The Super Happy Fun Club – All Funned Up

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Having already been seduced and recruited into their high octane fun and ridiculously infectious pop punk/rock world through the Go Fun Yourself album, The Super Happy Fun Club make a deeper slavery of the passions with new release All Funned Up. Consisting of ten explosive and contagiously skilled slices of passion, the new album simply steals the heart as the band shows how impressively it and its sound has evolved.

The first notable thing is a seemingly more intense attitude and presence to songs. It would not be right to say it is a more serious approach as the Chicago sextet have only produced the most accomplished thoughtful music but certainly their emotive hearts lead the way through the album rather than the mischievous fun which marked its predecessor. That is not to say that trait is absent as throughout All Funned Up smiles break out alongside an increased ardour but definitely there is a shift in stance and intent.

Consisting of vocalist Stubhy Pandav, guitarists Phil Kosch and Dave Swick, bassist/vocalist Jeremy Galanes, drummer Chris Mason, and Pat Gilroy on keyboards/vocals, members with experience gained through bands such as Lucky Boys Confusion, Treaty of Paris, The Waiting Game, Logan Square, and One Life, the already impressive The Super Happy Fun Club has stepped up another few levels with the new album and stand poised to rip a big smile and hug from the heart of the world.

Like a link between this and the last release, opener Who Drank My Beer slaps ears and appetite in action with a riotous blaze of punk _All_Funned_Up-albumcoverrock loaded with riffs and rhythms riding the ear like a rodeo participant. Instantly infectious and commanding of feet, head, and voice, the brief punch of rock ‘n’ roll makes the perfect starter; urgent, boisterous, and impossibly contagious. Its rapid swipe is followed by Move On another song that leaps upon the listener with all the energy and eagerness of a nun concluding her last day of celibacy, only in my dreams then? Great opening harmonies are followed by the thumping keys of Gilroy stomping around with big intent and attitude whilst the excellent vocals of Pandav explore the drama with his outstanding style and expression. The song is an enterprising and continually evolving slab of rock pop, discovering an almost Three Days Grace like evocation as its climax brews up into a potently emotive fire.

The catchy and passionate song is matched by the more deliberately paced and sculpted Enemy, the song a tide of vibrant melodic hues clad upon stirring rhythms and again unbridled emotion in its heart on sleeve declaration. A track which seems to gain greater stature and power the more you share its presence, the delicious piece of songwriting openly shows the new fervour and musical hunger of the band. With just enough time to catch a breath after the dramatic persuasion of the song, the senses are than thrust into another charge of sinew driven rock with pop punk insatiability to its call. Okay Okay gallops, stomps, and sways through its ever shifting course, the band mixing in a terrific blend of spices and textures to the already mentioned core sound. There is a definite early My Chemical Romance feel to moments of the song whilst in other parts you think of a Fall Out Boy or The Living End, but all employed in the distinctive recipe of The Super Happy Fun Club.

The following Blinders swamps the senses next with big hearted melodies, equally energised harmonies, and passion drenched vocals sandwiched between just as scintillating slower emotion led pieces of personal commentary. It is an epic track with keys and guitars as skilled in the painting of the heart spawned conviction as the vocals and sonic paintwork alongside. It is a towering track which gives the following likes of Fine Distraction (LAX) and Good Year a dilemma to contemplate. Both songs though take it in their creative stride to follow such a pinnacle of the album, the first unveiling an energised stroll of provocative basslines and teasing guitar invention coaxed into greater potency by the ever impressive keys and vocals. It maybe fails to emulate its predecessor but only by a whisper of a wind whilst its successor places a melancholic beauty and absorbing temptation before the ear to also reap only deep recognition and ardour for its elegant persuasion.

Way Back (The Conflict) steps forward to raise a quizzical look on thoughts; the Billy Joel like key prodding wrong footing before the again muscular passion of the song breaks free. It is a strong track which again gets better with each encounter but does fail to grab the success the other songs achieved. Not a problem for next up tender ballad Angels Cry though as it strikes deep and impressively whilst the closing Plus One brings a final burst of energetic revelry delivered with a Sick Puppies like feistiness. They conclude an immensely thrilling and enjoyable release which announces The Super Happy Fun Club as the real potent deal. Pop rock has never sounded better.

http://www.thesuperhappyfunclub.com/

9/10

RingMaster 15/08/2013

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The Terraces – Extra Time

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Bringing forth the original breath of punk rock aligned to the voice of the people and their rebellious streets, The Terraces stand as one of the truest and undiluted bands snarling from within the genre. The Australia based quartet offers no diluted narratives and passions but the voice and energy of truth, the common man, and football grounds. Following their acclaimed and impressive self-titled debut album the band now unleash the Extra Time EP, consisting of six insatiable and belligerent slaps on the chops of society.

Hailing from the UK and the suburbs of Melbourne, the foursome of vocalist Gary Buckley (ex-One Way System founder member and bass player), guitarist/vocalist Dean Tsolondres, bassist Stephen King (ex-Rose Tattoo), and drummer Henry Hollingsworth are hitting the UK with their Punks of Mother England tour alongside Electric River as you read this which follows up a successful debut tour across the country last December including the band supporting Cock Sparrer and Rancid. With the album and now new EP giving more fuel to a greater anthemic fire for their live shows expectations that the band will elevate to the top favourites of UK punks and the worldwide echelons of the genre are hard to suppress.

The Blast Records released EP opens up with the industrial sound of the street which breeds an introduction for Britannia of jangling 945042_10151540814527794_709494224_npungent riffs and equally rich expressive vocals from Buckley. Soon into its stride with the guitar of Tsolondres lighting sonic flames across the muscular stance, the track takes no time to make its call on thoughts and voice, enlisting their assistance in the contagious chorus whilst feet dance to the tune of the contagious hooks and thumping rhythms. Carrying a UK Subs lilt to its sinews and Dropkick Murphys breath to its attitude the song is instantaneous addictive bait from band and release.

The following Who You Looking At stomps from its first second, the persistent groove carrying a whisper of the Sweet to its swagger, honestly, whilst the oi bred romp from its heart merges Sham 69 and Cock Sparrer whilst being honed into something distinctly The Terraces. It is an infection clad bruise which bounces with the passions in tow leading to a climax which instantly brings up spices of The Saints and The Outcasts to its snapping invention.

Billy opens with an undefined familiarity, its invitation recognisable but impossible to pin down whilst elevating the persuasive lure of the song to greater depths. Like The Living End meets Serious Drinking, the track shifts and twists its drive through to the emotions and thoughts, the guitar crafting a fiery web veined by punchy rhythms and stalked by the husky laced scowling vocals of Buckley who certainly here with the sounds offers a Mensi (Angelic Upstarts) feel. The song completes three brand new songs on the EP and is the best of the trio though all only confirm the rising stature of the band whilst heightening the appetite upon them.

Next comes an exceptional cover of The Clash classic Complete Control, and though it is fair to say the band do not muck around with it too much they deliver a thrilling and fresh take on the track without losing any of its toxic declaration. Injected with extra adrenaline and spite it is old school majesty thrust into the antagonistic selfishness of the now to emerge as a renovated anthem for today which despite the power and quality of the rest of the songs steals top honours.

The final pair of songs are two which have been revisited by the band, though neither Care About Nothing nor The Hustler leap out as having had a major overhaul from their album appearance. Both stomp and nudge the passions into another riot of energy and greedy union, the first a barracking prowl with blues flair to the guitar flames and predation to the rhythmic and vocal chest prodding and the closing song simply pure contagion, riffs and hooks taunting and dancing on the ear whilst the group vocals open up another virulently infectious reaping of limbs and voice from which resistance is futile. Reminding of Dirt Box Disco it is the perfect end to an exciting reminder of how good this band is.

If The Terraces have yet to feel your feet, attitude, and energy romping alongside them then Extra Time is the perfect turn-style into their honest punk rock arms.

https://www.facebook.com/TheTerracesRock

8.5/10

RingMaster 15/08/2013

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The Number Ones – I Wish I Was Lonely/He’s Too Good For Everyone Else But He’s Not Good Enough For You 7” single

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Hailing from Dublin, The Number Ones step forward with a debut of scuzz kissed, lo –fi hugged power pop punk which securely brands the band as ones to keep a steady eye on. Their two track caustic treat has one of those sounds which abrases and caresses simultaneously, guitars riling up the surface of the senses whilst fiery melodies soothe their resistance. It is a pleasing and exciting merger which translates to emotions and thoughts around the band, not forgetting hunger.

Formed in 2011 by Sean Goucher (Cheap Freaks, The Pacifics) and Eddie Kenrick (Crowd Control, Loose Nut, Bang Bros) who met through mutual friends and soon found a like-minded appreciation for late 70s melodic punk and powerpop one hit wonders between them, the band soon expanded with the addition of bassist Cian Nugent (Loose Nut) and drummer Conor Lumsden (The Spungos). The quartet did not take long to recruit the passions and hearts of local fans as they gigged extensively across north and south Dublin, strengthening their reputation at every turn which their first single is sure to cement.

Released through Cork-based DIY record label Art for Blind, the single strikingly caresses the ear from the first second of I Wish I Was Lonely, guitars offering a raw touch as bass and drums add their weighty presence to the introduction. The vocals do not wait around to make their touch known, the dual delivery a great blend of discord urged harmonies and rugged control recalling the heady days of Irish punk when bands like The Outcasts and Rudi as well as the Good Vibrations record label started out. Aided by the equally unpolished scent of sound it all adds up to a song that is infectious and thoroughly enjoyable, and one drenched in potent promise.

Its companion He’s Too Good For Everyone Else But He’s Not Good Enough For You is straight to the jugular type of song, riffs and drums leaping for the throat of the senses with an urgency and appetite that refuses to accept no for an answer. As with the first the concussive percussion wash and piercing jangly flames of guitars sear their presence deep within moments, whilst the vocals bring a contagion and punk bred riot that only elevates the satisfaction easily cultivated by band and song.

The Number Ones is a band with a strong future given the opportunity and placed in an environment where the production really lights the fire of their songs, it is hard not to expect big things from the four-piece; right now though their debut more than gets the job done.

https://www.facebook.com/thehashtagones

8/10

RingMaster 15/08/2013

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Isvind – Daumyra

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Revisiting and revitalising old school Norwegian black metal, Daumyra the new album from Oslo duo Isvind takes the senses and thoughts on a corrosive and exhausting ride through the darkest insidious shadows and coldest blistering realms. It is a release which sparks and captures the imagination, and though arguably it is not trespassing on new adventures it undoubtedly gives existing avenues a fresh and intensive examination.

Formed as a trio back in 1993 under the name Icewind, the band drew attention with its first two demos, The Call of The Icewind and Herskerinnen, the second release under the changed name of Isvind and down to the pair of Arak Draconiiz (guitars, bass, vocals) and Goblin (drums, vocals, keyboards). This was followed two years later in 1996 by debut album Dark Waters Stir, again on Solistitum Records. Apart from the release of a split with Italian band Orchrist in 2003 and another demo the following year, the band lay in the shadows for many years before returning with the album Inent Lever in 2011. The release saw the band still immersed and inspired by the early sound of the genre and earning strong responses, something the equally soaked in black metal seeding Daumyra is sure to emulate. The eight track Folter Records released album again does not deviate from the core sound and enthralling presence of the band which evolved in the early days but still manages to offer an inventive breath which feeds the hungry appetites of the modern flavoured fan.

Opener Kast Loss emerges from a blaze of harsh ambience and teasing fire, its wind a cold harshness stoking up atmosphere and chilling Isvind_Daumyra_Coverwaves within its scenery from which the track bursts with riffs and rhythms assassinating the remaining air with a carnivorous intent. Lurking within there is an addiction causing groove and heavy metal swipes which colour the dark rasping serpentine tones of the vocals and sonic temptation. The guitars niggle and graze from the first second of the song’s full expulsion, making an unrelenting provocation as intimidating as it is compelling and inviting.

It is a very strong start matched by the following Burn The Kings, the track again merciless in its grinding surge through the ear. There is a kinship between the first two songs; a similarity which binds their combined potency into a pleasing tool, and though they share individualism compared to other songs it only goes to reinforce the impact of the album’s entrance.

The thunderous Blodstorm raises the game before handing over to the pinnacle of the album The Dark Traverse. The first of the pair tears synapses with a sonic flame rich in alluring repetition and bewitching rapaciousness, whilst the drums cage its ferociousness in a steel clad mesh of continually shifting and intensifying confrontation. It is a provocative fury loaded with malevolent caustic vocals and their bestial narrative, and another slice of toxic bait hard to resist. That enthralling poison only intensifies with its successor, the track immediately snatching the senses into its savage claws of sound and energy. A tempest of crucial riffing, rhythmic predation, and riot of grooves, the song is a breath-taking avalanche of sonic majesty, the deeper into its jaws you are sucked the bigger and more immense it grows. Pure blackened evil and skilled maliciousness the track is a destructive tour de force of the album.

Both Djevelens Lende and Myra unleash a thick and suffocating blizzard of sonic, predatory, and rancorous austerity, their touch and presence, biting cold yet inflammatory, grave but contagious. Against their predecessor the tracks trail in its wake but nevertheless leave a touch which instils claws in thoughts and emotions.

Completed by the excellent Specculum, its initial rhythmic stomp and riffs charge changing gear into a primal examination of itself and the senses, and the callously unyielding Klabautermann, the album is a thoroughly satisfying and rousing encounter. Daumyra may not be the most original release to come your way, even compared to Isvind’s earlier work, but it does leave hunger and wants full and ready for more.

http://isvind.net/

8/10

RingMaster 15/08/2013

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Bear VS Rhino – Fake Fake Fake

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Ahead of a new EP due later in the month we thought we would look at the Fake Fake Fake EP, the debut from UK band Bear VS Rhino and a three track confrontation which will not be for all but one that offers something compelling for hunger of all things discord corrupted and noise bred.

Its creator is a trio from London consisting of drummer Nico, Italian bassist Carlo, and guitarist/vocalist Markus who the bio for the band says occasionally sings in Greek. Though classed as an alternative rock band, Bear VS Rhino seemingly spawn their sounds from post punk and whereas their influences are listed as the likes of Biffy Clyro, Mogwai, Queens of the Stone Age, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Deftones, and Neutral Milk Hotel, we can only suggest that you imagine a raw obtuse mix of The Fall, Marc Riley and The Creepers, and Swell Maps to really get a flavour before taking a bite into their tempest of noise.

Opening track Useless enters on a drunken swagger with toxic sonic fumes laying their breath upon melodic discordance and vocal disharmony. It instantly strikes up thoughts of early Mark E. Smith and co, the track a cross between Rebellious Jukebox and Bingo Master’s Break Out. If that is a sound not raising the juices already, then step away from the vehicle as song and release only delve deeper into that caustic aural dissidence. Catchy and challenging the track is a richly pleasing introduction, the guitar scraping the surface of the senses for the rhythms from drums and bass to punch and gnaw on respectively, but at the same time breeding a seductive temptation which recruits thoughts and passions wholly.

The following Daisychain has to wait whilst the band struggle to find its body but once given ignition it taunts the ear with a punk vocal snarl over an aural disunity and testing that lures in and sees off mind and emotions simultaneously. There is a strong song trying to escape from within but not given the opportunity, though again there is enough bait to makes you want to return and know more.

Final track Linseed Oil returns to the same breeding ground as the opener, guitars carving an anarchical web driven by the up and down vocals as the bass prowls alongside with throaty menace. Sparking good reactions and again an appetite for more it would still be fair to say that track and EP is for a limited audience, though it also suggests a promise of adventure which makes the impending new release one needing to be investigated. Basically for all fans of the references we mentioned above…not much else left to say.

http://bearvsrhino.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BearVsRhino

7/10

RingMaster 15/08/2013

 

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