This is the Sound of Sugar Town Volume 2

In the past, compilation albums showcasing the talent of a local area were a prevalent and exciting exploration which certainly for us opened the door to a host of great artists and lustful obsessions. A less prominent opportunity these days, far far less as splits seem to be more in favour, there have been a few releases keeping the tradition alive. One was the excellent THIS IS THE SOUND OF SUGAR TOWN released late 2015, an ear pleasing spotlight on the vibrant DIY driven music scene in and around Bury St Edmunds. Now the people behind the album, again in union with R*E*P*E*A*T Records and Pure Deadly, return with Volume 2 and another large clutch of Suffolk goodness.

As the first it comes wrapped in the fine art of Kate Jackson and has been released as a download and Ltd Edition 12” album with all profits being donated to local charity Julian Support, which helps people with mental health issues to lead independent lives. It gets right down to juicy business with opening track SHE from psychedelic noise poppers SUN SCREAM. The quintet swiftly has ears entangled in a sultry melody, the guitar soon joined by imposing beats and a grumbling bassline. Part seduction, part intimidation, the track shares quick magnetism especially as the vocals lay their own harmonic charm over the heated and already successful persuasion. Offering one delicious hook and an instinctive catchiness, the track is a potent start to the album and introduction to the captivating outfit.

Returning from a potent place in the first volume, alternative art rockers CATHEDRALS & CARS ​offers up THE CONCIERGE for its successor. Like a fusion of PiL and The Wedding Present, the excellent track is a jangle loaded, rhythmically agitated shuffle with its own inescapable virulence in character and adventure. A post punk hook from vocalist/guitarist Jack Stevens simply hits the spot as too his web of melodic acidity whilst the rhythmic union of bassist Danny Robertson and drummer Steve Long easily infects limbs and spirit.

The first album featured the attention grabbing and now sadly demised quintet of Voter Kernel, four of which return this time around with bassist Bobcat Whittaker as JANET STREET SLAUGHTER. Offering up a visceral fusion of indie, punk, and noise rock going by the name of THE SENSITIVE SIDE OF BILL SYKES, though it is hard to pin down their striking sound, the band prowls and crawls the psyche, their salacious touch as dirty as it is invitingly warped led by the equally individual and off-kilter vocals of guitarist David Jago. In any collection of songs a few hit personal tastes more than others and this treat did just that with psychotic intent.

The broad landscape of sound within the Bury St Edmunds scene has always been one of its potent features and enticingly represented across Volume 2 and clearly represented by the likes of THE WILSONS with their Americana flavoured rock ‘n’ roll and the raw punk rock of THE CUTS. The first of the two shares IF IT WASN’T SO SOON, a track from their 2015 album Crow which has feet tapping and head bobbing in no time. There is an instinctive energy to the encounter, signs of a band having fun and doing what lights their own fires. A same feeling comes through their successors, a band we can tell you little about having found no sign of them anywhere else online but The Cuts track HOMETOWN is more than enough to brew a hungry appetite for their raw and rousing punk rock.

Side one is completed by firstly by a band that has already had our juices flowing with their previous offerings. GAFFA TAPE SANDY recently released their debut EP Spring Killing and for the album provide a track which made up part of their impressive first single Smart Dressed Guy. A boisterous and inventive slice of the band’s highly addictive garage rock/punk infused pop ‘n’ roll, L’APPEL DU VIDE, as their whole sound, dares you not to get involved physically and vocally, the song openly manipulative with the vocal unity of guitarist Kim Jarvis and bassist Catherine Lindley-Neilson as the rhythmic bounce of drummer Robin Francis guides the tiller. They are followed by the bracing and abrasive sounds of BRACKEN, a predatory and senses consuming tsunami of sludge thick, stoner ripe doom. Formed in 2013, the quartet has bred a trespass which invades every corner of the senses and imagination, SLAVES PT. II an uncompromising slab of that punishing pleasure.

No example of Bury St Edmunds sounds can be without the mighty HORSE PARTY, increasingly one of the most exciting propositions within the British music scene. With vocalist/guitarist/bassist Seymour Quigley one of those behind the two compilations, there is no surprise the band appears again but a crime if they had not and brought us the outstanding LOOKING FOR LIFE. Always a band revealing a keen diversity of sound, the track is a smouldering and seductive slice of surf coated indie rock. It is pure bewitchment, an enchantress behind the siren tones of vocalist Ellie Langley and an echo of the core imagination and quality within the band’s writing and music.

Through the resourcefully catchy indie rock exploits of SUBURBAN MINDS with SUNBREAK and the alternative rock fuzz of MOONMAN from THE VIRTUES, intrigue and pleasure is reinforced, the first of the two a quartet seriously whetting the appetite for their just released debut EP, I’ll Exist Again When I Wake Up while the second is a four piece creating a tapestry of sound with a host of atmospheric and textually potent styles from Brit Pop and indie to alternative and psych rock.

Singer songwriter JACK RUNDELL calms things down with his country/folk spiced track WICKED WORDS, a fun and infectious stroll with a grin on its face while SIAH teases the imagination with their compelling mix of classic and melodic rock smoked with post punk/new wave nurtured adventure through SUSIE SMOKES. It is an unpredictable and intriguing fusion of sound which works a treat within their album proposal; a fascinating brew matched in temptation by the closing punk lined grunge ‘n’ roll of TUNDRA. Lo-fi and raw, and increasingly tempting, VACATION (CHEER UP CHUCK) brings the album to a strong close whilst emphasising what a rich and exciting landscape can be found in the surrounds of Bury St Edmunds.

This Is The Sound Of Sugar Town Volume 2 is out now through R*E*P*E*A*T Records / Pure Deadly and available @ https://repeatfanzine.bandcamp.com/album/this-is-the-sound-of-sugar-town-volume-2

 https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsTheSoundOfSugarTown     http://www.juliansupport.org/

Pete RingMaster 19/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Odium – As The World Turns Black

With next year seeing their 25th anniversary, German melodic thrashers Odium have set it up perfectly with their new album As The World Turns Black. A hungry and imposingly virulent slab of metal, the band’s eighth full length is a band at the top of its game but one still pushing their boundaries and the borders of old school meets modern thrash metal.

Formed in 10993, the Frankfurt hailing quintet has grown to be one of Europe’s most potent if not always openly recognised thrash exponents; a band unafraid to be as boldly infectious as they are aggressively adventurous. Among an increasingly impressing series of releases over the years, the word around is that As The World Turns Black is the band’s finest moment; a suggestion as the Martin Buchwalter (Tankard, SuidAkrA) recorded album roars in ears once again, hard to confidently dispute.

The album opens up with the quickly rousing The end of everything, a beast of a track which from its drone lined sonic seeds springs a web of riffs and grooves which alone has the appetite licking its lips. The rapid fire kicks and jabbing thrusts of drummer Jan Heusel leave an early welcomed impact as riffs nag and tempt; guitarists Rochus Pfaff and David Hübsch swiftly into their inescapable manipulation of neck muscles and imagination. It is stirring stuff given further impetus by the equally anthemic tones of vocalist Ralf Runkel, his swinging delivery incitement alone whilst tendrils of melodic dexterity just seals the deal.

Point of no return ensures the great start is continuous, the song winding grooves around ears straight away as riffs lurk and beats intrude with a controlled hungry edge. With the great grumble of Belinda Ann Smaka’s bass to the fore, the song rapaciously huddles around the listener before unleashing its own swagger loaded, groove veined surge. The bass continues to almost venomously grumble as the contagious exploits of the track leave their anthemic mark, together creating a glorious tapestry of attitude honed incitement.

The calmer waters of No goodbye comes next, emotive melodies wrapping the imagination as a subsequent wash of reflective vocals and restrained intensity looms. Of course things ignite with feistier intent though still the song has a reserve compared to its predecessors which adds to its magnetic and skilfully woven persuasion before Blind sets another memorable marker. The bass of Smaka again seduces instincts for irritable basslines, its grumble a persistent lure within the more tempestuous blaze of guitars. Though its chorus is maybe not as commanding as others around it, the track is just as manipulative with its devilish hooks and ravenous riffs as Runkel enticingly growls from their midst.

Every track has a contagion loaded temptation in their plans, it overcoming any possible resistance with varied tenacity across the album but no more irresistibly than within Revolution. The song is a call to arms in sound and heart, courting its arousal with just as striking invention and unpredictable twists but never detouring from its predacious core before Frozen world descends just as rapaciously on ears. Again it is impossible not to swept up in antagonistic torrents and aggressive catchiness though the track misses the more unique twists and bolder moves of surrounding songs to grab personal tastes as forcibly as others. In saying that its melodic caresses are simply tantalising and pleasure never less than full as with the more barbarous exploits of Time is a killer where riffs and rhythms alone prey on the senses. Almost carnal in nature and tone, the track is superb, another invitation for the spirit and emotions to get thickly involved.

The album’s title track follows and quickly has attention cast in a web of melodic enterprise and intrigue, every subsequent tendril a suggestion in sound explored by Riunkel. Bringing another fresh spice and aspect to the release, the song is a tenacious croon unable to keep its riotous instincts in check and only growing more compelling because of it.

Closed up by the rhythmically commanding and sonically conspiring Inside the Incubus, the track a nefarious invitation turning into a bullish stomp, As The World Turns Black leaves greed and exhaustion in its wake. It is a full-on trespass which rewards submission with a tapestry of melodic fascination. For the second time in a week we have to say, here is one of the most enjoyable and invigorating thrash encounters of recent years.

As The World Turns Black is out now via Black Sunset / MDD across most online stores.

Upcoming live shows

  1. August – Hasselroth, Rock in Schröth Open Air
  2. November – Nijmegen (NL), Rockcafe Backstage

http://odium-metal.de/     https://www.facebook.com/odium.thrashmetal/

Pete RingMaster 19/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Jack The Envious – In Your Own Way

Having already grabbed attention with their debut EP last year, UK outfit Jack The Envious have bigger things in their sights with the release of its successor In Your Own Way. It is a more creatively adventurous affair swiftly revealing a new confidence and bolder exploits from within the band which only increasing experience and expanding imagination can bring.

Formed in 2012 by vocalist Nir Perlman and guitarist Guy Avnon with bassist Guy Checkarov subsequently  linking up, all this going on during their military service, London based Jack The Envious took their time honing their sound and live craft as national service absorbed their time. Debut EP, Pull You Down, made a solid impact with its release last year, its post hardcore nurtured sound a potent introduction to the band. Its first steps though have now been strikingly eclipsed by In Your Own Way, the Jack The Envious sound having evolved with those new previously mentioned attributes and a maturity they can only breed. With its line-up completed by drummer James MacPherson, the quartet has moved from being another promising post hardcore proposition into an imagination grabbing and openly distinct incitement looking back on a lagging behind genre crowd.

In Your Own Way opens up with Shut Me Off, intriguing ears and thoughts with its darkly toned atmosphere and pulse veined by a melodic tingle. Soon guitars and rhythms are crowding around the senses though, subsequently uniting in a tenacious and lively stroll blessed with a delicious bass sound and the wiry exploits of the guitar. With Perlman’s vocals equally as distinct and enticing, punk and indie rock lining the track’s post hardcore breeding, it erupts in a magnetically eventful blaze with numerous increasingly gripping twists and turns. The track is superb, quickly stamping a new creative authority and adventure upon the band’s writing and its portrayal.

The pop punk entrance of Begging For More belies the forceful tide of sound in close pursuit and remains an enterprising texture within the mercurial landscape of the song. Fiercely infectious with a matching strength of aggression and imagination, the track is a fascinating tapestry of styles and invention keeping the listener busily captivated before the band’s new single Guilty takes over. Its gentle melancholy scented opening similarly draws a wall of intensity and trespassing sound without losing  the poetic integrity within the blossoming heart and guitar weaving scenery of the song. Imposing drama also brews within the song, laying out its temptation as Avnon conjures and rhythms challenge alongside the ever enticing vocals.

Mrs. Grim swings into view on a trapeze of guitar woven tendrils straight after, the track embracing a host of indie, punk, and hardcore spawned flavours in its appetite stoking invention. The most imaginative and creatively bold encounter within the EP it is also one of its most inescapably catchy making, as most songs here, a riveting gateway into the world of Jack The Envious whilst challenging the first as the best song within In Your Own Way.

The EP ends with Never Look Down, the calmest proposition within the release but brewing its own keen to erupt blaze of energy and sonic fire within the song’s melodic hug. Though not quite lighting ears up as those before it, the track is a fine end to quite simply one exciting release. With their first EP Jack The Envious said here we are, with their second they have declared themselves ready to make a leading role in shaping the future of British post hardcore/ melodic punk.

In Your Own Way is out now as a free digital download @ https://jacktheenvious.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/JackTheEnvious/

Pete RingMaster 19/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyrigh

Best Ex – Ice Cream Anti Social

photo by ana massard

Moving from their more bracing pop punk guise of Candy Hearts to a more electro/indie pop natured proposition, Best Ex has just released their first EP under the new moniker. Offering six slices of warm, bubble gum scented catchiness Ice Cream Anti Social is a swiftly engaging encounter which belies the darker lyrical contemplations within.

Consisting of Mariel Loveland, Matthew Ferraro, and John Clifford, Best Ex have taken the poppy aspect of their Candy Hearts exploits full-on with their fresh evolution though as suggested there is still an edge to things if more in word than sound. Talking about their new EP, singer songwriter Loveland said, “Ice Cream Anti Social is sort of an ode to those moments where you’re alone in your room and reflecting on your life. As a whole, it covers those sorts of thoughts you can’t kick when you’re lying in bed about to fall asleep, or its midnight and you’re in your underwear, eating ice cream out of the carton, wondering what the heck happened to you.

It swiftly has ears and body on board with the single Girlfriend, the song a breeze of infectious warmth and electronic buzzing around the captivating voice of Loveland. Guitars bring a steelier fizz to proceedings, that slight edge courting the unbridled pop heart of the encounter. There is little to not eagerly embrace about the song even if, as its companions, it does not quite venture the realms of uniqueness as boldly as it might have. Nevertheless it is a temptation to greedily devour leading keener intrigue into the synth pop funk of Lonely Life. The eighties tinge of the opener is repeated within its successor, the track like a blend of Bananarama and The Ting Tings and again a captivating invitation on its own to take a lick of  Ice Cream Anti Social.

February 4th is a mellow reflection with poetic strings and melancholic beauty a suggestive charm while the following Someday is another instinctive catchy kiss on the ear, its electronically lined indie pop almost anthemic in its simplicity and organic temptations. It has an increasingly beguiling trait which is emulated by next up See You Again in its rough edged stroll. With a fuzzy hand from the guitars and a Belly-esque lining to the song’s character, it too has feet shuffling and hips swaying with content before Jellyfish brings it all to an appealing close with is ukulele accompanied vocal serenade.

As suggested, Ice Cream Anti Social is not as distinct as it might be or as unpredictable as you may wish but there is no escaping that it is one very flavoursome and easily enjoyable romp to get the era of Best Ex under way.

Ice Cream Anti Social is out now through Alcopop! Records across most online stores and @ https://bestexnj.bandcamp.com/album/ice-cream-anti-social

 

https://www.bestexnj.com/    https://www.facebook.com/bestexnj/    https://twitter.com/CandyHeartsBand

 Pete RingMaster 19/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright