Grizzlor – Cycloptic

Grizzlor_RingMaster Review

As it ravished and destabilised the senses, last year’s When You Die EP sparked a lustful appetite in us for the raw and dirtily rabid noise rock infestation cast by US trio Grizzlor. It was a persuasion continuing in a split release with Norwegian duo Barron Womb earlier this year but now exploding into lofty new heights with the Connecticut trio’s new offering, Cycloptic. The 7 track 7” EP is sonic irresistibility as intoxicating as it is bruising and ravenously intrusive. This time around Grizzlor have not so much polished but stripped down their sludgy, hardcore trespass to its textured bones which in turn has fanned the fires of spiteful imagination and searing diversity. The result is something glorious, with Grizzlor now not so much one of our favourite propositions of the past twelve months since they first nudged our personal attention, but of punk/rock confrontations for many, many years.

New Haven hailing vocalist/guitarist Victor, drummer John, and bassist Wade first emerged as Grizzlor early last year, making a mark with their self-released debut EP We’re All Just Aliens, though fair to say it was its successor When You Die through Money Fire Records that stirred even more attention. Despite the impressive presence and strong persuasion of both, it is easy to suspect that Cycloptic will be a whole new ball game in luring acclaim and richer spotlights the way of Grizzlor. Its invention and fury are simply a declaration that the band is ready to be one of the major protagonists helping to inspire and reshape the scene ahead.

Cover_RingMaster Review   Cycloptic begins its intrusive contagion with Sundays Are Stupid which provides its first intrigue through a warped breath of vocal and air which quickly springs a rhythmic stalking crossed by acidic sonic swipes of guitar. Bass and drums court intimidation and appetite simultaneously, their prowling swing as instantly addictive as the hook laded groove of guitar and the overall collusion of punk and noise rock blossoming the virulent tapestry crowding the broadening vocal roar of Victor. Imagination is just as hectic too, a distorted shimmer midway turning song catching the listener on their heels before things get thrillingly tempestuous all over again.

Strolling straight out of the wake of its predecessor, a baiting bassline leads I’m That Asshole into ears and ardour, its attitude caked lure the prelude to antagonistic beats and vocals as guitars unleashes a caustic tirade of irritable temptation. No song reaches the two minute mark, most barely glimpsing its signpost, but at forty odd seconds, the second track is a fast acting short and busy predatory fondling of the senses.

     Life’s A Joke has a more even paced stride to its scathing and addictive volatility; the track teasing with the infectious toxicity of The Black Black and a primal noise/hardcore rousing reminiscent of Sofy Major, whilst Tommy takes the listener into the bedlamic emotive realm of its protagonist on a swing of funk infused demonic bass and tangy grooves with venom in their veins. Both tracks grip the imagination whilst frisking body and senses, the first being pure punk belligerence within a creative psychosis of sound and the second in a sinister incitement before Winter Blows twists and turns like a tornado flinging flirtatious hooks, scowling vocals, and rhythmic agitation from its stormy centre.

Already Cycloptic has ears and thoughts enslaved and ready to acclaim Grizzlor as hitting a plateau to match more established noise exponents, a suggestion only reinforced by War Machine. Feeling energetically more urgent than its stalking actually is, thanks to the violently frisky swings of John, the song spews its emotive animus within a tantalising surf rock hued climate; the sultry, salty tang of guitar providing a fraudulent sunset increasingly masking the ingrained dark intent and textures of the track. It is bewitching, a sonic weave of invention that seduces as it uncompromisingly ravishes.

The EP is concluded by Starship Mother Shit, a slow sludge thick creeping through ears with lumbering and intensive rhythms courted by psyche infesting guitar spawned enterprise. There is nowhere to hide as the song gets under the skin whilst rubbing its bracing force upon every inch of body and soul, and no place for anything less than rich enthusiasm for repeat prescriptions of its violating devilry.

As we mentioned When You Die had us enlisted to the Grizzlor last year, but Cycloptic simply leaves it in the shade with each of its delicious creative malefactions on the senses. If not doing so before, now really is the time to embrace the noise fuelled scourge of Grizzlor.

The Cycloptic EP is released late October 2015 through Hex Records digitally and as a limited edition red and white vinyl @ http://hexrecords.bigcartel.com/product/grizzlor-cycloptic-7

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Pete RingMaster 26/10/2015

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Theia – Take The Pill

THEIA_RingMaster Review

The ‘medicinal’ value of the sound within Take The Pill certainly and potently represents its title, the new album from UK rockers Theia, a rousing feel good remedy of attitude loaded rock ‘n’ roll sure to energise any day of unenthused emotions. It vociferously grumbles, tenaciously rumbles, and unleashes ten hungrily blazing roars for one highly enjoyable snarl within the landscape of this year’s British rock scene. Pushing boundaries and forging unfamiliar territories may not be the biggest element of the Burton Upon Trent trio’s debut full-length, but in providing a furiously thrilling and enlivening rock ‘n’ roll, Take The Pill is nothing less than a hammering success.

Formed towards the start of 2012 and drawing on inspirations from the likes of Buckcherry, Winterville, Alter Bridge, and Black Label Society for their uncompromising, metal infused hard rock, Theia has swiftly and increasingly over these past three or so years, gained a strong following and acclaimed reputation for their voracious rock sound whether live or on releases. 2014 saw the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Kyle Lamley, drummer John Tolley, and bassist Paul Edwards come together and the band’s single Whoop-Dee-F***ing-Doo! whip up fresh and eager attention, building on that gained by earlier EPs, itself eclipsed by recent single Ride On. Now Take The Pill shows that the taste of the band’s first album they gave was rich but also only half the story, and easy to expect their success to be easily surpassed by the band’s tremendous new release.

cover_RingMaster Review     Take The Pill comes to life with opener We’re Alive, it sauntering in on a melodic coaxing alongside a boozy sonic caress, both guitar spawn and thickly enticing. They continue to entice with their intoxicating lures whilst in the background there is a sense of something fiercer brewing, this eventually honed and emerging as an ear entwining groove that instantly hits the instincts and eager swing of the body. As with all subsequent tracks, there is a just as immediate familiarity to the flavours woven into the song but also freshness and virulence which dictates the way thoughts, appetite, and pleasure go.

With fine guitar craft and a great vocal delivery from Lamley, backed by a great rhythmic shuffle from Tolley, the song is a great anthem to start things off with From The Streets backing its potency with its own rock ‘n’ roll stroll wrapped in spicy blues hued grooves, broad vocal roars, and enjoyable imagination in the tapestry of recognisable and fresh spices. Keeping ears and neck muscles keenly involved, the song passes its infectious baton onto Society On Mute, an impassioned and muscular canter rippling with metallic riffs and thumping beats alongside a lure of bass from Edwards which borders on the carnivorous in tone. Breezes of some of those earlier inspirations are an open spicing too as also the individual craft and invention which colludes to create a track that stomps and atmospherically seduces throughout its fiery presence.

Video Memories needs barely a handful of seconds to grip ears and an already bred hunger with its growling bassline and grizzled riffs, their antagonism perfectly tempered by the melodic flames and vocal harmonies colouring the track. It is stirring stuff but quickly overshadowed by the mighty Anybody Else, a swagger of southern rock equipped with the juiciest of grooving and another bestial bass sound cast by Edwards. Vocally too, the song is a mix of stylish antagonism and anthemic adventure which at times flirts with prime Pantera bait, a great tempting emulated again later in the album once Electric Witness first unveils its addictive and magnetic hard rock croon, its every element again coming together in superb creative unity. It is a track which musically gets more crotchety around melodically enticing vocals, another string to its already persuasive bow that only hits the target before the outstanding Overthrown springs another open and pleasing Pantera-esque hook within its contagious endeavour.

Take The Pill is completely in total control by this point, keen ears backed by greed for the high energy and thickly convincing adventure of the band’s sound. The album increasingly becomes more compelling as each song passes through ears into the imagination, the next up Some Days ensuring that does not change, its voracious heart and attack pure fire breathing rock ‘n’ roll; a quality similarly running through the core of Ride On and closing stomp Whoop-Dee-Fucking-Doo!

The first of the pair merges dirtily fuzzy riffs and throaty predation from the bass with the clipping of ears by Tolley’s persistent rapier swings, all imposing yet enthralling traits framing a web of infection driven by winy grooves and sonic imagination. Its successor just rocks like a dog in heat, the finest asset any slab of rock ‘n’ roll can have in our view and again grooves, hooks, and enterprise create a tasty tempting bringing the sinew swinging party to an exhaustive close.

After recent singles, we had strong hopes for Take The Pill but it still took ears and expectations by surprise, emerging as a bigger, bolder, and far more creatively boisterous incitement, even those lead songs coming over taller and broader in their bellows. Ok Theia might not be breaking moulds with Take The Pill but rock pleasure does not come much more captivating and enjoyable as this.

Take The Pill is out now on CD @ http://theiauk.com/shop/ and through most online stores digitally and physically.

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Pete Ringmaster 26/10/215

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