The Welcome Matt – POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE

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Without one of our favourite albums of last year was The Panhandle Years from The Welcome Matt, an album which compiled a wealth of tracks taken from the project’s previous seven albums to introduce a very talented sound and presence to the wider world. It was a refreshing and exciting introduction for us to the band and San Francisco based musician Matt Langlois who is The Welcome Matt. Following up its impressive persuasion, comes new album POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE, a release which quite simply carries on where its predecessor left off, inflaming the passions and creating some quite irresistible and enterprising rock pop.

Finding success and acclaim with his work with Members Of Sound from 2009 through to 2011, a musical project which released a new song every month for two years and resulted in two major CD releases from this work with an array of Bay Area musicians and producers, Langlois in many ways brought his solo project into its strongest limelight, certainly in respect of an emerging world awareness with The Panhandle Years. It was a kind of summing up of his adventure and creative journey to that point which POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE now extends with its own delicious stomp of imaginative infection.

The Welcome Back opens up the ‘return’, lightly jagged guitars coaxing attention as the distinctive expressive vocals of Langlois wait for a moment before beginning their narrative. Into its full stride the song unveils a bluesy melodic embrace aligned to sixties tinted harmonies and melodic temptation. Lifting its knees the track eventually moves from an inviting walk into a feisty stomp, one weaving tendrils of contagious seventies pop rock and sixties charm into a gait which never truly explodes into riotousness but leaves the senses energised as the sounds toy with them. It is a mesmeric start which awakens a healthy appetite for the release and immediately feeds the anticipation bred by the album’s predecessor.

The following Key of G opens with Bolanesque strumming and vocal harmonies, the influence unmistakable and a pleasing lure into a song which evolves the inspiration into a compelling striding of inventive persuasion, guitars and keys almost wanton in their temptation whilst a throaty bass sounds has their back, it bringing shadows into the equation. It is impossible to resist its enticement; it like many of the songs breeding a familiarity within a fresh and magnetic wash of imagination. Its successor Let It Lead You, the new single from the album, is very much the same, its presence and teasing that of a recognisable friend but in a brand new enterprising suit. The rhythmic beckoning at the start instantly has feet and hunger on alert whilst the keys and vocals alongside, not for the first time upon the album, a virulently addictive groove littered with potent hooks seduces with every note and touch. It is a deviously effective pop song and catchy doorway into the album and The Welcome Matt for newcomers.

Pop Junk Fluff and Hype steps up next, a funk fed introduction taking little time in recruiting thoughts and emotions as it romps eagerly around the ears. Fiery rock guitars flame over the pop canvas whilst vocals and keys leap with energetic rigour and enterprise. It is a spellbinding mix of styles and flavours, electro and alternative rock adding to the insatiable and outstanding toxicity. Just as epidemically enthralling is Mode Of Transportation, a fusion of power pop and indie/electro rock which plays like a mix of The Motors meets Cockney Rebel with a splash of Cheap Trick. The song almost prowls around the senses and imagination even in its radiantly hued stance leading the listener into yet another impossible to ignore or resist piece of excellent rock ‘n’ roll.

A Hail Mary mischievously teases from the outset with a discord bleeding caress of chords and electronic nagging, its suasion early XTC like with a little Hot Hot Heat festivity to its riveting coaxing whilst Get Shameless is a foot stomping dance of hypnotic rhythms and frisky melodies. Keys and bass add their individual textures to the electric dance as Langlois immerses the listener in a skilled and adventurous addiction.

Both Mind Control and Lets Really Go continue the impressive exploits within the album, the first with a seemingly Sparks bred form of pop punk with hooks and a bass pulse which stick welcome barbs in deeply and the second through a devilishly compelling transfixing slice of country rock sing-a-long with slithers of punk and rock ‘n‘ roll adding their teasing.

Cast A Line brings POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE to a Bolan/Kinks tasting and enjoyable end to conclude a thoroughly thrilling and incredible contagious encounter. It is a storming blaze of pop rock which feeds every want and need with accomplished infectious ease, and an album all should pay attention to.

http://www.welcomemattsf.com

9/10

RingMaster 18/11/2013

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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Cold Cold Ground – Lies About Ourselves

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Having been enlisted into their dark rock sounds with the excellent Blue Light Circus EP of 2008, Finish industrial punks Cold Cold Ground have continued to whip up our passions here but now really gone to town on them with their new album Lies About Ourselves. An intensive brew of seductive atmospheres around a carnivorous predation which stretches and pushes the release the release is a riveting mouth-watering furnace of energy and startling noise sculpted invention, an industrial punk/metal fury with a devilishly twisted intent. It is the Helsinki quartet’s finest moment to date, ten rapaciously ravaging slices of heavy, dark, and exhausting brilliance.

Cold Cold Ground was formed in 2004 by Hauptmann D, NooZ, Mr. Bunny, and John Paul Jr, and was soon grabbing attention through their trio of EPs, the Lamb and Custom Built EPs of 2005 and 2006 respectively as well as the previously mentioned Blue Light Circus. With an all senses engulfing live show and their well-received debut album This Side of Depravity of 2010, the band only enhanced their stature and fan base which Lies About Ourselves now takes to another level. On their second album the band quite simply is at its most inventive, volatile, and furiously impacting yet.

The album instantly is savaging the ears with opener My Fist And I, the track a tornado of energy and aural spite from its 1460209_10152038643995903_1113209224_nopening second, and though it has moments where it takes a step back in aggression it feels like it is merely taking closer straighter aim for the next tirade of thrilling voracious intensity. The vocals of Hauptmann D prey on every syllable given, fuelling them with a venom which matches the hunger of the riffs from Mr. Bunny and the prowling bass of NooZ. With the unforgiving rhythms of drummer Hoker Dine puncturing the punk storm brewed, the track is a stunning slab of intensive defiance and industrial antagonism. It rampages like a blend of Pitchshifter and Rabbit Junk with essences of Rammstein and Lard, but equally has its own rabidity driven uniqueness.

The following Welcome to Hell has a less intensive and more electro based presence but is still fuelled by a punk voraciousness which snarls at and chews the imagination excitingly. Less instant and commanding than its predecessor the track still grips a wildly attentive appetite for the varied and inventive sounds offered. Its successor Suck and Pay feeds that same hunger with its exceptional fire of cantankerous energy and invention. Like Fuckshovel does Fear Factory whilst on a sonic hallucinogen, the track is a glorious charge of ingenious enterprise and daring, unpredictable and wholly addictive.

The pleasure and ravenous craft of the album continues to excel, through firstly Model Citizen where thumping rhythms frame an intensive brawl of riffing before taking centre stage whilst coaxing in further scythes of guitar and electronic teasing. The bass also finds a new darker growl which excites the ear and helps create a Marilyn Mansion toned presence as the track hits its stride. It like the following venomous We Are the Sun slip a little below the plateau set by the album but with bodies of inventive hostility and imaginative provocation neither leave satisfaction or hunger wanting, the same as the contagious Tourist, another song which cannot quite match the highest pinnacles but forges its own memorable dark rock heights.

The brawl of the insatiable punk fuelled Cocaine In My Ass slaps another major highlight down on the senses and passions, the great bass taunting and esurient challenge of the riffs and rhythms colliding for an illustrious aggravation which is viciously anthemic and barbarically addictive. The song puts up a real test for those following to equal which none do but certainly they all make valiant impressive attempts, Drive the first stepping up to take the listener on an exhausting and highly satisfying charge of caustic rock ‘n’ roll to be followed by the stalking and compellingly imaginative title track, a song with melodic flames and bold textures as gripping as its extensive intensity, and finally the smouldering electro embraced Things Fall Apart. The last offering continues the great diversity across the album, its melancholic beauty and seductive balladry mesmeric if maybe lacking the wonderful addiction brewing toxicity of previous songs.

     Lies About Ourselves is a scintillating confrontation, a thunderous and greedy assault of industrial seeded punk and rock excellence. Cold Cold Ground just gets better and better.

http://www.coldcoldground.com/

9/10

RingMaster 18/11/2013

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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We Are Fiction – One For Sorrow

WAF_Promo It is not stretching things to say there has been a fair amount of anticipation for the debut album from UK melodic hardcore band We Are Fiction, an eager appetite spawned by the band’s singles and impressive live performances.  Consisting of eleven vibrant and skilfully crafted confrontations, One For Sorrow does not let hopes down even if maybe it does not ignite as many fires in the passions as expected. It certainly expands on all the promise laid down before, spawning even greater potency for future horizons whilst unleashing a few special moments for the now.

Since forming in 2007, the Peterborough quintet has undoubtedly earned that reputation as one of the most energetic and passionate live bands to emerge over recent years, their honest and impacting mix of post and melodic hardcore raging like a new yet familiar provocateur, something which also easily applies to their album. The Destroy Everything Records released riot has a presence and intent which does not exactly surprise, especially if aware of earlier releases, but comes with a fresh and compelling intent which never relinquishes its lure on the imagination and emotions. Some songs raise a greater reaction that others but all leave a satisfaction and enjoyment which makes the album a release well worth exploring.

The album simply explodes into action with opener Mansion House, guitars and drums filling the ears with vibrant and eager riffs and rhythms. With inviting flames of melodic invention offering their persuasion the song has the listener immediately engaged and ready for the fine vocals of Phil Barker backed by the harsher tones of guitarist Marc Kucharski  who bring further passion and enterprise to proceedings. There is nothing openly ground-breaking about the song but with a great blend of raw and seductive elements uniting for an energetic expressive storm the track is an imagination stroking entrance.

The following Bright Lights provides a mellower yet still feisty encounter which is infused by infectious anthemic qualities via riffs and vocals. Once again the guitars of Kucharski and Andi Scott Shaw create a weave of skilled and inventive temptation which veins the firm if restrained attack from drummer Tom Calton and bassist Ryan Chambers. The song keeps attention tightly in the band’s hands as does next up My Dreams Are Haunted, a melodically enchanting and evocative embrace. With all of its rawer and angry essences coming within the varied vocal attack the track is an intriguing venture which is unafraid to wear its heart on its sleeve and shuffle its gait up to keep things unpredictable. Like its predecessor the song fails to maintain the high level of the starting track but still strongly persuades with an intelligent and inventive sculpting to its body.

Both Old Wounds and Sail On make a potent persuasion without igniting fires, the first a blaze of generous melodies and sonic endeavour wrapped around a sinewy core; the rich songwriting of We Are Fiction again proven to be hard to fault at any point across One For Sorrow. Its successor brings a harsher angst fuelled essence into the melodic arms of the song for another inventive and attractive confrontation which is as passionate as it is impressively crafted. Neither track, like quite a few upon the album, linger in the memory or spark off a real fire inside and that is the main or only issue with the album. In its presence it impresses and does get stronger with each encounter, but away from its touch thoughts and emotions struggle to recall what was on offer more often than not. There are exceptions though as with the next up A Thousand Places to Sleep, the opening rhythmic contagion carved by Calton and Chambers simply irresistible and easily matched by the sonic tempting conjured by the guitars. A punk fury fuels the vocals and riffs whilst the drums are a persistent and inciting provocateur. Its virulent lure lessens a little with the cleaner vocals though, as if the aggression is making space though it soon returns to prowl and snarl impressively through the outstanding track. It is one of the major highlights of the release and one which does remain in the memory past its departure.

Building on this high Tilt finds a caustic and rapacious edge to sound and presence which takes top honours on the release. There is a delicious heavy rock weight to the song which merges perfectly with the hardcore thrust of the narrative and intensity, and with a scintillating adventure to the vocals employing rap and noise rock magnetism, the track easily stands above the rest, the unexpected and startling elements a seamless and inventively convincing triumph.

The Worst Of It, the latest single from the album is another exciting incitement, its pop punk/melodic hardcore blend contagious anthemic bait mixing a kind of Blink 182, Hundred Reasons, and Mallory Knox brew which makes a very efficient invitation for band and release.

The final trio of songs starting with the highly emotive Wladyslaw continue to please ears and imagination if paling against what just came before. A drama lit melodic and sonic craft scorches the air within the blues kissed song before the stocky charm and intensity of Earth Machine and the emotionally anthemic Forget About Me take over to conclude the album. Both tracks are impressively built and textured and it is hard to lay any faults before their offerings, except that again not a great deal hooks in the memory once they take their leave. Whether that is actually a major fault is debatable as listening to One For Sorrow only makes for one richly fulfilling hour or so.

We Are Fiction is a band yet to push boundaries but as evidenced by One For Sorrow also one who have a skill and instinctiveness to worry it and more importantly make a potently imaginative and satisfying companion within whom you still sense there is much more yet to come…

https://www.facebook.com/wearefiction

8/10

RingMaster 18/11/2013

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