Wrathage – Discipline

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Seventeen years or so after their emergence, and three of those years in the making, the debut album from Finnish metallers Wrathage is a proposition which no matter how it initially takes you, leaves a compulsion to explore more and more of its ultimately enjoyable depths. Discipline is a striking and increasingly thrilling slab of dark extreme metal, a collusion of black and death metal predation and ferocity embracing an avant-garde and experimental nature. It is not always as successful with personal tastes as it is other times but when it hits the sweet spot, which are numerous, the album is one of the most intriguing and exciting propositions heard this year.

Wrathage began way back in 1997, formed by identical twins Scythe (bass, vocals, guitars) and D.V Grim (vocals, guitars). With only the intent of creating music which lit their own fires, the band has gone through numerous line-up changes, especially early on, whilst exploring and honing an ever evolving sound. A self-titled demo in 2000 was the first of three over the next five years whilst 2008 saw the release of the well-received Crawlspace Antipathy EP. The gap to its successor and first album has again been a long time waiting but now with Scythe and D.V Grim joined by guitarists H-beast and Viha, keyboardist Tero Nevala, and drummer Kuismahc, the Oulu band is poised to ignite highly anticipating appetites and a horde of newcomers with their enthralling offering.

Wrathage_2015_discipline_Cover     As soon as opener Dark matter engulfs ears, thoughts of Emperor and Morbid Angel come to the fore, yet equally a fresh individualism in presence and sound too. The song opens with epic sways of guitar around dramatic vocals, a mix soon immersed in a wash of equally theatrical keys and heavily jabbing beats. It is an attention grabbing start, a respectful one too as every element from guitar to keys, voice to rhythms create imposing but restrained proposals on the senses. Of course it is a thought too soon as within moments the factors collude to create a rapacious tempest of sound and intensity. The song proceeds to entwine classical and blackened enterprise with predatory ferocity, twisting and lurching through a fascinating and enticingly turbulent landscape of invention.

The following Born girt for war blends a ravaging hostility with a broader celestial atmosphere whilst also providing a more intimate stalking at times. Within its first half minute the song is already an unpredictable theatre of textures and sounds driven by the equally dramatic and enjoyable mix of vocals, which include a guest appearance by Catamenia frontman Olli “Oujee” Mustonen. The underlying persistent prowl of the song keeps everything on course before Of the great chief comes in on an opening blaze of guitar endeavour within a sinister climate. As the previous track, it does not make the same impact as the first song but every turn, every twist in its body brings further bait for ears and appetite to keenly devour, especially its rhythmic enticing.

The album truly comes to life from fourth song Walking to death; it is like Discipline has sized up personal tastes and then gone to work on instinctive wants and pleasures. The track marches in on a horde of synchronised boots, vocals swiftly leading the way with equally imposing intent. They are soon joined by a web of sonic ideation which alone ignites the imagination, whilst the broader melodic sweep of keys only enhances the addictiveness veining the song. It is a masterful enslavement which only tightens its grip with a slip into an almost carnal landscape of dark drama caged by an excellent bestial bassline. Riffs equally have an animalistic snarl to their touch, and a raw tang which reminds of Scottish band Skids. It is an inescapable anthem matched by the exceptional Unslaved, which also sees Mustonen guesting. Celestial keys caress ears first, their ethereal theatre tantalising but barely hinting at the temptation to come. A vocal lure bridges the start with the mouth-watering and grizzly bassline which follows; this the spark to an infection of hungry riffs, antagonistic rhythms, and bad blooded vocals. It is the magnetic swagger and blood thirsty character of the grooves which provide the fuse to the strongest ardour, their infection intertwined with the spiteful provocation elsewhere.

Distortion sees another guest in the shape of Khaos from Deathchain & Deathbound within its midst, and also sparks a new urge of greed for the release with its carnivorous presence and contagiously creative rancor. Once again expectations are given a cold shoulder as the track explores death and blackened scenery with thrash bred ferocity and a hellacious attitude of sound and invention. There is never time to catch a breath upon Discipline, but one is needed after the torrential hostility and intensity of the excellent encounter. A quick gulp those is all that is allowed as the insidious scavenger Reptilian crawls over the senses and into the psyche with primal and sonic animosity. It is great toxic incitement, its rhythmic and driving riffery an insatiable onslaught but above it guitars and keys are almost flirting with slow and devilish seduction.

After a vocal enticement, Sadicum is an erosive sonic tempest which alone would satisfy if lacking the spark of its predecessors, but the band is soon spearing it with shards of melodic spicing and a persistently evolving and enthralling weave of progressive fuelled keys to create another tasty assault. The song is still more of a smoulder on the passions than a roar like other tracks, but a lively simmering pot of adventure which over time brings thoughts and appetite to the boil very nicely and hankering for more.

The album concludes with firstly The crawlspace, a bordering on psychotic smog of sound and enterprise which is as suffocating as it is explosive on the senses. Some of the vocals are less successful on the ear but a mere blip in another pleasing track before the band brings it all to a close with a cover of the Morbid Angel track Dawn of the angry. It is a very decent and enjoyable offering but the meat and major joy of Discipline is in the band’s own slices of distinctive predation.

Discipline gets better and more revealing with every listen, even a handful plus of plays unveiling fresh elements and greater craft in the creative flow and sculpting of the release. As mentioned some moments create a bigger blaze in the emotions but from start to finish Wrathage has delivered one impressive encounter to revel in and to heartily recommend.

Discipline is available from March 30th via Maa Productions and at http://wrathage.bandcamp.com/album/discipline

https://www.facebook.com/wrathageband

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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 Slow Readers Club – I Saw a Ghost

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With just a few short weeks to the release of their second album Cavalcade, UK indie band The Slow Readers Club are releasing not only a pungent teaser to their forthcoming offering, but one of their finest moments yet in the shape of new single I Saw A Ghost. It is aural magnetism, an evocative embrace of emotional shadows and intoxicating sound reinforcing the Manchester based band as one of the most fascinating and exciting propositions on the British rock scene

The past year has seen the quartet luring increasing acclaim through a host of enticing singles, including previous single Forever In Your Debt and its predecessor Don’t Mind. They are no strangers to praise and attention it is fair to say, their live presence drawing as much eager reactions as their releases with last year seeing the band play a sold out show at Manchester’s Night and Day as well as successful appearances at Tramlines Festival, Party in the Pines and Blackthorn Festival alongside support slots with bands such as Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Struts, Reverend and the Makers, and The Sunshine Underground. They can also list Peter Hook amongst their enthusiastic fans, a following which from the release of their debut self-titled album in 2012 has perpetually and raucously increased.

Picture 66   Now The Slow Readers Club is stoking the fires of those followers and greater anticipation of their new album with I Saw a Ghost. The song is themed around depression, more specifically according to vocalist Aaron Starkie, “It’s about appearing to have a normal happy life but carrying something with you that can descend at any moment and make everything appear bleak.” It is an emotion perfectly embraced and exposed by the music within the single, its body and gait a bouncy persuasion with infectious energy and character but holding onto underlying shadows and dark thoughts just as tightly. It opens with Starkie immediately unveiling his and the songs’ heart in the embrace of his own crafted keys. Alongside them the jabbing beats of David Whitworth punctuate the emotional drama being shown, whilst the throaty tones of bass from James Ryan only add to the dark air though it is all swiftly tempered by the contagious enterprise of Kurtis Starkie’s guitar amidst that tantalising celestial breath of keys.

The song continues to blend dark and light, each entwining the other with craft and tenacity whilst providing a rigorous stroll of infectiousness amidst immersive almost suffocating dark rapture. The Slow Readers Club are usually and understandably compared to the likes of Interpol, The Killers, and The National but it is easy to also suggest moments of the track has elements of The Smiths, especially the start, and bands like Silhouettes to it. As previous songs though, it emerges as something distinct and instantly recognisable to The Slow Readers Club whilst providing the strongest suggestion that there is a new album on the horizon all sort eagerly check out.

I Saw a Ghost is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-saw-a-ghost-single/id973544966 with Cavalcade will be released via Extenso Music on April 13th.

http://www.theslowreadersclub.co.uk     http://www.facebook.com/theslowreadersclub

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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/

 

Tapes Runs Out – Friends/Flowers

 

Pic Lauren Marsh

Pic Lauren Marsh

A serenade for the ears and imagination, the new single from UK indie pop rockers Tape Runs Out suggests we have a rather fascinating and tantalising proposition on our hands with the Cambridge quintet. Obviously one song does not reveal all, or two in this case, but both offerings making up the band’s first release, Friends/ Flowers certainly spark an instantly keen interest and enjoyment of their opening persuasion.

The band’s debut double A-side single is a beguiling tapestry of dream pop, electronic rock, shoegaze and numerous other spices and textures within their majestic flights. Tape Runs Out itself began as an electronic solo project of Liam Goodrum-Bell (vocals/guitar/samples), before expanding to a full-band and releasing the Covered In Tape EP in 2013. It was given a gentle release but seemingly a well-received one before things changed again and the current line-up came to be mid-2014. Consisting of Richard Barker (guitar), Hélène Dufour (bass), Yasmin Prebble (keyboard/melodica/glockenspiel), and Ellie Winter (hammered dulcimer/backing vocals) alongside Goodrum-Bell, Tapes Runs Out now make their most open and broadest official introduction with Friends/Flowers via Ear to Ear Records.

a0018462225_2     Friends is the first encounter and swiftly sparkles in ears with its elegant enticement of guitar and keys. Melodies seduce and blossom within a breath of the track’s entrance, soon accompanied by the excellent mellow vocals of Goodrum-Bell backed as vibrantly by the harmonies of Winter. The song is a summer stroll basking in wistful rays of sonic light and reflective emotions, a romancing hug of sound which flirts with whispers of bands like My Bloody Valentine and House Of Love whilst creating a jangle of modern imagination. It is mesmeric company; that is until it just stops and leaves body and emotions hanging. Actually it is a great end to an outstanding song but greed determines that there is not enough of its beauty to be fully satisfied.

Flowers is another matter, its four minutes plus a plentiful bounty to embrace and immerse within. It is a far more sober landscape explored though no less warm and intriguing. Wrapped in a psychedelic haze and an even richer melancholic ambience than its predecessor, the song floats and swirls around the senses and imagination like a wispy dream. Though not as instant as Friends on the ear, the song slips into the psyche and makes a lingering temptation whilst revealing far more about the songwriting and invention of Tape Runs Out compared to its impressive seduce and run companion.

Though Friends grabs the biggest plaudits, both songs provide a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable first real glimpse at Tape Runs Out, a band we can expect and already want to hear and see plenty more of ahead.

Friends/Flowers is available via Ear to Ear Records from March 30th @ http://eartoearrecords.co.uk/album/friends-flowers-single

https://www.facebook.com/taperunsout   http://www.taperunsout.co.uk

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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 Birdman Rallies – Wild Sisters

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If you can resist the opening resonance of beats which opens up Wild Sisters, the new single from the UK’s The Birdman Rallies, then you have formidable resistance as alone it is a seriously irresistible temptation. It is only the first of a fluid weave of instinctive seductions which makes up the fascinating offering from the North Yorkshire quartet though, just one lure in a melodic bewitchment.

The song is the second single taken from the Harrogate band’s recently released and acclaimed album Real River. It is a transfixing album putting the band finally on the radar of a great many, though The Birdman Rallies has been recruiting eager attention and hearts to their highly flavoursome sounds since 2009 across a host of releases. Their self-titled album in 2008 made the first temptation, followed by the You And I EP a year later, but it was second album Moons which in 2012 sparked keener awareness and following of the band. Their sounds still eluded many though, including us, with Real River providing the remedy to that issue, now reinforced by Wild Sisters, the successor to the first single from the album, Telescope Katie. Vocalist/guitarist Daniel Webster recently described the new single as, “a poem written on a night out in Cork, Ireland, where the women are made differently to where I grew up. I observed these three sisters, dancing wildly, letting it go on a weekend in a strangely old-fashioned way. There was nothing cool or try-hard about it. The song wrote itself, with requisite yearning.”

As mentioned at the start, Wild Sisters has its infectious hooks in from its first breath with the rhythms and electronic beats of drummer David Armstrong alongside the multi-instrumental skills of Adam Westerman (guitar, vocals, keyboards, drums, glockenspiel). It is not a single strain of bait for long though as the equally delicious and earthy tones of bass from Ash Johnson are soon adding their irresistible throaty charms to the enticing. Magnetism does not come much stronger or persuasive and both aspects continue to almost tauntingly seduce across the length of the song. Around them melodies and harmonies soon bloom within the contagion, Webster and Westerman creating warm harmonies to match the emotive caress of strings provided by Angellina Bjerregard and Nicky Woods, and the reflective character of guitar and keys. Thoughts of XTC come to the fore as the song explores even greater enterprise and creative emotion; an essence soon confirmed when reading after listening to the song that the Swindon band is a favourite of The Birdman Rallies alongside others like Field Music.

Wild Sisters continues to enthral and delight right up to when it takes its leave on the same magnetism it entered upon, leaving ears glowing and appetite hungry for more. It is a reaction sure to be felt by most immersing in its summer embrace, with an exploration of its source, Real River, the only subsequent option, apart from diving back into the song one more time first.

Wild Sisters is out now with the album Real River available @ http://thebirdmanrallies.bandcamp.com/album/real-river

https://www.facebook.com/thebirdmanrallies

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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/

 

Craig Scott’s Lobotomy – War is a Racket

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Like the soundtrack to a deranged tale fed on Tim Burton’s vision of Alice in Wonderland and soaked in the lunacy of a Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, War is a Racket is one of those propositions which simply send ears and imagination into overload. Created by Craig Scott’s Lobotomy, the album is a kaleidoscope of sounds and textures uniting in a fascinating and warped adventure, whilst Craig Scott himself is the aural Willy Wonka, offering sonic and melodic candy created from the tang of discord and sweetness of insanity.

A bordering on psychotic tapestry of experimental jazz, alternative rock, and similarly unpredictable electronica, album and sound casts ears and thoughts adrift in a sea of instrumental incitement. Every track is a unique vehicle for the imagination to go on a creative rampage with yet they also all contribute to a perpetual flight through one fluid and invigoratingly bedlamic soundscape. War is a Racket has been three years in the making, drawing on influences, experiences, and the things Scott has learned during his life to date as a professional musician involved in numerous diverse projects. The result of everything combined is a debut album which dangles bait after bait of startling sound and seriously intriguing unconnected essences, all united in a creative toxicity which just gets deep under the skin to set off a lustful reaction in ears, thoughts, and ardour.

The previous years has seen Scott play regularly with the likes of ‘Shatner’s Bassoon’ , IKESTRA , CottonWoolf, The Bugalu Foundation, and The Hot Beef Three as well as perform with artists such as Tom Arthurs, Baba Adasose Wallace, Matthew Borne , John Potter (Hilliard Ensemble),Chris Sharkey (Trio VD/Shiver), Ball-Zee(UK Beatbox Champion) Jean Tousaint (Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers) , Les Smith (Cradle of Filth), and Ruby Wood (Submotion Orchestra , Bonobo). His music has grabbed the ears and support of fellow musicians like Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart / Jeff Buckley) amongst a growing horde of fans which also includes cult horror classic House of 1000 Corpses’ Bill Moseley. Anticipation for War is a Racket has certainly been more than keen but it is now with its release that it is easy to expect major awareness embracing its creator.

a4033067006_2    The album, which sees Scott accompanied by a plethora of skilled and inventive talent, opens with Gibbles and a distant wistful melody. The ear is soon under the temptation of dark double bass slaps and bass clarinet seduction though; they in turn courted by a web of brass teasing. A jazzy air soon takes on an exotic flavour through guitar and sax, excited elements entwining for a sultry and mouth-watering dance through Arabian avenues and more Caribbean spiced festivity. All the time though there is a tempering shadow, an underlying turbulence which brews up a danger with fresh seeds for thoughts to twist and redesign its visual landscape with. The nearer its conclusion the more unravelled the track and its calm becomes as it takes the listener into the sonic distortion and percussive bubbling of Proud to be a Mirkin. The second song also brings a brass fuelled agitation aligned to a sinister electronic stalking of the psyche. It is the stuff of dark dreams, though as hindsight will eventually show, just the start of bigger nightmarish intrusions to come.

Peace returns with Tempest in a Teacup next, a nine minute stroll through summer gardens and reflective atmospheres. Of course already, even on the first listen of the album, expectations are soon expecting darker warped twists too and it does not disappoint, though equally the track sets senses and emotions ablaze with a deliciously manic melodic enterprise equipped with mischievous hooks and perverted imagination. Like something from Brian Brain in a drug induced stupor, the track ebbs and flows with bright revelry and noir clad infestations of ears and thoughts. Ultimately though, you come away with feet bouncing and emotions leaping to that devilish jazz pop lure and the emerging gypsy/world music spicing which has a distinct Les Négresses Vertes feel to it.

The following Technicolor Yawn is a brighter and relatively straight forward hug of the senses, initially at least as of course it too has contrasting and darker flirtations of sound and invention to its gentle cruise. Guitars and synths collude to colour the elegant canvas with shards of seemingly improvised jazz incitement, each nudge and jab of sound a tempting spark to new diversions or characters in the imagination’s interpretation. Almost a travelogue of unique lands and atmospheres on its own, the transfixing pieces makes way for the climactic and psychotic For those with a Short Attention Span. The track is a splatter of sounds and textures which somehow within the ears unite to create a coherent if still furiously unpredictable weave of sonic colour. As all the tracks it leaves a pantry load of food for thought before making way for the irresistible lures of Voodoo Friday. Rhythmically tribal and virulent, the track opens like a thumping ‘sketch’ from percussionists Stomp, but is soon embracing darker strains of sound and harmonies. Its persuasion is meditative and demonic simultaneously, the perpetual invitation from tablas, matched by grouchy bass sounds and a swarming cloud of brass and stringed fermentation which only add to the psychedelic Hammer Movie-esque visualisation inspired across the glorious encounter. Its closing romp reminds of deranged versions of eighties bands like Pigbag and Mouth, that alone leaving ears and emotions basking.

The album’s title track comes next and swiftly returns the listener physically and mentally to the dark clutches of haunted realms and sinister trespasses. Keys impact with a classic thirties/forties lilt to their narrative whilst rhythmically and harmonically, the track is a web of ravenous shadows and psyche grasping evocation. The bewitching nightmare prevails with increasing sideshow devilry as the song continues its descriptive presence, reaching a restrained yet ‘hellish’ climax taunted by crooner inspired keys. The drama and air of the song is traumatic and seriously compelling just as the lighter but no less drenched in espionage album finale of Ormchestron. Opening like the theme tune to a sixties spy/thriller TV show, keys dangling inescapable bait for the imagination, the piece becomes a much cloudier and thematically minatory adventure yet with a constant tempering of melodic and inventive whimsy. The brass escapades brings hints of Essential Logic to thoughts whilst strings and keys offer a Cardiacs like devilment, but ultimately, as War is a Racket itself, it is all wholly individual to Craig Scott’s Lobotomy.

It is fair and easy to say that War is a Racket is quite brilliant, maybe not something for everyone but for those with real adventure and love of life’s and music’s discordance woven into something truly unique, simply a must.

War is a Racket is available through Wasp Millionaire Records from 30/03/2015 on CD, 12” Blue vinyl (Ltd to 250 copies) and digitally.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Craig-Scotts-Lobotomy/102612563153288   http://lookatmemummypr.com/

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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/