The Masonics – Obermann Rides Again

masonics_RingMasterReview

Giving an instinctive passion for rock ‘n’ roll as big a work out as hips and feet, UK rockers The Masonics recently uncaged their ninth album, Obermann Rides Again, offering fourteen slices of their feverishly distinctive and tenaciously addictive sound. The trio rock and rumble through their new proposal with more of the beat infected garage punk which has seen them become the leaders of the Medway Beat first instigated by Billy Childish. In saying that, it equally breathes and roars with freshness again bringing something new and inspiring to ears and the scene around them, and most of all raw zeal and excitement to the listener.

The band consists of vocalist/guitarist Mickey Hampshire who was in the Milkshakes in the early 80s with drummer Bruce Brand who had played alongside Childish a few years earlier in the Pop Rivets and bassist John Gibbs once of Scottish group, The Kaisers. As The Masonics, the threesome have persistently cemented their position as one of the heads of British garage rock/punk with a sound becoming one of the essential inspirations of the ever eager charge of the genre’s young pups.

Released by Dirty Water Records as a limited 500 copies editions ahead of a series of limited vinyl and download releases from The Masonics’ back catalogue, starting with Outside Looking In and a new singles compilation, Obermann Rides Again swiftly reveals why the stature of the band remains stately. It all starts with I Ain’t Hurting For You and a guitar twang which provides the spark for a strolling jangle and rhythmic incitement forcibly engaging ears. The magnetic vocals of Hampshire are soon adding their lure; the boisterous sounds around him echoing his honest unfussy delivery. Within a handful of seconds feet are physically involved, appetite and those instincts just as eagerly hooked before the excellent opener hands its pliable slave over to the even more energetically captivating and persuasive Don’t Torment Me. With a Bo Diddley like stomp at its heart, the track twists and turns in its relentlessly vigorous shuffle with rhythmic rowdiness and sonic vivacity its virulent fuel. Rock ‘n’ roll was never meant to be flamboyant or polished to clean-cut limpness and this superb roisterer and its dirty ways proves why.

art_RingMasterReviewYour Dangerous Mind has a less undisciplined bounce, its saunter more flirtation than aggression and just as irresistible as Hampshire with grainy texture croons, backed by his cohorts within tangy grooves and hip inciting rhythms. The r&b essences of the song are just as ripe as its brisk punk serenade, chaining a body and imagination which is soon firmly hooked again by the sultry rumba of I Don’t Understand Her Any More. As with most tracks, a collusion of decades is at masterful play, sixties garage pop and seventies surf rock hues potent spices as too the fuzzy buzz of organ in the gentle but keen canter of a song.

Rhythm ‘n’ blues dexterity becomes even wilder in next up You Don’t Have To Travel; the beat swinging, hook casting romp has a flush of King Salami and the Cumberland 3 to it,  a more mild-mannered but no less devilish cousin enjoying juicy melodies and the temptress vocal charms of Ludella Black alongside Hampshire. It also pushes the already keen diversity of sound within the album on again, as even more so does I’m The Unforgiver. The track is glorious, a dark rock ‘n’ roll saunter with Cajun spicing evocatively colouring attitude loaded vocals, the fiery shimmer of harmonica, and heavily loping rhythms. It infests ears and psyche like the mutant offspring from a dirty union between Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and Ray Campi; quite simply it is garage punk to get truly lustful over.

The following and equally outstanding You’re A Stranger leaves body exhausted, senses punch drunk, and spirit ablaze next with its contagion loaded punk rock carrying a touch of The Mobbs to its rowdy exuberance while You Won’t See Me Again finds a predacious edge to its swinging, deviously catchy garage rock bred swagger.

Throughout the whole album, there is no escaping the physical manipulation of Brand’s nefarious beats or Gibbs infernal rhythms whilst Hampshire’s wiry melodies and jangling melodic hooks are trespasses more often than not breeding slavery. All are at bold play in the beat punctuated blues flamed I’m A Redacted Man and straight after in the smouldering fifties rock ‘n’ roll/sixties pop spun What Do You Do. A procrastinating stroll and anthem for lost love and its enslaving grief, the second’s raw seduction roars with soiled Walker Brothers like charm and salty melodic spicing reminding a little of The Birds.

Come On My Little Darlin’ bounces around like a dancehall ruffian after them, sonically tempting and rhythmically taunting as a mouth harp again seduces before You Gotta Tell Me shows its blues breeding with intoxicating hooks and intoxicated keys for a salacious slab of imposing but controlled rock ‘n roll. Both tracks continue the album’s appetite igniting prowess though both are quickly eclipsed by its closing pair.

The swinging country rock a-scented beat ‘n’ roll of The Unsignposted Road is sheer infectiousness with Black back courting ears alongside the band as one passion stoking hook persists and old school melodies flame. It is delicious to the ear but too is slightly shaded by the brilliance of the album’s title track bringing devilment to its exceptional close. Punk ‘n’ roll calling on the goodness of past decades, it stomps around and grips body and soul like The Pirates, both the Johnny Kidd and seventies eras, meeting Thee Headcoats as the likes of The Blue Cats spur them on; a glorious end to an equally stirring and enjoyable album.

As suggested earlier, The Masonics are the head boys of UK garage goodness and Obermann Rides Again is evidence they are in no mood to hand over that position.

Obermann Rides Again is out now on vinyl on the band’s own Grand Wazeau Records and digitally through Dirty Water Records and available @ https://themasonics.bandcamp.com/album/obermann-rides-again

https://www.facebook.com/themasonics/

Pete RingMaster 05/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Playboy Manbaby – Don’t Let It Be

 

playboymanbaby_RingMasterReview

With their recent single still inciting mischief and bad behaviour, Arizona post funk punksters Playboy Manbaby have just uncaged their new album Don’t Let It Be, eleven tracks of creatively nefarious goodness infesting body and spirit.

The union of You Can Be A Fascist Too and I’d Like To Meet Your Parents was a devilish punk riot of a single leaving greed part of appetite and anticipation awaiting the band’s third album. The Dirty Waters/Lollypops Records released Don’t Let It Be soon shows that the Playboy Manbaby sound is broader than ever, bigger than an elephant’s backside in flavour and sound. Having caught up with their previous full-lengths in Bummeritaville and Electric Babyman, both released 2014, that variety will be no surprise to fans but their successor has really gone to town in adventure and diverse fun to truly leave all before it in the shade.

The Phoenix hailing sextet of Robbie Pfeffer (vocals), Chris Hudson( bass), TJ Friga (guitar), David Cosme (trumpet), Chad Dennis (drums), and Austin Rickert (sax) have become a big deal locally and across their homeland, shows alongside the likes of  Mike Watt & The Missing Men, King Khan & BBQ Show, King Khan & The Shrines, Rocket From The Crypt, Thee Oh Sees, Cosmonauts, The Spits, Black Flag, The Descendents, The Replacements, The Slackers,  and Teenage Bottlerocket to name just a few, pushing their reputation as potently as their sounds. Now having been already tenderised by the last single, global attention is surely poised to embrace Playboy Manbaby and Don’t Let It Be. Justice is never a given of course but neither do anything to deter that expected and deserved embrace.

You Can Be a Fascist Too gets the revelry going, a surge of guitar jangle and bass throbbing swiftly joined by the slightly derange and excitable tones of Pfeffer. Spicy melodies and tenacious riffs almost barge into each other as the garage and punk essences of the track bound through ears, salacious harmonies sparking thoughts of UK band The Tuesday Club. For less obvious reason, The Tubes also come to mind a little too as the song stomps around like a belligerent pup, its raw power pop punk quite irresistible.

art_RingMasterReviewThe zeal pumped diversity quickly comes to the fore with the following Last One Standing, brass instantly flirting with ears with saucy flames as the bass swaggers with deceptive innocence. There is an agenda at play; an intent to turn the listener into a physical puppet and there is no escape for feet and hips to the virulent lures of the rhythms and grooves teasing and taunting within the ska kissed funk escapade. The earnest screwy tones of Pfeffer again are sheer magnetism as too the evolving dark bait pulsating out of Hudson’s bass.

The outstanding track is quickly matched by the even livelier dance of Bored Broke And Sober, its catchy jazz funk garage punk as loco as it is skilfully woven to lure untied bodies. Hooks are as flirtatious as rhythms, every fondling by and flash from the Friga’s guitar ear chaining rascality, and the whole song as those before slavery.

Cadillac Car saunters in next, its low slung groove temptress like as vocals dance with drooling expression of defiance and attitude in the garage punk crawl before Self-Loathing In Bright Clothing throws its post punk/punk tendencies into the ring. A few blows short of a brawl, the track springs its creative agitation with infection loaded enterprise creating a rough and ready tango of fiercely captivating Reuben meets Dead Boys like provocation.

The sultry flirtatious garage r&b of Cheap Wine and the scuzzy pop punk of Popular bring body and soul to the boil again, the latter like a raw Mighty Mighty Bosstones in some ways while I’m So Affluent slips in with a slinky grace as noir lit air hugs skittish rhythms and vocal suggestion. Jazzy with a dark indie jangle recalling The Jazz Butcher, the song quickly blossoms its dark rock ‘’n roll into another majorly bewitching moment within Don’t Let It Be, one with an increasingly tenacious bounce complete with band calls just impossible to be left out of.

That indie sound fills next up Oprichniki too though as all songs it soon shows a jumble of spices and styles in its ballsy pop with Don Knotts In A Wind Tunnel straight after  engaging in dirty rock ‘n’ roll with a certain Rocket From The Crypt fever to its irritable bawl and brass igniting flames. For us it is joy to be unable to pin a sound down, this pair alone showing Playboy Manbaby get just as big a kick from defeating any attempt whilst pleasing their own devious imaginations.

Dark rock ‘n’ roll brings the album’s closing treat of White Jesus to ears, its meandering stroll and creatively incisive accosting portrait of a certain new world leader initially Nick Cave/Tom Waits like before ending as a concussive explosion of Dead Kennedys toned ferocity and bedlam.

The last Playboy Manbaby single set up anticipation for Don’t Let It Be perfectly but barely hinted at the bold inescapable fun and adventure to be found, both which will be hard to find any better on any release across the rest of the year too we suspect.

Don’t Let It Be is out now on CD through Dirty Water Records and cassette from Lollipop Records @ https://lollipop-records.myshopify.com/products/playboy-manbaby-dont-let-it-be-cass with its digital outing available @ https://playboymanbaby.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ButterGravyButter    https://twitter.com/playboymanbaby   http://playboymanbaby.com/

Pete RingMaster 03/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Soundscapism Inc. – Desolate Angels

Cover artwork and booklet design by João Filipe, based on photos by Ü-Berlin Photography.

Cover artwork and booklet design by João Filipe, based on photos by Ü-Berlin Photography.

Desolate Angels is the eagerly awaited sophomore release from Soundscapism Inc., a highly anticipated successor to a debut which made a potent and well-received impact on the European post rock scene. The new offering is sure to emulate, indeed surpass the success of its predecessor with its even more accomplished, imaginative, and warmly haunting adventure.

Soundscapism Inc. is the solo project of Berlin based musician Bruno A., the founder of Portuguese/ Finnish bred band Vertigo Steps. When that band went on an unspecified ‘hiatus’, Bruno began bringing his own creative exploration to light with the release of the self-titled Soundscapism Inc. EP late 2015 quickly enticing ears and praise with its cinematic ambience, post rock climates, and acoustic beauty. It was more of an album with its nine captivating tracks and the base for the even more creatively expressive and magnetic Desolate Angels. The new evolution and craft in the project’s tapestry of sound and character was hinted at by a couple of tracks released from it towards the end of year but now in its full glory, it is a compelling proposal expanding well beyond their promise.

Swiftly as immersive and cinematically suggestive as the first release, Desolate Angels immediately caresses ears with Evening Lights. A guitar melody wraps its tender arms around ears first, additional lures warmly and firmly whispering before the track settles into an even mellower atmospheric landscape. Guest vocals from Flávio Silva subsequently emerge to add their captivating croon as Bruno’s guitar and keys weave a portrait of poetic post rock and ambient beauty. It is melancholy with a tempering charm and alluring tinges of harsher rock ‘n’ roll and quite bewitching.

The potent tones of Silva also feature on the following Supernovas At Fever Pitch, the song from another reserved opening firmly blossoming in sound and texture before his appearance, thoughtful melodies and an elegantly solemn yet again enticing air greeting him. From its initial simmer, an increasingly infectious energy and enterprise brews with a touch of Maybeshewill to it, this awakening bringing thicker wiry grooves and richer but restrained intensity to further ignite the track’s evocative heart. As the first track, it lures the imagination with ease, almost preys on it before The Mourning After pt II coaxes the listener into its relatively brief emotionally rousing instrumental waltz, subsequently leaving on a wash of melodic reflection.

Zwischenspiel I similarly draw ears into a melody persuasive romancing of thoughts and senses, its intimate seduction the echo of broader but also solitary pastures; an emotional closeness also found within the album’s title track where innocence feels shadowed by darker lurking trespasses. Touching the outskirts of ten minutes in length, Desolate Angels provides a flight of contrasting drama; dark and light toying with the imagination as Bruno conjures a soundscape of raw and equally radiant sound and suggestion which tempts like a fusion of  Sigur Rós and 65daysofstatic at times, his vocals an euphonious caress.

Through the inescapably infectious and constantly shifting stroll of Man In The Glass and the calm crystalline smoulder of Zwischenspiel II the individual presence and sound of Soundscapism Inc. is cemented, any hint offered by references to others like God Is An Astronaut for the second of this pair, just clues to something fresh and provocative.

The appetite pleasing voice of Silva makes its final appearance within next up February North, his voice a great mix of grainy and melodious temptation wrapped in the acoustic ethereal grace of Bruno’s touch and craft, essences just as refined and persuasive in the evocation spun by next up Quintessence around a narrative of vocal samples.

The album simply continues to bewitch and entice, firstly through the livelier exploits of Low-Fi Man, Hi-Tech World, the song a melody woven aural film with its rhythmic tenacity like the flickering roll of cinematic stills combining for a mesmeric visual incitement. Its striking presence is followed by the instrumental grace of Zwischenspiel III, it also a piece again with emotive shadows, and a short reprise of the title track before the increasingly beguiling Sleep Arrives Under Your Wings adds a surf rock glisten to its celestial beauty and resonance. The track is manna for ears and imagination, quickly followed by emotions and makes a magnificent close to the release though the evocative kiss of bonus track Above Us Only Sky provides the actual final moments of the album’s digital version.

There is plenty to take in aurally and emotionally within the hour of Desolate Angels, more than arguably can be assessed and appreciated in one go though perseverance in that vein only brings thick rewards. Each track works just as potently alone or in small clusters too so whichever way you approach it real pleasure and fulfilment is the result. Bruno and Soundscapism Inc. have stepped upon a new plateau with Desolate Angels with easy to suspect even bigger inventive and striking ventures to come from him.

Desolate Angels is available through Ethereal Sound Works now @ https://soundscapisminc.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/soundscapisminc

Pete RingMaster 05/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright