Dave Barbarossa – Mudsharks

Some musicians have the most distinctive style and enterprise that it is easy to know who they are just from a burst of sound. When it comes to drummers for us here it is not so easy but one man has a touch and style to his rhythmic imagination that it is impossible not to recognise. That artist is Dave Barbarossa and he has just released a rather irresistible new EP as part of the Icon Series.

2013 saw the publishing of Dave’s excellent debut novel Mud Sharks and the new EP adds its apparent connection through its title. The Mudsharks EP provides three instrumentals uniting his trademark style with electronic intimation and endeavour; at times marrying the rhythmic sound which ignited so many musical journeys in the seventies with his just as potent exploits through more recent projects such as Cauldronated.

The EP opens with Buttercup Girl, a slice of tenacious dance music with summer fervour in its keys and melody and flirtatious incitement in its rhythms. Like a flight through spatial climes but with earth bound muscularity pulling at its exploration, the track has the body bouncing and imagination conjuring in no time.

It is a rousing start though one for us swiftly eclipsed by the following pair of tracks. First up is Keep Walking, a piece which strolls along with relentless tenacity through cosmopolitan air over a more defined urban landscape. Dave’s rhythms just shape the imagination; suspense and drama fuelled by his web of swings as a cinematic weave is cast by electronics and synths. Quickly addictive and more so by the listen, the song reveals itself a viral persuasion.

The closing arousal of the EP’s title track is the perfect union of nostalgia and new. MudSharks harkens back to the irresistible rhythmic exploits of Bow Wow Wow but incitement draped in thick electronic intimation and drama amidst the floating lures of vocal harmonies. As its predecessors, it masterfully lures thoughts into painting adventures whilst turning hips and feet into its puppet.

Dave Barbarossa has been integral in numerous major treats and now the Mudsharks EP can be added to the list.

The Mudsharks EP is out now on download and Ltd. Edition Cassette Tape via Icon Series.

https://www.facebook.com/dave.barbarossa   https://www.facebook.com/iconseriesrecords/

Pete RingMaster 13/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Smash Fashion – Rompous Pompous

With a mere but rather tasty single in between, it has been a long wait for the successor to their highly enjoyable and highly praised third album Big Cat Love but finally US rockers Smash Fashion have unleashed its successor in the shape of Rompous Pompous and a devilishly mischievous and captivating proposition it is.

Eagerly anticipated, the album lives up to its excellent title with eleven slices of multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll which romp and stomp in a way only the La quartet can. As ever the band feeds on rich rock essences from across the decades; everything from fifties rock ‘n’ roll, sixties mod and psychedelia through to seventies punk/new wave aligned to eighties glam and hard rock going to flavour a sound just as spiced by subsequent years and modern enterprise. As its predecessor, Rompous Pompous is an adventurous and lustily fun stomp with the band but with even keener diversity and a sharper definition to its writing, performance, and character.

It opens up with Can’t Take You Anywhere and straight away a potent hook with something more than familiar to it keenly entices. It is just a lure though into the song’s own invention with the vocals of guitarist and band founder Roger Deering swiftly to the fore. Its classic rock breeding is littered with new wave and seventies pop rock flirtation, the tenacious rhythms of bassist Scarlet Rowe and drummer Reijo “Repo” Kauppila driving its boisterous stroll as lead guitarist Lloyd Stuart Casson weaves real temptation within the just as magnetic tease of keys.

It is a potent start to the release ensuring attention is firmly on board and equally strong as the following Soft As A Rock (Helium Head) takes its place with an air of Cheap Trick meets The Motors to it. Its infectiousness is swift and eager as hooks join grooves in casting a net of catchy enterprise around Deering’s ever alluring presence while within the album’s following title track the band pulls the listener in with a fifties rock ‘n’ roll nurtured saunter with a delicious B52’s-esque lilt to its blossoming revelry. The track is superb also hinting at the respective glam/art and hard rock of bands like Sparks and The Tubes as it caught ears and imagination.

Wolves Of Wonderland brings a blues flavouring with its steady hard rock canter next with not for the first time just a sniff of Queens Of The Stone Age to the melodic graining while Teenage Demon is a punk ‘n’ roll courting holler with a garage rock lining which swiftly had feet and neck muscles rocking. Again there is no missing a seventies/eighties seeded nature to the excellent track; a regular ingredient in the increasingly individual Smash Fashion sound.

Another putting a firm hand on best track honours is the Bolan-esque Proper Way To Eat A Muffin, its flirtatious almost salacious swing aligned to classic rock ‘n’ roll equipped with power pop boisterousness and lyrical devilment. Quickly and unerringly hitting the spot it had the body eagerly swinging before Runs In The Family adds further diversity to the release with its pop, punk and melodic rock collusion with a great resemblance to The Vapors to it. It too is one of the major highlights within Rompous Pompous closely matched by the Bowie kissed Tender Was The Hook, a song also embracing a sixties tone with a Hollies like scent to it.

Through the likes of the blues rock sprung Ugly Thugly and Gentle Hand with its slightly dirty melodic radiance around one irresistible hook, the album continued to light up ears even if neither song quite lived up to the heights of those before them. Nevertheless each left thorough enjoyment in their wake leaving the emotive balladry of Smiles & Daggers to bring the album to a fine close. Beginning with drama carrying piano with big shadow clad rhythms in close company, an entrance reminding of a certain Boomtown Rats classic, the song is a magnetic example of the more mature and bolder songwriting within the album. As all songs, deeper into its body you go more the different flavours and twists emerge to please and fascinate.

And that applies to Rompous Pompous as a whole, a release which gets you going from the off and just gets more intoxicating and infamous by the listen, much like Smash Fashion themselves.

Rompus Pompous is out now via Electric Pudding Recordings across most online stores.

 http://www.smashfashionmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/smashfashion

Pete RingMaster 14/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lower Automation – Shoebox Companion

Two years ago Chicago trio Lower Automation seared and pleasured ears with their debut EP Maps.  Now the band returns with its successor in Shoebox Companion and six tracks which also scorch, disorientate, and simply excite the senses and imagination. In some ways it is more of the same invention found in that first release pushed and taken to a whole new plateau but in far more avenues it is a new rabid animal of sound and enterprise.

Creating a ravenous spiral of math punk and rabid noise which never takes a moment to relax its tempest, the threesome of guitarist/vocalist Derek Allen, bassist Brian Sutton, and drummer Matt Walen use bare seconds to infest ears and peace. As proven by both EPs, it is a welcome invasion which despite its individuality, an essence escalated within Shoebox Companion, breeds part resemblance to a feral mix of Dillinger Escape Plan, At The Drive In, and mclusky.

Shoebox Companion opens up with Coax, a track immediately luring attention though there is nothing gentle or gradual about its initial sonic trespass. The corkscrew of guitar which instantly erupts is seductively violent as too the rampant rhythms which join it. Sutton’s bass is a grumbling joy while Allen’s subsequent vocals are mellow and charming against the building meshuga of sound.  It is all though just the trigger to greater disorientation in sound and imagination as the track creatively veers this way and that like a dervish; every one of its spiky wires adding to the pleasure.

It is a glorious start kept in full charge by next up Cattle Prod Hypochondriac. Allen’s voice and guitar ravages the senses from the song’s first breath yet it is an infectious violation driven by the rapier swings of Walen and the ever compelling guttural rumble of Sutton’s bass. Discord and dissonance flood every turn, the tangle of sound as unpredictable as it is virulent across two and a half minutes of inventive chaos.

Tethered has a touch more control to its maelstrom as harmonic strife and relative calm align within the song’s sonic chasm. The irritable incursion of rhythms equally makes for a tempering contrast to the intoxicated antics of the wailing guitar; it all uniting for increasing layers of magnetism before 30 Second Song provides just that but a half minute of carnal magnificence with more than a whiff of early Birthday Party to it.

The final pair of Phil and Phyllis Philler and Swing Flesh ensures the EP’s high never dipped. The first has the body bouncing as the senses cower before its citric assault, both eagerly taking a breath within the song’s post rock nurtured lulls which bring the imagination further into play whilst its successor is a visceral fingering of psyche and anatomy. Its skeletal dance is irresistible, the rhythmic animation addictive, and sonic mutation bewitching; the perfect end to a moment of creative voracity.

Lower Automation powerfully announced its arrival with the psychotic frenzy of the acclaimed Maps, now they have not only underlined their presence but declared themselves an essential proposition with one of the year’s musts in Shoebox Companion.

Shoebox Companion is available now @ https://lowerautomation.bandcamp.com/album/shoebox-companion

http://lowerautomation.com/    https://www.facebook.com/lowerautomation   https://twitter.com/lowerautomation

Pete RingMaster 13/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Slimboy – Sail On Sailor

Returning from a seven year or so long hiatus n 2017 re-energised and with an even keener touch in writing and sound, Swiss punks rockers Slimboy quickly released their album Sail On Sailor. Now their fifth full-length gets a deserved re-release through Niro Music; a new push sure to draw host of new eager attention the way of the Basel-based trio.

Formed at the start of the millennium, Slimboy has released four praise luring albums, been signed to a major label, toured the world, and strongly hit the charts in their homeland. The band’s break between 2009 and 2016 saw its members busy with other projects but at the same time it seemed to fully refresh and give new energy to their Slimboy heart. Off of a recent tour with The Ataris, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Joel Bader, guitarist Sven Wallwork, and drummer Silvio Spadino has now re-thrust their latest album at ears and the Mike Herrera (MXPX) recorded offering more than warrants the new impetus with its eclectic body and intimately emotive heart; its new outing coinciding with the outfit’s European tour with US pop-punkers, MEST.

Album opener Falling Apart instantly and firmly coaxes ears with the solo lure of Bader’s vocals. In no time though the whole band jumps in with scything rhythms and boisterously enticing hooks and riffs. A cutting response to being wronged, the song continues to attack and roar, every passing half minute bringing new twists and imagination. It is a great start with an air of familiarity which does it no harm and is swiftly backed up and matched by the just as potent Heart’s All Gone. With something of US outfit The Cooters about it, the track immediately hits its prime roar, adrenaline and affirmation of feelings fuelling its thick and bold enterprise.

Inspired by a fan at their first show after returning, Let It Go is an infectious stroll with a web of hooks which just relentlessly hit the spot. Bass and drums create a tasty nagging as persistent as it is mercurial in its attack whilst guitar and vocals colour the heart of the emotion bred encounter. Embracing a weave of rock bred flavours the song makes it easy for ears and personal thoughts to be involved with its presence before the melancholic but uplifting Sorrows fully grabbed attention and fresh plaudits.

With pop nurtured virulence to its lively bounce Whatever had keen reactions animated next while Believe In You shares its own individual pop and rock collage as its acoustic beginnings evolve into a rich holler. The first of the two is a re-recorded track from one of their earlier albums and relishes the new creative colour given to its pop punk. Its successor was inspired by the Beach Boys song Sail On Sailor which also influenced the album’s title and just hooks ears and appetite with its imaginative body and mix of flavours.

Downfall is another simply contagious track which got under the skin to take favourite track status, it too holding a shade of familiarity to its inescapable and memorable persuasion. It was an album highlight easily matched by the more feral blaze of Freak; the song involving metal and hard rock hues in its riveting punk drama.

Concluded by the ferocious Hagfish-esque stomp of So-Called Unity and the personal emotion fuelled Life/Death (Ghost Of You), the album ends on a lofty high. For us it is at its very best across the last quartet of songs but from start to finish the album thoroughly engages and pleasures. If an album was deserving of a second chance at enticing a far bigger audience, this is it.    

Sail on Sailor is available now via Niro Music.

Upcoming Tour Dates with MEST:

August 14 – UK, London, Underworld; 15 – UK, Glasgow, Broadcast; 16 – UK, Scunthorpe, The Lincoln Imp; 17 – UK, Bridgewater, Cobblestones; 18 – UK, Bolton, Alma Inn, 19 – UK Stafford, Redrum; 20 – UK, Sheffield, Corporation.

http://slimboy.ch/   https://www.facebook.com/slimboyband/

Pete RingMaster 13/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Artificially Yours – The Merger

Ravenously invasive, teasingly seductive, and verging on the creatively psychotic, The Merger EP is the new three-track offering from British trio Artificially Yours. It is a release which has been eagerly anticipated, especially since the Essex outfit’s recent link up with 1-2-3-4 Records; one which rewards that intrigue with a ferociously compelling dissonance fuelled adventure.

Created by vocalist Chat soon after the demise of his previous project which hailed its departure supporting Killing Joke, Artificially Yours has grown from an initial solo project to the three pronged attack of its founder and the electronic prowess of Grumb and Ad. Their sound is a rabid eddy of noise and imagination; post and garage punk thickly lining its distortion fuelled space rock with the rabid tendencies of many more rich flavours involved. Aligned to a lyrical and vocal trespass invading and echoing the growing dystopian landscape and the controlling selfish hands shaping it, it all makes for a proposition which makes you pay attention and question the world, one’s own thoughts, and indeed the magnetic almost feral incitement the band offers.

The Merger opens with its title track, a senses suffocating smog of sound as corrosively apocalyptic as it is coarsely captivating. Sonic winds buffet ears and imagination as rhythms swing, Chat’s vocals with their invasive threat and echo equally as magnetic within the inventive maelstrom. Swiftly it is an infectious affair and as quickly a debilitating irruption but one with imaginative control to its visceral tempest and raw temptation. Though having its rabid claws in ears and appetite almost straight away, it grew its addictive persuasion by the listen; a transgression on the ‘coffee cup capitulation’ steering modern society , as declared by the band, which just gets under the skin and into the psyche.

The following Terror Town matches its predecessor’s stirring heights with its own fully individual character and prowess. Slowly stirring its body into action, the song slips into a magnetic stroll with a somnambulistic air where post punk seeds and electronic intimation collude. Akin to a fusion of the infectious prowess of Tones On Tails and the carnal dexterity of Big Black wrapped in the wiry strands of The Jesus And Mary Chain, the seductive track is swift and ever increasing intoxication; its own intemperance exposed in great woozy bursts of keys within the vocally dark, rhythmically moody exposé.

Final track, Tree, uncages its own uniquely carnal proposal, one as virulently catchy as it is unapologetically frictious. Its psych rock breeding is smothered in unruly noise and enterprise though neither can diffuse its infectious swing with a definite touch of T-Rex meets Joy Division to its nature and tenacity. Adding yet another distinct eclectic shade to the EP, it makes for a glorious end to one striking release.

Formed last year, Artificially Yours has already been stirring up keen attention and can now expect tides more through The Merger. If the world is going down, it could not wish for a better soundtrack with just a glimpse of a survival plan.

The Merger EP is released August 24th via 1-2-3-4 Records.

Upcoming Live Dates:

WED 29th AUG – OLD BLUE LAST, Shoreditch

THURS 13th SEPT – THE VICTORIA, Dalston

 https://www.facebook.com/artificiallyyours99/

Pete RingMaster 12/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Matty T Wall – Sidewinder

It is easy to get the feeling that Matty T Wall is a well-respected and keenly supported artist in his Australian homeland, his new album carrying all the intimation and just as simple to expect its fine body of songs to push the man towards far broader international attention. Sidewinder is an imaginative and inventively accomplished proposition bred in the blues and its roots but Wall is an artist also unafraid to embrace an array of other flavours modern and past. This makes for a release which captivates and surprises with regularity; a record which is a real pleasure to join.

With bassist Stephen Walker and drummer Ric Whittle alongside, Wall creates a tapestry of genres and styles with his openly creative and individual playing. His guitar spins tales as potent as his voice, evidence immediate in album opener Slideride. The instrumental in seconds had ears gripped, the fuzz of guitar and tease of keys provided by Gordon Cant instant devilry inciting body and imagination as the track’s devilish stroll erupted into life. Flames of horns from Steve Searle just added to the manipulation, the song a swinging rousing slice of enterprise kicking the album off in magnificent style.

It is a start kept lively and potent by the album’s following title track. Blues and hard rock unite in a song which swiftly has the body bouncing, Wall’s vocals a rich ingredient in its growing engagement with ears. It has a traditional air to its flavouring but united with bold enterprise from modern imagination providing something unashamedly familiar but keenly fresh.

As suggested earlier, there is an eclectic character to the album no better epitomised than by the following Something Beautiful. A cover of the Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews track it is a glorious slice of pop shaped rock which just radiates temptation from the magnetic vocals to the uncomplicated but flirtatious tease of guitar and the understated but potent moody hues of the bass. It is a superb rival to its predecessors for best album song and in turn matched by another cover in Wall’s version of Sam Cooke’s Change Is Gonna Come; itself a firmly captivating take on a great song with the strings of Jonas Petersen an added pleasure.

Can’t Stop Thinking shares its seductive prowess next, the fiery vines of Wall’s guitar compelling heat to the darker stroll of the bass and the crisp raps of Whittle’s beats. Cant’s organ is a link between the shades, a suggestive glaze and temper to the song’s electric jazz fire. From its relative calm, the rock ‘n’ roll of the excellent Shake It had the body bouncing with ease straight after, its blues intoxication a boozy but defined incitement firmly rivalled by Going Down. The latter is a version of the Don Nix classic originally recorded by Moloch in the late sixties. It is a song given numerous outings by an array of acclaimed artists over the years and Wall’s ballsy rendition ranks high among them.

The jazzy flirtation of Aint That The Truth is a mellower but no less enticing turn in the album’s adventure; a song which lured participation in voice and hips as easily as it had ears hungry for more. Its summery swing was unadulterated temptation setting up the appetite perfectly for the rawer antics of Sophia’s Strut. Whether it was or not, the instrumental feels like an improv slice of fun taking the listener into the charged surroundings of an old school blues club, the track rocking out with Wall’s open craft and its inherent devilment.

The groove woven Walk Out The Door is an even more compelling moment in the release with its fusion of funk, jazz, and blues rock a spark to losing inhibitions as another pinnacle within Sidewinder emerged with style and relish. Bred from essences drawn from across the decades, the track swiftly proved addictive on its first listen before compliant ears were just as drawn by the intimate balladry of Leave It All Behind and its delicate melodies, evocative vocals, and the melancholy draped magnetism of strings.

The album concludes with a cover of the Chris Thomas King song Mississippi Kkkrossroads, Wall adding to its hip hop/electric blues credentials with his own rock ‘n’ roll instincts. It is a great end to an album which has increasingly impressed and aroused. Matty T Wall might be a new name to a great many outside of the Australian rock scene but not for much longer if Sidewinder gets the attention it undoubtedly warrants.

Sidewinder is out now via Hipsterdumpster Records across most online stores.

https://www.mattytwall.com/   https://www.facebook.com/mattytwall/   https://twitter.com/mattytwall/

Pete RingMaster 13/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Static Fires – Thirteen

Static Fires have a name which seems so familiar that we were sure we had covered them before here but could find no evidence to back up that thought though it still lingers. Similarly their sound has a roar and character which feels like an existing friend but with no definition to exactly why and to be honest neither thing is particularly important anyway as the Welsh outfit has provided one richly enjoyable and enterprising offering in the shape of debut album Thirteen.

Hailing out of Swansea, Static Fires emerged in 2014; formed by old school friends in lead vocalist/guitarist Sam Randles, lead guitarist/vocalist Jack Clements, bassist Tom Gibbins, and drummer/vocalist Jack Piper. Inspired by the likes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, and Kings Of Leon, the foursome create an alternative rock sound which indeed has led to comparisons to those prime influences but as Thirteen shows, it has a certain voice of its very own too.

The album quickly grabbed ears and keen attention with opener Rollercoaster, its opening caress of guitar a calm and suggestive invitation from within which the animated bass of Gibbins strolls bringing equally tenacious riffs and melodies from the guitars. That lining of familiarity to the band’s sound is a quick presence as the song’s swing kicks in but only adds to the enjoyment and rousing prowess of the encounter. Keenly infectious and rhythmically manipulative, the track is a dynamic start to the album, one which is maybe never quite surpassed thereon in but certainly rivalled a fair few times.

New single Black Velvet is one harrying its stature, the track a funk rock infused stroll with muscular linings to its twists and turns. Clements’ vocals, as in the first, impress and entice within an enterprising weave of sound cast over ears. A blues breath adds to its inescapable lure, the song swift and constant magnetism before Hit the Gas revs up and cruises in with thick rhythms and rousing grooves. Within seconds it had us rising to our feet as it proved itself one of those major rivals for best track honours with its virulent adrenaline fuelled, sleekly bodied rock ‘n’ roll.

Return is next, evolving from a mellow almost melancholic suggestion to a raucous blaze though its fire in heart and sound still comes with enterprising restraint while Like the Sun bounces along with a summery air and catchy dynamics. As its predecessor, it is a track which does not quite exploit the hints of lusty adventure it gives but easily gets inspires an appetite for more of the same.

The album’s title track has a steelier edge and tone to its presence, a whiff of early U2 escaping the guitars early on. It too is a song which promises big things especially in its verse and ever sharp hooks but does lose that blade a little once its chorus and roar escapes. Nevertheless, the track is pure magnetism with its devilish imagination

The final pair of Blood Red and Fix Myself complete the highly enjoyable release with their individual romps. The first is a fiery slice of rock ‘n’ roll; a tenacious and ballsy encounter with an emotive flame to its roar which soon established itself as another favourite here. Its successor has its own hearty holler this time aligned to a more ballad bred but lively presence. As all tracks it is a seriously catchy proposition and like the album as a whole one which just grows and impresses more and more by the listen.

Only true uniqueness is lacking from Thirteen yet every minute on offer is fresh and adventurous, maybe more importantly thoroughly enjoyable. It pushes Static Fires towards the biggest national spotlights and you can only sense from their release that they will thrive on the new attention.

Thirteen is available now across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/StaticFires/   https://twitter.com/staticfires

Pete RingMaster 12/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright