Dizraeli and The Small Gods: Never Mind

With a wit as sharp and deliciously mischievous as the irresistible invention and sounds wrapping them, the new single from folk/hip hop band Dizraeli and The Small Gods, is a hypnotic and melodically delightful masterpiece. Never Mind sweeps one up in its sultry carnivalesque sway and magnetic stomp with an immediate wink of its harmonic beckoning, never relinquishing its throbbing and wanton teasing hold until its last wicked gasp. It is a magnificent return of the UK seven piece innovators and a brilliant teaser for their forthcoming album due next year.

Formed in 2009 to take the solo album Engurland (City Shanties) of award-winning rapper and multi-instrumentalist Dizraeli live, the band is no strangers to acclaim and devoted responses to their sound and live appearances. The past year has seen them play shows at the likes of the Barbican and Southbank Centre, under take a successful tour of Germany, playing plenty of sold out gigs and performing a couple of BBC Introducing live sessions, as well as making a host of European appearances and main stage appearances at UK festivals including WOMAD. Released on ECC Records the single sets up 2013 perfectly for the album and a full UK tour, the septet of Dizraeli, Cate Ferris (vocalist, flute), Lee Westwood (guitar, backing vocals), Paul Gregory (drums), DJ Downlow (DJ, backing vocals), Jules Arthur (viola, keys, backing vocals), and World Female Beatbox Champion Belle Ehresman better known as Bellatrix (beatbox, double bass), ensuring an impatient anticipation will lead to the gifts of next year.

The single opens on vocal harmonies and probing rhythms alongside swerving strings and senses tinkering guitars, it is an instant lure to capture the imagination and open up the heart for the lyrical strikes, delivery, and majestic craft of Dizraeli. With its arms fully outstretched the song is a pulse riding surf of melodic caresses, their kisses an urgent addiction, and irresistible thought manipulating grandeur driven by veins of incisive hip hop brought observations. Imagine a mix of Grand Imitation, Sonic Boom Six, Molotov Jukebox, and Kontrust led by a truly distinct and fresh talent in Dizraeli, and you touch on the wonder of Never Mind. As it saunters through the ear and into the passions, the song is ablaze with the throb of its core rhythms, the seductive call of the viola, and the sirenesque voice of Ferris. It is a fiesta of wonder, a carnival of perpetually entrancing sounds and imagination. Individual elements just spark adoration within the song; flute and keys for example are as rapturous as the vocals and melodies whilst the beats and bass creativity of Bellatrixis as captivating and inventive as the stunning rapping flares of Dizraeli.

The release is completed by a full version of the single, which is preferred due to firstly its length meaning more goodness to enjoy and the wonderful gypsy folk beginning, and the darker shadowed song The Little Things. This track is dedicated to the author’s Nan, and easily evokes feelings to its honest and precise vision. A discord tilted piano and compelling strings accompany the lyrical portrayal from Dizraeli, the result an inspiring and open reflection. It is glorious, at times deeply touching, and always placing an inciteful breath upon the emotions. Again the music takes the listener places as distinct and provocative as the vocal script and though it is not of the urgency and invigorating energies of the single, the song is as equally stunning with its melodramatic whispers and stirring heart.

Never Mind is nothing less than brilliant, a true joy of the year and with its release Dizraeli and The Small Gods has ensured 2013 and their album just cannot come soon enough.


RingMaster 21/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Allegro: Forever

This week sees the release of the album Forever from UK punk n roll band Allegro. It is an ironic title as the London band is no longer around to benefit from what is sure to be an enthused and positive response to the collection of pop punk and rock n roll gems within the release. Two years ago the band was on the rise, their feisty and energetic sounds grabbing a growing army of fans  through their renowned chaotic yet irresistible live shows. Supports for the likes of The Holloways, Reefs, The Towers of London and Martha Reeves as well as their own adrenaline soaked shows saw Allegro on the verge of big things. From signing to a minor label for next to nothing things went awry, their debut album was delayed and delayed until eventually the band split, the label retaining all rights to the release and all things Allegro.  A long battle ensued until now thankfully the band has permission to and is able to release the album. We say thankful as it would have been a travesty if something this great and fun was never to see the light of day.

Forever is not an album to offer anything particularly new, though it is packed with imaginative and unique mischief, but certainly it is a release to guarantee nothing but pleasure from its hungry pokes of prime rock n roll. Quite simply it is a release of energetic slaps of punk n roll to dance and let loose to. It is also an album which is nicely varied without moving too far from its infectious attitude and stance. This helps make the album stand out from other similarly driven releases and makes the thought of how impressive the band could have been if they had not called it a day frustrating.

The album opens with City Lights and within seconds of its rapping beats and dark bass swagger it has one hooked. The mixed guitar slices of sonic sharpness and jangly rubs fire up the senses whilst the keys envelope the ear with a gentle and warm embrace. The track is a merger of slowly wrapped beauty and thumping rhythms and energies, a fiery stab of rock which easily ensures attention is primed and secured.

The following punk blistering rampage of Stringys is an abrasive pleasure complete with blues toned guitar invention which points at the diversity of sound within the release, soon backed up by the excellent Chuck Berry Waltz N All, to complete the opening trio of outstanding tracks. This song is a captivating brew of flavours, its opening keys and rhythms sound like The Jam around the time of The Gift and the emerging acidic hook a delicious Buzzcocks like piece of mesmerism. Not for the first time or last, there is an Arctic Monkeys tint to the sound too, though not as over powering and distracting as can be found in other bands and releases. The band comfortably brings it all into a smooth union with their own invention, to create a track which just excites and energises the heart. The sixties inspired keys which soak the song elevates the attraction to greater levels and though arguably it is not one of the most immediate songs it is one of the most powerful.

The likes of the wholly infectious View From The Water Rats, the rhythm jabbing I’ll Stand By You, and Alright, a song which just stokes up the fires with its primal beats and acidic unpolished guitar grazes, all hit the sweet spot. The latter of the three ventures and slips through different faces with skill and accomplished songwriting to engage and intrigue completely, a strength amongst many which can also be applied to Forever.

As great as the album is from start to finish it leaves its biggest highlights until the closing stretch in the irresistible shapes of I’ll Be There For You and Hola Senor! Rita. The first has the appetite dribbling from its opening vocals and harmonies before securing adoration with its senses clashing riffs and melodic saltiness. Like salt in food the slightly harsh touches just enflame the addictive pull of the track. The second of the two is simply majestic old school seventies punk updated with extra naughty relish and greedy imagination, just magnificent.

Forever is a wonderful album which thankfully we now all have the chance to dive into and devour with hearts a blazing. Maybe Allegro will rise again, but if not they have finally given an album to ensure they will not be forgotten.

RingMaster 21/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


Miniature Dinosaurs: Turn It On EP

Building on the success of earlier releases, Scottish indie tunesmiths Miniature Dinosaurs release their new EP, Turn It On, confirming all the early promise and why there is an impossible to ignore buzz around the band. The four track release still indicates there is much more to come and be explored within their creativity and songwriting, which only fires up a stronger eagerness to watch them develop ahead.

From Stirling, the quartet of Barry Maclean (vocals/guitar), Alban Dickson (bass), Craig Ferrie (guitar/synth) and Sam Waller (drums), has been igniting attention and keen responses from day one, the band receiving BBC airplay before they stepped onto a stage and pulling acclaim from all quarters. Once into their stride live, Miniature Dinosaurs has supported the likes of Fenech-Soler, Johnny Foreigner, and Young the Giant to again nothing less than strongly positive returns whilst at the same time releasing singles and EPs of quirky and imaginative infectious pop. TheTurn It On EP is arguably a little bit of a surprise, the tracks maybe less instant than previous tracks like Alligator and Fight And Flight, but they all show a fresh expanse to their songwriting in tandem with a more intricate and serious breath to their still contagious imagination. The quartet of almost psych drawn pop songs brings a heated experience to feast upon without restraint, whilst taking thoughts on a ride of unpredictable and fiery invention to wake them up and spark their own individual responses. Their sound again feels like a invigorating mix of David Bowie, Josef K, and Pulp but even more so on these new tracks, carries the feel and drama of the Associates, with even vocally Maclean having whispers of Billy Mackenzie in the gait of his delivery. They are spicy extras to the uniqueness of the band and music, something to ensure as mentioned it is impossible to ignore.

Released through Integrity Records, the EP opens with the download single which found strong success over the summer, Lemonade. The song is the most straight forward companion of the four, an easy to consume piece of pop with a mellow and warm presence. As its keys stroke the ear with gentle warmth, the beats of Waller divert the attention to a core of feistier intent within the song, soon joined by the muscular and slightly barbed basslines of Dickson. The crystalline yet discord barked guitar play lashes the ear within and around the shadowed rhythms to open up the senses further, the track never bursting into a riot of energy but capturing the passions with the emotive deliverance of keys and vocals alongside the moodier and more forceful elements elsewhere.

The great start is followed by best track on the release in Lip Synch. The song opens with a provocative questioning lyrically and musically, the guitar, bass, and drums prodding until they get a response and the synth slowly offering its own seductive persuasion. The simple but effective start is a slow build which is masked by the captivating sonic spotlights and melodic teases. Eventually one is face to face with a powerful and dramatic crescendo of passion and energy in the chorus, a dazzling and explosive joy to leave one breathless. Repeating the opening and climax again the track taunts and thrills with further expressive enterprise within the repetitive but irresistible structure of the song. It is glorious, maybe the best thing Miniature Dinosaurs has done.

Next of Kin is a sonic sun of sharp and pulsating guitars and epic keys driven atmospheres speared by the again excellent dark bass tones of Dickson. The track has a heart as big as its sounds and makes immersing within its emotive very easy and rewarding. Like its predecessor, the track has denseness to its gift which stretches and shows the evolution of the creativity of the band though it still has the ability to engage with impressive contagion.

The closing title track like the first is a song with a more instantaneous pop swagger, one you can jump on board with like an old friend and join its new but familiar mischief with ease. It brings a compulsive end to an equally addictive release that marks Miniature Dinosaurs as a band continuing to shout out look at us, something which with Turn It On EP alone would be rude to refuse.


RingMaster 21/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright