Top Buzzer – The Sprollie EP

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It has been two years since pop punksters Top Buzzer paraded their irresistible talents and mischievous sounds on debut album Outside Is a World, twenty four months or so full of impatience certainly in the past half a year waiting for more of their devilish goodness. Finally the London based quartet has returned to tease and rummage in our ears with a new energetic slice of punk rock devilment in The Sprollie EP. Consisting of four songs which in many ways continues where the album left off whilst bringing another fresh sail to their contagious flights of creative fancy, the release does not exactly surprise in any shape or form but as an encounter which leads the passions and body into a compelling dance of pleasure, it is one thrilling riot of enterprising infectiousness.

Hailing originally from Jersey and formed in 2011, the band has driven their own path from day one, creating their own label Back2Forward Records as they made their debut with The Hands Up EP and forging an impressive reputation for their live performances especially once they relocated to London. First single Remission and the aforementioned album took the band into the media awareness of everyone home and in the US from Kerrang, Rock Sound and Big Cheese in the written press, Kerrang, Q Radio, BBC Introducing, KROQ, and Marky Ramone’s Punk Rock Blitzkrieg show on the radio, and internet forging shows like Audioburger.com and The Bone Orchard. The new EP follows their stunning contribution to the 2012 Rebel On The Underground – A Tribute To X-Ray Spex compilation, a release in aid of the US charity Sweet Relief, and sees original members vocalist/bassist Dukey, guitarist/vocalist Becksi, and drummer/vocalist Welshy joined by newest member on guitar and vocals Soni.  Alongside the release of The Sprollie EP, Top Buzzer are currently playing European shows with Californian legends Face To Face and CH3 leading to their appearance at the Rebellion Festival. They have never been away really despite our opening line, with a wealth of gigs but something tangible in hands and ears for everyday use is what was yearned for and now satisfied by this delicious treat.

First to accost and light up the ears on the release is Mannish Girl, an irrepressible piece of pop punk with the distinctive Top Buzzer a0483369368_2stamp of irritatingly addictive hooks and tongue in cheek intent, though that part of the song’s anatomy does wander to lick at and incite everything from ear and senses to thoughts and passions. From the opening flurry of riffs and rhythmic beckoning the song launches straight into its tempting chorus which lays its lures in two parts before Dukey begins the simple and irreverently appealing narrative. Flames of grooves and melodic barbs swing out from within the hungry drive of the song, the guitar sculpted persuasion reminding of The Vibrators whilst the vocal mix and melodic suasion offers a mix of Baddies and seventies band The Flys from within something wholly Top Buzzer.

The following Look At You initially gallops into view with hooks and riffs open before finding a canter of fiery imagination ridden by the ever boisterous delivery of Dukey vocally and on bass matched in eagerness by the rhythms of Welshy and the great group backing vocals. There feels something different to those to be honest, whether that is the presence of Soni adding his tones we will find out in due course , but there is a great variety behind the lead delivery which captures the imagination as much as the heated guitar play around them.

We Are Merely Filters has the sense of early Buzzcocks to its initial impression, the again virulently infectious call of the song leading energies on a rampant swagger of invention and rascality. Midway the song slips into a blues/ska smelling stroll which for personal tastes pulls the charge of the song up into a near stall though its creation and craft is excellent, but back into the romping pace and energy which set off the track it leaves only the strongest taste and pleasure in its feisty wake.

Final track Wet Pets is one minute of Dickies like shenanigans, a burst of punk roasting with the anthemic heights of a bunny girl. It is pure bliss and completes another scintillating release from one of Britain’s best punk rock bands. The Sprollie EP is a real joy and rock ‘n’ roll at its infectious best, and as the release plays in greedy ears whilst writing another thought comes to life…maybe in all the best senses of the description Top Buzzer is the twenty first century reincarnation of The Leyton Buzzards…just a thought.

http://www.topbuzzer.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 29/07/2013

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Frau Pouch – All Hail Space Chicken EP

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When we were first introduced to UK post punk meddlers Frau Pouch via their excellent split release with fellow Medway band Houdini, we called them ‘the bastard evil offspring  of an illicit intrusion between The Fall and The Victorian English Gentlemens Club with some fingering from The Cramps and Turbogeist.’ Their new EP, All Hail Space Chicken or it seems also just called the Space Chicken EP, shows that that description does not truly frame their distinctive sound so now we declare the trio to be the bastard evil offspring of a mutated alliance between The Fall, Swell Maps, and The Mekons with The Victorian English Gentlemens Club and The Cramps not forgetting Gang Of Four adding their dirty little digits into the mix.

The All Hail Space Chicken EP and band will not be for everyone but if those references mentioned play with your curiosity than Frau Pouch will tease out a lifelong passion for their unique presence. Consisting of Joe Wise (guitar/vocals), Ollie Crook (bass), and Suzanne Freeman (drums), the band has continued to impress and garner a fervent fanbase through their live performances around the middle of England spreading outward but the new release places them into another spotlight of individuality which deserves to find a corner in every punk and post punk lovers psyche.

Recorded and produced by Ben Sammon alongside the band, the release soon sets free its six track psychotic dance upon the ear with opener Krakthulhu. Immediately a carnivorous bass temptress snarls at the senses with delicious rabidity in its breath whilst beats punch the ear into shape ready for the expressively quarrelsome vocals and discord scowling riffs of Wise to play within. There is a Mark E. Smith lilt to his delivery at times which only adds to the drama of the attack whilst musically the song rampages with rhythms clamping their jaws tight and a raucous sonic distrust firing an encounter which is vintage like in flavour but equally driven by current day antagonism.

The production is as caustically raw as the sound and though it at first makes you stop and assess its merits certainly against previous releases with doubt, it does compliment the brashness of the release ultimately and the great start soon expanded by the gnarly presence of Podling Party. Again the bass of Crook is irresistible, it’s growling belligerence a mighty weapon in the sound and a defences splitting barb for the passions as it forms an irrepressible spine for the guitar to throw its acrid waltz around. That Swell Maps feel is ripe here whilst at times a further Nikki Sudden hint breaks through.

Both Don and Idiocracy reap the seeds set by the earlier songs to ignite even greater rapture for their disorientating infection, the first a rhythmic donkey punch on the ear leaving an unprotected canvas for its bruising grazes of sonic caressing and the concussive consumption from Freeman to defile the senses. It is another welcome riling but everything before is left in the shade of its successor. With a certain Gang Of Four bass framework being crafted from the off and the guitar of Wise adding a flesh which also recalls the Leeds post punk giants whether intentionally or by chance, the song is the biggest highlight of the release, the track marking Frau Pouch further as one of the brightest sparks in emerging music whilst emphasising the evolution in imagination and songwriting which is grips the release. There is also a very early Killing Joke call to the track which only adds to the incendiary power of the song and its carnally propelled stroll.

The track Space Chicken lurches its quick step of bedlamic energy and psychotic dance next, guitars and bass a scurrilous blur of riffs and movement across the drum puncturing punk plain of the song. The Fall in its heart and Joy Division in its unhinged mentality, the track is another limb disjointing joy which even Ian Curtis would find dancing to problematic.

The closing predatory Aqueducts provides the perfect uncompromising wiry and discomfort forging challenge to end and sum up this fine release. The track simply sweeps you away in its accomplished and technically sculpted hypnotic whirl leaving only sheer unbridled pleasure and hunger for more behind. With only the production to bear a little with as slight labour, Chicken Space EP is a post punk/noise rock treat and one genre fans ignore at their loss.

https://www.facebook.com/FrauPouch

8.5/10

RingMaster 29/07/2013

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Stop Breathing- Santa Cruz EP

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If the punk fury that is Stop Breathing has not yet left you exhausted and welcomingly scarred yet than picking up their latest 7” EP Santa Cruz via Rotten To The Core Records is our forceful suggestion. We admit the band is new to us too but the intent to waste no more time and to check out the Californians and their previous self-titled release further is now a hungry energy after being embroiled in the raw impressive aggression of this latest release.

The songs on the Santa Cruz EP from the Oxnard/Ventura based punks, are seeded from and breathe the origins of Southern California punk rock and waste no second or note on passionless intent, instead producing a ferocious fire which lasts over the quintet of tracks without any pause. Longevity of songs is also low on purpose, the shotgun attack of each a violent and bruising encounter which ignites all the passions that arguably modern punk from many bands has been if not lost put in a distant corner. Recorded last summer with Joe Clements, on a day off from their tour with Suicidal Tendencies, Stop Breathing offer songs written at the tail end of 2011 going into 2012 and as such are said to be an extension of their self-titled debut album which had not long been out. With the rampaging sounds of Santa Cruz that extra piece of inducement provides another irresistible reason to investigate said full length, something all would be foolish to ignore.

Opening storm Can’t Be Stopped is twenty three seconds of pure punk animosity, guitars and bass forming a battering ram of intensity a2941106483_2for the rhythmic bashing from drummer Justin Dempsey and the fired up anger of vocalist John Crerar to thrust through and seize the listener by the throat. It is brief, spiteful, and thoroughly invigorating. Its tail finds the bass of Mike Carter producing an extra deep throaty growl to its presence which is more apparent as a constant from the following Nightstick Nightmare onwards. The track again stands toe to toe with its recipients and flares up in their faces and thoughts with scorching riffs from guitarists Ben Hament and Jesse Jenny coursing with sonic vitriol between the rhythmic snapping from Dempsey and that now carnivorously charged bass sound. The vocals again show no mercy or intent to take it easy on the senses, Crerar a forceful and impressive blaze of venomous squalls and incitement within the equally potent sounds.

     Artificial Memory is forty five seconds of torrential ferocity and invention, the track alone showing you do not need a wealth of time to make something enterprising and imaginative as it burns down your peaceful sheltered existence, whilst its successor Till We Die sonically extinguishes the air around it to create a maelstrom where nothing but caustic riffs, predacious basslines, and destructive rhythms lurk all led by the ringleader brawling of vocals.

Completed by Who Are You, an excellent cover of the Void classic and a song which stands up as chest beating defiant glory just as easily in the hands of Stop Breathing, the Santa Cruz EP is a breath taking triumph which shows many other bands how to create real and inciting punk rock, not bad from a release which supposedly only took six hours to create. Great record from a great band; enough said go get a copy.

http://stopbreathing.bandcamp.com/album/santa-cruz-ep

https://www.facebook.com/stopbreathingfb

9/10

RingMaster 29/07/2013

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All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature

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All you need to know about Nothing Violates This Nature, the second album from Massachusetts-based All Pigs Must Die Nasty to warrant full investigation is that it is simply NASTY!! Corrosively nasty in intent, sonically nasty in sound, and undiluted nasty in passion, and a towering tempest of spiteful destructive hardcore. Building from their impressive and violent debut God is War of 2011, the band featuring members of The Hope Conspiracy, Converge, and Bloodhorse have come back together to create one of the most formidable and standards heightening furies of anger sculpted antagonism. It is a potently crippling beast of senses igniting noise which stands shoulder to shoulder to anything their day jobs and other recognised genre bands have created.

The Southern Lord release sees All Pigs Must Die joining up again with Kurt Ballou (Converge) at Godcity to record their follow-up album, a union which completes a stronger and more complete, dare one say confident, step on from its impressive predecessor. An album which does not give you room to breathe let alone escape its toxic glory, Nothing Violates This Nature confirms the stature and blistering force that is All Pigs Must Die, a band which admittedly as good as had written that in fire with their live performances alongside the likes of Integrity, Enabler, Ringworm, Black Breath, Eyehategod, Repulsion, Down, Sleep, Exodus, Church Of Misery and more.

As opener Chaos Arise stomps and storms through the ear with riffs and rhythms a combined ferocity there is an immediate sense of anCover_RGB_CD_300dpi-copy-e1369761381912 elevated and accelerated spite to sound and band, the vocals of Kevin Baker spoiling for a fight over the deliciously tight contagious grooves and abrasive riffs of guitarist Adam Wentworth and the air juggling disruptive might of the drums of Ben Koller. With the bass of Matt Woods snarling and crawling through it all with venom as thick as its bestial notes, the metallic punk castigator is a staggering start which immediately places the band on another level easily backed up by the following brilliant Silencer. Like being caught in an avalanche with sirenesque grooves diverting fear into full on obsessive rapture, the track in less than two minutes turns thoughts and emotions in on themselves trying to escape the savagery cast. At its departure the overriding thought from both songs is just how pissed off Baker and the band itself is.

Both Primitive Fear and Bloodlines chew and rip asunder the psyche, the first a torrential sonic squall of vocal vitriol and magnetic sound, the music a riveting mix of contagious grooves and hooks veining acid bred noise whilst its successor is a predacious and brooding stalking which exposes the senses and emotions to a magnetic alluring sonic spiralling alongside acrid intent. Both songs are magnificent, imaginative and intrusive with especially the second unveiling a weave of seductive melodic mystique which takes the release into new adventure. Hardcore has never sounded so good.

Of Suffering brings another twist in the intensive ride, its lumbering scourge a sonic acidity brewing within the doom laden sludge thick oppression. Baker barracks the barricades with merciless intent and animosity whilst musically the track wears and erodes defences with its enthralling and heavy weighted intensity.

The returning carnage laying brutality which opened up the album sends Holy Plague and Aqim Siege straight for the throat, their jaws obdurate instigators. Riffs and rhythms dominate but allow a space where Wentworth expels some sizzling melodic blazes in the first of the pair whilst the following barbarous confrontation of the other song is one minute of vicious beauty.

    Sacred Nothing is nothing less than glorious punishment whilst Faith Eater surveys the damage before adding its own creative ruthlessness. It is hard to imagine anything topping what has already been unleashed but the closing Articles Of Human Weakness masterfully attempts to correct assumptions with a multi-flavoured furnace of punk murderousness taken through a rancorous expanse of rhythmic rabidity and sonic vehemence. It is a staggering conclusion to a stunning release, one that gives a fresh hellacious breath to the hardcore scene.

https://www.facebook.com/apmdband

9/10

RingMaster 29/07/2013

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The Dropper’s Neck – Second Coming

The Droppers Neck Online Promo shot

UK psyche rockers The Dropper’s Neck has been lurking in our passions ever since their richly promising attention grabbing debut EP early last year. It was a release which suggested this was a band with a dramatic presence pending in the future. Their first album Second Coming now not only confirms this but takes that assumed potent emerging stance into areas maybe not anticipated but greedily welcomed. There have been numerous comparisons placed on the band and their sound too, but though agreeing with most whilst listening to the new release the only description applicable is that The Dropper’s Neck is the mutant hybrid of Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and Engerica. There are numerous other spices rife within the concoction brewed for sure but there is no escaping this pair at any point on the release. It is the only thing stopping the release sealing full marks for itself, the possibly too close for comfort likeness to that pair of references but such an exciting and innovatively brought familiarity it is, quite simply Second Coming is one of the real triumphs of the year.

Hailing from Essex and formed in 2011, the quintet of vocalist Lloyd Mathews, guitarists Chris Blake and George Barrows, bassist Jack Turner, and drummer Danny Keene, soon snarled at and ignited the local scene and began building a vigorously loyal fanbase through their unforgettable and predatory live performances. The previously mentioned EP announced them as an emerging danger and temptation to the wider country but Second Coming is the consumption which will devour all hearts and devotion given the opportunity. A stirring mix of garage punk, alternative rock, and dark carnal sounds, their sound crawls over and infests the senses like a virulent scourge but one which awakens all the forgotten wantonness and hunger of rock ‘n’ roll.

Recorded with esteemed producer Paul Tipler (Placebo, Idlewild & Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster), Second Coming begins its The Droppers Neck Cover Artworkrapacious touch within the opening seconds of the title track, the first song on the album taunting with raw scuzz lined riffs before equally teasing rhythms add their touch. Into its stride the track is a scorching rampage through the ear, one which scrubs and boils every inch of internal flesh with its sonic fire and temptress groove. The vocals of Mathews bring a great mix of delivery, all drenched in an expression and passion which comes over like the call of a part desperate and part belligerent provocateur. It is a very Guy McKnight like sound he has with more than a nod to David Gardner of Engerica it has to be said, though pure coincidence you would guess, but one which only leads the songs into further delicious misdemeanours.

From the strong start things just accelerate into rapture with the first single from the album, Darker Waters. The guitars exchange their distinct swiping tones at first before the cantankerous bass of Turner joins in with a dark hearted prowl and the beats of Keene snap and barge the ear with contempt. With all uniting their league of menace together, the song adds insatiable grooves and barbed hooks to corrupt and capture the imagination whilst Mathews again is the ringleader with his almost carnival barker like lure. It is a brilliant song which pokes and incites limbs, thoughts, and passions to climb on board the shadow crafted ride, to immerse in its sinister and delicious pervading toxicity.

The follow pair of Abrasive and Three Little Pigs refuses to let the rich temptation waiver either, the first track a brawling punk tempest of squalling sounds and guitar bred melodic heat caged in another mesmeric rhythmic web. As dark and foreboding as it is ungraciously addictive, the track sears the senses into eager capitulation ready for its successor and another major pinnacle on the album. With a spine tingling groove made of pure magnetism and a psychobilly tone across the niggling gait, the song is a lethal enticement which secures eternal submission to its glory.

The following I Am The Law, is like a homage to Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, the band getting as close as they dare to one of UK’s debatably underpraised former giants, the vocal groupings and dark crooning as well as the repetitiously tempting groove and torrential rhythmic demanding aural handcuffs for the heart. Its majesty is replicated by the psychotic Sir Sibilance in another chaotic blaze of invention and psych engineered imagination. With more twists and deceit than a geriatric pole dancer, the devilish maelstrom is an exhausting and scintillating masterpiece.

When the two weakest tracks on the album which turn up next, Second Coming Pt. 2 and My Lime Tree are best described as riveting incitements of tyrannical and hypnotic rhythms amongst washes of caustic noise and heavy shadows of lyrical and musical irreverence honed into bruising bone shaking mentally charring slices of creative ferocity, you understand how impressive and unmissable this album is. As the closing intensive darkly sculpted passionate furnace Save Me From Myself with its ominous breath and scarring touch providing a final doomy wrap of powerful drama, escape from the clawed clutch of band, album, and lingering sounds is impossible and primal hunger for more incorruptible.

     Second Coming is magnificent and The Dropper’s Neck carrying on the charnel seeded legacy of The Cramps in their own almost wholly unique way. Brilliant stuff!

www.facebook.com/Thedroppersneck

9.5/10

RingMaster 29/07/2013

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Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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