Clouder- Sister Raygun

 

Clouder

     It is fair to say that 2013 was a big year for the re-emerging Clouder, the US band finding a spark to reignite their appetite and adventure after a hiatus which left the future of the band in doubt. With the release of their second album Sister Raygun, they and we can expect this year to not only follow the last in success but push the band into greater wider spotlights. Pulsating and brawling with the band’s unique mix of garage and psyche rock driven by punk/power pop energy, the band‘s new release offers a tantalising bait which is contagiously irresistible and irrepressibly belligerent, a glorious mix in the hands of sonic devils like Clouder.

        The Brooklyn quintet took little time to provoke passions from their coming together in 2011, playing over 100 shows around New York City in their first year building and earning a reputation for their fiery live performances. Debut album Freakin’ Out the Squares was uncaged the following year, again to strong praise and reactions from fans and media alike. Then came the eight month hiatus full of personal trials and tribulations for some members which almost brought the band to an end and saw vocalist Eric Gilstrap move to North Carolina. Thankfully the band resumed to writing new songs and spending months sending back and forth rough demos to each other as a new release became flesh. Uniting with producer Jeff Berner (Psychic TV, Heliotropes, Dead Stars) in his Brooklyn studio, the band emerged with Sister Raygun, a release which worries, solicits, and pleasures the imagination like a demonic temptress.

     Released via Fleeting Youth Records, Sister Raygun lays an initial stroke of guitar upon the ear as opener Dancing in the Album CoverProving Grounds moves into view. Its reserved first touch is aided by a rhythmic tempting before the band explodes into a potent stomp of guitar sculpted enterprise guided by the distinct cause yet magnetic vocal tones of Gilstrap. With a sixties punk throat to the voice of the guitars and a raw edge to the sonic suasion, the track provides an enticing entrance into the release, a compelling doorway which is impossible to resist crossing the threshold of.

    The following Lost in Reverie equally shows no restraint in opening up its broad rhythmic shoulders and energetic stroll. There is a swagger to the song from the off, one which soon welcomes the darker delivery of Gilstrap within the acidic invention of guitarists Steve Spinella and Matt Revie. Into its dramatic stride with further deliciously teasing imagination from the guitars and a moody tempting from bassist Max Goransson, the song intimidates and seduces with equal potency. The sound of Clouder is certainly distinct to themselves but imagine a mix of Damn Vandals and early The Horrors with at times the irreverence and haunting howls of Pil and you get an inkling of the menace and beauty on offer.

    The excellent feisty pop call of Lady Retrograde unveils an infectious vivacity and magnetic garage rock canter to continue the impressive and appetite raising stomp of the album, whilst its successors Psychic Cities and The Ballad of Sister Raygun provide further individual bait to bring a greedy hunger to. The first of the pair rides in on another highly persuasive enslaving of the emotions by drummer Jim Wood, his thumping rolling rhythms the prelude to a melancholic but lively web of melodic and sonic endeavour beneath the John Lydon reminding effect wrapped vocals of Gilstrap. There is a mystique and scuzziness to the track which equally lures in the imagination, a psychotic edge which only accentuates the bait of the song whilst its successor slowly walks openly and hauntingly through a shadowed inventive balladry, both songs leaving a lingering inventive suasion.

    Phantom Girl unleashes a new level of addiction forging contagion next, the punk bred garage rocker brewing up essences of past decades into a politely dirty schizophrenic drama. Again The Horrors meets Pil come to mind within the fresh and original character of the sonic storm with just a touch of Spizzenergi to the vocal squall and insatiable hooks. Its glory is swiftly succeeded by All the Royal Years Are Gone, another unpolished treat of dirt clad rock ‘n’ roll with the snarl and honesty to antagonise and ignite the senses.

   The mesmeric black toned Damaged Sun comes next, its sonic acridity aligned to a shadow spawned, discord filtered atmosphere. There is a Mary & Jesus Chain glaze to the track whilst an Inspiral Carpets/Birdland blend seems to infect the melodic and vocal traits of the song; a feel which less openly also spices up the transfixing and enthralling Western Wastelands. Though neither song stands out as forcibly as others on Sister Raygun both engage and satisfy thoroughly though they are not helped by standing right next to the brilliant overpowering closing song, Doldrums. Armed with a groove which simply steals attention and passions from its opening lure upon the ears, the track romps and commands with a swagger and relish that cannot fail to overwhelm the imagination like an epidemic, the repetitive hook an irresistible focus of all the craft and energy at play within band and song.

     Sister Raygun is one of those shot in the arm releases which may not come to be called a classic but has the ability to inspire a genre to explore itself further, though Clouder will be during that anyway if they can hopefully avoid any more breaks in their conquering of garage and psyche rock.

www.facebook.com/ClouderNY

http://fleetingyouthrecords.bandcamp.com/album/clouder-sister-raygun

9/10

RingMaster 05/03/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Black Black – One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger

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Creating a sound with a schizophrenic edge to its virulently contagious imagination, The Black Black has instantly thrust themselves to the heart of the fullest attention with their new double7″ single, One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger. It is a compelling, ridiculously infectious three track excuse for the passions to show some lust and a release which makes the Brooklyn trio a band to keep a close eager eye upon.

Formed in 2011, The Black Black brew up a distressed dance of sound bred from a mix of post punk, psyche rock, and punk. Latched to grooves which are epidemically riveting, it all combines for a presence which leaves a hungry appetite in the ear and passions.  Released via Money Fire Records, the single takes little time in stealing the fullest focus and appetite for their offering, the opening bass growl and similarly voiced guitar of first song You’re A Danger an immediate rich temptation which gnaws at and snatches the listener’s focus from anything else in the vicinity. Once settled in an invitingly repetitive but irresistible swagger a melodic guitar starts to entangle its sonic tendrils gently around the core of the song, its enticement matched by great harmonious vocals. The track is like a mix of Baddies and The Passions with a spice of The Gaa Gaas and Scars added for extra invention and as it continues in its romp with restraint but open energy and fevered passion, the song sculpts a highly potent declaration veined with discord kissed enterprise and melodic bewitchment, hypnotic persistence and sonic causticity also as equally ripe and convincing.

One Blunt Death Party continues the scintillating start; again a raw gnarly opening softening up the ears before sonic scythes of guitar and vocal intimidation parade their welcome barracking. As with its predecessor the rhythmic probing is inevitably thrilling, predation soaked beats and bass riffs alone caging and enslaving thoughts and hunger whilst making the perfect canvas for the guitar to unveil its mouthwatering narrative. The song has a garage punk like glaze to its sound at times, a raw and scuzzy surface which is pierced and punctuated by the imagination of the songwriting, a complete lure which offers thoughts of the likes of Wire and The Strokes a place to make suggestions. Like the first the track it is impossibly infectious, totally commanding in its presence, and simply an ingenious suasion.

Closing up the release is Cleptogina, a track which steals the show even against the brilliance of the first two slices of sonic alchemy. Taking that previously mentioned schizophrenic air into full on aural bedlam, the song is a spiteful but wholly enthralling web of rhythmic lashing and sonic acidity, again discord and uncompromising adventure raging within a honed vitriolic blaze of fury that mutually seduces and withers the senses. There are whispers of Alien Sex Fiend and early The Horrors spiking throughout the ferocious engagement but also from within the tempest a corrupted melodic acerbity which toys with the ears and brings excited hues to the aural rabidity. The closer shows the depth of the songwriting and along with the other two songs stretches the promise and further possibilities within The Black Black to highly anticipated climes.

The One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger single is an exceptional base for one exciting band and an introduction which you suspect will make for a great many The Black Black a new plaything for their passions.

http://theblackblack.bandnada.com/

https://www.facebook.com/theblackblack.nyc

10/10

RingMaster 01/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Felines – Daddy Walk

Within the musical shadows of Denmark there is a gem of an all-girl garage punk band called The Felines lying in wait and with the release of their debut single Daddy Walk August 6th, ready to step out into a broader and fuller spotlight. Their four track release is a thrilling and irrepressible feast of garage rock/punk, an instinctive stomp across the senses showing where the real girl power in music is thriving.

The trio from Copenhagen of lead vocalist/bassist Asta Bjerre, guitarist/ vocalist Ditte Melgaard, and drummer/ vocalist Mei Long Bao, formed in 2010 to as their bio states, ‘cause a bit of a stir’ at the Musicology Studies department at the University of Copenhagen. Inspired by their mutual love of 60’s garage rock, 77s punk rock, surf and 80’s revival girl groups, the direction of their sound was never a debate. Creating a garage punk to trigger inner primal urges and soaked in insatiable musical wickedness their sound has seen them since uniting leave stages alongside the likes of David Peter and the Wilde Sect, Thee Gravemen, and Black Magic Six, dripping in affection.

October of last year saw the girls record the four songs which make up Daddy Walk at the Grave Cave Studio in Malmö. Using an old school 8 track tape recorder to grab the raw nostalgic sixties sound the tracks combine to make a release which plays with a vintage air and modern freshness. Released as a 7” EP via Spanish record label Hey Girl! Records and digitally through Dirty Water Records, the single is pure and simple uncluttered bliss.

The song Daddy Walk immediately engages the ear with pumping riffs and beats accompanied by sweltering harmonies and unbridled energy. Strolling with a mischievous swagger and bursts of fiery guitar play the track is a wholly infectious slice of simple and inspiring rock n roll. With an element of The 5.6.7.8’s and The Ghastly Ones about it the song leaves one grinning from ear to ear and ready to further unleash ones inner mojo.

The A side of the release is completed by instrumental The Sneak, a track with a graveyard ambience and shadowed heart. It plays like a beach party between a field of tombstones with the dark pulsating bass tones and mesmeric sinister sonic fingerings raising a sinister and invitational ambience.

The flip side consists of Boots and Black Joe, two more songs to ignite the fullest pleasure. The first erupts with rampant rhythms from towering drums and enthused riffs ready to tease and whip the senses into a frenzied state. With vanity over relationships treated to The Felines touch, all songs of the band touching everyday life and elements with a style as simple and honest as the sounds, it continues the sheer contagion for the heart brought by the release.

Final song Black Joe brings a blend of early days The Horrors and The Pleasure Seekers plus again more than a flavour of the previously mentioned Japanese band. It has a melodic kiss which sends tingle down the spine and surging electric bursts to ignite further passions. Vocally it was by this song that the similarity to Fay Fife of The Revillos dawned on the thoughts with the cheeky and fun loving side of both bands also more than evident.

Daddy Walk is a brilliant introduction to a wonderful band and with their unique take on all eras of garage rock and punk we will be hearing and seeing a lot more of The Felines, thankfully.

https://www.facebook.com/thefelines

RingMaster 29/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Thee Vicars: I Wanna Be Your Vicar

It has to be said that whenever there is a new release on Dirty Water Records there is always a twinge of anticipation and excitement, rarely has there been deep disappointment in the quality of the music from their bands. The same applies to the new album from Thee Vicars, a release that thrills and excites whilst lifting emotions no matter their starting point to a height of grinning satisfaction. Following up their excellent single Everyday, the band from Bury St Edmunds, England have released a collection of unfettered and eagerly pleasing garage rock, mod, 60’s beat, and R&B rock tunes that light up the emotions and heart.  Simple, direct and hell of a lot of fun I Wanna Be Your Vicar is nothing but a piece of irresistible pleasure.

I Wanna Be Your Vicar is the third album from the band which is now down to the trio of Mike Whittaker (bass/vocals), Chris Langeland (guitar/vocals), and Alex De Renzi (drums). Released May 7th the album sees the band even tighter than ever and still fuelled by their irrepressible garage sounds but with an even more varied and flavoursome result. To date the band has shared stages with the likes of The Horrors, Black Lips, and The Mummies to name three and it is obvious they have absorbed and twisted the inspiration gained into their own extra spices as shown on the album. The music of the band is not the height of originality though there are not many that bring the vibrant mix this band do, but it is completely and deeply captivating and infectious.

The release opens with the playful and feisty title track, its mischievous beckoning charm an instant connection for the ear and beyond. The guitar of Langeland jangles and slices through the ear with sharp skill whilst the bass of Whittaker is a boisterous yet almost shy presence alongside. Leading it all to bear is the excellent beats of De Renzi, her rhythms direct and enthused but tight within the compact structure here and of each song perfectly. With the added keys laying their impulsive fingers and palms on the song it is an opening gem that only raises the enthusiasm for what is to follow.

Next up I’ll Be Gone raise things another level with its sparkling sixties punk flow, each note and word carrying a wink and a smile that only inspires further emotional applause and adoration. The infection really started from the first note of the release but as this and each subsequent songs swaggers and teases one is drawn defencelessly into adding their own willing vocal sounds and eager limbs, the contagion impossible to prevent.

What follows from now on is an unrelenting pleasuring of the senses from the next up Johnny Cash tinged Lights through tracks like the early The Horrors meets the Stones I Feel Alright with its agitated energy and disruptive beats and the impassioned love song Your Eyes with its more than strong sense of an illicit longing through to the rock n roll/mod stomp of Crocodile Chomp, a mix of Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry and Thee Mighty Caesars. Each and every song in their different guises ignite and warm the senses with an excited love of their inspirations and what they bring that can only be transferred to the listener and their hearts.

As great as the album is to this point the band save the best tracks for the latter stages starting with the brilliant Hauser & O’Brian. With a Troggs meets My Red Cell sound the track is glorious, a patient stroll with rasping riffs and caustic melodies and a siren touch. It is caked in the garage dirt and scuzzy sound that simply excites like a wanton temptress, the always distinct vocals of Whitaker finding an extra nasally and emotive depth. The song is soon equalled by the bristling Kinks tasting Satisfy You and of course the magnificent previous single Everyday. The more the single has pleasured the ear in recent weeks the more it has captured the heart with its insatiable mixture of the doo wop of 70’s band  Darts and the electrified rawness of 13th Floor Elevators and again The Horrors, all treated with the inspired uniqueness of Thee Vicars.

I Wanna Be Your Vicar is a fully rewarding pleasure, a release to make you feel good no matter the nature of your day. Thee Vicars stood right at the front of garage styled rock and punk and with his album have announced they plan to be there a long time.

RingMaster 19/04/2012

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Thee Vicars – Every Day/Don’t Wanna Be Free

Better late than never right? Such is the case with the excellent single from UK garage rock band Thee Vicars. Released the tail end of last year the single recently swaggered into the aural gaze of the RM Review and what a joy it is. Playful, feisty and incessant, ‘Every Day’/’Don’t Wanna Be Free’ is a glorious two track gift for the heart.

Imagine you are sitting there undecided on what to listen to. On your left shoulder is the angelic and safe indie pop of say a Gotye or Mumford & Sons and on the right the devilish and mischievous Thee Vicars encouraging and tempting. There is no contest of course and once their songs unveil their wondrous sounds to captivate and inflame, they ensure there will never be any other destination than Thee Vicars considered again.

The trio from Bury St Edmunds of Mike Whittaker (bass/vocals), Chris Langeland (guitar/vocals), and Alex De Renzi (drums), have for three years used their combined disdain /hatred of modern music to fuel a vibrant mix of R&B and a raw Sixties sound veined with essences of trashy and garage punk, or if you like essential rock ‘n’ roll. Their music is the insistent rascally fusion of the likes of 13th Floor Elevators, The Seeds, The Stones and Chuck Berry with essences of Thee Mighty Caesars, The Hives and the early sound of The Horrors. The band take these and seep them into their own distinctive irrepressible sound and ideas to simply create music that shakes you out of your stride and complacency, as their previous duo of singles and two albums has already proved.

The new single released on Dirty Water Records, as their previous releases, is a refreshing and invigorating stiffener to any day, livening up staid emotions or depleted will. It bristles and oozes energy, quality and most of all fun to enhance and spoil the senses. The band is renowned for its work ethic with masses of shows and tours honing their punchy and melodic sound into the hard hitting and scalding harmonious music evident on the single.

Every Day’ starts by teasing with short bursts of the soon to be constant temptation of an infectious riff and hook. These act as a continual beckoning finger, enticing and coaxing one into the song’s expressive and caustic explosions of sound. The bass of Whittaker throbs with a knowledge and confidence that you cannot refuse its lure aided by the uncomplicated rhythms of De Renzi, her beats completely hypnotic. Langeland’s guitar at times sizzles with contempt and enthused malice but always generating only welcoming compliance from the ear. A brilliant track that alone no matter the quality of its partner would make the single a must buy.

Of course ‘Don’t Wanna Be Free’ is more than able to back it up. With an early Kinks like vibe the song sways and dances with eagerness and fine melodic grace. It has a slight Mod feel to it in the swagger the song carries into its sixties toned melodies and urgency. There is at times a fuzzy chaotic feel to the drive of the song which is impressive and gives off an unbridled energy that can only enthuse.

By the end one feels like the vocals on the single, excited, slightly strained and thoroughly contented. The single is near perfect and encapsulates what rock ‘n’ roll and punk is all about. Is it too late to make it my single of 2011?

RingMaster 08/02/2012

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Effluence – Catchrag

Quite simply the debut release from UK band Effluences is stunning and easily the best single this year. A throbbing and hypnotic living beast from obviously wonderfully warped musical minds the release made up of ‘Catchrag’ aided and abetted by ‘Stilts’, is aural nectar for the bedlam of life, a reason to smile each day.

The band labels their sounds as psycho grunge but really there is not a tag to adequately describe their instinctively raw and chaotic mayhem. It blends the thrills of psychobilly with the discordant dirty delights of garage punk squeezed through psychedelic post punk distorted imagination. Formed in 2009 it is hard to believe the band has not caught the attention well before now but with their debut that is surely about to change.

Catchrag’ erupts into an instantaneous pleasuring of the senses with a sweet bulky bassline and crashing guitars all driven by firm beats of rhythmic urgency. The track bristles with attitude and wicked intent, determined to play and tease with riffs that rumble and pounce incessantly. The best way to describe the band is Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster meets early The Horrors in a hellish dark corner of the mind of a Cramps/Muse bastard son; yes it is that diverse and wonderful. 

Second track ‘Stilts’ compliments and matches up just as impressively. A wanton groove alongside throbbing basslines and schitzo vocals fuelled by a pulsating drum attack this song feels like the devil spawn union of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and The Gaa Gaas in an illicit rendezvous with the above offspring. With all these references one still cannot truly get right up close to the sound oozing from the speakers, Effluence is a distinct and inventive beast and very beautifully strange.

Both songs are glorious and Effluence the next big thing from the UK, whether history bears that out one will see as success and acclaim does not always go to the right deserved. For this musical heart the band is the highlight of the year and set firm in the daily playlist at The RingMaster Review.

RingMaster 30/10/2011

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