Witching Waves – Fear Of Falling Down

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Having been hooked by the band with their limited edition cassette single Concrete/Chain Of Command earlier this year, there was a fair few tingles running through anticipation with the announcement of the debut album from Witching Waves. Those urges have grown to lustful proportions now that Fear Of Falling Down has infested ears and psyche, the release confirming all the promise and thrills experienced before whilst showing a broader adventure and creative resourcefulness in songwriting and sound.

Hailing from London and formed in 2013 as the brainchild of duo Emma Wigham and Mark Jasper (Sound Savers Recording Studio), Witching Waves through their unrelenting appetite for performing live and songs swiftly drew keen attention their way. Fusing as many essences of punk as you can imagine in a noise and discord sculpted garage pop incitement, the band bridges the DIY essence of the late seventies and the voracious causticity of modern invention; kind of like Swell Maps meets The White Stripes but for a truly unique and tenaciously addictive proposition.

Released via Soft Power Records, Fear Of Falling Down sees the duo now a threesome with the addition of a bassist, though we cannot tell you the name. The band’s fourth release, after Witching Waves LP Cover Artthree cassette singles, is a master class in raw sonic temptation and primal rhythmic slavery; each song united by a certain anthemic swing and creative tenacity yet alone in warped character and discordant agitation. Recorded on to 8 track tape, the album is a minimalistic yet inventively involved incitement, a cavernously toned but intimately delivered protagonist to excite ears and imagination with ease.

The album’s title track is the first to get the juices flowing, the opening jangle of guitar just the prelude to a rhythmically driven slice of agitated pop. The excellent vocals of Wigham soon join the rampancy of drums and the scrub of guitar before Jasper takes over with his equally captivating tones. Virulently catchy with a bounce to match, the track dances with ears and emotions from start to finish; every note, beat, and vocal enterprise simple but expertly creative seduction.

The post punk kissed Cold Out comes next, the contrast of the harmonic elegance and rawer expression of Wigham and Jasper respectively, alone a gripping enticement. In some ways there is an early Siouxsie and the Banshees feel to the song but also the flowing melodic quaintness of a Morningwood, the combination an addictive proposition, though soon surpassed by the poppy endeavour of Better Run. A slight spring of surf rock runs through the garage rock bred song whilst again vocals are as broadly bewitching as the slim but pungent sounds around them. As most tracks on the album, it is hard for feet taps and vocal participation to restrain from joining the band during the progress of its gently cacophonous croon before it makes way for the post punk infused stroll of Counterpoint. With repetitious riffs and infectious rhythmic bait, the song is a more challenging persuasion with its soaking of acidic discord and off key dynamics, but another to leave ears and passions basking.

The raw charm of Concrete comes next, its opening Buzzcocks spiced hook an instant attention grabber whilst a courting stride of rhythms draw their own submissive response. The plain almost disillusioned monotone vocals of Jasper contrast perfectly with the fluid melodies of Wigham, whilst the throaty melancholic bass prowl simply adds an addictive icing to the enthralling coaxing of body and mind. Like an unhinged blend of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Cramps, the song is an aurally dishevelled but controlled temptress, and the perfect appetiser for the brilliance of the following Creeping. Stalking ears with rhythmic eagerness, the song stomps with muscular and concussive beats as riffs and basslines flirt with their own rowdy enterprise. There is for not the first or last time, a similarity to Scottish duo The Creeping Ivies about the band’s sound across the album, here being a potent comparison though again Witching Waves emerge as individual and original in every sonic aspect.

Both the outstanding News, with its hypnotic rhythmic baiting and spicy garage rock keys around a creative drama, and the intrigue drenched Wait Around keeps the adventure of Fear Of Falling Down on its highest plateau. The first of the two is a web of colour rich discordance and imaginative confrontation honed into a ridiculously infectious trap which simply leaves ears, thoughts, and emotions grinning whilst its successor juggles sonic abrasion with warm pop harmonies for another song which takes longer to reach the peaks of others, but only adds to the unpredictable and captivating climate of the release.

Fear Of Falling Down closes with the excellent Barber where garage punk and eighties post punk meet for a contagion filled stamp of punchy beats and wiry hooks aligned to velvety heavy bass lures. It all of course infused with the wonderfully clashing and superbly united vocal attack of Wigham and Jasper.

If Witching Waves have impressed before with their early appetisers then the album offers a fuller and more flavoursome meal of dissonant and melody bred noise. For those new to one of the UK’s most thrilling propositions, Fear Of Falling Down is a sonic lust in the making.

Fear Of Falling Down is available via Soft Power Records as a Limited Edition Vinyl LP (250 Copies) and digital download @ http://softpowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/fear-of-falling-down

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RingMaster 08/12/2014

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Horse Party – Back To Mono

HP

Stomping with mischief and anthemic invitation whilst holding hands with melodic enterprise and expelling a fiery breath, Back To Mono the debut single from UK band Horse Party is an intriguing and thrilling introduction. A mild riot with reservation to its still vibrant energy and potent temptation, the song immediately marks the band as an exciting new tease for the passions with a matching confident swagger.

The Bury St Edmunds trio ventured forth in September of last year after guitarist and vocalist Eleanor Lou (Ellie) was ‘badgered’ into joining the band set up by drummer/vocalist Shannon Hope and guitarist/vocalist Seymour Quigley, which according to the band bio happened having got drunk together in a church and sending ‘abusive messages’ to Ellie ‘ordering her to join a band whose primary goal would be to make or lose a million pounds.’ With a mutual passion and inspiration from the likes of Bjork, Fugazi, Cat Power and terrible films fuelling their creativity the threesome released the song Clarion Call at the beginning of the year as a free download, a track which drew the attention of BBC Suffolk Introducing and support slot offers, including one with Dingus Khan.

Release through Sturm Und Drang Recordings, their first official single instantly lures the listener in with an opening Beatlesque hook1317436922-1 of fuzzy guitar strokes and mutually resonating bass entrapment and once the great vocals of Ellie add their warm beckoning, Back To The Mono has a firm grip on the ear and emotions. The almost lo-fi touch of the song, its breath raw yet perfectly defined as a persuasion, brings a delicious organic feel whilst the blues soaked guitar hook and magnetic chorus only furthers its claim to the passions. A track which has no desires to create a tempest of evolving textures but instead offers a continual and solid prowl of the ear, it still manages to bring a heat and absorbing adventure which rivals and more often outshines the majority of similarly gaited and clothed indie tracks erupting out this year.

Standing somewhere between the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Morningwood, and Cradle, band and single inspire such promise that the wait for more from Horse Party is going to have a taste of impatience about it.

www.horsepartyparty.bandcamp.com

www.facebook.com/horsepartyparty

8.5/10

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RingMaster 15/04/2013

 

The Creeping Ivies: Ghost Train EP

Having just been introduced to the glorious schizophrenic garage punk sounds of UK band Frau Pouch we now have the distinct pleasure by kind invitation of the band itself to meet Scottish duo The Creeping Ivies through their new EP Ghost Train. The follow up to their debut EP Rock N Roll Party, the new EP is quite simply immense, a pure unbridled splattering of the senses from sonic expulsions squeezed from psychotic blisters. Spearing the ear with all the right sounds and searing flesh to just the right depth The Creeping Ivies are one of the most exciting bands to emerge in the UK, and the beginning of a salacious love affair with their creative manipulative sounds here.

Comprising of just vocalist and guitarist Becca Bomb and drum molester Duncan Destruction, the duo rile up more noise and reaction than most multi-personnel bands as they work their way deeper and hook with the sharpest of bone splicing musical barbs. Their music can be best described as The Cramps meets The Pixies amongst an orgy of The Orson Family, The Victorian English Gentlemens Club, The 5,6,7,8’s, and The Stooges. The result is a glorious strained melodic bedlam which brings all the decades of garage rock and punk from the 50’s through to today with infectious and unique ingenuity. It is rare to be truly excited by a band but there is no avoiding it with The Creeping Ivies.

The track Ghost Train opens up the EP and immediately one is captivated by the irresistible simplicity yet fully intrusive beats and guitar. As Becca unleashes her deep and strong vocals the first thought is that this is what The Cramps would sound like if fronted by Wanda Jackson. No note is wasted on frills and no space unfilled by stirring primal beats and energy. The addictive chorus assumes control of ones voice within seconds of its first appearance and the electrified discords of pleasure from the guitar leave one spinning. The track is an unrelenting stomp with a contagion power to make any virus enviable. The song is easily our favourite of the year so far and kept the other two tracks on the EP waiting for their chance as it invited multiple plays before moving on.

    Don’t Cry strolls in next with equal flair and instinctive charm. There is nothing as hypnotic as a song primitively basic yet stunningly crafted as The Ramones who offer more than a spice here have proven. The Creeping Ivies have tapped that same vein of invention to equal effect and success. The track is spawn from shadows within shadows to offer a disturbance found in the likes of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and The Birthday Party with uncomplicated sounds found in early Yeah Yeah Yeahs. All these though merely add spicery to the sound with the duo consistently sounding like The Creeping Ivies predominantly.

Completed by the scuzz ball of noise Chicken Voodoo Blues the EP released on Jet Black Records, is easily one of the best heard in a long time. The track ruptures blood vessels and ear drums with its assault of festering melodic swipes and a mighty destructive rhythmic rampage leading to climaxes as distressed and chaotic as one could pray for. It is a bedlamic end to an enormously fun release and the instigator of deep frustration that there was only a triplet of psychotic mayhem offered.

The Creeping Ivies may not be to the taste of everyone but if any of the references mentioned grab your ear than this duo will be your new musical infatuation.

Grab the EP for free at http://thecreepingivies.bandcamp.com/album/ghost-train-ep

RingMaster 07/06/2012

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