The Duel – Waging War

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On the back of their previous impressive album alone, the new full-length from UK now wave punks The Duel has been one of the most highly anticipated releases in the genre this year and the last to be honest. Its impending arrival has sparked an almost feverish excitement and on the ‘eve ‘ of its unleashing it can be revealed that all your hopes and wishes for the band’s fifth album will have fallen short of what it magnificently uncages on the ears and passions. Consisting of nineteen mentally and physically impacting and inspiring tracks, Waging War is a glorious new and inventive adventure from a band which is no stranger to pushing itself, the listener, and punk into new potent grounds. The London quintet on the evidence of their album has quite simply found a new maturity and mouthwatering enterprise to songwriting and sound which only makes the future even more exciting.

The Duel has come a long way from that first meeting between vocalist Tara Rez and keyboardist Andy Thierum, after Tara applied to an ad in Melody Maker. From the joining up creatively and the founding of the band, The Duel has unleashed a quartet of albums which have one by one increased its stature and reputation whilst forging a status as one of the most inventive, passionate, and socially vocal emerging bands in UK punk. Debut album Let’s Finish What We Started in 2007 instantly drew strong attention which Childish Behavior two years later pushed to another level, but it was the 2011 All Aboard The Crazy Train which brought a more intensive spotlight upon the band. A year later the boldly experimental but still rigorously enthralling Soundtrack To The End Of The World (Story Of Zak Splash) revealed the eagerness to really push themselves and expectations. The acclaimed release set a new benchmark for the band whilst challenging fans to evolve with their sound, which they did with rapturous passion for the main. Waging War takes those seeds planted in its predecessor to a far loftier template for band and modern punk whilst simultaneously also embracing decades of punk and its origins. The result is an album which is as addictive and infectious as anything from the seventies with barbed hooks a plenty and as melodically seductive as any pop punk /new wave triumph release from the following decade. It also simultaneously provides a scintillatingly new and experimental adventure bred in the now. It is a richly stimulating encounter which puts The Duel on the frontline of punk rock.

The first striking impact from the album is the use of poetry and prose in between many of the songs. It is a potent and highly provocative ideation which wakes and stirs up thoughts and emotions time and time again. It is not just words though as each piece is wrapped in an embrace of diverse music which colours the dramatic and enthralling canvas set by the voices. Provided by Tara and guests Angie Bowie, Segs Jennings (The Ruts/Ruts DC), Ginger Coyote, and Dennis Just Dennis, those particular tracks slip easily and perfectly between songs which add depth to the spoken narratives and vice versa. The pieces share the same titles as the songs they precede, with Breakaway starting off the album. Keys elegantly court the poetry of Tara as a portentous atmosphere spills its breath around them. As with them all it is a proposition in itself, not an intro but a companion to the song itself which emerges from a great scuzzy electro mist from Andy with rigid rhythms from Pumpy and guitar grazes from Thanos Oscar Pap. It is a less than forceful start but one soaked in dark oppressive drama caressed by the croon of Tara which captures the imagination and an immediate appetite. As the song settles in thoughts a switch is flicked and urgency and energy accelerates to an eager stride which only reinforces the exciting start to the album.

From another piano led skirting this time to an Angie Bowie brewed narrative, Feel The Same dances with raw sonic flames and agitated the duelrhythms around the throaty tones of Chris McDougall’s bass and Tara’s potent vocals. It is an absorbing slice of anthemic rock pop, keys teasing and kissing throughout as energies romp with feisty appetites. An essence of old school punk breathes across the encounter but not as loudly as in the following Gotta Hold To Love. There is a sterner rough edge to riffs and rhythms from the start which the vocals and subsequent quaint twang of keys soothe though at times certainly Tara roars as potently as the guitars. The song is in many ways epitomises The Duel, the band able to produce the most virulently addictive and contagious propositions without the blatant and obvious use of candied hooks and predictable lures.

Things continue to grow in strength and pleasure as Under The Thumb next swaggers into ears. Once more the grouchy sound of seventies punk spices up the exceptional track, a X-Ray Spex toxicity igniting imagination and passions whilst guitars sculpt a web of virulently persuasive textures and simply irresistible bait. Its glory is swiftly matched by Brotherhood which comes after another deeply registering piece of word and sound. Opening on a rich earthy bassline, the song soon wraps the senses in an epidemically alluring groove which is then itself coated in the vibrant vocals of Tara. Atmosphere and sound intensifies as the song spreads its intent, riffs and hooks as an enthralling trap within a blazing web of creative suasion which equally nets everything from ears to emotions.

The first part of Light At The End is an instrumental with gloriously orchestrated structures which proves music itself can be as poetic as words. There is drama, mischief, and expressive endeavour to the piece which in some ways makes the song itself slightly underwhelming initially but with punchy beats and bass prods, the coaxing vocals of Tara and Andy, and the latter’s glassy keys invention the song is soon riding thoughts with relish and mesmeric enterprise. As with most tracks, its body is impressive and gripping but it is the small twists and slithers of ingenious imagination which means things evolve into something truly special, the unpredictable breaks and turns in the direction of the song and the unexpected vocal detours adding delicious extra spice as the song reaches its peak.

Colours next explores with keys which are almost Stranglers like at times as a rosy psychedelic glaze soaking the senses. With a gritty persistence from vocals and rhythms aligned to scorching sonic flames, the song is a riveting protagonist if not quite at the heights of certainly the previous pair of tracks. Both Salesman and Gimmi Your Thing are similar, the pair insatiable with strains of vintage punk simplicity courted by raw hunger of dirty rock ‘n’ roll but lacking the spark to light a major fire in the belly, though each still leaves a vigorously satisfying and compelling presence lingering in memory and emotions.

The album is back on its highest pinnacle with Urgency, an incredible anthem which lures total allegiance through a smouldering coaxing rather than all out lines of hooks and riotous bait but still achieves the same highly successful results. It is a masterful recruitment emulated to the same degree by Love Me Or You Don’t. Merging a reggae swagger with electronic discord and dub teasing, the track is a constantly twisting weave which never relaxes or lets the listener’s senses rest into one inviting premise, instead offering a magnetic and thrilling off kilter waltz which adds another inventive exciting turn in the call of the album.

Closing on the challenging incitement of War, it coming in two equally imposing and vigorously pleasing parts, Waging War is a dynamic fusion of passion induced imagination and bold invention scaling new inspirational heights for the band. The production of the release comes as its predecessor with a hollow essence which ensures everything resonates in touch as well as premise, meaning intensive cloudy essences thicken and flames find a chilled starkness and it works a treat. The Duel has been to the fore of European punk for many a year but with Waging War they are taking on the world and we for one would not bet against them after this triumph.

http://theduel.co.uk

http://www.ffruk.com

9.5/10

RingMaster 21/05/2014

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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Allusondrugs – Nervous

Allusondrugs Promo 1

UK alternative rock band Allusondrugs continue their very impressive and striking emergence, already signposted by two previous riveting singles, with a third in the tasty shape of the tantalising and bewitching Nervous. Providing another side and hue to their adventure and sound, the new single is a fire which smoulders just as potently as it blazes with stirring sonic flames. It also confirms that this is a band on the verge of potentially major horizons given the right opportunities and hearts to enthral.

Formed in 2012 and hailing from Castleford in West Yorkshire, the quintet has taken little time in capturing the passions locally and further afield with previous singles Plasters and the following MyCat/Fruit, as well as their highly thought of energetic live presence. The underground and main media has not been slow in embracing Allusondrugs either, a hug which you know will only get tighter as Nervous works its way around defences. Released like its predecessors on Clue Records, the band’s third single adds another magnetic piece to the jigsaw that is Allusondrugs’ sound. Every release has been distinctly different but openly related and you sense still only offers an incomplete picture of the band’s instinctive invention and aural canvas.

Nervous opens with jabbing beats to which a sonic swarm of melodic enticing drapes its temptation, the guitars weaving an acidic NERVOUS Front Covercoaxing which soars across the emerging scenery of the song. With dark bass shadows adding to the premise, it is a gripping entrance which just as swiftly as it seduces is transformed into a minimalistic sultry landscape which the still potent rhythms and lingering tendrils of melodies enrich as glorious vocals and harmonies expressively colour the new climate. The track at this point is like a mix of The Walker Brothers and The Pixies offering a sixties croon aligned to a sirenesque surf and psyche rock fusion. It is irresistibly mesmeric which the subsequent grunge bred eruptions only accentuates as they roar with the creative endeavour the band showed they were so efficient at in the last single. Impossibly infectious and healthily addictive, the song is a transfixing treat easily matching the might of its predecessors.

The lead song is accompanied by the similarly impressive and thrilling Handicapped, a wicked lure of noise rock which worms its way under the skin and into the heart within its opening seconds. A deviously contagious groove nags and squirms venomously around the senses first before grouchy beats join its toxic brilliance. It is not long before the heavy throated bass and additional caustic scrub of guitar add to the virulent erosion which is washed by again strikingly melodic and refreshing vocals with courting harmonies. There is a sense of UK band Jingo and US rockers Solar Halos to the evolving narrative of the song, strong spices in something which is unique and incredibly compelling, especially with its vein of Eastern mystique which whispers provocatively from within the fiery encounter.

Completed with an acoustic demo version of Nervous, the single is another simply sensational incitement from Allusondrugs, a band where only bad decisions and poor luck will stop them becoming one of the leading enticements of British rock.

Nervous is available digitally and as a limited edition CD run of 300 via Clue Records now!

https://www.facebook.com/Allusondrugs

UK Tour Dates:

30th May – Castleford – Black Bull (Headline Show)

31st May – Hertfordshire – Club 85 – Hitchin (w/ Fizzy Blood)

01st June – Oxford – Wheatsheaf (w/ Fizzy Blood)

04th June – Birmingham – Actress & Bishop (w/ Fizzy Blood)

05th June – Hereford – Herdsman (w/ Fizzy Blood)

06th June – Corby – Zombie Hut (w/ Fizzy Blood)

07th June = Lounge 41, Workington

10/10

RingMaster 21/05/2014

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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Olympique – The Reason I Came

photo by Hannah Schweiger

photo by Hannah Schweiger

When a band makes its entrance with a sound as rich in drama and atmospheric potency as it is in flowing melodies and emotive colour you have to sit up and take notice, and such is the case with the debut single from Austrian band Olympique. The Reason I Came is an enthralling introduction to the band, a melodramatic blend of alternative and melodic rock/pop with much more to its climate and texture. Accompanied by a just as captivating video, the song is so potent that alone it leaves little doubt that the band is a proposition heading towards an extensively wide spotlight.

Formed in 2009, the Salzburg trio of Fabian Woschnagg, Leo C. Scheichenost, and Nino Ebner began the band with the intent to ‘offset the classical image of the City with their melodramatic Independent-Pop-Rock.’ It is impossible to say on one song if they achieve their aim but taken from the forthcoming October released Crystal Palace, the Arcadia released single certainly hints at their success. It is a song which soars over and dives through melodic peaks and captivating harmonic terrains, all enclosed in an engrossing tapestry of angular guitars, expressive keys, and caging rhythms.

Opening with a breath of emotion clad keys courted by expressive strains of guitar and percussive coaxing the track swiftly unfurls its 10394676_763914726976786_1176726348362146970_nheart and impassioned melodies. They wrap their rich hues around thoughts and emotions with ease and are soon joined by the similarly enchanting and harmonious vocals. A dramatic punctuation to the immersive scenery comes as the appetite of the rhythms intensifies and fiery blazes of guitar erupt but it is just another aspect to an evocatively picturesque premise to the song. It is constantly revealing new corners and creative colours as it spreads almost voraciously across the imagination, providing an incredibly absorbing and flavoursome incitement. It is impossible to judge a band on one song as we said but anticipation and intrigue for their first album cannot avoid being brightly lit.

As mentioned the single comes in the company of a great video which was shot as the band spent four days on the road crossing through six countries. Taking in wild and lost places as well as war monuments in Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, and Austria on a journey which covered 2965 km, the video provides the visuals of three young men on a trek of self-discovery to perfectly accentuate the power and potency of the song.

The Reason I Came is quite simply a gripping and striking debut by Olympique, a band you should not be surprised to see and hear plenty of ahead, certainly come the release of Crystal Palace.

The Reason I Came is available now digitally via The Arcadia Agency

http://www.olympiqueofficial.com/

9/10

RingMaster 21/05/2014

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