Slumlord Radio – No Trick Pony


Taking the dirty out of their previous impressive EP Tokyo Roadhouse Sonic Sex Castle, US punk ‘n’ rollers Slumlord Radio have caked it in further grime and scuzzy glazes for the new and equally compelling release No Trick Pony. The five track EP sees the Grand Rapids/Flint based band turn to the grimier side of their invention to unleash another brawling confrontation to incite senses and passions. Its sound twists and squalls with an antagonistic might which takes no prisoners and has no concerns with making friends, preferring to eyeball the imagination whilst brewing up a thick moonshine of sonic rewards.

Slumlord Radio was formed in 2010 and wasted no time in stirring up attention locally with their fiery mix of punk, heavy rock, and garage punk. Rich essences of sludge and hardcore also add their toxins to the uncompromising sound which sparked acclaim within 2012 debut release The Cats Pajamas EP. The following year saw Tokyo Roadhouse Sonic Sex Castle ignite another flood of attention and praise upon the band which No Trick Pony should only add to with its raw and raucous charm. The new EP like its predecessor does not break into new realms but similarly uncages a thrilling cluster of passionate and inventive endeavour which leaves the appetite greedy for much more. The trio of vocalist/guitarist Tommy Erickson, bassist Mike Todd, and drummer David Flynn, who has been left the band since the recording with Matt Claucherty replacing him to beat guitars laying down the living daylights out of rhythms, prey on the senses whilst treating them to aural riots which are not always an instant temptation but persistently end up a proposition eagerly devoured.

Devil You Know starts things off, opening up its presence with an early temptation complete with southern twang and expressive tone. The bass takes little time to join the coaxing before a vocal squall announces an expulsion of energy into a confident swagger which instantly recruits attention and appetite. With the coarse notes of Erickson similarly riling the air alongside the sounds, the track has an air of Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre to its country punk breath though one integrated in a dusty cloud of predatory rock ‘n’ roll. The track continues to prowl and stalk the senses, feeding it grooves and hooks as infectious bait whilst stirring up a dust storm with discord kissed and scuzz glazed voracity. It is a tremendous start to the EP which as mentioned earlier pushes the trio’s sound into its darkest dirtiest depths yet for thrilling results.

The following Scuzz delivers what you expect with its title but much more besides, it’s initial melodic enticement almost folk like in its touch and soon entwined in another punk bred canter of flailing rhythms and caustic riffs. It does come with restraint though which takes a firmer grip as the song dips into a magnetic stroll to flirt with the imagination. It is not allowed to play for long though as the fire in the belly of the track explodes into an abrasive and anthemic chorus before the mesmeric cycle begins again. The song was one which took a little longer than others to permeate emotions such its evolving intent, but with its masterful grooves and blazing aggressive energy, even in the quieter moments, and the stoner-esque twists which colour the outstanding imaginative encounter it emerged as the most potent and exciting proposition on the release.

Keeping the release on irresistible flight White Owls and Cheap Champagne comes in next with riffs and hooks blazing whilst rhythms beat their suasion with poise and skill. There is a weight to the track which smacks of a Sabbath-esque seeding whilst the corrosive air and vocal riling reminds of Social Distortion at times as the song proceeds to stomp, stalk, and incite the senses. Dirty insatiable rock ‘n’ roll at its most hellacious, the track provides another flavoursome antagonist to the release and spark for the passions even if against the previous triumphs it lies just behind.

The virulently contagious Riverboat Gambler stands toe to toe with ears next, the song another which enters on an epidemic of riffs and acidic grooves which seduce a submission within seconds before relaxing to expand its heart and narrative. The haze to the vocals and the resonating bass tempting grabs attention first whilst the guitars weave a distorted surface to their grooves and designs in a delicious merger of garage rock and grunge which is quietly ingenious. The track continues to seduce, employing a sixties punk spice to the agitated invention to stand side by side with Scuzz as the pinnacle of the release.

No Trick Pony closes with Freelance Viking, a vigorously captivating tapestry of sonic and scuzz lined intrigue. Easily the coarsest and rawest song on the encounter vocally and musically, it takes the longest time to convince though there is an addictive lure working away within the murky sound which ensures you go nowhere whilst it is offering its declaration. With a temptress of a sonically spawned melody and the scintillating bass sound courting its core, the track makes for an engrossing conclusion especially with the ferocious outburst of punk rock fury which comes in right at the very end.

Slumlord Radio continue to impress and stir up the passions as proven by the tremendous No Trick Pony; they are not for part time punk and dirt rockers but for those with a real passion for sonic bruises a prime joy on a steady and potent rise.

No Trick Pony is available now as a buy now name your price option at


RingMaster 14/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fragarak – Crypts Of Dissimulation



There has been quite a buzz brewing around Indian progressive death metallers Fragarak, certainly since the release of their debut album Crypts Of Dissimulation and now having been seduced by its startling invention and riveting adventure it is easy to see why. Though not flawless it is an extraordinary capture of the imagination, a constantly evolving and revealing journey for thoughts and emotions which casts a web of enterprise to seduce, bewilder, and thrill. There are moments where the New Delhi quintet arguably over do the intensive alignment of styles and ideation, times where tracks are never given the space to fully convince before being consumed by the next twist of endeavour but to be equally fair it only adds to the drama and captivation. For a debut Crypts Of Dissimulation is exceptional and the horizons for the band painfully exciting, for them and us.

Taking inspiration for their name from a legendary sword from the Celtic mythology, Fragarak was formed in early 2011 by close friends Kartikeya Sinha (bass), Ruben Franklin (guitar), and Sagar Siddhanti (drums). With the writing of songs soon underway the band line-up was swiftly completed with the addition of Supratim Sen (vocals) and Arpit Pradhan (guitar). Debut single Insurgence in 2012 ignited an eager following in the band’s homeland as well as a full anticipation for their debut full-length release. Consisting of six epic encounters, journeys of progressive and death metal weaves taken into a unique premise by the band, the Crypts of Dissimulation took the Indian metal scene by storm leading to the signing with underground label Transcending Obscurity, many tours, and appearances at festivals such as the 4th Entombed Metal Festival in Mumbai and Bangalore’s 2nd holding of the Evilution festival as well as extreme metal fest Pandemonium. Soon their presence and sound was permeating further afield specially within the US, whilst live the band continued to build an acclaimed reputation. Crypts of Dissimulation is working its way around the globe seemingly seducing all before and it is no surprise that the band is being welcomed with eager arms all over such the potential and already immense ability in their songwriting and performance.

The album opens with Savour The Defiance which immediately charms ears and thoughts with an elegant melodic caress of guitar coverwithin an encroaching brooding atmosphere. Keys also bring their grace to the portentous air wrapping the stringed coaxing, shadows and drama edging ever nearer within a growing energy which is as compelling as it is menacing. The guitar take a pause as the air intensifies before returning aligned to crisp rhythms, addictive grooves, and a ferocious vocal squall. Soon taking full and eager strides, the track unveils and explores its emotive scenery, the craft of Pradhan and Franklin bewitching within the reserved but strong tempest brewing up alongside the outstanding tonal throat of bass from the skilled plucking of Sinha. The song continues to croon and roar across its expansive landscape, emotions blazing or seducing throughout to match the imagination canvas of sound and ideation. As unpredictable and intriguing as it is skilfully woven and voraciously presented, the track is a glorious entry into album and band, a gateway like the album as a whole which needs a tide of listens to fully discover all of its corners, rewards, and at times over stretched instincts, but glorious all the same.

The following Insurgence savages the ears from its first breath, rampaging with the glee and predatory instincts of a stag in heat. Sinews subsequently thrust their keen persuasion across the rhythmic enticement and intensive riffery which cores the masterful incitement whilst grooves spear and entwine the imagination like acidic vines. The song is riveting, every moment a flood of addiction forging invention and anthemic persistence which leaves greed the potent reaction, a hunger only accentuated by the fluid drift into a melodic respite which is as virulently contagious as the bestial rapaciousness fuelling the rest of the encounter. It is a triumph which puts its predecessor in its place, the vocal fire and intensity alone a mouthwatering provocation which reveals as much about the heart of the song as the finely sculpted sounds and rabidity courting them.

     Effacing The Esotery continues the formidable and towering lure of the album, if without quite matching the heights of the previous pair. Its sonic adventure and rhythmic tsunami cages emotions right away, the trap irresistible as short grooves and melodic toxins engulf their prey. Again it is the seamless move into peaceful beauty which makes the most imposing and absorbing temptation, even within the ever poised violent voracity of energy and thought at the core of the song. The track makes a slave of attention and emotions, the brilliant bass exploits and rhythmic badgering exceptional triggers to a full submission in a torrent of nothing but insatiable persuasiveness, a trait employed by the wonderful instrumental Dissimulation: An Overture. Acoustically bred and emotional endowed, the piece floats through ears and across thoughts; the innocence of its ambience and air charming but shadowed by a dark heart beat and a desperate expulsion of breath. The track brings a respite for the imagination whilst simultaneously awakening new ventures to explore.

The album is completed by the brilliant Cryptic Convulsion and the equally transfixing Psalm Of Deliverance. The first of the two is an avalanche of torrential drumming, spiteful grooves, and unrelenting riffing, all under the commanding growl and venom of Sen. The track moves like a whirling dervish at times in energy and ideas as it works feverishly with its invention and the hunger of its recipient’s psyche. Once more the sonic painting cast by the song and band is scintillating and too much for senses and thoughts to absorb in just a few encounters. This ensures that the album becomes a continually giving adventure which it is hard to really raise an issue over. Its successor is another beauteous piece of music washed in a celestial ambience and precisely cultured emotive hues, a closing entrancement which helps leave Fragarak a lasting experience and Crypts Of Dissimulation live up to its reputation.

Crypts of Dissimulation is available now @


RingMaster 14/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Scream Arena – Self Titled

Scream Arena fireplace photo

Though their self-titled debut does not offer anything to truly blow the imagination away, UK rockers Scream Arena vein their release with an essence which makes it a very appetising and easy to return to venture. Consisting of twelve tracks which breathe from a hard rock heart whilst infusing rich spices of melodic metal aligned to a swagger related to glam rock, the album is an honestly satisfying encounter; nothing to get the passions racing but plenty to have them hungry for more.

Scream Arena was formed in 2005 by vocalist/songwriter Andy Paul in response to how he felt the rock scene was floundering at the time. Moving through numerous personnel changes, the band eventually found its potency and stability with the line-up guitarists Alex Mullings and Phil O’Dea, bassist Lincoln J. Roth, and drummer Michael Maleckyj alongside Paul. It was the linking up with US rock producer/musician Paul Sabu (David Bowie, Madonna, KISS, Shania Twain, Silent Rage) for the album which has provided the final spark to grabbing a richer spotlight for their sound and presence, something the release shines with. There is a certain Cooper-esque feel to the sound soaking each track and flavours from the likes of Motley Crue, Kiss, and Extreme seem to soak into the band’s invention which makes for a familiar offering with a refreshing and heartily pleasing presence but also a lack of uniqueness which all evens out for an easily pleasing and enjoyable proposition.

Opening track Born Ready revs itself up from the first second, riffs and rhythms a solidly coaxing lure which the guitar design of the Scream Arena - coverartsong explores with eagerness. Once into a purposeful stride with flailing sonic flumes wrapping notes and ears as the gruff tones of Paul eagerly travels the road of the song; it is a magnetic anthem awakening attention and appetite for the impending adventure, which the following engagement of The Price Of Love takes into another gear. Again there is nothing flash about the song, just straight forward and accomplished rock ‘n’ roll cored by infectious short grooves and an excellent rhythmic tempting. The bass also adds to the irrepressible bait of the song, its dark throaty tones a prowling shadow to the punkish twist of the song and the fluid addictive call of the band vocals across the chorus. The song easily confirms, alongside its predecessor, the strength and potency of Scream Arena’s sound and the strength of the album though levels do ebb and flow throughout its remainder.

   Racing To The End Of Night is the first lull in the contagion of the album, its melodic balladry and sensitive sonic enterprise excellently crafted alongside the kiss of eighties bred keys but the spark which made the previous songs notable is a dull light. Nevertheless the song makes for an evocative companion before the sturdier slightly antagonistic House of Pain brings its muscular body and rhythmic caging to bear on thoughts and emotions. The song is an instantly accessible pleasure with bass and drums again stealing the limelight before the stylish skill and colour of guitar takes its fair share of the spoils. With a chorus quite incendiary on the passions the track makes for a gripping incitement which is hard to say is equalled by the cover of Heartbreak Hotel which comes straight after. The song is a mixed bag and leaves thoughts undecided. Certainly the fact that the band turns it into their own song rather than producing just a straight a cover is commendable and very pleasing but it feels like something is missing, a vital ingredient to pull all their ideas into the gem it threatens but fails ultimately to be.

Another Night in London makes for a very easy to immerse in stroll whilst the lively and boisterous Knave Of Hearts romps with feisty intent and gripping invention to steal best track honours with ease. It arguably marks a more adventurous turn in the album with the excellent Forever unleashing emotive guitar expression and skilful rhythmic enticement alongside a similarly potent vocal lure. Goodnight LA is a paler and predictable if admittedly very decent meat between the previous slice of quality and the following pair of Somewhere and the sultry Queen Of Dreams. The first of the two is a hazy breeze of evocative sonic hues and spicy melodies which cradles thoughts and emotions bewitchingly whilst the second of the two soaks the ears in a warm melodic embrace clad in a smouldering glaze of sonic temptation.

With bonus track Heart Of The Rock rigorously and enjoyably bringing the album to a close, Scream Arena has provided a weighty persuasion which marks out their potential in lively colour. It is not a powerfully dramatic introduction to the York based band but certainly leaves no doubts that they are upon a potent ascent.

The Scream Arena album is available now via Mighty Music.


RingMaster 14/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from