Dirt Box Disco: Legends

The debut album from UK punks Dirt Box Disco only has simple and direct intentions, to stomp on your testicles, kick you in the guts, and to rummage in any parts remaining whilst ensuring you have the greatest fun whilst they do it. Legends is an unbridled blast of excitable and infectious rock n roll, it makes no demands musically and has no deep intellectual musings to share, well it has no time to when it is so busy rampaging and gate crashing the lowest and most primal instincts within us all.

Released via STP Records June 18th, Legends is what all the best punk albums are, crazed, uncontrollably infectious, and a continual spasm of attitude and belligerence within the ear. The bio accompanying the release states it possibly sounds like KISS vs. Rancid vs. Showaddywaddy, we would have said The Wildhearts meets early Green Day in a salacious filth coated union with Mud and The Adicts, but you get the idea. Written by guitarist SPUNK VOLCANO and ably brought to boisterous fruition alongside him by his eager cohorts in vocalist WEAB.I.AM, lead guitarist DANNY FINGERS, bassist DEADBEATZ CHRIS, and drummer MAFF FAZZO, the album is a frenzied and irresistible ball of feistiness.

Since forming in 2009 Dirt Box Disco has riled up and incited their ever growing legion of fans to rupture joints and lose body fluids persistently with songs that are slightly tribal and always slices of agitated rock n roll. Previous EP Are You Ready? of last year marked the Derbyshire quintet as a band to embrace or hide your sons and daughters from but Legends has elevated the band into one of the best emerging punk/rock bands in the UK. Alongside the likes of Supercharger and The Duel, Dirt Box Disco bring a fresh and re-energised heart back to true UK punk whilst making it as compulsive and additive as any pop punk band.

The aggravated garage punk of The Other Side Of The Street pounces on the ear to set the album off on its belting energised mayhem. It screams and pesters with scorched guitars, intimidating riffs, and group yells. It has no intention on charming or seducing the senses just to rile them up and have them clinging on for sweet life. It is a devastating start continued by the following explosive Peepshow. The track taunts and bruises with an arrogance and proud declaration that reminds of a mix between NOFX and the Vibrators.

Already the album has convinced it is going to be one memorable and riotous fun barring a collapse in flight as dramatic as in an innings from an England cricket team. There is no chance though with songs like the Ramones fuelled Rock n’ Rolla a song that could be the nostalgic playlist of all punks and the blood pumping sing-a-long I Just Want To Be A Girl, this one as sirenesque as a pole dancer in overdrive and an easy manipulator of limbs and voice.

Every song on Legend captures the imagination and triggers the instinctive urge to join in, every slab of punk rock making it easy with anthemic hooks and contagious energy. Without a weak moment to be found on there are still certain songs which ignite the deepest uncomplicated allegiance to their high energy accosting most of all.  Smackhead is a minute and a half corruption of the ear, just how punk used and should always be, no niceties and no element left for the imagination to explore. The outstanding pop punk flourish of I Don’t Wanna Go Out With You, the UK Subs/Top Buzzer like Let’s Get Wasted!, and the scuzzed garage blistering of We All Fall Down, all leave one with a big grin inside and out but the two moments that leave the sharpest and most lingering intrusion are the brilliant I Am Rock n’ Roll and Dirtbox Days.

Both are beautifully simple and deviously infectious. Before you know it they have turned heart and voice into their puppets with joining in and littering the air with flailing limbs is a must. I Am Rock n’ Roll imply declares that I, you, we and this is all rock n roll and it is impossible to argue otherwise, the song simply  a impassioned musical call to arms. Dirtbox Days closes the album in similar fashion, anthemic generosity dripping from every note and syllable. The track sweeps over the senses with an easy pop punk enthusiasm, think The Monkees as Hagfish and a song which is fun, undemanding and again fully contagious. It builds to a triumphant climax of simplistic “This is Dirtbox Day” chanting and if you cannot resist you need to check for a pulse.

Legends is awesome, simple as. You can take all your reflective and provocative songs to bring thought and ideas to consider and be inspired by for nothing is as thoroughly rewarding, uplifting and enjoyable as punk at its best and Dirt Box Disco certainly create that. Go enjoy!


RingMaster 12/05/2012

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The Secret City : Self Titled

The bio for Australian band The Secret City states ‘they create dreamlike adventures that will take you to places of sweet serenity, or throw you into the pit of a nasty nightmare. You will be entertained, shocked, inspired and awed by this original and unapologetic band.’  To be honest it is hard to be any more accurate than that. Most bios and info sheets accompanying releases over play and exaggerate to varying degrees and they would not be doing their job if they did not, but in this case the words are right on the mark. The self titled album from the Sydney trio wraps itself around the senses and thoughts with cloaks of mesmeric charm, a provocative strength, and at times with a challenging intrusion but it is an experience from first note to last which engages every aspect of a person to bring forth imagery, emotions, and as they claim a sense of adventure.

Vocalist Rusty Lynch and guitarist Brendan Morello have collaborated as songwriters for over a decade but it was say the band, with the addition of keyboardist Alex “Ted” Cape that The Secret City found its true unity. Their time together again from their own words says it has been ten years of writing songs, the forming of five different bands which one presumes means line-up wise, and the release of four EPs and two albums plus a continual multitude of gigs. This has brought an evolution within the band and to their craft accumulating in this their third album and a release which is they say superior in every aspect to what came before. Never having come across the band before we have to take their word on that but the fact that this release is so impressive and strikingly created and comes with such imagination and passion it is hard to offer any doubts.

Produced, engineered and mixed by Michael Carpenter at Love Hz Studios, he also contributed bass, drums and percussion and more to the album, The Secret City captivates attention and feelings from its very start. The opening song My View From Here saunters in with a confidence in its melodic grace and a sure intent to mesmerise its recipients. With an eager yet restrained pace it slowly envelopes the ear gradually expanding into a full and vibrant impassioned piece of songwriting. Vocally Lynch reminds a little of Pete Wylie though with a wider range and his delivery is a seamless and complimentary energy within the now vast charms of the song. Without exploding into a full charge the song ignites feelings and an enthused energy within, an uplifting and evocative track which has one drooling.

The excellent and equally compelling Souless follows and is even more impressive. With an open warm heart and a keen swagger it takes one on a journey of warm and honest reflection. Whether the songs and lyrics are borne of personal experience from Lynch and Morello only they can say but there is definitely the feeling that the revelations are spawn from a real and emotional life. The song is wonderful, vying for one of the best heard in recent times anywhere and one of a few on the album making a very inviting entry into The Secret City.

The likes of the pop laced Considerable Love, the Coldplay liked spiced Where Will It End?, and the folky and elegant This Is For You, embrace with a tenderness and defined invention that leaves nothing less than mesmeric satisfaction. They also as with each song on the release bring diversity and an intriguing unpredictability as well as a continual question of who the album reminds of. As the dramatic and bold power of the first single from the album Barrage of Absence stomps into view with its bulging melodies and epic atmosphere,  the revelation of who The Secret City remind of breaks through. Not so much in sound but the striking atmospheres and revelatory depths the music reaches is a close cousin to those created by nineties band Fatima Mansions, and with reflection there is also a similarity in the way Lynch expresses the heart and poetry of songs to Cathal Coughlan and a no finer compliment can be given to band and music.

The finest track on the album A Call confirms our comparison as well as being an invigorating and blood pumping treat to feast upon, its rock driven intensity and catchy freshness sheer joy and easily a rival for best song. To be honest the album did not fully engage until its third play onwards though the initial introduction was full of intrigue and open invitation to return but given more company the album unveils an immense imaginative craft and invention for a fully rewarding experience. The Secret City is a band that does not just make music and songs but creates evolving light and darkened gests.


RingMaster 12/05/2012

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Tanzan Blue Vol.I: Ballads and Blues for Modern Listeners

With an unreserved mood and unbridled passion the debut compilation from Tanzan Music is an impressive and exciting release. Tanzan Blue Vol.I – Ballads and Blues for Modern Listeners brings together some of the finest artists on the label to offer a selection of songs borne of the blues, folk, and the most impassioned of ballads. Even if those areas of music do not usually spark the strongest reaction or enthusiasm the release has more than enough to make it a satisfying and enjoyable experience for most.

The album brings together music from the likes of Blueville, David Stockdale, Mario Percudani, Smokey Fingers, and Hungryheart into a mix which not only shows off the fine talents and songwriting of these artists but seamlessly places their songs side by side into a thoughtful and pleasing landscape of feelings and emotive atmosphere. There are always favourites within these kinds of compilations but with Tanzan Blue Vol.I you have one of the strongest and most consistently enjoyable collections in a long time.

The album starts off with the glowing heart of Love Letters In My Guitar Case by Italian band Blueville. The song is a blues slow burner which wraps its warm tender grooves laced with a gospel like elegance around the ear. The song bristles and pulsates wonderfully and is an immediate highlight to the release. The band top and tail the album, closing it off with Misery featuring the great vocals of Sherrita Duran, another great song though the opener has a definite edge.

Blueville have as members the equally talented Mario Percudani and Marco Tansini, and the album sees a double entry from both from their solo work. Percudani contributes the songs Don’t Bother Me and You Can Run. The first is a stylish blues rock pleasure bringing a vibrant jazz pulse from the excellent guitar and keyboard work. It is a song that is impossible not to be swept up by, the vocal harmonies with Elisa Paganelli soaring with mesmeric beauty. You Can Run is a slower but no less encapsulating piece with further stunning harmonies from this time Barbara Boffelli alongside Percudani and his stirring musicianship. Both songs show why he is in such demand as a collaborator, songwriter and producer, impactful and deeply pleasing music.

      Marco Tansini brings two songs to the release in the shape of White and Green, both blues grilled slices of guitar heaven. Tansini is one of those artists who even if guitar led music is not your general preference you can sit for hours being hypnotised by. Both songs on the release absorb the senses and his playing and compositions alone portray emotions as deep as any song with words dripping intent and passion.

The album also includes a double pleasure from American singer/songwriter David Stockdale. From Santa Barbara, Stockdale became a favourite with his recent album Dark Riders, and the two cuts from that placed in this release remind why he is one of the more vibrant and infectious artists out there in the blues/folk field.  Here Comes The Night is a captivating song with a slight country whisper running through it whilst Who a keen favourite of ours, makes an energetic and uplifting presence on the album. With the likes of Tom Petty, Dave Matthews and Crosby Stills Nash & Young as influences you can get a sense of the energy and depths of sound he brings forth.

A new band to us Ricky Ferranti & The Rusty Miles also have two songs on the album, the slow pacing Let Me Know and If You Say Goodbye. Another two songs that wear their hearts on their sleeves, the first standing tall with passion oozing from every pore from the great female vocalist featured and the second a ballad from the deepest corner of his emotions. Though both songs do not quite hit the mark like others it is more to their unfamiliar presence one suspects and they do make the want to hear more from them keen.

Completed by single tracks from the excellent Smokey Fingers with Sweet Tears and Hungryheart with You Won’t Be Alone, the album is a thoroughly enjoyable time. The Smokey Fingers song is rife with an openly familiar melody but still an irresistible treat whilst the Hungryheart song though not as impressive as their usual hard rock driven sounds is a welcome and fitting ballad to the release.

Tanzan Blue Vol.I – Ballads and Blues for Modern Listeners is a great and compelling album which not only show cases the great talent at Tanzan Music but brings a complete and thrilling pleasure to be fulfilled by. With so many great artists and songs on board it is an album all should welcome in to their day and hearts.


RingMaster 12/05/2012

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Defy All Reason: Shake it

A strong and eager rock song can be one of the best flavours to lose oneself within to simply forget the trials and tribulations of any day. The new single from North Wales band Defy All Reason, is a fine example and a track which sets the band up as one to watch closely over the months ahead. Shake It is a muscular and confident slab of heavy rock with essences of blues seeping into its keen veins of Southern rock, and a song that easily inspires eagerness to hear more from the band.

Formed in the closing months of 2011, the Wrexham quartet of Gavin Jones (vocalist/guitar), Darren Jones (guitar), Lee Shenton (bass), and James Radhi (drums), rose from the ashes of local bands. They were four friends who came together to put their experience and mutual musical vision, drive and determination into a new exciting band and sound. Recently signed to Teesside based independent record label Satellite Records the band releases Shake It their debut single on July 2nd

Shake It bustles in on groove loaded riffs that rile up the heart rate and a melodic rock energy wrapped tightly around them. The vocals harmonies are nicely raw whilst the infectious heart of the song expands the further it rumbles through the ear. With a touch of Trucker Diablo and Black Stone Cherry to it the song is a fully satisfying and pleasing slab of rock n roll.

The band is working on their debut EP for later in the year and after Shake it the anticipation is sure to be high. Possibly the band have yet to find the final definition to their sound but the single suggests that is well in hand  and the future is vibrant for Defy all Reasons.


RingMaster 12/05/2012

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