Damn Vandals – Rocket Out Of London

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It is fair to say that psyche rockers Damn Vandals swiftly set themselves a place in British rock as one of the most exhilarating and promising propositions with their 2012 debut album, Done For Desire. It was an encounter drenched in originality and a feverishly diverse flavouring setting the band apart from most. To confirm and stretch all of its potency within a new mentally twisting maelstrom of psychotic goodness, the London band now unleash the senses infestation that is Rocket Out Of London. It is a glorious swagger of caustic abrasion and acidic ingenuity honed from a brawling incitement of garage punk, psyche and stoner rock, as well as a vein of raw punk, simply put demented rock ‘n’ roll at its most addictive.

As for a great many, our admittedly eager affair with Damn Vandals began with the release of their Beautiful Mind EP, a widely acclaimed encounter awakening attention and appetite for the potential and instantly impressive presence of the band. The release and subsequent songs though was only the taster for bigger and major things to come, Done For Desire thrusting the quartet to new levels and into a richer spotlight with its release. Uncompromising but with a contagion to its presence which works under the skin like a welcome niggling itch, the band’s sound has found a new depth and power to its virulence with the new release whilst still retaining the raw dark textures and unhinged threat which stirred up the passions so quickly upon their emergence. As evidenced by Rocket Out Of London, it has become a twisting intrusive beast which wraps with almost insidious intent around the ears, permeating every pore and synapse with an exhaustive toxicity which simply ignites the imagination and passions. Produced by Julian Simmons (Midlake, Ed Sheeran, Guillemots, Goldheart Assembly) as was its predecessor, the album takes the listener on a dirty and intimidatingly shadowed ride through explorations of themes such as celebrity stalking, hard liquor, death by dreams, madness and homeland security amongst many but ultimately just through the creative mad ingenuity of the band.

The album opens with the first single uncaged from its wonderful aural rapaciousness, Twist Up And Tangle. Released mid-March, the dv coversong laid down the strongest bait for the full-length and still holds its intensive grip with an epidemic bait of granite sculpted rhythmic punches and scything sonic swipes of guitar. From its first second the song is an inescapable cage for the senses and emotions, a scarring provocation soon given richer fuel by the ever distinct and voraciously delivered vocals of Jack Kansas. The track is swiftly into a predatory stride, prowling around the ears with a sonically slavering intensity from the guitar of Frank Pick and the dark throated voice of bass held in rein by Adam Kilemore Gardens but still adding commanding menace to the whole of the psychotic fare. It is a masterful and insatiable stalking driven by the magnetic beats of Chris Christianson, but one which with its spewing discord and melodic flames as well as corrosive hooks and breath, provides a raucous dance to shield the fact we are being preyed upon.

Like a mix of Fatima Mansions meets The Birthday Party, the opener alone wakes a hunger to which the following Cities Of A Plastic World adds its own imaginative virulence. The track opens with a rhythmic drama speared by a ridiculously contagious hook, its abrasing hot touch a niggling pleasure just hard to get enough of. Around its tempting Kansas again parades the song’s narrative with unbridled expression whilst the guitar of Pick continuously lights up new corners and adventures to court his primary enticement with skill and enterprise, the album easily his finest inventive and moment yet, as it is of the band itself. The track sculpts another immediate pinnacle in the impending lofty range of the album and is soon equalled by Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live, a sultry stroll with a citrus edge to its grooves and melodic teasing. There is a definite lick of Queens Of The Stone Age initially and Eagles of Death Metal later to its constant erosive taste and hypnotic stance.

I Bring You Love which made up part of the earlier mentioned single keeps the album coursing potently through the body, its psychobilly/Cajun swamp-esque stomp with sliding toxic mesmerism and blues bred frisking irresistible. The track just gets better and more virulent with every crossing of its red-neck terrain with dirty violating rock ‘n’ roll scenery. With more than a feel of Screaming Blue Messiahs to it and always an essence of the previously mentioned Cathal Coughlan led band to the presence of Damn Vandals, the track is a delicious lingering antagonist to unreservedly submit to.

Both Number One Fan and Whisky Going Free provide a new mischief to fully devote attention and passions to, the first merging classic and incendiary garage rock for a rampaging stomp built upon the intensive frame work of Christianson, a cage again laced with riveting guitar revelry and craft. Its successor sidles boisterously up to the ears with tight sinews and deviously coaxing addictive grooves, the track a less expansive dark tango than say the last but with a no less leaner determination in its air and voice to seduce and inflame the passions, which it does with ease.

The following I Hate School hits the spot perfectly but lacks the spark of other tracks, a familiarity and somewhat predictable essence to its body slipping up against the surrounding triumphs. To put it into context though, with absorbing blues/psychedelically teased guitar invention from Pick and a certain unavoidable catchiness to its lure, the song still has feet and emotions fully engaged before next up Mad As Hell takes them on a similarly successful and potent ride, if again without quite matching earlier heady heights. The track rumbles and strolls with attitude and a thought immersing design all the same to keep the fire for the album burning eagerly.

The closing pair of tracks takes the release back to its highest plateaus, the first This Music Blows My Tiny Mind, another incitement with the stance of a predator and the drive of a volcanic eruption expelling sizzling melodic flames, searing hooks, and climactic rhythms building to a quite scintillating final drama. Its successor, the title track brings the album to a glorious closure, its addiction forging rhythmic slavery and scorching guitar endeavour an inescapable virulence guided as masterly as ever by the gripping tones of Kansas. Like a mix of QOTSA, Julian Cope, and Rocket From The Crypt, the track is a brilliant finale to a quite outstanding taking of the soul.

Rocket Over London with ease reveals that Damn Vandals is no longer the potential future of certainly raw British rock ‘n’ roll and garage punk but the template.

http://www.damnvandals.co.uk

http://damnvandals.bandcamp.com/album/rocket-out-of-london

9.5/10

RingMaster 07/04/2014

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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The Afterparty – Distances

TAP'14

Distances the new mini album from UK rock band The Afterparty is one of those thrilling releases which makes a sizeable and instantly agreeable initial impression but over a brief time it has hooked the emotions, reeled them rigorously in, and locked them away in an inescapable cage of lustful appreciation. It is a formidable beast of an album fusing melodic and alternative rock into one exhilarating riot of sound and passion. It is also an encounter which suggests that The Afterparty is still a work in progress which only adds to the excitement generated by the six track tempestuous stomp.

There is little we can reveal about the band except they consist of vocalist Nic Matthews, guitarists Matt Semmens and Joe Roshier, bassist Dave Sheard, and drummer Matt Russell, were formed in 2010, and have just come off a successful UK tour with We Caught The Castle and Road To Horizon. To be honest their music does all of the talking and Distances certainly shouts loud and vivaciously for them. Produced by Matt O’Grady and bringing previously released singles into a healthy union with new tracks, the self-released album lights up the imagination from start to finish, suggesting that The Afterparty is more than ready to explode into an intensive spotlight; an attention it is not hard to expect coming their way sooner rather than later.

Lost Cause opens things up and is sooner thrusting melody fuelled riffs and grooves with a pleasingly abrasive edge through the ears, The Afterparty 'Distances'vocals smoothing their passage with strong harmonies and expressive intent. The bass of Sheard just as quickly as the guitars grabs attention; its throaty tones a riveting shadow to the scorching enterprise and adventure sculpted by Semmens and Roshier. The at times rumbling rhythms from Russell also steal their fair portion of the scenery; his athletic craft understanding restraint and aggression within a song perfectly. The track continues to leap upon and side step expectations with invention and exhausting endeavour as it provides a thoroughly contagious and invigorating start to the release.

The following Cover Up strides purposely as its makes its entrance before relaxing into a niggling persistence of guitar soon joined by a clean vocal narrative and framing beats courted by the ever dramatic voice of the bass. It is not long before the song is into the pungent stroll of the chorus, infectiousness and climactic emotions a crescendo of irresistible and slightly familiar if indefinable persuasion. Like the first track, it intrigues with its unpredictability within a well-defined body of sound and intent, and like every song a fascinating proposition to surprise and enthral.

By the end of each track you feel you know them as a close friend such their addictive prowess and easily accessible inventiveness, the next up Open Road being no exception. The song romps with sinews an open attraction from its first breath but reins them in as the band explores the emotive landscape cast leading to the ridiculously catchy chorus, another explosive anthemic temptation which this time has a definite Fleetwood Mac to its melodic lures. One of the first singles to draw people into the arms of The Afterparty it is clear to see why with its easy but potent bait.

The band’s latest single When The Lights Go Out initially is a gentle walk with elegant stroking melodies though that bass once more adds virulently tempting shadows. It is a strong if under whelming start but within a minute things turn into a furnace of passion and inflammatory energy which simply awakens the song, musically, vocally, and in heart. It is an absorbing and anthemic fire, guitars igniting the air and rhythms caging all of the passion of the vocals and sonic endeavour within their commanding presence masterfully.

The outstanding Liar Liar comes next, the track thrusting its almost antagonistic intent and muscular body at the ears with riffs barracking and grooves entwining the senses whilst rhythms lay down their own hungry bruising. It is a glorious start with Matthews roaring as he rides their charge, subsequently bringing a harmonic union with the band when the song nestles into a less forceful but similarly imposing stance. It along with its predecessor discovers the perfect union of reserve and ferocity, restraint and fiery emotive expulsions, both telling you all you need to know about The Afterparty and the reasons you should watch them closely. The closing Within The Looking Glass only adds to that evidence with its drama and intensive emotion not forgetting immense musical quality.

It is hard not to be excited by Distances, especially as despite how mighty it is the suggestion that The Afterparty is still in the earlier stages of their creative journey is strong. It is another step in their ascent to eagerly relish and breed a hunger over but easy to feel that it is just the beginning of many very notable and inspirational horizons ahead which only increases thrilled anticipation.

https://www.facebook.com/theafterpartyofficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 07/04/2014

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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Ferium – Reflections

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Parading a roaring muscular sound built from numerous metallic essences around a death metal spine, Israeli metallers Ferium more than lives up to the brewing buzz around them with debut album Reflections. Twelve slabs of creative brutality and imaginatively skilled endeavour, the release is a formidable and striking big step into the wider metal world, one which hits hard and impressively initially but only truly reveals its depths and strengths and those of the band across numerous exploits with its intrusive presence. The quintet delves into the rich wells of groove, technical, general extreme metal and more to enhance their core viciousness and persuasion, a fusion as proven by their first full-length which is something not exactly unique but definitely seizing attention and a hungry appetite as it starts setting its own path now and for the future.

Ferium was formed in 2006 taking initial inspirations of Pantera and Lamb Of God into their intent though that expanded over the years with influences from the likes of Textures, Gojira, and Death adding to the fuel driving their invention. Equally growing up in Haifa and the situation in their country has added depth to the lyrical and musical side of their emergence. The band does not directly or openly explore any aspect of the conflict and climate they grew within and felt personally but it is scenery which has brought a raw and uncompromising breath to their sound and presence. Their first release, The New Law EP in 2009 took the band into a strong spotlight at home and further afield, helping to lead Ferium to appearances at big home events such as Summer Carnage and Hallejujahas well as those abroad like Wacken 2009. Last year saw a more intensive time for the band, tours supporting The Agonist, Threat Signal, Mors Principium Est, and Dawn Heist around Europe and the UK following a show opening for Gojira in Israel. The end of 2013 was marked by the band signing a deal with Transcend Music and the worldwide distribution for the 2012 recorded Reflections, a release you sense could open up a highly receptive hunger for their presence.

Opening track By The Book lays an initial abrasive guitar coaxing upon the ears, a sonic wind brewing alongside it before being punctured Reflections Coverby the heavy probing rhythms of drummer Ron Amar. It is an intriguing start, one offering various options of where the song and album might go without revealing anything too soon. It is not long though before the drums increase their pressure, the bass of Yoni Biton closes in with dark intensive shadows, and the guitars of Elram Boxer and Guy Goldenberg sculpt a weave of tight grooves and searing riffs to transfix thoughts and emotions. With the harsh yet welcoming vocal abrasion of Tiran Ezra unleashing the first narrative, the track wakes up eager attention early, leading it into a magnetic fascination which in turn ignites the imagination. The thrilling song does not really explode at any point but is a constant blaze of invention and technical prowess which is stretched to more dramatic adventures across the album, in fact right away with DownHill From Nothing.

The second song entwines the ears in an infection fuelled groove from its first breath, the guitars seducing with full potency as bass and drums badger the senses into another swift submission. Again the vocals graze and roar with an unbridled causticity but only to accentuate the virulent lure of the song. The bass of Biton prowls and growls with understated but open ingenuity throughout the tempestuous offering yet it is the work of Boxer and Goldenberg which more often than not steals the focus upon the song, the melodies and emotive designs from their strings richly colouring song and imagination. Like the first it has an inescapable contagion to its enterprise and especially its grooved bait, and like its successor draws a greedy appetite for its invention.

Both The Very Existence and Mirror exploit an already eager attention with their individual persuasions, the first creating a weave of djent seeded technical manipulation with an almost thrash spawned antagonistic fury of death metal with metalcore bred essences. It is heavier and more intense than its predecessors without dismissing any of the melodically nurtured sonic exploration which marked their success. With a strong evocative ambience also washing the canvas of the song it is a thought provoking and longer to convince encounter, as is its successor though both refuse to relinquish the grip already seized by the release. The second of these two squall over and ravage the senses with again a stronger rabidity; vocally and rhythmically the track an abusive suasion whilst sonically it sears air and flesh, the combination another offering to feed the hunger inside.

The entrance of Side Effects is exceptional, an intimidating but irresistible gentle tempting from the guitars and the perfect lure into the spiteful aggression to follow. Its gait is almost stalking the ears whilst the outstanding bass hook and acidic guitar toxicity steals the passions below an unreserved rhythmic provocation. Its masterful adventure is replaced by the instrumental The Black Eyes, a piece ripe with classical keys elegance and scuzz surfaced energy. It is music which builds its size and intensity across its skilful narrative, inviting the imagination to cast its own tale though it is less successful with the passions especially with the bestial Lust Fool bursting in right away. It is a bear of a song, muscles holding sway within the black density and throat of the onslaught whilst the guitars lash and rhythms pummel the senses around the ever malicious vocals. It is a drama fuelled, adrenaline driven monstrosity of an encounter and thoroughly scintillating.

After the similarly predacious Caustic Value, an intrusion which easily feeds wants without lighting fires, the album takes another upturn with the brilliant Change Of Winds soon matched by Business On Demand. The first of the two romps with and dancing over ears and senses with grooves and jagged riffery from its first second, the track gnawing, jarring, and disorientating senses magnificently whilst Ezra riles syllables and tones for an equally malevolently textured assault, his variety in delivery a constant pleasure. The track twists and lurches wonderfully, all the time depleting energy and scything slices from the synapses until an exhausted pleasure lies in its wake, one soon re-energised by its successor. An open and familiar groove leads the way under the persistent cosh of rhythms and barracking riffs, the temptation recruiting full allegiance for the subsequent savagery vocally and musically which envelops the still dominant groove cast toxins.  Both tracks provide the pinnacle of the album and the band’s songwriting in brutality and epidemic seduction.

The album is concluded by Blood and its title track, the pair insatiable trespasses bringing an outstanding release to a mighty end, the first of the two an insidiously nasty demonic capture of ears and beyond whilst the last song simply churns up and suffocates emotions with mouthwatering invention and crippling intensity respectively. Wrapped in excellent artwork from Eliran Kantor (Hatebreed, Sodom, Atheist), Reflections is extreme metal of the highest order and shows Ferium as having the potential of forging truly major horizons ahead whilst giving a rather breath-taking treat for the now.

http://www.feriumband.com/

9/10

RingMaster 07/04/2014

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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Midday Committee – Girls In Open C

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UK pop punks Midday Committee continue their steady and increasingly impressive emergence with new release Girls In Open C, a six track plus intro mini album of melody rich emotively designed pop songs with a raw edge to their presence and energy. There has certainly been a buzz around the Portsmouth quartet across the south of England for their vibrant presence, shows with Kids In Glass Houses, Lower Than Atlantis, Mallory Knox and Verses adding to their strong stock, but with a newer grazing glaze to their sound that attention threatens to spread much further afield through the new release. Arguably there is nothing dramatically new to the songs upon the release, a familiarity always making its hints to stop the band from distinctly standing apart from other similarly genre clad bands, but equally there is a craft and passion not forgetting creativity to the foursome which ensures they are not just another easily forgettable proposition. With songs which linger and hooks that dig in deeply to prolong the potency of tracks long after they have finished their declarations, Midday Committee warrant eager attention.

Formed towards the end of 2010, the band has been through the expected line-up changes in its initial growth as well as less assumed happenings like near fatal accidents involving Jet Ski’s to build a presence with the prowess to turn heads and light fires as their increasingly potent fanbase proves. Their previously two EPs, Nice Kids, Bad Judge Of Character in 2011 and I’m Sure Someone Mentioned A Cheque the following year, marked out the band for acclaim and attention but it is fair to say that the Matt O’Grady produced Girls In Open C sees the band at a new level in songwriting, sound, and craft. As all good pop punk proposals, the songs making up the release are as anthemically infectious as they are melodically bewitching, whilst the heart and passion of the band soaks every note and syllable so that the release may not be unique but it is undeniable contagious and a long term engagement.

From a fourteen track Intro which maybe has been given a track listing of its own just to say there are seven offerings on the release (too Frontcynical?), things start properly with I Swear To God I’m Going To Pistol Whip The Next Guy Who Says Shenanigans, a track which emerges from the coaxing of that potent brief starting piece. The guitars of Rich Sanders and Keiran Heath cast a pleasing graze of riffs and sonic tempting across the ears but it is the great throaty tone of Adam Hall’s bass which steal the initial focus most of all. That is until the excellent vocals lay their compelling hand on the suasion. Whether it is Sanders or Heath which leads the narrative, both driving the vocals together across the release, we cannot say but it is hard not to take to the delivery as keenly the potent sounds around them. With the drums of Kurtis Maiden a respectful but thumping protagonist to it all, the song makes a powerful marker for the release to follow. Melodies and hooks do not demand but command a healthy appetite towards them whilst the accomplished stance and flavoursome weave of enterprise just catches the imagination.

Maybe I Should opens up with a similar melody to its predecessor though it is soon courted by distinctly different rhythmic bait and guitar sculpted endeavour. As the first everything from the individual skills and united melodic enticement is easily accessible and infectious though the track does lack the spark of its predecessor, that little something to lick at and tease the passions into a stronger submission. Nevertheless with precise hooks and good group vocal calls the track continues the strong start with ease which Casino through a slower emotive showing matches. The shadowed dark tones of the bass once more seduces whilst the emotionally atmospheric caress of vocals and guitar bring senses and emotions thoughtful satisfaction which is lit further by the ever catchy choruses.

The pair of the virulently infectious and inventively bright Hometowns and the eagerly vivacious in energy and charge Game’s Been Called, keep spirits lively and pleasure intense, both rife with addictive hooks and ear seducing melodies all coming with a bite and edge to captivate further. Again there is that definite surface familiarity across songs which prevents some tracks leaping out as they should but beneath that with focus there is plenty simmering and subtly inventing within songs which ultimately stand out, and in the case of the second of these two with an open blaze of dramatically imaginative persuasion leaning into a classic closing vocal lure.

The release is finished by the excellent Just Me And You which features Christina Rotondo of the also impressive and well worth checking out Searching Alaska. The song starts out as an acoustic embrace with simply bewitching dual vocals which alternately embrace the senses. The track is a delicious encounter which if remaining in this state would have brought the curtain down to a rousing applause but once the vocals hold hands and the rest of the band flesh out their emotive hues, the track becomes an evocative fire.

It is easy to see why Midday Committee is highly thought of by a great many and with Girls In Open C expect them to move into a more intensive and deserved spotlight. The release also suggests that the band is still evolving with plenty left in them to discover and explore which has anticipation already quite excited.

Check out the video for Hometowns @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUQwO5_evP8

https://www.facebook.com/Middaycommittee

http://middaycommittee.bandcamp.com/

8/10

RingMaster 07/04/2014

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