Popes Of Chillitown – Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard

Releases which have us throwing feet, hips, and bodies around in an uninhibited frenzy are just as boisterously devoured here as those provoking thoughts and imagination into the same eager exploits. Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard, the new album from UK outfit Popes Of Chillitown is one such example, an encounter which stirs up every aspect of the human spirit across thirteen slices of what for the moment we will simply call ska punk but is so much more. The band and release swiftly had the body bouncing, energies uncaged, and mind feeding off its insightful social and personal lyrical intimation. It is one of those unforgettable, deviously manipulative propositions which will surely set Popes Of Chillitown on the way to being a household name far beyond the ska and punk scene.

From London, Popes Of Chillitown has already bred and nurtured a fine reputation across two albums and a live presence which has had venues and bodies bouncing, as the album now, with lustful participation. 2013 saw the release of their pledge-funded debut album A Word To The Wise, a keenly embraced encounter eclipsed by its even more eagerly received successor To The Moon two years later. Since that first offering, the sextet has further lit up the live scene, from the Capital bursting across the UK and into Europe sharing stages with the likes of Reel Big Fish, The Selecter, The Skints, Imperial Leisure, [Spunge], Mouthwash, The Snare and many more along the way.

As Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard swiftly reveals, the band’s sound has an irresistibility which borders on the viral. It is a fusion of upbeat ska, punk, 2-tone, dub, drum & bass, reggae, indie with plenty more flavoursome spices working away in the mix; a rousing incitement which never flirts with the predictable and across the new album, easily the band’s finest moment yet, persistently has body, imagination, and spirit bounding.

Straight away as intrigue coaxes ears there is a sense of drama and mischief at play which swiftly sparks opener Prang into life, the track springing along with wilful exuberance. The guitar of Tom Penn winds around ears from an already persuasive hook spraying stroll while the rhythmic prowess of bassist Arvin Bancil and drummer Jack Ashley gets under the skin in no time. Matt Conner’s rousing vocals are just as effective, listener participation we found inevitable and can keen testify to. The track is superb, its twist into discord and off kilter imagination icing on the stomp.

The flames of trombonist Ieuan Williams and saxophonist Jon Pryce open up the following Get Off/Get On, lighting the way to another persuasive saunter ridden by the increasingly captivating vocals of Conner. There is a touch of [Spunge] meets King Prawn to the track, a tasty flavouring quickly ignited by the band’s own raucously individual enterprise.

Fair to say Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard already had its temptation racing through our veins in two songs but raised the temperature of its persuasion even more with next up Vexed. Cored by a hook which had ears and appetite dangling like a fish on a rod as well as a glorious teasing yet taunting grumble of a bassline, the track instantly took the album’s seductive clamour to another level. Brewing an addictive roar something akin to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones meets Capdown with the rawer edge of The Hostiles, the track simply and quickly had us enslaved and adding our less able attributes.

The equally outstanding No Manners In Ireland is next, the song a web of twists and turns littered with creative hooks and melodic lures which seduce like sonic sirens. Guitars and vocals dance on the swagger of the rhythms, their dark lined joy seared with the soulful flames of brass as the song evolves in form and imagination across four minutes plus of pure magnetism. Its glory is matched by that of the far briefer but just as riveting Graveyard. A dub infested mix of Skindred and again King Prawn, the slither of a track just ignited the senses before Upside Down got the body rocking and rolling with its almost salacious bounce and antics.

Across the fiery ska fuelled punk ‘n’ roll of The Last Elephant and the swinging holler of Mr. Piotr, physical reaction is inescapable as thoughts invest in more of the band’s lyrical inference, both tracks cauldrons of drama and physical manipulation so easy to devour while the likes of What A Guy and Inner Peace add yet more variety and adventure to the album’s beauty. The first erupts from a haunting melancholic sigh into another inescapable to resist canter, voice and hips soon embroiled in its creative romp before its companion smoulders seductively on the senses with its less boisterous but just as tenacious reflection. From guitars to rhythms, brass to voice, the song serenades and seduces; volatility in its heart adding greater depth to its inventive cry and increasingly rising temperature and intensity.

Take Control is punk rock blessed with the ear clipping tenacity of ska; a rousing trespass of an incitement under a sweltering climate of suggestion cast by sax and trombone. Unsurprisingly again indulgence in its swing is unavoidable, a lack of discipline thankfully the whole of Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard exploits.

The album closes up with firstly the melodically shimmering Lego Prisoners, a track resembling what you might imagine emerging from the essences of Ruts DC, The Skints, and a calm Random Hand being locked in together, and lastly Culpa and its reggae brewed saunter where grooves and beats overwhelm restraints even before voice and hooks sink their temptation into ears.

It all makes for one deliciously riveting and rousing adventure going by the name of Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard. Popes Of Chillitown has been firing up the ska and punk scene pretty much from their first days but are now ready to be spoken in the same breath as those bands which immediately come to mind as inspirations to the across the array of styles the Londoners skilfully embrace and employ in their own adventure. After Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard they might just be the first name to lips.

Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard is out now on 12inch vinyl, CD and Digital Download @ https://popesofchillitown.bandcamp.com/album/work-hard-play-hard-see-you-in-the-graveyard

 

Upcoming Popes Of Chillitown tour dates:

MAY 27 – BOURNEMOUTH Cursus Festival

JUN 02 – NOTTINGHAM The Maze

JUN 09 – CHEPSTOW Balter Festival

AUG 04 – BLACKPOOL Rebellion Festival

AUG 09 – NEWCASTLE Trillians*

AUG 10 – GLASGOW Audio*

AUG 11 – LONDON Underworld*

AUG 12 – WINCHESTER Boomtown Fair

*w/ Fishbone

http://www.popesofchillitown.com/   https://www.facebook.com/PopesOfChillitown    https://twitter.com/popesofctown

Pete RingMaster 18/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Varsovie – Coups et Blessures

Comprised of Arnault Destal (drums, lyrics, music, arrangements) and Grégory Catherina (vocals, guitar, music), Varsovie is a band which has just released one of the year’s most compelling propositions so far in the shape of third album Coups et Blessures. It is our introduction to the French outfit and the beginning of a very attentive affair with their individual post punk/dark rock inspired sound.

Formed in Grenoble in 2005, Varsovie released their first EP, Neuf Millimètres the next year and were soon playing shows and touring outside of their homeland, playing the likes of the Drop Dead Festival in Prague, the Crimson Night in Münster, and the Creeper Fest in Vilnius. 2010 saw debut album Civil Status released on Infrastition Records with its successor,  L’Heure et la Trajectoire coming five years later. Both were well-received propositions and took the band to new European shores and shows. As mentioned though, we had managed to escape their presence until Coups et Blessures and if it is an echo of things past we have definitely been missing out.

Released through Sundust Records, Coups et Blessures quickly shows itself a dark and invasive trespass of the senses and imagination but with an instinctive catchiness which swiftly gets under the skin. It is a virulence of sound and intent which is certainly predacious in tone and touch but equally contagious. Maybe unsurprisingly, given the band’s name which translates as Warsaw, there is a Joy Division-esque feel to the band’s music and similarly one of Polish post punks Siekiera who seem to have been an inspiration to the pair, yet it is inescapably individual to Varsovie. The first song immediately beats on ears to grab attention while teasing with a melodic lure. This potent lure unites with a gloriously dark contagion loaded bassline and in turn the potent tones of Catherina; magnetism rising with each addition as the song almost menacingly pulsates upon the senses. Its fusion of post punk and raw rock ‘n’ roll continued to grip and imposingly seduce as twists and turns added to a tremendous start to the album.

The following Revers de l’aube has a far darker air from which a rhythmic web swiftly entangled ears and appetite, Destal in two songs already proving his craft a dynamic and deviously compelling aspect within the Varsovie sound. The track envelops the imagination like a frenetic fusion of The Three Johns and The Birthday Party pulled into the distinct individuality of Destal and Catherina; the result an incitement just as enslaving as its predecessor and one soon matched by the darkly lit Va dire à Sparte. More controlled in urgency as emotive and physical shadows align vocal and melodic intimation, the track prowls ears whilst all the time enticing eager attention especially with guitars, bass, and its instinctive drama.

Killing Anna is similarly hued; dark and intense but with a persuasive swing enhanced by the tantalising wiry exploits of the guitar. A sinister air soaks the encounter, its noir lit character a tenaciously smouldering gothic suggestion resembling a mix of bands like Sex Gang Children, Dead Can Dance, and Artery. Transfixing from its first breath, the track is superb; addictive from the off and almost matched in heights by Le Lac. The bold mesmeric rhythms of Destal fuel song and attraction, a strain of punk bringing attitude to the rock ‘n’ roll bred, resourceful sonic clamour.

That punk ‘n’ roll courted trespass is even more pronounced in next up Intersections, an intensive and slightly irritable tapestry of sound and flavour challenging and tempting in equal measure before Discipline reverberates on ears with tenebrific emotion within an invasively haunting atmosphere. Neither track quite sparked the reactions given to their predecessors but each adds a captivating variety of edge and imagination to the release which could only be hungrily feasted upon.

The final pair of Chevaux échappés and Feux complete Coups et Blessures in fine style, the mesmeric first a nagging temptation of dark sound and emotive hinting prowling the senses and imagination while its successor provides a melancholic reflection which simmers with an underlining volatility before erupting into an infectious canter with melodic flames licking at its intense drama spawned body.

With the album totally sung in French, a language we have yet to master, it is impossible to share the lyrical content of Coups et Blessures yet the hearts of songs and their emotional intensities are inescapable. The album is a magnet, fascinating and virulent at every turn and Varsovie a band we wish we had come across before and will have ears clamped to hereon in.

Coups et Blessures is out now through Sundust Records; available @ https://varsovie.bandcamp.com/  and https://www.sundust-records.com/en/349-e-shop

http://www.varsovie-propaganda.fr/    https://www.facebook.com/varsovie.propaganda/

Pete RingMaster20/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hercules Morse – Vita Boundary

After richly enjoying their previous EPs, it was easy to discover real intrigue and anticipation for the debut album from Hercules Morse. There were also hopes that it would strongly build on the potential and enterprise of those earlier encounters with the UK outfit and we can say that Vita Boundary more than delivers, the ten-track offering a feast of magnetic and infectious melodic rock with plenty of eager snarls and sonic blazes to feast upon.

The Southampton hailing quartet emerged in 2014 and released their first EP, Edge Of Life, the following year. It was met with praise and attention as well as potent radio play; success just as easily and more keenly tempted by successor Equine Size Comparison in 2016. Their live presence has been just as potent too, Hercules Morse sharing stages with the likes of Calvin Harris, Primal Scream, Duran Duran, and The Streets alongside supporting bands such as Turbowolf, Band of Skulls, Black Peaks, Blaze Bayley, Tiger Cub, Orange Goblin, and Dinosaur Pile Up. Their reputation has grown step by step and now looks poised to be escalated by Vita Boundary.

Musically they sit somewhere between the likes of Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Biffy Clyro; their sound a fusion of hard and stoner rock infused with more psych and simply melody spun imagination. Quickly as opener Everything Is Great grabs ears, the album reveals it is a sound which has grown and matured from those previous encounters whilst embracing an even broader array of flavourings. Harmonies wrap classic rock bred grooves from the off, the lead vocals of rhythm guitarist Steve George captivating within the alluring flame of sound. Guillaume Redonnet-Brown’s beats and clips tease throughout too as the guitar of Harry Gardner spins a web of familiar yet fresh enterprise. It is a swiftly magnetic affair an echo of the album in that it is not strikingly unique yet everything on offer is enticingly individual to the band.

The following War Within similarly warms the appetite with recognisable and unique adventure. The dark hues of Paul Shott’s bass cast a great shadowed but infectious lure at the heart of the song and its catchy swing; egging on its virulent instincts and in turn those within the voice of George just as potently backed by those of Gardner.

Cuckoo leaps in next with its own addictive contagion, the beats of Redonnet-Brown bounding through ears with a persuasive swagger as the guitars weave another ridiculously tempting tapestry of hooks and melodic dexterity before Talk Me Down brings an earthier proposition to contemplate but one with big rousing rhythms and melodic adventure. Within a couple of listens, if that, each seduced eager participation in the lively strolls; a trait and persuasion which fuelled the enjoyment of the whole album.

There is a slight whiff of Voyager to the following Clockwork and its melodic glide across an enjoyably bumpy rhythmic landscape while Resigned reveals a more sombre lining and composed gait to its just as captivating stroll. Though neither quite matched the heights of those before them each song left ears hungry for more, Can’t See The Sunrise providing as it steps up straight after to steal best track honours. From its initial senses entwining groove and the rapier swings of Redonnet-Brown, the track had us drooling, vocals and the grumble of bass just escalating the track’s virulence and rapacious attack. That opening hook continues to pierce and sear the song, never allowing a moment for lust to relax as the song romps all over the imagination and spirit.

It is a success pretty much matched by the infection spewing Still Singing. As potent as it is from the first note, Vita Boundary saves its greatest moments for its latter stages though of course it is down to personal tastes as to its most fertile times. For us this and its predecessor is Hercules Morse at their most inventive and fiery best but equally most bold with melodies revealing a heat and rhythms a bite which simply inflames the rest of the band’s qualities.

The calmer proposal of The Story Goes similarly ignited the passions, its blend of light and dark as invasive as it is seductive and inescapably magnetic while closing track, Go For Broke, provides a fusion of tenacious rhythms, ear caressing harmonies, and spicy melodies which just get under the skin, especially the agile temptations of Shott and Redonnet-Brown. George and Gardner are just as compelling in voice and sonic invention though as the track brings the album to a rousing conclusion.

Vita Boundary is a masterful mix of the familiar and the boldly new; a rousing incitement built in layers of magnetic enterprise from a band which just gets bigger and more enjoyable, in this case, song by song.

Vita Boundary is out now on CD and digitally @ https://herculesmorseuk.bandcamp.com/album/vita-boundary

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Pete RingMaster 18/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ragweed – Breathing Holes

For some reason we always feel we need a hot intensive shower after listening to UK outfit Ragweed and their greedily rapacious sound. It is possible because from the release of their debut album Parerga in 2014 it has increasingly proved itself to be a raw and dirty infestation of punk fuelled noise which trespasses every pore. Last year’s single Silver Spoons revealed a fresh essence and new evolution to their music which the ear bending, senses exhausting Breathing Holes EP, now voraciously continues.

The new encounter is not so much a mixed bag of temptation but definitely one which has numerous angles and hues to its character of which some needed little time to ignite an already in place appetite for the band’s sound while others hankered after much more attention to pretty much just as successfully persuade. Silver Spoons hit the spot right away and with increasing rigour play by play, Breathing Holes across five rousing hollers emulates its success at times but also offers up other moments which take their to work towards the same persuasion.

The trio of vocalist/guitarist Tom Adamson, bassist Callum Regelous-Cooke, and drummer Josh Pingram have linked up again with Alan Douches (Motorhead, Cancer Bats, Every Time I Die, and Screaming Females) for the mastering of the new EP, its release coming once more through Milky Bomb Records. Straight away it imposes its presence on ears, the opening heavy almost sludgy touch of first track Cansema infesting the senses before it relaxes for a grungier cry which in turns leads to an eruption to noise rock intensity. It is a cycle which repeats, magnetic in its evolution and intriguing in where it will subsequently lead which turns out to be a groove woven stroll of heavy rock ‘n’ roll.

It is an opening enticement which nags away with increasing temptation play by play and is followed by the more immediately persuasive Backbite. A tenacious mix of punk and noise rock, the track is a magnetic clamour with catchiness in its foundations and a rousing holler in its breath. Reminding of Bristol band, The St Pierre Snake Invasion at times, the song had us stomping and bawling in no time, responses just as eager for next up Thought This Through. Almost corrosively raw yet with an infectious quality which lines every twist and turn, the track grabs appetite and participation with quick ease, its punk ‘n’ roll bellow and body trespassing swagger inescapable.

Down the Drain is Ragweed at their punk best and unashamedly devious as hooks and riffs niggle and invade like a filth coated virus as the song brawls with the senses before Up ‘n’ Under brings the release to a close with its groove clad grumble. Again there is a coincidental hue of the previously mentioned Bristolians to the song which adds to the track’s organic magnetism, grooves colluding with hooks and imagination for a voracious blaze of sound and intent.

There is no doubt that Breathing Holes really grows in presence and temptation across every play but has plenty to inspire such attention from the off. We personally have found it very easy to nurture an appetite for Ragweed and their sound through their previous records and with a growing greed which the new EP has only encouraged again.

Breathing Holes is available now via Milky Bomb Records @ https://ragweed-milkybomb.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 18/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hail the Hatter – Discovering Light

Being suckers for anything with a hint of insanity, lunacy, and mayhem we had a certain appetite to check out the debut EP from Trinidad outfit Hail the Hatter when offered the opportunity all because of its great suggestive cover. The Mad Hatter image on its cover sparked that eagerness and once inside we can certainly say the release more than satisfied on all three aspects. More so it revealed a band with a dab hand at creating infectious hard rock ‘n’ roll with a penchant for metal bred revelry.

Hail The Hatter was formed by guitarist Dax Cartar and vocalist Jonathan Boos, the pair swiftly enlisting drummer Nicholai Assam on drums, and Devin Harry Paul on bass. As the band began thinking about recording a clutch of songs they had written, personal reasons meant the bassist had to leave the outfit but was soon replaced by Aaron Lowchewtung. Produced by Maarten Manmohan and Nicholas Marsan, Discovering Light introduces the band’s fun infested sound to the world through six tracks, a sextet of varying but constant captivation lying in wait behind the opening doom laden introduction of The Coming of the Hatter.

From that dark threat and its storm coaxed shadows, the rapacious Bone Grin strolls, bass and beats lining the way as Cartar’s guitar teases and subsequently flames across the song’s swiftly installed swagger. Boos is soon in the mix with his vocal mischief and roar, hooks and grooves following as hard rock meets raw rock ‘n’ roll in the seriously catchy opener. Classic and glam rock traits add to the web of sound while metal nurtured invention brings devious aggression and predacious virulence to the mix; it all making for an easy to devour first stomp with Hail the Hatter.

It’s almost bedlamic prowess is followed by the devilish exploits of God Bless The Beast, the track like a punk infested fusion of Mötley Crüe and Converge. It needed little time to tempt and persuade, scythes of guitar and swinging rhythmic trespasses instantly igniting the senses even before Boos and Cartar uncage their creative appetites. The track is swiftly matched in success and enterprise by the groove woven A.O.A.U. Straight away its Caribbean toned rhythms had the imagination hooked, those subsequent spice flushed grooves adding to its inescapable lure. As with other tracks, the song’s sound is maybe not particularly unique but as its imagination, every twist and turn of sound brings a freshness which demanded keen attention.

The sinister psychosis of White Walls is accompanied by a prowling sound, its psychotic air and voice contagious rock ‘n’ roll as rich and loco as you could wish. Throughout its unhinged antics, riffs inflame rhythms swing, and grooves incite, vocal unity an anthemic icing to its predacious lunacy before Akasha releases its own shadow brewed shuffle and mystique coated melodic dance n the imagination. Middle Eastern hues hint and intimate throughout even as the flirtatious calm of the song erupts into just as addictive tempests. Everything is skilfully woven and passionately delivered with Lowchewtung uncaging one glorious dirt encrusted snarl of a bassline to cap the inescapable temptation.

Song by song the EP just gets bigger, bolder, and more impressive; continuing the trend with its final and best moment, its title track. From the opening dark groan of cello, Discovering Light just enthrals; its continuing stroll thick in suggestion and beauty as guitar and bass join its evolving drama. Equally a hint of mental instability flickers in its dance before the track unveils its full rapacious and increasingly frenzied rock ‘n’ roll. The track is immense, the show stopper even within a handful of similarly striking encounters.

Though Discovering Light had ears and attention in its hands pretty swiftly, it is with subsequent ventures into its creative dementia that its truly got under the skin, so much so that it has barely allowed anything else to grab a place on the just for pleasure turntable in our offices. The EP is not perfect if such a thing exists but gives rich pleasure from start to finish, never a bad thing in our book, and ripples with the potential of greater dark deeds ahead with Hail The Hatter.

Discovering Light is available now @ https://www.hailthehatter.com/media-get-album and for a limited time as a free download.

https://www.hailthehatter.com/      https://www.facebook.com/hailthehatter

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Scant Regard – Skipping Over Damaged Area

Pic by Thomas Triton

A body infesting, imagination twisting kaleidoscope to the hope and insanity of the world we shape, Skipping Over Damaged Area is the senses ravishing new captivation from Scant Regard. An album of unscrupulous hooks, electronic virulence, and guitar carved intimation, it surges through ears casting a realm of suggestion and reflection as devilish as the themes inspiring its creative antics leaving hope, fear, and sheer pleasure in its wake.

Scant Regard is the solo project of London-based guitarist/writer/producer Will Crewdson. He is a musician few can have failed to have been consciously or unknowingly pleasured by. Whether with the rock escapades of Rachel Stamp, which he co-founded, and She Made Me Do It or through his work with the likes of Adam Ant, The Selecter, Johnette Napolitano, Flesh for Lulu, Bow Wow Wow and numerous other bands he played guitar for, Crewdson is a guitarist who has been in demand because of his instinctive ability to incite and bend the imagination as well as simply ignite songs and ears alike. Scant Regard has been an adventurous showcase for his craft and skills across four previous albums, Skipping Over Damaged Area a riveting new addition to their ranks.

Exploring various shades in an overall theme “of the apocalyptic destruction and devolution of the planet we live on”, Skipping Over Damaged Area is a tenacious maze of styles and flavours glazed with a sci-fi nurtured intrigue. At times it is like a warped soundtrack to a seventies TV show such as UFO, Space: 1999, or Doomwatch but with a dark lining in its every move; corrupting hope and light at a turn, tempering their threat in the next.

The album opens up with the swiftly addictive Mostly Accidental, electric pulses exploding on impact as it swaggers into view with an almost predacious swing. Instantly electronic suggestion and animation dances and flirts on the senses, thick doomy hues underlining the brewing Westworld-esque imagery conjured in thoughts by the instrumental piece which fully comes alive once Crewdson’s guitar explodes on the imagination.

It is an outstanding beginning, one to be honest we had to listen to twice before moving on upon our first listen to Skipping Over Damaged Area but quickly matched in strength and temptation by Fuck Everything. Repeated samples of its title float across a landscape of attitude, another electronically woven tale which immerses the listener in an evolving cascade of light and dark, fun and irritancy driven by inspiring shards of guitar.

The following Ill Gotten Gains is a corruption of sound and reflection; an addiction breeding ground with melodic lures aligned to dark deeds. At times it lies somewhere between the evolution of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh’s project British Electric Foundation into their band Heaven 17 but with thicker shadows and dare we say even more infectious boldness.

Similarly Destroy (We’re Here to) has an eighties electronic edge to it around hooks and melodies which border on the salacious. Like the musical voice to a modern day Mars Attacks, the track waltzed over the senses, sending them spiralling as the imagination conjures. Simultaneously feet and hips were given a good smile wearing work out before BIGBLACKSHADES creates a conspiracy of sound and suggestion with its cold wave meets industrial espionage. Electronics and guitar again unite in a dark interpretation of life, its funkiness contrasting yet complementing the song’s voracious dynamics.

A lighter climate accompanies the outstanding Car Crash on Pluto, the track like something akin to Fred Schneider colluding with Helldorado as they glide the cosmos upon surf rock fuelled winds, while Hemi Demi courts indie rock tenacity within its electro pop enterprise as again seventies flavoured hues spice its rock ‘n roll.

Through the celestial smoulder of Traits, a track with lava hot melodies veining a volatile shimmer, and the hook carrying electro smoking canter of Sublineage Blues, ears and imagination are drawn into further incendiary drama while Posthistoric springs a more intensive atmosphere and adventure to navigate as a bubbling undercurrent of catchiness snaps, crackles and pops. All three simply tantalise and captivate as the imagination fantasises, Crime and Retribution in turn sparking the same responses with its brooding electronic groans and emerging guitar spun cold war clamour.

The album closes with Blue Moon Juice, a collage of vivacious sounds woven into a canvas of rockabilly bred devilry; imagine a psychobilly Yello and you get a hint of the track’s irresistible lure as it brings the album to a forcibly magnet conclusion.

Skipping Over Damaged Area is a prismatic insight and incitement for body and thoughts. It impacts on numerous levels, pleasures on every one. Crewdson is no stranger to attention and acclaim and can expect plenty more with what just might be his finest moment yet.

Skipping Over Damaged Area is out now on download and CD @ https://scantregard.bandcamp.com/album/skipping-over-damaged-area

https://scantregard.com    https://www.facebook.com/scantregardpage   https://twitter.com/scantregard

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Metalwings – For All Beyond

The 2016 release of debut EP, Fallen Angel In The Hell, suggested a promise and potential within the sound of Bulgarian symphonic metallers Metalwings which warranted future attention. The release was an imaginative and well-crafted proposition with the magnetic vocal prowess of founder Stela Atanasova at its core. Now the band has just released its first album in the dramatic roar of For All Beyond, a release which has not only realised much of that early intimation but sparked a new wave of enticing possibilities.

Hailing from Sofia, Metalwings create a rich and rousing sound; a blend of operatic drama and classical elegance driven by the raw force of symphonic and harsher essences of metal. The classically trained voice and expressive vocal theatre of Atanasova is a compelling head to the creative beast whilst the sounds around her cast their own imagination fuelled adventures to arouse, evoke, and trespass. Released in 2016, the band’s first EP certainly sparked intrigue and enjoyment, nurturing anticipation of what may evolve as they grew. Almost from its first breath, For All Beyond walks a higher plateau than its predecessor, each track an individual yet united adventure skilfully woven and heartily delivered with still the suggestion that we have yet to hear and the band find the full richest of their imagination.

For All Beyond immediately entices and swiftly enslaves attention with opener End of the War. Keys gently and provocatively rise up around ears as the vocal lures of Atanasova call like a siren. Soon the rapacious enticement of rhythms and the sonic tempting of guitars surge through the body, the track brewing an increasingly rousing incitement impossible not to be swept up in. As fiercely robust as it is there is an equally rich haunting quality which ebbs and flows across the track before bringing the cries of the victims and outcasts within its tempest.

Secret Town gallops into view next, rhythms and guitars inviting full attention before the vocals of Atanasova and of guitarist Krastyo Jordanov add their full temptation to the blossoming mix. The celestial rises of Angel Kitanov’s synth tease and suggest, combining enticingly with the colourful grace of Atanasova’s electric viola. Like you are hanging on to the mane of a surging beast, the song has attention gripping tightly before Immortal Metal Wings continues the excellent start to the album, almost eclipsing the first pair of tracks as cosmopolitan melodies inflame ears and imagination before an earthier hue flushes through the growing landscape of sound and inference. Atanasova again is a compelling engagement at the heart of the encounter but more than equalled by the drama and invention of the rest of the band in a song which might not be the boldest on the album but leaves nothing but thick pleasure in its wake.

Through the elegant folkish balladry of When We Pray, a song with a volatile undercurrent, and the almost gladiatorial drama of A Wish, ears and imagination are given more fuel to easily guzzle, the second of the two especially persuasive with its dark theatre and resourceful enterprise cored by a great carnivorous bassline from Milen Mavrov. The guitars of Grigor Kostadinov and Jordanov again create a web of melodic suggestion and sonic rapacity matched by the descriptive weaving of keys, it all colluding to cast a fascinating proposal matched by that of the sonically bracing, melodically seductive There’s No Time. Another major highlight of the release, the track is a gothic pregnancy of suggestion and sound.

Calm follows with the album’s title track, keys and voice sharing melancholic grace which is quickly wrapped in the synth woven caresses of Kitanov. It is a gentle peace which has a volatile air though, that ignited by the expressive guitars of Kostadinov and Jordanov and their suggestive tempestuousness. The ever resourceful rapier like swings of drummer Nikola Ivanov align with the predacious growl of Mavrov’s bass, their rapacious intent lingering even as subsequent moments of mellowness bring the evocative grace of Atanasova’s strings.

Realm of Dreams has the body and imagination bouncing once again, the melodic tease of keys dancing on the darker hues of aligning sounds. Across its masterfully magnetic length, the song fuses the contrasts of beauty and grace with aggression and raw trespass, creating a rotating realm of temptation and adventure. The best track on the album, it encapsulates all the invention, craft, and imagination of Metalwings whilst hinting of the even bolder adventures they might pursue ahead.

The release concludes firstly with Tujni Serza, a delicate but rich ballad sung in the band’ mother tongue and lastly an orchestral version of For All Beyond which gives full rein to the track’s already established emotion and grandeur with its instrumental winds.

It is fair to say, as many others, we were intrigued by the Metalwings debut EP if not completely convinced.  For All Beyond though simply grabbed our appetite and imagination; tightening its hold song by song, creative layer by layer. Given a chance it just could be seizing yours too.

For All Beyond is out now, available @ https://metalwings.bandcamp.com/album/for-all-beyond

https://metalwings.eu/   https://www.facebook.com/metalwingsbg/

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2018

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