Skinny Girl Diet – Ideal Woman

Ever since the release of their striking and plaudit grabbing debut album of 2016, there has been an instinctive anticipation for a great many for the Skinny Girl Diet follow-up and not just for their sound but the rage, irritability, and bold attacks on life and values it is fuelled by. They are verbal trespasses feeling increasingly rare in modern music surrounded in a sound just as full of dissonance and unapologetic displeasure but it all giving the opposite. It is a combination easily ensuring Ideal Woman as suggested was eagerly awaited and now here destined to be declared one of the truly stirring encounters of this year.

Since the release of the acclaimed Heavy Flow, London hailing Skinny Girl Diet has reduced from three down to the founding duo of Delilah and Ursula Holiday, vocals/guitar and drums respectively. It is a move which has done nothing to quench the hunger and anger in their music; a proposition bred from the voracious attitude drenched essences of punk, grunge and dirty rock ‘n’ roll but not truly settling into any particular bed of sound. Ideal Woman is a richer palette of that mix; bolder in imagination, songwriting and flavouring as it impressively builds on the potent potential of its predecessor.

If noise annoys, then Skinny Girl Diet will be winding up a great many but it is a creative clamour nurtured on invention, passion, and honesty. As much as it pours scorn on the parade of ills inflicted upon modern society Ideal Woman is just as harsh and abrasive on the apathy around them while musically it just sung on the senses and appetite with matching imagination, instantly making a strong and alluring start with opener La Sirena. From its initial doomy prowl of guitar and slowly rolling beats, the track crawled over the senses, Delilah’s swiftly joining vocals harmonic but carrying an instinctive and never far from the surface snarl.  A slice of untamed rock ‘n’ roll, it is primal flirtation and an irresistible introduction to the organic tension and enterprise of Ideal Woman.

Witch Of The Waste follows bringing a bluesy sigh and subsequent swing to bear on ears and a quickly embracing appetite. As with the first, there is a predacious hue to the track even as it dances with grooves and toxic melodies, fully captivating before making way for the similarly voracious if more controlled Shed Your Skin. Though not exactly in sound, there is something of a mix of The Slits and The Raincoats to the song aligning with its own individual and devilish lo-fi grooving and devious hookery.

There is no denying that the opening trio had us hooked but a snare ensuring full slavery with the album’s title track. It is a delicious slice of soulful temptation and melodic indie pop intimation boiling up to a fuzz pool of rock ‘n’ roll as unpredictable as it is enthralling. The best track within Ideal Woman, the song was pure captivation though quickly rivalled by the capricious drama and exploits of Human Zoo. Seduction and trespass collude across its equally absorbing trespass, the new adventure in the Skinny Girl Diet composing and sound in full blossom within both tracks and indeed next up, Starfucker. It too makes a calm yet slightly unnerving entrance; a tinge of portentousness lining the melody of guitar and Ursula’s mercurially edged rhythms. Delilah’s voice similarly has a volatile lining which breaks ranks rather than erupts across another rich highlight of the release.

Through the vacillating scuzz soaked saunter of Western Civilisation and the post punk teasing antics of the outstanding Outsider, satisfaction and pleasure continued to draw lusty returns while Timing and Golden with their respective Au Pairs-esque seducing turning rowing with the senses and instinctive volatility pretty much left a want for nothing.

The closing stretch of the album ensures it bows out as potently as it burst in; Warrior Queens leading off in confrontational style with defiance soaking word and the soiled causticity of its ear rapping sound. Its full cacophony is followed by the just as sonically and emotionally dissenting White Man where a Distillers like vehemence adds to its inherent pull.

Clickbait concludes the pleasure, preying on the listener with carnivorous beats and wolfish chords then breaking into a rabid punk grunge assault enhanced by Delilah’s ever alluring blend of harmonic coaxing and snarling tetchiness.

It is a rousing end to a release which just grows more stirring and impressive by the listen. Ideal Woman is prickly and fractious rock ‘n’ roll wrapped in a weave of imagination which has no interest in being anything other than honest and unique incitement all should risk infection by.

Ideal Woman is available now digitally and on vinyl through HHBTM Records.

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Pete RingMaster 12/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tullycraft – The Railway Prince Hotel

Despite new album The Railway Prince Hotel being their seventh, US indie popsters Tullycraft has been a name rather than musical presence on our radar here and it has pretty much been the same with global recognition and attention. It is an outfit though which is said to have been “one of the forefathers of the American twee pop movement”, indeed one of the biggest influences on so many bands emerging over recent times within the indie pop underground and beyond. On the evidence of their new offering it just might be the time they themselves step out into the biggest spotlights as The Railway Prince Hotel is simply one irresistible slice of cute pop contagion.

Tullycraft emerged back in 1995 and a swift hindsight listen in the wake of The Railway Prince Hotel shows they have been the source of a host of delicious pop songs and releases which reveal why they have been a potent inspiration to so many. The new album though is a new twist in their songwriting and sound, a collection of hungrily lively pop songs with their own individual bounce and mischief to what has come before. The riveting union of lead vocals from bassist Sean Tollefson and Jenny Mears is one of the most potent lures to the Seattle band’s music but no more so than the instinctive hooks and radiant melodies which tease and inspire attention. Listening to their new release we quickly found ourselves thinking back to the organic and viral pop of seventies/eighties bands like The Freshies, The Farmers Boys and to a slightly lesser degree Weekend and The Chefs; alluring and no doubt coincidental tinges in the openly individual character of the Tullycraft sound.

It is fair to say that The Railway Prince Hotel had us hooked and licking lips with simply its first three tracks; songs which no matter what was to follow ensured our full recommendation was lining up. Midi Midinette starts things off, its summery flames of brass and energetic bounce instantly burrowing deep as too the rising union of harmonic vocal lures. Soulful and whimsical in all the right ways, the song provides a joyous stroll which hips and vocal chords just could not resist, both soon manipulated to matching effort by the following pair of Passing Observations and We Couldn’t Dance To Billy Joel.

From its opening bait of bass, the first of the pair had the body swinging; its temptation instantly escalated by the vocal collaboration of Mears and band around Tollefson‘s lone and as potent lines. The guitars of Chris Munford and Corianton Hale again almost tease as they melodically entice but it is Mear’s melodic cries which made for the greatest seduction in a song and particularly chorus which made for increasingly mischievous aural manna. Its successor with its jovial jangle and frisky rhythms allowed for no relaxation of feet and body swerves, its flirtatious vocals and melodies a pleasing mix of comforting warmth and playful unpredictability.

Goldie And The Gingerbreads is next up sharing another bassline which just hooked the appetite. From there the skittish beats and coy but bold melodic clang of guitar escalated its hold on ears while harmonies suggest the echoing lures of bands such as The Shangri-Las and The Crystals make a natural pleasure for the band itself.

We could not say that either Has Your Boyfriend Lost His Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight? or Beginners At Best quite sparked the same unreserved reactions of their predecessors but both with their particular creative essences and enterprise left us bouncing along with a wholly satisfied smile while It’s Not Explained, It’s Delaware with its reserved country twang brought its own healthy amount of and easy to take pleasure.

The brief electro pop saunter of Lost Our Friends To Heavy Metal was another which took longer to take too even if hips unapologetically defied that sloth like appreciation while Hearts At The Sound straight after ignited another round of eager bouncing with its rowdier pop ‘n’ roll before The Cat’s Miaow In A Spacesuit had us hooked with its bass swing alone, closing the trap with vocal and melody erudition. The latter pair emerged to test the opening threesome for best song honours, a choice never settled on even through numerous listens.

The album closes out with firstly its title track, a spirited influential proposal lying somewhere between old school pop punk/power pop and brass flamed indie rock and lastly the carefree pop rock stroll of Vacaville. Each leaves a greed for more behind with the final treat another vying for the album’s finest moment.

We can only feel we have missed out on years of enjoyment listening to Tullycraft but as we feel sure so many more newcomers will do, we are making up for it with The Railway Prince Hotel, one of the year’s early and real pleasures.

 The Railway Prince Hotel is out now @ https://tullycraft.bandcamp.com/album/the-railway-prince-hotel and available on vinyl via HHBTM Records.

https://tullycraft.com/   https://www.facebook.com/TullycraftBand

 Pete RingMaster 12/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright