Skelf Front cover Main

Scottish synapse stretchers Co-Exist follow their acclaimed and impressive album Violent Intentions Begin with Slow Incisions of 2010 with another intensive senses exploiting sonic corrosion in the deliciously intrusive shape of the Skelf EP. A rabid sonic savagery spews from the incendiary mesh of intensive metal, rapacious thrash, and vitriolic grindcore; the effect and presence of the release a tempest of intensity, spite, and downright viciousness which exhausts and devours whilst simultaneously igniting the passions.

Consisting of vocalist Dawson Taylor, bassist John Clark Paterson, drummer Quzzy, and guitarists Charlie Perratt and Marc Mullen, the 1998 formed Glasgow quintet have over the past couple of years sculpted an impressive reputation for their sonic scarring and the latest release only reinforces and strengthens their reputation for skilfully crafted and passionately bred unbridled caustic and intimidating persuasion. Creating a squalling quarrelsome mix of Coilguns, Retox, and The Locust, band and EP are an extreme scourge of deeply rewarding invention which takes little time in reaping the more restrained seeds sown in the dawning steps from Of Steel for an intensive examination. Holding itself in check initially it may be but the song is still instantly intimidating in its lure and temptation as it seduces the listener into the subsequent torrent of crippling rhythms, insidious sonics, and ruinous riffs. Driven by the abrasive vocal squalls of Dawson, the track is insatiably brutal but beneath in its underbelly creates an underlying groove and grinding irritant which only entices.

The fury of barbed hooks which score the psyche is continued by the following tempest Eyepliers and the toxic Kick yer fucking cunt in, their malevolence alone nasty and merciless but combined pure sonic destruction. The first of the two is a sonic rape of ears and mind, every note an intrusive grain within a storm of bedlamic abrasion. Its two minutes of life burns the senses whilst lungs try to grasp an ounce of air within the aggressive furnace. Its successor is as equally toxic; vehemence and noxious intent reducing the body and mind into easy prey for its open predation. Both songs are exhausting scintillating treats and easy to give full submission to.

History of violent behaviour spawns from a more metallic source, a classic metal essence coaxing out a more accessible, compared to those tempests before, rampage of grooves and melodic craft within the constant tumultuous rage also employed. It is a superbly structured charge which only invites full hunger for its creative premise but does remain in the shadows of the earlier and subsequent blazes of toxicity as in the outstanding Brass Knuckles, the track almost fifty seconds of tempestuous thrash abuse. Another sonic terror fused to invidious tension, the short mental mauling achieves more damage and provides greater satisfaction than most bands can create in a marathon of minutes.

The release ends with a lasting flight of sonic cruelty in Stress fractures, a track which stands toe to toe with the venomous peaks already stet by the EP. It concludes a rabid and greedy fury of primal infestation which leaves only an urgent hunger for more of the destructive imagination violating the senses. Certainly a release for those with masochistic tendencies towards their music, Skelf and indeed Co-Exist provide a ruinous creative pestilence it is impossible not to have a desperate appetite for.


RingMaster 29/09/2013

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Stuntman Mike – Triangles

stuntman mike pic

UK alternative rock band Stuntman Mike has brewed a potent rising reputation for their vibrant sound since forming around three years ago, a certain trigger coming with the release of debut song Triangles. Following on from the keen promise of the single Blackout Revolvers released at the tail of last year, the trio from Glasgow now unleash their debut album, also called Triangles, to make a strong and enjoyable statement about a band finding their creative and enterprising feet. The release offers a collection of accomplished and passionate songs which leaves an eager appetite for their persuasion in place. The album it is fair to say is not one stretching the boundaries of uniqueness for the genre but certainly adds a fresh and heart bred spice.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath, Kasabian, The Police, and Queen into their ideas and organic sound, the trio of vocalist Scott Hetherington, guitarist Billy Mulholland, and drummer/backing vocalist Affy Ahmad have earned an impressive reputation live which has included shows alongside the likes of Kassidy, The Dykeenies, The Damned Things, Gun, Barry Hyde (The Futureheads) and the Virgin Marys. Their previous self-released singles have also garnered great support and acclaim with the song Secret Forces winning Rock Recording of the Year at the Scottish New Music Awards. Continuing to be passionately DIY, the band is primed to brand a deeper mark with the album, an evocatively fuelled release recorded with famed Scottish producer Stuart McRedie (The Fratellis, Pete Doherty, The Dykeenies, Codeine Velvet Club).

Coming in new to the band, it has to be said their name is not the most inviting for some reason but that is soon forgotten as the 1098022_623813610973427_2105731101_nalbum’s opening track Buffalo confidently strolls up to the ear. Crisp beats and fiery melodic guitar teases immediately draw in attention whilst the brewing intensity and excellent vocals add further potent persuasion. It is not long before a Manic Street Preachers feel emerges from within the song, a flavour which with the band’s own invention makes for a sizzling and impressive invitation. Hooks continue to scythe a deep lure in the imagination whilst sonic hues stand side by side with the delivery of Hetherington to incur greater temptation upon the passions. New ground is not being laid with the song but satisfaction is undoubtedly thick in its presence.

The following Great Exploitations with its fizzing electronic spices and vocal harmonics finds a Muse tint to its magnetic temptation. The stomping core of the song leads the emotions on a heady venture beneath the continually shifting and exploring melodic weave and anthemic breath to forge an encounter which like its predecessor just lifts and ignites the appetite and passions. It continues the impressive start which is not quite matched by next up Modern Glory and Promise, both songs lacking the spark which marked the first pair. Neither lack craft and imagination though, the first having a Mind Museum like emotive energy to its narrative and the second an infectious if not quite tightly griping call to its encroaching cloud of sonic intensity and provocative adventure. Taken alone the tracks leave a lingering impression but on the album pale against the surrounding opening twosome and next up We Say Fire. This song is a sinew sculpted confrontation with a feisty swagger to match. Not neglecting the melodic flames and skill the band already unveils on the album, the track is a storm of rapaciousness and restraint, the extremes brought in a seamless and compelling alignment.

Through the likes of Cartel with its broody guitar and bass probing and the tantalising Roses and Razors, the band continue to hold thoughts and attention in their direction but into its second half the album loses that fire which earlier songs seduced with. Again though these and tracks like Ashes and Champagne Wolves are never less than pleasing and enjoyable in their company, just not lingering once departed.

Closing with the enterprising romp of Kingdom to provide a strong finish to its enjoyable presentation, Triangles marks out Stuntman Mike as a band to keep an eye on. The album does not reach the peaks found by some of its tracks consistently enough across its length to fire up the passions intensely but with all songs soaked in promise and adventure it makes a healthy base for the band to spring from.


RingMaster 29/09/2013

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