Heavy Hand – Northwoods Knives

pic Mike Olen

Remember that first instinctive tingle and thrill when discovering The Pixies? Well stand by as you just might be getting a healthy hint of that with Heavy Hand, certainly our gut instincts and emotions felt a similar fingering upon hearing the band for the first time through their new album Northwoods Knives. Now we are not claiming they are going to rise to such influential and dynamic heights as the Boston quartet but they certainly have the potential and unique invention to make a very hefty impact.

The Milwaukee trio of vocalist/guitarist Anthony Weber, bassist Isa Carini, and drummer Chris Roberts, bring essences of their experiences past and presence from playing in bands such as Like Like The The The Death, The Scarring Party, and The Silence into the distinctly unique sonic character of Heavy Hand. Formed in 2011, the band first drew attention with their EP Confusion is Body Parts of the following year. Their songs leap at the senses and imagination even if at times some barely hang around long enough for a snack let alone a full meal. Such their ingenious flavouring though they all draw you straight back into their mischievous web of creative revelry, and we suspect as for us it will be impossible for most to listen to Northwoods Knives only once in each sitting of their insatiable and deliciously twisted, post punk spiced, noise rock ‘n’ pop.

Opening track is David Bowie Wants to Steal Your Baby, its title alone enough to get excited over and spark a lick of the lips for the devilry to come. Less than a minute long, the track is an instant blaze of acidic guitar swiftly joined 10296960_586252141494327_5213763507857338502_nby thumping beats and the pungent tones of bass. That is enough to incite the senses but once the yelping tones of Weber tease and spill their tangy expression in ears the track is a full seductive trap. The track continues to bounce and squeal along like a mix of The Mai Shi and Hot Hot Heat with the eccentric invention of The Victorian English Gentlemens Club, that last essence making stronger whispers throughout the rest of the EP.

It is a glorious start swiftly backed up by the outstanding Winner Winner (Beer for Dinner). A gnarly bass riff sets up the immediately eagerly devoured proposition, its predatory bait irresistible and only enhanced by the crispy percussion and beats of the drums and the punk seeded vocals. The track is soon in full swagger as searing scythes of guitar temptation flash across the compelling stroll of the incitement. Also reminding of UK band Frau Pouch, Heavy Hand and song proceed to enslave an ardour soaked reaction before stepping aside for the more pop soiled Milwaukee Cum Dumpster. Hooks lay siege to ears right away within a cage of forceful beats aligned to another twist of the voice and enterprise of the bass. There are whispers of The Pixies to the song but soon lost as it twists and flirts with imagination through burrowing grooves and sonic toxicity within a virulently contagious enticement.

Hot With Dads Tiger Beat Nation, even if it is hard to make sense of the title, makes an openly obvious yet unpredictable persuasion with a tasty jangle of riffs and infectious hooks. We have no idea of inspirations to the threesome but you have to suggest maybe Melvins makes a nudge to their creativity going by the song’s unrelenting teasing and sonic magnetism. It is a glorious provocation but soon put in its place by the exceptional Secret of These Wedges. Imagine The Minutemen meeting eighties UK band The Fire Engines and you get a whiff of the heated alchemy at play within the brief and epidemically potent track. As at this point more expected, sharp hooks and barb littered riffs tangle for a merciless tempting which only leaves you wanting so much more.

Not quite as dramatic but no less addictive, the next up I Freed All Four Wizards croons and yelps musically and vocally to twist ears and imagination around its little finger, or should that be short body, whilst the following Motherfucking Bobcat turns a brawl of sonic assault into a climate of stoner kissed grooves and adventurous rhythms courted by a heavy throated bass prowl. It is a snarl of a song but with a raw melodic colour and feisty attitude combining to again light up ears and thoughts, it also lays a seduction impossible to ignore.

The closing pair of tracks ensures the release ends on a high, Urban Coyote first up bringing a more expansive and less striking impact than others with its noise smoked sonic narrative but it smoulders with raw charm and smart invention to match the heights and appeal of the punchier, more direct tracks on Northwoods Knives. Its successor Bend at the Waist is another bout of pure virulence, playing like UK’s Houdini in a salacious intercourse with Dope Body but distinctly and imaginatively all Heavy Hand. Binding ears in a passion fuelled rampage of riff irritancy and rhythmic agitation bounded over by the irresistible squawking vocals, the track is an exhilarating sonic fire to lose bodily fluids over.

Northwoods Knives is exceptional, one of the most exciting releases this year and as suggested maybe the doorway to bigger things for the band; if not certainly its incorrigible arms will drag hordes more into the peculiar riveting world of Heavy Hand.

Northwoods Knives is available via Latest Flame now @ http://www.latestflame.com

and @ http://heavyhand.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heavy-Hand/122042274581985

10/10

RingMaster 27/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Bite The Shark – First Blood

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With a sound as snappy and hungry as their band name suggests, Bite The Shark have made one impressive and attention grabbing entrance with debut single First Blood. Consisting of three songs which roar and swagger with a muscular rock tenacity and punk ferocity, the release is an adrenaline charged juggernaut of rock ‘n’ roll. If you are looking for music unafraid to get dirty whilst spilling bodily fluids then letting Bite The Shark and its single clamp its jaws on you could be one of the wisest moves you make this year.

Hailing from Manchester, the UK band only formed in the early days of 2014 and has swiftly drawn a healthy attention and fan base their way. The recently released First Blood equally took no time in garnering acclaim and more, its success leading to an invitation to the trio of Rory O’Grady and brothers Adam and Edd Langmead, to record with Romesh Dodangoda (Motörhead, Bullet For My Valentine, Twin Atlantic) this September. Like the music within the single, it is fair to say that Bite The Shark is on a charge.

Gas & Air right away tells you all you need to know about its creators, rugged riffs immediately sizing up ears before welcoming imposing rhythms and spicy grooves. It is a striking entrance which is as bold in its presence as it is addictive Microsoft Word - bitesuarez.docxin its explosive enterprise. Elements of Turbonegro and Buckcherry whisper across the raucous adventure as well as spillages of old school punk rock, all resulting in a richly flavoursome and highly anthemic stomp. Hooks and increasingly infectious grooves continue to enslave ears and emotions whilst vocally the band provides a captivating call and brawl of passion drenched energy. The song seems to be the one the band’s fans has grasped to their hearts the most and it is easy to see why as it flirts and romps around the senses.

For us though it is Burn em to the ground (sometimes seemingly just called Burn) which ignites the biggest lust. The track is a beast of an encounter, its opening prowl of beats and bass grooving irresistible and only added to by the sonic squall from the almost belligerent invention of the guitar. Lyrically and musically the song has a snarl and attitude which finds its seeds in bands like The Clash and Stiff little Fingers, whilst its addictive grooves and rapier like swings of rhythms infuses a hard rock riot into its predation. Politically powered and lyrically accusing with a weight of sound and tenacity to back it up, the track is immense and the seal to believing Bite The Shark is definitely going places with the potential to make a lingering mark.

The single is completed by the acoustic track Ms. Ratshit, a song with a swing to it that is bordering on rockabilly and vocals which simply captivate. Based on One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, it is another contagious stomp to cast praise and ardour over.

Do expect to hear a lot about Bite the Shark ahead and if you are wise you will jump on board their ascent right away with First Blood.

First Blood is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/first-blood-single/id899365205

http://www.facebook.com/bitetheshark

9.5/10

RingMaster 27/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fornicus – Storming Heaven

Fornicus Promo Photo

If the hordes of the hell lay siege to the pearly gates above you can be sure US black metallers Fornicus will be to the fore sound-tracking the whole apocalyptic event with their incendiary debut album Storming Heaven. The self-released onslaught is a vicious torrent of sonic and pestilential animosity bound in compelling craft and inventive hostility. It is also a collection of individual triumphs combining to create one mouth-watering and blasphemous assault giving not only American but world black metal a refreshing shot in the arm.

It is fair to say that Storming Heaven is not a template to undiscovered realms within its genre but Fornicus has sculpted it with a tenacity and ingenuity that cannot avoid being some sort of inspiration to fans and bands alike. Hailing from America’s Bible belt, the Kentucky quartet emerged in 2013 and took little time in creating thrilling violations with a ferocious blend of black and thrash metal veined with a healthy staining of death metal insidiousness. Their first year was spent creating and honing their sound and songs before Scott (guitar/vocals), Chris (bass), David (drums), and subsequently Kelly (lead guitar), settled down to recording Storming Heaven in Scott’s own studio. Themed and driven by “a bold statement chastising Christ and his blind sheep for their “righteous” ways with the ultimate goal of destroying God’s Kingdom”, their album is a sonic pyre of discontent, malevolence, and hellacious enterprise which either sets the passions blaze or has them smouldering greedily, but never leaves then less than thoroughly satisfied.

The album opens with an intro called The Pledge, cinematic vocal samples and threatening atmospheres merging to intimidate and spark the imagination before We Are Sin launches a toxic web of whipping beats and caustic riffery. It is Fornicus Storming Heaven Artworkintensive and appealing bait which is enhanced by husky vocals squalls spraying venom with every syllable. The track soon strides with greater infectious enticement, riffs roving with relentless resourcefulness employing similarly addictive acidic grooves whilst vocally the varied voices of hell seem to have their gripping say. It is a masterful declaration of sound and intent brewing up a hungry appetite and intrigue for the devil inspired irreverence to come.

The following Pallium Mali intensifies the merciless infectiousness spawned in its predecessor, luring in the passions with a thrash seeded rampancy of riffs aligned to an addiction forging groove. There is an overall swagger to the blaze of persuasion too which is as open in the rhythms and guitar as in the caustic delivery of Scott. The track is an irresistible and mighty anthem of intent and uncompromising antagonism, but also casts a net of melodic endeavour and creative flames through the guitars which leave thoughts and passions greedier. It is the first major pinnacle of the album giving King of Egoists plenty to live up to. It makes a powerful fist of the challenge by coating its individual swing of beats and riffs with a hostile festering of abrasive maliciousness and corrosive rabidity. The track scars and entices with simultaneous and equal success, raging as it purposefully meanders with magnetic enterprise through its riveting and exciting tempest, only as its predecessor, the closing fade out a little annoying.

Both Into Obscurity and Thirst for God enthral and please with impressive effect, the first a maelstrom of spite and demonic demanding seared by a sonic and vocal enmity. It is an even more intensively imposing track than previous songs, a raw storm veined with inviting temptation whilst its successor is a doom leaden prowl preying on ears and emotions with erosive weight and ravenous ferocity. Neither song has quite the potency to inflame the heart as earlier tracks but both provide another depth and rigorous shade to the album which only adds to its strength and appeal.

An impressive cover of Sepultura’s Antichrist which comes next, the song painted in a black hearted tone and a bracing voracity which challenges the original. Its excellence is soon forgotten though as the brilliant title track sets out on its scintillating violation. From an opening avalanche of vindictive rhythms and a blazing sonic squall, the song hits the senses in a furnace of harsh causticity which in turn evolves into a ridiculously contagious, groove amidst a just as gripping charge of riffs. It is another track which intermittently goes for the jugular or slowly preys on ears and psyche, it’s stalking and rampage a fluid and constantly interchangeable treat.

The album is concluded by The Beckoning, the gates of hell and the band’s inventive hostility swung open for a final furnace of exhaustive and insatiable destructive antipathy. It is a mighty close to a tremendous release, one as suggested earlier with all the quality and bad blood to push Fornicus into a potent spotlight. Storming Heaven is an encounter for fans of bands like Marduk, Goatwhore, and Emperor but also the early settling of the band into its own distinctive corner, and well worth everyone’s investigation.

Storming Heaven is available digitally and on CD @ http://fornicus.bandcamp.com/album/storming-heaven-2 now

www.facebook.com/fornicus666

9/10

RingMaster 17/08/2014

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Display of Decay – Outbreak of Infection

BW - promo

From its outstanding cover art to its heaviest predatory note, Outbreak of Infection the new EP from Canadian death metallers Display of Decay, is one richly appetising and satisfying proposition. Unleashing five tracks which crawl and lumber over the senses with tenacious and skilled purpose, the release pushes the Edmonton based quartet another few strides towards the brightest spotlight. Maybe it does not hold any major surprises but without doubt the EP makes for a fresh and rigorously protagonist which is thoroughly compelling.

Formed in 2007, the band took little time in grabbing local attention with their old school bred death metal which, as shown on the new release, is unafraid to add doses of thrash and doom seeded ferociousness to the mix. First EP Blood Borne in 2010 brought the band to an instant attention which their band’s self-titled debut album two years later stretched even further, aided by their live presence which has seen Display of Decay infest western Canada with their sound whilst sharing stages with the likes of The Faceless, Origin, and Beyond Creation amongst many. Self-released as its three predecessors but their first international release, Outbreak of Infection has the potency to take the quartet to greater and wider attention, something hard not to see happening.

Display of Decay has recently expanded to a four piece with the addition of rhythm guitarist Jeremy Puffer, but Outbreak of Infection sees the combined talent and might of guitarist/vocalist Sean Watson, bassist/vocalist Tyler Display of Decay - coverGoudreau, and drummer Avery Desmarais uncage its creative pestilence on the senses. Opening track Born Of Rot immediately imposes itself on ears and imagination, riffs savage in touch and raw in voice. The steady rapacious start is soon striding with a thrash urgency and hunger as the heavy guttural tones of Goudreau growl into action. The song’s irresistible entrance loses none of its potency and voracity as the song expands with sonic tendrils amongst bestial bass lines and thumping rhythms. The band cites the likes of Pantera, Deicide, Vital Remains, Dying Fetus, and Bolt Thrower as influences and as the song tangles intimidating prowls and fury led surges essences of those hints come out in the flavour of the track, and EP overall.

The excellent start is continued by the following Manchurian Candidate, its reserved but open swing of riffs and short grooves infectious bait for ears to greedily latch on to. With a bestial charm, the song stalks the senses whilst flirting with strands of sonic enterprise which may not seduce as forcibly as the unrelenting heavy hunt of riffs and rhythms but certainly sparks a healthy intrigue and enjoyment through the craft and colour of Watson’s guitar. The song flows seamlessly into Praise The Gore, Goudreau and Desmarais setting up an imposing cage of rhythmic enticement to which Watson adds blistering sonic hues. Once again the band is adept at merging a furious charge and reserved gait with a flick of a chord, ensuring that predictability is never allowed to breed. As the last song, it does not quite rival the heights of the first track, but both ignite thoughts and emotions with a resourceful and inventive voracity which raises the pleasure found in the EP to another level.

The title track sears air and ears with a lashing of captivating grooves and a barrage of hostile rhythms all prowled over by Goudreau’s barbarous vocals. There is inescapable virulence to its enticement and energy which enslaves attention and emotions given extra potency by the dark intent and throaty twang of the bass as well as the inventive flames of the guitar. The song is incessant in its imposing presence and magnetic invention, and quite merciless in its hold of the passions.

Outbreak of Infection is brought to a fine close by a cover of the Kiss track Black Diamond, the song given a blackened make-over with death metal predation. It is a captivating version providing a pleasing finale to an excellent encounter. Display of Decay may have been Canadian metal’s pride and joy before but with the release of Outbreak of Infection maybe the rest of the world will now be making claims to the band’ time and attention.

The Outbreak of Infection EP is available now @ http://displayofdecay.bandcamp.com/

http://www.displayofdecay.net/

8.5/10

RingMaster 27/08/2014

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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