Dirt Box Disco – Bloonz

 Holly Monroe Photography

Holly Monroe Photography

With more individual anthems than the amount likely to be heard at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, UK punk rockers Dirt Box Disco are poised to unleash their new album Bloonz. By now with their third album you could be tempted to think that the Burton-on-Trent quintet might have matured and grown up into a big boys sound but thankfully the band has refused to be swayed by the sensible side, the result another immense and irrepressible riot of prime cut punk ‘n’ roll. Do not make the mistake of thinking the band has not pushed their sound and craft though, it is just their devilry and imagination which has refused to mature as confirmed by the voice of the track King Of The Castle on Bloonz. The album is their most richly flavoured and spicily inventive mischievous incitement yet, the kind of stomp infamy licks its lips over.

Formed in 2009, Dirt Box Disco has been unrelentingly climbing the ranks of punk rock since making their first startling mark with riotous live performances and the Are You Ready? EP of 2011. One of the most turbulently energetic and mercilessly fun bands on stage, their reputation and stock has risen insatiably especially over the past couple of years, aided no end by the release of their debut album Legends and its successor Peoplemadeofpaper. Both releases were deservedly soaked in acclaim and generated waves of new appetites and attention upon the band, a track from the second of the two finding itself the soundtrack to a recent big cosmetic advert. It is hard to imagine Bloonz not only emulating their success but firmly slapping the band onto the top table of European punk and rock ‘n’ roll.

As soon as the first breath of Standing In A Queue hits the ears you know you are in for another thrilling and exhausting ride with the Printband sound, the track frisking from the outset with the devilishly coaxing vocals of WEAB.I.AM as the urgent riffs of DANNY FINGERS and SPUNK VOLCANO lay down an irresistible instant tease. With the crisp beats of MAFF FAZZO aligned to throaty lures provided by bassist DEADBEATZ CHRIS and the whole band backing up on anthemic vocals, it is Dirt Box Disco back doing rock as only they can. That is only part of the tale though as sound wise the first signs of a flavoursome expanse is apparent, the song fusing in a virulent strain of pop punk with more than a whisper of early Green Day if given a make-over by the equally early years of The Damned to it. The track is an outstanding stomp which grips feet and nether regions in a salacious charge of energy and contagion.

The following We Are The Rejects lets rawer sinews have their moment whilst an infectious toxin permeates every note and syllable. The guitars open with a scuzz lit antagonism, slowly scowling before raising their rabidity and energy whilst creating a caustic lure with raw metallic spicery. Surging guitar squalls and adversarial rhythms drive the song forcibly across the senses and feverishly into the imagination, the expected full addictiveness of the chorus and its lighter croon unable to stop the track from being the heaviest imposing treat on the album and probably from the band ever.

Rewind And Eject takes its lead from its predecessor, again finding a more violent voice to its breath and scrub of opening guitar, an intimidation stood over by the ever rebel rousing tones of WEAB.I.AM. From its sterner start the song opens up with flowing melodies and inescapable vocal hooks, though the guitars still stalk with an acidic dispute to their sound and essence. Though not as dramatically gripping as the first two songs, it grows into another inescapable suasion before being pushed aside by the muscularly striding Bullshit. Gripped by caustic grooves which sear the senses within a cage of muscle bound rhythms and cantankerous riffs, the track forges another diverse presence, one which steps out as an accusing predator with lingering hooks and anthemic griping draping every twist of its fierce body. Providing further proof of the evolving invention of the band across the album, that intimidation is then strapped by an ingenious sonic binding, rich grooves winding tightly around the passions for Skids like tempting lining the ’77 bred core of the song.

We are only four songs in and already have experienced a quartet of individually sounding triumphs, the fifth soon stealing the show as King Of The Castle explodes in the ears. Lurching into a rumble of agitated rhythms, corralling vocals, and predatory basslines, band and song stomp and taunt with impossibly contagious exploitation of the already submissive passions. That Green Day spice is again at play but similarly you can suggest essences of Bad Religion and Turbonegro in varying degrees to the unrelenting addiction brewing rampage. With guitars blazing with craft and incendiary relish, rhythms rousing up pulse rates, and vocals charming up the defiance and immaturity in us all, the track is another glorious pinnacle of Bloonz.

Both 9 Lives and Welcome To Hell settle into easily accessible and eagerly inspiring slices of attention stealing rock ‘n’ roll. Neither set the fires burning in the belly as certainly the previous track, but both show that when Dirt Box Disco are simply roaming comfortably within their own creative walls they are still looking down on the invention and presence of most other modern punk bands. The two songs leave lips licked and greed happy, the second especially notable with its foraging of garage punk corners for a blues kissed sonic fire of appetising rioting, before the excellent pair of I Swapped My Brain and Supreme And Gobshite decide to take their hefty portion of the plaudits. The first of this two is fuelled by a mix of The Ramones and Radio Stars, an incorrigible brew obstructing any resistance of its head on riot whilst its successor latches onto a Buzzcocks bred synapse scything groove, riding it hard for a boisterous and combative bruising employing thumping rhythms and sedately savaging riffs. The most aggressive anthem on the release, the track burns and riles as it seduces, riling passions to stand up and roar their approval. It is another twist in the mouthwatering variety of the album, again a song where despite all the comparisons offered, it and all tracks are pure Dirt Box Disco.

   She Goes Out captivates the senses next with uncomplicated riffs and searing flames of melodic and vocal enterprise, all courted by sonic invention. As eager in its unbridled anthemic call as in the creative heat of its solo the song is a siren, its potent bait soon repeated in another guise by Golden Frame. Less forceful in its still merciless enticement, the song simmers and worms relentlessly under the skin. The grouchy growl of bass is the first potent trap swiftly followed by feisty riffs and tightly binding solos, all guided by the excellent legion of harmonious vocals. It all combines for aural slavery of the senses feeding an admittedly already biased appetite for the band until it breeds a new level of hunger.

The album is closed by one final brawl of sound and intent with the thrilling We’re Going Out Tonight. Punk n’ roll at its most commanding, hungry, and epidemically infectious, the track is a blistering finale and sums up the good bad things about the band. To be honest we were expecting good things from Bloonz simply on the evidence of the previous Dirt Box Disco albums but it leaves those thoughts seeming very reserved in their hopes. It is an album which just gets better and motivates greater bad habits the more you spend in its diablerie; the choice protagonist for all rockers everywhere.

Bloonz is released via STP Records on April 26th and available @ http://www.stprecords.co.uk & dirtboxdisco.bigcartel.com

http://www.dirtboxdisco.co.uk

10/10

RingMaster 23/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Calabrese – Born with a Scorpion’s Touch

 

CALABRESE  2 (Born With A Scorpion's Touch) 2013

    Calabrese has continued to steal the passions of psychobillies and horror punks worldwide since stepping forward in 2003. Album after album, song after song, show after show, they have been a persistent magnet for those infected by their distinct sound and riotous b-movie inspired presence, and we stand amongst the legion infected. So it was with relish we dived into the band’s fifth album Born with a Scorpion’s Touch which receives its UK uncaging this month. Each of the band’s previous albums has impressed and pushed the band’s adventure but with the new contagion, the trio of blood brothers, Bobby, Davey, and Jimmy Calabrese has unlocked a maturity and exploratory enterprise which opens up a new chapter for the band in songwriting and presence. The trademark Calabrese sound is still the potent lure but it is graced and veined with a greater expanse of styles and ingenuity to create quite possibly the pinnacle of the band’s exploits to date.

     The band has always built their sound on the influential breaths of bands such as The Misfits, Black Flag, Samhain, The Damned, Black Sabbath, Danzig, and Ramones, and there is certainly no deviation from that potent well upon Born with a Scorpion’s Touch either but it is infused with a rich incitement of varied metallic and heavy rock essences within their individual sound. It emerges from this dramatic brew as an enthralling and unpredictable encounter, one which continues to make Calabrese a major force and provocation in underground rock ‘n’ roll. Now though they might just become a well-known incitement for world attention thanks to Born with a Scorpion’s Touch.

    Released via Spookshow Records, the album opens with the brief American Rebel Death Riders, a primarily instrumental Calabrese Born With A Scorpion's Touch Album Covertrack which fires up the energy of album and listener with its mix of groove and thrash metal within a juggernaut of rock ‘n’ roll voraciousness. The track rampages down the ears highway igniting imagination and emotions before departing for the following title track. From the first of expected film samples which has always coloured the band’s releases, a ravenous groove breaks free from within a blaze of riffs and thumping rhythms. It is irresistible toxic bait from which the band swings their hooks and infectious chorus to predictably irresistible effect. It is fair to say there is not many bands who can breed the virulence to their barbs and calls as the Phoenix threesome and no chance that the band will lose their lethal touch, as proven by the second track. Again there is a broader hard rock stroke to the song without removing itself from the masterful walls of psychobilly and horror rock.

     I Wanna Be a Vigilante continues the impressive start, its opening wind swept beach reminding a little of the classic Shangri-las’ song, is soon welcoming the croon of Bobby and Jimmy’s vocals and an emotively honed blaze of melodic punk spawned pop balladry with a definite Ramones like aspect to its expanding walls and lures. There is also an element which reminds of The Damned, a gothic glaze that only adds to the depths of the track’s drama. From its commanding presence the snarling bass of Jimmy welcomes in the next up At Night I Am the Warmest, a track which launches at the ears with a feverish appetite and energy once into its full charge. The rhythms from Davey thump and pummel with intimidation whilst grooves and hooks engage and seduce the senses, all held under the rein of the excellent vocal persuasion singularly and dually of Bobby and Jimmy. As epidemically commanding as a voracious fever, the track leaves appetite and emotions aflame before they are taken on another inflammatory ride by the sonic surges and hunger of Loner at Heart. The track burns and sears the sense with a predatory gait and intensity to its antagonism but tempers it with a delicious weave of melodic and addiction forging enterprise.

     Both Mindwarp and Danger leave lingering fingerprints on passions and memory, the first an almost brawling stomp of rock pop with horror rock provocation and its successor a rhythmically menacing encounter courted by sonic beauty and a cache of insidiously compelling barbed grooves and anthemic toxins. It is a brilliant trap living up to its name with ease. Its might is as good as matched by the tarmac smelling heat of Ride with the Living Dead, the song just another which sparks imagery and creative thoughts as powerfully as it does the ardour which only increases its rapture for the release.

    Only the Dead Know My Name moves in on the imagination next, another ambient setting the veil for a track which seduces with more swerves and curvy temptations than a lap dance and just as unhealthily captivating as reality fades away once up against the claws and grip of the song. It is a stylish and impossibly alluring dance with riffs and hooks instinctive protagonists to give full submission to, as are those unleashed by the brilliant I Ride Alone, though brilliance can be draped over every song on this exceptional inspiration as a trait. As with all the songs, there is a wider, richer colour and fermentation to the band’s songwriting and sound which simultaneously feeds all wants and desires for a Calabrese release whilst exceeding those needs with even greater challenging adventure.

   Closing with the rigorously catchy There’s an Evil Inside, a more singularly rockabilly cast treat, Born with a Scorpion’s Touch is a magnificent slab of resourceful and inventive rock ‘n’ roll, one unafraid to push its and the band’s formerly perceived boundaries, though they have never stood still in pressuring limits to be fair. We suggested that the album was possibly the pinnacle of the band’s creativity until now, listening to it again as this is written let us amend that by omitting possibly.

http://www.calabreserock.com/

10/10

RingMaster 17/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Mr. Strange – The Wonderful World Of Weird

Mr. Strange promo

Just to prove that insanity can be the sweetest potent seduction The Wonderful World Of Weird is here to exploit and uncover the darkest secrets of your mind whilst travelling the exotic and dangerous mental halls of its creator Mr. Strange. The former frontman of the UK’s greatest still to be truly discovered musical mutants The Shanklin Freak Show, though he is still healthily involved in the band, Mr. Strange voraciously stalks the senses and emotions with his fourth album. It is a release which soundtracks a bedlam of sound and adventure from a quite maniacal imagination.

The Isle Of Wight hailing songwriter/producer/vocalist/musician began his musical exploration as ‘The Mad DJ’ in 1998 before emerging as Mr. Strange in 2006. He founded circus rock/steampunk band The Shanklin Freak Show in 2003, guiding the band as songwriter and vocalist up until starting an extended break from performing live at the end of 2011. Alongside The Shanklin Freak Show albums including Act II – The Light Fantastic of 2009 and Welcome To The Show of 2011, a few other projects, and producing a couple of albums by Global Citizen, Mr. Strange unleashed his solo musical rapaciousness. Sounds From The Asylum came first to be followed in 2011 by the releases of The Fall and Freakshow, the last a 38 track retrospective album chronicling the songs that he wrote under the Shanklin Freak Show name  which included new, unreleased, and re-recorded or re-mixed tracks. Now the sanity puppeteer steps forward again with the magnificent temptation of The Wonderful World Of Weird, the finest Mr. Strange musical and mental examination yet.

With more flavours than a giant box of Jelly Bellies, the album is a dramatic and exhilarating flight through the darkest yet 555928_584429381594861_1695733989_nmagnetically and vibrantly compelling mind of the fictional character of its creator, employing everything and anything from industrial and steampunk to gothic rock and progressive metal, and that is just scratching the surface. With many of the tracks co-written with Gary ‘Stench’ Mason, The Shanklin Freak Show guitarist and provider of the majority of the guitar invention across the release, the album immediately lures in senses and imagination with the opening spoken narrative leading in the title track. It instantly intrigues as the scene setting premise strolls into the irresistible stomp of the song. Rhythms bounce around with a heavy mischievous gait matched by the electro and bass taunting whilst the guitar casts lines of sonic and melodic bait which is pure infectious toxicity. Best described as Dr. Jekyll meets ICP as early Marilyn Mansion helps Victor Frankenstein create aural life for them to toy with upon a set designed by Willy Wonka, the track is a delicious fascination and the first irresistible hint of the lunacy to come.

Creating the World is an expansion to the landscape previously crafted with a gentle psychedelic ambience washing the dawning scenery. It is a mesmeric, almost meditative soaring of harmonies and guitar elegance with rubs of dub and scratching teasing the riveting flight. The seducing continues right up to the doorway into the Psycho Surfing-A-Go-Go, one of the major pinnacles upon the album. Again as between numerous songs, the narrator lays down an invitation before the surf rock contagion drops its shoulders and swerves through the ear with irrepressible virulence. The grooves enslave the passions within seconds whilst the rhythmic dance only builds a cage for rapture to breed within as fire kissed keys add smouldering lures to the hot and epidemically addictive romp of sonic lava. The song is one of the best heard anywhere this year; a beach party in the mind of Hunter S. Thompson hosted by The Cramps and The Bomboras with Two Wounded Birds, B52s, and The Revillos adding extra entertainment.

From the dark sinister realm of The World’s Dark Heart, Mr. Strange lurks in the steampunk/industrial graced world of Metropolis 2984, a track which equally extends some classic metal and psyche sculpted imagination to its captivating persuasion. There is a swing and energy to the track which infects feet and emotions but equally an underlying dark tone beneath the celestially soaring harmonies which suggest more 1984 than Fritz Lang. Again the album and artist has the listener in a tight grip of pleasure and suasion, though it never slipped from the first breath of the album to be fair, which tightens with firstly Clockwork Man and explodes through Fire. The first of the two stalks the ears with the drama and theatre of a Tim Burton vision sculpted by the melodic ingenuity of Danny Elfman, though it has to be noted that every song despite the references sound like no one but Mr. Strange. This masterful manipulation of the senses and passions is soon left in the shade by its successor, the track another major peak in nothing but highs. The song is the closest to a Shanklin Freak Show tune that the album gets, its sexy tango pulsating mouth-watering foreplay for the beats and funk bred keys to add intoxicating spice to. There is something familiar to the hooks and stomp of the song aside from the earlier comparison, but it is indefinable and wholly galvanic.

Through the noir shadows of Don’t Stay (Where the Dead Ones Lay) with its jazz smooching funk lined temptation and the excellent gothic majesty of White Rabbit, the song reminding of The Damned at times, The Wonderful World Of Weird intensifies its resistance free toxin whilst the electro swing heart of Exile and the psychedelia soaked gothic tempting of Anti-Christ only spark further flames of lustful submission to the call of the release and its psychotic beauty. Every song is a wanton temptress in whatever guise and sonic clothing they frequent, and though admittedly hopes and expectations were of big things from Mr. Strange on past successes, the album left those assumptions insultingly short of the brilliant reality.

Completed by the classically crafted Journeys End, an enchanting epilogue if not to the levels of what came before, The Wonderful World Of Weird is pure certifiable aural manna. The CD version also has a track exclusive to its version, a very enjoyable cover of the Dr. Steel track We Decide. The able shows that there is only one Mr. Strange and his form of weird, one you can charter a sensational cruise through via our favourite album of the year, The Wonderful World Of Weird, that is if you are brave or eccentric enough.

http://www.mrstrangemedia.com/

10/10

RingMaster 28/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Lucifer Star Machine – Rock’n’Roll Martyrs

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lsm- pic by-tinakorhonen

Caked in the filth of life and the passion of instinctive rebellion, Rock ‘n’ Roll Martyrs the new album from UK antagonists Lucifer Star Machine is quite simply unbridled, uncompromising punk n roll. From first violent note and lashing syllable through to its last vicious squall on the ear, the twelve track assault is nothing less than dirty hunger driven confrontation, but a fusion of punk and heavy to hard rock which leaves satisfaction greedy and thrills a plenty. With their third album the band is presenting the sound and merciless energy they are renowned for but have taken it up many levels of contagion and impacting persuasion to unleash their most potent and enjoyable moment yet.

Hailing from London, Lucifer Star Machine has left a legacy of destructive pleasure in their wake from live performances and releases. From intimate sweat drenched halls to festival stages across over ten countries the quintet has challenged and ignited audiences alongside the major names of punk rock whilst from debut album Fire In Your Hole in 2005 and its successor Street Value Zero four years later the band has marked out a portion of genre territory for their furious sounds. Released via I Sold My Soul Media and recorded with producer Andy Brook, Rock’n’Roll Martyrs stirs up the air, senses, and appetite with a blaze of corruptive addictive sounds which plays like the anarchist offspring from a union between Generation X, Turbonegro, and  old school Misfits. It is arguably the most accessible album the band has unveiled and certainly the most unforgettable and incendiary.

The riot begins with Hold Me Down, a fire which offloads a crucial groove spiked with intensive hooks from its opening breath. Often leading and never far from the surface of the song, the lure is as insatiable as it is addictive and twists lustfully around the ear as riffs and rhythms flail the atmosphere and tight sonic melody soaked invitations spark into an anthemic chorus and group calls which further capture the imagination. It is a magnetic tempest of a start which breeds real hunger for what is to follow, especially with the charge and inventive flames sculpted by guitarists Dave Malice and Laughing Boy Fernandes.

The following Sulphur & Speed starts with a healthy glam rock teasing which would not be out of place in the seventies but soon chews it1235933_717631201587116_811714221_n up and transforms it with a Misfits/Danzig like intimidation. The vocals of band founder Tor Abyss snarl with contempt and force whilst his clean delivery only adds to a great alluring presence. The merger of all that melodic swagger and feisty intensive rhythmic, riff, and vocal abrasion leaves a potent persuasion which has feet and throat in unison more often than not.

Through the old school bred Hammer Me Dead with a more caustic hardcore delivery from Abyss raging over the excellent cantankerous rhythmic testing of new drummer Txutxo Krueger (formerly of Last Resort and Total Chaos), and the irrepressible fist pumping anthem Death Or Jail, the album continues to ignite the passions and an instinctive fight within thoughts whilst the initially Clash like For Reasons Unknown, where the bass of Crusty Chlamydia coaxes in the imagination with ease, explodes another level of satisfaction and temptation upon Rock’n’Roll Martyrs. Evolving into a virulently catchy and dramatic treat, the song has elements of The Damned and New York Dolls to its stomp adding further adventure and variety to the album and pleasure.

Both Poison Arrows and Dead And Gone leave a pleasing taste on the palate, if without managing to reach the heights of the previous tracks. The first has a more restrained and poised gait though it does not lose any energy and impact in relation to its predecessors whilst its successor is a undefined smog of garage rock with a scuzz lining that intrigues and satisfies yet like the song before lies pale against the stronger elements of the release. Dark Water also lacks the spark which made the first half of the album so magnificently imposing and commanding but nevertheless has attention and appetite eager to consume and join its mission to provide honest ear barracking rock ‘n’ roll.

The malevolent Cancer Daddy pushes things back towards the thrilling peaks of the album, the song another breath stealing storm of anthemic bait and enterprise making way for the sinister charms of The Curse. It is a more than decent encounter which makes a good appetiser for the tempestuous excellence of Rotten To The Core, a furnace of middle finger attitude and punk confrontation which in its one minute twenty lays waste to the senses and emotions showing the emerging young punk bands how it is done. Explosive and bloody-minded, the track is another pinnacle to the album.

The closing I Hate You Forever leaves one final punk infested fight upon the ear, the Sex Pistols tinted riffs and hooks wrapped in a hard rock assault with rapacious sinews. It is a strong end but does not steal memories from the song before and earlier triumphs ultimately. Lucifer Star Machine offers punk ‘n’ roll at its dirtiest accomplished and weighty best, and Rock’n’Roll Martyrs their pugnacious call to arms.

http://www.luciferstarmachine.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 27/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ruts DC – Rhythm Collision Volume 2

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For a great many of us the best punk band in the history of the genre was The Ruts, a band which fused raw street life and sound with addictive bass heavy dub and reggae. From day one they were a formidable and inciting presence cut short by the passing of frontman Malcolm Owen in 1980 aged 26. The history of the band up to that point is well documented within punk and rock, the music still igniting fires and lingering with relish and provocation year after year in many ways, and the same can be said of the band since, though the release of the new Ruts DC album Rhythm Collision Volume 2 equally highlights the large gap in music left by their absence for the last three decades.

Absence is a little misleading though as drummer Dave Ruffy and bassist John ‘Segs’ Jennings have certainly continued to inspire and leave a strong imprint on music, both playing live in numerous bands and with their impressive production skills which has led the pair to be tagged as Europe’s Sly and Robbie. It has been a long period for time to bare since the remaining members of The Ruts after the tragic death of Owen, released the albums Animal Now and Rhythm Collision as Ruts DC in 1981 and ’82 respectively, and an even bigger miss for music once Jennings, Ruffy, and guitarist Paul Fox called it a day a year after their last album. Their reunion in 2007 to play a benefit gig for Fox who had been diagnosed with lung cancer, and sadly died later the same year, ignited all the dormant passions with the show, an event which saw the likes of The Damned, Misty In Roots, UK Subs, Tom Robinson, and John Otway supporting and Henry Rollins taking over the vocal presence for the band, being declared as “the best punk gig of all time” by the Times.

This led to the band to reuniting with Neil Fraser aka Mad Professor who worked with the band on Rhythm Collision in the studio for an impromptu session which then led to another day of guest vocalists and musicians bringing their talent to the now vibrant project. Ruffy has said about the recording, “The album really came together by a series of fortunate events, before we knew it we were back in the studio for The Great Day of Vocals – Segs, Ngoni (aka Delbert McKay, Misty’s guitarist/vocalist), gifted lyricist Aynzli Jones, Brixton lyrics man Tenor Fly and Rob Love, frontman with Alabama 3 all turned up, tuned in and came up with the goods. Nothing was pre-conceived or planned.

Due to hectic schedules the proposed plan to get Mad Professor to do the final mix was an unavailable option the pair turned to Brighton producer Prince Fatty aka Mark Pelanconi. With everything in place and as it emerges beautifully finished, Rhythm Collision Vol.2 stepped forward and without any hesitation can be announced as one of the finest most exhilarating albums to grace and ignite the passions in a long time. The rhythmic heart of the album shows Ruffy and Jennings have lost none of their majestic power and provocative resonance whilst creatively they lay bench mark after benchmark for bands and artists to be inspired by within reggae, dub, punk, music.

As soon as the brilliant Mighty Soldier idles up to the ear with a warm ambience and joyful tease there is a fire smouldering within the ear, the throaty bass lure vibrant yet shadowed whilst the vocals of Tenor Fly shape thoughts with style and slight mischief within the seductive harmonies. It is a mild paced romp, a pulsating evocative persistence which leaves feet, voice, and passion eager to add their collaboration to the sultry dance, the brass flames bringing further irresistible temptation. Throughout the space synths of Steve Jones tease and add sweet devilry to the encounter whilst the keys of Seamus Beaghen provide a caress and firm push which leads to greater ardour for the stunning start whilst the guitar niggle is incendiary within the whole impressive blaze.

Through the likes of the sky travelling soundscape of Mix Up featuring Molara Awen on vocals, the white hot persuasion of One Step and Smiling Culture, the release grips tighter on the senses and emotions. The second of the trio resonates through thought and synapse whilst its touch is like a seductive walk over hot coals, a track to be taken gently, devoured thoughtfully, and enjoyed addictively, whilst the third, a song based on the death of Smiley Culture, is a deeply evocative and beautifully sweltering fascination of intent and sound with the vocals of Aynzli Jones and Rob Love riveting. At this point the album has already left a full rapture for its presence at play and goes on to only reinforce its potency with each track.

The oscillating atmosphere of Technology with its impossibly contagious brass call and the bone trembling sirenesque bass inducement of Jennings, which pushes the boundaries of Sun & The Stars to their delicious limits, evoke further imagination and hunger whilst the mesmeric caress of London Dub featuring Smokes (William Simon) is instant captivation, a welcome submergence in a soak of roasting ambience and equally fervid breath.

For personal tastes the first half of the album steals the show with its insatiable energy and invention but as the songs just mentioned and the likes of the thrilling dub heaven Heavyweight Style and The Road unveil their imperious charms there is no loss of lustful hunger and pleasure across the whole album. Featuring the blissful voice of Jessica Mcintyre, The Road is another glorious torrid slice of beauty veined by pulsating shadows from that irresistible bass lure of Jennings, a final triumph on the album though the two dub-core mixes of Technology and Soldier which do finally close the album are no fillers either.

With further contributions from guitarist Leigh Heggarty and vocals from Ngoni Mukai and Aurora Dawn in the mixing pot, the Sosumi Recording released Rhythm Collision Volume 2 is an unbridled treat, a collaboration extraordinaire which leaves the body, soul, and world a better place.

www.theruts.co.uk

10/10

RingMaster 13/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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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

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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Forever snarling: an interview with Charlie Harper of the UK Subs

Charlie Harper

Charlie Harper

Since its emergence in the latter part of the seventies punk rock has spawn some of the most influential and impacting bands which no one more essential to fans and the genre than the UK Subs. From 1976 the band and its founder Charlie Harper has been a driving force for subsequent bands and the genre itself over the years and as their new album XXIV shows, the band has not lost any of its strength and hunger to stretch themselves and punk, in fact they just get better and more inspiring, an incredible feat for a band well into its fourth decade, though its seeds goes back further. The RingMaster Review had the pleasure of finding out more about how the band, its ability to stay so essential, and about their twenty fourth album XXIV, by having the distinct honour of firing questions at Charlie… and this is what he revealed….

Hello Charlie and a big welcome to the site, many thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

I have to start with the obvious question of how has the band retained its hunger over the past forty years or so and as your new album shows, equally stayed fresh too?

Well…thank you Ring Master…we just have this will to have fun with the music and make it as exciting as we can.

I am aware of keeping it “fresh” but it’s not something that we work on, I suppose it’s because we spend so much time in clubs where I listen to all the other bands on the bill and I listen to what they do wrong, as well as the good stuff. We have done so many LPs  but we are just beginning  to use a studio, we also have a 5th member by the name of producer Pat Collier, we have worked together,  mostly on than off for so long now.

As we mentioned it let us talk about your excellent new album XXIV. I am sure you will not disagree that is your finest work in quite a while but what for you makes it stand out above your other strong releases over the past years?

It has more power than the previous records; I left a clue in the last track of “work in progress” in Robot Age.

There is a rich eclectic flavouring across the album brought with the expected UK Subs passion. Has this use of other musical influences been brewing up in the band and its songwriting for a while now or something you sat down and purposely filtered into XXIV?

No, there is nothing planned. We will write a bunch of songs, say 6 each and just pick the ones we think are best, this time Alvin was the first to come up with a couple of gems and set the bar very high, it was a big challenge.

There are some fine punk bands and releases around right now in the UK but arguably few seem to have the thought or want to explore 4408024and use the resources available through other sounds within rock n roll to vary their sound as you have shown upon XXIV. Do you feel the album could be a catalyst which might get some genre related bands to rethink their musical thoughts?

I don’t think so, among our contemporary’s, were bands like the Damned and Stranglers, it was all about songs. Bands now seem to go for style, same beat same sound same growl but hey…they said that about Elvis.

The album is a twenty six track feast of nothing but impressive and impacting songs. It is hard to think of many albums with such a number of songs where all have such strength and richly rewarding presences, the lack of ‘fillers’ refreshing; at what point did you personally realise how potent the album would be?

Potent is a good word and music is a powerful medium. I learned a few trick with those three chords, the killer is the one, very few people are aware of, because it’s invisible but whether you play live or on record, the first chord on a follow up song, has to be compatible with the last chord of the previous song, if it’s a good match, it will give you a high, if it’s a bad match, it can bring you down. We have to go with this, as our songs are in rapid succession.

 Is there any predominant theme or emotion which has fuelled or shaped the album?

Yes there was. It was the present conflict of the new and ancient world.

The Icon with the machine gun (baby Jesus gone) is a clue

You are a band which obviously writes for your own satisfaction and creative invention, so does it frustrate you when other bands within punk rock especially, create their sound and then almost use it as a uniform across each subsequent release thereafter, or do you only concentrate on the band and its imagination within the genre?

Well…take a band like Crass, they took that ridged uniformity to the limit but they were great. It takes all sorts and yes we just go on our merry way. I do encourage young bands to be different and find their own way

Do you think some bands underestimate their audience’s and their own adventure in taste and need, carry a fear to try new things?

Many do but there is a new batch of young musicians who are a little more brave, and that is pretty key, you have to have a musical bravery

The UK Subs seems to have found a new leash of life in many ways over the past two albums, the new release evolving the first ‘new breath’ found on Work In Progress. Is that a fair comment?

When Jet joined the band and we did the first album (Work in Progress) with him, it really felt like a new beginning and along with our not so ‘secret weapon’ Jamie, who contributed so much and Alvin coming to fruition as a major song writing force, we have the feeling that we are only just starting but that is very true of the acoustic side, we are absolute beginners.

Has this new energy to call it something, with no disrespect to past members, come in some way from the stability of the current line-up of the band since I believe 2005?

Be careful, when anyone talks of stability, things seem to happen. One drummer had a big tattoo across his chest, it said ‘Loyalty’, he left the band soon after but he has been with his present band for ten years now.

uk subs2With the whole band having involvement in the core songwriting of different songs in different combinations, how does the songwriting process generally happen within the band?

Your questions are much too serious and prodding, I’m giving away all our little secrets. Well…it’s a nightmare, I was supposed to write all the lyrics but as I said before, Alvin is doing some major work, which gives me a breather. I tell the guys to keep it simple but they don’t do simple. I told them write one song for the next album, a Jet song and a Jamie song, they will struggle but I will find a way, Jamie is the best singer in the band but he is very shy, Billy Idol was just the same. Jet will sing in Japanese, some of that Japanese hardcore is amazing.

One suspects that there is an open approach within the band to ideas from the other members not involved in the original creation of particular songs as they evolve for recording?

One is right, you should pop down for the next recording your input would be much appreciated. I always look for somewhere to stick some backing vocals (B/Vs)then Jamie goes out to the mike and just does magic, mine are a bit oi.

The album also includes twelve acoustic tracks which I must admit took us by surprise in the best way possible; when did the idea to do this emerge or was it the intent from day one?

The acoustic idea was around a while, we were all writing songs but it was going to be another release but Captain Oi asked if we could put it on this release as an extra. We were not quite ready for that but we did our best. As I said we are just beginners but we write most songs on acoustic guitars, and we did the CD within the day.

Was the acoustic idea something to challenge yourselves or your audience more do you think in hindsight?

Definitely a challenge for us…I’ve played a couple of Subs unplugged, they go down very well but again, Jamie’s songs were a big challenge, Alvin took one and I took on the other, Alvin came out with the very spooky “Confessions…” I had just got back from Oslo where I was at the Puberty exhibition by Edward Munch; that was my inspiration for “Metamorphosis”.

What was the reaction towards the acoustic tracks even before people heard them and now after the release?

So far the reaction has been good, we have always dabbled with acoustics so it’s not so very new, we use the old sea shanty “Drunken Sailor” as an intro, it has a raging fiddle played by Simon Some Dog and the Subs.

Will you be taking this approach and tracks into a live setting at some point?

We were playing “Detox” on the last tour; we hope to add the “Coalition Government Blues” song and hopefully a few more.

Is there any particular moment on XXIV which gives you the strongest tingle of satisfaction?

There are a lot more on this album than most others we’ve done. As I said before, the B/Vs are my babies, as far as I am concerned , Jamie really nails them down, then there is the outro of “Black Power Salute”, the outro of “Implosion”, the noise guitars on “Failed State”, and some intro’s that I don’t remember right now and it’s the wee hours, I can’t play it.

The next day…

And anything you would have changed or tried differently now looking back?

That’s hard to say, we never get enough time in the studio and like it like that. Its nose down to the grind and making sure that we all have their stuff worked out before we walk in that day but the best laid plans… always go tits up. I hate things over produced but the early stuff is pretty horrific, right up to ‘Endangered Species’.

Yourself Charlie, and the band was inspired by The Damned back in 1976 but are there any bands or artists now who have impacted onGroupshot 3-2 Lo-res your new ideas in regard to songwriting or sound?

I’ve always loved the Ramones, that simple back beat, the sound of the distorted Mosrite, Joe’s vocals, perfect.

I’ve always wished to write like Iggy but my style is completely different, it’s easier to write your own than try to work out somebody else’s stuff.

What is on the near horizon live shows wise of the band?

A UK tour in May. We will add more songs from the new album but no less old ones.

Once more very big thanks for sparing time for us. Any last thoughts you would like to share?

Just a big thank you, to all our followers and fans. We really do appreciate the support over so many years.

We have always found time to have a chat over a pint and some have become very close friends.

If there are any budding musicians out there…Go for it! There are ups and downs but it’s worth every mile.

And lastly once the band has released an album for every letter of the alphabet what comes next….

Hey let us get there first but we will still be on the road. I will just be too old to remember new songs.

Read the review of XXIV @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/u-k-subs-xxiv/

Interviewed by Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 20/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Shriek: Self Titled

Shriekgloss

The undoubted bastard sons of one unholy union between Misfits, The Ramones, and Calabrese with The Damned looking on with hellish mischief, US horror punk band Shriek is a band where once bitten by their insidiously infectious sounds a feverish addiction is inevitable. Such is the potent reaction after being devoured by their self-titled album, a release giving a fresh snarl and contagion to recognisable yet fully invigorating rampages of horror.

From Cincinnati, Shriek formed in December of 1998 to follow The Vladimirs as the only successful horror rock band in the city. As the band built a formidable reputation for their blistering live performances and riotous death drenched songs the band went from being a trio to expanding into a quartet and then back again whilst continuing to build a devoted fanbase and recognition in the state and further afield. A brief hiatus occurred in 2004 before the band returned a year later with more changes before their most recognisable line-up of band founders vocalist/guitarist Greg Gallows and bassist Ryan Stone alongside guitarist Josh Thompson and drummer Steve Cox emerged in 2008. The departure of Stone in 2012 was the last change and in many ways a new era for the band with Sean Sleaze coming in on bass whilst Derek Dargum also joined to add his guitar skills.

The intro Enter At Your Own Risk opens the door to the album with expected menace and foreboding , its slow crawl guiding one 542617_372689272812738_338466580_ninto the shadows and hungry energy of Corrupting the Youth (with the Truth). An urgent punk riot of thumping rhythms and enjoyably grazing riffs, the track is an immediate anthemic lure with the vocals of Gallows an addition temptation to join the cause vocally and with feisty limbs.

From the irrepressible start tracks like the stomping Walk Again and the ravenous Vampire with its classic metal whispers grip the passions with their arguably traditional horror punk claws whilst the psychobilly seduction brought by Back from the Dead enflames the ear to spark an additional ardour with its melodic flames and slightly lumbering gait. It would be honest to say the album does not offer anything openly new for the genre but there is no doubting its accomplished and impressive sadistic charms which sets the band apart from the majority of horror punk bands.

Into its stride the album continues to impress and gets better deeper in to its mausoleum of fun you go. As thrilling and inviting as the release is heading into the core of its heart it reveals with relish even greater triumphs in its latter half starting with My Girlfriend’s a Zombie. With the guitars tightly reining in their energy to offer a fire of sonic compulsion and the drums thrashing the ear with enthusiasm the track is another catchy temptation for the listener to add their companionship in voice and limbs to, though to be fair each and every song achieves that submission. The song is immediately followed by the best song on the album, Lycanthrope. The song is immense, a storm of savage riffs and equally threatening rhythms undermined by the sheer addictive call of the chorus. Combined it is a virulent persuasion which rivals anything the Misfits have offered over the past couple of decades.

Freddy’s Dead has a stronger punk voice to its malignant scourge which for its brief minute and a half coursing through the ears with a predatory breath whilst the necromantic love song Closed Casket Romantic is a smouldering blaze upon the senses with an uncomplicated decayed emotive caress. Both tracks add further pinnacles to the deeply enjoyable release soon accompanied by the enthralling bruising enticement of Haunted House to leave one in a flush of ardour and invigorated satisfaction.

The band saves one final impressive high with Night of The Creeps, a track which sounds like Danzig in an invasion of the soul with Blitzkid and Necromantix. It is a rabid coating of abrasive energy and once more submits an irresistible entrapment of the senses and heart through its anthemic chorus and serpentine hooks.

Shriek is a band which certainly through their album, does not take long to recruit the passions to a long term agreement with their rampant sounds. The release is one of the most exciting and pleasing horror punk releases in a long time and the band a sure soundtrack to your richest nightmares.

Website               http://shriekcreeps.com

https://www.facebook.com/shriekhorror

8.5/10

RingMaster 10/03/2013

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Fear God – God Bless The World, Not Just America

FearGod_Jutras

Continuing their knack at bringing prime punk rock in many guises to the world, Thumper Punk Records have done it again with God Bless The World, Not Just America the debut album from US band Fear God. A faith driven collection of songs which will spark the appetite of any old school punks no matter their beliefs, the album is a stirring and infectious slice of sincere and rowdy punk riots.

The solo project of veteran Orange County punk rocker Doug Jutras, the album is the result of its creator making a change in his life and finding a focus to all things through faith. Having struggled and recovered from severe back injuries and the challenges brought by his punk lifestyle from his early teens, Jutras found his clarity in life and wrote the album to hopefully inspire and give hope to others. Taking influences from the likes of Social Distortion, TSOL, The Damned, and Call to Glory, he has brought forth an album which works with the theme of the title whilst unleashing a dozen brawls of punk rock to satisfy the hearts of old school punk fans. As with a great many faith driven releases the constant heart of the album does inspire a little resistance to those with different thoughts and inspirations but God Bless The World, Not Just America does not preach and offers musically plenty to bypass that aspect and for like-minded souls and those open to the ideas and possibilities portrayed, it is a release which is likely to inspire as the artist hopes.

The raw energy of He Forgets rampages through the ear first, the great infectious bassline and thumping riffs a ready and hungry companion to the coarse riffs and catchy vocals. It is punk at its simplest and best offered with extra flair and invention, with especially the bass a magnet for the senses and primal rhythms inside. The great four string lure continues into the following Love God, the instrument and song recalling the early days of The Damned, Suburban Studs, and Circle Jerks. It is an impressive start which hardly fluctuates in quality and appeal as the album continues.

The release offers up some good surprises too amongst the more expected pink bruises starting with What Am I Doing Here, a track with Jutras narrating his thoughts and experiences through spoken word upon an emotive and suggested musical ambience. The song switches to a quick fire onslaught reminding of early Skids and then switches across the rest of the track with skill and pleasing imagination. It is an intriguing and evocative track as is the equally provoking Kelly Testimony. Consisting of a retelling of her life by a female voice over acoustic and again emotive sounds, the song is a tale which shocks and reassures. It is a clever and effective song which all can draw something from whatever their circumstances in the past and now.

Tracks like Devil’s Mark with its Misfits/Dead Kennedys breath and the garage blues lilted Can’t U Be There please and light nostalgic emotions with their uncomplicated and enjoyable sounds but the highest pinnacles come with God Bless the World and Closer He Gets to You. The first is a contagious pop punk graced slice of melodic rock with a female coaxing assisting Jutras which brings essences of Honey Bane to the pop dance of the track whilst the second is a fiery abrasion of harsh riffs and stirring intent offering a mix of Social Distortion and Angelic Upstarts and giving further variation to the album as a whole. This diversity brings a breath of different times and flavours from the genre which is as refreshing as the songs itself and adds to the overwhelming pleasure of the album.

The grazing energy of Dying World is another treat before the album closes what is a pleasing and energising encounter. If good original punk has been in short supply for your ears and heart lately then Fear God is the perfect tonic to restore your faith in punk rock and maybe more besides.

http://www.thumperpunkrecords.com/

RingMaster 09/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Philtrum: Rough Days EP

3630419269-1

Making good punk rock is not rocket science though to make sounds which stay with the listener and inspire real reactions takes more accomplished imagination, something which UK band Philtrum does with ease. Following on from their well-received Needs Must EP earlier in the year, the Maidstone based trio have upped the game with their new release, the Rough Days EP. Consisting of four raw and bruising confrontations, the release offers punk rock in its barest and most compulsive form. It may not be ground breaking but it is a very effective and pleasing riot.

With the current and stable line-up of vocalist/guitarist Paul P, bassist Gavyn, and drummer James in place from the tail end of 2011, Philtrum has found an impetus and concentrated core sound which has brought them to the fore of attention. The new release also sees a step forward from its predecessor with tighter hooks and stronger crafted structures to the songs without losing their instinctive and barracking energy. It shows a band at its height of enthusiasm for what it does locked in with a blossoming creativity to honest catchy sounds.

Recorded with Greg Webster of Houdini at Sunlight Studios, Gillingham, the EP charges at the ear from the off with The Moment. Fiery guitars and thumping riffs begins the in the face encounter with the bass of Gavyn laying down riffs full of contempt to match the challenging vocals of Paul P. It is a classic approach veined with scorching sonic guitar flames and infectious dual anthemic shouts from guitarist and bassist. Simple and aggressive it is a formidable and deeply satisfying offering of punk rock brought just how it used to be back in the day.

The great beginning is continued with National, a track not too far in structure from the opener but with its own individual contagious insurgence of riffs, inciting vocals, and brawling energy. It is a song you could imagine the likes of The Damned, The Dead Boys, or Suburban Studs letting loose upon their fans, but soaked with a spite and attitude of the now. If you are not joining in by the end of the first round of choruses then punk just does not do it for you, the song an insatiable abrasion which is impossible to resist and best song on the release.

Switchstance and Gets No Better completes the quartet of cracking agitated punk fusions, the two tracks bringing different spices from the genre into their forceful charges. The first is a storm of barbed rhythms and consuming sonic guitar rubs which from its combative initial contact pulls out sing-a-long lures and a pop/ska swagger to leave passions grinning. It is not complicated or going to reinvent the music world but what true punk does, it just lights up the heart which is all one truly asks. The second is an uncompromising and quarrelsome slap around the head which without having the strong appeal of the other three still gets the job done of leaving a satisfying engagement for the listener.

With the Rough Days EP, Philtrum has continued their evolution into a band which is one to keep in firm view and the purveyors of honest original punk rock.

https://www.facebook.com/Philtrumpunk

RingMaster 14/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright