Head On – Ubik

photo by Aggeliki Mourtzouchou

Cold and calculating yet atmospherically immersive and at times invitingly suffocating, the debut album from Greek outfit Head On is a sonic trespass of the senses which simply commands attention. It is an invasive confusion of noise skilfully and deliberately woven to entangle and distract, disturb and invade; one which ignited the imagination at virtually every turn.

Head On are a quartet from Athens which creates a post punk bred sound infested with the raw snarls of grunge and heavy expansive climates of post rock. In fact it is a sound which embraces the causticity and dark depths of many flavours for its physical and emotional dissonance. Ubik is the band’s first album; an introduction quite easy to see taking the band’s presence far beyond their local borders.

Produced by the band with Iraklis Vlachakis, Ubik swiftly takes hold of close attention with opener Entropy. The instrumental is a rousing invitation into the release immediately revealing the aural palette the band creates from; its drifting waves of post rock nurtured sound lapping a post punk hued landscape. In no time the imagination was keenly involved and even more so as the track slips into the nagging prowess of next up Σήψη (Decay). Riffs and dark grooves collude in its similar swells of sound, casting hooks for ears and appetite to be ensnared by as vocals prowl the murky intimation for something akin to a blend of Joy Division and Leitmotiv and quite addictive by its close.

Lexicon follows with its own arsenal of compelling textures and trespasses. As vocals again almost stalk proceedings, the bass uncages a delicious dark nagging on ears around which guitars spin a rapacious web of grooved bait. It is highly magnetic and even more so when the track twists into grunge lined punk rock, the captivation only more tempting in its second cycle before Dylarama springs its own punk infused challenge on ears and an already greedy appetite. The track is a lime pit of varied rock ‘n’ roll; scorching and eating away at the senses with its sonic tides and attitude, a PiL like glaze liquor in its tart toxicity.

The stark soundscape of Imipolex G is next, a track with a hint of Alien Sex Fiend to its dissonance and Sex Gang Children to its emotive character. Harsh and corrosive yet with a melancholic elegance which boldly simmers up at certain moments, the song grips ears with ease if not quite to the intensity of successor Life Seems Johnny Rotten. It’s Bauhaus seeded groove and spirals of guitar swiftly enthral, the subsequent vocal drone and melody infested post punk stroll elevating the song’s thick magnetism. A kaleidoscope of sounds and hues, the song is glorious expanding its lure as its tight senses encroaching tunnels of noise erupt into expansive sonic scenery.

Across the great irritant that is No Harm, a track which niggles and nags the senses into easy submission, and the rich rock ‘n’ roll of Broom of the System the album just accentuates its potency and variety in sound. Both embrace a mix of flavours with the second especially making a bold side step from post punk instincts with its heavy and classic rock spiced escapade though it still retains the steely repetitious instincts of that core genre in its depths.

Closing out the album is Scum Manifesto, a sonic scalding which boils from imposing calm into an acrimonious flood of noise and intent. It entices until it is ready to unleash its venom, which it does like pouring boiling oil on the senses. It is masterful end to an album which increasingly impressed play by play.

If not with Ubik, though the album has everything needed to lure rich praise, Head On is facing the prospect of real attention within the European rock scene. How their sound will evolve is intriguing and already keenly anticipated here but more of the striking same next time around will do very nicely too.

Ubik is available now digitally and on 12” vinyl @ https://headongreece.bandcamp.com/album/ubik

Upcoming UK tour dates.

Jun 28 The Pig and Fiddle, Bath

Jun 29 New Cross Inn, New Cross

Jun 30 The Pipeline, Brighton

Jul 01 The Old England, Bristol

https://www.facebook.com/Head0n/

Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lords Of Acid – Pretty In Kink

We cannot say that techno and acid house are genres we have an instinctive appetite for here but we certainly have a hunger for electro adventure with plenty of confrontation; something you certainly and persistently get with Lords Of Acid. Their new album Pretty In Kink is a riot of electronic eclecticism, twelve tracks infesting body and imagination with creative deviancy and virulent contagion and a collection which salaciously arouse the senses.

Lords Of Acid is the brainchild of Belgian musician Praga Khan, an artist releasing his first single back in 1988. The project apparently evolved from his “extensive experimentation with drugs, Crowley-ian sex magic, and esoteric paths of self-deprivation and mutilation known only to himself”, the band the vehicle for him to “further encapsulate the seductive messages and raw sex of his ever-evolving musical vision.” The new album sees Khan link up again with long-time collaborator Erhan Kurkun and the entrance of new vocalist Marieke Bresseleers.

Praga Khan

Pretty In Kink opens with Break Me, the track emerging from celestial mists with a dulled but imposing throb around which electronics flirt. The immediately striking voice of Bresseleers soon rises from its midst, her vocals openly powerful but equally devilish in their character and delivery. The track continues to pulsate and almost menacingly entice, its electronic simmer simultaneous threat and captivation with infection spilling from every note and syllable.

The compelling start continues with Ma Fille De Joie, it too laden with appealing shadows and electro temptation this time from an industrial seeding. There is a touch of Kraftwerk to the song; its seductive prowl almost predacious at times but persistently darkly flirtatious before Sex Cam Girl opens its creative legs for ears to devour its dark electro juices. With swaying grooves and raw melodic swerves to its gait, the track entices as it fingers the senses and like its predecessors left intrigue and hips consumed with eagerness.

The following EBM spiced trip hop lined Flow Juice took things and attention up another level, the track electro addiction in the making. Bresseleers is the perfect tease amongst the similarly tempting antics of the synths and beats, all getting under the skin with viral ease. As potent a start to the release that the first trio of songs make, the album really came alive for us at this point, next up Like Pablo Escobar escalating the new gear in persuasion. Pure drama from its initial shimmer and bass bred hook, the track rises up into a rousing slice of electro rock again one as imposing as it is manipulatively catchy with guitars and synths colluding in their cinematic theatre.

Neither Before the Night is Over or Androgyny leapt on the passions as instantly as those around them yet with their respective melodic Heaven 17-esque smoulder with underlying volatility and sinister synth pop seduction, each blossomed in captivation by the play as too did Goldfinger, a track borrowing from the classic Bond theme but using the essence to wrap its own techno espionage.

They were soon firmly eclipsed though by the electro punk of What the Fuck! a track with a great Senser-esque feel to its vocal attitude and electronic belligerence. It is superb; a wonderful sonic irritant always commanding an eager scratch while So Goddamn Good straight after is a song which seduces as it croons. Pop and hip hop spawned vocals unite across the track, melodic caresses and sonic blistering teasing together alongside as again Lords Of Acid simply steal attention.

My Demons Are Inside from an underwhelming start for personal tastes was another which eventually wormed into the psyche, its KMFDM like instincts and breeding nagging its way into the passions though it is soon over shadowed by the album’s best track for us. Closing up the release, We Are The Freaks was quite simply irresistible from its first breath. Drama oozes every pore as industrial confrontation rises to its deviant feet to subsequently embrace a minatory Latino taunting. It is a glorious end to an album which not for the first time sees Lords Of Acid enjoyably tainting the music scene with their rivetingly unique electronic disease.

Pretty In Kink is out now via Metropolis Records; available @ https://lordsofacidofficial.bandcamp.com/album/pretty-in-kink

http://www.lordsofacid.com   https://www.facebook.com/lordsofacid/    https://twitter.com/RealLordsOfAcid

Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright