Steve Ignorant With Paranoid Visions – When…?


It is hard to imagine any punk fan not being excited about the thought of Crass frontman Steve Ignorant and Irish punk legends Paranoid Visions raging together, and even harder to think they will not be blissfully satisfied by this striking union on When…?, their impressively magnetic album. The twelve track release is a thrilling encounter, a deep pool of rebellious anarcho punk and old school contempt fused into an antagonistic diversity bred of the now. The mouth-watering album album follows on from the acclaimed If Ignorance Is Bliss EP of earlier this year and powerfully realises the triumph forcibly hinted at upon the earlier three track provocation.

The seeds to the link-up between the band and Steve Ignorant can be said to have begun way back in 1979 when a 13 year old punk kid called Peter in Dublin received a reply to a letter he had written to Crass. It set a belief in the young lad that one day he would play with the vocalist of one of punk’s all-time major forces. That teenager, guitarist P.A.Y.E went on to form Paranoid Visions with vocalist Deko Dachau and the rest as they say is history, one still going from strength to strength for the band and their unique inventive sound. The If Ignorance Is Bliss EP brought that thirty year odd dream into reality whilst When…? simply places the alignment of greats into the list of punk’s finest moments.

The Overground Records released album opens with a mix of haunting and biting calls of the name of the title track. It instantly captures the imagination, especially once joined by the thumping terraces like anthemic rhythmic beckoning and short stabs of guitar grazing. The track is pure captivation from its opening seconds, the ever distinctive and delicious caustic tones of Deko igniting the passions as potently as the sounds. Add the in-the-face delivery of Steve Ignorant, the teasing caresses of Sarah Bellum and Aoife Destruction, as well as an inventive musical taunting, and the song strides forward as an immense and riveting start to the album. It alone breeds a hunger which greedily demands and ultimately receives across the rest of the release.

The following Join The Dots is rapping at the senses from its first breath, the rhythms of Paul Zapart nagging the ears whilst a sonic and voracious mix from the guitars of P.A.Y.E and Dan Sonyagrave snarls over the barracking bait. In full charge the song becomes a riot of vintage punk, the alternating and blended vocals of the main protagonists treating the ear to a welcome uncompromising bruising whilst the ladies add an infectiousness which is like Vice Squad and Dolly Mixtures does pop punk. It is a ridiculously addictive slice of punk ‘n’ roll which again leaves the passions flying and ready for the next confrontation which comes in the sizeable form of Brain-Dance. Once again the challenging rhythmic bait is skilful and contagious, the perfect hook into the equally incendiary groove and exciting vocal ear bashing from all quarters. Already When…? is like traversing the Alps, nothing but peaks and breath-taking times rampaging through the imagination and senses.

Lyrically as to be expected the album has no fear in taking swipes at all and sundry, the man at the top, you, me, all apathies, inequalities etc. No track pulls its punches whatever the canvas the narrative is sculpted upon, the virulently contagious United Left Annoyance and the acoustically carved Log On…Bog Off no exceptions. The first of the pair has one of those hooks which haunts thoughts and vacant moments with the toxicity always prevalent in the sounds of Paranoid Visions, its call a cousin to those conjured by Buzzcocks or any version of his band Spizz examined his invention under. Its successor it has to be said took time to convince, but all the time its smouldering almost deceptive sirenesque consumption of the imagination worked away within the slowly dawning victorious persuasion.

No Contrition brawls with and challenges thoughts and emotions next, the open causticity to sound and lyrical intent providing another healthy feast for appetite and passions to devour whilst basking in the continually impressive invention upon the album, whilst Charity Begins At Home with its opening sample a full on poke at Bono and charitable deceptions, is ingenious brilliance. Abrasive and seductive in a torrent of inventive and epidemically addictive enterprise, the track is the pinnacle of the release, the highest plateau in a parade of nothing but lofty suasions.

Both the UK Subs/Crisis tinted Changing Times and the brilliant Independence Day with a presence which is best described as early March Violets meets Crass meets The Pack, continue the wonderfully imposing and passions igniting stance of the album whilst the exceptional Sex Kills attempts to steal the whole show with its carnivorous riffs and bass predation alongside another pop punk infectiousness, well if pop was in the bands of The Duel and Penetration. The rich heights of the track is soon matched by Rock n Roll n Revolution, cantankerous beats and rapacious riffs fuelled by another blaze of insatiable invention and the staggeringly impression union of two muscularly creative forces.

Closing on ?….NEHW, an unbridled ferocious take on the opener, When…? is simply magnificent, a release which is exceptional at the first meeting and grows into one of the most potent, tantalising, and creative punk albums of the year. Outstanding…quite outstanding!


RingMaster 12/11/2013

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Zoltar Speaks – Save As I Save


The appearance of the Treatment EP, the debut release from UK metallers Zoltar Speaks, was one of the very best introductions to any band in 2012, a collection of potent and intensive songs which showed the band as having all the weaponry to leave a deeply impressive and long lasting mark on British melodic metal. Now with the release of first album Save As I Save, the Somerset quintet not only confirms all the promise and qualities paraded on its predecessor but ignites them to greater and richer effect and results. The album is a masterful blaze of sound which whether carnivorously snarling or tenderly seducing is a superbly crafted and insatiably attentive provocateur of thoughts and passions.

Zoltar Speaks made their first firm steps in 2009, the band soon breeding a loyal and passionate following throughout the South of England and Wales with their impressive live show and the sharing of stages with bands like Malefice and Sworn to Oath. The Treatment EP sparked critical acclaim from the metal underground and more whilst sparking a greater awareness for the band around the country, a growing devotion for their captivating sound nurtured and expanded through their stage performances. Now as Save As I Save is uncaged you can only suspect and expect the band to trigger the fullest attention with its skilful furies and enchanting persuasions as the band’s ascent to the fore of UK’s melodic metal scene accelerates.

From the piano sculpted Intro, band and release erupts into a sizzling suasion with See You In Another Life, guitars and the Zoltar Speaks - Save As I Save Coveroutstanding fiery vocals of Louise Body enslaving ears and thoughts from the start. It is a tempered entrance by the track but one soon given a boost of aggressive adrenaline and incisive passion as the guitars of Dan Pratt and Jason Coles encase the ears in hungry riffs and sonic enterprise.  The sinewy track easily holds attention from start to finish, forging a strong and tall stature for the album which is followed by the first single from the release, Last Man Standing. As its predecessor the song has a hard and rapacious intent to its start, the rhythms of drummer Ben Dean framing the creative guitar play and scorching range of tone and delivery from Body, her craft and vocals even more impressive than on Treatment. Though maybe not the obvious lead song from the album for personal thoughts, it still makes an accomplished and intrigue sparking invitation into Save As I Save.

The excellent I’m Coming sets the heat and intensity up another notch, predacious riffs matched by the dark bass tones crafted by Simon Roocroft alongside again the commanding beats of Dean. Like a raging fire, the song dances around the senses with melody soaked flames and testing rhythms aligned to those similarly predatory riffs. It is a formidable encounter which sets up the imagination and emotions perfectly for the adventurous Cannot Be. There is a swagger to the invention of the song, its melodic enticements and sonic endeavour whilst a stomping swing drives the intent and gait of the track. Together it makes for a song which is invigorating and musically anthemic but still a thoughtful and caring guide for the imagination as it runs with the engaging narrative.

The album is still climbing in quality at this point, each song bringing a little more to devour eagerly and be inspired by. The ballad Flesh And Blood makes for a relatively gentle persuasion next, one which allows a breath to be taken in the drive of the album and though maybe it does slip from the heady heights set it is a beautifully crafted and skilled attraction which makes a flavoursome spice for the strong appetite already awoken by the album. That gulp for air is needed in preparation for Face The Claymore, the track stepping forward to rabidly ravage and ignite the passions. Intensively aggressive and almost bordering malevolent in its attack, the track is a glorious merger of harsh and melodic adventure, a brawling tempest which brings a further rigorous diversity and tormented energy to the release.

Through the magnetic Take It Away, an enthralling evolving anthem with a solo seemingly soaked in the finest Eagles seeding, the smouldering ballad Braver, and the devastating Nothing In The World, the band continues to incite the fullest satisfaction and strongest emotions for its offering, the last of the three a dazzling display of vocal diversity, clean and spiteful declarations storming through its core with Coles providing growls to compliment and inspire equally extreme and passionate attacks from Body.

Completed by the enjoyably imposing and creatively exploratory I Can, I Can’t, its aggression and lingering melodies pure enslavement, and the constantly building climactic Treatment, the album is a tremendous encounter. As powerful and impressive as it is Save As I Save also suggests that there is much more to come from Zoltar Speaks, an even stronger uniqueness inside which is something to keenly anticipate and get excited over.


RingMaster 12/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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