The Creeping Ivies – The Witch House EP

creeping ivies_RingMaster Review

All those with dodgy hips turn away now as we have one slice of physical slavery for you courtesy of The Creeping Ivies. Revealing a new wash of ingenuity in their sound which borders on pop, the Scottish band again enthrals and seduces with their unique style of garage rock ‘n’ roll which quite simply is impossible not to get a little lustful over. Consisting of three exotically and flirtatiously sonic slices of dark rock ‘n’ roll, EP and band have ventured into a broader landscape of invention and tempting which might be best described as The Shangri-las meets The Cramps meets The Revillos at a bordello of ill-repute presided over by Johnny Thunders.

The Creeping Ivies since forming in 2011 has been no strangers to acclaim here and across media and fans thanks to two dynamically thrilling and fiercely dynamic albums and a clutch of EPs which have just lit the fires of devilry. It is fair to say that each subsequent encounter has shown a potent evolution of the band’s garage punk/rock bred sound from the last, with a matching strength in temptation. Between last year’s outstanding album Ghost World and The Witch House, the band has seen one half of the duo in drummer Duncan Destruction leave and vocalist/guitarist Becca “Bomb” Murray subsequently joined by bassist Christy Taylor and stick man Ian Duncan. With a big change to a band which has also drawn constant acclaim for a live presence taking in shows with the likes of Viv Albertine, Vic Godard & Subway Sect, Bob Log III, and The Primevals amongst many acclaimed headlining shows of their own, there was a wonder of how things would move or indeed change ahead. The Witch House swiftly shows that as ever The Creeping Ivies are an irresistible creative lure revelling in their inspirations whilst breeding their own striking imagination as they go exploring new avenues. The hex that is their sound has developed an appetite for sixties inspired pop on the EP to go along with a passion for garage rock ‘n’ roll from across the decades. The result is an EP which is majestically glorious and ridiculously addictive.

witch house cover_RingMaster Review   It opens up with its title track, The Witch House flirting through the voodoo rhythms the band has so masterfully transfixes with from day one. Where Mr Destruction’s beats used to transmit intent and resonance like a virus through ear and bone though, Duncan’s beats are more tempered to match the, dare we say mellower, tones of the music yet cast an equally lingering network of anthemic persuasion. Murray’s guitar is just as swift in its spicy coaxing as her recognisable and exhilarating vocal shrills and punkish tone. Completed by the dark rumble of Taylor’s bass, the song swings with attitude and a flirtatious swagger ripe with simple but deeply rooting Ramones seeded hooks and nostalgia bred chords. The track is scintillating revelry to start things off but just the beginning of great deeds.

The following Only the Moon opens with its own infectious shuffle, led in by more flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll guitar and blossoming into a tenacious and composed canter of sparkling riffs and grumbling rhythmic shadows. From that same moment a vibrant melodic and catchy smile also brews, erupting in a chorus complete with inciting handclaps and a vocal tempting which only the deaf could refuse full involvement with. Surf breezes and a sultry air only adds to the compelling dance of the song; sixties pop meets modern garage psychosis at its very best.

The release comes to an end through Bye Bye Babe, a track as much seventies melodic infection as it is sixties garage rock and original 21st century devilment. The guitars seem influenced by bands like The Ventures and Johnny & the Hurricanes, rhythms by bands like The Orson Family and The Bomboras, whilst Murray is like a sultry Fay Fife. Wrapped in an invention and imagination which holds whispers of possible inspirations like Josef K and The Pixies, the song is honey for ears, manna for the psyche and a third kiss of brilliance in The Witch House.

There is no denying we have had a soft spot for The Creeping Ivies since day one but equally there is no argument in the fact the band just gets bigger, better, and more essential with every proposition with The Witch House EP the finest moment for the band yet. We keep saying that over each encounter and suspect it will not be the last time either. Ahead of Your New Favourite Garage Band, a forthcoming compilation of previous singles as well as EP and album tracks from the band, this moment in time feels like The Creeping Ivies are starting a new exciting chapter with thrilling new sounds. Time to get spooked and infested guys and girls…

The Witch House EP is out now with Your New Favourite Garage Band available from October 31st, both though Flowers In The Dustbin.

RingMaster 18/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Old-timers – Turn It Off/Turn It Up EPs

The_Old-timers__RingMaster Review

With a sound which just seems to get more essential and invigorating with every proposition, South Africa based hardcore punk band The Old-timers release not one but two new EP’s to stir up ears and thoughts. Featuring four tracks each, Turn It Off and Turn It Up explodes in ears with the now renowned Old-timers sound and faith bred lyrical contemplations looking at today’s issues, but both and especially Turn It Off come entwined in fresh twists and captivating hooks, evidence of the band’s continual growth.

Consisting of Cape Town vocalist Dave Emerson and Port Elizabeth hailing guitarist/bassist Donovan de Necker, who live twelve hours apart, and recently new drummer Phil Harris who also plays in Boise punk band False Idle, The Old-timers have previously made a potent and increasingly attention grabbing impact on the global punk scene with their releases, debut album Soli Deo Gloria in 2012 their first thick temptation though the band had already lured ears and appetites, including those of Thumper Records with the Not Dead! Nor Are We! demo. They have been followed by even stronger encounters earning matching increases of acclaim in the shape of the Spiritus Sanctus and Be Reconciled EPs of last year. Each encounter has pushed the band’s old school inspired hardcore sound fuelling minimalistic but impassioned explosions posing as songs forward, and no surprise that both the new EPs follow suit, providing some of the best tracks to come from the band simultaneously.

The_Old-timers_TurnItOff_RingMaster Review     Turn It Off opens with the sturdy tempting of Untouchables; riffs and rhythms a nagging lure from its first breath as Emerson brawls with words. Little changes as the song broadens with tangy grooves and twisty hooks aligned to gleefully jabbing beats, that niggling quality an inescapable anthemic lure firing up voice and sound around. It is an excellent start to the EP, matched by the volatile energy and accusing nature of Televangelist. It too is ripe with gripping rhythms and delicious hooks, and a slim but open vocal variety which alone captures the imagination.

Featuring the alluring voice of The Lead’s Ninah Llopis, Homeless Friends steps forward to steal best song honours across both releases, her siren like tempering to the roar of Emerson emulated in the melodic and fiery exploits of de Necker on both guitar and the moody bass. With scything strikes from Harris adding to the drama, the song brews a stirring antagonism which never quite explodes but gets under the skin wonderfully, especially when flirting with the extra spice of Llopis. As much as the music has moved on again from the band, lyrical prowess has too, songs seeming more concise and impacting in that aspect with this a prime example.

The encounter closes with the intimidating Crowns which from its opening heavy and imposing resonance of bass, has ears and imagination in the palm of its hands, and though it subsequently breaks into a more expected hardcore like accusation and aggressive stance it carries plenty of unpredictable hooks and twists to offer something newly enticing.

Second EP Turn It Up reveals a street punk energy and tone with its first track Broken Glass, the song a more restrained but no less aggravated and energetic proposal to those upon the The_Old-timers_TurnItUp_RingMaster Reviewcompanion EP. For less than a minute and a half it ignites air and appetite before the drama fuelled Angela boldly leaps in with its almost poppy punk theatre of sound and easily devoured contagion.

No Regrets, which features Sef Idle of again False Idle, follows with its caustic stomp of punk/hardcore belligerent sound and praise to him above, whilst an extended cut of a song which first appeared on the band’s debut album brings the EP to a close. This City is the kind of punk roar The Old-timers are recognised for, and a song which still sparks greed and energy in limbs and thought even after a few years.

Whereas Turn It Off has the wealth of unpredictable adventure and invention in songs, Turn It Up has the diversity of punk flavours. Both complement each other perfectly and again provide plenty which those without the faith the band passionately infuse their music with, can also greedily devour. The Old-timers get better as they grow older and with the band donating every penny of digital and physical sales of both EPs to U-Turn Homeless Ministries in Cape Town, they are a must for all punk fans.

The Turn It Off/Turn It Up EPs are available now through Thumper Punk Records and Veritas Vinyl, as well as most digital stores.

RingMaster 18/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright