Lucy And The Rats – Self Titled

There are some things which are simply bred for temptation, propositions instinctively natured to lure like sirens. Among their numbers is the debut album from Lucy And The Rats. Deceptively unassuming but one virulent contagion, the release is an irresistible slice of pop punk with a snarl in its heart and the most disarming melodies and harmonies on its breath like a winning blend of The Shirelles, Honey Bane, and Spinnerette.

Lucy And The Rats is the new band from now UK based singer/guitarist Lucy Spazzy, formerly one third of Australian punksters The Spazzys. Once settled in London in 2015, she set about assembling a new band being “bored of playing at home by herself”, subsequently linking up with guitarist Joe To Lose (Los Perros, Johnny Throttle), bassist Mike Cannibal (Animal Cannibal), and drummer Manu (Thee Tumbitas). A pair of ear grabbing singles followed as the band made a stir on the live scene in the Capitol, in turn nationally and all over the world sharing stages with the likes of Buzzcocks and Paul Collins along the way. Produced by Johnny Casino and Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirtbombs), their first album is an inescapable tap on the shoulder of the broadest attention and recognition, a sweet sounding proposition so so easy to run off with.

Opening up with Pills, the album instantly had ears attentive and the body rocking. Soon the song strolls along with a summery glaze over eager catchiness as hooks collude with flirtatious riffs and rhythms. There is a whiff of The Shirts to the track as its heart embraces the instincts of pop and rock ‘n’ roll around the magnetic presence and tone of Spazzy.

The following Make You Mine wears a similar hue of sound but quickly reveals its own personality and The Waitresses meets The Crystals like temptation. Again feet were keenly shuffling and hips swinging as melodies seduced hand in hand with golden harmonies but all the while a punk edge stirs accentuated by the wiry enterprise of the guitars, they repeating that taunting prowess in next up Lose My Mind. Imposingly infectious, the song suggested involvement within seconds, manipulating it a few breaths later much to the lusty pleasure returned.

The likes of the surf kissed seduction that is So Simple, a mellow kiss on ears with the melodic smooch of The Dollyrots and rapacious touch of Valentiine, and the pop bouncing Melody just devour attention while the viral shadows of the bass grumbling Night simply danced with the imagination as the song took hold of the waist. It is truly hard to pick a favourite song within the album, all three among the options but the third makes an especially compelling statement.

Through Fall our passions pretty much echo their ardour as it swings with flirtatious grace and mischief, next up Hold On Me emphasising similar manipulation with rolling rhythms and deceptively controlled yet rousing energy with Spazzy tempting like a pop punk conjuring Pauline Murray. All three just leave a greed for much more, the latter laying on the temptation with some great hooks out of the Only Ones songbook, before Girl saunters along without a care in the world sharing the kind of creative snare addiction was invented for.

The album closes with Can’t Surf; a fifties inspired pop ’n’ roll romp which may have lost the heart for hitting the waves but had us riding its enterprising currents with zeal. The track is a thrilling end to one glorious encounter. Lately we have found pop punk to be a touch vacant on real uniqueness and though Lucy And The Rats have a sound which is much more flavoursome than that tagging, their album is the  fresh and inspiring breath within both pop and punk, indeed rock ’n’ roll we have been yearning for.

The Lucy And The Rats debut album is out May 25th digitally with Dirty Water Records and on vinyl through Surfin’ Ki Records, Monster Zero Records, and Stardumb Records.

https://lucyandtherats.bandcamp.com/  https://www.facebook.com/Lucy-and-the-Rats-817424101645809/

Pete RingMaster 23/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Chris Mullin – Sooner or Later

Last year Chris Mullin, the bassist/co-songwriter of Liverpool outfit The Sums, took time out to explore the solo side of his musical imagination, the result a debut EP which was as richly enjoyable as it was heartfelt. This year he has done the same. Momentarily taking time away from recording The Sum’s third album, Mullins has created and unveiled a new collection of tracks in the shape of the Sooner or Later EP, an encounter which simply puts its impressive predecessor in the shade.

Also former member of Hurricane #1, Mullin has been a potent part of his home city’s current musical fabric through The Sums, his other projects and writing and also producing. As shown by the previous Myself Fooling Me EP, his solo side music has the potential to be just as impacting; indeed the introduction to his own sounds easily drew acclaim and attention. As suggested, Sooner or Later builds on and eclipses the emotively woven and sensitively delivered sounds of its predecessor. It has a spring in its step contrasting the melancholic gait of the first release but still embraces its calm and intimacy with fresh adventure and imagination.

Released on his self-owned Nowhere Music, Sooner or Later opens up with the immediately infectious Lonely Fools. Its initial melodic clang easily tempted ears, the subsequent reflective stroll centred by bass, voice, and guitar captivating them as melodic shimmers and sonic caresses surround the Mullin’s lure. Though not exactly in sound, there is something of Pete Wylie to the outstanding track, a slice of indie pop intimation and infection which just lit our ears and appetite.

The following Just Want You to Know is equally as magnetic, its instinctive catchiness aligned to personal openness in tone and word. Rhythms again entice as keys suggest and guitars weave, vocals making their earnest declaration with equal allurement and sincerity. As the first, the song is nothing less than contagious pleasure, third song, Dissatisfied Mind, enticing from the same instinctive template. Its shadows come with hopeful light, its emotional insecurity with a vibrancy that wants to escape within a weave of sound which just seduced ears.

The track completes easily the three best songs from Mullin’s solo work yet, a trio alone making Sooner or Later one irresistible proposition with the icing on the cake being its title track. An acoustic croon with imagination embracing orchestration, bold adventure, and organic catchiness understated but lively as it infests the spirit, the track just enthrals as it pleasures; those few words pretty much summing up the Sooner or Later EP as a whole.

The rumour is that Mullin’s next offering might be a full-length adventure; we for one are not only up for that, after Sooner or Later, we are greedy for it.

Sooner or Later is out now on Nowhere Music, available as download only from most stores and https://chrismullin.bandcamp.com/album/sooner-or-later

https://chrismullin.net/   https://www.facebook.com/chrismully   https://twitter.com/chrismullin74

Pete RingMaster 24/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Black Orchid Empire – Yugen

With a critically acclaimed debut album already under their belt and a strong reputation earned for their energy surging live side, Black Orchid Empire look at even greater attention with new full-length Yugen. With eleven tracks of adventurous heavy weight alternative rock embracing the familiar and individual whilst unleashing hooks so easy to get snagged upon and lithe grooves to swing from, the UK outfit’s second album is a rather tasty proposition with regular moments of imposing captivation.

Since emerging in 2011, the London hailing trio has drawn increasing attention with their fiery yet resourcefully and carefully woven sound. That well-praised first album, Archetype, put them solidly on the radar of media and new fans alike, its release in 2016 the ignition to their continuing ascent within the British rock scene sure to be escalated by Yugen. Alongside the former’s success, Black Orchid Empire has been a potent live presence, making numerous much-lauded festival appearances at the likes of Standon Calling, Planet Rockstock, Camden Rocks, and Germany’s Taubertal Festival and sharing stages with artists such as Biffy Clyro, Editors, Skunk Anansie, and Hed P.E who the threesome supported on a UK tour.

Now the band is ready to stir up fresh fuss around themselves, success which even from the boisterous persuasion of opening track of Yugen you get the feeling is close to being a done deal. My Favourite Stranger is also the new single from Black Orchid Empire, a song stirring from a distant sonic squall with a great grumbling rusty bass lure quickly bound in the wiry tendrils of Paul Visser’s guitar. As the song settles without losing those tempting elements, his equally enticing vocals step forward backed by the just as melodically fine tones of bassist David Ferguson. The band has been regularly likened to Biffy Clyro and Muse but for us and certainly with this start, their sound sits somewhere between Reuben, Sick Puppies, and Foo Fighters in varying degrees across each song.

The equally magnetic Burn follows; bass and guitar again setting an enticing canvas for vocals to spring from and the firm manipulative beats of drummer Billy Freedom to shape. In that inviting and slightly imposing proposal, the track is an animated and unpredictable web of imagination and enterprise. Twists come and go; all delivering fresh adventure and bait while the song fluidly swings between teasing seduction and a full throated roar.

Previous single Celebrity Summer is next, the opening croon of Visser and his guitar a mischievous if emotive spark to the track’s ferocity and urgency as well as another trap of hooks and sonic dexterity. A tenacious slice of vociferous rock ‘n’ roll, the track also hit the spot dead centre before Wires entangled ears and appetite in its contagious aggression lined exploits. From vocals to rhythms, melody to sonic trespass, the song is a formidable and compelling incitement uniting a host of voracious flavours, all traits colouring Yugen from start to finish.

Blacklight Shadow makes its own mellow emotive entrance after the previous blaze, its elevated croon surrounded by sonic flames before settling down again to repeat the rich cycle. That earlier mentioned Australian band certainly comes to mind in the track but again the Black Orchid Empire sound soon establishes its own character with tempestuous power.

As the likes of the muscular and invasively magnetic Pray To The Creature with its weave of senses scorching tendrils and the heart spun atmospheric balladry of Vertigo rise, variety and pleasure go hand in hand. The second of the two wears an alluring country blues scent to its impassioned voice too, more of the broad flavours the album embraces while Mouth Of The Wolf takes essences of hard rock into its seriously catchy prowl.  Emerging as album favourite here, the song nags and jabs, teases and taunts with its controlled but hungry imagination and touch, pretty much living up to the snarling intimation of its title.

A more straightforward proposal comes with Pins And Needles, maybe the album’s least bold song but another which just grips attention and pleases as Toru’s Maze waits to uncage its infectious wares; that grizzled tone of Ferguson’s bass again licking at personal pleasure here though the whole of band and song manages to stoke things up.

Ending with the quite captivating roar of Years, a track erupting from a potently alluring ballad cry into a heart unleashing blaze, Yugen is one thoroughly enjoyable and so often striking release. is there any other reason to check it and Black Orchid Empire out?

Yugen is released May 25th via Long Branch Records; available @ https://blackorchidempire.bandcamp.com/album/yugen

Upcoming live shows:

02.06.2018 UK, London – Camden Rocks Festival

03.06.2018 UK, Glasgow – Broadcast /w Black Map

04.06.2018 UK, Manchester – Gulliver’s /w Black Map

07.06.2018 UK, Donington – Download Festival

22.06.2018 UK, York – Pile Up Festival

http://www.blackorchidempire.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackorchidempire/    https://twitter.com/orchidempire

Pete RingMaster 24/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright