Nonagon – The Last Hydronaut

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Carving out a noise which simultaneously torments and seduces the senses, US band Nonagon is an encounter which challenges and rewards with an equal intensity and vitriolic craft. Their third EP The Last Hydronaut takes no prisoners, its offering demanding and invigorating with a squall which blends stretches of punk and garage rock with noise and post punk/post metal irreverence. To be honest the six track release and songwriting of the Chicago trio defies any exact definition of their violations but that is just the start of the enjoyment and potency of the release.

Nonagon was formed in 2003 by drummer Tony Aimone (ex-The Blue Meanies, J. Davis Trio, Taylor), bassist Robert Gomez (ex- Der Lugomen and of Martian Law), and guitarist John Hastie (ex- Jumpknuckle). The band released the No Sun EP in 2008 and the People Live Everywhere EP last year, the first a more punk driven causticity whilst its successor shows the beginnings of the varied corrosive endeavours which ignites The Last Hydronaut. The new release sees the band taking another step forward, it’s uncomfortable and compelling presence a fury of unconventional and uncompromising uniqueness as destructive as acid and as thrilling as a magnetic storm.

Opener Razing All Boats instantly ignites ears and emotions, its initial crowding of the senses a tempest of sinew driven rhythms, bass predation and antagonistic riffing. That starting scourge never changes across the track but with the squalling vocals and niggling groove irresistibly capturing the imagination, the song makes a constantly riveting and dramatic introduction to the release. The throaty bass prowl and unpredictable rhythmic caging reminds of early Killing Joke in a union with The Fall whilst with the scowling punk vocals across the grazing riffery the song aligns a mix of Converge and at times Melvins. It is an excellent rage soon matched by The Pfister, another virulent torrential abrasion which teases, taunts, and tantalises with a multi-flavoured acidity. The bass makes the early call before sonic guitar scrubbing disguised as a groove employs its excellent toxicity upon senses and emotions. The vocals help create a presence which recalls eighties band The Three Johns whilst the melodic intent of the barbed groove with discord an enthralling bedfellow adds elements of The Fire Engines to the outstanding confrontation.

For those old references the EP and sound is a refreshing wind of modern inclination which King Corky takes to another depth of potency with addiction forging niggling grooves and guitar temptation. Less immediate than its predecessor but no less intense and dramatically contagious, the track creates a daunting consuming web prowled by the excellent bass courting of the ears, its crawl and enticement as rapacious as the equally predatory drum exploits which builds an enthralling frame for guitars and vocals to spurt their fractious sonic brawls from.

Both Elvis and Affinity Fraud increase that intensity previously taken to darker places to even heavier testing heights, the first with a rigorous almost destructive presence whilst the second of the two twists and turns with a scalding and scathing invention of melodically drenched sonic hunger. Though neither quite lives up to their predecessors, the experimental invention and hunger to push their boundaries is undeniably fascinating and gripping, the second at times almost bringing whispers of pop punk to bear within its sour laced pungent enterprise.

The final track Hydronauts completes the excellent release with more of the same adventure in a new appealing guise for the EP, vocals and guitars acerbic bait inside a continually arresting and incendiary rhythmic ingenuity. The Last Hydronaut will not be an easy listen for some and noise manna for others. For us with repetition and spellbinding droning as much a bewitching antagonist as the rhythmic conjuring and sonic tempestuousness, the EP is a gripping and exhilarating trial for nerves and senses.

http://www.nonagon.us/

8.5/10

RingMaster 22/10/2013

 

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GagReflex – Nails EP

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A release which passed us as probably it did a great many at the tail end of last year, Nails the debut EP from UK noise punks GagReflex is a release and introduction to its creators which undoubtedly still needs a bit of late retrospective investigation. Consisting of four tracks making for a stirring and intrusively provocative presence, the EP is an early marker for a band which has all the promise and inventive craft to evolve into an even more potent and gripping confrontation.

Hailing from Cheltenham, the band consists of bassist/vocalist Stu Hawkins and drummer Seb Goffe. Their sound as you might suspect from the line-up of instruments is a throaty and uncluttered enticement, a new direction for a pair of musicians used to a more conventional band situation. Bands such as Morkobot with their bass only attack has always sparked a strong hunger for us and GagReflex is no different, their sound intimidating and predacious whilst simultaneously captivating with an infectious enterprise and carnivorous imagination.

Opening track Cut To The Spike opens on a lure of sonic tempting with swift to join rampant rhythms, the combination instantly riveting coverand even more so once the darker heavier bass tone takes its place in the persuasion. A niggling groove taunts the ear in the background before sheltering behind the soon involved intensive walls of rhythmic narrative led by the punkish vocals of Hawkins. Magnetic and contagious the song is like the greatest evil, menacing, fiercely intrusive, and wholly seductive. Post punk whispers are a healthy by-product of the instrumentation and just as welcome as the caustic touch of the song, the whole inspired union a striking first encounter.

I’ll Be The Hyena offers a lighter again post punk tempting to start things off, thoughts of The Three Johns and in many ways Gang Of Four raising an appearance. It soon develops a sterner and darker riling which like the first song finds an eager appetite lying in wait for its concussive rhythmic juggling and darkly sonic narrative. As before there is plenty of imagination involved to keep the song fresh and intriguing whilst musically it works on the primal side of satisfaction.

Both Chew Myself and What’s The Deal, Kim Jong-il? to conclude the EP unveil distinctive and seditious incitements, the first with a melodic toast to the punk rock vocals wrapped by the guttural croon of the bass within another sculpted rhythmic cage and the closing track through its blaze of spiky rhythms and snarling bass painted sound. There is a more new wave like pop lure to the final song and throughout the Nails EP there is that almost taunting irresistible light charm or is that venom which leaves ear and imagination greedily contented.

Though their demo debut is raw and coarse around the edges, Nails is a thoroughly pleasing and adventurous encounter. GagReflex is a fresh animosity for noise rock and one which surely will gain stronger vitriolic depths ahead for all our benefits.

The Nails EP is available as a free download from http://gagreflex.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/gagreflexmusic

8.5/10

RingMaster 11/09/2013

 

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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Dope Body: Natural History

Baltimore band Dope Body is predominantly tagged as noise rock but they should just be under the category eclectically unique. They are likely to be alone in the list which is as it should be as despite the band drawing on a flourishing feast of influences and suggestions no one truly sounds like or comes near to Dope Body. With the release of their new album Natural History they have widened further that divide between themselves and the rest. There are plenty of exciting and discord driven noise rock artists out there but none use the tools with an imagination and skill to create songs which are maybe raw and jagged in their surface but have a rounded balance, an instinctive and rich life, and are near abhorrently senses disassembling.

Natural History is the second album from the band and named after the The Museum of Natural History in their home town where they played their first and meant to be one off show. Formed in 2008 the band felt and knew from the destructively chaotic sounds they were creating and success of the night this all felt right so they continued gigging and creating. Released via Drag City, Natural History is pure sanity bending air fragmenting sonic poetry and possibly the best aural treat since the big bang. It is a release and sound which will work for you or not but if it does its genius in its simplicity and complicated inventiveness.

How to describe the band? Well it is impossible as you will see when we mention some of the tracks but imagine a primal mix of At The Drive In, Hot Hot Heat, Morkobot, The Three Johns, World Domination Enterprise, and most definitely early Wire. Oh you can add a slither of your favourite sludge, stoner, and grunge band too for good measure…and still not really come close. It is an individual sound to the band which will bring different references from each individual who hears it, something one wishes all bands would give the problem of.

Dope Body makes initial contact through the disorientating Shook. At first it drops falling essences of sonics through the air before a bass pulse begins its bruise of the atmosphere and the vocals of Andrew Laumann score the ear with caustic and disentangled melodies. Air ripping and blistering the song is a sludge/doom driven intensity littered with inquisitive and ultimately challenging pokes and disturbances, a mighty corruptive start to check if one is up for the fun ahead.

The following Road Dog is quite simply wonderful and the first of an unrelenting feast of brilliance to leave one breathless and with the biggest smile possible. Stirring up the ear with prickly guitar strokes and near smooth melodies alongside perfect infectious hooks, the song explores the senses with acidic enterprise around the prowling bass of John Jones and the eager vocals of Laumann. It has that primal early Gang Of Four rhythmic core with a Clash/Rocket From The Crypt punk sound especially with the additional mid reggae additive. The garage feel of the song is strong too and all in all is simply magnificent.

Beat and Twice The Life manipulate and ignite the passions further. The first is a striding beast of discord, its bulk rippling and pulsating with sonic guitar from Zach Utz and ear splicing melodics which spear the air with predatory menace and venomous intent. The track circles like a ravenous wolf its sounds gnawing on bone and synapses to leave one floundering in pure bliss. The second takes a lighter approach with the unpredictable rhythms of David Jacober puncturing its distressed yet mesmeric warm breath, again that reggae/punk air lights up the senses. Of course the song is wonderfully as disturbed as ever.

Arguably the best track on the album Powder is pure infection and just as dangerous as any illicit contagion. Insatiably eager and disturbingly joyful, the track with a grin as sinister as the hook is impossibly irresistible, easily and willingly draws one into the riot of senses fragmenting ingenuity.

Every song is immense; the snarling caged manic Out Of My Mind and the twisted rock n roller Weird Mirror just two delicious slices of further brilliance. That is the most apt word for the whole of Natural History and when a release ends on a bonus track like Alpha Punk, a near one minute pure Wire homage with the song sounding like the bastard cousin of Mr Suit or 1.2.X.U., you know it has been something special.

Dope Body is without doubt one of the most exciting bands in music right now if not the most and Natural History quite possibly album of the year, it will take something truly outstanding to match it.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/DOPE-BODY/310914069790

Ringmaster 13/07/2012

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The Savage Nomads: Tension In The Middle EP

After the acclaim that soaked their debut album Coloured Clutter, UK rock band The Savage Nomads return with the Tension In The Middle EP to justify previous opinions and inspire even more fervour and attention. Before the release the London quintet had set themselves up as one of the most exciting and promising emerging UK bands, the new EP takes that promise and turns it into a full reality. The sounds are unique, staggeringly imaginative, and wholly exhilarating, The Savage Nomads a band to fire up the heart.

With the likes of Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Matt Johnson (The The), and Robyn Hitchcock adding their support and praise to the ever growing wealth of fans and media attention, the band has not looked back since their debut single The Magic Eye of last year. Consisting of vocalist and guitarist Cole Salewicz, guitarist Joe Gillick, bassist Josh Miles, drummer Billy Boone, and Aviram Barath on trumpet and synths, with all adding backing vocals, The Savage Nomads made a big impression when supporting Big Audio Dynamite, the band added to their Justice Tonight tour by the request of Jones.

Tension In The Middle brings the punk infused originality which ignited their album but with a more restrained and mellower intent, well if a subtler and more smoothly intrusive manipulation can be called mellow.  The energy within the EP may not be as boisterous and excitable as on Coloured Clutter but it is just as eager and deeply infectious, the band bringing an evolution which is thoughtful and openly adventurous whilst retaining the core and irrepressible heart of their sound.

The title track opens up the release with a shadowed atmospheric grace and emotive wash. The spoken vocals of Salewicz reflect and unveil their thoughts over the fine piano pulses of Barath. The song littered with the excellent beats of Boone floats with a riled smoothness over the ear, bringing group harmonies and incisive guitar charms alongside the throatier basslines of Miles. The song equally caresses and scrapes the ear like a mix of The Three Johns and Babyshambles with Salewicz adding a Mark E Smith lilt to his vocals.

The excellent Four Personalities steps up next to bring a variation and slightly livelier breath to that of the opener. Tall velvety bass notes at the start announce the arrival of the guitars, their slicing of the air accompanied by blistered trumpet melodies and artillery driven rhythms. After a riled crescendo it drops into a hypnotic vein of bass riffs and sonic guitar manipulations. The track offers to explode at various times but never quite does take that final step and the result is compulsive. With the distinctness of Jazz Butcher and the manic energy of The Higsons the track is a growing infection which leaves one breathless. It is not an instant engagement but give a deserved attention it emerges as a magnificent piece of songwriting and inventiveness.

An Empty Seat from Coloured Clutter is included on the album and again is pure magic. Full of feisty energy and eager attention seeking guitars it riles emotions and thoughts up into a bedlam of excitement and rattled nerve ends. The song is part Baddies, and part Wire with Andy Partridge seemingly at the helm, a track bringing a post punk intensity with modern unbridled creativity. It was a true highlight of the album and is so again though its companions more than match it in adventure and imagination.

Completed by the radio edit of Tension In The Middle and a clean radio version of An Empty Seat, the EP is as impressive as one hoped and truthfully expected from the band. It offers up an even greater promise with its stylish change in presence and a reassurance that UK post punk and ingenuity are in safe and instinctive hands with The Savage Nomads.

https://www.facebook.com/thesavagenomads

RingMaster 22/05/2012

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