The Creeping Ivies – Ghost World

The  Creeping Ivies

Taking senses and imagination on another psyche ripping helter skelter of raw and sonically sculpted rock ‘n’ roll, Scottish duo The Creeping Ivies unveil their second album Ghost World and prove themselves yet again to be one of the most exciting provocateurs of primal incitement. The new full-length from the band is a riotous seduction of garage punk and naked rock ‘n’ roll with plenty of spices from psychobilly to punk rock. It also sees the band at its most potent and insatiably virulent yet, the release loaded with deliciously caustic and masterfully magnetic, to steal from the title of one of their earlier songs, buzzbombs.

The Creeping Ivies consists of Becca Bomb providing piercing, coarsely sirenesque vocals and raw sonic guitar vivacity and Duncan Destruction who brings heavy thumping, rapaciously intruding beats to the thrilling equation. Their union is a simultaneously primitive and precisely sculpted enslaving of the senses, one which from day one intrigued and wildly enthralled. First release the Rock N Roll Party EP in 2011 stirred up attention and emotions with its synapse searing acidity and voracious rioting, that an ever present trait expanding with greater potency on the following Ghost Train EP and debut album Stay Wild, both in 2012. Inciting audiences just as dramatically with their live performances, which has seen them share a stage with the likes of  Viv Albertine of The Slits and Vic Godard & Subway Sect, the stature of The Creeping Ivies has increased constantly within the underground scene, their sound recalling many influences but undeniably unique to them. Last November the release of the double A-sided single What Would Joey Ramone Do? / Ramona Wolf teased and tempted as the band showed a continuing to evolve invention to their sonic exploits and imagination. It certainly led to the anticipation and expectations of their next album to intensify. The two tracks hinted at the possible magnificence of Ghost World but it is fair to say that its haunting intrusive delights have emerged as a far greater and dangerous triumph than hoped.

The Dundee pair open up the adventure with the album’s title track. Instantly a haunted caress of guitar glances over ears with a caustic kiss coverin tow as well as a rub of riffs and the joining tub thumping beats of Duncan. Immediately enticing in its noir lit breath and grazing ambience, the track pulsates as it worms its way under the skin laying irresistible bait for the entrance of Becca’s vocals. As ever her voice holds a definite Wanda Jackson meets Siouxsie Sioux texture and magnetism to it, intensity in her delivery searing flesh and air as she and the song hit their stride. With an addiction spawning groove and the delicious occasional blaze of harmonica from guest Homesick Aldo, the track takes little time to secure full submission for its tempting whilst showing the evolution in sound and songwriting maturity poised to consume the senses  in hand with the expected sonic feverishness of the band.

The following entangling chords of The Bridge provide an instant variation to the toxicity of the album; its opening fifties bred melodic teasing charming the listener before thrusting sinew packed beats and the wonderfully torrid vocal tones of Bomb into the appealing recipe. The hook which drew the first spark of ardour as the song started continues to vein the stomp whilst a resonating shimmer to the sound engulfs and exhilarates the senses. As with all their songs, the premise is uncomplicated and minimalistic but always thick in presence and invention leading to fully textured and imposing encounters.

The intimidating shadows of The Creeps consumes attention next, their threat and imposing provocation sizeable but defused by an excellent revelry of keys, vocal wails, and the urgent dance of hooks and harmonies. Short, sweet, and irresistible, the song is then put in its appealing place by Love Kills, a brilliant blend of sixties pop, garage punk, and rockabilly energy. Imagine The Shangri-Las and The Cramps in a saucy romantic triangle with Australian band Valentiine and you have the brilliant Love Kills. The track sways and romps with revelry and mischievousness to cast a perfect raw pop song on the passions.

Ramona Wolf just sounds better with each encounter since its single release last November. It’s almost spatial opening ambience paves the way for the vocal seduction of Becca to spread a temptress like devilry, a sonic medusa with a delivery writhing with searing harmonies and enslaving qualities. Musically the song is a repetitive narrative, punchy beats and scalding guitar probing and grazing respectively with singular intent beneath the harsh atmosphere of the tale. It is also quite glorious as is the next up Dream Baby Dream. Providing irrepressible flirting from the sax of Andrew Pattie within its scintillating fifties pop ravaging and punk seeded ravishing, the song stomps over and challenges the senses for another unruly treat, Bo Diddley meets Helen Shapiro at the home of The Trashmen.

Both Trippin’ Out and Haunted High School finger the passions in their individual ways next, the first a heart rapping rampage of jabbing beats and scarring riffs skirting the sinister drama. It is a tale of ghostly enterprise and inescapable rapacious shadows with a heartbeat which resonates through the bone and core of the evocative tale whilst melodic acidity and vocal colouring courts its intent. The excellent fierce smouldering is soon exceeded by What Would Joey Ramone Do?, a song which sculpts a raising of the spirits of Gene Vincent and Lux Interior with that of the song’s namesake. The track provides all you expect and much more, the Cochran/ Poison Ivy Rorschach like mix of guitar sound with the impossible contagious punk stomp of the song an epidemic for the passions.

Arguably the band saves the best till last, though every listen offers a different favourite. Forever Leather fuses sixties girl pop with a raw voracity, the song like the punk infected offspring of The Crystals and The Stooges with a heady dose of Siouxsie menace. It is a scintillating end to an outstanding album. The Creeping Ivies continue to impress as they evolve and push their boundaries, doing so without losing any of the elements which made them an unbridled addiction certainly for us since their early days. Whether their sound will ever find the major spotlight it deserves is impossible to say, such its uniqueness and undiluted rawness, but it will definitely recruit the most passionate and feverish passions from an increasingly growing legion of fans we suggest, it just needs the opportunity to make that infectious strike.

http://thecreepingivies.com/

http://thecreepingivies.bandcamp.com/

10/10

RingMaster 24/03/2014

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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October File – The Application of Loneliness, Ignorance, Misery, Love and Despair – An Introspective of the Human Condition

Ester Segarra

We have had a soft spot for UK protagonists October File ever since the unleashing of their How to Lose Friends and Alienate People EP and the soon following debut album A Long Walk on a Short Pier in 2004. It is a seemingly instinctive connection which has only increased over time and reached another pinnacle with the release of their new full-length The Application of Loneliness, Ignorance, Misery, Love and Despair – An Introspective of the Human Condition. A mouthful in name and an inspiring incitement in body, the Candlelight Records released album takes the imagination and passions on a tempestuous adventure throwing voracious riffs, rabid rhythms, and bordering on insidious grooves into evocative explorations of emotions and experiences. A concept album based on the aspects of its title in regard to the human state and its response to certain incitements, the nine track investigation is quite simply a riveting confrontation of highly flavoursome and esurient metal.

Formed in 2003 by guitarist Matt Lerwill and bassist Steve Beatty and finding specific inspiration in band such as Killing Joke, Amebix, Godflesh, and Gang Of Four as well as others within rock, punk, industrial, and underground metal, October File has created a presence which is distinctly uncompromising and unafraid to push its boundaries as shown by the new release. Completed by vocalist Ben Hollyer and drummer John Watt, the London based quartet soon left a deep mark through their opening album and even more so with the following Hallowed By Thy Army EP of 2006 and acclaimed second album Holy Armour from the Jaws of God a year later, the second of the two featuring Killing Joke frontman Jaz Coleman. Arguably even more rigorously potent live as on record, the band has savaged numerous festivals and a wealth of venues as well as touring with the likes of Killing Joke, Prong, Ministry, and Fear Factory over time. Third album Our Souls To You was unveiled to similarly potent responses and reviews on 2010 but with The Application of Loneliness, Ignorance, Misery, Love and Despair…. the band has sculpted and uncaged their most dramatically antagonistic and provocative exploration yet. Recorded with producer Jamie Gomez (Cathedral, Ulver, Altar of Plagues, Electric Wizard), it is a challenge armed with the all the intensive qualities and enthralling brilliance to feverishly ignite ears, thoughts, and emotions.

First track I Fuck The Day opens within a restrained but troubled melee of voice and brewing aggravation driven by a harsh guitar tone. It OctFile_Digi_Front_2014_old_logois a sonic portent which taunts as it encloses ears, building its oppressive coaxing until ready to unlock the tumultuous intensity and corrosive fury pent up inside. This it does with a tirade of rhythmic enslavement, vitriolic riffery, and a savage bass presence. This ferocity is soon led by the ever drama fuelled scowls of Hollyer, his delivery passionate and threatening. Just when you think you have a grip on the storm though it dips into a melodic detour, an elegant and emotive shift within a raw atmosphere. It is an intriguing movement before the track returns to its destructive sonic intent.

It is a tremendous start but soon left in the shadow of both Heroes Are Welcome and Reinvention. The first of the two thrusts its hungry sinews and rapacious energies at the senses from the first second, inviting grooves spiralling from within the impacting ferocity. The weight of the rhythms and riffs is as forceful and compelling as the intensity of the song’s heart, its presence like a mix of Mastodon and Prong in body and October File in sound. The synapse firing groove of the track is also delicious bait which simply accentuates the lure and veracity of the track, though it turns out once its successor steps forward to be just the appetiser for even more addiction crafting chastisement. The best track on the album, Reinvention lets the guitars score and abrase the senses first, softening up their victim before twisting out a groove which makes Ebola seem lightweight in virulence. The track soon has body, imagination, and soul crusading down its venomous landscape with greedy submission, its repetitive toxicity reminding of early Therapy? whilst the rhythmic manipulation of the senses and vocal poise of Hollyer leaning the way of equally early Killing Joke. It is a blistering escort for thoughts and emotions not forgetting passions into the inventive and evocative narrative of the release.

Following song, The Water takes longer to release all of its persuasion than the previous songs but ensures the journey is a riveting and thought stretching pleasure. Lasting over eleven minutes, the track slowly stretches and ambles from within a thick cascade of watery evocation before flexing its lumbering muscles and strolling causticity into a doom seeded march. Again that Coleman and co reference rears its unmissable head but only a flavour which accentuates the power and imposing majesty of the release. Chugging with incessant rhythmic hunger and breath stealing creative rabidity, the song consumes and seduces with the appetite of a deliberately stalking tsunami clad in epic dark intent within ruinous immersive depths.

The acoustic persuasion of Upon Reflection brings a break in the musical onslaught if not the emotive weight of the album, guitar and voice a potent spark before the exhausting Elation soars in with major intensity and a sonic endeavour winding tightly around the already rapturous appetite for the album. The order of these two songs may be reversed as the Bandcamp stream for the release had then the other way to the promo sent through to us.

As The Clouds Meet The Horizon pleasingly swamps air and senses next bringing a tidal wave of caustic almost pestilential seduction within a fierce rhythmic frame, grooves and hooks biting hard and digging deep for exhilarating expression and enticement. As with all the tracks there are twists and turns to the persistent repetition cored drive of the song which spellbinds and skilled guitar play which simply bewitches.

The album is closed by the equally thrilling All Rise All Fail, a track which sonically swaggers like a professional assassin and rages like a wounded bear, and finally the exceptional To Be Watched Upon. If the previous track was an angered animal, the last song is a bestial force of sound. Rhythms and riffs prowl, pound, and gnaw with incisive jaws whilst the bass discovers it’s most carnivorous voice yet. Danger and intimidation drips from every note as shadows and savage climates lurk ready to pounce and tear body and heart asunder. Leaning towards ten minutes of primal provocation, the sensational song is a charnel house of sonic acrimony drenched in venomous enterprise.

Released on 26th May, The Application of Loneliness, Ignorance, Misery, Love and Despair… is easily the finest and most dramatically imposing October File storm yet, a predator of sound and passion which leaves the majority of other bands and releases floundering in its turbulent wake.

http://octoberfile.bandcamp.com/

http://www.octoberfile.co.uk/

10/10

RingMaster 25/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Stillman – We Are The Trouble EP

stillman-promo-2-500

Stillman is one of those propositions which you find it difficult to fathom why a wider recognition is not in place around it. The band is the solo project of Londoner Chaz Craik, a musician which is no stranger to certainly acclaim with his previous releases but yet to find that fuse to a bigger spotlight within British rock. Whether new EP We Are The Trouble can be that trigger is arguable, though only time can tell, but certainly the three track release makes for an exciting and accomplished encounter of classic rock with eager essences of blues and plenty more to its vibrant persuasion reinforcing the potential and inventive quality of its creator.

Stillman released his first album on the TRL Music label in 2007, moving away from but still finding inspiration in his roots in the post-Britpop years. From the well-received People Like a Happy Ending, the release winning the Album of the Year award at the Glasswerk New Music Awards, Craik has continued to build and earn a potent presence and reputation in the rock underground earning good media responses and fan acclaim. The independently released Blood Dark Sea two years later garnered eager praise whilst the EPs Eton Mess and On Bended Knee, in 2012 saw the artist venture deeper into his rock passion and craft, again to very positive responses. We Are The Trouble takes it all further, creating a creatively engaging and skilfully crafted blaze of melodic rock which grips attention.

The title track starts things off, an immediate guitar croon spiralling to the top of the muscular coaxing. The fingers of Craik tease and stroke we-are-the-trouble-500 the strings of his guitar and thus ears with an instant temptation, the inventively designed suasion easily awakening imaginations and appetites. A throaty bass presence and crisp beats court the striking endeavour as does straightforward but attractive riffery aligned to the constant weave of melodic emprise. Increasingly potent the more you engage in the adventure, the song makes a thoroughly appetising starter with the smooth vocals of Craik gliding over and through the sounds to add to the colour of the song. Though personally a bit of a snarl to his tones would be welcome, his delivery only embraces and adds to the texture of song and release.

After the strong start, the release takes another upturn with the blues bred swagger that is Checking In. With swinging guitar clad hips and a keen rhythmic energy provided again by drummer Jason Emberton, the song strolls with a grin on its melodic face and mischief in its creative intent. Though the bluesy voice of the guitar is unmissable, the song is still a rocker at its core and has little difficulty in enlisting feet and emotions in its fiery persuasion whilst furthering the evidence of Craik’s skills.

The EP’s strongest moment is left till last. While Rome Burns emerges from similar blues bred seeds to its predecessor, its groove and lilt similar but with a stronger burn to its magnetic heat and virulent enticement. In full flight the irrepressible stomp has a Deep Purple like spice to its sound and a southern twang to its melodic voice. The song is a riveting urgent stroll which adds blues flames and the occasional and exceptional flume of Eastern mystique across its landscape to irresistible effect. It all makes for a glorious romp which alone shows why the wider rock world should pay attention to Stillman.

We Are The Trouble EP could be the spark to give Stillman a fuller spotlight to embrace, a greater audience to take his creative and inventive not forgetting very skilful adventure to. If not it still provides a thoroughly pleasing and vivacious slice of honest rock ‘n’ roll for us in the know, classic rock to feed the fullest needs and you cannot ask for much more than that really.

http://iamstillman.com/news

http://stillmanuk.bandcamp.com/album/we-are-the-trouble-ep

8.5/10

RingMaster 25/03/2014

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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