Menace – Too Many Punks Are Dead

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Receiving its debut vinyl release last month, Too Many Punks Are Dead the new album from UK punk inciters Menace is another to prove that not only is there fight in the old dogs of punk but there is a passionate and creative rabidity still able to teach the genre a thing or two. When you place it’s re-release alongside the likes of this year’s offering from UK Subs, Steve Ignorant and Paranoid Visions, and 4 Past Midnight to name just three, it has been a potent year from the ‘old timers’ as they all continue to inspire generations. Menace predated most punk bands, forming in 1976, their uncluttered direct sound a spark for the likes of Sham 69, The Cockney Rejects, and arguably the Oi! movement from within punk, though they never did get the full credit they deserved when in full rage and since, but as their latest album shows the band has lost none of its contagious belligerence with maturity and time, and certainly none of its ability to sculpt addictive riots.

August 1976 saw the line-up of Morgan Webster, Noel Martin, Charlie Casey, and Steve Tannett come together soon followed by their debut gig at the now legendary Roxy. The show was attended by Miles Copeland from Step Forward and Illegal Records who signed Menace straight away. Though fans flocked to the band and their sound, they were basically ignored by media and label for whatever reasons leading to them splitting in 1979 after the release of their single Final Vinyl which contained the classic anthems Last Years Youth and Carry No Banners. After the split members of the band went on to play in Vermillion and the Aces before with a keen hunger around for Menace, the band reformed in the late nineties. A couple of EPs for German label Knockout Records and two albums via Captain Oi! in 2001 and 2004 followed to strong acclaim as was No Escape From Nowhere of 2008. Recorded and self-released as the previous album, in 2011 on CD only the well-received Too Many Punks Are Dead is a thumping bruising of prime genre invention and animosity, which with its limited edition vinyl uncaging, the release restricted to a pressing of 500, with 200 black, 200 red and 100 white vinyl copies, reminds us again of one of the genre’s important bands, past and present.

The first side of the album barges the ear with the dirty rock ‘n’ roll of Thank God I’m An Atheist, riffs and rhythms a predatory incitement providing the perfect canvas for the vocals to unleash their antagonistic narrative. The heavy throaty bass sound is an immediate lure which steals attention throughout song and release, its rabidity the intensive backbone the band swings hooks, anthemic grooves, and chants from. The track is a formidable introduction soon matched and exceeded by the outstanding I Don’t Care. With a touch of early Damned to it as well as a rich essence of Ruts, the song is a virulently contagious riot rife with inventive hooks and inspiring enterprise not forgetting compelling aggressive seduction.

Both the title track and its successor United match and drive the album deeper into the passions. The first is simply a respectful roll call of punk greats no longer with us, an impacting homage and reflection on so many who have shaped bands and punk rock as a whole. With a musical wrapping which ignites the primal rocker in us all the track is a tremendous exploit igniting nostalgia and hungry satisfaction. The second of the two swaggers in on an infectious tsunami of rhythms to which the guitars align blazes of rock riffs as vocals whip up thoughts and passions. The bass again brings an extra lick of the lips for its heavyweight prowling and as a whole the song and band again draws and exploits the primal pleasure and anarchy in us all.

As My Very Good Friend brings the A side to a close it is hard to remember Menace sounding this good and predacious musically and emotionally since those early days. The last track opens with a slow female and male vocal croon alongside a lone guitar, their reflective stroking capturing thoughts for a following ska punk eagerness to stomp through the ear. The track veers more on the punk side as it saunters along but with a healthy flame of jagged guitar to tease and coax the listener’s appetite, the track is a thrilling mix of Angelic Upstarts and The Vox Dolomites but uniquely Menace.

The second side immediately seizes the senses in a fury of belligerent punk revelry with firstly the rapacious Party Animal, another ridiculous infectious anthem, and then the excellent toxicity of Get Out There, niggling grooves an incendiary temptation within the bruising and intimidating viscous sounds. The tracks continue the impressive presence and stature of the release, the pair lingering imprints on the memory and passions as is the outstanding Busy which soon follows equipped with   that instinctively resonating bass call and addiction sparking hooks.

Leave Me Alone is a raw eyeballing argumentative squall, an agonistic encounter which stands toe to toe with its intended and pulls them into a mouthwatering call to arms before passing them onto the enjoyable acoustically borne rocker We Are The Boys. Both songs bring the album to a thrilling conclusion though there is still room for a bonus track, the brilliant One Two One Two, vintage punk at its ridiculously anthemic and riotous best. It is a brilliant end to a cracking album and though there is not quite a GLC or a Carry No Banners on it, the Rebel Sound released Too Many Punks Are Dead has a wealth of tracks to show the emerging punks of today how to craft and unleash real punk rock whilst showing Menace is as influential and irresistible as ever.

http://www.menace77.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 04/12/2013

 

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Gaz Patterson – King Of You

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    Gaz Patterson will probably be a name most are unaware of at this moment in time but as debut album King Of You unleashes its enthused stomp and impressively accomplished swagger you have a niggling suspicion that this secrecy will not be a long running status for the British punkster. Creating a boisterous party of melodic and pop punk, the Bedlington, Northumberland hailing musician has made an introduction which captures the imagination. The album is not bursting with originality it has to be said but comes with vitality and a refreshing passion which only accentuates the promise bursting across the eight track storm of enterprise.

As soon as a big bass groan ignites the first seconds of opener Walking Backwards there is a sense of something potent waiting to seduce the ears, a hint soon brought into realisation as riffs flame around the ear and rhythms romp with sinews to the fore through the emerging track. As it hits its stride with the smooth tones of Patterson adding to the persuasion there is a familiarity to the song but one which only adds to the strong lure being laid before the imagination. Comparisons to the likes of Blink 182 and current Green Day have been placed upon Patterson’s sounds and as the track charges contentedly, it is easy to see why especially in regard to the former of the two.

The strong start is matched by the following Last Round, again the throaty voice of the bass standing out from the start whilst the guitar casts a skilled temptation within the pleasing encounter. Slightly more restrained but of the same breed as its predecessor, the track strolls with a purpose and appealing presence if without quite sparking a major fire for its resourceful offering. The same to some extent applies to the next up Broken Hearts On Parade, the track a brief rampant blaze of punk ‘n’ roll with a great fiery solo and combative rhythms.

Going Out My Mind is another pungent tempting of addictive hooks and magnetic melodies ridden by the easy on the ear vocals of Patterson whilst the bass provides its own irresistible vaunt to compliment the enterprise and inflate an already awakened appetite for the release. In many ways the tracks to this point have all come from the same well of textures and invention though with individual faces to their presences, but it is all shaken up pleasurably by the melancholic embrace of Elona. The slow smouldering ballad is an ambient emotive wash of acoustic guitar, softly delivered vocals, and a stringed caressing which is absorbing. With keys adding to its evocative plot, the track debatably is out of place on the album but a thrilling aside to the thrust of the album earning an acclaimed place.

The pinnacle of the album comes with the title track, the song a riff clad, rhythmic tempest of punk rock which from its first chord has mind and heart enlisted in its compelling adventure. An element of The Ramones adds its enthusiasm to the fever whilst an Offspring like bustle encourages the belligerent lyrical content, it all uniting for a thumping ride of a great punk song.

    See You In The End and Pieces Of Two complete the album in fine style, choppy riffs and cantankerous rhythms driving the first of the two directly into the senses, vocals harmonies adding to the punk pop purity whilst the closing track provides a lingering convincing of melodic rock which seals the success of the album and reaffirms the promise of the artist with another varied slice of enterprise.

     King Of You as mentioned is not going to take you down new avenues but instead explores existing ones with an energy and investigation which marks Gaz Patterson out as one to watch closely.

http://gazpatterson.bandcamp.com/album/king-of-you

https://www.facebook.com/GazPattersonMusic

7.5/10

RingMaster 04/12/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hysterix And His T-Rex – Changes – or, when love becomes misery EP

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Looking for a slab of senses stomping intrigue? Then try plunging into the promise drenched tempest of Changes – or, when love becomes misery, the new EP from German rockers Hysterix And His T-Rex. The three track release is an eclectic fury of dirty rock ‘n’ roll with progressive and metal tendencies which captivate and seize the imagination. The Dortmund quartet has already pricked strong interest with previous releases but now stalk a new level of craft and invention which makes the band one needing close attention now and in the future.

Formed in 2010 by brothers Sandro (drums) and Dino (bass) as a side-project, Hysterix And His T-Rex creates a sound which merges a sludge thick breath and stoner heat to metallic sinews and experimental adventure.  Debut single A Clowns Tragedy of the same year was followed in 2011 by Nils (vocals) and Sebi (guitar) joining the line-up. Last year saw the band’s first EP The Wayfare released, a four track piece of compelling if patchy invention, but a strong base from which Changes… has sculpted the band’s finest moment yet.

Changes opens up the encounter, a sonic call soon dismissed by a bulging bassline and prowling riffs framed by magnetic beats. 1463106_648494221839765_1529272345_nAs a groove opens its throat the song has already found a contagious grip which leads into a hardcore bred ferociousness with a viscous sludge antagonism. The track presses on the ears with skill and predatory intent, its body simple but wholly riveting especially as clean vocals replace the previous scowling roar, with both switching from here on in. With an additional grunge lilt and a metal spawned hunger to the rhythms and riffery, the song twists and lurches across the senses with pleasing craft. The song as the release has to fight the raw production a little but it cannot stop the qualities of band and track from making a strong persuasion.

The following Ring takes the sturdy start to another plateau of impressiveness, the track easily the best thing on the potent confrontation. From its first second the track chews the ear and rampages with fiery belligerence, squalling vocals raging over merciless beats and a delicious swarming niggle of a groove. The intensive start is dropped into a vat of doom leaden labour soon after but takes little time in re-emerging into that virulent addictive opening scourge of waspish temptation. A taunting rapacious enticement with vicious aggravation and scintillating uncompromising coaxing, it is an outstanding blaze of instinctive noise abuse and without doubt the pinnacle of the band’s invention so far, and hopefully an area where they will stride forth in direction in the future.

The closing Beyond The Waterfall opens like Wire meets Beehoover, a wall of muscle and intensity seizing command before opening its arms for a grunge/stoner melodic suasion to stretch the offering further. Merging with the harsher elements, the inventiveness continues to press home its advantage as a jazz/avant-garde venture steps into view, it again a moment which is soon evolved as band and song twists and flexes an imagination which only increases the intrigue and its riveting presence. Arguably there is too much going on to flow easily throughout and the cleaner vocals are weaker compared to the inhospitable delivery elsewhere but it does little to diminish the lure and pleasing argumentative conspiracy making a strong persuasion on thoughts and emotions.

Released as a buy now name your price on Bandcamp, the Changes – or, when love becomes misery EP shows the leap Hysterix And His T-Rex has made since the previous release, in songwriting and bold adventure to ignite a definite anticipation and hunger for what they conjure up next.

http://hysterixandhistrex.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/hysterixandhistrex

8/10

RingMaster 04/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Night Wolf Presents: The Co Lab Vol.1

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The first in a proposed series of collaborations, Night Wolf Presents: The Co Lab Vol.1 is a magnetic and eclectic adventure for thoughts and imagination provided by a vibrant journey through electronic climes bred with potent essences of hip hop, dubstep, R&B, classical elegance and more.

The project and release is the brainchild of composer/producer/musician Ryan Wilcox aka Night Wolf with the intent of collaborating with a wealth of emerging producers/composers and artists. Hailing from Milton Keynes and Luton based since a child, Wilcox started out drumming in rock bands before concentrating on his own music. Alongside his solo work Wilcox formed Harmony’s Descent with Mike Ziegler aka Centrist from Dekalb Il, the pair’s songwriting and music themed by all aspects of life, from anguish and loss through to happiness and love. Earlier this year saw the release of the Watts The Time and Moonlight EPs, both featuring Centrist, and now the again Fly Productionz Ltd along with Cygnus Music released The Co Lab Vol.1,  brings another varied and captivating encounter from Night Wolf.

The release opens with Move It On featuring German singer songwriter Elsadie Smith and J.A. from Luton trio Soul Rhymaz. Pulsating beats and equally full electronic caresses make the first embrace guided by the dark tones of J.A.; it is a mere moment though as the seductive tones of Smith wash over the ears, her graceful delivery gaining greater potency as the r&b narrative weaves around the senses. It is an elegant and mesmeric temptation with the merging of vocal differences as accomplished and bewitching as the sounds around them. It is a very decent start to the EP if one which pales against some of the following triumphs.

The first of which comes through Work Rate which finds both J.A. and Leo Soul from Soul Rhymaz as well as Liv The Pilot joining the haunting yet tantalising emotive croon. Crystalline melodies dance over the ear from start to finish, a celestial ambience adding to their sparkle but equally there is a sinister breath to the lure, one not far removed from the threatening tempting provided by the soundtrack to Halloween. Plainer vocals make a great compliment whilst the mellower delivery only adds extra warmth to the scenic musical canvas. It is an excellent trigger for the imagination and passions with only one moment where it felt like the cycle of music had come to an end midway and stutters as it returns to the start to roll again to query.

Sucker Free is the pinnacle of the release, its tribal stomping over an energetic hip hop vocal devilry irresistible. Again it is J.A. providing the vocal incentive as the song flexes its electronic muscles and rhythmic tantalising whilst sexy funk naughtiness sways and dances within the hypnotic romp. It is a masterful slice of imaginative bait to catch and spark the passions into a lively and eager hunger.

The following Enemy List is a simmering slow burning success, the smouldering heat and melodic allure of the song taking time to convince but with numerous excursions of its gentle and emotive expanse covered in the impressive tones of Greek singer Gregory Style, emerges as another strong encounter, if still one failing to find the same rich appeal of its predecessor. The guitar strokes provide the biggest highlight of the appealing song but sandwiched between what came before and the following Downgraded it had a tall order to fill, though its attempt is admirable and an easy to return to presence. The closing song which sees Centrsit with Night Wolf is another peak on the EP, a delicious melancholic instrumental lighting the emotions and thoughts, its emotively incendiary washes of strings and classical depths finding a sirenesque enticement.

The song completes a thoroughly enjoyable and emotionally inciting release. It is an unexpected treat to be honest as its style and predominate flavourings are not the usual spices for this musical palate, but one with which you can only see Night Wolf recruiting a wealth of new followers whilst inspiring existing fans to drool greedily.

www.facebook.com/nightwolfuk

www.soundcloud.com/nightwolfuk

8/10

RingMaster 04/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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