Concrete Lung – Tolerance & Dependency

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If fans of Concrete Lung thought their uncompromising sound could not get any more corrosive and emotionally destructive then new EP Tolerance & Dependency is going to leave them shell-shocked and blissful. The six track provocation is a scourge of sonic voracity and imaginative violation, the duo of Ed Oxime (vocals/guitars) and William Riever (bass) finding new imagination and despair in their creativity and music to explore. As ever a Concrete Lung encounter is not for the faint hearted but for a tempest of industrial grindcore and death metal veined hardcore, it is pure ruinous manna.

Since signing with independent label Armalyte Records in 2010, a year also seeing the Manchester, UK hailing band’s debut EP Waste Of Flesh, Concrete Lung swiftly garnered critical and fan acclaim with their Ministry, Skinny Puppy, and early Pitchshifter inspired provocation. Live too the band only impressed and ignited the passions, the sharing of stages with the likes of The Young Gods, Funker Vogt, Leæther Strip, Grendel, Agonoize, and Front Line Assembly gracing their first few years. First album Versions Of Hell in 2011 reinforced and accelerated the band’s emerging presence whilst the Die Dreaming single the following year, and the Subtract Nerve in 2013 put the band under a fiercer spotlight and into the nightmares of an increasing fan base. As suggested, Tolerance & Dependency is the band corrupting another level in their sound and extreme aural hostilities generally, a continuation of its predecessor in theme and intent but reaching into the darkest corners of their rage, animosity, and merciless creativity.

Though both its members are now located wide apart, Australia and Sweden to be exact, Concrete Lung feel even more bonded and vindictive in sound and emotional rancor, opener Engine CL_TD_Cover_ArtVein swiftly stirring up ears and attention with its initial sonic lure and lead into a heavy handed prowl of ravenous yet seductive enterprise amidst predatory rhythms. The first impacting move in evidence is the live drums on the song and release which replace their until now ever present drum machine. It gives the track a spite and intensity, which was never lacking in the band’s sound previously, more bite and bad blooded ferocity. Soon the prowl slips into a just as menacing stroll, beats and riffs as imposing as ever and Oxime’s vocals raw and compelling venom. As it plays with its assault and expels a horde of inescapable hooks, the track has ears ringing and psyche cowering, its black heart exuding pained expression and emotion.

It is a pungent and striking start but just the appetiser for the dual brilliance of Die Dreaming Pt. II and Chemical Muzzle. The first crawls over the senses with an opening guitar snarl and a scuzzy bassline which has a flavour of early Wire to its very dirty temptation, the first of a torrent of baits band and track ensnare the passions with. The death seeded scourge of the Concrete Lung sound has the main voice as the song smothers and oppresses thoughts and senses, yet a nagging groove and barbarous baiting equally ignites lustful hunger for the infestation of sonic and impassioned malevolence. It is a brute of a proposition, primal and insatiable, as well as simple addiction, whilst its successor from a similar canvas of intent and maliciousness casts its own distinctive violation. It is arguably the track with the thickest toxin of punk to it, vocals and bass bruising the senses with a wall of intimidation from its first breath but with a contagiousness which only has the listener embracing it with willing submission, the track is a rabid seducing of jaundiced tempting.

   Self-Shriek (Self Murder) with its sonic and emotional detestation keep thoughts and feelings ruffled and engrossed. The crawling demonic tone of the vocals play with post punk shadows and doom soaked ambience within a unrelenting suffocation of sound and intensity. It is a riveting, hypnotic drama and trespass of the senses as well as further thick evidence of the band’s bold exploration of themselves and sound. Its erosive smog seeps into the portentous and cavernous depths of the following Plastic Mind too, but rapidly immersed into an industrial swamp of abrasing enterprise. As the last, the exceptional track is a slow smother of ears and beyond, its serpentine breath and sonic acidity a hope swallowing animus creeping note by note, syllable by syllable.

     Tolerance & Dependency is brought to a close by Closed Mouth, a track with the kind of infectious simplicity which historically has bred nursery rhythms at the heart of another unstoppable oncoming of an emotionally loathing and aurally consumptive wave. The track is quite simply an unavoidable intrusive seduction for those with a penchant for cruel invention.

Concrete Lung leaves every emotion ransacked and sound twisted upon their new violation, their most potent and violently compelling triumph yet. They just get better and nastier with each release, which after this makes the next equally as appetising and fearsome.

Tolerance & Dependency is released via Armalyte Industries @ 12am UK time Sunday 30th November and will be exclusive at http://concretelung.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/concrete.lung

RingMaster 28/11/2104

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Suzerain – Good Day EP

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Ever since being tempted by a four track sampler in 2011 for their soon after released debut album Midnight In The Drawn City, UK alternative/electro rock quintet Suzerain has increasingly impressed and seduced as their invention and sound continually evolved into new imagination igniting explorations. Their album was a striking incitement of adventurous creativity and ingenious temptation which the following 2012 EP A Mirror Now pushed further. The recent release of the single Dark Dark/ Manhattan single suggested there was a new inventive drama and ingenuity emerging in the band’s music, something the Good Day EP now more than confirms and stretches again. The new encounter is an inescapable web of addiction forging endeavour, a majestic temptress of ears and emotions cloaked in dark shadows and evocative cinematic persuasion, and quite irresistible.

London based Suzerain linked up with double Grammy Award winning producer Steve Lyon (Depeche Mode, Siouxsie Sioux, The Cure) for the recording of Good Day, a release which is bred revelling in the expansive depths and varied originality of their music. Fresh from a German tour with Livingston and in the process of completing their new album for a 2015 release, Suzerain take little time seducing thoughts and appetite on Good Day as its title track fizzes in ears first. Keys caustically simmer first as the jabbing beats of Ben Howe rattle the senses, their union swiftly joined by the ever impressive vocals of Thomas Pether. It is a wholly magnetic proposition, especially as the guitar of Rich Summers places coaxing melodies within the sonic web cast by keyboardist Matt Constantine. As is so often the case with the band’s songs, there is a familiarity toying with the passions but from no definable source other than Suzerain having a distinctive

photo by Nick Gough

photo by Nick Gough

sound and presence. The similarly enticing velvety bassline from Mike Smith adds shadowed drama which the keys stoke further with their pungent colours. The song is stunning, every twist a stroking visual and emotions intrusion which Constantine’s cello craft only accentuates, whilst the at times seemingly scathing or sarcastic tones of the vocals and the enslaving rhythms culture an inescapable anthemic bait.

As exhilarating as the song ends its successor Try Your Best starts, the cello of Constantine flirting with raw expression and riveting drama to excite the imagination before bass and guitars add their similarly provocative textures to the delicious weave. As Pether opens up his rich croon, the initial elements continue to nag magnetically, their repetitious toxicity pure virulence around the coaxing call of the vocals. There is an open whiff of Trent Reznor to the song at times but again it is another track which radiates uniqueness and melancholic ingenuity.

Third track is a remix from Touchy Subject of Manhattan, a haunting version of one half of the last single which is as brooding in its tone and emotion as it is resonating in electronic exploration. At times Numan-esque like, the song is a fascinating proposition which may not light the passion as the previous songs but has ears and imagination fully bound in its provocative landscape.

Final track is the acoustically sculpted Hell Of A Way To Go, an emotive stroll of melancholic strings and skittish beats providing an elegant canvas for the vocals to shed their dark reflection and radiant prowess over. As well as making a mesmeric end to an outstanding release, the song casts another enthralling aspect to the enterprising songwriting and creative emprise of Suzerain.

Suzerain is one of the UK’s most exciting and adventurous bands, and after the release of Good Day, it would not be a surprise if also one of its most talked about.

The Good Day EP is released on November 30th @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/good-day-ep/id929071856?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

http://www.suzerainmusic.com

RingMaster 28/11/2014

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Panzerbastard/Tenebrae Split – Sons Of Belial

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Record Store Day is seeing some rigorously compelling releases this year including the mouth-watering Sons Of Belial split featuring Bostonians Panzerbastard and Tenebrae. Consisting of six tracks forged from an animosity driven union of hardcore and imposing dark metal, the release is a rugged and bruising slab of uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll. Fierce sounds collude with lyrical and vocal antagonism as the two protagonists unleash not the year’s greatest moment but certainly one of its imposingly memorable propositions.

The first three songs on the split come from Panzerbastard, the quartet acclaimed for their impressive Gods, Thugs and Madmen album which came out in 2012 via Patac Records. They open things up with a cover of the GBH track Drugs Party In 526, a track instantly prowling ears and imagination with scorching hooks and a thick throaty bassline. It is a potent lure leading into a brawl of punk rock infused with metallic sinews and incitement. As the raw vocals engagingly court the antagonism fuelling every corner of sound, the band unveils a web of melodic temptation and sonic enterprise which simply lights up ears and appetite. It all adds up for a bracing and anthemic captivation getting the release off to a thrilling and intimidating start.

Workhorse is next and flies from the blocks with sonic turbulence behind voracious rhythms and ferocious riffery. Vocals virtually brawl with the senses from its first breath yet there is a swagger and virulence to the encounter which for not much over a minute drags the passions to their feet with ravenous tenacity. Whereas its predecessor enticed, especially towards its end, with a hostile dance of beats, the second song is an unbridled onslaught and just as irresistible.

The band’s offering is completed by another cover, this time of Motorhead’s Iron Fist. Severely caustic merciless rock ‘n’ roll from the first rub of sound, the track roars with the power and snarl of the song’s creators but is given a contagious punk make-over veined with spicy Panzerbastard invention. The song might not quite rival the original but certainly it gives it a run for its money.

Tenebrae steps up next, the quintet the striking union of hardcore talent including vocalist Mark Civitarese (The Unseen), drummer Rob Falzano (Ramallah, Blood for Blood), and guitarist Craig Silverman (Blood for Blood, Agnostic Front, Ramallah, Slapshot). Completed by Dominic Dibenedetto (guitar/vocals) and Ryan Packer (bass), Tenebrae come to the split fresh from the recent release of their self-titled EP, which is also available on Jailhouse Records. First track Wake Up swiftly fills ears with muscle driven beats and turbulent intensity encased in punk blooded riff aggression and squalling vocals. The track is a gripping blend of punk and metal, the former providing the heart and the latter the hostility. Threatening and openly infectious, the track has ears and appetite hungry, a want fed resourcefully by the heavy metal bred Ways Of The Black next. The track is the reverse of the previous in many ways, classic metal its canvas and punk its colourful chorus and addictive nature, which body and voice cannot resist engaging in.

The band’s final track Norse Tribe is their best, though all leave greed for more rampant. Predatory and savage in equal measure, with bludgeoning rhythms punctuating a scarring riff coloured fury, the track stalks and stomps with bestial intent and vitriolic charm as it brings the whole release to an incendiary and exhilarating close.

Sons Of Belial is a treat and the perfect way to celebrate Record Store Day but also in gaining entry into the intimidating and exhilarating confrontations of both Panzerbastard and Tenebrae.

The Sons Of Belial Split is available from November 28th via Jailhouse Records as a limited to 500 12” vinyl @ http://jailhouserecords3.bandcamp.com/album/sons-of-belial-panzerbastard-tenebrae-split

https://www.facebook.com/panzerbastardboston

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tenebrae/279454968783253

RingMaster 28/11/2014

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Krum Bums – Smoke 12″ EP

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Angry, antagonistic, and some of the best punk rock you will have heard this year, the Smoke EP from Krum Bums celebrates Record Store Day/ Black Friday in sublimely belligerent style. Made up of four rages jammed packed with essential hooks and unique antagonism, EP and band brawl and roar with insatiable passion and intensity. Quite simply street punk has never sounded better.

Hailing from Austin, Texas, Krum Bums was formed in 2000 by vocalist Dave Tejas and guitarist Trae Martinez. The years has seen numerous line-up changes but equally a continuing evolution and impressive growth of sound, a charge coming to a peak with previous and fourth album Cut The Noose in 2011.The band now though has unleashed their finest ferocity yet with Smoke, incendiary punk at its virulent best.

The EPs title track sets the rampage off, riffs and raw chords from guitarists Martinez and Josh Stiffs exploding on the senses alongside the staggered rallies of beats from drummer Nika Bennet. It is an imposing and attention grabbing start, but just a teaser as the track swings into fierce action with a riveting groove and heavy throated bass tempting from Zach Volta. It is the distinctive and gripping scaly vocal tones of Tejas which completes and seals the deal, his coarse persuasion complimented perfectly by the backing calls of the band. Grooves proceed to wind around ears and imagination with addictive potency whilst the sheer tenacity and energy of the song is a blaze which withers the senses and ignites the passions.

The stunning start is swiftly emulated by Nightmares, its sonic lure the first touch to the subsequent furnace of lyrical and vocal spite within a sonic web of searing enterprise and merciless rhythms. Again hooks provide inescapable bait whilst the heavy swings of Bennett only stir up the body with dangerous anthemic tempting. Added to the rasping might of Tejas and predatory tones of the bass, it all colludes to harass and bruise thoughts and senses into willing submission.

The broader melodic hard rock scenery of Falling Down whips up a frenzy in release and listener next, the song a punk anthem demanding the assistance of its victim but also unafraid to flirt with flavoursome rock and horror punk essences. Actually the ‘weakest ‘of the four songs but outstanding aggressive drama and contagion all the same, it makes way for the closing might of Plastic Bomb, arguably the strongest track on Smoke. To be honest there is little between all of the protagonists but with tangy grooves, a tsunami of beats, and ravenous urgency, the track just has the edge. A raging furnace of enterprise and stalking predation within a torrential outpouring, the encounter is sheer slavery of ears and emotions.

We have constantly suggested that punk rock is having a new heyday right now, and with releases like this from bands like Krum Bums, who only get better and more essential with every maturing year, there is no chance of doubting our claim.

The Smoke EP is available via Jailhouse Records from November 28th on 12“coloured vinyl limited to 500 copies and digitally @ http://jailhouserecords3.bandcamp.com/album/krum-bums-smoke-12-e-p with a re-release with different packaging and artwork due in 2015.

https://www.facebook.com/krumbums

RingMaster 28/11/2014

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Cripper – Hyëna

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We all fall into the grasp of a band at some time or other whose sound is just the perfect fit for personal wants and desires, an instinctive proposition always destined to ignite the passions given the chance. Sometimes the frustration with that is not coming across said provocateur sooner. Such is the case with German thrashers Cripper. The band has just released their fourth album and the first with Metal Blade Records, and it is fair to say that Hyëna fulfils every need of these appetites and emotions with consummate ease. It is an incendiary fury of old and modern thrash, but an inventive turbulence which is unafraid to throw in thick grooves and darker ravenous elements aligned to death metal instincts. Whether it will raise the same ardour in all genre fans time will tell but it is hard to imagine the voracious encounter not leaving thrash fans with a certain hunger.

Hailing from Hannover and fronted by the gutturally bred temptation of Britta Görtz, her compelling and bracing fiery tones lying somewhere between Otep Shamaya and Krysta Cameron, Cripper has been earning acclaim and an ever increasing and loyal following since forming in 2005. From the release of debut EP Killer Escort Service in 2006, the quintet has unleashed the albums Freak Inside (2007), Devil Reveals (2009), and Antagonist (2012), as well as made their mark live, sharing stages with the likes of Overkill and Onslaught and lighting up festivals such as Summer Breeze, Wacken Rocks, Metalfest, Brutal Assault, Rockharz Open Air, and Metaldays where they caught the attention of their new label. Each event has increased their stock but it is probably fair to say, the band has yet to breach a global spotlight, something through Metal Blade the spectacular Hyëna has the potential to easily do.

From its first moments the album grips the imagination, the opening of its title track a backward played coaxing which leads into the jaws of predatory riffs and firmly swung rhythms. It is an intriguing lead, an attention grabbing lure which is soon swallowed by the tsunami of vicious rhythms from drummer Dennis Weber and a rabid cascade of riffs bred by guitarists Christian Bröhenhorst and Jonathan Stenger. From this point the track is a torrent of primal rabidity and flavoursome sonic enterprise; it all lorded over by the swiftly impressing tones of Görtz. There are few big surprises in the track but then again the whole song is a surprise and an intoxicating assault on personal passions.

The potent start is straight away surpassed by the virulently compelling Tourniquet, a song with visceral texture to its riffery and rhythmic persuasion and exhausting energy to its unrelenting hyena_book_16p_v7a.inddonslaught. Speared with rich sonic flames of guitar and the intensely gripping bass predation of Gerrit Mohrmann, the track swarms ravenously over the senses before making way for the more restrained but no less intimidating incitement of Bloodshot Monkey Eye and the more ferocious A Dime for the Establishment. The first of the pair feels like it is prowling ears, sizing up its victim before Görtz infests the imagination from within a menacing web of evolving and uncompromising sonic animosity. At times flying with flared nostrils and more often holding rein as it simply stalks with flexed sinews and hungry invention, the song is pure magnetism with the bass again the darkest temptation. Its successor snarls and roars with malevolent belligerence, its unpredictability, something blessing all tracks in varying degrees, blossoming in vocals and imagination against the raging aggression.

7″ is next and from a thought prodding opening is soon striding with anger in its eyes and acidic grooves through its body, all leading to a tempestuous and scintillating furnace of intensity and impassioned viciousness. Görtz is a venom clad temptress in the track, her little twists of diversity in delivery as important and potent as those within the music, her presence never feeding expectations to match the constant evolving lure of sound. Again we would not say Cripper is breaking boundaries but they have a freshness and creative turbulence which definitely sets them apart from the crowd.

Animated Flesh with its opening regimented bait of rhythms and subsequent steely swagger instantly has body and passions to their feet, the track the kind of addiction to which no respite is available or wanted, whilst both the melodically veined predation of The Origin and Patterns in the Sky keep album and listener high. The first of the two another which taking its time before tearing out the throat of the senses, though it is never lightweight in its imposing touch and tenacity at any point, whilst the second is a lung bursting charge of malicious rock ‘n’ roll. Grooves spice up its predecessor but here it is all out thrash hostility, and quite irresistible, the pair equally not short on delicious sonic temptation from the guitars either.

The Jackhammer sums itself up in the title, the track as heavy and relentless as anything on the album but also equipped with enslaving grooves and deep rooted hooks draped with the scathing tones of Görtz and an inescapable and barbarous infectiousness. Another pinnacle of the release, the track is blistering thrash manna unafraid to venture into fascinating and mouth-watering explorations.

The album is completed by firstly the rabid bludgeoning of Patronized, its inflammatory grooves and rhythmic outpouring again sheer enslavement, and lastly Pure, a tantalising drama all on its own moving through varied tones and emotions, melodic calm and pure ferocity for a riveting adventure.

Not strikingly unique but with a character and fury which stands alone from other trash seeded rages, Hyëna is one of the most refreshing confrontations of the year and certainly a slab of undiluted pleasure for these ears and emotions. Expect to hear and find Cripper making major inroads into the frontline of thrash metal from hereon in.

Hyëna is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://www.emp.de/brand/cripper/lis_Cripper_bandbrand/

http://www.cripper.de

RingMaster 27/11/2014

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Frostbitten Kingdom – The Winter War Symphony

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The Winter War Symphony has had a battle all of its own in its journey to face the world, a turbulent adventure which finally comes to an end with its global release via Wormholedeath. The transfixing creation of Finnish extreme metallers Frostbitten Kingdom, the five track release is a breath-taking and epic exploration of a stark landscape within a grim world flooded with just as erosive and haunted emotions. Its title perfectly sums up the encounter and its rugged terrains of malevolent and brutal hostility aligned to an impassioned melodic and symphonic beauty, black and death metal combining for a gripping and ravenous dark emprise which shows no mercy for the senses but inspires the most vivid exploits in the imagination.

Hailing from Turku and formed in 2004, Frostbitten Kingdom drew on inspirations from bands such as like Dissection and Immortal as they explored and cast a sound drawing on Scandinavian black metal as well as US strains of death. From debut album Through Nightfall Storms and Sunless Dawns in 2007, the band was increasingly drawing attention at home, and as the Towards the Battlefields MCD of the following year, second album Obscure Visions of Chaotic Annihilation, and third Infidel Angel in 2009 and 2010 respectively continued the band’s emergence, tapping into a wider and broader spotlight. The latter releases also showed a stronger influence of American death metal, with essences of bands like Deicide and Immolation being offered as references. Their live presence equally drew potent interest and praise as Frostbitten Kingdom played with bands such as Bal-Sagoth, Solstafir, and Venom.

2011/12 saw the band concentrate on writing and recording fourth full-length The Winter War Symphony, with its release scheduled for 2013 through No Sign of Life, who had released the previous album. This was thwarted when already after a couple of delays, Frostbitten Kingdom read in a magazine of the sale of the label. With the new owners surprisingly not interested in releasing the album, a mystery such its majesty, and the loss of bassist and guitarist leaving the band as just H. Kanervo (vocals, guitars, keys) and S. Vainio (drums), things had stalled. Earlier this year though the band put The Winter War Symphony out as a promo, it swiftly earning acclaim and attention, including that of Wormholedeath who contacted Frostbitten Kingdom and struck a deal to digitally distribute the album worldwide. Long overdue but finally with the widest stretch of ears and imaginations available for persuasion, The Winter War Symphony is poised to stake its claim as one of the year’s triumphs.

Warfare & Wilderness begins the epic musical and lyrical narrative, its opening harmony of classical hues within orchestral elegance bewitching. Strings and keys transfix ears and thoughts, the melancholic air of the music as hauntingly emotive as it is gently portentous. Eventually its sorrowful beauty evolves into an equally melodic and tenacious roar but courted by stern riffs and sinister shadows, a tempest in waiting which breaks free when raw caustic vocals spark thumping rhythms and even heavier drama. Light and dark conflict and collude within the still mesmeric encounter, its climate darkening with every chord and melody yet still taking the listener on an invigorating and radiant flight.

The opener is a proposition which works away as forcibly on the imagination as ears, allowing thoughts to ignite their own adventure aligned to that of the band’s intent. The following muscular storm of The Battlefront is the same, though the blunt force and creative hostility of the track dictates the unveiling in song and mind predominantly. As in the first and subsequent songs, it is the varied sonic endeavours in the track which steals the passions most potently, numerous metal flavours stirring within the death bred confrontation igniting the unpredictable and fluid invention which fascinates and thrills across the whole of The Winter War Symphony. The visceral textures around the descriptive sonic and lyrical canvas only draws its recipient deeper into the dramatic heart of tale and release, a lure emulated by the glacial and threatening scenic tones of Sentinels of the Silent Tundra. Bestial elements prowl and intimidate from within the track’s barren yet engrossing bone-chilling climate. It is a harsh domain clouded with sublime melodies and an addictive sonic enterprise, leaving thoughts unsure whether to flee or embrace the soul freezing lands explored.

From the delicious opening hook of the outstanding Lost, Forgotten and Forlorn, ears and emotions are instantly enslaved so that even the subsequent cruel air and voraciously scarring diversity of vocals cannot defuse the appetite to immerse fully into the predacious and exhausting depths of the carnivorous squall. The track is quite scintillating, simultaneously savage and seductive as it ebbs and flows through an expansive and imposingly visual soundscape.

The album finishes within the gelid yet magnetic lures of Lucid Nightmares of Barbaric Brutality, the track a ferocious and barbarous examination of the senses and corrosive intent. Vocals and rhythms threaten whilst melodies and spicy grooves inflame from within the maelstrom of invention and hostility. There is no compromising with the song, or album come to that, but it does not need to with the scintillating craft and enticing imagination veining the challenging treat.

Now it has been uncaged, it is easy to expect The Winter War Symphony to push Frostbitten Kingdom to the fore of extreme metal. For such an impressive and rewarding onslaught they certainly deserve an intensive spotlight being shone their way.

The Winter War Symphony is available now via Wormholedeath through all good online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/FrostbittenKingdom

RingMaster 27/11/2014

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Boyracer/Hulaboy/The Safe Distance

Boyracer Pete Shelly Cover Art

For a change we are clubbing together a trio of releases to look at in one go, the reason for this being the common denominator of musician/songwriter Stewart Anderson. The 7” releases from Boyracer, Hulaboy, and The Safe Distance are three early propositions of new indie label Emotional Response formed by Anderson and wife Jen Turrell. Having also run 555 Records and Red Square over the past couple of decades, the pair set up their new project with the intent of recording and releasing new music with friends, the outcomes limited in availability, produced on coloured vinyl, and only available right now through their website http://jenandstew.com/.

With their first release coming in 1991, Boyracer has been a constant source of excited punk pop, releasing over 800 songs since that first exploit with records unleashed through labels such as Boyracer 1Sarah, Slumberland, Blackbean, and Placenta. Coming off a four year hiatus, the Anderson founded proposition offers the Pete Shelley EP as their final release, with Turrell and Sarah Records era guitarist Matt Green joining Anderson for four irrepressible pop escapades. The EP opens with its title track, a bass and guitar drama with jabbing beats and expressive vocals. The song is lightly stomping from the off, beats punchy in a weave of politely jangling guitars and potently alluring hooks. It is not much more than a breath over a minute in length but provides pure contagious revelry for feet and imagination to greedily devour.

The following 3nd Wave Mod is similarly parading a fleet of inescapable hooks and quaint melodies within this time a rawer frame of rhythms and chords. As infectious as the first and with a great concussive crescendo in its middle, the song provides a tasty alternative pop adventure which the following The Kind Of Man You Really Are emulates with its tangy melodic clang and the brilliant Jump surpasses with its twee pop devilry. Led vocally by Turrell this time, the fourth song swiftly reminds of seventies UK bands like The Chefs and Girls At Our Best. Bouncing with a mischievous melodic grin enhanced by the summery caress of keys, and a rhythmic incitement which again has feet instantly engaged, the song is an anthem for the passions. The release comes with two bonus tracks which were not on our promo but it is hard to imagine them being any less thrilling than the four songs already treating ears.

Hulaboy BW     The Hulaboy EP, He’s making violent love to me, mother, is the celebration of a twenty year friendship between Anderson and Eric M. Stoess, a three track vinyl offering which plays ears with melodic charm and citrus sonic flavouring. As shown by first track Exes and Enemies, there is a sharp tone to the melodies which caress the senses but comes wrapped in a mellow and engaging elegance which is almost whimsical in its breath and temptation. Rhythms are firm though, giving the endeavour depth and muscle in all the right places and through the quirkily enterprising croon of the song.

Napalm Heart flares with lo-fi tenacity and melodic flaming from the first second, its undiluted catchiness and crispy resonance like a blend of The Freshies with a more cheerful Josef K, which for a minute and a half has ears inflamed and emotions wrapped up in sonic devilment. The flirtatious track is followed by Kids Under Stars, a raw blaze of sonic rapacity and garage rock causticity soaked in sixties pop colouring. The blistering encounter completes the impressive vinyl version of the single whilst the download comes with an additional seven tracks, with I find your topsiders and beard amusing and a great cover of Echo and the Bunnymen’s The Cutter particular standout moments.

Final release, the Songs EP from The Safe Distance, is the global link up of American Anderson on bass and organ with vocalist/guitarist Crayola Sarandon (Sarandon / A Witness) from the UK and Australian drummer David Nichols (Cannanes / Huon). Casting quirky dark pop clad in gripping shadows and brought with rippling sinews, the band uncage four tracks for the vinyl release of their EP. Hey you sets things off, probing beats aligned to guitar jangles and great monotone delivered vocals the initial delicious bait. The song proceeds to roam with a predatory glint in its sonic eye and bracing flames to its melodic hue, the imposition tempered by the flowery charm of keys and the addictive lure of the vocals. The song isSafe Distance Songs Insert 1 pure drama and quite infectious, a description also suiting the more restlessly contagious Soap. Tastily scuzzy but retaining a warm glow to its raw sound and invention, the track swiftly has thoughts and appetite gripped, whilst A bigger splash with its sultry smouldering of melodies and keys takes a little longer to draw a healthy dose of satisfaction but has ears and imagination fully involved by the time of its final fuzzy note.

The punkish Sandpit concludes the quartet of tracks, its bluesy roar and caustic energy colluding for a thoroughly thrilling slice of dirty rock ‘n’ roll, keys and guitars especially kicking up a dust storm with their sonic voracity. Completing the vinyl version, it is just part of another four original tracks on the download as well as a trio of covers featuring Hawkwind’s Silver Machine, Adam and the Ants’ Young Parisians, and the excellent take of Bogshed’s Fat lad exam failure.

Perfectly diverse but united in the songwriting prowess of Anderson and others involved, all the singles make an impressive entrance into the independent and underground scene by Emotional Response Records.

The releases from Boyracer, Hulaboy, and The Safe Distance are all available on coloured 7” vinyl and digitally now via Emotional Response Records @ http://jenandstew.com/

RingMaster 27/11/2014

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