Overcoming nature’s fury: an interview with Mathieu of Sofy Major

4SM press

The events and drama which stood in the way of the recording of the album Idolize would have left any band lost in turmoil and self-pity, but for French metallers Sofy Major it was just an obstacle to climb over and use, with the help of similarly determined and generous people. What emerged was a beast of an album, a release which takes noise rock/hardcore/metal, whatever you wish to call the diverse mighty sounds explored on the album, to greater levels. We had the distinct pleasure of delving into not only the band itself but also the devastating events confronting the recording of Idolize and its aftermath with vocalist and bassist Mathieu. Also looking at touring and the music itself he gave us full insight into the past few months.

Hi and welcome to the Ringmaster Review, thank you for taking time to talk with us.

Hi Pete, I’m Mathieu doing bass and vocals for Sofy Major, here are the answers to your questions

You have just released your, may I say outstanding, new and second album Idolize, a release which faced a shall we say’ very testing time to be born’. The relief to get it out there must have been more intense this time around I am imagining?

Yep, we’re in the process of promoting the album now and the endless touring time is coming! Yeah!

Could you tell us about the dramatic obstacles you faced after travelling to Brooklyn to record the record?

Well, basically we were supposed to spend nearly 2 months in the US recording and touring. The journey originally had to start with a 3 weeks recording session. I remember that I left Europe first and alone as we were travelling in separate planes. As I arrived, no New-Yorker was telling me about a potential disaster or what so ever was coming. When I first met Andrew, our producer, when we arrived, he told me that a hurricane was on his way to the coast, but you couldn’t feel any panic all around in NYC. Probably because people out there know that it’s not supposed to be a common weather phenomenon regarding the location of the city. The day before we were supposed to begin doing the tracking work, we did all the drum set-up and we checked all the lines, everything was ready for an über blast. When we left the studio, it was already windy outside and I could see the industrial canal fronting the studio facilities having a super high level, literally as high as the parking lot was. The day after, when we came back to the studio (the first tracking day), the facility had already been a little bit flooded and it already had damaged some of the practice rooms. We tried to help the studio owners securing the building, putting sandbags in front of the doors and then we left as the water was coming to the building.

The hurricane happened at night and actually destroyed the studio in its entirety; you could see those old Telefunken mics in the middle of the parking lots… Sad.

There must have been moments where you thought it was never going to be possible to record it? Or did your determination refuse to accept defeat?

When it happened, I just didn’t know what to think. I knew that Andrew our producer was even more affected and I was just thinking something like: “man, we don’t want to disturb even more”… considering he took care of us as we were homeless after the disaster happened. The next few days, when we were walking from a place to another with our 30kgs backpacks, I guess I thought 2 or 3 times that we’d better go home, particularly when we didn’t know which place we were going to sleep in. This plus the fact that I felt like it was too much for the people to whom it happened, yeah that was a weird feeling. But Andrew is always a positive-minded guy, he told us: “You came here to record an album, you need to leave the States with an album”! Dave Curran assisted him, saved our asses and lent us the gear to record.

I read that the band lost its equipment as well as the studio; this meant all your instruments, amps etc.?sm 2

This means all the stuff we bought when we arrived (cabs, pedals, various stuff) and all the gear we rented (which means that they took the deposit for each item we lost and/or didn’t manage to save from the water).  All of this is nothing compared to what the studio’s owners lost.

How did that impact on the recording using equipment you are not used to and at one with in many ways?

Well, if you’re a musician you know what it is not to play on your own gear, when we’re on tour I usually admire drummers who are not playing on their hardware. Imagine you’re a guitar player and you play with another guitar with a different tune without having practiced on it. It’s like you’re running for a Formula 1 Grand Prix and they tell you you’re going to use a different car 5 minutes before the race begins. We were lucky to have the opportunity to record though, I cannot really complain about this. But yeah, I remember the gear at Translator Audio was perfectly fitting our needs until it happened.

The local music scene gave you great support and help to be able to do the recording after the disaster, showing the strength of the community out there. This must have added extra spice to your passion during the recording sessions?

Well, what is crazy is that those guys didn’t know us until it happened. That’s funny because when I think about this happening in France, nobody would be giving a single fuck, we don’t have that strong music community background here. Everybody showed us so much support, including bands whose gear was entirely destroyed as well, it was 100% sure this record would include a little bit of those people.

We called the album which did come out, Idolize carnivorous, in sound and intent, and wondered if the circumstances surrounding its recording added extra snarl, rawness, and venom to the music. Do you think that is so?

Probably. The reason we came to work with Andrew is that we like his approach of getting the organic and natural feeling a band can provide while recording. All the records he made had that particular thing, it’s like he always manages to catch the best he can get from the purest recording string. Also we were not playing on our own gear; this gave another harsh thing to add on this album.

Did the album emerge exactly as you imagined before travelling out to record it or do you write songs in the studio generally?

When we arrive in the studio, 90% of our music is already written, but we need those 10% of improvisation. If there’s a cool lead, or something we might want to add on the album and didn’t think about when we were pre-producing, we want to have the ability to do it. But yeah, usually everything’s is planned and written.

Your sound straddles numerous genres, from noise to hardcore, metal to psyche punk. What are the inspirations which have would you say initially fuelled your own distinct ideas?

We listen to tons of different genres, the extreme music field is wise, it can be Noise Rock, Free Jazz to Crust Punk and Black Metal. We don’t restrain ourselves to a specific genre when it comes to listening to music. We like to write consistent music though, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck in something really particular. I’d say we’re punk rockers and metallers playing noise rock. The three of us have their own personal influences, but we do have the same roots. I mean all those scenes you’re talking about are connected to each other. Everything comes from the riffs, if the riff is cool, let’s just play it.

There is a passion to your sound which suggests the main directive of your songwriting is to create sounds that you like to listen to then everything else falls in to place…

I’ve always been willing to create something I could see live and say “cool, those guys are great”. The fact is that we’re also a live band, gigs and shows are part of the game, I’d be egocentric if I said that I would not care about what the audience is feeling while I’m playing. I do enjoy playing live for sure but this is not a competition. If you go on tour, you’re here to share it with the audience, not masturbating your guitar in front of 100 people, what’s the point? I don’t get bands who do not play live, there are so many. Life is hard for everyone those days regarding money, living conditions, etc… so I want to provide the audience something great, something which I worked a lot on, if the dude pays 5€ for a show, I’m here to give him what he came to hear.

There is also that rawness suggesting tracks are recorded live in the studio, is that the case?

Nope, that’s where Andrew did a fantastic job. The organic and live feeling was provided as we were recording separately. It’s like what the Melvins did with their last albums, the drums sound amazing. They manage to play those songs live and it’s like listening to the CD with more beers and more sweating.

coverhighThe album is out on Solar Flare Records, which I believe is the band’s own label? What inspired the creation of the label?

Well, the idea of creating Solar Flare Records first came early last year. Andrew and Dave did have the first Pigs record ready and I suggested to them: “Hey, I can help you release it”. I was a little bit nervous as it was the first time I was releasing something for another band. The funniest thing was that I didn’t even listen to the record before throwing the idea of releasing it. Well, I was lucky as this is probably one of the best records of 2012, that album is a gem and we all have to see this band live. I was already working on Sofy Major’s promotion and distribution and was doing a whole label’s work for my own records; I just did the same for another band. We’re in 2013, the time when bands got signed on major labels is now over, there are so many bands all over, you can’t wait to get into a super big label like Relapse or Sub Pop if you really want to release records and tour ; this will actually happen for 0.01% of the current touring bands. Many good bands are also doing everything themselves, I know that Big Business did their own label to release their records, that’s probably true for tons of other bands. Now I’m releasing the 11th record for Solar Flare Records and I still enjoy it, I’m glad to release records for bigger and less known bands. If I dig into your band’s music, there’s no reason you won’t be into the Solar Flare roster.

With the situation with the hurricane it must have stretched the finances for the label and yourselves to the limit?

That was terrible when it happened, but so many people helped us, we got donations and merch sales from all over the world. I did lose a shitload of money on this one, but I was glad I managed to make the trip happen anyway. Every single penny I’m earning with my regular job is injected in the label or the band, hope we can recover quickly.

After recording the album you went on tour in the US; that must have revived the spirits…

We knew what to expect. All our friends who toured the US told us it was really… particular. You don’t have the same touring conditions that you can get in Europe: no food, no sleeping place, not a lot of money, that’s probably one of the hardest country to tour and it obviously didn’t improve our financial situation. But we met many good people, great crowds and we left the US with tons of new friends. Also you have so many great bands there that it was a pleasure to share the stage with them. That’s hard for an indie band, not signed on a major label, to tour the US, especially when all the money you’re spending is coming from your personal funds. But when you’re working hard, almost everything can be done.

You are a band who loves to tour and lay waste to audiences obviously, more so than recording?

Nope, we love both equally. We love to tour as that sounds like the best way to share and promote our music, as simple as that. We could hit the studio, release a record and just wait for something to happen, but what’s the point again? We don’t have enough money to travel by our own or go on holidays; it also enables us to discover different cultures. That’s our main motivation about touring: promoting what we do and showing our work to the audience, and meeting other bands. Also, this is probably the best way to sell your records and make enough money to record new songs.

Can the rest of 2013 expect to see the band out there taking the album and sounds to the masses?

Sure! We’ll be supporting Pigs on their first European tour this fall on 20 gigs. Come see us, spit on us, have a beer with us.

Are you a band who is continually writing and already working on ideas for the next release?smnbfinale

Funny you’re saying this because we’ve already been writing a couple new songs; we love to move things forward. I guess we’ll be touring for a couple years now to promote Idolize.

I can assume you will be taking closer of inspection of the weather when choosing the next studio? Ha-ha

A friend of ours recommended us to record our next album in the Bahamas in the middle of August.

Once again Mathieu many thanks for chatting with us.

Any last thoughts you would like to leave us with?

It’s hot outside, don’t forget to drink beers otherwise YOU’RE GOING TO DIE.

http://www.sofymajor.com/

Read the Idolize review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/sofy-major-idolize/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 24/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Venus DeVilo – Edgar Allan Ho EP

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Let us introduce you to the dark seductiveness of Venus DeVilo, an artist which preys on the passions like a sultry vampiric temptress bred from artistic alchemy raised from the fire of Imelda May, the snarl of Wanda Jackson, the energy of Fay Fife, and the devilry of Dick Venom, not forgetting a pinch of the infected essences of Horrorpops. Her creative world is one of shadowed carnivals, blood drenched burlesques, and dead borne vaudeville; her music pure sexual fascination and the Edgar Allan Ho EP the perfect introduction to the temptress before the arrival of her debut album Til Death Do Us Party, which we hope will see daylight in the near future, such the hunger now raging.

Hailing from the cemeteries of Dublin, Ireland, well probably a very nice comfortable abode but that hardly goes with the theme does it, Venus since 2011 has frequented and lit up rock/metal bars, Burlesque and Cabaret nights, open mic nights, and other numerous venues around her home city and much further across the country with her Goth-Shock anthems. The host of a series of popular horror themed gigs at the Twisted Pepper, Dublin which have become an almost monthly event, the sonic siren has captured the imagination of the internet media with her dramatic sounds, becoming the favourite sister of the likes of Elegant Savages webzine and the Bone Orchard podcast. Since its release the Edgar Allan Ho EP has drawn lustful attention and it is hard not to understand why as it stalks the minds darkest imagination and cinematic desires.

    Heartless Horseman steps up to tempt the passions first, its initial acoustic guitar stabs and instantly potent vocals the 602969_406666232785880_346571255_nentrance into lyrical and musical stalking of night terrors and their romantic suasion. There is a rockabilly feel to the song which reminds of The Creepshow whilst the excellent soaring vocal imagination and drama of its delivery brings thoughts of Agnete Kjølsrud and the band Djerv as well as Dominique Lenore Persi and Stolen Babies. Unafraid to twist and turn the gait and intent of the track, Venus also sends it into angular and less accessible turns which make suggestions of Lene Lovich. For all the references we offer though, do not make the mistake of assuming the sound of Venus DeVilo is not something quite unique to the graveyard walking beguiler.

The following Apocalips equally enthrals with predominantly acoustic guitar and vocals, though rhythms and bass prowl with devilment in their hearts and wide mischief on their grinning lips too. The song sways and swaggers with the wantonness of a fifties siren and the intimidating composure of instinctive rockabilly, but like the band references these pointers to the sound are only whispers of the full hue of flavours making up the wholly contagious shards of mesmeric aural delight.

Penny Dreadful Love is a song you know should play in the bowels of any mausoleum, its funeral caress punctured and kissed by the again outstanding voice and delivery of its creator. As the lady and song lace the senses and thoughts with their visceral evocation, Venus provokes another comparison, this time to Lesley Woods of Au Pairs in the way she at times slaps words and syllables into the ear. It is a style that is impossible to resist and one which makes the forthcoming album so exciting and this song a dark hearted romantic serenade.

The best song on the release comes with Ringmaster, and no we were not biased in our decision. The vibrant waltz of the colourful enchantment goes hand in hand with the dark carnivale touch, guitar and vocals swinging across the high tented air of the hypnotic mystique and elegant poise. It makes for a glorious soaring flight of theatrical imagination honed into a glorious sirenesque aural spectacular which leads the listener on a tightrope walk of tension and astounding adventure, and note for extra spice its core call around the chorus is a dead ringer for one of the greatest songs ever, Killer Klowns From Outer Space by The Dickies.

The release is completed by firstly Carmilla’s Return, a song which initially has the shadow clouded  ambience reminiscence of Bauhaus song Bela Lugosi’s Dead  and goes on to atmospherically swarm around the ear with the chants of the ‘dead’ harmonising behind the continually powerful and virulently enticing tones of Venus. Once more it is a song which transports you within the sweeping sinister mists of a cinematic painting whilst its successor Miss Frankenstein is simply an epidemically catchy romp with big bold rhythms shaping the cage you are enslaved within. It has a delicious toxicity which leaves you no option but to throw voice and feet into the twisted majesty.

Venus DeVilo is an artist who will scare as many as she seduces but one who will only ever leave a lingering mark in her shadow and if it is anything like the Edgar Allan Ho EP, this dank earth will be a better place.

https://www.facebook.com/VenusDeViloSongsFromTheStalkersPointOfView

10/10

RingMaster 24/07/2013

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Whisky Smile – The Eagle Has Landed

whiskey smile

    Whisky Smile is a mischievous lot, a band who likes to toy with your expectations and ears whilst treating them to some of the best heavyweight riffs and cantankerous rhythms you would wish to be accosted by. Their debut EP The Eagle Has Landed is a thumping confrontation which reaps the best essences of heavy rock and metal and sculpts them into a riotous brawl of contagious enterprise and that wicked fun. It is certainly not a release stretching existing boundaries but for thrills, spills, and downright devilment you could not wish for a better companion.

Hailing from Penrith, Western Sydney, Whisky Smile is a quintet on the march, a band with bar room fumes rising above their heads and passionate rock ‘n roll oozing from every inventive pore. Their sound is uncompromising, hard, and the instigator of sonic brawls which leave you invigorated and ready to take on all-comers, though equally at times it just ignites the biggest grin in the best possible way to have you wholly defenceless to their Aussie charm.

Self-released, The Eagle Has Landed was recorded at BearClaw Productions with the duo Chris Blancato and Jono Peters. 485498_594197923933295_314993657_nConsisting of five tracks which snarl at and ravage the passions with irresistible rhythmic incitement, air stretching grooves, and scarring riffs, it is the kind of release which only makes you hungrier minute by minute and never allows a lull in the intensity and pleasure to play for one second, though the very first breath of the release did certainly the first time leave doubts. As mentioned Whisky Smile is a band which seemingly likes to tease and the opening of Cheap And Easy certainly does that even if maybe it was not the band’s intent, only they know. The start of the first song is a progressively inspired piece of music which suggests we are entering into another post-hardcore effort, and though that is not a bad thing the intro is rather uninspiring. We soon learn to know better and make no assumptions with this band as mountainous rhythms enter to herald the start of a brewing intensity and epic laced melodic exploits. This is still not the truth of it though and it is not until the band groups all its riffs into a chug fest ridden by the wonderful grizzly vocal exploits of Mick Palmer that clarity is achieved and emotions lifted to new heights. His lyrical description of the song’s central character never fails to raise a chuckle and hold attention as equally riveting grooves wind around the senses from guitarist Glen Soper, their sonic spines gripping deep whilst the riffs of rhythm guitarist Nathan ‘Skitz’ Gittoes carnivorously devour any remaining doubts. The track is an impressive introduction to the band, but one soon matched by the following provocations.

Ernie Dingo’s Got My Baby instantly slaps its sinews on the ear as sonic flames and dark bass tones from Kurt Wilson give no time for a breath of air to be swallowed. Assumingly inspired by Ernie Dingo, an Indigenous Australian actor who was accused of having affairs in a few controversies, the track rumbles along with a hard rock urgency and uncomplicated but potently efficient riffs  whilst the rhythms of drummer Gareth Jones are an intensive instigator of greedy relish as they steer  the song through the ear. As blues lit guitar fire graces the surface of the song towards its anthemic climax, the track raises another notch to secure its place to the fore of the EP alongside its predecessor, but it is a busy place as right after A Shallow Grave stakes out its pitch too. There is only one thing you can say about the song as a description, Motorhead like. It is a dirty insatiable slab of rock ‘n’ roll, vocals taking on a grittier Lemmy like grazing and riffs burning the flesh of ear and body. With grooves that dance with a virulently tempting swagger through it all and an attitude that will not take no as a reply to its rugged enticement, the song is a towering treat, one rife with sonic seduction and wonderfully bad aural behaviour.

     Green Eagle also stares down on the listener from the loftiest heights, sending shards of acidic sonics and rabid rhythmic bombs cascading down on to the senses whilst the terse riffs soften up the ear for easy access. It is another piece of aggressive stimulation leaving only the call for more in the passions.

It has to be said that the closing song took us by surprise but emerges as maybe the biggest treat of the release and that is no detriment to the rest of the glorious assaults. The track is a version of the B-52s classic Rock Lobster and it is up there with one of the best covers ever. The band make it their own by using all the irrepressible essences of the original and twisting them within a stunning explosion of incendiary rock and metal passion. Whisky Smile retain all the rascality from its creators too but have taken it into devil mode whilst simultaneously creating an intense and seriously crafted triumph. It is a brilliant piece of thought and interpretation complete with a loudly announced breakdown which is any head bangers dream.

    The Eagle Has Landed is just exhilarating and the start of something major for Whisky Smile hopefully. Ok the EP musically makes no real demands on breaking the back of originality but when it sounds as exciting and galvanic, let alone superbly crafted, as this there are no complaints here.

https://www.facebook.com/whiskysmile

9/10

RingMaster 24/07/2013

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That Massive Bereavement – Eat The Rich

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Ever wondered what the dirtiest grunge mixed with old school punk, filth clad rock, and scuzz littered post punk sounds like than UK garage rockers That Massive Bereavement have the answer for you with their debut EP Eat The Rich. Six tracks of noise your mother warned you about and your father wished he could play, the release snarls and works on the senses like a punch bag whilst delivering uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll which gives raw satisfaction as potent as the future promise also on offer.

From the Medway part of the UK, the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Aidan, bassist Elliott, guitarist Quintus, and drummer The C, erupted as That Massive Bereavement at the rise of 2012, taking inspirations from the likes of The Fall, Therapy?, The Replacements, Wire, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Pavement, Joy Division and more. One of the other influences is Swell Maps, and as the release plays that band often calls out the most if not always in sound but in attitude and unpolished invention. Recorded and mastered at Sunlight Studios by Greg Webster of fellow Medway band Houdini, Eat The Rich equally grates on and lights up the ear from its first second before going on to work the same devilry on the senses, thoughts, and passions.

The title track kicks things off, a singular guitar brewing up the air with reserved sonic heat for the gravel littered vocals of Aidan to8689_557003027674960_116295249_n start the striking narrative. A stalking gait drives the song on as rhythms make their firm slaps on the ear with energetic expulsions around the chorus singing the hairs around the senses. The breath of the song is Spizz Oil like whilst the belligerent provocation recalls seventies punk Crisis, and from start to finish it drags down apathy into a bruising dirt clad confrontation.

From the strong start the EP hits its biggest highlights with firstly Benetton Models to be followed by the excellent Waste it Now. The first track sabre chops the ear with caustic riffs soon joined by thumping rhythmic incitement from The C and Elliott. Like Nirvana meeting The Lurkers at a fire-pit held by Mark E. Smith, the song is a delicious discord fired slice of noise punk which ignites the passions with garage rock enterprise and post punk sonic obstinacy. Its successor also holds many flavours within its core grasp, the track a garage rock crawl with the snarling undiluted essences of The Stooges and Richard Hell raising their contagious claws. Both tracks stand out as pinnacles whilst still pushing the suggestion that the creative envelope of the band has only just been opened.

Sity comes next with a blues flame to the guitar and punk intensity to the energy of the track, drums and bass an intimidating yet fair intrusion through the distinctive almost Tom Waits like scowls of Aidan and those sonic fires expelled by his and the guitar of Quintus. Direct and uncluttered by complexities it is a raucous storm of prime punk merging its different flavours into one scorching encounter and though it does not make the same deep impact as the previous trio of songs it easily recruits the appetite to know more about the band. The same applies to the final two songs on the release. Both live in the shade of certainly the previous triumphs on Eat The Rich, but stand tall and appealing in their mischievous stances starting with the primate romance Gorilla. With lyrics you can interpret either literally for fun or for man’s version of the great ape, the track stomps with teasing riffs which chop like a chef on a carrot alongside the growling presence of the other guitar and bass. Drums and vocals also accost with enterprise and irresistible mischief and though the song as mentioned does not quite live up to the heights set before it does grip tighter the more you take its company and lingers longer than most in the head.

The closing Snatch, yawns with great whale like sonic calls before barracking with another unbridled slab of impossible to resist punk. Eat The Rich is a great debut from a band you sense has so much more still to discover and offer; that thought as exciting as listening to their EP. That Massive Bereavement will not be for everyone but if punk of any shape and aggressiveness has your juices rising than check out this great emerging protagonist.

https://www.facebook.com/MassiveBereavement

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/07/2013

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Raised Emotionally Dead – Memo

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     When we say that the sounds you hear on Memo are nothing you have not really heard before do not take this as a slight or criticism as the debut from Canadian hard rockers Raised Emotionally Dead is one of the most enjoyable releases to come along this year. It is pure metallic rioting, with songs and music to turn any occasion or hour into an adrenaline soaked, sonically sculpted thrilling storm. There is also a distinctive breath and tone to the album which does go against our opening line but simply if you are already seduced by the sounds of say early Marilyn Mansion, Murderdolls, Rob Zombie, and Dope you are going to have a ball with this Toronto quintet.

    Raised Emotionally Dead was born from the earlier project of vocalist Jezla and guitarist ZeeDee called The Hellz Kitchen Show. 2011 saw the pair build their own recording studio and start Red Channel Records as they sought to discover and perfect their own unique sound. Now you could happily argue that uniqueness is one of the less immediate attributes of Memo but to be fair it is hard to think of anyone who presents the familiarity in the same breath-taking way that these gentlemen do. With a line-up completed by ex-Zeroscape guitarist Specializt, ex- Papa’s Delicate Condition bassist Nibz, and drummer Naz, the band has opened for the likes of Marilyn Manson, L.A.Guns, John Corabi, Vince Neil, Gilby Clark, The Birthday Massacre, DOPE, Faster Pussycat, Dog Fashion Disco, Trash Light Vision, Carnival Diablo, Nash the Slash and many more. Memo is the next major step and one with luck which will open them up to the hunger of the metal/rock world.

     The release opens with one of the most contagious songs heard in a long time. Channel Radio stomps all over the senses the moment it leaps from the initial sample, drums thumping with antagonistic provocation whilst the guitars eagerly grind through the ear with compelling riffs and vigorously seductive grooves. With the throaty bass adding its devilry to the mix and the vocals of Jezla scowling over it all like an expressive tempest,  the track takes mere seconds to tempt thoughts and passions into joining its bruising cause. Every second and atom of the song is pure contagion, a wicked device to have the limbs, voice, and energy of its recipients expelling their enthused participation. Ok it has that call of recognition to it but the likes of Dope, Mansion, and Wednesday 13, whom the song reminds most of, have not had this effect and persuasiveness about them in a long time, if at all for some.

   The outstanding start is soon complemented by the equally hungry and tempting sounds of Shed It, guitars carving up the air with muscle clad riffs alongside an infectious rhythmic menace. The hard rock voice of the song is a clear call which suggest elements of G ‘N’ R whilst vocally again that confrontational squalling tone of Jezla assisted by great group calls, rides the torrent of aggressive energy like a sinewy surfer, syllables and words caught in the appealing wake. As the song and its successor Selfish Inc. rampage with varied intent and enterprise it is hard not to be wrapped up in the fun and energy of it all, whilst that openness of resources just makes it easier to engage and participate with the lure of each track.

     Whilst the previous two songs slip slightly below the immense opener both Resistance and Code Red have little trouble in staking their claim for top honours on the release. The first of the pair has a slight industrial lilt to its enticement which makes for a NIN/Pitchshifter like incitement with an extra unintended nod to Italian band Houston! which only adds to the imaginative craft and adventure of the song. The track also continues to push the diversity within the album beneath that surface recognition, something the second of the two equally reinforces with creative ease. There is a feel of Gruntruck at times here as the guitars shape the body of the song and rhythms cast their cage over the senses to appease further the greedy appetite slavering now over every song.

     The underlying mystique of Faceless makes an enthralling temptress next, even if the song falls short of the pinnacles set, whilst the likes of Out Of Control with its Jane’s Addiction like groove and the slow burning Messenger captivate with a virulent toxin that leaves nothing less than rich satisfaction.

   Closing on the fiery and reflective Applaud, a song which arguably is the weakest on the album yet still enlists full union with its badgering rock sounds, Memo is an album that leaves you exhausted but enriched in pleasure. Yes the band probably need to explore for a distinct voice ahead but right now they have delivered one undeniable treat.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Raised-Emotionally-Dead/191217410892909

http://www.raisedemotionallydead.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Heart Attack – Stop Pretending

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It may have taken French metallers Heart Attack six years to unleash their debut album but the time was well spent honing their rapacious sound as Stop Pretending is one impressive and attention grabbing encounter. Consisting of ten mighty and finely sculpted aggressive provocations, the release instantly marks the band as one with a formidably promising future and an already accomplished and carnivorous enterprise.

Hailing from Cannes and formed in 2007 by schoolmates vocalist/guitarist Kevin Geyer and bassist Flora Capello, Heart Attack with guitarist Chris Cesari and drummer Chris Icard alongside the founding pair has built a strong reputation around the French Riviera through their mass of shows which has seen them play with bands such as Dagoba, Loudblast, The Arrs, Headcharger, Lolicon, Vetha, and Cliche Boys. 2009 saw the release of their Lullabies For Living Dead EP and though it is fair to say the release did not take their awareness far from home you can only suggest that the Apathia Records released Stop Pretending will amend that situation.

The promo labels the band as groove and thrash metal and though you have to agree with both suggestions there are other rich heart-attack-stop-pretending-webessences of sound ripe for use in their invention. The title track ravages the ear first, its intense riffs a heavy suasion on the ear backed up by the immediately impressive and continuing to thrill drum attack of Icard. Finding its muscular stride with a more thrash laden intent to its combativeness, the song barracks the senses with a tight acidic groove, throaty bass menace, and that already thoroughly compelling rhythm attack of the drums. Vocally Geyer grazes the ear with a strong and expressive delivery, one which reveals its ability to shift tact and attack as the album progresses along its sinewy course.

The adrenaline fuelled impressive start is immediately backed up by the following Face the Music. Emerging from a sample from Gladiator, the track rampages with the artillery of rhythms parading their irresistible might to instantly have knees buckling and a surge of intrusive riffing that leaves the appetite thoroughly awoken. Geyer mixes a death coated guttural attack with his cleaner delivery whilst the strings of Cesari dance with melodic flames trailing from their creative notes and narrative especially in a quite delirious solo. Primarily though the song is another piece of metallic rabidity that seizes and commands attention whilst employing neck and leg muscles in its predacious storm. As with a lot of the album it is fair to say boundaries are not being challenged in originality on the song but it is impossible to dismiss or refuse the craft and potent imagination at work.

The next up Sweet Hunting, which features Dagoba vocalist Shawter, again works its intensive charms on the passions with skilled antagonism and thought, its tsunami of crippling force merging with colourful enterprise. Like a mix of Machine Head, Hatebreed, and maybe John Bush era Anthrax, it is a blistering tempest of sonic danger and temptation, something you can equally apply to the likes of Lazarus and Raging Load too. There is surface chastisement across the album which does at times does blend tracks together if not paying attention but the rewards for that extra concentration are plenty and imaginative as shown by the again stunning guitar work across the first of these two songs and the rhythmic tsunami of excellent which especially makes its successor an incendiary proposition though the guitars again make their declaration openly clear. With the vocals again twisting in another dimension to their incitement the track stands out amongst numerous highlights.

If there is one niggle of the album it is that the fine bass craft and invention of Capello is often in the shadow of the rest of the sound. It is always there and you feel Capello’s presence throughout but sadly not always with enough clarity, though thankfully Down the Way is one song where she is allowed space to shine, and the lady can play as shown on further album pinnacles, 1902 which features William Ribeiro of Moghan Ra, and the scintillating and dirty Wasted Generation. Every song it should be said is a beast of a collision for senses and heart on this album, Thrash Your Neighbour especially savage and memorable, and leave only thorough satisfaction.

If Stop Pretending does as stated lack enough original inspiration to stand as a best of year contender it does stand as one of the better corrosive and inventively sculpted releases, one which for most is one formidable introduction to Heart Attack, a band we will hear a lot more of.

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8.5/10

RingMaster 24/07/2013

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