Obsessive Compulsive – Seculo Seculorum

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There has been a good buzz about Seculo Seculorum, the second album from UK punksters Obsessive Compulsive, since its release a couple of months ago but now having allowed its thrilling exploits to tease and excite our senses the record far outweighs the plenty of good responses draped upon it so far. It is an outstanding release, a collection of songs that stand toe to toe with the ears intimidating and coaxing them and all beyond into its riotous and provocative charge. Rife with feisty riffs, probing rhythms, and more hooks than to be found in an angling store, as well as the excellent spitefully seductive tones of vocalist Kelii, the album is an irrepressible temptation declaring the rock and punk fused presence of the band as one of the most exciting in the UK.

The Manchester quartet first drew attention with a couple of EPs but fired up a stronger awareness with debut album Dreams of Death and the Death of Dreams in 2010. Released on their own Vociferous Records and produced by Russ Russell (The Wildhearts/Evile/Napalm Death), the album triggered strong and eager responses as well as a wealth of underground media acclaim. Renowned for their live performances, which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Goldblade, GBH, Anthrax, The Damned Things, KMFDM, Wolfsbane, and The Japanese Voyeurs as well as igniting festivals such as Bloodstock, Hard Rock Hell, and Download Festival, Obsessive Compulsive are now poised to raise their stature to a much loftier level with the James Loughrey (Skindred/Bjork/Page & Plant) recorded Seculo Seculorum (meaning ‘forever and ever’).

As immediately evident on the album, Obsessive Compulsive reaps the finest essences of punk, alternative rock, and a multi-flavoured OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArock rawness which combines to create a confrontation which leaves you breathless and gripped by a hunger for more. Imagine The Distillers and The Duel tied down and milked for their antagonistic charms whilst Karn8 stands astride adding their wantonness and you get a sniff of what the album offers. There is also a melodic fire and bite which harkens back to the late seventies with both The Photos and Penetration coming to mind at times. The moment opener Sick Sick Sick bursts into a blaze of hypnotic riffs laced with a contagious groove and commanding rhythms, there is a cage around the passions sparking them into life especially as Kelii brawls into the ear with sexy intimidation. There is a sense of US rockers Mongrel about the song too when it flares up in pissed off crescendos around its virulent infectious call. It is a scintillating start that lingers around for a long time inside though it is soon matched by the brilliant Regurgitate.

The second song on the album initiates the strongest lure just by the instant firm stroking of guitar and vocals, the combination a temptation which seems to know there is no escaping its toxicity. Into its stride once again the suasion is immense and impossible to resist, the roguish roam of the riffs framed by crisp beats seemingly seeded in old school punk rock whilst Kelii provides a Pauline Murray like snarl and melodic craft to her delivery. It is another instant pinnacle which alongside its predecessor puts the rest of the album under pressure.

Both the inventively unpredictable Stamp Your Own Path and the smouldering Jardim Gramacho put up massively satisfying efforts to grip the same heights whilst Nail In My Coffin stands shoulder to shoulder with the openers with its scything riffs and barracking rhythms egged on by the continuing to impress vocals. The track engages full thrusters in the energetic chorus to rampage as melodic flames hang on to its wind, though they are later allowed to settle and bewitch the listener with skilled and inventive narratives either side of the storm. The track again shows the variety in sound and imagination already on the album, the diversity brought with invention and an array of ingenious barbs which are never too much or allowed to get too complicated.

Float idles up next with bass and deep toned guitar edging the sultry tones of Kelii as the track unveils a slightly chilling and menacing beauty to its expansive breath, keys bringing an enveloping atmosphere which almost haunts the ear whilst shards of hot guitar coals light the skies. Drawing up its sinews and malevolent passion the song builds into a rapacious fire before settling down again into the initial smoulder. It is another slice of brilliance helping to propel the album into classic areas, the evidence of that status cemented further by the twin glories of Soul Sucker and Things Clean And Unclean, the first very much a Karn8 type inducement with elements of Hole and Hitchcock Blonde to it and its successor a gritty slice of dirty punk with L7 whispers to its stunning suasion, the steely bass bait a greedy temptress. It should be noted though for all the references mentioned the Obsessive Compulsive sound is still as distinct as you would hope.

After the metallically honed triumph Fight Or Flight the album unleashes its finest moment in the punk fury of No Logo. The track is pure venom and belligerence, a blistering X-Ray Spex like piece of contentious savagery which squalls and scowls with no mercy shown or considered. It is a bruising fight which accentuates the beauty of closing song Swallow The Sound all the more, the song a compelling rock ballad with a melodic heat that frames the vocals perfectly.

Obsessive Compulsive is a band which leaves only the richest appetite and urgency for their creativity in play, and Seculo Seculorum an album which seriously threatens the best UK rock album claims for the year. A must listen release.

http://www.obsessivecompulsiveband.com/

9/10

RingMaster 23/08/2013

 

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Forgery Lit – Onamacritus

Forgery Lit pic

Listening to Onamacritus, the new EP from UK band Forgery Lit, the overriding feeling is that tingle you get when you feel like you are in on the beginning of something rather special, an awareness which not many others have had the taste of yet, though it would be a real shock if the trio from Bristol were not echoing around the senses of a great many in the very near future. Their four track release is simply scintillating, an inspired and imaginative temptation bred from distinct invention and unique aural mischief. Sounding like the tantalising offspring from an orgy between Blood Red Shoes, Breeders, and Penetration with the Au Pairs and Spinnerette offering their juices, and yet sounding something completely different, Forgery Lit is a fire waiting to happen, and their new release we suggest the irresistible spark.

Consisting of Ami Amp (vocals/drums), Gareth Jones (bass/backing vocals), and Niko Mar (guitar, backing vocals), the three friends from three different parts of the world (Greece, South east and South west of England), take inspirations from the likes of Juliette and the Licks, Mogwai, No Doubt, Nirvana and more, spicing up a sound which defies tagging and stands loudly distinctive to the band. As shown by the EP, it is a fusion of indie and rock which employs breaths from many other ventures for one new thrilling experience.

As soon as Dirty Life throws a mesh of sonic dust at the ear senses are opened up and appetite wide eyed in anticipation. It is a 27934_607200582626200_832823740_nbrief scrub soon replaced by a teasing groove and strolling rhythms hand in hand with a swagger lit bassline. The vocals of Amp confidently coax and seduce with slight menace and total persuasion adding to the provocative temptation which subsequently reacts to the listener’s submission with a sonic crescendo of squalling greedy energy before going through the whole incendiary lure again to cement the deal. The drift into blues soaked tempting within a bedlamic ambience makes for an unexpected and exciting aside whilst the returning earnest tempest confirms the already incited ardour. The lead track/video from the release it makes a potent introduction to the band.

She Said has a reggae whispering walk to its opening embrace with the vocals and rhythmic enticement of Amp waving a beckoning finger at the ear before bass and guitar light up the scenic embrace with feisty passion and evocative colour. A more gentle engagement than the previous song it still grabs thoughts and emotions by the scruff of the neck and leads them into an excitable dance of discord teasing melodic blistering crafted with a post punk enterprise. It has an uncompromising invention which is hypnotic in its invigorating ingenuity but is never afraid to drench it in a surge of heart sculpted energy bleeding ferocity.

With just two songs the EP has won its case but with the remaining pair of Bicycle and Fairweather, there is nothing less than more eclectic weaves and rapture igniting quality to devour and drive those thoughts and expectations that Forgery Lit is poised to become a new force in UK rock. The first of the two stands eye to eye with the senses, a riff guided groove searing the synapses to enslave their focus before beats cage their escape and Amp lays out her narrative with a seductive wantonness.  It is with the expulsion of sky bound sonic flames with acidic melodic fuel and a deliciously broody bass assistance that the track finds another plateau of excellence. X-Ray Spex meets Karn8, it is a sizzling and beguiling confrontation and the best track on the EP, a creative devilment which says as much about the immense invention as the other three songs together.

The closing Fairweather is a slowly smouldering caress which is as gentle as it is caustic in its predatory surges, a final piece of passionate and expansive excellence setting the band up as one of the most exciting and promising bands of recent years. Recorded at AudioBeach Studios with Forbes Coleman, Onamacritus is one release all need to invite into their ears, your hearts it will find by itself soon after.

https://www.facebook.com/forgerylit

9/10

RingMaster 28/05/2013

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Trioxin Cherry: Hell To Pay EP

Trioxin Cherry

The Hell To Pay EP is a release to have every graveyard rocking and monster, mythical or real, adopting as their personal soundtrack. It is a malevolent infestation of the senses leading to a full consumption of the heart whilst igniting a furnace of passion with its horror punk glories. The release comes from Nottingham, UK band Trioxin Cherry, a band made up by a trio of insatiable ghouls who grab your soul with irresistible hooks and venom drenched riffs born of the darkest pit of punk, psychobilly, and garage. Raw and hungry, band and EP just leave one a carcass of blissful satisfaction.

Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Rebecca Campbell, bassist/vocalist Pete Grady, and Ryan Murphy on drums, Trioxin Cherry go for coverthe jugular from the very first second of Hell To Pay and do not let go until they have chewed and ripped a hole out of the throat by last snarling note of the release. The title track is the first confrontation and without concern unleashes a flesh scorching groove and flurry of rising rhythmic aggression. The initial persistent hook continues as the bass riffs of Grady leers menacingly from within the bruising guitar scraping and forceful beats of Murphy. Campbell all the while is lighting up the air with her potent vocals and sounding like an English Fay Fife , front lady of Rezillos/Revillos; the first of those bands also being reminded of as the psychobilly drenched track exhilarates the senses. It is a riotous encounter brought with bruising intensity and superbly crafted intrigue conjured by skill and imagination.

The terrific start is flowed up by the equally compelling Children Of The Damned, a track with an enticing throaty bass lure and the sultry vocals of Campbell. Well into its stride the track unleashes a bassline which is a very close cousin to that from The B52’s track Rock Lobster. It is a mischievous but very pleasing addition to a song which leaves one drooling over its wanton presence. Vocally Campbell this time has an attitude and tone which brings to mind Lesley Woods of eighties band Au Pairs, her delivery melodic but with a bite which intimidates beautifully.

Two songs in and the release has already won the heart over to be honest, and with following triumphs in Bad Company and Sideshow Molly leaving their own distinct infection to douse the passions in further thrills, one can only wax lyrical about the release. The first of the two rising from a subdued yet threatening prowling stomp to an antagonistic storm of raucous group harmonies and vocal spite thrust on a caustic onslaught of energy, raises the temperature further, the almost anthemic brawling crescendos wonderfully acidic on the ear. The other song opens with a garage punk breath and that dark texture The Cramps spawn so long ago soaking the bass and the backing vocals of Grady. It is a contagious Lycan themed rumble with a surf wind whipping up extra wantonness to the already virulent entrapment at play.

The release closes with yet another distinct rage of sound, the band continually able to offer a different flavour and texture to every aural recip. Hit Me is a tempest of punk n roll, a compelling rockabilly growl from the bass joined by a fire of punk aggression in sound and attitude with Campbell bring a rage born of Polystyrene of X-Ray Spex. It is a quarrelling slab of contention and insatiable noise and quite delicious.

If any of the genres or artists mention make things happen which your mother would not like to know about then the Hell To Pay EP and especially Trioxin Cherry  is a must have treat to devour with greed. The release is an eclectically spiced joy and without doubt, one of the highlights of the year. Watch out for band and release on The Bone Orchard podcast.

https://www.facebook.com/trioxincherry

RingMaster 05/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Twinkle and The Sluts: Self Titled EP

    Band

    Having had the pleasure of reviewing their previous Sluttier Than Thou EP and playing well received tracks on the Audioburger.com radio shows, it was no surprise that there was a tingle of excitement when UK punk rockers Twinkle and The Sluts recently released its self-titled successor. As the first EP, the release is a DIY treat of enterprise and attitude from the band which like the sounds inside, takes emotions back to the refreshing early days of punk.  Consisting of five stomping tracks the new release is blessed by and suffers from the same essences as their previous record and is equally as pleasing and rewarding.

Musically the band have not exactly moved forward but then with a sound which is aural contagion whilst chewing on the senses it is hardly worth mentioning. Production  like with the first EP does throw up issues from their DIY stance, making some moments feel bare and starkly raw when a little polish is needed but again back in the late seventies when this was the norm as bands broke free, we loved it. Again the collection of songs shouts out the potential of the band ahead whilst bringing a greatly satisfying riot in the now to engage in. Twinkle and The Sluts are one of the more impressive emerging rock bands in the UK, their blend of sounds which treat like a mix of X-Ray Spex, Penetration, Distillers, L7,and Juliette and The Licks, bringing them up to the side of the likes of The Bambi Killers and The Duel.

The release opens with the snappy beats and snarling bass of Renegade, its prowling predatory glancing speared by the feisty sonic381338_508381209191309_1661638130_n gazes of guitarist Alex and antagonistic vocals of Twinkle. The song never explodes into an expected fury but switches the addictive teasing with fuller bruising crescendos leading to and around the chorus. The beats of Curlz are hypnotic as they frame and drive the song whilst bassist Ash probes and snaps at the ear with simple but rich basslines, it all combining for a tasty opening to the EP. We would be lying if we denied feeling a little short changed by the production, expecting and wanting the song to bitch slap the senses at some point but being as over demanding as ever, the song still delivers big time to our satisfaction.

Drag Me To Hell follows and sets itself up as one of the best moments on the release. It is a dirty little gem of a track with a knowing swagger and Ramones like innocence which grabs the ear from its first grooved second to its last middle finger fuelled note. It is probably one of those songs which will find a different reception with different people, its repetition and corrosive cymbal smashes not for everyone but with its infectious breath and effect teased vocals makes for a compelling and pleasing encounter.

Things drop to a slow stalking with Sleaze, its rock gait and well thought out layers of instrumentation quite irresistible. Like the other songs it shows off the imagination in the songwriting and individual skills nicely giving evidence that the band has more in their locker than just punk and uncomplicated rock n roll. The track nicely sets one up to a song which was the highlight of the last EP and receives a reworking this time around. Narcissism is an exceptional song, a track which ticks all the boxes and sends limbs and passions into full frenzy. It has to be said though that the new version does not match the original which is surprising and disappointing, though it still stands as an impressive and addictive joy. It is hard to say what is missing, but there is certainly a lack of the bite and intensity which came with the Sluttier Than Thou original.

The release is completed by the excellent Russian Roulette, a song which has a Siouxsie and the Banshees meets Hole feel about it. It shuffles up pace and intensity for a thrilling incursion upon the ear with expertise and with its smart hooks and skilled melodic enticements takes top honours of the release.

The Twinkle and The Sluts EP is a great piece of combat to stand toe to toe with, of course the band wins but it is great fun succumbing to their uncompromising mischief. Hopefully someone somewhere will let them loose in a full studio without trying to quell their instinctive punk independence and attitude, then watch out.

www.facebook.com/twinkleandthesluts

RingMaster 30/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Bambi Killers: The Invisible EP

Want to meet the best punk rock band in the UK? A big claim to be laid at the feet of a band for sure but using their debut EP The Invisible as evidence, that is what Welsh band The Bambi Killers is at this point in time. With the wicked wantonness of Karn8, the sexy attitude of The Objex, the mischief of Dirt Box Disco, and the snarl of The Duel and L7, the quartet from Swansea have it all to go down in punk history. Big swinging riffs, raw energy, and vocals to send tingles where tingles have no right to be, The Bambi Killers is a riot in every sense and pleasure.

The band consists of Cluffy on vocals and rhythm guitar, guitarist Pumba and bassist Muppet with both providing backing vocals, and Bom on drums. Together they are a vibrant and action packed unit which leave nothing in the locker in their songs and we are reliably informed neither in their riotous live shows. They have the heart and essence which made the likes of Vice Squad, X-Ray Spex, Ruts, and The Adicts so important back in the day but fire it up with rock n roll which is instinctive and driven by the energy of today. Combined it makes for, certainly in the case of The Invisible EP, sounds which ignite all the passions and feed all the insatiable needs of any rock heart.

The release opens with the song of the year, Don’t Be Invisible. A confrontational taunt to the apathy of gig attendees and the no risk lone easy life attitude of people as a whole, the song is simply glorious. The song immediately erupts in suggestive riffs and growling bass lines whilst Cluffy challenges with word and intent.  Persistent and combative without delving into violence the track is a prowling devil which leaves nothing in doubt and provokes a reaction in all. The voice of Cluffy is a sultry mix of Dominique Lenore Persi (Stolen Babies) and Agnete Kjølsrud (Animal Alpha, Djerv) and sits alongside Kirst of Karn8 as the sexiest voice in UK rock. The ironic thing about the track is that those it is poking a finger at will be caught up in and aiding its anthemic might, safely from their bedrooms no doubt.

The following Get Up Get Out Get Off slams into the ear with immediate energy and enthusiasm. A more directly driven track it is a storm of feisty riffs and jabbing rhythms speared by a catchy addictive chorus and scorched guitar strikes. Like many punk classics it is simple and to the point whilst igniting the deepest satisfaction. Less intricate and varied as its predecessor, the song shows that The Bambi Killers can deliver rock n roll in any form with accomplishment and passion.

The Weight Of The Morning swaggers up next with attitude to the fore and forceful sounds to back it up. Like Spinnerette meeting Bikini Kill, the song crawls all over the senses like a lustful teenager though with more restraint than they can ever find. With an almost hypnotic lure the track is a feast of thumping beats and ear stripping riffs but when it drifts into a slow seductive aside it triggers ferocious fires and it has to be said the soaring sounds of Cluffy at this point brings a sign not only to the lips.

Hmmm moving on….. the release is completed by the outstanding Lights Out to complete a four point slab of excellence. With the urgency and melodic flavouring of early Clash or Vibrators, the song is another sing-a-long treat of style and skilled energy, and like its partners in crime another which one cannot resist desecrating with their own voice.

The Invisible EP is stunning and its creators a band set to turn UK punk rock, if not further afield, on its head. Watch out world The Bambi Killers are coming to get you.

http://thebambikillers.com/

RingMaster 04/09/2012

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Varnish: Each To Each

here has been a ceaseless flow of bands harking back to and using revitalised flavours from the post-punk bands of the 80s for a while now. Many have impressively reinterpreted those obvious influences whilst others are open in their borrowing but a few have created an instinctive sound that would see them as a major force back then and a thrilling proposition now. One such group is Seattle band Varnish, a group that mesmerises and inflames the senses of most who come across their discordant jangly charms and striking cutting melodies.

Formed in 2007 by vocalist and lyricist Amber Bird and guitarist Jason Cope the band has collected many adoring hearts whilst winning over their hometown and in past months by flexing their darkly angelic wings further afield through channels such as the Reputation Introduces Radio Show. Varnish is completed by drummer aNdi pUzL (though the recorded tracks on the EP feature Ben Crosby) and bassist Johnny Straube whose own excellent band Post Adolescence where he caresses the ear as guitarist and vocalist, is also a leading and strongly acclaimed band in Seattles vibrant musical scene. The quartet have united to deliver a sound that is refreshing and equally nostalgic and a debut EP Each To Each, that lights up the heart with clean but dirty punk sounds and intense but undemanding energy.

In their bio the bands says their music consists of “Songs about the hopes we cling to and the regrets that cling to us. Rooted in rain-soaked cities and dry mouths, Varnish want to stand by you when the lights go out and occasionally point out the stars”.  Those two sentences sum up the music and the lyrics perfectly and gives you a clear idea of the poetic but incisive writing of Bird. The songs bring out the darker sides of life and relationships, those showed corners all have or will experience at some point but there is always a spark to turn things into a hopeful positive, if even a mere glimpse of light. Lyrically and musically there is a perfect union, the words as open and dark as the sounds and the music as lively and refreshing as the lyrics.

Each To Each in a way comes in two parts, the eight track release made up of five studio recordings and three live tracks. Recorded at the world famous London Bridge studios and produced and mixed by Mark Clem (Blanco y Negro, Post Adolescence) at his own Soul Kitchen studio the five recordings are impressive to say the least. Each song is a mini classic using upright riffs and minimalistic tones that fluctuate between urgent directness and more expansive eager crescendos. Believe It opens up the release with a probing pulsating bassline and chatty guitar riffs that taunt and tease openly. The songs sounds like a hybrid of the militant punk of Au Pairs and the sparse simplicity of Young Marble Giants, two iconic post-punk UK bands from the 80s.

Not Complaining is almost predatory in its mid paced subdued beat from Crosby and Straube, the rhythm seemingly looking and waiting for the moment to pounce. Again there are unavoidable comparisons to bands like Au Pairs and the offbeat frivolity of Martha And The Muffins but all in an extremely positive and deeply enjoyable way. Bird delivers the words with confidence and a heartfelt energy showing she is living the song as she performs not just singing some words. This is especially apparent in Bruise Me where she almost spits out the words with a keenest verging on malice and bitter venom. Musically too the track has a belligerence and spite from the grumbling menacing bassline and cutting strokes of a fuzzed up guitar.

The remaining two studio tracks carry on the impressive quality and sound. Slipping comes with a Joy Division toned sound that opens into a jangling melodic warmth with Cope meandering wonderfully behind Birds spoken parts. It is the most varied of all the tracks though not as instantly addictive but that makes it a gem of a different colour. Tied To My Chair is an attitude soaked punk song with a glorious FU bassline and dirty bleeding guitars. The song has a feel of X-Ray Spex about it especially in Birds again spiteful vocal display.

The three live tracks featuring aNdi pUzL on drums are admittedly not of the best production quality but more than show a band that is worth checking out live and songs that one is eager to hear at close quarter or from the studio. Insignificant Other and Wanna are again true punk songs with the latter showing Bird giving a Siousxie Sioux like performance.

Each To Each is an outstanding release that for the listeners of Reputation Introduces is an almost greatest hits type EP, with a few of the songs being aired eagerly on the live radio shows. If there is one complaint it is that Varnish have unleashed an EP so addictive one cannot get it off the playlist long enough to review anything else.

Get Each To Each @http://varnish.bandcamp.com/

http://www.varnishcentral.com/

RingMaster 12/12/2011

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Twinkle and The Sluts – Sluttier Than Thou EP

With a name like Twinkle and The Sluts it was only going to go two ways. The band was either going to be a bunch of glam posers with pretence and a misguided belief in the actual weight and might or a formidable dirty rock/punk band with an attitude to match their edginess. Thankfully the UK punks are firmly in the camp of the latter and a band with the intent to stir things up with music that puts heart and creative energy first.

We called Twinkle and The Sluts punk but they actually sit nicely between that genre and rock to forge their own sound which, though as the Sluttier Than Thou EP shows the band are still defining it, has an impact and devilment which lights up the ear on every track. The band deliver a sound which feels inspired by the rock sounds of the likes of Distillers and Juliette and The Licks as well as being influenced by punk bands like L7 and Vice Squad. It is a stirring mix which only goes to accelerate the desire to hear more from the band.

 

The EP is of a demo quality to be fair but its rawness cannot hide the quality and vibrancy within the band and their music, and actually adds to the feel and edge of the contents. Each track fills the ear with little regard for comfort or gentle persuasion, the Birmingham based quartet eager to rattle cages and inspire reaction. The track Shut Your Dirty Mouth is a prime example. Opening with rhythms from drummer Curlz which intimidate from the off as Adam plunders the ear with his bass, the track erupts into a frenzied assault of guitar riffs from Alex primed to provoke a response. With the fine vocals of Twinkle taking charge the song is a slightly retro punk song which satisfies greatly.

The same can be said of Coffin Nail, another song dripping attitude which tramples over the senses with feisty riffs, forceful beats and commanding bass play. Brief though it is the song leaves blisters from its rock fuelled passion and scorched melodies. These two songs show a band with thought and ability in their songwriting and great balance in its presentation. Each song is solid and extremely pleasing but against the remaining two songs on Sluttier Than Thou are more the support for the main event.

Built To Last plunders the ear with rampaging beats from Curlz that hypnotise well before the caustic riffs of Alex and moody bass from Adam entrench themselves on the senses. The song again has a punk essence which here reminds of an X-Ray Spex and Hole rolled into one. Well crafted and confident the song varies its intensity and pace at times to intrigue constantly whilst Twinkle leaves no one in doubt to her and the lyrics intentions. The band have raised their game here wonderfully but they do not stop as the last of the quartet of great tracks explodes into the ear.

If there is one song right now that lingers and returns to the mind whenever it desires it is Narcissism. The song is glorious, its wanton swagger and taunting riffs as infectious as a cold. Spinnerette and L7 really come to mind here but the band have twisted those spices into their own striking punk rock song with a delicious twist of scarring melodies. The song confirms and strengthens the belief and thought that this is a band with a very bright future once they really get their sound defined.

Twinkle and The Sluts and Sluttier Than Thou will have you off your feet and joining in within moments of the first song, they are that contagious. There are not many truly outstanding punk/rock female fronted bands around currently but Twinkle and her cohorts are well on the way to joining them.

https://www.facebook.com/twinkleandthesluts

RingMaster 03/03/2012

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The Objex – Reservations for Debauchery

Rattled, battered and thoroughly yet pleasingly wasted is how one feels after sweltering in the full blistering punk rock force of Reservations for Debauchery from Las Vegas based band The Objex. If you thought punk rock had seen better days then get your eager mitts on this unapologetic orgasm of uncontrollable punk intensity and attitude thrust through the ear via vital and eager riffs wrapped in pulsating sexual energy. 2011 saw original punk show its heart is still beating loudly with the likes of UK’s The Duel and US band Cute Lepers releasing albums of stunning quality and enjoyment, to which we can add Reservations for Debauchery. Whereas the British band came from the safety pin cutting edge of the likes of X-Ray Spex and Vice Squad, The Objex take pop hook laden sounds reminiscent of the likes of Generation X and Vibrators and forge them with a rock powered intensity. They are an irresistible blend of The Plasmatics, Mongrel, and The Distillers yet completely distinctive and totally exhilarating.

Formed around 2006, The Objex was the creation of drummer Joe Perv and front woman Felony Melony whom he had enlisted to front his band The Pervs on the remaining dates of a tour it was on. After the tour the duo decided to carry on working together forming The Objex, the name coming from a conversation about Melony’s breasts involving The Briefs member Daniel J. Travanti. April of the same year saw the joining of guitarist Jim Nasty and the element that really completed the band as a force, his style a perfect fit. A 5 song demo Bound And Gagged followed alongside a bounty of shows and tours as the band built an eager and rapidly growing fan base with their dynamic sounds.

Preceding the unleashing of debut album Attack Of The Objex in 2007 to ever increasing acclaim and demand, the band added the bass skills of Aly 2X, a musician who self proclaimed she was the “best damn bass player with a vagina that you will ever see”. The album’s response led a year of highlights including notable appearances at the SXSW music festival, The Afro Punk music festival in Brooklyn, NY, plus support slots touring with Demob, Gold Blade and The UK Subs in the UK. The following year the band began working on new material though it too saw the departure of Joe Perv due to creative differences. Taking months finding the right replacement the twilight months saw the addition of drummer Chile and the band ready to use 2009 for writing and working on preparation for follow-up album Reservations for Debauchery and shows. The band entered the studio in 2010 with producer Jason Tanzer of Dust Tree Production Studios and work on the album began, boosted by the winning of the Vegas Rocks Award for Best Punk Rock Band and signing a contract with European based independent label, Crownn Recording Group for the global release of the album, which was unveiled early the next year.

Obviously concerned for the moral welfare of the vulnerable amongst us, The Objex start the album with a public warning of the corruption ahead in the brief song ‘Fingered’. Once out of the way the band go hell for leather to assault, violate and most of all pleasure the senses. ‘RSVP’ swaggers in on a rock riff that squeezes the ear before exploding into a combative declaration and defiance. The guitars whip up a frenzy whilst a deep poking bassline veins throughout. Melony instantly shows she is one formidable vocalist, an eager extrovert without losing the anger and intensity all punk should come with, nothing lightweight about her or the band. Sounding like a cross between Brody Dalle and Wendy O Williams with a touch of Joan Jett she commands songs and attention with the openness to allow everyone in the band to shine.

Every song is deeply impressive and beyond satisfaction though there are some tracks that just edge others though it really is by slim margins. ‘Social Disease’ attacks with bitterness and venom leading one to know you would not piss off this lady intentionally. With a siren like riff the track leaps upon and dances within the ear leaving no response possible but to physically respond in kind. This is matched by the equally addictive ‘Toxic Waste Girl’, again linchpinned by a mesmeric hook it has a slightly more melodic wrap though still as excitable and relentless as anywhere on the album.

Getn Back’ grabs hold with mischievous intent to do damage whilst exciting at the same time. Complete with a riff that chips away at the senses incessantly the song just epitomises what the album and band is about and the quality of all its parts. The rhythms of Chile demand attention and the array of riffs that probe tease and linger from Jim Nasty fight for the same piece of the listener. All elements of the band want and deserve focus but it is all in a unity with the others, the production showing all off without threatening the unity of band and songs, and for the record Aly 2X certainly supports her claim with some of the most delicious basslines anywhere, male or female.

If pushed best song on the album is probably ‘Squeeze’, favourite anyway. As the album is as a whole, the track is relentless high octane punk flowing with acidic melodies and pulse racing energy. Melony stamps herself as one of the most exciting and accomplished vocalist, though as the album pushes its charms into the face the Mohican clad new Queen of Punk proves that everywhere.

It is rare to come across an album where you cannot find any real fault but it truly is the case with Reservations for Debauchery, tracks like the glorious ‘Retribution’ and ‘Criminal State’ just as worthy of the words and impressive reaction given elsewhere. The Objex has given one punk album you definitely should not be without; this is a release the word ‘essential’ was created for.

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RingMaster 12/01/2012

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The Duel – All Aboard The Crazy Train

Steeped in 70’s punk and 80’s new wave, the new album from London Punk Rockers The Duel is a glorious nostalgic trip and modern interpretation of all that made original UK punk the reason some found music as something more than just for the ear. The band and their third album All Aboard The Crazy Train ripple with reminders and influences of an array of essential bands turning them into their own stirring sound. There is a wealth of ‘punk’ bands around now but there are not many that proudly hark back to a time that set so much in motion like The Duel who use it as fuel for their own vibrant and honest music. For an album that song by song has essences of so many from the past the release is one of the freshest and encouraging this year.

The Duel began in 2001, a duo of vocalist Tara Rex and keyboardist / bassist Andy Theirum. Finding their feet and sound before expanding the line-up the band’s first gig was supporting the Dead Kennedys. Since then they have played with the legendary might of the likes of UK Subs, The Slits, Buzzcocks, Sham 69, The Vibrators, and Angelic Upstarts to name just a few. Their first two albums, the 2007 debut Let’s Finish What We Started and its 2009 follow-up Childish Behavior took them into a bigger and wider national spotlight fan and media wise and now with the release of All Aboard The Crazy Train through FFR UK on 28th November, the anticipation of further strong acclaim is surely to be realized.   

Though soaked in a marinade of old school punk/new wave The Duel have fused it into their own electro/cyber punk/rock  pot of sounds combining instinctively bold vibrant riffs, direct and sharp attacks and vocals with melodic and resourceful hooks and synth/keyboard weaves. Combined it makes for songs that are inventive, easily accessible and pulsating. Each track carry the true punk ethos of challenging boundaries and being oneself, loaded in self expression and DIY truth it is an example and reminder to all current punk bands about the real meaning of what they claim to be.

The title track opens up All Aboard The Crazy Train to immediately lay down what the band is all about. The track bristles with a firm drum beat from Pumpy, whilst the keyboards of Thierum soar nonchalantly throughout the song. The vocals from Tara Rez coated in effect, ring with a deliberate disdain adding to the tracks moody feel. Though a mid pace stroll it sneaks up and by its end one realizes it has its hooks deep inside and has taken over the ear, that is until the energetic and slightly discordant punk attack of ‘Singing N Dancing’ takes over. Pulsating with the bass of Chris McDougall and a rock guitar ending from Thanos Oscar Pap it plays like an X-Ray Spex/P.I.L. merger and Rez herself sounding like the vocal offspring of John Lydon and Siouxsie Sioux.

The following songs all play and satisfy immensely like the Horrorpops/The Creepshow sounding ‘Empty Highway’ and the emotive and in many ways surprising ‘Loneliness’. When the big bass thumping and vibrant pop punk of ‘I’m On To You’ takes the stage though things go up a level and continues until the end of the album. Addictive and bouncy with again a Horrorpops feel, it enthusiastically entices and beckons with its blatant hook and melodies. The ska vibed Clash like ‘Freeway’ with Rez sounding a little like Penetration’s Pauline Murray, the Generation X punk ease within ‘Blaze Of Fury’, and the TV Smith/ Adverts flavoured ‘We The People’ with a mesmeric pulse beat ,all feed the senses eagerly and wonderfully.

The album contains 16 great songs and those mentioned and not, all deliver and please with equal quality, the album is a joy but two tracks have to be mentioned. Firstly ‘Not Found Behind A Gun’, a song that hungrily and openly displays its fine attributes to reel in the heart. Its sound is very Psychedelic Furs and Rez herself seemingly takes on some of Richard Butler’s vocal style, a wonderful track that despite its skill is eclipsed by the best song on the album ‘The Way London Used To Be’. A pulsating union of The Clash, Ruts and Transplants, it rings with a hypnotic hook and bass stomp alongside the keys of Thierum which dance engagingly. The song builds into a big sounding and pumped climax; with its anthemic hand and social commentary it epitomizes the band and their fine sound.

All Aboard The Crazy Train is simply excellent and the more one hears the more one sinks into its glory and bathes in its simple magnificence. As the penultimate track declares “Get ready for the sounds of liberation…” that is just what The Duel and their album bring.

RingMaster29/09/201

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