Le Butcherettes – A Raw Youth

photo credit- Monica Lozano

photo credit- Monica Lozano

Contagious and fierce, diversely imaginative and aggressively bold, A Raw Youth is punk rock at its best. In sound it might not always seem so but in attitude and uncompromising nature it is a rebel, a confrontation to match its theme, which is best described by the words of Teri Gender Bender, “The focus of the album is the recurring conflict between minorities (the raw youths) and society: The oppressor and the oppressed,” the vocalist adding “Each song is a different story of a youth from a different time era. Some of them want to die because their faith in humanity has ended, some want to fight the authority, think outside themselves.

The new album from Mexico based Le Butcherettes also roars with a celebratory air and rousing enterprise, a quality ensuring each track not only hits the spot musically and lyrically but leaves a lingering web of temptation for body and emotions. That will not really be a major surprise to fans of the band, their previous albums Sin Sin Sin of 2011 and last year’s Cry Is For The Flies especially, bulging riots of gripping sound and middle finger combat, but fair to say the trio of Gender Bender, drummer Chris Common (These Arms Are Snakes) and bassist Jamie Aaron Aux have pushed the creative intensity and adventure on again with A Raw Youth. The band’s third, and as its predecessors, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez produced, the album is their finest incitement yet, a rebel rousing slice of primal, thought provoking rock ‘n’ roll.

It all begins with Shave The Pride, a growling punk bred encounter quickly availing ears of grouchy riffs and the ever appealing tones of Gender Bender. Common’s beats frame the union with zest whilst Aux’s bass just snarls its way into the passions. The song itself never meanders from a cantankerous tone and infectious stride through ears, leaving greater adventure to those to come but easily makes for a stirring and anthemic start which has ears and appetite wide awake and ready for tracks like My Mallely which follows. Discord kissed melodies from keys opens up the swift attention grabber, bass and guitars again adding their irritable bait before the compelling and ever distinct tones of Gender Bender enrich ears. The infectious swagger of the song, driven by the excellent addictive nature of Common’s rhythms, has a 4 Non Blondes feel to it backed by warm keys which just slip over the senses with emotive temptation.

Le Butcherettes A Raw Youth Cover_RingMaster Review   From one major highlight to another pair in Reason to Die Young and La Uva. The first seduces and bellows like a blend of PJ Harvey and a restrained Lene Lovich, voice and sound effortlessly inciting body and emotions with its tempestuous yet wholly virulent, slightly No Doubt like, blaze. Within it that an off kilter enticing adds a great unpredictability which is fully explored more in its successor. The fourth track on the album is a maze of textures and inventive sound entwining with and bouncing off the superb vocal union between the siren-esque harmonics of Gender Bender and the dark, lordly tones of guest Iggy Pop. Like De Staat meets Bauhaus with the devilment of a 6:33 infused, the track is a gloriously sinister and gripping fascination; a union of dark and light, warped power and innocence.

The outstanding Sold Less Than Gold keeps the lusty emotions inflamed again with its sixties pop meets indie revelry. A song looking on women who are sold into marriages or sex slavery, it is an invigorating flame of catchy rhythms, warm vocals, and bracing horns within a bouncy canter and energy in which potently reflects the resilience in the spirits of those enslaved.

Tantalising tones over a fuzzy landscape provides the next recruitment of feet and imagination in the shape of Stab My Back, its punchy touch and defiant nature ebbing and flowing with greater voracity across its four minutes before the aggression of They Fuck You Over ensures things get even scuzzier and antagonistically fiercer. A storm of punk and garage rock, it brawls with the listener yet has them on the dance-floor too. It with raw zeal uncages a contagion of addiction which in its own distinct way is matched by Witchless C Spot. Atmospherically immersive and haunting, the track wraps the senses like a dry mist initially, the voice of Gender Bender hypnotic in presence and word, before stalking textures and suggestiveness boil over in a fiery but controlled crescendo. It is a tempting repeating again, with the calm after holding more spicy additives second time around.

The Hitch Hiker is a riveting duet between the two protagonists within the narrative of the excellent encounter, Gender Bender taking both sides against saucy keys with an Oingo Boingo essence to them, and the ever welcome trespass of bass and swinging beats. Again the band has bodies out of their seats with ease whilst inciting thought, the lyrical writing and prowess of the vocalist as cutting and potent as the sounds relishing their input. It is a quality of course shown again in the transfixing Lonely & Drunk, a song far more hard hitting than on first appearances and increasingly magnetic with its golden melodies and predatory rhythms.

A favourite moment of the album comes with Oil The Shoe If The Critter Knew Any Better, a funk punk stroll of garage rock tenacity and psych rock hues which is as masterful prowling the imagination as it is venting its full energy and rapacious intent. The track just hits the spot leaving closing song My Half a tough job to match. Fair to say it does not quite find that success yet with the featured John Frusciante bringing his majestic fingers on steely strings to the bluesy/psyche mix, the album is provided with a thoroughly enjoyable and impressive end.

Le Butcherettes continue to burn the imagination and the issues of the world with their ravenous maelstrom of rock ‘n’ roll and A Raw Youth is their latest plateau of craft and imagination. There is always a smile when something new from the band arrives and their new album shows exactly why; one highly recommended proposal for you all.

A Raw Youth is available via Ipecac Recordings from September 18th via through all digital platforms.

Pete RingMaster 18/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Two Beats Apart – Aim, Fire

Two Beats Apart Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

Two Beats Apart are no strangers to everyone but now the rest of us yet to enjoy their charms get to hug their magnetic folk rock sound through the release of their debut EP Aim, Fire. Three tracks of intimate seduction, the release is a vibrantly captivating proposition which suggests the duo of vocalist/pianist Tasha Alice and guitarist Steve Hart are ready to pierce the fullest spotlights.

It was a chance encounter between mutual friends in 2013 which provided the spark for Two Beats Apart, from there Tasha and Steve swiftly uniting their musical craft and ideas. The past year has seen the St. Albans pair work with the likes of Chrissie Hynde, Reeves Gabrels (The Cure/David Bowie), and Billy Lunn (The Subways), whilst finding their own music on the live scene acclaimed and media wise getting praise from the likes of Kerrang! and Front Magazine, earn national radio play, and be featured on Channel 4’s prime time show Hollyoaks. Fair to say there is a bit of a fuss brewing round Two Beats Apart and after Aim, Fire it is easy to see and hear why.

Two Beats Apart Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review     The EP opens with Aim, an instantly alluring fusion of voice and guitar. A gentle strum from Steve lays the canvas for the immediately enticing tones of Tasha to wrap lyrical and harmonic warmth round ears and imagination. The air of the song is enriched again by restrained but nicely melancholic strings with never impose but add more emotive colour to the blossoming heart of the encounter. Across its body, energy ebbs and flows to great effect whilst keys and compelling harmonies add to the inescapable seduction of Tasha’s voice and emotive delivery.

It is a fine start matched by the following Fire, this time vocals and piano uniting in a shadow draped yet increasingly warm serenade for the senses. Vocals again grab the attention though fingers on keys are just as poetic and descriptive whilst an outstanding harmony sculpted chorus just seems to get more potent and calmly anthemic with every round of its temptation. The song is bewitching in every quarter, a gentle but firm siren for ears before TwentyFour brings the release to an impressive close.

Its slow engaging start is quickly ripe with strings, keys, and rhythms as the tones of Tasha tempt; they backed by harmonies which float with a haunted but celestial beauty. As enthralling and enjoyable as the song is, it initially lacks the full allure of its predecessors but once the guitar of Steve explores a bluesy adventure, it breeds another wash of temptation to transfix and spark the same depth of pleasure. Another depth to the sound and songwriting is openly revealed by the EP’s finale, another source of adventure sure to be explored by band and ears ahead.

Aim, Fire is an excellent first persuasion from Two Beats Apart; a national entrance to entice fresh ears and appetites for the band’s glowing sound and a strong start to surely a certain ascent towards major things for them.

The Aim, Fire EP is available from September 18th through all digital platforms.

Pete RingMaster 18/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Rooster Cole – Bird Don’t Sing EP

RC_RingMaster Review

Bird Don’t Sing is the second EP from UK band Rooster Cole and confirmation, if we needed it, that the man behind it all is one of Britain’s finest atmospheric and emotive song-smiths and vocalists. It offers four diverse and intensely provocative songs which just grab ears and imagination, transporting them into the heart of a sound described as ‘Bluesman Mariachi Soul’, a term which really does sum up the mouth-watering experience on offer.

Rooster Cole is the solo project of Black Black Hills frontman Mark S. Aaron, a band which itself was an acclaim garnering and feverishly devoured proposition which still has many hoping and waiting on a hint of a return. Last year saw Aaron unveil a couple of songs which swiftly whipped up keen attention, including ours, but it was debut single More Than You at the beginning of the year which nudged real focus on The Brighton based singer-songwriter’s emerging presence. That poke became a rich wake-up call as the single revealed itself to be the lead song from the similarly named first EP from Aaron. The April released More Than You EP, was a creative web of intrigue and dark adventure with a general climate as sultry and romantically dangerous as the mix of impressive and individual songs within it. Now five months on, another quartet of spicy encounters have arrived within the new EP to whisk the listener off into flirtatious shadows and emotionally haunting landscapes, and it is easy to suspect, even greater attention and rewards.

cover_RingMaster Review     The release opens with the instantly warm and lively Head Over Heels, and a dazzle of crystal melodies against the darker tempting of bass and guitar. Almost as quickly, the distinctive tones of Aaron cup ears with rich expression shaped by mariachi honed theatre. It is a magnetic sound and presence the man has; a cross between a melancholic Elvis and a mournful Roy Orbison yet with an instinctive swing and smile that simultaneously tempers and accentuates the shadows at the soul of the words and music. The song continues to bloom as guitar strings cast a weave of variety and enterprise matched by the vocals with bewitching effect. Delicious elements of unpredictable discord also come out to play whilst electronic beats, with a dulled sharpness, knock on the door of the song trying to get in. Theirs is a strange resonating touch which just works and though they would not be missed if not there such the potency of the track, they add a little more drama to contemplate.

The title track of Bird Don’t Sing follows, pulsating beats and tender melodies the first touch, the inviting voice of Aaron the second. In moments it has ears and thoughts firmly engaged, electronic tweets sparsely reverberating within the sombre but again welcoming ambience of the song. Like a fusion of The Walker Brothers and Nick Cave, the track seduces with a noir charm and elegance spiked by scuzzy eruptions which smother the senses in brief and quickly passing, but almost smoggy crescendos. It is a creative collision between textures, even if in swift moments, which unleashes the sorrow of the song in gentle persuasion and devouring intensity, again a blend which just works around the dark tale and heavy enticing voice of Aaron.

If the second song is awash with melancholy, O Darkness Come For Me right after is drenched in it, and similarly simply captivates. There is a fifties hue aligned to gothic sadness which drips from every pore of the song whilst wistful keys and a solemn piano melody court each other’s emotive beauty. It is absorbing stuff and with the ever sullen and enthralling voice of Aaron casting the narrative’s sorrow, also quite irresistible.

In saying that, it still gets outshone by final song and rousing stomp, Waiting Place. The track was one of the two songs first revealed by Aaron before the first single, and a glorious bewitchment which slowly washed over ears as its piano led walk embraced discord kissed melodies and sombre yet emotionally incendiary textures and vocals, it was too. Between its first appearance and now though, it seems like Aaron has fed it Viagra as it has returned as a far more boisterous and refreshed encounter, bouncing with the sultriness of a temptress and romping with the tenacious canter of a stallion. The track still lies under a red skied climate of suggestiveness over a dustily emotive landscape, but like a bold Ranchero baring his soul with troubadour revelry it now infests ears with a funky, discord lined and noir folk adventure in word and sound. The track is superb, managing to go from being something truly special to revealing a whole new character and intent which is still nothing less than magnificent. Simply it is dark rock ‘n’ roll at its most resourceful and invigorating.

Fair to say the final song steals the show, but from first maudlin note to its lingering last, the Bird Don’t Sing EP is majestic. If Rooster Cole has still not reached your personal playlists yet…you really are missing out.

The Bird Don’t Sing EP is available from September 18th via the Rooster Cole Bandcamp.

Pete Ringmaster 18/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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