The Long Tall Texans – The Devil Made Us Do It

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     To create rock ‘n’ roll alchemy as scintillating and fresh as this you just have to suspect that the horned one did have a hand in its breeding as the title of this voracious riot suggests. The Devil Made Us Do It declare The Long Tall Texans on their return after eight years with a new album, but whatever part he had in its creation and the type of dues met all credit and ardour goes to the Brighton band who after two and a half decades still stand mighty in creating essential blistering rock n roll.

      Jammed to the rafters with predominantly Garry Castleman penned songs brought to insatiable life and realism by brother and guitarist Matt, drummer Theo, and vocalist/slap bassist Mark Carew ( also of The Hotknives), The Devil Made Us Do It rampages over and with the passions in a thoroughly captivating and enthrallingly expansive manner. It is a feisty merger of rockabilly, psychobilly, punk, and country twisted in one unique and impossibly contagious riot of rock ‘n’ roll. It has to be said that The Long Tall Texans has been doing this for ages, since day one to be fair, but their thirteen track stomp fest undoubtedly is their finest slab of devilry in a long time. Produced and engineered by Mark Roberts at Empora Recordings and mastered by Tim Rowkins, it is the first essential blaze of rock ‘n roll in 2014, a fire you suspect which will still be heading the field in this year’s twilight moments.

      The album turns the ignition for the ride ahead with the instrumental Taxi, a flaming climate of melodic heat in a western environment which is more sunset than sunrise and a wholly addictive start to the album. With a breath of surf rock to its smouldering temptation it makes way for the rascality of Girlfriend, a contagion clad stroll of sonic grooves and irrepressible hooks wrapped by a blend of rockabilly soaked in fifties irresistibility and just a little salacious enticement. The song requests rather than demands attention and the listener’s vocal assistance but the outcome is the same, full submission to its call.

   The cantering psychobilly charge of Kamikaze Killer is the band recalling its early days in many ways, a rapacious anthemic temptation of a song which again refuses to take no for an answer in its request on emotions and limbs. A glorious guitar sculpted blaze only adds thicker allurement to the track before the western swung Kill Me saunters in and seduces the ears all over again in its own individual enrapturing style. Four tracks in and every song on the album has been of unique character and presence to each other but uniformal in their efficiency in securing the fullest allegiance to their rock ‘n’ roll driven desires and nothing changes across the rest of the release.

    The stalking rabidity of Sex, Beer & Psychobilly chews on the senses next whilst simultaneously seducing them with grooves and riffs which demand a returning lust for their teasing. The guitar of Matt conjures a weave of addiction forging lures around flumes of melodic acidity; it is pure sonic manna and with the thumping beats of Theo caging recipient and song within the predatory sway of Carew’s irrepressible slapping, the song is another peak in the mountainous range of The Devil Made Us Do It.

     The pop lit Terry and the following riveting Let Me Go powers through the ears with a punkabilly urgency and growl which in the case of the first reminds of Australians Living End whilst the cowpunk spiced second of the pair offers an evolving roam through magnetically rich and varied flavours of rockabilly. For a great many the band deservedly is up there with the legends such as The Meteors, Demented Are Go, Batmobile, Stray Cats etc. and these songs alone prove to newcomers just why, whilst the album simply puts in stone the fact that The Long Tall Texans are masters now and then of raucous and mercilessly virulent rockabilly in all its off shooting guises.

     The excellent I Hate Myself again ventures into more punk based alchemy whilst its successors, the ridiculously addictive Covered In Sin and the country seeded What Part Of Fuck Off Don’t You Understand?, exploit the established rampant appetite for the whole release with their own epidemic of sonic inducements. The first of this pair is the stealer of top honours on the song, the dual vocal styling as potently compelling as the ravishing spree of musical toxicity led by riffs and hooks carrying more barbs than a jigsaw. Its companion is an argumentative encounter lyrically and a taunting slice of country rock musically veined with spices of country swing alongside tasty rhythm and blues additives, it and its predecessor continuing the extensive variation of the release and craft in songwriting impressively.

    The outstanding I Fell In Love With A Zombie and the simply exceptional I Used To Feel Funny provide more rigorously stimulating slabs of prime rockabilly and danger drenched psychobilly respectively, though as always it is just half of the story as numerous flavours stoke up the fires within the songs and the now over fed but still greedy emotions receiving them. The closing Feels Like Ice brings it all to a towering conclusion with a sensational heavily weighted brawl of intensive psychobilly scored with rockabilly lunacy and glam rock wantonness. If The Sweet were rockabilly you suspect they would have sounded like this hellacious bone rattling stamping provided by the album’s finale. Listening to it again as this is written maybe that best track decision is still under review after all.

     The Sunny Bastards released The Devil Made Us Do It is quite simply one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll albums of the past decade with little more to be added except to say that The Long Tall Texans still makes  the majority of bands, rockabilly or psychobilly sound like mere novices.

Check on https://www.facebook.com/groups/196671022357 to keep up with news of band and releases.

10/10

RingMaster 14/01/2014

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We All Die (Laughing) – Thoughtscanning

 

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     A long epic track going well into double figures time wise is never the most immediate persuasion here to be honest so it is fair to say that the debut album from We All Die (Laughing) with its single thirty three minute track was not the most instant appetiser and top of the list to cover. The fact that Thoughtscanning was released by Kaotoxin Records, a label which had a glorious year in releasing impressive inventive propositions in 2013, did encourage a dive into the proposition offered, plus the fact that the band consists of multi-talented musician and composer Déhà (C.O.A.G., Maladi) and vocalist Arno Strobl of Carnival In Coal and site favourites 6:33. It will prove to be one of the wisest decisions made this year at The RR and by anyone who immerse within what is an extraordinary experience and towering creative tempest. The album is a masterful enticement and admittedly challenging encounter but one all should bravely embrace.

    Creating a continually expanding landscape of emotionally drenched progressive dark metal, but with so much more to its 760137614821_TOX030_We-All-Die-(laughing)_Artwork_1400x1400-300imaginative adventure, Thoughtscanning is a piece of work which leaves the richest satisfaction and experience in its wake. We All Die (Laughing) first emerged as guest musicians on Eye Of Solitude’s EP The Deceit, their offering now reissued as a bonus track on the band’s recently released excellent album Canto III. Now the French-Bulgarian link-up fully unveils itself as a creative force to be reckoned with and incited by with their debut.

      A long guitar casts the first coaxing, its melodramatic voice and resonance a lone figure in a barren atmosphere but as potently evocative and imagination sparking as you could wish for. It has an essence of early-The Cure to its call which is enhanced with a wash of minimalistic melodic enticement and great earthy throaty tones from the bass. It is a deliciously magnetic entrance which is so powerful that when flames of skilfully sculpted guitar light the air a tinge of disappointment washes over emotions just for a second or two.

     From here on in the song slowly but clearly expands with its every second, the ever appealing vocals of Strobl adding another provocative aspect to the already compelling persuasion. Stretching further into its dark shadow drenched heart, the clean melodically built vocals merge with sanity bruising squalls whilst an intensity coats and increases the urgency of the sounds even when they find new avenues to slowly and elegantly investigate within the at times bordering on psychotic expulsion of emotional toxicity. It is impossible to clearly represent all that is going on and unleashed within Thoughtscanning but sure to say musically the track evolves through webs and mixtures of progressive and black metal, avant-garde and melodic death metal, doom and jazz metal with more besides, every minute a new recipe and provocation impossible to tear away from.

    As suggested earlier vocally the track also is a vibrantly shifting temptation, smooth melodic tones moving into guttural torrents with ease and in other moments creating a dark shadow through intensive deliveries which simply shape the syllables into an impacting and thought provoking narrative. Not for the first time in his career Strobl brings moments which are pure Mike Patton like to the persistently evocative adventure and in union with Déhà creates a maelstrom of seduction and venom which is as thrilling and compelling as the music surrounding their bait.

     The down side to the album?…well it is so long that it will definitely not suit all but it would be amiss not to say that there is never a moment where it is predictable and does not have senses and attention on alert for more breath-taking insurgences by the album into emotions and to be honest the track simply flies by, never feeling as long as it obviously is. Thoughtscanning is a thoroughly enthralling and impressive release which is a must investigation for all fans of anyone from Faith No More to Opeth, Periphery to Dark Tranquility, Tool to of course 6:33, in fact every metal fan as We All Die (Laughing) has something for all within their opus. With a limited-edition first pressing also containing a cover of Amy Winehouse track Back to Black, this is a must.

www.facebook.com/wealldielaughing

9.5/10

RingMaster 14/01/2014

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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Slippertails – There’s A Disturbing Trend

 

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     US rock band Slippertails is a bit of a mystery you will find when looking for info on the creators of new album There’s A Disturbing Trend. Based in New Jersey and formed by its members in Bloomington, Indiana where they roomed together, the band is apparently a duo though the only name seemingly offered up is that of frontman Nick Casertano who recorded demos alone in his basement which would eventually become this album. Other than that it is pretty much left to the imagination to wonder what the band is about, but what is not a secret is the stirring addictive sound band and release persuades with. A merger of sludge bred tendencies within an alternative rock/garage punk narrative and steered by a hypnotic vocal drawl which at times embraces shoegaze mesmerism, Slippertails creates a presence which worms deep under the skin and into the psyche with irreverent contagion.

     The album is not a flawless affair if being critical but such its potency and potential it is hard not to be excited about the prospects and future creativity of the band whilst glossing over any small negatives. Varied in fuzz drenched sonic spice and caustic imagination which sears and scores the senses, There’s A Disturbing Trend has a nagging almost pestilential beauty which just empowers and improves over time and though a raw lo-fi proposition which maybe will grate on some, the nine track tempest of noise is a masterful slice of sonic alchemy. The immediate description of the band’s sound which comes to mind is Frank Black meets Everclear, the latter thanks to the vocal delivery and alternative rock/grunge tendencies of songs, with plenty of Melvins juices in the mix but that is only part of the story to be honest as the songs soon reveal.

     Opening with its first single Hip New Jerk, the album makes an energetic entrance with keen punchy rhythms puncturing the instantly compelling smog of scuzzy guitar. The vocals of Casertano soon seize control with a Frank Black like presence which infuses into the heavy garage punk sounds too. It is an irresistible lure of a starter with a very relaxed breath which fits in perfectly with the more boisterous and scowling aspects of the song. A great single and opener it makes an early strong plateau for the album to maintain which the following Failure matches with its different type of temptation. A slow almost stalking encounter for the ears, the track seduces and intimidates with equal efficiency, flames of guitar smouldering in the air whilst bass and rhythms scowl belligerently beneath them. Again there is a Frank Black like suasion which predominantly seems to guide the inspirations for the whole album but it is not so overpowering as to dismiss any of the uniqueness of Slippertails.

     Both Walk and Garden State Of Mind ignite the appetite into a hungrier state of eagerness; the first from a hypnotic drum coaxing evolving a garage punk tempting which latches on to the exceptional rhythmic bait whilst a sonic web of guitar toxicity and effect showered vocals play out their narratives. It is one of those songs which holds a virulence which the emotions unavoidably get infected by whilst its successor with another crawling sonic festering of an approach, wraps its fuzz sculpted arms acidically around the ears before serenading them with delicious vocal harmonies alongside the ever engaging core vocal causticity of Casertano. The pair only inflates the already buoyant pleasure spread by the album and though it at times takes time to fully recruit the passions There’s A Disturbing Trend by this point already has full command of thoughts and emotions.

   The following pair of Gold Tooth and I Will Peel You Open move into that Everclear side of things, the vocals very much reminding of Art Alexakis whilst the expressive emotive sonic casting is a close cousin to that created by the Oregon band. It is fair to say that both songs fall short of what comes before them, the second almost labouring in its persuasion, but still the two ultimately convince with a craft and infectiousness which can and does only enhance the presence of the album. Things are soon back on course though with the brilliant All Seeing Eye, a song which sounds like Jesus and Mary Chain in tandem with House Of Love as they seduce The Walker Brothers. It is a transfixing mesmerism which leaves imagination and senses lost in a fuzz drizzled evocation of an emotively crafted sunset.

     The brief punk surge of Altar Wine also has a sixties temperament to its aggressive outburst whilst closing song I Wanna Take Pills With You is a psyche addled piece of sultry enchantment, a shadowed soaked melodic psychedelic glow of danger and seduction. It is a slow burning conclusion which like the album just gets more potent and magnetically thrilling over time and plays. There’s A Disturbing Trend is a striking encounter which makes you work for its rapture but pays handsomely with some quite enchantingly abrasive treasures.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Slippertails/487759917932606

8.5/10

RingMaster 14/01/2014

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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