The Elixirs – Long Gone


With a re-release via the excellent Texas independent Psycho A-Go-Go Records, Long Gone the debut album from Indiana cowpunk/psychobilly band The Elixirs returns to exhilarate and exhaust the world with its riots of passion driven energy fuelled rock n roll. The release is a nineteen track bonanza of contagious eager to devour slices of often bruising, occasionally provoking, and always thrilling adventure, the songs seeded in the devilry of horror, outlaw infamy, and salacious rock n roll roguishness with an impossibly infectious temptation from start to finish across the whole album.

The sound of The Elixirs brews up a 100% proof fusion of rockabilly, punk, country, and psychobilly with plenty of other rich additives such as punk and blues bringing their potent flavourings to play too. It is a sound which has marked the band out since forming with the album set to be with justice the trigger to the widest recognition and awareness. The beginnings of the band began with The Stumblers in mid-2007. Formed by vocalist and then bassist Dan Tedder (moving to guitar later in the story) with drummer Joe King and guitarist Dan Savage, the band progressed without really getting anywhere. The following year saw Tedder and King step forward with a new bassist as The Boneyard Elixirs, the trio playing as often and as hard as possible. A seemingly constant battle to find and hold on to bassists followed whilst highlights in their live events accompanying the period as well. The band by now simply The Elixirs next released the EP Gut Cuts with help from Gas City Records. This was followed by the departure of another bassist in Dewayne Hughes who had been with the band for well over a year over their most successful time to that point. 2011 saw Whitt join the band with for the first time an upright bass entering the equation. The recording and mid 2012 release of their debut album followed to strong responses and acclaim which the re-release this year will only accelerate. The story is not quite settled as since the album King left the band to be replaced with the sticks by Dave the Dudeist in the late fall of last year. Hopefully a settled period in members will allow the band to exploit and leapt forward from the might of what will be the first impressive introduction to a great many in the stirring shape of Long Gone.

The album opens up its charms with Water and Bread, a track with psychobilly sinews and melodic rock n roll endeavours speared by the delicious bass call of Whitt. Though it is not the most urgent charge to start the album, the song has a bite and prowl to its hunger which intimidates and seduces with pure primal potency. The vocals of Tedder drip expression and passion from every syllable passing his rapacious lips whilst his guitar equally sculpts an enslaving temptation proving irresistible not only here but across the album.

The following title track swaggers in with a vibrancy which awakens the senses even further whilst its catchy swing and anthemic chorus badgers a full compliance from the listener. It is an easy to ride song leading into firstly the wicked tease of the loping country punk hooked Tits Deep and the first of the highest pinnacles reached by the release in Cry For Me. The latter of the two walks into view on a Cramps like abrasive discord, the building stroll niggling mouth-wateringly on the ear whilst the beats and bass persuasion is a merciless repetitive invitation  to song and heart to which there is no defence. The core of the song would not be out of place on the classic Songs The Lord Taught Us release with the Gas City trio bringing their own unique extensions for an individual flame of excellence.

Across the likes of the country twanging Pleasure N Pain, the sixties punk spiced 17-12, and the darkened rockabilly crawl of Soul, the album ignites further fires of ardour towards its presence even if the tracks compared to others are only merely outstanding in comparison to the genius like statures of the two songs sandwiching the third of the three mentioned as an example. These tracks, Torn Rose and Sea of Lies are two more overwhelming beacons within the album, the first bursting from a gnarly confrontation into a roaming charge of biting riffs and enslaving rhythms, a near runaway train of Gene Vincent like garage punk, whilst the second is a horror punk/psychobilly blaze of raucous and coarse grained rock n roll, and both a match to the passions.

Every track deserves a mention to be honest, songs such as Dangerous Ways with its Sex Pistols riffs and Cramps squall, and the predatory death dance of Cowboy Rot feasts to devour but with the closing stretch of the album it’s most impressive, songs such as Park It On the Lawn shout for attention. The track is a carnivorous stalking of the ear with insatiably rubbing riffs and matching ravenous intent from drums and bass, its virulent groove and consuming energy illegally addictive. Its staggering presence is closely matched by the likes of the smouldering croon of Misery, a fifties seeded rockabilly siren of a song, and the brilliant Faster Than Hell, the string plucks and slaps of Whitt the bait for another full on enticement of epidemic proportions.

Long Gone is an exceptional album, a skilfully crafted seizure of the heart with nothing less than undiluted pleasure and inciting rascality in tow, as evidenced by a final boost of potency with the voracious Loser, another contender for best track, and the closing cowpunk stomp of Asshole. Thankfully we have all got a second bite at grabbing this outstanding album, only a fool would pass on or miss out on The Elixirs a second time.


RingMaster 26/04/2013

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Thirteen Shots – Tales That Start With A Whisper

13 shots

After the success of their excellent debut album Vaudeville just over a year ago, UK horror punk n rollers Thirteen Shots teased the appetite further with songs like Zombies From The USSR, a track which made up one of their contributions to a split release with fellow raisers of the dead, Trioxin Cherry and Raizing Hell. Little did it and fellow song Get In My Crypt fully reveal was the step forward and extra adventure the Birmingham quartet had explored for their outstanding new album Tales That Start With A Whisper. Employing even richer flames of numerous genres and decades, the nine track release is a riot to ignite the senses and passions, a seemingly uncomplicated yet fully involved feast of dirty decaying invigorating rock n roll.

Formed in 2011 by vocalist Johnny Rose and guitarist Joe Public, long-time friends who moved from the hard rock sound they had earned a good name for into bringing a unique form of horror punk n roll, Thirteen Shots immediately drew attention with the release of debut single Danzig in the September of their first year. Completed by guitarist Izzy, bassist GMT, and drummer Chelsea, the band had over 300 downloads within a week of the release of the single. As the year rested in its grave and the new broke free, the five-piece entered the studio to record their first album, Vaudeville which was self-released on April Fool’s Day 2012. With a subsequent re-release via Psycho-go-go Records, the album drew great and eager acclaim and set the band up for two full tours across the UK. With the band also having gnawed and infested audiences alongside the likes of Demented are Go, The Peacocks, Rezurex, Howling Wolfmen, Graveyard Johnnys and more, across the years and finding great appetite for their sounds not only from fans but people such as Michale Graves through that first single, Thirteen Shots stand at the gate to the widest recognition within all shadowed corners of rock n roll, the new album promising to be the key to swing the iron clad entrance wide open.

As their previous releases, Tales That Start With A Whisper finds the band infusing elements and textures of sixties rock n roll, front covergarage blues, and horror punk with plenty of spice from psychobilly, punk, and rock, but this time it is all sculpted into brawling encounters which are more rounded, sure of their intent, and in league with each other whatever their individual stance in attitude and style. Whereas Vaudeville at times lost its way and has an undulating effect, its successor is one big eclectic bang on the senses; simply the band has come of age with a maturity honed into their sound for one insatiable and perpetually rewarding treat.

Opener Death Jam 2000 steps forward with a Jerry Lee Lewis like fired up hungry rockabilly call, with blues driven guitars flaming up the air and the vocals of Johnny snapping at the ear. With punchy rhythms caging the senses the song romps across the senses for the perfect start, simple, dramatic, and inciting not forgetting exciting. It is an easy introduction to the release which hands over to the outstanding Zombies From The USSR, an anthemic lure which never loses its potency and success no matter how many times you face its charge. With an intimidating riff driven gait and challenging breath, the song prowls and claws at the emotions, its crowding unrelenting stalking of the ear a restrained but deceptively quick and lethal hook to match the raptorial groove and vocal recruitment; it is the perfect soundtrack to any George Romero or modern zombie film. Having heard the song enough times to recall its declaration and words before remembering the names of all family member there is still the impossible to resist itch to hear the song at least twice before moving on to the rest of the album such its addictive hold.

The excellent Bewitched comes next, its scuzzy breath a fire within the garage punk unpolished embrace of the belligerent sonic confrontation and rhythmic caging. The bass of GMT is an exceptional temptation, its throaty grizzled snarl a contagious predator to menace and pushed the shadows of the song forth from behind the burning flames of the guitars. It is not the most infectious of the songs on the album but still consumes the passions with unbridled vehemence leaving Psycho Jukebox to work on the addiction side of things. Starting off with an Eddie Cochran like beckoning, the song then merges ska carved strokes and surf rock persuasion for a ridiculously catchy persuasion whilst its chorus is where the storm has its wildest greedy moments. Again bass and drums steal their share of the limelight with skilled mischief and again a different tone to their invention whilst the guitars simply sizzle with enterprise and swagger.

Get In My Crypt is another fiery garage punk rampage that sparks full participation and ardour, everything from guitar to vocals and harmonies to rhythms conspiring to leave an exhausted rapture clinging to its refreshing corpse whilst Nekro Sexual is a salacious and provoking slice of dirty devilry, a b-movie driven suggestiveness with a chorus of ‘Stomp On my Balls’ which defies anyone not to shout it persistently during and long after its devilment.

The album closes firstly with the brilliant title track, a groove laden addict making beats of a track writhing in classic/glam rock misbehaviour and horror rock roguishness not forgetting hook loaded grooves which would do the Buzzcocks proud. It is followed by two live tracks, Dead Girls Don’t Scream and This Looks Like A Job For Batman which tells you all you need to know about the band on stage and why you should not miss them if at a venue near you.

Anticipation and expectations were high going into the album but Thirteen Shots and the Freaky Pug Records released Tales That Start With A Whisper left them behind in their triumphant and impressive flesh chomping attack. A must have album for all horror, garage, rock, and punk fuelled fans.


RingMaster 26/04/2013

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WarEngine – Adrenaline Rush

WarEngine pic

The release of their three track demo last year brought strong attention and appetite for the unbridled thrash driven power of young Serbian band WarEngine. With its honest old school seeded contribution the band gave the genre a new and fresh voice but could the band expand and use their introduction to spring forward to seal a genuine place in the thrash metal arena. Their new album Adrenaline Rush provides the most compelling evidence that the Novi Sad quartet has not only grown into an emerging truly potent force but a band with a sound honed and brewed into one mightily impressive confrontation.

Formed in 2009, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Luka Franceško, guitarist Dušan Mijolić, bassist Aleksandar Jakshić, and drummer Stefan Stanić, have hit hard and passionately with their uncompromising aggressive sounds, their demo and first EP bringing an active and devoted following not only in their homeland but further afield. With media interest and positivity also coming keenly the band has joined up with Swiss publishing house Miner Records for the release of their debut full length assault, the album a twenty five minute nine track storm of high intensity energy and equally hungry aggression.

The album emerges through a battlefield with the song which first marked the band as one to watch very closely. Chemical warengine coverWarfare is a carnivorous track, the bass of Jakshić offering the grimmest wonderful growl to a predator of a track driven by greedy intense riffs and bone spanking rhythms. It is a straight forward but wholly contagious onslaught with hardcore venom to its thrash lit heart, bringing thoughts of classic East Area bands to mind. Unrelenting and savage in its breath the track is a sub three minute explosion of concentrated thrash with no thoughts to be anything other than what it is. It alone openly marks the growth of the band as though it has not been changed much as such there is a more accomplished and confident prowl to its presence.

The following tracks Fucked and Time To Kill have a strong standard to follow but both without quite reaching the elevated heights of their predecessor leave the richest satisfaction and appetite in their wake. The first is a slower more devious song, its rapacious crawl and crowding intensity an exacting instigator upon the ear and beyond with the accelerated gait and energy of the track as it progresses plus fine shards of guitar endeavour all increasing its strong lure for the awoken hunger. The second of the two gently sways in with a singular melodic guitar tease before opening up its arms with a slightly progressive spark of flame as the rest of the track unveils its muscles and devouring intent. Subsequently ripping through the ear with a groove speared urgency and the great rasping vocals of Franceško bringing their own caustic and incendiary provocation, the track is a pleasing caging of the passions.

    Party Animal preys and ravishes next with skilled and thoughtful craft, its body holding like all songs enough to stand apart from most without departing the old school breeding. It soon makes way to two loftier highlights upon the album in the riveting Civilian and the Porn. The first grabs and feeds on the ear and thrash cured emotions with pulsating persuasion and energising riffing, the vocals and groove sharing chores in recruiting a concentrated fixation which the climatic sonic fireball only accentuates whilst the latter of the pair is a flesh chewing, riff spiking, rhythmic tempest with fluctuating restraint and carnally feasting insistence. Both tracks inspire greater pleasure and rapacity for the band and release whilst confirming further the impressive progress of the band.

Whilst next up A.C.A.B. does not find the same depth of ardour for its admittedly still well-crafted and satisfying delivery the following Machete more than makes up for it with its initial melodic scene and atmosphere setting elegance being overtaken by a murderous and vindictive twist of violent rhythms and ruinous riffing. As nasty and sharp as its title suggests the song is a thrilling and scintillating corrosive attack, the best song on the album and from the band to date.

Final track Never Separated ensures that Adrenaline Rush ends on a high with one last scarring treat of caustic aggression to leave thoughts and emotions alive. The album is an outstanding full length debut from a band on the march. With loud whispers of the likes of Slayer, Kreator, Municipal Waste, Exodus, and Violator, to its attack, this is an album for all thrash fans to devour with greed.


RingMaster 26/04/2013

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Haiduk – Spellbook


Bringing death, black, and thrash metal into an exhausting and thrilling tempest of imagination and corrosive enterprise, Spellbook the debut album from Canadian band Haiduk, is a startlingly impressive introduction to an artist who you can only imagine going on to make a deep rooted mark on extreme dark hearted metal. The ten track album is a fascinating and invigorating often quite merciless intrusion, a stunningly crafted carnal encounter which devours and rewards with equal potency.

Haiduk is the solo project of Calgary based Luka Milojica, a musician investigating and creating a pure undiluted musician union between shadow driven musical ideas and the listener for a unique and solitary provocation free from outside influences. The first strike from the project came with the raw and ravenous 8-song demo Plagueswept in 2010. Missed by most it was a potent and intriguing statement which Spellbook reaps for an intensive and magnificent evolution. With tracks considering themes of magic, evil, nature, and myth, the album explores the listener and their thoughts as well as emotions, as eagerly as it does its own intent and enthralling journey.

The self-released album opens on the insatiable rampage of Lich, the track a torrent of ravenous riffs and urgent rhythms which haiduk_spellbook-300x300escapes through melodic flumes of sonic beauty and carefully crafted inviting malevolence. It is an unbridled flight of intensive energy with imaginative guitar persuasion playing at will upon the irresistible onslaught. Immediately the track lays a deep rooted lure within the listener which seduces and increases all album long, and is an open declaration of the skill and invention of Milojica.

The following Stormcall and Black Wind both offer the same rapacious confrontation in their unique and contagious guises, the first with a more merciful pressure in its face to ear attack but loaded with the dark serpentine growls and scowls of the vocals. It is a brief storm of corrosion handing over to the ruinous breath of the second of the pair, its intriguing and unpredictable insistent severe dance on the senses a mauling intensity veined by infectious melodic sonic flames. Both tracks leave a lingering mark and hunger for the already impressive temptation of album and artist.

Next up track Maelstrom unleashes exactly what its name suggests, a ravenous expanse of unsympathetic and unquenchable oppression from erosive and scalding sonic mastery and pungently acrimonious riffs, the attack swarming over the senses with no respite or kindness given. It is a fatigue inducing encounter which leaves bliss as the overriding emotion and is soon replicated in its individual spite by Forcefield, another track of dangerously niggling yet deliciously compelling sonic fortitude and viciousness.

Through the likes of the enchanting yet violent Hex and the outstanding Tremor with its insidious inventive form of continuous sonic teasing and grooved melodic tempting leaving a burning rapture enflamed in thoughts and emotions, there is little persuasion left to me made by the album. Though the second of the pair alone makes the final convincing with its epidemic of majesty sealing the deal, it is a combined effort of the whole album which declares the witnessing of and the deep rooted recognition of the appearance of an emerging force in metal.

Closing songs Firewield, another just terrific unbridled caustic rub on the ear, Lightning with a frazzling waspish insurgent demand, and the closing thrash bearing Vortez, complete an immense and intensely inventive album. Spellbook is exceptional with only one negative to offer which is the electronic drums. Admittedly the album ensures it is a minor niggle, the expertise and excellence of everything else pulling any shortcomings from obvious view but there are moments with focus where you feel a live drummer would have found another richness and depth to a track. Haiduk has produced a dream of an album though and one which is sure to ignite the appetite of extreme metal fans of any of the genres employed and enhanced by the release.


RingMaster 26/04/2013

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Red Wave – Pamir


Any release which inspires more than just the ears has a major chance of making a lingering impact which leads to a continual connection with and commitment from the listener. Such is the case with Pamir, the new album from German progressive instrumentalist Red Wave. The eight track release provokes and inspires reactions far beyond the ear with its evocative sounds and imagery inciting invention, its creativity and tracks playing on and with senses, thoughts, and emotions from start to finish with accomplished enterprise and skilful imagination. It is an invigorating collection of pieces with compositions which are an evolving narrative which sparks different adventures and landscapes with each expressive journey.

Consisting of guitarist Roman Steinhauer, drummer Joerg Steinhauer, and bassist Max, Red Wave formed in 2000 with a punk driven sound with songs sung in Russian, where some of its members hail from. Since then the band has evolved and moved into a progressive rock sculpted sound with the Dresden based band leaping forward from their previous intent and finding greater absorbing invention to work with. Released as last year became this, Pamir follows previous EP Dreck, a five track release which offers the punk rock side of the band and good though it is there is no comparison to the might of the new album.

It takes mere seconds for the album to grab attention and simultaneously spark eager reactions, the opening throaty textured bass call of Monolith soon joined by equally compelling rhythms, the union thrusting a massive irresistible hook into the passions. With restrained fiery lures from the guitar offering their inducement too, the piece opens up its sinews to unveil an expanse of melodic stoner fuelled temptation with towering walls of sound entrapping the emotions and a sonic description from the guitar opening up imagery and thoughts. The track is bright and vigorous, shadows kept at bay by the scintillating stroll of song and its inspiring warmth, yet there is a hunger, and appetite to the song which leaves a danger to the atmosphere.

From the stunning start Ikarus next steps forward with a challenge on its hands to compete with its impressive predecessor. A red wave pamiacoaxing melodic embrace wraps around the ear at first, its call warm and inviting with again heavier tones of the bass bringing its strong but complimentary breath to the still inviting presence of the track. Like within the first song it is a prelude to a wider riveting encounter, the skies of the piece broadening with a rock driven intensity and its sun heating the almost imposing ambience with elegant melodic persuasion. Veins of grunge and heavy rock permeate the progressive heart of the track with muscular and inciting energy but it never overwhelms or distracts from the beauty elsewhere, only enhances and frames its effect. In its own distinct stance the song is as powerful and magnetic as the first and continues the fanning of passionate embers smouldering towards the release.

Pakedam and Alpha both make their striking contributions to the brewing ardour, the first bringing the punk confrontation which the band started out with forming a thrilling and empowering union with adventurous progressive experimentation. It is a scintillating romp for the ear and emotions, its charged yet respectful and busy presence virulently infectious and incendiary to brewing ideas and feelings. The second of the pair swaggers in with a great blues soaked dance which grabs the ear and takes it on a raw and caustic tasting ride of formidable demanding rhythms, an equally rapacious bass pull, and flames of acidic stoner/psychedelic lilted guitar enterprise. Both songs leave a bewitched and greedy for more reaction behind as does the album as a whole to be fair.

Serpentine though having its individual character comes from the same breeding stock as Alpha and also leaves total satisfaction in its wake before making way for Mercury. Offering a more carnivorous edge certainly through the bass, to its invitation with sinewy beats to match, the track shifts and twists with unpredictability merging intense rock and finely crafted melodic intrigue, with the former holding the key card, before vocals from Roman joins the track as it moves into a funk loaded diversion. His vocals are strong without uprooting trees but works more as another texture than an actual narrative to the already descriptive piece. The following Via also sees vocals bringing their touch to the strikingly captivating song though with less success in their union in comparison.

Closing with Lumen, a final slow burning potent sunset to the release, Pamir is an excellent treat of skilled musicianship and equally intense and impressive songwriting, which though arguably it has its finest moments across the first few tracks never leave the passions and ears resting on less than enthralling imagination. There is a hidden track to discover at the end of the album, a song which has the punk rock confrontation of their last release and progressive rock flames of this, to add one more reason to investigate an outstanding album and equally impressive band in Red Wave.


RingMaster 25/04/2013

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