Destroy D.C. : The Pride Of The ASBO Generation


    Having just caught our breath after the outstanding recent release of XXIV from UK Subs, British punk has another explosive piece of inventive ferociousness to thrill us with in the formidable and exhilarating form of The Pride Of The ASBO Generation EP from Destroy D.C. The four track release is a stunning intense fire of energy and passion honed into a formidable compelling force, an irresistible inciting fusion of progressive punk and roots and dub.

Destroy D.C. began when Spike T Smith, the drummer for Conflict, wanted a project to bring forth the songs he was writing and had created round the time the legendary punk band went on hiatus in late 2009. Enlisting guitarist Gav King who was also looking for a vehicle for his ideas, and bassist Si Turner, the trio squeezed in writing, rehearsal, and recording between their individual busy touring schedules, Smith on Steve Ignorant’s Last Supper shows, as well as festival appearances with Killing Joke and the New York Dolls, King with Fields of the Nephilim and both men more recently with the return of Conflict, as well as all three members being the backing band for HewhocannotBeNamed (The Dwarves) for his solo UK dates. Destroy D.C. was officially launched on 21st December 2012 with the March 26th released The Pride of The ASBO Generation through DIY label Revenance the first of a procession of EPs.

The release opens with the raucous and uncompromising Road To Redemption, a track which stares eye to eye with the listener Destroy DC EP Cover Finalwhilst teasing and tempting them with brawling vocals, lethal hooks, and a contagious breath. The fiery groove which frequents the song throughout is the first encounter for the ear soon joined by punchy rhythms and a rich growling bassline. As eager as it is hungry, the song rampages through the ear without a much respite from its corrosive riffs and melodic sparks, yet still teases and taunts with a wonderful adventure to its gait and prowl. Within a restrained yet intimidating deep breath in aggression, the band also brings a sensational diversion sculpted by imagination and ingenuity which seduces and eats the passions with equal strength to the marauding sounds elsewhere. Ending as it began with a further hardcore scowl to the vocals and intensity to its punk rock abrasion, the song is an immense first confrontation to band and EP.

The following Those Days Are Gone also strikes its first blow through a magnetic almost insidious groove which captures the imagination before the song fully unleashes its physical and inventive might.  A frantic inferno of attitude, passion, and ravenous agitated drums from start to finish, the song is potently veined with that addict making groove within an insatiable appetite to chew and incite thoughts and emotions. It is caustic rock n roll at its best, a fusion of hardcore and original punk which rewards as dramatically as it accosts the senses.

Whereas elements of the previous songs mildly suggest the roots and dub influences third song Tear It Down is a full on pleasure incorporating both aspects of their main influences for an impossibly compelling and thrilling ride. Like a blend of Dub War, Steel Pulse, and Ruts but with its own individual heart, the song is a simmering yet fiery piece of emotive and provocative majesty. A pulsating crawl through a reggae soaked reflection book ended by punk snarls, the track is a sensational creative declaration which rivals the aforementioned Ruts classic Love In Vain.

The band close up the EP with another striking slab of imagination in the erosive pop punk triumph of the title track. This is no glossy melodic piece of musical candy though but a caustic and raw stomp with loud dub whispers and old school punk aggression. The song shifts and evolves throughout to ignite further lustful ardour for the release especially with the drop into a slow melodic and shadowed prowl midway which recalls the Dirk Wears White Sox era of Adam and the Ants. It is a brilliant ending to an outstanding and invigorating slab of punk at its best.

Knowing that The Pride Of The ASBO Generation is just the opening assault of what creatively is to come ahead from Destroy D.C. it is safe to assume that the anticipation and wait for the next release is going to be very impatient.


RingMaster 25/03/2013

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For The Life Of Me: Closure EP


    It is impossible not to be strongly impressed by the debut EP from US rock band For The Life Of Me. Consisting of four striking and extremely well-crafted tracks, the Closure EP is an invigorating and vibrant confrontation of melodic punk and angst dripping rock brewed into an impacting and passion drenched fire of intent. From start to finish the release captivates and provokes for the strongest rewards and though For The Life Of Me feels like a band still discovering their distinct voice it is hard to remember many bands from their sphere of sound and style which has impressed as strongly with their introduction.

From Portland, Oregon, For The Life Of Me began with four friends, all from different musical backgrounds who came together when their previous projects and bands ended or disappeared into the horizon. Using their distinctly varied influences the band began writing and creating in the winter of 2009 through to the opening of the eyes of 2012. Choosing a quartet of songs the band finally got down to recording for an EP with Stephan Hawkes (Vanna, Closure In Moscow, Red Fang) at Interlace Audio in Portland. Soon after though, two members of the band Ray Canarios (vocals/ guitar) and Dan Hargadine on (drums) left leaving the other half of Austin Davis (guitar) and Jeff Galusha (bass)to resist the project being another failed venture and working on ideas as they looked for replacement blood. Finally with a line-up of vocalist/guitarist Lee Parks and drummer Chris Forrette alongside Davis and Galusha, the band is ready to unleash its pent up creativity and frustrations with the release of the Closure EP.

Eleven opens up the release and immediately earns strong attention with its fiery sonics and thumping rhythms soon joined by anforthelifeofmeep acidic groove which invites investigation. The vocals powerfully sculpt the narrative and its passion to enhance the already brewing drama of the sounds further. Strongly impressive the vocals ignite sparks within the compelling songwriting and imaginative melodic flames which flicker and burn with varying intensity and inventive breath. The lead track from the release, the song is a stirring and inflammatory trigger for the passions and emotive thought and almost alone ensures a determined interest in the future of the band.

The following TV In My Head, Part II like the first has no fear in gripping the listener with instantly powerful sounds and emotive energy. Less riotous and urgent than its predecessor the song raises the intensity with a thick passionate atmosphere and potent heart borne sonic aggression which in many ways reminds of Billy Talent. Moving into a melancholic aside with the bass resonating deeply and the guitar crafting little incendiary melodic flames, the song is an enthralling and intriguing piece of composing and imagination if over long in its second half instrumental journey towards the final anthemic finale.

Winter Sleep is a tempest of harshly squalling vocals and tight caustic yet dazzling guitar sonic craft within an abrasive but tempting invention and honed melodic breath, and though the track does not quite live up to those before it, there is still a persuasion which grips tightly and lingers from the song.

The closing and irresistible Sung Out of the Blue brings Closure to an impacting and thrilling end, its towering vocal and melodic ferocity of passion and personal incitement a deliciously seductive and stimulating meeting between song and feelings. The track alone sums up the whole EP, a precisely but instinctively carved intoxication of melodic enterprise and passionate invention. Recommended for fans of the likes of Brand New, Make Do and Mend, and Balance & Composure by their bio it is hard to disagree but add as mentioned Billy Talent as well if not exactly for the sound but the passion. For The Life Of Me is still a work in progress but from the excellent Closure alone have set themselves up as a very exciting and promising prospect.


RingMaster 25/03/2013

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The Hush Now‏: Arkansas


Taken from their forthcoming album Memos, new single Arkansas from US indie pop band The Hush Now is an engaging invitation to their impending summer release. Formed around 2008, the Boston band has drawn strong plaudits and responses to their previous albums and been equally acclaimed for their appearances at the SXSW and CMJ festivals and though relatively unknown outside of their homeland, one suspects the quintet with the new single can look forward to that changing, especially in the UK with the arrival of the album is the new song is an example of its contents.

Formed in 2006 by vocalist/guitarist Noel Kelly, The Hush Now first made a mark on fans and critics with their debut self-titled of 2009. With its pop and dreamy soundscape fusion the release made a good mark on independent radio charts and pulled comparisons to the likes of Cure, Guided by Voices, My Bloody Valentine, and Teenage Fan Club towards the band. Second album Constellations a year later continued to set the band up as one to watch. With a line-up completed by guitarist Adam Quane, bassist Pat MacDonald, drummer Barry Marino, and John Millar on keyboards, the new single feels like the next potent step for the band towards the widest recognition.

Arkansas was seeded in a road trip to one of their festival appearances. Noel Kelly tells more, “Arkansas started out with a garage band loop conjured up by our keyboardist in the back of our crammed tour van while on our way down to SXSW. It’s a good 36 hour haul from Boston to Austin. We played a couple of shows on the way down in NYC and Philadelphia, but on the last leg of the trip and about halfway through the state of Arkansas our drummer found out that a dear friend had passed unexpectedly. We stopped and mulled over our options at a gas and sip and eventually decided to carry on. We spent the week in Austin like ghosts shifting through the crowds and then piled back into the van for a marathon, non­stop drive back to Boston.  Although the song at its core is about being caught in a manipulative relationship, the lyrics try to capture that time rumbling back through the vastness of Arkansas, staring out the window and lost in reflection with a sense of nothing to return to at home.”

Opening with dowdy singular notes of the keys the song soon lures in a richer melodic tease from Millar and a deep bass temptation from MacDonald which sets up the ear eagerly for the mellow and expressive tones of Kelly. His gentles vocal caresses engage over the firm rhythms and guitar flashes, soaking the brewing sounds in a fine emotive and infectious harmonious wash. Across its length the track is a persuasive slice of accomplished indie pop but into its chorus ignites an even stronger passion for the inventive smouldering intensity and passion of the song. Ending as it began, Arkansas is an inspiring and tenderly forceful seduction towards the band and their approaching full length release.

For elegant yet fiery pop music crafted with heart and emotive generosity The Hush Now‏ is a band to pay close attention to.

Check out the single at


RingMaster 25/03/2013


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the blueveils: Quiet Riot


    Following the success of their Out Of The Blue EP last year, UK rock band the blueveils are set to push things further with new single Quiet Riot. The three track single is more of the same which made their previous release an enterprising and openly enjoyable proposition and like the EP sits well within the well-established parameters and sounds of alternative and indie rock. The trio of songs again are not worrying any boundaries but once more show the band to be an easy to engage with and thoroughly enjoyable companion.

Hailing from Harrow, the quintet of vocalist Will Jackson, guitarists Craig Kirrane and Sean Durkan, bassist Adrian Rhoades, and drummer Martin Kirrane, has earned a strong reputation for their energetic live shows which has seen them thrill audiences across venues such as Water Rats, Barfly, and Dublin Castle across the UK. A wider awareness still awaits the band though their EP certainly did them no harm and the same can be said about the single, a release which without admittedly stretching their limits offers very more than decent rock n roll.

     Quiet Riot immediately puts the ear at ease, the song like a returning old friend which brings pleasure and satisfaction with their undemanding company. Energetic without being urgent the track offers addictive hooks, of which one has a whisper of Altered Images to its melodic invitation, and a relatively raucous graze of riffs which in combination with the firm rhythms and expressive vocals ensures the song holds the listener in a keen grip.

Second song on the release is Odyssey which for personal tastes stands out above the other pair of tracks. With a deep resonating bass lure throughout and a jangly essence to the riffs, the song has a punk pop breath to its infectious dance upon the ear. Every aspect of the song shows that the band whilst still missing that distinctive voice to their sound which sets them apart from the rest, know how to craft a song which can find a lingering place within the listener.

The closing Waiting Around like the opener is a familiar but fresh slice of rock. It has a small americana feel to its tone and a subdued energy but again leaves a more than happy satisfaction with its presence. The song like the single as a whole is arguably a lost opportunity as throughout there are glimpses of an individual stance from the band but the sparks are never truly realised, yet it is still a release which connects and satisfies with ease.


RingMaster 25/03/2013

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Pigbag: Year Of The Pigbag


    The presence of UK Funk Afro-Jazz combo Pigbag may have been a short burst of energised time in the early eighties but they certainly left a lingering and impacting legacy with their song Papa’s Got a Brand New Pigbag, a piece of music which has continued to bring agitated life to feet and emotions. Releasing two albums between 1980 and 1983 as well as touring extensively across Europe, Japan and the United States, the band disbanded in that final year due to musical differences. In its time the Bristol based band certainly brought a breath which invigorated and refreshed all areas from post punk to Jazz and funk to pop, their sound effortlessly find a welcome in a wide genre spawn and eager fan base. A band which apparently was banned from Top Of The Pops for trying to bring fun to their performance, Pigbag return thirty years later with their third album and certainly time has not dampened their creative enthusiasm and potency to seize senses and limbs and make them join their vibrant cause.

The band reformed in 2011 with founding members Chris Lee (trumpet) and Ollie Moore (saxes) as well as another original member in Kofi Adu (Congas/Percussion). Bringing in a quintet of new equally minded musicians in bassist Sven Atterton, guitarist Max O’Donnell, drummer John Sam, plus Karme Caruso and Matt Dowse, keys and trombone respectively, Pigbag has released an album which fuses nostalgia and brand new essences into one pleasing and engaging melody doused encounter. Released on Bristol imprint Sugar Shack Records, the album without really igniting the impetuous mischief and irresistibility of their renowned single, offers an elegantly and relatively subdued yet passionate presence across its the collection of tracks which inspires a rich affection and compulsive hunger as strong as their earlier triumphs so magnificently achieved.

The album opens with the delicious Cuban Rice (Is Very Nice), a stroll through a balmy Latin soundscape with the seductive lures of rhythmic temptation and the deeply contented blazes of horn persuasion. It is an addictive dance for heart and feet which across its enthralling presence caresses entice, and pulls emotions to their eager to jive toes. The picky guitar teases which mischievously work behind the melodic fires and golden harmonies also bring not for the first time on the album, a ska seeded fun whilst bass, drums and percussion, enlist an instinctive rapport from start to finish.

Through the shimmering strut of Disco Mama with its seventies funk boast and electrified breath, and the intriguing Out of Chaos, the release continues to trip all the right switches to magnetise the senses and attention their way. The second of the pair is an evocative mix of crystalline ambience and shadowed mystique which opens its suggestive arms into another warm and provocative embrace before handing over to the similarly heated Tabula Rasa and its sultry saunter through inviting hazy climes and reflective sounds.

Each track on the album has its individual character but together it feels like a connected travelogue of passion and sun soaked imaginative revelations. The energetic Beluga steps forward next to generously samba with the ear before stepping aside for the biggest highlight of the album to leave its thrilling touch upon the passions. Jumpers for Goalposts takes its seeds one senses from the signature tunes of football shows in the seventies, re-inventing their whispers into something impossibly addictive. With a ska base which reminds of The Specials song A Message To Rudy, the piece is a joyful and energetic playground for fun to bask in the warmth of innocent times and melodic laughter. It is a wonderful romp which holds the ear and thoughts long after it has physically left their shelter.

With the remaining Brains with its sophisticated persuasion, the picturesque Honeydew Lady, the song a canvas for lush colours and sounds to conjure a romance tinged image, and the closing Afrodite on the Horizontal which for no reason other than the name and its free form essence reminds of the work of art Tony Hancock was ‘creating’ in the movie The Rebel, the band leave emotions and passions entranced. The thought of the return of Pigbag alone raised a little excitement but Year Of the Pigbag just re-ignites all the pleasure and joy which marked them the first time around with a craft and invention which arguably is them at their best yet.


RingMaster 25/03/2013


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