Punching Swans – Faces

If you have allowed the boisterous noise and feral enterprise of Punching Swans to trespass ears before you will not be surprised to read that as maturity and a new bold touch embraces their latest release, their cacophony of sonic devilment is just as insatiable. Faces is a collection of tracks which stalk the imagination, manipulate the senses, and send the body into blissful spasms whilst courting a whole new level of adventure with the British trio.

Bred in the ever fertile round of the Medway region of Kent, Punching Swans is the creative union of vocalist/guitarist Greg Webster (Houdini), bassist/vocalist Joseph Wise(Frau Pouch), and drummer/vocalist Pablo Paganotto (The Explorer’s Collective). Formed in 2012, apparently “as a dare”, alongside their other projects, the band has simply grown in a sound, taking on inspirations from the likes of from The Fall, Sonic Youth, Bogshed and Mclusky as well as the dark realms of John Carpenter, The League of Gentlemen and The Evil Dead films, their imagination ensnaring releases perpetually earning bigger and keener acclaim. A self-titled debut that first year was a kind of warm up for the greater exploits inside Mollusc two years later. The album reinforced the band’s inimitable sound and creative mischief but flourished as the threesome in many ways ’took things more seriously’ with the project. Its qualities and success was only eclipsed by its successor Nesting in 2016 just as its seriously impressive character and adventure has been put in the shade by Faces.

The new album’s theme is a dark and compelling proposition; the release made up of eleven faces (tracks), each referring to the faces of serial killers. As Webster explains, “They each have a stupid feature for a face which is related to their story… so people who look kinda stupid and are unlikely killers. But then again, who is a likely killer? Can you really tell by appearance? As we wrote each new song they seemed to fit into a particular image of a face and from there we wrote what their particular background story was. We were picturing a kind of Dick Tracy rogues gallery of villains. “

The album opens up with Blood Face, gradually looming up on the senses in a sonic shimmer before a raw wash of voice and sound explodes on ears. The scything beats of Paganotto pounce and swing as a sonic swash of guitar colludes with the rapaciously dark mumblings of bass, a fiercely magnetic union completed by eager vocals. Slipping melodic teasing amongst its ravenous discord, the track is a magnificent and quickly addictive start to an album which only escalated every lure heard with imagination thereon in.

The following Areola Face instantly had hips swaying and appetite’s tongue licking lustful lips as Wise’s throaty bass strolls with dark but infectious intent, a catchiness only accentuated by the more ‘violent’ animation of guitar and beats. Ebbing and flowing in its volatility, vocals following suit, the track provides a caustic flirtation before Strobe Face licks at the senses with a rapid flicker of beats and a sonic sunspot which in turn sparks a slightly corrosive but fully captivating trespass; a captivation only boosted by the singular dance of vocals and beats which escapes before things become more psychotic yet tenderly seductive.

Through the calm but predacious post punk militance of Batter Face and the reserved siren-esque psychosis of Coral Face, animated temptation richly soaked ears; Paganotto’s kinetic swings as conniving and irresistible as the intimation shredding exploits of Webster and Wise’s skilful rhythmic dark saunters, traits fuelling the whole album from start to finish. The latter of the pair has a definite Houdini meets The Fall feel before making way for the simply glorious murderous drama and inharmonious beauty of Cliff Face. Featuring Dan Toms of Bear vs Manero and the biggest treat out of nothing but, the track is simply manna for ears and spirit, unscrupulous rascality at its best.

The following pair of Grater Face and Lady Cheese Face refers to each other, the songs “Romeo and Juliet-style lovers who simply could not be.” The first is a wild slice of post punk ‘n’ roll with a personality something akin to Mclusky meets The St Pierre Snake Invasion while its companion of sorts shows a devious side to its more tamed incursion on the senses. Discordant yet with a sonic elegance which is as threatening as it is alluring, the track is a true predator of a song, getting under the skin with subtlety and flirtation before gnawing away with bloodthirsty relish.

Raw and wolfish, Carpenter Face infiltrates ears next with an almost industrial like hue to its expanding tapestry of lawless noise. A low key serenade with a portentous breeze of sonic duplicity inserts itself in the breaths between it and Face Face straight after, the piece brief and never quite breaking the surface of its limbo before the penultimate track careers in on a rhythmic canter with a sonic mane spraying in its trenchant winds.

God Face completes the release, the song a lure of shadow bound celestial scheming simultaneously  tenebrific and radiant round another simply rousing rhythmic incitement from Paganotto and Wise alongside the melodic dissonance of Webster.

It is an enthralling end to a quite superb and increasingly addictive release. Punching Swans has never been as so damn manipulative or devilishly rousing as they are within Faces. It is not only a band at its momentously best but noise rock/post punk too.

Faces is released October 26th via Skingasm Records; available now for pre-order @ https://punchingswans.bandcamp.com/album/faces

Upcoming live shows:

OCT 26th LEEDS, Chunk

OCT 27th LIVERPOOL, Invisible Wind Factory

NOV 9th LONDON, Aces & Eights

https://www.facebook.com/PunchingSwans   https://twitter.com/punchingswans

Pete RingMaster 23/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre – Death Rattle Shake

It seems like Joey (Joecephus) Killingsworth has been dealing out potent sounds as long as The RingMaster Review has way back had music in the heart though that realisation comes with hindsight after actually being introduced to the vocalist/guitarist/songwriter through his band Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre; more specifically through 2010 anthem WWLD (What Would Lemmy Do), a track and chorus which still rings out in the office when faced with a dilemma. Now the band has a new slab of Joecephus led goodness out going by the name of Death Rattle Shake, a release all punk ‘n’ rollers and hard rocking, country licking, metal hugging lovers should take a moonshine soaked dance with.

Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre as a band rose up around 2005 though, after an EP under his own name, Killingsworth had already released a first album under the name. Performing their first show that year,  the Memphis outfit have gone on to share stages with the likes of David Allen Coe, HR of Bad Brains, Agent Orange, Jucifer, Green Jello, Unknown Hinson, Black Oak Arkansas, Jim Dickinson, Rev. Horton Heat and many more. A handful of attention and praise drawing albums have also graced and bruised the years with Hell or High Water (2010), and Arockalypse Now (2012) probably the most notable and acclaimed. Death Rattle Shake easily takes its place alongside the band’s biggest successes and as a collection of tracks we would confidently suggest is their most impressive and rousing moment yet.

With bassist Brian Costner and drummer Daryl Stephens alongside Killingsworth and featuring the organ of Gerald Stephens, Death Rattle Shake bursts into life with its title track and a slice of dirtily animated rock ‘n’ roll. With beats rapping firmly on the senses and the bass grumbling with devilish seduction, the track is soon a compelling stomp which the magnetic flirtation of keys and the grimy riffs of Killingsworth lustily align with as his vocals further incites the body romping antics the music commands.

It is an outstanding start, one of those irresistible moments we all crave for and the spark for the following diverse dance of the album starting with the blues rock saunter of Drivin Blind. Again the warm, psych lit keys of Stephens contrasts yet unites with the scuzzier tendrils of guitar rising from similarly raw sonic flames, Killingsworth like an outlaw in its midst. It is a description which and always has suited the band’s music perfectly, its character like a rock ‘n’ roll felon/bandit but  an outsider you want to run with.

The addiction sparking Terminally Hip is next swinging its angular hard rock bred hips with attitude and mischief while Karma’s A Bitch brings a cauldron of old school rock nurtured blues punk as irritable as it is boisterously animated. Both tracks incite swift involvement from body and vocal chords, firing up rock ‘n’ roll instincts as easily as Excaliber also proves itself able. Again blues and punk unite as more stoner come sludge metal hues lick away at song and ears, the track another treat even if far too short for unbridled satisfaction.

Through the psych rock seeded, R&B keyed punk ‘n’ roll of Flypaper and the cowpunk sniping of Gold Digging Whore, the album continues to broaden its flavour and magnetism, the first simply a delicious noise nurtured infestation and its successor a woozy intoxication of sour but richly appetising sonic liquor.

Though the country lined funk ‘n’ roll of Cosmic Retribution did not trigger the same greedy appetite as those before it, the track effortlessly had attention hooked as hips swayed again with that mesmeric organ of Stephens a major flirtation alongside swinging rhythms and the enterprise woven web of guitar.

From its title you will correctly guess the nature and sound of Tombstone Blues, a track which without breaking boundaries was full distraction before the album closes off with the enthralling epic stroll of Helping Hand. Though a track unsurprisingly flourishing from the open individual and united craft of its creators, it is the suggestive meander of Killingsworth’s guitar which wanders with a skilled touch and intimation across the increasingly cosmic landscape of sultry keys and boldly ambling rhythms which primarily stands out and grips the imagination.

It feels a long time since we had a Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre offering to chew on but well worth the wait as Death Rattle Shake is easily their best yet.

Death Rattle Shake is out now; available @ https://joecephus.bandcamp.com/album/death-rattle-shake

https://www.jk47.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Joecephus13/   https://twitter.com/joecephus13

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Invoker – Cursed To Feel EP

As thick in emotional intensity as sonic ferocity, Cursed To Feel is the new EP from Swiss hardcore outfit Invoker. It is the successor to the band’s acclaimed debut album of 2017, Four Wall Nightmare, and a tempest taking the uncompromising intensity of the band’s previous offering as well as its sweeping post rock turbulence and soaking it in a whole new squall of heart and imagination. The result is a physical and emotive trespass which is unpredictable, impassioned, and mercilessly compelling.

Since emerging in 2012, the Lucerne quintet has increasingly made their mark and built a potent reputation with their release and hardcore/post hardcore fusion. As Cursed To Feel proves there is plenty other hues to a proposition which they honed and have evolved since their first release, the Loose Lips, Sink Ships EP of 2013. Similarly their hungry and rousingly intensive live presence has grown and flourished, Invoker sharing stages with the likes of Landscapes, Being As An Ocean, Counterparts, Napoleon, and Break Even amongst so many along the way. Through each release Invoker has pushed their songwriting and sound, it all leading to their new triumph.

Cursed To Feel stirs into life with a single guitar lure, a melodic string which barely has time to breathe before the storm inside Black and Blue violently erupts. The throat raw fury of David Lukas sears ears and air as a maelstrom of sonic animosity ignites around him, guitars nagging but equally inciting the senses as rhythms pounce with little restraint. It is a potent mix yet the track really blossoms as small but strong ebbs in the maelstrom intrude, that attention grabbing enterprise subsequently sparking further imagination bred twists and creative insertions drawing diversity in sound and voice.

The excellent start is surpassed by the emotion charnel house of Cursed though in no time the song aligns melodic elegance and infectious grooves to devouring angst bursting hostility. As all tracks, it swings through moments of unsettled calm and ferociously harsh expulsions of heart and noise to intrude and beguile before The Novel unveils its own collusion of raw and harmonic dexterity drenched in pain and corroded but certain hope.

With Cease To Exist a brief but ravenous and invasively captivating onslaught and End Me providing the EP’s darkest and for us its most poignant not forgetting emotionally relatable and quarrelsome moment, Cursed To Feel continues to expose scars and understanding within a pleasure  inspiring tempest.

Invoker already has a fervour driven fan base but it is simple to expect Cursed To Feel to spark its bold growth and thrust the band towards major recognition.

Cursed To Feel is out now via Grim Reality Records and available @ https://weareinvoker.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/weareinvoker/

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright