XII Boar – Pitworthy

XII Boar - Photo Landscape 2

Trampled under the heavy booted sounds of their excellent self-titled debut EP four years ago, UK heavy rockers XII Boar have just got sonically fiercer and more virulently compelling over time. Subsequent releases have continued the ignition of a hungry appetite in the British underground rock/metal scene for their rampantly aggressive and virulently grooved sounds, though nothing before matches up to the thrilling Southern fried might of debut album Pitworthy. Bulked up with ten tracks of muscular temptation with a mischievous glint in their eyes, the album is a thunderous stomp of virulently primal and dirty rock ‘n’ roll.

XII Boar hail from Aldershot and first came to light in 2010. It was not long before their blend of voracious metal and heavily slung rock ‘n’ roll was breeding a potent and loyal local following around Hampshire and the South East of the UK. Growing increasingly more distinct and individual to the band over time, their sound takes the richest and most aggressive strains of stoner, doom, blues, and southern metal and turns it into one incendiary blaze of sound, imagine Black Sabbath and Corrosion of Conformity colluding with Motorhead and Black Tusk for an inkling. It is probably fair to say that their early days which included that first EP, the band musically was offering a familiar if exciting proposal but as the Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof EP of 2012 and especially the single Truck Stop Baby last year came and went, XII Boar showed they were breeding their own musical identity, a presence now grabbing the passions in Pitworthy. It still has an instantly recognisable flavouring but now from the band’s own open sound rather than having a thick feel of others, though ripe hints are still a welcome spicing.

Live XII Boar has continued to impress and lure acclaim too, shows over the years with Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, ASG, and Karma To Burn as well as appearances at Bloodstock, Desert Fest, and Hard Rock Hell adding to their rising stature. It is a live feel which also seems to vein the new album, its tracks rampaging with that edge generally stages only inspire and immediately adding extra potency to the creativity and energy of album opener Sharpshooter. The song is introduced by a wrestling/boxing match like ring barker, and its entrance lit by a flame of sonic coaxing from the guitar of Tommy Hardrocks. That initial expulsion is swiftly left behind though as grooves flirt with and immediately entice ears as the thumping beats of Dave Wilbraham begin the incessant and invigorating battering which charges up the whole album. With the great heavy throated lure of Adam Thomas’ bass snarling with bestial temptation within it all, the trio has attention and imagination gripped. Hardrocks vocally roars and growls as the music around him, but already there are unpredictable twists and adventures crawling through the song. With older tracks in many ways once established you knew where they were creatively going but in the first song alone, Pitworthy reveals a fascinating depth and exciting tenacity to pull Coverout the middle finger on expectations. Bottomline though is that the track is one commanding irresistible stomp, with all guns blazing and nostrils flared.

It is the same with the following Young Man, and to be honest the rest of the album too. The second song has a stronger blues spice to its fiery blood, toxic melodies and tantalising grooves providing the intoxicating liquor veining and flowing through the Down meets Desert Storm like shuffle. Rhythmically the track is a strongly enthralling and agitated groan whilst vocally it bellows and melodically it flames within a sultry climate embracing ears and emotions. It is compelling stuff igniting the air before the bruising weight of Crushing the P lumbers in and proceeds to press its own intensive and imposing bulk on the senses. Again though, grooves temper the rugged nature of the proposition, whilst inescapable infectiousness wraps the swing of rhythms and riffs. The song is an on-going predation too; every aspect increasing in magnetism until by its conclusion the crawling posture of the song is pure addiction.

The outstanding flirtation of The Schaeffer Boogie emerges out of those final throes of intensity, the track swiftly breaking into a robust and contagious slab of heavy temptation. Grooves swing with inescapable persuasion, casting an irresistible invitation for all to join their devilry, though we warn that their weighty movement will even worry young hips getting involved over long term exposure. Never taking a breath or allowing one, the song is sheer heavy rock majesty; not demanding, except on the body, and seriously exhilarating.

The grouchy tones of the album’s title track comes next, Hardrocks’ vocals a grizzly web of confrontation and attitude, and backed strongly by Thomas whose bass simply oozes cantankerous sounds and ferocity within the thick tapestry of temperamental and predatory sounds. The track is a tempest of drama and shadowed intrigue too, again every subsequent unexpected detour or twist in the nature and journey of the climactic offering surrounded by a rhythmic and riff sculpted catchiness which has feet and neck muscles exhausted.

The short Cajun aired instrumental Crawdaddy Blues is an ok interlude for the first couple of listens but to be honest ignored as appetite wants to dive back into the punk fury of Chicken Hawk again and again thereon in. The track is a brute of a companion, that punk seeded hostility and urgency a ripe tempting against the pungent heavy metal and ravenous rock ‘n’ roll it is aligned to. Pantera meets Converge yet different again, it is another major pinnacle of the already impressive release, a peak matched by Battle Boar. The rumbling rhythmic heart of the track is an anthemic call in its own right, and the fuse and detonator to a turbulent and hellacious conflict of intensive and insatiable energy. Riffs and rhythms collide with hostile intent, ridden by the equally abrasing and assertive vocals, whilst grooves are venomous and flailing in their scything enterprise. The track is a glorious sonic conflagration but too damn short at less than three minutes.

   Rock City is smoky and at times like sonic vapour on the taste buds, a fine musical whisky which slips across the senses with smooth ease before unveiling its bite and spicy tang. As you would expect grooves and riffs make a tapestry of tart and colourful temptation whilst vocals and the deliciously imposing basslines help spark the old school predation fuelling all classic slabs of uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll. Compelling and rousing, the song is another towering anthem setting emotions up for the closing Quint, an eleven minute savaging unafraid to explore every avenue of heavy rock and ferocious metal whilst painting it all with a sludgy stoner hue. Arguably over long for some, every minute of the track is a new scene to run with and imaginative corner to dive down.

XII Boar has had little difficulty impressing and exciting since their first release but have creatively and musically come of age with Pitworthy. It thrusts the band to the frontline of British rock ‘n’ roll with even broader spotlights potentially awaiting as their excellent album surely begins to lure in the world.

Pitworthy is available now digitally and on CD via http://xiiboar.bandcamp.com/

 https://www.facebook.com/xiiboar   http://xiiboar.bigcartel.com/

RingMaster 10/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

The BeauBowBelles – A Thing of Reality

1604664_844632955593537_6260097251692640293_n

I will be honest, for the first time, other than rooting for Finland’s Lordi a few years back, there was a flicker of interest in this year’s Eurovision song contest once learning that the UK entry had a sound seeded in the ever infectious realm of swing. Any hopes and attention were defused of course once having heard the song and finding it had turned an instinctively contagious sound into something yawningly bland. It was poor old school with no adventure and modern imagination fuelling its proposal; once again the contest living up to its uninspiring reputation.

What does this have to do with the new proposition from The BeauBowBelles you are probably asking right now? Well the failure of seeing what is in and the choosing of what represents our voraciously inventive British music scene just leaves thoughts bewildered when, if we go down the swing road, the likes of the Electric Swing Circus, Molotov Jukebox, and especially The BeauBowBelles are creating irresistible and inventively magnificent propositions. Whether any of them would want to be involved in such an event is another question but each spins a web of virulently inventive escapades bred from diverse and colourful sounds, and this is where the seriously impressive A Thing of Reality, the debut album from The BeauBowBelles comes in.

The London quartet’s new melodic jaunt is a mouth-watering adventure of folk swing cast in unique sceneries of personal intimacy and expansive revelry with every track. It can stomp like a dance hall, seduce like a temptress, and reflect with emotive elegance, but whichever avenue a song escorts the imagination to it has body and attention enthralled. In many ways the delicious exploits of A Thing of Reality is no surprise having been spellbound by their first EP To The Moon in 2013 and a year later the single All Over That. They were sparkling appetisers for this first full-length dance but only a hint of its majesty too.

An album version of that last single opens up A Thing of Reality, and again as the first time around, All Over That easily captures the imagination with its opening embrace of melancholic yet smiling strings within seconds. No matter the number of times heard, the entrance of the song casts a spell, which the quartet of Bertie Anderson (vocals, violin), Emma Price (vocals, flutes, accordion, bells), Ros Wilks (vocals, violin, keytar), and Marcus Daborn (guitar, kickdrum), proceed to turn into a blaze of swirling devilry. That is a little down the line though, as guitar and a sultry kiss of brass light ears next, their coaxing the perfect company to the tantalising vocals. It is like an emotive waltz, a rising dance which is soon quick stepping with flirty riffs and mesmeric coverharmonies. Then the romp truly begins as thick basslines and vivacious energies descend on the senses, awakening an even more wanton appetite for its offerings. A gentle relaxation breaks the surge momentarily before the devilment swiftly returns for another whirl of rhythmic hips aligned to tenacious gypsy punk curves, all aligning for one infectious melodic shuffle.

The brilliant start is matched straight away by the following Lo Ho Down. Again a slow temptation brings the track into view, a reflective shanty of sound the initial invitation. It is also just an introduction to livelier things, a folk emprise with Celtic breath showing its light feet and keen moves soon after before drawing on even broader spices as a country and jazz persuasion adds their hues to the continually evolving canvas and gait of the contagion.

The summery charm of Blue Tree floats in next; it’s almost whimsical spots of melodic colour a smile on the ear within which voice and strings paint an increasingly colourful and vivid picture. There is a sixties pop air to the heart of the song and a classical elegance to the narrative of the violins and horns, both sparking up the imagination for the emerging anthemic stroll of the excellent encounter. Three tracks in and the album is as varied and creatively expansive as anyone could wish for and continuing to move into new pastures as the warm deceptive balladry of Sleep and the delicate flirtation of Fly Away seduce and serenade the senses. The first gentle strokes ears with its calm melodies and evocative textures yet has a mischief in its heart as it brews up a stirring chorus with invigorating rhythms and similarly gripping theatre. From a calm start the track turns into a chest beating, rattling romp of a croon and again has emotions and body lustfully involved. Its successor remains the serene host of bright melodies and magnetic adventure it initial portrays, though it too breeds a drama which adds an anthemic edge to it all.

A fifties rock ‘n’ roll revelry aligns to the insatiable energy of swing for Lotions, its rousing body and temptation a feisty waltz for feet and energies. The track makes for another mighty pinnacle on the album, from voices to percussion, strings to keys, and the rest, inescapable bait in a creative emprise stealing the passions. It is exhausting fun after which a breath can be taken with The Boy with a Boater on his Head, though it too is a transfixing sway. There is that particular English uniqueness to its music which no one else outside our shores can emulate but equally a country-esque whine and pop swagger makes rich spices in the fascinating mixture.

The graceful Sophie is a celestial kiss of harmonies and emotional intimacy, a resourceful ballad which as previous songs climbs from mere riveting hugs into almost riotously melodic dramas, keys especially poignant here. Its alluring smooch is subsequently followed by the vaudeville delights of Fools & Fairytales. The track ebbs and flows with cinematic essences and stage like performance from the sounds. It is like a soundtrack to a play wrapped in folk lore and personal exploration, and again aural theatre is the best way to describe the song and its spellbinding fantasy, that and ingenious majesty.

The smouldering seduction of Make Up brings the album to a close; its seventies psychedelic pop and classical grace an absorbing end to one irresistible and thrilling release. Certain songs overwhelm body and soul whilst the rest like an epidemic relentlessly seduce every pore; the result an irrepressible gest to light any and every day.

A Thing of Reality is available now digitally and on CD via Woodster Records @ http://thebeaubowbelles.bandcamp.com/album/a-thing-of-reality

http://www.thebeaubowbelles.com/

RingMaster 10/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Fawn Spots – From Safer Place

Pic Ben Bentley

Pic Ben Bentley

Though it will not be the fiercest most hostile offering you will come up against this year, there is definitely a visceral rawness to the debut album from UK trio Fawn Spots which has the senses curling up like paint on a wall under extreme heat. From Safer Place is a furious yet creatively magnetic seduction which rages with a belligerent hardcore and punk voracity whilst smouldering with a noise rock and post punk invention. It is also a massive grower, from a strong and captivating first impression becoming one inescapable proposition drawing ears back again and again with growing eagerness.

Hailing from York, Fawn Spots emerged in 2011, originally as a duo with the intent to “push how much noise two people could make.” One or two line-up changes has led to vocalists/guitarist Jonathan Meager and Oliver Grabowski alongside newest member, drummer Paddy Carley, now standing before the world with From Safer Place in their creative hands. Written and recorded in sheds located in an abandoned Georgian garden and lyrically inspired by T. S. Eliot and Jean Paul Sartre amongst others, the album is a stirring foraging of the senses and sparking of the imagination. It retains the intensity which has already fuelled the band’s sounds and sonic assaults but explores even greater twists of invention and twisted enterprise, its songs barbarous but also ingeniously unpredictable.

New Sense stirs the blood first, its opening sonic yawn the prelude to a maelstrom of aggravated rhythms and caustic riffs raged over by bracing and instantly appealing vocals. Hooks are just as swift a lure too, almost taunting from within the smoggy air of the track. It has to be said that initially the closed in, claustrophobic air to songs took a while to acclimatise to. It did not defuse the success and weight of the persuasions but certainly distracted for the first couple of tracks before slipping into place and becoming part of the inventive furniture of From Safer Place.

The strong start is matched by I’m Not a Man; I Never Will Be, its more controlled entrance just a deceit as it too is soon a tempestuous storm of riff and rhythmic confrontation. Barely safer_place_layout_ideapassing a minute in length, the track throws in the irresistible hook or two also, successful bait courted by a great heavy bassline as the temperature and temptation of the album continues to rise through it and find new heights via the spicy causticity of A Certain Pleasure. The band has understandably been compared to the likes of Rites of Spring, Husker Du, and Mission of Burma, but the third track, and not alone in this, sparks thoughts of older bands like The Fire Engines and Wire, if lost in the blistering causticity of At the Drive In. The track sparks new greed in an already contented appetite for the album, its potency emulated and surpassed again by the outstanding Black Water. Sinister in its melodies and vocal harmonies, toxic in its sonic enterprise, the track is post punk at its most addictively inventive and predatory.

Natural Vision returns to the smoky and oppressive texture of the beginning for its persuasion but turns in on itself with minimalist hooks and melodies which vein the intensive rhythmic and abrasing examination of the senses. Though the track leaves a satisfied smile in its wake it lacks the striking spark of the songs around it, as emphasized by the album’s title track. There is a feel of Josef K in some ways to the next song, as well as a brawling punk ferocity which vocally and rhythmically pulls no punches. It is an exciting peach of a bruising on ears and psyche, and almost poppy in its infectiousness.

The heavy rhythmic entrance of Remains sets the scene for an agitated dance of psychotic beats and brawling vocals bound in a tapestry of toxic melodies and piercing hooks next. It is a glorious violation and imagination sparking incitement which has to bow a little to the superb In Front of the Chesnut Tree which follows. Its start is ripe with choppy dark bass pokes whilst the soon joining melodic winery is pure XTC, though it all evolves swiftly into an even more apparent Joy Division blossomed tempting. The instrumental is bewitching, seriously addictive, and given the clarity which the vocals are not across the album, becomes a lusty seduction on ears and the passions.

The album is completed by firstly the hellacious tempest of Recurring Face, a hardcore spawned furnace of vocal and sonic spite infused with cold post punk ingenuity. At its conclusion it is impossible not to draw a deep breath in recovery before the closing Basque Knife consumes ears with its psychotic and predacious, but controlled swamp of sound and enterprise. It is a fine end to a great release if not living up to the previous peaks on the album though to be fair the strength of all songs seems to grow with every single dive into their corrosive beauty, this no exception.

     From Safer Place is a treat of primal and instinctive noise delivered with a similar inbred passion and animosity. It tests, stretches, and excites in equal measure and makes for a very easy recommendation.

From Safer Place is available now via Critical Heights @  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/from-safer-place/id943965796

http://fawnspots.tumblr.com/     https://www.facebook.com/Fawn.Spots

RingMaster 10/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Rosenthal – Heart EP

ce58086f-0850-4d55-b7e7-6b6f41cb466c

Managing to sound invitingly nostalgic and refreshingly new, the Heart EP is a captivating full introduction to Rosenthal, a Danish band already drawing a healthy buzz around themselves. Consisting of five tracks which can be described as being bred from a merger of new wave, dream pop, and shoegaze with a psychedelic colouring, the band’s debut EP is an intriguing and increasingly enjoyable embrace for ears and imagination.

Rosenthal is the brainchild and project of Copenhagen-based songwriter and producer Jeppe Kiel Revsbech. Last year saw the release of two singles, both Lashes and Afraid of Stairs sparking keen attention and enthused reactions to the band’s presence and sound. Now fresh off their successful first UK tour, the band is set to reinforce and push forward again their emerging presence in a wider arena with the Magnus Vad produced Heart EP, and with Ask Kjærgaard (guitars) and Kasper Nyhus Janssen (drums) alongside Jeppe Kiel Revsbech (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Rosenthal is continuing 2015 in fine style.

The EP’s title track starts things off and sets an early pinnacle for the encounter. The resonating yet earthy bass tone which opens the track is alone an instant irresistible persuasion. It has the same dark flavouring which gave depth and potent shadows to the early sounds of The Cure and equally Joy Division. In no time guitars add their minimalistic but expressive colour too whilst the floating vocals of Kiel Revsbech glance over ears like Green Gartside of Scritti Politti. The emerging melodic elegance of the song is a radiant hue, uniting with the mellow and sizeably infectious air of the song to incite an eager appetite in response. It is a fabulous start to the release, mesmeric yet holding a slight agitation which only adds to its compelling presence.

The following April Eyes has a lighter and airier breath to its bouncy energy and presence. From the off melodies are caressing ears whilst the bass toning again carries a dark shade to its otherwise less heavy tempting, both courted by an imagination and unpredictability throughout which sees the song easily slip from its energetic stroll into a reflective calm. This peaceful passage though is soon at the centre of a brewing emotive and sonic tempest, a brooding climate which never erupts but certainly brings an edge and drama to its landscape.

The acoustic charm of the brief instrumental An End to the Trial comes next, the stringed caresses of guitars an evocative spark for the imagination before Void wistfully seeps into ears and thoughts, again guitar expression the leading colour. Its folkish, provocative simplicity makes the perfect canvas for the similarly reserved yet vibrant vocals. It is a simmering sunset of sound and emotion but as darker hues add their tints it evolves into a tempestuous atmosphere of dark alternative pop. From a potent start it grows into a bewitching proposal for ears and thoughts, spicy hooks and tangy melodies expelling mouth-watering noir bred temptation. The song is an enjoyable slow burner but grows even more thrilling in its latter climatic stages.

The closing A Dream is like the first song, one seeded in the post punk and dark pop of previous days whilst casting its own fresh character of sound. Resourcefully bred from a New Order/Bauhaus seeding, dark wave shadows ignite the passions instantly whilst the emerging Billy Momo like folk charm and Cocteau Twins like ethereal melodies, simply absorb and accentuate the whole unique adventure. Keys also add suggestiveness to the mix, an OMD spicing working within their poetic ambience. It is a tremendous song and end to the EP, Heart bookended by its best two tracks but with plenty to eagerly embrace in between.

As the final song slowly drifts away it leaves ears and thoughts keen to immerse once again in the Rosenthal sound. Heart is not exactly going to bowl you over with listen one but it lingers, luring the listener back time and time again, a rich success in any one’s book.

The Heart EP is available now via Afterimages via most digital stores.

https://www.facebook.com/rosenthalsite

RingMaster 10/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/