Fuckshovel: This Is What We Are

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    This Is What We Are is an album you cannot fail to become wrapped up in and find yourself recruited to its defiant brawl of irresistible noise and energy. Unleashed by UK rockers Fuckshovel, the release is a riotous storm of rampant rock n roll with no intent to compromise or accept mere appreciation of its forceful sounds, it is all or nothing and for us it is everything such the compelling and inciting muscular pleasure on offer.

Formed in the back street of London in 2005, Fuckshovel has a striking sound which is so easy to joyfully describe. The quartet stare the listener straight in the eyes with a confrontation brewed from the metallic imagination and might of Therapy?, the defiant pose and infectious punk abrasion of The Ruts, and the raw dirty rock n roll of The Wildhearts. To that you can add essences of early Anthrax and The Adicts but primarily throughout the album the first trio come to mind with the punk quartet the major spice to the music which is undeniably from the distinct ownership of Fuckshovel. The pedigree of the band members included experiences gained through playing with the likes of Cradle of Filth, Decimator, Basement Jaxx, Plan B, and remnants of Phil Lynott’s Grand Slam, the foursome infusing those elements into their new venture. The years since has seen the band share stages with bands such as The Germs, Fucked Up, Jaguar Love, Glen Matlock, and Innerpartysystem, receive an invitation to showcase material at SXSW in Texas to great success and response, as well as receiving acclaim and strong radio play upon the release of debut single Long Time Dead, something equalled by the accompanying video too.

Released on February 18th, This Is What We Are is primed to thrust the band to the widest national recognition well if Fuckshovel cover artworkirrepressible and skilfully contagious sounds are any degree of persuasion and the album has those in thrilling abundance. Recorded with producer Rohan Onraet, the album just barges through the ear from its first note to the last middle finger vocal scowl of the release. It is a merciless tempest of antagonistic rhythms, crippling riffs, and caustic emotive vocal. Opener Germs Of Empire bursts free with drums and guitars fighting each other for attention though both receive the fullest from the first bruising touch they deliver. Once settled into its stride the track brings in the Malcom Owen like vocals of Jon Stone to further inspire The Ruts flavouring already washing over the senses whilst the music spreads into a sinewy rock adventure with attitude and melodic teasing to the fore. It is a fiery encounter which starts the album off at a great height and alone makes the release and band one you want to know much more about.

The Antidote scrapes over the ear next, the scarring riffs of Ian Fisher and enslaving drums of Dave Hirschheimer demanding whilst the glorious throaty bass tones of John Faulkner bring instant submission to their predatory mastery. The track is less distinctive than the first but with ease lays a contagion and beckoning which is impossible to refuse. It takes no time in grabbing the enthused enlistment of feet and emotions whilst unveiling compelling enterprise to keep things unpredictable and inciting, the same claim which can be said of Black, another song which arguably does not venture to far into new territories but is just a thrilling assault of ravenous riffs and sonic teasing. It has a towering presence nonetheless to leave one exhausted at its departure and enamoured in its company.

The first Fuckshovel single and their newest stand side by side and both spark the richest of rapture. Long Time Dead chews synapses with its gnarly bass attack and niggling sonic riffing before unleashing a punk rock furnace of imagination and greedy raptorial addiction. Anthemic and as infectious as lustful thoughts, the track is a near demonic addiction brought through insatiable energy, rampaging sounds, and aggression veined by a bass sound you just drool over. New single Schizophonic is the same viral violation in a different guise. Once again the bass of Faulkner ensnares the heart whilst the sonic manipulations of Fisher leaves the senses twisted in ardour within the numbing result of the barbed beats from Hirschheimer. The punk and rock tempest evolves with the vocals into a presence which consumes and riles willing emotions. It is a riot which can only be devoured again and again.

This Is What We Are is an outstanding debut from a band we can only see becoming a real force in UK rock. Tracks such as the melodically snarling Vegas Nerve, the towering All You Got with its Dead Kennedys like hooks and One Minute Silence aggressive gait, and the violently cajoling Skull and Bones all continue to ignite more unbridled fire and euphoria for the release whilst the closing pair of tracks, the insistent juggernaut 2500 Days and the unruly Portia’s Box without arguably reaching the heights of the rest of the album, impressively close off an impressive and exciting debut. The release is rock n roll at its very best and Fuckshovel the worse antagonistic nightmare for all who like a quiet life.

www.facebook.com/F.Shovel

RingMaster 17/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead Bundy and the Neat Neat Neats: Life Is Hard…Death Is Neat

Dead Bundy and ....

Providing a villainous canvas for the most essential of mischievous sounds Life Is Hard…Death Is Neat the latest album from Dead Bundy and the Neat Neat Neats has everything you could desire in a psychobilly riot. A collection of songs which are as compelling as they are the instigators of varied rock n roll flames, the album just grabs the heart and thrusts it into a bruising rampage of insatiable riffs, hungry rhythms, and heart borne passion. This is a record from a band which lives and breathes their sound and uses their open influences to corrupt and ignite the wickedest shadows within its willing victims.

The Minneapolis quartet is another band which lets the music do the talking with info about the band as scarce as the desire to behave within the album itself. The band does consist of Matthew Sprinkles, Chris Wilson, Cody Hillyard, and Matt Kalsnes, and employs influences from the likes of Batmobile, The Quakes, Reverend Horton Heat, Mad Sin, and Screaming Jay Hawkins amongst many, as well as a band which springs to mind often across the release, the Frantic Flintstones, to their own mastery. Life Is Hard…Death Is Neat is the follow up to 2011 album Bad Moon Death Trip, and was released last year making us late to its glory but better late than never right? They tag their sound as brundlebilly but whatever they want to call it their roguish conjurations are just essential treasures for all fans of rock n roll.

The eager and thrilling breath of Hexes And Hymns opens up the album, the track a brief instrumental charge which begins with 300gentle caresses before turning on the for pulsating guitar strokes, thumping rhythms, and a delicious whisper of discord throughout its twisted twang. It is a fiery start soon equalled and surpassed by the shadows gifted Evil Deeds And Demon Seeds. With a groaning hungry bass slapping resonance and an irresistible groove the song stomps through the ear with only thoughts of dragging the feet and passions of the listener into action, not that they need much persuasion when confronted by infection carrying sounds like this.

From there the album sets free one of its biggest pinnacles in a continual parade of highlights. Junglebella swings astride the senses with an insatiable energy and compulsive swagger, the vocals and guitar luring irresistible whilst the contagious chorus demands receives compliance from the throat of the listener with immediate effect. It is a sensational song which brings elements of The Meteors, Link Wray, and The Legendary Shack Shakers into play. The musicianship is as impressive as the viral persuasion at work throughout song and album and already only three songs into the release one feels the band is destined for the strongest recognition in their chosen genre if not further afield.

The sinew stretching Bruja with its crushing rhythms and flames of scorching guitar continues the now beyond simmering rapture, the track a muscular bruising with more addiction than primitive sexual urges…oh that is just us then…whilst the likes of the raw rockabilly furnace of Movie Monster and the country lilted evil of Bad Woman with its Dave Edmunds/Polecats like gait brings diverse enterprise and tingles to the release. The last of this trio starts as an old school toned treat which again leads one by the ear to embarrassing rhythmic expulsions on the dancefloor but midway intrigues and excites by twisting into a punkabilly storm which is a mix of Demented Are Go and The Living End.

As the album continues the songs Supernatural Man, She’s A Hellcat, and Road To Ruin only lead to further squeals of joy before another major triumph arrives in the graveyard romance of Bone Daddy. It is a glorious track which romps with sinister intent and deathly mischief. The irreverent vocal squalls and ever potent emotion playing bass prowl fires up the deepest passions whilst the heated hooks of the guitar conjurations pulls the heart into action like a satanic musical magnet.

Closing with the fine acoustic ballad Devils In The Dark, the album is an enthrallment with the highest rewards of pleasure attached to every note and rhythm. Only enthused acclaim can be laid upon Life Is Hard…Death Is Neat and a band in Dead Bundy and the Neat Neat Neats which makes the company of their nefarious creativity as essential as breathing.

https://www.facebook.com/DeadBundy

RingMaster 17/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cynical Existence: Come Out And Play

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Released on February 22nd via Alfa Matrix, Come Out And Play the debut album from Swedish band Cynical Existence has been a highly anticipated proposition amongst fans of harsh EBM/industrial/dark electro fans. Last year saw two EPs from the band which lit up the genre and ventured to the darkest corners of the human condition through a melodic abrasion which was as refreshing and enthralling as it was imaginative and emotive. The solo project of Fredrik Croona, founder and one half of the excellent aggrotech/industrial act Project Rotten and former vocalist of dark electro/industrial band Menschdefekt, Cynical Existence has delved deeper in to its heart to create its darkest engagement  yet, a compelling caustic encounter which provokes and evokes the sharpest reactions alongside the fullest pleasure.

A Familiar Kind of Pain, the first EP from Croona, rampaged and stomped over the senses with a near viral infectiousness to a presence drawn on the personal heart and shadows of the artist. It was an impressive introduction to the project which was then equalled by second EP Ruined Portrait, a collection of tracks which breathed with a darker shadow than its predecessor without losing the contagion rife on the first record. It also suggested what is realised on Come Out And Play, a further depth of reflective inspirations which have evolved into a more intense and malevolent creativity. The album is challenging and arguably less infectious than previous releases but with a maturer energy and craft is just as contagious and impressive. It is an intriguing release which asks for more attention than maybe one initially expected but offers even greater rewards.

As the dawning opening atmosphere on A Scar On My Mind envelops the ear there is an immediate sense of darker energies emerging The vocals of Croona are less caustic than expected initially before his usual pleasing squalls of emotion are unleashed. It is an instant variation which grabs the attention and adds depth to the presence of the track. Melodic beckoning caresses weave their way through the chilled ambience of the song brewing a rich mix of light and dark aurally and emotionally. The sonic manipulation through addictive hooks and melodic teases are more of a loud whisper than an open invitation and makes for a fluid and thrilling veining to the track.

The following Deception is a lighter chord of inner investigation, its airy melodics and sun fuelled glow a warm expanse over the waiting shadows. It is with the glorious and unexpected ‘nintendo dance’ which breaks out that the track just soars further in the heart. It is an imaginative and again intriguing pleasure, an open sensation marking the evolution in the composing and invention of Croona. Without the denseness of the first song the track also declares a diversity to Come Out And Play which was possibly missing on the previous EPs and leaves one greedy for more.

The variety is continued through songs like I’m Broken which fuses the crystalline flavours found in New Order to an angst driven dancefloor expulsion of emotion, GDI, and the serpent spawn Face Of God. The middle song of the three licks the senses with its sonic tongue to intimidate and ignite the deepest rapture whilst offering an insidious and compelling melodic wash which command feet and passion. It is the perfect companion to Face Of God, a track which leads one on a dance of sinister intent and vibrant violation. Again light and dark is the invading emotion and once more the track is an angelic evil which leaves one drooling in hunger and desire.

The further in the release the greater the heights of ardour sparked. Pick Your Poison is another where Croona mixes his vocal delivery wonderfully and unleashes a raptorial elegance which is as corrosive and dangerous as you could wish but equally warm and reassuring. The outstanding Reign Supreme and The Sexual Game both leave their tortured touches on the senses with magnetic charm and disturbed emotion, the pair leaving one enlightened and shadowed in personal emotive thoughts, with the latter song inciting within a pair of familiar tracks. We make no apologies for drooling over Paradox and Insecure, two songs which first made their appearance on A Familiar Kind of Pain and stand as our favourite conjurations from the man, though they are seriously challenged elsewhere on this album. The duo return to unleash their hypnotic mordant dazzling and captivating anthemic riots adding a familiar but again open variation to the release.

Ending with a final tempestuous molestation of delicious sonic foment in Seeping Through, the album leaves one on a high and with an irresistible itch to dive back into the cathartic encounter once again. Cynical Existence just gets better and better and one wonders if it will eventually be a bigger beast than the ‘day job’ for Croona. Released as a single album or limited carton box with a second full album of remixes, Come Out And Play is an essential investigation for all electro/EBM/industrial fans and especially those of bands such as Suicide Commando, SITD, Grendel, and Virtual Embrace.

https://www.facebook.com/cynical.existence.official

RingMaster 17/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ion Vein: IV v20

 Rich Knight - live guitar

Photo by: Beth Piarowski

Continuing the DR (digital release)concept began by Mortal Music and veteran metallers Ion Vein of taking a snap shot of an album of music and releasing it into the market a “chapter” at a time’, the pair has just released the next instalment in the riveting and impressive IV v2.0 from the band. The new three track instalment in the passage to the full album is just like its predecessor IV v1.0, a vibrant and thrilling slice of progressive and classic laced metal.

The gap between their last album Reigning Memories released in 2003 and the first EP of last year was a long wait for fans and most likely an impatient one for something from the Chicago band which formed in 1995 but the release showed the band was as mighty and inventive as ever, in fact at their strongest to date. Founder and guitarist Chris Lotesto, vocalist Scott Featherstone, bassist Rob Such, and drummer Chuck White, have continued their impressive return with a trio of songs on like its predecessor, the Neil Kernon (Nile, Nevermore, Queensryche, Redemption) produced EP, a release which leaves the majority of emerging melodic metal bands in the shade.

The opening song Seemless accosts the ear with thumping rhythms and delicious senses churning riffs which are all muscle and IV_v.2_2x2_hiressimple but effective enterprise. Settling into a more reserved gait though the track strokes the ear with a rich melodic ambience whilst the pulsating bass of Such prowls and probes the ear magnificently. The vocals of Featherstone are as expressive and powerful as ever, and though he may not be the vocalist with the greatest range in metal he persistently delivers an immense presence and passion to each song which flares up superbly within the equally fiery sounds,  as proven on the first song of the release. The rich guitar explorations of Lotesto dazzle without indulgence to stoke greater fires within the already burning appreciation of the stylish composition and its skilful and inspiring presence whilst that rapacious bass switches on primal needs as eager as the sonic caresses tease out a devouring greed for more.

Fools Parade steps forward next to elevate things to an even greater plateau, the stalking riffs and sonic scorching an acidic feast veined by the tightly controlled yet hungrily barbed rhythms of White. Weaving through corridors of energy and an enveloping furnace of passion and imaginative melodic invention, the track has a loud whisper of the John Bush fronted Anthrax which adds extra richness to the stomping presence of the enjoyably resourceful song. It stands as the best track on the EP with ease though the final piece of engagement in the form of This is Me completes the EP with an expressive relish and melodic metal strength which rivals. The track winds itself around the ear with provocative riffs and further excellence from the sonic inventiveness of Lotesto to invite a feisty response in thought and passion for the creative flames within it and the whole release.

Arguably the concept being employed raises as much impatience as satisfaction when the tracks are as strong and enthralling as they are on both EPs to date and the want to dive into the full length lying at the end of it all overwhelming, both extremes of emotions rife  because of the great sounds and songwriting within the impressive stature of the releases. Bottom line though is that IV v20 is an accomplished piece of metal which just hits the spot from every angle and thrills throughout.

www.ionvein.com

RingMaster 17/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright