Tense Men – Where Dull Care Is Forgotten

Tense Men promo

    Bringing a primitively lustful tingle inside with its post punk bred fusion of noise and psyche rock, the Where Dull Care Is Forgotten EP from UK band Tense Men, is one of those delicious treats which flicks all the right switches. Band and release is a ripe proposition for those with a strong appetite for post punk, repetitious discord, and minimalistic adventures of noise and maybe less tasty not for those with different appetites, but we would suggest still a rewarding encounter leaving a lingering mark whatever your penchant.

    Tense Men was formed in 2011 by Cold Pumas guitarist/vocalist Oliver Fisher and singer/drummer Richard Phoenix of Sauna Youth. Combining drums, guitar and a loop pedal the duo made people stand up and notice with a clutch of live performances before recording the six track Where Dull Care Is Forgotten. Since its recording the Brighton band has expanded with the addition of Omi Palone bassist Liam O’Neill. Now with its release via Faux Discx on 12” vinyl and digital download, the debut EP from Tense Men is poised to push this union of craft and noise sculpting into an eager awareness, its success on the strength of the release something hard to doubt.

    As soon as opener Stages Of Boredom scars the ears, imagination and an already assumptive hunger are lit as guitars lash the Layout 1air with sonic persistence matched by a rhythmic enticement. The first piece of insidiously addictive weaponry is unleashed within seconds, a repetition driven groove entwining the senses with seductive potency as the vocals of Fisher offer a mutually monotone seeded suasion. Into its full drone bred swagger, the track baits the emotions with a mix of The Gaa Gaas like psyche temptation and the post punk causticity and repeating moroseness of Joy Division. It is a magnetising provocation which worms itself under the skin with an insatiable toxicity and an intensively powerful lure into release and band.

    The following RNRFON resonates through bone as its rawer body presses on the senses with a bass cast coaxing rapidly joined by equally unrelenting rhythms. Across their flanks shards of caustic guitar sear the air before the vocals join the affair with a sombre wishful tone to their delivery. The track reminds of another English band; The St Pierre Snake Invasion with its rawer punk lent persistence, again restrained torrents of repetition veined by squirreling guitar leading the passions into another ardour clad response. With a coat of discord to the jangling swipes of Fisher’s strings in dramatic contrast to his vocals and the low hum of the track, Tense Men has imagination, theirs and ours, tightly clasped in their hands.

     Lie Heavy (Desperate Times) has a thicker rapacious throat and presence to its sound, Mary & Jesus Chain with a touch of Birdland coming to mind whilst the enticing jagged guitar melodies add a touch of The Fire Engines to the abrasive incitement. Though the song does not spark the same depth of greed as its predecessors it still leaves satisfaction basking in a resourceful web of noise which the title track tries to exploit further with its slow and patient consumptive breath. The dark wash of the track almost swarms as it offers its doomy pressure, the drone preying on body and thoughts and in a different guise repeated through the equally potent Nonentities. The track has a slightly lighter atmosphere which also ventures into a Reid brothers inspired premise as its predecessor, but still allows no respite from the intensity and mesmeric call that unbridled reduplication brings.

    The EP ends on a riot to match the incredible start of the release, Opiate Glow the dramatic treat. The rawest punk spawned track on the album with post punk voracity, the tempest emerges from a two barrelled incitement into a ridiculously contagious stroll, rhythms and vocals simultaneously beckoning and taunting before expulsions of furious guitars and energy savage the air. It is an outstanding trap which has more than a whisper of Wire to its devilment, in fact the song like a close relation to the legend’s track 12XU, just a few generations on in the family time line.

     Where Dull Care Is Forgotten is a fabulous release, a scourge of nostalgic and modern smothering which ignites the passions from start to finish. Whether Tense Men will have to bide its times as its members return to their day jobs we will see but already the anticipation for their next offering is impatient.

http://tensemen.tumblr.com/

http://fauxdiscx.bandcamp.com/album/where-dull-care-is-forgotten

9/10

RingMaster 10/03/2014

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Cross Wires – Assembly EP

Cross Wires

     Hankering for a slice of post punk infused new wave with that irrepressible eighties originality? Then a healthy purchase of the exploration of the new Cross Wires EP is your next mission in life.  Assembly is a riotous stomp of energetic imagination and deliciously niggling invention, a quartet of songs bred in the birth of those genres but equally ripe with a modern psyche stirring mischief. It teases, taunts, and romps with the senses like a discord draped devil child to quite easily and unrelentingly stir up the passions.

     Hailing from Bethnal Green and Romford in the UK, the foursome of vocalist Jonathan Chapman, guitarist Peter Muller, bassist Pete Letch, and drummer Ian Clarke has been sculpting an impressive reputation for their sound and live performances since their debut at The Others in Stoke Newington in late 2010; subsequently playing across the capital and home county Essex at notable venues including the Camden Barfly, Sebright Arms, Queen of Hoxton, 93 Feet East, The Half Moon, and Hoxton Underbelly. Two EPs, Forward/Repeat and Animal Heat announced the band to a wider audience in 2011 whilst a third, Dark Water, the following year only helped cement and accelerate their emerging presence which the outstanding Assembly will surely add another enthusiastic gear to.

    Cross Wires bring inspirations from the likes of Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Cure, Gang Of Four, and Wire into their own coverinventive devilry as well as that of XTC whose song on the White Noise album, the band named themselves after. To be honest anyone reaping the influences of one of our eternally favourite bands is given a head start with us though their music obviously has to do the talking, which on Assembly it loudly does. From the beginning of the opener Stranger’s Bed, the band lays an infectious hand on the imagination and passions as they cavort with the relish of a maniacal puppeteer. Thumping anthemic drums seize instant attention, setting things up for the jangle of guitars to add their own bait around the expressive vocals of Chapman. Into its infectious stride soon after the track stomps with a rhythmic vivacity and range of hooks which the Buzzcocks would be proud of, indeed the overall sound has a rich essence of the Mancunian band as well as the discordant enterprise of Medway band Houdini. It is an undemanding and thoroughly giving slab of post punk pop with a fuzzy breath to increase the appeal.

     Acid Bath, like the first, makes the strongest entrance possible. This time it is the bass stroking the ears with a riff certainly Gang Of Four inspired, its carnivorous voice and suasion an irresistible lure which only increases with the scythes of guitar and unpolished enticing vocals. The chorus of the song loses some of that initial potency as the thrust of the track softens but replaces it with a virulent causticity which touches on The Fall. Once more band and song has feet lurching around with eagerness whilst voice and energy is seduced into action with ease, the same results achieved by the brilliant I Want To Be Your Man (Again). The best track on the EP swaggers in with a slow swerving of its hips and a persistent flexing of its sonic audacity, the track a hybrid of all the good things already gracing the release, taking those qualities and invention into a loftier frisking of the passions. It is an exhilarating exploit raising a lustful greed once thought lost to those times in the eighties.

   Final song White Dress makes a less dramatic entrance than previous songs but is soon, through a precise hook within thumping rhythms, unleashing another Shelly and co styled persuasion with the Cross Wires imprint. It traps satisfaction in a lustful romp of angular enterprise and refreshing adventure and though the weakest of the four songs, in that it does not unleash the demon inside as certainly the previous pair of tracks do, White Dress still provides a magnetic proposal to sell your dignity for and a delicious end to a thrilling release.

     If any of the bands mentioned or just simply punk, new wave, and post punk in general lifts your temperature then Cross Wires is a band to set a fire in your thoughts and emotions, though as Assembly shows, expect the unpredictable and something which is certainly seeded in those glorious older times but takes you on a new adventure. With the Assembly EP free at http://crosswires.bandcamp.com/album/assembly-ep there is little reason not to be part of this extremely promising and exciting band.

https://www.facebook.com/CrossWires

9/10

RingMaster 21/02/2014

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Hysterix And His T-Rex – Changes – or, when love becomes misery EP

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Looking for a slab of senses stomping intrigue? Then try plunging into the promise drenched tempest of Changes – or, when love becomes misery, the new EP from German rockers Hysterix And His T-Rex. The three track release is an eclectic fury of dirty rock ‘n’ roll with progressive and metal tendencies which captivate and seize the imagination. The Dortmund quartet has already pricked strong interest with previous releases but now stalk a new level of craft and invention which makes the band one needing close attention now and in the future.

Formed in 2010 by brothers Sandro (drums) and Dino (bass) as a side-project, Hysterix And His T-Rex creates a sound which merges a sludge thick breath and stoner heat to metallic sinews and experimental adventure.  Debut single A Clowns Tragedy of the same year was followed in 2011 by Nils (vocals) and Sebi (guitar) joining the line-up. Last year saw the band’s first EP The Wayfare released, a four track piece of compelling if patchy invention, but a strong base from which Changes… has sculpted the band’s finest moment yet.

Changes opens up the encounter, a sonic call soon dismissed by a bulging bassline and prowling riffs framed by magnetic beats. 1463106_648494221839765_1529272345_nAs a groove opens its throat the song has already found a contagious grip which leads into a hardcore bred ferociousness with a viscous sludge antagonism. The track presses on the ears with skill and predatory intent, its body simple but wholly riveting especially as clean vocals replace the previous scowling roar, with both switching from here on in. With an additional grunge lilt and a metal spawned hunger to the rhythms and riffery, the song twists and lurches across the senses with pleasing craft. The song as the release has to fight the raw production a little but it cannot stop the qualities of band and track from making a strong persuasion.

The following Ring takes the sturdy start to another plateau of impressiveness, the track easily the best thing on the potent confrontation. From its first second the track chews the ear and rampages with fiery belligerence, squalling vocals raging over merciless beats and a delicious swarming niggle of a groove. The intensive start is dropped into a vat of doom leaden labour soon after but takes little time in re-emerging into that virulent addictive opening scourge of waspish temptation. A taunting rapacious enticement with vicious aggravation and scintillating uncompromising coaxing, it is an outstanding blaze of instinctive noise abuse and without doubt the pinnacle of the band’s invention so far, and hopefully an area where they will stride forth in direction in the future.

The closing Beyond The Waterfall opens like Wire meets Beehoover, a wall of muscle and intensity seizing command before opening its arms for a grunge/stoner melodic suasion to stretch the offering further. Merging with the harsher elements, the inventiveness continues to press home its advantage as a jazz/avant-garde venture steps into view, it again a moment which is soon evolved as band and song twists and flexes an imagination which only increases the intrigue and its riveting presence. Arguably there is too much going on to flow easily throughout and the cleaner vocals are weaker compared to the inhospitable delivery elsewhere but it does little to diminish the lure and pleasing argumentative conspiracy making a strong persuasion on thoughts and emotions.

Released as a buy now name your price on Bandcamp, the Changes – or, when love becomes misery EP shows the leap Hysterix And His T-Rex has made since the previous release, in songwriting and bold adventure to ignite a definite anticipation and hunger for what they conjure up next.

http://hysterixandhistrex.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/hysterixandhistrex

8/10

RingMaster 04/12/2013

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Maths and the Moon – Night Train Daydream

Maths and the Moon pic

As soon as the opening track of Night Train Daydream, the debut album from UK band Maths and the Moon, began its tantalising flight of persuasion and rhythmic dance a broad grin emerged pushing back lips in lustful anticipation. The track took mere moments to ignite an intrigue and hunger which was last rife back in 1977 when the albums Pink Flag and more so Chairs Missing registered their instinctive temptation upon the passions. As the band unveil more of their psyche bred sounds across the release thoughts of those album’s creators Wire whisper very loudly across the imaginatively hued, transfixing addictive journey Maths and the Moon skilfully conjure. There is plenty more to the spellbinding sonic travelogue of course, all of which only teases and thralls the senses and imagination into its tense and dramatic escapade.

Hailing from the New Forest area of the south of England, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Andy Fielder, drummer Luke Taplin, and bassist Matt Hirst formed Maths and the Moon in 2009 and made their live debut alongside legendary Can frontman Damo Suzuki the following year. Night Train Daydream and its startling contents were recorded and produced by the band across 2009 through to 2012, a journey of time and internal venture for the release which finally has its departure into the thoughts and you can only suspect hearts of the country September 30th. Already preceded by the single Old Days/New Daze which was released as  free download invitation, the album provides one of the most unexpected and thoroughly, greedily consumable treats of the year.

The provocative intensive dark charms of FFWD (Fly From Danger) opens up the dramatically imposing and scenic expanse of the album.a3240501242_2 It is a riveting first stop on the imaginative travelogue of sound and invention, a brewing rhythmic virulence emerging from a sonic mist to mark its first call. A cavernous breath calls from within that evocative chilled ambience as restrained whispered vocals tempt and coax in the passions further. Submission to the deliciously claustrophobic toxic fumes is unavoidable especially as voice and rhythms darken their presence and intensity to crowd and incite the imagination and emotions further. It is a staggering entrance of repetitive discordance which strongly pushes forth that Wire reference, which is confirmed and cemented in thoughts by the following On A Knife Edge. Another bait of rhythms beckons whilst a minimalistic bass and guitar call alongside the again reserved yet expressive spoken vocals seduces with ridiculous ease. Once the narrative sends the delivery of Fielder into a more mania bred uncertainty there is a sense of The Mae Shi to the song which merges with post punk chills of again Wire for a captivating almost nightmarish wonder.

The stunning start is next taken into a schizophrenic waltz of sonic and emotional discordance in Hekyll And Hyde which challenges its own psyche and the imagination of the listener; dark and light, peace and mania all conflicting yet seamlessly united provocateurs which explores inner turmoil whether emotional or physical. The great thing about album and songs is you can interpret things into personal potent landscapes as easily as sensing the band’s intent, their aural descripts guides without dictating which ensures each continued trip with the album is unique.

It’s Okay To Be Afraid continues the incredibly addictive and immense presence of the album, the track an initial caress of melodic warmth and tender comfort sculpted by sensitive guitar melodies and bass pawing which embrace the shoegaze glaze of the chorus, the mesmeric tone adding an extra reassuring kiss within the coarser shadows of the track. Another magnetic enticement which recalls the likes of House Of Love and My Bloody Valentine in many ways, it leads the senses into the mesmeric instrumental Recurring Dream Number 13. The chilling verging on sinister atmospheric piece is the continuation of the previous narrative of dreams and sleep within its predecessor, the track a hypnotic meditative embrace with imposing edges.  The outstanding Old Days/New Daze is the awakening from this track, its busy and feisty bass stroll and rhythmic rounding up of the senses and thoughts a forceful slightly deceptive lead into new fearful yet rewarding if faced, adventures. The guitars carve a sonic storm of riveting enticement across the sky of the song whilst the drum and bass bait make a perpetually enslaving inducement alongside the monotone but engaging vocals, again so reminiscence of Wire and the early solo work of Colin Newman.

Through the likes of the air blistering menacing WWYB (The Demons March), the acoustic and starkly elegant Anxious Cats, a song which launches upon a larger intensively dramatic stance midway, and the deceptively hypnotic Monochrome which finds an invention and roving stance that is pure post punk toxicity, the album takes the passions and imagination through strikingly and intensely coloured emotive explorations which stretch not only thoughts but the boundaries of the songwriting and album.

From the slightly industrialised instrumental Lolocomo, Night Train Daydream heads to the completion of its absorbing dark ride with firstly the exceptional Light At The 11th Hour, the track a fiery garage punk infused slice of rewarding fun for the traverse of so many exciting dark stops on the journey, and lastly the electronically propelled Polychrome. The song is a scuzz driven dance of bright sonic lights and heart spawned celebration, though as now expected it does not come without dark corners and shadowed distractions to ignite even greater rapture and intrigue.

 Night Train Daydream is a brilliant debut, a mesh of droning seduction, fire drenched corrupted melodies, and uncompromising imagination. Maths And The Moon almost make you believe in musical reincarnation, as though they are not the new Wire they are surely the kings of their legacy.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maths-and-the-Moon/168962103158259

www.mathsandthemoon.bandcamp.com

10/10

RingMaster 25/09/2013

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Disappears: Era

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Over their five years of existence, Disappears has continually delved deep into their creative thoughts and stretched not only their limitations but the listeners, their recent abstract and challenging Kone EP a prime example. With Era, the fourth album from the Chicago band, there is not exactly a less adventurous experimentation going on but certainly a stripped down one which has a core seed driving its breath and intent. The seven track album is bred from early 80ʻs post punk, admittedly given the distinct rapaciously dark Disappears touch and a modern voraciousness but openly spawned from a suggested passion within the band for that period and aural bedding. It is a stunning release which has a foot in nostalgia and another in current noise artistry as it takes the senses on a chilling venture into light exhausting realms and emotive provocation.

Sculpting the album through an almost psychotically oppressive merger of dub, psyched fuelled repetition, and carnivorous post punk cold, the quartet of Brian Case, Damon Carruesco, Jonathan van Herik, and making his debut drummer Noah Leger, immediately throw a caustic web over the ear with Girl. Its slow dawning soon coaxed into greater life by the lone bass croon, which itself is soon immersed in a harsh sonic wash of guitar and effected vocals. There is an immediate sense of Public Image Limited to the stark and hoarse glaze which appeals strongly whilst the persistent haze of noise only adds to the concussive temptation, the repetitious squalling of vocals and sound furthering its strength yet again as the climax of the track scorches the air.

The following Power has a clearer sky to its presence, the tempestuous air of its predecessor replaced by a haunted blackened breath KRANK182_5x5_300dpiveined by a compelling bass narrative and the drum beats. Instantly riveting in this insistent design, the guitars bring an additional expressive hue to the provocative persuasion, their sonic colour pushing a sense of The Cure from around their second and third album to thoughts whilst the steely ice embrace caging it all seems bred from the heart of Joy Division.

Two tracks in and Era has already secured full physical and emotional involvement but an elevation of ardour is soon forced as both Ultra and the title track enslave and appease the now rife appetite further. The first of the pair from the off niggles with a steely stare from the guitars with a rhythmic beckoning which only enhances the thick lure. As the vocals slowly coat the engagement with gelid reserve, the repetitious stance of the track becomes a greater temptress, its minimalistic encroachment bringing a sense of Wire and early Killing Joke into play with the uniqueness of Disappears. Its successor continues in the same teasing persistently nagging way, riffs and hooks on repeat until they seduce down to the instinctive core without ever verging on annoyance though this time they are accompanied by a richer melodic colour dripping delicious discord and wrapped in a polar climate. Carrying a sense of Artery and Gene Love Jezebel to it, the track accentuates the diverse and enriching depths of the release. It may come with a frosty nature but works with resourcefulness on every aspect of the body and mind.

The exceptional Weird House steals top honours with its scintillating stroll of noise pop and pop punk revelry. Holding a swagger arguably missing on the other songs and equipped with a melodic sun that glistens off of the metallic sinews of the drums and compelling bass temptation, the song is a virulent infection on the senses. Again loaded with a singular course for its intent and with vocals that seem to swing with relish simultaneously to the slight wantonness of the song, there is an indefinable familiarity to the scintillating offering though once more you can suggest Wire as a source.

As Elite Typical rolls firmly through the ear with an early Gang Of Four cold scold and invention, and the closing stark expanse of the Joy Division/Colin Newmanesque New House invades every pore with its arctic noir kiss, Disappears ensures that Era is as potent and invasive at its tail as its head. There is a clarity and uncluttered voice to the album and all of its uniquely offered songs which alone sets the album apart from their other releases, but mostly it is the merciless entrancing presence and intensive suggestiveness which leaves no thought and emotion untouched. Rich in the essences of the past but stood rigorously in the present, the Kranky Records released Era is a stunning and exhilarating slice of tender desolation and melancholic joy. A definite album of the year contender too.

http://www.disappears.us/

9.5/10

RingMaster 26/08/2013

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That Massive Bereavement – Eat The Rich

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Ever wondered what the dirtiest grunge mixed with old school punk, filth clad rock, and scuzz littered post punk sounds like than UK garage rockers That Massive Bereavement have the answer for you with their debut EP Eat The Rich. Six tracks of noise your mother warned you about and your father wished he could play, the release snarls and works on the senses like a punch bag whilst delivering uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll which gives raw satisfaction as potent as the future promise also on offer.

From the Medway part of the UK, the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Aidan, bassist Elliott, guitarist Quintus, and drummer The C, erupted as That Massive Bereavement at the rise of 2012, taking inspirations from the likes of The Fall, Therapy?, The Replacements, Wire, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Pavement, Joy Division and more. One of the other influences is Swell Maps, and as the release plays that band often calls out the most if not always in sound but in attitude and unpolished invention. Recorded and mastered at Sunlight Studios by Greg Webster of fellow Medway band Houdini, Eat The Rich equally grates on and lights up the ear from its first second before going on to work the same devilry on the senses, thoughts, and passions.

The title track kicks things off, a singular guitar brewing up the air with reserved sonic heat for the gravel littered vocals of Aidan to8689_557003027674960_116295249_n start the striking narrative. A stalking gait drives the song on as rhythms make their firm slaps on the ear with energetic expulsions around the chorus singing the hairs around the senses. The breath of the song is Spizz Oil like whilst the belligerent provocation recalls seventies punk Crisis, and from start to finish it drags down apathy into a bruising dirt clad confrontation.

From the strong start the EP hits its biggest highlights with firstly Benetton Models to be followed by the excellent Waste it Now. The first track sabre chops the ear with caustic riffs soon joined by thumping rhythmic incitement from The C and Elliott. Like Nirvana meeting The Lurkers at a fire-pit held by Mark E. Smith, the song is a delicious discord fired slice of noise punk which ignites the passions with garage rock enterprise and post punk sonic obstinacy. Its successor also holds many flavours within its core grasp, the track a garage rock crawl with the snarling undiluted essences of The Stooges and Richard Hell raising their contagious claws. Both tracks stand out as pinnacles whilst still pushing the suggestion that the creative envelope of the band has only just been opened.

Sity comes next with a blues flame to the guitar and punk intensity to the energy of the track, drums and bass an intimidating yet fair intrusion through the distinctive almost Tom Waits like scowls of Aidan and those sonic fires expelled by his and the guitar of Quintus. Direct and uncluttered by complexities it is a raucous storm of prime punk merging its different flavours into one scorching encounter and though it does not make the same deep impact as the previous trio of songs it easily recruits the appetite to know more about the band. The same applies to the final two songs on the release. Both live in the shade of certainly the previous triumphs on Eat The Rich, but stand tall and appealing in their mischievous stances starting with the primate romance Gorilla. With lyrics you can interpret either literally for fun or for man’s version of the great ape, the track stomps with teasing riffs which chop like a chef on a carrot alongside the growling presence of the other guitar and bass. Drums and vocals also accost with enterprise and irresistible mischief and though the song as mentioned does not quite live up to the heights set before it does grip tighter the more you take its company and lingers longer than most in the head.

The closing Snatch, yawns with great whale like sonic calls before barracking with another unbridled slab of impossible to resist punk. Eat The Rich is a great debut from a band you sense has so much more still to discover and offer; that thought as exciting as listening to their EP. That Massive Bereavement will not be for everyone but if punk of any shape and aggressiveness has your juices rising than check out this great emerging protagonist.

https://www.facebook.com/MassiveBereavement

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/07/2013

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firewheelbombfire – Square Peg In A Square Hole

firewheelbombfire - Square Peg in a Square Hole - PromoShot1WEBSize

I guess we often say releases capture the imagination but in the case of Square Peg In A Square Hole from firewheelbombfire it captures, inspires, ignites, and frames a myriad of thoughts, ideas, and imagery bred by its compelling body. An album which offers up a new experience with every listen, it can play as a continuous journey through a post-apocalyptic like world or as individual tales through equally traumatic landscapes whether physically or mentally. It is a thoroughly intriguing piece of work which thrills and incites across its expressive narrative and stirring imagination. It is not a flawless release and admittedly at rare times things fail to ignite the strongest connection but it is a release which tells and triggers a wealth of stories and feelings, and ultimately is a triumph.

Firewheelbombfire is the solo project of Cardiff-based producer Matt Strangis, a man already renowned for his production work in the realm of drum and bass under the name Billy Gone Bad. His new guise and sound sees Strangis bringing numerous rock and metal essences and flavours into a riveting merger with uncomfortable and impacting ambiences. Also within the canvas the album offers are a plethora of as the bio say ‘other noise-enabling bits and pieces found around the home (kitchen utensils / plates / cats).’ It all makes for an organic and startling experience, an encounter which would not be out of place as a voice to the blackest noir drenched or starkest futuristic or social cinematic endeavours. Completely DIY on a non –existent budget, being home-recorded in the exact chronological order of the track-listing, and conceived from a pro-album / anti-single perspective, the album is an incendiary pleasure for the sense and imagination.

The album opens with Doggone, the track emerging from a distant shadow with the air and energy of a tube train with intensity coverbrewing to an impending climax but then instantly dropping off into a melodic guitar crafted caress. With vocal nudges making a claim alongside the bass, their whispers as if spawn through a vacuum hose, the track shimmers and resonates like an ever revolving wheel of textures and dimensions,  a clarity eluding the grasp until a time of its choosing when the guitar entwines the ear with a deliciously grooved irritant to its touch and mesmeric call. It is a restrained but dramatic start, the impressive first of a flow of tracks provoking the mind and its invention.

The following Get Out Much? is a shadowed fuelled temptation, the low slung restrained vocal tones and the equally throaty bass enticement veined by vibrant rhythms for a hypnotic conspiracy. The breath of the track is dark and knowing; its deceptive secrets left to be discovered though once it eventually opens up its doors for a surge of stoner lined guitar grooves and energised fiery vocals, the heart is there to be explored. Infectious from numerous angles and premises, the song takes the great start to another level with ease and anthemic almost primal seduction.

The melancholic feel of Francis opens up yet another avenue of emotion and thought, its desolate and gloomy air like a reflection of a long past loss or regret. Its touch is that of a colourless memory, a black and white photograph of remembrance, and deeply emotive. Though the piece does not come close to the passion igniting heights of its predecessors its hold and ability to spark images and personal thoughts is stunning.

The next tracks again offer new adventures within the landscape being investigated, the contagious rock dance of Carry on Carrie a melodic siren especially with the speeding through a tunnel like hypnotism across its building climax, whilst both Telephone Voice (On / Off) and Trodite with their undefined but in many ways sinisterly presences are like aural magic eye artwork, though each twist and needed warped look into their colourful and bleeding depths, a scenario emerges with a new guise to explore each and every time.

The hungry intimidating corridors and hidden dangers of Pissing Guilt is a like a perpetual nightmare, its persistently looming dark embrace and inescapable menacing ambience full of seemingly vocal reassurance yet prowled by a sonic and rhythmic provocation to steer only uncertainly around the light within. Imagine yourself lost in a maze of perpetual clutching shadows, the walls of blackened streets either in reality or the mind stalking and herding emotions into a corner for an everlasting provocation and the song makes for the perfect  soundtrack.

Polypoly and September lead the listener back to safer ground though both again have their shadows to peer over proceedings. The infectious smouldering entrancement of the second of the pair is an irresistible lead into the closing It Ran And Ran And Ran, and its rapacious enterprise. The heaviest predator of the album, the song is a confrontation of stoner and industrial spiced doom metal like stalking, the bass and rhythms slowly watching and encroaching closer on their prey as the intensity and pace of the track builds to leap with a pack like mentality across all its elements upon the senses. It is an excellent finish to an equally impressive album.

It is hard to really compare the album and its sound to another though I am sure many will maybe rightly use Trent Reznor as a reference, but another name does rear its head in that of Colin Newman (Wire), not so much in sound maybe but presence and atmosphere. Square Peg In A Square Hole is a great album for all who like to listen, think, and imagine with their music and firewheelbombfire a project destined to impress again and again.

https://www.facebook.com/firewheelbombfire

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/05/2013

 

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The St Pierre Snake Invasion – Everyone’s Entitled To My Opinion

tspsi

    The St. Pierre Snake Invasion is one of those bands which has the capacity to ignite an immediate rapture and lustful hunger for their sounds, something they certainly did with us with the release of their debut EP Flesh a couple of years ago. It was a startling and synapse twisting slice of devilry, a caustic brew of punk, garage rock, noise, and insatiable mischief, though to tag their sound is as easy as scaling the Shard on the back of Katy Perry, impossible but sheer fun trying. Now the UK band return…finally…with its successor Everyone’s Entitled To My Opinion, a release which rips out the essences of the earlier EP and distills them with new imaginative additives for an even greater irresistible riotous slab of Satan spawn rock n roll.

The five track EP is quite sensational, realising all the selfish expectations and hopes placed upon the band and then some. The Bristol quintet band have unleashed their distinctive venom of noise since forming in the latter months of 2010, earning a devoted and passionate fanbase and plenty of acclaim through their wild and exhausting live performances as well as the first release, but the widest recognition still waits to be triggered, something Everyone’s Entitled To My Opinion has all the potency, sonic armoury, and big boy balls to achieve.

Call The Coroner opens up the release with immediate demands upon the ear and attention, which both willingly submit to as942206_642406229109685_548624207_n chunky scything riffs and a scowling banshee cry split the air. Rhythms lay in wait as the intro lays its net with the vocals of Damien Sayell scouring the senses in expressive and tortured tones, their earnest and slightly maniacal embrace as incendiary as the hungry sounds. Into its stride the chugging riffs from Szack Notaro and Patrick Daly abrase and seduce whilst the bass of Mark Fletcher prowls with menace from note to note, the combination with the magnetic rhythms of drummer Sam Forbes chaining up any chance of escape, a deliciously bedlamic yet contagious maelstrom of energy and sonic virulence.

The following Encore! Encore! plunders the ear with raptorial riffs and mutual offensive rhythms whilst the impacting squalls of Sayell scar the air with his romantic violations. The raining down of muscular and intensive slaps from guitars and bass offer a little respite in one moment of mercy as they step back for the escape of melodies and harmonies before taking charge again and completing the face to ear incitement. It is a riveting explosion of glorious filth in tale and sound which seamlessly flows into U.S.S.A., a punk fuelled bruising riot of industrial lime like sonic scrubbing. The track strains itself and the listener with greedy glee, the growling broody bassline and insatiable riffs an unrelenting scourge with the rhythms of Forbes the ringleader to total subservience before the alchemy of noise, with the vocals a rodeo cowboy riding the rapacious charge.

Hey Kids! Do The Choke Stroke steps up next to continue the eclectic force of the EP, its reserved chain gang/gallows hung intro bursting into another punk brawl with irresistible aural theatrics and epidemic infectiousness. Like many of the band’s songs it does offer up one issue…the thing is too damn short, just as the passions and limbs, not to mention voice, are casting their additional help the track leaves them a lone voice in a big all eyes watching crowd… damn them.

The closing Say No To Stop Motion leaves one final slice of brilliance, the scuzz coated epidemic of catchiness a last stomp to lose the heart to. It rattles the cages with attitude and sonic spite, something applying to the whole release, and provokes with suggestions of who the aimless ears of today’s media led appetites should really be listening to, as well as certain artists, climaxing the track. The song leaves a lasting swipe with the final forceful recommendation of The Fall, a band which is more than a potent whisper in their sound.

It is a brilliant end to an equally sensational EP, a release which goes far beyond the assumptions from an already biased heart. As mentioned it is hard to truly describe the sound of The St Pierre Snake Invasion but at any time across Everyone’s Entitled To My Opinion there is a mix from the likes of obviously The Fall, as well as Marc Riley and The Creepers, Gang Of four, Wire, Houdini, McLusky, Dope Body, Melvins and many other similar suggestions, though the band in as many ways does not sound like any of those either. A must have release from one of the UK’s most impressive and boundary splitting bands.

http://tspsi.co.uk/

10/10

RingMaster 30/04/2013

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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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Interview with Gavin Tate of The Gaa Gaas

The Gaa Gaas Brighton Aug 2011 by Katherine Missouri

The Ringmaster Review ever since being seduced by The Gaa Gaas debut single Voltaire has eagerly and persistently tried to convert all and sundry to their psyche punk/post punk beauty through word, voice and with the kind help of The Reputation Radio Show. Neglectfully we have not actually got the band to sit down for an interview so we remedied that by grabbing the time of singer/guitarist Gavin Tate from the band to catch up on all things The Gaa Gaas as well as look back on their early days.

Hello and welcome to The Ringmaster Review

Please introduce the members of the band.

Huurah! We’re the artists formerly (known) as Gavin, Chris and Mark.

How did The Gaa Gaas begin?

It all started in my Mum’s garage, got some amps and a drum kit in there and put loads of posters over the walls and ceiling (a couple of nude lady ones as well, I’m not going to lie much). We began just jamming as an instrumental trio and then soon found a poor excuse of a P.A system for the vocals and that’s when the Police started showing up every night!

What inspired the band name?

A psychedelic prog group from Germany called Gäa. We started off as a messy garage band and I thought (that) The Gaa Gaas really suited what we were doing and still does.

Was and is there a vibrant music scene over in Jersey? 

Yes but it’s long gone now, an amazing garage punk night called BOMP kicked off around 2002 held at the best venue in Jersey which was called The Q Bar now The Live Lounge. It was a 7 night a week place and BOMP was on Thursday nights; they would bring some really good bands over and have local support. There were a few other great nights there as well, an indie night called Moroccan’roll and some great Drum&Bass/Motown/Reggae nights.

There seems to be a more frequent emergence of strong and very diverse rock bands from Jersey in recent years, besides yourselves we have come across Top Buzzer and Hold Your Fire to name a couple. Is there less distractions to take youngsters away from music there than elsewhere in the UK for example do you think?

I think most towns with not a lot produce the best bands and I’ll be honest in saying Jersey didn’t offer a lot to musicians aged 17 – 25 apart from a long fight to play your own material in clubs, most club owners always wanted bands to play covers which was rubbish if you wanted to play your own songs to people. In a way it made us want to escape!

You moved away from the island, relocating to Brighton. Was this a necessity for you and is for all bands really hoping to make progress?

You can’t do anything more than play the big local festivals in the island. You’ll get promises but they never happen. The only way you can do it properly is to move somewhere else, not just the UK. I know bands from Jersey who have started up in Europe and are doing really well; it just takes a lot of ammunition and a few massive guns!

As distinct as your sound is anyone who hears it can name some of the influences, for the record though what are the major influences musically which have shaped or flavoured your creativity?

There are so many. I’d say The Fall has really shaped us, I love every era and they’re still producing great records to this day!

Many I have introduced your music to fail to notice the ‘Almost Red’ era Killing Joke sounds whereas it seems obvious to me, is it them or me? Haha

We’re always getting compared to either Killing Joke or Bauhaus and when I told my Dad about it he said (in a scouse accent) “Think of it as a massive compliment Son” so I think you might be right on that one! ;)

There seems a definite revisiting back to the post punk era with bands recalling inspirations from the likes of Joy Division, Wire, Pil, Gang of Four etc, do you think you may have instigated that a little yourselves?

I hope so, when groups like Neils Children split up I was really gutted because there wasn’t many bands trying to maintain their own sound by using those types of influences. There were lots of bands just trying to sound exactly like Gang Of Four because it was in at the time. I thought the Neils boys were really on to something and had produced a great sound that was their own. There are some other really good bands instigating it at the moment like… Wild Palms, O.Children and Disconcerts.

Do you still see yourselves as part of an underground movement with this new emergence of bands?

We’ve never really felt part of any movement. We originally started because of bands like The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and the whole garage revival so if we’re part of anything I think it would have to be that. It’s been slow for us being from Jersey and having to relocate but I’m happy with everything we’ve done so far and the debut album is going to be a reward to everyone who has helped us along the way!

Your debut single Voltaire was unleashed in 2010 on The Playground Records, how was that initially received?

People couldn’t believe the transformation of the band. We were always trying to look like a band and always ranting about being in a band but after the single was released we actually had it written in stone. There were 8/10 reviews, some reviewers hated my voice and some loved it but I think the statement was made and I always wanted the first release to make a strong impact!

The single was produced by James Aparicio (Nick Cave, Mogwai) and mastered by Robert Harder (Brian Eno, The Slits) , how did those link ups come about?

We were put in touch with James Aparicio through our former record label and when we signed to The Playground team we were introduced to Robert who we plan to continue working with, the man is a genius!

I mentioned Voltaire as your debut but there was the Repulsion Seminar EP before that. Tell us about that and are the tracks are still available in some form?

The only hard copy releases we have are the Voltaire 7″ vinyls that we had to get pressed up ourselves as we were messed about by the label. There were 200 copies of each of the EP’s but they sold out pretty fast!

You took a long time to release anything officially was this down to the band striving for the exact sound you wanted or merely lack of opportunity and finance?

I think a lot of it was to do with relocating. Brighton isn’t the easiest place to get known. When we first arrived there you couldn’t get a gig, demos would be put to the bottom of the pile and we were looking at a 3 month wait just to play The Prince Albert but soon we managed to gig quite vastly and the name was getting more popular in London, it was a case of waiting for the press to take notice and then soon label interest started. We didn’t have the funding to be D.I.Y; I was stealing food every day to exist and putting my equipment in Cash Generator to fund touring. I don’t regret any of it though we’ve had some amazing times!

You have also had tracks featured on various compilations, with a new one out right now I believe?

Our first ever release was a psyche-garage cover of Plastic Bertrand’s “Ca Plane Pour Moi” released by Filthy Little Angels Records. It was for a compilation titled ‘1978’ with lots of bands covering songs from that year. Our cover got the best reviews and is a signature to our early sound. The Peter Out Wave compilation CD was released last week on Swedish label Peter Out Records, a 17 track album by bands from all over the world. They asked us if they could include Hypnoti(z)ed (Alt Version) on the album and we gave them the nod!

How does the song writing work within the band?

It’s made up of jams mostly. We got heavily in to The Stranglers ‘The Raven’ album and loved the improvisation they had so we started working on songs with the same analogy and it’s really worked out. I think bands that just go in to a room with a song wrote 2 hours before at home are really missing out on the musicianship that can be worked. Listen to (The Stranglers) and throw your Libertines albums in the bin.

You are almost veterans of festivals not only in the UK but in Europe, which has been the most rewarding and pleasing to return to?

Drop Dead Festival was an amazing experience. Great bands and great ideologies! We’re due to play Fave Rave in Berlin again, that was one of my favorite European ventures, such a great city!

Do you get a distinct audience for your hypnotic and intrusive sounds or is it generally varied at shows?

A lot of the people that come to our shows are dark wave kids. They like the darker element of our sound and the groove that goes with it but we’re trying to mix it up a bit. The album is going to have a dance feel to it! The dance element in bands needs to come back and we’re hoping to revive that!

What have you lined up for the rest of the year gig and festival wise?

We’re relocating to London and starting to write and record the album in full, having a bit of time off over the summer but will begin playing shows again in August starting with a festival appearance at Vale Earth Fair in Guernsey with bands such as Roots Manuva and then we’re due to play some come back shows for a certain band later on in the year. We’ll announce a 12 date UK tour at some point as well, really looking forward to getting back out there!

Is performing live the most rewarding aspect of the band for you?

It’s definitely the most fun part of being in the band but I’d say the most rewarding aspect is when we have written a track, recorded it and hear the response from the fans. It’s all about the fans, they’re what keeps us doing it as well as our own passion to write, record and play. If they don’t like it then we give them a massive slap! ;)

Going back to compilations, I think you will correct me I am sure, it seems that your songs have been on more compilations than your own releases. Is that right and was it planned or just how things worked out?

Yeah I’d say that is true but I think it’s a good thing, I don’t know many other bands who get asked to be on a 2000 pressed compilation CD released in Europe without an album out. We’ve been quite lucky in that respect, completely fluked it!

What is next song wise in regard to releasing something?

Our next single is called ‘(SYS)’ and it sounds like the second chapter of Voltaire which is what we were striving for. It’s a faster pace and it’s a bit Twisty, people are gonna think of bands like Joy Division on this next release. The B-side will be Statues, a song we made available as a free demo download but has recently been mastered by Robert Harder who has made it sound FAT.

Any chance of an album or multi track EP sometime soon?

We may release another EP but we’re concentrating more on writing the full album, we want to get it out there next year for our 10 year anniversary, god we sound old!

Many thanks for talking with us, much appreciated.

Have you any words for you’re the readers?

Learn about cooking, baking, meal planning, cuisines, entertaining, holidays and more with Allrecipes’ informative articles and step-by-step photo tutorials – allrecipes.com

And finally tell us the song or tracks which made the deepest impact on you as people leading to the choice of music as your life.

Gavin: The Count Five – Psychotic Reaction

Chris: Black Flag – TV Party

Mark: Led Zeppelin – Ramble On

www.thegaagaas.co.uk

Listen out for an upcoming special Bone Orchard show from The Reputation Radio Show featuring the new remastered by Robert Harder version of Statues.

www.reputationradioshow.com

The Ringmaster Review 22/06/2012

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