The Black Black – Boogie Nights

BandPhoto-1-WalterWlodarczyk

There is no denying that the One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger 7” single from The Black Black towards the end of last year, scored a deep rooted place on the soundtrack of our and a great many other’s passions with its three tracks of psyche flirting post punk. The release was not only confirmation of an already impressing emergence from the Brooklyn band but a sign post of greater exploits being brewed. It is a recipe which has come to a scintillating and seriously compelling boil on the trio’s debut album Boogie Nights, a salaciously contagious and schizophrenically toned incitement of post punk devilry. Inspired by the 1997 movie of the same name, the album is dirtily seductive and sonically swarthy, though no fakery in colour or overblown additives can be found on the lean and creatively rapacious groove machine. If you thought The Black Black was already the tang to your ears and day, be prepared for melt down once the rhythmically voracious and sonically irresistible Boogie Nights takes hold.

Formed in the latter months of 2011, The Black Black were soon luring attention with the self- release of a pair of EPs in 2012 and a split 7” with fellow Brooklyn band Low Fat Getting High. The early weeks of 2013 saw the band entering the studio with drummer Stephen Chopek (The Everymen) to record the double-A single One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger, the first for Money Fire Records and released in the September of that year. It was the spark to a far broader awareness and attention upon the band, the acclaimed release also in the words of the band, the first which “truly captures the bass-driven, groove-heavy sound and energy of the band.” With drummer Tomo Ikuta joining the founding pair of guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Daily and bassist/vocalist Chris Schnaars also that year, the band has obviously continued to hone their sound and invention resulting in an album which stalks new plateaus of imagination igniting alchemy.

From the first stubby rhythmic swipes and acidic strikes of guitar, opener the plan is, there is no plan has thoughts and appetite on their feet and throwing moves. The angular spicy sparks and grooves of guitar are instant flirtation which the wonderfully throaty bassline and crispy rhythms match in imposing kind. Teasing with a bluesy scent to those grooves and its air, the song continues to rumble and shuffle vivaciously as expressive vocals behave as mischievous and predatory as the sounds around them whilst sudden dips into restraint and melodic seducing add extra bewitchment.

The tremendous starts is straight away emulated by black black snow, the second song again throwing out wiry and tasty grooves as its body swings beats and riffs like an Ian Curtis dance. AlbumCover-MichaelSincavageThoughts of Wire come to the fore quite swiftly, as too of The Gaa Gaas whilst the raw and rhythmically addictive side of the track is bred from the same primal instincts as The Fall. The track is a scuzzy turbulence of pure addictiveness and sonic sexiness, but it and its predecessor soon have to bow before the brilliance of until death do us party. The lead single from the album, it is a temptress from start to finish with a compelling acidic groove, coldly exotic hooks, and anthemic vocals as its biggest weapons out of many. Discord as ever is a vibrant colour to the band’s sound whilst a toxic melodic hue only excites the already vivacious adventure, but with grizzled bass tones and agitated rhythms courted by Mekons like sonic tenacity, the track breaches an ingenuity which is breath-taking.

The following what the world needs now strides purposefully in next with a beat carrying bulging biceps and a grizzly bass enticement which soon has the appetite licking its lips. A low tone to the vocals adds to the addictive drama before the song expels a caustic breath and garage rock ferocity. It slips through both elements again before twisting into a psychotic swing and vocal bedlam which again has body and thoughts dribbling in pleasure. The glorious tempting takes a different avenue with the darkly shadowed machine, who me?, cold almost sinister essences draping over the vocal agitation and Joy Division seeded revelry. As in all encounters though, numerous side steps and unpredictable turns bring greater fascination and ardour the way of the eventual Baddies flavoured evocation.

The previously exalted you’re a danger soon has ears and feet engaged with its slightly unruly but seriously infectious sonic emprise. Wrapped in richly spiced tendrils of melodic fire and intimidating bass menace, the song simultaneously smoulders and stomps on the way to hypnotising the senses with its unrelenting and feverish tapestry of alluring discord and searing guitar toxicity. The track as so many from the band, just seems to grow and worm deeper under the skin over time, a persistence which flows through the album and especially in songs like this drink’s familiar. Shimmering loudly with every shudder of guitar strings and grouchily tempting with every bass slap, the song slowly swarms over the senses, flirting with ears on the way through with bright flickering moves and raunchy beats.

Things get dirty and greedily energetic again with the silence is deafening, a grooved beast of riotous and infection fuelled escapades, and restrained with the sultrily tempting phillip gets divorced. The second of the pair is unafraid to occasionally fire up its bedlam though and bursts into occasional fierce blazes of sound and vocal fury, whilst both songs treat the imagination and passions to exhilarating doses of bracing and abrasing rock ‘n’ roll.

With the similarly irresistible creative psych-out of this land is not your land bringing the album to a close, Boogie Nights has little difficulty inflaming old passions and triggering new lustful responses. It is a certain challenge to all best of lists due to be offered around now and for newcomers to The Black Black an inescapable and thrilling doorway into post punk anarchy whilst for fans it is simply the best thing since…well the band’s last sonic plaything.

Boogie Nights is out now via on Money Fire Records digitally and on 12″ white vinyl @ http://moneyfirerecords.com/boogie-nights-by-the-black-black/ and http://theblackblack.bandcamp.com/album/boogie-nights

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

RingMaster 12/12/2014

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Your Favorite Enemies – Between Illness And Migration

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Released back home earlier this year, Canadian band Your Favorite Enemies give their European unleashing to their album Between Illness And Migration this month, an encounter sure to wake up keen attention over this side of the globe for them and their highly flavoursome sound. Made up of ten tracks which capture the imagination as easily as the ears, the album is a potential fuelled and adventurous proposition, a constant fascination which does not quite set the blaze that maybe its invention and diverse presence deserves. There is a sense of familiarity coating every track and twist within an otherwise dramatic presence which seemingly prevents any real surprises breaking through, but nevertheless Between Illness And Migration leaves ears satisfied and appetite ready for more.

Formed in 2006, the Montreal band is no stranger to taking their striking fusion of shoegaze, post punk, and alternative rock into new pastures, Your Favorite Enemies having played shows across Europe, Japan, China, Indonesia, and of course Canada. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Drive Like Jehu, and Fugazi, the sextet drew strong attention with debut album Love Is a Promise Whispering Goodbye in 2008, its success following the potent base set by previous and first EP And If I Was to Die in the Morning… Would I Still Be Sleeping with You the year before. After a deluxe version of their album, second full-length Vague Souvenir helped expand their presence in 2012 before last year the band released the vinyl album Sacred Kind Of Whispers and the Youthful Dreams of an Old Empire EP to keen responses and recognition. Between Illness And Migration also began its flirtation with the world in 2013, Australian and Japanese versions being unveiled before this year Canada, alongside the Entre Marées Et Autres Ressacs EP, and now Europe received their versions.

Released via Graphite Records, Between Illness And Migration opens with the imagination sparking instrumental Satsuki Yami. Sonically fiery and emotionally agitated, the track is an intro into the album giving no real hint in hindsight of things to come but awakening senses and thoughts successfully for the following temptation of Empire Of Sorrows. Initially a lonely guitar bred melody melancholically strokes ears, its coaxing joined by the just as lamenting spoken tones of vocalist Alex Foster. Building around that single sonic lure, the guitars of Jeff Beaulieu and Sef begin shaping a dramatic web to which rhythms align their brewing intensity and the keys of Miss Isabel offer their initially subdued hues. Once inflamed the song is a stirring cauldron of cold post punk enterprise and provocation, the bass of Ben Lemelin a groaning treat and the beats of drummer Charles Allicy a reined yet rampant incitement. Evolving through gentle and haunted scenery to roaring blazes, there is a refreshing sense of bands like Wire, Modern English, and Flesh for Lulu to the encounter which intrigues as its tantalises the imagination and illness_migration_cover_europe_800passions.

It is a mighty start to the album which A View From Within backs up with its whipping sonic web and slightly portentous air. The acidic and scorched start to the song reminds of Bauhaus but is soon merging into new terrain as keys toy with synth rock enterprise and vocals from Foster and Miss Isabel entwine with spicy variety. As the first track you feel you know or can predict the turns and shifts the song takes but even without that element of surprise, it lights ears and appetite with a flavoursome drama soaked adventure, as does its successor Where Did We Lose Each Other. The first rub of guitar sets the juices flowing which the subsequent rhythmic shuffle and keen hooks only accentuate before a brief relaxation to draw in the vocals slightly dulls the weighty persuasion. From this point the song ebbs and flows, flying high with its vocal and melodic roars and dipping slightly in its less intensively emotive turns. The enterprise of the guitars and the delicious toxicity of the grooves and increasingly barbed hooks ensure the song wins the day though and provides moments of lingering success.

Underneath A Stretching Skyline keeps things bubbling potently, the raw energy and gnarly voice of bass and riffs an inescapable enticement within the just as magnetic sonic winds cast by guitars and keys. Its time is shared with elegant and gentle melodic reflections matched by the vocals; both characters within the song courting each other’s strengths to provide a fascinating drama of sound and lyrical narration. The song epitomises the album in many ways, its presence an engrossing and easily accessible canvas of craft and invention which impressively and enjoyably smoulders rather than ignites a fire with its offering. The same applies to next up From The City To The Ocean, its resonating body and gripping endeavour a lively simmer more than a furnace for the emotions but a treat for ears all the same. With repetition driving much of the vocals and spoken vocals also a full part to the unfolding picture, as across most songs, it takes more time than some to fully convince but subsequently finds the same level of pleasure.

The deviously addictive bassline within I Just Want You To Know soon has ears trapped in the evocative hazy landscape immersing the senses, the song as tenacious in its emotion as it is in sonic temptation, whilst 1-2-3 (One Step Away) is a climatic build of rugged rhythms and punk antagonism within a melody fired creative sprawl of invention and diversity. The pair grips ears and thoughts with their impassioned suasions, the second of the two especially incendiary as it pulls the album back to the impressive levels it started with.

Between Illness And Migration is completed by the sonic maelstroms of firstly Obsession Is A Gun, its pungent drama bewitching, and finally Muets Aux Temps Des Amours, a noir lit enchantment which croons with anguish and slowly burning but ultimately rich temptation. The closer shows more of the strengths of Fosters striking vocals and those of Miss Isabel but also the one personal niggle about the album. That is the want to use spoken vocals throughout the majority of tracks, some more strongly than others. It is an idea which works a treat for the main but by the last songs it finally feels overdone, its variety and success becoming formula. As mentioned it is just something which laboured for us and will be fine for others, and it definitely does not make for a major issue.

Your Favorite Enemies with Between Illness And Migration show themselves to be an adventurous and bold band, their release impossible to ignore or stay away from as it impresses more with every listen. Their oncoming evolution is one to anticipate and enjoy it is easy to suggest, starting with this great release, and once they find real distinction to their sound that missing blaze just might be running amok.

Between Illness And Migration is available now via Graphite Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id920852948

http://yourfavoriteenemies.com/

RingMaster 25/11/2014

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Manilow – Cease and Desist EP

 

 

Manilow

With the aggressive contagion of Fuckshovel, the sonic seduction of PiL, and the raw energy and antagonism of UK Subs, UK punks Manilow make a striking and irresistible entrance with debut EP Cease and Desist. Consisting of four varied and ridiculously compelling songs, the release is a spark lying in wait to ignite the passions of all punks past and presence, as well as the start of a potent and greedily devoured presence for the band.

Tagged as post punk but as much punk, alternative, and noise rock as that equally rich spice, Manilow springs from South London and has seemingly already brewed up a strong buzz around themselves in the year since forming. Now making a fuller and wider announcement of their presence, sound, and intent, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Dean Moston, drummer Gary Cardno, and bassist Paul Chamberlain stir up a nostalgic and distinctly fresh and antagonistic storm with the excellent Cease and Desist EP. Co-produced by Part Chimp’s Tim Cedar and mastered by former Quireboy Guy Bailey, the EP twists and stomps with a creative relish and down to earth attitude which seizes the imagination whilst inflaming old school ears and fresh adrenaline fuelled bodies.

Cease and Desist opens with Missing, an instantly caustic blaze with bluesy riffs and grooves flirting with throaty bass bait and heavily jabbing beats. Unpolished and excitingly abrasive, the track strides with a seventies breath recalling the likes of Angelic Upstarts and Ruts, and a garage punk scuzziness with whispers of the Stooges. It is an instantly and increasingly addictive encounter, easy to add limbs and voice to whilst it roars and provokes.Cease and Desist CD Cover

The following Law Here ventures into the post punk side of the band. From a potent and firmly coaxing cold bassline, guitars respectfully flare up and drizzle psych kissed sonic designs over ears and thoughts. That PiL reference is a strong whiff here with the breeze of keys provided by Chamberlain tempering and seducing that appealing scent. Perpetually colourful in its elegant and reserved but caustically toned flight, the song swirls and growls like something related to early The Horrors and The Damned whilst transfixing ears with constant resourcefulness and magnetism.

Things kick up another gear with the final pair of tracks. Firstly there is the brawling tenacity and charm of Control Issue. From its first second, riffs snarl and badger the senses whilst the beats of Cardno rap with fresh menace. Fuelled by the aggressive tones of Moston, the song seems to grow in attitude and contempt but invites further listener participation with its terrace like bred chorus and sonic invention. It is a rip-roaring treat of a provocation matched by the closing might of Vitamins. A resonating throb of bass announces its intimidating appearance, a predatory lure swiftly wrapped in a sonic acidity from Moston’s guitar. From within the impending assault a rhythmic hypnotism emerges, Cardno soon gripping feet and hunger with a Wire like temptation. It is not too long either before compelling and contagious hooks leap at ears and passions, their simple but irrepressible enticement the lead into a vocally raw chorus. With spicy blues hues brought through the melodic and scorching endeavour of the guitar to flirt with the uncompromising hook driven spine of the song, the closer is a riveting and blissfully satisfying end to an excellent debut.

Punk in all its shades and corners is going through a thrilling adventure right now, especially in the UK, and adding another fresh and delicious string to its bow is Manilow.

The Cease and Desist EP is available from October 10th @ http://manilow.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/Manilow.band/

RingMaster 10/10/2014

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Ventenner – Distorture

Ventenner

Sculpting a collection of startling and emotionally stark yet seductive soundscapes which combine for one immersive and compelling dystopian landscape, UK band Ventenner has unleashed one of the year’s most compelling incitements with new album Distorture. A release and experience which leaves the senses beleaguered and imagination ablaze from start to finish, it is a mouth-watering intrusion of aural drama taking the listener on a gripping and invasive journey into not only the heart of the album’s own narrative but their own shadows. It is an extraordinary proposition which persistently crafts and frees intimidating seductions and contagiously raw rages with every imposing twist and evocative turn, and simply gets better and more emotionally vocal over time,

The successor to the well-received This Is The Reason album of 2012, Distorture arrives after a movement in not only sound but the shape of the 2007 formed London band; Ventenner once the solo project of Charlie Dawe (vocals/synth) growing into a quartet with Jonno Lloyd (guitar), Ben Martin (bass), and Luke Jacobs (drums) now alongside him. The move has resulted in the new album exploring a more guitar driven investigation against the previous predominantly synth and electronics fuelled approach of the project. Released via Sonic Fire Records, Distorture presents a cacophony of industrial and post punk seeded noise aligned to chilled textures and melodic invention against barren yet mesmeric atmospheres. That though is still only a glimpse of the creative shadows and colouring presented by the sonic paintings confronting ears and thoughts.

The adventure opens with Rise, a raw and portentous ambience bringing the track into view before the instrumental casts a rhythmic enticement which is as challenging as the atmosphere brewing up around it. The electronic starkness is gently corrosive bait but tempered by the intrigue clad riffs which soon line-up to ignite the imagination. It is a dramatic introduction to the dark creative emprise ahead but just a teaser as swiftly shown by the outstanding Six Blood. A predatory stroll breaks out from the song’s first seconds, its gait cloaked in mellow and slightly monotonic vocals as well as grouchy riffs which cast a grizzled hue over the gripping scenery of the track. Nine Inch Nails meets early Pitchshifter, the song is a fascinating entanglement of textures and tones, a kaleidoscope of erosive sonic hues, compelling monotony, and emotional turmoil twisted into an addictively captivating tempest.

The following Wave is just as enslaving for ears and passions. Again a chilled terrain is walked by seemingly disinterested yet persistent riffs and vocals before exploding into incendiary roars which sear the senses and inflame the imagination. It is a demanding suasion of Gravity Kills like temptation and Die Krupps bred fury yet something wholly unique and pressingly bewitching. Its oppressive angst and fiery climate is followed by the openly different yet magnetically similar Unaffected, another abrasing furnace of sound and intent which takes the listener gently by the hand before throwing them into a turbulent pit of sonic rage and passion. There is an underlying tempting though, melodic and rhythmic, which nags throughout the tempestuous offering and has its loudest say in the passage of restrained emotion and sound which provokes before a climactic finale.

The instrumental title track gnaws on the senses next, its cavernous shadows and tones drawing on Killing joke and Wire seeding as a sonic haze haunts and provokes the emotions. It is an intimidating web of noise and intent which continues into the hidden depths and dark corners of Skin Ritual. Again Wire springs to mind, its bleak breath and enticing slithers of melodic coaxing engrossing, especially with the additional female vocals aligning to those of Dawe. It is a strenuously mesmeric encounter which smoulders and ripples with emotional temptation and electronic incitement like a hope fuelled dream within a suffocating sleep.

From that somnambulistic flight, Begin Again offers a raw and corrosive embrace which is ignited by the virulently infectious military exercise of the drums. Simultaneously crawling over the senses and exposing body and thoughts to a dervish like assault of inescapable rhythmic captivation, the predominantly instrumental track is a mystique lit fall into a bedlamic state of sonic and emotional antagonism. It is an uncompromising and exhaustive yet reassuringly rewarding seduction which is surpassed by the outstanding Metacell whose rhythmic temptation is also driven by an irresistible virulence. A rolling swagger of drums jabs is soon joined by a predatory voracity of riffs and vocals, their charm carnivorous and touch hostile yet courted by a magnetic stride of beats. It makes for a deep rooted addiction, much like the album, and provides another pinnacle of what in many ways is a resourcefully psychotic release.

Both Fallout and Cast assault and transfix ears with a creative voracity within deceptively minimalistic structures and temptations. The first is a seductive croon prone to sonic outbursts crossed with passion drenched rages and its successor a haunting caress of the senses brought by an emotional causticity. Both tracks test and spark reflective reactions with their absorbing ingenuity. Neither though can match the glorious deep shadows and intimate provocation of Undone, a song soaked in melodic beauty, classically seeded keys, and seductive elegance. It is a sonic sunset which engulfs the imagination before making way for the similarly enthralling closing track Shade, its title telling you all you need to know about its tone and emotions, if not the sweeping beauty and melodic majesty within its temptation.

It is a mighty end to an album which enslaves the imagination and passions from start to finish. Reaping the seeds of old school post punk austerity with a more modern industrial rapacity, Ventenner twist them into something scintillating and emotionally epic verging on disturbing as evidenced by the brilliant Distorture.

Distorture is available via Sonic Fire Records now @ http://sonicfire.bandcamp.com/album/distorture

http://www.ventenner.com

9/10

RingMaster 01/09 2014

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Jubilee Courts – Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight

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As shoegaze seems to be pushing its boundaries in sound and intensity, UK band Jubilee Courts add their own striking and tantalising slice of sonic climate with the Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight EP. Holding five tracks which are as sultry as they are invasively seductive, the release brings a delicious merger of eighties post punk and psychedelically fuelled shoegaze with an incendiary and modern sonic rapacity. It makes for a proposition which carries a potently inciting familiarity but equally a uniquely fresh and provocative enticement.

Hailing from Northampton, Jubilee Courts was formed in 2011 by vocalist/guitarist Josh Falconer, guitarist Matt Bradstreet, and bassist/vocalist Harry Boyde. Soon building up a potent reputation with their live presence around their hometown and surrounding areas, the current line-up was completed with the addition of drummer Frank Robertson-Marriott. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Bauhaus, and Joy Division musically, T S Elliott and Delmore Schwartz lyrically, the band laid down a wider stretching lure with the Stalkers Records released single Room with a View at the end of 2013. Mixed by Temples frontman James Bagshaw, the track pushed the band into a fuller spotlight which Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight is sure to intensify. The band’s first EP is a thick and hazy adventure in breath and sound yet one which infuses at times a minimalistic intimacy and seductive romance to its ambient and melodic explorations, turning the imagination on its head whilst nagging with a monotone and humdrum persistence. Each song is an interpretation of life, an emotional and mental flirtation from which thoughts and senses find healthy inspiration.

City Flow brings the release to life, its initial sonic wind an attention taking intro from which a lone guitar begins teasing thoughts. Its melodic lead is swiftly accompanied by the dark shadows of the bass and the discord kissed vocals of Jubilee-Courts1-450x450Falconer. It is a raw and haunted enticement which instantly brings thoughts of The Jesus and Mary Chain and early Cure as the song wraps its evocative texture and sonic suggestion around the senses. Eventually the air and turbulence of the scenery increases, guitars creating a tension soaked flaming across bolder and broader rhythmic rumblings. It is a glorious start matched by the cacophonous beauty of Something Different. The again discord fuelled tempest which brings the song into view enslaves attention and appetite but soon makes way for a melody closely related to that within its predecessor, its niggling beckoning rich and irresistible. It too is only a moment in the journey of the track, a surf rock like stream of warmth and sonic acidity immersing ears in a sultry blaze. The instrumental is pure mesmerism, an inescapable soundscape through which the compelling dark bass lure of Boyde coldly tempers an escalating aural sunspot.

The startling entrance of the album is just as impressively continued by Outside Your House, its opening bait a heavy footed and slightly fuzzy bass prowl which is soon aligned to a percussive stomp and a ridiculously addictive guitar hook. A disorientating dance breaks out within the rhythms soon after, not for the first or last time Jubilee Courts binding a melodic elegance and smoothness with a seemingly disorganised and agitated but skilfully crafted contrast of ideation. There is always a rich essence of My Bloody Valentine to songs but here hints of bands like Birdland and Wire similarly add their suggestive whispers. The track continues to lay tender yet imposing melodic and sonic tendrils around the ears as the bass finds its darkest side yet to spark another wave of hunger for the EP which is matched to a lesser but still rich degree by Under the Sand Again. The song is the cloudiest of all on the release, its smoky air and turbulent weave of sonic trespass an insatiable pressure. Throughout though melodic veining shines pleadingly from within the thick atmosphere whilst vocally Falconer resonates and smoulders with his great unpolished tones. It is a heady mix but eventually clarity does free itself as the song builds to a fiery climax. The song is also one which misses that final spark which brings other tracks to bear so addictively on the passions.

The release saves its best proposal till the end, in the riveting and scintillating shape of Sunday Shift. A surf bred line of sonic irresistibility entwines itself around ears and imagination from its first breath, taking the initial lead as suggestive rhythms and a second strand of melodic toxicity rapidly add their spice. There is also fullness to the still minimalistic intent of the track which bounds across the senses but this time with every aspect finding its own clear voice in the entrancing weave. Providing an enthralling and nostalgic post punk temptation in its chilled hooks and rhythms as well as vocally, the track unveils an aural alchemy which even with its rich eighties flavouring and inspiration is innovative and virulently addictive.

To describe the music of Jubilee Courts thoughts of My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain, as well as Joy Division are unavoidable but to that essences of The Horrors, Wire, Crispy Ambulance, and Artery come into the mix. The band has though forged a sound and release in Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight which stands alone in presence as it gives an impressive and thrilling twist to shoegaze.

The Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight EP is available now.

http://jubileecourts.com/

9/10

RingMaster 04/08/22014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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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

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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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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