Scant Regard – Skipping Over Damaged Area

Pic by Thomas Triton

A body infesting, imagination twisting kaleidoscope to the hope and insanity of the world we shape, Skipping Over Damaged Area is the senses ravishing new captivation from Scant Regard. An album of unscrupulous hooks, electronic virulence, and guitar carved intimation, it surges through ears casting a realm of suggestion and reflection as devilish as the themes inspiring its creative antics leaving hope, fear, and sheer pleasure in its wake.

Scant Regard is the solo project of London-based guitarist/writer/producer Will Crewdson. He is a musician few can have failed to have been consciously or unknowingly pleasured by. Whether with the rock escapades of Rachel Stamp, which he co-founded, and She Made Me Do It or through his work with the likes of Adam Ant, The Selecter, Johnette Napolitano, Flesh for Lulu, Bow Wow Wow and numerous other bands he played guitar for, Crewdson is a guitarist who has been in demand because of his instinctive ability to incite and bend the imagination as well as simply ignite songs and ears alike. Scant Regard has been an adventurous showcase for his craft and skills across four previous albums, Skipping Over Damaged Area a riveting new addition to their ranks.

Exploring various shades in an overall theme “of the apocalyptic destruction and devolution of the planet we live on”, Skipping Over Damaged Area is a tenacious maze of styles and flavours glazed with a sci-fi nurtured intrigue. At times it is like a warped soundtrack to a seventies TV show such as UFO, Space: 1999, or Doomwatch but with a dark lining in its every move; corrupting hope and light at a turn, tempering their threat in the next.

The album opens up with the swiftly addictive Mostly Accidental, electric pulses exploding on impact as it swaggers into view with an almost predacious swing. Instantly electronic suggestion and animation dances and flirts on the senses, thick doomy hues underlining the brewing Westworld-esque imagery conjured in thoughts by the instrumental piece which fully comes alive once Crewdson’s guitar explodes on the imagination.

It is an outstanding beginning, one to be honest we had to listen to twice before moving on upon our first listen to Skipping Over Damaged Area but quickly matched in strength and temptation by Fuck Everything. Repeated samples of its title float across a landscape of attitude, another electronically woven tale which immerses the listener in an evolving cascade of light and dark, fun and irritancy driven by inspiring shards of guitar.

The following Ill Gotten Gains is a corruption of sound and reflection; an addiction breeding ground with melodic lures aligned to dark deeds. At times it lies somewhere between the evolution of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh’s project British Electric Foundation into their band Heaven 17 but with thicker shadows and dare we say even more infectious boldness.

Similarly Destroy (We’re Here to) has an eighties electronic edge to it around hooks and melodies which border on the salacious. Like the musical voice to a modern day Mars Attacks, the track waltzed over the senses, sending them spiralling as the imagination conjures. Simultaneously feet and hips were given a good smile wearing work out before BIGBLACKSHADES creates a conspiracy of sound and suggestion with its cold wave meets industrial espionage. Electronics and guitar again unite in a dark interpretation of life, its funkiness contrasting yet complementing the song’s voracious dynamics.

A lighter climate accompanies the outstanding Car Crash on Pluto, the track like something akin to Fred Schneider colluding with Helldorado as they glide the cosmos upon surf rock fuelled winds, while Hemi Demi courts indie rock tenacity within its electro pop enterprise as again seventies flavoured hues spice its rock ‘n roll.

Through the celestial smoulder of Traits, a track with lava hot melodies veining a volatile shimmer, and the hook carrying electro smoking canter of Sublineage Blues, ears and imagination are drawn into further incendiary drama while Posthistoric springs a more intensive atmosphere and adventure to navigate as a bubbling undercurrent of catchiness snaps, crackles and pops. All three simply tantalise and captivate as the imagination fantasises, Crime and Retribution in turn sparking the same responses with its brooding electronic groans and emerging guitar spun cold war clamour.

The album closes with Blue Moon Juice, a collage of vivacious sounds woven into a canvas of rockabilly bred devilry; imagine a psychobilly Yello and you get a hint of the track’s irresistible lure as it brings the album to a forcibly magnet conclusion.

Skipping Over Damaged Area is a prismatic insight and incitement for body and thoughts. It impacts on numerous levels, pleasures on every one. Crewdson is no stranger to attention and acclaim and can expect plenty more with what just might be his finest moment yet.

Skipping Over Damaged Area is out now on download and CD @ https://scantregard.bandcamp.com/album/skipping-over-damaged-area

https://scantregard.com    https://www.facebook.com/scantregardpage   https://twitter.com/scantregard

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Metalwings – For All Beyond

The 2016 release of debut EP, Fallen Angel In The Hell, suggested a promise and potential within the sound of Bulgarian symphonic metallers Metalwings which warranted future attention. The release was an imaginative and well-crafted proposition with the magnetic vocal prowess of founder Stela Atanasova at its core. Now the band has just released its first album in the dramatic roar of For All Beyond, a release which has not only realised much of that early intimation but sparked a new wave of enticing possibilities.

Hailing from Sofia, Metalwings create a rich and rousing sound; a blend of operatic drama and classical elegance driven by the raw force of symphonic and harsher essences of metal. The classically trained voice and expressive vocal theatre of Atanasova is a compelling head to the creative beast whilst the sounds around her cast their own imagination fuelled adventures to arouse, evoke, and trespass. Released in 2016, the band’s first EP certainly sparked intrigue and enjoyment, nurturing anticipation of what may evolve as they grew. Almost from its first breath, For All Beyond walks a higher plateau than its predecessor, each track an individual yet united adventure skilfully woven and heartily delivered with still the suggestion that we have yet to hear and the band find the full richest of their imagination.

For All Beyond immediately entices and swiftly enslaves attention with opener End of the War. Keys gently and provocatively rise up around ears as the vocal lures of Atanasova call like a siren. Soon the rapacious enticement of rhythms and the sonic tempting of guitars surge through the body, the track brewing an increasingly rousing incitement impossible not to be swept up in. As fiercely robust as it is there is an equally rich haunting quality which ebbs and flows across the track before bringing the cries of the victims and outcasts within its tempest.

Secret Town gallops into view next, rhythms and guitars inviting full attention before the vocals of Atanasova and of guitarist Krastyo Jordanov add their full temptation to the blossoming mix. The celestial rises of Angel Kitanov’s synth tease and suggest, combining enticingly with the colourful grace of Atanasova’s electric viola. Like you are hanging on to the mane of a surging beast, the song has attention gripping tightly before Immortal Metal Wings continues the excellent start to the album, almost eclipsing the first pair of tracks as cosmopolitan melodies inflame ears and imagination before an earthier hue flushes through the growing landscape of sound and inference. Atanasova again is a compelling engagement at the heart of the encounter but more than equalled by the drama and invention of the rest of the band in a song which might not be the boldest on the album but leaves nothing but thick pleasure in its wake.

Through the elegant folkish balladry of When We Pray, a song with a volatile undercurrent, and the almost gladiatorial drama of A Wish, ears and imagination are given more fuel to easily guzzle, the second of the two especially persuasive with its dark theatre and resourceful enterprise cored by a great carnivorous bassline from Milen Mavrov. The guitars of Grigor Kostadinov and Jordanov again create a web of melodic suggestion and sonic rapacity matched by the descriptive weaving of keys, it all colluding to cast a fascinating proposal matched by that of the sonically bracing, melodically seductive There’s No Time. Another major highlight of the release, the track is a gothic pregnancy of suggestion and sound.

Calm follows with the album’s title track, keys and voice sharing melancholic grace which is quickly wrapped in the synth woven caresses of Kitanov. It is a gentle peace which has a volatile air though, that ignited by the expressive guitars of Kostadinov and Jordanov and their suggestive tempestuousness. The ever resourceful rapier like swings of drummer Nikola Ivanov align with the predacious growl of Mavrov’s bass, their rapacious intent lingering even as subsequent moments of mellowness bring the evocative grace of Atanasova’s strings.

Realm of Dreams has the body and imagination bouncing once again, the melodic tease of keys dancing on the darker hues of aligning sounds. Across its masterfully magnetic length, the song fuses the contrasts of beauty and grace with aggression and raw trespass, creating a rotating realm of temptation and adventure. The best track on the album, it encapsulates all the invention, craft, and imagination of Metalwings whilst hinting of the even bolder adventures they might pursue ahead.

The release concludes firstly with Tujni Serza, a delicate but rich ballad sung in the band’ mother tongue and lastly an orchestral version of For All Beyond which gives full rein to the track’s already established emotion and grandeur with its instrumental winds.

It is fair to say, as many others, we were intrigued by the Metalwings debut EP if not completely convinced.  For All Beyond though simply grabbed our appetite and imagination; tightening its hold song by song, creative layer by layer. Given a chance it just could be seizing yours too.

For All Beyond is out now, available @ https://metalwings.bandcamp.com/album/for-all-beyond

https://metalwings.eu/   https://www.facebook.com/metalwingsbg/

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright