Static Daydream – Self Titled

SD cover_RingMaster Review

Ever had that dream where you are submerged in a thick and ravenous atmosphere haunted by the darkest predatory and invasive shadows, a little like the climate in the Silent Hill games? Listening to the new album from Static Daydream is like being immersed in that except everything about it from its raw breath and melodic discord is seriously invigorating and welcome. Carrying tracks bred in the bracing winds of noise and psych rock and equally cultured in shoegaze and dream pop beauty, the debut album from the US duo of Paul Baker (founding member of Skywave and Ceremony) and girlfriend/musical partner Jamie Casey is a tempest of sound and emotion to simply bask in.

Taking inspirations from 60’s girl groups alongside 80’s and 90’s British noise-pop, the pair began recording The Only One EP, their first release, in 2012. Earning strong critical acclaim upon release in 2014 on Moon Sounds Records, it was a swiftly devoured proposition instantly laying down the seeds of major anticipation for the band’s debut full-length. Released through Saint Marie Records and Moon Sounds Records, that encounter is here, eleven tracks igniting ears from the very start with reverb infested melancholic sound matched in potency by vocal and lyrical prowess within senses disorientating, discord fuelled roars. Within that ‘storm’ too ravishing melodic beauty and creative elegance shines. It is a fusion which has a sense of familiarity yet defies any real pinning down as to why, despite any references to others which may be suggested, for a unique and virulently contagious offering which just grows and strengthens in persuasion with very single listen.

The album opens with the immediately rousing More Than Today, a song which starts with a raw flame of guitar hinting at the raw punk hues of Birdland before blossoming a warm and caustic breeze of noisy but mellow pop with shades of House Of love. The dual vocals of Baker and Casey just entwine perfectly within the fuzzy climate of keys and the continuing sonically punk guitars. It is a stirring start matched by the slightly harsher air of Nowhere To Hide, a song fusing My Bloody Valentine like charm with the coarser haunting sonic ambience of Ceremony. The song gets darker and more energetically rabid with every passing minute, its already tenaciously fiery body just bristling with intensity and turbulence by its exciting close.

Run Into The Night grumbles with rhythms and riffs as it harmonically serenades next, its touch a fierce simmer on the senses and urgent spark for the imagination. Continuing to show a new aspect to the character of the album and Static Daydream’s sound, the song becomes a fire of noise and persuasion though it is quickly over shadowed by the outstanding Blue Tambourine Girl. Ears and emotions were enslaved almost instantly as a glorious Simon Gallup/Cure like bassline colludes with just as magnetic hooks and melodies to set things in motion, resonance wrapped vocals and firmly delivered beats only adding to the again seemingly recognisable but distinct theatre. That bass seducing continues to grip attention and ardour yet never takes away from the other just as masterful and spellbinding sounds aligning with it. The track is aural slavery and the pinnacle of the album, though there are many subsequent close-runs coming to snatch its title.

Just Stay is one such rival, its rhythmic and melody honed shuffle Jam like whilst as a mesmeric shimmer of reverb fascination and splintered but captivating dark rock grooves evolve alongside. The track is brimming with compelling hues which just hang around to light up an irresistible incitement on ears and rich pleasure, even when it brews up its own individual bluster of noise and dark romantic energy.

There is a similar canvas to the following Until You’re Mine, though its landscape is far busier and comes rapaciously inflamed as harmonies and melodies smoulder in the face of a wall of reverberation and scuzz spewing resonance. Throughout the album, Static Daydream weave in enticing essences of post punk, but this is the first song alone which virtually wears the flavour as it continually slips through a soundscape of fresh scenery and emotive atmospheres for another major highlight to the release.

The pair of Another Rainy Night Without You and When I Turn Around You’re Gone keeps ears and appetite aroused, the first with its dirty Jesus and Mary Chain pungency over glowing psych rock melodies and ethereally coloured vocals. Its successor flirts with more seemingly Cure inspired hooks and revelry, smothering them in dramatic sonic clouds veined by acidic grooves and deeply biting hooks, and a bassline which again has nostalgia and salacious seduction in its armoury.

One thrilling and inspiring trespass is followed by another and the eighties spiced The Only One. At times it is a fiercer provocative than its predecessor but in other moments a gentler heatwave of sound, the extremes fluidly united and continually matching inescapable sirens on ears It is a success only continuing with the gloriously aching noise haze of When She Falls and indeed last song I’ve Destroyed Everything. The album’s closer is sweltering smog of sound and emotive intensity with again post punk flavours woven into an alluring cacophony of discordance and sonic spicery breeding impassioned vocals and bristly melodies.

The final triumph helps suggest that Static Daydream’s album is arguably stronger in its second half than first but the difference in invention and certainly enjoyment is marginal at any time. The feeling coming out of the band’s label Saint Marie Records, is that they are rather excited about this release and fair to say they have plenty of reasons to be. If the thought of fuzzy, indeed seductively scuzzy sounds with vibrant imagination excites, then Static Daydream, band and album, is one offering you need to be checking out.

Static Daydream is available from August 28th on Vinyl, CD, and digitally via Saint Marie Records and Moon Sounds Records.

Pete RingMaster 28/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent check out http://www.zykotika.com/

 

Grim Vision – War Agony

Grim Vision Pic_RingMaster Review

Living up to its title, War Agony is a battlefield, a savage blood spilling assault on the senses and emotions, but a ferociously compelling one. With three tracks of uncompromising hardcore/extreme metal rancor, the new EP from German band Grim Vision leaves scars, bruising, and a toxic taste in the psyche whilst providing a form of contagion that any band would offer blood for.

The Hamburg hailing and 2013 formed, Grim Vision consists of Bibo, Max, Claus, and Schmauke, a quarter releasing debut EP, With Those Who Favor Fire in 2014 to stir up plenty of attention. It was a brutal introduction to their black and death metal influenced hardcore roar but in many ways just a teaser to the creative and physical might of War Agony. Released through Bastardized Recordings, its songs unleash a fury themed through poem-based lyrics about the destruction, war and agony caused by humanity in the 19th and 20th centuries. To be honest, its narrative is primarily a mystery through the harsh and raw delivery of the words, vocals another hellacious texture amongst many others, but it does not defuse the overall impact of tracks, their raw emotion and merciless persuasion.

BE092 Grim Vision - War Agony Cover_RingMaster ReviewFallen Soldier is first up upon War Agony, its initial sonic searing just the spark to an even more vicious beating by rhythms and a wall of riffs. There is no escape, every angle is covered by the onslaught but within the tsunami of spite, the bass breeds a carnivorous and gripping groove and the song virulent infectiousness forcibly driven by the swinging scythes of drum sticks. It is punk rock at its nastiest, metal at its most cancerous yet together they breed something as catchy as it is punishing. With hooks and increasingly rousing grooves aligning with anthemically violent rhythms, locked in an animus of noise and intent, the track is a rigorously magnetic start to the encounter.

The following War Machine is just as uncompromising and addictive, every creative and body bred sinew loaded with ire and each individual riff drenched in hostility, whilst vocals blend a mix of both as the track again stirs up an infection of toxic air and furious incitement. Whereas its predecessor was an all-out tempest, the second song twists into more controlled and predatory adventure towards its close, an unpredictable and pleasing turn which lays the seeds for the most inventive and diverse song on the EP.

The closing Ten Minutes opens with skittish percussion and beats around seemingly distorted samples. As it embraces the slow, menacing gait of a bass prowl, echoes of war and damaged lives continue to share their voice to the ‘mellow’ passage before sonic smog of doom bred rapacity crawls over song and senses. It is a caustic cloak brewed by guitars which brews up and boils over into an animalistic ravishing with nostrils flared and unbridled antagonism. Again though when hell lets loose there is an inventive resourcefulness within a web of addictive bait which hooks ears and appetite as potently as the raging burns them.

War Agony is obviously not for all, but anyone with a taste for extreme metal and punk crossovers, especially those cultivating the angriest noise and malice, should get a huge pleasure out of Grim Vision’s new furore.

The War Agony EP is available from August 28th on limited edition 7″ vinyl and digital formats through Bastardized Recordings.

Pete RingMaster 28/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more independent exploration check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Best Years – Drop Out

BY1_RingMaster Review

There is no denying that UK pop punks Best Years wear their inspirations openly in their sound but also that they write a cracking good pop song as evidenced by new EP Drop Out. Romping with three songs arguably low on dramatic originality but high on accomplished and energetically tenacious enterprise, the Manchester quintet’s second offering is one feel good romp.

Barely a year into their emergence, Best Years quickly nudged eager attention with debut EP Footwork, and now its successor is ready to stir up even greater awareness and excitement. Musically, as suggested, Best Years are unafraid to draw on the best essences of influences such as Blink-182, Brand New, The Story So Far, and Lit amongst a few. This ensures an easy familiarity meets invention in their sound, and right now it works in their favour in a release which uncages, in the words of vocalist Joel Plews, “three songs that’ll show what we’re made of.

BY Artwork_RingMaster Review     Drop Out opens up with Built To Last, a song to be admitted which had these ears hooked just by its opening melody, its warm smile carrying suggestions of riper things to come, which indeed they do as the song reveals a feisty stroll with spiky beats and a web of hooks and fiery riffs. There is an instant and eager energy to the song which is matched by the strong vocals of Plews, backed very well across the band. The guitars of Ed Lawson and James Hunt continue to dance on the imagination from start to finish, continually hinting, as the song itself does, that they are about to explode into a more aggressive state but instead just remain flirting and teasing with lively enterprise.

It is a highly pleasing start to the EP but soon outshine by Overrated, a track which rhythmically is gentle but firmly imposing and melodically tangy. The bass of Josh Holland provides a slightly understated but captivating shadow to more vibrant resourcefulness from the guitars whilst the beats of drummer Josh Berzins skilfully frames all in the increasing contagion. Again it is fair to say vocals and guitars steal the limelight but are only enhanced and allowed the freedom by the darker hues of the rhythmic union. The track is the lead song from Drop Out and easy to see why with its infectious character and enterprise, though for personal tastes it’s successor just steals the show.

Back Then from an eventful and inviting start quickly blossoms into a roar of a song. All three tracks are anthems easy to get fully involved with but the third song is manna to rock ‘n’ roll instincts. Rhythmically it is a riveting agitation whilst hooks and harmonies just grip and explode in a warm shower of sound and energy. The chorus, well that is inescapable and completes one inventive bellow of fun and persuasion.

Without being truly distinct from the best of the crowd, Best Years show themselves to be a richly promising and thoroughly enjoyable proposition through Drop Out. It also suggests that certain uniqueness is brewing within so watch this space for possible bigger bolder things with matching success ahead.

The Drop Out EP is released on August 28th 2015 via Dream Atlantic Records.

Pete RingMaster 28/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent check out http://www.zykotika.com/