Vienna Ditto – Circle

Vienna Ditto _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

With every song and single released, UK duo Vienna Ditto has enhanced the seductive hex they have laid on certainly our ears since being infected by the band’s Ugly EP in 2013. Now the pairing of Hatty Taylor and Nigel Firth has set free their long awaited and highly anticipated debut album, and fair to say that their melodic voodoo has just got seriously enslaving. Bringing some old fan favourites together with re-workings of older releases and brand new slices of sonic devilment, Circle is a bewitching romance of sultry atmospheres, bordering on sinister melodic beauty, and psychedelic sunspots of harmonic alchemy.

Originally meeting when Firth taught Taylor the guitar when she was 11 years old, the duo began writing and creating together in 2009 after meeting by chance again in the street. Within a week of that moment, they recorded an electronic version of the Johnny Cash classic Ring of Fire and in a matter of another seven of so days created and unveiled their own first song Long Way Down. This quickly managed to find itself played on Huw Stephens’ Radio One show, leading to Vienna Ditto playing the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury. 2011 saw the band’s self-titled debut EP get a well-received release, its temptation the beginning to greater attention and responses earned by a couple of singles and more so the Liar Liar and Ugly EPs two years later. With further singles only enhancing and confirming the duo’s potent emergence and increasing evolution of sound, there has been a greedy appetite brewing amongst a great many for this first album. Now here it is easy to say that no-one will be disappointed and for newcomers, well simply welcome to a new musical lust.

The encounter opens with This Is Normal, a song instantly luring ears through a minimal but potent bassy riff and the siren-esque tones and expression of Taylor’s voice. As crispy beats and additional guitar enticing joins the mix so the song’s energy also elevates, though it is quickly back into the low key gait so things continue to be potently intriguing and unpredictable. As electronic invention springs its bait next, the track eventually slips into a magnetic stroll with Morningwood like revelry but yet again things only get twisted and turned around to relentlessly excite ears and imagination.

Owly circle_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review    The irresistible start is emulated and surpassed by the following Feeling Good. With garage rock hooks colluding with surf and sci-fi shimmers, the song is quickly teasing and flirting like a sixties Venusian temptress. Also though there is simultaneously a climatic and sultry air enveloping the senses whilst beneath it a smouldering Tarantino cultured landscape becomes the home for an irresistible dance of vocals and grooves. The song is pure musical and emotional drama, an infection getting under the skin and into the psyche whilst providing the first major pinnacle of the album.

A melodic calm caresses ears next through the mellow charm of Wintertime. Comparisons to Portishead have been a regular offering since Vienna Ditto began and easy to see why with the golden kiss of charm offered by the tantalising third song on the album. It has its own intimacy and individual, almost raw innocence and beauty though as it casts a lingering peace which eventually makes way for the off kilter cosmopolitan enticement of A Happy Car is a Stolen Car. With a ska shaped bassline and exotic melodic hues within a spatial atmosphere, the song is a fascinating waltz of warped imagination and enterprise. The effect hugged vocals of Taylor court the bedlamic shuffle of the song and again a sixties pop hued psyche rock twisted soundscape. It takes a couple of listens or so to fully explore and understand the wonderful turbulence of ideas and bold adventure at work but rewards patience with another major highlight within Circle.

The band takes ears back into the dusty climes of a Morricone like terrain next through Pale Horse Rider, voice and strained guitar strings a compelling lead into a continually evolving and absorbing immersion of sound and emotion. Beauty again is the keenest description to lie at its door before the first of the band’s two current singles step forward side by side. Oh Josephine which we are led to believe is a tribute to dancer and civil rights icon Josephine Baker, has a haunting and pulsating shine to its air, a glow which resonates across every aspect as rhythms and the simply catchiness of the song steal body swerves and lustful thoughts from the listener. The following Long Way Down is an epidemic of addictiveness and brilliance. Primarily garage punk and rock across its numerous strands of temptation, the song also weaves a funk and synth pop lure encased in psychedelic salaciousness. Think Chick Quest meets MGMT with a touch of Jingo for good measure and you have a closer clue to the brilliance of the song.

     Both the hypnotic almost oppressive psychedelic wash of A Wheel Within a Wheel and the bulging devilry of Hold On enthral and thrill; the first a song bordering on psychotic with its kaleidoscope of sonic colour and melodic seducing aligned to off the wall ingenuity. The second of the two is jazz/funk pop twisted out of shape and stretched on muscular rhythmic sinews, then infused with guitar jangles and electronic mania before being given to Taylor to bind in her ever alluring vocals. The result is one virulent dance of unbridled infection and enjoyment though it is soon overshadowed by the sensational Hammer and a Nail. Opening with a caress of southern guitar and the endearing tones of Taylor, the song soon spreads into again Morricone seeded scenery within a dusty hot ambience. It is a transfixing maelstrom of mystique kissed sounds and emotional drama which toys with ears and imagination. The more revealed the darker the track becomes, its rapacious throat and intensity an encroaching clouding over the open beauty and sultry resonance of voice and melodies. As a single this incitement was glorious but reshaped and re-coloured for the album it is simply majestic.

The gentle croon of Liar Liar Quietly is almost an anti-climax initially after the previous glory but soon has ears and thoughts firmly in its soft and persuasive melody soaked hands. It is a spellbinding kiss with a need to spill eighties post punk like invention from within its serenade, again the band reaping seeds from earlier decades to enrich their own scintillating invention.

The album closes with a smouldering slice of gospel bred psyche balladry; I Know His Blood Will Make Me Whole another cast in the dark country of psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll. As expected the track spins a mesh of perpetual unpredictability and off beat exploration which just gets darker, bolder, and more addictive with time and age.

There is also a bonus track on certainly the digital version of Circle called Squeaking Wheel and it too is a sensational romp, one built on a blues sound and craft wound in creative mischief and ingenuity. Whether this or I Know His Blood Will Make Me Whole completes the album, Circle is easily one of the most scintillating and invigorating thrills of the year so far. Full of surprises and originality, album and Vienna Ditto deserve all your attention with the only losers being those not taking a listen.

Circle is available now @ https://viennaditto.bandcamp.com/album/circle

http://www.viennaditto.com/ https://www.facebook.com/viennaditto

RingMaster 16/05/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

 

KEN mode – Success

photo Brenna Faris

photo Brenna Faris

Predictability has never had a presence in the sounds and imagination of Canadian noise wreckers KEN mode, though that in itself is something to be expected. Their caustic and furious brews of post-rock, hardcore, metal, and noise, to mention just some of their flavours employed, have ignited ears and imaginations with a tempestuous almost petulant creativity ensuring the band’s propositions are some of the most persistently and highly anticipated treats. The Winnipeg trio’s new album Success is no exception but this time it has taken a detour which definitely takes assumptions by surprise.

The band has gone back to explore the sounds and invention which were fermenting and fuelling the late 80s/early 90s when KEN mode began to sow its own sonic explorations. The album’s press release lists the album as paying homage to “both their Canadian Prairie roots, and a time when they first started to care about making music; the burgeoning grunge; and Touch Go/Dischord scenes of, with bands like Nirvana, Big Black, Cop Shoot Cop, The Cows, Circus Lupus, and Drive Like Jehu warping their teenage minds.” Listening to Success though you can go back further and find the seeds in predominantly post and noise punk with the album persistently sounding like a primal version of Gang of 4 on steroids. It is the band as raw and aggressive as ever, probably even more so at times, and still lyrically stirring up thoughts and emotional involvement, but it shows a new character and new compelling designs from the band which might not quite work for all but here is being greedily devoured.

KMSuccessCover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     Recorded with Steve Albini (Nirvana, the Jesus Lizard, PJ Harvey) and recorded as a fully live and analog session, KEN mode’s sixth album opens with Blessed, a track which from its initial sonic whistle turns into a heavy bestial prowl. Simultaneously a swagger emerges in the grizzly tones of Scott Hamilton’s bass as magnetic jabbing lines the beats of drummer Shane Matthewson. Intimidating restraint replaces their predacious aggression at this point, the vocals of guitarist Jesse Matthewson crawling syllable by syllable with open ire over the addiction igniting web now in place. The song’s volatile instincts soon return to take rein though, almost insidious discord and hostility invading whilst binding excited senses in inventive and mischievous rancor.

The outstanding start kicks up another notch with These Tight Jeans, a song which roars and excites like an illicit union of Nirvana, Black Flag, and Pretty Girls Make Graves. Of course that is a mere hint to something unique to KEN mode, the track a rumbling, grumbling contagion of wiry hooks, spicy grooves, and rhythmic badgering. As ever the song is driven by fury loaded vocals but this time assisted by the excellent punk lures of guest Jill Clapham who just adds richer colour to the slimline unbridled furnace on the senses.

The Owl… follows the brilliance of its predecessor with its own gripping dark beauty. A sinister noir lit intrigue escapes the growling bass groove, its drama escorted by the similarly potent landing of drum sticks as vocals dangle their raw tone and narrative over the imagination. An air of Bauhaus wraps the absorbing lure and agitated swing of the song as guitars and bass spring an inescapable menace of a flirtation which only gets darker and more imposing as the emotive intimacy of cello from Natanielle Felicitas returns after first gracing the opener. The solemn gentle passage hugging her enterprise is soon a brawl of noise and intensity again before regaining control in a mesmeric finale which leaves ears and emotions in lustful bliss

The grungy turmoil of I Just Liked Fire explodes next, it too a rebellious blaze for ears and appetite to get lustful over as twisted discord and carnal noise collude to abrase and infest the senses whilst its successor Management Control, with greater restraint crowds ears with a thick resonating bassline and a tangy vining of guitar endeavour. The beats of Shane once again provide disorientating yet anthemic bait aligned to the predatory and contagious groans of bass but sonically the song is more involved and less instant with its catchy hooks and grooves. This is not to say the track is any less virulent than the previous songs, just a more intensive exploration with layers of waiting rewards.

There is a feel of Psychic TV to the following A Passive Disaster as its carnivorous basslines and caustic bellow gets right under the skin and into the psyche whilst Failing At Fun Since 1981 straight after, is punk belligerence at its blisteringly sonic and primitively rhythmic best. Both songs are a jungle of menace and bracing invention, individual noise riots to thrill and linger though they get outshone a touch by A Catalog Of Small Disappointments and in turn closing song Dead Actors. The first of the final pair is an uncompromising persuasion, its stalking rhythms and vocal angst entwined in the rabid theatre of guitar and lyrics. The track enslaves body and emptions with ease, threatening and seducing with every snarl and raw fingering of the senses before its successor takes over with a psychotic and darkly elegant Gang of 4 meets Wire like meander of sound and distress lined emotional reflection. The song is spellbinding, a long term journey taking itself and the listener on a traumatic and turbulently fascinating adventure.

It is hard to say yet if Success is KEN mode’s finest hour such its big enough departure to previous encounters reveals something openly and strikingly different but the seriously thrilling encounter is definitely a contender.

Success is available via Season Of Mist now @ http://shop.season-of-mist.com/predefined-search?id_list=102, http://kenmode.bigcartel.com/, or https://kenmode.bandcamp.com/album/success

http://www.ken-mode.com/

Upcoming KEN mode dates with Fight Amp

June 16, 2015 – Toronto, ON @ The Shop (Parts & Labour) w/The Great Sabatini

June 17, 2015 – Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haus w/The Great Sabatini

June 18, 2015 – Brooklyn, NY @ St. Vitus w/Pyrrhon, Couch Slut

June 19, 2015 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie

June 20, 2015 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups w/Lo-Pan

June 21, 2015 – Chicago, IL @ The Burlington w/GOBO’S CVIT

June 26, 2015 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Goodwill w/Pop Crimes, Teethmarks *no Fight Amp

RingMaster 16/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

I.C.O.N – The Blacklist

I.C.O.N_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Six years on from their well-received and acclaimed debut album, UK’s I.C.O.N make another noticeable and even more potent imprint on the British metal scene with its successor The Blacklist. It is a brute of an encounter yet jammed with stirring melodies and sonic enterprise to temper and complement its muscular aggression. The album is not one to seriously tear up the metal/heavy rock landscape but in giving it an invigorating stirring, The Blacklist does a massive job.

From the release of their first album New Born Lie in 2009, I.C.O.N has continued to reinforce their potent reputation and increase a loyal fan base through a live presence taking in stage sharing with the likes of Breed 77, Blaze Bayley, Warrior Soul, Diamond Head, Furyon, Zico Chain, Witchfynde, and Voodoo Six amongst many others. Numerous festival appearances have only enhanced their growing stature too, with the release of The Blacklist now carrying the broadest potential to awaken major spotlights. Produced by Pete Troughton, the album is a tapestry of hostile exploits and melodic temptation cast in an array of individual proposals. Some tracks outshine others but from its first atmospheric breath to its final roar, the release provides one rugged, raw, and rousing enjoyment.

The album opens with A Room In Hell, a short instrumental gently and evocatively luring the listener into the heart and turbulence of The Blacklist. Guitars cast an enticing web of expression and craft whilst rhythms rumble like an encroaching storm, their shadows colluding with sonic persuasion in a potent intro to the release and the sinew stretched swagger of Feeding The Negative. Instantly riffs from guitar and bass are a gripping coaxing matched by the increasingly aggressive and agitated assault of beats. The growling tone of Reece Bevan’s bass additionally provides a great accompaniment to the equally gravelly vocals of Mark Sagar and a predatory contrast to the acidic and scorching endeavour of Scott Knowles’s guitar. In full stride and attitude, ground-breaking the song is not but like the album, in prime and inventive metal spawned rock ‘n’ roll, the track is a storming incitement and pleasure.

i-c-o-n-the-blacklist-1400_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     The following Grindin’ Wheel, though appearing less confrontational, is a matching beast of provocation. As the keen swipes of Larry Paterson’s drum sticks hit skin and senses, a spicy groove is cast by Knowles, its revelry sparking a similar swing to riffs and subsequent rhythms whilst band vocal calls add an anthemic tempting to around increasingly imposing and impressing tones of Sagar. The song does its big part in the continuing strong and gripping start to The Blacklist and is instantly backed by the thrash seeded I’m The Venom, a song with a hint of bands like Metallica and Testament but flinging those flavours around like a baker with dough to create its own recipe of melodic/heavy rock infused antagonism. There is that familiarity though but it only makes things spicier around the uniqueness fuelling the incendiary solo which breaks free and the bracing vocal/rhythm collusion shaping all tracks.

Both Welcome To My War, with its deliciously barbarous bass insurgence and uncompromising drums swings, and Speak To Your God keep ears and appetite fully fed. The first of the two is just breath-taking at its start, an inescapable consuming of the senses and imagination which then loses its fullest potency once it settles into a more reserved and restrained prowl. The song still impresses and ignites full satisfaction to be fair but such its glorious opening, it feels a little like a missed opportunity unlike its successor which brawls and rages from its first breath. With a hint of a southern twang to its air, the track reveals its whole weight and weaponry straight away, simply increasing its richness with nagging riffs, riveting grooves, and a fiery solo, not forgetting virulent rhythms.

The slower, more controlled Devil’s Blacklist walks through ears with emotional expression and descriptive sonic hues, and though it maybe lacks the spark of its predecessors, it hangs a creative arm around attention to keep it fully involved before Wrong Way Back turns in a heavy and forceful stomp equipped with raw contagion spun by the skilled exploits of each member of the band. There is no avoiding the technical and accomplished craft from I.C.O.N, and how individually and united its members know how to write and deliver a fully rounded and attention grabbing storm of an encounter, no better proof coming than with Man of the North. From a cold and lonely canvas the instrumental builds an evocative landscape of solitude and beauty, its range of minimalistic textures to full blown tempestuous endeavour and ideation a relentless suggestiveness for the imagination.

The outstanding rampage of Deconverted descends on ears and air next, another thickly persuasive bass lead stirring up body and emotions for the song to bruise and ignite further, though it is another which maybe does not realise the potential hinted at throughout. It is still an excellent encounter though leaving the closing and tenacious sonic might of Drowning In Their Screams to bring this thoroughly enjoyable and invigorating album to a close.

For honest and uncluttered, as well as seriously accomplished heavy metal, it will be hard to find anything much better than The Blacklist this year we suggest. It is not flawless and as mentioned it does not fulfil all the promise hinted at, but you can only feel that there is a major classic lurking inside I.C.O.N as they evolve and grown further whilst this release persistently shows itself to be one powerful and seriously tasty encounter all metallers should take time to devour.

The Blacklist is available now via Metalbox Recordings digitally and on CD @ http://www.iconukonline.com/webshop

http://www.iconukonline.com   https://www.facebook.com/icon.uk

RingMaster 16/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

Backslashes And Bad Ideas – Sad Is The New Black

DSC_0196_2_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Recently signing with Imminence Records, US quintet Backslashes and Bad Ideas have just released a limited edition 7” single Sad Is The New Black via MKT Records to spark fresh attention. Containing the songs Mid Twenty Something and its title track, the release gives a potent example of why the Staten Island hailing band has been grabbing attention since forming in 2010 whilst setting the scene of their pungent sound for newcomers.

The band’s music is a blend of indie invention, emo angst, and aggressive pop punk contagion, and in full roar on the new release. Consisting of vocalists/guitarists Nick DePalo and Josh Cronopulos, guitarist Ricky Abolt, bassist Rob Castiglione, and drummer Ed Mone, Backslashes And Bad Ideas self-released their debut EP Nothing Left To Give in October 2012 to strong responses. The following year its successor There’s No Place Like Home came out to even greater reactions and now with the linking up with Imminence Records, the time looks right for the band to break into broader and wider spotlights.

Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   The single opens with Mid Twenty Something and straight away the band are awakening ears with a guitar caress and stronger vocal persuasion. In no time the track saunters along with striking rhythms and expressive sonic enterprise but really hits its true persuasive and appealing stride once it unleashes its full energy and passion. From start to finish the song has ears gripped but it is the rich weave of rhythmic tenacity and melodic flames when in full swing that turns a good if underwhelming song into something with a real punch.

The following Sad Is The New Black similarly makes a low key entrance but is quicker in finding its hearty creative resourcefulness and adventure. Hooks and melodic lures quickly spin a web of intrigue and enterprise whilst the dual attack of vocals has an even more defined and fluid union on the second song to also immediately impress. The sonic interplay between guitars around a tempestuous spine of riffs equally shines whilst the drama of the track emotionally and musically just builds a richer compelling success.

The first of the two tracks is highly enjoyable but simply overshadowed by its companion, though both only spark an interest and anticipation for the band’s next offerings with their new label. If new to Backslashes And Bad Ideas now is the time to introduce yourself to their lively and powerful sound, with the potential of bigger, greater things to come included.

Sad Is The New Black is available now via MKT Records on 7” vinyl @ https://backslashesandbadideas.bandcamp.com/ in a choice of Black Vinyl (ltd to300 copies), Orange, Green and Black Half Splatter Vinyl (100), and Teal and Black Half Splatter Vinyl (100)

https://www.facebook.com/backslashesny

RingMaster 16/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net