Japanese Fighting Fish: Day Bombs

pic by Scot Salt.

pic by Scot Salt.

Ever since Just Before We Go MAD tantalised and teased the ear back in 2011, an eager soft spot for UK taunters Japanese Fighting Fish has been waiting patiently for the band to bring forth some more of their devilry to devour and lust quietly over. Now the Leeds hailing, London based quartet return with their second album Day Bombs and quite simply it far surpasses hopes and expectations bred during the wait. Consisting of ten unique and inventive temptations, the album is pure refreshment to the ear and the UK alternative rock scene, so much so that it is almost a swipe at the lack of ambition fuelling the efforts of so many other bands. Boldly adventurous and unashamedly refusing to conform, the release is a scintillating mischievous triumph and poised to steal album of the year awards.

With two of its members swimming away (sorry could not resist) to join a samba band in Brazil, the remaining pair of Karlost and Gareth Mochizuki Ellmer from watching ‘a documentary on how the Foo Fighters recorded their last album in what effectively was a high-end studio in Dave Grohl’s garage’, decided to go down the same road with this their second album. Using several ‘skuzzy’ garages in Leeds and London on limited funds, the band with Joe John Flannery and Phil Keating now enlisted, went to work creating Day Bombs, eventually shooting over to New York for its final mixing in a studio built in an old taxi repair shop by a friend of the album’s producer. The result is a masterpiece of imagination and contagious sonic belligerence crafted into one of the most riveting and expressive joys this year.

Whereas their debut  had a Latin temperament and carnivalesque vaunt to its theatre, Day Bombs unleashes a punk and noise rock clad 1069396_10153078929340226_618406295_nfire to its breath and sound, sinews and rhythmic enslaving as potent as the at times caustic but always tempting melodic flames which lick at senses and thoughts throughout the individual dramas. Vocalist Karlost returns with his expected one of a kind tone and delivery yet also has a greater control of its intent and flavoursome incitement.  From the moment opener Bloody Fingers starts tempting the ear with a dance of rhythmic enticement around a great throaty bass lure attention is alert and licking lips, especially once Karlost offers his almost theatrical delivery. Immediately the sense of something different is rife, the guitars riling against thoughts with hungry riffs whilst a sonic siren call flirts through the feisty surface and touch of the song. Firm without being aggressive and heavy without bludgeoning down doors it is an impressive and stirring introduction to the album.

Whereas there is a touch of Engerica and The Dropper’s Neck to the track the following He Doesn’t Know What He Wants walks in with a swagger not out of place on a Mike Patton composition. With electro kisses playing on the muscular yet respectful canvas and the bass especially gracious with its predatory voice, blazes of sonic fire and melodic raucousness stir the track into a sensational wash of creative knavery and primal seduction.

The two singles from the album approach to lay down their traps for the passions next. First up is the exceptional Greatest Escape with its Foo Fighters like whisper within a sinisterly romantic narrative, though whether it is supposed to have that menace we will have to learn. With a Slavic lilt to the band vocals and Cossack like bounce to its gait, the song is an irrepressible lead into the album for newcomers backed up just as potently by They Lie. Starting like Mud meets the Sex Pistols but soon unravelling its own form of diablerie as Karlost arguably for the first time on the album fully unveils his melodramatic mischief, the song is a gem and challenges He Doesn’t Know What He Wants as the pinnacle of the album. By its departure there is the shadowed roguery of an Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster adding extra pleasure and might to ensure you just need to have one more listen before moving on.

Both Flick The King and Ben stretch the album and passions further, the first with its discord laced sabre like riffs and mesmeric rhythms casting a rich hue around the ever enthralling vocals before they all unite into an infection causing stomp and its successor through a noir coloured venture of musical and lyrical intrigue and impossibly magnetic ingenuity, a noise driven Melvins or The Fat Dukes Of Fuck like bait adding extra flavour.

A Queens Of The Stone Age attitude and sultriness gently coaxes Legs to add more variation and exploration to its fertile trickery, song and vocals grazing and antagonising with resourceful inspiration whilst So Drunk And Wasted takes a louder essence of Homme and co with a touch of Therapy? into the overall maniacal brilliance of Day Bombs.

The Vandal Records release takes its leave with firstly the so–so Mister Mandolin, a gentle acoustic/vocal song which is so low in sound and production that it barely makes an impression sadly and the sizzling closer Senses. A burning furnace of noxious sonic intent and raw ear scorching intensity which almost suffocates the vocals of Karlost at times, it without finding the heights of the previous tracks is still a tempest of a conclusion to a simply cracking release.

If you were won over by Just Before We Go MAD, you will pee your panties as Day Bombs makes that victory seem barely an appetiser to this sensational alchemy.

http://www.japanesefightingfish.co.uk/

9.5/10

RingMaster 05/09/2013

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Savage Nomads – Jaded Edges

savage nomads

Ever since coming across their debut single The Magic Eye, UK rock band The Savage Nomads has continued to impress and ignite the imagination with each and every release. At the same time they have evolved their presence and sound into one of the most impressive and exciting, yet weirdly still widely unrecognised, forces around today. From their starting point their debut album the inventive and thrilling Coloured Clutter, and the stylishly imaginative Tension In The Middle EP of last year, only continued to establish and elevate the London quintet in the passions of a great many whilst picking up strong acclaim along the way and drawing the eager attention of the likes of Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Matt Johnson (The The), and Robyn Hitchcock. Supporting The Jim Jones Revue as well as Big Audio Dynamite on their Justice Tonight tour, at the request of Mick Jones, has done them no harm either but the band still remains in the shadows for a great many, well until they release new single Jaded Edges we suggest.

The song is exceptional and sees the band leaping up not just another level but many with the development and  honing of their already distinct sound into an even more potent and mesmeric persuasion. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Cole Salewicz, guitarist Josh Miles (who has moved from bass within the band), bassist Rory Jones, guitarist/keyboardist Benjy Miles, and drummer Petr Matousek, The Savage Nomads has stretched their imagination and invention to compelling lengths to sculpt their finest moment by far. If the single does not trigger a wave of mass hunger for the band then maybe the nation truly has gone too far into the Cowell dark side.

Whereas previous releases were more post punk clad, Jaded Edges brings a stronger new wave essence into what is basically straight rock ‘n’ roll with a taste of garage rock. Imagine Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and Baddies in a creative riot with The The and Lloyd Cole and The Commotions whilst Department S and Nick Haig add their thoughts and you get a strong flavour of what the single offers. From its opening bass groan and reserved yet swirling keys, the song instantly infects the ear and beyond. The vocals of Salewicz stand out straight away also as they rest easily on the senses, his almost Tom Verlaine like persuasion a smoother and richer textured temptation showing another evolution from the more Mark E. Smith offerings in the early days of the band. The song itself has a swagger which is deliciously confident and teasing whilst the melodic dance and coaxing of the song is gleefully mischievous within the addictive rhythmic cage.

Despite all of their previous glories, Jaded Edges is easily the most enthralling and masterful piece of songwriting and invention to come from the band’s imaginative creativity, and as it is just one of apparently 25 songs penned by the band in a 9 month immersion in their south London studio, anticipation for what is to follow which includes a series of videos and further singles, is already hungrier than a shark on land. If Jaded Edges does not start the rise of the band to greater plateau of awareness and recognition there really is no such thing as justice.

Jaded Edges is available mid-September from http://savagenomads.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thesavagenomads/

10/10

RingMaster 05/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Obelyskkh – Hymn To Pan

pic by_MikeWiener_

pic by_MikeWiener_

With the exceptional 2012 album White Lightnin’ thrusting its creators upon the doom/sludge metal map it is fair to say that anticipation for its successor was hunger driven. The third album Hymn To Pan from German metallers Obelyskkh more than satisfies that craving, offering six expansive sonic and heavily boned consumptions which in some ways continue where their predecessors left off but have evolved and stretched their melodic abrasive teachings to new intense and hue drenched levels. It is an album which steals attention with ease and ignites the imagination for expressive senses scorching ventures, and though after numerous traverses of its impacting soundscape it arguably remains slightly in the shadow of the previous release, the record is a beautifully sculpted and inventively delivered acidic treat.

Founded in 2008 as a project for guitarist Torsten (ex- The Walruz and Vs. The Stillborn-Minded) to explore his ideas and invention with the help of friend Adi, the band nevertheless grew and took on its own expansive destiny. First came the addition of bassist Steffen from seminal German stoner rock band Desert Sun, who after time moved to the drums with multi-instrumentalist David taking over the four stringed exploits. Though still not intended as a fully operational band the release of debut album Mount Nysa in 2011 seemed to trigger something for Obelyskkh. Sold out within three weeks and covered in strongly positive responses, the album was just one fire erupting at the time as a 2-minutes live footage clip of the band on YouTube led the band to be inundated with interest and offers from promoters in Germany and other European countries and subsequently into an exhaustive period of shows and festivals appearances. Last year saw the Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis, Mr. Bungle, Eyehategod, High On Fire, Melvins) recorded White Lightnin’ unleashed to mass acclaim and fervour. It was a startling release which brought new blood and flavour to the doom/stoner/sludge scene, though as with the new album it offered plenty more varied appetisers for the passions too.

The second album through Exile On Mainstream, Hymn To Pan is an even more aggressive and cutting encounter compared to the last, EOM064_coverRGBits breath bordering a battle cry and its intensity warlike though equally the depth of melodic temperance and emotive depths are as evocative and enthralling as ever. The title track dawns with a morning song of birds and fresh air before horns call the attention and physical intent of the world. Slowly awakening with rhythms stretching their energy and invitation, the track soon has sinews fully flexed with riffs adding war paint to the experience and mass vocals combining in a feisty union. The sonic colour of the guitars brings greater imagery and intensity to the piece sparking the imagination to add its own potent additional narrative. As mentioned it all feels like an awakening to a riveting conflict not only of a violent nature but of a harsh and demanding realm, and makes for a mighty hook into the rest of the album.

The Ravens emerges from the shadows next with a much more predacious attitude and weight to its stalking, riffs oppressive and strikingly heavy as they encase the ear in inescapable menace before allowing a breath to be taken through a reassuring melodic temptation. It is short lived as the band continues their thick doom fuelled tsunami of noise and intensity. The vocals also find a rapacious snarl and intimidation to match the enveloping sound, the unrelenting toxicity of the track veined by seductive melodic teasing and sonic tales. It is a scintillating funereal prowl which offers enough to intrigue and keep things fresh but equally has the restraint to force its triumph deeper with repetition and drone clad beauty.

Littered with telling samples, The Man Within takes mere moments to spark greater ardour, its malevolence of sound and vocal attack fearsome and invigorating. The track has an insatiable rabidity which borders on brutality at times, certainly a ruinous intent, whilst the bass and guitars spin a merciless steel web of sonic and voracious violence within another uncompromising and thrilling rhythmic cage.

From the highest pinnacle of the album forged by the previous two songs, the likes of Heavens Architrave and Horse build upon the already entrenched satisfaction with their individual presences, the first a more merciful embrace rife with a tonic of melodic enticement and great vocal beckoning, though still skirted by the damning rapacity already scarring the senses, whilst its successor from opening with a sample from the movie Warriors, employs a leisurely hunt upon the ear before savagely adding further violation with barbarous hostility. With grooves scorching flesh and the throaty sonic poison seeping through every pore the song is a masterful tempest.

Final track Revelation: The Will To Nothingness is a twenty minute plus behemoth, an evolving beast which is in no hurry to explore its narrative and give the senses any form of peace. A raw and ravaging vehemence from the off with a death spawned growl vocally and musically, the song moves through its own unique and aggravated world. Heightened flames of melodic sultriness and sonic heat coax the imagination in further as they take over the journey before things further twist and change throughout the lengthy soundscape. For personal tastes the track does out stay its welcome in parts and in a condensed state might have made a stronger impact, though equally it could lose the potency it has. It is nevertheless an enriching conclusion to another triumph from Obelyskkh. Admittedly passions are still lit up more by White Lightnin’ to be honest, but Hymn To Pan is undoubtedly one of the finest doom fuelled stoner lit metal exploits this year and more everyone’s full attention.

https://www.facebook.com/TheObelyskkhRitual

8.5/10

RingMaster 05/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com