its stance and drive the track continues the impressive start with inspired ease.

Through the likes of the mighty Velkommen Tilbake where bassist Lars Emmelthun gnaws and chews the ear with stirring potency whilst the song itself just stomps all over the emotions with old school devilry, the thrilling Tynn Is with its arguably unadventurous, compared to other moments on the release, yet enticing gait, and the exceptional God Jul, Jesus, the album fosters the rapidly brewing ardour for the album with irresistible craft and imagination. The second of these sees the added treat of Valberg and his shadow inspired skills with the cello, bringing another stunning bow to band and release whilst the third of the trio is a rampant swagger of growling rapacious rhythms from bass and drums within a corrosive energy and magnetic  blaze of vocal harmonies and feisty passion engulfing hunger.

The album holds its truly momentous moments in nothing but highlights for the latter part of its presence starting with Fuck Kunst (Dans Dans), the lead single form the album. A slice of dirty incendiary rock n roll with riffs and thought poking vocal delivery to incite the strongest reactions and an imagination and devilry to spark their fullest greed, the track is the perfect lead into band and album though easily matched by next up Offerdans and the best song on the album Ned. Whilst the first of these two dances with the ear like a punk dervish, perpetually moving riffs and barbed hooks sharing target practice on the passions with unerring accuracy its successor is quite simply a complete tempest of addict making melodic spiky grooves and equally catchy riffs ridden by coarse confrontational but anthemic vocals. At its core and partially hidden there is a groove the Buzzcocks would have been proud of  whilst the overall plundering of the ear is vintage punk rock given a modern makeover for a new breed of riot.

Before its end Verden Er Enkel confirms its majesty through the bass carved rock scrap of Si Nei, the brutally addictive title track, and the brilliant closing psyche altercation of Gi Oss Kick. It is a stunning and delicious spat from a band who more than justify the claims wrapped around them from the outside. Honningbarna is poised to ignite the appetite and passions of not only punk but rock n roll in general and across the world. It all starts here.

http://honningbarna.no/

10/10

RingMaster 07/05/2013

 

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Turbogeist: Ancient Secrets EP

turbogeist

    Having fallen in love with an Alien Girl…the first single and song from UK punk rockers Turbogeist which mischievously teased these ears two years ago, anticipation going into the Ancient Secrets EP was on full alert with arguably already preconceived  reactions ready to pounce. The five track release certainly did not let down or disappoint expectations and though it did not quite light those same fervour lit fires as did the single, the EP is a thrilling and richly satisfying piece of devilment.

The London based quartet take their influences from seventies punk and eighties hardcore with particular inspiration from the likes of The Replacements, The Damned and The Misfits. Their sound though is more open than that suggests, with loud whispers of garage punk and feisty rock n roll adding their devious temptation to the energetic and raucous flavours the band taunts and pleases with. Lyrically the songs of the band and on the EP are just as cunning, the mix of sci-fi tongue in cheek pestering wrapped around  thoughts on the ‘stuttering evolution’ of man as aggressive and devilish as the infectious musical  brawling around them. Co-produced by the band and Chris Sheldon (Pixies, Radiohead, Foo Fighters), the digital and numbered coloured vinyl 10” releases of Ancient Secrets should be the first key to a deserved wide recognition for the band, which the released of a debut album later in the year will undoubtedly feed upon.

Mermaid’s Revenge winds itself in to view with sonic flames of guitar coaxing the ear whilst rhythms and bass shuffle into TURBO_CVR2position. With all things in place the track swaggers with confidence and mischief as the vocals begin the tale of man’s ill-fated attempts to conquer nature and the siren lure of the deep blue. Aided by strong group backing shouts and a muscular prowl to the gait of the song, things become more contagious and riveting by the sinewy second with the elevated energy and scorching breath of the song now a stirring punk and rock anthem for the ear. As across the release, the song fails to find that irresistible lure of the previously mentioned single but undoubtedly holds sway over the passions with accomplished intent and antagonising presence.

The following Zero Friends stands eye to ear with the listener and makes its statement on social networking and its effect, something which always feels ironic considering the unavoidable need bands today have for the medium, but Turbogeist is a band not fearing nipping on the hand that feeds. It is a brief punch of a punk song which again lifts emotions and satisfaction to pleasing heights soon equalled by Black Hole. Immediately forging through the ear with thumping rhythms and apocalyptic declarations, the track is the band at its heaviest and vigorously potent, a classic metal wind guiding its hardcore soaked concentrated aggression. Already across the EP there is diversity to the sound within the distinct umbrella sound of Turbogeist which excites and fires up expectations for the impending album.

The opening to Up Front instantly feeds the inner fervour with uncompromising bone splitting drum beats and a gravelly primal bass grind which seduces with predatory persuasion, soon joined by taunting vocals adding a tease through repetitive announcements. It is an inciting entrance which explodes into a prime punk abrasion to spark further greed in the passions for its uncomplicated yet insightful sonic and rhythmic hooks and barbed company. Ending as the favourite track on Ancient Secrets, it seals any doubts, which were barely audible, into a lost cause.

Closing song Rats is a final riot for an ardour seeping fever to devour, the stormy union of classic rock and garage punk a last infectious entrapment on the EP. Released via Spinefarm Records, Ancient Secrets confirms that our earlier set in infatuation was well placed and probably set to find deeper lust ahead with the debut album. Cross Every Time I Die, Red Tape, The Cramps, and Hagfish and you do not get Turbogeist but you come closer to their individual sound.

http://turbogeist.com/

8/10

RingMaster 21/03/2013

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Man The Machetes: Idiokrati

Man the Machetes

    A stormy affair which leaves the senses rubbed raw but glowing with pleasure, Idiokrati the debut album from Norwegian hardcore rockers Man The Machetes, is an undeniably formidable and captivating onslaught. Fusing varied essences from rock and metal into their abrasive hardcore confrontation, the Bergen/Oslo based quintet has unleashed an album which is challenging and takes some intensive focus to discover all of its masterful elements but rewards richly for the effort.  The album squalls with sounds drawn from the same caustic wells as a Cancer Bats or Ghost Of A Thousand but throughout sends shards and veins of melodic rock and punk which captures the breath of a Billy Talent or Red Tape. It emerges as a distinct and original sound which sets the band apart from most, and though they brew a similarity of sound and attack across much of the release it has plenty of variation to captivate fully throughout too.

Released through Indie Recordings, Idiokrati is the accumulation of two years of hard work and a likely trigger to widespread recognition beyond their homeland. The band has risen from playing small Norwegian venues to lighting up festivals such as Pstereo and Hove as well as supporting the likes of Gallows and Kvelertak. The five friends who began playing music they loved in an old German bunker, have been on a forceful rise to date with the band travelling to Toronto In August 2012 to work on this their debut with producer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Cancer Bats, Comeback Kid). The album which emerged after four weeks of intensive work is a stirring and impacting bruising which ripples with infectious lures and irresistible melodic teasing. It is an uncompromising abrasion but one which employs skilfully crafted and engaged melodic flames.

From the moment opener Sluk Det Rått barges through the ear with a welcoming groove to the sinewy rhythms and riffs offered MTM-IDIOKRATI-COVER-1400x1400there is an immediate compelling draw to the release. The song is a grazing instigator through the barbed beats of drummer Per Christian Holm and the coarse vocals of Christopher Iversen but tempers their harsh rasping with magnetic melodic flares from the guitar and an imaginative sonic teasing which borders on sirenesque. Leading straight into second track Sjelsvrengt, the song is an impressive start equalled and continued by its successor. Again the melodic sonic magnetism is to the fore in the second track with the guitars of Morten D. Carlsson and Erlend N. Sætren irresistible in their invention and the bass of Erik A. Larsen a beast of muscular yet wanton contagious dance. The scorching presence of the song is less instantaneous than what came before but provokes an emotive response which is just as powerful.

Idiokrati continually does nothing less than impress, the likes of Mageplask with its mesmeric groove, the punk coated Slagen, and the intensive tempest Maktesløse encounters which ignite and energise the passions and primal instincts. The release has a fluid gait with many tracks evolving into the next seamlessly and with sonic skill though it too offers the only real downside to the release, a returning similarity across parts of the album. It is not a major negative but does defuse some of the invention underneath the surface scathing and occasionally make songs merge into one which an arguably over needed focus is required to differentiate.

Other than that the album is a tremendous debut and when tracks like the deliciously intimidating Deltidsidiot with its ‘celtic’ toned groove and the senses sizzling Hjemkomst lay their exhausting presence across the ear the release is exceptional. Man the Machetes offers strong emotions of much more to come too which really inspires Idiokrati to provoke immense anticipation for the band and their releases in the future. If you want something different then check out this impressively promising brawl of a band.

http://www.manthemachetes.com/

RingMaster 23/01/2013

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Dead Retinas: Dead Retinas vs. The World EP

Sometimes a band comes along to ignite all the personal fires inside and leave one counting the days to the next musical adrenaline rush to come from their creativity. UK punks Dead Retinas is such a band and their Dead Retinas vs. The World EP, an invigorating burst of essential punk rock to fire up the engines of passion. The quartet create punk rock which is honest, aggressive, and vibrant: their sound steeped in the essentials of punk and fuelled by the energies of modern rock. The resulting experience unbridled pleasure.

The band consists of vocalist Sam Hendo, guitarist/vocalist Jack Thompson, bassist/vocalist CJ Smith who all knew each other since high school, and Lee O’Connor on drums. Originally called Hounds, until they found out about another band with the same name, the band took the Dead Retinas name from something actor Nick Frost said on the commentary track to the film Paul. To date the band has impressed with ease through the sharing of stages with the likes of Four Short Of A Miracle, Saving Syenna, The City Divided, ZsilentZ, and Falter to name a few.

Dead Retinas vs. The World is their debut release and a mighty powerful four track beast of an introduction it is too. It is punk rock at its best, confrontational, relentless, and heart driven. Their music recalls the best elements of bands such as Cancer Bats, NOFX, and Pinhead Gunpowder alongside the fire of Rage Against The Machine and Red Tape. It is all twisted into their own incendiary powder keg of bruising and explosive individuality as the band emerges as one of the best new entrants within punk for a long time.

The release ruptures the atmosphere from the start with Pure Gold, a track with heart splintering riffs and combative rhythms. The vocals hit every scorched and aggressive range perfectly to offer as much texture and rich diversity as the sounds around them. From the choppy greedy riffs, the uncompromising beats, to the growling guttural bass sound, the song corrupts and enthrals the senses for the deepest satisfaction. The band is also unafraid to bring extra treats in to the mix such as the burning guitar solo which simply flames away gloriously on top of already inspired raging inferno of addiction.

The following A 20 Note Ain’t For Coke finds a higher plateau to leap and explode upon with its infectious hypnotic hooked riffs and magnetic breath. It offers an old school flavour to bring thoughts of seventies UK bands The Lurkers, The Outcasts, and early Undertones to the fore whilst chewing away with a slight hardcore hunger. Brief and uncomplicated, the song is an immense blast of sheer instinctive satisfaction to leave one breathless and eager for much more.

    I’ve Got A Nerve brings a slight ska fusion to its muscular frame though it is mere spicery soon overwhelmed by the raw energy of the track. Arguably the less effective of the four, it is still a song to leave a benchmark for most other bands to aim for and ensure the appetite is still ravenous for more of the same.

The release closes with the excellent Hang The Bastards. It starts with just a delicious gnarly bass and thumping drums union, their predatory companionship alone boiling up an addiction like pleasure. Into its stride the song develops a scorched bluesy swagger which cores the punk aggression and vocal forcefulness, its groove hypnotic magnificence.  There is even a little tinge of stoner rock to the presence of the song, though its metallic intensity is, especially at its climax, RATM spawn.

Dead Retinas vs. The World EP is outstanding, one of the best debuts in a long time. If punk rock triggers the deepest rampages of joy within then Dead Retinas might just have you squealing with orgasmic delight.

https://www.facebook.com/DeadRetinas

RingMaster 12/09/2012

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Campus: Empathy

As the windows and doors to your thoughts, emotions, and soul are blasted and virtually shaken off their hinges by Empathy the new EP from Belgian post hardcore band Campus, you know this is one release you are not going to forget in a hurry, or want to. Empathy is immense, a sonic wind tunnel of intensity and aggression veined with inspired invention and melodic enterprise. The enormity of the EP is clear as one lies on the floor grasping for a new breath to chase off the numbness that pervades every sinew as the release signs off from its deeply satisfying four track obliteration of safety.

Released May 28th via Small Town Records, Empathy is destined to ignite passions within a great many more than ever before. With a sound which has traces of bands like Architects, Underoath, and While She Sleeps to its formidable and imaginative creation, the release is the next step on the quest to conquer far afield from their already worshipping homeland. The EP follows their thoroughly acclaimed 2009 album Oh, Comely! which itself followed a well received debut two years before in We Are The Silence. That initial release led them to opening up the Belgian leg of the Taste of Chaos tour of the same year and saw them share stages with the likes of The Used, Rise Against, Aiden and Gallows. Since then they have not looked back as shows and tours with the might of bands like Alexisonfire, Cancer Bats, Parkway Drive, Bring Me The Horizon, Underoath, and Architects filled subsequent years as well as numerous festival appearances.

It is probably fair to say outside of Belgian the band has still to find the heights their music deserves but with an impressive appearance at the Hit The Deck Festival in the UK this year, slots at the Burnout Festival, Hevy Festival, and Skatefest upcoming and most of all with Empathy this feels like the point the rest of the world takes notice.

The release opens up with the title track and within seconds has the senses reeling. As the rhythms of Josse Wijckmans pummel the ear hungry growling riffs prowl with a predatory intensity and overwhelming energy. Vocalist Martijn Leenaerts scowls and unleashes pure venom to match the tumultuous attack. His delivery is persistently varied and an example to many other same genre frontmen that mixing up things is a mighty tool. The guitars of Tijs Mondelaers and Fabrice Parent strip flesh with the sharpest of harsh riffs and energy whilst mesmerising with a melodic invention that leaves blisters seething within the ear. They are openly impressive and again show that thought and diversity can be a weapon of the greatest devastation.

From an impressive start the band raise the bar with Lone Wolf, another track to fly from first note with rampaging energy and dehabilitating effect. As with the first song bassist Tuur Geeraerts is a growling vehement presence bringing the darkest shadows and depth to the songs. Abrasive and provocative the track riles up more than the ear and leaves the first search for air an urgent need.

Downtime is a lumbering brute of a song, its heart, pace, and towering muscle the heaviest on Empathy. It does not neglect the other elements the band does so well neither, offering an impatient groove to wind around the ear with a grip borne of spite and melodic craft to light up the skies of the song like meteor shards, white hot and violently incisive.

The EP closes with the best song within its angry walls in Young Bastard. All the great things that preceded it return in greater heart and intensity. Vindictive, the aggression is lifted to its greatest heights leaving the senses ringing out for mercy and relief but wanting more and more of the same. Within this synapse melting the song explodes with the most infectious groove and clean vocals to ignite flames of primal energy. The track reminds of Red Tape with a twist of Ghost Of A Thousand at times and is easily one of the best tracks heard this year.

If Campus does not breakout to infect the world with their great sounds then justice has never had a place in music but with Empathy the feeling is their time is just shifting up multiple gears. https://www.facebook.com/CAMPUSBE

RingMaster 17/05/2012

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