Hands Off Gretel – Burn the Beauty Queen

HOG_RingMasterReview

Checking out the ear exciting single One Eyed Girl a few short weeks back, our closing line was “Roll on Burn The Beauty Queen”. That is the title of the debut album from UK grrl punksters Hands Off Gretel, and just a handful of days ago it was unveiled to quench hopes and anticipation for its potential riding on the back of its lead single. Burn the Beauty Queen is glorious, a feast of grunge fuelled punk ‘n’ roll snarling and barracking like a fusion of Die So Fluid, Spinnerette, and The Raincoats. It is an infestation of ears and psyche skilfully weaving recognisable flavours into its own distinctively imaginative exploits and more than fulfilling the promise offered by its first single.

Emerging from an early musical partnership between vocalist/guitarist Lauren Tate and guitarist Sean McAvinue and following the demise of the former’s Lauren Tate Band, Hands Off Gretel quickly started to draw attention with Tate’s ‘frustration songs’ as creative fuel. Late 2015 saw Sam Hobbins invited to play bass and drums on the South Yorkshire band’s album, subsequently become the permanent Hands Off Gretel drummer to join Tate and McAvinue, newest member bassist Joe Scotcher completing the current line-up.

In a year already seeing Hands Off Gretel release the single My Size as well as One Eyed Girl and play Whitby Goth Weekend, Camden Rocks Festival, Rebellion, Kaya Festival, and Isle of Wight Festival, Burn the Beauty Queen is the pinnacle and needs barely two minutes of opener Queen Universe to confirm the fact. Teasing, almost taunting with a lone riff initially, bait swiftly accompanied by the potent tones of Tate, the song is soon a cauldron of imposing rhythms, cantankerous riffs, and spiky hooks with bitchy harmonies adding their great snarl. It is a stunning start quickly reminding of those earlier references yet just as powerfully showing its own character of sound and invention as it stomps over senses and into the passions.

There is no chance of such a powerful bordering on psychotic beginning being followed by an antic-climax either as One Eyed Girl follows to confirm its position of one of the best songs heard this year. Grumbling in ears from its opening bassline, the track is soon aggressively challenging and seducing as Tate’s catchy yet confrontational tones align to the nagging and addictive exploits of McAvinue’s hooks and riffs as rhythms swing with venom. Again there is no escaping a Brody Dalle essence to vocals and indeed the sound but the song bounces around on its own unique terms to feed an already keen appetite for what is on offer.

art_RingMasterReviewBad Egg is next, coaxing ears with a singular hook wearing an early Adam and The Ants scent before things open up with wiry melodies and predacious beats as McAvinue’s guitar spins a web of tangy melodic intrigue. Less ferocious and imposing than its predecessors, the track is dangerously bewitching, leaving a lingering imprint before Teethin’ strolls in like a gunslinger, one hiding its bite behind catchy endeavours but perpetually gnawing away with post and old school punk invention. Its exceptional persuasion is followed by that of Little Man, a haunting ballad-esque canter seemingly as much inspired by the darker explorations of Siouxsie and The Banshees as bands like Hole and 4 Non Blondes, and quite irresistible.

From its dark shadows, Hands Off Gretel go for the jugular with the punk infested and simply brilliant Always Right. It is a rousingly irritable assault, like Bikini Kill meets Au Pairs and also fiercely addictive as its virulent enterprise and piecing hooks take hold before Under The Bed bares its cranky attitude and nature with creative zeal.

Through the barbarous Oh Shit with its predatory bassline and scything riffs and the raging fire of World Against She, Hands Off Gretel prove that even their least unique offerings simply ring true with ears and emotions and set the band well apart from the field whilst tracks like Eating Simon with its Three Imaginary Boys like Cure hooks and enslaving rhythmic rumbling offer evidence that the quartet just might be one of the bands helping steer British rock to new glories ahead.

Then we have Plasters, a superb and slightly deranged piece of imagination which drawls discord, musically and emotionally, whilst casting another highly addictive web of beats and sonic hooks. The song brings seventies punk, eighties new wave, and nineties grunge into the raw and twenty first century invention of Hands Off Gretel for something quite striking.

The dark amble and warning of Push The Girl and the climactic theatre of Awfully Miserable bring Burn the Beauty Queen to a powerful close; the first sublime creative drama in the ear and its successor, from an engrossing low key unleashing, a tempest of scything beats and grumpy basslines littered with electric grooves and spiky hooks as crescendos rise and fall.

It is a great end to one of the year’s most impressive and seriously pleasurable releases of 2016. Hands Off Gretel bring a fresh excitement to music, Burn the Beauty Queen the biggest thrill.

Burn the Beauty Queen is out now and available @ http://www.handsoffgretel.co.uk/_p/prd15/4533789831/product/burn-the-beauty-queen-album

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Pete RingMaster 21/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dog ‘N’ Style – Pub’s Calling

dognstyle-promo-pubc-3_RingMasterReview

Unleashing a flavoursome dose of rebel and spirit rousing rock ‘n’ roll within its muscular walls, French heavy rockers Dog ‘N’ Style have just released debut album Pub’s Calling. A hungry and virulent roar from start to finish, the ten track encounter revels in the band’s stoner and hard rock shaded rock ‘n’ roll which in turn inspires ears to greedily devour what is maybe not the most unique incitement but certainly one which leaves thick satisfaction.

Formed in 2013, Epinal hailing Dog ‘N’ Style quickly hit their stride live, the following three years seeing the Spinalien quartet play over a hundred shows across France and further afield including tours in Russia, Spain, and Luxemburg. Sharing stages with the likes of No One is Innocent, The Casualties, Tagada Jones, Ultra Vomit, and Burning Heads along the way the band’s melody infused heavy rocking has been increasingly praised while their self-titled debut EP of 2015 introduced the band to a broader attention which Pub’s Calling can only further ignite.

An earthy revving of an engine opens up the album, its growl welcoming the meaty body and sound of The Best of Me. Straight away the song sets the character and intent of sound and release, riffs and rhythms heavy and imposing as fiery flames of guitar and rich melodies collude with an infectious boisterousness. As most songs within Pub’s Calling, there is something familiar about the opener but a recognisable air which wraps the band’s commanding and enterprising songwriting to fine effect.

art_RingMasterReviewThe great start to the album continues with I Did Something Bad, the growl lined vocals of Greg Hal a magnetic essence as swinging riffs and rhythms unite while the guitars of Yan Pierrat and Hal spin a web of sonic and melodic adventure. Like its predecessor, there is an instinctive catchiness to the song which is irresistible even when the bass of Robin Rob’s grooves along on its own. The band lists inspirations as the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Steel Panthers, Red Fang, and Nashville Pussy, and it is those kinds of influences which especially leap around within the album’s second track.

Pretty Fly reveals a grouchier intent in its nature and sound from the off yet again grooves and the inviting tones of Hal are quickly seducing ears as the mighty rhythmic swings of drummer Boub Tchak resonate. A cantankerously toned bassline entangles the warmer but no less intrusive riffs and grooves of the guitars, it all contrasting and mixing masterfully with the melodic and fiery imagination which blossoms across the track before One Day springs its Gruntruck spiced proposal and in turn Bad Motorcycle swaggers in with its hard/classic rock fuelled stomp. Neither track quite live up to the heights of the first trio of songs yet spicy grooves and infectious roars as well as the sonic dexterity offered ensures both leave enjoyment high.

The release hits top gear again with Night Losers, its funk infested basslines alone sparking an already eager appetite as the tendrils of tangy guitar entangle ears. Again vocals and rhythms involve the listener with ease and though originality is maybe limited the imagination is swiftly hooked by the songs inventive twists, turns, and snarling enterprise.

With its southern rock hued melodies, the same applies to the excellent Running Out which swiftly seduces as sultry sonic sighs amidst calmer vocals and energies immerse ears in its smouldering but rhythmically imposing climate. Carrying a fierce snarl in its mellower stroll, the track is outstanding, best track contender which though closely rivalled within the album leaves the moment which lingers longest even as the bruising and thickly catchy rumble of Never Trust An Asshole mightily consumes ears and pleasure next.

The album’s title track is heavy rock ‘n’ roll at it most compelling and rousing, rhythms and riffs enslaving instincts as grooves and almost toxic melodies infest the imagination. It too is a battleground of attitude loaded aggression and energy infused with a tapestry of warm melodic invention and dustily charming harmonies.

Ensuring the album ends on a high similar to how it started, it calls time on the boozy rabble-rousing with the final Couple Of Beers, a track again weaving all the traits and contrasting shades of the Dog ‘N’ Style sound and invention in one exhilarating escapade. It is a fine end to Pub’s Calling, an album which may not be about to change the direction of muscle driven rock ‘n’ roll but certainly gives it something to get lively about.

Pub’s Calling is out now across most online stores.

 

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Pete RingMaster 21/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Berserkers – Lock & Load

groupe_RingMasterReview]

French rockers Berserkers have a sound it is simply impossible not to find a healthy appetite for. Hard rock in character with captivating and open traces of seventies/eighties bred rock led by the magnetic enterprise of keys; it is a masterfully compelling tapestry of sound and lively adventure flooding the band’s new album Lock & Load.

The Bordeaux band’s sound is certainly at odds with expectations when approaching a proposal called Berserkers and a release titled Lock & Load but swiftly persuades as the 2009 formed outfit entangle ears and imagination in their flavoursome energy and enterprise.  Founded by bassist/vocalist Julien “Julius” Logeais and keyboardist Julien “Judy” Rosello, the band’s original line-up was completed by guitarist Julien “Pix” Lamy, guitarist Arthur Orsini, and drummer Leo Calzetta. 2013 saw the departure of Rosello and the addition of Hammond organ toting Valentin “Val” Sarthou with the debut Berserkers album unveiled the following year. Following its release, the quintet became a quartet with Lamy leaving to concentrate on another project, Lock & Load the first encounter from the foursome and a striking offering it is too.

The album grabs ears from the off, starting with a bang as Outlaw lures attention with a great bait of drums quickly joined by the glorious and distinctive flavour of Sarthou’s Hammond. Swiftly the full flavour of the band and album’s sound is coursing through ears, the songs bluesy and seventies spiced hard rock ‘n’ roll a swirling yet punchy kaleidoscope of sound. It is a dramatic opening to the album which simply captivates body and imagination with ease; virulent and aggressive funk/blues ‘n’ roll rather easy to breed a forceful appetite for.

5-album-lock-load_RingMasterReviewThe following Blind Taste is of the same ilk but instantly revealing its own funky swagger and melodic character led by Logeais’ fine vocals and the ever persuasive enterprise of Sarthou’s keys. A touch more restrained than its predecessor yet with an energy and zeal to its magnetic stroll, Orsini’s guitar adds extra sonic endeavour to the weave of grooves and melodies courted by robust rhythms before the outstanding Vampire Lady teases and taunts with its seventies blues ‘n’ soul hued dance.

The brooding tone of Logeais’ bass is one highly appetising feature of It’s Up To You next; it’s swinging shadowed bound presence even outshining the flavoursome weave of the Hammond and matched by the energetically boisterous swings of Calzetta amidst the flaming exploits of Orsini’s guitar. For personal tastes Lock & Load is at its peak across the first quartet of songs but still providing plenty to be highly pleased by from hereon in starting with The Foolish Man and its almost prowling gait and in turn the feisty romp of Rock Save The World which pretty up lives up to expectations cast by its title. The track is an unrelenting rocker; a powerfully infectious anthemic stomp even if its originality is less apparent than other tracks within the album.

The song’s rousing presence is followed and contrasted by the calmer waters of Heroes Are Back In Town though it too has an eager nature which gives the song real energy as vocals give it catchiness and keys charm. With Orsini’s craft on guitar highlighted in another great solo, the song is another which is thickly enjoyable if not quite matching those earlier tracks while Starlight City shows itself a tenacious and powerfully infectious proposition almost bubbling with the band’s flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll once more richly coloured by the inventive presence of the Hammond.

Completed by the rhythmically enslaving and melodically sultry Hangöverhead, a song bringing the album to an as potent and compelling a close as it started, Lock & Load is thorough and lingering enjoyment across a collection of songs which light ears and imagination. It needs little time to tempt and persuade while suggesting it is just the very tasty appetiser for bigger and bolder things ahead from Berserkers; something to definitely recommend seventies and hard rock fans check out.

Lock & Load is out now across most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 21/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright